Archive for March, 2016
March 17, 2016
If you like Indian food, you must find your way to India’s Grill on Kennedy Boulevard – where you will find a perfect combination of authentic Indian flavors. Located where Rigatoni’s use to be housed, I had dinner there last night and loved every single bite.
While it is nicely decorated inside you will find that the food is what going to tickle-your-fancy. Wrap their Tandoori Chicken (shown above) in your garlic naan bread and you will be immediately transported some place really nice in your minds-eye.
They serve a really good sauté chickpea mixed with a delightful yogurt and red onion sauce that will float your boat…and perfect with any of their naan bread is delicious. I thoroughly enjoyed literally everything served – the chicken saag (chicken with spinach cream), daal saag (lentils with spinach), Tikka masala, and the Takoda (mixed vegetables dipped in gram flour) and fried served with a wonderful mint sauce, lamb and goat dishes are a plenty as well.
When you get the chance, drop by India’s Grill for a delightful dinner. They also have a buffet lunch for $10 during the week – which I will try next.
3437 West Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, Florida 33609
March 17, 2016
AWW – Corned Beef & Cabbage!!! One of my favorite times of the year is St. Patrick’s Day because I can eat my fill of Corned Beef and Cabbage. My mom was from Boston and she would call it a “New England Boil Dinner.” I call it just plain good.
This is such an easy meal to prepare. While the beef takes time to cook, it is more-or-less a passive meal to prepare – so you can go shopping, wash the dog, ride a bike, write a letter, or anything else you may want to do while it cooks.
I’ve searched many places in the Tampa Bay area for the BEST Corned Beef and Cabbage – and while most would think (and hope) that an Irish Pub would be the natural fit – I have literally ordered CB& Cabbage dinners from multiple locations – and I have found Wright’s Gourmet to put out the best most consistent one in the area. I’d love to hear where you enjoy corned beef and cabbage. Shoot me an email at RobertKimBailey@hotmail.com.
- Corned Beef
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup honey
- Whole small onions
- New red potatoes
It is important to completely wash off the corned beef prior to cooking. Place in large pot and cover with water two inches above the corned beef. Add seasoning packet. Cook on high heat until it comes to a boil. Once it boils turn heat to medium to simmer – can take as long as 3 hours depending on how large your beef is and how many pieces you are cooking.
While the corned beef cooks, Peel and slice carrots on the bias. You want your pieces to be equal in size. I like to leave the skins on my potatoes for corned beef and cabbage – but that is solely up to you…so peel them if desired. If you buy the smaller potato leave them whole – if larger, cut in quarters. Peel small to medium onions leaving whole. Slice the cabbage in quarters. I leave the core in tack making it easier to remove from pot.
Once the corned beef is cooked – take out. Turn heat to high. Once the water is boiling add carrots, potatoes, and onions to the same water, cook until fork tender. Take out.
Add cabbage to the same water and cook until fork tender. Take out when done and arrange all vegetables nicely on a platter. My dad would always save the broth and drink it – calling it “pot liquor.” It is very good.
Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. When the vegetables are cooking combine the honey and brown sugar and spread evenly over the top of the corned beef. Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until a brown caramelization occurs – much like the picture(s). Let cool 20 minutes,
It is important to slice the corned beef against the grain…otherwise it will be tough as nails.
SERVING & PRESENTATION
Place cabbage on a large platter surrounded by the carrots, onions, and potatoes. Top with sliced corned beef. My mom always served Guldens Spicy Brown Mustard – and we dipped both the corned beef and the vegetables in the mustard – and put some Texas Pete Pepper Vinegar on our cabbage. I just love this meal.
March 04, 2016
What A SUPER Lunch!!!
Most people think of Ava as a super place to dine at night. Me too, for that is usually when I go to Ava for they have a great rib-eye steak (who would think a great steak at an Italian restaurant)…and the best hand-made pizza in town. It is definitely a Tampa night “hot-spot.” Yet, today I had a fantastic lunch…so much so, I want to go back tomorrow, and the day after that as well.
The prices are as affordable as you’ll find at any lunch spot in Tampa. The service is fast and friendly. But I go to a place for the food – and Ava will cuddle your taste buds. Come-on, any place that makes their own rustic Italian bread has got something great going on.
You’ve must try the la bestia pizza with sausage, San Marzano tomatoes, ricotta, and arugula – and please let me know your thoughts.
718 South Howard Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33606
March 04, 2016
Best Pound Cake Ever
Rosemary Henderson has been my friend for many years. If you are fortunate to know her, you will definitely agree that she actually is one of the nicest people on earth. Well, there is one thing you may not know about Rosemary – and that is she makes the absolutely best pound cake ever. The BEST. The BEST. THE BEST BAR NONE.
We use to make it at Bailey’s served with our homemade ice cream and loads of fresh strawberries – and it would sell out in a New York minute. I bet I’ve gorged on more of her pound cake than any one person she knows. Now you can too! Rosemary is selling her pound cakes at South Tampa Fresh Market…all boxed up ready to take home or as the perfect gift.
I told the guy behind the counter I was giving it to a friend – but truth be told, I went home and ate half of it – and put the other half in the freezer. Folks, you know I do not kid about food. Go get a cake today…and please, please, invite me over…for I just made some homemade strawberry ice cream today – which is a perfect topping for this Rosemary’s wonderful pound cake.
South Tampa Fresh Market
4807 South Himes Avenue (Next to Publix)
March 03, 2016
Served on Homemade Plantain Chips.
One of the most requested menu items at Bailey Catering is our Tuna Tartare. We serve tartare every which way at dinner parties and cocktail receptions. As an hors d’oeuvre, my favorite way is on a fresh fried plantain chip topped with crème fraiche and a squeeze of fresh lime. To make your presentation pop – put them on a rectangle plate with uncooked green lentils. You’re guest will love the presentation – but enjoy the tartare even more.
- ½ to 1 pound very fresh tuna steaks
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon teriyaki
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 finely chopped scallion (green onion)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon wasabi powder
- ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno
- Salt to taste
With a sharp knife – thinly slice the tuna in quarter in slices, and dice those slices into small chunks. You do not want to mince the tuna – you want nice small chunks of tuna. Set aside in the refrigerator.
Except for the diced tuna, combine all the ingredients and whisk. Add a tablespoon at a time to the tuna to secure the proper balance for your desired taste – add Kosher salt if desired. However, you should have enough salt with the soy and teriyaki sauces, so be careful.
Chill for at least 2 hours.
Place on top of a fresh fried plantain chip or a homemade crispy wonton. Top with a small dollop of crème fraiche or a small slice of avocado…add a light squeeze of fresh lime juice and a spinkle of sesame seeds.