Sunday, June 30, 2013

Farmers Market House Made Pickles

As previously mentioned, my wife and I just bought a new home in East Nashville.  Now that I'm fully settled in, I'm enjoying all of the conveniences, people, and places in this new part of town.  I'll argue the best restaurants in Nashville are on the East side - particularly one just steps from my home - Lockeland Table.

Anyways, the ONE major thing I do miss was the Nashville Farmers market, which was just a stone's throw from my old house in Germantown.  

Now that summer is bustling, there's literally a feast of fresh fruits and vegetables going on down at the NFM.  But to my dismay, driving to the market just doesn't feel the same.

So instead, after heavy encouragement from my buddy Oz - after a strong stint of bike riding in and around Williamsburg, I went out and purchased a 'cruising bike' for my market trips.  A little exercise, no gas, no pollution, and doing it all in style.  Yes, I've truly become 'that guy' - an Eastside staple.

Anyways, the market was full of beautiful kirby cucumbers so I thought this easy pickling recipe would be fun to share.

Keeps well for several weeks in the fridge.



House Made Pickles

 2 Cups White Distilled Vinegar
1 1/2 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Salt
10 Peppercorns
1 lb Kirby Cucumbers (small), cut into 1/2 inch slices
6 Cloves Garlic, smashed and peeled
1 Jalepeno, sliced thin
1 Tablespoon Dried or Fresh Dill Weed
1 Onion, sliced thin

Bring the first 5 ingredients to a boil, remove from heat.  Arrange remaining ingredients into a Mason jar, careful to layer so flavors are evenly distributed.  Pour the hot liquid over the ingredients, tighten lid, and refrigerate for at least 3 days prior to serving.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bay Scallop Scampi + Zucchini ‘Pasta’

Bay Scallop Scampi + Zucchini ‘Pasta’ (prep 10 mins, cook 10 mins, serves 4)

Seafood scampi is a staple around my house. Served traditionally with linguine noodles, it’s the perfect pasta dish for sopping up all of the delicious and buttery sauce laden with seafood flavor throughout. Zucchini makes a great pasta substitute when you are looking to lighten up this classic. Using a vegetable peeler or food processor, one can thinly slice zucchini ribbons or grate the vegetable into thin strips to serve as a base for this great dish.

 4 large zucchini
Kosher Salt
½ stick unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup dry white wine, or substitute chicken stock
1 16.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
½ lemon, juiced
Fresh cracked pepper
1 lb bay scallops, or substitute shrimp, crab meat, etc.
½ cup heavy cream
Parmesan cheese, grated

Using a vegetable peeler or food processor, carefully slice zucchini into thin strips.

Season lightly with salt (to help ‘pull out’ the water) and place on paper towels to drain. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add garlic and sauté for 30-60 seconds, careful not to burn. Add wine, bring to a simmer, and reduce by half, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and lemon juice, season with cracked pepper and salt to taste. Next, add zucchini and scallops to poach in the liquid, stirring on occasion until scallops are firm to the touch and zucchini is al dente, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, add cream, and stir to incorporate. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The BetterTV Show

Looking for great Summer Dishes for Entertaining?  Tune in to The BetterTV Show today - airing live nationwide for some of my favorite dishes and cocktails!

Bistro Skirt Steak Sandwiches

Brown Derby Cocktail + RGB Slaw

Thursday, June 6, 2013

EastWest Bottlers Update

As many of you well know, I also side-line as the one of the creators and owners of EastWest Bottlers - a boutique cologne and perfume company that I started with a few college buddies.

In less than 3 years time, we've grown incredibly - and I'm excited to share our new website at

For our formal announcement, check out the picture below - or view here.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Turkey Bolognese + Spaghetti Squash

Turkey Bolognese + Spaghetti Squash - this is low carb comfort food at its finest.  If you’ve never cooked spaghetti squash before, now is the time to start.  It’s such a versatile pasta substitute that works with virtually any sauce - red, white, cream, etc.  I’ve provided a step by step procedure for getting it perfect every time.  To keep things healthy, I’ve also whipped up a quick Bolognese sauce using lean turkey breast meat.  For a vegan option, skip out on the turkey and throw in chunked portabellas.  Either way, this recipe is rich and delicious, without the carb-laden hangover.  (Prep 10 mins, Cook 1 hour, Serves 6 - 8)

Spaghetti Squash
2 Large Spaghetti Squash
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Carefully cut squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to core out the seeds.  Season the cut sides with salt and pepper and place cut side up into an oven at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Remove squash from oven, drain, and allow to cool slightly.  Use a fork to ‘dig out’ the strands of squash to be used as the pasta in the dish.

Turkey Bolognese

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Onion, finely diced
2 Carrots, finely diced
4 Cloves Garlic, finely diced
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
½ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 lb Ground Turkey Breast
½ Cup Red Wine
2 16.5 oz Cans Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 28 oz Can Tomato Sauce
Parmesan Cheese, grated

Preheat a skillet over medium high heat, add oil.  Add onions and carrots and saute for 5- 7 minutes.  Next add garlic and season with salt and pepper, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Deglaze pan with red wine and bring to a simmer to allow the wine to reduce by half.  Finally, add diced tomatoes and sauce, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 - 45 minutes.  Serve over the top of the spaghetti squash with grated Parmesan cheese to taste.