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For tuna lovers only

By Compiled by staff writers
Published June 2, 2004

[Times files]
Eric Webber of Eric’s New World Bistro
for tuna lovers only

Joie Warner's got a thing for tuna, that's for sure. Her Take a Tin of Tuna: 65 Inspired Recipes for Every Meal of the Day (Chronicle Books; $19.95) is a celebration of the fish in the can. How long you want to party with her will be up to you and your appetite for Deep-Fried Tuna Wontons with Plum Sauce. That recipe stopped us. We like tuna best in a sandwich with lots of mayo and cruncy celery bits. But that's us. You might be hankering for Tuna Fondue. If so, this book is for you.


Very juicy: If fresh squeezed is the royalty of juice, tangerine is the clown prince. Fresh tangerine juice is hard to find, and despite its silly neon-orange color, it tastes honey sweet and slyly tart and spicy at the same time. The juice makes great mischief in dressings and sauces and puts a smirk in a daiquiri.

You can catch it (and grapefruit and orange juice too) fresh from the tree now through July at the roadside stand of the original Bearss Groves (14219 Lake Magdalene Blvd., Tampa; (813) 963-5125) and at Garden of Eatin' (3401 S West Shore Blvd., Tampa; (813) 835-8300) for $3 to $4 a quart.

Beans, peas, peaches & more: Thanksgiving comes in June with the final big harvest of the season around Tampa Bay, so it's a great time to head to the country or u-pick and roadside shopping.

Tampa Bay farms are ripe with Southern field crops: pole beans, black-eyed peas, pinkeyes, conks, crowders, okra and sweet corn. They all cook up fast and tender when they're fresh. Some farms still have blueberries, blackberries, a few peaches and flowers, as well as all kinds of tomatoes, at bargain prices.

Look north to Pasco and Hernando and east and south to Hillsborough and Manatee counties. Check the classified ads under the Good Things To Eat heading before you go, pack a map and a cooler and start hunting.

best chef

In the final duel to be Best Chef Tampa Bay, two Palm Harbor chefs faced off last month in the kitchens of Maison Gourmet in Dunedin with three ingedients: rabbit, lamb chops and andouille sausage.

After a year of preliminaries in the local iron-chef marathon, Eric Webber of Eric's New World Bistro bested Massimo Patano of Massimo's.

Webber's menu: a ragout of truffled rabbit and andouille plus a Cajun lamb chop, with a pear compote, roasted onion mashed red potatoes and parsnips scented with hazelnut oil.

The year of dinners raised almost $6,000 for the Homeless Emergency Project.

cooking class

Fresh jalapenos' heat varies tremendously from one chili to another. Sometimes they can be so hot they'll set your mouth afire, while other times, they're completely tame. Before adding a chili to a dish, it pays to know what you are dealing with. Halve the jalapeno and run your finger along a cut edge, then lightly touch your tongue; you'll know right away if you have a whopper or a wimp. (Make sure you wash your hands right after you do this!) For the full power of the chili, add the seeds and the inner white ribs; to temper the heat, trim these parts.

this web site cooks


If you want to get an overview of how others are shaping up for summer, type in "diet and spring" and grab a Perrier for the siege. "Looksmart" searches hundreds of magazines and pulls up ample results.

You'll learn how body builders reduce body fat without losing muscle; get the lowdown on the Atkins diet; discover ways to reduce your risk of coronary heart disease in a story by members of the American Dietetic Association; peer in on a recipe for flushing out the toxins and restoring your skin; and so on down the line.

- Compiled by CHRIS SHERMAN and JANET K. KEELER from staff and wire reports

[Last modified June 1, 2004, 10:17:09]

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