Archive for the ‘Main Course’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


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


Traditional Italian Cooking with a Southern Accent! Black-eyed Pea Tortellini, Ham Hock Brodo & Collards Paired with an Italian wine Feliciana Lugana!


Give pasta and collards to this Italian girl from the
south and this is what she makes!


When Old World Italian roots integrate with a Southern lifestyle and Cooking …

It all began when my Sicilian grandparents sailed to American to live the American dream and made their home in the Mississippi Delta of Greenville, Mississippi. Throughout my childhood and with every meal I was reminded of my strong and enduring Sicilian heritage. I never knew that collard greens weren’t usually cooked with garlic and olive oil and topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese and I always considered capers and olives a childhood treat!  When I stumbled upon Chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman’s Collards & Carbonara Cookbook, it was more than a glimpse into my family’s daily culinary routine when I was a child growing up in an Italian family in the South. I believe we were the lucky ones that got to experience the fusion of two cultures, two culinary world’s that nourished our bodies as well as our souls.

Who would have guessed that two Italian boys from Mississippi would inspire and evoke such wonderfully rich memories of growing up Italian with North Delta Mississippi and Louisiana roots!

I’m a really lucky girl! Recently, I actually got to meet Chefs Michael and Andrew at the Nashville Wine Auction’s Pairings 2014 Event!  They know that I’m a real Italian girl with Southern roots! I plan to re-create many more of their close-to-heart recipes!


What I once considered the way we cooked was “just the way we cooked ” now has validation. What I knew in my heart is  now put into words and recipes that have honored my heritage, now I know for sure “why I am the way I am!”

The Recipe

The hand-made tortellini is stuffed with cooked black-eyed peas that were put into a food processor with smoky house made bacon from Porter Road Butcher, garlic that I roasted, bread crumbs and ricotta with a dash of pepper sauce. We carefully formed each tortellini by hand and got really good at making them! I must admit that I couldn’t have done it without the skills and patience of my sister-in-law, Olivia and my fellow Italian friend and Pasta aficionado, Tom Lazzaro of Lazzaroli’s Pasta Shop here in Nashville. I convinced him to sell me a few sheets of pasta to make the tortellini (so I wouldn’t have to make it!)


This collard greens recipe is so amazing and flavorful; just the way I remembered it when my momma cooked them! Porter Road Butcher smoky ham hocks were cooked in chicken broth until tender. The wonderfully smoky, rich meat fell off the bone and added back to the broth.


If you think you’ve had the best black-eyed peas, just wait until you try this masterpiece.



Believe it or not, I had never made tortellini before! We got the hang of it very quickly and I will be making more!






Feliciana Felugan Lugana 2012  

*Grape Varietal: Trebbiano di Lugana   *Floral and fruity white wine from the Lugana region of Italy

Lugana is a region of Italy that you may not be as familiar with as other Italian grapes but this is a wine that is definitely worth tasting!  Trebbiano is the grape varietal that fills every sip with delicate floral notes, notable minerality or acidity and you will swear that you tasted a fresh peach or apricot in each drop. This wine is intense, aromatic and balanced with a slightly elevated level of residual sugar making this a perfect wine to pair with the strong flavors of collard greens, smoky ham hocks and that amazing stuffed tortellini!





Traditional Italian Cooking with a Southern Accent! Black-eyed Pea Tortellini, Ham Hock Brodo & Collards! Of Course, a Wine to Pair!
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian Cuisine Inspired by the South
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
Adapted from Collards & Carbonara, by Andrew Ticer & Michael Hudman (Olive Press, 2013).
  • For the Southern-style collard greens:
  • 2 lb. (1 kg) sturdy collard greens, stems removed and leaves
  • torn into fork-size pieces
  • 2 ham hocks, preferably Benton’s
  • 8 cups (64 fl. oz./2 l) chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • For the ham hock brodo:
  • Olive oil as needed
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. roasted garlic (see note below)
  • 2 ham hocks, preferably Benton’s
  • 8 cups pork stock
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 6-oz. (185-g) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
  • (optional)
  • 8 oz. (250 g) dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and
  • drained
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 3 bacon slices, preferably Benton’s
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs. roasted garlic (see note below)
  • Chicken stock as needed
  • 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) good-quality fresh ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup (1 oz./30 g) dried bread crumbs
  • About 2 lb. (1 kg) pasta dough
  • Semolina flour for dusting
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving
  1. To prepare the collard greens, submerge the greens in a large bowl of water and swish them around vigorously to remove the grit. Drain the greens, then repeat 2 more times (collards can be very dirty). In a large pot, combine the ham hocks and stock. Add water if needed to cover the ham hocks. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the meat just starts to pull away from the bone, about 30 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and greens to the pot, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the greens are tender, about 1 hour. You will need 2 cups (6 oz./185 g) cooked greens for the tortellini recipe.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the ham hock brodo: In a stockpot over medium-high heat, warm 2 glugs (about 2 Tbs.) olive oil. Add the celery, shallot and leek and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the roasted garlic, then add the ham hocks, stock, thyme, parsley, sage and cheese rind. Add water to cover the ingredients, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the broth is full flavored, at least 1 hour. While the broth simmers, occasionally skim off the foam with a large metal spoon.
  3. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the ham hocks. When they are cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the hocks in large chunks and reserve. If using the broth immediately, let it stand for a few minutes, then skim off the fat from the surface before using. Or, to store the broth, let it cool completely, transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Scrape off the solidified fat from the surface before using. The recipe makes about 2 quarts (2 l) brodo; you will need 3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml) for the tortellini recipe.
  4. Place the black-eyed peas in a large saucepan and add water to cover by 2 inches (5 cm). Bring just to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the peas are tender, about 45 minutes, skimming off the foam that forms on the surface. When the peas are fully cooked, season with salt and drain.
  5. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and sauté until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Stir in the black-eyed peas and roasted garlic and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the stock and stir to scrape up the browned bits on the pan bottom, then cook until the ingredients are nice and soft, about 10 minutes. In batches, transfer the contents of the pan to a blender and puree until smooth. Put in a bowl; add the ricotta, bread crumbs and pepper vinegar to taste and mix well.
  6. Roll the pasta dough through a standard pasta machine to the number 6 setting. Working with 1 sheet of pasta at a time, and keeping the others covered with a damp kitchen towel as you work, use a 2-inch (5-cm) round cutter to cut the sheet into rounds. Spoon about 2 tsp. of the filling into the center of each round, being careful not to add too much. (Alternatively, spoon the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch/12-mm plain tip and pipe the filling onto the rounds.) Dampen a fingertip with water and run it along the edge of half of the round. Fold the other half of the round over the filling to make a half-moon. When all of the half-moons are formed, arrange them on the work surface with the rounded edge facing away from you. Place a finger of your nondominant hand in the center of a half-moon and use the fingers of your other hand to bring the 2 points together over your finger. Pinch the points together to seal the tortellini. Spread out the finished tortellini on a semolina-dusted baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pasta rounds and filling. You will need only half of the pasta shapes for this recipe; freeze the remaining shapes for a future meal.
  7. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the water is boiling, drop in the tortellini and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan over medium-low heat, warm the 2 cups collard greens and 3 cups brodo with the reserved ham hock meat until warmed through. Drain the tortellini and add them to the pan. Toss until well coated.
  8. Divide the tortellini among warmed wide, shallow bowls, then ladle in the collards, ham hock meat and brodo from the pan. Serve immediately, passing additional pepper vinegar and Parmigiano-Reggiano at the table for diners to add to taste. Serves 4.
  9. Note: To roast garlic, cut 2 heads of garlic in half crosswise and place, cut side up, in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and roast in a 350°F (180°C) oven until the garlic is soft and golden brown, about 30 minutes. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the soft garlic from the skins.
  10. Adapted from Collards & Carbonara, by Andrew Ticer & Michael Hudman (Olive Press, 2013).



02 2014