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by Sherry

Florida Spiny Lobster Tomato Mac and Cheese


1 pound Florida spiny lobster, cooked and cut into medium sized chunks

3 large Florida tomatoes, sliced

1 pound pasta (your favorite shape) cooked

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large garlic cloves, minced

½ cup red onion, chopped fine

¼ cup all-purpose flour

3 cups milk, at room temperature

1 ½ cups sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (or your favorite)

1 ½ cups grated Gruyere cheese, grated (or your favorite)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

½ cup fresh chives, chopped fine

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped fine

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Place 4 tablespoons melted butter in a saucepot over medium-low heat, add garlic and onion and cook until onion is translucent. Next, whisk in flour and cook flour for several minutes. Carefully pour in milk and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Continue to cook and whisk until sauce is smooth and thick enough to coat a spoon. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in cheese, a handful at a time. Season cheese sauce with mustard, chives, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, to taste.


In a large mixing bowl combine cheese sauce and cooked pasta then fold in chopped lobster. Lightly spray a baking dish with pan release spray. Pour pasta mixture into baking dish. Arrange sliced tomatoes on top of the pasta mixture. In a small bowl combine panko, olive oil and parsley and sprinkle over the tomatoes.


Bake the lobster-tomato mac & cheese in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 10 to 20 minutes or until topping is crisp and cheese sauce is bubbly. Let cool slightly before serving.

Cheddar Cheese Cookies


8 ounces (1/2 pound) cheddar cheese, grated (see note about cheese below)

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups Rice Krispies Cereal

1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)


Mix the cheese and the butter together and let it warm to room temperature. After the chill is gone from the butter/cheese mixture, add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make the cookies, lightly grease a cookie sheet (line with foil or parchment for easy cleanup). Pinch off about a walnut-sized piece of the mixture and form into a ball. Put the ball on the cookie sheet and flatten with a fork.


You don’t want to bake them too long because they will get super crunchy, but bake approximately 15 minutes until they are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.


Store the cookies in the refrigerator and reheat at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes. You can also freeze them, but you should defrost them in the refrigerator before reheating.


NOTE:  You can either use pre-shredded cheddar cheese or you can use a block of cheddar cheese and grate it yourself (grating it while it is frozen will make it easier!).

Island Style Jamaican Chicken Stew


2 Lbs. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs

3/4 Tsp. Salt

1/2 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

1 1/2 Cups Orange Juice

1/2 Cup Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth

1 1/2 Tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 Tsp. Light Brown Sugar

1 Tsp. Cornstarch

1 Tbsp. Water

Bouquet Garni:

1/4 Cup Orange Peel Strips (1 Large Orange)

2 Tbsp. Dried Thyme

2 Medium Garlic Cloves, Sliced

1 Tbsp. Ground Allspice

1/8 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes (To Taste)

1 Small Bay Leaf, Broken In Half



Season chicken with salt and pepper. In 5-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add chicken thighs and brown for 4 minutes per side in small batches. Drain browned chicken on paper towel lined plate; set aside. Drain off excess oil in saucepan.


Add orange juice, chicken broth and vinegar to saucepan; deglaze pan. Add brown sugar; mix well. Bring mixture to boil; reduce heat.


Meanwhile, cut a piece of cheesecloth large enough to hold seasonings. Add orange peel, thyme, garlic clove, allspice, red pepper flakes and bay leaf to cheesecloth. Tie cheesecloth with a piece butcher string. Add the bouquet garni and chicken to the saucepan.


Cover and simmer 45 - 60 minutes or until thighs are fork tender, juices run clear and meat thermometer registers 180-185°F. Remove thighs and bouquet garni; cool chicken slightly. With two forks, shred meat; set aside.


Bring sauce to a boil over high heat. Boil 4 - 5 minutes or until it is reduced by half. In small bowl, combine cornstarch and water; stir into boiling cooking liquid. Stirring constantly, cook until mixture is slightly thickened. Fold in chicken meat and serve over rice if desired.


Tip: If you would like the sauce to remain a brighter orange, I suggest replacing the ground allspice with whole. This can easily be made with turkey or pork shoulder.

Florida Boiled Peanuts


3 pounds Florida green peanuts

2 tablespoons Florida sugar

1 cup sea salt

3 tablespoons all-purpose seasoning (such as Everglades)

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Water to cover


Wash and rinse peanuts to remove any debris. Pour into pressure cooker with enough water to cover peanuts; add salt, seasoning, and liquid smoke. Place lid on and close and turn pressure lever to pressure setting. Cook for 75 minutes or until tender. Carefully release steam by turning pressure lever to vent (steam can cause severe burns, do not place hand over or near steam). If desired, drain water, but peanuts can also be stored in the water (saltiness may increase with time if stored in water they cooked in). Serve warm or cold.

Fresh tip: Add cajun seasoning to pressure cooker for spicy boiled peanuts.

Florida Shrimp Tacos with Cabbage


1 pound medium-sized Florida shrimp, peeled

8 corn or flour tortillas

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 cups Florida cabbage, shredded

2 Florida tomatoes, diced

1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (your favorite)

1 fresh lime, juiced

Vegetable oil (cooking)

½ cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon dried cumin

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in 300-degree oven. Preheat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. In a small mixing bowl combine the yogurt, lime juice, cumin, and hot sauce. Stir ingredients to combine. Taste, adjusting seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside the yogurt sauce for later use. Lightly season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the preheated sauté pan. Carefully add the seasoned shrimp and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or completely cooked. Assemble tacos by layering cabbage, cilantro, and tomatoes in the tortilla shell. Place an even portion of shrimp on top of the vegetables. Spoon the yogurt sauce on top of the shrimp.

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