Archive for the ‘Recipes’Category

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


Nashville’s University School (USN) Evening Class Celebrates An Evening in Spain with a Paella Valenciana and Tapas Party!

As long as I can remember, I have always had a passion for cooking and eating paella. My Sicilian and North Delta Louisiana Heritage mixed with a touch of Cajun has inspired me to create an authentic paella with a Southern twist to share with friends and family. There are many varieties of paella and I encourage you to try recipes from different regions of Spain and pair with the many beautiful Spanish wines available to us today.

The University School of Nashville Evening Classes become available to sign up in yearly in December. This past Spring, I conducted two Paella Events for about 25 guests each at a home hosted by a USN family.


The Seafood, Chicken and Sausage Paella is always a hit for gatherings of all types! No one can resist the vibrantly colored and flavored paella with the crusty socarrat that has formed on the bottom of the pan.
USNPicMonkey Collage


Paella Valenciana or Paella Mixta with Seafood,Chicken and Sausaage
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
Mixed Seafood, Chorizo, Pork and Chicken Paella Paella is considered the signature dish from Spain.
  • 2 to 3 dozen mussels, cleaned and tightly closed
  • 12- 15 small clams, cleaned and tightly closed
  • About 5-1/2 cups Broth such as chicken, clam or fish
  • Olive oil, 6 to 8 T
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ t dried thyme and marjoram
  • 2 t Spanish smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 red bell pepper, charred over fire, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cups Bomba Rice (Valencia Rice)
  • chopped parsley
  • lemon wedges
  • salt/pepper
  • ¼ t saffron threads
  • ¼ lb cleaned squid and tentacles, tubes sliced into rings
  • ½ lb monkfish, grouper or other firm-fleshed fish, cut into cubes
  • 1 lb large shrimp, Southern Shrimp from Florida, Georgia, Louisiana or Texas
  • 4 to 6 chicken thighs
  • 4 to 6 chicken legs
  • ***Season chicken all over with olive oil, smoked paprika,garlic seasoning, lemon pepper
  • Bake in oven for 35 min at 375 degrees until crispy and done, Reserve for paella
  • (If you are adventurous, 2-1/2 lb rabbit, cut into pieces)
  • 4 links Chorizo, Fresh Mexican style or ¼ lb hard Spanish style or a combination of both
  • ¼ lb Local Smoked Ham or pork loin, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, diced *Best during the summer months with the freshest and tastiest produce
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Sofrito: 1 can of roasted tomatoes + sautéed onions and garlic
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas, 2 cups sliced green beans, garbanzos or big lima beans
  • Parsley, chopped
  1. Cook the chorizo. Remove from pan, cool and then slice, setting aside to add later.
  2. Remove some of the chorizo oil and add 6 T of olive oil.
  3. Cook onions and garlic over medium heat in the paella pan, adding the garlic after the onions have been cooking for a few minutes to keep garlic from burning.
  4. Add the rice to the onions and garlic and coat well.
  5. Crumble the saffron with your fingers into the rice.
  6. Add about half the broth and sofrito or tomatoes and bring to slow simmer.
  7. As the rice is absorbing, add broth as needed.
  8. Continue cooking the rice until just before al dente, begin arranging the cooked chicken, sausage, mussels and clams over the rice, pushing the shellfish gently into the rice, adding lemon juice at this point.
  9. Tent with foil for a few minutes, which helps the shellfish begin to open.
  10. Arrange and push shrimp around the pan and add the squid.
  11. Tent again until all seafood is done and most of the broth is absorbed.
  12. Garnish with peas, parsley, roasted red pepper slices, and lemon slices.
  13. ~Serve~
  14. *To form the Soccarat: once all of the ingredients had been arranged, do not stir anymore
  15. *Sofrito: there are many recipes available, but simply adding sautéed onions, garlic to the tomatoes
  16. Use 15" to 17" Paella Pan

All of the guests enjoyed the tapas while the paella was cooking. The tapas included warm and gooey Manchego and Serrano Ham Croquettes with Smokey Aioli,Piquillo Peppers stuffed with potatoes and crabmeat, and a selection of Spanish Cheeses and Marcona Almonds .

ManchegoPicMonkey Collage


TapasPicMonkey Collage

GuestsPicMonkey Collage

For dessert, the Chocolate Très Leche Cake was a great way to end this Spanish meal. If you want to know more about USN’s Evening Classes, check out the website.




03 2014

An Afternoon of Moonshine Cocktails & Southern Seared Scallops with Billy Kauffman of Short Mountain Distillery and Nashville Food Writer Chris Chamberlain

When three “Southern Foodies” get together in the kitchen to cook and shake up a few cocktails, you just know it’s gonna be good!


I’m a Southern girl who loves to cook and sip on a cocktail or two…..

When I had the opportunity to hang out in the kitchen with two of  Nashville’s most influential Southern culinary, cocktail and distilled spirits superstars ….I said HECK YEAH!

One of the most popular Food Writers in the south, Chris Chamberlain,who writes for the Nashville Scene and Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, features a recipe from his new book, The Southern Foodie100 Places to Eat in the South Before You Die & The Recipes that made them famous!  

I can’t think of a better reason to eat fabulous Southern food.  Chris did the hard work for us by discovering the jewels of the South, NOW GO EAT!

Billy Kaufman, president, owner and operator of Short Mountain Distillery joins us to give some insight and history behind his famous Moonshine, with a recipe over 100 years old. Recently, I visited Short Mountain Distillery, learned all about authentic moonshine and most importantly…drank it! Check out my post on my visit to Short Mountain!

Short Mountain Moonshine is not just for sipping, though. You may be surprised all the unique ways it can be used.


The Bootlegger’s Sidecar is a Tennessee twist on a traditional Sidecar Cocktail from the 1900’s, which is among the resurgence of today’s hand-crafted cocktail recipes from the Prohibition era. Chris takes his cocktails seriously. He  teaches classes on the art of making cocktails which have always been fun, informative and thirst-quenching!


Here’s the Recipe for the Bootlegger’s Sidecar:

 3 parts Short Mountain Moonshine

 3 parts Combier French Orange Liqueur

1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice

 demerara sugar for rimming the glasses

Add cracked ice to a cocktail shaker along with Short Mountain Moonshine, Combier and lemon juice.

Shake and serve!


Short Mountain Moonshine and Billy Kauffman are the “real deal!” The authentic moonshine is made by real moonshiners that have over 50 years experience. Billy has continued the practice distilling quality moonshine by bringing the past and quality to today’s shine in every bottle. Take a trip to Short Mountain Distillery and taste the real thing!


We should be so lucky to have Chris’ passion for seeking out the best Southern chefs and their culinary creations. The fantastic Seared Scallop recipe comes from Garrett’s Art of Fine Food in Montgomery, Alabama. You will be adding this to your collection of favorite recipes. It is perfect for a few guests or a crowd and the Mango and Black Bean Salsa is so versatile!





Short Mountain Moonshine isn’t just for sipping! The Blue Porch Restaurant makes the most amazing Moonshine Chocolate Bread Pudding and Moonshine cookies. The Lemon Ginger Hot Sauce was the perfect finish to the scallop dish.

We are all happy about the versatile moonshine!



Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops with Black Bean and Mango Salsa
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Southern Fusion
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
This genius recipe has quickly become one of my favorites. It is the perfect marriage of ingredients that will make you beg for more and the best part--the prep is so easy!
  • 32 scallops
  • Bay Seasoning, Tony Chacheries or your favorite seafood seasoning
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 t minced fresh garlic
  • 1 (12-ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 1 t chopped fresh chives
  • 1 t chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper
  1. Clean scallops and detach side muscle if necessary.
  2. For the Salsa:
  3. In a large bowl, whisk oil,vinegar,lime juice, and garlic to make dressing.
  4. Fold in the black beans, mangoes, bell pepper, red onion,chives, cilantro, S & P
  5. For the Scallops:
  6. Spray medium skillet with non-stick cooking spray.
  7. Heat skillet over high heat until very hot.
  8. Sprinkle scallops evenly with seasoning.
  9. Cook scallops 3 to 4 minutes on one side until evenly browned.
  10. Turn off heat, flip scallops over and cover.
  11. Allow scallops to rest 3 to 4 min.
  12. Overcooking will result in tough scallops.
  13. Serve on a bed of Arugula topped with Black Bean and Mango Salsa