fine food - Michael Schwartz

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Michael Schwartz, a James Beard Award-winning chef, author, and owner of three restaurants, began his career in Philadelphia and earned his culinary skills in kitchens from Los Angeles to New York City, until settling in Miami in the early 1990s, where he resides today.

 

Schwartz is recognised for his commitment to community, and responsible, seasonal food sourcing. Menus change daily and produce arrives fresh from nearby farmers, fishermen, and ranchers. Diners embrace and crave Schwartz’s refreshing combination of seriously good food and laidback atmospheres.Outside of his restaurants, Schwartz focuses on supporting the arts and giving back through grass-roots projects that nurture sustainable food systems in underprivileged parts of the community and its schools. Schwartz published his first cookbook, Michael’s Genuine Food: Down to Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat, in 2011.


Restaurant Michael Schwartz
The Raleigh Hotel, 1775 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Neighbourhood: Miami Beach
Cuisine: Contemporary American
raleighhotel.com/dine_drink/restaurant-michael-schwartz



Shrimp Toast


Ingredients

  • 500g shrimp, peeled
  • 5 tablespoons tom yum paste
  • 4 scallions, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced
  • Pepperidge Farm sliced white bread, frozen
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds


Method

  1. In a food processor, combine shrimp and 4 tablespoons tom yum. Pulse only. Taste for seasoning, adding more tom yum; mixture should be dark orange, with a strong flavour of tom yum.
  2. Mix scallions in a separate bowl with shrimp mix.
  3. Mound shrimp paste high in centre of each slice of bread and spread it to corners. Paste should be slightly thicker in the centre. Spread sesame seeds across a plate and press paste side of bread slices into seeds to coat.
  4. Place bread slices, two at a time, sesame sides down, in oil. Fry at 325° until undersides are light gold. Flip and fry on the other side. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Cut into quarters on the diagonal, and arrange on a serving platter or individual plates. Serve hot.
 


Apricot-Glazed Spatchcocked Chicken with a Salad of Grilled Apricots & Onions, Arugula, & Smoked Almonds

Serves 2–4, depending on how hungry you are



Ingredients

  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon apricot preserves
  • Juice and zest of a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 whole, 1.4 kg chicken
  • 2 fresh apricots, cut in half with pit removed (plums can be substituted)
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and cut into
  • 6 wedges, leaving the stem intact
  • 1 cup fresh arugula (salad rocket)
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1 cup smoked almonds, roughly chopped


Method

In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer and reduce the bourbon until you’re left with approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons. Remove from heat and pour into a small mixing bowl. Add the apricot preserves, lemon zest and juice, thyme, honey, teaspoon salt and teaspoon pepper, and stir to combine. Combine 1 tablespoon of the olive oil with the mixture and set aside to use as a marinade for the chicken.


Butterfly the chicken: With the breast side down and the tail of the chicken facing you, use poultry shears to cut along the length of one side of the backbone. Turn the neck end to face you, and with the breast side still down cut along the backbone and remove it. Turn the chicken breast side up and open the chicken on the cutting board. Use the palm of your hand to flatten the chicken, pounding it to a fairly even thickness.


Place the flattened chicken in a large zip-lock bag and pour in the marinade, reserving 1 tablespoon to be used later to glaze the grilled chicken. Let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Pre-heat the grill to a medium heat. When hot, brush the grill grates with a wire brush, then rub with a paper towel blotted with vegetable oil.


Liberally season the marinated chicken with salt and pepper and place on the grill skin side down. Place a heavy cast iron skillet on top of the chicken and cook, undisturbed for about 20 minutes. Have a spray bottle filled with water handy at the grill, since to prevent the skin from burning you will have to extinguish flare-ups from the get go, and then sporadically as the chicken cooks. You may need to adjust the heat of the grill to low.


Drizzle the apricots and onion wedges with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, season with salt & pepper and grill along with the chicken for about 10 minutes, turning the onions once, half way through. Remember the grill is on low, so they will take a bit of time. Once done, the apricots will swell slightly and develop nice grill marks, like the onions; remove, allow to cool, and cut into small chunks.


Now remove the cast iron pan and flip the chicken carefully with tongs, as the skin may cling a bit to the grates. The skin should be dark golden and crisp. Baste with the remaining tablespoon of glaze and continue to cook, skin side up without the skillet for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 165°. Remove the chicken and allow to rest on a wooden board or rack for 5 minutes.


In a mixing bowl, combine the arugula, champagne vinegar, the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the chopped apricots and onions; add salt and pepper to taste.


Cut the chicken into pieces and serve with the tossed salad topped with the smoked almonds.



 

Miami, USA
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