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Island Recipes

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Florida is rich in natural resources and its seafood is a natural treasure for this area. For some really great recipes for other fresh Florida Seafood, please visit Florida Seafood Recipes.

Captain Rob’s Smoked Mullet Spread

Mullet, though plentiful in the local waters, shun the hook and line, but are available in local markets. Ardent fishermen throw castnets to capture these finicky feeders. Schools of mullet are easily spotted in the late summer and fall. Lone mullet may be seen when they leap from the water and land with a distinctive slap.

8 Smoked mullet fillets (4 cups crumbled) 1 Tbsp Everglades Seasoning
3/4 cup Onion, diced 3/4 cup Reduced fat mayonnaise
3/4 cup Green bell pepper, diced Crackers

Crumble smoked fillets into small pieces, removing any bones. Thoroughly mix mullet, onion, bell pepper, and seasonings in large bowl. Add mayonnaise and mix again. Serve on crackers.


Unexpected Company Crab Muffins

Crabtraps may be seen sprinkled throughout the island waters. Adventurous gourmets may catch, cook, and pick delicious, sweet crabmeat. Fresh crabs may also be purchased from local crabbers, fish markets and supermarkets. However, canned crab works equally well in this recipe.

1 lb. Velveeta Cheese 2 Cans Crab meat
1 lb. Butter 6 English muffins

Soften butter and cheese. Mix well and add well-drained crabs. Spread on muffin halves. Then cut each half into four pieces. Spread pieces on cookie sheets and freeze. Store the frozen snacks in ziploc bags. When ready to use bake frozen muffins on lined cookie sheet (cheese bubbles over) in medium oven until cheese is bubbly.


Shrimp Tempura

Dipping shrimp from island waters is a thrilling favorite activity from May until August. Whether dipping from the popular Placida Trestle, the dock or over the side of your boat, lanterns are hung just above the water level to help locate shrimp. After dark the fun begins and enthusiasts often dip until the wee hours of the morning yelling with delight as they capture each tasty morsel.

Shrimp Fresh, peeled and deveined 2 tsp. Baking powder
2 Cups All purpose flour 1 tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Cornstarch 1/2 tsp. Baking soda
1 Egg Cooking oil

Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl beat 1 egg with one cup water. Add enough of this mixture to the dry ingredients to make a thin batter. Batter should be thinner than pancake batter. Add more water, if needed. Dip Shrimp in batter and fry quickly in deep, hot oil. Small beads of batter should form and immediately float. If the shrimp don’t quickly rise to the top, increase the heat. Fry shrimp until golden brown, drain and lightly salt. Serve immediately with favorite sauce.


Gasparilla Grouper

1 Fillet (8-10 oz.) 4 oz. Fish stock, thickened with 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup All-purpose flour 3 oz. Pina Colada mix
2 Eggs, lightly beaten 2 slices Kiwi fruit
4 Tbsp Clarified butter 1 Strawberry
2 oz. Tropina Tropical Rum 1 Banana, cut in half lengthwise
1 oz. Orange Curacao 2 Tbsp. Sliced almonds, toasted

Heat saute pan to smoking point. While pan is heating, dredge fish in flour, then egg. Add clarified butter to pan and saute fish on both sides until it turns a light golden brown. Add rum, orange juice, curacao, thickened fish stock, and pina colada mix. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until saucethickens.

While fish is cooking in a separate pan, saute banana in a small amount of clarified butter until golden brown. Place fish on platter, spoon sauce over it and sprinkle with toasted almonds. Garnish with strawberry, kiwi, and banana.

Serves One.

Tip: Captain Morgan Spiced Rum may be substituted. Knorr makes a fish boullion which may be used for stock. Suggest preparing a maximum of four portions at a time.


Clam Chowder

Clams are easily harvested from the grassy flats of the bay waters of Little Gasparilla. Clammers can be spotted slowly shuffling through the shallow bay waters and bending to retrieve their clams. Most clams harvested in this manner are chopped to be used in chowder, but smaller steamers are grown commercially by local clam farmers and can be purchased in local markers.

1/2 lb. Salt pork, diced small 1 qt. Warm milk
2 Onions, diced 1 cup Diced, fresh clam meat
4 Potatoes, diced small 1/2 cup Water

In large pot, render pork. Add onions and saute until tender. Add potatoes and cover with water. Cook until potatoes are soft. Add clams. Cook until clams are tender. Add approximately one quart of warm milk.

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