- Kevin Godbee
- Sep 19, 2019
- 4 min read
It seems like there are new restaurants opening in St. Pete every five minutes, and the new places get all of the hoopla, and attention. We certainly participate in it here at St. Petersburg Foodies, but we also love to remind you of the places that were here when there were not a lot of really good choices in St. Pete.
I often go to Red Mesa Cantina, as I love their food, and live right next to them. Living and working downtown, my car doesn’t get used much.
So, the other day, when I had the car out of the garage, I took advantage of the opportunity to have lunch at the original Red Mesa Restaurant on 4th Street North, up by 49th Ave.
I hadn’t been there in two years. Check out my Red Mesa Restaurant review from 2017.
I wanted to try several things, so I didn’t order a full entrée, only small plates, appetizers, and tacos. (I was solo for this one.)
The first section of the menu is Guacamole. I’ve never seen a guacamole section. It’s usually just an item, but Red Mesa Restaurant has four different versions. One is the traditional, and the other three have different additions that you don’t usually see.
Conveniently, there is a sampler where you pick three. I left out the traditional since I’ve had it many times before.
Left to right in the photo:
– Chipotle Chile – Guacamole With Chipotle Chiles in Adobo And Queso Fresco.
– Blue Crab – Guacamole With Blue Crab Meat.
– Chorizo & Corn – Guacamole With Mexican Chorizo, Roasted Corn And Queso Fresco.
I anticipated that I would like the Chorizo & Corn the best, but the Chipotle Chile was actually my favorite, followed by Chorizo & Corn. I really enjoyed the smooth, rich spiciness of the chipotle chiles in adobo.
I like guac, and I like blue crab meat, but I wasn’t a fan of them together. Speaking of together, the unique ingredients are actually placed on top, rather than mixed in. I’m sure this is for presentation purposes, as it would be nowhere near as pretty all mixed up. So, use a utensil to get stuff from the top and bottom onto one bite on your nacho chip.
Next up – Shrimp Fundido – Sun-Dried Tomato, Feta and Monterey Jack Cheese Fondue. Served with Flour Tortillas. The fundido was quite savory with great seasoning, chewiness, and flavor pop.
Tamales – Two Handmade Pork Tamales Topped with Chile Morita Sauce, Queso Fresco and Pico De Gallo.
Tamales are a pain to make, and not easy to get right, so I frequently use them as a yardstick for a Mexican place, and Red Mesa measures up nicely. They were moist and meaty with great flavor. The Chile Morita Sauce tops them off nicely.
While I frequently try tamales as a measure, I always use tacos. At 4th St., you can get “Street” tacos, which are more traditional Mexican-style with soft corn tortillas and more classic ingredients. You pick one meat from Chicken, Brisket, or Steak, and get two of them. Soft corn tortillas are the true Mexican style.
They also offer the more Americanized versions of tacos using soft flour tortillas, and hard corn tortillas. There is shrimp with flour tortillas, and shredded chicken or beef in hard corn tortillas.
I went with Brisket Street Tacos – Chile Guajillo Sauce, Encurtido, Pickled Red Onion, Cilantro.
The brisket tacos were amazingly delicious—packed with flavor and packed with a large portion of brisket. There’s a lot more food here than it appears. For me, there was a little too much pickled red onion dominating the flavor profile, so I took it off of my second taco.
Red Mesa Restaurant is well-know for their Sangria Bar. They have Blueberry Pomegranate, Jalapeño Margarita, Blackberry Lemon, and Strawberry Mango, each hand made to order with fresh ingredients. They are available by the glass, or pitcher, and there is Sangria Wednesday with all sangrias half off all day.
I’m not usually a fan of fake margaritas without actual tequila, but the Jalapeño Margarita Sangria is an outlier in this case. It actually tastes like a real margarita.
Red Mesa Restaurant does not currently have a liquor license, but Marketing Director, Tony Pullaro, on our podcast, told us that they are possibly working on getting one soon.
There’s a lot more great food on the menu including new items, and retro new / old items from back in the day that have been brought back as specials.
Get your Mexican on, and check out Red Mesa Restaurant soon!
- Readers Rating
- Rated 4.6 stars
4.6 / 5 (12 Reviewers)
- Your Rating
- Red Mesa Restaurant
- (727) 527-8728
- Mexican, Southwestern, Caribbean
- Mon - Thu 11:00am - 9:30pm
- Fri - Sat 11:00am - 10:30pm
- Sun - 11:00am - 9:00pm
- View menu
- Take Reservations: Yes!
- 4912 4th St North, St. Peterrsburg, FL 33703, US
Mexican classics & creative Southwestern dishes served in a bright space with a lively vibe.
- Best Local Food St Petersburg, Best Mexican Restaurants St Pete, Best of St Petersburg Florida, Mexican Food St Pete, Mexican Food St Petersburg, Mexican Food St Petersburg FL, Mexican Restaurant St Petersburg, Mexican Restaurant St Petersburg FL, Mexican Restaurants in St Petersburg Florida, Mexican Restaurants St Pete FL, Mexican Restaurants St Petersburg, Mexican Restaurants St Petersburg FL, Mexican Restaurants St Petersburg Florida, Mexican Restaurants St. Pete, Restaurants on 4th Street St Petersburg
Written by Kevin Godbee
Publisher & Co-Founder of St. Petersburg Foodies
World Food Championships Certified Food Judge #1541
Certified Chili Judge #62 by the International Chili Society
Certified Steak Judge #1562 by the Steak Cookoff Association
Certified Pizza Judge #14 by the Pizza Cookoff Association
Rouxbe Culinary School Enrollee
Culinary Institute of America "DISH" Member
I've always loved cooking. When I was 6-years old I wanted to cook. When my mom said that she was just running to the neighbor's and would be right back, I climbed onto the kitchen counter and found Lipton Instant French Onion Soup Mix. By the time my mom returned, I was stirring the pot on the stove, and proclaimed; "Look Mom! I'm cooking!"
In High School, I took three different cooking classes and got an A in each. After getting my first apartment, I used to cook 5-nights a week, and go out two nights. An old girlfriend from decades ago had a brother-in-law that was a CEO of a trucking company, and he used to entertain in Manhattan quite a bit ... and he started taking us along.
This was when I learned about gourmet food and fine wine. For a couple of years, Lori and I went out about 4-5 nights a week, but now we have a better balance of 50/50 between cooking at home, and going out to the amazing restaurants we are so lucky to have in our beloved St. Petersburg.
View all posts by: Kevin Godbee
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- January 20, 2023 Serbian Mediteran Restaurant: a Traditional Serbian and Balkan Style Food Experience
The dining on 4th St. N. is nothing to sleep on. Sure, there are plenty of hip new spots opening in other areas throughout St. Pete, but let’s not forget to shed light on the under the radar gems that have been under our nose, are ultra consistent and have been loved by people for years. Enter, Serbian Mediteran Restaurant. More times than not, I find myself researching a new restaurant that I have plans to dine at prior to visiting. After engaging in a few different searches on various social media channels and google, I was able to locate only a Facebook page and a slew of positive remarks about the restaurant scattered all across the web. Because of this, my husband and I didn’t know what to expect upon arrival. The moment we opened the doors, we were greeted with a quaint and immaculate dining space. Four tables (that could seat 4-6 people) were situated inside and a small handful outside as well. Silly me, because of the recent updated appearance of the space, I assumed that the restaurant had maybe been around for a few years at most. Oh, how I was wrong. After chatting with the owner of the restaurant, Brano, I learned that he in fact opened this family owned and operated restaurant 17 years ago when he and his family moved to the United States from Serbia. Brano has been living out his passion in the kitchen for the past 40 plus years. The level of detail, service and care that he gives to his restaurant and customers is the utmost genuine. During our entire meal, he seated us, waited on us, prepared our food, served our food, bussed our table and ran our payment at the end of our meal. As I mentioned, the tables are limited but large enough for a small group each. Because they do close most evenings at 8:00PM, and 7:00PM on Sunday, thoughtfully planning your arrival for dinner at Siberian Mediteran is suggested. This is especially recommended on the weekends. We stopped in for an early dinner around 5:00PM on a weekday and were the first ones in for dinner. When we left an hour later, the tables inside were all occupied and a handful of folks were in and out for their meal to-g0. In addition to dinner service, Siberian Mediteran Restaurant also serves breakfast every day beginning at 8:00AM. It’s always been somewhat of a task finding somewhere open for breakfast (that isn’t just a coffee shop) at that time of day. The restaurant serves items like pastries, omelets and morning necessities like Americanos and espresso, so be certain to keep them in mind to satisfy breakfast cravings. The menu at Siberian Mediteran Restaurant is broken down into a few different categories: appetizers and breakfast, grilled entrees, specialties, soups and salads, beverages and desserts. Alcohol is not served here, but there are plenty of other enticing and refreshing options available. We landed on Cockta and the Schweppes bitter lemon. The Cockta was incredibly interesting. My husband described the flavor of it perfectly though – it tastes like Pepsi with a hint of candy necklace. When I tasted it for myself, I couldn’t deny it. He was totally right. The Schweppes flavor was zingy and bright. It reminded me of any other kind of lemon-lime soda or sparkling water. When it came down to the food, we didn’t have much of a clue what to order. The only item I knew we had to get was the Cevapi due to rave reviews. Aside from that, we gave Brano the reigns and asked him to guide us through the favorites. The first two items Brano pointed out were the Cevapi and the Pljeskavica (aka the gourmet burger) and they hit the table first. At first, I couldn’t believe my eyes as to the size. This large ground beef patty is seasoned with Balkan style spices and served between two pieces of traditional pita bread. Along side the burger, and most everything else, you’ll find sour cream, onion and tomato. The Balkan style spices on that patty are absolutely incredible, bursting with savory notes. The pita bread was surprisingly light and airy and paired perfect with the beef. This one can easily be shared between two. The Cevapi comes in two sizes – small and large. The smaller size has five minced beef links and the large comes with ten. Cevapi is also served on the traditional pita bread with the standard accoutrements on the side. This dish is traditionally found in the countries of Southeastern Europe. Ordering the smaller size was definitely the right move for us…and we still had leftovers. Leftovers that we definitely are not mad about because the minced beef links were totally on point. When you visit Siberian Mediteran Restaurant, be sure to order this one. The other crowd favorite that Brano pointed out was the Karadordeva Snicla (type of schnitzel) and then we took it upon ourselves to order Raznjici (chicken shish kabobs). The kabobs were simple yet satisfying as is with just the right amount of seasoning and time on the grill. They too are served with the onions and such, along with some traditional pita bread and French fries on the side. This portion was definitely a lot more manageable than the other dishes we had and would be quite suitable for a meal for one. This schnitzel was unlike any I had ever had before. It’s comprised of breaded and fried rolled boneless pork roast that is stuffed with cheese and ham and ladled with a silky smooth and luscious sauce. Also on the plate with the schnitzel, you’ll find the same accessories as the kabobs. In my opinion, the schnitzel is another non-negotiable when dining here. The menu isn’t limited to just one and each one sounds as enticing as the last. For my next visit, the Becka Snicla (Wienerschnitzel) is undoubtedly what I’m opting for. I was […]
- January 19, 2023 Oaks on 4th Makes an Outstanding First Impression
You may have blinked and missed the transition between the former Quickies BBQ and its replacement, Oaks on 4th. I feel like I remember one day hearing Oaks on 4th was coming and the next day it was open. Opening in early December by the owners of Bascom’s and former sous chef of Café Ponte, they have quickly made a splash in St. Pete. I’ve visited three times since opening and every time I went it’s been bustling with customers. The first time I visited was on Christmas Eve Eve. My mom and I decided to check it out and sit at the bar after a long day of shopping. Three bartenders assisted us through the night, but the one who truly made an impression was Mike. He is entertaining, knowledgeable about the menu and knows how to make a great martini. My second visit was for brunch and last visit was for a sit-down dinner. Each experience I’ve had so far at Oaks has been a different, but great experience. The staff and management are all welcoming and friendly. With the lack of quality higher-end restaurants, other than Noble Crust, between downtown and Gandy, Oaks has been a welcome addition to the area. I have visited Oaks so many times, you can only imagine the number of dishes I have tried. So I am going to do this article a little bit differently and rank my dishes from favorite to least favorite, although there were no bad dishes. Then I will share the cocktails that I’ve had on my visits. 1. Ribeye Steak The steaks at Oaks are brought over from Bascom’s, so you know they’re high quality. The menu at Oaks varies nearly every day, including the steaks they serve. When I dined, they were serving a Ribeye which I was very happy about, as that is my favorite cut of steak. It is coffee crusted and cooked over an open grill (the grill is actually a focal point of the restaurant and can be seen from virtually every seat in the house), then topped with glazed mushrooms, and served with a side of sherry pepper cream sauce. We ordered the steak medium-rare and it could not have been cooked more perfectly. The steak spoke for itself without dipping in the sherry cream sauce, but when dipped in the sauce it made it one of the best bites of steak I’ve ever had. 2. Half Chicken The Half Chicken is a sous vided chicken glazed with smoky hot honey that is fried to crisp the skin. The chicken is extremely juicy on the inside and the skin is crispy on the outside. I am a chicken skin lover and was ripping off the skin and eating it by itself. It was almost candy-like. The dish is served with a pan sauce gravy, but it is honestly unnecessary since the chicken is already so flavorful and delicious. 3. Steak Tartare I’ve know I’ve said it at least once in another article somewhere, and I’ll say it again and again… if there is a tartare or carpaccio on a menu, I am ordering it. At Oaks, it’s no different. Oaks serves a Steak Tartare that is mixed with green apple, spicy peppers, fried capers, truffle, sriracha and topped with an egg yolk. Served on the side is pickled veggies and house-made chips. The dish is extremely savory but is rounded out by the slight sweet and tarte flavors from the green apple. I would never have thought to put green apple in a tartare, but it is the perfect addition. 4. Mushroom Bisque The one dish I knew I wanted to try before ever visiting Oaks and having only looked at the menu is their Mushroom Bisque. My first visit, they were sold out. My second visit, it wasn’t on the menu. Finally on my third visit it was available. I actually almost forgot to order it (I think I had nearly given up hope at this point) and put in a last minute order so I could try it. The soup is a combination of button mushrooms and gold potatoes, then finished with truffle cream, chives, crispy mushrooms, and porcini dust. This was a true umami flavor bomb. If this is available on the menu, it is not to be missed. It may be the best soup I’ve ever had. 5. Potato Chips House-made chips are one of my favorite items to find on a menu. Oaks serves their house-made chips alongside many of their dishes, including their pimento cheese and steak tartar. But, you can also order just the Potato Chips topped with honey drizzle, balsamic glaze, crumbled blue cheese and green onion. They are the ideal bar snack alongside a tasty cocktail. 6. Spreads & Breads The Spreads & Breads is available on the brunch menu. A simple, yet delightful dish served with grilled bread to top with whipped ricotta and a marcona almond pesto. 7. Spicy Shrimp The first time I visited, I wasn’t enraptured by the spicy shrimp on the menu and just looked past it. Until I saw someone nearby order it and could smell it from across the bar. When I dined again we decided to order it and it did not disappoint. Six shrimp swim in a slightly spicy (could be spicier), flavorful garlic sauce topped with roasted pepper and served with grilled bread to sop up the sauce with. 8. Plate Cake When my friend and I went for brunch, we were both a little boring with our entrees. I had been craving blueberry pancakes over the previous week, and when I saw it was on the menu I knew I had to order it. As they call it at Oaks, the “Plate Cake” is a jumbo buttermilk pancake with the options of chocolate chip, blueberry or plain. It’s served with maple syrup, sausage links, and hashbrowns. The pancake was crispy around the edges and fluffy in the middle… just […]
- January 17, 2023 Williams Sub Shop: For All Your Sandwich Cravings Open Since 1958
On your lunch break? Need a quick bite to eat? The next time the craving strikes, plan a visit to Williams Sub Shop to indulge in some of the best sandwiches and salads in St. Petersburg. Williams Sub Shop has been serving iconic sandwiches since 1958 and if you’ve never been, you must go. Ask anyone that’s been in St. Pete that long and they’ll tell you to go. Williams Sub Shop is located on the corner of Tyrone Blvd and 38th Ave N. You can’t miss it. Once you walk through the doors, you’ll instantly feel like a regular. The vibe gives off a major family-friendly atmosphere and the staff makes sure everyone leaves satisfied. They don’t just serve regular ole sandwiches at Williams Sub Shop, nope, they serve juicy, meaty, fresh, jam-packed 10-inch sandwiches. You can order any sandwich as a salad too. So now you have no excuse even if you’re kicking off the new year low-carb. If you’re like me though, you make exceptions and you’ll order all of the sides because the salads here are all homemade and how can you say no to fresh potato salad and coleslaw? As I walked in I knew I would most likely be ordering an Italian sub, it’s my go-to, favorite sub. I heard that the Yum Yum Sub was iconic and something special. There was one other person in the shop who chimed in to tell me he’s been coming here for years and always orders the Yum Yum Sub served “All the Way”. He said there was no other way to order at Williams Sub Shop. The staff at the counter also encouraged me to order it. Bonus: It’s kind of fun to say “I’ll have the Yum Yum Sub served All the Way”. The Yum Yum Sub is roast beef, turkey breast, ham, bacon, provolone cheese, and mayo. You can order it hot or cold with shredded mozzarella cheese on top. “All the Way” style means you’ll be elevating your sandwich with pickle relish, onions, tomatoes, oil, spices and hot pepper relish. I ordered the full sandwich but pictured is the 5 inch cut in half since I was sharing it with Aunty Karen. The other half was just as good when I demolished it on the beach the next day. Given the hype surrounding this sub, I’m pleased to say that it blew me away. It was delicious, filling, and very flavorful. There’s not a thing I’d change about it. As stated, I love an Italian sub and the one at Williams Sub Shop was delightful. This “Old Fashioned” Sub comes with ham, cooked salami, capicola, pepperoni and provolone cheese. I ordered it “All the Way” as well. This well-known classic sub is perfect for any other sandwich aficionado out there for a savory bite. A side of ranch is the perfect pairing here. It’s homemade and I literally could have drank it, it was that good. I love condiments, especially ranch, and if you like a little pizazz then you should dunk your sandwich in it too. Chow down on their tuna in the form of a salad for a crisp and refreshing meal. Their tuna was astounding. It’s served on a bed of lettuce and topped with your choice of add-ons, we went with the hot pepper relish and oil and vinegar dressing. Choose a size and enjoy. This is the medium, a good size if you’re really hungry or want to share. The tuna salad is a hot seller and for obvious reasons, it was well seasoned and perfectly creamy. Their sides burst with flavor and are the perfect addition to your sandwich or salad. Choose between their Redskin Potato Salad, Greek Potato Salad, Coleslaw and Tuna Macaroni Salad. You can order it as a side, ½ pint or regular size pint. All of the salads are homemade and yes, they are dreamy and creamy. The staff was so kind to us and they brought us every side to try. The Redskin Potato Salad was good, a safe order that will be comforting and filling. The Greek Potato Salad, however, is my favorite of the two because of the additional zesty bite you get. There’s a little tang that had me basically licking the bowl clean. The Coleslaw was the runner up as its cold and crisp texture was light and semi sweet. I don’t usually like coleslaw because sometimes the texture gets to me, but I’d have to define the one at Williams Sub Shop as perfection. The Tuna Macaroni Salad was also very tasty. It’s a classic side and doesn’t leave you feeling overly full since it’s served cold and even though there’s macaroni, it’s still a light refreshing bite. They offered to take our picture, how cute! I love going on lunch dates/food reviews with Aunty Karen. The majority of the people that stopped in requested their orders to-go. The staff is pretty quick to get orders out and even during their afternoon rush they kept a steady flow and positive attitude. After devouring all the sides, half of the Yum Yum Sub, half of the Italian Sub, and a few big forkfuls of the Tuna Salad, I was completely floored. Williams Sub Shop is that familiar sandwich shop that’s been around for years and years and you wonder why you didn’t come across it sooner. It’s a hole in the wall gem that I look forward to visiting every time I’m passing by.
- January 10, 2023 Chicken Khao Soi Recipe
This dish is a consistent go-to of mine for so many reasons. Because of the ingredient list it may sound involved, but I assure you, the most difficult part of the process is prepping your mise en place. From start to finish, prep included, you can have this meal on the table in one hour flat. Utilizing your food processor is highly suggested when making the Khao Soi paste, which is the backbone of this whole dish. The first time I made this dish I did not own a food processor so I minced and chopped all of the ingredients by hand. It was great practice with my knife but it was daunting and made for a more textured paste. The Guajillo Chiles don’t boast a ton of heat in my opinion so I encourage you to add additional heat to your taste. I started adding in crushed red pepper and Gochugaru regularly and really enjoy the addition of a different spice element or two. The Gochugaru that I always buy is found at Rollin’ Oats – the brand is Mother in Law’s. I always keep it on hand and use it interchangeably with the crushed red pepper flakes. As for the noodles for this dish, most will recommend using Chinese egg noodles – Rollin’ Oats carries the Sharwood brand. I have used the egg noodles in the past and do enjoy them, but most of the time, I use whatever noodles I have on hand. This typically includes ramen, udon or soba. The noodles won’t make or break the dish so I encourage you to use your preference. Chicken Khao Soi This coconut curry noodle soup may sound involved, but it couldn't be easier to throw together in a pinch. Dutch Oven Khao Soi Paste6 garlic cloves (Peeled and crushed)2" fresh ginger (Peeled and roughly chopped)2 shallots (Medium in size – peeled and roughly chopped)5 guajillo chilies (Dried and medium in size)2 limes1/2 cup cilantro (Roughly chopped)2 tsp turmeric2 tsp curry powder2 tsp coriander (Ground)1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or Gochugaru (This is optional, but suggested if you're looking for a bit more heat)Soup & Assembly2 tbsp olive oil2 cups vegetable broth2 14 oz cans coconut milk (Full fat and unsweet)2 chicken breasts (Boneless and skinless)salt (At least a couple of tsp, plus more as needed.)noodles (For example: ramen, udon, soba or Chinese egg noodles. Use whatever you have on hand or prefer.)2 carrots (Medium in size, peeled and sliced into thin rounds.)1/2 cup red onion (Sliced thin)1 jalapeño (Sliced into thin rounds) Khao Soi PasteBring a few cups of water to a boil in a kettle or on the stove top. Place chiles in a medium bowl and pour boiling water over to cover. Allow peppers to soften for at least 30 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup soaking liquid and discard the rest as well s the stems of the peppers.Add softened chiles and remaining Khao Soi paste ingredients and half of the chopped cilantro to a food processor with half of reserved soaking liquid. Process, adding more liquid as needed, until a paste forms.Soup and AssemblyHeat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat and add paste to the pot. Cook for about five minutes – the paste will become quite fragrant and will take on a deeper color of red.Carefully pour in broth and coconut milk then add in the chicken. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer and cover mostly, leaving the top slightly ajar – 30 minutes.Prepare noodles of choice and divide evenly between bowls.After chicken has cooked, taste and season the soup as needed and add the juice of one lime. Remove the chicken from the soup and shred using two forks – carefully return to the pot. Stir in sliced carrots.Ladle soup into the bowls with the noodles and top with sliced onion and cilantro and serve with additional lime wedges. DinnerThaiChicken Khao Soi, Coconut Curry Noodle Soup
- December 30, 2022 Ray Lampe on the Closing of Dr. BBQ and What the Future Holds – St. Petersburg Foodies Podcast Episode 157
This is a special edition one-time show where we talk to Ray Lampe on the closing of Dr. BBQ the Restaurant, what the future may hold for him in the restaurant business and other projects he is working on. You’ll get the real story on why the restaurant closed, and find out that Ray is quite the unstoppable entrepreneur with lots of fun and exciting current and future projects in the works. Will Ray be back in the restaurant business in the future? Listen to the ten minute interview to find out.
- January 10, 2023 Chicken Khao Soi Recipe
- December 5, 2022 Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
If a dish has the word parmesan in the title, it’s almost guaranteed to be wonderful. Eggplant parmesan is certainly no exception. Though it is quite the labor of love, the result is more than worth the effort. To make this process easier, break the recipe down into steps and begin to prepare a day or so before you plan on serving the dish. About 36 hours ahead of time, I make my marinara and I salt/cover my sliced un-cooked eggplant with paper towels. Then on the day of, you can focus on frying your eggplant and assembly. Trust me when I say that following the process this way makes for a much more relaxed experience, especially if you’re preparing this meal for guests. Eggplant is in season currently in Florida so locating a few good ones shouldn’t be an issue. Rollin’ Oats is stocked with eggplant right now, along with everything else that you’ll need to make this recipe. The best part about sourcing ingredients from them is the quality and care they take in providing premium, organic products that are often local. What’s not to love about that? Perhaps the most important yet most simple step of making eggplant parmesan is allowing ample time for it to cool before slicing and serving. Absolutely no one wants to eat a serving of piping hot and mushy eggplant. Allowing it to cool ensures a lasagna-like form for each piece. Eggplant Parmesan When prepared properly (patience included), eggplant parmesan is the poster child for luscious comfort food. In my opinion, the key to this recipe rests in two aspects: salting the sliced eggplant and allowing it to rest for an ample amount of time pre-breading/cooking and allowing the the dish to cool for at atleast 30-40 minutes before slicing and serving. Marinara2 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes1 onion (Peeled and sliced in half)3 garlic cloves (Fresh, minced)1 tsp crushed red pepper2 tbsp tomato paste1/2 cup red wine (Something you would drink)2-3 dried bay leavesparmesan rinds1 tbsp salt (plus more as needed)1 tsp black pepper (plus more, to taste)1 tbsp olive oilorange peel (approximately 3", to balance the acidity)Eggplant & Assembly4 eggplant (Medium in size. Peeled and sliced lengthwise into 1/2"thick slices)1.5 cups all purpose flour6 eggs (whisked well)3 cups panko bread crumbs2 cups vegetable/olive oil2 tsp dried oregano2 cups parmesan (grated, divided – plus more for serving)2 cups low-moisture shredded mozzarella8 oz mozzarella ball (torn into 1-2" pieces)1/2 cup basil (fresh, chopped) MarinaraHeat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion halves and cook until beginning to brown (8-10 minutes).Add in minced garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring here and there, until fragrant (1-2 minutes).Mix in tomato paste, salt and pepper and cook stirring occasionally until tomato paste begins to darken, 2-3 minutes. Add in bay leaves.Pour in wine and deglaze pan. Then, carefully dump in both cans of tomatoes and toss in parmesan rinds and orange peel. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium low and allow sauce to reduce and cook until onion is soft and sauce is quite flavorful – 1.5-2 hours. Add more salt as needed. Remove and discard bay leaves, orange peel, parmesan rinds and remnants of onion. Season as needed.EggplantSet a wire rack inside a baking sheet and line it with paper towels. Layer eggplant slices single file and salt liberally. Repeat eggplant layering with paper towels. Allow to sit for at least a couple of hours and up to one whole day.After eggplant slices have rested, combine panko, one cup parmesan, dried oregano and a couple of pinches of salt in a food processor and pulse until well combined. One at a time, dredge eggplant slices in flower, egg (allowing excess to drip, and then coat well all over in bread crumb mixture. Set slices on a wire rack single file. Add vegetable/olive oil to a large pot or dutch oven and heat over medium-high. Cook dredged eggplant pieces a few at a time until golden brown (3-5 minutes). Remove from oil and add to paper towel-topped plate. Press with more paper towels gently to absorb oil. Repeat with remaining slices of eggplant.Eggplant Parmesan AssemblyPre-heat oven to 350. In a casserole dish, disperse one cup of marinara, followed by a single layer of fried eggplant slices, more marinara and then 1/3 cup of the cheese mixture. Repeat steps starting with eggplant slices, sauce and then finishing with cheese layer until you run out of eggplant – I usually get three layers, but it all depends on your dish.Cover with foil and bake for 50-60 minutes. Remove foil and increase oven to 425F.Top with torn fresh mozzarella and bake for another 20 minutes – cheese should be golden on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 30-40 minutes before slicing to ensure lasagna-like slices. Serve garnished with grated parmesan and fresh basil. Dinner, Main CourseAmerican, ItalianAbby Allen Recipes, Dinner Recipe, Eggplant Parmesan, Vegetarian
- November 2, 2022 Cacio e Pepe Corn Ribs Recipe
Creamed corn, corn casserole, and even frozen corn are some of the standard players there to represent corn at the Thanksgiving table. Add in a dose of nontraditional fun with this vegetable this holiday season by making these air fryer corn ribs. Sweet corn season just started in Florida as it runs from October through June. Perhaps the most difficult part of this recipe is slicing the corn into ribs. First of all, you want to make sure that your knife is very sharp. The cob can be very difficult to cut through so just make sure to take your time and be extra careful. Cacio e pepe, which basically translates to cheese and pepper, is a delicious way to prepare these ribs but not a have to. Other seasoning combinations I recommend are: paprika/parmesan/cayenne/cilantro with a crema drizzle, or even just salt/pepper seasoned and finished with a drizzle of good vinegar and some fresh dill – get crazy. Rollin’ Oats carries a large assortment of organic spices and seasonings that would be idyllic with corn. Mother In Law brand Goghugaru Korean Chile Flakes and Frontier Co-op’s organic Tandoori Masala are a couple of my favorites. Cacio e Pepe Corn Ribs Have some fun with your corn side dish this holiday season with this air fryer corn rib recipe Air Fryer 4 ears of corn1/2 cup olive oil (plus more, as needed)1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)1 tbsp garlic powder1 tbsp onion powder1 tsp salt (plus more as needed, to taste)2 tsp black pepper (freshly cracked)1/4 cup basil (torn) Peel the corn. One at a time, cut each cob in half length-wise and then cut each half in half again so you have 4 corn "ribs."Combine spices, salt and pepper and oil in a medium bowl. Mix well.Brush each corn rib evenly with the mixture. Finish with a pinch of salt and more black pepper.Preheat an Air Fryer to 400F. Lay corn ribs in a single layer in the Air Fryer tray. Set the timer for 15 minutes and flip halfway through. Cook until desired doneness has been reached (I like a bit more char so I tend to cook them longer).Arrange on a platter and serve topped with parmesan and torn basil. Appetizer, Side DishAmericanCorn Ribs Recipes
- November 1, 2022 Pumpkin Basque Cheesecake Recipe
Thanksgiving is on the horizon and I have the perfect Fall-inspired basque cheesecake recipe to serve your guests for dessert. Some of you may not be all too familiar with what exactly a basque cheesecake is. In short, it’s a a form of cheesecake cooked at a high temperature which in turn makes for a “burnt,” caramelized top with an interior that is ultra luscious and creamy. The process is very simple – just make sure that you have these tools on hand when making it: 10″ springform pan like this one, a stand mixer (like a Kitchen-Aid), parchment paper (3 16×20″ pieces), mesh sieve for sifting flour and a baking sheet. As for the ingredients, the list is fewer than ten. You shouldn’t have a hard time finding most of the ingredients as they are pretty standard and most always available – cream cheese, sugar, eggs, flour, heavy cream, vanilla extract, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pumpkin, however, can be tough to find the closer we creep towards Thanksgiving. I recommend stocking up now while it’s readily available. Rollin’ Oats currently has canned organic pumpkin puree in stock. We only need one cup for the cheesecake; reserve the rest of the can for something else like: in smoothies, pancakes or perhaps in something savory like a sauce for pasta or gnocchi. Make this the day before Thanksgiving in order to allow ample time for the cheesecake to cool and set up overnight in the refrigerator. This is necessary, but hey, that’s one last thing that you have to prepare on the big day. By morning, it’ll be ready to slice and serve whenever. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Pumpkin Basque Cheesecake After making cheesecake this way for the first time, you'll be hard-pressed to ever revert back to the standard cheesecake way. 2 lb cream cheese1 1/2 cups sugar1 1/2 cups heavy cream5 eggs1 egg yolk1/4 cup flour (Sifted. This is where your mesh sieve comes into play.)1 tbsp vanilla extract1 tsp cinnamon (Plus more for garnish when serving)1 pinch nutmeg (Grated.)1 cup pumpkin (Canned puree )salt Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with one piece of parchment. Lightly grease your springform pan. Take another sheet of parchment the same size and line your springform, carefully tucking it in (there should be plenty of overhang). Lay another sheet of parchment the same size on top and nestle it into the pan as well. The two pieces of parchment should be crossed.Add all cream cheese to a stand mixer and beat until smooth and creamy.Pour in sugar and beat until sugar is dissolved.Add in eggs one at a time, making sure they're mixed well.Mix in the cream, sift in the flour and add in the spices and a pinch or two of salt.Add the pumpkin and vanilla extract to the mixture and combine.Place parchment lined springform onto baking sheet. Carefully pour mixture into prepared springform.Bake for one hour. Remove when the top of the cheesecake is dark golden. Make sure not to cook it for too long – the inside should still have a light jiggle to it. Let the cake cool and then place it in the refrigerator overnight to setup. Remove the cake from the fridge and carefully peel away the springform pan and parchment paper. Slice and serve with optional cinnamon garnish. DessertAmericanPumpkin Basque Cheesecake
- October 6, 2022 Sweet Potato Tian with Maple-Tahini Drizzle Recipe
Sweet potatoes are one of those fantastic ingredients that can show up whenever you’re in need of a sweet OR savory dish. Because of that reason, they’re a staple in our household. Yams and sweet potatoes of all kinds are always on deck in our kitchen: Jewel, Garnet and Japanese Sweet Potatoes, specifically. The end result of this side is quite stunning and may look difficult to replicate; however, it is in fact quite simple – especially if you have a mandolin slicer. If you do not have a sharp knife, a mandolin is key in making these rounds nice and thin like they should be. It will make your life so much easier (and safer) and you can definitely find one on Amazon for under $25. Save your finger tips. But please heed the warnings whenever using a mandolin and where the safety glove. You get going so fast that it is easy to cut yourself without one. This Tian is many things, in addition to being delicious and quite simple to assemble. It’s also comforting, health-forward, perfect for Thanksgiving and vegan (but still the utmost satisfying). If you buy all of the ingredients at Rollin’ Oats (and other health-forward grocers), this beauty can be made 100% organic too with local produce and mindfully sourced ingredients and products. Sweet Potato Tian with Maple-Tahini Drizzle The arrival of October tends to instill the want for all things Fall – especially when it comes to cooking. Use any combination of sweet potatoes/yams for this elegant side that is perfect for the season. Cast Iron Skillet 3 sweet potatoes (Any combination of sweet potatoes and/or yams will work. Sliced into thin rounds.)1/2 white onion (medium in size, sliced thin)1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)3 tbsp olive oil (divided)1/2 cup pomegranate seeds2 tsp saltMaple-Tahini Drizzle1 tsp salt (plus more, as needed)1 tbsp olive oil1/4 cup tahini2 tbsp maple syrup1 lemon (juice only)water (as needed to thin out sauce)1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (like cilantro, basil, parsley or dill.) Maple-Tahini DrizzleWhisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl or mixing glass. Add one 1 tbsp of water at a time as needed to thin sauce. It should easily drizzle without being too runny. Season with salt as needed.Sweet Potatoes & AssemblyPreheat oven to 400F. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a nonstick skillet like cast iron or casserole dish. Sprinkle half of parmesan cheese in skillet and then layer potatoes in the pan in a spiral (almost like you would with dominoes).Top with one more tbsp of oil and salt. Distribute onions on top with remaining tbsp of oil and a pinch of salt. Roast for one hour, turning skillet/pan halfway through, until potatoes are cooked through and onions have taken on color.Remove potatoes from oven, drizzle with maple-tahini sauce, top with pomegranate seeds and fresh chopped herbs like cilantro, basil, parsley or dill. Appetizer, Side DishAmericanAbby Allen Recipes, Fall Recipes, Fall Side Recipes, Sweet Potato Recipes