As a child, I remember going to Clearwater Beach on a saturday evening with my dad and getting shrimp, crab legs, a few sides of drawn garlic butter, and fish dip (spread.) It was either at Frenchy's or The Palm Pavilion (I really like both). Jimmy Buffet's "Pencil Thin Mustache" played in the background and the lovely couple beside us was either breaking up or getting smashed... looking back, it was probably both. As the sun touched the water and lit the sky on fire (you floridians know what I'm talking about) we were just about finished with our feast. I looked down at my food-covered shirt, my buttery little hands, my plate empty, and the smile on my dad's face, and I felt safe. I felt satisfied. It felt like I was in paradise, even though it lasted only a couple of hours. Now as an adult, I find the same satisfaction, going to the same place, listening to the same Jimmy Buffet tunes, with the same guy. I feel, Tampa Bay offers far more to the country than just one dish.
Summer is coming pretty quick so it's time to start working on the grill. I love a good BBQ on a hot summer day with great friends, great beer, and great food! As most of you already know, I am a huge citrus fan. I try to use it as much as possible. Plus, being here in FL it's pretty much accessible all year long. Next time you grill some fish or shrimp, try this easy Grapefruit Salad with red onions, red bell peppers, a touch of honey and cilantro. Its super refreshing and it accents the char smokiness of the grill perfectly. If you want, also try to substitute the grapefruit with oranges, or better yet, get a little crazy and do grapefruit, oranges and a few segment of lime. Oh, man Im getting hungry......I gotta go, its lunch time... LATAHHH!!!!
I remember when I first started cooking, I was about 8 and my mom would let me help in the kitchen. She let me experiment and play with her vegetables and spices, but for some reason my food would always taste the same. No matter what it was (chicken, beef, pork, ramen noodles) it would come out flat and predictable. I've learned a few tricks since then, and I think my food has thanked me for it. If you get stuck with the same style or flavor profiles, try something new... Instead of using the same spices all the time, go nuts and get crazy. Try adding some sweet to your salty and prepare your vegetables differently. Easy tip... Grill your avocado before you slice it. It will add a smokey savory flavor to your salsa, then add some ripe mango. Serve it with Spicy Chicken or make it easy and serve it with some chips. So, dont be afraid to try new things....ROCK OUT!
I am a true lover of all things CITRUS. I had a fun idea to use limes with my roasted chicken, but I want to try something new. I squeezed lime wedges over the chicken to marinate with a bit of paprika and cayenne pepper. I kept the lime wedges and lined the bottom of a baking dish with them. Then I placed the chicken over top of them and roasted it. The oils began to release from the lime after about 5 minutes or so, and the room filled with this awesome aroma of citrusy-roasty goodness. I turned the oven to broil for the last 6 minutes or so to get a golden crust on the chicken breasts and then served it with a delicate hearts of palm and red bell pepper salad. It was a pretty good lunch.
I got a little Weber grill http://www.weber.com/us/ and I have been using it pretty much non-stop. I got these wicked short ribs the other day and marinated them with some smoked paprika and chili powder with a touch of soy sauce. I always get this strange thought when it gets warm outside... I NEED TO BBQ!!! Im working on a bunch of new recipes for this summer so keep your eyes out for them.... LATAH!!!!!