Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bluegrass, a finely tuned scent

Hi guys -

Hey, hey, hey - it's been a while.  I trust all is well.

Truth be told, it's been a crazy year.  I might have been lacking in my posts this year, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working my ass off in the kitchen.  As relayed last fall, I signed on board to write a new book - A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen - Adventures in Cooking, Living, and Eating in the New South.  Well, that venture proved to be a worthy one to say the very least!

After traveling the South for over a year - eating, drinking, and writing, I turned in the manuscript back in the spring.  From there, I took a bit of a break, traveled to France, and developed what you see at the top of the page.  Yes, that's right.  My buddies and I at EastWest Bottlers have finally released the follow up to MOONSHINE, a gentleman's cologne in the form of Bluegrass, a finely tuned scent.  We're incredibly proud of the result (I can't stop wearing the fragrance).  Moreover - the package pays homage to weathered fences and old blue Mason 13 jars. 

If you are looking for a great gift this holiday season - consider picking up a bottle or two.

Ok, back to edits, reviews, and taking a final pass or two on the new book.  Guys, I can't even begin to tell you how well this book is coming together!  So excited to start this next journey.

Stay tuned - lots more ahead down the road and then some.

MM

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Low + Slow - St Louis Cut Smoked Ribs


Not gonna lie - I've been smoking everything lately.

Give me a cool, crisp fall weekend - a cooler full of beer - and pound after pound of delicious pork, and you'll find me in my backyard maintaining my smoker.

Truth be told, I've always been a big fan of the Big Green Egg smoker - but the trouble is that they are so darn expensive.  For young gents just starting out, throwing down $1800 bucks on an "accessory" grill just doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Fortunately, I've found your solution - it can be purchased through our friends at Home Depot here.  Yes, that price is right - $329 for the whole kit and kaboodle.  Better yet, you can have it assembled and ready for your first rack of ribs in under an hour.

Why so cheap?  Brand/Name for firsts - this grill is made by Chargriller which doesn't have the notoriety of the BGE.  Second - it's not ceramic.  In fact, it's a porcelain grill, which is a much cheaper insulator.  The positive is that the porcelain is much lighter, and it has less of a tendancy to simply just "crack" - which is an issue with some ceramic grills.  That said - the porcelain does not retain the heat as well as the egg - that's the drawback here.  I'd say that it's about 80% as good . . . but remember, it's 1/5 of the cost.  You might spend a bit more time "maintaining" the smoker - but that's what cold beers are for.

If y'all want more info on this purchase - contact me in the comments - I can spell out all the techniques you'll need to make this a hit at your home.

Meanwhile, let's get back to ribs.  I've been literally smoking ribs every weekend this football season.  St Louis Cut is my preferred style - it's sorta like the T-bone of ribs - it features a lot of the tenderness of a Baby Back cut, with more flavor and meat.

I'm somewhat of a purist when it comes to making ribs . . . a bit of a heavily salted dry rub, and no, absolutely not, any sauce.  Shame on you for wanting to sauce ribs that have been perfectly smoked.

I'm detailing this recipe quite a bit more in my upcoming book - A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen.  But for now, here are the basics.

1 3 - 4 lb rack St. Louis Style Ribs - membrane removed
2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1.  Coat entire rib rack in mustard.  Mix remaining ingredients in a separate bowl until combined.  Rub mixture all over the ribs, especially the meat portions (not the bone) until the mixture is thoroughly incorporated.

2.  Prepare smoker with soaked wood (apple, peach, hickory) for indirect grilling at 225 degrees F.  Smoke ribs for 3 1/2 - 4 hours (meat should retract from rib exterior roughly 1 inch, per the picture above).
3.  Remove ribs, tent with foil for 15 minutes.  Slice and serve.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Cooking with Booze

One of my favorite topics, check out my monthly piece over at The Art of Manliness for the full story.

Other updates?  Yes, I suppose I have been slacking as of late to keep folks updated as to my wherabouts.  Rest assured, I've got plenty of good reason.

I've been writing, traveling, and cooking non-stop over the past 8 months to put together my next book - A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen.

It's early, but I gotta admit I'm super stoked on how everything is coming together.  Recipes are testing out great - photography is to die for - and I've got some interesting folks and stories to share with all of you. 

Of course, the book is not out until May of next year (2015), so now that the majority of my writing is finished - check back in with me here for some more weekly updates on what is going on.

Again, I apologize for the delays - you can only do so much at a time - but I promise it'll all be worth it.

Cheers!

MM - new website - www.MattRMoore.com

Monday, July 14, 2014

Wine + Swine





If you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend, I’m co-chairing the 6th annual Wine & Swine event this Friday, July 18th from 7:30 to 11:00 at The Bridge Building downtown.  If you’ve never been, it’s a tasting with food, wine, beer and various liquors.  This year, we have 17 food vendors and a great selection of wines and craft beers and spirits.  There’s also a band, a silent auction and a VIP hour before for a small premium.  All the proceeds go to benefit The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and research to support a cure for CF.  You can purchase tickets at the link below.  


Hope to see you there!

Best,

MM

Friday, May 30, 2014

Giada + Cast Iron?



Ah, so yes, that just happened.  My chef crush Giada just called me out on her blog last week regarding my stories and recipes in the new Lodge Cast Iron book Cast Iron Nation.

Damn, very cool.  Thanks Giada!

Go buy the book, and read her blog!

Sorry to be short, but I'm off to Paris and the South of France - Life is good!

Oh, and don't forget to read this Business Week piece I was in regarding more . . . you guessed it . . . Cast Iron Cooking!

MM


Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day + Southern Living


For those that know me, I'm more of a great bullshitter than anything else.  Sure, I'm known to boast about things from time to time, yet I realize the importance of persistent humility.

But today I want to be honest... shit - I'm totally stoked!

There's been a few times in my life when I've felt like I've been living in Jerry Seinfeld's 'bizzaro world'.  For those poor, poor souls who haven't watched enough Seinfeld to get my reference, shame on you.  For the rest of you (good, fine folks) - you know what I mean.  Amongst the same's and similarities, sometimes something comes along that completely knocks you off your rocker.

In this business - it's happened a few times... publishing a book, appearing on TV, getting mentions and positive reviews from major publications, being named as one of the best cookbooks by The New York Times, flirting with Kathy Lee and Hoda, and finally signing on to write the next book of my life - A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen.  I've been blessed.

Still . . . opening up this month's Southern Living magazine (the gold standard of Southern food, culture, and hospitality) to read a feature by your boy on cooking momma a delectable Mother's Day brunch... that just took the cake.  Damn, that's just really cool.

I want to send out a huge thanks to momma for the inspiration - alongside her lifelong support and teachings in the kitchen.  Also to the SL team of Lindsay Bierman, Hunter Lewis, Whitney Wright, and the test kitchen and photography crew who helped make this a reality.  Let's do some more!  Lastly, a big thanks to my agent Stacey Glick.

So . . . to get the recipes and so much more - go buy a copy of the magazine.  Treat momma to an afternoon experience she'll never forget!

And better yet?  Since we ran out of room for the whole story - read my introduction to the article below.  Hungry?  Go buy the magazine and get cooking y'all!

Matt Moore – Mother’s Day Brunch

I’ll be honest – buying and giving gifts has never been my family’s forte. For years, we gifted one another for the sake of gifting, like money trading hands in a merry-go-round of wants and needs that seemed neither creative nor thoughtful. Sure, there were moments of triumph, like the time Momma and Daddy surprised my sister Ashley and me with the original Nintendo that Christmas morning in ’86. But there were also those gifts that fell a bit, well . . . flat. I can still see the look on Daddy’s face when Momma bought him a hose rack one holiday – ensuring that green snake of plastic could no longer be casually left strewn outside our back door.

Many years later, we decided to do the unthinkable – we stopped making lists and giving each other gifts for the sake of giving. I know what you are probably thinking. What’s wrong with our family, right?

To be fair, we still share our love through gifts. Instead of forced occasions, we’ll pick up items for each other throughout the year, allowing life’s moments or travels to inspire our thoughtfulness and generosity. However, on the whole, we made a conscious decision to spend our time, effort, and money on the best of all gifts – creating special occasions to enjoy and experience our wonderful family being together.

It started when Momma and Daddy generously replaced the gifts under the tree with a family trip. We’d rather put our money into plane tickets than sweaters. We’ve since enjoyed beach vacations from Florida to Mexico, celebrating life and love for one-another through travels, great food, and many late nights fueled with Paloma’s and Coronas.

In our family, spending more time together also means preparing and sharing some fantastic food. Momma has always been our culinary master – teaching us the techniques and recipes passed down from generation to generation. Her meals have served as the culinary backdrop to some of my fondest family memories. But planning, shopping, and preparing a memorable meal is no easy task. So, after all those years and so many meals, I’ve decided that it’s time I step into the kitchen. Sometimes Momma just needs a break.

That’s where you come in to play. This Mother’s Day, I’m outlining the perfect game plan to pull off an experience she’ll never forget. Instead of taking mom out to a crowded restaurant with a hundred other patrons, I’m outlining some of my favorite, fool-proof recipes that are sure to impress – all in the comfort of your own home. Trust me, even if your mom doesn’t spend much time in the kitchen, she’ll still appreciate your earnest efforts behind the stove. A home cooked meal is one of life’s simplest, yet memorable pleasures.


So, surprise Momma with a brief departure from her everyday routine by demonstrating your love through thoughtful action and a great meal. Think of it this way: Mom has spent her entire life providing for you. Today, she deserves to be pampered. I can think of no better way to pamper her than by providing her with the permission to sit back, relax, and spend some time savoring her greatest creation – you.

Cheers!

MM

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lodge Cast Iron Nation

So excited to announce the release of Lodge Cast Iron's new book - Cast Iron Nation!  Buy it here!

For those who regularly read my blog or use my recipes, you'll know that I'm a HUGE fan of cast-iron cooking and Lodge products.  Over the years, Mark Kelley and the rest of the team have been awesome supporting all my efforts.  In fact, they were kind enough to have me featured in the book - check out my story "Seasoned with Love" along with my recipe for pan-seared scallops!

Better yet?  This book was published by Oxmoor House - the same talented team that's working on putting together my new book, A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen.

So do yourself a favor and go get a copy of this book right now! 

Best,

Matt

Monday, January 27, 2014

Relish

Admittedly, my blogging has been less than regular as of late.  That's not to say I haven't been busting my ass!  I'm 3/4 done with the recipes for the new book (they are ah-maz-ing), and I've also been working on some cool features for other magazines, including the upcoming feature for RELISH (another one to follow in the spring), and my first piece for Southern Living Magazine.

RELISH is an outstanding magazine edited by my friend Jill Melton here in Nashville, TN.  Most likely, you already receive RELISH without even knowing it!  It can be found as an insert into your Sunday paper, so be sure to check it out!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Keep That Carcass: How to Turn Your Holiday Leftovers Into Delicious Stocks and Soups

Originally posted on The Art of Manliness, 12/21/13

I hate letting things go to waste – especially when it comes to time, money, and food. Hopefully, most of you share that same belief. After all, being wasteful is not a quality most gentlemen strive to achieve.

Fortunately my wife appreciates my frugalness with money and time. And the food part? Well, let’s just say that she feels I take things to the extreme. You see, in my kitchen, my freezer is filled with bones, scraps, stems, sticks, rinds, and other mysteries known only to yours truly.
Over the past few years, we’ve spent a lot of time here on AoM teaching you the fundamentals when it comes to cooking. From knife skills, to cast-iron cooking, to perfectly roasting a chicken – these are all skills a man needs to have in his culinary tackle box. So as I was casually perusing the grocery aisles the other day, I uncovered a culinary crime that I had to share with all you loyal readers.

Since it’s the holidays, folks were stocking up on all the essentials: turkeys, rib roasts, stuffing, vegetables, pie crusts, and especially cooking stock. After all, a bit of stock or broth is called for in almost every holiday recipe. Four cups of store-bought stock costs over $5 bucks in most places. Gentlemen, it shouldn’t be so.

Perhaps I’m partly to blame, as I’ve never detailed how easy it is to create your own stocks at home. And there’s no better time to learn than now. Christmas’ turkey carcass or leftover standing rib roast can turn into a luscious turkey or beef stock. The pork shoulder cooked on New Year’s Day can create a delicious stock for other soups and stews (and even chili!). Of course, all of that cold weather and hectic holiday travel calls for a comforting bowl of homemade chicken soup. Better yet, you don’t have to use it all right now – as these stocks keep well frozen for months in your freezer. Just pop ‘em out and thaw when needed. In this post, I’ll lay out how to make stock from four types of meat, and then give you a recipe with which to use that stock. Win-win!

So this year, I encourage you to keep ‘stock-ing’ through the holidays. Spend a bit of time to save what you typically discard and enjoy good eats and cost savings in the New Year!


Basic Chicken Stock

I like to pick up whole chickens when on sale at the market, often purchasing them for less than $1 per pound. Though most folks use the bones or carcasses when creating their stocks, I often just slowly braise the whole bird. I remove the cooked chicken for use in soups or stews, or turn it into a quick chicken salad for use throughout the week. Either way, this is a simple, foolproof way to perform double duty – cook a chicken while creating stock.
  • 1 4 lb. whole chicken
  • 3 carrots, cut in half
  • 3 ribs celery, cut in half
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 8 cups water
Add all ingredients into a stockpot and bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 2 hours, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Strain ingredients, discarding the vegetables and setting chicken aside. Allow the stock to completely cool and chill overnight in the fridge. Skim the fat off the surface, discard, and use stock immediately or freeze for later use.

Matt’s Avgolemono Soup

Lately I’ve been stealing a page out of your Greek grandmother’s cookbook with this lemony chicken and orzo soup. Though this dish is typically prepared without meat, you can throw in the reserved chicken if you want a heartier version. The key to making this dish silky smooth and perfect is tempering the egg appropriately. You want to slowly add the hot stock to the egg mixture, whisking constantly to create a smooth texture. Do it too fast, and your eggs will scramble – which won’t affect the flavor or ruin the dish – but your grandmother would be disappointed.
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups orzo pasta
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 pinch fresh nutmeg
Bring stock to a slow boil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Add orzo pasta and cook for 5 minutes, remove from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, lemon juice, and nutmeg. While constantly stirring, slowly stream in about 3 cups of broth into the egg mixture – tempering the eggs slowly to bring them up to the same temperature as the stock. Add mixture into the Dutch oven and serve soup immediately.

Turkey Stock

Over Thanksgiving, my dad proudly smoked the family turkey on his beloved Big Green Egg. Needless to say, that bird was delicious, and I didn’t want that flavor to end. So, I threw the carcass into a pot and created a rich turkey stock. The next day, I made a big ole pot of turkey and sausage gumbo (below) – feeding the family again on the cheap. Simple, easy, and delicious.
  • 1 leftover turkey carcass, broken into smaller pieces
  • 3 carrots, cut in half
  • 3 ribs celery, cut in half
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 10 cups water
Add all ingredients into a stockpot and bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 2 hours, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Strain ingredients, discarding the vegetables and carcass. Allow the stock to completely cool and chill overnight in the fridge. Skim the fat off the surface, discard, and use stock immediately or freeze for later use.

Turkey and Sausage Gumbo

Turkey leftovers get jazzed up in this hearty, Creole favorite. They key to making a great gumbo is all about the roux. Spend the time to slowly cook the roux as dark as you can stand it – without burning. That extra effort will yield rich, caramelized flavors that are sure to please the entire family – even if you are trying to kick out the in-laws!
  • 4 cups Andouille sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cups fresh okra, washed with ends trimmed
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 2 bell peppers, finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 10 cups turkey stock, warmed
  • 4 cups leftover turkey meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cups hot cooked rice
Preheat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add sausage and brown for 5-6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage to a plate; add okra and cook for another 6 minutes, or until slightly charred. Remove okra and combine oil and flour in the pot, reducing heat to low. Whisk oil and flour until combined, whisking constantly, until dark brown and caramel in color, 40-50 minutes. Add onions and peppers and sauté until tender, 10 minutes. Next add garlic, and sauté until just fragrant. Deglaze by adding tomatoes, followed by one cup of stock at a time, stirring to ensure everything is evenly incorporated. Bring mixture to a slow boil, adding sausage and okra back into the pot and simmering until tender, about 15 minutes. When okra is tender, add reserved turkey meat and heat through. Serve with hot cooked rice.


Rib Roast (Beef) Stock

Standing rib roast is a Christmas Day special, one which we’ve perfectly outlined before. The problem is that most folks tend to throw away that roasted rib bone – what a waste! This year, turn that leftover bone into a delicious stock for my hearty, beef + vegetable soup.
  • 2 lb. leftover roasted rib bone
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 carrots, cut in half
  • 3 ribs celery, cut in half
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 8 cups water
Add rib bone into a preheated stockpot over medium heat. Sear the bone on all sides for a few minutes. Add wine, scraping up any of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Next, add remaining ingredients into pot and bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 3 hours, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Strain ingredients, discarding the vegetables and rib bone. Allow the stock to completely cool and chill overnight in the fridge. Skim the fat on the surface, discard, and use stock immediately or freeze for later use.

Beef + Vegetable Soup

This dish screams comfort cooking, not to mention the fact that it can cure any holiday hangover. I like to toss whatever fresh vegetables I have on hand into this dish – making it super filling and quite healthy too. Go easy on the carbs by omitting the potatoes.
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs. beef stew meat
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 cups frozen lima beans, thawed
  • 2 Russet potatoes, diced
Preheat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add oil. Brown the meat, working in batches if necessary, for a few minutes on all sides. Next, add onions, carrots, and celery and sauté until tender, 10 minutes. Add garlic, followed by the tomatoes to deglaze the pot, scraping up any of the browned bits in the pan using a wooden spoon. Add stock, followed by the remaining vegetables and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Pork Stock

It’s been rumored that pork is served on New Year’s Day to provide good fortune and abundance throughout the year. Truth be told, I eat pork as much as possible, often in smoked BBQ or bacon form! That being said, when its cold outside, I don’t always feel like breaking out the smoker, so I like to brown and slowly braise my pork shoulder in a Dutch oven. The meat turns out moist, perfectly stringy, and delicious when served piled atop cooked greens, rice, and black-eyed peas (a la New Year’s Day), or in my pork green chili (below). You can also use this broth as a base for making homemade pho – which seems to be all the rage these days.
  • 1 6 lb. pork shoulder
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 carrots, cut in half
  • 3 ribs celery, cut in half
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 10 cups water
Add pork shoulder into a pre-heated stockpot over medium heat. Sear the shoulder on all sides, except the fat cap, for 5-6 minutes. Add wine, scraping up any of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Next, add remaining ingredients into a stockpot and bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 4 hours, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Strain ingredients, discarding the vegetables and bone while reserving the pork meat for later use. Allow the stock to completely cool and chill overnight in the fridge. Skim the fat on the surface, discard, and use stock immediately or freeze for later use.


Pork Green Chili

I often get tired of tomato, beef, and bean-based chili, so I take a nod from one of Colorado’s most prideful, and fiercely debated dishes in the following recipe. Green or red chili, whatever side you stand on, I really don’t care; they are both delicious. This version is a bit sour and salty with the flavors of fresh lime and spice – a good bit of heat is also playing behind the scenes as well. Trust me, it’s a great dish and a nice change of pace when entertaining guests throughout the end of this year’s football season.
  • 1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed and cut in half
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, cut in half
  • 6 poblano peppers, cut in half with seeds removed
  • 8 cups pork stock
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 lbs. reserved braised pork, pulled into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, diced
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange the tomatillos, onions, jalapenos, and poblano peppers onto a baking sheet, ensuring poblanos are skin side up, and roast uncovered until browned and charred, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, add stock, lime juice, and seasonings into a Dutch oven and warm over medium heat. Remove roasted vegetables from the oven and throw everything into the pot, except for the poblanos. Allow the poblanos to cool, remove the outer skin, and finely chop. Meanwhile, use an immersion blender to puree the roasted vegetables into the stock until rich and smooth. Add the chopped poblanos and pork meat into the pot and bring to a slow boil. Make a slurry with the flour and 1/4 cup water, pour into the pot (bring back to boil if needed), and reduce heat to low. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired, just prior to serving.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Why I Cook



Why I cook?  To be honest, that's not such an easy question.  Oftentimes, I cook because I have to – after all, that chicken ain't gonna cook itself!   In some instances, I cook to save money – I'm not afraid to put forth a bit of effort to turnout a meal that's better than anything I'd pay for at a restaurant.  And strangely enough, I cook because I need to relax from a busy day.  I get it – some of you might not find the act of cooking to be a form of relief.  Yet, I can promise you that cooking simple, honest meals is one of life's greatest forms relaxation.  That being said, there's still more to the question of why I cook . . .

Truthfully, cooking allows me to share my joy and passion for life with others.  I find that a home-cooked meal is the great equalizer in today's complicated world.  Many of us have busy schedules, opposing political views, or disparate lifestyles, yet the simple act of breaking bread with others around the table is a powerful experience which can unite nearly every inequality. 

Through cooking, I offer up a seat to everyone at my family table.  It's my way of inviting you to taste and share the food which has been lovingly prepared and passed down from generation-to-generation in my family.  Perhaps it's also my way of showcasing my sense of Southern hospitality to others.  I believe that sharing a meal with friends and strangers, though quite simple, is yet the most effective way to demonstrate such hospitality on a daily basis. 

So, savor each bite.  I cook not to impress you with my culinary prowess.  Rather, to share in the very best of life's moments through cooking, sharing, and eating great food. 

Cheers.

MM

For more great stories, check out the links below!


For Health
To Start the Day Off Right
To Share
To Remember Family
To Indulge


Monday, October 21, 2013

NEW BOOK!

That's right!  There's big news coming out of my camp - a new book is in the works!  It's been a few years since I released HHOFD, which has meant an incredible journey involving tons of hard work and payoff.  I can't even begin to believe that this path has been forged on just one simple idea - teaching men (and women) how to make reasonable, tasty food - without a pretentious attitude.

My next book, A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen, will be published by TIME/Oxmoor house in partnership with Southern Living Magazine.  Wait a second . . . read that sentence again.  Yes, yes, and yes.  I COULD NOT be more thrilled to be partnering with THE GOLD STANDARD brand when it comes to all things Southern.  It's a dream to work with such talented folks who care about the authenticity of our uniquely Southern lifestyle.

So that's that - my agent and I have been hard at work for almost 2 years to find the right home for this book.  And now I have 7 months to get it done.  So please, be patient with me as my posts might be a little less frequent.  The book is expected for publication in the Spring of 2015.  Feels like a long way out, but there's much to do in this process.

The new book will feature 150 NEW recipes by yours truly - I promise it's going to kick ass.

So pour a tall glass of cold beer with me on this Monday night as we toast to continuing the journey with more great stories, recipes, and meals.

Couldn't have done it without everyone's support - truly humbled and thankful.

Cheers!

MM




Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Boating the San Juan Islands

Last month, I got to switch coasts from my last trip in PEI, Canada to the far west coast - braving the rich waters of The San Juan Islands in Washington state.  It was an incredible trip - made better by meeting new friends, plenty of characters, and of course cooking and eating great food.  If you've never been - I highly suggest going.  But to do it right, you need to get on a boat.  Perusing each island on your own schedule, charting your own course - and destiny - is the way this beautiful paradise is meant to be discovered.

The San Juan Islands are an archipelago chain just off the mainland, about a 90 minute drive from Seattle, accessible by ferry, plane, and personal/chartered water crafts.

Each and every island posses its own character - from wild life sanctuaries to islander townies to quaint villages boasting an array of lively restaurants and bars.

You can check out Discover Boating's page for a full guide to The San Juan Islands on your next visit.  Better yet?  They've got you covered on some of the most unique travel/boating destinations in the country!

Getting down to food - you can check out my recipes, some of which are pictured below, in a recent feature from my trip over at The Art of Manliness.  There's a wealth of info in the article, including where to stay, where to go, how to get there - by boat - and also the proper way to filet a big ole king salmon.  Tip - you've got to catch one to filet it!

Anyways, here are some of the pictures and highlights from the trip.  Unbelievable to think I took all these pictures, and I'm in NONE of them!  The joys of being behind the camera I suppose.

Oh well . . . there's always next time.

Cheers!

MM

An Orca and pup in the distance

America - Sunset view from the boat.

My Pal Kirk landing a Pinkie

Choose your own adventure - Ferry vs. Seaplane.  

Dockside Dining

Seattle Sailing Series

Simply Seared Sockeye Salmon

Public Market - Seattle

Dungeness Crab Pasta Salad
Oysters on the Half Shell

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Does this make you hungry?


For me it sure does!  Only a few more days till you get this recipe and more from my post about my trip to the San Juan Islands.  Check out The Art of Manliness on Sept 19th to get all the details!

MM

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Slow Roasted Pork-Shoulder

I was fortunate to spend the recent holiday weekend at my lakehouse in GA with family.  To my surprise, Dad has become quite the grilling enthusiast with the recent purchase of his Big Green Egg smoker.  Seriously, who knew!  I think momma is enjoying her 'break' from the kitchen.

For those who've never used a Big Green Egg, or any smoker for that matter - it's definitely worth your while.  But - they can be quite expensive. 

You know me.  I don't require fancy equipment or expensive ingredients to be a part of my culinary routine.  I believe everyone should be able to cook good food at a reasonable expense.

So here's my recipe makeover.  Don't have a smoker?  Use your grill.  No grill?  Dig a hole in the ground, or use a Clay pot (not kidding).  Too lazy?  Use your oven.

I really don't care about your source of heat, rather I am concerned with maintaining a constant 225 degrees for 5 - 6 hours.  This can be accomplished using minimal amounts of charcoal or gas via indirect cooking - in any device really - or inside an oven, or even in a dutch oven over the stove-top.

See, now that we've got that settled, let's move on to the specifics.

Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder - this recipe is for the purist.  If you want to make a dry rub, or herb rub, simply improvise. 


1 4 lb Pork Shoulder (Boston Butt)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

Prepare your heat source (grill, oven, dutch oven, etc) to cook and maintain a covered temperature of 225 degrees F.  Prep the pork shoulder by drizzling with olive oil and seasoning very liberally with salt and pepper.  Cook pork shoulder, using covered indirect heat for approximately 5 hours at 225 degrees F - a thermometer stuck into the thickest part (next to bone) should read 165 degrees F.  Remove from heat and wrap in foil for 30 minutes.  To 'pull' the pork, use two forks in an opposing direction to shred and pull apart the meat.  Serve with soft rolls and BBQ sauce. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Vents Magazine

Whew - what a whirlwind the past few weeks have been!  Working on some exciting updates, so check back soon!

In the meantime, I wanted to share a recent interview I did with Vents Magazine from my time up in Canada.  You can check out the full issue here.