Norman Van Aken

Host, A Word On Food

Norman Van Aken has been described as legendary, visionary and a trailblazer. He is known as “the founding father of New World Cuisine,” a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American flavors. He is also known internationally for introducing the concept of “Fusion” to the culinary world.

His new memoir, “No Experience Necessary” is published by Taylor Trade Publishing. The book has been praised by the likes of Thomas Keller, Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse, Monique Truong, Alan Richman (GQ Magazine), Jeremiah Tower, Wolfgang Puck and the late, great Charlie Trotter.

He is the only Floridian inducted into the prestigious James Beard list of “Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage.” His restaurant “NORMAN’S was nominated as a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Restaurant in America.” He has been a James Beard Foundation semi-finalist for “Best Chef in America.”

In 2006, he was honored as one of the “Founders of the New American Cuisine,” alongside Alice Waters, Paul Prudhomme, and Mark Miller at Spain’s International Summit of Gastronomy ‘Madrid Fusión’ event.

Norman Van Aken has published five cookbooks: Feast of Sunlight 1988, The Exotic Fruit Book 1995, Norman’s New World Cuisine 1997, New World Kitchen 2003 and My Key West Kitchen 2012 (with Justin Van Aken).

His radio show, “A Word on Food,” appears twice a week on NPR station WLRN.

He is the chef and founder of “NORMAN’S at the Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes, Orlando.” 

Ways to Connect

Lemongrass

5 hours ago

FRIED CHICKEN with a lemongrass soy marinade

© 2016 All rights reserved by Norman & Janet Van Aken

This is a fairly complex recipe but the results are well worth it. It calls for two steps to create deep flavor before you ever reach for the buttermilk. Note that you make a Lemongrass-Soy-Syrup. A portion of that goes into a marinade. But the remainder is free to be used to drizzle on your hot fried chicken like one might do with honey if in that mood. But this one will be a lot more exotic.

Yield: Serves 2-4

Please Don't Tell

Aug 20, 2016

Gazpacho

Aug 13, 2016

STONE CRAB GAZPACHO

Norman & Justin Van Aken © Excerpted from, “MY KEY WEST KITCHEN”, Kyle Books    

What soup could be more perfect in the late afternoon of a hot day to fuel a young cook, (that I once was)? It is descended from the Romans and its construction originally could not have originally involved tomatoes at all. Columbus changed that and, to my belly, all for the better. It is one of the few soups that contain a vinegar. Buy a high quality one and your work will shine. Of course with the Stone Crab you are going “Sunday Best”.

Clams

Aug 6, 2016

CLAMS CASINO

© 2016 All Rights Reserved by Norman Van Aken

Yield: 60 Pieces

60 littleneck clams, well scrubbed and shucked, clam ‘liquor’ reserved

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil

3 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded and minced

1 red onion, peeled and diced small

½ bulb fennel, finely diced

Heat a heavy pan. Add the Olive Oil.

Now sauté the jalapeños, onion and fennel in a skillet over high heat in the olive oil. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and set aside in a bowl to cool.

Leg of Lamb

Jul 30, 2016

“SILK ROAD” GRILL/ROASTED LAMB RACK

© 2016. All Rights Reserved by Norman Van Aken

This marinade works on a variety of meats; veal, pork and chicken for instance.

Silk Road Marinade:

Yield: 3/4 Quarts

6 peeled and minced garlic cloves

1 1/3 Tablespoons minced ginger

2 Tablespoons minced shallots

3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

1/2 Cup sherry wine vinegar

1/4 Cup hoisin

1/3 Cup soy

1/3 Cup dark roasted sesame oil

1/3 Cup plum sauce

Onion Rings

Jul 23, 2016

Manchego Crusted Onion Rings

© 2016 All rights reserved by Norman Van Aken
 

These egg battered onions have a nice sweetness to them that marries with even delicate foods.

2 Spanish onions, thinly sliced

2 eggs, beaten

6 Tablespoons finely grated Manchego cheese

Canola or corn oil for deep-frying

Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Ice Cream

Jul 16, 2016

 OYSTERS ‘REMICK’

Norman Van Aken, © 2013

S.O.S.

Jul 2, 2016

CREAMED CHIPPED BEEF ON TOAST a,k.a. S.O.S.

© 2016 All Rights Reserved by Norman & Janet Van Aken

Serves 4

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

kosher salt, to taste, but remember the meat has salt already

1 teaspoon paprika or Spanish pimentón

1 1/2 Cups milk, at room temperature

1/2 Cup heavy cream, at room temperature

8 ounces chipped beef such as ‘Buddig’ brand

4 slices of bread, toasted just before serving

Cake

Jun 25, 2016

SPANISH OLIVE OIL CAKE WITH KUMQUATS AND TOASTED ALMONDS

©1994 All Rights Reserved by Norman Van Aken

The healthy richness of olive oil is lightened by the citrus flavors of the kumquat in this almond cake. Almonds probably originated in Asia Minor and were introduced to Spain and Portugal by the Moors. I created this dish for the Spanish Olive Oil Council. They were delighted to find olive oil in a dessert. I think you’ll see why.

Yields: One (9 inch) Cake

6 kumquats, cut in half

Pho

Jun 11, 2016

PHO BROTH

Norman & Janet Van Aken, © 2016

Here we have a basic Pho Broth. From this point you can create a bunch of different ideas for your versions. Have phun….

3 quarts Chicken, Pork or Beef Stock

2 ea  3” long piece of ginger, peeled and split in half lengthwise (get weight)

1 # pork neck bones with meat

1 # beef neck bones with meat on them

1 # sweet onions, peeled and halved

3 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms

Queso Fundido

Jun 4, 2016

QUESO FUNDIDO

Norman & Janet Van Aken, © 2016

This dish is sometimes known as Queso Flameado also. But by any name it is a simple, satifying snack enjoyed by many ages. This recipe provides a fair amount of meat in it. If you like you can omit the meat or use less.

Yields: 3 Cups

Pre-Heat an oven to 350 degrees.

6 ounces raw crumbled chorizo (or other somewhat spicy sausage), casings discarded

1/2 cup sweet onion, diced small

1 1/2 Tablespoon jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and minced

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

HUSH PUPPIES

Norman & Janet Van Aken

Yield: Approximately  20

2 Cups plus 2 Tablespoons stone ground yellow cornmeal

2 Tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 Cups buttermilk

1 egg

1 teaspoon Escabeche Rub

Oil for Frying

Combine the cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda in a medium bowl.

Whisk the buttermilk and egg in another bowl.

STEAK TARTARE

©1997 All Rights Reserved by Norman Van Aken

1 pound completely trimmed filet mignon, finely minced with a knife, chilled well

4 egg yolks, stirred

1 Tablespoon cracked black pepper

2 Tablepoons tiny capers, drained, rinsed well and chopped up

1/2 of a small red onion, finely diced

1/4 Cup Italian parsley leaves, washed and chopped up

1 Tablespoon Tabasco

12-16 anchovy fillets, rinsed well and patted dry, minced

Mix the meat with the remaining ingredients and stir well.

GINGER SCALLION Pancakes

©2002 All rights reserved by Norman Van Aken
 

Yield: 3 ¼ Cups of batter

2 whole eggs

2 egg yolks

2 Cups milk

2 teaspoons salt

Large pinch cracked black pepper

1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour

¼ pound butter

1 bunch of scallions, white part only, chopped fine

1 inch ginger root, peeled and minced

½ Scotch bonnet chile, stem and seeds discarded, minced

Combine the eggs, egg yolks, milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Beat.

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