Although I don’t get to Florida very often these days, I’ve lived there twice and had a stint in the restaurant industry on more than one occasion, which included time in Florida-based restaurants along the coast. Their gem of course is that they’re surrounded by water, so most restaurants can get plenty of fresh fish in daily.
Tampa-based Restaurant BT has female chef BT Nguyen at the helm, whose favorite ingredient is Lemongrass. It’s so healthy for you that I wish I had it in my fridge more often and it’s amazingly versatile.
She specializes in French-Vietnamese dishes and uses lemongrass frequently, which can give any bland dish a hint of citrus. She was quoted as saying, “Lemongrass is so versatile that it works wonderfully with everything from tofu to chicken, beef and seafood. I use it in my desserts and as a digestive in tea.”
Apparently, lemongrass is also a key ingredient in Nguyen’s signature dish — Snapper A La Saigon — which is a locally caught snapper which has been encrusted with lemongrass and grilled.
For those who love Thai food, you’ll likely find lemongrass in many of your favorite Thai dishes as well. It is used in many of their green curries as well as their soups.
In the Caribbean, it is referred to as sweet rush or fever grass. What a great name. I look forward to trying some of her dishes next time I’m in Tampa.
Photo credit: Restaurant BT.