It takes hours to roast a turkey. The average temperature in South Florida in late November is—well let’s just say, it’s usually still pretty hot. We all like to think that if we drink enough pumpkin spice lattes, autumn will magically appear in South Florida. Sorry, it just doesn’t work. It’s hot here. Sure, sometimes we get a cold snap when we can all don our leather boots and cute sweaters. But it always seems to be hot on Turkey Day. And when it’s 85 degrees outside, the last thing you want is your oven going all day long.
So all things considered, since the day is about appreciating the bounty. Why not highlight some of our local ingredients? The ocean is right here and a whole roasted grouper is still a show stopper—well it’s at least as much of show stopper as a turkey. Here are some fun ideas by our hometown seasonal food blogger to give your holiday some local entertaining gravitas. Enjoy!
Oyster Dressing
10 cups French bread, cut into
1-2 inch cubes
10 slices thick-cut bacon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 shallots, thinly sliced
6 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1 pound shucked oysters with 1 cup of the liquor reserved, about 40 oysters
1 cup chicken stock
13  cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons thyme leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons sage leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
12 teaspoon ground cloves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 250˚. Arrange bread cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake dried, but not browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat cook the bacon until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon from the pan and cut into strips. Return them to the skillet.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in the skillet with the bacon. Add shallots and celery; reduce heat to medium, and cook until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add oyster liquid, chicken stock, parsley, thyme, sage, Tabasco, nutmeg, cloves, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 5 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and stir in the bread cubes and oysters. Set aside to allow the flavors to come together for 10 minutes.
Raise the oven temperature to 400˚. Transfer mixture into a greased 2-qt. baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, remove foil, drizzle with remaining butter, and continue baking until golden brown and crusty, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
Thanksgiving Grouper
with Citrus Herb Compote
(pictured on previous page)
sea salt as needed
pepper as needed
dried parsley as needed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 lemons, sliced into half-inch rounds
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced
Preheat oven to 375.
Generously season both sides and the inside of the grouper with salt, pepper and parsley. Next, massage the softened butter onto the grouper. Stuff the fish with lemon rounds, thyme, rosemary and sage.
Based on the weight of your fish, consult with your local fish monger as to how long to cook your fish. Serve with citrus herb compote. Recipe follows
Citrus Herb Compote
Juice of one orange
Juice of 1 lemon
12 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoon fresh rosemary, diced
2 tablespoon fresh sage, diced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine orange juice, lemon juice, and olive oil and allow to warm. Once the juice mixture is warm, whisk in sugar and mix to dissolve. Reduce heat to low and mix in rosemary, sage and thyme. Serve on top of fish.
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Apples
2 pounds brussels sprouts
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 shallots, minced
3 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 apples, peeled and diced into cubes
Kosher salt
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the brussels sprouts until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Cut the brussels sprouts in half lengthwise.
 In a large skillet over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 10 minutes. Scrape into a bowl.
 Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet. Add the brussels sprouts, cut side down, and the pancetta. Season with salt and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are browned and tender, 10 minutes. Add the apples and shallots and cook, stirring, until warm, 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and serve.
Sea Salt
Mashed Potatoes
2 pounds russet or Yukon gold potatoes
2 tablespoons sea salt, plus more to taste
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Peel and cut potatoes into 1 1/2-inch-thick slices.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and put 1 Tablespoons sea salt into the water. Place potatoes into the pot; continue to boil until a knife slips in and out easily, about 20 minutes.
 Drain potatoes and place them into the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment. Mix potatoes on low until smooth, about 1 minute. Next add in butter and mix to combine. Next, drizzle in cream, pepper, nutmeg, and remaining salt to taste; whisk to combine. Serve immediately.
White Chocolate Key Lime Pie
Makes one pie
1 cup whipping cream
1 (11-ounce) package white chocolate morsels
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon grated key lime rind
13 cup fresh key lime juice
1 (9-inch) ready-made graham cracker crust
1 cup whipped cream
garnish with a key lime twist
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine cream and white chocolate. Cook 5 minutes or until chocolate melts, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Add sour cream, lime rind, and juice and mix to combine. Pour mixture into crust. Cover and chill at least 4 hours. Whip the heavy cream until stiff and top the pie with whipped cream and garnish with a key lime twist.
Based in Lighthouse Point, Amanda Jane is the creator of the food blog Seasonally Jane where she shares her love of seasonally inspired cooking through original recipes and photography. Her blog celebrate the use of peak-season produce with an emphasis on organic whole foods and unique ingredients. Visit for more ideas and recipes.

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