[Recipe] Mexican-Style Sweet Corn Off the Cob

unnamed

We always are feeling a little corny here in South Florida. The local season runs from December to June according to Fresh From Floridaand Restaurant Michael Schwartz chef de cuisine Molly Brandt isn’t wasting any time getting it on the menu. Yes, sweet corn is just starting to crop up, the start of a pretty broad season as far as a locally-grown ingredient is concerned.  This is good news for both chefs and foragers, as there’s not much variation season to season.

“Corn is a pretty resilient crop,” explains Chris Padin of Farm to Kitchen. “It can grow in such a wide range of climates so you don’t see much damage even when the weather is unseasonable. We get bicolor sweet and yellow sweet and haven’t really seen any farms working with heirloom varieties yet. We typically like to give the harvest a few weeks before offering it to the chefs but this year it’s been great out of the gate particularly with some new organic corn from Bee Heaven’s Margie Pikarsky who is sourcing from Belle Glade up in Palm Beach County. It usually starts sooner and over the past couple of weeks I’ve actually been sampling it in our produce boxes and getting good feedback.”

Make Molly’s off-the-cob side the star of your home kitchen with the recipe below and sign up for Chris’ Farm to Kitchen produce boxes through a general inquiry on its new website here.  Or be entertained and enjoy it from Molly’s kitchen while Markus Gottschlich & Friends take center stage this Thursday, December 18 at 8:00 p.m. as the hotel’s live Jazz Nights series with Steinway & Sons continues.  Follow Molly on Instagram @cookinthekitch, where she frequently posts daily specials at Restaurant Michael Schwartz at The Raleigh Hotel.

Mexican-Style Corn Off the Cob with Queso Fresco and Jalapeño Aioli

There’s something about street foods that make mouths water mere mention. Whether from a memory of travels or a taste of home, Mexican-style corn is one of those things that you just want to eat! It’s a tastebud popping dish and very easy to make, here served as a side to accompany any meal.

Ingredient note: Espellete pepper

The Espelette pepper is a variety of chili pepper that is cultivated in the French commune of Espelette, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, traditionally the northern territory of the Basque people.  Chefs like it for its subtle spice, hint of smoky, sweetness, and light floral quality. And that deep red color! It is classified as an AOC (“controlled designation of origin”) product particular to its geographic provenance.

Serves 4 as a side dish

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 ears fresh corn, cut off the cob
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 scallions, sliced on the bias
4 sprigs of cilantro, leaves only
2 tablespoons Jalapeño Aioli (recipe below)
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
Espelette pepper, to garnish
2 lime wedges

Place a large sauté pan over high heat and add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil begins to smoke add the corn kernels all at once and season with salt. Allow the kernels to char slightly for about a minute, then stir occasionally for about 3 minutes more or until the corn begins to glisten and turn translucent.  Add in half of the cilantro and scallion, toss, then spoon the corn mixture onto plate. Sprinkle the remaining scallion and cilantro over the corn, top with a dollop of jalapeno aioli and then crumbled queso fresco. Dust the dish with a pinch of espelette pepper, and garnish with lime wedges.

Jalapeño Aioli

Yields 1 quart

2 whole heads of garlic
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 jalapeño peppers
Juice of 2 lemons
1 quart mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Over two sheets of aluminum foil, drizzle each of the two garlic heads with a tablespoon of oil.  Wrapped each individually into tightly-secured pouches and place on a sheet tray with the jalapeños. Drizzle the peppers with the remaining oil and roast for 35 minutes or until they start to wilt and brown, and the garlic is soft.  Let cool, about 30 minutes. Peel and seed the peppers, and remove the roasted garlic cloves from their skins. Add to a food processor with the lemon juice, mayonnaise and purée until smooth. Season with kosher salt to taste.

[Recipe] Get Cracking on The Cypress Room’s Stone Crab Roulade

IMG_2382

Ocean Drive recently asked us to contribute to its story on healthy versions of comfort foods.  We really liked this spin chef Roel Alcudia had on The Cypress Room menu and wanted to offer you the full recipe here.  It is not only simple to make, but as a local, casts stone crabs in a whole new light, from pick and eat with the traditional mustard sauce to an ingredient as a component of a dish.  Stone crabs blow in with a torrent on October 15 each year and can’t come quick enough.  We source most of our claws from George Stone Crab and have been hot on them this  season especially with our new raw bar at Michael’s Genuine.  They were also a popular item on the menu at our Design Miami café last week.

IMG_2636_2“They’re South Florida’s comfort food. Georgia has peaches, Louisiana has crawfish, and we’ve got stone crabs,” George’s owner Roger Duarte says.  “Stone crabs are what you eat for your mother’s birthday, what you serve to friends when they visit from out of town, how you ring in the new year. They taste like South Florida – home! For a local, the arrival of the season is like looking forward to a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas.”

A roulade is a dish common to most European cuisines and consisting of a slice of meat rolled around a filling, which could be cheese, vegetables, or other meats. The term originates from the French word “rouler”, meaning “to roll”. Roel’s recipe is a heathy take on this typically rich, braised preparation, but no less decadent or soulful.  And what’s more comforting than a taste of home?  We’ll let you be the judge! George Stone Crab is one of our suppliers in the unique position to sell direct to consumer, so you can place your order for delivery here.

Stone Crab Roulade with Kumquats and Shaved Vegetables

Serves 4

6 large Florida stone crabs, cracked and picked
1 tablespoon finely diced shallots
1 tablespoon minced chives
2 tablespoons yuzu juice, or 1 tablespoon each of lemon and lime juice
2 tablespoons brunoise celery
2 tablespoons brunoise Honeycrisp apples
2 tablespoons brunoise cucumbers
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons diced cornichons
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 watermelon radish, shaved
1 small zucchini, shaved into rounds
1 shishito pepper, sliced thin
4 kumquats, sliced thin
1 teaspoon Espelette pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
12 edible flowers

In a small bowl, combine the crab meat, shallots, chives, citrus juice, celery, apples, cucumbers into a uniform mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread a footlong sheet of plastic wrap horizontally on a clean work station. About 2 inches away from the edge closest to you, spoon the crab mixture to form a long baton 2-inches wide down the plastic wrap, leaving a couple of inches free on either end. Gently begin to roll and tuck the crab mixture into a compact dowel and twisting the edges to tighten securely. Refrigerate roulade for at least one hour. Make a remoulade by combining the mayonnaise, cornichons, capers, and champagne vinegar, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Remove chilled roulade from the refrigerator and using a sharp knife, slice 3-inch batons through the plastic wrap, carefully removing and discarding it to maintain each roulade’s shape. Serve immediately, placing each roulade on a plate surrounded by the shaved vegetables dotted with remoulade and slices of kumquat and a couple of pinches of Espellete pepper. Dress each lightly with the lemon juice and olive oil, and garnish with edible flowers.

Treat Yo’ Self & a Friend: BOGO Out Loud this Holiday!

TGHG e-shop blast header last minute

BOL_BOGO tile v2

Treat yo’ self & a friend!  Buy one Baking Out Loud cookbook, get one free on the e-shop (michaelsgenuine.com/SHOP) until December 20, our express shipping deadline.  Executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith’s debut cookbook is $27.50 and can come signed or personalized. Click here to add one to your shopping cart, and we’ll match the first purchase per customer. BOGO or go home! Offer good for online purchases only.

HP_GC square v5

Genuine elves to the rescue! We can help with all your holiday gifting needs, especially The Genuine Hospitality Group Gift Card. Click the slow roasted short rib pizza above to purchase, and follow #TGHGGiftCard on our Instagram accounts @MGFD_MIA, @harryspizzeria, @thecypressroom, and @mghomebrew for a treasure hunt of more genuine treats it can buy!

TCR_Square_Shopping final

Welcoming more luxury, more neighborhood. Whether you’re out for a stroll to enjoy Palm Court’s Buckminster Fuller Dome or on a mission more than mere window shopping, Michael’s elegant American dining room is open for lunch and dinner in Miami’s Design District. Click here for our lunch prix fixe menu and book by calling 305.520.5197 or emailing reservations@thcypressroom.com.

Cooking the Line: Megan Hess

15792132727_52dff2e306_k

Megan working the oven station at MGFD with TGHG executive chef Bradley Herron at Brunch this past Sunday during Art Basel. Click the photo for a Hyperlapse of the action on Instagram.

It was 3:00 p.m. and another Sunday Brunch shift had blown through Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink.  As Megan and I sat in the courtyard, she was still in her “Chef Yoga” pants but off her feet for the first time since 7:00 a.m.  “Is my hair in order?” she asked, taking off her cap.  Megan had prepared and cooked countless dishes from the wood oven station, made even more numerous due to Brunch’s special small plates format.  She was the only girl on the savory line that morning, yet the classic Megan smile as big and bright as you’ll ever see was out in full force, the same after the shift as it was before.

“I love it! There are a lot of jokes! I grew up with an older brother and his friends and I am used to it.”

Being a line cook isn’t easy.  It’s a rough and tumble job, both mentally and physically, and not for the faint of heart.  Even as a strong woman, it’s not difficult to see how the prestigious title of Chef has more often been awarded to men more than women.  In this battlefield of orders, cutlery and fire, one must shed the individual – the passion that put you there – and don the team.  One must trust and be trusted otherwise it just doesn’t work.  Our Genuine team consists of talented and passionate individuals, from the host to the wood oven, and from savory to pastry, who do just that. Everyday. And Megan, well, she’s a perfect example.

“I guess it all started back in Ohio,” Megan shares.  “I first learned how to make French toast when I was 5 years old with my great grandmother. By middle school I wanted to be a pastry chef.”

In fact, her heart was so set for the culinary world, that Megan attended a technical high school where she competed in culinary competitions junior and senior year; and she wooed judges at an early age. The experience made her fall in love with the food and beverage industry. At the recommendation of her advisor at North Miami’s Johnson & Wales University where she currently studies culinary arts and food service management, Megan applied for a part-time internship at Michael’s Genuine to put her techniques into practice.  She was hired as a full-time line cook shortly after.

“Megan’s a quick learner and she doesn’t complain. She just gets the job done,” explains Daniel Ramirez who at the time of Megan’s internship was a sous chef at Michael’s Genuine. He’s now Chef de Cuisine at Harry’s Pizzeria. “I think we [Chef de Cuisine Niven Patel, Executive Pastry Chef Hedy Goldsmith, and sous-chef Jason Arroyo] were astonished that her passion and talent went hand in hand with solid execution and professionalism.  It’s a hard combination to come by especially in a young cook.”

Megan welcomed the additional responsibility. She worked hard and played hard. She was in short, genuine.  Continuing her studies full-time, she attends school from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on most weekdays, and then comes to work at 3:00 p.m. I asked, “When do you do your homework?” and she replied “Within those three hours of course.”  As a student myself juggling work, I was impressed.  “On my days off, I nap,” this 21 year old admits.

Megan is often assigned to work at the wood oven, a very challenging station, and her favorite. Why so? She shares that the challenge motivates her. She does not receive a ticket with a list of what she is to prepare. Rather, she must remember what the Chef at the expo line requested, on the fly! In addition, she can prepare the whole snapper and the whole “Poulet Rouge.” Yum!

“My favorite dish to make at MGFD is the pasta,” Megan says.  “I love the variety at the sauté station, since it changes daily, and that we make it in house, fresh.  I also enjoy working at the grill due to the tempo. Well, I can have fun at pretty much any station!”

Megan dreams of success and a family, but also to be like Niven one day. Who says you can’t have it all? In addition, she hopes  to motivate and teach students at technical schools, as she once was, to encourage them to pursue their goals. We say that girls like Megan truly make the dream team happen.