Chef Michael Bennett’s dish for New Times-Pairings 2010.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Michael Bennett
Bimini Boatyard
1555 17th street Cswy.
Fort Lauderdale, Fl. 33306
954-525-7400

Chef Michael Bennett’s dish for
New Times-Pairings 2010.

Fresh Ingredients and Tropical Flavors are deliciously
absorbed in a Value-Endorsed State of Mind

“Food and Cooking has been my entire life…

making it a value just seems right!” ~Chef Michael Bennett

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, September 2010 – The Bimini Boatyard (BBY) was first usher into the Fort Lauderdale dining scene scape in September of 1989. A lot has happened in the world since the time of its opening. Remember the fall of the Berlin Wall? The reins of this lengthy journey have been taken on by chef and cookbook author-Michael Bennett, once acknowledged by the American Culinary Federation as Chef of the Year -1995.
Today the BBY is best-known for its exciting and wildly popular “Caribb-ican” menu, value-based wines and the best Happy Hour in Fort Lauderdale. Like BBY’s menu, the wine list selections are globally sourced, chosen for their value price point and a complementary taste when paired with our menu. United with our casual-style of service – that is straight from the heart – referring to a sense of caring and friendliness, it is the combination of good food and this almost neighbor-like service that has invigorated this 21 year landmark.

Chef Michael is participating in the Pairings event this year and he gives us this recipe to post so all will be familiar with the dish before they get a chance to try in on September 16th, 2010.

My recipe for the New Times-“Pairings” event 2010

  • Event will take place on September 16th, 2010 – in Fort Lauderdale.
  • Chef Michael will be showcasing a fabulous recipe made from WHITE tuna.
  • It is prepared in a new – “Old World” style.
  • As chef Michael Bennett mixes in the classic French cookery methodologies with Caribbean and Asian elements – to form a new classic cooking method that is transformed by the use of an un-likely pairing of ingredients.

For more recipes and information about chef Michael Bennett’s cookbooks, goto:

http://www.foodbrats.com

***

Escolar

Red-Curry and Beurre Noisette Mop

served with Plantain and Pineapple

8 portions

*** White Tuna – being extremely rich – should only be eaten in smaller portion sizes.
5 oz. Is all you’ll need to be satisfied.

Ingredients:

First part of the recipe
Caribbean Sweet-Spice:

Pink Peppercorns 3 Tbs.
Green Peppercorns 1 Tbs.
Mustard powder ½ teas.
Ginger powder ½ teas.
Seasalt 1 Tbs.
Mrs. Dash 1 Tbs.
Curry Powder ½ teas.
Poultry spice ½ teas.
Cayenne pepper pinch
Paprika 2 Tbs.
Mace pinch
Nutmeg pinch
Garlic, granulated 1 teas.
Onion, granulated 1 teas.

2nd part of the recipe: the Mop
Butter ½ lb.
Red Curry paste 2 Tbs.
Triple Sec liquor 1 teas.
Brandy 1 teas.
Sesame oil 2 oz.
Salt and pepper 1 teas. (4 to 1 ratio-salt to pepper)
Honey 4 oz.

Escolar 8 (5oz. fillets about 1 ½ inch thick)

First part of recipe – directions:
Place all spice ingredients in a coffee bean grinder and pulse into powder.
Use this powder to sprinkle – heavily onto the fish – before grilling.

2nd part of recipe directions:
First: you are going to make the sauce, then glaze the fish as it cooks on a grill.
Mop/Sauce:
Place the butter in an already hot – heavy bottom pan to speed the butter’s browning. Stir while the butter starts to cook. Continue to stir as the pan heats the butter and you will notice the butter starting to turn a brownish color. At this point add the red curry, watch for boiling. The curry spices will hasten the browning of the butter. Then, as the color deepens in brownish tint, add the CAREFULLY rest of the ingredients.
Carefully add the liquor to the glaze because there is a chance that the mix will be too hot and boil up rapidly and over flow on the stove.
Finish with adding the honey last. Cool the glaze.
Next – Season with the Caribbean Sweet-Spice blend and cook the fillets of Escolar over the grey coals of a well-oiled grill grates. Mark-the fillets, that is sear on the grates (about two minutes) and then flip and cook 1 minute more. Then move over to the cooler parts of the grill and cover so the heat of the coals work to heat the fish like an oven. Cook about 5 minutes more per inch of fillet thickness.
As you are cooking over the grey coals, lightly brush with the mop. Flip over and mop again. Move the fillet, mop again, close lid, cook and mop once again. Finish cooking and mop once more. Place on a warm platter until ready to serve. There will be some juices that flow out.
To plate, Make the next part of the recipe. Place the melange in the center of the plate and set the cooked fish fillet atop and mop with a little more sauce and let it roll down onto the plate.

NOTE:
Using a 3 inch round ring mold, fill with the plantain melange and push down onto the mixture to form a compressed circle of plantain. Lift the mold to remove, leaving a perfect circle on the plate where the fillet can rest easily.

Garnish with a small salad of arugula, sunsprouts and citrus sections or, just a little micro greens.

Paired with a special combination of tropical food elements;

Plantain and Pineapple

enough for eight portions

Ingredients:
Plantains, greenish-yellow 3 each
Pineapple pieces 1 small can (about 5 oz.)
Red Bell pepper, diced 1 each
Cilantro, chopped well 4 bunch
Seasalt ½ Tbs.
Oil As needed

Directions:
Heat 1/2 quart of oil in a deep pot to 350 degrees.

Clean the plantains. This is done by making a slit into the plantain with a small pairing knife along the ridges of the banana-like veggie. Remove the skin, then dice the plantain into 3/8 – 1/2 inch size diced.
Fry the plantain-about 2 minutes so they are no longer raw. Then remove from oil and drain. Season with salt.
In another saute pan, saute the diced peppers in a small amount of oil. Toss in the drained plantains, then the pineapple and then cilantro. Toss in the pan to mix the melange. Season again with the Seasalt. Remove and then place in the center of the plate. Place the fish fillet over top.

For more recipes and information about chef Michael Bennett’s cookbooks, goto:

http://www.foodbrats.com

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A view above the planes

Living above a flight path to the local airport was new to us.

Me in my home office

The plane, the plane!

Became a running joke between myself and the rest of the family. I loved the idea of living high up on a mountain. Living in the Caribbean meant a lot of things, this was one of them. Many Caribbean Islands are actually extinct volcanoes.

It was so strange coming from Miami – with no altitude – to the Caribbean where driving up to your home, ears pop. We never had this problem in Miami, my daughter says. Our first car we rented couldn’t get up the driveway to our home. The driveway was at such a steep incline my little four cylinder rent a car couldn’t get all of us up the hill.

Living above airplanes did have its advantages. Neighbors were scarce. We were one of two homes a top this mountain peak. This of course had its disadvantages, like electricity and phone service. We were six months waiting for a phone line to be run to the top of the mountain. Electricity was almost as rare. Many days electricity was out for six or seven hours at a time. Being on an island meant all electricity for the island was created by diesel generators. If the generators broke down, it took hours for a service man to come and fix it.

Another fun fact about living on top a mountain, no phones. Try that with two teenage daughters. One of the things I had to do is drop off the girls downtown before I went to work everyday, so they could use the local coffee shop internet connection. Connections with the rest of the world were strained. We found that having a home in the clouds was a challenge in many ways. Comfort, locale, being away from others and when you want to go grocery shopping, it was a journey you had to prepared for.

Being on an island in the middle of the ocean, seclusion is an unique experience. For some it is a break from the day to day hectic “real” world, for others places like this are resort locations for beach fun and ocean sailing. For me it was all about the seclusion and isolation – to think about my life how it has proceeded and what I was going to do with the rest of it. Being a man of a certain age, this isolation was the point were I decide to finish an already started project. This is how my two cookbooks came so quickly for me after returning to the mainland of the United States.

Living in the clouds – above where planes travel – literally and in my own inner-self’s thoughts made it easy for me to put words to print quickly.  I rewrote my unfinished cookbook – that was sitting on my shelf for the past ten years and renamed it “In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks” after the people and things that I found while living in the Caribbean.

The stories in the book are all about living and working as a chef in the Caribbean.  You can see this book at:  Amazon –  http://www.amazon.com/Land-Misfits-Pirates-Cooks/dp/0615297781/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261277848&sr=1-1

You soon be able to buy it at all Barnes and Nobles stores.

Chef Michael Bennett’s new cookbook first book review

Book Review: In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks
In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks
by Michael Bennett and Eileen Bennett Clark
Published by The Professional Image
ISBN: 978-0615297781

Mango, crab, papaya, coconut, salmon, avocado and lobster, so many wonderful delights from nature are plentiful in the Caribbean. With nature’s overflowing bounty of tropical fruits, vegetables, fresh seafood and amazing spices it’s no surprise that Chef/Author Michael Bennett has penned a Caribbean-style cookbook from his years of living amongst the Islands.

Chef Bennett’s first book is titled “In the land of Pirates, Misfits and Cooks”, a first-hand “taste of living” in the Caribbean. Bennett has coined the term “Caribb-ican” a cross between Caribbean and American styles of food preparation. To excite one’s palate and to experiment with new methods of cooking and innovative ingredients makes the old new again. Chef Bennett takes the reader on playful culinary journeys throughout the many islands of the Caribbean showing you that with a little ingenuity you can bedazzle your taste buds by being tropically inspired with what Mother Nature has already given us.

The recipes are easy to read, easy to follow and easy to prepare. This book was designed with simplicity in mind to appeal to the most novice of home cooks yet intrigue the experienced cook at the same time. The ingredients are readily available at your local grocery store making this exciting style of cooking accessible at a moment’s notice without much plan other than having the ingredient list with you as you shop. On most pages there are sidebars that highlight cooking tips, preparation tricks and “inside information” as it pertains to healthy eating and variations on the preparation of the dish.

The photos highlight Bennett’s signature style of presentation “food stacking”. Bennett creates towers and rises with his food, Bennett clearly defines “playing with food”, you will never just get food on a plate with Michael Bennett, you will get works of art carefully constructed. This may seem daunting to the average home cook but in true teaching style Chef Bennett explains in detail “how to play with your food”, this alone is worth having the book as you become an honorary Pirate, Misfit and Cook of the Carrib-ican style of cooking.

– Review by Christine Najac