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Recipes We Love - See What’s cooking in SWFL (January/February 2021)


Restaurant: Buckingham Farms

Serves: 4 to 6, depending on size of cake

  • 2 pounds lump crab meat
  • 2 bell peppers, finely diced
  • ¼ red onion, finely diced
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, finely cut
  • ½ quarts Japanese bread crumbs
  • Salt to taste

Sauté peppers and onions until soft. Set aside. Crack eggs into mixing bowl. Add mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay Seasoning, lemon juice, basil and salt. Mix well. Once pepper mix is cool, add to the bowl with lump crab meat. Slowly add bread crumbs into the mix until firm. Let mix sit 2 hours. Form into patties, size of choice. Pan fry until golden on both sides and cooked through.

12931 Orange River Blvd., Fort Myers; 239-206-2303, 


Restaurant: Olde Fish House Marina

Serves: 4

It’s stone crab season. This dipping sauce is a perfect complement to the sweet meat of local crabs.

  • 1 cup light mayonnaise
  • 5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 Key limes, juiced (may substitute 2 regular limes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In small mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard and Key lime juice. Mix until incorporated. Taste to adjust desired amount of salt and pepper. Serve with fresh stone crabs.

4530 Pine Island Road, Matlacha; 239-282-9577, 


Restaurant: Grappino’s

Serves: 4


  • 1½ cups semolina pasta flour
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all pasta ingredients and mix together to make a stiff dough. Knead by hand or in a stand mixer with the dough hook on medium-low speed for 10 minutes or until dough is elastic. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 20 minutes. On lightly floured surface, roll out to desired thickness and cut as desired.


  • 2½ pounds butternut squash, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup mostarda di cremona (blended to sauce-like consistency)
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ⅛ cup crushed amaretto cookies
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Toss squash with just enough olive oil to coat evenly. Roast on a baking sheet at 400 degrees F until soft, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Remove skins and mix in a food processor to combine. Add eggs and mostarda into mixture until consistency is smooth. Add Parmesan, amaretto cookies, and salt and pepper to taste. Use this filling to make the ravioli.

Sauce and Garnish

  • 4 tablespoons butter (½ stick)
  • 10 whole fresh sage leaves
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Combine butter and fresh sage leaves in small sauce pan. Heat over low heat for at least 15 minutes to infuse the butter. Increase heat just a bit (take care not to burn) and stir continuously until butter browns slightly and sage leaves crisp.


Use a ravioli press to add and seal 1 teaspoon filling between each pasta sheet. Dip finger in water and wet edges of pasta before adding second sheet to allow for a nicely sealed ravioli. Use a roller, gently pressing down, to seal them up. Be sure to heavily flour the outside of pasta to enable easy release. Boil ravioli in plenty of salted water a short time, until just done. Ravioli will float when done. Carefully remove and drain. Serve with sage butter and generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese.

90 9th St. N., Naples; 239-331-4325;


Restaurant: La Trattoria Café Napoli

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 2 pounds roast beef 
  • 3 potatoes, cut into large chunks (or substitute any hearty vegetables)
  • 1 small butternut squash, cut into chunks
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, diced


  • Favorite spice blend
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic 
  • Light olive oil 
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice 

Rub all ingredients over roast, coating well. Marinate overnight. Coat bottom of large deep pot with light olive oil. Heat to medium-high, until smoking slightly. Reduce heat to medium. Using tongs, sear sides of roast. Remove pot from heat. Add vegetables, salt and juice left from the marinade. Sear slightly. Scoop vegetables into a pressure cooker and place meat on top. Sprinkle with salt. Set timer for 1½ hours. 

12377 S. Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers; 239-931-0050;


Restaurant: Harold’s

Serves: 4

  • Octopus
  • 4 octopus tentacles
  • Olive oil

Cook octopus tentacles sous vide for 4 hours at 180 degrees F. Coat with olive oil. Sear 1 minute per side. 

Pork Belly

  • 4-pound pork belly
  • 4 cups sea salt
  • 2 cups sugar

Cure belly with salt and sugar for 12 hours in refrigerator. Rinse well. Cook in oven at 475 degrees F. Lower oven to 250 degrees F and cook 45 more minutes. Cool and wrap tightly. Cut 8-ounce portion into 4 equal parts. Season and sear on high heat for 3 minutes. Freeze remaining meat for up to 6 months.

Potato Soufflé

  • 2 large Maris Piper potatoes, cooked and riced
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 whole egg
  • 4 egg whites, whipped
  • ¼ cup heavy cream, whipped
  • Snipped chives, salt, pepper, nutmeg

Combine potato, butter, whole egg and seasonings. Fold in whipped egg whites and whipped cream. Distribute into greased and floured 4-ounce aluminum cups. Bake 10 minutes at 450 degrees F. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Tomato Nage

  • 4 whole plum tomatoes, halved
  • Olive oil
  • 1 ounce garlic, minced
  • 1 ounce shallots, minced
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 sprig rosemary

Douse tomatoes liberally with oil and sprinkle with remaining ingredients. Roast in oven at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes, until lightly charred. Put in blender and blend until smooth.

Curry Sauce

  • 2 cups white wine 
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • Salt and pepper 

Combine and simmer for 20 minutes. Purée in blender. Adjust seasoning and serve.


Place tomato sauce in the bottom of serving plate. Layer the potato soufflé, pork belly and octopus. Drizzle with curry sauce and top with basil leaves.

15250 S. Tamiami Trail No. 107, Fort Myers; 33908; 239-849-0622;