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Recipes We Love - See What’s Cooking in SWFL (November/December 2020)


Restaurant: Sea-Craft Waterfront Tiki

Serves 4 to 6

  • 3 butternut squash
  • 1-2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1-2 cups heavy cream
  • Olive oil
  • Honey
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan, parsley, and balsamic reduction (optional)

Cut squash in half vertically and spoon out seeds. Lay on cooking tray. Lightly drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast squash at 375 degrees until fork tender. Before fully cooked down, scoop out squash from skin and place in pot. Add 1-2 cups vegetable broth (depending on size, just halfway up sides of squash). Simmer 10 minutes. Purée until smooth and thick. Add 1-2 cups heavy cream to thin out. Reduce to creamy soup-like consistency. Add salt and pepper. Continue to stir while adding honey to taste. Serve in bowl or cup. If desired, garnish with freshly chopped parsley, grated Parmesan and balsamic drizzle for acidic contrast. Serve hot or cold. May be served as single-bite appetizer topped with Robiola cheese and chives. 

3440 Marinatown Lane, North Fort Myers; 239-257-3111,


Restaurant: Norman Love

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Bring water to a boil in sauce pan. Whisk in cocoa powder until fully incorporated. Set aside to cool, or put in refrigerator to cool faster. Combine buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla extract in bowl fitted with whisk attachment. Sift together flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl. Add cooled cocoa powder mixture to the bowl and whip on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes. Portion evenly into prepared cake pans. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Chocolate Sour Cream Icing

  • 1¼ cups butter
  • 5 ounces Norman Love bakers chocolate
  • 2½ ounces Norman Love 65% chocolate
  • 3½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1¼ cups sour cream 

Melt together both chocolates and butter until smooth. Put mixture in bowl fitted with whisk attachment. Add half the amount of powdered sugar. Mix on low speed until incorporated.

Add sour cream. Mix on medium speed until combined. Add remaining powdered sugar. Mix on low speed for 1 minute. After cakes cool, slice in half horizontally using long serrated knife, to create two cake layers (total of four layers). Place one layer on a plate and top with dollop of icing. Smooth it out. Repeat for remaining layers. Once final layer is on top, ice entire cake. 

11380 Lindbergh Blvd., Fort Myers; 239-990-8650,


Restaurant: The Continental

Serves 4

  • Artichoke-Goat Cheese Soufflé
  • 4 artichokes bottoms, cooked, 2½ inches diameter
  • 8 ounces Bucheron cheese
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ tablespoon chives
  • 4 egg whites 
  • Salt 

Pickled Chanterelle Mushrooms

  • 2 cups chanterelle mushrooms (or other mixed mushrooms)
  • 6 ounces, plus 2 tablespoons, blended oil
  • 1 tablespoon shallot
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon leaves
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 head frisée, trimmed and washed, for garnish
  • Chive batons, for garnish

For the Artichoke-Goat Cheese Soufflé 

Spray four individual ramekins or ring molds (about 2½ inches wide and 1½ inches high) and place on baking sheet. Melt the goat cheese and cream over double boiler with a pinch of salt, whisking occasionally until smooth consistency. Let cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally. Add chives and salt to taste. In separate bowl, whisk egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold into goat cheese mixture and place on artichokes. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

For the Chanterelle Mushrooms

In large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil until very hot. Add chanterelles and brown on all sides. When most of the moisture has evaporated, add shallots and garlic. Sauté briefly and add chicken stock and sugar. Reduce until mushrooms are glazed. Remove from heat and place in mixing bowl. Add salt, pepper, vinegar and whisk in blended oil. Let cool to room temperature and add tarragon leaves. Check seasoning.

For Plating

Place the artichoke soufflé on serving plate. Warm pickled mushrooms slightly and place them and small amount of pickling liquid next to the soufflé. Garnish with frisée and chive batons. Season with salt, pepper and small amount of pickling liquid. 

1205 3rd St. S, Naples; 239-659-0007,


Restaurant: University Grill

Serves 1

  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 ounces apple cider, heated
  • 1 ounce Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky 

Mix sugar, butter, cinnamon and honey in a stemmed coffee glass until combined. Add hot apple cider and stir. Top with bourbon and serve. 

7790 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers; 239-437-4377,


Restaurant: RC Otter's

Serves 2

  • 14 to 16 ounces fresh grouper filet, cut into 2-ounce strips
  • 1 cup Cajun-style hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups olive oil (or almond oil or coconut oil)
  • 1½ cups corn starch   

Pour hot sauce, lemon juice and salt over grouper fingers. Marinade 10 minutes. Heat oil in medium-size skillet on medium-high. Bread grouper fingers in corn starch. Be sure pan is not too hot. Gently place single layer of grouper fingers in heated oil. Cook about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Do not overcook. Drain on paper towel. Serve with blue cheese dressing as dipping sauce, or remoulade sauce, tartar sauce or a combination. 

1506 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva Island; 239-395-1142,