Staying Home: 7 Amazing Orlando Recipes

Here are some creations that are sure to please.

Sour Cream Pancakes are perfect with seasonal fruit and a Sunday paper. (JOSEPH HAYES)

Sour Cream Pancakes

Servings: 4

Recipe Courtesy Joseph Hayes, Orlando magazine dining critic

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sour cream (I prefer Daisy brand)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¾ cup whole milk (If using 2% milk, add another ½ tablespoon butter)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon juice (optional; add in the mix or sprinkle on cooked pancakes)
  • Butter or vegetable oil, as needed

In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. In a medium bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together, then whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. (Mixture will be thicker than you anticipate.) Let the mix rest for 10 minutes.

Bring a large, heavy skillet to medium high heat and add butter or vegetable oil to coat. Ladle mixture into your preferred size pancake, no more than two at a time.

When you can see a ring of bubbles around the surface of the pancake, flip and quickly brown the other side. This whole procedure should take no more than 2 minutes per pancake—watch carefully!

Serve with your choice of toppings, including syrup or fresh local seasonal fruit, such as berries or peaches.

Tip: If you increase the milk to a little over one cup and add another tablespoon of flour, this recipe makes superb crepes.

Cuban Shredded Beef (Vaca Frita)

Servings: 4-6

Recipe Courtesy America’s Test Kitchen, Season 14: Spiced-up Cuban Cuisine

While flank steak is traditional, chuck roast is streaked with fat and collagen, granting the final dish more flavor and a better texture.

Use a well-marbled chuck-eye roast in this recipe. When trimming the beef, don’t remove all visible fat—some of it will be used in lieu of oil later in the recipe. If you don’t have enough reserved fat, use vegetable oil.

  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck-eye roast, pulled apart at seams, trimmed, and cut into 1 ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ¼ plus ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated lime zest plus 1 tablespoon juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry

Bring beef, water, and 1 ¼ teaspoons salt to a boil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and gently simmer until beef is very tender, about 1 hour 45 minutes. (Check beef every 30 minutes, adding water so that bottom third of beef is submerged.) While beef simmers, combine garlic, oil and cumin in bowl. Combine orange juice and lime zest and juice in second bowl.

Remove lid from skillet, increase heat to medium and simmer until water evaporates and beef starts to sizzle, 3 to 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer beef to rimmed baking sheet. Pour off and reserve fat from skillet. Rinse skillet clean and dry with paper towels. Place sheet of aluminum foil over beef and, using meat pounder or heavy saute pan, pound to flatten beef into ⅛-inch pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat or connective tissue. (Some of beef should separate into shreds. Larger pieces that do not separate can be torn in half.)

Heat 1 ½ teaspoons reserved fat in now-empty skillet over high heat. When fat begins to sizzle, add onion and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden brown, and charred in spots, 5 to 8 minutes. Add sherry and ¼ cup water and cook until liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Transfer onion to bowl. Return skillet to high heat, add 1 ½ teaspoons reserved fat, and heat until it begins to sizzle. Add beef and cook, stirring frequently, until dark golden brown and crusty, 2 to 4 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and push beef to sides of skillet. Add garlic mixture to center and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden brown, about 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat, add orange juice mixture and onion, and toss to combine. Season with pepper to taste. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

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Sanaa’s Tomato Soup is a guest favorite at the Disney restaurant. (WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT)

Sanaa Tomato Soup, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas

Servings: 8

Recipe Courtesy Walt Disney World

  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon canola oil, divided
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • Pinch ground fenugreek
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 18 ounces firm paneer cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
  • 1 cup cooked peas, for garnish

In a large pot on medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook until garlic is golden. Add tomato paste and stir to combine.

Add tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and fenugreek. Add water and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and add soup to blender, working in batches; puree until smooth. (You also can use an immersion blender to puree soup.) Season with salt and pepper.

Return soup to medium heat and whisk in butter.

Heat remaining 1 teaspoon canola oil in a nonstick pan over high heat. Add cubed paneer cheese and saute until golden brown.

Serve soup topped with warm paneer cheese, parsley and peas.

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Potato Gruyere Gratin, Yachtsman Steakhouse, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Servings: 6-8

Recipe Courtesy Walt Disney World

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups grated Gruyère cheese, divided
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, thinly sliced
  • Fresh thyme, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9- × 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add garlic and shallots and cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes. Add thyme and heavy cream.

Bring heavy cream to a simmer over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and white pepper and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 15 minutes, until cream is reduced by half. Pour into a large bowl and strain garlic, shallots and thyme from cream.

In same pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk constantly until smooth. Slowly pour in cream and whisk constantly until cream begins to bubble and thicken. Turn off heat.

Stir in 1 cup of shredded Gruyere cheese until melted. Add salt to taste. Set aside.

Place a third of the potatoes in bottom of the prepared pan, making sure to cover bottom. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of Gruyere cheese. Top with a second layer of potatoes and ¼ cup Gruyere cheese. Add remaining potatoes and pour sauce over potatoes, spreading evenly. Sprinkle remaining Gruyere over potatoes.

Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and cheese is brown and bubbly. Garnish with thyme and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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Heirloom Tomato Salad with Feta Mousse, Dexter’s New Standard

Servings: 4

Recipe Courtesy Chef Ryan McLaughlin

Feta Mousse:

  • 1 ½ cups Greek feta
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons warm water

Tomato Salad:

  • 3 to 4 heirloom or red, ripe tomatoes
  • 1 seedless English cucumber
  • Sliced red onions, pickled or raw
  • Pitted Kalamata olives
  • Torn fresh oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil

For the Feta Mousse:

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the feta and heavy cream until heated through and feta starts to melt.

In a small measuring cup, whisk gelatin powder and water to combine. Add the gelatin mixture to the feta and heavy cream mixture and stir until gelatin melts completely.

Add everything to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to shallow flat dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.

For the Tomato Salad:

Slice tomatoes. Cut cucumber in half lengthwise and then into half-moon slices. Add to bowl and mix with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Scoop a tablespoon of the feta mousse onto each of four plates, then brush the mousse to distribute across the plate.

Add tomato and cucumber mixture on top of mousse. Garnish with Kalamata olives, red onions, torn fresh oregano and more extra virgin olive oil if desired.

Broccoli and Sausage Frittata

Servings: 4

Recipe Courtesy Brooke Fehr

  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 8 ounces bulk breakfast sausage, crumbled and browned
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed and chopped slightly
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 4 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat, melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add crumbled sausage and broccoli and heat mixture through.

Making sure that all ingredients are well distributed throughout the pan, add beaten eggs. Allow the edges of the egg to set. Using a silicone spatula, gently pull the edges away to allow more of the egg mixture to come in contact with the heat.

Once the frittata is about 50 percent cooked, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and transfer to the oven. Bake for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Tip: Frittata can also be refrigerated for 3 days and reheated for make-ahead breakfasts.


Servings: Approximately 12

Recipe Courtesy Brooke Fehr

  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup coconut
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • cup vegetable oil (I like coconut oil)
  • cup honey
  • cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a large sheet pan with cooking spray to coat.

In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, almonds and pecans. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine oil, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla; whisk to combine.

Add the oil mixture to the oat mixture, and toss to combine, ensuring that dry mixture is covered with oil mixture completely.

Spread mixture evenly over sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes; stir, pulling the mixture from the edge to the middle to bake evenly. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until golden.

Store in an airtight container in the pantry. Excellent on yogurt and fresh fruit, added to cookies, or eating out of hand as a snack.

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