Earl “The Pearl” Monroe kicks off Diabetes Restaurant Month

I met with basketball legend Earl “The Pearl” Monroe who  has type 2 diabetes.  He said it was hard to change his lifestyle and he wants to help others.

Here’s a diabetes-friendly restaurant meal that  we had.

Seared Mahi Mahi with Sweet Potato Gremalata and Mixed Vegetables

One serving
6 oz. Mahi Mahi
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 oz. white vinegar
1 oz. basil fresh
Pinch salt
Pinch pepper
3 oz. sweet potato
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 oz. spinach
1 oz. zucchini
1 oz. squash
1 tbsp onion
1 tsp Garlic
Pinch pepper
1 oz. (approx) gremalata sauce

Gremalata Sauce
4 tsp Lemon rind (8g)
2 tsp Garlic (6g)
2 tsp Basil (1.25)
1 tbsp Olive oil (13.5g)
1/2 pinch salt
1/2 pinch pepper

Nutrition information (one serving)

Saturated fat
Sugar                                   6g
Protein                                  36g

Recipe courtesy of Diabetes Restaurant Month from Merck

Linda’s Key Lime Cake and Key Lime Fudge Sauce

Linda Gassenheimer’s Key Lime Cake

There are many different Key Lime cakes available in the Keys.  I created this one based on several I had tasted for my Keys Cuisine book.  One of my friends mentioned that it’s so good, that I should include it in this new book.  It’s become one of my favorite cakes to make.  It’s a tangy cake rich in key lime flavor.

Key Lime Cake

Vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4-cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
Zest from 1 key lime (if using bottle key lime juice, zest a regular lime)
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup key lime juice
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
6-cup Bundt pan or 8-inch square cake pan, 2-inches deep

Grease Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream the butter in an electric mixer until smooth.  Gradually add the sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat.  Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Alternately add the flour and cream into the batter, starting and ending with the flour.  Mix in the key lime rind and 1 tablespoon juice.  Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake 20 minutes.  Cover the top  loosely with a piece of foil to prevent burning and continue to bake for another 20 minutes.  The cake is done when a knife or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake starts to pull away form the side.  Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes.  Turn out onto a cake rack to cool.

While the cake bakes, prepare the glaze.  Pour 1/2 cup key lime juice into a medium-size bowl.  Add the confectioner’s sugar and whisk until smooth and there are no lumps. Place a dinner plate under the cake rack.  While the cake is still warm, slowly spoon the glaze over the top of the cake so that all of the liquid is absorbed.  The plate will catch any glaze than runs off.  Continue to reapply these drippings until all of the glaze is absorbed.  Just before serving, sprinkle the cake with additional confectioner’s sugar.  Serves 8.

©Key Cuisine by Linda Gassenheimer. All Rights Reserved

Linda Gassenheimer’s Key Lime Fudge Sauce

The tart key lime juice complements the sweet richness of the dark chocolate to make an exciting hot fudge sauce. Serve it warm over ice cream, cake or fruit or use it as a dipping sauce. The sauce will keep a week in the refrigerator and can be frozen.

Key Lime Fudge Sauce

1 2/3-cup sugar
1 5-ounce can evaporated milk
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons key lime juice

Place the sugar and evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Do not let boil.  Add the chocolate and butter and cook until sauce is smooth, stirring during this time.  Remove from heat and stir in key lime juice.  Pour into a jar and cool.  Refrigerate until needed.  It will harden in the refrigerator.

Rewarm the sauce in a microwave oven on high for 1 minute.  Stir and microwave another minute.  Or, place a sauce pan filled with water over medium-high heat and add the jar.  Spoon over ice cream, sorbet, cake or use as a dip for fruit. Makes about 1 1/4-cups.

© Key Cuisine by Linda Gassenheimer. All Rights Reserved

Shrimp and rice turn bean soup into a meal


Soups are great family fare, but most take too long to cook for a mid-week meal. Adding shrimp and rice to hearty black bean soup makes a welcoming meal in a bowl that takes only 20 minutes to make.

This is the type of meal you can make without a trip to the supermarket if you keep canned beans (any type can be used), frozen shrimp, canned tomatoes, chicken broth and rice on hand. You can even use frozen diced onion and minced To view recipe

Emmitt Smith’s Ribs

Lone Star-Style Smokin’ Spicy Ribs
Recipe from
In an interview just before Super Bowl, Emmitt Smith told me he likes to cook these for his family.

Add extra cayenne pepper to this rub if you like your ribs smokin’ hot.  Once the ribs are on the grill, lift lid once or twice and rearrange the ribs if some areas are becoming too dark.
10 minutes prep, 120 minutes cook
2 racks baby back pork ribs, membrane attached
2 tablespoons garlic salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne
4 cups wood chips
Cooking Directions:
Mix together the garlic salt, ground black pepper, onion powder, liquid smoke and cayenne pepper. Rub spice mixture over both sides of ribs. Wrap ribs in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
One hour before grilling soak 4 cups wood chips in enough water to cover. Preheat gas grill to high. Drain wood chips. Place chips in metal smoker box, disposable drip pan or wrap in heavy-duty foil that has holes poked in the top for steam to escape. Place box, drip pan or foil packet directly over lava rocks. When chips begin to smoke, reduce heat to 275 degrees F. Place ribs, bone side down on grill rack. Turn off any burners directly below the ribs. Cover and grill over indirect heat for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until meat is very tender. Add more wood chips as needed.
Transfer ribs to cutting board. Loosely cover with foil; let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
*For charcoal grill: Drain wood chips. Prepare a medium fire in covered charcoal grill. Bank coals on both sides of grill. Place drip pan in center. Sprinkle 2 cups of the wood chips over the coals. When chips begin to smoke, place ribs, bone side down, in center of grill over drip pan. Cover and grill over indirect low heat for 2 hours or until meat is very tender, adding more wood chips every 20 minutes and, if necessary, a few briquettes to maintain an even grill temperature of about 275-300 degrees F. Continue as directed above.
Makes 4 servings
Serving Suggestions:
Add extra cayenne pepper to this rub if you like your ribs smokin’ hot. Once the ribs are on the grill, lift lid once or twice and rearrange the ribs if some areas are becoming too dark.
Recipe Courtesy of Emmitt Smith, Professional Football’s All-Time Leading Rusher

Calories: 400 calories
Protein: 23 grams
Fat: 33 grams
Sodium: 1430 milligrams
Cholesterol: 115 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 12 grams
Carbohydrates: 1 grams
Fiber: 0 grams
Random Safety Tip:
If using a microwave to thaw your pork, cook immediately after thawing.

Super Bowl Wine Suggestions from Fred Tasker

Miami Herald wine columnist Fred Tasker suggests wine for Super Bowl!!!!!

Try serving wine at a tailgate party or while watching the big game on your 42-inch flat-screen

and your average football fan is likely to call you an effete snob. And then they’ll go back to guzzling their wan, tasteless light beer.

   How do you get around this? Serve manly, muscular wines.

   If you’re a Saints fan, you might be cooking spicy Cajun barbecue shrimp

laced with garlic and cayenne.

   As for Colts fans, I Googled “Indiana” and “tailgate food” and came up with “Wazzu Indiana Tailgate Chili” with habanero and jalapeno chiles, cayenne, black pepper and Tabasco sauce. Whoo!


   Here are a couple of wines that can stand up to a 400-pound lineman.  


ø‚2007 Mettler Family Vineyards “Epicenter” Lodi Old-Vine Zinfandel: A perfect match

for spicy food, this is huge, with 15.6 percent alcohol. It’s big and warm and rich, with black raspberry and

spicy black pepper flavors and big but ripe tannins.



   ø‚2007 Albarino Brandal by Adegas D’Altamira, Rias Baixas, Spain: Yes, a muscular white wine.

The Galicians of northwest Spain drink this with octopus, so it’ll certainly handle your little grilled shrimp. It’s crisp, has intense grapefruit flavors and a slightly bitter almond finish. $15.



Super Bowl Party Tips from Super Restuarateur and lead judge of the Next Iron Chef Donatella Arpaia

1.    Positioning: Arrange the living room so that each person has a comfortable seat and good viewing of the TV. Position the buffet table near the TV so your friends don’t have to miss out on the action if they’re hungry
2.    Buy plastic – it’s the only time I would dare say this but for Super Bowl you don’t want to be stuck doing a ton of dishes at the end of the night. Opt for good quality plastic napkins, plates and fun colored solid tablecloths but use REAL utensils.
3.    Clean up fridge (everyone is going to be opening and shutting it). You may even want an easy access cooler in the living room but make sure to put down plastic under and empty out the garbage
4.    Present a KEY BOWL to all upon entering so that everyone drops their keys in before they start drinking
5.    Have enough to drink. My estimates say for heavy drinkers allow about 6 beers per person and if you have extra so be it! Go light with your beer selection – no one wants a heavy beer to weigh them down. Opt for Coors or Bud Light but have wine at close reach just in case the plus 1 doesn’t like beer. I like to have some vodka, makers mark and tequila on hand just in case.

And you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen so my biggest tip – know how to outsource! In Miami the best wings come from Tobacco Road. Order ahead to avoid the last minute rush. – present nicely

It always adds an element of fun when you put a bit of competition in the mix. Start with the classic football game grid but take it a step further and vote on the best commercials and the best show during half time. One friend of mine, gets all his guests (normally 20 people) do pitch in $50 and he buys a 60 inch TV. Then at the end of the night, whoever wins the football grid gets the TV. Great for the guests and even better for the winner!

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