Recipes We Love - See What’s Cooking in SWFL
French Onion Grilled Cheese
Restaurant: Twisted Cheesery
- 2 slices sourdough bread
- 2 slices aged cheddar cheese
- 1½ ounces provolone cheese
- 4 ounces gouda cheese
- 4 ounces French onions
- 1 ounce butter
- 1 pickle spear
- 1 ounce kettle chips
- 8 tablespoons butter, diced
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 8 pounds yellow onions, julienned
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons roasted garlic puree
- 2 tablespoons chicken base
- 1 cup sherry wine
- 1 cup cabernet wine
- 10 cups beef broth
- 3-4 thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet or cast iron, place butter and oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they begin to caramelize. Stir in tomato paste, garlic puree, and chicken base. Continue to stir so bottom of the pan does not burn. Cook onions until completely caramelized. Add both wines to deglaze pan. Add beef broth and herbs. Let soup come to simmer. Turn down and cook for 45 minutes to1 hour on low heat. Season with salt and pepper, drain broth, and reserve onions for sandwich.
Place cheddar on one side of bread. Place remaining cheese on the other half. Top one side with French onions. Close sandwich and spread butter evenly. In a flat-top pan, cook until golden brown and cheese is melted. Cut sandwich in half. Serve with pickle spear, onion dip, and kettle chips.
2795 Davis Blvd., Naples; 239-417-4466, twistedcheesery.com
Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
Restaurant: The Standard
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- ½ tablespoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons pumpkin
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites. You can easily achieve this by cracking the egg into a small bowl. If the yolk breaks, it is best to save it and use for another dish or breakfast tomorrow. Once in the small bowl, use your hand to scoop up the egg yolk, letting the egg whites slowly slide through your fingers and then pinch the egg whites with the fingers that you are holding the yolk with. This will break the egg whites from the yolk and allow the remaining egg whites to slide through your fingers.
In a small sauce pan, heat 2 cups of heavy cream. Add vanilla and pumpkin, then whisk together to combine thoroughly.
In a separate mixing bowl, add egg yolks and sugar, and whisk together until combined. A dash of lemon juice during this process is not a bad idea because it can act as a natural binder, depending on the ingredients it reacts with.
Once the heavy cream mixture starts to simmer, turn the heat off. Place sugar and egg yolk mixture on a dry towel or nonslip surface for the next step. Slowly add about ½ cup of the hot cream mixture to the egg yolk and sugar. Whisk immediately as you are pouring; if you are making this with a friend or significant other, this is a good time for an extra pair of hands. The initial little bit of hot cream tempers the egg yolk mixture so they do not scramble. Continue to add the hot cream and whisk until all ingredients are combined.
In an oven-safe baking dish (stainless steel is preferred since it will be used only to hold the crème brûlée ), place crème brûlée ramekins and fill the holding pan with water until it covers 75 percent of the height of the ramekin. This allows for even heat and baking, which is extremely crucial to this process.
Fill the crème brûlée dishes with the mixture and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Set an initial 30-minute timer, then rotate the pan and set another 30-minute timer. The crème brûlée is done when the center barely wiggles when you shake the pan. Note that all ovens are different and heat/time may vary, so keep an eye on your crème brûlée.
After the crème brûlée has cooled, it is classically topped with caster sugar and then torched (brûléed) to melt and slightly caramelize the sugar. You can achieve this with any small torch, easily purchased at stores. Use a continuous circular motion with the torch until a golden color starts to form. When this happens, the sugar is done and you are ready to serve. Don’t dig in too fast, because the sugar is very hot.
Downtown Fort Myers location: 1520 Broadway, Fort Myers; 239-219-6463
Page Field location: 5031 S. Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers; 239-931-1240
Twice Baked Potato Burger
Restaurant: Brooks Burgers
- 1 brioche bun, lightly buttered and toasted
- 1 8-ounce premium ground hamburger
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese
- 2 slices crisp cooked bacon
- 1 slice provolone cheese
- 1 tablespoon shredded cheese
- 1 teaspoon chopped green onions or chives
- ½ cup potato straws/potato chips/French fries (your choice)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix sour cream and cream cheese together until smooth. Set aside.
Season meat with salt and pepper to taste. Form into a patty and cook burger your favorite way, in a skillet or on a grill. Cook to desired temperature.
Layer cooked burger with bacon, sour cream/cream cheese mixture, then provolone cheese. Cover with a lid and let warm for 20 seconds to melt the cheese. Next add the shredded cheddar and your choice of potato. Repeat warming process to slightly melt the cheddar cheese. Finish by topping burger with as much green onion as you like.
Downtown Naples location: 330 Ninth Street S, Naples; 239-262-1127
Vanderbilt Beach location: 845 Vanderbilt Beach Road, North Naples; 239-631-8298
Hot Maple Spice Latte
Restaurant: Perfect Cup
- 3 shots of fresh espresso
- 1 ounce of gourmet caramel syrup
- 1 ounce of gourmet maple syrup
- About 10 ounces steamed milk (any kind)
Pour the shots of espresso into a 16-ounce mug and quickly stir in syrups until they are well blended. Next, steam milk in a metal frothing urn. Pro tip: hold the tip of the frothing wand along the surface of the milk to create a nice layer of milk foam. Add steamed milk to espresso/syrup mixture and top with a thin layer of milk foam. Add some pizzazz with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle on top.
4548 Pine Island Road, Matlacha; 239-283-4447, facebook.com/theperfectcuproastery
Crunchy Grouper Fingers (gluten free)
Restaurant: RC Otters
- 14-16 ounces fresh grouper filet cut into 2-ounce strips
- 1 cup Cajun-style hot sauce (according to taste)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups olive oil (almond oil or coconut oil could be substituted)
- 1½ cups corn starch
Pour hot sauce, lemon juice, and salt over grouper fingers and let marinate for 10 minutes.
Heat olive oil in medium-size skillet on medium-high heat. Bread grouper fingers in corn starch.
Be sure the pan is not too hot. Gently place a single layer in the heated olive oil. Cook approximately 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Stay with it so you see that it has cooked enough but not too much.
Drain on paper towel and serve with blue cheese dressing on side.
Dipping sauce on the side can also be remoulade sauce, tartar sauce, or any combination, including blue cheese dressing.
11506 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva; 239-395-1142, captivaislandinn.com/captiva-island-restaurant/rc-otters-eats/