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Southernfood.com, L.L.C.
1205 Johnson Ferry Rd Suite 136-419 Marietta, GA 30068

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Wesley’s Floridian Menu

Wesley’s Floridian Menu

 

 

In honor of Orlando and its wonderful convention center, this week’s menu will feature Floridian cuisine. There are lots of poolside bars in Florida (Kit the bartender insisted on the term “poolside”), so we must imbibe frozen concoctions. By the way, this irritates the bartenders. Then we must have some sort of seafood because there’s a lot water around Florida loaded with those nasty fish. As you well know, I can’t stand fish. My interest in local cuisine did not prevent me from seeking out the local fare, just the fish.

Wesley’s Floridian Menu

Watermelon Daiquiris

Florida Seafood Chowder

Grilled Spice-rubbed Tuna with Pineapple Glaze

Spinach, Avocado, and Papaya Salad

Lime Squares

Watermelon Daiquiris:

2 cups well-packed, seeded watermelon

2 cups ice

2 tablespoons sugar

4 oz rum (1/2 cup)

1 lime ,halved

Mint sprigs for garnish

Throw the first 4 ingredients into a blender and puree well. Squeeze half a lime into each of the 2 drinks and garnish with a mint sprig.

Florida Seafood Chowder:

1/2 pound medium shrimp

2 8-oz bottles clam juice or broth

3 slices bgacon, cut across into 1/4 inch strips

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 medium leeks, white and light green parts cleaned and coarsely chopped

1 clove garlic, smashed, peeled and minced

1 red pepper, stemmed, seeded, deribbed and chopped

2 ribs celery, peeled and cut across into thin strips

1 32-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped with liquid

1 carrot, peeled and shredded

1 1/2 cups chicken stock, homemade or canned

1/2 cup white wine

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 teaspoon thyme

1 bay leaf

Freshly ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 pound Scrod fillets, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 pound bay scallops, cleaned, or sea scallops cut into small pieces

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Peel and devein shrimp. Reserve shrimp and place shells in a small pan with clam broth. Over medium heat bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Strain broth and reserve; discard shells. Place bacon in a 5 quart saucepan and cook, stirring over high heat until just crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add olive oil, leeks, and garlic to the fat in the pan, lower heat, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in red pepper and celery and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with their liquid, carrot, reserved clam broth, chicken stock, and wine. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in potatoes, dried herbs, bay leaf, pepper, and tomato paste. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through. Stir in the scrod pieces and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the scallops and reserved bacon and cook for 2 minutes longer. Makes 13 cups.

Grilled Spice-rubbed Tuna with Pineapple Glaze:

Spice Rub:

1 tablespoon crushed star anise (optional)

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon crushed cardamom

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

Glaze:

1 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup tomato catsup

1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon white pepper

4 8-oz tuna steaks, about 1 1/2 inches thick

4 slices pineapple, 1-thick with the peel left on

Make the spice rub. Combine all the spice rub ingredients in a large sauté pan, mix well, and heat over medium heat, shaking frequently, until they just begin to smoke, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then grind in a coffee grinder, spice mill, or mortar and pestle until fine. A mini food processor will work too.

Make the glaze. Combine the pineapple juice, vinegar, ginger, soy sauce, and brown sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the volume is reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Add the catsup and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lime juice, cilantro, and white pepper, and mix well.

Rub the tuna on all sides with the spice rub. Grill the tuna over a medium fire for 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until a peek into the interior shows some pink. This is for medium rare. Spoon some of the glaze over each tuna steak and serve with a slice of pineapple.

Spinach, Avocado, and Papaya Salad:

Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

6 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all together.

1 1/2 pounds spinach, stems removed, washed and dried

2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced 1/8 inch thick

1 medium sized papaya, peeled, seeded and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

1 red onion, thinly sliced

Place all ingredients in a large bowl, pour dressing over and toss well.

Lime Squares:

Crust:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 stick chilled butter, cut into 1/2 inch slices

2 tablespoons sugar

1-2 tablespoons almond paste

2 teaspoons grated lime rind

Pinch of salt

Filling:

1 cup sugar, stirred together with 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon grated lime rind

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting the top.

Crust: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter and 8-inch square baking pan. Place all crust ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture just begins to form a ball. Then pat the mixture into the greased pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it is a pale golden all over. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

Filling: Wipe out the food processor with a paper towel and place all the filling ingredients into the bowl. Process until very smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into the partially baked crust and bake for 20 minutes. Cool, dust with confectioners’ sugar, then chill well, or freeze them and serve frozen.

 



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