Recipes & Other Information About FOOD and BEVERAGES

I’m proud to present recipes that I have developed or collected over the years.  Most are simple and require ingredients that are readily available to everyone.  I prefer to keep preparation and cooking methods at a level that doesn’t take forever to do so that we can enjoy them often.  I divide recipes by season and change each season’s recipes as we approach that season again.  You may want to print some out to save for later.  I strongly encourage you to modify recipes to your taste and always be willing to experiment.  Substituting meats and poultry can be interesting as well.


Dessert Items:

The Coastal Cook’s Key Lime Pie  & Crust:  2 cups crushed vanilla wafers, 1-1/2 cups plain or nutty granola, lightly crushed, 1 stick unsalted butter, softened, a pinch of salt.  Make the crust.. Mix crust ingredients together well and place in an 11 inch deep dish pie pan or plate.  Firmly pack the sides and bottom.  Filling:  6 large egg yolks beaten, 21 oz. sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup + 1/8 cup fresh squeezed Key Lime juice.   Make the filling…In another bowl whisk together the beaten eggs, condensed milk and Key Lime juice.  Pour the mixture into the pie crust.  Bake at 325 degrees for about 18 minutes, let cool about an hour then refrigerate for about 8 hours before serving.          This has been reprinted from Edible Palm Beach, Summer 2014 edition

Gene Joyner’s Key Lime Pie Recipe —   This recipe is really tried and true.  Gene has shared this very simple recipe with thousands of folks over the decades.  No big ingredients list is needed.  Just mix 2 cans of condensed milk with 1 cup of fresh Key Lime juice and pour it all into one of those store bought graham cracker crusts.  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes and serve.  Gene likes a little CoolWhip on top.  He also likes to use those little pre-made tart shells for individual servings.  Either way, you’ll know you’re enjoying a real Florida recipe from a real Florida legend!


Lance Walheim’s Meyer Lemon Sorbet Recipe —  Lance is national spokesperson for Bayer Advanced and a citrus rancher in Exeter, California.  He’s a regular contributor to our show.  

Pour 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin, 3/4 cup of sugar and 1-1/2 cups of water into a 2 quart saucepan.  Mix well.  Bring to a boil on High stirring frequently.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add 1-1/2 cups of Meyer lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of grated fresh Meyer lemon peel (yellow only).  Pour into a 10 inch square (or similar size) metal pan.  Freeze until hard, which takes about 3 hours.  Remove the mixture from the freezer.  Let stand at room temperature until it can be broken into pieces with a metal spoon.  Places the pieces into a blender or food processor and whirl until smooth and frothy.  Spoon it into dessert dishes and serve immediately.  Makes 4 to 6 servings


Fall & Winter Entrees

Lemon Rosemary Lamb Steaks             ( Laurenzo’s can provide bone-in or boneless.  Call Robert Laurenzo in the meat department a day or two in advance if you can so he can have just what you want ready.  305-945-6381 )

Ingredients:  6 Lamb Steaks cut from the leg, bone in or boneless, about an inch thick, 1 lemon, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp chopped rosemary, 3 cloves garlic minced, salt and pepper, paprika, 2 tsp finely chopped mint.      Rinse the steaks, set aside.  In a mixing bowl grate the outer zest of the lemon, then squeeze all the juice into the bowl.  Remove any seeds.  Add the oil, rosemary, garlic, 1/2 tsp each of salt, pepper and paprika.  Mix and retain 1/4 cup of the mixture for later use.  Dredge the steaks through the mixture and place them directly into a large ziplock bag.  Pour in remaining mixture except that 1/4 cup you’re reserving.  Seal the bag and refrigerate 2 to 8 hours.  Heat a cleaned and oiled grill to med-high and grill the steaks for 4 minutes on each side for med-rare.  Transfer to a plate and hold for about 5 minutes.  Just before you serve them drizzle them with the reserved mixture and scatter on the mint.  Sides can be roasted potatoes, grilled veggies of your choice, couscous or baked sweet potatoes.  Try slicing up some carambola (star fruit) and adding them to the plate chilled.  Wine:  Merlot, Chianti Classico or Rioja Reserva of your choice.   

 Savory Beef Stew        (A simple recipe that can be made in a Dutch oven or a slow cooker)

Ingredients:  2 to 2-1/2 Lbs. cubed beef chuck, salt and pepper, dried thyme, 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 cup chopped onions, 1 cup of chopped celery, 2-1/2 cups cut carrots, 1 tsp minced garlic, 3 or 4 medium boiling potatoes peeled and quartered, one 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, 2 cups beef broth, 1 cup dry red wine, 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, 2 bay leaves.   Season beef with salt, pepper and thyme.  Roll in the flour.  Heat oil in a large skillet med-high.  Add beef in batches and cook till browned.  Place in the slow cooker or Dutch oven.  In the skillet retain a little oil and add in the onions and celery and cook until soft, 5-6 minutes.  Clean carrots, remove ends, split lengthwise and cut into 3/4 inch pieces.  Add them to the skillet along with the garlic, cooking 2-3 minutes.  Then transfer everything into the cooker and add the potatoes, tomatoes, broth, wine, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves.  In a slow cooker cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low 8 hours.  Remove bay leaves before serving.  (in a Dutch oven I cook in the oven at 300 degrees for 3 hours.)   Sides can be rice of your choice (I like Basmati) or simply some bread or rolls of your choice for dipping.  Wine:  Pinot Noir

Sweet Potato and Apple Soup        Serves 6

Ingredients:  2 Lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 in. dice, 1 small parsnip peeled and cut to a 1 in. dice, 2 garlic cloves chopped, 2 tbsp. olive oil, salt, 6 cups veggie stock, 1 cup apple cider, 1 tsp. green Tabasco sauce, 1 finely diced Granny Smith apple and some minced parsley for garnish.   Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  On a baking sheet place the sweet potatoes, parsnip, garlic, olive oil and salt.  Bake for 45 minutes or until tender.  In a blender puree half of the veggies with 3 cups of stock; transfer to saucepan.  Repeat with remaining veggies and stock.  Add the apple cider and Tabasco and heat through.  Season with salt.  Serve with a topping of the diced apple and minced parsley.  You can use this recipe replacing sweet potatoes with fresh or canned pumpkin for another great soup.  Add a touch of cinnamon and allspice to the pumpkin soup.

One Skillet Italian Sausage Pasta                    Serves 6

Ingredients:  1 Lb. Italian pork sausage ( I like Laurenzo’s sweet),1-1/2 cups water, 1- 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano or add these things to your favorite brand of tomatoes.  I like to use Cento Chef’s Cut.  One cup of tomato sauce, 8 oz. dry penne or other tube pasta (or shells, bow ties, etc.), 1/2 cup of grated cheese ( I like parm/Rom blend ).     Heat a large skillet over med-high heat.  Add the sausage meat (not in casing), crumble and cook 5 minutes.  Drain and return the meat to the skillet.  Add water, undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce and pasta to skillet, stirring to combine.  Bring to boil, cover, reduced heat and cook 15 minutes or until pasta is done to your liking.  Serve with plenty of cheese.  I like to serve this with a big loaf of Laurenzo’s Italian bread on the table to be pulled apart by happy guests.  Garlic toasted Italian bread slices are also great.  Wine:  Chianti in a jug or bottle at the table is always fun.

  • A Note About Flavor–  Spices & Herbs, Rubs, Marinades…

     Build yourself a pantry of flavors.. For Italian food, keep bay leaves, dried oregano, red pepper flakes.  For Thai and Indian… Jarred curry paste, garam masala, for Tunisian flavor ground cumin, sweet paprika, ground coriander and ground caraway seed.  Rubs:  There are endless commercially available rubs on the market and thousands of rub recipes available.  There is one that is a good ‘general’ rub for chicken, pork and beef.  Here goes….. good for about six portions…4 tablespoons white or brown sugar, 4 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon black pepper, a pinch of ground oregano, a pinch of dried thyme, 2 tablespoons of mustard powder.  Mix in a small bowl and thoroughly coat the meat, allow to reach near room temperature prior to grilling or broiling.  Marinades:  Marinade does not tenderize as you may think.  Its a way to impart flavor.  A simple marinade may only contain olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.  Other marinades are discussed in many of my recipes.  I try to keep all of them simple and of easily accessible ingredients.


Depending on how many servings you want to make, coat one baking potato (A REAL BAKING POTATO) for each serving you want to make with olive oil and Kosher salt.  Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for an hour or until well done and soft inside.  Prick them with a fork to test for softness.  At this point you have a very good baked potato.    To make superb mashed potatoes scoop out the meat of the potatoes and mash with enough milk or cream to get the consistency you want, add some butter, salt and pepper to taste and bingo.    Now, for the special stuffed mashed potatoes like they used to call Maisson at The Place For Steak on the 79th Street Causeway in North Miami years ago:  Scoop out the meat of the potatoes and mix with just a bit of cream, sour cream, paprika, salt and pepper, a little garlic powder, just a little bit of Catsup or even better Heinz 57 sauce, to make it pink.  Mash this mixture and puree in a processor or other method until smooth and thick.  Do not let it get out of the thick range and be too liquid.  If you can, use a pastry bag to pipe the mixture into the baked skins.  Top with some good shredded cheese of your choice (I like a good Havarti) and place under the broiler for just a couple of minutes until just brown.  Top with chives and serve.

Thanksgiving Specials               

As a ‘run-up’ to Thanksgiving we like to do a couple of these for Sunday dinners:

Easy Roast Turkey Breast 

Start with the correct breast.  Avoid the “hotel” style breasts now sold at many stores.  You don’t want the wings and rib cage for this recipe.  You will need  1/2 cup of salt, a breast of 6 to 7 pounds, some softened unsalted butter (about 1/2 cup), and some ground pepper.  Brine the breast in a gallon or more of salted water using about 1/2 cup of salt well dissolved.  I use a plastic container with a snap-on lid I bought at a restaurant supply years ago.  You can also use a bucket lined with a clean trash bag.  Brine for 3 hours to overnight.  This makes turkey more moist and the salt changes the protein structure of the meat helping it to hold on to its moisture.  The proper roasting technique is a must.  Adjust the oven rack to middle position and preheat to 425 degrees.  Set the V rack in your roasting pan and spray with vegetable oil spray.  In a small bowl combine soft butter and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  Remove turkey breast from brine and pat dry with paper towels.  Using your fingers gently loosen skin covering each side of breast.  Place the butter mixture under the skin directly on the meat in the center of each side of the breast.  Gently press on the skin to distribute butter mixture all over the meat.  Place the breast, skin side up, on the V rack and add a cup of water to the pan.  Roast at 425 degrees for 30 minutes then reduce to 325 degrees and continue to roast about an hour until it reaches 160 degrees.  Transfer to a carving board and allow to rest at least 20 minutes before carving.  Always carve at serving time, not prior.  Do not overcook.  Remember meat continues to cook after it is removed from the oven, so 160 degrees is quite sufficient. 

  • Here are a couple of take-offs to add some pizazz to your next turkey breast:

Add these items to the butter mixture:  3 finely minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme and 1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest.    OR……

Add 3 finely diced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary, 1 teaspoon grated orange zest and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes to the butter mixture.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This simple recipe brings out all the Fall flavor you want to accompany your meal.  Start with 2 pounds of large, fresh sweet potatoes peeled, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into slices 1/4 inch thick.  Combine the sliced potatoes, 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons of heavy cream, a teaspoon of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of black pepper and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until the potatoes fall apart when poked with a fork, probably 35 to 45 minutes.  Remove from heat and mash in the saucepan.  You can use a food mill or a ricer but that’ll be more to clean up.  Serve immediately for all the goodness to be concentrated in this simple dish.

Baby Spinach Sautee with Almonds and Golden Raisins

Since Felicia insists on a real veggie with every meal, here goes….  About 18 oz. baby spinach and 1/4 cup water in a large bowl and cover with a large dinner plate.  Microwave until the spinach is wilted and decreased by volume by half.  Remove and keep covered for a minute.  Remove the plate and place spinach in a colander, pressing to remove liquid.  Chop the spinach on a board then return to colander and press again.  In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 cup of golden raisins, 3 garlic cloves sliced very thin and a pinch of red pepper flakes on med-high heat stirring constantly until the garlic is light brown, 3 to 6 minutes.  Add spinach to the skillet tossing with tongs to coat.  Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt and continue to saute about 2 minutes.   Sprinkle with toasted slivered almonds and 2 teaspoons of sherry vinegar combining well.  Season with salt to taste if you wish.  Serve immediately.


The Most Simple Roast Turkey

10 – 15 Lb. Turkey, Kosher Salt, Olive Oil, Ground Pepper.   Rinse the turkey in and out and pat dry with paper towels.  Season the cavity and the outside with some Kosher salt.  Place on a large plate and place in the refrigerator, uncovered for 8 to 24 hours.  Before roasting place the bird on the counter and bring to room temperature, about an hour.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Rub the bird all over with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together and stick the wings under the bird to protect them from overcooking.  Roast on a rack pan or deep baking pan for one hour.  Reduce temp to 375 degrees and continue to roast for 2 to 2 – 1/2 hours longer until instant read thermometer inserted into the inner thigh shows 165 degrees.  If you find the breast browning too much during the process, cover with foil.  Place the bird on carving board and rest it for at least 45 min. before carving, to retain juices.  If you’re doing stuffing do it separately  for this recipe.  See stuffing recipes elsewhere here.  There are several good ones here.

While still fairly simple, here are three take-offs to give your turkey a very special flavor:

Here’s what you need:

2 large carrots cut into 2 inch pieces, 1 med onion quartered, a 12-15 Lb. turkey, 1/2 cup olive oil, Kosher salt and Black pepper, 1 recipe of a butter BASTE (see below).

Heat oven to 425.  Place carrots, onion, giblets (if included) and 1 cup of water in a large roasting pan and top with a roasting rack.  Rub the bird with oil and season with salt and pepper.  Season the inside of the cavity also.  Tie the legs together and tuck the wings under the body.  Roast until the turkey is golden brown and the skin is beginning to brown, 45 min. to one hour.  Reduce to 325 degrees.  Continue to roast the turkey and begin to baste with your baste of choice ever 30 minutes until and instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh registers 165 degrees., 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 40 minutes more.  If the pan veggies begin to scorch, add a cup of water.  Carefully tilt the bird to empty the juices from the cavity into the roasting pan.  Place the bird on a cutting board and rest for about an hour before carving.  Reserve the pan contents for gravy (below).


1.  Molasses and Bourbon Baste–  Melt 8 tablespoons unsalted butter in a pot over med. heat.  Add 1/4 cup Bourbon, 1/4 cup molasses and 2 tablespoons cider vinegar.  Cook, stirring, until thick and bubbling,3 to 5 minutes.  Keep warm for basting as above.

2.  Smoked Paprika Baste–  Melt 8 tablespoons unsalted butter in a pot over med. heat.   Whisk in 2 tablespoons each Smoked Paprika and Brown Sugar until combined.  Keep warm for basting as described above.

3.  Chili, Garlic and Rosemary–   Melt 8 tablespoons unsalted butter in a pot over medium heat  Add 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, 4 smashed garlic cloves and 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes.  Cook until sizzling and fragrant.  Keep warm and use as described above. 

Here is the Ultimate Turkey Gravy:

Ingredients:   Contents from the Turkey roasting pan, 1 cup dry white wine, 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/2cup all purpose flour, 4 cups chicken broth, salt and pepper.

After removing the bird place the pan over 1 top burners at medium heat. Cook stirring, until the veggies darken and the liquid is almost all gone, 10-12 minutes.  Add the wine and cook scraping the stuck bits from the bottom of the pan until the wine is reduced by half, 2 – 4 min.  Remove from heat.  Meanwhile melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Sprinkle with the flour and whisk to create a roux.  Cook while whisking until golden brown, 4 – 5 minutes.  Now whisk in the broth.  Pour the liquid from the roasting pan though a strainer in to the pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer until thickened, 8 – 10 minutes. 

Citrus and Butter Turkey – 

Ingredients:  One 12 – 14 Lb Turkey, rinsed and patted dry, Black pepper and kosher salt, 1-1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, 1/2 cup grapefruit zest, 1/4 cup grapefruit juice, the same amounts of orange zest and juice, 4 garlic cloves, finely grated, 1 tbsp minced Thyme plus 5 sprigs, 1/2 grapefruit cut in wedges, 1/2 orange cut in wedges, 1 lemon cut in wedges, 3 cups chicken broth.

Season the bird inside and out with salt and pepper.  Preheat oven to 425.  In medium saucepan melt butter.  Whisk in the citrus zests and juices, garlic and minced thyme.  Let cool.  Transfer 1/2 the butter mixture to small bowl and refrigerate until it’s spreadable.  Then run fingers under the breast and thigh skin to loosen it.  Spread the chilled butter under skin and over the breast and thighs.  Stuff the birds cavity with thyme sprigs, grapefruit, lemon and orange sections.  Dampen an 18×18 inch of double layered cheese cloth with water, squeezing dry.  Soak the cheesecloth in the remaining citrus butter and drape it over the breast and legs.  Pour any remainning butter over the top.  Roast for about 30 minutes.  Add the stock to pan and continue to roast about an hour and 45 minutes longer, rotating the pan a few times until inner thigh registers 165 degrees.  Carefully peel off the cheesecloth.  Transfer the bird to carving board, let rest 30 minutes.  Skim fat off the juices in the pan and transfer to a gravy bowl.  carve turkey and serve with juices.

Chipotle Butter Turkey –

Same procedure as above, except substitute all of the citrus ingredients with 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar and 1/2 cup of minced chipotle chiles in adobo.  Stuff the bird with the addition of 2 limes, quartered along with those thyme sprigs.


When Thanksgiving is behind us, it’s time for a great steak !

There are many, many steak cuts to enjoy:  Sirloin, Filet Mignon, New York Strip, T-Bone (Porterhouse) and Rib Eye.  But like they say on those cheap TV spots:  But wait, there’s more:  Skirt steak, Salisbury, Swiss steak, Flank steak, Flat Iron, Steak Pizzaiola, Country Fried steak, London Broil, Hanger Steak, Chopped steak, Chicken Fried steak and probably more….

Then there are the sauces and methods:  Mushroom Marsala, Tequila-Garlic-Lime, Chimichurri, au Poivre, Bernaise, Red Wine-Shallot sauce, Cowboy Butter, Balsamic Sauce, Pepper Cream Sauce, Tartare, Gorgonzola Cream Sauce, Oscar Teppanyaki and on and on.  And, the “rubs” are as endless as the imagination.   Later this week we’ll be placing some of my favorites (all simple) on here for you to consider trying.


A Sunday Gravy to make any Italian Proud

Makes about a gallon………..

3- Large cans whole plum tomatoes, crushed by hand

2- Large cans crushed tomatoes (use a good brand like Flora or

6- Long links sweet Italian Sausage

6- 3 to 3-1/2 Inch pieces of beef short ribs

12 Medium size meatballs

Onion, chopped fine

Garlic (6 or 8 cloves peeled and crushed (chopped fine also)

Salt and pepper

Fresh Basil Leaves  (6 or 8)


A medium carrot

Some Olive oil standing by

In a large enameled cast iron casserole place a little olive oil.  Season the short ribs and sear only on medium heat all sides, about 10 minutes.  Remove to a plate.  In the remaining oil add the onion, garlic and soften, not burned.  Meanwhile make the meatballs mixing beef and pork or veal and pork with some bread crumbs (not too much, not like the local restaurant does to make bread balls, one whole egg, lots of dry parsley, all mixed by hand, forming 1-1/2 – 2 inch balls, placing on a large pan.  Place the sausage in the same pan and bake together for about 25 minutes.  You can do this ahead of time.  Throw a little of the ground meat in the casserole pan and cook it a little to make it a meaty gravy.  Get rid of excess oil.  Dump in the crushed tomatoes.  Crush the whole tomatoes by hand removing the stem base from each tomato since thats bitter.  Simmer this stuff together while you bake the meatballs and sausage if you desire.  Cut each cooked sausage into 2 or 3 pieces.  Dump all the meat in the gravy, add a little salt & pepper to taste, throw in the peeled carrot and bake at 300 degrees for about 3 hours.  The rib meat should fall off the bone.  Best to remove them and remove bones and excess fat.  Back in the gravy.  Cook whatever pasta you prefer, al dente.  Drain and throw the pasta into the casserole pan and mix gently.  Hand break some fresh basil and stir it in, too.  Dump all the recipe into a huge serving bowl and let the crowd take what they want.  There should be enough for 6 or so people.  Left overs are just fine too.

PS-  The carrot will absorb acid and add a little sweetness.  Eat the stupid carrot or toss it.  If you used good tomatoes the gravy should not be acidic.  You can always add a pinch or two of sugar.





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