Sunday, March 27, 2011

Grilled Salmon with Brown Rice and Roasted Asparagus

Simple. Clean. Good.

That's my motto whenever the weather warms up.  There's something about the spring weather that causes me to put aside my cravings for comfort food.  Perhaps I know that pool/beach/lake season is just around the corner.  You're so vain . . .

This is a basic recipe that you can pull off using minimal ingredients on any weeknight>

Grilled Salmon with Brown Rice and Roasted Asparagus
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Brown Rice
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 6 oz Salmon Filets
1 Handful of Asparagus, ends trimmed

Preheat oven to 425 Degrees F.  Meanwhile, in a pot over high heat, combine butter, water, and rice.  Season with salt to taste and bring to a boil.  When water reaches a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low; simmer for 30 - 35 minutes, or until rice cooked al dente.  Next, preheat a grill pan over medium heat.  Coat salmon filets in oil, season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, and grill for 3 - 4 minutes on each side for medium.  On a baking sheet, toss asparagus in oil and season with salt and pepper.  Add to oven and roast for 6 - 7 minutes.  Serve.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Southern Flourish + Gena Knox + Me

For the past year, I've been fortunate to contribute to a great online magazine devoted to celebrating all things Southern.  Southern Flourish is chock full of great recipes, travel destinations, decorating ideas, and profiles of Southerners doing wonderful things to promote our distinct Southern culture.  Trust me, it's worth the $10 subscription.  Check them out ASAP.  I was happy to do an interview this issue with Travel & Food editor Olivia Rae James - as always, she did a great job making me look my best - tough to do sometimes!

I was happy to also see that the kind folks at SF decided to feature friend, chef, author, and fellow Georgia native Gena Knox in this year's Spring issue.  Gena has recently released her second book, Southern My Way.  Gena was kind enough to send me a copy last week, and it's fantastic.  In fact, I read it cover-to-cover in one sitting.  If you are looking for outstanding - classic and modern - takes on Southern cuisine, look no further.  I should also mention that she does a great job making all of her recipes accessible to readers and cooks of all skill levels.  I will confess, however, that the incredible photos of outstanding food made me want to go on a southern food binge, so be careful.  While your at it, check out her first book, Gourmet Made Simple which features her innovative use of plank cooking.  If she looks familiar, it's probably because you've seen her face in grocery stores promoting her brand Fire & Flavor.  You can find her planks, skewers, seasonings, etc. in Whole Foods, Publix, and others.  Congrats Gena!

And lastly, this guy.  I've been busy putting the finishing touches on my proposal for my next book, And for Breakfast.  I'm happy to let everyone know that I signed a deal with Stacey Glick over at Dystel and Goderich Literary Management.  I actually came about meeting Stacey by finding a random blog post of hers about my book in The NYTimes.    Of course, I'm still a huge proponent of self-publishing, however I want to explore the option of partnering with the right publisher so that I can get my work into the hands of more of you!  I appreciate all of the kind words and support, I'm confident that Stacey and I will be able to find the right "home" for the book, which will allow me to focus on doing what I do best - creating and writing.

So that's that . . . Oh, and a special shout-out to my Momma on her birthday today!  Love you Mom.

Keep peaceful,


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ma, Where's the Meatloaf?

Hopefully by now, you know that my writing is anything but serious.  Sure, I'm all about supplying killer recipes to help you out in the kitchen, but I'm just as interested in busting your balls and laying out a serious dose of humor to go along with all of your culinary woes.

It should come as no surprise that sometimes I just like to get down to the basics.  It's Sunday night, and I don't feel like sourcing hard to find, expensive ingredients to show off in photograph form on the internet.

Yeah, it's a bit bizarre that I'm writing an article/recipe on a meal that I just ate, but such is my life.  The only glamorous part is that I'm enjoying a decent glass of pinot noir while staring out at the Nashville skyline.

It's a rainy evening here.  In fact, this is the first Sunday that I've been home in over 3 months, so I felt like an old staple to bring about the comfort of home.

Meatloaf, you ask?

Probably not the most impressive meal to serve your lovely lady friend.  Then again, I've yet to meet a girl who liked meatloaf that I didn't like.  If she's down with comfort food, keep her around.  There's plenty of Starbucks drinking, vegetarian type, foodie chicks out there . . . so you are doing well if you can find a good ole' girl who appreciates the simple things.  Wow... that sounded Southern.  Good to be home.

Here it is.  Simple, easy, and tasty.  Special thanks to Mamma for this one.


1 lb 80/20 Ground Chuck
1 Small Onion, grated
1 Slice White Bread, soaked in water
1 Egg, cracked
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Can Tomato Sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Combine the first six ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  Carefully mix together ingredients until well combined and incorporated, careful not to overmix as the mixture will become tough.  Shape into a mold and place on a baking sheet.  Bake 45 minutes, remove from oven, and drain fat.  Pour sauce over entire loaf, and return to oven at 425 degrees F for another 15 minutes.  Remove, slice, and serve.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cavendish Beach and Music Festival

The 2011 lineup has been announced, and I'm happy to be joining so many great artists and friends for a few days in Prince Edward Island doing what I do best - cooking and performing country music.

Check out the announcement here.

More details to come - hoping to see everyone at one of Canada's best festivals!