What to Cook During a Hurricane, According to Miami Chefs

Make vegan pho thanks to Pinch Kitchen chefs Rene Reyes and John Gallo.
Make vegan pho thanks to Pinch Kitchen chefs Rene Reyes and John Gallo.

As Hurricane Matthew approaches South Florida, many of us are huddled inside homes ready to brace for impact. As you pass time, you're bound to grow a hefty appetite, regardless of whether the power cuts out.

Though many of Miami's restaurants have shuttered for at least today, a few local chefs have revealed their favorite hurricane-time recipes. From vegan pho to chicken wings, Nutella/potato-chip sandwiches, and cottage pie, check what's in your pantry and get cooking. 

Pinch Kitchen chefs Rene Reyes and John Gallo advise to make the most of nonperishable foods by whipping up a vegan pho (recipe below). It's tasty and filling, plus preparing food is as a way to kill time during the storm.

Sarah Myers, known for her Sprouted Chef cooking classes at the Wynwood Yard, says large, veggie-heavy quinoa salads are her go-to. Use any vegetables, such as zucchini, tomatoes, and cucumbers, and add vinegar and a hint of oil to marinate a grain or lentil salad. No need to use canned food, because her salads keep nicely unrefrigerated, she says.

Though the worst of Matthew is yet to come, Ariete's chef Michael Beltran is already in the kitchen. "A friend and myself just cooked braised oxtail with shaved vegetable salad and monkey bread," he says. "Whatever you make, pair it with three bottles of red wine... just in case."

Nicole Votano Gonzalez will whip up carbonara on the side burner of her grill if the power goes out.
Nicole Votano Gonzalez will whip up carbonara on the side burner of her grill if the power goes out.
Courtesy of Dirt

If the electricity goes out, Dirt's Nicole Votano Gonzalez will cook a carbonara on the side burner of her grill. She also recommends dishes such as sausage with peppers and onions on the grill; German potato salad because olive oil and vinegar keep longer than mayonnaise; and tomato and avocado salad or avocado toast to use leftover fresh vegetables.

Menin Hospitality's corporate culinary director, chef Bernie Matz, will ride out the storm with a refrigerator stocked with arugula, drunken goat cheese, tomatoes, avocados, red onion, soft-shell crabs, large shrimp, lobster tails, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

James Seyba, executive chef at Miam Cafe in Wynwood, is equipped with two coolers full of beer, water, steaks, and sausages, along with four propane tanks and two bags of charcoal. "I'm ready in case of no power," he says.

Put together a restaurant-style plate inside your home thanks to 320 Gastrolounge's chef John Joseph. He recommends his "Sobe Rice Bowl." Inspired by traditional "arroz con pollo," it uses a local beer with a cilantro base stock (recipe below). 

Other go-to plates include chef Andrew Platt's hurricane-proof cottage pie, made with corned-beef hash, instant mash, canned veggies, grated Parmesan, and Cheez Whiz; oven-roasted Buffalo wings with blue cheese and hot sauce, thanks to Tap 42's Andrew Balick; and a Nutella/potato-chip sandwich, according to Sugar Factory's executive pastry chef David Rodriguez. Spread Nutella on two slices of bread, add crushed potato chips on one side, and place the two pieces together for a sweet-and-salty treat, he says.

Don't forget breakfast for tomorrow morning. Chef Barclay Graebner of Morgans suggests pre-making pancakes. "They are the perfect comfort food," she says. "And they hold in cold or room temperate for a bit. Pick your favorite toppings, like fresh fruit or maple syrup, and it becomes a sweet treat perfect for stress eating." 

Vegan Pho

  • 2 quarts fresh vegetable stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 6 sprigs parsley
  • 1 tablespoon whole black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 oz kombu
  • 3 small baby bok choy, cleaned and chopped
  • 8 oz of fresh and cleaned shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 package firm cubed tofu
  • 1 package of buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1 cup of cleaned kale
  • sriracha
  • tamari sauce
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt

Preparation for soup:
Add 2 quarts of water to a stock pot, toast the spices, and make a sachet. Add them to the water; combine the kombu, parsley, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring it to a boil for 5 minutes.

Preparation for pho:
1. When using soba noodles, boil as you would any pasta. Drain and set aside.
2. Strain dashi and discard kombu, parsley, bay leaves, and thyme. Return dashi to stock pot; add the vegetable stock and cubed tofu. Bring to simmer. Slice shiitakes and add to simmering soup. Allow ingredients to meld with dashi, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add chopped bok choy and kale; simmer until tender for about 10 minutes longer.
3. Take a large soup bowl and add noodles and a handful of kale. Ladle soup over top. Kale will wilt but retain its color and earthy flavor.
4. Garnish with sliced radishes and salt to taste. Add tamari sauce, sriracha, sesame oil, and red pepper. 

Sobe Rice Bowl
Ingredients and preparation:
Take a whole chicken, break it down, and season it with salt, pepper and cumin. Pan fry the chicken, and roast the chicken bones in the oven. Place the bones in a pot with celery, onions, and carrots to create a base chicken stock. Place two cilantro bunches in the blender with ice cubes. Once ready, create a "sofrito" of small cubes with red onions, carrots, and red peppers. Add the rice, cilantro water, and your favorite local beer. Once the rice is almost done, add the pan seared chicken, and get ready to eat.

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