The sun-drenched Florida Keys are a necklace of islands stretching more than 100 miles west from the tip of the state, where Caribbean, European, and American cultures meet. Linda Gassenheimer, South Florida local and nationally known food writer, has been visiting the Keys for decades and has seen them transform from a sleepy chain of islands to a sophisticated crossroads of culinary traditions. The islands’ chefs have an unusually rich bounty of ingredients at hand from the Caribbean’s array of seafood and the...
The sun-drenched Florida Keys are a necklace of islands stretching more than 100 miles west from the tip of the state, where Caribbean, European, and American cultures meet. Linda Gassenheimer, South Florida local and nationally known food writer, has been visiting the Keys for decades and has seen them transform from a sleepy chain of islands to a sophisticated crossroads of culinary traditions. The islands’ chefs have an unusually rich bounty of ingredients at hand from the Caribbean’s array of seafood and the coconuts, pineapples, tomatoes, citrus and melons grown on the Upper and Middle Keys. In The Flavors of the Florida Keys, Linda Gassenheimer brings this distinctive corner of America to your kitchen with over two hundred recipes that range from the humble (Bahamian Conch Chowder) to the sophisticated (Crab Cakes with Pommery Mustard Sauce).
In her quest for the best of the Keys’ recipes, Gassenheimer has traveled everywhere from waterfront beach shacks to resort dining rooms. Along the way, she has collected the stories of the men and women behind the recipes—the eccentric artists and writers, the local fishermen, and the bon vivants captured by the magical atmosphere of the Keys. Your dinner companions include chef Doug Shook from the acclaimed Louie’s Backyard; Elena Spottswood, a member of one of the original Conch families, who shares her recipe for a perfect Cuban Mojito; and Wolfgang Birk, whose Ocean Bounty serves up an abundance of superlative seafood from the surrounding seas. Travel the Keys with Gassenheimer’s book by your side, and discover its hidden treasures and its colorful history; keep a copy stove-side to bring the sunlight and spirit of the Keys to your dining table. It is hard to imagine more informed and entertaining dinner companions than Gassenheimer and the chefs and other characters from the Keys that she will introduce to you.
A Sloppy Joe's sandwich is the last thing one might expect to qualify as a Florida Keys flavor, but Gassenheimer (Dinner in Minutes) tracks its origins to a Florida speakeasy frequented by Hemingway and provides a classic, ketchup-filled recipe. Of course, among her more than 200 other offerings there are plenty of exactly what one would expect, namely, seafood, Key limes, and rum. There are tempting ceviche appetizers as well as plenty of shrimp options, and several of the fish entrees probably taste better than they sound. Dottie Hill's Hog Snapper and tuna puttanesca both have a garlic and onion safety net, while snapper Rangoon has a touch of cinnamon. The limes show up not only in pies, but in cake, ice cream, fudge sauce, cookies, and cocktails, as well as a seafood pasta and even French toast. Rum fuels three different mojito options in addition to a piña colada and the Tiki John's rum runner, which calls for blackberry brandy and banana liqueur. Spoon some colada into a rum runner and you get what the locals call either a candy cane or, more appropriately for those who think it a crime, a Miami vice. (Dec.)
After a brief history of the Florida Keys, James Beard Award winner Gassenheimer (Dinner in Minutes) credits originating restaurants for these recipes. As one would expect, there is an assortment of drinks, including Piña Colada, Key Lime Cosmopolitan, and Key Lime Martini. Seafood and desserts, such as Tropical Coffee Cake (made with key lime juice, pineapple, and coconut) and Key Lime Cookies, are also plentiful. Highly recommended for Gassenheimer's knowledge of the area and the well-written recipes.
Linda Gassenheimer has a passion for great, mouthwatering food, but not for hours spent in the kitchen preparing it.
Gassenheimer creates recipes that are easy to make, taste great and are good for you, too. She has a tough jury when testing her recipes -- a hungry family who want scrumptious dinners. If they give a recipe a thumbs up, then she knows it can go in her books. A thumbs down creates very long faces.
As a TV and Radio Personality, Syndicated Journalist, Best Selling Author, Spokesperson, and Food Consultant Gassenheimer is in touch with the eating public which helps her create meals they want to make – in minutes.
She produces and hosts a weekly segment, “Food News and Views,” on WLRN National Public Radio . She makes many guest appearances on numerous radio and television programs throughout the United States and Canada.
She often appears on the Television Food Network. She’s been a guest on other national and international television shows including “Good Morning America,” “Cookin’ U.S.A.,” and “Canada AM.”
Her “Dinner in Minutes” column is distributed on the McClatchy News Wire (formerly the Knight-Ridder/Tribune wire) and is read by over 4 million readers each week. She writes regularly for “Bottom Line Newsletter” She has written for “Prevention Magazine,” “Food and Wine,” “Cooking Light,” and several other national publications.
She is also a spokesperson for many national and international companies including Thermador, Martini & Rossi, The National Pork Council, Hodgson Mills, Florida Citrus Council, the Mushroom Council, Crisco Canola Oil and Hiram Walker.