Friday, December 29, 2017

Harry's Continental Cuisine on Longboat Key

Since 1979, Harry Christensen has been on a mission: to bring exciting gourmet cuisine to Longboat Key and the Sarasota area. Today, Harry and his wife, Lynn, are locally known as the passionate purveyors of incredibly fresh seafood, soups, salads, sides and other delicious dishes, using the highest quality ingredients and carefully prepared to enhance, not overwhelm, a dishes natural flavours. Harry’s Continental Kitchens, long a stalwart on Longboat Key, is at the heart of what has become a mini gourmet empire at the corner of Gulf of Mexico Drive and St. Judes Drive, serving wonderfully fresh and beautifully prepared food — what they call “coastal cuisine” — in a white-on-white dining room or outdoor on a pleasant patio. The bar knows its way around a dry martini, and there are a handful of good wines by the glass, as well as a more extensive list by the bottle. Harry’s incredible creations are available at Harry and Lynn's award-winning restaurant, Harry’s Continental Kitchens, from Harry’s Gourmet Deli & Wine Store offering gourmet food to-go and through Harry’s Coastal Catering. Delighting diners on Longboat Key for years, Harry's continues to improve with age offering fresh food with a spoonful of love and splash of panache.

Since 1979, Harry Christensen has been on a mission: to bring exciting gourmet cuisine to Longboat Key and the Sarasota area

Harry's menu of coastal continental favourites

Iced Tea on ice with lemon

Warm homemade scones and banana bread

Harry's Florida Lobster Roll with lush chunks of florida lobster, onion, celery and carrot, and cilantro-lime aïoli on a toasted bun, fresh salad with mango dressing

Harry's 'Nogi' with scrambled eggs, bacon crumbles, cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, avocado, chipotle sauce, and corn tortillas with cheese grits

Harry's Seafood Cobb Salad with jumbo shrimp, fresh sea scallops, crab claw meat and Nova Scotia salmon, avocado, tomato, olives, cucumber over romaine with creamy dill dressing

House Angus Burger with crispy onions, lettuce and tomato on a ciabatta bun with applewood smoked bacon, avocado and cheddar

Old Fashioned German Pancake with Maple Syrup

Hot Grouper Salad with sliced almonds and tomato over fresh spinach with hot sweet and sour lemon dressing

Harry’s Gazpacho with Shrimp
Serves 10-15
Recipe courtesy of chef Harry Christensen

1 English cucumber
1/2 green pepper
1/2 onion
4 tomatoes
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp fresh tarragon
1 tbsp fresh basil
1/ cup minced parsley, for garnish
White pepper and salt, to taste
1 tbsp paprika
1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 46 oz can tomato juice
1 lb cooked medium shrimp

Seed and dice cucumbers, green peppers and tomatoes. Dice onion and put together in one large bowl sprinkle herbs on top. In a small bowl combine and dissolve paprika, lemon juice and olive oil. Pour over diced vegetables and herbs, add baby shrimp and tomato juice. Mix together. Chill. Serve with croutons.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Euphemia Haye: Christmas Dinner on Longboat Key

Nestled within a lush landscape of tropical greenery and swaying palm trees on beautiful Longboat Key, Euphemia Haye is considered to be one of Florida's most romantic restaurants. Named after the original owner's grandmother, Euphemia Haye's cuisine is a combination of international and contemporary dishes which reflect Chef and cookbook author Raymond Arpke's classical training and culinary vision — serving refined French-inspired global cuisine in a relaxed and elegant setting. Some call it "Ray’s Cuisine". Signature dishes include the chef's renowned Smoked Salmon on Warm Russian-Style Buckwheat Crepes garnished with a duet of caviars, sour cream, minced onions, capers and fresh dill, Crispy Roasted Duckling with bread stuffing and served with tangy sweet seasonal fruit sauce, Grecian Lamb Shank braised in a red wine garlic sauce, enhanced with rosemary and authentic Greek seasonings, and the freshest Florida fish and seafood including Scallops California splashed with white wine, butter, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic. Each Christmas, they also feature a full seasonal menu such as Chef Arpke's Christmas tradition of German inspired Bavarian roasted goose which includes sliced roasted goose with giblet gravy served with German potato dumplings and sweet and sour red cabbage. For many along Longboat Key, that means less time in the kitchen, more to spend with family, and of course no washing up!

Place setting for Christmas Dinner at Euphemia Haye

Chef Arpke's homemade Banana Bread

Our server Brian presenting our 2012 Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon from St Helena in the Napa Valley

Superbly crafted from estate grown grapes and superbly flavoured, the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was a perfect pairing with our Bavarian Style Christmas Dinner 

Chef Arpke's fresh homemade Borscht with sour cream

Roast Goose with giblet gravy served with German potato dumplings and sweet and sour red cabbage

Euphema Haye's famous crisp roasted duck, partially boned, served with bread stuffing and tangy sweet seasonal fruit sauce

Chocolate Mousse

Apple Crumble Cake with Vanilla Iced Cream

Chilled Vidalia Onion & Yukon Gold Vichyssoise 

Serves 4-6
Recipe courtesy of Chef Raymond Arpke

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock 

2 cups diced Vidalia onion 
1 tsp white pepper 
1 tsp cayenne pepper 
1 tsp dried thyme 
2 bay leaves 
Salt to taste
3 cups peeled & diced yukon gold potatoes
1 cup heavy cream
2 sliced scallions, for garnish

Bring the stock, onions, white pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme and bay leaves to a boil over high heat. Salt to taste, then lower heat to a simmer. Cook until the onions are completely soft and translucent,about 15-20 minutes. Add the diced potatoes and return to a boil. Salt again to taste and reduce to a very low simmer, until the ingredients are completely mushy, about 35-45 minutes.

Strain the ingredients, separating and reserving the solids and liquid. Process the solids in a food processor, for 1 minute or so, pulsing on and off. Scrape the bowl down and process again, while slowly adding the cream through the feed tube. After the cream has been added, slowly add the reserved liquid, until you reach your desired consistency. Chef Arpke prefers his very thick. If you prefer the consistency even thinner, and you’ve used all the reserved liquid, add a little more cream until its to your liking.

Return the vichyssoise to stovetop and bring to a boil, being quite careful as it will stick and scorch easily. Taste for salt, and adjust accordingly. Cool and chill. Serve in an attractive glass, garnished with sliced scallion.

Chef Raymond's Southern Pecan Pie

Serves 8-10
Recipe courtesy of chef Raymond Arpke

4 extra large eggs, slightly beaten

2 cups dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups pecan halves
1 tsp vanilla
2 drops almond extract

Pie Shell: 

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup ice water

Place the cake flour, lard, butter and salt in a stainless steel bowl. Cut the shortening and butter into the cake flour, until the entire content has a mealy consistency. Add ice water and mix with your fingers, forming dough. Form a ball with the dough, then flatten with your hands and place on a well floured flat surface. Flour the top of the dough well, and roll out to about a 13 to 14-inch round, then place into a floured 9-inch pie pan. Flute the edge and chill.

Whisk together the eggs, corn syrup and sugar. Add in the melted butter, vanilla and almond extract and whisk vigorously. Place the pecans in the bottom of the 9-inch pie shell, then pour the egg mixture over the pecans and fill the shell almost to the top. Place in a 425°F oven for 10 minutes, then lower to 375°F for 45-60 minutes, or until the liquid has set. If the top is browning too fast, carefully cover it with foil wrap. Allow to cool before serving. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Art Basel and The Betsy: Miami Art & Steak Frites

North America’s most comprehensive international contemporary art fair, with over 260 galleries from 30 countries showcasing works by more than 4,000 artist, Art Basel Miami Beach draws more than 77,000 art dealers, artists, collectors and aficionados to Miami during the fair held this year from December 7-10. It’s also spawned more than 20 satellite fairs, as well as parties and events galore, when the entire city turns into a canvas for ephemeral installations and art happenings such the flying sculpture by Studio Drift, an autonomous swarm of illuminated drones imitating a flock of birds above the ocean at the Faena Hotel in Miami, Art Basel refers to the fair held at the Miami Beach Convention Centre, but the spirit of Art Basel lives in venues big and small throughout the city hosting satellite fairs, glittering parties and events in a week that’s become known as Miami Art Week. The Convention Center space is only the beginning of the whirlwind week of art and parties that’s perfectly suited for Miami.

A sister fair of the original, founded in Switzerland in 1970, the Miami Beach edition has been an annual fixture in early December since 2002. The brainchild of a trio of Swiss gallerists, Ernst Beyeler, Trudi Bruckner and Balz Hilt, their vision brought together the artists they represented, as well as collectors, curators and critics from all over the world for the first Art Basel in Switzerland. Their vision was a success and over 16,000 people attended the first fair. Miami was selected as an ideal second destination with its unique position at the nexus of North America and South America. Over the years, with the boon from Art Basel, Miami has become a thriving year round arts destination in its own right with a vibrant gallery scene, as well as Wynwood, one of the largest open-air art districts in the world, with more than 70 galleries and countless murals and outdoor works spanning around one square mile. Arriving to spend for a few days with our dear friends Manita and Randy, we were given a privileged view into Miami's thriving art and dining scene during one of its biggest weeks. 

'La Bette au Bichon' by Ida Tursic and Wilfred Mille from Galerie Max Hetzier - Berlin | Paris

Untitled by Julien Schnabel, 1992

Jean Arp painting being sold through Galerie Thomas - Munich

Homme au Maillot by Picasso 1965

'Brull: Pfernanndon' by Joanton Meese represented by Galerie Krinzinger | Vienna

'Brull: Pfernanndon' detail

'The Smoking Image' tapestry by Laure Prouvost through Lisson Gallery

Metachrome (cut-outs after Matisse) by Vik Muiz, 2017

'La Parpluie Jaune' by Miryam Haddad 2017 through Art Concept | Paris

An oasis of calm and banquettes to sit on, amidst the multitude of galleries, booths and artists

Exterior of The Betsy Hotel in South Beach Miami, during Art Basel

The elegant modern LT Steak & Seafood by celebrated chef Laurent Tourondel

2015 Albarino from Licia, Spain

Enormous hot fluffy popovers

Seafood Ceviche “Leche de Tigre” with octopus, snapper, shrimp, scallops, coconut
milk citrus, cilantro, onion, yuzu, and chili oil

Burrata Salad with spicy arugula, romesco and grilled bread

10 oz Filet Mignon

Hand Cut Parmesan Frites with Truffle Aioli

Green Wilted Spinach

Charred Bone-in Short Ribs with arugula, jalapeño, chimichurri and grated horseradish

Thick and delicious, the short ribs were being enough to feed two

The roof of The Betsy with super moon over Miami Beach

Grilled Vegetable Bruschetta
Serves 10
Recipe courtesy of chef Laurent Tourondel

6 cups lightly packed basil leaves 
6 garlic cloves 
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 
Salt Freshly ground pepper

2 red bell peppers halved lengthwise 
2 yellow bell pepper halved lengthwise 
2 yellow squash halved lengthwise 
2 zucchini halved lengthwise 
1 large sweet onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick 
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing 
Salt and freshly ground pepper 
5 large ripe tomatoes, diced 
1 small red onion, thinly sliced 
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 
1/4 cup chopped parsley 
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar 
2 tablespoons minced garlic 
1 tablespoon thyme 
Ten 1-inch slices of country bread
4 oz ricotta salata, thinly sliced, for garnish

Light a grill. In a food processor, mince the basil and garlic, then add the oil and process to a paste. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the grated cheese. Season the pesto with salt and pepper. Brush the bell peppers, squash, zucchini and sweet onion with oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables over moderately high heat, turning once, until charred and just tender. Discard the charred skin from the peppers. Cut the grilled vegetables into 1-inch squares and transfer to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes and red onion. In a small bowl, whisk the 3/4 cup of oil with the lemon juice, parsley, vinegar, garlic and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, pour it over the vegetables and toss. Brush the bread on both sides with oil. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until toasted, 2 minutes. Spread each toast with a rounded tablespoon of the pesto, then top with the grilled vegetables and the ricotta salata and serve.