Good Food Always! - Guide to Greater Tampa Bay

Good Food Always!

Bringing People Together with Fresh and Tasty Recipes

Explore new foods. Get creative. Take a trip into a food culture you have never tried. This summer, have an adventure, invite your friends and family to come over and try these mouthwatering soulful recipes by Chef Christy Robinson- Costello. Life is too short for rice cakes and celery sticks.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken with Roasted Garlic Slaw and Garlic Dill Pickles

Yields 4



4 Chicken thighs

4 cups flour

1 tbsp corn starch

Salt and pepper

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

3 cups buttermilk

½ gallon canola oil

1 cup honey

½ cup unsalted butter


2 Garlic cloves

1 cup mayonnaise

3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp sugar

Salt and pepper

1 prepackaged Slaw mix


4 Brioche buns

16 Garlic dill pickle slices


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut off the top of the garlic head and then sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap in foil and roast for 45-50 minutes. Set aside.

To make the slaw mix, remove all the roasted garlic from the heads and mash it in a bowl. Once mashed, add mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Once combined, add the slaw mix and stir until well combined. Set aside.

To make honey butter, melt the butter in a bowl and add honey. Stir until well combined. Set aside.

Preheat canola oil to 350 degrees over medium heat in a pot.

Make batter by combining 2 cups of flour, corn starch, salt and pepper, paprika, garlic powder and buttermilk.

In a separate bowl, place the other 2 cups of flour.

Dredge the chicken in the batter, then into the flour and then into the fryer. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan as the temperature will drop and make the chicken soggy. Once fried to a golden brown and has reached the internal temp of 165 degrees, remove from fry oil and dunk into honey butter. Remove and let drain.

To assemble the sandwich, place chicken onto the bun, add a handful of slaw and 4 nice sized pickle slices.

Grilled Chicken and Peach Salad with Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinaigrette

Yields 6


3 Chicken breast

3 Peaches, diced

1 package applewood smoked thick cut bacon, diced

1 English cucumber, diced

3 Tomato, diced

½ Red onion, julienne

8 oz Goat cheese

3 Avocado, sliced

Little gem lettuce, chopped


Chocolate balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp Dijon

¼ tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil


Smoke or bake bacon until crisp. Set aside.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill on medium high heat until cooked all the way through or 165 degrees internal temp. Once cooled, cut into slices. Set aside.

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients except the oil. Whisk until completely combined. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until it has emulsified or is well blended.

To assemble the salad, place lettuce on platter first. Then add the chicken, peaches, bacon, cucumber, tomato and red onion. Crumble the goat cheese over the salad and season with salt and cracked black pepper.

Drizzle dressing over the salad and serve.

Mole Glazed Pork Belly Steamed Brunch Bun

Yields 8


Pork Belly

1 lb pork belly skin on or skinless

2 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

a few grinds of black pepper


1 Tbsp olive oil

¼ cup Pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup sliced almonds

2 medium onion

8 cloves garlic

4 tsp Cumin seeds

4 tsp Coriander seeds

1 tsp Anise seed

4 whole cloves

3-4 oz Guajillo chiles, dried

1 Cinnamon stick

1 Bay leaf

½ cup Raisins

1 tsp dried marjoram

1 tsp dried thyme

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tbsp tomato paste

3oz chocolate dark

Salt and pepper to taste


Steamed bun, frozen


Avocado, sliced, salted

Pickled veggies (onion, carrot, cucumber), sliced

Cilantro for garnish



Season pork belly with salt sugar and a few grinds of black pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Roast pork belly for 30 minutes on the middle rack in a heavy, oven-safe pan or skillet, skin side up / fat side up. Reduce heat to 275°F and roast for an hour or more, until tender but not mushy. (Larger pieces of pork belly will take longer. Our one-pound belly was done after an hour at 275°F.)

Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate at least a few hours and up to 2 days.

Once chilled, slice into thick pieces.


Heat the olive oil in a separate large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and sauté until golden brown and just starting to caramelize, approximately 12 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds, garlic, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, whole anise seeds, and whole cloves to the saucepan. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, until garlic becomes fragrant, stirring continuously.

Add the dried chiles to the pot and stir to combine. Sauté for approximately 2-3 minutes or until chiles start to soften.

See Also

Add chicken stock, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, raisins, marjoram, thyme, and oregano to the saucepan and mix well. Bring to a low boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until chiles are very soft, approximately 30-35 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate. Allow sauce to cool for 10 minutes and the chocolate to melt.

Working in batches, transfer sauce mixture to the bowl of a blender and puree until smooth.


In a non-stick skillet, fry an egg, with a pinch of salt, over medium. Set aside.

In a separate skillet, sear until crisp. Glaze both sides with the mole sauce while cooking.

Steam buns in microwave with wet paper towel over them. Follow directions on back of package.

To assemble sandwich, place a piece of the pork belly, more mole sauce, a fried egg, a few slices of avocado, pickled veggies and some cilantro.

Seared Scallops with Apple Celery Slaw and Madeira Pan Sauce over Butternut Squash Puree

Yields 4


2 cups butternut squash, diced

1 Shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup apple cider

1 tsp dried thyme

8 Scallops

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Granny smith apple, julienne

1 stalk celery, julienne

1 lemon, juiced

¼ cup Madeira

1 tbsp Whipping cream

4 tbsp Butter


For butternut squash puree, sauté shallot and garlic. Add dried thyme, apple cider and squash. Cover and cook until squash is soft. In a food processor, purr squash mixture until well combined. Set aside.

Toss apple and celery in lemon juice and set aside.

Pat dry the scallops and season with salt and pepper. In a scorching hot pan, sear the scallops until it has a brown crust on both sides 1-2 minutes each side, and translucent on the sides. Remove the scallops.

In the same pan add madeira wine and butter, swirling around until combined. Add cream. Taste for salt and pepper.

To assemble the dish, scoop squash puree in the center of the plate. Add 2 scallops in the center. Top with apple celery slaw and drizzle the madeira pan sauce on top and around scallops.

Prickly Pear White Chocolate Cheesecake Ice Cream

Yields 4


8 oz cream cheese

¼ cup sugar

6 egg yolks

1 ½ cup whole milk

1 ½ cups cream

1 tsp vanilla

½ tsp salt

9 oz white chocolate

6 oz Prickly pear syrup

6 graham crackers, crumbled


In a food processor, mix cream cheese and sugar. Once combined, add yolks one at a time.

In a double boiler, in the bowl combine milk, cream, vanilla and salt. Once warm, add the cream cheese mix. Whisk until thick. Add white chocolate and whisk until melted.

Add mixture to ice cream maker. While mixing and almost completely frozen, add prickly pear syrup and crumbled graham crackers. Wrap the bowl tightly and place in the freezer to finish the freezing process.

Serve in a bowl or waffle cone.

Chef Christy graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors degree in Business and the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale with a Culinary Arts degree. She graduated culinary school Summa Cum Laude; receiving the highest honor medal from the master chef of the school. While residing in South Florida, she worked at numerous high-end restaurants such as Ivy’s Restaurant in Aventura and Blue Door at The Delano Hotel on South Beach. She worked at Barton G, Miami’s most successful catering company, and served as the head chef at Mark’s Catering Company in Plantation, FL. While working at these catering companies, she cooked for celebrities such as Lil Kim, Outkast and JOJO at the hottest places in South Florida. Wanting more of a challenge, she traveled and became a catering chef for large events. She was a chef for The Kentucky Derby, Nasdaq Tennis Tournament in Key Biscayne, Belmont Stakes, and worked on the NASCAR circuit for a whole season. Donald Rumsfeld and Lisa Marie Presley were among many of the celebrities she cooked for while on the NASCAR circuit. After gaining tremendous experience in all phases of catering, she grew an interest in cooking and healthy eating. This led her to becoming a personal/private chef of many families, one of whom was the President of the Marlins. While David Samson, President of the Florida Marlins, was training for the Iron Man Race, she helped him regulate his diet so that he could reach his maximum fitness level. For 10 years, she worked as the Assistant Director and Executive Chef at North Florida Regional Medical Center before branching out and creating a Trend Setting Solutions Firm called True North.

Check out Chef Christy’s recipes on her food blog

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