We’ve all been honing our skills in the kitchen over the last couple of months we’ve spent at home. But if you’re growing tired of your recipe repertoire, you’re in luck. A few of Nashville’s top culinary pros have shared a peek at what they’ve been whipping up at home so you can try them for yourself. Here’s what local chefs are cooking for dinner.
SB TIP: If you need ideas for some chef-created starters and sides, we have those too. Scroll all the way to the bottom for that link!
Dinner Recipes From Nashville Chefs
Honey Pecan-Crusted Salmon
Chef Kristen Winston, Kristen Winston Catering
Chef Kristen Winston says if you’re not quite ready to head back out, you can still make an elegant dinner at home. And she does just that with this delicious salmon dish, which doubles as the perfect protein to serve guests once we are back to having dinner parties again.
Honey Pecan-Crusted Salmon
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp melted butter
- 1 1 ⁄2 Tbsp honey
- 1 ⁄4 cup coarse bread crumbs from rustic bread or you can sub panko, in a pinch
- 1 ⁄4 cup chopped pecans
- 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
- 4-6 6 oz. pieces of salmon skin off
- Mix Dijon mustard, melted butter and honey.
- Spread mixture (approx. 1 rounded Tbsp) on top and sides of salmon.
- Sprinkle with kosher salt and pure ground pepper.
- Mix bread crumbs, parsley and pecans.
- Pat mixture thickly on top of salmon.
- Bake at 450 degrees F for 12-13 minutes.
Soup Beans with Rabe and Cornbread Crumbs
Chef Tandy Wilson, City House
“This is really three recipes plated up together,” says Chef Tandy Wilson of this hearty dish. “Beans and greens are obvious comfort foods, but the rabe is lighter than the traditional long-cooked greens. We get kale rabe, amongst other types, from Bells Bend Farms.”
Local farms have been hit hard by the quarantine, and Chef Tandy goes on to say they need help now more than ever. “There are CSA options as well as farm pickups in some instances. I picked up today, got a load of veggies, and I didn’t see or have contact with a single person.”
Soup Beans and Rabe with Cornbread Crumbs
- 2 cups dry beans like cannellini, but any will do
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 small parmesan rinds
- 1 bunch rabe we use kale rabe from a local farm, but broccoli from the store works, too
- Day-old cornbread
- Olive oIl
- Soak your dry beans for three hours, cover with plenty of water.
- Two hours later, preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- After the three hours are up, drain the beans, put them in a pot with a tight-fitting lid, cover with fresh water by one inch.
- Put the pot on the stove and bring to a boil.
- Skim the beans, smash two of the garlic cloves, toss them in the pot with the cheese rinds and 1 Tbsp salt.
- Stir, cover, and put in the oven for an hour and a half.
- Remove from the oven — be careful of the steam when removing the lid.
- Taste several beans from all over the pot and make sure they are done. If not tender, put them back. Test beans every 15 minutes until perfect.
- Put in 1/4 cup olive oil, put the lid back on, and set aside.
- Crumble the cornbread into small bites and spread it out on a baking sheet.
- Toast in the oven until golden brown. Set aside.
- Lastly, cook the rabe. Roughly chop the other two cloves of garlic, put them in a cold pan, and add some olive oil.
- Put the pan over medium-high heat. As the garlic begins to toast, add the rabe.
- Season with salt and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until tender.
To plate: Put the beans down and top with a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle a few cornbread crumbs over the beans and top with all the rabe. Add a few more crumbs to the top and serve with your favorite hot sauce.
Executive Chef Brian Riggenbach, The Mockingbird
The Mockingbird’s executive chef, Brian Riggenbach, shares the go-to dish he and his husband, Mikey, have been making at home more than any other: Pozole. “Certain recipes may get shuffled around due to the list of ingredients or the time commitment, but now is the time to seize the day,” he says. “One such recipe that fits the bill and is about as comforting as they come is my mother-in-law’s pozole. A pork and hominy stew that is laced with a savory chili broth and finished with an assortment of fresh garnishes, it is the perfect meal to get started and let simmer all day, filling the house with an incredible aroma. Angela, my stepmother from Mexico City, always lures us in with a large pot of pozole simmering away. What’s great about this is the preparation is fairly simple — the largest commitment is the time it takes for it to simmer and tenderize the meat, which allows for ample time to bake a cake …”
- 1 25 oz can hominy
- 3 lbs pork butt/shoulder in one piece
- 10 garlic cloves
- 6 ancho chilies
- 6 guajillo chilies
- 6 cascabel chilies
- 1 ½ Tbsp dried oregano
- 3 Tbsp kosher salt
- ⅓ cup lime juice
- ½ medium head cabbage thinly sliced
- 8-10 radishes sliced into matchsticks
- 1 cup finely diced white onion
- 6-8 lime wedges
- fried tortilla crisps
- Measure seven quarts of water into a stockpot and add the pork shoulder and garlic, simmer for about one hour.
- Add in rinsed hominy and simmer, uncovered, for another 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, tear the chilies in half, toast in a large cast-iron pan, pressing down on them all until they blacken and blister in places — about 30 seconds to one minute per side.
- Set in a bowl, cover with hot water and let soak for 30 minutes.
- Puree the chilies along with 1 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid and oregano.
- Strain into the soup, mix well. Season generously with salt.
- Let simmer another hour.
- Simmer until the pork is tender, then remove all of the pork pieces.
- Cool the meat, remove meat from bones, discard cartilage and bones. Shred the pork shoulder, reserve all of the meat.
- Re-season the soup with salt and lime juice.
To serve: Reheat the meat in the broth, ladle into large bowls, top with a small portion of the cabbage, radish, onion, and tortilla crisps. Serve with lime wedges.
Chef Johnny Haffner, Catering by Johnny Haffner
When you want to bring a touch of the bayou to your Music City home, this shrimp creole recipe from Chef Johnny Haffner delivers. Johnny says quite simply, “Dinner tonight.” Don’t mind if we do!
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic but I use 6
- 2 large onions chopped
- 4 stalks of celery at least
- 2 bell peppers I use red, but most recipes call for green
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 cups of clam juice
- 1 can of really good Italian tomatoes
- 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
- 1-3 dashes hot sauce I use at least three
- 2 bay leaves
- Kosher salt and ground pepper
- 2 Lbs large shrimp
- Heat dutch oven pan on medium
- Cook in oil: onion, celery, peppers and garlic, until soft (about five minutes)
- Add cayenne
- Add clam juice, tomatoes, hot sauce and bay leaves
- Simmer for 35 minutes
- Taste sauce and adjust seasoning
- Cut off heat and add shrimp, stir
- Rest for five minutes
- Serve on white rice or creamy polenta, which is my favorite
Need some ideas for starters or sides? Click HERE for more local chefs’ favorite recipes!
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