Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pan Seared Salmon + Zucchini + Vine Ripe Tomatoes

I took a spin over to the Nashville Farmers Market yesterday to pick up some farm fresh tomatoes and zucchini.  Unfortunately, the confines of my urban living situation do not allow me to grow simple things like tomatoes, herbs, etc.  For the next few months, I'll be relying on my friends at the farmers market to supply me with such greatness.

I always love the changing from Spring to Summer.  I eat less, and I eat lighter.  In other words, I get back down to my preferred fighting weight without much fuss or hassle.  I'm not tempted by those heavy stews, gumbos, or chili's of Fall and Winter - much less the heavy Amber beers or Whiskey cocktails.

This meal was quite simple.  A fresh, wild piece of sockeye salmon seared in my cast iron skillet for a few minutes on each side.  Seasoned up with kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, and a dash of lemon juice - this salmon was absolutely perfect.  I tossed in some roughly chopped zucchini and hit them with some EVOO, salt and pepper, and sauteed them alongside the salmon until just tender and warmed through.  Finally, I quartered up some fresh tomatoes and brought out their flavor with just a bit of salt and pepper.

The result?


Looking good has never eaten so well.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Surf and Turf

Enjoyed a slow weekend playing catchup in Nashville.  I finally got back to the basics in the kitchen.  Morning omelets with a strong cup of coffee, a mixed salad with lean protein after a mid-morning workout, and a bit more of an indulgence with a glass or two of wine for dinner in the evening.

I've got 2 more weekends at home prior to the crazy July travel schedule.  By then, I'm sure I'll be ready to hit the road, but I can tell you that I'm gonna savor every bit of 'home' over these next few weeks.

Where am I going?  I'm glad you asked.

I'll be headed back up to my beloved Prince Edward Island, Canada to once again join forces with the Cavendish Beach Music Festival.  It promises to be four days filled with great music and food.  Once again, I'll be cooking up my low-country boil with plenty of local PEI ingredients.  I mean damn- life is good when you are cooking up over 100 lbs of fresh lobster each day while listening to country music and throwing down a few cold Molson Canadians.

From there, I'll hop a flight to Detroit by way of Lansing, Michigan to cook for a few days at the Common Ground Music Festival.  It promises to be another great weekend.

After that - it's off to the big apple.  I'll be doing a national spot on throwing the perfect picnic live on your television on the BetterTV network.  Excited to head back to NYC and do more live television - always a challenging, fun, and thrilling experience!

So, with all that travel ahead, I'd say I deserved such an indulgent meal as the one below.  Seafood + Steak + Fresh Veg + Wine?  Yes, yes!

Grilled Top Sirloin Filet + Pan Seared Sea Scallops + Roasted Broccolini

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Arrange broccolini spears in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with EVOO and season with kosher salt and fresh crack pepper.  Top with thinly sliced red onions and a few smashed garlic cloves.  Roast - uncovered - for 12 - 15 minutes.

Cook sirloin over direct heat (either on grill or grill-pan) for two minutes, turn 45 degrees (creating nice grill marks) and cook for another two minutes.  Flip steak, and cook for 2 - 3 more minutes for medium rare.  Remove from heat, season with salt, and rest for 5 minutes.

Finally, quickly sear sea scallops in melted butter for 2 minutes per side in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Season with salt and pepper - or creole seasoning.  Remove from heat and plate.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Grilled Pizza (Re-visited)

Several weeks ago I posted a recipe from my sister on her fantastic Grilled Pizza.

Well, it's become a hit!  So much so that it is now our go-to appetizer when entertaining.

In my original post, I only had my iphone on hand, so the picture I took just didn't do it justice.  So I'm back!  Check out the beautiful photo and recipe below.

Thanks sis!


Ashley's Famous Grilled Pizza

1 Store-bought Pizza Dough, thawed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
2 Cloves Garlic, minced

10 oz Fresh Mozzerella, sliced thin
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 Cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
2 Roma Tomatoes, sliced thin
Fresh Basil, sliced thin

Pinch of Sea Salt

Preheat one side of a grill over direct heat.  Meanwhile, roll out the pizza dough as thin as possible (less than 1/8 inch) and coat in olive oil.  Melt butter and garlic together in a microwave for 45 - 60 seconds.  When grill is ready, carefully stretch the dough over the grate and grill for 60 - 90 seconds - the dough will puff up and bubble.  Flip dough and move to indirect heat.  Brush dough with garlic butter and top with remaining ingredients.  Cover grill, and continue to cook pizza over indirect heat until cheese is melted; 10 - 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, slice, and serve.

Monday, June 11, 2012

That's a wrap!

Spent the weekend shooting our sizzle reel for a new upcoming show I'm working on.  Such a great weekend of filming and spending time in my beloved Nashville.  A special thanks to all of the folks, friends, and crew that helped make things happen:  Dustin & Kyah, Camille, Callie, Alex, Sean, Shawn, Stan, Chuck, Burt, Alison, Mike, Steve, Michael, B. Mike, Tom, and the rest of the NYC crew who will be working on post-production over the next few days.  Fingers are crossed to see all of the footage and find the right network that shares our vision for a younger, fun, fresh show tailored around my lifestyle, friends, and the South.

I've attached a few picks from Michael and I's segments - from picking guitars, to drinking cold beer, to cooking in the kitchen.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

More Wisconsin Cheese? Yes Please!

Excited that the crew from NYC is coming down tomorrow to shoot the pilot for a new show we are pitching to networks.  Going to be a busy few days - but I couldn't be happier to have a bunch of Yankees down in Nashville filming the likes of my own cooking show.  Add to that CMA fest and Bonnarroo weekend, and I'm one happy camper.

The good folks from the Wisconsin Cheese Board happily provided me with an assortment of cheese to utilize in one of our segments, and I wanted to re-highlight all of the cool things they have going on over at their site.  Looking for the perfect wine/beer/drink and cheese pairing?   These folks have got you covered!  Seriously go check it out today!

On that note - the next few days are going to be a blur.  Can't wait to share the results of our shoot with everyone on a television in your living room in the near future!