Duck, Duck, Cypress


For our last post of 2014, we offer a recipe to savor with its remaining hours and perhaps welcome into your kitchen in the new year.  This duck breast with turnips and pears comes straight from The Cypress Room’s menu where chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia has certainly made the most of the season.  Duck may not be the first bird-of-a-feather that comes to mind as home cook-friendly but chef Roel begs to differ.  The dish is both elegant and easy to make at home and is most festive in its classic pairing of earthy turnips with sweet-tart pears. Chef adds that he not only loves duck because it is extremely delicious, but because you can use every bit of it.  He purchases his “Rohan” breed for the restaurant from D’artagnan, but you should be able to find a quality bird at your neighborhood supermarket.  Whether you cook it whole, braise the legs, roast the breast, or even render the fat, duck is amazingly versatile and delectable!

Pan roasted duck breast with turnips, pears, and natural jus

4 servings

1 whole duck, about 5-6 pounds, cleaned and patted dry
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 cups of chopped Spanish onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups red wine
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons tomato paste
8 pieces baby turnips, peeled and cut in half
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
2 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and seeded
4 tablespoons white balsamic or apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 lemons

Pre heat oven to 350° F.

Separate breast and legs from duck and put breast in the refrigerator.  In a roasting pan, place duck bones and legs, roast for 45-60 minutes, or until golden brown throughout. Stir occasionally, flipping duck. Remove duck and legs from the pan, and set aside on a plate.  Add carrots, onion, and celery in the same pan. Put in oven for 20-30 minutes, or until all vegetables are caramelized, taking care not to burn.

Remove pan from oven and deglaze with the red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to release the browned bits. Take garlic, tomato paste, 6 cups of water, duck legs and bones, vegetables and red wine glaze and put into a stockpot over low-medium heat. Let simmer for about an hour and a half, or until it the duck legs fall off the bone.  Strain liquid with a fine mesh strainer into a large pot, setting the duck legs and vegetables aside for another use*.  Let liquid rest in a large pot for 20 minutes off the heat, then skim and discard the fat from the top. Now reduce the liquid over low-medium heat until it coats the back of a spoon.

Take turnips and place into a sauté pan with cup of water, 2 tablespoons of butter, salt and pepper. Cook until fork tender and glazed. Add more water if necessary. Set aside.

Place pears, vinegar, maple syrup, and honey in a sauté pan. Bring to a low simmer until the pears are caramelized. Set aside.

Take duck breast and score the skin in a crosshatch fashion, being careful not to slice the flesh. Season with salt and pepper and place, skin side down, in a cold cast iron skillet. Cook over low- medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and most of the fat is rendered. Flip and let cook for about one more minute. Remove from heat and let sit, skin side up, on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes.

Slice duck breast and divide onto four plates. Place the turnips and pear in equal amounts on the plate. Spoon the sauce on top of the duck, squeeze a little lemon, and serve immediately.

Monday, Bloody Monday

What is your idea of a Bloody Mary?  Depending on who you are, the answer will vary immensely.  Like most classic cocktails, there come invention stories and there may be none with origin myths more prolific than hers. If it were 1921 and you were Fernand Petiot, bartender at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, a Bloody Mary meant covering the bottom of a shaker with four large dashes of salt, two dashes of black pepper, two dashes of cayenne pepper, and a layer of Worcestershire sauce; then adding to it a dash of lemon juice and some cracked ice, two ounces of vodka and two ounces of thick tomato juice, shaking, straining, and pouring. This was divulged in a 1964 article in The New Yorker yet, by first noting George Jessel’s simple “vodka and tomato juice” mixture at New York’s 21 Club, came with the admission Petiot’s was a refinement.  Ask Ernest Hemingway, seemingly the common denominator on the other side of these bloodied bars including the one after his name at The Ritz Paris.  He’d lay claim to its origin or at least do a damn good job convincing you of it in the process. The famous writer once bragged that he introduced the drink to Hong Kong, and noted that “it did more than any other single factor except perhaps the Japanese Army to precipitate the fall of that Crown Colony.”

Genuine BloodiesWhile the Bloody Mary’s origin may forever be in question, what isn’t is its ubiquity nor its ability to dress up or down for the occasion while still maintaining its ladylike charm.  Some like to parade like a peacock (I’ll have some vodka with my salad, please,) while others choose the minimalist route with 2:1 Clamato and vodka.  Michael’s house mix is only upstaged at Brunch by his Kimchi Bloody Mary incorporating the quick version of Korea’s national condiment usually found on the tables at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink hoisting a glistening slab of pork belly (yes, we hold the bacon for the drink. not all do…)  Sunday’s other signature, the Genuine Bloody Mary, of course highlights its signature ingredient with ours — the heirloom tomato.  Sweet, ripe goldens are selected for this recipe, puréed and combined with clover honey syrup, horseradish, black pepper and a fragrant basil salt rim for as sophisticated a sip as you’ll ever call bloody.

When choosing a vodka, TGHG beverage director Ryan Goodspeed says recommends keeping it clean in the base and adjust for seasoning in the mix. “I think a good, clean Russian vodka distilled from winter wheat is best, like Zyr. Artisanal American vodkas carry different taste profiles. Vanilla, grapes, etc. Tito’s, which we use on the ship, is made from corn and works well. Some like pepper-infused for spice.”

Today we offer our tried and true House Bloody Mary recipe, currently available at Michael’s Genuine® Pub aboard Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, seven days a week.  Accessorize your own at The Raleigh Hotel where, beginning January 4, The White Bar will offer bottomless Bloody Marys for Sunday Brunch service at Restaurant Michael Schwartz.  It can be yours from 7am-4pm, ripe for the picking at $29.  Why not start early?

16138406615_d0ffa44c7d_kHouse Bloody Mary 

makes 1 drink

1 1/2 ounces vodka
House Bloody Mary Mix (recipe below)
1 2-inch piece of celery
1 grape tomato
1 cornichon
1 radish wedge
1 pickled carrot

In a highball glass filled with ice add vodka and fill with house mix. Stir. Skewer garnishes with a wood or bamboo pick.

House Bloody Mary Mix

yields 2 1/4 quarts

2 quarts of tomato juice
½ cup horseradish
½ cup of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning
2 tablespoons of olive juice
2 tablespoons of lime juice
2 tablespoons of clover honey
1 tablespoon of freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon of Habanero Hot Sauce (recipe below)

In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients to combine.

Habañero Hot Sauce
from Michael’s Genuine Food: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat

makes 3 cups

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, seeded, and chopped
3 habañero chilies, stemmed, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Place a large nonreactive pot over medium-high heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic. Stirring often, until translucent, but not brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the carrot, pepper, chilies, tomato paste; stir to combine. Pour in the vinegar and 4 cups of water. Give everything a good stir and simmer Add the agave, paprika, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until all the vegetables are super soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer the cooled sauce to a standard blender or use an immersion blender, purée until smooth. Store in the fridge for up to 6 months.



Genuine Instagrams | A Year in Review

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@blogdaflavia’s wood oven roasted local fish got the most likes this year of Instagrams posted about MGFD! “Tem que manter a dieta pelo menos um dia! 😜😜 #fish #salad”

2014 has been quite a ride for The Genuine Hospitality Group, from our new raw bar at HQ and the announcement of our second Harry’s Pizzeria®, to the opening of our first of three Michael’s Genuine® Pubs with Royal Caribbean.  Thank you so much for making Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink the 4th most popular Miami food/drink place on Instagram in 2014 according to MyFab5 via the Miami Herald. We feel the likes!

With the year coming to a close we decided to spread the love and take a look back through our Instagram accounts to highlight moments in the not-so-routine daily routine that got you most excited @mgfd_mia, @mgfd_gcm, @mghomebrew@harryspizzeria, and @thecypressroom.  So, without further adieu, here are the most popular posts by number of likes and comments. Fair warning, this will make you hungry!

Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink Miami — In 2014 we posted 1,566 times!

Here are our top 5 most liked:

And the most commented:

Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink Grand Cayman — In 2014 we posted 608 times!

Here are our top 5 most liked:

And the most commented:

Michael’s Genuine® Home Brew — In 2014 we posted 184 times!

Here are our top 5 most liked:

And the most commented:

Harry’s Pizzeria® — In 2014 we posted 1,193 times!

Here are the top 5 most liked:

And the most commented:

The Cypress Room– In 2014 we posted 573 times!

Here are the top 5 most liked:

And the top 5 most commented:

[Recipe] Mexican-Style Sweet Corn Off the Cob


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.