A post or two ago I promised a short piece of South Florida hilarity about a couple of ladies that tangled with a big alligator that suffered an altered state of consciousness. The story is still cooking, mostly written but sidelined because of another issue. This blog post mentions food as an objective. It is an entirely self-serving objective that will over time will hopefully gain some momentum and eventually be turned into a book. I had to break from the alligator girls to publish this easy recipe. It is adapted from a dipping sauce that is crafted by the chef at Crazy Fish in Lake Wales Florida. One of the truest tests of spectacular though simple old Florida seafood restaurants is the menu. Go on line, look at the menu, you owe it to yourself. If tilapia is on the menu run. Simple as that. Most people don’t mind spending money on food. Food that is great, they hate spending money on food that isn’t. Look for the catch of the day…snapper, pompano, swordfish, grouper. These denizens live here and if the chef or the chef’s assistant is willing to make the drive to the dock, then you should be willing to pay for it. It’s worth $15 more than a tilapia fillet raised twelve thousand miles away. Enough said.
I mentioned this recipe is an adaptation of an insanely delicious dipping sauce whose recipe is held hostage by the chefs at Crazy Fish. With a little experimentation, some trial and error, and a taste test by some true salt water cowboys, this most excellent salad dressing emerged. You may want to write it down, copy it, save it for later because in a few weeks it will disappear only to reemerge at some future time in a cookbook.
1/3 cup Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale or Condimento grade balsamic vinegar. You can find this stuff in most Italian gourmet markets. These are the only real balsamics.
The juice of 2 key limes or to taste
1 small clove of garlic crushed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons of guava syrup or guava jelly. Guava syrup can be made from any commercially available guava nectar and sugar. Simply reduce it to the desired consistency and put it in a jarl It is a great condiment waiting for your creative energy.
1 teaspoon of any Florida honey.
Whisk it all together and serve it over fresh baby spinach, thinly sliced smoked gouda, shredded asiago, a vine ripe tomato, and boiled egg garnish. Goes great with any of the fish I mentioned before, pan seared or grilled or Florida lobster in any form.