Walt’s To Host Reef Fund Benefit

Looks like this should be a fun day!

Walt's Fish Market Reef Benefit

Looking for something a little different to do this Sunday? Sure you are. I think this might be just what you’re looking for.

Walt’s Fish Market is hosting an all day Reef Fund Benefit in the name Walt’s founder Claus Wallin’s grandson Tom. There is going to be a whole lot of stuff happening at the South Tamiami Trail restaurant throughout the day.

In addition to what you see listed on the poster above, they’re going to have a pumpkin patch for the kids! That’s fun for the entire family!

OK, no Bucs game this Sunday equals no excuse not to get out to Walt’s and enjoy the fun. And, in additional support a worthwhile cause.

OF INTEREST.

Walt’s Fish Market Homepage
Tom Wallin Reef Fund | Facebook Page
Walt’s Fish Market | dineSarasota

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Could This Be The Best Fried Chicken In America?

Why is this man smiling?

Rose's Luxury | Aaron Silverman | Bon Appetit, Sept 2014

It’s not like it’s a competition or anything. Or is it?

Everybody wants to be number one. On top, the best. I mean if you’re going to do anything meaningful would your really strive for the middle of the pack? If the answer is yes, you may want to find a mirror to gaze into.

If you haven’t looked around in the past thirty or so years, you should. Everybody has a TOP something list (us included). This month it was time for Bon Appetite’s Best New Restaurants list. Just so there is no mistake, I love that list. It’s a fantastic way to get a glimpse into what’s happening around the culinary country without leaving your own kitchen.

The staff at BA does a top notch job in all that that do. Picking the best new places around the country is just another example. A suggestion: Maybe a trip to Sarasota might be in order. We’ve got some great food to sample. (SHAMELESS SARASOTA PROMO, SORRY).

Back to the matter at hand. And, that is chicken, fried chicken. More specifically, Bon Appetit’s pronouncement that their number one restaurant, Rose’s Luxury has “the crunchiest, most addictive fried chicken you will ever eat”. That is one BIG claim.

That only means one thing to me. I’ve got to give it a shot. A couple of questions come to mind almost instantly. One, is that statement a gross exaggeration made in the name of magazine sales? Two, can this unbelievably addicting dish be cooked successfully in my kitchen? And three, is Aaron Silverman smiling because he knows he has the best job in the world? The answer to number three is most decidedly YES. We’ll find out shortly about the other two.

INGREDIENTS. There isn’t a giant shopping list for this recipe. The brown mustard seeds and the Benne or toasted sesame seeds will probably be the most difficult thing you’ll have to find. Everything else on the list is easily gettable from a halfway decent grocery store.

Seeds

Here’s what you’ll need:

Yellow mustard seeds
Brown mustard seeds
Coriander seeds
Apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt
Sugar
Fresh dill
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Vegetable oil (for frying)
Buttermilk
All-purpose flour
Honey,
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
Toasted benne or sesame seeds (what I used)
Hot sauce

Special equipment: A deep fry thermometer

OK, first off, I have never deep fried anything before. I know that sounds crazy. But, up until this point I’ve let Publix deep fry my chicken. I may be over that.

METHOD. We’re not going to get into the whole process here. I’ll give you a link to the full recipe at the end of this post. But, it’s not complicated. A little time consuming, but, not bad. You have some brining to do. Then a little buttermilk bath and flour dredging. After that it’s off to the fryer. Keep in mind, if you’re doing this in your home kitchen your going to have a decent post cooking cleanup.

The frying turned out to be uneventfully easy. That was a relief. I had flashes of my kitchen being full engulfed in a oily inferno. Or, having to toss everything I was wearing after dinner. Happily, neither was necessary.

Let’s take a look at the results.

Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken | Aaron Silverman | Rose's Luxury

When you compare the image above with the picture in original in recipe, question number two will be answered. YES, you can successfully make this at home!

As for hyping this dish too much, let’s just say this. This fried chicken is good. Really good. And, yes, it is super crunchy and addictive (I ate ALL of the leftovers the next day). So, BA gets a pass on the sensational caption. All of my usual guinea pig diners cleaned their plates.

Do you want to know how to make it? Of, course you do. Here’s a link to Aaron Silverman’s, super crunchy, highly addictive, Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken.

NOTES: This was my first attempt, so, maybe a few minor adjustments are in order for my next go round. While all of my guests thought this chicken was a grand slam, it was at the top of the saltiness scale. Next time, brine as instructed. But, instead of just scraping off the seeds as indicated, I would give the chicken an actual rinse in water. And/or, instead of just coating in buttermilk before dredging, I might give them an overnight buttermilk soak. I hate to mess with near a perfect product, but… Lastly, the home cook skill level required for this dish is a 5/10. The directions are easy to keep up with and there aren’t any tricky techniques used (except for the pot of boiling oil!). Give it a shot!

OF INTEREST.
Rose’s Luxury website
BA’s Top New Restaurants of 2014
Washington City Paper review of Rose’s Luxury
Follow Rose’s Luxury on Twitter

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The Little Sarasota DINING Book is back!

Sometimes It’s hard to stay away.

The Little Sarasota DINING Book

Well, we meet once again.

When we published our last Sarasota dining guide back in 2010 I thought, “That was a nice run. But, it’s time to move on. Print is dead”. Truth be told, I wasn’t ready to move on (AND, I don’t think print is dead).

As, it turned out our 2010 edition was our last because of family circumstances that were out of my control. It seemed like fate had intervened. Trouble was, I’m not all that big a believer in fate.

Time passed. Four years to be precise. We kept publishing the dineSarasota.com website. I still LOVE writing for the site and helping to promote our great local restaurant community. We’ll continue to do that. But, I always wanted to bring back “the book”. Locally, there isn’t anything like it.

Sure, you can pick up a copy of Zagat. They do a great job. But, honestly though they can’t treat Sarasota they way we can. It’s been said that we have the highest concentration of Zagat rated restaurants in Florida. We also have SO much more than that. Our restaurant pool is deep. And, runs the gamut from a Cuban/Columbian trailer to James Beard Award nominees. We need a print publication that honors that culinary breadth and range.

Here’s the bottom line. A brand new Little Sarasota DINING Book is coming late 2014 or early 2015. It’s going to be fresh and redesigned. Don’t worry. We’re going to keep all of the things that made the guide so popular. We still get calls and emails looking for a current edition.

There is going to be one BIG change. The 2015 book will be AD FREE. That’s a good thing. For you, it means all you have is great Sarasota food related content to thumb through. For me, it means I won’t have to hound and shame local restaurant owners into buying ads. And, they won’t have to cross the street when they see me coming. Everybody’s a winner!

As in past years, we won’t have space for all 300+ local restaurants. Like the cover says, we will once again feature our 200 top Sarasota restaurants. And, we will actively promote the restaurants that get included throughout the year. You will know who makes the cut.

That’s our big news. You’ll get more details as we move through the rest of the year. Including where and when you can get your fresh, new copy.

Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to re-start the presses!

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