A few words about Florida

(Spoiler alert- if you are a Florida lover and think the state can do no wrong…stop reading now.)

We just returned from ten days in Florida and I have to ask, what is the deal with the food down there?!. I must note that we were nowhere near Miami, or Orlando-both of which, when it comes to food, I separate from the rest of Florida, though for different reasons. Miami, good! Orlando, bad!

But still, on this trip, we were in Palm Beach and Naples-two lovely, affluent areas that I assumed could produce a good restaurant or at least a good meal. WRONG! We stayed in fabulous hotels, ate at good restaurants, dined at super clubs, had wonderful room service in our fabulous hotels and still, my favorite meal was the one I cooked at my mom’s apartment.

Oh, how sad it was for this foodie to be on vacation in a complete gourmet wasteland.

So, I started thinking: why? Why does most of Florida have uneventful food that is at best mediocre? Is it that Florida has become so used to geriatric palates that it can no longer cook food in young, fresh and hip way? (A good bet.) Is it that Disney and Florida’s many grandchildren have taken over all the eateries and food can only have a bland, fast food nature to it? (Another good possibility.)

But, what about people like me? Do they just get along; content to have someone else do the cooking? Do they fly home to NYC, Chicago or Boston or drive to Miami for a little gourmet nookie? What do they do?

Well, I can tell you what I did. I cooked dinner at my mom’s apartment. And, if you could see her kitchen, you would realize just what a tremendous feat that was. Mom has not really cooked in 15 years. Her kitchen in Florida is bare bones and basic. She eats out 6 days a week. (I’m just setting the stage here.) And, the good news was, what I made was delicious and can be made anywhere-this trip proved it!

So, now you are asking, what rabbit did she pull out of her hat? No rabbit, just a great sauce! I pulled out that fabulous little sauce for fish or chicken that I published on Valentine’s Day. (Actually, I went to my blog to make sure I had all the ingredients-how fun is that!) I roasted some salmon and asparagus, made a big salad and whipped up that great little sauce. Everyone was so happy and the best part was that there was no check at the end!

Roasted Salmon with Ginger Lime Butter

Serves 4

For the sauce:
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c. fresh lime juice
1 t. salt
½ t. freshly grated pepper
1 t. freshly grated ginger
½ c. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 stick (1/2 c.) unsalted butter, melted

Puree all ingredients EXCEPT butter in a blender until smooth. With motor running add melted butter and blend until emulsified. Note: If not using right away, re-heat in a saucepan when ready to use.

For the fish
:
2 lbs of salmon filet, cut into 8 oz. portions
Olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400
Drizzle olive oil over the fish and season with salt and pepper
Cook fish for 10-15 minutes, or until the center reaches desired doneness. Note: For medium rare, I cook the salmon for 11-12 minutes.

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One Comment

  1. Posted April 14, 2010 at 8:13 am | Permalink | Reply

    Great article. Thanks

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