Saturday, May 30, 2015

Cuban Fish & Chips Redux

This month our...

Looks to recreate that most classic of British Pub Grub

Fish & Chips

One of my favorite dishes of all times.  I've already made many, many variations on this course, which is basically, fish & potato.

Here's one I did a while back...

Cuban Fish & Chips

The components are as follows...

  • Red Bean Puree
  • Malanga Croquette
  • Paprika Grouper
  • Boniato Chip
  • Jalapeno Oil
So, this time around, I decided to rethink my initial rendition.

Cuban Fish & Chips Redux

These components are as follows...
  • Boniato Puree
  • Pan-Fried Snapper
  • Malanga Chips
  • Jalapeno Emulsion
The colors are more elegant, the dish takes on a much more classic look.

Boniato is a Cuban sweet potato that is white.  I make my puree very much in the Joel Robuchon style of 2 parts root vegetable to 1 part butter.  Whipped into a light, airy, billowy consistency.  I like to say that it's like putting a cloud in your mouth.

Key West Snapper is an awesome fish and perfect for this course.

Malanga is another root vegetable native to Cuba.  These chips are cooked very quickly in hot peanut oil.

While this dish is not a 360 degree turn for the original, it does give a different eating sensation to the dinner guest.

Both versions are great in the end....

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Banana Cocktail with Roast Pork & Tostone

This month our Creative Cooking Crew...

Goes Cocktail and Appetizer.

Banana Cocktail with Roast Pork & Tostone

Our task was to combine a cocktail with a corresponding appetizer.  Immediately I knew my focus would be bananas.  Why?  Because I love them.  Grew up with them all around the crib.  I even had banana tress in my backyard that would flood our kitchen with bananas every year.

This is a very Miami-Cuban drink and appetizer.

The cocktail is made with...
  • Banana simple syrup
  • Bacardi Rum
  • Triple Sec
  • Banana Liqour 
  • Creme de Cacao
For the full recipe click here

A crispy fried tostone is a perfect base for luscious roast pork with mojo and crispy fried pork skins.

Simple, flavorful, and sublime.  A fantastic app & drink to get any party going.

The catch is you've gotta love banana =)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Creative Cooking Crew Round-Up: February 2015 Burgers

This month our Creative Cooking Crew offers a new culinary perspective on...

that most American of foods...BURGERS.

Burgers are in vogue big-time with numerous gourmet and fast-casual burger joints popping up in neighborhoods all over the US.

Here our talented cooks offer their contributions to the ever growing Burger lexicon.

Please enjoy...

Cheeseburger Dumplings
Victoria from Mission:Food

Maple Bacon Jam, Peanut Butter Burger
Angela from Spinach Tiger

Puerquito Burger
Norma from Platanos, Mangoes & Me

The Elvis: Fried Banana, Peanut Butter & Jelly Burger
Laura from La Diva Cucina

A Real HAM-burger
Joan from Foodalogue

Mar y Tierra Burger
Lazaro Cooks

Broccoli Burger
Maureen from A Cook Writes

Thanks to our hard working talented cooks who produce fantastic dishes every month!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mar Y Tierra Burger - Surf & Turf

This month our Creative Cooking Crew takes a fresh new approach to that great American classic...


Burgers these days are in-style big-time.  There are new gourmet burger spots popping up on every block, at least here in South Florida.

The approach to burger seems to be...big, bigger, biggest.  To achieve this, make a giant patty, get a huge roll and throw every condiment in the kitchen on the burger.  Not for me.  Not at all.

Of course, this is all subject to opinion, not unlike pizza, thin-crust or deep dish, plain Margehrita or the works, it is just so subjective.

Personally, if I cannot get the damn burger in my mouth, without needing a change of clothes, I am not interested.

Plus, when it comes to flavor profile, I want to be able to taste the ingredients, too many different tastes, just blurs into a heaping pile of nothingness.

Today, I made a burger with a few contrasting flavors and temperatures, that you can easily fit into you mouth.  Great flavor without the fuss.

Mar y Tierra Burger

Mar y Tierra, means surf and turf in Spanish.  Ripe sweet plantains & NY Strip from the land and Florida Spiny lobster from the ocean.

This burger produces three distinct flavor sensations...

  • Sweet
  • Heat
  • Cool
Maduro Puree - When a plantain gets super dark and ripe, we Hispanics call that a maduro.  The sugars in the banana have matured and concentrated to a super sweet consistency.  I bake my maduros in the oven, then process them in the food processor.  That is it, let the banana flavor stand on its own.

NY Strip Steak Patty - I made my burger patty from 100% grass-fed NY Strip.  When I want a posh burger, this is my favorite.  The meat is tender and has a nice amount of fat content.  Always grind your meat fresh at home.  I cannot fathom purchasing store bought ground.  The burger brought the HEAT to party, seasoned with cayenne, red pepper flake, and a dash of chipotle sauce.  The heat is imperative, you need to counterbalance the sweetness of the Maduro.

Florida Spiny Lobster Salad - Florida lobster meat prepared in the "Maine Lobster Roll" style.  Fresh Florida seafood lightly seasoned with mayo, lemon juice, celery, dill pickles, salt & pepper.  Served cold from the fridge and topped with fresh chervil.

This burger was a pleasure to eat, contrasting flavors and temperatures, just an awesome culinary delight.

I will be making this one again....and again!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Creative Cooking Crew Round-Up Nov 14

This month our...

Tackles Thanksgiving Dessert.  Perfect for the holiday.  These creative cooks might spark a new idea for your celebration menu.

This is the last post for 2014 for our crew.  We wish you all a fantastic holiday season and look forward to seeing you again in 2015.

Thanks to the diligent hard working cooks, who every month flex their creative muscles to dazzle us with culinary delights.

Thanks to you, the reader, for supporting our endeavor.


Coconut Cream Pie
Evelyne from Cheap Ethnic Eatz

Rum-Infused Chestnut Bonbons with Dark Chocolate-Crystallized Ginger Dust
Joan from Foodalouge

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ascension from Wicked Garden

This month our...

Celebrates Halloween. One of the coolest holidays we celebrate.

Ascension from Wicked Garden

This is a cheeky dish, using chorizo as worms.  Wild rice as the soil.  Black bean puree as mud.

Thinly sliced chorizo curls up once it hits the piping hot pan.

Thyme flowers and stems add to the garden visual imagery.

Of course, whatever is trying to get out of the ground, is not made of edible materials, so please do not consume.

A fun, playful dish, for an equally fun and playful holiday.

Thanks for stopping by...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Creative Cooking Crew: August 2014 Round-Up

This month our...

Tackles; One Ingredient, Two ways.  One hot, One cold.

Now hot and cold have many different interpretations, so these cooks got creative with temperatures, spice levels and textures.

As per usual, these hard working folks never cease to amaze and inspire.


Warm, Spicy, & Savory Apple Pot Pie with Cool Apple Cream & Sweet Apple Slaw
Joan from Foodalogue

Raspberry Granita & It's Warm Sauce
Evelyne from Cheap Ethnic Eatz

Baked Alaska "Egg"
Wendy from Upstart Kitchen

Avocado DOUBLE HAPPINESS: Avocado Pasta with Crab & Avocado Coconut Ice Cream
Laura from La Diva Cucina

Pink Borscht - Beet Flan
Norma from Platanos, Mangoes & Me!

Shrimp & Red Kuri Squash Salad on Red Kuri Squash Bread
Laz from Hack Cooks