Perfect pairings: Summer’s favorite fruit adds lightness and brightness to pork, punch

Kara Pound | Contributed


With husband and wife, Jeff and Genie McNally, at the helm, The Floridian on Spanish Street offers up locally sourced Southern cuisine in an eclectic locale reminiscent of Old Florida.

Jeff serves as general manager and co-owner and Genie as executive chef and co-owner.

Together, the couple has created one of the most popular eateries in downtown, inviting to both tourists and locals.

Established in 2010, The Floridian moved to its new 150-seat location in 2015 and offers reservations in its main dining room, first-come, first-served seating in the outside courtyard and a private events space upstairs.

Jeff, who conceptualizes the restaurant’s seasonal cocktail menu says, “When you’re entertaining, you don’t want to sit behind the bar and make a thousand cocktails. That’s why a punch or pitcher cocktail is the way to go for a backyard cookout. For this, I made a riff on the classic Philadelphia Fish House Punch with peaches and basil.”

The drink is refreshing, full of fresh summer fruit and timeless herbs, and pairs perfectly with Genie’s Grilled Peaches and Pork Tenderloin dish.

A special entrée that will be featured on The Floridian’s summer menu, Genie says of the tenderloin, “It’s a summery dish reflecting simplicity. It’s lighter, brighter and healthier and will easily feed a crowd without much effort.”

Grilled Peaches and Pork Tenderloin


2 – 10 to 12 ounce marinated pork tenderloins, liberally sprinkled with salt and pepper on both sides

6 peaches, cut in half with pits removed

2 ears corn

2 lemons, halved

Olive oil

DIRECTIONS: Lightly brush peaches with olive oil and place on medium-low heat spot on grill; grill until lightly browned and starting to caramelize; remove to spot of lowest heat on the grill. Do the same with the lemons and corn, but move them off the grill completely once charred. Pork tenderloin can be cooked over medium-high heat, browned on all sides, and then moved to medium heat until cooked through to temperature desired (high quality pork can stay fairly pink in the center, cooked around medium). Remove from heat and let rest 10 to 15 minutes, then slice on a diagonal to serve.


2 ears corn, cooked on the grill over medium-high heat until outside begins to char and kernels are tender

4 peaches, pits removed, diced with skin-on

¼ red onion, fine diced

1 poblano pepper, seeds removed and fine diced

1 teaspoon grated ginger

3-4 tablespoons of fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon olive oil to lightly coat

1 teaspoon salt, more as desired to taste

DIRECTIONS: Using a serrated knife or a mandoline, remove corn kernels from the cob once grilled and cooled enough to handle. Toss all ingredients in a non-reactive (stainless steel, ceramic or plastic) bowl and season with salt and sugar to taste. Refrigerate covered for at least 2 hours. Will keep up to 5 days.


2 cups packed basil leaves, blanched in boiling water for 30 seconds and then removed to an ice bath

4 tablespoons toasted pecan pieces

4 tablespoons finely shredded parmesan or other hard cheese

Juice from half of one grilled lemon, seeds removed

1 cup olive oil, divided

Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS: After blanching and shocking basil, drain completely and squeeze to remove all excess water in basil leaves. Place basil in the bowl of a food processor, along with toasted pecan pieces and cheese of choice; pulse several times in processor until leaves are rough chopped and pecans and cheeses are starting to incorporate; add lemon juice, salt and pepper, and half of the olive oil. Begin processing all ingredients, and slowly add in extra olive oil until you reach desired consistency. Taste for salt and pepper and fold in additional as desired.


8 ounces ricotta; can be gently warmed in a covered bowl in the microwave, or served chilled if preferred

2 cups arugula

½ to 1 cup cooked quinoa (optional)

Olive oil, salt and pepper

Grilled lemon wedges

DIRECTIONS: Toss a handful of arugula per person in a large bowl, and fold in quinoa (if desired) along with a half cup of Charred Corn and Peach Salsa per person. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and juice from lemon wedges (should have 1 ½ lemons remaining) as desired, and season with salt and pepper.

Place the ricotta on the bottom of a serving platter, top with Arugula-Charred Corn-Peach “Salad” and sliced pork tenderloin. Drizzle pork with Basil-Pecan Pesto, and scatter grilled peaches around the platter, finishing them with additional pesto as well.

Orchard Punch

3 to 4 ripe peaches, rough chop

½ cup basil leaves, rough chop

3 ounces simple syrup

4.5 ounces fresh lemon juice

3 ounces fresh brewed black tea

3 ounces orange liqueur

1.5 ounces peach liqueur

9 ounces St. Augustine Distillery Pot Distilled Rum

DIRECTIONS: In a food processor or blender, puree the peaches, basil and lemon juice together until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down with a spoon or spatula to extract all the liquid you can. Add the lemon-peach-basil nectar to a pitcher. Add the tea, orange liqueur, simple syrup, peach liqueur and rum. Stir vigorously. Chill in refrigerator until it’s time to serve. Add large ice cubes for slower dilution. Garnish with lemon wheels, basil leaves, edible flowers or nutmeg. Finish with a few dashes of Angostura Bitters.