A Taste of Florida at the Florida Classic

Posted on Nov 15th 2018 by Chef DeJuan

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I am back at the Florida Blue Florida Classic for the fifth year in a row, and I couldn’t be happier.  The Classic is one of my favorite events and I love sharing great recipes with the attendees, many of whom I meet year after year.

Once again, we will set up in the Fan Fest area next to Camping World Stadium.  Joining me at the Fan Fest will be a number of Florida Blue team members.  We hope to wow attendees with a truly interactive and immersive experience.  Attendees can create their own classic moments with photo opportunities, games, face painting, music and more. There will also be plenty of time to trash talk and renew game day friendships. I heard there is a new AI experience involving a large heart that we all need to try.

Please stop by the cooking area for a few of my favorites that have been given a classic Floridian twist.  Each recipe has an item that is associated with Florida. I will ask some lucky attendees to participate in our demos where we’ll create healthy takes on some pantry staples.  Hopefully, some of these new recipes will make it to your holiday table this year.

This weekend, we are going to enjoy an okra salad with a Florida twist and a complete entrée dish with hot water cornbread, yes, hot water cornbread.  We’ll end the day with an interesting take on rice pudding made with coconut water.

So, join me at the fan experience and see how Florida Blue makes the difference.

If you can’t make the game, enjoy the recipes and our taste of the Classic, they can be found on Florida Blue’s Pinterest page.

Fried Okra Salad

3 lbs. fresh young okra

2 large tomatoes seeded and julienned

1 peeled mango julienned

¼ cup chopped cilantro

2 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. garam marsala

¼ tbsp. coriander

Salt and pepper to taste

Start by heating vegetable oil in large pan. Cut okra into thin strips and fry until crispy. Place the fried okra on paper towels to dry and season right away garam masala, salt, pepper, and coriander. Cut fresh mangos into strips and add to the fried okra.  Add tomato, cilantro, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.  Toss gently and serve immediately. Serves 6

Hot water cornbread with grilled pork tenderloin, sautéed swiss chard, and tomato datil pepper jam.

Hot Water Cornbread  

1 cup cornmeal

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tbsp. raw honey

1 tbsp. Shortening

¾ cup boiling water

 ¼ cup Olive oil

In a large bowl mix cornmeal, salt and honey, add boiling water and shortening until it melts.

Shape the cornmeal mixture into round balls and then into flat cakes. Fry the cakes in hot oil until golden brown on both sides. Serves 6

Swiss Chard

1 large bunch swiss chard

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp chopped garlic

¼ cup white wine

1 tsp. red crush pepper

2 tbsp salt and pepper

Chop swiss chard into very fine thin strips very. Wash the greens very well as they can be sandy. Set the greens aside to dry and heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add chopped garlic, the greens, and seasoning. Cook the greens and garlic for two minutes, then add wine and cook for an additional two minutes.

Grilled pork tenderloin

2 lbs. pork tenderloin

2 tbsp. olive oil

¼ tbsp. cracked black pepper

Cut the tenderloin into large coin size medallions and toss in olive oil, season both side of medallions. Place the medallions on a hot grill and grill them for 5 to 7 minutes until pork has an internal temperature of 155 degrees. Serves 6

Tomato and datil pepper jam

2 cups sugar

¼ cup honey

4 large tomatoes seeded

2 whole datil peppers chopped and seeded

1 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

2 cups water

In a large pot bring water to boil then add sugar. Boil the water and sugar until it turns into simple syrup. Add tomato honey and peppers. The syrup should be thick and coat the back of a spoon. Let the syrup cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Add the chopped parsley.

Coconut risotto pudding with dried apricot, raspberry, and toasted coconut

3 cups risotto

¼ cup coconut oil

1 tbsp. salt

4 cup coconut water

2 cup Coco Lopez

¼ cup raw honey

¼ cup dried apricot

½ cup fresh raspberry

½ cup toasted coconut

In a large pot heat the coconut oil, add rice and salt to the pot and stir. Add the remaining liquid a little at a time and cook rice until the rice is tender to the tooth. Let the rice cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Add the fresh fruit and garnish with toasted coconut. Serves 8.




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Chef DeJuan

Chef DeJuan Roy is a Food Network winning executive chef with over two decades of experience. DeJuan has presided over five-star kitchens, NFL catering services, and historic venues, most recently the Alhambra Dinner Theater in Jacksonville. He hopes to share his passion for fine dining and healthy eating since he firmly believes food nourishes body, mind and soul. He is married with two children and lives in historic Springfield in Jacksonville, Florida.

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