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.




Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Night Grilled Skirt Steak


I'm back from an incredible trip to the San Juan Islands - plenty of highlights from Salmon Fishing and Crabbing to Yachting to cruising the skies in a Sea Plane.  In other words . . . Life doesn't suck.
Stay tuned for photos and an exclusive reveal from my trip to be featured on The Art of Manliness in September - it's gonna be a good one.

Meanwhile, I'm back home in Nashville, awaiting the arrival of my business partners from EastWest Bottlers.  Our 'business meetings' typically consist of red meat, a cigar or two, and of course plenty of MOONSHINE!  This weekend will be no different - and I'm excited to host such fine gentleman at our lovely new home in East Nashville.

Of course, hosting means cooking in my world.  I'm breaking out my Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman Grill to add some fire and charcoal taste to one of my favorite cuts of meat - Skirt Steak.  <--------- article="" been="" cooking="" cut="" ever="" if="" my="" of="" p="" read="" this="" ve="" weary="" you="">
Anyways - I propose that you start your weekend off right with this simple and easy recipe.

Enjoy!

MM





Grilled Skirt Steak
(Prep 5 Mins, Cook 8 Mins, Serves 4)

Extra Virgin Olive OIl
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
2 lbs Inside Cut Skirt Steak

Setup a charcoal fire for direct grilling.  Coat steaks in a thin layer of EVOO, season liberally with salt and pepper.  Trust me - keep it simple - no other ingredients necessary.  Grill the steaks over direct heat for 3 - 4 minutes per side for medium rare.  Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes.  Cut on the bias and serve.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

On the Road Again

Packing up and getting ready for a week long trip to the San Juan Islands w/ Discover Boating.  Excited to capture the food, sights, and sounds of this beautiful place - all while living it up on the water.

For those of you that missed my article on P.E.I. last week - check it out.

Still need convincing?

Look at these photos from the trip! 

MM


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Prince Edward Island

Check out my recap/recipes/video from my latest trip to Prince Edward Island - being featured by my friends at The Art of Manliness!

Cheers!

MM

Monday, July 29, 2013

Summertime Spaghetti


Looking for a light, yet satisfying summertime pasta?  Look no further than my simple "Summertime Spaghetti" featured on The Daily Meal today!  Check out the recipe here!

MM

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Better Show

Happy Friday!

I'm back on National Television this morning whipping up delicious summertime treats!  Tune in NOW!

If you miss your broadcast, you can catch a recap of everything online - visit here.

What are you doing this weekend?  I'm off to an 80's costume party tonight - think I'm gonna break out my ole favorite - the hair metal rockstar.  Yes - that's me!


Cheers!

MM

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Grilled GA Peaches

It's peach season - so you can bet your ass I've been making hay with these tasty monsters in every way imaginable.  One of my favorites?  Glad you asked.

Grilled Peaches.

Grilling a ripe peach creates a nice caramelized char which really accentuates the natural sugar in the fruit.  It makes for a simple (and light) dessert - which is often what I crave in the hot Southern summer months.  Instead of ice cream - I go with non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt.  Again, it's a healthy substitution that delivers.

Here's a quick recipe I threw together tonight - excuse the indoor lighting on the photo!



Grilled GA Peaches + Greek Yogurt 
(Prep 5 mins, Cook 10 mins, Serves 4)

4 Ripe GA Peaches
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Dollap Non-Fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt
2 Tablespoons Local Honey

Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium high heat.   Meanwhile, slice peaches lengthwise and use a spoon to dig out the pits.  Lightly grease grill grates with butter - add peaches, cut side down to the grill for 2 minutes.  After 2 minutes, turn the peaches 45 degrees, and cook for another 1 - 2 minutes.  Flip peaches, sprinkle evenly with sugar and cinnamon, and move to indirect heat - keep grill covered until sugar mixture is melted.  Remove peaches and plate alongside Greek yogurt - finish with a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon and a drizzle of honey.  Serve.