The inaugural Memphis Food and Wine Festival is in the books — and what a party it was! More than 1,700 guests packed the Live Garden at the Memphis Botanic Garden for the first-ever event, which benefited the FedExFamilyHouse at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital. Top chefs from around the country prepared incredible dishes paired with wine from more than 100 wineries, creating a gastronomic evening beyond compare. We can’t wait for next year’s festival, rumored to be a multi-day event!
Two of the featured chefs from the event were kind enough to share their recipes with us, so StyleBlueprint readers can create a top-chef dinner party at home. Our main course comes from Dominic Orsini, the chef of Silver Oak Winery in Napa, CA, and author of the winery’s first cookbook, Silver Oak Cookbook: Life in a Cabernet Kitchen.
For dessert, Vivian Howard of Chef & The Farmer in Kinston, NC – perhaps known to you as the star of “A Chef’s Life” on PBS – brings us a peanut, Pepsi and bourbon float from her new New York Times bestselling cookbook, Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South.
Dirty Porterhouse Steak, Heirloom Cherry Tomato Panzanella Salad and Chimichurri Sauce
From Silver Oak Cookbook: Life in a Cabernet Kitchen by Dominic Orsini
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
- 1/2 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1 loaf day-old ciabatta bread
- 2 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded, cut into half-moons about 1/4-inch thick
- 12 basil leaves, torn in half
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 porterhouse steaks, each 16 to 20 ounces and 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick
- coarse sea salt
- 1 cup chimichurri sauce (see below)
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
Make the salad
- Combine the onions and vinegar in a small bowl; stir to completely submerge the onions. Let stand for at least 2 hours or overnight before using.
- Preheat the oven to 325°.
- Tear the ciabatta loaf into bite-size pieces. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until dry and golden in color, about 12 minutes. Remove and cool, then transfer to a large bowl.
- Drain the onions and add to the bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, basil, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss the salad to thoroughly combine, then let it stand for 1 minute to allow the bread to absorb the juices and slightly soften. Toss again and taste for seasoning.
Prepare the grill
- Build a very large charcoal or wood fire so the final diameter of the coal bed is wide enough to fit both steaks.
- Rake the coals into an even layer.
- When the coals glow orange-red, fan them with a newspaper to blow off any loose ash.
Grill the steaks
- Generously season the steaks on both sides with the sea salt and press the salt into the flesh of the steaks to adhere.
- Place the steaks directly onto the hot coals, about 2 inches apart. Grill until cooked to your desired temperature — about 4 minutes each side for medium-rare — turning with tongs as needed.
- Lift the steaks from the coal bed and shake each piece to dislodge any clinging embers.
- Use a basting brush to sweep off any loose ash, then transfer the steaks to a cutting board. Let rest for 15 minutes.
- Carve each steak from the bone and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices.
- Throw the bone back on the fire and char each side for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Reassemble the steaks around the charred bone to present for serving.
- Serve with the salad and the chimichurri sauce for drizzling over the meat.
Makes about 1 1/4 cups
- 2 cups Italian parsley leaves, packed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced calabrian chili
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Combine the parsley, garlic, oregano, vinegar, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process until finely chopped (about 1 minute), stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- Add the olive oil and process for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the Calabrian chili.
- Pulse a few more times to combine.
- Use the sauce immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Peanut, Pepsi and Bourbon Float
From Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South by Vivian Howard
- 2 cups peanut ice cream (see below)
- 16 ounces Pepsi
- 4 ounces bourbon (optional)
Peanut Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 cups salt-roasted peanuts, divided
- 8 egg yolks
- A tiny pinch of salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a 1-quart container with a lid, stir together the milk, heavy cream and 1 1/2 cups of the peanuts. Tuck this in the refrigerator overnight. Roughly chop the remaining peanuts and set aside.
- The next day, whisk together the egg yolks, salt, sugar and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the heavy cream and peanut mixture to just under a boil. Slowly whisk half of this mixture into the yolks, taking care not to scramble the eggs. Transfer the tempered yolks to the saucepan and, stirring the whole time, cook until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
- Strain it all through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the tired peanuts. Chill the ice cream base thoroughly, ideally overnight.
- Process the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instructions on your frozen dessert machine. During the last few minutes of freezing, pour in the chopped peanuts.
- Let this ice cream spend at least 3 hours in your freezer before serving.
- To serve, chill 4 glasses. Drop a nice scoop of peanut ice cream in the bottom of the glass, top with roughly 1/2 cup of Pepsi and finish with bourbon to your liking.
Use these recipes from the first-ever Memphis Food and Wine Festival to create a spectacular fall meal!
Our thanks to chefs Dominic Orsini and Vivian Howard for sharing their recipes with StyleBlueprint!
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