by The Editors | June 1, 2016

Indigenous Recipes from Chef Steve Phelps

Pan-seared Gulf amberjack with griddlecake, basil jalapeño purée and tomato jam, see our blog for recipe; Photograph Kim Longstreet

Pan-seared Gulf amberjack with griddlecake, basil jalapeño purée and tomato jam; Photograph Kim Longstreet

Pan-seared Gulf Amberjack with Griddle Cake, Basil Jalapeño Purée & Tomato Jam

Serves 4


  • 3 cups Florida corn kernels
  • 2 cups Florida corn, puréed
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 ¼ cups grated white Cheddar cheese
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • salt and pepper

PREPARATION: Mix corn, purée, eggs and milk in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix flour and baking powder. Add flour mixture to corn mixture. Add cheese, salt and pepper. Pour into buttered or oiled skillet and brown on both sides. Keep warm.


  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • ¼  cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup olive oil

PREPARATION: Place all ingredients in blender and purée on medium high until smooth (roughly 30 seconds).


  • 4 red tomatoes, coarsely puréed
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
  • ¼  cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

PREPARATION: Put all ingredients in a non-reactive saucepot. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Cool.

pan-seared AMBERJACK

  • 4 6-ounce filets

PREPARATION: Sprinkle both sides of fish with salt and pepper. In a medium skillet (preferably non-stick), heat 2 tablespoons of oil. When oil is almost smoking, gently place filets in skillet. Sear on first side for 2 minutes, until golden brown. Flip and sear for 1 minute. Remove from pan and finish in a 450-degree oven for 5 minutes. The fish should be firm to the touch when finished.

Spread basil jalapeño purée on plate. Put corn cake on top of purée. Gently place fish on griddlecake and top with tomato jam.



Colcannon Hushpuppies with Truffle Tartar Sauce

Serves 2-4

Truffle Tartar

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup truffle oil
  • 1 cup neutral oil (canola)
  • ½ cup chopped sweet gherkins
  • 2 tablespoon chopped dill
  • salt

*In a food processor place eggs, Dijon, and lemon juice. Blend for 1 minute. With motor running slowly add truffle oil, then canola oil. Remove from food processor and place in mixing bowl. Stir in gherkins and dill. Salt as needed.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup cauliflower chopped small
  • ½ cup green cabbage chopped fine
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Pepper to taste

PREPARATION: Put butter in a small skillet and saute cauliflower and cabbage until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Prepare hushpuppy batter. In a mixing bowl combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl beat eggs with buttermilk. Mix flour mixture with egg mixture and stir in cauliflower mix. Heat fryer to 350 degrees and place tablespoon-sized drops into fryer. Fry until golden brown and drain on bakers screen. Serve with tartar sauce.