Friday, July 29, 2011

Have Your Steak, and Eat it Too!

Interesting title, huh?

Sure, I'm playing off of an old saying, but at the same time I'm trying to make a point.

You see, my butcher had PorterHouse Steaks on sale tonight, and since I was cooking for two, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of this stellar cut of meat.  You know what I'm talking about, right?  It's a two-for-one deal - go get it!

For those with puzzled looks on their faces, I'm talking about strips and tenderloins.  Hold your horses, I'm not talking about the girls dancing down at Deja Vu - rather, I'm pitching the benefits of the PorterHouse cut.

You see, I'm not much of a filet guy.  Sure, they are tender, succulent, and lean (seriously, I'm not talking about strippers), yet they tend to lack flavor.  I prefer the ribeye, strip, flank, or skirt cut when it comes to indulging in red meat.

So, the PorterHouse is the solution.  In fact, it's my go-to cut when sharing with a lovely lady friend (all girls love filets).

So there you have it - I get the strip, she gets the tenderloin, and the best part?  I only have to buy one steak!  How's that for dating on the cheap?

I've paired this up with a quick stir fry of peppers and onions, reduced in a touch of aged balsamic to add a nice bit of acidity to cut the heavy taste of the meat.  Trust me, it's fantastic.

Cheers to you and yours on this Friday evening.  Pairs well with a beautiful blonde and a Cab/Merlot/Syrah.

Grilled PorterHouse with Balsamic Stir-Fry Vegetables

1 16 oz PorterHouse Steak, at room temperature
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
1 Red Onion, roughly chopped
1 Bell Pepper, roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Heat a grill or grill pan to high heat.  Meanwhile, coat the steak in oil and season liberally on both sides with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Cook the steak over direct heat for 1.5 - 2 minutes, lift and turn 45 degrees (creating nice grill marks), and cook for another 1.5 - 2 minutes.  Flip steak, and cook for another 3 minutes with the grill closed for medium rare.  Remove from heat and allow to rest.  Meanwhile, in a skillet over high heat, add another tablespoon of oil, followed by the cut vegetables.  Saute until slightly browned and charred, about 2 minutes.  Remove pan from heat, add vinegar, and deglaze.  Reduce heat to low and allow the vegetables to cook until just tender, 1 - 2 minutes.  Serve vegetables alongside grilled steak.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rotisserie Chickens (Art of Manliness)

It's that time again.  Head over to The Art of Manliness for my creative and unique recipes that make the most out of that leftover Rotisserie Chicken.  Here's a preview of 5 different ideas - Full text and recipes here.

Rotisserie Chicken
Chicken Salad
Easy Chicken Divan

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I was happy to do an interview with one of my sponsors, Wusthof.  Check it out below!

Matt R Moore - Cookbook Author, Writer, Photographer and Country Music Recording Artist
  • Country music artist, photographer and food writer; sounds like you are pretty busy guy.  When did you first get into food and realize that it meant more to you than just sustenance?  I suppose I'm always trying to prove false the old saying, Jack of all trades, master of none.  In all honesty, I've acquired most of my skills out of necessity.  Cooking has always been a passion of mine, as my grandmother and mother are both fabulous cooks.  In my youth, I spent my days on the sporting fields and my nights in the kitchen.  Everything in my childhood was a learning experience, and I was exposed to quite a bit at a young age.  I enjoy being 'all over the place' as my friends say.  Spending one day with me is certainly different from all of the rest!
  • Where did the inspiration for your books Have Her Over for Dinner series come from? I moved to Nashville first and foremost to write songs.  After a few years of struggling as a songwriter, I jokingly made a comment to an agent friend of mine that I should just write cookbooks instead.  I noticed a lot of my male friends relied on me to provide them with simple, healthy, and affordable recipes - especially when it came to entertaining a date.  About a year later, I self-published the work and within a year The New York Times named it one of the year's best cookbooks!  Sounds like an easy process, but it was definitely a ton of hard work.  I'm grateful and humbled by the success of the book.
  • We love your posts on website, in your piece Grilling Basics: Building a Better Burger you focus on the fundamentals.  Are you a burger purist or do you like to mix it up a bit?  Thank you.  I love all of the great things going on at The Art of Manliness - it's such a vital and useful site for men to learn the necessary qualities of becoming a true gentleman.  As one of their regular contributors, it's pretty obvious from my posts that I'm a minimalist in the kitchen.  I prefer quality ingredients over quantity - and that goes for equipment too!  My Wüsthof chef's knife can pretty much tackle all of my duties in the kitchen - there's no need for any other gimmicks or gadgets!
  • Did you attend culinary school?  I attended momma's school of hard knocks and tough love!  I'm not professionally trained, however I've always made that quite clear in all of my writings and interviews.  I believe my voice is so well received by novice and home cooks because I speak their language.  Most chefs tend to write recipes as though the reader has thousands of dollars worth of equipment or a kitchen full of ingredients.  Don't get me wrong . . . I'm all about putting in the effort to create great food, but sometimes the expense and the time put into the process is unrealistic for most people.  I prefer to keep things simple.  I think most people appreciate that about my work. 
  • When did you first discover Wüsthof - Do you have a favorite Wüsthof knife?  My grandmother always used Wüsthof knives.  In fact, when she passed, I inherited her cleaver - it's definitely my favorite, and I think of her whenever it's in my hands.  
  • What's next for Matt R Moore? I just wrapped a week-long stint in Prince Edward Island cooking and performing at one of Canada's largest country music festivals.  It was an incredible experience as it combined two of my biggest passions - cooking and food!  I'll be back up to serve as a celebrity chef for their Fall Flavors festival in September.  I'm also putting the final touches on my next book in addition to working with a few production companies on television shows.  Like I said earlier, never a dull (pun intended) day in my world!
  • Finally, we have been talking about keeping it cool in the kitchen during those hot summer months with our Facebook fans.  Serving dishes like ceviche and chilled soups are great when entertaining in the summer.  Our Facebook fans are always looking for fun new recipes that satisfy and keep the kitchen cool.  Care to share a stay-cool and satisfying dish with us? Absolutely!  

Grilled Skirt Steak with Orzo Pasta Salad

1 lb. Skirt Steak 
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
1 Cup Orzo Pasta
1/4 Red Onion, finely diced
1/2 Cucumber, finely diced
8 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
1/4 Cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
1 Tablespoon Fresh Oregano, chopped
1 Teaspoon Fresh Mint, chopped
3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

In a shallow baking dish, season steak with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper and toss in olive oil and vinegar to coat; set aside at room temperature.  Meanwhile, heat a salted pot of water to boiling over high heat, add orzo and cook until al dente, 3 - 4 minutes; drain and set in fridge to cool 15 minutes.  Heat grill over medium high heat and grill steaks 2 - 3 minutes per side for medium rare; remove from heat and allow steaks to rest.  Remove chilled orzo from fridge and add remaining ingredients along with 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil.  Toss well to combine and plate.  Slice steak thin and on the bias and plate next to orzo salad.  Serve immediately.

For more information about Matt R Moore please visit

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Vegetables

It's hot down here in the South.

One thing is certain, we've got our fair share of fresh vegetables.  Thankfully 'rain is a good thing' and our TN summer has seen plenty of rain to keep our crops fed and plentiful.

I stopped off at the Nashville Farmers Market this past weekend to pick up some goods.  It's always nice to have some ripe vegetables on hand.  Instead of taking the time to roast a chicken, I picked up a rotisserie chicken from my local grocery store to go along with the meal.  HINT:  More on those Rotisserie Chickens Later.

Anyways, I simply sliced some Bradford tomatoes and seasoned them with sea salt and cracked pepper.

The squash, however was my favorite part.  Check out my recipe below.

Sauteed Squash

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1/2 Sweet Onion, roughly chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, smashed
2 Small Summer Squash, cut into 1/2 inch rings
Sea Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Add butter to a non-stick pan over medium high heat.  When butter has melted, add onions and cook until browned and tender, about 5 - 7 minutes.  Add garlic, and stir to coat in butter.  Next add squash and season with salt and pepper.  Saute squash, stirring on occasion, until slightly browned yet still al dente - 4 minutes.  Serve.

Monday, July 18, 2011

More Pictures

Hard at work.

With the great Chef Ross Munro - Lodge Cast Iron Guitar Skillets.

Self Service.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I'm back!

What an incredible week spent in P.E.I. Canada.  Upon arriving through Toronto on Monday, July 4th we were kindly greeted by Charles who handled our transportation throughout the week.  The weather was gloomy and a bit cool, however we were able to immediately see all of the beauty of the island - the rolling hills, ocean, and homes.  After dropping things off at the hotel, we made our way around downtown Charlottetown and stopped in for dinner at the Gahan House.  Highlights of the meal include their signature mussels, brown bag fish and chips, and of course a copious amount of their red ale.  After a great dinner, we made our way to Sim's Corner for a few more cocktails - and about 3 meat head oysters that were the size of my hand - seriously.

Tuesday we headed north through the towns of New Glasgow, Rustico, and Cavendish.  The countryside is spotted with old homes perched amongst gently rolling hills - all with the crystal blue Atlantic on the horizon.  We arrived at the festival site for the Cavendish Beach Music Festival.  It's an outstanding place to showcase music, with a natural slope looking out on the ocean.  After touring the grounds and meeting P.E.I. renowned chef, Ross Munro (an incredible gentleman), we made our way to the beach in North Rustico.  The beaches sported red sand and grassy dunes - and a few spiders I might add!  After a dip in the cold Atlantic, we hit up the Blue Mussel Cafe for more mussels and smoked haddock . . . we also sampled the local moonshine which was quite good - even considering my critical Southern standards.  That night we dined at Water-Prince Corner Shop, where I had a creamy and satisfying seafood chowder to end the long day.

Wednesday was my only day to goof off - and it just so happened to be my lovely lady's birthday.  After meeting with Tracey and Shannon about the upcoming Fall Flavors event in September, I picked up breakfast to-go from Casa Mia.   After that, we rented bikes and toured the waterfront through the beautiful Victoria Park . . . the weather was perfect, and the homes were quite charming all along the route.  A quick stop off at the St. James Gate was the perfect place to grab a nosh for lunch - Greek nachos, wings, a few beers, and a frozen Bellini made with real peaches that was fantastic.  (You can hopefully see by this point my entire diet was put on hold for the week).  After riding around downtown to work off the calories, we finished getting ready and met Kurt and Keith at the Yacht club for a sailing tour of the harbor.  Definitely a highlight of the trip; we enjoyed wine and cheese with stunning views of the ocean, downtown waterfront, and a few lighthouses that surround the area.  And just like that, we were back at Sim's Corner Steakhouse for an incredible birthday dinner - thanks to everyone for the personal attention and great meal.

Thursday - Sunday was quite the blur.  With the help of Ross and Cory, we were able to put out several hundred pounds of food each day - featuring tons of local P.E.I. ingredients including Lobster, Potatoes, and Sausage (Island Taylored Meats).  To say that the ingredients on this island are incredible would be a huge understatement.  We supplemented our low-country boil with corn, shrimp, craw-fish, onions, and several Molson Canadians.  After noticing that the Canadian palate is a bit more mild than say, in Southern Louisiana, I backed off my liberal use of cayenne pepper in the seasoning blend - even though I did add a little more kick with each day!

Overall, I can't say enough good things about all of the kind people we met.  Everyone was polite, courteous, informed, and enthusiastic about our work.  A local was even kind enough to drop off some Acadian meat pies to show his appreciation - they were fantastic!  A few were even so kind to tell me that the lobster was the 'best they had ever eaten' . . . so thanks for stoking my ego!

And of course, there's the music!  Brad Paisley, Trace Adkins, Aaron Lewis, Toby Keith, Eric Church, and a slew of others including some great Canadian acts all made up an incredible roster of talent.  Did I mention I played 4 shows as well?  Thanks to all for a great response on all of my songs - it's always a pleasure to perform in front of such a receptive audience.

I was able to sample even more food (imagine that) from Fishbones, Castellos, and a final trip to the Gahan House for more fish & chips before making my return to Nashville.  What an incredible week of eating, drinking, cooking, and performing.

A special thanks to Chris and Kevin Meyer, Jeff Squires, Ross Munro, Cory, Charlie, Kurt, Kim, Tracey, Shannon, Kelley, The Murphy's and all of the others who made our trip a lasting and memorable experience.  I can't wait to return in September!

Now, it's time to get back to the No, Low, Go Diet to get back into shape!


The rolling green hills make up the landscape of P.E.I.

The harbor outside of New Glasgow

A beautiful church in New Glasgow

Lobster + Beer = Good Times!

Locals feasting on the Low-Country Boil

After a successful day of sailing the harbor

Friday, July 1, 2011

Low-Country Boil

I suppose I lied - after all, I was supposed to be taking a break, right?  Oh well, I wanted to provide my recipe for a low-country boil, which I'll be serving to hundreds of country music fans next week in PEI Canada.  To make things even better, I'll be adding in some fresh PEI ingredients: lobster, potatoes, corn, onions, sauasage, etc.  It's going to be a blast!  Forget hamburgers and hotdogs over this 4th of July - pick yourself up some shrimp, crabs, crawfish, lobster, etc. and get down Cajun style!

All the best!

Note:  We southerner’s love throwing ourselves a party.  After all, I can think of nothing better than sharing good food and cold beer with ten of my best friends.  I love this recipe because the eating experience is communal, and quite frankly cleanup is quick and easy.
 I will forever be indebted to the kind folks who have shared their opinions, philosophies, and methods with regards to making the perfect low country boil.  I can say that I do rest on the side of Les Cajuns when it comes to spice, crawfish, sausage, etc.  However, there are a few folks over on the Atlantic that do things right in the boil world, especially if you are in Baltimore eating Blue Crabs and drinking Yuengling at LP Steamers.  In other words, this recipe is the sum of my experiences, travels, tastes, and preferences.
My highest recommendation is to always have cold beer, good folks, and good tunes around during boil season [Important: boils are always remembered by number and season, i.e. This is the third boil of the season]
I’ll be honest, the following ingredients are mere approximations, and they tend to get fuzzier with each beer that is consumed throughout the boil process. However, I can guarantee that this recipe will have your friends giving you high fives and thanking you for years to come.   
5lbs Small red potatoes
5lbs Vidalia onions, quartered
3lbs Fresh yellow corn, shucked, and cut in half
2lbs Large button mushrooms
5lbs Andouille sausage
5lbs Large Shrimp, deveined, head and shell on
10lbs Large Live Crawfish (I like to purge my crawfish in saltwater for 30 minutes to ensure that they are clean.  IMPORTANT-Do not add dead crawfish to the pot)
5-6 Bay Leaves
2 heads of Garlic
1 bunch of Celery
3 Lemons (halved)
10-12 Peppercorns
6 12 oz Beers
Pick a bag of Zatarain’s PRO BOIL.  It should last you the season, and it is the best stuff on the market.  Do not use any “boil in a bag” or “concentrated liquid products”.  In a pinch, I suggest adding a liberal amount of Tony Chachere’s seasoning to the water.
Fill a large 60 quart pot 2/3 full of water.  Add all seasonings into the pot; crank up the heat with the lid on to quicken the process.  Once the water comes to a boil, add potatoes and corn.  After 5-10 minutes (1 beer), add onions, mushrooms, and sausage.  Return to a slow boil, after 10 minutes add crawfish.  Allow the water to come back to a strong boil for 1-2 minutes and finally add the shrimp.  Immediately turn off the heat and cover the pot.  Allow the pot to sit undisturbed for at least 10 minutes.  Next, stir the pot to ensure that the crawfish are bright red in color and the shrimp are pink and firm.  Note, at this point you can allow the boil to soak up more flavor/heat, by allowing it to rest.  Drain the basket and pour out on a large table covered with newspapers.  Season the boil with Cajun seasoning.  Have lemon slices and paper towels readily available.   Drink and eat up.