New Delivered Meals for 4 and Drop Off Catering For 10 & Beyond
Usually I’m on my yacht relaxing and eating fine foods during the summer, but because of this darn pandemic I’m in the kitchen trying to make ends meet. Somehow, we have kept our staff and our heads above water, but as you can imagine, caterers will be the last to open for no one is really doing big events these days.
So, we are reinventing ourselves. Take a look at both our “Grab & Go” menus which we have created, and have on hand, that 4 to 5 to enjoy at home…or even given as gifts to friends. Also take a look at our new more extensive PREPARED TO ORDER menu we have designed for 10 or more to be delivered right to your very own home.
Because our staff have health issues, we are extra, extra vigilant and careful to be safe at all times. Masks and constant washing of hands are a MUST at Bailey’s.
Do let us know if we can help in anyway to provide a home cooked meal for you and your family. And let me know if there is anything we can offer that will suit your culinary desires.
Take care – and above all – stay safe. With much love,
COMFORT DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR READY TO HEAT & EAT TEXT FOR A PRICE SHEET & TO PLACE AN ORDER (813) 928-2210
(Meals feed 4 to 5 comfortably, can be frozen and made for larger parties)
MOM’S MEATLOAF with TOMATO GRAVY
My mom created this meatloaf recipe and it is awesome, topped with thinly sliced onion, bacon and a luscious proprietary secret never to be divulged tomato gravy – just kidding, the recipe is on my website
CHICKEN POT PIE
Made with a homemade butter crust with loads of chicken and fresh vegetables
SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS
You can throw away your knife with these tender chops – lots of country gravy perfect to go along with rice or mashed potatoes
BOLOGNESE LASAGNA with BECHEMEL
Slow cooked beef Bolognese with chardonnay, layered with fresh pasta, béchamel and cheese, topped with our incredible marinara and more cheese
Chicken & Cognac braised Mushrooms tossed with pasta and a creamy sauce laced with fine sherry
ITALIAN PLUM TOMATO SAUCE & RICOTTA MEATBALLS
My mom taught me how to make the BEST tomato sauce and meatballs in the world. How’s that for hyperbole? No joke, you will love them…GUARANTEED!!! You’ll receive a quart of tomato sauce and a dozen ricotta meatballs. Perfect for a weeknight dinner of spaghetti and meatballs or as a meatball sub with fontina and parmesan cheeses during a ballgame
Make your favorite grilled cheese and cuddle up with a bowl of our homemade tomato soup – or as the cultured might say: bisque. Either way you say it, soup or bisque, you’ll say “umm, umm good”
SWEET SHALLOT VINIGRETTE
I created this dressing almost 20 years ago, and it is our most popular vinigrette by far. We receive RAVES about it every time it is tossed into a fresh garden salad. Perfect on any salad of your choice. We also have equally tasty Lemon Dijon and Cilantro Lime dressings as well. 8 ounces
HAND MADE POTSTICKERS
Chicken & Bok-Choy, Shrimp with Lemongrass & Ginger, Wild Mushroom Gruyere & Kale, Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage Brown Butter & Toasted Hazelnuts
PARMESAN BUTTER GARLIC SPREAD
We are known for our toasty garlic bread – perfect accompaniment for any of the above dishes. 8 ounces of pure heaven to spread on hoagie rolls, Cuban bread, croutons for soup, or any bread your lil’ o heart desires
Try grilling this pimento cheese with ham and sliced tomato for the best grilled cheese ever, or topped on a burger, or served on toasted Cuban bread with fried green tomatoes & bacon – or the perfect pre-dinner app for friends served with crispy crackers
BAKE AT HOME COOKIES
I’ve spent a lifetime eating homemade cookies and I think I’ve perfected the tastiest batch of cookies ever: TRIPLE CHOCOLATE LAVA is my favorite, DECADENT CHOCOLATE CHIP is a close second, and HONEY ROASTED PEANUT BUTTER with Honey Roasted Peanuts in every bite is, well, OMG delicious.
Cookies come raw, frozen, in batches of 6, ready to bake and eat
Made To Order Meals Below
For 10 or More MADE-TO-ORDER Delivered To Your Door
Because these items are made to order and never frozen, we need a 2-day notice
CARTER’S NEW ENGLAND POT ROAST – During the restaurant days, my friend Cater Henderson always requested his pot roast with the veggies included…so he’s got it now. Tender slow braised beef with carrots, potatoes, and onions in a succulent gravy SLICED BEEF BRISKET – sliced with an incredible sauce
Sliced grilled tenderloin Steak roastbeef and Pepper sauce on wooden cutting board and Red wine on dark background
CARVED BEEF TENDERLOIN – Bailey’s is known for its tenderloin – no knife needed for this beef COGNAC BRAISED SHORTRIBS – Fall-apart tender in a succulent sauce you will want to bathe in BEEF BOURGUIGNON – A bottle of fine burgundy go in every batch JOHNNY MARZETTI (Beef, Macaroni & 3 Cheeses) SWEEDISH MEATBALLS served with Mashed Potatoes – also great served as cocktail hors d’oeuvre
BBQ BABY BACK RIBS – fall off the bone tender with Bailey’s BBQ sauce GUAVA CRUSTED PORK TENDERLOIN – great served with sweet potato casserole HOMEMADE ITALIAN SAUSAGE STUFFED SHELLS – a blend of 5 cheeses, mushrooms, and Italian sausage – Italy in every bite – packed with a quart of our marinara for extra saucing, the way I like it HOMEMADE ITALIAN SAUSAGE, PEPPERS & ONIONS SUB – this sub is loaded with sausage, peppers & onions, shredded Jack cheese on a hoagie roll wrapped in aluminum foil – perfect for heating in your oven for the best sandwich you might ever have
LEMON CHICKEN – served this lemony chicken dish to my sister Pamela and she wants it again and again CHICKEN & YELLOW RICE – U haven’t had chicken & yellow rice until you’ve had Bailey’s, served with fried plantains SUMMER THANKSGIVING DINNER – Thanksgiving is my favorite meal. Moist Turkey Breast, Gravy, Cornbread Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and homemade Cranberry Applesauce – what better way to celebrate Summer than Thanksgiving in the summer SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN & GRAVY – The quintessential southern classic & we know how to make it CHICKEN MARSALA & MUSHROOMS – a full bottle of fine Marsala goes into the making of this dish INDIAN BUTTER CHICKEN – marinated in Greek yogurt, curry, turmeric, garam masala, Thai basil and other herbs and spices – this is one tasty authentic Indian dish. Served with basmati rice CHICKEN PICCATA with LEMON CAPER SAUCE – a delicate balance of pungent fresh lemon and briny capers make this a perfect sauce for this piccata
JUMBO LUMP CRAB CAKES – 95% jumbo lump crab meat served with cocktail sauce and remoulade PAN SEARED GROUPER OR CHILLEN SEA BASS with Burre Blanc & Braised Spinach WES’S SHRIMP CREOLE with HERBED BASMATI RICE – the way my dad taught me SHRIMP FRIED RICE – a generous amount of Key West Pink shrimp tossed in this perfect medley of fresh veggies with an incredible Asian sauce we make with over 20 ingredients. It WOKS for me if it WOKS for you – can be made total vegetarian or with beef, pork or chicken
BAILEY’S TRADITIONAL MIXED FIELD GREENS – with Tomato, Vermont White Cheddar & Toasted Pecans 2020 SALAD – Bailey’s Kicked Up Version of The Famed 1905 Salad with Jalsberg, ham, salami, capicola OVEN ROASTED ASPARAGUS, HEIRLOOM TOMATOES, BLUE CHEESE, TOASTED WALNUTS – Fresh Lemon, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Drizzle THE EXTRODINAIRE – a delicate medley of butter lettuce, arugula, watercress, heirloom tomatoes, caramelized Asian pears, crispy goat cheese medallions, toasted walnuts with spiced pear lemon vinaigrette
GRUYERE SHALLOT CREAM SCALLOPED POTATOES – Utterly the best scalloped potato in the country MASHED POTATOES – just like my mom made – creamy and oh so delicious BAKED MAC & CHEESE – lots of cheeses make this an incredible side dish for any occasion SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE – topped with crispy brown sugar pecans HARRICOT VERTS & BROWN BUTTER – the hint of nutty brown butter make them jump off the plate CORN CASSEROLE – Eat this – it will make you feel better CHEESY HASH BROWN CASSEROLE – So cheesy, so delicious – you’ll go back for thirds SOUTHERN GREEN BEANS – slow cooked with country ham and bacon OVEN ROASTED VEGETABLES – a healthy favorite at all parties SOUTHERN COLLARD GREENS – ham & bacon make these collards sing
HOMEMADE BUTTERMILK BISCUITS – made with full fat Marburger Buttermilk – one doz sold frozen HOMEMADE BUTTERED DINNER ROLLS – these fresh baked yeast rolls will melt in your mouth HONEY BUTTER CORNBREAD – you are in for a real treat – my family requests this for every get together TENDER BACON CHEDDAR BISCUITS – the name says it all – what more could you ask for in a biscuit
NEW ENGLAND CORN CHOWDER – Mom was from Boston and she taught me how to make chowdah CHICKEN TORTILLA – oodles of chicken & vegetables, top with cheese, avocado, crispy tortillas POBLANO CORN CHOWDER with SHRIMP – so different than New England Chowder – even more flavorful with this Mexican flare – and loaded with Key West pink shrimp BLACK BEAN – smooth and black bean creamy topped with cilantro jalapeno sour cream
BUTTERNUT SQUASH – a true hit made with granny smith apples and leaks
Stressed Spelled Backwards Is Desserts – Eat Dessert First
CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE with CHOCOLATE “OR” VANILLA BUTTERCREAM – The cake(s) I grew “out” on – oh, I mean the cakes I grew up on – 2, 4, or 6 layers, you decide. STRAWBERRY LUSH CAKE – yellow cake, layered with fresh strawberry couli, strawberries, and whipped cream – it is called LUSH because it is luscious SOUTHERN COCONUT LAYER CAKE – southern through-and-through, 7-minute icing and lots of coconut GOOEY CHOCOLATE CAKE – this will be a hit at any gathering, fancy or plebeian – topped with our homemade vanilla ice cream and you will feel all warm and gooey inside BANANA PUDDING – nothin’ extravagant here – just good down home eaten’ SALTED CARAMEL BROWNIES – chocolate brownie, topped with homemade caramel sauce, lightly dusted with Maldon Sea Salt – what’s not to love here EXTRA THICK PECAN PIE – I make them the way I like them – extra thick filling and toasted pecans 4 APPLE – APPLE CRISP OR COBBLER – this is country to the core – country good that is. Still not sure which I like more, butter crust or brown sugar oat crisp HOMEMADE ICE CREAM (More than Chocolate, Vanilla & Strawberry – you name it and we can make it) CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE – my definition of love: Oreo crust, chocolate cream filling, whipped cream INDIVIDUAL COCONUT CREAM PIE – we make individual butter crust tarts, load them up with lots of coconut cream filling, top with homemade whipped cream and toasted coconut – wonderful presentation PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE PIE with GANACHE BANANA CREAM PIE – this is the most decadent pie you will every eat: drizzled with homemade caramel and topped with whipped cream AUTHENTIC VIENNESE APPLE STRUDEL – so authentically good, you’ll think you were eating in Austria – best served with our homemade vanilla ice cream
I made these chops last week to rave reviews, served with rice, gravy, collards, creamed corn, and homemade buttermilk biscuits with honey butter. Perfect sure-fire southern comfort meal – especially for a Sunday dinner.
• 6 medium-thick (about 1”) bone-in pork chops (can use boneless)
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• Salt & Pepper
• 2 sticks salted butter
• 6 to 8 cups beef stock
• 1 large onion (cut into thin half-moon)
• 1 sprig of fresh thyme
• Vegetable Oil
Heat 1/3 cup oil in large saute skillet on medium heat.
Place 1 cup flour in pie pan with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Whisk until all combined. Dredge each pork chop in flour – shake off excess. Sear 2 pork chops at a time so to not overcrowd the pan – for you want a good crust on each side of the chop. Overcrowding the pan will make the chops steam as opposed to sear. Repeat until all chops are seared. Place chops in large casserole pan or dish.
NOTE: You are not cooking the chops – you are browning each side. Also, using medium heat will prevent oil from burning. You want a nice brown crust on each chop.
In the same skillet, add butter, stir until melted, add onion, saute until very soft and translucent, add ½ cup of the pork chop dredging flour to onion/butter mixture to make a roux…stirring constantly. Add beef stock 1 cup at a time – stiring all the time until thickened. Add 1 sprig of fresh thyme.
Once sauce is thickened, pour over chops. Add more stock if too thick. Cover tightly with lid of casserole or aluminum foil. Place in 350 degrees oven for 2 to 3 hours. At the 2-hour mark, check to see if chops are falling off the bone. If so they are done – if not, keep cooking.
Serve with white rice or mashed potatoes & our Cheesy Broccoli-Cauliflower Mash located on our blog recipe section – click below
Raw oysters, fried oysters, oyster stew – it’s all good. But the key to my heart looks a whole lot like these grilled oysters – and this parmesan garlic butter sets them off to another dimension – they will be a hit at any party this holiday season…guaranteed.
Remember, abs are temporary – but grilled oysters are forever.
Half bushel fresh oysters – shucked – loosen the oyster from the bottom shell
2 sticks (1/2 pound) soft salted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
1/4 cup grated fine parmesean cheese
2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Fresh lemon juice (never bottled) for oysters when done
1 large half sheet pan
With a fork (or stand mixer, or food processor), mix the butter, garlic, cheese, parsley, pepper, lemon zest until completely combined. Place one teaspoon of butter mixture on each oyster placing closely together on large rimmed ½ sheet pan.
Place sheet pan on pre-heated grill set to the highest temperature. Cover – and let cook until butter mixture is melted and browning. Once done, place on serving platter, pour any extra juices from pan over the oysters and squeeze a bit of fresh lemon over each oyster.
It is important to always keep your oysters cold before grilling to prevent bacteria. Ice them down if doing outside grilling. They can be broiled if so desired.
Summertime is upon us and we want to keep our food simple, light, flavorful, and tasty. And what could be more tantalizing than serving a couple of refreshing lobster tacos? I highly recommend using fresh cold-water lobster…never frozen.
But to do that, you must use whole live lobsters – and many don’t want to go through the trouble. Even though it is well worth it in my humble opinion because you get to use the meat from the whole lobster. It is easier than you think – just throw a live lobster or two in a pot of boiling water (with a whole lemon and a couple teaspoons of salt) for about 20 minutes – let cool – crack and chop. Lobsters 2 pound or under are typically sweeter to me.
The other acceptable way is to purchase a few high-quality lobster tails from Fresh Market or Publix. Typically, these will have been frozen at some point – but that is ok. Spread with a little butter and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice: broil, grill, or bake until done. Cool and chop in 1” pieces. You can do this the day before and refrigerate.
High quality flour or corn tacos – I like mine heated about 10 to 15 seconds in the microwave covered with a damp (not wet) paper towel
LOBSTER: This is not the time to skimp on the lobster – load that sucker up with lobster
Fresh roasted corn off the cobb – or you can use frozen seared lightly in a skillet with a bit of olive oil, salt and a touch of sugar – you want a bit of char – do not overcook corn – a couple minutes on high heat will do – cool
Slices of fresh avocado – sprinkled with fresh lime juice
Sauce Vierge is a French sauce meaning Virgin Sauce because it is so light, fresh, and delicate. This sauce also goes nicely with any white flaky fish or scallops or even pan seared chicken. Perfect for a light dinner after a heavy or late lunch. Served with a blood orange and shaved fennel salad drizzled with EVOO and a squeeze of fresh grapefruit juice, a slice of warm herbed focaccia, well…you’ll have a wonderful dinner. And think about it – a Bailey’s dinner with zero butter. Wonders never cease.
Vierge is pronounced: V-edge – let it slide off your tongue.
SEABASS SEASONING INGREDIENTS
2 skinless seabass
2 star anise
½ teaspoon white or blended peppercorns
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon salt
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Combine all dry ingredients in a coffee grinder (one just used for spices not coffee), grind until a powder is formed. Rub both sides of fish with EVOO and sprinkle with spice rub on both sides.
SAUCE VIERGE INGREDIENTS
2 large yellow tomatoes – peeled, seeded, chopped (if you can’t find yellow, use red)
1 teaspoon finely chopped Italian flatleaf parsley
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil
2 cloves finely minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
OPTIONAL: 3 coarsely chopped Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons EVOO
Pan-sear seasoned seabass in a pre-heated saute pan on medium high heat with a tablespoon EVOO. Depending on the thickness – around a minute to 2 minutes on each side. Set aside.
Lower heat to medium and add EVOO and lemon juice to the pan and stir with wooden spoon until all brown bits are incorporated. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well combined and to heat but not break up tomatoes. You are cooking the sauce briefly – just for a minute or so, just bringing it together until it is hot – season with salt and freshly ground peppercorns to taste.
Place braised spinach in center of plate, top with seabass, and ladle sauce over top. Serve with a blood orange and shaved fennel salad – Enjoy!
This may be my favorite way to eat shrimp. The New Orleans style sauce is not like a typical BBQ sauce you will find on ribs – but a buttery, garlicy, sauce with loads of flavor. I developed this recipe and it is always a hit every time it is served. It is good on its own – and especially tasty on top of some creamy grits. My favorite way is to eat it with a hunk of good quality (Pane Rustica) French baguette – oven warmed and crusty.
Once the compound butter is made, this is the fastest recipe in the world to prepare – and even good over your favorite pasta.
STEP ONE – MAKE COMPOUND BUTTER
NOTE: Can be made a month in advanced and stored in air tight container in the refrigerator
1 pound room temperature salted butter
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ cup chopped garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon Tony Chachere’s (or your favorite Cajun spice blend)
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
½ cup finely chopped bacon (optional – especially good with grits and the shrimp)
Put all ingredients in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Whip at high speed until well combined.
In a skillet on medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon salted butter with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Once the butter is melted and very hot (not brown), toss in one pound of 16/20 peeled and deveined shrimp – tail can be left on or off
Sautee for 30 seconds and turn
Immediately add ¼ cup chardonnay to the pan
Toss in ½ cup soft compound butter – stir until shrimp are cooked (30 seconds to 1 minute)
Put on plate, sprinkle with chopped parsley, serve with crusty warm French baguette slice
I made this cheesesteak last night and it was such a WOW with everyone I just had to pass the recipe on…and quickly. Last time I was in Philadelphia, I ate at both the iconic cheesesteak joints – Pat’s and Geno’s. Pat’s uses Cheez-Wiz, and Geno’s uses provolone cheese. We sat down at Geno’s and compared every savory bite…I declared them both winners!
I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so I had to create my own version with shaved ribeye, peppers, onions, garlic, diced jalapeno (all caramelized to a soft melt in your mouth consistency) – and lots of Monterrey Jack cheese mixed in to give it that creamy goodness we all expect in a cheesesteak. Packed it in a buttered grilled hoagie, and believe you me – it was a true WOW.
It was such a hit – I wanted to share the recipe (click here); and share the cheesesteak with you as well. So the first 10 people to email me at RobertKimBailey@hotmail.com will be invited to Bailey’s for lunch in South Tampa, next Thursday, November 8th, at 12 noon. It’s a first come first serve invite so don’t whine if you weren’t fast enough – and we may, just may, throw in some beer battered onion rings – and some of our newly created Apple Pandowdy with homemade Madagascar vanilla ice cream.
BAILEY’S PHILLY CHEESESTEAK
INGREDIENTS – makes 2 sandwiches
• 2 pounds shaved high quality ribeye
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons salted butter – and more for hoagie
• 2 green or red bell peppers (cut in large julienne slices) – optional but I love them
• 2 sweet onions (cut in large half-moon julienne slices)
• 3 cloves garlic (thin shaved)
• 1 whole large (or 2 small) jalapeno pepper (about 1 ½ packed tablespoons full)
• ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
• ½ pound chopped button mushrooms (optional)
• Kosher salt to taste
• 1 pound shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
• 2 hoagie rolls (I like Publix brand from their bakery)
• Soft butter for spreading on hoagie
Melt butter with olive oil in heavy bottom skillet. Add peppers, onion, garlic, jalapenos, red pepper flakes – cook down on medium heat until caramelized extremely soft and broken down. Cover skillet to help break down the onion and pepper mixture. If using mushrooms – cook separately in same skillet adding a little more butter and olive oil. Add to onion pepper mixture. Remove and set aside.
Salt and pepper shaved ribeye. In same skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium high heat. Get the pan hot – but to not burn the butter. Add shaved ribeye immediately – using tongs or a fork – move around until cooked. This process only takes a couple of minutes for you do not want to overcook the beef. Once the beef is cooked, add in pepper and onion mixture – top with cheese, and cover until the cheese is melted all the way through.
Butter and grill the hoagie rolls until beautifully golden and crispy. Top with beef and cheese mixture. Cut in half. Lean forward – butt out – EAT.
NOTE: Shaved ribeye is the way to go. I get Kevin at Publix meat department to shave ribeye from a really cold piece. Or you can slice thin strips from a trimmed ribeye and accomplish the same thing – just a bit different texture.
The hands down number one best seller at Bailey’s Restaurant back in the day was our Mom’s Chicken Salad. It was called Mom’s because my mom would make this for us kids growing up. Spreading generous portions on hearty Monks’ white bread and send me on my way to Most Holy Name in Ybor City.
How many of you remember Monks’ Bread? That’s the only kind mom served in our home. It was hearty and delicious – much like Pepperidge Farm sandwich bread is today.
Mom always sliced my sandwiches in quarters making them perfect size for a grammar school kid. To this day I think my love of tea sandwiches is attributed to the way mom cut my sandwiches.
This chicken salad has so much more flavor than the usual cubed white chicken breast served with big chunks of celery. As you will note – we pack our chicken salad with chicken, not a lot of fillers. I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does.
One Sam’s Club Rotisserie chicken (or any other store-bought rotisserie chicken you like). Sam’s has the biggest and best chickens for my taste. It will take one-and-a half grocery store chickens to equal one Sam’s chicken – and they are only $5. You can also cook a fresh made whole chicken (with aromatic root vegetables) with the added benefit of making homemade chicken stock as well. Using a Sam’s chicken cuts a corner without harming taste. Actually, it tastes AWESOME!!!
Remove the skin, bone and gristle from chicken – pull chunks. Place 4 cups loosely chicken (not firmly packed) in food processor and pulse 9 times. Add the remaining 1 cup or so of chicken and pulse 4 to 5 times. This processed chicken should equal approximately 7 cups. If you do not have a food processor, chop small batches with a sharp knife. You do not want cubes or big chunks for this particular salad.
• 7 cups pulsed chicken
• 2 tablespoons finely minced parsley
• ¾ cup finely chopped celery with leaves if you have celery with leaves
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• ¾ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
• 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon celery seed (not celery salt, celery seed – there is a big difference)
• 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons minced onion
• 1 ¼ cups Hellmann’s mayonnaise
#1: Croissant with Bibb lettuce (or sprouts), sliced tomato (season each slice with salt and pepper), sliced avocado
#2: Stuff in an oven roasted acorn squash. Cut acorn squash in half, brush each side with melted butter and olive oil, sprinkle tops with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until golden brown
#3: Cut Medjool dates in half and stuff – perfect for a side salad accoutrement
#4: Cut fresh pineapple in half, core center, and stuff with chicken salad
This chicken salad recipe also makes an incredible curry chicken salad just by adding the following 2 ingredients.
• 1 tablespoon good quality yellow curry
• 1 cup halved seedless red grapes
A couple weeks ago we were asked to do an array of Cuban Sandwiches as one of the choices for a luncheon. Ok, you ought to know by now – we can’t leave well enough alone, for we just have to put our own spin on whatever to make it a bit different. But how can one improve on a Cuban sandwich?
My favorites in the Bay area are Wright’s, Columbia, The Floridian on Kennedy, and the West Tampa Sandwich Shop. Now, after what we did to our Cuban – I’ll put ours up against anyone’s.
The three most important elements of creating an incredible dish are: #1: Ingredients, #2: Ingredients, and #3: INGREDIENTS.
So of course, we had to use Le Segunda Cuban bread – which we bought fresh that morning. The smells at Le Segunda make you want to visit daily…and we would if we had the time. Then, we used a quality ham and sliced it thin, same with the hard salami and we used Norwegian Jarlsberg cheese. Jarlsberg is my favorite Swiss-type cheese for this Cuban. We made our own dill pickles and cut them length-wise so you had a bite of pickle in each bite.
NOW – the Piece De Resistance, the Coup De Grace, if you will – was the mojo-sour-orange Pork Tenderloin we made especially for this Cuban. We marinated pork tenderloins for 24 hours in fresh sour orange juice, and homemade mojo with lots of garlic, oregano, herbs and spices. These tenderloins sat covered in this wonderfully flavor-packed marinade (under refrigeration) for what seemed like forever. It was killing me.
Then, we seared each tenderloin in a cast-iron skillet to caramelize each side, and put them in a 450 degree oven for 6 minutes – let them rest and cool, then refrigerated them for a few hours so they could be hand-sliced perfectly thin. OH-MY-GOSH was this meat tender, succulent, juicy, and delicious. It made the Cuban my new favorite in the BAY.
Meatballs and spaghetti are on everyone’s favorite COMFORT food list. When we were kids growing up in old Hyde Park, my mom served spaghetti and meatballs every couple of months or so – and it was always a special treat.
Mom invited my entire Most Holy Name (in Ybor City) 2nd grade class to appear on the popular WFLA Channel 8 “Uncle Bruce” TV show for kids. After the show, she invited the entire class (including the nuns) for spaghetti and meatballs on the patio at our Newport Avenue home. You can be assured I was popular after that day.
During beach week after 10th grade in my Plant High days, she brought us boys a big pot of meatballs and spaghetti about midway through when she knew our food supply would be low…which it was virtually non-existent…you can imagine 10 guys in a three bedroom house on Indian Rocks beach. When we saw her coming down the walkway, the only thing you could hear was “hide the beer.” She knew well enough not to venture inside our immaculately kept beach house. We ate good that night – the only night really that we had much real food.
Everyone has their own meatball recipe…and over the years I’ve made many different meatball recipes as well. Mom just used beef, no pork, and Ritz crackers instead of bread and milk. I’ve added and subtracted to create this one which I like the BEST. Shoot me an email at RobertKimBailey@hotmail.com and let me know what you think.
2 pounds ground beef (80% beef, 20% fat)
1 pound ground pork
3 cups crust-less white sandwich bread soaked in 1 cup whole milk for 1 hour
½ cup sautéed onions – cooked in 2 tablespoons butter until translucent
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 ½ cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if desired)
½ cup chopped Italian parsley
½ cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
Combine all the ingredients and smush (a culinary term) together until all ingredient are well combined. Roll into any size you like and place on a baking sheet brushed with extra virgin olive oil. Brush tops of meatballs with extra virgin olive oil as well.
Please in a pre-heated 350 degree oven until done – approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Once done, place in sauce and let cook in sauce on low heat for an hour or so.
MOM’S SAUCE INGREDIENTS
There are many good brands of canned tomato product on the market – I happen to like Hunts, but of course feel free to substitute for your favorite.
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 quart finely chopped onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (more depending on your liking)
4 – 28 ounce cans Hunts Crushed Tomatoes
1 – 28 ounce can Hunts Tomato Sauce
1 – 28 ounce can Hunts Tomato Puree
2 – 6 ounce cans Hunts Tomato Paste
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your taste)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt (more or less depending on your taste)
¼ cup sugar (more or less depending on your taste
1 cup chopped fresh basil
Melt butter and olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot. Add onions and cook on low heat until onions are soft and translucent but not brown – add chopped garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook down for 5 to 10 minutes or so – being careful not to brown or burn the garlic.
Add all the tomato sauces and paste, salt and sugar – stir until completely combined. Simmer on medium low heat for approximately 2 hours stirring occasionally. Add the fresh chopped basil and meatballs, and cook on low heat for another hour or so. Let cool completely before re-heating and eating. It will give the sauce and meatballs to meld together intensifying the overall flavors. Better yet, let cool and refrigerate overnight for it is always better the next day.
Top with fresh grated Parmesan or Romano cheese – fresh grated – not from a can.
THE MEATBALL HOAGIE YOU’LL CRY OVER
We all love hoagies, but this meatball sub is to die for. I created this compound butter especially for this meatball sub and I bet you will use this over and over again when serving southern Italian dishes – it will be perfect on any bread. It is important to use siracha powder – and not the sauce – it will intensify the flavor and you will love every bite of this toasted parm bread.
Feel free to go over the top and add mozzarella, or jack, or provolone and bake until bubbly hot – you decide.
GARLIC PARMESAN SIRACHA POWDER BUTTER
1 stick salted room temperature
2 teaspoons siracha powder (powder, not the sauce)
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 Publix hoagie rolls
Wisk butter, siracha powder, parmesan cheese, and garlic powder until well combined. Liberally spread on both sides of hoagie rolls and broil until golden brown.
Cut meatballs in half and load up your hoagie and top with lots of sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese.