best grouper sandwich in the universe

I hate that I am neglecting my baby blog. Its such a shame! But an even bigger shame is neglecting my appetite… and not getting my share of yummy eats around here!! I need a raise, WHOLE FOODS. I know you’re making millions, but giving it all away to third world countries. Ugh. Just the more reason to branch out…. and work for ME…. NUMBER ONE. That disgruntled employee was onto something…. he may have gone about it pretty ridiculous but he had some points…….just sayin’. 🙂

Hubby and I went back to South Florida to take care of some biz… but while there we went to Clearwater Beach. So nice! Our favorite brother-in-law took us to his number one spot in his old stomping grounds: Frenchy’s Saltwater Cafe. Having his share of libations that afternoon, it must be said he was a tad inebriated… nonetheless I still think he would’ve been just as adamant about us enjoying our meal sober. He was so clearly bothered by the fact that I might NOT enjoy my grouper sandwich… because I am hard to please in the food department. Let’s just get one thing straightened out.. I know what I like HOWEVER, I am always apt to try everything and anything at least once. I think to be a critic is not to judge before experiencing. So after many minutes of building up the most amazing grouper sandwich in the entire universe that we would ever sink our teeth in, we finally ate what I think is one of the yummiest grouper sandwiches I’ve had. So there. Hubby and I shared the SUPER GROUPER sandwich, blackened:

Frenchy's Saltwater Cafe Clearwater Beach FloridaA larger portion of their original grouper sandwich. The only complaint (of course, right?) I do have is that it really wasn’t that much bigger than the originals our table mates had. If I am going to get something super sized….. lay it on me!

I miss Florida for the beach and seafood. I don’t even want to think about eating seafood here in this landlocked arena of barbecue. If anyone out here in middle Tennessee has a recommendation… lay it on me!

Until next time..

enjoy your grouper sandwiches, Floridians! 🙂
C

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persian persuasion

The one interesting thing about moving around so much is the spectrum of people you meet. It’s not like we meet the same lot of people over and over again. For instance, in Nashville folk were uber friendly, Chicago people were a little scruffier but nice once you got to know them – like they were trying to act like New Yorkers but deep down they couldn’t fight the urge to be the sweet people they are – and South Florida? Um?…it is very international… and mostly on the elderly end.

Working retail, especially in a “high-end” grocer (loosely quoted), there’s the weirdos who come in for their hemp bread and patchouli, but aside from that, people from different cultures. I’ve gotten to know a wonderful Persian woman, who happens to be vegetarian and a master cook. Perfect that she works at a grocery store that more or less caters to alternative diets, she shops for her vegetables and vegan cheese, which she says is really good.

She has owned her own Persian restaurant, written a cookbook and now… makes food for me. How did I get so lucky?

I went to her house for lunch and left not only tipsy from her wine, but so tummy happy from her food I could’ve floated home.

Samosas, spinach-stuffed filo, saffron rice, tabouli (or tabbouleh)…. she is brilliant.



And for dessert? Not only fresh fruit but rosewater ice cream with pistachios. Perfection.

…of course, she brings me her nothing less than fabulous hummus and falafel paste and tells me how to make the falafel. “Little bit of oil in the pan, roll it up like a golf ball and poke your finger through the middle.” Done.

The woman is exquisite!

..enjoy your Persian meals!

C

 

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drive thru ‘za

Can you believe it……..I am actually posting from my phone. I need to, obviously, number one…get out more. But number two, blog more.
Thank you WordPress App!!! 🙂

So, we’ve been on this suffocating budget and all…stretching leftovers to their limits and stopping for steals and deals.
Here’s how we scored tonights dinner and possibly, tomorrow night’s too, for under $6. (Hey, I never said all featured cmyfood was going to be glamorous….)

After doing our laundry at the washateria, driving along Boynton Beach Blvd. we spotted a drive thru.
The pizza drive thru.
Really?!

I have seen this before…many moons ago in my hometown in Texas.

Mr. Gatti’s….anyone…anyone?….

Could we possibly forgive ourselves for passing up a large pepperoni pizza for $4.99!?

I know…… I saw the little grecian guy, “pizza, pizza” and we were hopeful it would be a step up from Caesar’s.

image
$4.99, I’ll take it!

After chit-chatting with the uber friendly drive thru attendant, Georgio’s Drive Thru pizza has been open 4 weeks, celebrates franchise openings nationwide and apparently enjoys giving away free pie…’cuz here’s our freebie:

image

Now, I cant exactly vouch for how you’re going to feel afterward buuuuuut……
Not too shabby for dinner under $6. Not to mention, dinner for tomorrow for us freegans.

Enjoy your cheap meals…

feliz año nuevo

Happy 2011!
I love the part in Forrest Gump when Forrest and Lt. Dan are in a bar in NYC and the girls come up to them and the one says (in her dirty NY accent), “Don’t ya just love New Years… you get to start all over. Everybody gets a second chance.”

My humble little blog was good to me in 2010… lots of adventures were had. Hopefully 2011 boasts many more foodie funsies. I mean, looking back.. cmyfood did lots of traveling… Los Angeles, Texas, Napa Valley, Puerto Rico, Miami, The BahamasSan Francisco, New York City…  we were lucky.
I’m hoping 2011 will bring more eats in the way of international fare. But, unless I win the lottery….
One resolution is definitely to get out here in SoFlo and dig into the dining scene.
So, to start things off I am reporting about a restaurant my hubby and I just discovered in our neighborhood. I think I had heard of this place before in passing convo but we found it on our phones, looking up local mexican food restaurants in the Yelp app. Oh my god, smart phones for a food fiend like myself is a revelation. And to make matters even better – our new GPS tells us points of interest in proximity to our location… including food… by type of cuisine!
Ridiculous.
So anyway, the place: Margaritas. I’m sure lots and lots of people go here but there was hardly a butt in the dining room when we went. 

pineapple orange margarita @ Margaritas in Boynton Beach

Just some highlights: an all you can DRINK brunch (sound familiar?), add $9.95 to any entree. Happy hour 4-7 & 10-close, $1 tacos and drinks. Not only are the margaritas refreshing, the tacos are zesty. They have chile con queso on the menu and its actually yellow cheese. And avocado chips! We didnt try these but I was very intrigued, they caught my attention and will be had upon our next visit.

Its been quite the task finding a quality tex-mex joint, considering I’m from Texas and all I ate growing up was sloppy plates of enchiladas and queso dip. But, Margaritas is my new fave in SoFlo.

Enjoy your meals in 2011!

tortilla soup

I’m still here! And cooking! I really will literally quit my day job and become a full-time writer. 2011, you know what’s up.
So, a fun thing for me to do is replicate dishes from movies. Ratatouille from ‘Ratatouille’, Thomas Keller’s sandwich from ‘Spanglish’ and…soup.
Well, I really love the movie “Tortilla Soup.” My husband rented it for me awhile back… back when we weren’t the Stephenson’s yet… and when I was dipping my toes into this whole cooking thing. He said I would really like all the food in the film. Lucky me, I found it for sale at Blockbuster a couple weeks ago – they have those 5 for $20 tables, you know. We have an addiction to those tables. But, seriously, sometimes you do find a few good ones. 🙂
Anyway, since watching it again I’ve had this itch to make tortilla soup.
Finally!:
Chicken, Tortilla & Cerveza Soup

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 jalapenos, diced (with seeds)
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups beer (I used Corona Light)
1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can corn, drained
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
juice of 2 limes
s+p
handful of chopped cilantro
1 avocado, pitted + diced
tortilla chips

In a large saucepan/stockpot, heat the oil on medium. Add in the diced onion, season and let sweat for 2 minutes.
Once the onion is tender, add the jalapenos and garlic. Season with salt + pepper (1.5 tablespoon of each). Stir and let cook for 2 more minutes. Pour the broth, beer, tomatoes, tomato paste, beans and corn into the pot and bring to a roaring boil. (If you like, season again with salt + pepper, only about a teaspoon of each this time). Once it starts to boil, lower the heat to a mild simmer and add the chicken breasts. Cook for approx. 20 minutes, until chicken is done. When the chicken is done, remove it and shred on a cutting board using a fork (or your fingers — once it’s cooled!). Add the shredded chicken back to the pot along with the lime juice and cilantro; stir.
Serve piping hot! with diced avocado and tortilla chips. 

It was a record breaking dinner, I think we finished our bowls in under 2 minutes. Other comments: I think the beer was fantastico! It was a last minute decision. OK, confession, I didn’t buy enough chicken broth. I panicked, looked in the fridge and grabbed the 2 month old Corona we had and in it went. I am a firm believer in improvisation. When I can, I will. When I can’t, I still do.
¡Buen provecho!

meat parade

Buffet?

I know, they can be kinda sketch… but done right and you have a superb gluttonous meal that stands in the upper echelon of  all-you-can-eat restaurants. Take for example: Chima Brazilian Steakhouse.

We were introduced to this protein smorgasbord by a very awesome girl from… Brazil. We had a birthday to celebrate so off to Fort Lauderdale we hoofed and once we nestled our starving butts into the dining room, a pristine salad bar awaited. Just LOOK at that presentation:


The creamy vegetable soup was like butta and a favorite at the table:

No menu, just EAT. That is so my kind of place. After salads, soups and cheeses, we hesitantly flipped our laminated medallions and the meat parade began. It literally did not stop. The gauchos were floating among us like piranhas. The rodizio (meats) included: leg of lamb, flank steak, filet mignon, chicken, pork ribs, top sirloin and MORE! Pick your doneness and they slice up as much or as little as you prefer.


Dessert. Duh. Yes, that is strawberry syrup… I know. But, I strategically forked around it.

And who goes to a restaurant on their birthday and doesn’t get a loud serenade in front of the whole place? Nobody. And a Brazilian one!? I wouldn’t go so far as to say he was the happiest camper about this shenanigan but… tough. Happy Birthday! 🙂

And we all staggered out of there with 9 month food babies. I’m swearing off meats for at least 48 hours..
Thanks for dragging us to the Fort and letting the Stephenson’s eat their first Brazilian Steakhouse meal(s).


(Oh, and then Shayne dazzled us with his flaming head trick.)

enjoy your meals…

C

chili and pasta

I have a mighty yummy crock pot full of veggies simmering in tomatoes for chili that’ll be ready tomorrow night. Mmm-mmm. Nothing better than chili and cornbread, friends!

With all our vegetables we dug up at the farmer’s market last week, I made roasted pepper pasta. We don’t really eat a lot of pasta, which is kind of a good thing but I don’t do it any justice by inhaling massive amounts of bread. So when we do make pasta its usually with a really light sauce. Basil pesto…olive oil and garlic… I can’t stand thick, raunchy red sauces. Heartburn, anyone?

While pasta cooked, I diced an onion, yellow tomato, cut fresh basil & parsley and minced garlic. I preheated our broiler to 350, put about 4 medium sized peppers on a cookie sheet and let them roast for 10 minutes..give or take. When they start charring its a good indicator they’ve been roasted enough. After those sat in a bowl, covered, for 10 minutes we scraped the char off and sliced them. After draining the pasta liquid, I added a generous drizzle or two of olive oil, tomato, onion, garlic and herbs and let that marry on medium-low heat. Then for the finishing touch, right after you take the pot off the stove, add *fresh* mozzarella. It has to be fresh. Get the expensive stuff, its way better.

enjoy your meals!