Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Catch it, cook it

If you happen to spend some time on Anna Maria Island and end up catching some fish, we want you to know what to do with it.
The opportunities to catch your tea are almost limitless on Anna Maria, but there are only a few rules of thumb for cooking them.
Here is a guide from fl-seafood.com to the best ways of preparing your catch for the plate. There are many different flavor options open to you, but as far as cooking goes, here are the dos and do not dos.

A general rule for baking or broiling fish is 10 minutes per inch of thickness at 400-450 degrees F, turning the fish halfway through the cooking time. This rule does not apply to microwave cooking or frying.
Fish less than 1/2-inch thick do not have to be turned.
If fish is cooked in a sauce or foil, add 5 additional minutes to the cooking time.
The cooking time for frozen fish should be doubled.
Seafood with low fat content, like grouper, flounder and tilapia, should be basted when cooking with a dry heat method such as broiling and baking.
Fish is done when the flesh becomes opaque and flakes easily at the thickest part.
Most fish will continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes after being removed from the heat, so plan for this in the cooking time.

Place fish, one-inch thick or less, 2-4 inches from the source of heat.
Fish thicker than 1-inch should be placed 5 to 6 inches away from the heat.
Seafood with low fat content -- like grouper, flounder and tilapia -- should be basted when cooking with a dry heat method such as broiling and baking.

Frying - pan-fry or sauté
Fry fillets in 1/8-inch of oil for 3 to 6 minutes per side or until golden and fish flakes easily.-- Thickness of fillets will determine the cooking time.

Deep fry
Place fish in single layer in deep kettle or saucepan and cook in enough fat to cover and permit fish to move freely; do not crowd. Generally the temperature of the oil should be 365 degrees F. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. When cooking multiple batches, always allow the temperature of the oil to return to 365 degrees F before adding more fish.

Preheat gas or electric grill. Start the fire about 30 minutes before cooking when using a charcoal grill.
Fish is best grilled over a moderately hot fire and on a surface that has been well oiled.
When coals are white-hot, spread out in a single layer. Adjust the grill height to 4 to 6 inches above the heat.
Use indirect heat for a whole fish.
Firm-textured fish, like grouper, shark, swordfish and amberjack, grill well.
When cooking kebabs put foods with the same cooking time together, as seafood cooks quickly.

So there you have it. All you have to do now is go catch some fish...

Friday, 22 May 2009

Dem bones, dem bones, dem tasty bones...

Looking for a night out without all the fuss? Or maybe a night in with some great barbeque food you haven't had to cook yourself? Well, Anna Maria Island has the answer.
Mr Bones is a funky little family owned restaurant on Anna Maria Island where you’ll find some of the best baby back ribs in the country, as well as an eclectic assortment of home-made recipes from all-American to around the world.
With “full-flavored” as the theme, menu items range from the Burrito Gonzales the Chicken Tikka Masala, and from the fresh Greek Salad to the General Moe’s watercress (served over curry fried rice). With hot barbeque sandwiches and a half-pound burger (and over 60 different ice-cold beers) to round out the menu, you’ll surely find a great dining experience at Mr. Bones.
Promising an inexpensive meal and a good time eating it, Mr Bones has been a favorite with the locals and travelers alike since 1992.
A word of warning though, don't ask for salt and pepper. As the sign above the door says, their food is 'cooked by expert New Orleans chefs and doesn't need improving'.
Mr Bones is open Monday - Saturday, 11am - 9pm and Sunday 12-9pm and is located at 3007 Gulf Drive, Holmes, Florida 34217
Visit www.mrbonesbbq.com for more

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Stone groove baby!

We wouldn't normally recommend you leave Anna Maria Island, but sometimes the trip is worth it for the food alone. And besides, the journey over to Longboat Key really isn't that far.
When you go, go in December for the annual stone crab, seafood and wine festival at The Colony Beach and Tennis Resort.
This is a highly anticipated event that celebrates the state's coastal heritage, and attracts renowned chefs and winemakers to help usher in the beginning of Florida's stone crab season. Expect a fusion of culinary genius and indulgent wine offerings - at a price.
The Colony Beach and Tennis Resort is on 1620 Gulf of Mexico Drive, and you can get directions from the resort's website www.colonybeachresort.com, or call (941) 383 6464.
The date has yet to be confirmed, but expect it to be late November to early December.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

How do you like these apples?

Lynn Kessel's food writing in the Tampa Tribune always makes our mouths water, and with the sun out her recipe this week could not have been better timed.
So if you're thirsting for something refreshing, simple and, dare we say it, good for you, then Lynn's green apple lemonade should just hit the spot.
Here's how to make it.

1 green apple
1 lemon
1 tablespoon flax powder
1 tablespoon Stevia or 1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups water

Place all ingredients except the ice into a blender. Blend well. Serve lemonade over ice. For pink lemonade, add a handful of strawberries into the blender.

See, we told you it was simple.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Calling all foodies...

If you fancy a nice drive with some good food at the end of it, why not take a trip down to Sarasota to sample a one-of-a-kind food festival this June.
The annual "Savor Sarasota" restaurant has been expanded to two weeks, June 1-14. More than 30 restaurants, some Zagat-rated, will offer multi-course meals at a discount, $15 for lunches and $25 for dinners.
Get details and hotel discounts from the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau, 1-800-522-9799 or www.sarasotafl.org