Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pizza with Mushrooms, Bacon & Leeks

While I am an unabashed lover of pizza, I tend to be a purist when it comes to my favorite food.  I'm more or less addicted to my marinara recipe and think it is the ideal base for a building any pie.  A recent freelance assignment challenged me to craft a pizza fit for the fall season and I found myself playing with brussels sprouts and bacon, realizing that a tomato sauce would not allow these ingredients to fully express themselves.  The crust would need a healthy dose of cream, infused and enhanced with garlic and rosemary.  After several test runs I was officially a white-pizza convert, the richness and comfort-inducing qualities of the bubbling cream a quintessential partner for the bacon and brussels sprouts.  This pizza takes that same creamy base and tops it with earthy mushrooms and delicate leeks, both charring perfectly in the blistering hot oven, mozzarella and blue cheese melting alongside while slivers of bacon crisp and brown.  It is decadent and familiar, a warm embrace of fall to help take the edge off these cool, pre-winter nights. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Halfway to Derby: A Tea-Infused Bourbon Cocktail by Z

Halfway to Derby
Inspired by the mint julep, this stirred cocktail is a perfect drink for a cold winter evening in the Bluegrass, as we begin the annual downhill slide toward the first Saturday in May.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Foxhollow Hot Dogs with Brussels Sprouts, Candied Onions & Pickled Jalapeño

It's hard to improve upon a classic hot dog, especially when it is made of grass-fed beef.  On it's own, this hot dog is wonderfully delicious, possessing a nostalgic quality only bestowed upon certain food items.  The hot dog is one of those childhood staples that never falls off our radar.  It will forever have a place in our lives, be it as the highlight of a backyard barbecue, the requisite snack during a baseball game, or as a simple but vital comfort food.  Foxhollow's hot dogs are particularly addicting, needing nothing more than a bun and (in my world) a squeeze of ketchup.  If you look around, you'll quickly notice that the hot dog has taken a bit of a gourmet spin through various kitchens and food trucks, trying on different toppings for size, resulting in a hot dog experience one would have never imagined as a child. Gleaning from the creative ways I've seen hot dogs reimagined, this recipe takes full advantage of fall's bounty, tossing freshly shredded Brussels spouts, radicchio and carrots with a bright, vinegar based dressing.  Onions are cooked low and slow until they melt into sweet goodness and jalapeños are given a quick pickle, adding spice and bite to this complete hot dog experience.  Each element enhances the grass-fed, all beef hot dogs crafted by the good people of Foxhollow Farm.  So fire up the grill and begin shredding the veggies… an all new hot dog experience is just a few easy steps away!

Monday, September 8, 2014

BLT with Horseradish Mayonnaise

In my hands I am holding an ample sandwich, the bread buttered and toasted, the bacon thick and salty and the tomatoes at the peak of ripeness.  I open my mouth wide and take a bite, the lettuce crisp and refreshing against the bite of the horseradish-spiked mayonnaise.  A BLT of this sort is one of summer's most wonderful gifts and I have a hard time enjoying it during any other season.  It's also hard to beat a meal where you can name the farm or purveyor from which each ingredient was sourced.  Such is the case with this recipe.  I was tempted to call it the Douglass Loop Farmer's Market BLT, as Z and I assembled the sandwich after a particularly bountiful day at our favorite Louisville market.  The bacon was perfectly cured by the good people of Barr Farms (make sure not to leave without a dozen of their farm fresh eggs); the lettuce and herbal notes from Grateful Greens; the zing for the mayonnaise a healthy dollop of Hot 2 Trot's signature Kentucky horseradish sauce; and the bread a special salt-rising variety made with care by the skillful hands of Deanna Rushing, the master baker from Wiltshire Pantry.  And let us not forget the tomatoes - oh the tomatoes! - those were grown with an abundance of love by one of my most favorite farmer's, Pavel.  Eating local has never been so satisfying and I encourage you to create your own end-of-summer BLT during these final days of warmth and freshness.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Foxhollow Farm Sirloin & Panzanella Salad

I suppose one could wonder what panzanella salad and sirloin steak have to do with one another.  Alone they are delectable and addictive but together?  Well they are one of the most beautiful unions in the culinary universe.  In the interest of not protesting too much, just take the time to imagine a cast-iron seared sirloin steak, the fat rendered, the crust seasoned and the outside perfectly charred while the interior remains a beautiful medium-rare.  The richness from the meat that remains in the pan is simply begging to be celebrated, to not go to waste.  The call is answered with the addition of freshly torn bread, tasty sponges that soak up and toast in the savory steak seasonings.  Are you sold yet?  If there is any semblance of doubt in your mind, then please consider the spicy, bright, briny and sweet salad of grapes, peppers, grape tomatoes, cucumber and olives with which the bread will soon mingle.  The essence of the steak lingers in the panzanella salad while the light bite of acidic notes from the salad cut directly through the richness of this grassfed, Foxhollow Farm steak.  Convinced?  I didn't think it would take much.  Cheers!

Monday, August 11, 2014

48 Hours in New York City

It is an inevitable feeling, one that leaves me all twisted up inside every time we board a plane/train/automobile and make the trek back to Louisville from wherever our travels have taken us.  I don't want to leave.  I want to go back.  I need to go back.  This feeling was ever apparent on our recent trip to New York City.  Despite an unexpected third night to explore, my mind and soul were left parched, and the thirst to return is palpable, almost all-consuming.  The thing about New York City is that it is virtually impossible to scratch the surface in one weekend.  But do you even do so in a lifetime?  It's varied corners and pockets of people seem endless, the city moving forward at a rapid pace and remaining rooted in history all at the same time.  It is a beautifully overwhelming place to visit and the desire to return is a confliction I am happy to possess.  Z and I were inundated with recommendations of where to go, what to eat and what to drink.  Everyone has a strong opinion about New York City and everyone has an all-time favorite restaurant.  A spot that spoke to them the loudest, that left an indelible impression on their heart.  I wanted to go to all of these haunts and then some but alas that was impossible.  Instead we remained focused on a few key restaurants and would fill the time in between meals walking and absorbing our surroundings.  Since we couldn't be everywhere we resolved to be in the moment.  And we had some fantastic moments.  The first of which occurred as soon as we arrived in the city.  We landed at LaGuardia at 9pm, took a quick cab ride straight to our home base in the East Village, The Standard, refreshed and hit the pavement by 10:15.  Our first stop: Prune.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Foxhollow Farm Filet with Herb Butter

In my opinion, a good steak doesn't need to wear anything more than a dress of course salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Sure there are boldly flavored marinades and spicy rubs that shine a delicious light on a beef-centered dish.  However when you have humanely raised, grass-fed beef at your fingertips (such as you will find at Foxhollow Farm), show some restraint and let the meat and simple seasoning do the talking.  Oh - and add a large pat of decadent, garlic and herb laced butter on top.  It is a filet's ideal accessory.  A trick of the trade often used in the most classic of steakhouses, it's hard to imagine a dish that feels and tastes this fancy yet requires little to no effort.  The lean nature of this cut of beef falls quickly in love with the richness of the butter, soaking up the spice and herbs as they melt overboard.  It is a natural beauty and one that you will be proud to serve to your friends and family.  And don't worry.  The steak won't last long but this recipe will leave you with plenty of leftover herb butter to spread on bread, serve over pasta or to toss with your fresh summer corn.  It's simply one of those accessories that goes with everything.  Cheers!