The Nashville Smokin’ Tomato Jam Burger with Red Gold Tomatoes Rocks Any Backyard Grilling Party!

Summer grilling has just been elevated to a new level of flavor with Smokey Tomato Jam!


You have got to try this burger!

Summer time in Nashville is burger time and I can’t think of anything better than hanging out on a Sunday evening with a glass of wine waiting for the grill to be just right to cook this savory burger to perfection! For those of us lucky enough to live in Nashville, we have a cornucopia of quality local products available to us from nearby farms. Porter Road Butcher, my favorite neighborhood butcher, sources local Tennessee grass-fed beef and smokey local bacon for building the perfect burger.

Red Gold sent a sample pack of several varieties of tomatoes for Summer Grillin’ Party recipes.  I decided to create one of my own recipes that reflect the local Nashville music and culinary scene by incorporating quality local ingredients.  Nashville aka Music City is known globally for its music scene and our burgeoning culinary scene. On any given night, you’ll be able to hear lots of jammin’ from the honky tonks downtown on Broadway.

How about a smokey, sweet, tangy tomato jam to top off a juicy burger with crispy local bacon that was smoked in-house at Porter Road Butcher? By stirring in a couple of tablespoonfuls of the smokey tomato jam into the mayo all the flavors  are melded together in the big, bold and satisfying flavors of this smokin’ rockin’ burger.

Say Cheese!

The Bloomy Rind located inside Porter Road Butcher has amazing artisan cheeses from around the country. Kathleen (owner and cheese expert) suggested everyone’s favorite!  Red Rock is an American style from Wisconsin, naturally rinded cheddar cheese with a slight blue vein. Richly colored with annatto and cave aged to maturity. Mild flavored with a creamy texture. Made with pasteurized cow’s milk and aged at least 60 days.


Hopefully, you can find this cheese in your area or click on this link to order some for your next burger adventure! Or, a slice or two of sharp cheddar cheese will be sooo delicious too!


The Smokin’ Tomato Jam complements the savory burger, smokey bacon and tangy,creamy Red Rock cheese and the Smokin’ Mayo just brings it all together. Get the recipe below.  Time to chow down!



( recipe below )

Time to chow down!


The Nashville Smokin' Tomato Jam Burger Rocks Any Backyard Grilling Party!
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Nashville Cuisine
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 pound 80/20 freshly ground beef (one pound for every 4 servings)
  • 1 can Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Garlic and Olive Oil, very well drained
  • Seasoning Mix for burgers:
  • 1T Kosher Salt, 1 tsp sugar, cumin,ground pepper, ½ tsp ground coriander:
  • Buns, brushed with olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Smokey Bacon, cooked til crisp 2 to 3 pieces per burger
  • 2 cans Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Garlic and Olive Oil --not drained
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup mayo
  • Medium or Sharp Cheddar Cheese slices or your favorite cheese
  • Spinach leaves
  1. Smokey Tomato Jam:
  2. To saucepan over med heat, add 2 cans tomatoes, brown sugar, cumin, smoked paprika,vinegar
  3. Simmer until thick and jammy 30 to 45 min.
  4. Remove from heat and cool
  5. Drain off any excess juice
  6. To ground beef, add 1 drained can of Petite Dice Red Gold Tomatoes with Olive oil and garlic
  7. Mix to distribute evenly
  8. Divide meat into 4 equal patties (each pound for 4 servings)
  9. In a small bowl with a fork or small whisk, incorporate the seasonings together
  10. Sprinkle each side with seasoning mix; store the remainder in a bag for future uses
  11. Prep Grill for cooking burgers and grill to desired doneness
  12. Toast buns on grill
  13. Smokey Tomato Mayo: add 1 to 2 heaping tablespoonfuls of cooled smokey tomato jam to mayo
  14. Mix thoroughly
  15. Assemble burgers by adding a dollop of Tomato Jam mayo, burger with cheese
  16. Top with tomato jam and crispy bacon


Hey Nashville, What Are You Drinking? Lisa’s Weekly Wine: Retromarcia Chianti Classico 2011 by Monte Bernardi

Enjoy Retromarcia Chianti Classico for a taste of old world world charm in each glass!



I immediately fell in love with this wine!

Retromarcia 2011 Chianti Classico of the Monte Benardi Estate in Panzano located in the historic Chianti region of Italy, is an elegant Chianti with echoes of rustic charm in every glass. Retromarcia means “to back up” or “step back” to the past. From the first sip to the last drop in the glass, you get the best of yesterday: today. Aromas and flavors of ripe cherries and blackberries accompanied by their natural fresh fruit acidity, a hint of fennel fronds and candied orange peels with a long-lasting finish of this terroir-driven wine is just about as good as it gets.

Tender, fennel-scented veal, pork and ricotta meatballs along with the rich tomato sauce paired well with this Chianti Classico. Matching the key ingredients of the recipe with the unique flavors and aromas of the wine are pieces of the flavor puzzle that comes together and creates the perfect comfort meal! Click HERE for the recipe!

$20 or under— Retromarcia Chianti Classico 2011 is available at Grand Cru Wine and Spirits and Woodland Wine Merchant in the Nashville area.


Hey Nashville, Where Are You Dining? The 404 Kitchen in The Gulch Offers a Very Unique Modern European Dining Experience with Inspiration from the South

Say what? A shipping container? You bet! A unique dining experience that Chef Matt Bolus’ culinary skills shine!

I did not want this meal to end!

404PicMonkey Collage

404 Kitchen reflects the charm of a casual European dining experience with a touch of southern flare! With a laid back and relaxed atmosphere, if he’s not in the kitchen, you will often find Chef Matt stopping by his guests tables to chat.

This was my second visit, and every morsel was as magnificent as the previous visit to this 56-seat shipping container turned restaurant. Although you might consider it upscale, I found it to relaxed, comfortable and unpretentious.

The menu features local and as well as seasonal dishes with modern European cuisine with local flare. The menu is very approachable, not overwhelming, and your server will gladly assist you with any questions you may have. This reminds me of countryside European style cuisine that is uncomplicated and reflects the years that Matt spent in Europe learning the skills that he is utilizing today.

From corporate to kitchen, Chef Matt Bolus is living the dream. And I, for one, am glad he made the decision to sell everything, go to Europe and step in to the culinary world.  Chef Matt found his “true calling.”

On any given day, most likely you will rub elbows with many  of our local Nashville chefs hanging out with Matt sipping on a hand-crafted cocktails or enjoying a bite from the menu. I was lucky to have had a chance to visit with Executive Chef John Lasater of Hattie B’s and Chef Matt.



404 Kitchen has an excellent wine list thanks to sommelier Travis Brazil who has made available such a fabulous selection of unique wines that you typically don’t find at many of the restaurants around Nashville.

Since he was off that night, I knew I couldn’t go wrong with my choice, a Pinot Noir from the Sancerre region of the Loire Valley in France,  Daniel Chotard Sancerre imported by Kermit Lynch,  Sancerre from the Loire Valley region in France just happens to be one of my favorite areas for wine. This lovely hand-picked artisan is lush and complex and I knew it would pair nicely with the meal ahead.


We were in for a real treat! How can you not order the The Pig Plate which features a 14 month aged Benton’s ham, so delicious and rustic ***coppa di testa (head cheese) and crispy pork belly.

***A terrine or meat jelly Head cheese may be flavored with onion, black pepper, allspice, bay leaf, salt, and vinegar. It is usually eaten cold or at room temperature as a luncheon meat.


The Signature Starter was house-made “buttery-textured” Burrata, peperonata, basil, crostini. You will be delighted to discover this rich-tasting soft filling of fresh pieces of Mozzarella soaked in heavy cream where the outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it a unique, soft texture. One of my favorites!


Crispy sautéed radishes are bathed in buttery, salty, nutty  bagna cauda with preserved lemon and chives.  It is perfect for sharing at the table.



This ain’t your grandma’s cornbread!

I cannot tell you how amazing the cornbread is. But I’m gonna try! Anson Mills Skillet Cornbread comes to the table hot with a dark crust and incredibly moist on inside with subtle flavors of  nutty and rich Grana Padano  from Italy. BUT, the  Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Sorghum Butter is the star of the show! Parisian butter, beurremont (83% Butterfat) is blended with smokey, sweet Kentucky Sorghum and a touch of fleur de sel to create a very seductive compound butter that will become your  addiction.

                                                                      Can you tell just how much I loved this?


CornbreadPicMonkey Collage

Chef Matt understands how to harmoniously balance the flavors and textures of a dish to perfection.

My entree was pan seared swordfish (seared to perfection!) which was golden and crispy on the outside and moist on the inside and nestled on top of creamy rich grits, briny and bright preserved lemon, bitter dandelion greens, mint and Sungold tomatoes.


Livi’s choice was the fresh Cioppino with fragrant saffron tomato broth that echoed the sweet flavors of the shellfish, white shrimp, mussels, squid and toasted buttery Tuscan bread to soak up all the broth.


 I knew the meal was coming to an end, but what a way to end a meal! Oh my!

A skillet filled with a warm and rich big Chocolate Chip cookie filled with warm chunks of Olive & Sinclair Chocolate topped with Dolce de leche ice cream, crispy country ham and mint!  Each unbelievably decadent bite made my mouth water with buttery soft cookie and oh so warm and delicious local southern chocolate. The fresh mint and the salty, smokey and crispy country ham was a unique salty sweet pairing that I couldn’t get enough of!


I really did not want this dish to end!



The 404 Kitchen

404 12th Ave S Nashville, TN 37203


Tue. – Thu.
5 – 10
Fri. & Sat
5 – 11







07 2014

Second Annual Music City Food and Wine Festival Announces Star-Studded Schedule of Cooking Demonstrations

Second Annual Music City Food + Wine Festival
September 20 & 21st, 2014
11am until 4pm
Get your tickets HERE!

Don’t miss this opportunity to engage with the Culinary World’s Brightest and Dynamic Stars!

NFWF14PicMonkey Collage

Check out the schedule of the interactive cooking demonstrations!

Now is your chance to be part of the flourishing culinary scene in Nashville during this two-day food and wine extravaganza.

I have had the sublime pleasure of meeting and engaging with many of the chefs that will be here in Nashville for this two-day culinary event! It is especially fun and laid back because each chef is in their element sharing their culinary tricks of the trade. You don’t want to miss this chance!

The line-up of distinguished chefs and culinary personalities is impressive, to say the least! On Saturday and Sunday, you will have TEN events each day to choose from during these fantastic demos in the Dogwood Tent, Redbud Tent, Panel Tent and Tasting Sessions.

For the full list of cooking demonstrations,ticket information, All In or Saturday and Sunday Passes, Harvest Night,  Please visit 

Here are just a few of the exciting, informative and fun events for you to choose from:

Andrew Zimmern:  Chef, food writer, and Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern LOVES Nashville’s Hot Chicken so much that he will share the best hot chicken dishes from around the world in Globally Hot Chicken.

* Mike Lata: In Aw, Shucks, James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef Mike Lata, of FIG and The Ordinary in Charleston, will bring his New England-meets-South Carolina roots to the table, showing attendees how to shuck and serve oysters, mussels, and clams.

Jonathan Waxman: In Mother Knows Best, Top Chef Master contender and legendary chef Jonathan Waxman shares the dishes and culinary lessons learned from one of his key influencers: his mother, Adele, the namesake of his new Nashville restaurant.

Trisha Yearwood is back to satisfy your sweet tooth with Your Piece of the Pie. The Emmy Award-winner and host of Trisha’s Southern Kitchen shows how Skillet Apple Pie is done properly.

Michael Symon: In Paella Perfection, James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef, restaurateur, and television personality Michael Symon puts his spin on the quintessential Spanish dish that’s hitting pans from coast to coast.

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto  makes his Music City debut with a Sushi A to Z demonstration— from filleting whole fish to plating, knife techniques, and more. Learn a few tips from the master of presentation himself.

Amanda Freitag: Rise and shine with renowned chef, restaurateur, and frequent judge of Chopped, Amanda Freitag, in Egg-Spertise. Witness her egg expertise in an eye-opening tutorial on how breakfast is done right.

* Ashley Christensen, the James Beard Foundation’s 2014 “Best Chef: Southeast,” uses her French-inspired, Southern-rooted culinary style to demonstrate the art of all things tomatoes in Off The Vine.

Tyler Florence: Drawing inspiration from his Test Kitchen in Mill Valley, California, chef Tyler Florence will shuck, roast, and milk corn the Southern way — turning the kernels and cobs into a flavorful version of his own — in Test Kitchen: Corn Perfected.

Tim Love: Texas grilling and meat master Tim Love keeps things extra hot in the kitchen to help you celebrate cast iron cooking in blazing fashion. Join him and discover The Art of Burning Food.

Aarón Sánchez:  Spice up your day with the Iron Chef competitor, Chopped co-star, and culturally-fluent restaurateur Aarón Sánchez, as he shows off his Latin-influenced corn specialties, including huitlacoche tamales and corn cakes with lobster, in Husky Business.

………..And many, many more!  Can’t wait to see you there!



07 2014