The food abides…

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Epcot Flower & Garden Festival 2017 Photopost

Disney knows how to capitalize on a good thing. Their Epcot International Food & Wine Festival that occurs in the fall has garnered quite the following and with that taking place only once a year, they’ve started to build out some of their other seasonal events. Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival is now a bona fide culinary event in its own right.

With 15 outdoor kitchens, they’ve incorporated the whole gardening and fresh produce aspect into the event by focusing on the concepts of sustainability, local sourcing and urban agriculture.

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Here are some highlights from one of our most recent trips…

Crabless Cake and Wildflower Pale Ale

Crabless Cake with Pickled Vegetable Slaw paired with a Forbidden Root Wildflower Pale Ale from the Urban Farm Eats Kitchen.

Maudite Amber

Unibroue Maudite Amber Ale from the Northern Bloom Kitchen.

Chard and Kale

Fresh Swiss Chard and Kale. Literally growing right underneath the monorail tracks.

Braised Chicken and Crawfish and Kronenburg Blanc

Braised Chicken and Crawfish w/Rice Pilaf paired with a Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc from the Fleur de Lys Kitchen.

Pineapple Manu

Maui Brewing Company’s Pineapple Mana Ale from the Pineapple Promenade Kitchen.

Tomato Plants

Vertical urban orchards and gardens – Tomatoes and Amaranth.

Tuna Poke

Tuna Poke from the Hanami Japanese Kitchen.

Tampa Bay Brewing Company Quat

Tampa Bay Brewing Company’s “Quat” Kumquat Ale from the Florida Fresh Kitchen.

Berry Buckle and Founders Rubaeus

Warm Wild Berry Buckle Cake with Pepper Berry Sorbet paired with a Founders Rubaeus Pure Raspberry Ale from the Berry Basket Kitchen.

Potato Pancake

Potato Pancakes w/House-made Applesauce from the Bauernmarkt Kitchen.

German Beer Flight

German Beer Flight – Kostrizer’s Schwartzbier Black Lager, Schofferhofer’s Hefeweizen and Paulaner’s Munich Lager from the Bauernmarkt Kitchen.

Conch Salad

Caribbean Conch Salad w/Avocado, Mango and Onions (with a very backlit Three Caballeros in the background) from the Isla de Fresca Kitchen.

Sugar Cane Shrimp

Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer and Rice w/Coconut Lime Sauce from the Isla de Fresca Kitchen.

Limoncello

And while not related to Flower & Garden in any way, no trip to Epcot is complete without Limoncello cordials in Italy.

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I’ve found that the chefs are able to experiment a little more since they aren’t necessarily confined to a specific region’s cuisine so the dishes are a little more unique than what you find a Food & Wine. The beer pairings which included some really unique brews and you have a recipe for some amazing experimental dishes that make it completely worth the trip.

Have you been to Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival? Leave a message in the comments section below!

And remember… the food abides…


Roasted Radishes…

My local Saturday Morning Market had a vendor with some great looking radishes this weekend. I remembered a friend of mine recently told me that you can use them in place of potatoes in almost any dish so I picked some up. I figured I’d try my hand at roasting them and they came out better than I expected.

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Cleaned and scrubbed about a pound of fresh radishes.

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Tossed them in a little olive oil and added some rosemary, thyme, paprika, sea salt and crushed black pepper then spread on a baking sheet.

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Baked them at 400 until they got crispy, about 15 minutes. There’s a little bit of sweetness to these which is surprising given that little bit of a bitter kick that raw radishes typically have.

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Served these up with a little sauteed shrimp and a romaine salad which made a nice rounded meal that was significantly lower on carbs than roasted potatoes would have been. Next experiment with radishes is going to be in my Turkey Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup. Wish me luck.

Ever tried anything interesting with radishes? Leave a message in the comments section!

And remember… the food abides…


Duck Confit Tacos @ Anise Gastrobar

Had dinner with some friends last weekend and we decided to try Anise Gastrobar in Downtown which I’d never been to before.

anise-duck-tacos

The Duck Confit Tacos with Picked Daikon Radish, Jalapenos, Hoisin BBQ Sauce and Cilantro Aioli

anise-mashed-cauliflower

Can’t forget to mention the Mashed Cauliflower with Coffee Cola Gravy


Siggi’s Icelandic Skyr

Siggis

 

Two things of note about Siggi’s Pumpkin Spice Icelandic Skyr:

  1. Never tried skyr before but I’m loving this stuff. It’s sour, but it’s good. If you like yogurt but aren’t a fan of all the sugar, this is worth trying.
  2. Pumpkin Spice, a fall flavor means that we’ve officially hit the halfway point of the summer.

 


New Beer Friday! – New Belgium’s Heavy Melon Ale

My office closed a little early for the long holiday weekend so it afforded me a perfect opportunity to get a jump on New Beer Friday with New Belgium’s Heavy Melon Watermelon Lime Ale.

New Belgium Heavy Melon

I’ve always been partial to Fall and Winter offerings but as a seasonal brew, this one pretty much nails Summer right on the head.

Heavy Melon pours a orange/honey color with almost three full fingers of frothy white head and significant lacing on the glass. The fruit aroma is fragrant from the moment the bottle is cracked and opens up further as it is poured into the glass.

Contrary to the name, this is a light and airy brew with plenty of carbonation. The first pull gives the flavor of melon and while I can taste the namesake watermelon, I also get a little more honeydew than I was expecting. The melon mellows out a little until the back-end where there’s a combination of wheat and lime that really comes through to balance out the sweetness.

It’s pretty obvious that this brew was made for people who don’t really like beer, but that’s okay; I found it enjoyable all the same. In fact, this particular beverage will likely follow me to a few Memorial Day Weekend events I have on tap.

And speaking of Memorial Day, don’t forget to pause for a second to remember why we’ve got that long weekend. Beer is freedom and while you’re enjoying yours, remember to thank those whose sacrifices bought and paid for that freedom.

Tried New Belgium’s Heavy Melon? Leave a message in the comments section!

And remember… the food abides…


Sunset Black Lager @ Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival

Headed over to Epcot with some friends to check out the new outdoor kitchens and try some of the seasonal beers they’re pouring.

Sunset Brew

Currently sitting by the lagoon near Germany in the World Showcase, watching the sunset and enjoying a sample of Kostritzer’s Schwartzbier Black Lager. This combination is perfection.

Hope everyone’s enjoying their Saturday as much as I am…


Pickled Jalapeno and Habanero Chicken

Recently, I’ve been buying these badass spicy artisan pickles from the Chill Dill at the Wiregrass Fresh Market. The last time I was there I struck up a conversation with the pickle purveyor and he gave me some advice: “When you’re done with the pickles, marinate some chicken in the brine and peppers.”

Well I took said advice and it came out awesome. A fiery, burn-a-hole-in-your-stomach kind of awesome, but awesome nonetheless.

Pickled Jalapeno Chicken

After letting it marinate in the peppers and brine for about 2 hours, the finished product is an insanely flavorful (and hot) piece of chicken. And because I am that masochistic, I decided to double-down on the heat and made a batch of sriracha mashed potatoes to go with it which actually complemented things quite well. I did cool things off with a pear and gorgonzola salad and a glass of sangria though.

What can I say, I like my heat.

Have a favorite spicy dish? Leave a message in the comments section below!

And remember… the food abides…