The New Jersey Home Show may be over, but the delicious aromas and tempting tastes from the Jersey Bites Cooking Pavilion linger on.
We kicked off the weekend with a cooking demo on Friday night by yours truly. I prepared two recipes from my Jersey Shore Cookbook: the amazing New England clam chowder from The Shrimp Box in Point Pleasant Beach and the delightfully refreshing watermelon gazpacho from My Kitchen Witch in Monmouth Beach.
Saturday’s lineup started with barbecue ribs and sauce from the always entertaining Chef Jesse Jones at 11 a.m., followed by a healthy and surprising presentation of “Cauliflower 5 Ways,” by the lovely and inventive Chef Diane Henderiks at 2, another demo from me at 3 and then an awe-inspiring talk on beef and butchering beef from the one and only Joe Vrola of the Vrola Meat Company (below).
A few of our audience members left with some very expensive goodies and a mouthwatering taste of their smoked and braised pork belly. Oh, man. I was even lucky enough to bring home a slab.
On Sunday, we kicked off with Chef Anthony DiCataldo from Red Knot Restaurant at Galloping Hill Golf Course.
Chef Cataldo’s shrimp ceviche with mango slaw was such a hit that audience members begged for the recipe. I told them I’d post it and I’m keeping my promise. (Check it out, below.) Without a doubt, the biggest compliment of the day was hearing from the Peruvians in the audience that it was just like—or better—than Mom used to make. (We won’t tell Mom.) And the biggest question of the day was, “Is the restaurant open to the public?” Yes. Yes, it is. And so is the golf course.
We closed out the weekend with Amanda Biddle aka Striped Spatula, and her luscious creamy gorgonzola mac and cheese. The lovely and bubbly Miss Biddle did such a great job assisted by Super Mom, Jeanne. They are a great team.
Our day and weekend ended with two delicious dishes from Aarzu Modern Indian Bistro in Freehold. Chef Dayanand Shetty prepared Curry Coconut Chicken 65 and an Orange Kulfi. Both were a big hit. So big, in fact, that we saw audience members coming up for seconds and thirds. No one went away hungry, that’s for sure.
Throughout the weekend, Jersey Bites held a Taste of Jersey gift basket giveaway, thanks to the generosity of Just Jersey, in Morristown. The business was kind enough to donate the basket, and the store—both brick and mortar and online—is worth checking out.
We had a full—and filling—weekend. We hope you’ll join us next year, but in the meantime, give the following recipe a try! It’s worth it for the smashed avocado alone. (Another score for me. I’ve got the leftovers in my fridge.)
1 pound lightly poached shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
In a medium bowl, add chopped shrimp, aji amarillo paste and cilantro. Mix well and then add lime juice. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes.
Add orange juice and vegetable oil and stir well. Season to taste with kosher salt. At this point, the ceviche can be refrigerated until ready to serve.
3 cups finely shredded red cabbage
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 mango, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 fresh lime, juiced
Combine cabbage, mango, bell pepper, serrano chile, cilantro, oil and lime juice. Stir well to combine and season to taste with kosher salt. Set aside until ready to serve.
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
In a small bowl, add chunks of avocado and top with lime juice. Smash with a fork until avocado is the consistency of chunky guacamole. Season to taste with kosher salt and set aside.
8 corn tortillas
Vegetable oil, for frying
Cut three smaller circles out of each tortilla, or simply cut each tortilla into three wedges.
In a heavy pan or skillet, heat about ½ inch of vegetable oil until hot enough that a piece of tortilla bubbles and fries immediately. Fry them one at a time until golden on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
Transfer to a paper towel to drain and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt.
Assemble the tostadas: Slather some of the smashed avocado onto the tortilla. Top with generous amounts of slaw and then pile on the shrimp ceviche. Serve immediately.