For those who call the shores of Southwest Florida home, one thing is certain: local seafood reigns supreme. Whether fried, grilled, or sautéed, a plate of Florida seafood is always a good choice. Here, we’re serving three recipes from different underwater tasties, by way of Florida’s official chef, Justin Timineri.
Florida Pink Shrimp with Citrus Ceviche Salad (serves 4)
For a fresh and crisp take on pink shrimp, Chef Justin took a page or two from Florida’s biggest influences: Latin culture and citrus. This recipe for cooked pink shrimp with citrus ceviche salad gives the palate a dose of both the best from land and sea.
- 1 lb. large Florida pink shrimp, peeled and de-veined with the tail on
- 2 tbsp. seafood boil seasoning
- 2 pink grapefruit, peeled and segmented with the seeds removed
- 3 tangelos, peeled and segmented with the seeds removed
- 3 tangerines, peeled and segmented with the seeds removed
- 1 sweet pepper, diced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 limes, juiced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 bag plantain chips or tortilla chips
Fill a medium-sized saucepan ¾ the way with water, and heat over medium-high. Add the seafood seasoning to the boiling pot of water. Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes or until completely done. As soon as the shrimp are done, plunge them into an ice-water bath to stop the cooking and cool them off. When the shrimp are completely cool, strain them and put them into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the citrus, sweet pepper, red onion, olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, and avocado. Season the ingredients to taste with salt and pepper. Stir to combine ingredients, and serve ceviche with chips.
Tropical Pan-Asian Calamari Salad (serves 6)
East meets west with this recipe for tropical Pan-Asian calamari salad, which offers a unique twist on a typically fried dish, adding a milieu of flavors including ginger, rice wine, watermelon, red bell peppers, and more.
- 1½ lb. calamari (squid), cleaned
- 2 tbsp. light or low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp. ginger root, freshly minced
- 1 small red onion, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced across (about 1 cup)
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced paper-thin
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (if you like it spicy)
- 2 cups seedless watermelon, cut into small pieces
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Clean and rinse squid under cold running water and lightly pat dry with clean paper towels. Cut tentacles and bodies into the same size, about 1/3-inch wide. Quickly cook squid in a 5-6 quart pot of rapidly boiling salted water; this only takes 30-40 seconds, until opaque. Drain and immediately immerse in a bath of ice water to stop cooking. In a mixing bowl, whisk together soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and pepper (red and black). Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine squid, bell peppers, watermelon, and cilantro in a large bowl. Toss with dressing, and allow to marinate at least 15 minutes. Garnish with pepper curls and fresh cilantro.
Mahi with Papaya Coconut Curry (serves 4)
Tropical fish deserve some tropical taste. Taking its cues from Caribbean cuisine, this recipe for mahi with papaya coconut curry offers some bold flavors, perfectly complementing this strong fish (“mahi-mahi” means “very strong” in Hawaiian).
- Four 6 oz. mahi-mahi fillets
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
Season mahi fillets with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large sauté pan on medium-high; add fillets and sauté for 3-5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Serve with papaya coconut curry sauce (recipe below).
Papaya Coconut Curry
- 2 ripe papaya, cubed
- ½ cup mirin rice wine
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
- ½ tsp. Thai red curry paste
- Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
Place papaya cubes, mirin rice wine, white wine, ginger, and turmeric in heavy medium-size saucepan. Boil until reduced to ¼ cup. Add cream and coconut milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer sauce until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in curry paste. Season the sauce to taste with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Reserve papaya cubes for garnish and strain remaining sauce through a fine mesh sieve.
Recipes and images courtesy of Chef Justin Timineri and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. For more recipes coming from Timineri’s kitchen, click here.