Recipe: Kona Seared Salmon with Pistachio-Dill Pesto by Mystic Fish (Palm Harbor, FL)

Recipe and photo courtesy of Mystic Fish.


Kona-Seared Salmon with Pistachio-Dill Pesto


All Phases

Serves four




4 6-ounce salmon fillets

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, to coat pan


Kona spice rub

½ teaspoon granulated garlic

½ teaspoon granulated onion

½ teaspoon fennel seed

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon ancho chili powder

½ teaspoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon espresso beans

1 tablespoon cornstarch


Pistachio–Dill Pesto (makes eight servings)

1 ounce fresh dill, de-stemmed

4 ounces pistachios, removed from shells

1 teaspoon fresh garlic minced

1 ounce Parmesan, grated

½ teaspoon Montreal seasoning

2 tablespoons white wine

¼ cup salad or soybean oil



For the Kona Spice Rub

Grind all the Kona spice rub ingredients together in a spice grinder or coffee grinder. Set aside.


For Pistachio–Dill Pesto

Puree all pesto ingredients in food processor. Use as needed. (Will keep in refrigerator for several weeks.)


For Salmon

  1. Heat sauté pan over medium heat. Coat bottom of pan with vegetable oil. Coat top of salmon fillet with Kona rub and place fillet in pan, Kona side down.
  2. Sear for 4 minutes on one side. Turn over and sear for approximately 4 minutes on other side, or to desired temperature.
  3. Transfer salmon to plate.
  4. Spoon pistachio-dill pesto over salmon after plating.



Nutrition Facts (by serving) for the Kona-Seared Salmon without Pesto:
Calories 406
Calories from fat 62%
Fat (grams) 25
Saturated fat (grams) 4
Cholesterol (milligrams) 100
Carbohydrates (grams) 0
Protein (grams) 34
Sodium (milligrams) 249


Nutrition Facts (by serving) for the Pesto:
Calories 146
Calories from fat 68%
Fat (grams) 23
Saturated fat (grams) 4
Cholesterol (milligrams) 6
Carbohydrates (grams) 16
Protein (grams) 8
Sodium (milligrams) 267
Fiber (grams) 2


Note: this preparation can be used with other types of fish as well, including swordfish, tuna, grouper, snapper, and others.

Posted in Florida Golden Palate Partners | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Recipe: Bermuda Fish Chowder by Mystic Fish (Palm Harbor, FL)

Chef/Partner Doug Bebell. Photos and recipe courtesy of Mystic Fish, Palm Harbor, FL

This is one of my favorite dishes at Mystic Fish and one of the most unique and enjoyable soups anywhere! The folks behind Mystic Fish founded the Lobster Pot in Bermuda and bring this uniquely delicious style of cooking to the Tampa Bay area in Florida! Look for their famous Chilean Sea Bass recipe in my upcoming book “The Restaurant Diet” (Mango Media, Jan. 2018)!


Bermuda Fish Chowder

Serves eight



1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup minced carrots

½ cup diced sweet onions

1 rib celery, minced

¼ cup minced fresh red peppers

1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley

2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable bouillon

2 cups crushed Roma tomatoes

1 cup diced Roma tomatoes

½ teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

¼ teaspoon gumbo file

2 tablespoons Worcestershire

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Fish Seasoning

8 ounces mild white fish (raw), such as snapper

½ teaspoon granulated garlic

¼ cup dry sherry

1 quart water

Brown roux (see below). Add roux after stock has simmered.

Optional: Dark Rum of your choice (Ideally Goslings, since this is a Bermuda-inspired dish), otherwise Myer’s Dark Rum or the dark rum of your choice as well and hot sauce of your choice to top soup at the table will do just fine!

Brown Roux


2 ounces butter or vegetable oil (Note: for weight-loss purposes at home, use oil; if avoiding flour, omit the roux)

½ cup flour


  1. Mix together butter or oil and flour in a sauce pan over very low heat.
  2. Cook and stir mixture until roux is golden brown and has a nutty smell, 25 to 30 minutes.


  1. Using a large stock pot, sauté carrots, celery, and onion in oil until soft;
  2. Add all other ingredients
  3. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in roux and simmer an additional 15 minutes.
  5. Serve with optional drizzle of Myer’s rum and optional hot sauce.
Nutrition Facts (by serving) for Bermuda Fish Chowder, without the roux:
Calories 88
Calories from fat 29%
Fat (grams) 3
Saturated fat (grams) 0
Cholesterol (milligrams) 13
Carbohydrates (grams) 5
Protein (grams) 8
Sodium (milligrams) 182
Fiber (grams) 1

Note: The roux adds approximately 38 calories per serving. Myers dark rum contains 69 calories per ounce.

Posted in Florida Golden Palate Partners | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Recipe: “Snooty’s Summer Salad” by Chef Jamil Pineda at Michael’s on East (Sarasota, FL)

Recipe courtesy of Chef Jamil Pineda.

Happy summer! To welcome summer, I am delighted to feature this recipe by Chef Jamil Pineda at Sarasota’s Michael’s on East. The dish was created in honor of Snooty the Manatee’s 67th birthday in 2015– Chef Jamil competed against 3 other local chefs to design the most interesting salad to honor Snooty, and won!

Michael’s On East: Snooty’s Summer Salad
Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad with Walnuts, Green Apples, Shredded Carrots, Roasted Yellow Beets, Parmigiano Reggiano, Spicy Pumpkin Seeds & Lemon-Mustard Dressing

As prepared by Michael’s On East Executive Chef Jamil Pineda

Serves 4

For the Salad
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced
1 pound baby kale, remove thick center rib, leaves thinly sliced
1 cup coarsely grated or chopped Parmigiano Reggiano
1 cup roasted yellow beets, diced
1 green apple, thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, shredded

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, reserving ½ of the cheese to garnish as the dish is plated.
For the Dressing
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from about 2 lemons
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots, from one large shallot
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
For the Pumpkin Seeds
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of chili pepper
Pinch of blackened seasoning (Chef Jamil recommends Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic seasoning)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. Mix all ingredients together and bake pumpkin seeds for 3-5 minutes, until toasted and fragrant. (Be cautious not to let them burn!) Set aside until ready to plate the dish.

To Plate
Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and toss well. Portion salad into salad bowls or plates to serve. Garnish with reserved cheese and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Posted in Fred Bollaci on Dining | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Visit to New Platinum Palate Award Winner “The French Brasserie Rustique,” A Magnificent Meal by Chef Vincenzo Betulia in Naples, Florida!

Award-Winning Chef Vincenzo Betulia’s new French Brasserie has brought Parisian elegance to the heart of downtown Naples and has recently been awarded the Fred Bollaci Enterprises Platinum Palate Certificate of Excellence!

It has quickly become my favorite spot for lunch and dinner in downtown Naples (along with Vincenzo’s first restaurant, Osteria Tulia), so now we have a great dilemma–where do we go to eat?!

The French has amazing cocktails and freshly baked bread, along with Badoit sparkling water. Fans of Betulia’s Osteria Tulia & Bar Tulia (both Platinum Palate winners as well) know that his restaurants are renowned for their craft cocktails, as well as authentic cuisine, and will surely find The French to their liking!

Two of my favorite Salads in Naples– the Nicoise, done to perfection, and Grilled Shrimp with Canteloupe, Prosciutto, and greens.

The whimsical artwork at The French always brings a smile to my face!



The French Brasserie Rustique

365 5th Avenue S.

Naples, FL 34102


Posted in Fred Bollaci on Dining | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Royal Blues Hotel & Chanson Restaurant: Revisit to Florida’s Only Relais & Chateaux Property, a Fred Bollaci Enterprises Platinum Palate Award Winner!

In search of the ultimate staycation right here in South Florida? How about a Relais & Chateaux property (the only one in Florida), overlooking the Ocean, just five minutes from downtown Boca! Gourmet food, luxurious accommodations (all rooms face the water), beautiful contemporary design and artwork, white glove service (everybody knows your name), once you visit, you won’t want to leave!

To read my showcase of the property from last summer 2016, click here.

Al fresco dining overlooking the beach!

The nearby Deerfield Beach pier and warm clear waters of the Atlantic.

The Royal Blues Hotel & Chanson Restaurant call to mind an ultra luxurious private yacht!

Breakfast in the contemporary, sunlit dining room (dine indoors or on the veranda). The dramatic fishtank on the ceiling is a focal point.

Enjoy delicious, gourmet cuisine, artistically plated!

Sunrise at the beach, steps from your door, or watch it from your room!

The Steak Tartare with Greek Yogurt and Strawberries was fantastic!

See you in Deerfield Beach, and please tell General Manager Scott Craver and the great folks at The Royal Blues Hotel & Chanson Restaurant that Fred Bollaci sent you!

The Royal Blues Hotel & Chanson Restaurant

45 NE 21st Ave.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441



Posted in Destinations | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment