Local Dish Season 2 AHarrys Continental Kitchens Lynn Harry Christensen Chef OwnerHarrys 1

Harry’s Cheese Torta—a blend of layered chèvre cheese, pesto, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts—was a savory smash at Forks & Corks 2016.

The dish continues to intrigue guests daily at Harry’s Continental Kitchens on Longboat Key.

“This is one of our most popular catering items. We also sell it in our deli to go,” says restaurateur Harry Christensen. “Our customers always rave about it.


Ingredients for the cheese:
3 ounces goat cheese
3 ounces cream cheese
1 ounce pesto (see recipe below)
1 ounce half and half
¼ ounce sundried tomato, diced
¼ ounce toasted pine nuts
Ingredients for the pesto:
1 ounce parsley
2 ounces basil
1/3 ounce garlic
1/3 ounce pine nuts
½ ounce Parmesan cheese
3 ounces olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Blend the goat and cream cheeses with the half and half in a mixer. Put the cheese mixture into a pastry bag and pipe it into a 4-inch-diameter circle on a platter. Spread the pesto evenly on top of the cheese. Sprinkle the sundried tomato and pine nuts on top of the pesto. Pipe another layer of cheese on top of that. Spread the pesto evenly on top again. Garnish with more tomatoes and pine nuts. Serve with melba toast or crackers.

Harry’s Continental Kitchens | 525 Saint Judes Dr., Longboat Key | 941-383-0777 | harryskitchen.com

Author: Abby Weingarten

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michaels on east 18 29 smallMichaels On East Phil Mancini Michael Klauber Co Proprietorsmoe vert large

For years, the flank steak at Michael’s On East has made the rounds at area culinary events and generated glowing feedback. At Forks & Corks 2016, the dish proved its potential for longevity once again.

“We’ve served new recipes from time to time at festivals, which are also well-received, but the area’s food scene continues to request our sesame and garlic marinated flank steak,” says Michael's On East co-proprietor Phil Mancini. “It is an aromatic palate- and crowd-pleaser. It's probably one of the simplest recipes we've ever shared but certainly a favorite.”


For the marinade:
2 cups teriyaki sauce
2 ounces sesame oil
2 ounces brown sugar 
2 ounces honey
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground black pepper 
Marinate the flank steak at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours and grill to desired temperature (Michael's On East Catering Chef Sean Berryman recommends medium rare).
For the horseradish cream sauce:
2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup ground horseradish 
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Cholula Hot Sauce 
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Whisk together all of the ingredients and serve the dish immediately. 

Michael’s On East | 1212 East Ave. S., Sarasota | 941-366-0007 | bestfood.com 

Author: Abby Weingarten

Photo Courtesy of www.dinesarasota.com

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white horse pub 6 11 smallWhite Horse Bob Kirscher owner hostWhite Horse Pub        

Bread pudding can be a hit-or-miss dessert, depending on the baker. But at The White Horse Pub in Sarasota, the confection is so irresistible it often converts skeptics. This universal appeal inspired restaurateur Bob Kirscher to serve the pudding at Forks & Corks 2016.

“Our signature dessert is our British bread pudding, which has a unique, creamy cinnamon flavor. It is not too sweet and the brandy and caramel glaze adds a touch of richness to it,” Kirscher says. “Many guests at Forks & Corks that were not usually enthused by bread pudding loved our product, and they returned for seconds and thirds.”


2 loaves white bread
2 loaves wheat or multigrain bread
1 gallon whole milk
1 pound brown sugar
4 cups sour cream
2 ounces cinnamon
Mix the ingredients thoroughly, add the mixture to a long greased pan and cover with foil. Bake the dish for 45 to 60 minutes at 325 degrees until the last 15 minutes. Serve with a caramel and brandy sauce.

The White Horse Pub | 6240 N. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota | 941-358-1353 | the-white-horse-pub.com

Author: Abby Weingarten

Photo Courtesy of www.dinesarasota.com



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BridgeStreetBistro AW smallBridge Street Bistro Bill Herlihy OwnerBridge Street Bistro

The grilled mahi tacos from Bridge Street Bistro—with their decadent four-cheese blend and fresh fish filets—made a savory splash at Forks & Corks 2016.
“This is a simple, delicious dish, and what makes it special is that everything is so fresh,” says Bill Herlihy, Bridge Street Bistro’s president and general manager. “The mahi has a mild, sweet flavor, and the blackening spice adds the perfect amount of heat. I also love the contrast of the warm fish, tortilla and cheese with the cool accompaniment


24 ounces fresh mahi filet
3 ounces blackening spice
8 flour tortillas
8 ounces shredded cheese blend (Manchego, Mahon, Monterey Jack and cheddar)
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup romaine lettuce, shredded
4 ounces sour cream
4 ounces pico de gallo
4 ounces guacamole
2 limes, freshly squeezed
Slice the fish into 16 1-inch-by-3-inch strips. Dip the fish into the blackening spice on a plate. In a sauté pan with oil, cook the fish on both sides and reduce the heat after the initial flip. In a baking pan, spread the cheese mixture onto the tortillas. Then place tortillas in a 350-degree oven and let the cheese melt. Place 2 pieces of fish in the middle of each tortilla, add the tomato and shredded lettuce, and fold. Top the tortillas with lime juice. Serve the sour cream, pico de gallo and guacamole on the side for dipping.

Bridge Street Bistro | 111 Gulf Dr. S., Bradenton Beach | 941-782-1122 | bridgestreetbistroonline.com

Author:  Abby Weingarten

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bijou cafe 18 51 smallJean Pierre JP Knaggs Owner The Bijou CaféBijou Cafe Logo
Chef/restaurateur Jean-Pierre “J.P.” Knaggs of The Bijou Café in Sarasota is a fan of all things Cajun and Creole. So, when Forks & Corks 2016 came up on the January calendar, he hoped for a cool day in which to serve a savory gumbo. He got his wish.

“The gumbo was very well received by the crowd,” Knaggs says. “It also went well with a lot of wines—from a hearty Syrah to a dry rose or even a peppery Zinfandel. We accompanied it with tiny, homemade habanero honey biscuits and white rice


Ingredients for duck stock:
2 whole bone-in ducks
8 quarts water
2 large onions, quartered
4 stalks celery, quartered
3 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, diced
½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Combine the ingredients in a large stockpot, bring it to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 2 hours or until tender. Remove the ducks, let them cool and set them aside. Discard the bones and skin. Chill the stock until the fat solidifies on top, then remove the fat and discard it. Reserve the stock.
Ingredients for gumbo:
2 cups flour
1½ cups canola or vegetable oil
2 cups Andouille smoked sausage
2 cups onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup green pepper, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme
4 quarts duck stock
1 cup red wine
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
3 cups cooked okra
In a large heavy pot, make a dark roux with oil and flour. Add the vegetables and cook for 10 minutes until they are tender. Add the seasonings and stir. Add the stock, wine and Tabasco sauce, and then simmer for 15 minutes. Add the duck and sausage, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer on low for 1½ to 2 hours. Add the okra and simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve over white rice and a sprinkle of green onions.

The Bijou Café | 1287 First St., Sarasota | 941-366-8111 | bijoucafe.net

Author:  Abby Weingarten

Photo Courtesy of www.dinesarasota.com

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