Food & Drink

July 1, 2011

South Florida Food and Wine Weekend Kitchen with Chef Michael Shikany and Ellman Family Vineyards

Every now and then something truly fabulous comes along that you just want to keep all to yourself…
but that’s not how I roll, for better or worse.

I have true decadence to share with you. I decided to post this week’s South Florida Food and Wine Pairing today, as we close in on the holiday weekend; ideally tempting you to add something truly spectacular to your backyard bbq.
I am personally serving these items this weekend; and am so excited that I believe I may have to do a run-through tonight, you know, just to make sure everything is in order. I love a good ole burger just as much as the next person but by changing it up a bit…..playing dress up with black truffle foie gras, forme d’ambert and a quail egg; well now, we’re just talking excitement…..all over your palate! This is not your neighborhood beer and burger party.

The Venison Slider recipe is courtesy of Michael Shikany of Shikany, the Miami lifestyle/entertaining passionist. Michael believes that eating a meal shouldn’t occur in a vacuum but rather “out there” full of life and expression. Part of the Shikany philosophy is that a meal for 2 or 20 should be all things happiness, sharing, creative, interesting, and engaging. I have to admit I agree with that statement wholeheartedly. During our conversation earlier this week I asked him to share one of his traditional with-a-twist recipes for the adventurous weekend culinarian. He agreed and gave me his Venison Slider recipe. I went shopping this afternoon to get all my provisions and Smitty’s Old Fashioned Butcher Shoppe in Fort Lauderdale is where I got my ground venison. If venison isn’t available to you then substitute ground lamb. When you read the recipe below you will see that Michael recommended purchasing some of the more exotic ingredients at Fresh Market, but if you don’t have one near you try Whole Foods or a gourmet market in your neighborhood.

Since we’re pulling out the big guns to make a ‘patty’ then the beverage has got to measure up as well. So that’s why I’ve decided to dip into my stash of Pinot Noir from Ellman Family Vineyards, the 2009 Amanda and Alexis Skye. I chose these two wines simply because of their elegance; to me, they are like drinking velvet. While they are both full and rich, the Alexis Skye plays both sides tempting you with her sweetness of  blackberry and cherry cola and then finishes with her lusty clove come hither ways. Amanda lures you with her welcoming strawberry and raspberry jams and yet somehow with all her sweetness she ends up rounding out with a well balanced oak finish.

SHIKANY Venison Sliders

BlackSummer Truffle Hudson Foie Gras Mousse, Quail Egg, Forme d’Ambert Venison Slider garnished with Micro Celery and Cayenne Fig Marmalade, (yields 4 servings 3 Sliders/person)


-Venison Ground – 3 Pounds (can be purchased at Smitty’s in Fort Lauderdale or substitute ground lamb)
-Black Truffle Foie Gras Mousse – 1 Pack (Fresh Market)
-Thyme – 1 Bunch plucked (any grocery store)
-Shallots – Brunoise ½ Cup (Fresh Market)
-Cayenne Pepper – 1 Teaspoon (any grocery store)
- FigMarmalade – 1 Jar (Fresh Market)
-Slider Buns – 9 (any grocery store)
-Forme d’ Ambert (cow’s milk blue cheese)– ½ Pound (Fresh Market)
-Quail Eggs – 12 (Fresh Market)
-White Pepper
-Micro Celery – (Fresh Market)


- Ina large mixing bowl add the ground meat, black truffle mousse, thyme, shallotand mix; folding together gently not to toughen the meat. (season with salt andpepper to taste)

- Ina small sauté pan test a small amount for salt and pepper levels (adjustaccordingly).

-Take a small handful and form the patties into a round a slight bit smaller thanthe palm of your hand. The ratio will make 9 patties or 4 servings.

-Place on a sheet pan and refrigerate.

- Ina small mixing bowl add the fig marmalade and cayenne pepper and fold together.

-Slice the sliders buns and place on a sheet pan open. Spread an even amount offig marmalade on each side and crumble blue cheese over the top.

- Ina large sauté pan or on a high heat or grill cook the sliders to desiredtemperature. As the sliders are cooking place the slider buns in the over at350 and toast for 2 min.

- Ina medium non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the quail eggs sunny sideup, make sure to keep the yolks runny.


- Ona large plate, place three slider buns and three patties on the plate. Garnishthe slider with micro-celery and a small ramekin of the cayenne fig marmaladeand serve.


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