Showing posts with label Salad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Salad. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen - PRE-ORDER TODAY

Well gents (and gals) . . .

That day has finally come!  My new book, A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen, Adventures in Cooking, Eating, and Living in the New South is now available for pre-order on Amazon! 

As you know, I've been quite busy putting this lifetime's work together over the past few years - I know, my posts have been slacking - sorry about that.  But that doesn't mean I haven't been busting my tail!

It's been an honor to partner with Southern Living to tell my tales - those of family, friends, tradition, history, and adventure.  My hope is that you will use this book as a template to open your home, set your kitchen table, and share great food with your own friends, family, and yes, strangers.

I believe we can all become better versions of ourselves by spending more time in the kitchen.  It's a place that fosters hospitality, generosity, humility, chivalry, intellectual curiosity, and autonomy.  Cooking a meal from scratch is just as manly as fine tuning a carburetor on a motorcycle.

So come along on the journey with me - from Louisiana to Tennessee to Texas to Florida to the Carolina's.  Together we shall cook, eat, drink, and live gloriously!

Head on over to Amazon and place your order now before the release rush on 4/28.  Follow me on Instagram @MattMooreMusic for behind the scenes on the release, and head on over to for more info on what I'm up to.

It's been an incredible journey since the release of my first book - I'm thankful to all of you for your support and encouragement.  Cheers to making this next one a bigger success - to good food and good gentleman!

Very best regards,

Matt R. Moore

CLICK HERE to check out the book trailer below, produced by Wet Paint.


Today, in addition to being chivalrous, honest, and generous, a Southern gentleman is socially connected, well-traveled, and has an appetite for life. In this part-cookbook and part-guidebook, Matt Moore embraces a fresh perspective on what it means to cook, eat, and live as a true Southern Gentleman in the 21st century. Moore takes readers on an entertaining walk through the life of a Southern gentleman using recipes for 150 distinctly simple Southern dishes for every meal of the day, plus tales from family and some well-known friends. Gorgeous full-color photography graces this culinary update on authentic Southern cuisine. Featured recipes include everything from Seafood Gumbo and Gameday Venison Chili to desserts like Grilled Georgia Peach Crisp and favorite cocktails like The Brown Derby and NOLA Sazerac.


The son of a cattleman and the grandson of a butcher, Matt Moore is, for all intents and purposes, the quintessential Southern gentleman. With the philosophy of "Work hard, play harder," this Nashville, Tennessee-based musician, husband, traveler, and entrepreneur cooks the way he lives--simply, honestly and with great gusto. This self-taught chef, who invites friends Luke Bryan, NFL standout Jon Stinchcomb, Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum and more to join him at the stove, is the go to resource for reliable recipes created for the man's-man. His food-writing has garnered critical acclaim by publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and the New York Times--who named Moore's first book, Have Her Over For Dinner: A Gentleman's Guide to Classic, Simple Meals, as one of the year's best cookbooks. With national television appearances on the likes of The Today Show, Fox & Friends, BetterTV, and WGN under his belt, Moore, with his camera-ready looks and Southern charm, is quickly and unquestionable becoming a favorite mainstay in the world of food personalities. 

Grilled Flank Steak + Coca Cola Marinade

Sitty's Fried Chicken
Pimento Mac & Cheese
Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Organic Quinoa Tabbouleh

Okay, I'll admit it - I'm about 5 years late to jump on the Quinoa train.  Regardless, I get it.  What was once the 'super food' of celebrities, trainers, and athletes is now quite commonly found at big-box grocers alongside rice and pasta.

For those living a gluten / vegetarian lifestyle, it should classify as a super food.  It's low caloric content (about 200 cals for 1 cup of cooked grains), low glycemic index (about 18 on a scale to 250), and high protein make this combination rare for just a simple grain.  

Most assume Quinoa comes from the Orient - yet it actually originates from South America - it was prized by ancient cultures including the Incas.

Okay, that's enough for nutrition and history.

Tabbouleh has always been a staple in my family.  I can remember a lone package of Bulgar wheat sitting in our pantry for when it came time to prepare this sacred dish.  Since I was hosting a few folks who are gluten free for dinner - I decided to turn to the media's darling - Quinoa.

You know what - damn - it's tasty.  It also worked really well in this dish.

Since I wasn't keeping traditional, I also added in a bit of feta and chopped kalamatas to give this salad a bit more heft and bulk - it made for a nice addition.

Be sure to make a bit more too - it just gets better with time - put a little away before you serve to enjoy as a quick and healthy leftover lunch.



Organic Quinoa Tabbouleh (Prep 10 mins, Cook 20 mins, Serves 6)

For the Quinoa
1 Cup Organic Quinoa Grains

1 Pinch Salt
1 Glug EVOO

In a pot over high heat, combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water - add salt and oil.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, fluff with fork, and allow quinoa to cool to room temp.  TIP:  You can spread the hot quinoa out into a single layer on a baking sheet and pop it in the freezer to speed up the process.

Put it all together
Cooked Quinoa (see above), about 2 cups
3 Cloves Garlic, minced

2 Cups Parsley Leaves, finely chopped
2 Vine Ripe Tomatoes, finely diced

1 Cucumber, finely diced
1/4 Red Onion, finely diced
1/4 Cup Green Onion Tops, finely sliced
1/4 Cup Feta Cheese
1/4 Cup Kalamata Olives, chopped
2 Lemons, juiced
1/4 Cup EVOO
1 1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Allspice

Combine all ingredients into a serving bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.  Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary.  Allow to sit for 1 hour to meld flavors before serving.

Friday, July 12, 2013

'Junk' Taco Salad

I'm just coming off another great trip to P.E.I (more on this later).  It was a long week of work - cooking for lots of folks and trying to please the crowd.  At some moments I felt like David Copperfield trying to pull some magic off with constantly changing equipment, ingredients, and scenarios.  Nevertheless, it was all a success, and another year is in the books.  Thanks to the team for all the help.

I've got 3 'quiet' weeks till I hit the road again for another trip to the San Juan Islands. 

Let's just say that I'm using these 3 weeks to get re-focused on diet and health to ensure I'm in tip top shape when I hit the water.  Too many lobsters, Gahan House Beers, PEI Mussels, Oysters, and beers, beers, beers over the past week or two.

So I'm settling back into lean proteins, slow carbs, and cutting out the alcohol.  Call it a binge and purge, but I like to set realistic short term goals to get back on track.

That said - I don't like to sacrifice flavor.

Taking it all in stride, I challenge myself to create recipes that cut out all the nonsense, while still maintaining BIG flavor.  This dish is just that - low carb, low cal, BIG FLAVOR.  And I mean BIG.

We all love Mexican foods high in spice and loaded with cool sour cream, guac, creamy dressings, and crunchy textures.  Well, this dish will make you forget about all that carb and fat laden goodness.  This dish simply tastes FRESH.

What are you waiting for?  Make it tonight - I promise you won't be disappointed.

'Junk' Taco Salad - a play on the name as this dish is anything but 'junk'.  Instead, we combine all the ingredients together - without all the fat and carb laden ingredients typical to this classic dish.  Fresh, light, and healthy.  (Prep 10 mins, Cook 15 mins, Serves 2 - 4)

For the Meat:

1 Teaspoon EVOO
1 Fresh Jalapeno, diced

2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 lb Ground Chicken (50% less fat than Lean Ground Beef!)

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Tablespoon Fresh Cracked Pepper
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
1/2 Cup Water

Pre-heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat - add oil.  Saute jalapeno and garlic for 1 minute - add chicken and seasonings.  Brown chicken for 3 - 4 minutes, add water to deglaze, and continue to cook until chicken is cooked through - about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

For the Dressing:

1/3 Cup EVOO
2 Limes, juiced
1 Pinch Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder

Whisk all ingredients together, set aside until ready to dress salad.

For the Salad:

1 Head of Romaine Lettuce, sliced into thin strips
1 Cup Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
1 Cup Low Fat Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese, roughly grated

1/2 Red Onion, finely diced
2 Vine Ripe Tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
1 Hass Avocado, small dice

To Serve:

Combine all salad ingredients into a large salad/serving bowl.  Using a slotted spoon, add cooked chicken to salad ingredients.  Finally, add dressing and toss salad until well incorporated - season to taste with salt and pepper.



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 sauté 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 3 - 4 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 2 - 3 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 Fries - a 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 Mayo - even 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

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.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lemon-Oregano Grilled Chicken + Greek Chopped Salad

As a kid, I was fortunate to spend time during several of my summers in Sarasota, FL.  For my sister and I, spending time sans parents, and with Aunt Marcia and Uncle Al was an escape into a world very different than our home in Lilburn, GA.  Our mornings were passed on the golf course, enjoying an afternoon lunch at the club, followed by an evening meal at one of the many fine establishments that scatter the Sarasota/Long Boat/Siesta Key communities.

To be fair, I'm sure Mom and Dad enjoyed our time away with equal enthusiasm.

Nevertheless, my beloved Aunt and Uncle were "foodies" before the word became fashionable in magazines and blogs.  In fact, I remember enjoying some of my very first "culinary discoveries" while spending time at their home:  cured salami, roasted leg of lamb, mint jelly, scrambled eggs with heavy cream, homemade fettucini alfredo, club sandwiches, and baked chicken with feta.

I'm always appreciative of the insight they provided.  It was a look into a culinary world different than my own.  Don't get me wrong, momma is my hero in the kitchen . . . but like anything else, it's life's experiences that open our minds and shape our impressions for years to come.  I have happy memories of those times.

In fact, I was thinking of those days as I prepared this meal on a hot, humid, summer day here in Nashville, TN.  (Much like the FL weather during the summertime)

This is certainly a dish that I've made all of my own, yet I enjoy it more with each bite when I think about the careless days spent among friends and family of my youth.



Lemon-Oregano Grilled Chicken

2 Chicken Breasts, pounded thin
1 Lemon, juiced
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper

Allow chicken breasts to sit in the remaining ingredients for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat a grill over medium high heat.  Grill chicken over direct heat for 2 minutes, turn 45 degrees, and cook for another minute (creating nice grill marks).  Flip chicken, move to indirect heat, and grill until firm to the touch and cooked through, 3 - 4 minutes.  Remove from grill and rest for 2 minutes.  Serve.

Greek Chopped Salad

2 Vine Ripe Tomatoes, diced
1/2 Small Cucumber, diced
1/4 Small Red Onion, diced
1/4 Cup Kalamata Olives, diced
1/4 Cup Crumbled Feta
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Kalamata Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar

Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl.  Mix thoroughly, cover and set aside until ready to serve.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Grilled Ribeye Steaks with Sour Cream and Chive Potatoes and Blue Strawberry Balsamic Spring Greens

Grilled steaks on a Tuesday?  I assure you, my life is not so glamorous.

In fact, I've just been so busy as of late that I haven't had a chance to share my delicious Friday dinner.  There's something about ending a long week with a large piece of grilled red meat that satisfies the soul.  Paired with an outstanding Zinfandel, and I'm a content man - beautiful woman at my side of course.

I say it all the time, but what's the point of going out when you can entertain and eat incredible meals at home?  Sure, I like to get out and socialize - but romantic meals at home typically always win out in my book.

So what's the issue?  Well, I suppose you need to find that beautiful woman who can indulge in a killer steak without feeling guilty.  Tougher than it sounds.  I found mine.  You can too!

Start cooking gentlemen!


Grilled Ribeye Steaks with Sour Cream and Chive Potatoes and Blue Strawberry Balsamic Spring Greens

2 Large Russet Baking Potatoes
2 8 oz Ribeye Steaks
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
2 Large Handfuls Spring Greens
4 Large Strawberries, ends removed and quartered
Crumbled Blue Cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Sour Creme
Chives, sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Thoroughly rinse and scrub potatoes, place in the oven, and bake for 50 - 55 minutes; remove and set aside.  Meanwhile, set steaks out and allow to come to room temperature; season liberally on both sides with salt and pepper.  Grill steaks for 5 - 7 minutes on each side over medium high heat, turning once for medium rare depending on the thickness and cut.  Arrange greens on a serving plate and top evenly with strawberries and crumbled cheese.  Whisk together three parts oil to one part vinegar with a pinch of salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl.  Pour dressing over greens.  Pull the steaks off the grill and allow to rest for 3 - 4 minutes.  Meanwhile, slice open potatoes, add butter, sour cream, salt, and pepper to taste and garnish with chives.  Plate potatoes and steaks next to the greens.  Serve.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chef Challenge: The Double Date

Editors Note:  This is a guest post by Colin.

This whole cooking thing got real, really fast.  Three meals, cooked at my leisure with no performance anxiety (it happens to lots of chefs , I hear), and now I am cooking for not just an audience, but a double date audience?  On top of that, I gave up home field advantage: I asked to cook the meal at the loft of my good friends to avoid the numerous, numerous shortcomings of my own apartment and cookware.  My mind started to churn up excuses to avoid the obligation, rationalizing to myself that if I wasn't having her over to my actual place for dinner, then the meal didn't count, and I was mercifully spared from this meal's impending failure.  I started hoping to get stood up.  I even started trying to get hung up at work, but alas, nothing could save me from myself, so I grudgingly picked up the poor girl who agreed to be my date, and started the long drumroll to the firing squad.  The only difference was that a good final meal might be the pardon I needed to save me from my fate.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

WGN Chicago

Headed to Chicago tonight to do a spot on WGN Chicago tomorrow at noon.  For those of you wanting to catch the segment on your lunch break, check out it out online.

The segment is all about preparing a fancy steakhouse dinner at home.  Check out the recipe below. 

Lemon-Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

2 lbs Small Red Potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
1 Lemon
2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
4 Cloves Garlic, crushed and peeled

Preheat oven to 425 Degrees F.  Add cut potatoes into an oven-safe casserole dish and drizzle with olive oil.  Season the potatoes liberally with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Next, add the juice from the lemon.  Using hands or tongs, toss the potatoes to ensure an even coat of oil and seasoning.  Finally, arrange the garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs amongst the cut potatoes.  Bake 45 - 50 minutes, shaking pan on occasion, until potatoes are fork tender and browned.  Serve.

Grilled Strip Steaks

2 (6 - 8 oz) Strip Steaks, about 1 inch in thickness
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper

On the stovetop, preheat a cast iron grill pan over medium high heat.  Coat the steaks in olive oil and season both sides liberally with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Add steaks to grill, allowing to cook undisturbed for 1 - 2 minutes.  Next, turn steaks a quarter turn and continue to cook for another minute or so, creating nice grill marks.  Flip steaks and grill for another 2 minutes for medium/medium rare.  Remove from heat and rest for 3 - 4 minutes before serving.

Arugula Salad

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 Pinch Kosher Salt
2 Handfuls Arugula
2 oz Parmigianno-Reggiano Cheese, shaved

Whisk together the first three ingredients into a mixing bowl.  Add the greens and toss until evenly coated.  Plate the dressed greens on a serving plate and top with cheese.  Serve.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Just add color

If you are new to my site, a brief read through any of my recipes will reveal one thing - I like to keep things simple.  Sure, every now and then, I get on my soapbox and post a recipe knowing that only about 10% of the population could ever pull off at home - the problem is - nobody cares.

Food snobs and foodies - tuck your heads back into your black turtlenecks.

Today, I'm letting you in on a simple secret.  Make your food look 'better'- simply by adding color.  Think about restaurant food.  Order a bowl of clam chowder and what do you see?  Not just a bland white cream soup - but it's usually spruced up with a touch of green via parsley or chives.  Just that simple touch elevates the overall presentation of the dish.  Remember - we eat with our eyes first.

Today's simple 'salad' is bursting with color, and it's comprised of just 3 main ingredients.  Simple, easy, and beautiful.  Done and done.

Green Bean, Cherry Tomato, and Feta Salad

2 Large Handfuls French Green Beans (Haricots Verts), cleaned and trimmed
Kosher Salt
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, washed
1/4 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
1 Shallot, finely minced
1/2 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Heat a pot of salted water to boiling over high heat.  Add green beans, and keep immersed in the water for 45 seconds - 1 minute.  Remove from heat and immediately place green beans into ice water.  (i.e. Blanch the green beans until just tender to keep color).  Thoroughly dry green beans and place on a serving platter.  Top with cherry tomatoes and crumbled feta.  Create a dressing by whisking together the last five ingredients.  Pour over salad, toss, and serve.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Stay home. Eat Local.

Tune into one of the many food television programs these days, and you will inevitably find some chef praising the merits of utilizing local ingredients.  If you think about it, it's quite strange that we've come to this point.  After all, in the old days, local/seasonal ingredients were our only option.  So, why is it that we are so focused on the source of our food?


Sure, it's pretty cool that I can pick up a kumquat in my local market in the middle of winter.  But tasting that piece of citrus imported or trucked across the country quickly quells my fascination with modern day logistics.

The fact of the matter remains:  it's best to eat local, fresh, and seasonal ingredients whenever possible.  In fact, most of the time these ingredients are cheaper because they have not been marked up to cover the costs of transportation, packaging, etc.

Forget about the warm fuzzy feeling of supporting your local farmers . . . there are enough Birkenstock wearing, burlap sack carrying, foodie types out there that have already created a 'movement' to spread the love.  Instead, just be realistic.  Local ingredients are typically cheaper and better tasting than the alternative . . . enough said.  If you get that warm fuzzy feeling as a by-product of making realistic and sustainable choices . . . all the better.

Today's recipe is for a simple Caprese Salad.  I utilized fresh basil from my herb garden, along with house-made mozzarella cheese made daily by Tom over at Lazzaroli Pasta.  I was fortunate to have a few friends bring me an assortment of heirloom tomatoes grown by some of Sugar Hill, GA finest local farmers, Marler & Edwards.  These guys are producing outstanding crops of tomatoes and peppers that are all the rage in the Atlanta fine dining circuit.  Don't fret if you can't find their website or location . . . you are more likely to catch these two traversing the serene waters of the Chattahoochee than you are with a hoe and shovel in hand.  With that said, they may produce only the finest of ingredients in the Atlanta area, but your local farmers market or vegetable stand will offer up some great varieties for use in this recipe and others.



Heirloom Caprese Salad

1 Cup Assorted Heirloom Cherry and Grape tomatoes, sliced
6  - 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, sliced
1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, torn into small pieces
1 Pinch Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar

Arrange sliced tomatoes and cheese on a serving plate, garnishing with fresh torn basil.  Lightly season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Drizzle oil and vinegar over the top of all ingredients.  Serve.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pan Seared Ahi Tuna over Arugula Salad

Any fan of Seinfeld will agree that Lloyd Braun was probably one of the better characters to ever make an appearance on the show.  For me, "The Serenity Now" episode has to be my favorite.  You remember, Lloyd convinces Frank Costanza and Kramer to use an old trick he learned while spending time in the mental institution.  Whenever something caused stress, each character would repeat "serenity now" over and over as a sort of calming mechanism.  I won't spoil the ending - but I must admit I'm a little in fear of my future fate.

Thankfully, it's not stress I'm worried about.  Instead, I think my crux of late has been Ahi Tuna Steaks.  Perfectly seared with a cool, rare center, these have been my go-to choice for basically every meal of late.  I seriously cannot get enough.  It's becoming a problem.

Before you cry "mercury poisoning", let me share one of my favorite weekday meals that can be on the plate in less than 15 minutes.  Besides, there are worse things to obsess over, right?  hoochie-mama!

Pan Seared Ahi Tuna over Arugula Salad
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar
Two (2) 6 - 8 oz Ahi Tuna Steaks (Sashimi Grade)
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
4 Handfuls Fresh Arugula
1 Ripe Hot House Tomato, quartered
1/4 Cup Black Olives, thinly sliced
1/4 Small Red Onion, thinly sliced

Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Generously coat each tuna steak in olive oil and season liberally with kosher salt and course ground fresh cracked pepper.  Add tuna steaks to pan and sear on each side, 30 seconds - 1 minute, careful not to overcook.  Remove from heat and set aside to rest.  Meanwhile, combine 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil with 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar.  Season the dressing with a pinch of kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Wisk mixture until oil and vinegar have emulsified, or combined.  In a mixing bowl, toss dressing with arugula until each green is well coated.  Plate a few handfuls of arugula on a serving plate and arrange the last three ingredients on top of greens.  Using a sharp non-serrated knife, carefully slice the tuna steak into 1/2 inch slices and place on top of salad.  Serve immediately.