Archive | Entrees

Grilled Florida Spiny Lobster

Per serving | Every summer the last week of July, before the commercial spiny lobster season begins, South Floridians take advantage of lobster mini-season to snag their share of these tasty crustaceans. Even non-fishermen get into the action, using tickle sticks to coax the “bugs” out of their rocky holes into a waiting net. While not so tender as their Maine cousins, Florida spiny lobster tails are mildly sweet and briny, and even more delicious grilled and enjoyed with family and friends.

Uncooked lobster tails
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Plan on about a pound per person. Split each lobster in half lengthwise. Brush tail meat with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill shell side down for 5-6 minutes. Turn and grill until meat is opaque in center, about 2 minutes.

Read More
Continue Reading · 0

Black Bean Quinoa Lettuce Wraps


By Maria Anselmo

Makes 8-10 wraps | These sweet and spicy summer wraps are a good way to use backyard mango and avocado. The quinoa filling can be made ahead and refrigerated.

½ cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup vegetable broth

Juice of 1 lime (approx. 1½ tablespoons)

2 teaspoons raw honey

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon chili powder

1½ teaspoon salt

1½ cups cooked black beans or 1 15-oz. can, rinsed and drained

2 carrots, cut in thin strips (julienne)

1 medium mango, pitted, peeled and diced medium

1 medium avocado, pitted and diced medium

¼ cup finely chopped parsley

8-10 leaves of butter lettuce

Hot sauce (optional)

Cook quinoa in vegetable broth according to package directions. Then transfer to a mixing bowl to let cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. Whisk together lime juice, honey, vinegar, oil, chili powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. Once the quinoa has cooled, add the black beans, mango, avocado and parsley. Toss together until combined.

Pour dressing over the quinoa and mix until coated. Scoop the quinoa filling into the lettuce leaves then sprinkle with hot sauce (if using).

Read More
Continue Reading · 0

Pasta with Tomato and Onion Sauce

Serves 4 | When Italian cooking maestra Marcella Hazan died in 2013, this was the most-shared recipe by her fans – perhaps because it captures the simple elegance and unfussiness of Italian cooking. This adaptation is from her Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.

1 28-oz. can whole peeled San Marzano plum tomatoes

4 oz. (half a stick) unsalted butter

1 onion, peeled, cut in half


1 box good-quality spaghetti, penne or farfalle (we use DeCecco)

Parmigiano-reggiano cheese, grated

Put tomatoes, butter, onion and onion halves in a large saucepan. Cook uncovered over very low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes. The fat will separate. Taste for salt. Discard the onion.

In a large pot, bring water and 1 tablespoon salt to a full rolling boil. Add the pasta all at once and stir for a few seconds so no pieces stick together. Cook al dente according to package directions. Drain thoroughly. Now add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss so every piece is coated in sauce. Serve immediately and pass grated cheese on the side.

Read More
Continue Reading · 0

Roast Chicken

Serves 4 | This chicken uses a simple brine that makes it especially juicy and flavorful. You can make this with chicken parts, too – just reduce the cooking time to 40 minutes. For variations, add fresh herbs, chopped; cut a lemon in half and place in the chicken’s cavity; rub the skin with cut cloves of garlic; or use melted butter instead of oil. Use leftovers for chicken salad (add chopped onion, celery and mayonnaise) or use in wraps.

1 whole roasting chicken, 3-4 pounds

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup kosher salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Remove the chicken from the packaging. Look inside the cavity for a bag containing the giblets (the neck, stomach and liver; not all chickens are sold with giblets) and remove it to use for another purpose. Pull out and discard any large pieces of yellow fat near the opening of the chicken.

Combine sugar and salt in a bowl or pot large enough to hold the chicken. Add 4 cups water and dissolve. Place the whole chicken in the pot so that it’s completely covered in brine. Add more water if you need to. Let this sit at room temperature for 30 minutes … Read More

Continue Reading · 0

Polynesian Chicken

Serves 4 | To meet his clients’ demands for luaus and Polynesian parties, chef Hector Morales of Epicure Market served this marinated baked chicken. There’s enough marinade for a couple of chickens or several pounds of wings, ideal for an 80s pool party.

1    oz. pickling spice (Typically includes bay leaves, chilies, cloves, cinnamon stick, ginger, allspice, mustard seed, coriander, black pepper, mace and cardamom. Buy a supermarket mix or make your own.)
2     cups red wine vinegar
3     oz. chopped ginger
2     oz. chopped garlic
1     tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons salt
2    cups soy sauce
1     quart water
1    cup red wine

Whole chicken, cut in eighths
Salt, additional garlic, sugar to season

Place all marinade ingredients except red wine in a one-gallon pot. Set the pot on the stove at medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for two minutes, add the red wine, and remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. Place cut-up chicken in a bowl and pour marinade on top and cover. Refrigerate overnight.

When ready to use, remove chicken from the marinade and place on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Season the top with salt, garlic and sugar. Bake at 375 degrees … Read More

Continue Reading · 0

Spicy Turmeric-Ginger Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Serves 4-6 | Bragg Liquid Aminos is natural soy sauce alternative that is preservative free and contains no added salt or gluten. Recipe by Maria Anselmo.

1      2½ to 3-inch piece ginger root

1      3-inch piece turmeric

1      small shallot, peeled

2-3     medium cloves garlic

½   cup Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce

1     tablespoon (heaping) sriracha sauce

Juice of one large lemon

2     tablespoons water

2      pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into approximately ½-inch strips

1     tablespoon virgin coconut oil

2 large carrots, shredded

3         tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1      large or 2 small head of Boston Bibb or Butter lettuce, leaves separated, cleaned and dried

Using the small holes of a grater, finely grate ginger, turmeric, garlic and shallot into a large glass mixing bowl. Add Bragg, sriracha, lemon juice, water and whisk to incorporate. Add chicken strips and toss well to coat with marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for at least 30 minutes up to 2 hours in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally to make sure the chicken is coated.

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add chicken and sauté in a single layer; turning pieces with a spatula as they … Read More

Continue Reading · 0

Golden Rice with Butternut Squash Chickpeas and Dried Cherries

Golden Rice

Serves 4-6 | This “jeweled” rice is inspired by the classic Persian dish Javaher Polow. Recipe by Maria Anselmo.

1      cup basmati rice

2     tablespoons olive oil

½   cup sweet onion, chopped (about 1 small)

1      3-inch piece turmeric, grated

1      clove garlic, minced

1      pinch finely crumbled saffron threads

1      cup chickpeas, cooked

2      cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1      cup vegetable broth

1      cup water

½    teaspoon kosher salt

2      green onions, chopped (green parts only)

1/3   cup dried cherries

Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse rice once under cold water and set aside. Heat oil in a heavy large (5-qt) saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add turmeric, garlic and saffron and cook 1 minute, stirring mixture to prevent garlic from burning. Stir in chickpeas, squash and rice and continue sautéing mixture for another minute. Add broth, water and salt. Bring to boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid; reduce heat to low simmer, and cook until water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in green onion and cherries. Cover; let stand until cherries soften, about 10 minutes. Season to … Read More

Continue Reading · 0

Seared Sea Scallops in a Key Lime Beurre Blanc

Serves 4 | “Dry” scallops are much better than “wet” for searing. When you’re purchasing scallops and they’re not labeled as wet or dry, ask your fish monger. For the beurre blanc, you can strain the shallots before adding the butter if you want. Recipe by Maria Anselmo.

1      pound “dry” sea scallops (15-20 count)

1    tablespoon butter

1    tablespoon olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


1      cup dry white wine

½     teaspoon freshly grated key lime peel

1/3   cup key lime juice

1     medium shallot, minced

Pinch of sea or kosher salt

1½ sticks (6 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into even cubes and kept cold in the fridge until ready to use

1     tablespoon fresh chives, chopped


Remove small muscle from scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry with paper towel.

Place a medium sauté pan on medium-high heat for 1 minute or until hot. Add butter and oil and heat until the pan just barely starts to smoke, being mindful not to let the butter burn. Quickly pat scallops again with a paper towel, season on both sides with sea salt and pepper, and place them one at a time into the … Read More

Continue Reading · 0

Macadamia-Crusted Corvina

Not only does this fresh, healthy entree make use of local fish, mango and lemongrass, it’s also gluten-free. “Typically, gluten-free diners shy away from anything crusted or breaded, but ours is breaded in rice flour, egg and crushed macadamia nuts,” says signature chef Julie Frans of Essensia Restaurant & Lounge at The Palms Hotel & Spa, where gluten-free diners are offered a special dining guide. Frans serves this fish is served with Thai forbidden rice, which is high in antioxidants and dietary fiber, and gingered carrots.

Serves 4

For the fish:

4            5-oz. filets of fresh, locally caught corvina

2               eggs, whisked

3               kosher salt

1             cup rice flour

2             cups macadamia nuts, ground in food processor

Mild olive oil or coconut oil for cooking

Coconut Saffron Sauce

Mango Compote

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Season fish filets lightly with kosher salt. Dredge in rice flour and shake off excess. Dip fish into egg to coat, shake off excess. Place macadamia nuts on a plate, and press lightly onto surface of fish to crust completely.

Heat a layer of oil in a skillet. When oil is very hot but not yet smoking, place fish in skillet to cook, being … Read More

Continue Reading · 0

Rustic Pizza With Sorrel Pesto

Rustic Pizza with New Potatoes, Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese and Sorrel Pesto

4 servings 

This savory pizza lends a great balance of flavors of rich goat cheese and the cool acidity of the sorrel pesto. I use fresh pizza dough that I get from the bakery department of my market and bring it to room temperature, then proceed as below.


Sorrel Pesto

1  clove garlic

¼ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

¼ cup parmesan cheese

1 bunch sorrel leaves, about 2 cups (packed)

½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil or more as needed

Salt and pepper to taste



2 tablespoons olive oil divided, plus more for drizzling

½ small sweet onion, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3-4 new red potatoes, washed, dried and thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch thick)

¼ cup Pecorino Romano, finely grated

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbed

1 pound fresh prepared refrigerated pizza dough or Quick Pizza Dough 

1  cup Sorrel Pesto

To make sorrel pesto: Combine garlic, nuts and cheese in food processor and pulse until coarse. Add sorrel leaves and lemon juice and pulse until combined. While processor is running, stream in olive oil until … Read More

Continue Reading · 0