By Request

31 01 2011

We had a lot of requests for this recipe from folks at the recent NATPE meeting. This is the sauce served over the grass fed beef tenderloin. Thanks to everyone for stopping by-and enjoy!

Roasted Tomatillo and Asian Pear Chimichurri

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 fresh poblano pepper, coarsely chopped with the seeds left in
  • 1 fresh Serrano chili, coarsely chopped with the seeds removed (or left in for extra heat)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup sherry wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 12 oz roasted tomatillos
  • 1/2 Asian pear, peeled and finely chopped 

You can finely chop the items or use a food processor for all except the Asian pear. To use a  food processor place the olive oil, sherry vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, basil, oregano, cilantro, garlic, shallots, honey, tomatillos and poblano and Serrano chilies into the bowl. Pulse until well blended but do not puree. Season the mixture with the black pepper and salt. Add the bay leaf and the finely chopped Asian pear. Transfer the sauce to a non-reactive bowl and cover with plastic wrap for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Remove the bay leaf prior to serving. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator container for several days.

Variety-The Spice of Life

28 01 2011

Well, just back from the NATPE meeting. I wanted to share the awesome news that on the first day of reporting from the meeting, we made the front page of The Daily Variety-yes that entertainment industry paper! Look under the “TV meet’s Latin beat” by-line. Just clickon the image to enlarge and read. Keep your fingers crossed for more good luck to follow!

TV Show Promo

21 01 2011

Here is the promo piece for WHat’s Cooking with Doc: House Calls. Hope you enjoy it!

Tribune article, Part 2

20 01 2011

Here’s the second part of our Tampa Tribune article:

Doc’s Tampa Tribune Article

Banana Pudding

19 01 2011

Well anyone from The South will tell you, the only decisions to make about fresh banana pudding is with or without skin and how big a serving. We made this delicious version, heaped on some fresh whipped cream and topped it off with sliced bananas and the crumbled cookies (see below). In a word-phenomenally delicious (OK, two words but that’s how good it is)

Banana Pudding

  • 1 cup of cream
  • 2 ½ cups of milk (1/2 cup reserved)
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ¼ cup of cornstarch
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs + 1 yolk, beaten
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ¼ cup dark rum
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 bananas, mashed

In a large saucepan, gently heat the milk, cream and sugar. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the reserved ½ cup of milk. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the salt, eggs, contents of the vanilla bean, rum, lemon juice and bananas. Gently bring the liquid up to a simmer and slowly add the dissolved cornstarch. Continue to stir the liquid as it thickens so contents on the bottom do not stick and burn. If the liquid starts to boil, turn down the heat. Continue to stir until the liquid reaches a pudding consistency; about 10-15 minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve to eliminate any large lumps. You may serve heated right from the stove top or cool and refrigerate. If you like a skin on top, leave uncovered; without a skin place some cling wrap on top of the pudding.

Vanilla Cardamom Cookies

18 01 2011

The scent of these cookies reminds me of the spice bazaar in Istanbul; perfect with a cup of apple tea or even just by their  lonesome. They are the first step in a dessert we will finish tomorrow, but you will end up eating one batch, so go ahead and cook these, eat them and save the next batch for our finished dessert tomorrow.

Vanilla Cardamom Cookies

  • 1 1/3 cup of AP flour
  • 4 oz of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ tsp of baking powder
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom (freshly ground is best)
  • ¼ tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the flour. Allow the butter to soften, then cream in a stand mixer with the sugar. Add the flour, egg, baking powder, contents of the vanilla bean, salt and cardamom and combine. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet in small balls. Cook for about 12 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove and cool.


17 01 2011

Served on a watercress puree


As we mentioned in an earlier post, fresh squid is a true treat, and while fried calamari is delicious it can be so much more. Here we took our spanikopita filling and used it to stuff the tubes, which were then quickly grilled. A Greecian delight!


  • 20 oz spinach leaves (2 bunches)
  • 16 oz feta
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbs fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Phyllo dough: 10 layers on bottom, 6 layers on top with Manchego b/w. Sesame seeds on top.

425 degrees for ~ 20 minutes

Cut salt by half, says American Heart Association

15 01 2011

 So says a recent newspaper headline; and we’ve been down this road before. In fact, I am still very often asked, “how do I reduce my salt intake” by patients, the health conscious and the public in general; especially as they watch me season the food as I prepare it. They wonder aloud about a cardiologist who adds salt to food as he cooks it. Doesn’t less salt mean:

  • No added salt when I cook?
  • No added salt to my food before I eat?
  • I have to use only “salt substitutes”?

The short answer is a definitive “no,” to all of the above. As a brief refresher, what we mean when we use the term “salt” in the vernacular is the amount of sodium we consume. And we currently consume a lot, over 3,000mg per day. However, over 75% of the sodium we consume comes from prepackaged, prepared and processed foodstuffs. It is hidden in monosodium glutamate and other flavor enhancers, in sodium benzoate and other preservatives, in diet sodas and energy drinks to bacon and meals, ready to eat (MREs). So how do we combat the ubiquitous menace? If we follow our Grassroots Gourmet Threefold Path of the Be’s numbers 1 and 2 we are spot on with a winning game plan.

  1. Be Aware and Avoid the Junk Food/ Fast Food Siren: This collection of heavily processed offerings waiting to be assembled is a huge source of sodium. Simply avoiding these often calorie rich, nutrient poor offerings will dramatically reduce your sodium intake.
  2. Be Fresh-But Don’t Adulterate: If you’re not purchasing your meals already assembled, then obviously you have to prepare it. But to successfully avoid the temptation to grab something quick, easy and pre-done only to buy something premade you heat in a microwave is to slide from the frying pan into the fire. Shelf life is enhanced by the use of preservatives, and these are a huge source of sodium containing compounds. Fresh food tastes great because it is fresh and doesn’t require artificial flavors or boosters-both sources of unwanted sodium. When you shop for choices, don’t be lulled into falling for the promises of highly adulterous choices. Stick to just being Fresh.

If you season the food appropriately as you prepare it, it should not require any additional table salt prior to eating it. That’s about an additional 5% daily sodium reduction. The amount we ingest daily from salt used to season the food as we cook it is only around 6%. Salt added at the table and consumed in the prepared, packaged and processed choices is over 80% of our daily sodium intake. Avoid prepackaged, fast food options; season your food (so it remains delicious) as you prepare it, don’t add salt at the table and start with fresh unadulterated product and you can easily cut your sodium consumption by almost half-without suffering any loss of flavors. Now that’s something worth its weight in salt.

Caribbean Conch Fritters

14 01 2011

It is about this time I know my Northern Brethren suffer the Chills and Icicles of outrageous winters. It leads to funk and blues. The proper prescription for SAD (Yes, it really is called SAD-Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a trip to some sunny spot. But since even the airports shut down these days here’s a prescrition to bring some Carribean sunshine into your corner of the world. A side of Marley and “Ja be doin jus fine Mon!”

Caribbean Conch Fritters

  • ~ 2 pounds Conch
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/3 cup AP flour
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ cup onion
  • ¼ sweet pepper
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • 3 Tbs fresh chopped cilantro

Combine all the ingredients and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to an hour. Heat the oil to 360 degrees. Using a small scoop, drop in small batches in the oil, turning as needed to assure they cook uniformly. Remove in 3-5 minutes when lightly browned. Cool, season and serve with dipping sauce (recipe follows).

Dipping Sauce

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 3 Tbs fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbs fresh sweet pepper
  • 2 Tbs chopped shallot
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients, refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Drop heavy tablespoon of batter into 360 degree oil. Turn so all sides cook GB&D. Remove, season grab your tropical umbrella drink and shake off those winter  doldrums.

Notice chunks o' conch

Tempura Squid

10 01 2011

Fresh squid is just an outstanding treat. So when my friends Steve and Nancy hooked me up with some fresh, never frozen Calamari I knew I had a feast on deck. Serving this Tempura style with a little dipping sauce is a great way to spice up the usual football fare.

  • ¾ cup AP flour
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • ½ Tbs baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 to1 cup cold non-flavored carbonated water (depending on batter consistency)

Heat some oil in a Dutch oven or fryer to 360 degrees. While the oil heats, mix all the ingredients and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes up to 1 hour. You may need to add a little additional water to get the batter to a thin pancake batter consistency. Dip and fry until golden brown and delicious. I like to serve this with some Asian inspired dipping sauce, recipe follows.

Dipping sauce

  • ¼ cup Mirin
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup sake
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp finely  chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tsp finely chopped cilantro