Saturday, September 29, 2012

Recipes Inspired by In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister

As mentioned in my previous post, reading "In Need of Therapy" by Tracie Banister will make a gal want to cash in her airline miles for a trip to Miami. If you're like me and low on funds and/or miles, then bring the flavors of Florida's party capital into your house with the following recipes. All of these were mentioned in Banister's book and they just added more flavor to an already spicy story.

Get Tracie Banister's novel, "In Need of Therapy" for only $1.99 on Amazon.

Pic from
{Cajun Guacamole}

2 California avocados (about 1 pound total weight)
1 tablespoon, fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup, finely diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup, small cherry or grape tomatoes – cut in half if large
1/4 cup, thinly sliced green onion
3 cloves, garlic – finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon, chopped fresh thyme leaves
(or substitute 1/4 rounded teaspoon, dried thyme)
1/2 teaspoon, salt
1/4 teaspoon, fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon, cayenne pepper

Coarsely mash (do not puree) the avocados. Gently but thoroughly fold in all remaining ingredients. Recipe from Melinda Lee.

Pic and recipe from my main girl Martha Stewart 

{Watermelon Mojito}

4 large mint leaves
1/2 lime
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
4 ounces seedless watermelon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3/4 cup), plus a small wedge for garnish
2 ounces white rum
1/2 cup ice cubes

In a heavy large glass, combine mint, lime, and sugar. Using a muddler, mash together mint and lime until sugar is dissolved. Add watermelon, and muddle until broken down. Stir in rum and ice cubes. Pour into an 8-ounce serving glass and garnish with a watermelon wedge. Serve immediately.

Pic and recipe from Tortuga Rum Cakes

{Sunburn Cocktail}

2 ounces Tortuga Coconut Rum
1 ounce crème de banana or banana liqueur
1 ounce Galliano
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce pineapple juice
1/2 ounce cranberry juice
1 ounce grapefruit juice
1 ounce orange juice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes & shake well. Pour with the cubes into a tall plastic traveling cup & take to pool.

{Notice there are no recipes from Tony, Pilar's blind date who was an obsessive health fanatic. These are all naughty recipes, for when you need a break from your healthy routine.}

Pic and recipe from My Colombian Recipes
{Papas Rellenos | Stuffed Potato Balls}

Makes 10 stuffed potatoes

Vegetable oil for frying
5 medium potatoes
¼ teaspoon salt

Meat Filling

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped tomato
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon sazon Goya with azafran
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
½ pound ground beef

Vegetable Filling

Use the same ingredients in the meat filling except the beef and add 1 cup frozen carrots and peas.


1 egg
¼ cup all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
½ tablespoon sazon Goya with azafran
¼ cup milk


1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks, put them in a medium pot and cover with water and ¼ teaspoon of salt.

2. Bring the potatoes to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until fork tender about 20 minutes.

3. Drain the potatoes and mash with a fork or masher and set aside.

4. Prepare the filling, in a large sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, tomato, scallions, garlic, cumin, azafran, pepper and salt. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent, add the beef and cook stirring occasionally about 10 – 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

5. In a medium bowl place all the batter ingredients and whisk until smooth and set aside.

6. Divide the potato mash into 10 equal sized portions, about 1/3 cup each, and form each portion into a ball by rolling between the palms of your hands. Flatten into patties and place 1 ½ tablespoons of the filling in the center of each one. Shape the potato mixture with the filling into balls to enclose the filling completely.

7. Fill a large heavy pot with vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat to 360° F.

8. Dip the stuffed potato into the batter and carefully place them in the hot oil and fry for about 4 minutes or until golden, turning over halfway through. Remove the potatoes from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain in a plate with paper towels. Transfer to a serving plate and serve with Ají.

For more Miami-inspired recipes and news about the South Florida restaurant scene, go to Food For Thought: A Miami Food Blog.


Tracie Banister said...

I love this post, Julie! LOL about not including any recipes from Pilar's date with Tony!

Tobi said...

Awesome post!!!!!! Thanks for the amazing recipes!
<3 Tobi

Samantha Stroh Bailey said...

I am so hungry now! Great post!