Blogher Food 2014 - The Flavors of Miami

As you know, I am a former Floridian and grew up in the Ft. Lauderdale area.

I loved visiting the Miami area like South Beach and Bayside.  And of course, my favorite South Florida restaurant is Joe's Stone Crab...THE ONLY place to get THE BEST stone crabs...

the Chicago Joe's Stone Crab just isn't the same.

But, like all things...Miami has had lots of changes.  All ones that make it even more fabulous!

Miami has quite a few new areas.

One is the Wynwood Art District filled with grafitti art, museums and trendy restaurants.  There is even an app called Wynwood Tour Guide.  With the app, you can discover murals by searching for a particular artist, learn about artists and their murals and there is even a map that shows the location of each grafitti style mural.  What a great way to experience all the outdoor art that Miami's Wynwood Art District has to offer.

 

Another is The Shops of Mary Brickell Village.  Located to the West of Biscayne Boulevard, there is quite an array of shops and restaurants to leisurely explore.  I got that opportunity while at Blogher Food 2014.

It was a beautiful day and great for just soaking up the atmosphere in one of the many restaurants' outdoor seating areas.

 

 

 

I just love all the climbing bougainvillea!

 

One of the break out sessions at the conference was a kitchen demo all about the Flavors of Miami.

 

 

Meseidy of The Noshery and Carla of Cuban Cuisine really gave us a taste of Miami's spicy, cultural background.  Talk about eating!  We sampled so many unbelievably tasty items.  I so wish I had taken more pictures, but I was feverishly writing down recipes and licking my fingers.  We tried Cuban shredded pork, plantains, shrimp on skewers with pineapple and guava syrup and empanada pockets filled with cream cheese and guava.  See what I am talking about?  Finger licking good!  I am going to try quite a few of their recipes and share them later this summer.  Thanks so much to Meseidy and Carla for sharing their secrets!

 

One of the first things I think of when I think of Cuban cuisine is plantains.  Not only are they easy to prepare, but they have wonderful nutritional value.  Check these out...

 

 

YUM!

I learned, from Meseidy and Carla, that green plantains are more starchy and are usually served salted.  The yellow plantains tend to be more sweet and can be used as dessert.

 

So to make savory, fried plantains, here's what you need to do...

2-3 plantains

vegetable oil

sea salt

 

Cut off each end of the plantain.  Score and then peel.  Heat 1/4 inch amount of oil in a large fry pan.  Diagonally slice up the plantains.  When the oil is hot, carefully add the plantain slices.  Fry for about 3 minutes, then flip.  Remove from oil.  Place on a flat surface and flatten each plantain slice.  Salt each side of plantain and then return to hot oil.  Fry for an additional 1-2 minutes per side.  Remove each slice to a paper towel to drain.  Sprinkle with a little more sea salt and serve.

 

 

 

These are such a good side dish with rice and beans.  If you prefer a sweeter version, use a yellow plantain and follow the same process...minus the salt.  Then they could be served over ice cream, kind of like bananas foster style.  Just add brown sugar and rum.  That would be soooo good!

 

I am loving the flavors of Miami and why not bring a little Miami to your kitchen!

 

Celebrate the little things that make life sweet!

 

Christine

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