Monthly Archives: July 2012

Why I’m Here…

Why I’m here…

Welcome to Jeff’s Kitchen. Inspired by  friends who have sampled my cooking and by my years working at the famous gourmet shop in South Beach, this is the place where I will post those fabulous recipes we all know and love–or simply something that just moves me–along with a picture, a story, an event, a person, place or thing, or whatever I feel the need to unload.  The operative pieces of equipment here are my brain, a saute’ pan, a piping bag, and the desire to make the world better because of the food I–WE–prepare with our own two hands.

Tell Me Why…

But this isn’t just about me. I want to hear from you! Don’t just post. Tell me a story.  Tell me where you found the recipe, tell me what appeals to about it, tell me who you dazzled with your best moves in the kitchen (or elsewhere–as long as food is involved). I’m not just the best virtual chef you know, but also a pretty good storyteller.  But I want to know yours.  I do like stories with my recipes, and storytellers in the kitchen.  Join me in the fun.

And if this isn’t enough to whet your whistle, Here’s the best damn Key lime pie recipe on the planet.  I got this from an old guy who ran a donut shop on Key Largo, a weathered old guy who looked like he just stepped out of a Carl Hiaasen novel; he shack where he made and sold the donuts looked even worse. On any day, between the hours of six and ten a.m., he sold more Key lime-filled donuts out of that rundown shack, on the southbound side of A1A, than all the donuts sold at the local Dunkin’ Donuts down the road.  He gave us the recipe–a long-held family recipe–in trade for a six-year-old Harley Softtail. He wouldn’t give it up for anything less. We turned this recipe into a legendary sweet-tart pie, which we’ve been selling at our place, and at a world-famous South Beach crab house, for more than fifty years.  The pie has become the signature dessert for that crab house.  It’s our recipe. We made it for them.  To use with their own name attached to it.  And I saw it on The Food Network

And now, You can make it yourself.  DO IT! And then, write me.  Tell me the story about the results.  That’s what Jeff’s Kitchen is all about.  Let’s share our best recipes and make this the coolest food place on the planet.  Or any planet.



Chefzilla’s Key Lime Pie


1 cup of Grahm cracker crumbs
1/2 cup toasted pecans chopped fine. (If you’re allergic to nuts, sub more GC crumbs)

1/2 cup white sugar
1 stick of melted butter (use margarine and I’ll take this recipe back!).

5 room temperature egg yolks
2-14 oz. cans sweetened condensed milk. (You can use fat-free SCM if you must, but    PULEEZE!!!)
1/2 cup FRESH SQUEEZED lemon juice
1/2 cup FRESH SQUEEZED Persian lime juice (you could use 1 cup of fresh key lime juice in place of the lemon and lime juices, but the world-famous restaurant doesn’t–they’re tiny, hard to find, very hard to work with, and you won’t know the difference)
Grated zest of 1 lime

Whipped cream:

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons 10X confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom tray of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, secure the tray, and trim away the excess paper. Brush the paper and sides of the pan lightly with a bit of the melted butter.
2.   For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, chopped nuts, sugar, and the remaining butter in a medium bowl, until well blended. Place in the springform pan.  Pat firmly and shape the crust on the bottom and  a half-inch up the sides of the pan.
3.   Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the crust begins to brown on the edges of the sides. Allow the crust to cool to room temperature before resuming the recipe.
5.   Combine all of the filling ingredients until they are well mixed.  Pour into the crust.
6.   Bake the pie for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
7.   Smooth plastic wrap onto the cooled filling, and freeze the pie for at least six hours, and preferably overnight.
8.   Remove the pie from the freezer 15 – 20 minutes before serving.  NO MORE!!!!!
9.   Serve with a big dollop of fresh-made whipped cream (whip the ingredients in a very cold metal bowl until stiff peaks form, but don’t overbeat, or you’ll make sweet butter).  DO NOT USE READY WHIP OR MERENGUE. PLEASE!!

10.   Serve to someone who will repay you handsomely for the most incredible treat you have ever prepared.  They will respond, “Damn, this is the best key lime pie I ever tasted.  It’s better than any I ever had in a restaurant.”
11.   Duh!!!

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