I’ve talked about a few cookbooks here at Spinach Tiger, but none excites me as much as the
Nashville Chef's Table Cookbook, because I know the restaurants and I’ve had many of these amazing dishes. Please enter the GIVEAWAY below.
The book is well written and edited by Stephanie Stewart-Howard, and beautifully photographed by Ron Manville. The restaurants and recipes are well chosen, proving to the world that Nashville’s food scene is something to be reckoned with. People have flocked to this great town to become a music star or to see stars and enjoy the essence of Americana that prevails here. It has only been recently, however, that Nashville has become recognized as a culinary destination.
Giveaway sponsored, picture of book cover provided and recipe printed with permission.
The chef’s table cookbook will take you all around the table of Southern cooking but it’s not just what you think. The introduction is a worthy read in itself as Stephanie discusses the evolution of Nashville’s culinary scene and asks “so what is Tennessee food anyway?”
“It depends on seasonal eating, and what’s available to the farmer at that time…it is the food of the farmer, more than the culinary creation of the affluent and like much of the food we love best about classic French or Italian country cuisine, it grows out of a need to make the best possible with what one has at hand.”
I can attest to the Nashville’s making the best food possible, as I’ve eaten at 35 of the 50 places mentioned, and written about 13 of them. I can’t thank the author enough for her hard work in capturing the food culture of Nashville as she includes the iconic meat and three, Arnold’s Country Kitchen, my favorite food truck, the Biscuit Luv Truck, and the Silly Goose with the recipe for the King Kong Couscous, the dish I tell everyone to go eat. I was thrilled to see my little town, historic Franklin, get a shout out with Saffire known for their chicken fried chicken, and Jason McConnell’s three restaurants, 55 South (recently filmed for Diners Drive-ins and Dives), the Red Pony (best bar to eat at in Franklin) and recipes for a few handcrafted cocktails from the Cork and Cow.
You can expect to find a range of food and cocktails that may make you think about Nashville and the South a bit differently. There is no shortage of mac and cheese, but be prepared for some surprises, such as Mangia’s penne with porcini cream sauce, and the now legendary Mas Taco’s chicken tortilla soup, or the Beef Tartare with Pecan Romesco from Mason’s in the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. Although recently opened, Deb Paquette’s Etch slid into the pages with Duck Breast with Ginger Grits, Sweet Potato Guava Schmear, Cranberry Relish and Pear Butter. The use of the words schmear and grits together shows a new turn in the road and how the chefs drive around here.
I chose to make Chef Matt Farley’s BBQ shrimp because I’ve had them at the Southern and I couldn’t wait to sop up that zesty, buttery, spicy sauce with some crusty bread. I think the recipe turned out even better than what I remembered. I used a very spicy Cajun seasoning called Slap Yo Mama, along with a smoky paprika and lots of butter and shallots.
This is a great dish to serve at your next party because the barbecue butter can be done in advance and then the whole dish takes under 30 minutes to put together. It’s wildly flavorful, rich and spicy. The sauce itself would be excellent for any other kind of shellfish, mild fish or seafood pasta dish. The Southern serves BBQ shrimp as a starter course instead of the typical shrimp cocktail. I remember having this very dish and writing that I wished it was a bit more spicy. I used a hot cajun spice instead of mild and it was absolutely amazing, not one shrimp or drop of sauce left.
Give Away is Over
- 3 tablespoons diced onion
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 5 large head-on shrimp
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons white wine
- ¼ cup barbecue butter (see below)
- chopped chives and grilled french bread
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- ¾ tablespoon minced shallot
- ½ tablespoon Cajun seasoning (I used Slap Yo Mama Hot Cajun Seasoning)
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon minced garlic
- ¾ teaspoon chopped parsley
- ¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until soft, approximately 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook for another 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze with white wine and reduce by half.
- Add ¼ cup BBQ butter and cook until butter is melted and shrimp are cooked.
- Place shrimp and all of the pan's contents in a shallow bowl and garnish with chopped chives and grilled French bread.
- Mix butter in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment until smooth.
- Add all remaining ingredients and mix until incorporated, scraping sides of bowl with a spatula to ensure seasoning is evenly distributed.
Buy the Book at Amazon.