Showing posts with label Steaks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Steaks. 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

Monday, December 23, 2013

Keep That Carcass: How to Turn Your Holiday Leftovers Into Delicious Stocks and Soups

Originally posted on The Art of Manliness, 12/21/13

I hate letting things go to waste - especially when it comes to time, money, and food. Hopefully, most of you share that same belief. After all, being wasteful is not a quality most gentlemen strive to achieve.

Fortunately my wife appreciates my frugalness with money and time. And the food part? Well, let’s just say that she feels I take things to the extreme. You see, in my kitchen, my freezer is filled with bones, scraps, stems, sticks, rinds, and other mysteries known only to yours truly.
Over the past few years, we’ve spent a lot of time here on AoM teaching you the fundamentals when it comes to cooking. From knife skills, to cast-iron cooking, to perfectly roasting a chicken - these are all skills a man needs to have in his culinary tackle box. So as I was casually perusing the grocery aisles the other day, I uncovered a culinary crime that I had to share with all you loyal readers.

Since it’s the holidays, folks were stocking up on all the essentials: turkeys, rib roasts, stuffing, vegetables, pie crusts, and especially cooking stock. After all, a bit of stock or broth is called for in almost every holiday recipe. Four cups of store-bought stock costs over $5 bucks in most places. Gentlemen, it shouldn’t be so.

Perhaps I’m partly to blame, as I’ve never detailed how easy it is to create your own stocks at home. And there’s no better time to learn than now. Christmas’ turkey carcass or leftover standing rib roast can turn into a luscious turkey or beef stock. The pork shoulder cooked on New Year’s Day can create a delicious stock for other soups and stews (and even chili!). Of course, all of that cold weather and hectic holiday travel calls for a comforting bowl of homemade chicken soup. Better yet, you don’t have to use it all right now - as these stocks keep well frozen for months in your freezer. Just pop ‘em out and thaw when needed. In this post, I’ll lay out how to make stock from four types of meat, and then give you a recipe with which to use that stock. Win-win!

So this year, I encourage you to keep ‘stock-ing’ through the holidays. Spend a bit of time to save what you typically discard and enjoy good eats and cost savings in the New Year!

Basic Chicken Stock

I like to pick up whole chickens when on sale at the market, often purchasing them for less than $1 per pound. Though most folks use the bones or carcasses when creating their stocks, I often just slowly braise the whole bird. I remove the cooked chicken for use in soups or stews, or turn it into a quick chicken salad for use throughout the week. Either way, this is a simple, foolproof way to perform double duty - cook a chicken while creating stock.
  • 1 4 lb. whole chicken
  • 3 carrots, cut in half
  • 3 ribs celery, cut in half
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 8 cups water
Add all ingredients into a stockpot and bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 2 hours, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Strain ingredients, discarding the vegetables and setting chicken aside. Allow the stock to completely cool and chill overnight in the fridge. Skim the fat off the surface, discard, and use stock immediately or freeze for later use.

Matt’s Avgolemono Soup

Lately I’ve been stealing a page out of your Greek grandmother’s cookbook with this lemony chicken and orzo soup. Though this dish is typically prepared without meat, you can throw in the reserved chicken if you want a heartier version. The key to making this dish silky smooth and perfect is tempering the egg appropriately. You want to slowly add the hot stock to the egg mixture, whisking constantly to create a smooth texture. Do it too fast, and your eggs will scramble - which won’t affect the flavor or ruin the dish - but your grandmother would be disappointed.
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups orzo pasta
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 pinch fresh nutmeg
Bring stock to a slow boil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Add orzo pasta and cook for 5 minutes, remove from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, lemon juice, and nutmeg. While constantly stirring, slowly stream in about 3 cups of broth into the egg mixture - tempering the eggs slowly to bring them up to the same temperature as the stock. Add mixture into the Dutch oven and serve soup immediately.

Turkey Stock

Over Thanksgiving, my dad proudly smoked the family turkey on his beloved Big Green Egg. Needless to say, that bird was delicious, and I didn’t want that flavor to end. So, I threw the carcass into a pot and created a rich turkey stock. The next day, I made a big ole pot of turkey and sausage gumbo (below) - feeding the family again on the cheap. Simple, easy, and delicious.
  • 1 leftover turkey carcass, broken into smaller pieces
  • 3 carrots, cut in half
  • 3 ribs celery, cut in half
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 10 cups water
Add all ingredients into a stockpot and bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 2 hours, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Strain ingredients, discarding the vegetables and carcass. Allow the stock to completely cool and chill overnight in the fridge. Skim the fat off the surface, discard, and use stock immediately or freeze for later use.

Turkey and Sausage Gumbo

Turkey leftovers get jazzed up in this hearty, Creole favorite. They key to making a great gumbo is all about the roux. Spend the time to slowly cook the roux as dark as you can stand it - without burning. That extra effort will yield rich, caramelized flavors that are sure to please the entire family - even if you are trying to kick out the in-laws!
  • 4 cups Andouille sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cups fresh okra, washed with ends trimmed
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 2 bell peppers, finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 10 cups turkey stock, warmed
  • 4 cups leftover turkey meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cups hot cooked rice
Preheat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add sausage and brown for 5-6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage to a plate; add okra and cook for another 6 minutes, or until slightly charred. Remove okra and combine oil and flour in the pot, reducing heat to low. Whisk oil and flour until combined, whisking constantly, until dark brown and caramel in color, 40-50 minutes. Add onions and peppers and sauté until tender, 10 minutes. Next add garlic, and sauté until just fragrant. Deglaze by adding tomatoes, followed by one cup of stock at a time, stirring to ensure everything is evenly incorporated. Bring mixture to a slow boil, adding sausage and okra back into the pot and simmering until tender, about 15 minutes. When okra is tender, add reserved turkey meat and heat through. Serve with hot cooked rice.

Rib Roast (Beef) Stock

Standing rib roast is a Christmas Day special, one which we’ve perfectly outlined before. The problem is that most folks tend to throw away that roasted rib bone - what a waste! This year, turn that leftover bone into a delicious stock for my hearty, beef + vegetable soup.
  • 2 lb. leftover roasted rib bone
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 carrots, cut in half
  • 3 ribs celery, cut in half
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 8 cups water
Add rib bone into a preheated stockpot over medium heat. Sear the bone on all sides for a few minutes. Add wine, scraping up any of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Next, add remaining ingredients into pot and bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 3 hours, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Strain ingredients, discarding the vegetables and rib bone. Allow the stock to completely cool and chill overnight in the fridge. Skim the fat on the surface, discard, and use stock immediately or freeze for later use.

Beef + Vegetable Soup

This dish screams comfort cooking, not to mention the fact that it can cure any holiday hangover. I like to toss whatever fresh vegetables I have on hand into this dish - making it super filling and quite healthy too. Go easy on the carbs by omitting the potatoes.
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs. beef stew meat
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 cups frozen lima beans, thawed
  • 2 Russet potatoes, diced
Preheat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add oil. Brown the meat, working in batches if necessary, for a few minutes on all sides. Next, add onions, carrots, and celery and sauté until tender, 10 minutes. Add garlic, followed by the tomatoes to deglaze the pot, scraping up any of the browned bits in the pan using a wooden spoon. Add stock, followed by the remaining vegetables and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Pork Stock

It’s been rumored that pork is served on New Year’s Day to provide good fortune and abundance throughout the year. Truth be told, I eat pork as much as possible, often in smoked BBQ or bacon form! That being said, when its cold outside, I don’t always feel like breaking out the smoker, so I like to brown and slowly braise my pork shoulder in a Dutch oven. The meat turns out moist, perfectly stringy, and delicious when served piled atop cooked greens, rice, and black-eyed peas (a la New Year’s Day), or in my pork green chili (below). You can also use this broth as a base for making homemade pho - which seems to be all the rage these days.
  • 1 6 lb. pork shoulder
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 carrots, cut in half
  • 3 ribs celery, cut in half
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 10 cups water
Add pork shoulder into a pre-heated stockpot over medium heat. Sear the shoulder on all sides, except the fat cap, for 5-6 minutes. Add wine, scraping up any of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Next, add remaining ingredients into a stockpot and bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 4 hours, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Strain ingredients, discarding the vegetables and bone while reserving the pork meat for later use. Allow the stock to completely cool and chill overnight in the fridge. Skim the fat on the surface, discard, and use stock immediately or freeze for later use.

Pork Green Chili

I often get tired of tomato, beef, and bean-based chili, so I take a nod from one of Colorado’s most prideful, and fiercely debated dishes in the following recipe. Green or red chili, whatever side you stand on, I really don’t care; they are both delicious. This version is a bit sour and salty with the flavors of fresh lime and spice - a good bit of heat is also playing behind the scenes as well. Trust me, it’s a great dish and a nice change of pace when entertaining guests throughout the end of this year’s football season.
  • 1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed and cut in half
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, cut in half
  • 6 poblano peppers, cut in half with seeds removed
  • 8 cups pork stock
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 lbs. reserved braised pork, pulled into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, diced
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange the tomatillos, onions, jalapenos, and poblano peppers onto a baking sheet, ensuring poblanos are skin side up, and roast uncovered until browned and charred, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, add stock, lime juice, and seasonings into a Dutch oven and warm over medium heat. Remove roasted vegetables from the oven and throw everything into the pot, except for the poblanos. Allow the poblanos to cool, remove the outer skin, and finely chop. Meanwhile, use an immersion blender to puree the roasted vegetables into the stock until rich and smooth. Add the chopped poblanos and pork meat into the pot and bring to a slow boil. Make a slurry with the flour and 1/4 cup water, pour into the pot (bring back to boil if needed), and reduce heat to low. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired, just prior to serving.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Night Grilled Skirt Steak

I'm back from an incredible trip to the San Juan Islands - plenty of highlights from Salmon Fishing and Crabbing to Yachting to cruising the skies in a Sea Plane.  In other words . . . Life doesn't suck.
Stay tuned for photos and an exclusive reveal from my trip to be featured on The Art of Manliness in September - it's gonna be a good one.

Meanwhile, I'm back home in Nashville, awaiting the arrival of my business partners from EastWest Bottlers.  Our 'business meetings' typically consist of red meat, a cigar or two, and of course plenty of MOONSHINE!  This weekend will be no different - and I'm excited to host such fine gentleman at our lovely new home in East Nashville.

Of course, hosting means cooking in my world.  I'm breaking out my Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman Grill to add some fire and charcoal taste to one of my favorite cuts of meat - Skirt Steak.  <--------- article="" been="" cooking="" cut="" ever="" if="" my="" of="" p="" read="" this="" ve="" weary="" you="">
Anyways - I propose that you start your weekend off right with this simple and easy recipe.



Grilled Skirt Steak
(Prep 5 Mins, Cook 8 Mins, Serves 4)

Extra Virgin Olive OIl
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
2 lbs Inside Cut Skirt Steak

Setup a charcoal fire for direct grilling.  Coat steaks in a thin layer of EVOO, season liberally with salt and pepper.  Trust me - keep it simple - no other ingredients necessary.  Grill the steaks over direct heat for 3 - 4 minutes per side for medium rare.  Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes.  Cut on the bias and serve.

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

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Reverse Marinade

Writing about food can be tough.  After all, there are only so many recipes one can write - re-takes on classics, healthy versions of comfort food, or creative twists on the mundane.  After a while, it seems like I'm just re-hashing the same old stuff.  Ok I get it - I'm bitching about small potatoes (pun intended).  Food writing isn't tough like running a marathon or anything.  Perhaps I should say sometimes I'm less than 'inspired'.

That's why I love coming up with new techniques - such as this 'reverse marinade'.

A few weeks back, I was having some friends over for a 'Greek' themed meal - Charcoal Roasted Chicken, Oven Roasted Potatoes w/ Lemon Thyme Oil, and my famous Greek Salad - all with a fresh heaping of Tzatziki for dipping anything and everything.

Minutes before serving - I realized my friend had a deathly aversion to cucumbers - the tzatziki just wasn't going to do it.  So, I whipped up this quick dressing instead - doused it on top of his chicken, and viola - I was a genius in his book.

Moral of the story?  The next time you are grilling up Turkey, Pork, Fish, Chicken, Steak, or Wild game - skip out on the lengthy marinade process.  Instead - cook your meats to temp - rest - slice - and pour this tangy 'dressing' over the top.

I can promise you will not be let down.  In fact - It'll be hard for me to go back to eating a steak w/out it.



Reverse Marinade - good for use on basically any protein
(Prep 5 mins, Yeild 6 - 8 servings, Keeps 1 week covered in fridge)

1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1 Tablespoon Spicy Mustard
1 Shallot, minced
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley
Kosher Salt + Pepper, to taste

Whisk all ingredients until combined - pour over sliced meat.  If prepped in advance, bring back to room temperature, mix well and serve.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Roast Beef au Jus

Can I get a 'hell yeah'?

I was super stoked to re-create one of my favorite sandwiches for this month's Art of Manliness sandwich extravaganza.  For my step-by-step guide to building this classic, check out the following link.  Yes, that's yours truly using a meat slicer.  Hell Yeah!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Pan Seared Filet of Beef with Red Wine Pan Sauce + Roasted Asparagus + Garlic Mash

Sometimes, I simply out do myself.

Yes, I realize it's been a few weeks, and my posts have been lacking.  So to make up for it, I'm delivering a 'Top Chef' esque recipe and photo to make your mouth water.

Steak.  Steak.  Steak.


This recipe exudes luxury - from the tender filet of beef, to the silky mashed potatoes, to the crunch asparagus, and finally to the rich and creamy red wine sauce.

Forget about having her over - this meal will probably make her stay a while.

Just sayin . . .


Filet Mignon with Red Wine Pan Sauce + Roasted Asparagus + Garlic Mashed Potatoes 

2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 Garlic Cloves, peeled
½ lb Fresh Asparagus, washed and trimmed
4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
2 8 oz Filet Mignons, at room temperature
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
1 Tablespoon Shallot, minced
½ Cup Red Wine
½ Cup Beef Stock
8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
¼ Cup Heavy Cream, warm

FIRST:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Heat a large pot of water over medium high heat.  When water comes to a boil, add potatoes and garlic cloves and cook 11-13 minutes, or until fork tender; remove from heat and set aside.  Next, lay out asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet; drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat each spear.  

SECOND:  Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and season filets with salt and pepper.  Add remaining oil and sear filets, undisturbed, for 2-3 minutes.  Flip filets, and insert into the bottom rack of the oven until internal temperature is 135 degrees F for medium rare/medium, about 5-7 more minutes depending on the cut.  Remove filets from oven and tent with foil to keep warm and rest.  Meanwhile, place asparagus on the top rack of a 425 degree oven, roast for 8-10 minutes, shaking pan on occasion to ensure asparagus cooks evenly. 

THIRD:  Place the cast iron skillet used to cook steaks back on stovetop over medium high heat and sauté shallots for 1-2 minutes.  Deglaze pan with wine, and reduce mixture by half.  Add stock, and once again reduce mixture by half.  Remove from heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter, and season the pan sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

LAST:  Drain potatoes; using either a potato ricer or masher, mash potatoes and garlic into a mixing bowl. Fold in the remaining butter and cream and season potatoes to taste with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Plate a portion of potatoes on the center of plate, top with asparagus, and finish with the filet.  Spoon the red wine pan sauce around the perimeter of the plate.  Serve.

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.


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!


Monday, April 2, 2012

Beef Kebabs

Kebabs - ready for the grill!
I've always been a fan of summertime grilling, especially when skewering up chunks of meat and vegetables and placing them over an open flame.  For me, there's nothing better than a summer evening spent feasting on roasted meat and charred vegetables.

I had that craving yesterday - coming off 80 degree weather and blue skies.  I went to the store and picked up some top sirloin filets, onion, sweet peppers, and all of the other necessary ingredients to pull off a tried and true family recipe.

My grandmother passed this recipe along to my mom, and though it's seen some variations through the years, every time I make up this marinade it makes me think of being in her old house.  It's funny how smells and tastes can transport us back to another place far back in our memory.  Fortunately, they are always good memories for me.

In Lebanese tradition, I like using plenty of fresh garlic, allspice, lemon juice, mint, and even a dash of cinnamon to my steak kebab.  The flavors are bold, timeless, and delicious.

As summer approaches, give this a try the next time you are considering cooking hamburgers or hotdogs.   Trust me - your guests (and you) will be happy.

Lebanese Style Beef Kebabs
(Prep 15 minutes, Marinate 3 - 4 hours, Cook 15 minutes, Serves 4)

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1 Lemon, juiced
10 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint, chopped

2 lbs Top Sirloin Filets, cut into chunks
1 Large Red Onion, cut into chunkcs
Assorted Sweet Peppers, seeded and cut into chunks
2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
1 Tablespoon Fresh Cracked Pepper
3 Pinches Red Pepper Flakes

1 Teaspoon Allspice
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Add all ingredients to a zip-lock bag and marinate for 3 - 4 hours in the fridge, or overnight.  Preheat grill over medium high heat.  Skewer ingredients evenly on metal or bamboo skewers (soak prior to using).  Place skewers over direct heat, grilling for 2 - 3 minutes on each side for medium.  Remove and rest for 5 minutes prior to serving.  Serve.

Friday, February 10, 2012

London Broil

My apologies on my somewhat lacking food photography.  The truth is, the old macbook decided to go on the fritz, so while it is in the shop, I'm left to posting photos via my iPhone.  Hopefully I'll be back up and running at full strength here in a few days.

Anyways, what I may lack in beauty, I can certainly tell you I'm making up for in flavor.  For those of you who are regular readers of my blog you may know two things.  1) I'm not afraid to enjoy a cocktail in the kitchen.  2) I'm typically not a fan of frou frou cooking.

Instead, I like to provide delicious recipes that can be prepared without a culinary degree, or a trust fund.  In my many posts regarding steaks, grilling, etc. I've constantly purported that the lesser known, more humble cuts of meat tend to be my favorite.  It's no different with the classic preparation known as the London Broil.

Note I said "preparation" and not "cut".  Most people tend to refer to the flank or top round cut as a London Broil - but that name is truly derived from the preparation and cooking process, not the cut.

Anyways, the London Broil is a great way to entertain guests on the cheap.  You get a great price on a cheaper cut of meat, and through marinade, preparation, and service - your steaks get a deliciously flavorful cut of "steak".  It's a win win in my opinion.

How do you win?  Glad you asked.  First things first - unlike a premium cut such as a filet or ribeye, I strongly suggest marinating this cut overnight, or for at least 4 hours.  A good mixture of acidity will help breakdown and tenderize the meat.  Second, cook over high heat, and to medium rare/medium.  Overcooking this steak will cause it to become tough and chewy.  Lastly - pull out that electric knife you got in your registry.  By slicing this meat very thinly and across the grain, you are able to "tenderize" this humble cut of beef.  That's that, let's get to work.

Before I give away my recipe, I gotta brag on this new gem I received from Lodge Cast Iron cookware.  I'll be out on the road in the coming months shooting some scenes for a new project in the works, and Mark Kelly and the fine folks at Lodge sent this over for filming.  It's truly awesome.  Thank you guys!

Classic London Broil

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
4 Garlic Cloves, crushed
2 lb Flank or Top Round Cut
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Add the first four ingredients into a Ziploc bag and marinate overnight, or at least 4 hours.  Preheat grill or coals over high heat.  Remove steak from bag and shake off excess marinade; season both sides liberally with salt and pepper.  Grill steak over direct heat for 4 - 6 minutes on each side for medium rare.  Remove from grill and allow to rest for 3 - 5 minutes.  Next, use an electric knife to slice the steak thin and across the grain.  Serve.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Elk Steak

NOTE:  This is probably one of those meals you don't want to serve on the first date.  For most women, the thought of consuming med-rare wild game might be 'off-putting', so I don't suggest taking your chances.  Instead, maybe serve her a roasted chicken breast, a sauteed shrimp, or a nice piece of fish.  BUT:  if you choose to be so bold and serve that lovely lady a slice of this Elk Steak, and she doesn't freak out . . . CAUTION:  You've probably found "the one"

Ok, now that my legal team is satisfied with my disclosure, let's get to talking steak, and more importantly - Elk Steak.  Fellow country music singer Easton Corbin bagged this beautiful animal in New Mexico, and I have been anticipating it hitting my grill for months.  So, I was overjoyed when Chris Tate, (Easton's tour manager) had myself and Luke Bryan guitarist Michael Carter over for dinner.  The catch?  I had to cook.

Fine by me.  For those of you daunted by such wild game - don't be.  I'm probably starting to sound like a broken record these days, but the secret is simplicity.  We had two different steaks (tender roast) which is just off the backstrap or tenderloin.  These cuts are most similar to a tri-tip roast that you would prepare on a cow.  Wild game?  Sure.  Game-y?  No.

I heated my Lodge Cast Iron grill pan over medium high, and seasoned these cuts LIBERALLY with salt and pepper.  A dash of oil, and balsamic vinegar adds a nice acidity and fruit to the meat.  After that - on the grill.  4 minutes on each side.  Remove from heat, tent with foil for 10 minutes.  Slice thin and on the bias.  Keep in mind that Elk is SUPER lean - so you want to serve medium rare (as pictured).  If you over cook this meat, it will truly dry out and become tough.

I'd say I'm starting 2012 off in the right direction!

Snowing and 28 degrees here in Nashville today.  Catching a plane to LA in a few hours - sunny and 80.  Much needed.

Cheers and happy MLK to all!


Monday, September 26, 2011

P.E.I. - Part Deux

Back in the States.  It's nice to sit at home, enjoy a cold beer, and relax on the couch.  Yet, even with one night sans travel under my belt - I'm looking to get back out on the road.

A quick recap of a wonderful trip -

Thursday brought a 6 a.m. wake-up call.  After a few 'phoners' with local PEI stations, I was up and out on my way to Toronto, and on over to PEI.  All in all, a quick trip, and a true testament to the Nashville airport for offering a few direct flights to Toronto each and every day.  Ironically enough, I tend to meet more songwriters on this flight than any other.  After meeting Mark in baggage claim, I checked in to the historic Rodd Charlottetown.  Quite frankly, I had one thing on my mind - PEI mussels . . . and cold beer.  I decided to head down to the Gahan House for a few Island Red's (Great Beer!) and a pound of traditional mussels prepared with plenty garlic in a creamy broth - outstanding.  Better yet, the company of a few fine gentlemen - George Roberts and the hilarious Liam Maguire.  After a great meal, and plenty of NHL trivia, it was time to call it a night . . . sort of.  Upon walking out of the Gahan House, I'd remembered a great bar across the street, above Daniel B. Brickhouse, where I'd visited over the summer.  To my delight, this time around they carried Kentucky bourbon.  Did I say to my delight?  Perhaps it was to my downfall.  In the midst of great company and outstanding local music, I enjoyed a few too many bourbons than I'd like to admit to - leaving me with quite a hangover the next morning.

Nevertheless, life goes on.

Friday -

It was a pleasure to do the CBC "Spin Time" show with Karen Mair - the only problem was it was 10:00 a.m. and I was still feeling the pounding of a bourbon headache from the night before.  Yet, it turned out to be the perfect concoction to discuss Americana music from Athens, GA (Stewart and Winfield "Festival"), Nashville/Kentucky (Darryl Scott "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive"), and my own tune "Tennessee".  Really a pleasure to be on such a great show, and you can catch my audio here.

After that, I was swept up by George for a great tour of the island.  I honestly cannot thank him enough for his hospitality.  Viewing the potato "production", including the farms, storage facilities, and processing plants (Cavendish Farms) was simply incredible.  After that, we passed the day in the company of many great gentleman on the golf course.  Yes, I'm terrible at golf, yet I suppose it was Canadian hospitality that allowed me to eek out a game of sorts for the day - or maybe it was just the Moosehead beer and Fireball shots.  Nevertheless, I had a great time playing with George, Liam, and Hugh-ey . . .  and it was also nice to meet Marcel Dionne.

After golf, it was off to George's farm to check out his new project.  I'll say one thing.  The beauty of P.E.I is truly within the landscape.  Like nowhere else I've ever traveled, P.E.I. has it all.  Undulating hills, spotted with historic farmhouses, crops, trees, and incredible landscapes - all with a view of the crystal blue Atlantic in the background.  Riding in George's dune buggy on his property was the best way to take it all in - truly incredible - I can see why he has a chair simply perched atop this peak of land to enjoy sunsets and the prophetic landscape that reaches all the way to the horizon on a beautiful fall day.

After that, a great hockey game in Summerside, and finally to bed - Thanks to Bryan for the ride back to Charlottetown.

Saturday -

What better to do when in a foreign country than to break into a a well established restaurant at 9:00 a.m.  Yes, that's what I did.  Hilarious?  Sorta . . . Embarrassing - Absolutely.  After getting down to Sim's Corner to meet the great Ross Munro, I found an open door - and an alarm that would make any man check his drawers upon getting out alive.  Oh well, an honest mistake I suppose, but nevertheless, a great way to 'wake up' a great day.  I was so fortunate to enjoy Ross' hospitality by allowing me to prep and utilize much of the equipment from his restaurant.  Seriously - one of the most incredibly generous people I've met in my lifetime.  Thankfully - Cory made it back to help out and assist in everything from prep to shopping to demos to tracking down local PEI girls (for him of course).  Good luck with her Cory!

The Great Big BBQ block party encountered some cloudy, rainy weather, but the turnout and enthusiasm remained high.  Honestly - a special thanks to Mark, Treena, Myrtle, and the many others who spent so many hours putting together such a great event.  For those who couldn't be there, I provided my recipe in my last post.  Overall, it was a pleasure to showcase local island beef, utilizing a cut (skirt steak) that seemed to be relatively unknown to most festival-goers.  My apologies to the butchers on PEI - I'm pretty sure you are gonna get a lot requests for 'skirt steak' from now on!!!  The demos turned out fantastic!

A few more beers, dinner, and good conversation at Gahan House was the perfect way to end a fabulous week.

Sunday -

Well, air travel can be amazing, but also frustrating.  Unfortunately, I met some resistance from an asshole working the gate for Air Canada at the PEI airport who insisted I had to check my guitar - his sarcasm was embarrassing, but I was ready to get home, so I sucked it up, payed the $35 fee, and sent my Martin Guitar off on a hope and a prayer . . . and sure enough - it was lost in the Toronto airport.  Oh well - I finally got her back into my hands (3 hours later), and made it safe back to Nashville.  Definitely not the best way to end a great trip, but then again, I think Karma will come back to pay for that gate agent who got his rocks off by asking me to show him how my guitar would fit into the "carry on" space.  Get a life dude.


A special thanks to Charles for hanging out - and taking these great pictures!

Keep peaceful!