In case you didn’t know, May is my favorite month of the entire year. Always full of fun events and happenings like Cinco de Mayo, the Kentucky Derby, Steeplechase, Memorial Day, and of course, the best one of all –My Birthday! Yep, in less than a week I’ll be blowing out the candles on my cake (we won’t talk about how many). But anyone that knows me well knows that I don’t just celebrate the day I was born. It all begins well before that day and pretty much goes until the calendar reads “June”. Kicking off my weekend of birthday festivities this year will be my favorite Nashville food event: Generous Helpings!
If you weren’t reading this blog a year ago, then you missed out on the great time I had at the last event, so you MUST click over and read about it right now. Really, I insist.
Once you read that, it shouldn’t be hard to convince you to come join me this Thursday night at the Nashville Farmers’ Market to devour all the scrumptious food from some of the areas best independent restaurants. 55 South, City House, Eastland Cafe, F. Scott’s, Miel, Park Cafe, Red Pony, Tayst, and Watermark are just a few that will be participating. Of course there are MANY, MANY more, including the new Holland House, which I haven’t had the chance to try yet. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what they’re cooking up.
Since we’re on the topic of participating restaurants, I guess now would be a good time to mention that this year I’ll be serving up food instead of just gobbling it up! You can find me at the Tayst table where I’ll be lending a hand to chef/owner Jeremy Barlow. I don’t know what he has up his sleeve for Thursday, but I know that last year he made this to-die-for bread pudding:
Root Beer Braised Pork Bread Pudding with Sarsparilla Creme and Sea Salt
So be sure to drop by our table to see what unique dish he’s concocted this time and, of course, say hello to me!
What: Generous Helpings When: Thursday, May 20, 2010
Where: Nashville Farmers’ Market
900 Rosa L Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN 37208
This weekend I picked up some lovely asparagus at the farmers’ market to make this lasagna recipe I cut out of a magazine a long, long time ago. The lady who wrote it said that her “meat and potatoes” husband was hooked on it, so I was hoping mine would feel the same way.
When Ravi asked what I was making for dinner, my answer wasn’t exactly met with unbridled enthusiasm. Thankfully though he’s a good sport and keeps an open mind with my Meatless Monday experiments.
Success! Rich and creamy, we both couldn’t help reaching for second helpings and look forward to having leftovers this week~
Roasted Asparagus Lasagna
Serves 12. Adapted from Taste of Home.
2 lbs of fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup shredded carrots
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
Dash of ground cloves
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1 -1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 -1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Place asparagus, mushrooms and carrots in a shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil, toss to coat. (I actually use my oil mister instead of measuring and tossing). Bake at 45o degrees for 10 minutes or until vegetables are browned; set aside. Reduce heat to 35o degrees.
In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper and ground cloves until smooth. Gradually stir in the milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened. Set aside. In a large skillet, saute onion and garlic in remaining oil until tender. Remove from heat; add roasted asparagus, mushrooms and carrots. Salt and pepper to taste.
In a greased 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish, layer four noodles, a third of the asparagus mixture, a third of the white sauce, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers twice.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until heated through. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.
I’ve been anxiously awaiting the new Burger Up on 12 South for months. As my trip to China drew near, they were getting closer and closer to opening the doors. My hope was that they would open before I left so I wouldn’t miss out on the grand opening…I hate when I miss out on these things you know!
But the day came for me to board my flight and sadly, no Burger Up yet. Fast forward 2 weeks when I arrive back in Nashville after eating loads and loads of Chinese food. With an intense burger craving, I plotted where to go to get my fix. Lo and behold, what do you know? I hadn’t, in fact, missed out on the opening of our new burger joint. Instead I was just in time, as the doors were opening that very weekend!
I’d previously gotten a sneak peek at the menu from Chef Chris Hyler, and was so excited to try so many things, but that night it was all about the burger. And it did not disappoint.
As Nashville begins to dry out, many are looking for ways that they can help. Some of you may not be physically able to lend a hand in the clean up efforts, but a week from today an event will take place that should be easy for anyone and everyone to participate in, because all you have to do is eat!
Nashville restaurants and food media are pulling together to organize “Eat Out for Nashville”, a charity event that will benefit the flood victims of Middle Tennessee. On Monday, May 17th, participating restaurants will donate 50% of their proceeds* to the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund of the Community Fund of Middle Tennessee. Doug Hogrefe, owner of Amerigo, is the one responsible for this brilliant (and generous) idea, and was the first one to add his restaurants to the list.
Now the word is starting to spread and others are coming on board, including one restaurant that has barely been in business for a week! Here’s who we’ve got so far:
Qdoba- 3 locations: Nashville: 2019 West End Ave (by Vandy) Brentwood: 782 Old Hickory Blvd (by Target) Hendersonville: 300 Indian Lake Blvd (by Regal Cinemas) 9 Fruits Smoothies (50 percent of sales on all “Muddy River” Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothies)
And last but certainly not least, my absolute favorite watering hole, The Patterson House , will be closed on Monday, but is still doing their part by donating 50% of their Tuesday, 5/18 business to the cause!
(List Updated 5/16)
To keep up-to-date on participating restaurants as the list grows, follow @EatOutForNash on Twitter or on Facebook.
All of you Middle Tennessee restaurant owners out there- please email EatOutForNashville@gmail.com or call Chris Chamberlain at (615) 852-7675 for more information on your participation!
NOTE: Most restaurants are donating for dinner only or for specific meals, although some are participating all day. It’s a good idea to call the restaurant in advance to confirm.
*In addition to particpating in Monday’s Eat Out for Nashville fundraiser, Menchie’s Yogurt will also be hosting a Flood Benefit Weekend on Friday 5/14 & Saturday 5/15, giving 10% of their sales to help flood victims. Customers are also encouraged to make additional monetary donations to the fund at the Menchie’s store, and as added incentive, dollar for dollar will be matched (up to $2,000). Each contributing customer will receive a Menchie’s T-shirt (while supplies last).
In case you haven’t heard the news, our beloved Nashville Farmers’ Market has risen from the flood waters and will be open for business today! Please go and support our local merchants as they need it now more than ever!!
Between the flooding of Nashville, my jet lag, and the sickness I picked up on my travels home, this week has definitely been tough. But today is a new day! Last night I got a full 7 hours of sleep (finally), and the stuffiness in my head is beginning to clear so I can actually taste food. Happiness!Now that I can taste food, I’m a little more enthusiastic about sharing the details of my final Hong Kong meals with you. These two meals were absolutely two of the best of the entire trip. If I were choosing a Top 5, they would be in it. First their was Dim Sum:
Crispy Roasted Pork-I’ve learned that the Chinese like their pork, and they do it well!
Jelly Fish– chewy texture, not much flavor
Cha Siu Baau (Barbecue Pork Buns)
served 2 ways:
Baked with Crunchy Top
Steamed, fluffy bun
Fried Tofuwith sweet dipping sauce – actually couldn’t stop eating these little nuggets!
Noodles with Beef in Dark Bean Sauce –again, had to pull myself away
Perhaps not a delicacy to me, but yet, they’re not as bad as they look.
White Carrot “Cake”(actually not a carrot cake at all, it’s made with radish. Click here to learn more)
Abalone Pastry –this was incredible.
the crust tasted like a sweet corn muffin…oh so good!
Bok Choy with Tomato
Sesame Balls(no filling)
Shumai –pork & mushroom dumpling topped with roe (pic below)
That meal could have been my last impression of Hong Kong cuisine, and it would have been a great one. But Samuel knew of my weakness for Thai food, so he made sure my very last meal was at the best Thai restaurant in town – Wong Chun Chun. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. Written words cannot possibly express the sheer joy I experienced as all of these flavors danced on my palate.
Thailand Pomelo with Prawns Salad
Oh my goodness. This salad will forever be etched in my memory! Made up of the Pomelo fruit, peanuts, green onion, red onion, sprouts, a dab of fish sauce, and a dash of dried shrimp for seasoning, there is no doubt that I am going to try to recreate this dish very, very soon. The main problem will be the lack of Pomelo fruit, but I think substituting grapefruit might work if I adjust the other ingredients to make up for the added bitterness.
And then there was my drink. I’d already had a few of these on the trip and couldn’t resist one more fattening glass of it:
Iced Coconut Milk
And that’s where my journey ends. I hope that you’ve enjoyed following along and I’ve inspired you to be a little adventurous in your eating. Try something new and foreign–you never know what new love you might find!
Well, I can’t say that coming home to Nashville has been exactly what I had imagined. Today was going to be the day I gave you the last post in my China series, but I’ve decided to hold off. Nashville has more to worry about right now than my eating adventures.
In case you haven’t heard, hours upon hours of rain this weekend turned into flooding and now our beautiful city is underwater.
Whether you live here or not, there are many ways you can help, and the Nashvillest.com website has the most comprehensive list of just how to do so.
For those that live here, keep thinking positive thoughts. We’ll get through this. Even if the national news media doesn’t seem to notice or care that we had people drowning, houses floating down interstates, and major landmarks flooding.
For those of you that don’t live here, please just keep sending your love our way. We need it right now.
Hi, I’m Beth, a food and drink obsessed girl living in beautiful Nashville, Tennessee. I'm always on the hunt for new and exciting things in the culinary world, so I created this blog to share all of my adventures, discoveries, inspirations, and recipes, along with a sprinkling of just about anything else that brings a smile to my face! Follow along and I bet you'll smile too... more