~ from Maison & Jardin (Altamonte Springs, Florida)
"Very easy, very elegant. This is one of our favorite methods of preparing snapper."
6 6-oz. red snapper fillets, American preferred
2 cups fresh white bread crumbs
1/2 cup Macadamia nuts, chopped medium fine
2 tsp. melted butter
1/3 cup good quality mayonnaise
pinches of salt & pepper
1/3 cup melted butter
1 Tbsp. water
Mix together bread crumbs, Macadamia nuts and melted butter to form crust mixture. Spread mayonnaise on top of fish fillets. Top with crust mixture and season with salt & pepper.
Mix water with melted butter and baste the crust. Bake for approximately 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve fish over papaya salsa and garnish with cilantro. (Serves 6)
1 fresh papaya, peeled & diced
1 lime, juice only
3 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion
5 sprigs chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Blend all ingredients together and allow time for flavors to marry.
Wine pairing: Choose your favorite Chardonnay*
*Chardonnay In the '80s it became de rigeur to ask for "a glass of Chardonnay" in a restaurant and passé to simply request "a glass of white wine." Chardonnay is the most popular wine in America for a reason: It's cold, fruity and easy to drink. It's pleasant with just about any dish involving cheese, eggs, fish or fowl. Winemakers have divided into two camps over the style of Chardonnay; one school of thought emphasizes the high-toned, steely, fruitlike qualities of the wine with little or no use of oak, while the other emphasizes barrel and malolactic fermentation in addition to the fruit characteristic, which lends the wine a rounder, buttery taste. Benchmarks for Chardonnay are (rich and extracted) white Burgundies and (steely and crisp) Chablis. There are fine Chardonnays from just about every region, including Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara and New York.
JOE'S CREAMED SPINACH
~ from Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant ( Miami Beach, Florida)
( serves 4)
2 10-oz. boxes frozen, chopped spinach - thawed
1 1/2 cups light cream (or 3/4 cup each heavy cream & milk)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg, or to taste
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
Gently squeeze spinach, discarding excess water. Place in saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes until it just begins to become tender but still bright green. Add cream, salt & nutmeg and simmer for 5 minutes until cream has bubbled and reduced slightly.
Meanwhile, melt butter in small skillet; add flour and cook over low hear, stirring for 3-4 minutes, until creamy and smooth but still bright green. Correct seasoning and serve hot.
KEY LIME CHEESECAKE
~ from Criolla's (Grayton Beach, Florida)
"This cheese cake has a very special crust made with ground, roasted Macadamia nuts, which are then covered with melted semi-sweet chocolate. The results are heavenly."
1 1/2 cups ground roasted Macadamia nuts
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
Grease inside and paper line bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Slowly melt chocolate over low heat in double boiler. Keep warm but do not overheat. Using an electric mixer, combine ground nuts with sugar and melted butter. Press mixture into bottom of pan using back of a large metal spoon. Spread a thin layer of melted chocolate over crust, using pastry brush. Set in refrigerator so chocolate hardens.
3 lb. soft cream cheese
3 cups granulated sugar
9 whole eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup key lime juice
2 cups toasted unsweetened coconut
(found in health food or gourmet stores)
Break up cream cheese and place in mixer bowl. Beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. Continue mixing, gradually adding sugar. In separate bowl, add vanilla to eggs. Slowly add egg mixture, one egg at a time to the creamy mixture. When eggs are incorporated, scrape bowl and continue mixing until smooth. Stir in key-lime juice. Pour into springform pan, leaving abut 1/8-inch space from the top. Place in roasting pan and fill pan with enough water so that it comes halfway up side of cake pan. Bake in pre-heated 400-degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350-degrees, turn pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. Turn on final time and continue baking for another 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Next day, unmold cake and garnish sides of cake with toasted unsweetened coconut. Cake must be refrigerated. (Yields 12 servings).
Note: Since 2 of the recipes require Macadamia nuts, consider purchasing at Costco were they have large cans, reasonably priced.