Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cast Iron (Grilling)

Spent another long weekend soaking up the sun and fun with family and friends at my lake house on Lake Oconee.  Of course, we were also surrounded by great food and cold drinks throughout the weekend.

Keeping things positive, I'm also excited to share that I've partnered up with a few production companies out of NYC to begin shooting scenes for a new pilot we are working on based here in Nashville.  It's been a long time coming, but as they say - it's all about the journey.

Mark Kelly and the great folks over at Lodge Cast Iron provided me with their Sportsman's Grill to utilize in the shoot, so I got to test it out over the weekend.  The results are in . . . BEST STEAK EVER.

Most grills can't get hot enough to really sear a steak properly, and although searing that steak in my cast iron pan inside can often do the trick, it results in quite a bit of smoke indoors.  I found this handy, sturdy grill to be the perfect solution.  From delicately grilling shrimp, to putting a steakhouse quality sear on a NYC strip - I am absolutely in love with this portable grill.  Can we say tailgating?  Yes please.

So that's that - working on some recipes for the shoot over the next week or so.  Hope you and yours are doing well.  Oh, check out the pics below, and go buy one of these - now!

MM


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wisconsin Cheese Cupid Cinema

www.cheesecupid.com
Check out my guest post on WisconsinCheeseTalk.com.  

IMPORTANT - enter our giveaway for $25.00 worth of FREE WISCONSIN CHEESE by visiting their site, www.cheesecupid.com, and watching their "flavorful stories" videos.  Comments on  haveheroverfordinner.com and our Facebook page regarding these great videos will all be entered for consideration.  

Share your most flavorful stories and enter your comments for a chance to win!!!

I’ve always been a sucker for dining en plein air – and now that the beautiful spring weather is officially upon us, I thought it prudent to gather up a group of friends for an afternoon twilight hour filled with conversation, wine, and of course – great cheese.

Assembling such a front porch gathering is my favorite form of entertaining.  Instead of slaving away for hours in a kitchen, I like to carefully put together a board of varying ingredients – each delicious in their own right.  Be advised, however that this is not simply an opportunity to clean out the pantry.  Rather, I like to put quite a bit of thought into everything that hits my plate . . .

Check out the rest of my post, including my pairing notes by visiting WisconsinCheeseTalk.com



Visit the site by clicking here, view the videos, and enter your comments  below or on our FB page to win $25 worth of Wisconsin Cheese!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Season's Eatings

I was happy to partner up with a new fantastic magazine, The Local Palate, to create Mother's Day and Father's Day menus for their Season's Eatings feature.  If you haven't seen this magazine - immediately go to their website.  Like, RIGHT NOW!

Better yet, they offer an issue free of charge - get it!

Full text and recipes below.

Seasons Eating’s
by Matt Moore

Mothers Day + Fathers Day.  Quite frankly, most moms and dads just want a “day off day”. 
With the holidays rapidly approaching, I thought I’d lend a helping hand to all those parents and kids seeking new and creative ways to show appreciation to moms and dads everywhere.  Instead of wasting money on a gift that may or may not suit one’s fancy, provide them with an experience that they’ll never forget.   I’m not talking about an afternoon at a crowded restaurant with a hundred other patrons.  Instead, get the kids involved, and surprise mom or dad with a laid-back family meal at home!

For all you dads – don’t fret gentleman. I’ve laid out a Mother’s Day brunch menu that will rival anything she’ll order at her favorite restaurant, yet it is simple enough for even the caveman cook to pull off.  The kids can even pitch in by doing some of the prep work, or surprising mom with a morning cocktail or cup of coffee in bed.  Don’t forget to let mom sleep in!

And ladies, let’s not forget about the men.  I’m serving up a creative take on meat and potatoes alongside a tasty slaw and fresh fruit dessert.  Of course, tossing in a cold beer or my classic brown derby cocktail will certainly up the ante and make dad feel not only relaxed and appreciated, but also like the true man of the house.
So, that’s that!  Follow my game plan on the big day to ensure a family oriented celebration that recognizes the true heroes of the household – mom and dad.

Mother’s Day Brunch Menu

Blood Orange Mimosa

1 Part Chilled Champagne or Italian Prosecco
1 Part Chilled Blood Orange Juice
Orange Peel Twist (garnish)


Combine chilled champagne and orange juice into a champagne flute, stir.  Garnish with twisted orange peel.

Spring Mix Salad – a light and simple salad to serve alongside the filling hash and frittata.

6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Honey
4 Cups Spring Mix Salad Blend
¼ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
¼ Teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper

In a serving bowl, combine oil, vinegar, and honey; whisk until combined.  Add greens, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.  Serve.


Cast-Iron Roasted Potato, Pepper, Onion Hash + Pancetta – an elegant play on traditional hash browns, these potatoes will add some heft, and bold flavors to this delectable meal.

½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Large Russet Baking Potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½ inch cubes
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
½ Red Bell Pepper, diced
½ Green Bell Pepper, diced
½ Yellow Onion, diced
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
¼ lb Pancetta, cut into ¼ inch cubes

Preheat oven to 425 Degrees F.  Add oil and potatoes to a cast-iron skillet over medium high heat; season liberally with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Pan fry the potatoes, stirring on occasion for 6 – 8 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy.  Next, add the remaining ingredients and continue to saut√© until vegetables are just tender and pancetta begins to render fat and brown.  Finally, add skillet to oven and roast for 25 – 30 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through and fork tender.  Taste, adjusting seasoning if necessary, and serve.


Fresh Mozzarella + Sundried Tomato + Pesto Frittata think of a frittata as a baked omelet.  Simple in form, and quite versatile, this Italian egg dish makes for easy entertaining.  I have further simplified this recipe by using a pre-prepared pesto.  Of course, should you choose to be more adventurous, you can always make your own pesto at home.  I find it best to use an oven proof, non-stick 10 or 12 inch skillet when preparing frittata’ – a well seasoned cast-iron skillet also works very well.

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 Large Eggs
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
¼ lb Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, thinly sliced
¼ Cup Sundried Tomatoes, julienned
4 Teaspoons Pesto

Set the oven to broil, placing the rack in the middle of the oven.  Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin oil to a skillet over medium high heat.  Beat the eggs thoroughly and season with salt and pepper.  Pour eggs into skillet and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Cook 34 minutes, or until egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set on top.  Next, evenly top with mozzarella cheese, sundried tomatoes, and pesto.  Finally, place the skillet into the oven for 23 minutes, until the frittata is lightly browned and fluffy.  Remove from oven and allow to slightly cool.  Cut into even pie-shaped portions and serve.

Father’s Day Menu

The Brown Derby – A fashionable take on a true classic, this drink was once the De Rigueur cocktail for the glamorous Hollywood crowd of the 1930’s.  The bourbon, combined with sweet honey and grapefruit will compliment any savory meal.

1 Part Kentucky Bourbon
1 Part Grapefruit Juice
1 Teaspoon Clover Honey

Combine all ingredients into a shaker and shake well for 30 seconds.  Pour into a cocktail glass over ice.  Serve.


Red Cabbage + Chive + Blue Cheese Slaw– a colorful and delicious slaw, this version skips out on the unhealthy mayo without losing any flavor.  It’s best to prepare this at least an hour in advance, keeping covered in the fridge to allow the flavors to meld, before serving.

5 Cups Red Cabbage, thinly sliced
¾ Cup Chives, sliced every inch on the bias
½ Cup Crumbled Blue Cheese
¾ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper

Add the first three ingredients into a large serving bowl.  Next, whisk together the remaining ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Pour the oil and vinegar mixture over the cabbage and toss until evenly distributed.  Cover, and keep in the fridge for at least one hour prior to serving.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Cajun Roasted Steak Friesa no-fuss, non-fried version of an American favorite.  The Cajun seasoning adds a kick of spice and flavor to set these fries over the top!
2 Large Russet Baking Potatoes
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cajun Blackening Seasoning

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Meanwhile, wash and scrub potatoes.  Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, and then quarter each half to create 16 wedge fries per potato.  Rinse cut potatoes under cold running water and pat dry.  Arrange potatoes onto a baking sheet and drizzle with oil and Cajun seasoning.  Toss until well combined and arrange into a single layer, careful not to overcrowd.  Add pan to oven and roast for 45 – 50 minutes uncovered, shaking the pan and flipping the fries on occasion to brown on all sides.  Serve warm with ketchup or basil-balsamic mayo.

Bistro Skirt Steak Sandwiches + Caramelized Onion + Basil-Balsamic Mayoeven with such a complicated name, this recipe couldn’t be easier.  However, don’t let the ease of this recipe fool you, as it boasts tons of flavors.  Follow my step-by-step instructions for this delicious and hearty favorite.

Bistro Skirt Steak Sandwiches
4 French Hamburger Buns
2 lbs Skirt Steak
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Caramelized Onions (see below)
Basil-Balsamic Mayo (see below)

Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium high heat.  Slice buns and cook cut side down over direct heat until slightly charred and toasted.  Meanwhile, coat the skirt steak in oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Add the steaks to the grill over direct heat and cook for 2 – 3 minutes on each side for medium rare/medium (depending on the thickness).  Remove steaks from grill, allowing them to rest for 4 – 5 minutes before slicing.  Next, thinly slice the steaks on the bias and across the grain ever ¼ inch or so.  Pile the sliced steak high on the bottom side of the bun, while generously coating the top side of the bun with the mayo and onions.  Top off the sandwich and serve immediately. 

Caramelized Onions
2 Large Yellow Onions, thinly sliced
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt


Add ingredients into a skillet over medium low heat.  Cook onions for 25 – 35 minutes, stirring often until browned and tender.  

Basil-Balsamic Mayo
1 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Clove garlic, finely minced
¼ Cup Fresh Basil, julienned
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar


Wisk together ingredients into a mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.  Cover and keep chilled until ready to serve.

Blueberry + Peach Granola Crisp – a simplified version of a classic cobbler, chock full of fresh peaches and blueberries. 

Fruit Mixture
3 Ripe Peaches, pitted, peeled, and sliced
1 Cup Fresh Blueberries, washed
½ Lemon, juiced
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg


Topping
1 Cup Granola
2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Pinch Kosher Salt
4 Tablespoons Cold Butter, cubed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Toss the fruit mixture together into a greased cooking pan until evenly combined.  Next, add the topping ingredients in a mixing bowl, cutting the butter into the dry ingredients until you get a course crumble.  Spread the topping over the top of the fruit mixture and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until browned and crispy.  Cool slightly before serving.  Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.