Local Flavor: Scotch eggs from Claddagh Cottage Irish Pub

Calddagh Scotch Eggs

For this month’s edition of Local Flavor, the recipe column I do in collaboration with The Community Paper, I’m featuring the scotch eggs from Claddagh Cottage in the Curry Ford West District. St. Patrick’s Day is in March, after all, and Claddagh Cottage is one of the area’s most popular Irish pubs.

But why feature something Scottish from an Irish pub? you ask. Well, a scotch egg (notice the lowercase s) is not Scottish (uppercase S). Scotching (an uppercase S only because it’s at the beginning of the sentence, otherwise it would be scotching) is the process of wrapping minced meat around something, in this case an egg. If you were to wrap minced meat or sausage around, say, a strawberry it would be called a scotch strawberry. And it would be a lousy appetizer. And indeed, scotch eggs are very popular appetizers in Irish pubs, at least in American Irish pubs.

Local Flavor: A grad student-style quick and easy chicken rice casserole

Chicken Rice casserole

Local Flavor is a montly collaboration between Scott Joseph's Orlando Restaurant Guide and The Community Paper.

I keep a list of recipes I refer to as my graduate student dishes because they’re quick, easy, often use shortcuts and are generally inexpensive to make. This particular recipe I collected shortly after grad school when I was in my first professional job as a communications media specialist. I worked for a small hospital in Illinois doing videography and photography of the sort best not discussed in a food column.

When I mentioned to one of my co-workers — think Flo, the waitress from the TV show “Alice,” but as a medical transcriptionist — that I wanted to cook more meals at home but didn’t know where to begin, she recommended that I start with this recipe, which she recited to me by memory.

It was just right for a novice, sort of like cooking with training wheels.

It’s also a good dish for anyone who needs to whip up something fast, simple and, for the most part, budget-friendly. And it’s an almost-one-dish recipe. In fact, if you want, you can mix the cream of chicken soup and water in the baking dish before you add the rice and eliminate the mixing bowl — you have my permission.

To save time, you can buy the chicken precut, or you can get a whole fryer and chop it up yourself, which you’ll find is cheaper. You can use the chicken wings — or not — but leave the back out of the dish and save it to make chicken stock. That’s a doctoral candidate-level recipe. See the recipe at The Community Paper.

Local Flavor: Dharma Southern Kitchen's fried green tomatoes

Local Flavor Dharma Fried Green Tomatoes 768x756 copy

Local Flavor is a collaboration with The Community Paper.

Dharma Southern Kitchen is a vegan restaurant in the Milk District’s Market on South that opened in 2015. Chef/Owner Shaun Noonan shares his recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes, which uses a cornstarch slurry in place of the usual egg wash.

Noonan says there are two keys to this dish: finding truly green tomatoes and slicing them no thinner than 1/2 inch. Otherwise, he says, you’ll end up with mush.

The finished tomatoes may be used in a sandwich, as shown in the photo, or eaten with a knife and fork as an appetizer.

Click here to see the full recipe at YourCommunityPaper.com.

Local Flavor: Baton Rouge Burger from White Wolf Cafe

Local Flavor is a collaboration between Scott Joseph's Orlando Restaurant Guide and The Community Paper.

White Wolf Burger

White Wolf Cafe has been a mainstay of Ivanhoe Village District for 31 years — before it was known as Ivanhoe Village Main Street District. Back then, you’d more likely hear it referred to as Antique Row because of the many antique shops along that stretch of Orange Avenue.

In fact, White Wolf started as part antique shop and part cafe, and in those early days, a large white German shepherd named Casper (the putative wolf in the name) could be found lolling around the store, effectively eluding the glance of health inspectors.

Casper left us long ago, and owners Michael and Anne Marie Hennessey turned their focus to the restaurant side of the business. Here, Anne Marie Hennessey shares the recipe for White Wolf’s award-winning Baton Rouge Burger, so named for the Cajun notes from the blackened seasonings. The burger started out as a burger-of-the-month special but proved so popular that it is now part of the regular menu.

Find the full recipe at YourCommunityPaper.com.

Local Flavor: Creme Brulée from Maxine's on Shine

Maxines brulee

There’s a lot of history in the building on Shine Avenue that has been the home of Maxine’s on Shine for the past decade. The structure started out as a grocery market, but as a restaurant site it has held East Side Cafe, Derby Court, Shine Avenue Deli, Deli Down Under (I actually missed that one), Kia Rose, Union, Union City Tavern, Bravissimo and Shine Neighborhood Kitchen. Current owners Kirt and Maxine Earhart seem to have put an end to the revolving door of restaurant concepts and they’ve recently added a historical note of their own: Maxine’s was on the list of recommended restaurants in the inaugural Florida edition of the Michelin Guide.

There’s history in Maxine’s kitchen, too, where George Vogelbacher has been cooking since 2014. Previously, Vogelbacher owned a restaurant called Le Cordon Bleu that was in the building where Ravenous Pig currently stands. When a fire shut down Le Cordon Bleu and the neighboring Harper’s Tavern, Vogelbacher moved to a restaurant space next to the Enzian Theater in Winter Park and opened Nicole St. Pierre.

Local Flavor: Le Coq au Vin's Coquille St. Jacques

Chef Reimund Pitts BySTCChef Reimund Pitts of Le Coq au Vin with his Coquilles St. Jacques. (Photo by S.T. Cardinal of The Community Paper)

Le Coq Au Vin, at 46 Orlando’s oldest French restaurant, was already in operation for six years when Louis Perrotte and his wife, Magdalena, bought it. It is now owned and operated by Chef Reimund Pitz and his wife, Sandy, in partnership with the Perrottes. Housed in its unique A-frame — the original structure was a model for a company selling beach homes — Le Coq Au Vin is still a go-to special occasion restaurant for many Central Floridians.

In this edition of Local Flavor, a collaboration with The Community Paper, Pitz shares his recipe for coquille St. Jacques, a classic French dish of scallops in a creamy sauce. See the full recipe here.

Local Flavor: Perfect Florida Strawberry Shortcake from Se7en Bites

Se7enbites shortcake 768x768 copySe7en Bites

If you start to notice a lot of culinary-savvy tourists finding their way to the Milk District, it’s probably because they’re looking for Trina Gregory-Propst’s bakery and eatery, now known succinctly as Se7en Bites.

It opened nine years ago, first in a small former sandwich shop (which is a sandwich shop again: Bad As’s) before moving to its more spacious current location. In that time, it has earned numerous accolades and national recognition. Se7en Bites was featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” — though it’s really none of those — and recently was recognized as a Bib Gourmand recommended restaurant in the first Florida Michelin Guide.

All the praise is well deserved, and Gregory-Propst’s delicious pastries are the reason why. In the current issue of The Community Paper, she shares her recipe for Perfect Florida Strawberry Shortcake in my Local Flavor column.

Local Flavor: Muhammara from Hungry Pants

Muhammara Sauce

This month’s edition of “Local Flavor,” my collaboration with The Community Paper, features a recipe from Hungry Pants, the SoDo restaurant that is “100 percent plant based 80 percent of the time,” according to its owners, Joey Conicella and Alex Marin.

Marin and Conicella are sharing Hungry Pants’ recipe for muhammara, a versatile and spicy dip popular in Lebanon, Syria and Turkey (the country, not the bird). “I am a big believer in having ‘back pocket’ options to use for quick options at home,” Marin said. “Muhammara is something that both Joey and I are obsessed with. We use it as a dipping sauce for crudité, spread it on toast in the morning with a runny egg for breakfast, and add it to sandwiches for a little extra flavor.”

Find the recipe at YourCommunityPaper.com and give it a try. You can even put it on turkey.

Local Flavor: Roasted Stuffed Mushrooms from Delaney's Tavern

Delaneys stuffedd mush

The latest issue of The Community Paper is out and my Local Flavor column this month features a recipe from Delaney’s Tavern.

Delaney’s Tavern in the SoDo District across from the Orlando Health complex is often compared to the bar on the television series “Cheers.” It has a neighborhood vibe and a friendly staff who may or may not know your name.

But the gang at Cheers had to leave the bar to eat; at Delaney’s there’s great food right there with a versatile menu from executive chef Anthony Albino.

Here Albino shares the recipe for a new Roasted Stuffed Mushrooms appetizer. As written, the recipe is vegetarian and gluten free. Albino says you can adapt it to include chopped crab, lobster or sausage.

At Delaney’s Tavern, Albino finishes the dish with two sauces, a Porcini Goat Cheese Mousse and a Piquillo Coulis, but he says: “I would recommend any kind of aioli, or a horseradish based sauce. Or if you want to kick it up, some kind of chipotle sauce.”

Click here to see the full recipe on the Community Paper’s website.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi from Soco Thornton Park

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

This month’s Local Flavor, the column I do in partnership with The Community Paper, features a recipe from a downtown favorite, Soco Thornton Park.

Soco has become a fixture of downtown dining, thanks to the cuisine of chef/partner Greg Richie. Here he shares the recipe for his Sweet Potato Gnocchi, which is a perfect example of the restaurant’s style of southern contemporary, from which the name Soco is derived.

Follow this link to see the full recipe at The Community Paper’s website.

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