By: Erika Rodriguez
The holidays are quickly approaching and Chef Duran has some tasty tips & recipes to help entertain last minute guests. He shares this season's kitchen must-haves!
The first thing I think of when I think of the holidays is baking. I like adding flavor and fun to my homemade creations with Hershey’s Kitchens, from classic baking chips to even low-sugar alternatives like cocoa. So check this out: I made these pudding glasses using their NEW Hershey’s S’mores Baking Pieces that include Milk Chocolate Chips, Graham Cookie pieces and Mini Marshmallows! Or you can use their NEW Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme Baking Pieces, which are a mix of White Chips and Chocolate Cookie Bits. These baking pieces are remixed versions of your favorite candy brands and are ready to use! Click here for the delicious pudidng recipe and make sure you visit Hershey's Kitchens for more info!
If you want to put a smile on your guests’ faces try this classic Baked Ziti with Meatballs. This hearty recipe has only 4 ingredients making it quick and easy, allowing you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your families and friends. I like to use Armour Meatballs, because they’ve done most of the work for you with great-tasting, fully-cooked meatballs. You can find them in the freezer section of your local grocery store. Visit ArmourMeats.com for more info and tasty inspiring recipes!
Armour Meatballs also work great for meatball subs or sliders. Everyone knows that the best sandwiches start with great bread. Whether you pile it high or press it flat, Cobblestone Bread Co. Sub Rolls are ready to contain whatever culinary masterpiece you can whip up. They're big, bold and baked to be fresh and flavorful. With both white and wheat flavors, these guys take sandwich making seriously! Visit CobblestoneBreadCo.com to learn more! Click here for the Meatball Sub recipe!
I always tell my friends and family to use premium spices and herbs in their recipes and Spice Islands offers you the highest quality spices to elevate your entire menu. They handpick many of their spices and take extra steps to capture the natural oils which gives the spices their rich flavor. For example with my rosemary lamb chop appetizer, you can truly taste the warm peppery aroma of the rosemary and serve it with a sweet and tart cranberry apple chutney. How about some butternut squash soup shooters with Thyme butter? Visit SpiceIslands.com for these delicious recipes and to learn more!
Pair all these delicious recipes with great wine. Hess estate vineyards in Napa Valley is owned and managed by the fifth generation Hess Family since 1978. They are the #15 vineyard owner with a whopping 369 acres planted. Affordable, approachable and crafted for immediate enjoyment, Hess Select wines represents outstanding examples of wines from California’s premium wine growing regions. For the holidays, try my goat cheese stuffed mushroom which pairs wonderfully with the Hess Select Monterey Chardonnay…and their North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect compliment to this quick and easy Coq au Vin. Recipes below! Visit HessCollection.com to learn more.
GOAT CHEESE and SPICY SAUSAGE STUFFED MUSHROOMS
2 Spicy sausage links, casing removed
24 Crimini mushrooms, stems removed
1 6-oz. Package of fresh goat cheese
1 Tblsp. fresh thyme
¼ C. Parmesan cheese, grated
½ tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Garnish: 1 Tblsp. finely minced parsley
Preheat oven to 400° F and oil a baking sheet (or cover with parchment paper).\
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and cook sausage, breaking it up into pieces, until browned. Drain fat from sausage and mix with the rest of the ingredients, except for garnish.
Rinse mushrooms and pat dry and begin to stuff mushroom caps. Place on baking sheet and into the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes until tops are browned and mushroom caps are tender.
Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Makes 24 mushrooms
QUICK AND EASY TOMATO COQ AU VIN
6 skinless chicken thighs
2 Tblsp. Vegetable oil
4 slices of bacon, choppe
1 medium onion, chopped
4 oz. button mushrooms, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
½ C. red wine
2 14.5 oz cans Stewed Tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Pat chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. In an extra large skillet or frying pan, heat oil on high. Sauté each chicken piece on both sides until browned, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Keep heat at high and sauté’ bacon until browned, about 3 minutes. Add onions, mushrooms, and carrots and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add red wine and Hunt’s tomatoes and mix. Season with salt and pepper. Gently “dig” pieces of chicken inside tomato mixture and cook on high heat, uncovered for 10 minutes, shaking the pan once in a while to loosen the mixture.
Turn off the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving with mashed potatoes and veggies of your choice.
Makes 6 pieces of chicken