Food dominant for 0912

Boil up some fresh Florida goodness for your next tailgate party or home barbecue. Florida Pink Shrimp Boil features sweet corn, tomatoes and new potatoes for a complete meal.

A portable grill, blender, Crock-Pot and a couple of coolers are must-have items for a tailgate party with family and friends while watching your favorite college team as the kickoff season gets underway.

And even if you don’t have tickets to your game of choice, these items will also come in handy for preparing tasty dishes for noshing while watching your football heroes on TV.

Nothing says fall in Florida (and most of the nation), like the start of gridiron season — from exhibition squabbles to the countdown of the official coin toss.

From simple burgers and dogs on the grill, chili and gumbo in slow cookers, Margaritas and shakes in blenders and coolers packed with make ahead salads and desserts, to fancy skewered meats and seafood, good eats are part of the experience.

Be sure and check the Over Easy column today for the hearty “Touchdown Chili” recipe by Meg Hoffman, who earned both the public and judges awards in the 2013 Citrus Hills Chili Cookoff contest.

She wanted to share her creative chili with readers of Flair for Food for the opening of the annual football season.

In addition, just to spark some ideas for your own tailgate or home party, you will also find in Flair For Food today the following: Florida Pink Shrimp Boil with Sweet Corn and New Potatoes: Florida Shrimp and Beef Tacos; Grilled Steak and Corn Salad; and Grilled Shrimp with Mango and Sweet Chile Sauce.

The emphasis on seafood brings a unique Sunshine State touch to your tailgating or backyard event. Keep ingredients cold in your iced cooler and don’t forget the charcoal for the grill when you load up the car, truck or trailer to head for day of good fun and fine food.

FLORIDA PINK SHRIMP BOIL WITH SWEET CORN & NEW POTATOES

  • 1 1/2 pounds large Florida pink shrimp (heads off, peeled and de-veined if desired)
  • 5 ears Florida sweet corn, husked and cut in half
  • 1 large Florida tomato, diced small
  • 1 pound small new potatoes (peeled if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound cooked smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup seafood boil seasoning mix (like Old Bay)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine, sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Preheat a large pot over medium-high heat, add oil and sausage and cook until lightly browned (about 2 minutes). Fill pot with the cooked sausage with water until pot is 2/3 full. Add most of the seafood seasoning, reserving a tablespoon for later. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are 3/4 done. Add corn and cook for 4 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Drain all ingredients and place the shrimp boil ingredients on a platter. Lightly season with the remaining seafood boil seasoning mix. Garnish the shrimp boil platter with the diced tomato and parsley. Serve the shrimp boil with lemon wedges, melted butter and hot sauce.

FLORIDA SHRIMP AND BEEF TACOS

  • Hard or soft taco shells

Skewer marinade and sauce:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Beef skewers:

  • 24 ounces beef (tenderloin, sirloin or your favorite cut of beef), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 large Florida bell peppers (your favorite color), cut into 1-inch squares
  • 2 large onions cut into 1-inch squares
  • 8 bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 1 hour) or metal skewers
  • Cooking oil spray for grilling
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Shrimp skewers:

  • 1 pound large Florida shrimp, peeled and de-veined with tail on
  • 2 large Florida bell peppers (your favorite color), cut into 1-inch squares
  • 2 large onions cut into 1-inch squares
  • 8 bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 1 hour) or metal skewers
  • Cooking oil spray for grilling
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Skewer marinade and sauce: Combine olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili powder, cilantro and lime juice in a blender and puree until smooth. Use half of the marinade on the raw skewers. Taste marinade and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Use the reserved marinade as a sauce.

Beef skewers: Make skewers by alternating the beef, peppers and onions. Lightly season the assembled skewers with salt and pepper. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Lightly spray the skewers with the cooking oil spray and place onto the grill, cook to desired temperature. When done, remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes; serve warm.

Shrimp skewers: Make skewers by alternating the shrimp, peppers and onions. Lightly season the assembled skewers with salt and pepper. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Lightly spray the skewers with the cooking oil spray and place onto the grill; cook until the shrimp are just done.

Tacos: To serve as tacos, remove the meat from the skewers, place into hard shell or soft taco shells. Serve with fresh salsa, Florida avocado and shredded lettuce.

GRILLED STEAK AND CORN SALAD

  • 1 steak (your favorite cut), grilled and sliced
  • 1 ear Florida sweet corn, grilled and cut off cob
  • 1 Florida avocado, grilled and sliced
  • 2 Florida tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 (5-ounce) package arugula
  • 6 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, while whisking. Store in refrigerator until ready to assemble salad.

Preheat grill to high. Season steak, avocado, and corn with salt and pepper. Sear steak for 3 to 4 minutes on both sides (for medium rare), sear each avocado half for 2 to 3 minutes, sear corn for 3-4 minutes or until desired char is reached. Allow ingredients to cool then slice steak, cut corn off cob, and thinly slice avocado.

In a large bowl toss greens, tomatoes, and onions in just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Arrange steak, avocado, and corn over greens. Add crumbled blue cheese and serve family style or individual servings.

GRILLED FLORIDA SHRIMP WITH MANGO AND SWEET CHILI SAUCE

  • 20 large Florida shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 4 Florida mangoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup scallions, sliced fine
  • 20 small bamboo skewers
  • Cooking oil spray for grilling
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least one hour (this reduces the chance of the skewers burning). Combine the sweet chili sauce, lime juice, ginger, and mint in a small bowl. Slice the scallions and set aside.

On a clean surface place a mango cube in between the tail and top of a shrimp. Insert the bamboo skewer through the shrimp and mango. Repeat the skewering process until all shrimp are skewered, store in the refrigerator (and/or cooler) until ready to grill.

Preheat a charcoal grill (or indoor grill pan) and cook the shrimp and mango skewers. When the shrimp is close to being cooked through, glaze with the sweet chili sauce. Sprinkle with the sliced scallions and serve.

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