Frutti de Mare from Ciao Hound Kitchen & Bar

One of Islamorada’s newest “people and pet friendly” eateries is fast tracked to becoming an Upper Keys favorite. With authentic Tuscan flavors, Keys-sourced ingredients and Rat Pack-era tunes, Ciao Hound is turning traditional Italian dining on its head. Here’s the recipe for a signature dish you can make right at home.


•7 Oz Linguini Pasta
•3 Fresh Mussels
•3 Fresh Clams
•3 Shrimp, 16/20
•3 Oz Calamari Rings
•4 Oz White Wine
•1 Oz Fresh Garlic, chopped
•2 Oz Marinara Sauce
•.5 Basil torn
•1 Oz Corn Oil
•Salt and Pepper to taste
•Garlic Bread


Cook pasta as directed. Set aside. Heat a sauté pan. Add olive oil and sauté garlic until lightly golden and aromatic.Deglaze the pan with white wine. Add clams, mussels and marinara sauce. Cover and simmer until the clams and mussels open up. Add the shrimp and calamari. Continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the reheated pasta & basil and lightly toss with the sauce until coated. Check seasoning and serve in large pasta bowl.

You can enjoy this savory Frutti de Mare as well as lots of other sensational dishes at Ciao Hound Kitchen & Bar, MM84 Oceanside at the Postcard Inn, Islamorada. Open nightly at 5pm. 305-664-5300;


Shrimp & Lobster Key Lime from Key Largo’s Fish House

Florida’s oldest waterfront restaurant s a huge draw for tourists and locals who and come by both car and boat to enjoy fresh seafood and party in the lively Chiki-Tiki Hut. Their Classic Key Lime Pie is one of the best around. Here’s the recipe so you can make it right at home. Celebrity Chefs, Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri of the Food Network love Key Largo’s award-winning Fish House. And with good reason. The boat-to-table fish here is as fresh as it gets and the scratch preparations infuse a touch of the Keys in every dish. One of our favorite recipes is Shrimp & Lobster Key Lime. Here’s how to make it right at home:

Ingredients (Yield: 2 Servings)
2 Tbl. butter
9 Medium Shrimp peeled, de-veined,
and cleaned
1/2 Florida Lobster Tail (about 6 oz), chopped
8 Oz. Fresh Mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbl. Chopped Scallions
2 Tbl. Chablis Wine
4 Oz Key Lime Mix, recipe follows
2 Cups Cooked Long-Grain Rice

Key Lime Mix:
8 Oz. Garlic Spread (2 sticks of butter mixed with 1 Tbl. minced garlic)
2 Tbl. Louisiana-style hot sauce
1 Tbl. Fresh Key lime juice
In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add shrimp and lobster and sauté until the shrimp turns pink, about 2 to 3 minutes (be careful not to overcook). Add mushrooms and scallions. Sauté until just tender, about 2 minutes. Add Chablis and Key Lime Mix and continue cooking until Key Lime Mix melts and is thoroughly mixed throughout the seafood. Serve over rice.

You can enjoy this fabulous dish and many other terrific signature recipes at the acclaimed Fish House Restaurant, MM 102.4, Oceanside, Key Largo. Call 305-451-4665.


Rigatoni with Jumbo Shrimp from Mangia Mangia Pasta Cafe

Renowned for the impeccable fresh homemade pasta and made-from-scratch, herb-spiked sauces, this cozy trattoria is one of Key West’s favorite restaurants and serves up simple, full flavors that
are intoxicatingly good. One of our most favorite pasta dishes is their Rigatoni with Jumbo Shrimp. When you’re not savoring it at Mangia Mangia, you can make it right at home.
Here’s the recipe:

(Yields 1 Servings)
5 Jumbo Shrimp
1 Oz Extra Virgin Oil Oil
.5 Oz Fresh Garlic, chopped
8 Oz Fresh Rigatoni
1 Oz Prosciutto
4-5 Black Olives, chopped
1 Oz Shallots, chopped
1 Oz Fresh Chopped Tomato
1-2 Shakes of Red Pepper
.5oz Romano Cheese

Cook Rigatoni as directed. Sauté shrimp in olive oil with the prosciutto, garlic, black olives, shallots, tomato and red pepper for approximately 3 minutes or until shrimp are pink. Remove and plate. Garnish with radicchio, arugula and Belgian endive. Top with a dusting of Romano cheese.

You can enjoy this and many other terrific recipes at Mangia Mangia Pasta Cafe, 900 Southard St., Key West. 305-294-2469;


Island Shrimp Cakes from Square Grouper

Considered to be one of the Keys’ Top “Must Visit” restaurants, Square Grouper Bar & Grill has a reputation for innovative local seafood preparations, house-made desserts, eclectic boutique wines and unusual craft beer. Chef/owner Lynn Bell never ceases to amaze us with all of her fabulous specials. But one of personal stand-outs, which is regularly on the menu, is the Island Shrimp Cakes with banana pepper aioli.

Here’s the recipe:

4 Lb Cooked, Cleaned and
Chopped Shrimp (16/20s)
1 Cup Chopped Red Onion
1 Cup Chopped Red Pepper
1 Cup Minced Banana Pepper
1/8 Cup Minced Jalepenos
Zest From Two Lemons
5 Eggs, Beaten
1-1/2 Cups Fresh Lemon Juice
1-1/2 Cups Mayonnaise
2 Tsp. Tabasco Sauce
3 Tbl. Old Bay Seasoning
Add Panko Crumbs to Bind
(Approx. 2 Quarts)

Combine all of the ingredients. Form into cakes. Seat, bake at 425º for 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedge and Island Pepper Aioli (recipe follows).

Island Pepper Aioli
2 Cups Mayonnaise
1/4 Cup Minced Banana Peppers
1/8 Cup Pickled Jalapenos Minced
1 Tbl. Key Lime Juice
1 Tbl. Minced Garlic
Combine all the above and season with
salt and pepper to taste.

You can enjoy Lynn Bell’s fabulous Island Shrimp Cakes and many of her other terrific recipes at the Square Grouper Bar & Grill, MM 22.5, oceanside on Cudjoe Key. Call 305-745-8880.


Famous Smoked Fish Dip from Porky’s Bayside

Located in a funky waterfront Tiki hut just north of Marathon’s famous 7 Mile Bridge,Porky’s Bayside is notorious for the best barbecue in the Keys.Locals and visitors have been flocking here since the early 1950s including such notables as Ernest Hemingway, Jimmy Hoffa and Elizabeth Taylor.But BBQ isn’t the only big draw here. They also serve up terrific boat-to-table seafood fresh from their docks. One of our favorite apps is their famous house smoked fish dip. Here’s the recipe which you can make right at home.

(Serves 6-8 people)

2 Lb. Smoked Mackeral (Smoke for
2 hours using 3 – 4 ounces of wood. Remove bones and skin)
1/4 Cup Chopped Celery
1/4 Cup Chopped Red Onion
1/4 Cup Chopped Red Bell Pepper 1/2 Lb. Softened Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Mayo
1 Tsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 Tsp. Old Bay Seasoning

Soften and whip cream cheese Add diced vegetables. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve with Tortilla chips or crackers.

You can enjoy this wonderful smoked fish dip and many other terrific barbeque and seafood specialties at Porky’s Bayside, MM 47.5, Bayside, Marathon. 305-289-2065.


Authentic Key Lime Pie

Key West locals adhere to a few universals for Key lime pie. First, Key lime pie is never green, but rather a natural creamy yellow. It’s always made with small, round key limes (or authentic bottled key lime juice), not the large Persian limes found in grocery
stores. And any Key lime pie worth its weight—and taste—is made with sweetened condensed milk. Never milk. That’s because milk was unavailable in the Florida Keys until the 1930s with the opening of the overseas highway when tank trunks carrying ice could get to the islands. Although tales of local Key Westers being the inventors of the originalkey lime pie, many historians credit local sponge divers as the first to combine the locally abundant limes with the condensed milk and eggs they had on their boats.


For Crust
1 1/4 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs from 9 (2 1/4-inch by 4 3/4-inch) crackers
2 Tbl. Sugar
5 Tbl. Unsalted Butter, melted

For Filling
1 (14-oz) Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
4 Large Egg Yolks
1/2 Cup plus 2 Tbl. Fresh or Bottled Key Lime Juice

For Topping
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a bowl with a fork. Combine well. Press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch (4-cup) glass pie plate. Bake crust in middle of oven 10 minutes and cool in pie plate on a rack. Leave oven on. Make filling and bake pie:
Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl. Combine well. Add juice and whisk. Combine well (mixture will thicken slightly). Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack (filling will set as it cools), then chill, covered, at least 8 hours.
Just before serving, beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Serve pie topped with cream.

Cooks’ note: Pie (without topping) can be chilled up to one day.