Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club Executive Chef Rick Alabaugh shares some inspired recipes and his culinary expertise.
I love to cook, but I also love to eat out and enjoy experiencing both new dishes and old favorites. I will try to work out the various ingredients and techniques used to create a certain dish before I even leave the restaurant and imagine how I would put my own spin on it.
For this issue, I invited a truly masterful chef to join me at my home and share the secrets behind some of my favorite dishes from Raspberry’s at Golden Ocala. The restaurant is only for members and their guests, but by sharing these recipes I hope you’ll be able to enjoy the experience at home.
I met Chef Rick many years ago when he first started at Golden Ocala. He instantly made a splash on Ocala’s culinary scene in 2002 with his passion for great food and innovative, fresh, flavorful and visually appealing dishes. He also loves sharing what he knows with others.
“These recipes are very easy,” he offers. “Don’t be afraid of making a mistake. It is just food—nine times out of 10 times you can fix it, but if you don’t try you will never know.”
Raspberry’s always feels like a big city restaurant to me. I can honestly say that I usually will order a special of the day or one of his amazing seafood dishes. He does a Seafood Flatbread—yes, flatbread—that he could go up against Bobby Flay with!
Among my other favorites is his wonderful Prosciutto di Parma & Sea Scallops entree, for which Chef Rick introduced me to a different technique for sauteing scallops. It’s all about temperature and time, and he warns not to overcook them or they will get tough and rubbery. He also shares that Northwest Seafood in Gainesville is his pick for the best local seafood.
While his version is served with mashed potatoes and creamed corn, if I were to put my own spin on it, I’d add a bit of heat with red pepper flakes and serve it over angel hair pasta.
Another of my favorites is his delicious Boston Bibb & Belgian Endive Salad with fried goat cheese, watermelon radish, praline pecan, Fuji apple, raspberry vinaigrette and balsamic glaze.
“What makes this salad special are the many elements—the earthiness and nuttiness of the lettuce, a sweet yet tangy kick from the raspberry vinaigrette and balsamic glaze, as well as the crunchy and also creamy textures of the fried goat cheese,” Chef Rick explains.
He suggests a Stags’ Leap Chardonnay as the perfect complement to this meal.
So, be my guest and let’s get cooking!
Boston Bibb & Belgian Endive Salad with Fried Goat Cheese and Raspberry Vinaigrette
2 small heads Boston lettuce leaves, washed and dried
2 heads white Belgian endive, washed and dried
1 Fuji apple, thinly sliced
1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced
1/2 cup praline pecans
2 ounces Roland Balsamic Glaze
Fried Goat Cheese
1 9-ounce goat cheese log, softened
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup flour
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt; to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper; to taste
In a medium-sized bowl, mix goat cheese, herbs and honey. › Place goat cheese in the center of a piece of wax or parchment paper and roll into a log. › Freeze goat cheese log for 20-30 minutes or refrigerate for at least 2 hours. › Once goat cheese has hardened, cut cheese with sharp knife into 8 medallions. › In 3 separate shallow bowls, add the flour, salt and pepper into the first bowl, whisk the egg and milk in the second bowl and whisk together the panko breadcrumbs and garlic powder in the third bowl. › Dip each goat cheese medallion into the flour mixture, dredge in the egg wash and then coat completely in the breadcrumbs. › Repeat with remaining goat cheese slices. › In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1-2 tablespoons of oil. › Let oil heat up completely and then add 4 goat cheese slices. › Cook for 1-2 minutes per side, or until the coating becomes lightly golden. › Remove from skillet and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. › Repeat with remaining oil and goat cheese slices.
1 1/2 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 minute.
In a large bowl, arrange all the ingredients for the salad and top with fried goat cheese. › Drizzle with raspberry vinaigrette and balsamic glaze.
Sweet Florida Corn & Cauliflower Cream
3 ears fresh white corn, cut from the cob
2 cups chicken broth
1 head cauliflower, cut into small pieces
2 garlic cloves
2 ounces olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large sauce pot, heat olive oil on medium to high heat. › Sauté the shallot and garlic for 2 minutes. › Add the corn, cauliflower, butter and chicken broth. › Bring to a simmer. › Reduce heat to medium-low. › Cook until corn and cauliflower are tender (about 5 minutes). › Pour the corn and cauliflower mixture into a blender (no more than half full). › Cover and hold lid down. › Pulse a few times, then blend for 30 seconds. › Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Yukon Gold Garlic Mashed Potatoes
3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
4 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and cut into half width
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the potatoes and garlic in a large sauce pot. › Fill with water to 3 inches above the potatoes. › Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. › Once boiling, reduce the heat slightly. › Boil for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. › Drain in a colander. › Place the potatoes in a large bowl. › Add cream cheese, butter and heavy cream. › Mash with a handheld mixer until desired consistency is achieved. › Add salt and pepper to taste.
Prosciutto di Parma & Sea Scallops
12 large sea scallops
4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
2 heads of broccolini
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons white wine
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 ounce basil oil
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Toss scallops, canola oil, Old Bay and smoked paprika in a bowl until scallops are completely coated. › Heat a large, heavy skillet over high heat until very hot (about 5 minutes). › Cook scallops in hot skillet until browned on one side (about 3 minutes). › Turn and cook on the other side until cooked through (about 3 minutes). › Add broccolini to skillet. › Remove skillet from heat. › Add the white wine, butter and lemon juice. › Set aside.
Divide the corn and cauliflower puree onto four large plates. Arrange the scallops around the plate. › Scoop the garlic mashed potatoes into the middle of the plate. › Top mashed potatoes with broccolini. › Top each scallop with a piece of prosciutto. › Drizzle with basil oil.