Cooking and Chef Recipes

Shrimp & Grits with Cornbread from the Pinery

Pinery shrimp and gritsPhoto: The Pinery

Shortly after it opened last summer, The Pinery, the very good lakeview restaurant in the Ivanhoe Village district, had a chef change. Steven Mattix took over the role of executive chef following the departure of opening chef Naomi Freeman. (You can read my review here.)

Mattix moved to Central Florida from the D.C. area where he was a sous chef for Jose Andrés and also opened restaurants for [Jeff] Black’s Restaurant Group.

So far he has maintained most of the opening menu, though there may be some changes to come. I asked Mattix if he could share the recipe for the restaurant’s Shrimp & Grits with Cornbread for my monthly Local Flavor column with Community Paper, and he was more than happy to oblige.

You can find the recipe on the Community Paper’s website. Mattix suggests you make the cornbread, which is essential to the recipe, first so that it’s ready as soon as you’ve cooked the shrimp.

Give it a try.

Blackened Double Lamb Chops with Garlic and Potato Gratin from Russell's On Lake Ivanhoe

Russells double lamb chop

Russell’s on Lake Ivanhoe was recently voted 2021 Best New Restaurant in our Foodster Awards for Independent Restaurants. Much of the restaurant’s popularity is due to chef/partner Emmanuel Clement’s French-influenced menu. In the February issue of the Community Paper, he shares his recipe for Blackened Double Lamb Chops with Garlic and Potato Gratin for my monthly Local Flavor column.

You’ll notice in the photo that Clement frenches the bones of the chops. That is, he scrapes off the gristle on the “handle” of the chop. It makes for a prettier presentation but is totally unnecessary.

The recipe calls for eight double chops — ask your grocer’s butcher for them — but you could easily make it with four or even two. (Make all the potatoes, though, because you’re going to want extras.) Click here to see the recipe.

Try this salad from Shakers American cafe for a little Local Flavor

Chicken salad Shakers

I’m happy to announce a new collaboration with The Community Paper, the widely read publication covering College Park and Downtown Orlando. Each month in a column called Local Flavor, I’ll be offering a recipe from chefs and favorite restaurants for you to try at home.

For January, I have the popular Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad from Greg and Terry Granda of Shakers American Cafe in College Park. This is an easy one because it requires little cooking – no cooking at all if you use cooked chicken you already have on hand, such as from a rotisserie chicken.

Take a look at the recipe on The Community Paper’s website and give it a try. And if there’s a chef’s recipe you’d like me to try to get for future editions, let me know.

Compliments of the Chef: Pork Belly Benedict from K Restaurant

Pork Belly Benedict

I stopped in a few weeks ago to try K Restaurant's (now regularly scheduled) Sunday brunch. Previously, brunch was an every now and then thing, so it's nice to have a reliable standby.

It was also the first time I'd visited since the College Park restaurant got its full liquor license, so it was also nice to have a proper adult beverage with my brunch.

I sampled the Pork Belly Benedict, a take on the classic dish with pork belly instead of Canadian bacon and Southern style biscuits instead of English muffins. It was delicious.

And afterwards, I went into the kitchen and chef de cuisine Ryan McLaughlin showed me how he makes the yummy dish. He also agreed to share the recipe, which you'll find below.

Unfortunately, pastry chef Michelle Hulbert wouldn't part with her biscuit recipe, so you'll have to find one of your own (or see if you can buy a bag of them from the restaurant).

Take a look at the video, then give the recipe a try. For inspiration, stop by K and try the real deal.

K Restaurant is at 1710 Edgewater Drive, Orlando. Brunch is served Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The phone number is 407-872-2332.

Compliments of the Chef: Thirty Vegetable Soup from Circo

30 veg cup

Circo, the Italian restaurant from legendary New York restaurateur Sirio Maccioni, who also owns Le Cirque, is coming to Orlando later this year. I was in New York recently and dined at Circo’s original location on West 55th Street.

The food is solidly good, and it will be nice to have another upscale Italian restaurant in the area, especially one with a pedigree such as this one.

One of the restaurant’s signature items is its Thirty Vegetable Soup, one that it popular with regulars for good reason. True to its name, the soup indeed includes 30 distinct vegetables (we’ll not argue the classification of tomatoes here).

I managed to snag a photo of the recipe. (Don’t tell anyone where you got it.) If you’re feeling ambitious, give it a try.

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