Well corporate America, it’s almost quittin’ time on our most hallowed of holiday weekends. And nothing’s more American than using company time to do entirely personal things on a Friday afternoon, so that’s what I’m doing here.
This recipe is obviously of the rich and famous variety (because we clearly are SO VERY both), and it is as good as you think it is. The Chef made this in honor of our last dinner with The Grosshans (while we were still official Memphians, that is), and sitting on a porch eating this with a cold glass of white wine and good company is about as close to perfection as you can get. While you’re outdoors in Memphis in June, anyway.
The freshness of the tomatoes, the sweetness of the lobster and the bite of the balsamic make this dish truly addictive. So if you’ve decided to turn in your hot dogs for fancier fare this Fourth of July, this is a recipe not to be missed. (I obviously will not be doing that because hot dogs and me are an American love affair for the ages, but it’s your life.)
2 lobster tails
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of butter
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Season lobster with salt and pepper and dab one tablespoon of butter on each tail.
- Roast for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Once done place in a ice bath to cool.
- Once cool dice and squeeze the juice of one lemon over them.
Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction:
2 yellow tomatoes, diced
2 orange tomatoes, diced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
salt to taste
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 cup balsamic vinegar
- Take one cup of balsamic vinegar and cook in a pot on low heat for thirty minutes or until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Season tomatoes with salt and toss with Basil Vinaigrette.
- Top with goat cheese and lobster. Drizzle balsamic reduction over salad and serve. (Makes 4 servings)
Luxuriate. That’s the only word that does this justice. And justice is American as hell.
All pasta recipes are welcome at Nummynumnum but even better if they involve goat cheese. Below is a recipe from good friend Chef Leah. I have a feeling this will be a lot more people’s go to pasta recipe after first try. – ts
Chef Leah says: This is my go-to recipe for when I have someone over for dinner but don’t have a lot of time to prep or cook OR if I am cooking for a picky eater! You can make the sauce while the pasta and meatballs cook and then just toss and serve!
One 4 oz package goat cheese
2 oz fat free cream cheese (about 1/4 of the block)
3 garlic cloves
2-3 fresh basil leaves
1 package baby spinach, de-stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 package fresh pasta (i use fettuccine but you can use anything)
1 package frozen meatballs or turkey meatballs (you can obv make these, but SO much faster not to)
1/2 package cherry tomatoes
- Combine garlic cloves, goat cheese, cream cheese and 3-4 large handfuls of spinach and basil leaves in food processor and blend until creamy and bright green. set aside.
- Cook pasta, heat up meatballs in microwave or skillet, whatever is easier.
- While those are cooking, cut cherry tomatoes in half and put in large serving bowl with remaining spinach. Add cooked meatballs to bowl (i cut mine in 1/4’s), pasta and creamy pesto sauce. Mix, add Parmesan cheese and serve!
Chef Leah’s note: you can also add a cubed block of fresh mozzarella cheese at the end to make even more amazing. The sauce is also delicious on other meats, as a sandwich spread and as a dipping sauce.
Like any good Southerner, I love watermelon… Mmkay, you know what? In the spirit of exhaustion and honesty this post-Music Fest week, Imma be real with you: I’m not really a fan.
I’ve choked it down at every Fourth of July catfish fry, I’ve tried it with salt (and if salt can’t help me, honey, I don’t know what can), and I’ve even had the vodka-soaked variety and frankly, I’ll leave it.
But as with so many things I’ve traditionally disliked, The Chef has found a way to make it not only palatable but actually good. Bacon, tomatoes and cheese have a hand in that, but the watermelon itself actually gets a dose of personality here, so go on and get out and proud and pretty with this one. You won’t be sorry.
2 cups watermelon, diced and seeded
2 cups assorted tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp toasted pecans
crumbled goat cheese (or mozzarella or blue cheese)
3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
- Get mixy and then serve atop spring greens. That’s all folks.
The Chef likes to experiment… wait, that sounds wrong. What I mean to say is that he doesn’t like to cook the same thing twice. Unfortunately he is SOL when it comes to these taters because they are the bomb. (I’m sorry. That term is stupid and incredibly 1998, but it felt right, so I went with it.)
As Alton Brown would say on the hilariously hosted Iron Chef America, “the chef is here to offer his most succulent variations,” and so it is with Nummy. Here The Chef provides both the basics and some extra jazz for when you’re feeling frisky. My personal favorite is the horseradish, but I can lick a bowl clean no matter what kind is on the menu.
Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
6 Idaho potatoes, peeled
2 cup of half and half
8 tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 tablespoons of wasabi paste*
salt to taste
- Cut potatoes in half and place them in a pot of well-salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife.
- Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.
- In a saucepan, heat butter, half and half, and salt until the butter melts. Pour over potatoes and mash together.
- Gently fold in the wasabi paste*. Season with salt.
*To make the other versions, simply substitute the items below for the wasabi. You’ll want to add them a little at a time until you’ve found the perfect amount for your taste. You can also use unpeeled red potatoes for these recipes for added texture and color.
Rosemary garlic mashed red potatoes
- Rosemary and garlic
- Lemon and thyme
- Goat cheese and chives
- Blue cheese
- Pesto (1 tablespoon)
- Dijon mustard
- Truffle oil
- Roasted garlic
- Horseradish and parmesan
- Cooked crawfish tails
- Fresh dill and sour cream
- Caramelized onions
- Green onions, parsley and capers
Yummy and easy. I of course dumped a bunch of cayenne pepper on mine, so feel free to spice things up. Ms. Jackson if ya nasty!
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 in all)
Fresh-ground black pepper
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound orzo
1/4 pound mild goat cheese, such as Montrachet
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Put the chicken in the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Turn and cook until just done, about 5 minutes longer. Remove. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut the breasts crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the same pan over moderately high heat. Put in the bell pepper, shiitakes, thyme, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds longer. Remove from the heat.
- In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the orzo until just done, about 12 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water; drain the orzo.
- In the frying pan, combine the reserved pasta water with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the goat cheese, cream, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring almost to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the orzo, chicken, and 3 tablespoons of the parsley and stir to combine. Serve topped with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley.