Archive for June, 2016
June 23, 2016
Who doesn’t LOVE doughnuts? Well, I certainly do. Admittedly, I am a plain cake, glaze, jelly, or toasted coconut kind of doughnut lover. My uncle Eddie took me to the original Dunkin Donuts in Quincy, Massachusetts when I was 6 or 7, and from then on, I was hooked. Chocolate glazed cake donuts were my favorite back then.
As president of the Student Council at Plant High way back when, we had so many Krispy Kreme donut drives to raise money they called me Mr. Donut. Can you believe we sold a box of a dozen donuts for $.50 (that’s a box, not a dozen) and still made enough money to fund whatever pet project we were championing. I often remember waiting for the donuts to come off the line – hot and fresh moving from the long silver conveyor belt into the vat of glistening glaze, at the Kennedy location next to WTVT. They made them fresh and served them hot at various times during the day.
Well, for you doughnut lovers out there…you must try the Mini Doughnut Factory on Dale Marbry a block or so from Plant High. But be prepared to wait in line – for they are always busy. Busy because they are a true hit with everyone who tries them.
Owners Patrick and Zezura Ruddell appeared on my radio show a couple weeks ago and were absolutely delightful. You can tell they have a keen since of humor just by taking a look at their many crazy doughnut toppings: Cotton Candy (strawberry icing with cotton candy pop rocks), the Sweet Pig (maple icing with bacon), Peanut Butter Crunch (peanut butter icing with crushed butterfingers), I could go on-and-on listing their many tantalizing flavors, but you need to experience these gems yourself. Even if it is just the boring ones like I order (chocolate or vanilla iced), you will find yourself caught up in the fun and great tastes of donut heaven, aptly called The Mini Doughnut factory.
DONUT TRIVIA: Doughnuts or Donuts, both spellings are grammatically correct. Dunkin spells it Donuts and Krispy Kreme spells them Doughnuts. Krispy Kreme was founded in 1937 in Winston Salem, North Carolina and has 1003 locations in 26 countries, and Dunkin Donuts was founded in 1950 in Quincy, Massachusetts and has over 11,000 locations literally everywhere in the world.
MINI DOUGHNUT FACTORY
2109 South Dale Mabry
Tampa, Florida 33629
June 23, 2016
In my family, when pork was served, my mom always served it with homemade applesauce. So why not go the extra step and brine my pork roast in apple cider? I served this dish last Saturday night to guests with oven roasted root vegetables, and apple sauce and boy-ol-boy was it a hit.
Ask Kevin at Publix meat department on Neptune to prep you a 5 to 6 pound bone in pork loin making sure he cuts the rib bones so it is easier to slice. You want 7 to 8 bones. Kevin has been a friend for many years, he was a butcher at Whaley’s Market (I still shed a tear when I think of them), matter of fact, he is married to Linda Whaley. Tell him you want it like the one he did for me.
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cups kosher salt
- 2 cups water
- 8 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- 1 quart unfiltered apple cider (not juice)
- 1 – 7 to 8 bone pork loin (5 to 6 pounds), ribs cut
- 6 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 pounds – unpeeled and quartered
- 5 medium red onions, halved, stem ends intact
- 6 carrots peeled and chopped in 2 inch pieces
- Any root vegetable you like will do: parsnips, rutabaga, fennel, butternut squash are all good
- Salt and freshly cracked pepper
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 cup unfiltered apple cider (not juice)
Bring brown sugar, salt, bay leaves, coriander, peppercorns to a boil in 2 cups of water until the sugar and salt is dissolved. Let cool completely and combine with a quart of apple-cider. Put the liquid, pork loin in a 2.5 gallon Zip-Lock bag, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Let the roast sit out of the refrigerator for at least one hour to come to room temperature.
After it has marinated the appropriate time, remove the pork loin and pat dry with a paper towel. Liberally salt and pepper the complete pork loin and brown all sides in the same roasting pan you will be using to bake the loin – add a couple tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to sear off pork. You want a nice caramelization on all sides.
Place the seared loin in the middle of the roasting pan (fat side up) with the prepped root vegetables all around the roast, add beef stock and apple cider over the vegetables. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of pepper directly on the vegetables.
Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven until the inside temperature reaches 145 to 150…approximately 60 to 90 minutes – start checking temp after 1 hour. Let stand for 30 minutes prior to slicing. You can serve thinly sliced without the bone, or thick sliced including the bone. Serve with pan juices and homemade applesauce.
Nothing beats homemade applesauce with pork. It’s easy to make…even easier than pie.
- 6 apples: 2 golden delicious, 2 gala, and 2 Macintosh (peeled and cut into 1” cubes)
- ¾ cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon (more or less depending on your taste)
Combine all the ingredients in a heavy bottom pot with a lid. Cover and cook on medium low until the apples are very soft. Leave it chunky or grind in a food processor. Served chilled, hot, or room temperature.
June 16, 2016
Thoroughly sourced new American cuisine
What better name for a restaurant located in the heart of Old Hyde Park on Swann Avenue than, “On Swann”. It was like an Abbott and Costello movie when I was telling a friend to meet me at On Swann. “Where is it?” he queried. On Swann, I said. “What’s the name?” On Swann. Well, you know how that goes.
This three week old restaurant on the corner of Swann and Oregon is set to be a hallmark of Old Hyde Park Village. I grew up on Newport Avenue and only wish there was something like this I could have ridden my bike to…well, I guess at age 10 I wouldn’t have had the palate for the Spicy Carrot Soup I now have — it’s delicious.
Co-owners Chef Chris Ponte (owner of Café Ponte in Clearwater), and longtime restaurateur Trudy Cooper (co-founder of Outback) have really made this a “must-eat” destination – and in a short 3 week period. My friend Jon Palmer Claridge had raves in his Creative Loafing review and I do as well.
As usual, I tried many items and found them exceptionally tasty – especially given the fact that it has only been open for 3 short weeks…and the service, it was exceptional – with the most knowledgeable server I have ever had – she was phenomenal. I will be going back this next week to try the 27 ounce rib-eye. Should I share?
1501 West Swann
June 16, 2016
Quick, Easy, & Delicious For Any Party.
Crab stuffed shrimp with a passion fruit drizzle, gorgonzola stuffed Medjool dates, Polynesian water chestnuts, and Cajun bourbon spiked scallops all wrapped in bacon. These four hors d’oeuvres are a snap to prepare and will be a huge hit at your next party. Or, you can make it even easier on yourself by picking up the phone and ask Bailey’s to cater your next shindig. I love hors d’oeuvres with such a passion and find myself loving parties that serve a multitude of fun tasty tidbits as opposed to a huge buffet. Try one of these (or all four) at your next get together.
Bamboo Skewers or Toothpick Preparation
Soak skewers or toothpick in water for at least 2 hours. This will keep the wood from burning in the oven during the cooking process.
I prefer regular sliced Applewood smoked bacon…one pound package and cut into thirds. It is best if you refrigerate the bacon prior to wrapping for it is easier to wrap the various hors d’oeuvres with chilled bacon than at room temperature.
CRAB STUFFED SHRIMP with Passion Fruit Drizzle
- 16/20 shrimp peeled, deveined, butterflied (cut down the back to flatten the shrimp)
- Melted butter
- Crab cake stuffing mixture (on the Bailey’s website go to blog and search for crab cake)
- Fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt
Brush prepared butterflied shrimp with melted butter and lightly salt. Put a tablespoon of our delicious crabmeat stuffing on the flat topside portion of the shrimp with the tail up. Wrap in a third slice of bacon and skewer with bamboo skewers or toothpick. Place on parchment lined sheet pan and bake at 375 degrees for approximately 10 minutes, brush with passion fruit glaze, and continue baking until the bacon is golden brown. Drizzle with passion fruit glaze.
PASSION FRUIT GLAZE
- 2 cups pure passion fruit juice
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
Put all ingredients in a heavy bottom sauce pan on medium heat and reduce by half. The consistency of syrup.
GORGONZOLA STUFFED MEDJOOL DATES
- Medjool dates
- 1 cup gorgonzola cheese
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- applewood smoked bacon
Slice Medjool dates in half (without cutting all the way through) and remove pit. Combine 1 cup gorgonzola (or any bleu cheese you desire) cheese with ¼ cup cream cheese, and liberally stuff date with softened cheese mixture. Close up the stuffed date and wrap with a third slice Applewood smoked bacon and skewer. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees on a parchment lined sheet pan until the bacon is golden brown. These can also be deep fried in 350 degree oil until the bacon is crispy. Both ways are great.
POLYNESIAN WATER CHESTNUTS
- 50 to 100 whole water chestnuts drained
- 1 cup soy sauce
- ½ cup teriyaki sauce
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Asian chili oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions
Place soy sauce, teriyaki, chili and sesame oils, brown sugar, and grated ginger in bowl and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add drained water chestnuts to the sauce and let marinate overnight or at least 12 hours. After they have marinated for the appropriate time, drain the chestnuts, wrapped in a third slice of bacon and skewer…brush with excess marinade. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 10 minutes then brush again with the marinade about 10 minutes into the baking process. Bake until golden crispy.
CAJUN BOURBON BUTTER SCALLOPS
NOTE: Scallops work well with the Polynesian recipe above.
- Large diver scallops (patted dry)
- 1 stick salted butter (softened but not melted)
- 1 tablespoon Tony Chachere’s (or your favorite Cajun spice blend)
- 1 finely chopped garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
Make sure you pat dry your scallops with a paper towel. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl until completely mixed. Brush dry scallop(s) with butter mixture and wrap in a third slice of bacon. Brush outside of the bacon with butter mixture, bake at 375 degrees on a parchment lined baking sheet until the bacon is crispy golden brown. Brush with the butter mixture and serve.
June 09, 2016
My friend Kathleen Doyle called me from So Gourmet Bakery Café and told me I would just have to get there and try their napoleons. A few weeks before I was having dinner with Pat Frank and she mentioned they had great coffee. So when another good friend Bruce Maduri (owner of the radio station that airs my show), suggested we meet there for lunch, well, after 3 different friends suggested this place, I just had to jump at the chance to visit. And I am glad I did.
Folks, run, don’t walk. The BEST quiche and the BEST Napolean’s in town, bar none. More than an honorable mention would be the Croque Monsieur which is a most tasty delight and rivals the first one I ever had in Dijon when I was 19. And So Gourmet’s French Onion Soup may be the best in the Bay area. As you can see, I am a big fan. Go visit this lovely place.
Owned by Chantel and Frederic Brillard, recent transplants from France baking and cooking with the care and detail you should experience. Please let me know your experience.
So Gourmet Bakery Cafe
3301 South Dale Mabry Highway
June 09, 2016
The Best Cheesecake Ever
I’ve been making this cheesecake since the early 80’s. I first tasted it at the famed Algonquin Hotel in New York City…where after the first bite I hounded the pastry chef for the recipe for over six months until he relented and gave it to me. It is great served with fresh strawberries (or peaches, or raspberries, or blueberries) macerated in sugar, Grand Mariner and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Or try it drizzled with homemade caramel sauce dusted with flaked sea salt.
Sometimes, about half way through the baking process I distribute 20 various kinds of Godiva Truffles by poking them in the middle of the cheesecake – every bite is a different taste sensation – it is simply delicious and with a hundred dollar box of Godiva truffles, sinfully decadent.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 stick melted salted butter
10” Spring Form Pan – sold at all grocery stores…prayed top to bottom with baking spray. In a small bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and melted butter with a fork and place in the bottom and up the sides of the spring form pan. If you want the crust to go completely up the sides you will have to double the recipe.
Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.
- 4 – 8 ounce packages Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese
- 2 cups Sugar
- 6 jumbo (or extra-large) eggs
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla
In a mixing bowl add soften cream cheese and sugar and beat with an electric mixer until completely smooth. Add eggs one at a time until each one is incorporated. Add vanilla.
Pour filling into crust lined pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes, may take 55 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on rack for 10 minutes.
SOUR CREAM TOPPING
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
Beat the above ingredients with an electric mixer until well combined. Pour over baked cheesecake and bake an addition 10 minutes. Let cool. When completely cooled place in refrigerator for at least 6 hours and best overnight – if you can wait that long.
June 02, 2016
Fish & Chips are a British staple that is really popular here in the states…and in my house especially. It is truly the most simple and easy dish to prepare and is perfect for any summer indoor or outside occasion. It is a really great party food as well. For catering we cut both the fish and the fries in small bites and served stuffed in a paper cone as a super hors d’oeuvre. People absolutely go nuts for them at every party they are served. They are a huge hit.
- Fresh Fish: Cod, Haddock, Tilapia, Pollock
- All-purpose flour for a light dredging
- Vegetable, canola, or peanut oil
- Kosher Salt for finishing
Fish should be cut in 1” wide strips about 5” to 6” long. Damp the cut fish with a paper towel for the fish should be dry. Lightly dredge fish in flour and shake off any excess flour. This is done to help the batter stick to the fish.
BATTER & FRY
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup corn starch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 Heineken beer (or any ale or lager) you prefer
In a mixing bowl add all the dry ingredient and whisk until well blended. Add one 12 ounce bottle of beer and stir with wooden spoon until completely mix. Do not over mix. Put fish into batter and immediately fry fish until golden brown – remove from fryer and dust lightly with Kosher salt and place in a 200 degree oven on a sheet pan lined with a wire rack until ready to serve.
CHIPS (Belgium Twice Fried Potatoes)
- Russet Potatoes (peeled and cut)
The Belgium people really know how to make pomme frites…they are twice fried. The first frying is to cook the potato without browning them in a low-temperature oil (320 degrees). The second frying is for browning and crisping them at a higher heat (375 degrees).
Peel the potatoes and cut them in the size you prefer. Wash, drain, and thoroughly dry the cut potatoes. Fry in small batches at 320 degrees until completely done but not brown. Remove from oil and let cool completely. Once cooled, heat oil to 375 degrees and fry until golden brown and crispy. Dust with Kosher salt immediately after they come from the fryer. Put on a sheet pan with a wire rack and hold batches in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.
VINEGAR & SAUCES
Malt vinegar, cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, ketchup
What is your favorite way to each fish and chips? Mine is ketchup or tartar sauce. While I love malt vinegar, I never cared for it on my fish & chips. That said, malt vinegar is very British and traditional…so you may want to try it for yourself.
June 02, 2016
Miguel Rodrigues, the owner of Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant on the corner of Kennedy and MacDill has opened a new Mexican restaurant well worth a visit for lunch or dinner. The patio bar area is hip and stylish – but you know, I’m all about the food…so go there for the tacos, burritos, and tortas. The smoky warm salsa is a good variation on the traditional chilled salsa served at many restaurants. Let me know what you think by giving us a call on our 24 hour Foodtalk Hotline 9813) 563-8255 (Talk).
Miguelitos Taqueria Y Tequilas
2702 West Kennedy Boulevard