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Crunchy Gochujang Fennel

Crunchy Gochujang Fennel

Fennel gets a whole new look when quickly blanched then dressed in a spicy-sweet gochujang sauce. Serve this simple Korean banchan alongside rice and a main dish like Red Wine and Soy–Braised Short Ribs or Kimchi Jjigae to make it a meal. The dressing would also be crazy delicious on virtually any vegetable—cooked or raw.

Ingredients

  • 1 large fennel bulb, stems and dark green parts removed
  • 1 ½" piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1½ tsp. gochugaru (coarse Korean hot pepper flakes)
  • 1½ tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Recipe Preparation

  • Slice fennel bulb into quarters lengthwise through the core. Cut out core; discard. Slice bulb lengthwise ¼" thick. Cook in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until just beginning to soften and turn translucent, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool. Drain; pat dry with paper towels.

  • Whisk together ginger, garlic, gochujang, vinegar, honey, oil, gochugaru, and sesame seeds in a medium bowl. Add fennel and toss to coat; season with salt.

  • Do Ahead: Fennel can be made 4 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Reviews Sectioni don't even really like fennel, but the sauce this recipe makes is delicious and it made eating the bulb of fennel i had that was getting old enjoyable. can't wait to use the sauce on more things!Surprisingly great. I have a bumper crop of fennel in my garden so have been cooking fennel in many ways-in Italian, sauce, savory galettes, slaw. This stuff is great. I worried it would either be slimy or too hard. Great texture--even better flavor.Delicious! Very simple to make with a great flavour. Will be making again!AnonymousToronto, ON05/23/20This was wicked good. My family loves fennel so we're always trying to do new things with it. I will say, the gochujang is spicy but tasty. Would def make it again and would love to try with other crunchy veggies!AnonymousWesterly, RI06/22/19Delicious recipe, easy and quick to make. It was my first time ever cooking fennel as we usually have it in salads, never thought of cooking it. My family enjoyed it and tasty taste. Sharing recipe with my friends.AnonymousMONTREAL, QUEBEC CANADA04/29/19my local Walmart grocery doesn't usually carry fennel, to my regret. but i do have frozen collard greens that would probably shine in this sauce/marinade. this might be enough spice for me. if not, then i'll throw in some whole dried chilies.hollis5Vero Beach, FL03/25/19This was pretty good. The sauce is solid on any crunchy vegetable. I cooked the fennel for about two minutes but then soaked it in cold salt water for an extra 20 minutes and it mellowed out a bit.AnonymousLos Altos, CA03/13/19Maybe it needs to be cooked longer than the recipe states. This just did not go over well with 3 out of 4 fennel and spicy Korean food lovers. They flavor of the sauce was good. Maybe I would do this again with a different vegetable (cabbage, cucumbers, carrots...)AnonymousBuffalo, NY03/04/19

Think of Kimchi as a Verb

You can make these quick versions out of just about anything, including tomatoes and fennel.

In 1904, the Japanese military authorities arrested the American novelist Jack London. Three times. He was covering the Russo-Japanese War for the San Francisco Examiner as a war correspondent in Korea, and drew from his time overseas in a 1915 novel, “The Star Rover.”

“I know kimchi,” London writes, speaking through his characters. “Kimchi is a sort of sauerkraut made in a country that used to be called Cho-Sen. The women of Wosan make the best kimchi, and when kimchi is spoiled it stinks to heaven.”

This is one of America’s earliest written encounters with kimchi. London was right in the first regard: Kimchi is “a sort of sauerkraut,” a fermented dish that most often starts off with cabbage and salt.

As for the last comment, kimchi almost never spoils. Prepared correctly and with enough salt, it can ripen for months, even years, until it becomes mukeunji — kimchi that’s so concentrated in flavor that it burns the tongue and tastes wonderful when stewed.

Outside Korea, it took at least 100 more years for kimchi to go from so-called spoiled stink to it-girl pantry staple and poster child for gut health. Today, some would say that it’s not just a cornerstone of Korean cuisine it is Korea itself.

Most people think of the red-hot, fermented cabbage dish as a singular noun. But I think of kimchi as a verb. And, as one of the few Korean food words to make its way into English dictionaries (along with gochujang, bulgogi and soju — “a pint of which would kill a weakling and make a strong man mad and merry,” as London writes), kimchi is an umbrella term for a much larger world of dishes you can find on any given Korean table.

Here’s the thing: You can kimchi just about anything. Napa cabbage is most traditional, but radishes, scallions and cucumbers are also popular. Nutty, grassy perilla leaves (part of the mint family) make for great kimchi, as do ramps, apples and even raw squid.

And here’s the other thing: When you want the flavors of kimchi, but don’t want to wait for it to ferment, you could try a quicker alternative.

There are many ways to do this, but I like to combine vegetables with vinegar to achieve kimchilike results, which I think of as “quick kimchi.” Technically these are not kimchis but muchims, which can refer to any number of “seasoned” or “dressed” salads or other preparations.

Since these quick versions bypass fermentation, they use a master sauce that is all purpose and absolutely versatile, borrowing from pantry stalwarts like gochugaru (a Korean red-pepper powder that’s sweeter and fruitier than it is spicy) funky, savory fish sauce (you can swap this out for soy sauce if you’re vegetarian) and toasted sesame oil (for gosoham, which roughly means “nuttiness” in Korean — though there is no perfect translation).

The vegetables you choose to dress are entirely up to you. Juicy logs of smacked Persian cucumbers are excellent at picking up the fire-bright sauce in their craggy nooks and crannies. The light aniseed flavor of thinly sliced fennel, which stays crunchy days after, gains a buttery sweetness when marinated in the gochugaru and fish sauce. Snappy grape tomatoes — the green bell peppers of the tomato world — get a second chance once treated like kimchi. Toss these umami bombs with bouncy rice noodles for a quick lunch.

The important thing is to salt your vegetables and let them sit for about 30 minutes to draw out the excess water. They’ll maintain their crunch later. (Don’t toss this brine, either. It’s fabulous in a martini.)

Then it’s just a question of tossing the salted vegetables with the dressing and serving them like a side salad. Alongside grilled meats, pork chops, fish or even a simple bowl of white rice, these sides are a welcome crunchy addition to any cookout table.


Chicken Meatballs and Fennel Braised in Miso Gochujang

These chicken meatballs are tender on the inside but firm and springy on the outside, if you care enough to ground your own meat, it tastes so much better than the ready-minced supermarket type, a little effort goes a long way. For the sauce, since I want something rich and spicy, I use a mixture of my favorite pantry staples: miso paste and Gochujang (Korean chili paste), this combination delivers a sharp umami taste with a spicy kick which works wonderfully well with the meatballs. In fact the sauce itself is quite flavoursome, so it becomes amazingly versatile, it makes wonder to all food wherever it is added (I literately use it on everything: salad, stew, marinade, stir fry, even just drizzle it on rice and noodles!) and it only takes a few minutes to whip up. My ‘go to sauce’ when I crave for something hearty and spicy, especially in cool autumn days.

Fennel is one of my favorite vegetables and it adapts well with various flavours without losing its own. Once cooked, its licorice taste became subtle enough not to overpowering but to compliment the others. I also love its texture, it is crunchy when raw but still remains a bite to it when it is cooked. It is one of the most used vegetables on my blog, absolutely great in salad, soup, stew, roast and many more. When I was planning this recipe early this week, fennel was the first vegetable which emerged in my head and I knew it would be the perfect side ingredient for this wonderful early autumn dish, and I was right.

Note: for the sauce: it seems a lot of liquid when you first added the stock to the pan, but the sauce will thicken up and reduce slightly when everything is cooked. Since I just plated up part of the dish for the photos, it doesn’t look like a lot of sauce there, but the amount of ingredients for the sauce should make plenty for the final dish.

Ingredients:

  • 650g minced chicken (free range or organic), ready minced or ground in food processor
  • 2 pieces (50g) of stale bread (I use gluten free toast bread), pulsed to crumbs
  • 4 stalks spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp. tamari (or regular soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp. mirin
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. brown rice flour (or all purpose flour), plus more for coating

For the Miso Gochujang sauce:

  • 1 heaped tbsp. Gochujang
  • 1 heaped tbsp. miso paste
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. runny honey
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. mirin
  • 300ml good quality chicken stock
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, stalk removed and cut into wedges
  • 3 stalk spring onions, cut into about 8cm batons
  • 1 stalk spring onion, chopped (for garnish)
  • Steamed rice to serve
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine all chicken meatball ingredients and mixed well. Prepare a plate of brown rice flour (or regular flour) on the side. Use your hands, form meatball as the size of a ping pong ball. Coat each meatball with brown rice flour as you go (the meat mixture is quite sticky so I found the flour helps to form into shape). This should make about 16-18 balls. Keep the meatballs in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up and help the taste to develop.

Make the miso gochujang sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients apart from the chicken stock in a small bowl, mix well and set aside.

When the meatballs is firm and ready, heat a frying pan or wok with about 2cm of oil in until hot. Add the meatballs carefully in the pan and brown them on all sides (you will have to fry them in batches). Turn the heat down to medium and cook the meatballs a little bit longer (careful not to burn them) until they are quite firm when you squeeze them with a tongs or chopsticks, about 5-8 minutes, turn them regularly. Transfer them to a plate lined with kitchen paper and continue with the rest.

Pour away any remaining oil (if any) and wipe clean the pan with kitchen paper, warm some oil in the pan and add the spring onion batons, fennel wedges and fry for a minute. Add the miso Gochujang mixture in the vegetables and stir and coat well. Then pour in the chicken stock, stir well and have a taste, adjust the seasoning. Bring to boil and add the meatballs, reduce to simmer (turn the meatballs twice during cooking so that they are evenly cooked in the sauce) with a lid for about 6-8 minutes or until cook through (you can test it by breaking up one of the meatballs and see if it it cooked through in the centre).

Transfer the meatballs and the sauce in a platter and garnish with the chopped spring onion and freshly ground black pepper, served with hot steamy rice.


These 7 Recipes Are the Definition of Korean Comfort Food

For chef Sohui Kim, the ideal night at home begins with a pot of fiery kimchi jjigae or tender soy-braised short ribs, and an array of tasty sides.

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Red Cabbage Salad with Spicy Miso-Ginger Dressing

A crunchy, spicy red cabbage salad flavored with miso and ginger. Ideal as a side for Asian meals, or as a standalone lunch. Just don’t call it a slaw!

When I was thinking about what I wanted to serve alongside the Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps we were planning on making, I knew I wanted something bright and fresh to counter-balance the rich grilled beef.

That’s when I decided to take our Asian Cabbage and Fennel Salad recipe and mix it up a bit. I love, love, love miso and the addition of it gives this dressing a richness that is almost creamy, though there’s no mayo or any dairy in it. It’s actually almost a nutty flavor. Matt said it tasted like the peanut sauce you get with satay, but even better (and there’s no peanut in it either). It also happens to be vegan and can be made gluten free if you use tamari in place of the soy and use a GF miso, like this one).


Variations you can make:

1)Indian Style Crispy Corn:

Add chilli powder, pepper powder, cumin powder, chaat masala powder, pepper powder and lemon juice.

2)Chaat Crispy Corn:

Add chilli powder, cumin powder, chaat masala powder, black salt and tamarind sweet and sour sauce.

3)Italian Style Crispy Corn:

Add dried basil, oregano or italian seasoning along with some fried garlic, chilli flakes.

4)Chinese Style Crispy Corn:

Add fried garlic and ginger, chopped spring onion, little soy sauce, sugar and vinegar.


Shred of the Class

Coleslaw is one of those salads you can't imagine having a cookout without.

No matter where you stand on the coleslaw debate—creamy, mayonnaise dressed or vinegar spiked—we can all agree that what makes slaw the perfect accompaniment to summer meals is its refreshingly crisp texture.

The beauty of slaw is that in most cases, it can be made ahead of time: No matter your dressing, slaws evolves as the cabbage and other vegetables are salted, drawing the moisture out. Salting is also essential in achieving that perfectly crisp texture, where the vegetables are just tender but still retain their crunch.

To achieve slaw salvation, let yours chill out in the fridge for a bit, as most slaws benefit from resting for some time before serving. While it's hanging out, the vegetables begin to soften and the ingredients have time to meld together, creating more complex flavors and textures.

In order to keep your slaw in check, taste it just before you serve it, as the slaw might need a bit more salt or acid to bring it back to life. And make sure to add herbs, nuts and other garnishes just before serving, so they stay extra crunchy.

Now that you have the tools and tips, you can shred, grate and chop your way through these five variations on the classic fixing (printable version here).


3 tbsp mayonnaise + 3 tbsp white vinegar + ½ tsp sugar + ½ tsp dry mustard + pinch celery seeds + pinch cayenne + 4 c shredded green cabbage (½ head) + ¾ c shredded carrot (1 large carrot) + 2 tsp salt + 3 tbsp chopped parsley

In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, celery seeds and cayenne. Add the cabbage and carrots. Season with salt and toss. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Fold in the parsley just before serving.


3 c chopped Napa cabbage (½ head) + 2 c sliced fennel (2 bulbs) + ¾ c celery, thinly sliced + 1 c grapefruit segments (2 grapefruits) + ½ c chopped fennel fronds + 1½ c diced avocado (2 avocados) + ⅓ c grapefruit juice (from the 2 grapefruits) + 2 tsp olive oil + 1 tsp kosher salt + ⅓ c toasted and chopped almonds

In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, fennel, celery, grapefruit, fennel fronds and avocado. Add the grapefruit juice, olive oil and salt, and toss. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Fold in the almonds just before serving.


1 c toasted and chopped cashews + ¼ c water + 3 tbsp gochujang + 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar + 2 tbsp chopped ginger + 2 tbsp Kewpie mayonnaise + 1 tsp kosher salt + ½ tsp sugar + 3 c thinly sliced bok choy + 2 c shredded red cabbage (¼ head) + 1½ c snow peas, thinly sliced + 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

In a blender, blend the cashews, water, gochujang, rice wine vinegar, ginger, mayonnaise, salt and sugar until almost smooth. Pour into a large bowl and add the bok choy, cabbage and snow peas. Toss to combine. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Top with toasted sesame seeds before serving.


½ head medium savoy cabbage, cut into wedges + 1 leek, split lengthwise + 2 nectarines, halved and pitted + 2 tbsp white wine vinegar + 1 tsp olive oil + 1 tsp kosher salt + ¼ c torn mint leaves + ⅓ c toasted and chopped pistachios

Prepare and oil a grill and set it to medium-high heat. Add the cabbage wedges and leeks, and grill, flipping once, until well charred but still slightly crunchy, 12 to 15 minutes. Grill the nectarines, flesh-side down, until charred and their juices just begin to ooze, 3 to 5 minutes. Chop the grilled vegetables and fruit. Transfer them to a large bowl and mix in the vinegar, olive oil and salt. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Fold in the mint and top with pistachios just before serving.


½ c lime juice + 3 tsp honey + 2 tsp olive oil + 2 tsp kosher salt + 3 c jicama, cut into 2½-inch matchsticks (1 jicama) + 1 c radish, julienned + ¼ c chopped cilantro + 2 tsp lime zest

In a large bowl, combine the lime juice, honey, olive oil and salt. Add the jicama and radish, and toss to combine. Fold in the cilantro, top with the lime zest and serve.


Bone Broth Ramen

Ingredients

Bone Broth

  • 4 Lbs Beef Bones Preferably grass-fed
  • 1 Onion Medium in size, quartered
  • 1 Head Garlic Cut in half crosswise
  • 3 Whole Carrots Unpeeled
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tsp Black Peppercorns
  • 3 Dried Bay Leaves
  • 3-4 1-2 inch Parmesan Rinds (optional- but it adds fantastic flavor)
  • 1 Tbsp Salt plus more, to taste.
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce

Gochujang Chicken

  • 2 Chicken Breasts Boneless and skinless
  • 1/4 Cup Gochujang Gochujang can be found in the internation section at most grocers
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce

Ramen and Assembly

  • 1 Package Ramen Noodles If you cannot find Ramen, fret not, as any noodle (Soba, Udon, etc.) will suffice.
  • 4 Green Onions Green parts only, sliced into small thin rouns
  • 2 eggs Vital Farms pasture raised Eggs are our favorite!
  • Shredded Gochujang Chicken
  • Soy Sauce For serving
  • Sesame Seeds Optional

Instructions

Bone Broth

Gochujang Chicken & Ramen Assembly

Nutrition

Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!

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Fish tacos are definitely a thing in the St. Pete area. It seems like almost every restaurant has them. Without doing an actual survey, I’d guess that 40%-50% of restaurants around here have fish tacos. We already have a Top 10 Taco Places list, and I tried to not duplicate any here with two exceptions, which are Red Mesa Cantina, and Nueva Cantina. Their fish tacos are so good, I just couldn’t leave them off. I kept this list to all whitefish with no breaded, fried, or other types of seafood…again with the same exceptions as I always get the shrimp taco with the fish taco at both cantinas. Since we live in downtown St. Pete, we tend to go to downtown restaurants a lot, and have been criticized for being too downtown-centric. This time, I made an effort to get to the beach resulting in five of the tacos on the list being in downtown, three on St. Pete Beach, one on the south side, and one in Gulfport. The list is in alphabetical order, but I do have some shoutouts. Best Overall: The Library, and Paul’s Landing – in that order. Best Blackened Seasoning: Rick’s Reef Best Flour Tortillas: Chill Restaurant & Bar, and Rick’s Reef. As with all of our lists, and unlike most other publishers, I personally went to all of these places, and ate all of these tacos, and took all of these photos. THE LIST IS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER <— LOOK For ALL of these – the fish was moist, juicy, fresh and flavorful… so I don’t have to repeat it ten times. “It’s really a lot like writing porn. After you’ve used the same adjectives over and over again, it’s like the Penthouse Letters…” – Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, Budapest – Aired June 14, 2015 The Best Fish Tacos in St. Pete Chosen by Locals 1. Chill Restaurant & Bar 357 Corey Ave St Pete Beach, FL 33706 (727) 360-2445 Chill Website Fish of the Day Tacos – Fresh Fish of the day grilled and served over flour or corn tortillas with mango salsa, guacamole, citrus slaw & a zesty chipotle ranch. The fish here is Corvino. Chill’s has a tropical slant with pineapple and mango. The flour tortillas are fresh, pliable and held together nicely. 2. The Library 600 5th St S St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 369-9969 The Library Website Blackened Fish Tacos (Mahi) – chile glaze, kale slaw, pico, feta, cumin aioli (Lunch menu only.) From a previous review: These are some of the best fish tacos I’ve ever had. The grouper was moist, plump, juicy, and bursting with flavor. The combination of other ingredients previously mentioned made every bite a fantastic experience, not only of contrasting and complementary flavors, but also a wonderful mouthfeel of different textures. 3. The Lure 661 Central Ave N St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 914-8000 The Lure Website A Different Drum – Blackened Redfish with mixed field greens and citrus caper aioli. Redfish is just the name. The flesh is actually white. The Lure was the only place I found that uses it, and it was fresh, and light with fantastic flavors. 4. O’Maddy’s Bar & Grille 5405 Shore Blvd S Gulfport, FL 33707 (727) 323-8643 O’Maddy’s Website Maddy G’s Mahi Tacos – Lightly blackened Mahi with a baja slaw, pepper jack cheese, pico de gallo and an avocado coulis, served on flour tortillas. This is a large portion with two pieces of fish on each taco. I was full after the first taco, but ate the second one anyway. This used to be as a special only, but was recently made a regular menu item. 5. Nueva Cantina 1625 4th St South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 851-9579 Nueva Cantina Website All of the food at Nueva Cantina is excellent, and the Shrimp Tacos, and Pescado Tacos are no exception. Shrimp Taco – Fried or grilled, (I did grilled on both) shrimp with cabbage, pico de gallo, chipotle aioli, and lime. Pescado Taco – Fried or grilled fish with red cabbage, pico de gallo, cilantro, lime, and queso fresco. 6. Paul’s Landing 501 5th Ave NE St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 824-8007 Paul’s Landing Website Gulf Fish Tacos with avocado salsa, cabbage slaw, charred corn, and black bean salsa. In this case it was Grouper and one of the best Grouper tacos I’ve ever had! 7. Red Mesa Cantina 128 3rd St S St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 896-8226 Red Mesa Cantina Website Baja Fish – Grilled fresh fish, salsa roja, Mexican slaw and lime crema. The fish changes seasonally. In this case it was Mahi Mahi. Shrimp Taco – Grilled Shrimp, Mexican Slaw, Pico De Gallo And Habanero Aioli. I’ve probably had these 100 times over ten years. 8. Rick’s Reef 6712 Gulf Blvd St Pete Beach, FL 33706 (727) 826-0752 Rick’s Reef Website “We use fresh ingredients, and prepare each item by hand, just for you. There is no microwave oven, and no heat lamps. Your order comes straight from the kitchen to you! All sauces and dressings are made by hand each day.” They have Fish Tacos, which have less items. I had the Baja Tacos, which has more ingredients – fresh Mahi grilled or blackened, flour tortillas, with Baja sauce, cabbage and cilantro mix, mixed cheese and diced tomatoes. Rick’s wins by going back to the roots of street food, keeping it simple and flavorful with all the different textures that make your mouth feel great. The blackened seasoning is outstanding. 9. Sea Salt St. Pete 183 2nd Ave N St Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 873-7964 Sea Salt Website Soft tortilla, blackened Mahi Mahi, avocado, tomato, jalapeño-red cabbage slaw, cilantro, citrus-sriracha sauce. Fresh, delicious and tangy. 10. The Toasted Monkey 678 75th Ave St Pete Beach, FL 33706 (727) 360-5800 Toasted Monkey Website Fish Tacos – Two flour tortillas with Alaskan white fish fillets grilled, blackened, or fried. Served [&hellip]

Interview with Christine Cutler from The IFWTWA Welcome to the St. Petersburg Foodies Podcast Episode 145! On today’s episode, we interview Christine Cutler. She is the President of The International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. They will be having their 2021 conference in downtown St. Pete this November. Chris is also an expert on travel to Italy, Italian culture, and cuisine. Did you know that Spaghetti Bolognese does not exist in Italy? Neither does Fettuccini Alfredo, or Pepperoni Pizza amongst other things that we’ll discuss. After Chris, Kevin does some “cooking for one” with Bajan Sausage and Moroccan Meatballs from St. Pete Meat & Provisions.

I LOVE salad! My mom made a salad every single night to start off dinner, and dinner was always at six. Those were the two constants. Now, the best salads I have at home are made by Lori. She just has a knack. I could make the same salad as her, and it won’t taste as good. It’s not because she has a salad spinner, and I don’t. Below is a completely biased and opinionated list of my personal favorite salads in St. Pete. Before we get into the list, an important thing you should be aware of is that there are other publishers of “best of lists” that do not actually go to the establishments, or actually eat the food. (Sounds ridiculous, right?) They just download photos from the internet, or embed Instagram posts from someone else. Instant top 10 list produced without having to leave the house. That’s NOT how we do it. We absolutely DO eat all of the food on all of our lists. (How can anyone recommend something they never experienced?) Unfortunately, we’ve seen these junk lists a lot—from national and local publishers. We are also aware of a local publisher that offers paid placement in best-of-lists. There is no paid placement here. WE PERSONALLY ATE ALL OF THESE SALADS, AND WENT TO ALL OF THESE PLACES, AND THESE ARE ALL ST. PETE FOODIES PHOTOS. (All photos by St. Petersburg Foodies and as credited.) Best Salads Near Me …(and you, if you’re in St. Pete) These are listed in alphabetical order. <—— Look 1. Baba Restaurant, Bakery & Café 2701 Central Ave St. Petersburg, FL 33713 (727) 954-3406 Baba Website Village Salad – tomato, kalamata olive, cucumber, capers, feta. From Lori: “Kevin humored me because I wanted the Village Salad with just tomato, kalamatas, capers, feta and cucumber. He couldn’t stop raving at how good it was. It’s my favorite type of salad…simple, light and great flavor!” This one is a simpler version than The Burg’s, but the addition of the capers makes a huge difference. The bright saltiness makes you just keep going back for more until it’s all gone. 2. Bacchus St. Pete 124 2nd Ave NE St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 258-8566 Bacchus Website French Country Salad – roasted asparagus, beets, arugula, goat cheese, toasted walnuts, lemon-dijon vinaigrette. It was super delicious, and huge. The photo is half of a split portion. Fresh, bursting with bright flavors, and a large portion. 3. The Bier Boutique 465 7th Ave N. St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 827-2691 The Bier Boutique Website House Salad – mixed greens, onion, tomato, bacon, feta cheese, sunflower seeds & chow mein noodles – choose from ranch, blue cheese or honey peppercorn vinaigrette. Fresh, full of texture and the honey peppercorn vinaigrette is smooth, creamy, bright and light. 4. The Burg Bar & Grill 1752 Central Ave St. Petersburg, FL 33712 (727) 894-2874 The Burg Website Horiatiki (Village Salad) – tomatoes, cucumbers, greek olives, feta cheese, pepperoncini, onions, beets, green peppers, oregano, olive oil, balsamic dressing. This is one of our favorites that we always order. It’s the perfect combination of bright, light, crispy, salty, sweet, and spicy. 5. Copa 1047 Central Ave St. Petersburg, FL 33705 (727) 623-9199 Copa Website Copa’s watermelon salad is bursting with flavor. It’s bright, yet balanced with sweetness, and saltiness. It’s composed of fresh watermelon, (of course), and tossed with heirloom tomatoes, onions, garlic, feta cheese, and balsamic dressing. 6. Gratzzi Italian Grille 211 2nd St South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 623-9037 Gratzzi Website Insalata Caesar – Hearts of romaine, house made Caesar dressing, shaved parmesan and rustic croutons. (The photo is the side salad portion. There is one twice this size as well.) It may seem simple compared to some of the others on this list, but it is definitely one of my favorites. I like that they give you the full length, stalk-like leaves. The romaine is fresh and bursting with flavor. The crunch of the croutons, and the softer bite of the shaved parmesan, along with the dressing make for perfection in your mouth. 7. The Mill Restaurant 200 Central Ave #100 St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 317-3930 The Mill Website We have two favorites here as well. Southern Belle Salad – romaine, red onion, candied pecans, sage derby, peppadews, dried apricots, honeycup vinaigrette, southern fried chicken. The fried chicken makes this one decadent, and a good one to share, or could be a complete meal for one person. It has such a great mix of ingredients that cover the complete flavor spectrum, and it’s nice and crunchy. Phyllo Feta – baby spinach, blackberries, red onion, yellow grape tomatoes, bosc pear, spiced walnuts, blackberry vinaigrette. That Phyllo Feta is so craveable. The feta is wrapped in phyllo and baked to a golden brown. It is a terrific accompaniment to the spinach salad with blackberries, red onions, yellow grape tomatoes and highlighted with spiced walnuts which hold up well against the sweetness of the Bosc pear and the blackberry vinaigrette dressing. 8. Noble Crust 8300 4th St N. St. Petersburg, FL 33702 (727) 329-6041 Noble Crust Website House Salad – mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, radish, shaved fennel, carrots, croutons, parm, whipped feta, zesty vinaigrette. The Noble crust house salad is delicious. It’s a light and bright and then the ricotta cheese adds some depth, and the olives give it some saltiness. These are also my favorite croutons of all. 9. Stillwaters Tavern 224 Beach Dr NE St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 350-1019 Stillwaters Website Caesar Salad – chopped romaine & kale, parmesan, harrisa caesar dressing, sourdough croutons. Stillwater’s Caesar adds kale with the romaine, and it is actually quite delicious, and a nice little twist on the traditional version. I love it. 10. Teak 800 2nd Ave NE 4th Floor St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 513-8325 Teak Website Ultimate Wedge BLT – iceberg, applewood smoked bacon, red onion, tomato, grilled corn, [&hellip]

Okay folks, it’s June…and that means summer, picnics and the start of grilling season. I don’t know about you, but when I think about grilling, a juicy rack of ribs often comes to mind. However, being that we live in a small downtown St. Petersburg apartment with very minimal outdoor space, grilling is not something that we are able to do. Therefore, over the years, I have had to learn how to recreate favorites from the grill in our kitchen. Oven-baked ribs, when cooked properly, are just as satisfying as a slab from the grill if you ask me. Low and slow at 325 degrees and then finished with some high heat will yield a similar product. I typically gravitate towards Babyback Ribs. However, Rollin’ Oats offers some incredible St. Louis style spareribs that have changed the game. St. Louis Style Ribs often have more fat (much like a Ribeye steak), but fat means flavor. In addition to quality ribs, Rollin’ Oats also has a selection of premium organic barbecue sauces. St. Louis-Style Ribs with Hasselback Cantaloupe St. Louis style spareribs may contain more fat, but that means more flavor. Hasselback Cantaloupe1 Cantaloupe (Sliced into quarters, seeded and then sliced into half moons)1 bunch Fresh Basil 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella (Cut into approximately 1 1/2 inch slices)Olive OilSaltPepperSt. Louis-Style Spareribs1 rack Spareribs (Approximately 2-2.5lbs)1.5 tbsp Garlic Powder1.5 tbsp Paprika1 tbsp Salt1 tsp Brown Sugar1 tsp Cayenne Pepper1 cup Barbeque Sauce (Any will work – we love Annie's Organic!) St. Louis-Style Ribs Preheat oven to 325 F. In a small bowl, combine garlic powder, paprika, salt, brown sugar and cayenne. Rub spice mix evenly all over the ribs.Wrap seasoned ribs in foil completely, place on a baking sheet and bake for 2-2 1/2 hours. Remove ribs from the oven, unwrap. Coat ribs all over in barbeque sauce of choice. Increase heat to 425 F. Place ribs in the oven, uncovered, for 15 minutes (sauce will begin to caramelize). Remove ribs from the oven and serve.Hasselback CantaloupeTake the melon half moons and cut slits every 1" without cutting through the skin. Stuff 1 leaf of basil and a thin slice of Mozzarella into each slit in the melon. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Appetizer, Main Dish, Side DishAmericanCantaloupe, Spareribs, St. Louis Style Spareribs

Interview with Thomas Miller from The Treasure Coast Foodie Welcome to the St. Petersburg Foodies Podcast Episode 144! On today’s episode, we interview Thomas Miller from The Treasure Coast Foodie. Just like us, he does reviews of local independent restaurants. He also does restaurant awards like us, has a wine club, dining club and more. He visited a few St. Pete restaurants for a feature article he is working on. He is also debuting a new video series reminiscent of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. At the top of the show we have Abby Allen with her recipe for St. Louis Spare Ribs with Hasselback Cantaloupe.

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Okay folks, it’s June…and that means summer, picnics and the start of grilling season. I don’t know about you, but when I think about grilling, a juicy rack of ribs often comes to mind. However, being that we live in a small downtown St. Petersburg apartment with very minimal outdoor space, grilling is not something that we are able to do. Therefore, over the years, I have had to learn how to recreate favorites from the grill in our kitchen. Oven-baked ribs, when cooked properly, are just as satisfying as a slab from the grill if you ask me. Low and slow at 325 degrees and then finished with some high heat will yield a similar product. I typically gravitate towards Babyback Ribs. However, Rollin’ Oats offers some incredible St. Louis style spareribs that have changed the game. St. Louis Style Ribs often have more fat (much like a Ribeye steak), but fat means flavor. In addition to quality ribs, Rollin’ Oats also has a selection of premium organic barbecue sauces. St. Louis-Style Ribs with Hasselback Cantaloupe St. Louis style spareribs may contain more fat, but that means more flavor. Hasselback Cantaloupe1 Cantaloupe (Sliced into quarters, seeded and then sliced into half moons)1 bunch Fresh Basil 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella (Cut into approximately 1 1/2 inch slices)Olive OilSaltPepperSt. Louis-Style Spareribs1 rack Spareribs (Approximately 2-2.5lbs)1.5 tbsp Garlic Powder1.5 tbsp Paprika1 tbsp Salt1 tsp Brown Sugar1 tsp Cayenne Pepper1 cup Barbeque Sauce (Any will work – we love Annie's Organic!) St. Louis-Style Ribs Preheat oven to 325 F. In a small bowl, combine garlic powder, paprika, salt, brown sugar and cayenne. Rub spice mix evenly all over the ribs.Wrap seasoned ribs in foil completely, place on a baking sheet and bake for 2-2 1/2 hours. Remove ribs from the oven, unwrap. Coat ribs all over in barbeque sauce of choice. Increase heat to 425 F. Place ribs in the oven, uncovered, for 15 minutes (sauce will begin to caramelize). Remove ribs from the oven and serve.Hasselback CantaloupeTake the melon half moons and cut slits every 1" without cutting through the skin. Stuff 1 leaf of basil and a thin slice of Mozzarella into each slit in the melon. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Appetizer, Main Dish, Side DishAmericanCantaloupe, Spareribs, St. Louis Style Spareribs

If you tend to keep up with all of the latest food trends, and/or don’t live under a rock, odds are, you have heard of Birria or Quesabirria Tacos. However, for those who haven’t, Birria tacos are usually comprised of meat, such as beef or goat, that has been slowly braised and is then loaded into a tortilla and pan fried then served with consomé on the side. The meat is braised in a brilliant combination of chilis and spices and oozes with flavors. Quesabirria tacos take things one step further. In essence, they are the perfect storm of a cheese quesadilla and a taco, all wrapped up into one incredible being. Let’s get serious, who could be mad about that? While goat is traditionally used, I prefer beef. In fact, utilizing a combination of beef is encouraged, though, not necessary. I love using two pounds of just short ribs when I encounter some beautiful ones, but, use any kind of beef that you can get your hands on. Recommendations include: beef shank, chuck roast, cap roast, etc. Rollin’ Oats offers a superb variety of quality beef, most of which is grass fed and organic. Additionally, they have everything else needed for this fancy little taco number that you’ll want to make over and over. A lot of Birria recipes recommend Guajillo dried chilis, which are not always offered at Rollin’ Oats. However, they do have Anaheim and Pasilla chilis, which boast a very similar flavor profile. Short Rib Quesabirria Tacos Imagine if Birria Tacos and a Cheese Quesadilla had a baby – that's precisely what we have going on here. These babies take a little bit more time to make however, the cost is totally worth the reward. Meat and Marinade2 lbs Short Ribs, Beef Roast, or Beef Shank (You can use one or a combination of two meats – whichever you prefer)3 Dried Pasilla Peppers (Guajillo or Anaheim will work as well)1 7oz can Chipotle Peppers in Adobo3/4 cup Crushed Tomatoes1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar6 Garlic Cloves (Minced)1 1/2 tsp Oregano1 tsp Paprika2 tbsp Salt (Divided, plus more, as needed)PepperConsome1 White Onion (Medium in size, chopped)1 Cinammon Stick3 Bay Leaves4 cups Beef Broth1 tbsp Olive OilBirria Taco Assembly4 Tortillas (Your preference. I like Siete Foods grain free)1 cup Queso Blanco Cheese (Grated)Minced White OnionFresh Cilanto MarinadeAdd dried Pasilla peppers to a medium heat safe bowl. Bring a few cups of water to a boil and then carefully pour the hot water over the peppers. Allow to soak and soften for about 15 minutes. Remove peppers from water, cut off stems and dump the seeds out into the sink and discard. Add softened peppers to food processor with the rest of the marinade ingredients and 1 tbsp salt and process until smooth. Liberally salt meat with remaining 1 tbsp salt and some pepper. Pour marinade over meat and cover and marinade for at least one hour and up to overnight.ConsomeHeat oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, stirring occasionally, until onion softens, 6-8 minutes. Add in meat and marinade and remaining consome ingredients. Bring to a simmer, partially cover and turn the heat to medium low/low (whichever heat level allows for a gentle simmer) until meat is fall off the bone tender and shreds easily, 3.5 – 4 hours.Remove meat/bones from consome, discard bones and place meat in a separate bowl, shred and reserve for assembly.Carefully strain consome into a heat proof bowl/pot through a mesh sieve and reserve for assembly, discard any solids. Birria AssemblyLadle one half cup or so of consome into a shallow bowl or onto a plate. Heat medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. One at a time, dip one side of tortilla into shallow bowl/plate of consome. Then place tortilla consome dipped side down into the skillet.Liberally cover tortilla in shredded Queso Blanco. Then, top with shredded meat, followed by onions and cilantro.Carefully fold the tortilla in half and continue to cook until each side of the tortilla is lightly crisp and golden. Serve tacos with consome on the side for dipping. Main DishMexicanQuesabirria Tacos, Birria Tacos

It isn’t hard to make a lobster dish fabulous, because, well, lobster is already plenty fabulous on its own. Over time, Lobster was tossed into that category of “occasion-only” meals, along with the likes of Beef Wellington, Prime Rib and Cassoulet – you know, those “never enough time on a weeknight” type-of-meals. Well, I’m here to debunk all of that and prove to you that you can, in fact, not only enjoy, but prepare a beautiful little lobster dinner on any night, occasion, or not. Lobster Thermidor is a French dish, typically comprised of lobster in a rich and creamy sauce. Normally, I’m a simple kind of gal when it comes to lobster. Some sous vide meat, drawn butter – that’s all I usually need. However, for Lobster Thermidor, I make an exception. Great to serve as an appetizer for a dinner party, whilst also perfect for a low effort, but impressive weeknight dinner which boasts a high return – it’s the dish that delivers whenever you need it. Recently, Rollin’ Oats added Luke’s Lobster, which is wild caught and sustainably sourced, to their shelves and the quality is incredible! You can find Luke’s Lobster meat, claws and tails in the frozen section at Rollin’ Oats in St. Pete. Lobster Thermidor 2 Lobster Tails (Preferably wild caught, like Luke's brand in the frozen section at Rollin' Oats)1 cup Heavy Cream1/2 cup Mushrooms (Chopped – I use Cremini.)1/4 cup Butter (Unsalted)2 tbsp White Wine (Nothing too sweet, but, something you would drink!)1/2 tsp Paprika2 Egg Yolks1/2 tsp Salt (Plus more, to taste)1/4 tsp PepperFresh Tarragon (Chopped, for serving (optional)) Fill a stockpot with water and a few heavy pinches of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Add lobster tails and cook until bright red and beginning to curl up, 8-9 minutes.Remove tails and cool. Once cool, cut each tail in half long-ways. Remove lobster meat from shells, chop and reserve for later use. Additionally, also reserve the lobster tail shells (we'll be stuffing the meat back in later on).Heat a large pot like a dutch oven over medium. Add the butter and when melted, pour in the chopped mushrooms and cook until they become softer and begin to take on color, 6-8 minutes. Add in cooked lobster tail meat, paprika, pepper and 1 tsp of salt and reduce the heat to low.Pour in 1/2 cup of the heavy cream and 1 tbsp of the wine, stir to combine, and then simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat.In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with the remaining tbsp of white wine. Pour mixture into a small sauce pan and simmer, whisking constantly, until liquid thickens slightly and becomes a custard.Remove from heat and slowly mix into lobster mixture.Place reserved lobster shells on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spoon lobster and sauce carefully into each shell. Save extra lobster sauce for serving.Broil lobster tails until they begin to brown, 5-6 minutes. Remove from oven and serve garnished with chopped Tarragon (if using), along side some toasted bread and a light salad. Appetizer, Main CourseFrench

Don’t let this semi-intimidating name fool you, this chicken-rice-salad situation may sound intricate, but the truth is, it’s anything but. It all starts with some leftover rice, chicken, strawberries, whatever greens you have on hand and a few simple pantry staples items – that’s it. What is crispy rice you ask? This was something I discovered in the early stages of quarantine whilst watching Bon Appetit Magazine’s YouTube channel. In said video, they showed one of their favorite ways to utilize leftover rice (because let’s face it, we all always make way more rice than we need) by simply heating some oil/fat of choice over medium heat, spooning in and patting down some cooked rice and allowing the whole happy party to simmer away. Tenish minutes later, after a nice little invert, you’re left with a perfectly golden-brown crisp layer of sheer rice gold. When it comes to the type of rice to use for crispy rice, it’s truly all about preference. I usually like to use a basmati, just because that’s typically what I have on hand. Rollin’ Oats has a premium array of top-notch rice selections to choose from, and as always, they also have every single ingredient needed to make this recipe. Not only do they just have the ingredients, but Rollin’ Oats has the premium selection for all of the ingredients needed and so much more. As with the majority of my cooking, this recipe was designed with versatility in mind. It’s meant to be prepared in a way that suits you and your likes, lifestyle, etc. For example, if you follow a Vegan lifestyle, omit the chicken, add some crispy tofu or some extra vegetables. Or, if chicken isn’t your thing, replace it with a more desirable protein and perhaps swap out the strawberries. Add, subtract and improvise however you see fit. Strawberry-Balsamic Chicken with Watercress & Crispy Rice Brunch, Lunch, Dinner – this recipe is suitable for just about any occasion. Not only that, it screams Spring! Strawberry-Balsamic Mixture1 cup Strawberries (Washed, tops removed and sliced into small pieces)1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar1 tsp SaltCrispy Rice2 cups Leftover Cooked Rice4 tbsp olive oilChicken & Salad Assembly1 bag Watercress (Or any other similar green, like Arugula.)1 Avocado1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Cutlets (2 8oz cutlets. Or, one 1lb butterflied breast )2 tbsp Olive Oil1 tbsp Balsamic VinegarSalt and Pepper1/4 cup Fresh Basil (Chopped) Strawberry-Balsamic MixtureCombine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and set aside until ready to use.Crispy RiceHeat a nonstick skillet, approximately 8", over medium heat and add olive oil. Spoon cooked rice into skillet while carefully patting down, making sure to cover the entire surface of the skillet. Continue to cook over medium heat until the edges of the rice begin to brown, approxmately 10-12 minutes.When all of the edges are golden brown, carefully place a heat-proof plate face-down over the skillet. Carefully invert the rice onto the plate – the top should be a nice brown color and ultra crispy. Set aside until ready to serveChicken and Salad AssemblyPreheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Salt and pepper all sides of the chicken breast cutlets and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from the oven. Flip chicken and spoon reserved Strawberry-balsamic mixture over the chicken. If some Strawberries roast on the pan and not on the chicken, that's completely fine.Bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a few minutes. Remove strawberries from chicken (do NOT discard!) and slice chicken.To assemble the salad, start with the Watercress, spoon in some crispy rice, add avocado, top with sliced chicken, roasted strawberries and basil, evenly distribute oil and vinegar over the two salads and add salt and pepper to taste. Main Dish, SaladAmerican

In search of an impressive, low-fuss dish to serve at that dinner party you agreed to host? Craving a decadent meal on a Wednesday night where time spared for dinner is sparse? Or, perhaps you’re longing for a luxurious meal that also leans on the healthier side? Well, I have a recipe capable of satisfying all three of those scenarios – queue, Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Toasted Breadcrumbs. With this rendition, though, I made a couple of health-conscious swaps, while still maintaining the integrity of the original recipe. While there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with a beautiful batch of Linguine (especially when it’s freshly handcrafted), for this recipe, I opted to leave the gluten on the bench, and instead, chose to use Banza’s Chickpea Pasta Linguine. Banza is gluten free and contains half of the carbs that regular pasta does. In my opinion and experience with cooking with Banza, your guests will likely not notice any difference! If you shop at Rollin’ Oats with regularity like I do, you won’t ever have a problem finding Banza products, as they always have an array in stock. In addition to the Banza, all of the ingredients for this dish can be found at Rollin’ Oats! Yes, even the shrimp, which are located on the back wall in the frozen section. They’re even already peeled and deveined, which makes your life THAT much easier. The other swaps that I made for this recipe were minor: fresh herbs for dried, extra crushed red pepper and the addition of toasted breadcrumbs, which makes for the perfect crunchy topping. How to Make Shrimp Fra Diavolo Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Toasted Breadcrumbs Elegant enough for date night at home, yet simple enough as a weeknight meal in under 30 minutes. 1 Tbsp Butter (Preferably grass-fed, like Vital Farms)1/4 Cup Breadcrumbs (Panko, or fresh grated breadcrumbs work well!)1/4 Cup Fresh Basil (Roughly chopped)SaltShrimp Fra Diavolo2 Tbsp Butter1 Red Onion (Medium in size, chopped)8 Garlic Cloves (Minced)1 1/2 Tbsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes2/3 Cup Dry White Wine (Always cook with a wine that you would drink!)1 lb Shrimp (Peeled and deveined)1 28 Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes (Organic is preferred)1/4 Cup Fresh Oregano1 8 Ounce Box Banza Linguine1 Tbsp Salt (Plus more, to taste)1 Tsp Black Pepper (Plus more, to taste)Fresh Basil (Chopped, for garnish)Parmesan Cheese (Grated, for garnish) Toasted BreadcrumbsMelt 1 tbsp Butter in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and stir occasionally until they begin to toast and turn golden, 5-7 minutes.Scrape toasted breadcrumbs into a medium bowl and mix in fresh chopped basil and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine and set aside .Shrimp Fra DiavoloIn the same pot that you used to make the breadcrumbs, add remaining 2 tbsp of butter and melt over medium heat. Add chopped onion, 1/2 tbsp of the salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until onion has softened and is very fragrant, 5-7 minutes.Add in minced garlic and 1 tbsp of the crushed red pepper flakes. Stir until fragrent, 1-2 minutes.Carefully add shrimp to pot in an even layer and sprinkle with other 1/2 tbsp of salt. Cook the shrimp 2 minutes on each side. Pour in the wine and allow mixture to simmer until reducted by half, 3-4 minutes.Pour in crushed tomatoes and oregano. Stir to combine, taste for seasoning and add remaining crushed red pepper for additional heat and salt, as needed. Reduce the heat and simmer. In the meantime, Cook pasta 1 minute-less than package instructions and set aside, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Remove sauce mixture from the heat. Add in cooked pasta, a few splashed of the pasta water and some of the grated parmesan (if using). Using tongs or large spoons, stir to combine and add more cooking water and salt, as needed.To serve, top with toasted breadcrumbs and fresh basil and grated parmesan, if using. Main DishItalianShrimp Fra Diavolo, Main Dish

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Fish tacos are definitely a thing in the St. Pete area. It seems like almost every restaurant has them. Without doing an actual survey, I’d guess that 40%-50% of restaurants around here have fish tacos. We already have a Top 10 Taco Places list, and I tried to not duplicate any here with two exceptions, which are Red Mesa Cantina, and Nueva Cantina. Their fish tacos are so good, I just couldn’t leave them off. I kept this list to all whitefish with no breaded, fried, or other types of seafood…again with the same exceptions as I always get the shrimp taco with the fish taco at both cantinas. Since we live in downtown St. Pete, we tend to go to downtown restaurants a lot, and have been criticized for being too downtown-centric. This time, I made an effort to get to the beach resulting in five of the tacos on the list being in downtown, three on St. Pete Beach, one on the south side, and one in Gulfport. The list is in alphabetical order, but I do have some shoutouts. Best Overall: The Library, and Paul’s Landing – in that order. Best Blackened Seasoning: Rick’s Reef Best Flour Tortillas: Chill Restaurant & Bar, and Rick’s Reef. As with all of our lists, and unlike most other publishers, I personally went to all of these places, and ate all of these tacos, and took all of these photos. THE LIST IS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER <— LOOK For ALL of these – the fish was moist, juicy, fresh and flavorful… so I don’t have to repeat it ten times. “It’s really a lot like writing porn. After you’ve used the same adjectives over and over again, it’s like the Penthouse Letters…” – Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, Budapest – Aired June 14, 2015 The Best Fish Tacos in St. Pete Chosen by Locals 1. Chill Restaurant & Bar 357 Corey Ave St Pete Beach, FL 33706 (727) 360-2445 Chill Website Fish of the Day Tacos – Fresh Fish of the day grilled and served over flour or corn tortillas with mango salsa, guacamole, citrus slaw & a zesty chipotle ranch. The fish here is Corvino. Chill’s has a tropical slant with pineapple and mango. The flour tortillas are fresh, pliable and held together nicely. 2. The Library 600 5th St S St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 369-9969 The Library Website Blackened Fish Tacos (Mahi) – chile glaze, kale slaw, pico, feta, cumin aioli (Lunch menu only.) From a previous review: These are some of the best fish tacos I’ve ever had. The grouper was moist, plump, juicy, and bursting with flavor. The combination of other ingredients previously mentioned made every bite a fantastic experience, not only of contrasting and complementary flavors, but also a wonderful mouthfeel of different textures. 3. The Lure 661 Central Ave N St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 914-8000 The Lure Website A Different Drum – Blackened Redfish with mixed field greens and citrus caper aioli. Redfish is just the name. The flesh is actually white. The Lure was the only place I found that uses it, and it was fresh, and light with fantastic flavors. 4. O’Maddy’s Bar & Grille 5405 Shore Blvd S Gulfport, FL 33707 (727) 323-8643 O’Maddy’s Website Maddy G’s Mahi Tacos – Lightly blackened Mahi with a baja slaw, pepper jack cheese, pico de gallo and an avocado coulis, served on flour tortillas. This is a large portion with two pieces of fish on each taco. I was full after the first taco, but ate the second one anyway. This used to be as a special only, but was recently made a regular menu item. 5. Nueva Cantina 1625 4th St South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 851-9579 Nueva Cantina Website All of the food at Nueva Cantina is excellent, and the Shrimp Tacos, and Pescado Tacos are no exception. Shrimp Taco – Fried or grilled, (I did grilled on both) shrimp with cabbage, pico de gallo, chipotle aioli, and lime. Pescado Taco – Fried or grilled fish with red cabbage, pico de gallo, cilantro, lime, and queso fresco. 6. Paul’s Landing 501 5th Ave NE St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 824-8007 Paul’s Landing Website Gulf Fish Tacos with avocado salsa, cabbage slaw, charred corn, and black bean salsa. In this case it was Grouper and one of the best Grouper tacos I’ve ever had! 7. Red Mesa Cantina 128 3rd St S St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 896-8226 Red Mesa Cantina Website Baja Fish – Grilled fresh fish, salsa roja, Mexican slaw and lime crema. The fish changes seasonally. In this case it was Mahi Mahi. Shrimp Taco – Grilled Shrimp, Mexican Slaw, Pico De Gallo And Habanero Aioli. I’ve probably had these 100 times over ten years. 8. Rick’s Reef 6712 Gulf Blvd St Pete Beach, FL 33706 (727) 826-0752 Rick’s Reef Website “We use fresh ingredients, and prepare each item by hand, just for you. There is no microwave oven, and no heat lamps. Your order comes straight from the kitchen to you! All sauces and dressings are made by hand each day.” They have Fish Tacos, which have less items. I had the Baja Tacos, which has more ingredients – fresh Mahi grilled or blackened, flour tortillas, with Baja sauce, cabbage and cilantro mix, mixed cheese and diced tomatoes. Rick’s wins by going back to the roots of street food, keeping it simple and flavorful with all the different textures that make your mouth feel great. The blackened seasoning is outstanding. 9. Sea Salt St. Pete 183 2nd Ave N St Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 873-7964 Sea Salt Website Soft tortilla, blackened Mahi Mahi, avocado, tomato, jalapeño-red cabbage slaw, cilantro, citrus-sriracha sauce. Fresh, delicious and tangy. 10. The Toasted Monkey 678 75th Ave St Pete Beach, FL 33706 (727) 360-5800 Toasted Monkey Website Fish Tacos – Two flour tortillas with Alaskan white fish fillets grilled, blackened, or fried. Served [&hellip]

Interview with Christine Cutler from The IFWTWA Welcome to the St. Petersburg Foodies Podcast Episode 145! On today’s episode, we interview Christine Cutler. She is the President of The International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. They will be having their 2021 conference in downtown St. Pete this November. Chris is also an expert on travel to Italy, Italian culture, and cuisine. Did you know that Spaghetti Bolognese does not exist in Italy? Neither does Fettuccini Alfredo, or Pepperoni Pizza amongst other things that we’ll discuss. After Chris, Kevin does some “cooking for one” with Bajan Sausage and Moroccan Meatballs from St. Pete Meat & Provisions.

I LOVE salad! My mom made a salad every single night to start off dinner, and dinner was always at six. Those were the two constants. Now, the best salads I have at home are made by Lori. She just has a knack. I could make the same salad as her, and it won’t taste as good. It’s not because she has a salad spinner, and I don’t. Below is a completely biased and opinionated list of my personal favorite salads in St. Pete. Before we get into the list, an important thing you should be aware of is that there are other publishers of “best of lists” that do not actually go to the establishments, or actually eat the food. (Sounds ridiculous, right?) They just download photos from the internet, or embed Instagram posts from someone else. Instant top 10 list produced without having to leave the house. That’s NOT how we do it. We absolutely DO eat all of the food on all of our lists. (How can anyone recommend something they never experienced?) Unfortunately, we’ve seen these junk lists a lot—from national and local publishers. We are also aware of a local publisher that offers paid placement in best-of-lists. There is no paid placement here. WE PERSONALLY ATE ALL OF THESE SALADS, AND WENT TO ALL OF THESE PLACES, AND THESE ARE ALL ST. PETE FOODIES PHOTOS. (All photos by St. Petersburg Foodies and as credited.) Best Salads Near Me …(and you, if you’re in St. Pete) These are listed in alphabetical order. <—— Look 1. Baba Restaurant, Bakery & Café 2701 Central Ave St. Petersburg, FL 33713 (727) 954-3406 Baba Website Village Salad – tomato, kalamata olive, cucumber, capers, feta. From Lori: “Kevin humored me because I wanted the Village Salad with just tomato, kalamatas, capers, feta and cucumber. He couldn’t stop raving at how good it was. It’s my favorite type of salad…simple, light and great flavor!” This one is a simpler version than The Burg’s, but the addition of the capers makes a huge difference. The bright saltiness makes you just keep going back for more until it’s all gone. 2. Bacchus St. Pete 124 2nd Ave NE St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 258-8566 Bacchus Website French Country Salad – roasted asparagus, beets, arugula, goat cheese, toasted walnuts, lemon-dijon vinaigrette. It was super delicious, and huge. The photo is half of a split portion. Fresh, bursting with bright flavors, and a large portion. 3. The Bier Boutique 465 7th Ave N. St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 827-2691 The Bier Boutique Website House Salad – mixed greens, onion, tomato, bacon, feta cheese, sunflower seeds & chow mein noodles – choose from ranch, blue cheese or honey peppercorn vinaigrette. Fresh, full of texture and the honey peppercorn vinaigrette is smooth, creamy, bright and light. 4. The Burg Bar & Grill 1752 Central Ave St. Petersburg, FL 33712 (727) 894-2874 The Burg Website Horiatiki (Village Salad) – tomatoes, cucumbers, greek olives, feta cheese, pepperoncini, onions, beets, green peppers, oregano, olive oil, balsamic dressing. This is one of our favorites that we always order. It’s the perfect combination of bright, light, crispy, salty, sweet, and spicy. 5. Copa 1047 Central Ave St. Petersburg, FL 33705 (727) 623-9199 Copa Website Copa’s watermelon salad is bursting with flavor. It’s bright, yet balanced with sweetness, and saltiness. It’s composed of fresh watermelon, (of course), and tossed with heirloom tomatoes, onions, garlic, feta cheese, and balsamic dressing. 6. Gratzzi Italian Grille 211 2nd St South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 623-9037 Gratzzi Website Insalata Caesar – Hearts of romaine, house made Caesar dressing, shaved parmesan and rustic croutons. (The photo is the side salad portion. There is one twice this size as well.) It may seem simple compared to some of the others on this list, but it is definitely one of my favorites. I like that they give you the full length, stalk-like leaves. The romaine is fresh and bursting with flavor. The crunch of the croutons, and the softer bite of the shaved parmesan, along with the dressing make for perfection in your mouth. 7. The Mill Restaurant 200 Central Ave #100 St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 317-3930 The Mill Website We have two favorites here as well. Southern Belle Salad – romaine, red onion, candied pecans, sage derby, peppadews, dried apricots, honeycup vinaigrette, southern fried chicken. The fried chicken makes this one decadent, and a good one to share, or could be a complete meal for one person. It has such a great mix of ingredients that cover the complete flavor spectrum, and it’s nice and crunchy. Phyllo Feta – baby spinach, blackberries, red onion, yellow grape tomatoes, bosc pear, spiced walnuts, blackberry vinaigrette. That Phyllo Feta is so craveable. The feta is wrapped in phyllo and baked to a golden brown. It is a terrific accompaniment to the spinach salad with blackberries, red onions, yellow grape tomatoes and highlighted with spiced walnuts which hold up well against the sweetness of the Bosc pear and the blackberry vinaigrette dressing. 8. Noble Crust 8300 4th St N. St. Petersburg, FL 33702 (727) 329-6041 Noble Crust Website House Salad – mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, radish, shaved fennel, carrots, croutons, parm, whipped feta, zesty vinaigrette. The Noble crust house salad is delicious. It’s a light and bright and then the ricotta cheese adds some depth, and the olives give it some saltiness. These are also my favorite croutons of all. 9. Stillwaters Tavern 224 Beach Dr NE St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 350-1019 Stillwaters Website Caesar Salad – chopped romaine & kale, parmesan, harrisa caesar dressing, sourdough croutons. Stillwater’s Caesar adds kale with the romaine, and it is actually quite delicious, and a nice little twist on the traditional version. I love it. 10. Teak 800 2nd Ave NE 4th Floor St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 513-8325 Teak Website Ultimate Wedge BLT – iceberg, applewood smoked bacon, red onion, tomato, grilled corn, [&hellip]

Okay folks, it’s June…and that means summer, picnics and the start of grilling season. I don’t know about you, but when I think about grilling, a juicy rack of ribs often comes to mind. However, being that we live in a small downtown St. Petersburg apartment with very minimal outdoor space, grilling is not something that we are able to do. Therefore, over the years, I have had to learn how to recreate favorites from the grill in our kitchen. Oven-baked ribs, when cooked properly, are just as satisfying as a slab from the grill if you ask me. Low and slow at 325 degrees and then finished with some high heat will yield a similar product. I typically gravitate towards Babyback Ribs. However, Rollin’ Oats offers some incredible St. Louis style spareribs that have changed the game. St. Louis Style Ribs often have more fat (much like a Ribeye steak), but fat means flavor. In addition to quality ribs, Rollin’ Oats also has a selection of premium organic barbecue sauces. St. Louis-Style Ribs with Hasselback Cantaloupe St. Louis style spareribs may contain more fat, but that means more flavor. Hasselback Cantaloupe1 Cantaloupe (Sliced into quarters, seeded and then sliced into half moons)1 bunch Fresh Basil 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella (Cut into approximately 1 1/2 inch slices)Olive OilSaltPepperSt. Louis-Style Spareribs1 rack Spareribs (Approximately 2-2.5lbs)1.5 tbsp Garlic Powder1.5 tbsp Paprika1 tbsp Salt1 tsp Brown Sugar1 tsp Cayenne Pepper1 cup Barbeque Sauce (Any will work – we love Annie's Organic!) St. Louis-Style Ribs Preheat oven to 325 F. In a small bowl, combine garlic powder, paprika, salt, brown sugar and cayenne. Rub spice mix evenly all over the ribs.Wrap seasoned ribs in foil completely, place on a baking sheet and bake for 2-2 1/2 hours. Remove ribs from the oven, unwrap. Coat ribs all over in barbeque sauce of choice. Increase heat to 425 F. Place ribs in the oven, uncovered, for 15 minutes (sauce will begin to caramelize). Remove ribs from the oven and serve.Hasselback CantaloupeTake the melon half moons and cut slits every 1" without cutting through the skin. Stuff 1 leaf of basil and a thin slice of Mozzarella into each slit in the melon. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Appetizer, Main Dish, Side DishAmericanCantaloupe, Spareribs, St. Louis Style Spareribs

Interview with Thomas Miller from The Treasure Coast Foodie Welcome to the St. Petersburg Foodies Podcast Episode 144! On today’s episode, we interview Thomas Miller from The Treasure Coast Foodie. Just like us, he does reviews of local independent restaurants. He also does restaurant awards like us, has a wine club, dining club and more. He visited a few St. Pete restaurants for a feature article he is working on. He is also debuting a new video series reminiscent of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. At the top of the show we have Abby Allen with her recipe for St. Louis Spare Ribs with Hasselback Cantaloupe.

From specialty burgers to traditional appetizers, Burger-Ish in St. Pete Beach is here to wow you. Looking for a juicy burger with a 2 for 1 beer pairing? Burger-Ish has you covered. This casual spot is perfect for fueling up post-beach trip or to cheer on your favorite sports team with their 12 flatscreen TVs all around. The vibrant atmosphere is super spacious and welcoming and they typically have live music on Friday and Saturday evenings. Lately, the weather has been impeccable and Burger-Ish had their garage style doors open to let in that nice breeze. They also have patio seating to soak in every bit of sun that you can get. Their menu has American favorites from chicken wings, burgers, sliders, and more. Plus a full cocktail, beer and wine menu. The daily specials are wonderful, find them here. Burger-Ish is a burger joint where I could eat all day every day until I literally exploded. All of the food I consumed was tasty and great. Naturally, I started with red sangria which was only $6 on Sunday. It was the refreshing sip I needed after a long day in the sun. To start, we ordered the crab cakes which are labeled on the menu as a fan favorite and spicy. The drizzle of avocado cilantro lime sauce had a really nice zest to it. I really enjoyed the habanero aioli sauce and fresh pico de gallo too. The crab cakes were seasoned to perfection, soft to melt in your mouth, and overall tasted very fresh. Side note: The crab cakes were outstandingly scrumptious but they weren’t at all spicy. The burger section of the menu has classics and specialties that are perfect and picture-ready. The St. Pete Special burger is a—wait for it—genuine hit with an all beef burger, bacon, onion ring, American cheese, sweet and smokey mesquite bourbon sauce, finished with a fried egg, lettuce, tomato, onion, all on a pretzel bun. The slathering bourbon sauce and oozing egg yolk really make this burger stand out. If you’re okay with a little mess for a tasty burger, you should order this. We upgraded to the sweet potato fries and I 100% recommend doing the same. The fries were crisp and salted on the outside with a nice soft inside. First off, the sliders are 20% off on Mondays. You’re welcome. Second, they come in 3s with a side of fries. These aren’t the kind of sliders to leave you still hungry after. They are a great size and the fries are crisp and warm. The Geez Louise comes stacked with 3 beef sliders topped with American cheese, avocado lime sauce, lettuce, tomato red onion, on a brioche bun. These sliders avoid the dreaded ingredient overload, but you still have the option to add avocado or bacon for $1. These sliders are addictive, I can’t wait to order them again. If you’re not in the mood for a burger, Burger-Ish has a ton of other options from sandwiches, tacos, salads, and more. I was craving a grouper sandwich and really enjoyed The Big Mouth Grouper Sandwich with grilled grouper, avocado, romaine lettuce, tomato, and red onion on a pretzel bun. The grouper was pleasantly seasoned and the toppings were all fresh and enjoyable. I wasn’t crazy about the pretzel bun. It seemed like a lot of bread in the way of the grouper, but besides that, it was still good. I also added the truffle oil to the fries for an additional $2 which gave them a balanced earthy and garlicky boost. Burger-Ish knows what’s up because they have a $2 off taco Tuesday daily special. I mean how can you resist a taco Tuesday deal? All tacos come with red cabbage, pico de gallo, avocado lime sauce and sour cream. You have the choice between blackened grouper, coconut shrimp, pulled chicken and pulled pork. We went with the pulled chicken and pulled pork. Both were described as very good. I was suprised by how big they were and that drizzle of avocado lime sauce and sour cream was just right. Pro tip: order a side of barbeque sauce for the pulled pork tacos for extra flavor. Since the tacos are considered an appetizer, they don’t come with a side but that didn’t stop us. We ordered a side of onion rings and were certainly satisfied. They were crispy and served hot. Does anyone else like to dip their onion rings in ketchup or is it just me? Maybe I’m just a condiment overuser, but either way, these were perfect. Burger-Ish is a blissful burger joint with a variety of other options too. If you’re in the mood for a traditional burger and iced cold beer, you’re in luck here. On the other hand, if you want something different but still reliable, they also have you covered. Stop by for a casual yet amazing meal. You can’t go wrong.

Interview with Chef Susan Burdian from Social Roost Welcome to the St. Petersburg Foodies Podcast Episode 143! On today’s episode, we interview Chef Susan Burdian. Susan is an acclaimed chef from NYC, and is now heading up the kitchen at Social Roost here in downtown St. Pete. She has cooked for Anthony Bourdain, and at The James Beard House, and is experienced in over ten different types of cuisine. After Susan, we have the best lamb we’ve ever had in our lives. We made the Colorado Rack of Lamb from St. Pete Meat & Provisions. It blew us away! We ate double portions, and there were no leftovers.

There are definitely certain things that drive me to specifically make my way to Gulfport. Like the lasagna at Pia’s, for example. Now, with Cori’s Seafood Grill situated comfortably on 49th St. and 15th Ave S, I can add seafood to that list too. Cori’s Seafood Grill isn’t just any restaurant – oh no, Cori’s is far more special. On March 19, 2020 Cori Brie Register passed away from cancer after fighting Ewing sarcoma, which is a very rare childhood cancer. Cori’s father, Dave, who owns Key West Seafood Co. next door to Cori’s, as well as Key West Shrimp Company in Madeira Beach, decided to open Cori’s seafood in October of 2020 to help carry out Cori’s legacy. Cori managed the Key West Shrimp Company at the Madeira location and always talked about opening up a seafood restaurant with her father. Not only did Dave and his family want to open Cori’s to assist in carrying out Cori’s legacy but they also wanted to make a difference by helping others – which is what Cori did, she helped others. During her fight with cancer, Cori assisted other children with their daily battle with cancer too. Because of this and other ways in which she graciously volunteered, Cori was referred to as the Sunflower Warrior – the perfect nickname for her and her beautiful soul. When you visit Cori’s, you’ll notice the front counter of the restaurant which is adorned with brilliantly painted sunflowers. Also during your visit, you can make a donation to help children who are fighting cancer. Thus far, Cori’s Seafood Grill has been able to donate almost $4,000 to charities which help brave children with their battle with cancer. How incredible is that? It truly doesn’t get more heartwarming than that. During our initial visit to Cori’s we ordered our food and opted to dine at one of the picnic tables outside versus getting our food to-go. We watched TONS of folks who chose to do the exact same thing as us. We were truly blown away by the number of cars in and out of the parking lot during the brief wait for our food – it was tremendous. The menu at Cori’s Seafood Grill is quite expansive. In addition to the large array of seafood options you’ll also find burgers, wings, various other sandwiches, soups and salads just to name a few. As far as customer favorites Dave said that the Lobster Roll (a MUST order), Po Boys, Clam and Seafood Chowders and the Grouper Sandwich are all popular with visitors to Cori’s. The French fries are also definitely worth mentioning as they are hand-cut daily. In addition to the fan favorite menu items listed above, it is also absolutely worth noting that on Tuesdays Cori’s offers $2 tacos (chicken, fish or shrimp) and on Wednesdays their Fish Sandwich is only $5. Almost all of the seafood that is served at Cori’s is sourced locally including from the family’s seafood shop located right next door. In addition to the two seafood shops around town, Dave said that they also own four commercial crab, lobster and fishing boats which Cori’s younger brother, Bryce, captains. Cori’s twin brother, Logan, owns and manages the the St. Pete Beach shop. My husband and I chose to visit Cori’s on a Wednesday as we had read about their $5 fish Sandwich (served fried, grilled or blackened). However, upon arrival, the Grouper Sandwich was highly recommended so we decided to order that instead. The sandwich is served on a Kaiser roll with lettuce, tomato and onion and we also asked for some tartar sauce on the side. Did I mention that they make their sauces and breading in-house? Wow, what a sandwich. The fish is thin, perfectly seasoned and fried to perfection. This sandwich definitely was enough to feed both myself and my husband. When I first noted that the Lobster Roll was one of the items on the menu that was marked with a little yellow butterfly (Cori’s favorites), I knew that it had to be mine. It consists of Maine lobster meat drizzled with house made sauce, stuffed into a New England style split-top roll. It was truly almost to0 beautiful to eat, and after just one bite it became apparent that the Lobster Roll tastes even better than it looks, if you can even believe it. And the best part? They definitely don’t skimp on lobster meat. In addition to the Lobster Roll, the Coconut Shrimp under the appetizer section also was marked as one of Cori’s favorites. The six shrimp starter is served with a delectable house made sauce, which pairs quite superbly with the sweet coconut notes that linger with each bite of shrimp. In my opinion, the Coconut Shrimp along with a side of fries or hush puppies would make for the perfect lunch or light dinner for one. Speaking of the hushpuppies, you better believe that we ordered some of those too. If Hush Puppies are on a menu, any menu, there is a 100% chance that my husband will select them (one of the many, many reasons why I married him). The Jalapeño and Sweet Corn Hush Puppies are deep fried, served in quantities of six, and are served with a side of ranch or tartar. Just as the menu states, I can attest that these are in fact “fried balls of goodness.” It goes without saying, Cori’s Seafood Grill is more than just a restaurant – it’s a restaurant with compassion, selflessness and lots of love. The positive vibes spread by this establishment are contagious. We cannot wait to continue to eat our way through the menu at Cori’s and we encourage you to do the same too. I can only begin to imagine how truly proud Cori, herself, would be to see the success of the restaurant and the way that her legacy is being honored.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with sugary, Italian confections at Sorrento Sweets in downtown St. Pete. Whether you’re looking for a melt in your mouth butter cookie or a crunchy biscotti, the Salvatore family has recipes that are decades old and totally trustable. This humble storefront on Central avenue serves fresh cakes and pastries, cookies and cannolis, sandwiches, gelato and a full coffee and tea menu too. Give your sweet tooth what it wants and head over to Sorrento Sweets for Italian classics. While walking along Central Avenue, the smell of freshly brewed coffee drew me into the doors of Sorrento Sweets. There’s nothing like steaming hot lattes and iced macchiatos to accompany biscotti, cannolis, cakes and more. I couldn’t resist an iced caramel macchiato with almond milk. It was sweet and just right. They were very generous on the caramel drizzle so be ready to slurp some up through the straw. I also had a regular hot coffee on another day and it was a very refreshing brew. Their coffee menu is wonderful with cappuccinos, cafe mochas, lattes and more. Pair your cup of coffee with a delicious breakfast sandwich to cure those morning cravings. Sorrento Sweets has a great list of sandwiches in general and the breakfast options are perfect for something quick and on the go. The Sausage & Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich is served on a freshly baked buttery croissant with thick turkey sausage patties, an egg and cheddar cheese. This was perfect. The buttery and slightly flakey croissant was so soft and dreamy and having it paired with the warm savory fillings was the ideal combination. If you head in closer to lunchtime, they have five sandwiches that’ll peak your attention. I went with the The Sorrento Caprese served on their signature panini bread with sprinkled extra virgin olive oil on both sides, fresh mozzarella, sliced roma tomato, balsamic glaze, basil pesto, fresh basil, and what makes this one special is the added prosciutto. Each bite was even better than the one before. Their panini bread is outstanding and having it pressed made it all nice and warm. Inside of this wonderful sandwich is such fresh ingredients with a zesty basil pesto paired with salty prosciutto, delicious mozzarella and bursts of sweet tomato. I highly recommend this if you’re in the mood for a savory and delicious sandwich. Am I the only one who reaches for something sweet after every meal? I hope not! After enjoying The Sorrento Caprese, I had to nibble on a few of the cookies. Whether you want a true Italian Macaroon, something covered in sprinkles or a variety of everything, you’re in luck. You can order as many cookies as you’d like, as you pay by the pound. I indulged in a few of my favorite Italian cookies and couldn’t be happier with how truly delicious they all were. Here’s what I got: Rainbow Cookie, Italian Macaroon, Crocantini, Shell Dipped, Rainbow Sprinkle, Peanutter, and Quasimale Biscotti. All in all, these were all fabulous. One of my favorite things about a good Italian cookie is dunking them into a piping hot coffee and some of these crunchier ones totally hit the spot. My favorite was the Crocantini for its hints of cocoa and hazelnut. I’m so excited to have these cookies right at my fingertips in downtown St. Pete whether I’m looking for a sweet treat for myself or to bring a bigger batch to a party. Staying on the sweet train, next up is the Cinnamon Roll and Chocolate Cannoli. I only have one word to describe the first bite of each, “wow”. The gourmet Cinnamon Roll is served warm and has the best warm white icing glazed on top. If you love cannolis as much as I do, then trust me when I say that these are truly outstanding. You have the choice between a classic, chocolate and pistachio cannoli. I went with the chocolate and couldn’t believe how good it was. The light and crunchy cannoli and sweet filling were a treat I can’t wait to have again. In addition to their pastries, cookies and cannolis, they also have gelato and sorbet. For those hot days, this is the perfect escape from the heat. You can get a classic scoop or turn it into a smoothie. Gelato Flavors include Vanilla Bean, Dark Chocolate, Sea Salt Caramel, Coffee Chocolate Chip, Pistachio Sicilian. Sorbet Flavors are Raspberry, Mango Tropical, Lemon Zesty. My friend and I decided to try the Raspberry and Mango Sorbet. We were both blown away at how refreshing they were. I enjoyed the strong flavors of both, but have to say that the raspberry was my favorite of the two. This is definitely my go-to order this summer to cool off. Even after all of these sweet treats, there are still so many offerings at Sorrento Sweets that I cannot wait to try. Take a peek at their displays for more deliciousness. Overall, this is a gem of a place that Central Avenue is lucky to have. They have so many awesome offerings and really bring a decadent sweet scene to the burg. The welcoming interior feels like a homey spot that I can see myself hanging out at whether with friends over coffee and a treat or solo to get some work done on my laptop. Either way, having these Italian bakery goodies within walking distance to my apartment is dangerous but exciting.

The Best Chili to Eat in St. Pete Chili’s geographic origins go back to what is the currently most talked about border … unfortunately for no reasons having to do with this quite popular food. Chili was born in both Northern Mexico and Southern Texas – on the border and over the border. Its more official name is Chili con Carne – Spanish for “with meat”. It started out as just chili peppers, meat, salt and water. No beans. No tomatoes. The beans are the most contentious thing when it comes to chili aficionado purists. As a matter of fact, The Chili Appreciation Society International specified in 1999 that, among other things, cooks are forbidden to include beans in the preparation of chili for official competition. What. However, others argue that chili with beans has a long enough history so as to not be considered inauthentic. It certainly seems to be the more popular incarnation at restaurants and in home recipes. The ten on this list ALL have beans. So there, Stan. Does anybody have a GasX. Just kidding. I did eat a lot of chili though. We stopped doing rankings a long time ago, and have been putting the lists in alphabetical order. However, I occasionally give shoutouts to a few favorites. In this case two, which are tied for my #1 favorite chilis. The Bier Boutique – It’s the spiciest one on the list, and that’s how I like my chili. Hurt me! Please. Sea Dog Cantina – It’s the most complex, and delicious with deep layers of flavor. Several of the dishes are pictured with raw red onions, and melted cheese. All of these offered it as an option, which I went with each time it was offered. However, I also dug below them to try at least 3-4 bites of chili without the raw onions and cheese first to better ascertain the chili’s flavor. I also dug through each one to find which ingredients I could see. Some people like to follow along and try each place themselves. If you decide to go try any of these, my advice is to test how hot it is being served. I had a few that came out scalding. Not only will you burn your mouth, but you won’t be able to taste anything. One time I burned the heck out of my mouth and in my notes I put, “no flavor”. After it had ten minutes to cool off, it was a whole different world. I could now taste all the flavors, and the dish actually made the list. (That was El Cap.) These are not ranked from best, to second best, and so on. We’ve come to feel that is not a good way to do it when they are all amazing executions of this popular dish. An important thing you should be aware of is that there are other publishers of “best of lists” that do not actually go to the establishments and actually eat the food. We absolutely DO. (How can anyone recommend something they never experienced?) Unfortunately, we’ve seen it a lot – from national and local publishers. We are also aware of a local publisher that offers paid placement in best-of-lists. There is no paid placement here. I PERSONALLY ATE ALL OF THESE BOWLS OF CHILI, AND WENT TO ALL OF THESE PLACES, AND THESE ARE ALL MY PHOTOS. (Except The Bier Boutique, which my partner, Lori, took.) These are listed in alphabetical order. <—— Look Here are the 10 Best Bowls of Chili in St. Pete for 2021 1. The Bier Boutique 465 7th Ave North St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 827-2691 The Bier Boutique Website Meat, beans, veggies & hot peppers come together in this sweet and spicy concoction – served with sweet cornbread. I didn’t believe that it would be spicy. Most places that say “spicy” are catering to those who believe mild/medium is spicy. I’m typically disappointed. I was thrilled to be proven wrong. I loved it. The flavor is great and get this…it’s made with chunks of potato too. Tied for my #1 favorite because of the hearty, and spicy flavors. Bier Boutique Review 2. Boulevard Burgers & Tap House 5905 Gulf Blvd St Pete Beach, FL 33706 (727) 201-4906 Boulevard Burgers Website A cool hangout on St. Pete Beach, Boulevard Burgers is of course best known for their burgers. Their chili is packed with rich chili flavor. It has kidney beans, tomatoes, and cooked white or yellow onions, in addition to the raw ones I added. 3. The Chattaway 358 22nd Ave S St. Petersburg, FL 33705 (727) 823-1594 The Chattaway Website The Chattaway is a quaint eatery on the South Side that was establish in 1951 by Englishwoman, Jillian Frers. High tea is served every day, and so is chili. Their chili is mild, but flavorful. It is unique in that it is a little on the creamy side. They include bell peppers, kidney and pinto beans. Note: The Chattaway is CASH ONLY. 4. Courigan’s Irish Pub 1 Beach Dr SE ste 41 St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 551-9019 Courigan’s Website Courigan’s chili is more tomato-forward, and tangy. There are a small amount of diced green bell peppers in there too. It’s definitely fresh, home style, and quite tasty. Spice-wise, the temperature is mild on this one. 5. El Cap Restaurant 3500 4th St N St. Petersburg, FL 33704 (727) 521-1314 El Cap Facebook El Cap is an old-school throwback that’s been around since 1963. It’s loved by locals, and best known for their burgers, which still use the same recipe from when they opened. The chili is old-school as well with the melted cheese being two processed American cheese slices. The chili is mild, and more on the sweet side. It includes kidney beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, and white beans. 6. Engine No.9 56 Dr M.L.K. Jr St N St. Petersburg, FL 33705 (727) 623-0938 Engine No.9 Website Bold n’Spicy Firehouse-style [&hellip]

Best Italian Meatballs in St. Pete for 2021 There are all kinds of meatballs in different cuisines, and regions, but the Italian meatball is what we’re talking about here. There’s tons of places to get good meatballs in St. Pete, but these seven really standout above the rest. Before we get into the list, an important thing you should be aware of is that there are other publishers of “best of lists” that do not actually go to the establishments, or actually eat the food. (Sounds ridiculous, right?) They just download photos from the internet, or embed Instagram posts from someone else. Instant “Best of …” list produced without having to leave the house, or even get dressed. That’s NOT how we do it. We absolutely DO eat all of the food on all of our lists. (How can anyone recommend something they never experienced?) Unfortunately, we’ve seen these junk lists a lot—from national and local publishers. We are also aware of a local publisher that offers paid placement in best-of-lists. There is no paid placement here. I PERSONALLY ATE ALL OF THESE MEATBALLS, AND WENT TO ALL OF THESE PLACES, AND THESE ARE ALL ST. PETERSBURG FOODIES PHOTOS. These are listed in alphabetical order. <—— Look 1. Annata Restaurant & Wine Bar 300 Beach Dr NE #128 St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 851-9582 Annata Website Meatball Gigantica – whipped ricotta, creamy polenta, herbs, Grana Padano, tomato sauce, basil chiffonade. THIS. IS. A. PERFECT. MEATBALL! Everything about the Meatball Gigantica is just right – the flavors, the texture, the density all just make you go mmm and shut your eyes in delight. It’s the little details too, such as the herbs. Herbs are not the first thought that come to mind when thinking of meatballs. This perfect meatball wouldn’t be what it is without them. You can see the fresh, house-made ricotta in the middle. The creamy polenta, and tomato sauce are just right. Come hungry as this meatball lives up to it’s name. 2. Fabrica Pizza 101 7th St S St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 290-9643 Fabrica Pizza Website Oven Roasted Meatballs – In warm house-made tomato sauce, parmigiano, chives. Everything just comes together perfectly here. The sauce, the seasoning, flavor, and texture. There have been times that we eat these 2-3 times in a week. Fabrica’s pizza is also excellent. They made our top 10 pizzas list. 3. IL Ritorno 449 Central Ave North #101 St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 897-5900 IL Ritorno Website Smoked Meatballs – smoked pomodoro, piave, chianti, fresh basil. (Piave is an Italian cow’s milk cheese, that is named after the Piave river. As Piave has a Protected Designation of Origin, the only “official” Piave is produced in the Dolomites area, province of Belluno, in the northernmost tip of the Veneto region. Wikipedia) IL Ritorno’s meatballs have been one of our favorites since they hit the menu four years ago. The flavors, texture and sauce all harmoniously arouse you into a new experience that you’ve never had before. These are unique—there’s a light breading on the outside that creates a nice texture, the meatballs are smoked, and the meat and the sauce have that wonderful Italian Piave Cheese. 4. Noble Crust 8300 4th St N. St. Petersburg, FL 33702 (727) 329-6041 Noble Crust Website Meatballs – beef + pork, tomato sauce, ricotta, parm, basil. Noble Crust’s meatballs are fantastic—bursting with flavor, rustic in texture, with a nice char on top from a last minute in the broiler, and they come with a delicious parmesan, and let’s not forget the basil. What could be an afterthought, wonderfully perfumes your senses just before your teeth sink into the land of umami, tang and spice. The basil of course also adds a nice green brightness to the mix. Just like Fabrica, Noble Crust also made the top 10 pizzas list. 5. Pizza Box 923 Central Ave St. Petersburg, FL 33705 (727) 623-0444 Pizza Box Website Meatballs – Made with Angus brisket and short rib with garlic, onions and bread crumbs. Just like IL Ritorno, Pizza Box has been one of our favorites for over four years now. The flavors and textures are phenomenal, and unique. The sole cooking implement at Pizza Box is the wood-fired oven that Adam (Chef & Co-Owner) made himself. So, the meatballs are cooked and smoked at 700 degrees. They have a smokey flavor, and an excellent hard char on the outside. Pizza Box is also on the top 10 pizzas list. 6. Tutto Bene 3038 Beach Blvd S, Gulfport, FL 33707 (727) 954-7960 Tutto Bene Website The Meatball Ricottara is two housemade and scrumptious meatballs, served with red sauce and ricotta. I’d highly recommend ordering this as you wait for your main entree. The meatball itself is soft and moist with a delicious coating of tangy red sauce. Full review of Tutto Bene here. 7. The Urban Stillhouse 2232 5th Ave S St. Petersburg, FL 33712 (727) 440-8040 Urban Stillhouse Website Urban Stillhouse just opened in August 2020. It is a 16,000 square foot space with two floors with great food by Chef Kenny Tufo, formerly of Sea Salt St. Pete. (Full review here.) The three veal meatballs are made with pine nuts, cherries and San Marzano tomato sauce and then placed atop a plank of fried eggplant. They were extremely delicious, moist, hearty and comforting, and the eggplant is an extra bonus. Tell us what your favorite meatballs are in the comments below! Love this post? Save it to your foodie Pinterest board!


  • You can now find gochujang in many grocery stores, or you can buy it online. If you're gluten-free, be sure to buy a gluten-free brand, such as Chung Jung One.
  • Gochujang lasts for several months in the refrigerator (you can use it to add an umami punch to sauces and dressings, or try it in the Korean bibimbap bowls in my books, Fresh Flavors for the Slow Cooker and Build-a-Bowl!).
  • For the most flavor, marinate the pork the day before (although it's still delicious if you marinate it before cooking).
  • If you don't have an outdoor grill you can use a grill pan or cast iron skillet instead.
  • The gochujang marinade is also fantastic with skirt steak and chicken thighs. In addition, it's awesome as a dressing over salads or as a dipping sauce for everything from roasted broccoli, to lettuce wraps, to kebabs.
  • Feel free to use other vegetables according to what you have on hand, such as thinly sliced or shaved carrots, shell peas or snow peas and/or blanched asparagus.

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Ras El Hanout Pickled Cauliflower

Bright, salty, crunchy, and full of flavor! This pickled Cauliflower is beautiful and delicious.


Watch the video: Roasted Crunchy Fennel - How to Roast Fennel - Heghineh Cooking Show (December 2021).