7. Shrimp and Scallop Peruvian-style Ceviche

  • 1 pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound scallops (for sea scallops, cut each into three or four even pieces)
  • 1 hot red chili pepper
  • Pinch fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Pinch Kosher salt to taste
  • 8 slices watermelon radish
  • 8 limes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 1 sweet potato
  1. Juice the limes in a non-reactive bowl.
  2. Add the shrimp and scallops.
  3. Grind the black pepper in a spice mill.
  4. Dice the red pepper finely, and add to bowl.
  5. Mix well and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  6. Dice cucumbers, tomatoes and shallots.
  7. Remove scallops and shrimp from refrigerator and add the cucumbers, tomatoes, chopped cilantro and shallots. Stir well and let sit for 15 minutes.
  8. Dice avocado, add to the bowl and gently mix.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Pour off and reserve the marinade.
  11. Blanch and shock sweet potato, and add to mix.
  12. Place ceviche in martini glass; garnish with cilantro and watermelon radish.
  13. You may pour the reserved marinade (leche de tigre – milk of the tiger) into individual shot glasses for drinking.

6. The Maestro of Meat

Jonas Favela at OKC’s Meat Market Refectory makes a diner’s experience exquisite from beginning to end.


Meat Market Refectory is well known for its steak frites. Included in the meal is a 10 ounce, 100-day, dry-aged strip steak with house-cut, double-fried French fries with Maldon salt. The whiskey peppercorn sauce accompanies the dish.

  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorn
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 4 oz Jack Daniel’s whiskey
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup veal demi glace
  • Pinch kosher salt
  1. Crack your peppercorn by pressing down gently on it with the flat side of a chef knife blade. Set aside.
  2. Heat the canola oil. Add the fresh chopped garlic and cook gently to a golden brown.
  3. Add the cracked whole peppercorn and veal demi glace. Simmer. Then add the whiskey and let the alcohol burn off.
  4. Finish with the rich heavy cream.
  5. Stir and let the sauce thicken, then season to taste with the kosher salt.
  6. Add the sauce to any grilled steak, or in a small bowl for dipping.

5. Sonny Sides of Life

The Dalesandros, both with the same nickname, have created a traditional gathering place for generations of families.

Dalesandro’s Carpaccio

  • 1-1.5 oz. Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 slices Thinly sliced, cooked beef tenderloin
  • 1.5 Lemons
  • .25 oz. Capers
  • Pinch Cracked black pepper
  • 2 oz. Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Pour the olive oil on a large plate.
  1. Place the beef onto the plate. Try to avoid overlapping.
  2. Squeeze lemons over the plate with a small strainer to catch seeds.
  3. Sprinkle pepper over the dish, then a slightly bigger pinch of capers.
  4. Add the cheese to finish.

4. It’s Not Just Fry Bread

Loretta Barrett Oden devotes herself to educating people about the wondrous array of food prepared by Native Americans.

Achiote marinated quail

Preparation: 1 hour
Cook: 30 minutes
Makes four servings (two birds per person)


  • 3/4 cup Achiote paste
  • 8 ounces Birch beer or root beer
  • 1/4 cup Cider or seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Cumin seed, toasted and ground
  • 1 tsp. Coriander seed, toasted and ground
  • 1 tbsp. Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp. Kosher or sea salt
  • Sprinkle Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 1 tsp. Smoke oil or Wright’s liquid smoke
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 8 Whole quail (bobwhite preferred or European style, partially boned)
  1. Whisk all ingredients together, except the quail, for a marinade.
  2. Marinate quail for at least one hour.
  3. Grill over hot coals, in a grill pan or in an oven pre-heated to 450-500 degrees.
  4. Put birds breast side up on the grill or in a roasting pan just large enough to accommodate them.
  5. Baste with marinade after 10 minutes of cooking, then continue to cook until done (about 10 more minutes).
  6. Serve birds hot, warm or at room temperature.

Note: These are small, delicate birds and will dry out quickly. Properly cooked, the birds will have a bit of pink inside. If using a meat thermometer, 150 degrees in either the leg or breast is perfect.

3. In the Driver’s Seat

Jason Campbell at Mary Eddy’s in OKC revs his way toward national recognition.

Chickpea Hummus with Burned Honey, Roasted Squash Puree and Everything Spice

Chickpea hummus

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  1. Soak chickpeas in water overnight with 1 tsp. of the baking powder; make sure to double the amount of water to cover the chickpeas because they absorb water.
  2. Drain and rinse the peas the next day and place in a larger pot. Add the other teaspoon of baking powder.
  3. Cover with water (at least 4 inches above the peas), bring to a boil, skim any foam that comes to the top of the pot, reduce the heat to medium low, cover again and simmer for about 1 hour.
  4. Make sure the peas are completely tender, then cook for another 30 minutes; it’s OK if they get overcooked and mushy (it helps make the hummus creamy.
  5. Drain in colander.
  6. Put peas, tahini, salt and cumin in a food processor. Puree for 5 minutes or until super creamy; if needed, add a little water to help get it to proper texture.
  7. To serve, put hummus into a bowl, make a small indention in the hummus, add simple roasted squash puree, sprinkle with everything spice, and drizzle with burnt honey.
  8. Eat with grilled pita, naan or crunchy vegetables.

Burned honey

  • 1 cup orange blossom honey
  1. Pour honey in a high-sided sauce pot and put over medium heat, let come to a bubble and watch for the color to change to a light amber.
  2. Set aside until cool, then place in airtight container.

Everything spice

  • 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp. white or black sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp. dried minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. dried onions
  • 1 tbsp. flake salt
  1. Mix all together, spread on cookie sheet or small pan and toast for 5 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
  2. Once cool, add to an airtight container (it will keep at room temperature for a week).

2. Mocktails

For those who enjoy a cool sip and delectable flavors of unique or traditional cocktails, but don’t enjoy the alcohol content, there are a bevy of mocktails to savor.

AAA’s signature event, the Great Pretenders Mocktail Mix-Off, gives drink crafters a chance to showcase their skills with non-alcoholic, festive, original drink recipes.

Held recently at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino convention center in Catoosa, this event pits “bartenders” against one another to win cash prizes … and spark open conversations about the dangers of drinking and driving.

In Oklahoma, about 35 percent of motor vehicle crashes are alcohol-related, AAA says. That number jumps to 40 percent during holidays.

This year’s winning zero-proof beverages included the third-place winner, Ho Ho Hold the Booze Cider, from Boots and Diamonds Saloon in Tulsa; the second-place winner, The Tree Topper, was from the Tulsa Elks Lodge. The first-place winner, Panche Rusa, came from Iguana Mexican Grill in Oklahoma City.

Mocktail Winners’ Recipes

Colby Poulin and Shane Melton, representing Iguana Mexican Grill, Oklahoma City

Panche Rusa
  • 1/3-cup fresh chilled grapefruit juice, 1/3-cup fresh chilled orange juice, and 3/4-cup fresh chilled lime juice
  • 1 pineapple, several jicama and one or two cucumbers
  • Tajin Clasico Seasoning
  • Grapefruit soda
  • Chamoy sauce
  1. Prepare five or six hours before serving; skewer chopped or sliced fruits and place in freezer to use as ice cubes.
  2. Mix grapefruit juice, orange juice and lime juice in a large punch bowl.
  3. Pour Chamoy sauce on one plate and Tajin on another to put around the rim of a glass.
  4. Top off drink with a splash of grapefruit soda and garnish with sliced grapefruit or lime, or a tamarind straw.

Experiment with different fruits and juices for a fresh take.

Shirley Baker, representing the Tulsa Elks Lodge

Tree Topper
  • 2 cups mint chocolate chip ice cream
  • 1/4-cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4-cup ginger ale
  • 1 can of spray whipped cream or tub of frozen whipped cream topping
  • Crushed chocolate chip cookies
  • Crushed candy of choice, such as peppermint or chocolate chips
  • Mint extract
  1. Combine mint chocolate chip ice cream, heavy cream and ginger ale in a blender.
  2. Pulse until smooth.
  3. Pour into a martini glass rimmed with mint extract and dipped in crushed chocolate cookie crumbs.
  4. Add a small amount of whipped cream in center and sprinkle with crushed candy.

Rachelle Bailey, representing Boots and Diamonds Saloon, Tulsa

Ho Ho Hold the Booze Cider

  • 3 cups real cranberries
  • 4 Granny Smith apples (chopped)
  • 1 lemon
  • ½-ounce cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • caramel
  1. Combine the cranberries, the apples, cinnamon, sugar and water into a large pot.
  2. Bring ingredients to a boil.
  3. Rim cocktail glass with caramel.
  4. Squeeze lemon juice into glass and fill 1/3 of the glass with apple cider.
  5. Fill the rest of the glass with the boiled concoction.
  6. Garnish with an apple slice.

1. From A to VZD

Eric Smith’s Crown Room brings first-class, one-table dining within a beloved OKC venue known for its live music.

Israeli couscous with spicy coconut and pineapple reduction (serves 6)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2-cup white wine
  • Two 12-ounce cans coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons chopped pineapple
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 grinds of fresh pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 4 cups cooked Israeli couscous
  1. Sautee red onion and garlic in the olive oil
  2. Deglaze with the white wine
  3. Add the coconut milk, pineapple, salt, pepper, sriracha and lime zest
  4. Reduce by 1/3
  5. Serve with couscous and choice of protein
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