Saturday, December 16, 2017
Features and More

Weekday Dinner Inspirations: Leah Chase's Scalloped Tomatoes and more

Mon | Meatless meal

A bowl of Cajun Red Rice & Beans with a slab of corn bread is a mighty fine vegetarian dinner. To make the beans, saute 1 small chopped onion, 1/2 bell pepper, 2 minced garlic cloves and two ribs celery in olive oil, for about 5 minutes. Add two cans drained and rinsed red beans and 1 can diced tomatoes bring to simmer and stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano. Cook on low for about 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with cooked rice and hot sauce.

Tues | Left Coast Southern

My serious go-to dinner is Shrimp & Grits. There's a dozen ways to make this low-county classic, but here's how a West Coast girl does it: Fry five strips of bacon; set aside and keep at least 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan. While the bacon is cooking, I let the peeled shrimp sit with a dusting of paprika and start the cheese grits, making them according to package instructions but using half water and half whole milk. I like extra-sharp cheese. Saute shrimp until just pink in bacon fat. To serve, scoop grits into a shallow serving bowl, top with shrimp and garnish with crumbled bacon and sliced scallions. (Breakfast leftovers: Cheese grits topped with a fried or scrambled egg.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Leah Chase's Cold Weather Cooking is one of the many cookbooks I brought to Florida when I moved here 20 years ago this month. While I've made many recipes from the book, I hadn't tried her Scalloped Tomatoes (recipe below) until recently. Completely delicious and so smart as a side for rotisserie chicken.

Thurs | It's pizza night

Make a flavorful Caprese Pizza, starting with a pound of pizza dough, thawed. Stretch it in an oblong shape on a baking sheet, then brush with olive oil. Mix 1 cup of ricotta cheese with about 1/3 cup of prepared pesto and spread it over uncooked dough. Top with slices of fresh mozzarella and sliced tomatoes in single layer. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees, until crust is golden. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil as soon as you take pizza out of oven, and let it sit for at least 5 minutes before cutting.

Fri | Pork on a stick

If the weather permits, head outside tonight to grill Mojo Pork Skewers. Before leaving the house in the a.m., cube boneless pork chops and put them in a store-bought mojo marinade. When ready to grill, thread them on skewers alternately with chunks of onion and green pepper. Grill over medium high heat for about 10 to 12 minutes total, turning several times during cooking. Serve with fruit salad and a rice studded with sliced scallions.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8586.

Comments
She was about to celebrate her 94th birthday — and ended up in the back of a police car

She was about to celebrate her 94th birthday — and ended up in the back of a police car

Two days before her 94th birthday, Juanita Fitzgerald was arrested and hauled off to jail.The Eustis woman’s crime?She was being evicted and had fallen behind on her rent, WFTV 9 News reported. Instead of vacating her home at the National Church Resi...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Festivus 2017: Send us your best grievances

Festivus 2017: Send us your best grievances

Here's your chance. Tell us what annoyed you in 2017, and we'll share it with our readers.
Published: 12/15/17
Fueled by indulgence and machismo, restaurants are a hotbed for sexual harassment

Fueled by indulgence and machismo, restaurants are a hotbed for sexual harassment

When Brenda Terry was 16 and living in St. Louis, she was a hostess and food runner at a sports bar where female employees wore cute, little cheerleading skirts. One night, she said, a patron grabbed her crotch. She ran to her management team and the...
Published: 12/15/17
Self-serve beer bar opens Saturday in downtown St. Pete

Self-serve beer bar opens Saturday in downtown St. Pete

Pour Taproom, a craft beer bar with 85 taps that customers pour their own brew from, will open at noon on Saturday, Dec. 16. The nearly 2,300-square-foot bar at 225 Second Ave. N has undergone extensive renovations, including a St. Petersburg-themed...
Published: 12/15/17
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry May 19

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry May 19

LONDON — Kensington Palace says the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be held on May 19. The palace announced the date Friday and confirmed the ceremony will take place in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The couple announced their...
Published: 12/15/17
Inside Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s first Christmas without leader Paul O’Neill

Inside Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s first Christmas without leader Paul O’Neill

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A half hour to curtain, Al Pitrelli unwinds on a couch in his spartan dressing quarters, fresh off a loading-dock Marlboro. He’s deep inside an arena, about to play the 29th show in the 18th city of the Trans-Siberian ...
Published: 12/15/17
Tavis Smiley theatrical show canceled at Straz Center in wake of sexual misconduct allegations

Tavis Smiley theatrical show canceled at Straz Center in wake of sexual misconduct allegations

The theatrical tour about the death of Martin Luther King Jr. that Tavis Smiley was slated to bring to Tampa’s David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts has been canceled in the wake sexual misconduct allegations against the broadcaster.Death...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17
This week's top holiday events: Parades, Christmas lights, theme parks and more

This week's top holiday events: Parades, Christmas lights, theme parks and more

PARADES Homosassa Christmas Boat Parade Parade begins at Marker 75 by Bird Island. Free. Homosassa Springs Marina, 10806 W Halls River Road, Homosassa. 6 p.m. Dec. 16.   Indian Rocks Beach Boat Parade It begins at the Holiday Inn Harbourside and...
Published: 12/14/17
Bar review: Spanish flair at Bulla Gastrobar in South Tampa

Bar review: Spanish flair at Bulla Gastrobar in South Tampa

Take a second and try to think of a few of the world’s biggest drinking cultures. Ireland is a freebie, but then you’ll probably move onto Germany, Russia and possibly even South Korea (yep, South Korea goes hard).How about Spain? No, I’m not just ta...
Published: 12/14/17
From Crystal River to Brooksville, branch out to shop on these unexpected main streets

From Crystal River to Brooksville, branch out to shop on these unexpected main streets

You don’t have to stare at a greeting card to picture a bustling old main street lined with decorated shops and lampposts. Historic small-town shopping districts are easy to find, and more charming than Walmart. Beyond the downtowns of St. Pet...
Published: 12/14/17