MartiniGenie's Profile

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Restaurant near Barbara B Mann Theater Ft Myers

Directly across the street from the BBM is University Grill. Moderately priced and very friendly staff. http://universitygrill.net/index.html

At the Bell Tower Mall, Blue Pointe Oyster Bar and Seafood Grill is consistently great food. Try the crab cakes, but they also serve a great steak. http://bluepointerestaurant.com/

Apr 14, 2014
MartiniGenie in Florida

Orlando Choice

I second Cafe Tu Tu Tango. The banana pizza desert is a great share for the end of meal.

Mar 15, 2014
MartiniGenie in Florida

Starting to thaw frozen pork chops in fridge then finishing in cold running water

In the certification that most restaurants have their managers obtain, it was taught that the problem occurs when meat is allowed out at room temp for over two hours or the temp was allowed to rise and fall, creating a ripe environment for spoilage.
I usually do place my item to be defrosted in plastic, though. I feel the soak directly in water washes away flavor.

Mar 15, 2014
MartiniGenie in Home Cooking

Avenue 5 Open Now in Naples Florida

Here Here! I second.

Feb 15, 2014
MartiniGenie in Florida

Reuben"s BBQ Ft. Myers -- Promising

If you can do yourself, Lawhon's Grocery in N Ft Myers, Bayshore and 75 will order a whole brisket for you at around 3.25 a pound. It was holiday dinner for my family.

Feb 15, 2014
MartiniGenie in Florida

Lunch between Ft Myers and Naples

If you take 1-75, you will miss all of the local unchained restaurants. I suggest you take the US41 corridor.

If you are looking for a touristy place, Sandy Parrot has outdoor seating in a Tiki like atmosphere. They keep changing the menu, but I really like their mussel app. Alico and 41 in Ft Myers.

Randy's Fishmarket & Restaurant Inc. is in Naples on 41. Also in Naples is Real Seafood Company, on Vanderbuilt Beach and just past Airport Pulling. Both good, solid seafood choices.

Feb 15, 2014
MartiniGenie in Florida

Can I just toss "stew meat" in a slow cooker?

I do it for the flavor, also. And if you coat the pieces in flour it will also thicken quite nicely.

Chile powder or chile sauce for Texas style chili?

Hi Ali, I usually add one of the sweet onions, like Vadalia or whatever is local to your area. For a good size pot, at least 2 chopped. After they cook a good time, very sweet.

Feb 15, 2014
MartiniGenie in Home Cooking

Left out overnight

For the cost of what you have in the dish, you may want to ask if it is worth you or your family getting really sick? I will still throw out $1 worth of food to avoid the porcelain goddess.

Oct 28, 2013
MartiniGenie in Home Cooking

Need Recipe: "Better" Green Bean Casserole

Hard to get away from the salt and fat but easy to get away from the ucky canned, soggy and hydrogenated oil recipe. The amount of each ingredient depends on how many the recipe is supposed to serve.

Using a mandolin, thinly slice your choice of onions/shallots, dredge in flour and kosher salt. Flash fry (umm, peanut oil is best at high heat) until golden and set aside on rack in warm oven so they don't get soggy.

Clean and cut up green beans into bite size pieces. Steam using lightly salted water until tender/crisp and then ice bath to retain texture and color. Drain well. Retain steaming liquid.

Saute variety of mushrooms in butter and grape seed oil. Set aside, including any liquor in pan.

In the same sauté pan, heat 1 part butter and 1 part flour, whisking continuously. Heat 1 part half and half to hot, not boiling. I use the microwave at 1 minute per cup. Season hot ½ & ½ with ½ teaspoon of mushroom bouillon paste (think Better than Bouillon or similar) per 1 cup part and whisk into roué until smooth. Combine all, including cooking liquid, using only some of the onions, into casserole and season with pepper to taste.

Top with more of the onion crispies and bake until bubbly and browned on top, about 30 minutes at 350F.

Oct 28, 2013
MartiniGenie in Home Cooking

FORT MYERS, CAPE CORAL -- Need recommendations for TOP PICKS

Thanks for the Shannon tip. Been wondering where he would emerge.

I agree with you on Bert's. Even the hamburgers are great.

Oct 27, 2013
MartiniGenie in Florida

Too much cheese

If you are going to use for cooking, freezing works. I simply would not use for cheese board after that.

America's Test Kitchen

Yuppers, had to unsubscribe also. Got inbox crowd from them.

Thanksgiving pared down

I have not had the op to do a small TG (all family still in one state). However, I love turkey and stuffing, so I have come up with ways to cook it small.

Use an 8x8 baking pan for the stuffing and bake either thigh and/or a wing directly on top of the stuffing. Keep the veggie simple, just cook your favorite or go ahead and have a simple yet great salad. Cranberries can be bought fresh, made into sauce and freeze remaining into portions for 1 or 2 for another time.

For dessert, I have a Fresh Market nearby and they always have a great and delish selection.

My main point of Thanksgiving is to be around family and friends around that make you feel happy and to give thanks for having them in your life. I sincerely hope your Thanksgiving is what is important to you.

Oct 27, 2013
MartiniGenie in Home Cooking

What should I make for a toddler's outdoor birthday picnic?

I would go with chicken fingers that can be served hot or chilled, maybe some hot dogs, a nice salad for the big kids and whatever kind of cut up raw veggies with dip for the little ones. If the party is for the kids, they probably won't pay too much attention to the food. The salad and veggies can be chilled in coolers and the hot box should be able to handle the rest.

Oct 13, 2013
MartiniGenie in Home Cooking

Rice -- a compromise b/t white and brown, parboiled recs?

Although this originally started back in '08, maybe this will help.

I also recommend the Kashi. It takes longer to cook, but worth it. Try adding some seasoning into it; use a good stock instead of water, onions and mushrooms are another option, and try some herbs that mesh with whatever you are serving with it. I have also "sauteed" the mix with oil before adding liquid to keep it from sticking.

Forbidden rice is a whole different taste and texture. There should be an oriental specialty store somewhere in your area. It is more expensive. But occasionally, being a CH allows you to play and pay a bit more with your food. ;-)

Oct 13, 2013
MartiniGenie in Home Cooking

Poached Chicken Recipes?

I use leftover chicken to make enchiladas. Really turns out good if you use a quality sauce and dip the tortillas before stuffing with chicken, beans, onions, tomatoes, and shredded cheese. Save some of the sauce and cheese to top and bake about 20 mins at 350.

Sep 08, 2013
MartiniGenie in Home Cooking

Bethel Park - Wellsburg central meet up for breakfast

Woul appreciate help to ch from FL

Jun 08, 2013
MartiniGenie in Pennsylvania

SW Floridian looking for some good eats near O'Hare

Yes, I am referring to the West Higgins Road location. And I am willing to taxi or public trans. I saw from the map and from some other searches of places mentioned on CH that the lake has plenty of options. Any favorites?

Thanks for the location for Lou Malnati's. No rental car for me, but can definitely taxi to that one.

Jun 01, 2013
MartiniGenie in Chicago Area

SW Floridian looking for some good eats near O'Hare

I will be attending a convention at Marriott O'Hare the first weekend in August and will have only Friday night free to experience dining out of the hotel. Also on Friday lunch would like to have deep dish for the first time. Would love some recommendations from local experts...

May 30, 2013
MartiniGenie in Chicago Area

Cumin-Coriander Chicken - outstanding!

Sounds like a great culinary adventure! Making it tonight. I also have everything except for the cilantro and mint - easily remedy. Cooking for two, so will cut in half.

Mar 30, 2013
MartiniGenie in Home Cooking

Good Places Ft. Myers to Naples/Bonita We Might Not Know?

Hey Nosh,
Here's a hole-in-the-wall for you: La Trattoria de Napoli
http://www.latrattoriacafenapoli.com/
It's in a little strip mall on 41 near Chrystal. Great food. LiLMisF
mentioned them and I did not see them on your trip report. Worth the drive up Daniels.

Mar 30, 2013
MartiniGenie in Florida

Good food shopping near/in Kissimmee area?

There are 2 Total Wine stores in Orlando. They will not only have the best prices, they will have the largest selection. We have one in Ft Myers and it is my go to store for anything liquor.

If you are in Orlando for a meal, try Tu Tu Tango on International Dr (I Drive to the locals). It is all tapas and they usually have local artists displayed along with some fun entertaining, like belly dancers. Still clean enough to bring the kids, if you have any with you.

Mar 30, 2013
MartiniGenie in Florida

Your secrets to crispy chicken skin

The crispiest skin I have gotten is by using chicken thighs. I heat a stainless skillet to MH, season the skins using S&P, thyme and rubbed sage and put the thighs in skin down and leave them until they are loose from the pan. Season the undersides same as the top, flip and cook for 5 more minutes. Then I place in the oven at 350F until done. The fat will render out and by pouring it off, leaving the thighs to rest on another platter, there is a lot of delicious brown bits (frons) to make a sauce or gravy with.

Mar 30, 2013
MartiniGenie in Home Cooking

What is the secret to the firm dense shrimp for shrimp cocktail served in the best steakhouses and restaurants?

Hi 411,
I have worked in many of the steakhouses and restaurants that serve the wonderful shrimp. The best use professional steamers and the 2 pan method; one pan is slotted & shallower than the other and fits over the top of the bottom pan. The shrimp is seasoned and force steamed (think of convection with steam) and then ice is added immediately on top after removing from steamer.
My preference is for fresh Florida wild shrimp - I live here. I have also coated them with EVOO & spices and baked in a very hot oven with the shells on. The shells seem to protect them and add a flavor element to the cocktail.

Mar 11, 2013
MartiniGenie in Home Cooking

Need a Funny Cook Book for a gift...

My son got that one for me as a gift - i especially love the "Meat Magnets".

Feb 21, 2013
MartiniGenie in Home Cooking

Cocktail suggestions for rhubarb schnapps?

The only thing that comes to mind is to try for a version of strawberry rhubarb pie...with a Chambord twist...

One part each of the schnapps, Chambord & vanilla vodka, shake, strain into graham cracker & sugar mix rimmed martini glass & top with two parts soda.

Dec 16, 2012
MartiniGenie in Spirits

Nothing but stuffing ...

Hey, Lisa,
I heat up my stuffing before I place it in the bird by gently heating in the microwave. Takes care of the stuffing not getting hot enough. Just cook for 30 seconds at time and stir until it is steaming. I always leave the bird at room temp for at least 1 hour before cook time, also.

BUT - this wings technique is one to put in the folder - I love the stuffing even more that the whole turkey! Give your butcher a great big thanks for that! More convenient than doing the whole bird.

Nov 17, 2012
MartiniGenie in Home Cooking

Hair-of-the dog brunch recipes?

French toast with grand marnier in the egg mixture. If you can get some orange rind, that would add to it, also.
Multiple berries macerated with chambord. Top with whipped cream laced with frangelico.
Eggs poached in bloody marys (no ice). I would serve on whole grain toast topped with hollandaise and accompanied with marinated cukes.

Oct 27, 2012
MartiniGenie in Home Cooking

I want to cook for a girl I like. Would really appreciate some thoughts =)

Hey Ryan,
How many people is a crush? That is going to make a big difference. Like 20-30 or 5-10?

For lots of people, a slow cooked oven meal like brisket or pulled pork is easy and gets raves.
For smaller groups, something like a really well done sauce & pasta may be in order.

Oct 27, 2012
MartiniGenie in Home Cooking