All about fresh, flavorful food
I'm ready to watch another great Super Bowl, but this time without the Steelers! If you are going to the game, I have some wonderful restaurant choices for you to try in the South Beach area. If you aren't going to the game, I have recipes that will give you Miami flavor without the hassle!
When The Herbal Husband and I celebrated our anniversary in Miami last year, we enjoyed the surroundings and particularly the food. It was such an international city. I always tell people if you want to feel like you are in a foreign country, but do not want a passport, go to Miami! We stayed on South Beach and there were tons of restaurants on Ocean Drive, but if you walked away from the beach, you could find some very good restaurants.
Photo by RMTip21/Courtesy Flickr
We found a great Peruvian restaurant (and The Herbal Husband would know) called Chalan on the Beach (1580 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139). I had a shrimp ceviche.
Even with all of those onions, it was a very tasty dish. It is also very easy to make. We found a Time-Life book called Latin American Cooking early in our marriage, and The Herbal Husband thought the ceviche recipe is a very typical one:
Shrimp ceviche made with more than a few onions!
• 1 cup fresh lime juice
• 1 cup fresh lemon juice
• 4 dried chiles, seeded and pulverized with a mortar and pestle
• 2 red onions, sliced 1/8 inch thick and separated into rings
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon salt
• Black pepper, freshly ground
• 2 pounds sole fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces, or substitute any other firm white delicately flavored fish, shrimp or scallops
• 3 large sweet potatoes, unpeeled
• 4 ears corn on the cob, fresh or frozen, thawed, shucked and cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch rounds
• 2 heads Boston or romaine lettuce washed, separated into leaves and chilled
• 2 fresh hot red chiles, washed, split, seeded, deribbed and cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch strips (Be sure to handle chiles very carefully! Use latex or rubber gloves and keep your fingers away from your eyes and lips so that the oils from the chiles don't burn.)
1. In a large bowl, mix the lime and lemon juice, dried chiles, onion rings, garlic, salt and a few grindings of pepper. Set marinade aside.
2. Place the fish in a flat glass or ceramic dish (a metal dish or utensil may affect the flavor of the fish) and pour the marinade over it. If the marinade does not cover the fish, add more lemon or lime juice. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until the fish is white and opaque, indicating that it is fully "cooked."
3. About 30 minutes before serving, bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan. Drop in the sweet potatoes, cover the pan and cook over moderate heat for 25 minutes or until tender. Drain the potatoes, peel them and cut each crosswise into 3 rounds. Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a separate saucepan. Drop in the corn and boil it uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes until tender. Drain.
4. To assemble each serving, shape several lettuce leaves into a cup on a plate. Place a portion of marinated fish in each cup and garnish it with onion rings and strips of fresh chile. Place a sweet potato round at one side of the cup, several corn rounds at the other, and serve at once.
An assortment of tapas, including a variety of croquettes and a Spanish tortilla.
What makes tapas so wonderful is that you can try many different dishes without spending a lot of money! There are many different restaurants on this street. You can "visit" a different country every night.
Kermit's (not the frog) Key Lime Pie
We also enjoyed a very special dessert, key lime pie, at Café del Sol (1340 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139) in a small boutique hotel. It is a favorite dessert of mine when we are out on the town. Surprisingly, I have never made it at home! Here is a recipe from the Food Network that I thought looked very easy.
Delicious key lime pie at Café del Sol. This is a Florida classic.
Recipe courtesy Kermit Carpenter; Yields 1 (9-inch) pie
• 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
• 3 egg yolks
• 1/4 cup key lime juice (there is bottled juice, if you don't have fresh)
• 1 (9-inch) graham cracker pie crust
• Wipped cream, forgarnish
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a mixer on low-medium speed, blend the milk and egg yolks at low speed until smooth. Add the key lime juice and finish blending.
2. Gently pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and let cool for another 15 minutes before refrigerating.
3. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before serving. Serve cold and top with fresh whipped cream.
More Miami Reommendations
I want to give you two more recommendations. There is an artisanal French bakery and café called La Provence. They have wonderful Parisian-type sandwiches, tarts, baguettes, salads and even omelettes. You always have to have a great fish place in Florida and Grillfish is very good.
So whether you actually go to the Super Bowl to enjoy the game, the atmosphere, I hope you enjoy the culture of Miami, Florida.