Floribbean Style from Ocean Drive, what exactly does that mean? Floribbean combines cooking techniques and fresh ingredients of Florida with the flavor and style of the Caribbean Islands.
It was the corner of Ocean Drive and 10th Street on Miami Beach where I was a Chef of a well known Seafood Restaurant at The Clevelander Hotel. I started there at the outside raw bar creating tropical fresh seafood plates. My creative presentations earned my way to own that raw bar. I was able to deliver a Seafood creation like an artist fills a canvas with his colorful palette. At the same time I was studying culinary arts at the notable North Miami JWU until I graduated and made “Chef”
This was a big shift, coming from traditional Bistro and Italian cooking background to tropical, Latin and Caribbean flavors. I landed on Ocean Drive at just the right moment as Floribbean style was the newest trend and today it is still the choice of South Beach culinary mainstay.
As The Beautiful People of South Beach came out at night, demands were made for our culinary expertise. The hotel was giving out Ocean Drive Magazine, MTV was doing live coverage of the musicians on The Beach, directors and movie stars were shooting scenes on the patio which made our work hours more of a challenge. The chefs in our kitchen had free range of creative genius. And creative genius we had!
This is the first in a series called Floribbean Style from Ocean Drive.
Spicy Grouper with a Red Pepper & Mango Jam
- 3/4 peeled diced ripe mango
- 1/2 cup fresh roast peppers
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped jalapeño pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed key lime
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt.
- 1 teaspoon cayenne.
- 1 teaspoon paprika.
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper.
- 1/2 teaspoon ground onion.
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano.
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme.
- 2 (6 ounce) grouper fillets
- 1 fresh key lime cut into wedges
- 1 sprig cilantro
- Take all the ingredients for the jam EXCEPT the Mango and puree in a food processor or blender. Pulse slowly as to make the mixture more lumpy than smooth. in a mixing bowl add the diced Mango with the red pepper puree and stir in well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Combine all the seasonings listed above. Place them in a bowl which will be used for dredging the Grouper.
- Dredge the 2 pieces of Grouper on each side, taping each side so that the seasoning stays
- Pre-heat a cooking skillet on a low flame, coat with olive oil.
- slowly add the grouper to the heated, oiled skillet.
- Cook on both sides for about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from stove and place on a plate.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place Grouper on a baking pan and bake in the oven until fully cooked, a few minutes, checking periodically as to not over cook.
You can place the Red Pepper Mango Jam in a ramekin and plate each piece of Grouper. You can spread the Jam on the Grouper or serve in the Ramekin.
The Grouper can be served with White or Saffron Rice. For vegetable you can use plantains or green vegetable. Use the Lime and sprigs of cilantro as a garnish.