Monday, December 27, 2010

Pan Seared Wild Duck Breasts over Brown Rice Stir Fry

So, it's been a while.  My apologies.

I'd like to say that I've been so slammed with "creation/cooking/writing/etc" that I haven't had time to update the site with new recipes.  Truth be told - I've been taking in the holidays (parties, food, cocktails) at a rampant pace.  Strange but true; I'm really looking forward to things slowing down in the New Year.

Yet, things are only picking up.  If you've visited the site as of late, you haven't received many new recipes (I already apologized), but instead you've seen a reel of good news and upcoming segments featuring HHOFD.  So, thank - YOU - for the early Christmas/New Years presents.  All of this good news is due in part to the many of you who've helped spread the word.

With that said, I understand that the following recipe may not be very accessible for the "everyday guy".  Yet, I've been thankful enough to have a slew of friends bringing me wild game as of late - venison, turkey, duck, etc - that my focus has been on making sure nothing goes to waste.  Besides, all of those foodie chicks you've had your eye on are sure to want to indulge in a back strap, fried turkey, or pan seared duck breast at some point.

Or, at least we hope so.

With the New Year, I'll be debuting some excellent, simple recipes to impress your lovely lady.

Until then, happy hunting.  Eat, drink, and be merry!

A special thanks to Tommy and Matt Harmon for the duck breasts - I wouldn't have wanted to be a mallard flying over Crowder, MS on Sunday.



Pan Seared Wild Duck Breasts over Brown Rice Stir Fry

2 Duck Breasts, trimmed and at room temperature
1/4 Cup Teriyaki Sauce
Fresh Cracked Pepper
1/4 Cup Sesame Oil 
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 Cup Onion, diced
1/4 Cup Carrot, diced
1/4 Cup Red Bell Pepper, diced
1/4 Cup Asparagus, sliced
1/4 Cup Broccoli Florets
2 Cups Cooked Brown Rice, at room temperature
2 Large Eggs, beaten
Soy Sauce, to taste
Green Onions, sliced (garnish)

At least one our before cooking, liberally season duck breasts with fresh cracked pepper and douse with teriyaki sauce; set aside at room temperature.  Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and sear duck breasts on each side for 2 - 3 minutes, or until medium rare.  Remove and allow to rest while finishing the stir fry.  Meanwhile, in a wok over high heat add oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes; saute 30 seconds careful not to brown the garlic.  Add the remaining vegetables and cook until just tender.  Add rice and eggs, stirring until eggs are just scrambled; remove from heat.  Add soy sauce to taste.  Begin plating by placing a generous portion of the stir fry onto the center of each plate.  Slice the duck breasts, on the bias, every half inch or so and rest on top of the stir fry.  Garnish with sliced green onions.  Serve.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Today Show !!!

Christmas has come early.  I just found out that I'll be doing a segment on The Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda on Jan 24th.  More details to come.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fox & Friends

Howdy Y'all -

Wanted to let everyone know that we just confirmed an appearance on Fox & Friends Weekend Edition on February 12th.  Tune in - nationwide - for some outstanding recipes just in time for Valentines Day!  Hmmm, looks like I'll be spending Valentine's Day in NYC - not a bad gig.

Safe travels to all of you getting an early start on the holidays!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chef Challenge: The Double Date

Editors Note:  This is a guest post by Colin.

This whole cooking thing got real, really fast.  Three meals, cooked at my leisure with no performance anxiety (it happens to lots of chefs , I hear), and now I am cooking for not just an audience, but a double date audience?  On top of that, I gave up home field advantage: I asked to cook the meal at the loft of my good friends to avoid the numerous, numerous shortcomings of my own apartment and cookware.  My mind started to churn up excuses to avoid the obligation, rationalizing to myself that if I wasn't having her over to my actual place for dinner, then the meal didn't count, and I was mercifully spared from this meal's impending failure.  I started hoping to get stood up.  I even started trying to get hung up at work, but alas, nothing could save me from myself, so I grudgingly picked up the poor girl who agreed to be my date, and started the long drumroll to the firing squad.  The only difference was that a good final meal might be the pardon I needed to save me from my fate.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Irony + NYTimes

Funny that just a few days after I disclose, with all-out honesty, my experience and opinions on the publishing industry that my book, Have Her Over for Dinner; a gentleman's guide to classic simple meals, is named by the NYTimes as one of the best cookbooks of the year.

I'm not kidding, check out the article, with some other awesome books, here.

I got the news while making a day trip up to Philly and back.  So yeah, I'm sitting at my desk now back in Nashville, at midnight, drinking a cold beer, and listening to Dr. Dog with somewhat of a pathetic congratulatory state of mind.  Perhaps I thought the coming of such news would be met with an impromptu trip to Vegas, or at least a hard night out on the town - but instead - I'm packing for the next trip, the next journey, and the next challenge.

Truth be told, I'm completely stoked that the NYTimes, the most badass of all badass author/book review placements, had anything - much less a "best of"- review of my book.  It's incredibly humbling to be included on such a list.  Most of all - I love that I made it as a self published, self promoted, self created, self produced, self etc, etc, etc author/publisher/publicist/photographer/entrepreneur.  Notice all the other folks mentioned have big time publishing houses and publicists working in their corner.  

Not this guy.

Instead I have you - the folks who are incredibly awesome to support my work for what it is.  A fun, funny (at least I think so), and useful resource for creating outstanding meals at home.  So seriously, thanks.

For everyone that thinks something is impossible, or too difficult, or not worth the trouble, let my experience serve as an example.  On a shoestring budget, with passion, complete persistence, prayer, a touch of luck, and fan support - we made it to the big leagues.

Let's have fun, and stay a while yeah?

Another beer (or two), then bed.

Keep Peaceful!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Publishing 101

Almost two years ago, I began shopping my proposal for HHOFD to agents and publishers in NYC.  Like most first-time authors, I entered every meeting thinking I had the next bestseller in hand.  Hilarious.  Or, maybe just naive.

After all, wasn't I the only guy who'd ever thought of writing a cookbook to teach the everyday guy that cooking great meals at home wasn't nearly as hard as it looks? 

Nope... In fact, there have been several variations on this very subject.  However, most of my competing titles were written from the standpoint of "cook this, get laid".  Sorry, but that just ain't my style.  I'm also betting that the authors of those books probably aren't as 'busy' as they'd lead you on to believe. 

Sure, women love a man who can cook - In fact that's the very first line in my book.  However, if you are envisioning your entrance into the kitchen as anything similar to Tommy Lee taking the stage w/ Motley Crue during the glory days of hair metal, you will surely be disappointed.  I'm willing to bet that no undergarments are going to be thrown your way while you are yielding tongs and a spatula.

With that said, how is my book different?  I'd like to say that I don't over-promise and under-deliver, i.e. it's REAL.  My book is all about getting back to the basics.  Great meals start with using great ingredients, having a solid game plan (recipe), and also posessing the willingness to get out of your comfort zone (of course, I recommend enjoying a cocktail to take the edge off in the kitchen).  If your planning, effort, meal, and experience actually sparks her interest, well then, you owe me a beer the next time you see me out at your local watering hole (Nashville, Philly, Norfolk, LA, Atlanta in the next 2 weeks).

Reality is that I didn't get any compelling offers from major publishers for my book.  Knowing what I know now, I'm not surprised.  I wasn't a well-known celebrity chef with a television show and a substantial platform.  Major publishers aren't nearly as interested in the grass roots success of authors as they are in the 'home runs'.  But my friends... the tide is changing.

Physical bookstores are closing about as fast as the Titans season is going off the deep end.  The advent of Kindle, the Nook, and the iPad have all demonstrated to the publishing industry that digital is here to stay, if not replace the traditional book world as we know it.  Still want a physical book?  Why not get it on-demand without inventory, staff, or other fixed costs - with instant satisfaction, i.e. Espresso Book Machine.  Basically, the book publishing world is experiencing the same thing the music world experienced in the late 90's/early 2000's with the onslaught of digital downloads.  Publishers can either embrace and adapt to the change (make money), or continue to think that their archaic model will prevail (fail). 

Back to me - Thanks to the support of you - HHOFD is becoming a success.  Is it a NYTimes bestseller?  Not even close.  Am I writing this post while lounging on a beach drinking a fruity cocktail because of my book royalties - nope.  Has it beaten out 95% of the fate of all published books - close.  It's all about busting your ass day in/day out to promote a product that you developed tirelessly, believing that it truly can enhance the lives of others.

So, if you've been following this blog for a long time, I hope that you've found it's content to be valuable and enjoyable.  I enjoy posting free recipes, stories, hints, random musings, etc... and I appreciate you reading/commenting/writing ( 

If you've yet to buy a copy - no worries - keep reading, cooking, drinking, and hanging out with us.  My only hope is that you'll continue to assist our efforts in building this brand by suggesting the book, website, twitter, facebook, etc to your friends, family, celebrities, publishing executives, extra-terrestrials, and billionaire angel investors...

Seriously - if you are looking for a great holiday gift that gives back - pick up a copy via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or on-the-go through the Apple Bookstore.  Don't forget, the sequel "And for Breakfast" will be due out Spring 2011!



The Tennessean

A big thanks to The Tennessean for running this feature - a great piece, and some solid recipes if you are looking for a good family dinner.  Text/Recipes/Photos below.

Matt Moore was having a busy night.
From the window of his Germantown condo he could see the lights of downtown, which had already started to shine, meaning he had to hustle if he was going to meet a friend for a concert at the Ryman.

But first, belying the young bachelor stereotype of pizza boxes and an empty fridge, the 28-year-old songwriter poured himself a glass of red wine and casually whipped up a plate of balsamic pork over black-eyed pea risotto with a side of sautéed spinach.

"When I went to school at (the University of) Georgia, I realized so many people my age had no idea how to cook," he said.
Moore learned to cook from his mother. Growing up in Lilburn, Ga., he'd come home from high school football practice and join her in the kitchen to help make the family meals. "It was kind of my chance to catch up at the end of the day with her," he said.

Earlier this year, Moore published a cookbook, Have Her Over for Dinner: A Gentleman's Guide to Classic, Simple Meals. A second book is already in the works. And for our Nashville Cooks series, he invited us over to learn how to put together a simple, healthful, inexpensive meal from scratch.

Testing on friends

While stirring a pan of risotto and heating up a grill pan, Moore recalled growing up in a food-centric family. He learned to make classic Southern food, but his mother, who is of Lebanese descent, also taught him to focus on healthy, local, seasonal food long before it was trendy.

"I wasn't eating tomatoes in the dead of winter," he said.

Holiday meals at his house included the traditional sweet potato dishes but also included homemade hummus and tabbouleh.

After high school, Moore took his skills on the road, at college and with a band.
"It was the first time I was able to take mom's cooking and put it to the test," he said.
At Georgia, Moore became the ringleader of a series of food-themed parties. After playing a show in St. Simons Island or Savannah, for example, he would pick up 20 pounds of fresh shrimp to take back to Athens for Low Country boils or fish fries.  "We would invite 100 of our closest friends," he said.

Start to finish

Five years ago, Moore moved to Nashville to pursue music and songwriting. He still enjoys entertaining but on a smaller scale — 10 friends, as opposed to 100.

Beyond the parties, he's often the go-to guy for cooking advice among his male friends. "For as much time as I spend helping friends out and writing e-mails," he remembered telling a friend, "I should just write a book."
Moore created a publishing company and took a year to write his first cookbook, which came out in March. His second book, to be published next year, is the logical follow-up to Have Her Over for Dinner — it's titled And for Breakfast.
Of course, one woman in particular — Matt's mother — couldn't be prouder.
"She's a little bit nervous about my angle, in mom terms," Moore said.
But the skills she taught him clearly keep him confident and relaxed, even cooking a quick meal in a pinch.

"For me, it's the entertaining side — to be able to share a skill with friends," he said. "I like having something from start to finish. That satisfaction of completing something."
And with that, dinner was served.


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 (6-ounce) bags fresh baby spinach
Kosher saltJuice of 1/2 lemon

1. Preheat a skillet over medium high heat. Add oil. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to 1 minute, careful not to brown.
2. Add spinach and sauté until reduced and tender, 3-4 minutes. Season with kosher salt and finish with a squeeze of lemon. Serve.


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked pepper
2 cups Arborio rice
6-8 cups chicken stock
1 cup black-eyed peas, soaked overnight

1. Preheat a large skillet tomedium high. Add olive oil. Sauté onions until tender and translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
2. Add rice to pan and stir to coat the grains in oil, toasting the rice for 2-3 minutes, or until the grains begin to become opaque.
3. Add 1 cup of broth to the toasted rice and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium. Stir regularly, adding 1 cup of broth at a time as the rice begins to absorb all of the liquid. (Note: All of the broth may not be used.)
4. Continue in this manner until rice is cooked al dente and the mixture is slightly firm, yet still creamy (30-35 minutes). To finish, add the black-eyed peas and heat through.


4 (6-ounce) boneless pork chops
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked pepper

1. Preheat grill to medium high and remove chops from fridge to bring up to room temperature.
2. Make a quick marinade by whisking together oil and vinegar. Pour over chops. Season chops liberally on both sides with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper.
3. Grill chops, turning once, for 4-5 minutes each side, or until medium. Remove from grill and set aside to rest 5 minutes before serving.