Nashville Hot Chicken Tacos

Nashville Hot Chicken Tacos

Nashville Hot Chicken Tacos
Grits & Greens

The story goes that Thornton Prince III, a Nashville resident, had a reputation for being a womanizer. One day, after a late night out, he came home to his girlfriend who wanted to teach him a lesson. In an attempt to make his breakfast unappetizing, she heavily seasoned the chicken with cayenne pepper. However, instead of being put off by the spice, Prince enjoyed the fiery flavor and decided to share it with his friends.

In the late 1930s, Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack was officially established, and the popularity of Nashville hot chicken began to grow. Over the years, the dish became a local favorite and gained recognition way beyond Nashville.

We are huge fans of the city of Nashville, and Nashville Hot Chicken. A little while back we did a tasting of Nashville Hot Chicken in Vegas.

The chicken is often served on a piece of white bread or in between a bun. Here, I take the hot chicken concept and serve it in charred flour tortillas. By all accounts, it’s just another way to enjoy fabulous Nashville hot chicken.

Grits and Greeens

Nashville Hot Chicken Tacos
and Grits & Greens Recipes

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Michael Chiarello’s Marinated Salmon with Fennel Salad

Michael Chiarello's Marinated Salmon

In Memory Of Chef Michael Chiarello
January 26, 1962 – October 6, 2023

Marinated Salmon with Fennel Salad

His love for the Napa Valley is a central theme in his career and philosophy. Michael Chiarrello’s style of cooking married the rich traditions of his Italian culinary heritage with the casual style and fresh flavors of the wine country.

The Chef was renowned for letting good ingredients speak for themselves, cooking in sync with the seasons, and celebrating whatever the market brought. Upon hearing the news of his passing, I wanted to honor his memory by preparing one of his recipes.

Chef Michael Chiarello sadly lost his life due to an acute allergic reaction that ultimately resulted in anaphylactic shock. He was 61 years old when he passed away earlier this month in Napa, California.

🧡 🧡 🧡

About this recipe the Chef wrote, “I discovered this dish on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, an area famous for lemons and wild fennel. The salmon is a sort of ceviche, cooked in lemon juice with olive oil…”

Michael Chiarello's Marinated Salmon

Marinated Salmon with Fennel Salad

This is my adaptation of the Chef’s recipe from my signed copy of his cookbook, “Casual Cooking, Wine Country Recipes for Family and Friends.” His restaurant Tra Vigne in St. Helena, Napa Valley was one of my early favorites. 

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Palos Verdes Pastoral at Terranea Resort 2023

Palos Verdes Pastoral at Terranea Resort

Palos Verdes Pastoral 2023

🌿 🦋 🦉 🌼 “Go Wild for the Peninsula” 🌼 🦉 🦋 🌿

Nestled amidst the pristine beauty of the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Southern California, Terranea Resort, a world-class coastal haven, was the stage once again for the annual garden-to-table gala that marries a heavenly dining experience with environmental consciousness.

Palos Verdes Pastoral at Terranea Resort

Palos Verdes Pastoral at Terranea Resort

The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy (PVPLC) is a non-profit organization passionately dedicated to safeguarding the Peninsula’s open spaces and natural landscapes. Since 1988, the Conservancy has preserved more than 1700 acres of natural land.

Terranea Resort, sprawled across 100 acres of picturesque terrain, continues to be the ideal venue for this splendid affair. Offering breathtaking vistas of the ocean, it was the perfect setting for an event that combined gourmet delights, wonderful wines, entertainment, and philanthropy.

Palos Verdes Pastoral 2023

Palos Verdes Pastoral at Terranea Resort

The fundraiser featured fine cuisine, a signature cocktail, and wine that enchanted the palate and elevated the spirit. As the sun set over the Pacific, attendees of this magnificent soirée found their hearts and minds aligned with a purpose: to ensure that the Palos Verdes Peninsula remained a pastoral masterpiece for generations to come.

The Menu

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Albacore Poke, Jamaican Flavors

Albacore Poke, Jamaican Flavors

Albacore Tuna Poke with Jamaican Flair

This Albacore Tuna Poke is a colorful fusion dish, where sashimi-quality tuna and avocado cubes meet a marinade of coconut milk, tamarind paste, lime juice, and a touch of fish sauce.

With each bite, you’re gently transported to the sun-kissed shores of Jamaica. The tender tuna, the creaminess of coconut, the sweet-tart tamarind, and the citrusy notes of lime are a subtle nod to the island’s culinary charm. Roasted peanuts seal the deal as they incorporate the distinctive flavors of Jamaican jerk seasoning, a well-known and iconic element of Jamaican cuisine.

Albacore Poke, Jamaican Flavors

Jerk Peanuts

1 c. roasted/salted peanuts

3 T. jerk seasoning

2 T. olive oil

Toss peanuts with jerk seasoning and oil. Cook on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil in a 325°F pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Let cool completely. There will be plenty peanuts leftover for snacking.

Jerk Seasoning

While readily available store-bought jerk seasoning can be a convenient option, there’s an undeniable charm in crafting your own jerk seasoning from scratch, utilizing an assortment of spices commonly found in your pantry. Whether your spice rack is fully stocked or you find yourself with a few ingredients missing, fear not; your homemade jerk seasoning will still infuse these peanuts with vibrant Jamaican flavors. Feel free to adjust ingredients to your liking.

1. 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
2. 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
3. 1/2 tablespoon dried onion salt
4. 2 teaspoons dried thyme
5. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
6. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
7. 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
8. 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
9. 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
10. 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
11. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
12. 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
13. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
14. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
15. 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
16. 1 tablespoon brown sugar

In a small bowl, mix everything except the brown sugar, then mix in the brown sugar (because it is moist). This will make more than needed for the peanut recipe. Store the remainder in an air-tight container for other uses.

Albacore Poke

1/2 c. coconut milk (unsweetened)

1 1/2 T. tamarind paste

1 T. lime juice

2 t. fish sauce

1 portion sashimi-quality albacore tuna (8 to 10 ounces), cubed

1 avocado (ripe but not soft), cubed

little multi-colored cherry tomatoes

cilantro, torn

mint, torn

scallion, sliced

flaky sea salt

In a medium bowl, whisk coconut milk with tamarind paste, lime juice, and fish sauce. Add cubed albacore, toss to coat and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Albacore Poke, Jamaican Flavors

To Plate

After 30 minutes, add avocado to the marinated albacore and gently toss to coat. Spoon albacore and avocado cubes into two or three shallow bowls. Arrange tomatoes, jerk peanuts, cilantro, mint, and scallions on top. Season with flaky sea salt. Serve extra sea salt and peanuts on the side. Vegetable-flavored corn chips add another pop of color contributing to the lively nature of Jamaican culinary style.


This dish was inspired by New Orleans Chef Nina Compton in Food & Wine magazine were she pairs her version with McBride Sisters Collection Reserve Chardonnay. “The crisp nature of the wine and the fact that it has just the right amount of acidity lend a great contrast to the richness of the tuna and coconut milk.”

More About Poke

My Interview with Chef Sam Choy on Sustainability and Poke here.

Known as the “Godfather of Poke,” Choy loves working with fresh fish and keeping it simple. The word poke (pronounced PO-kay) describes the method of preparation by cutting into cubes or slicing. Fish, vegetables, and even tofu – can all become poke. Choy is famous for making poke super-popular in the Islands when in 1991 he and a friend sponsored the first poke contest on the Big Island.

Salmon Cucumber Poke Bowl here

More Albacore

Albacore Tataki, Beluga Lentils, Lemon Soy Emulsion here

Elegant Seared Albacore, Roasted Mushrooms, Demi-Glace here

Flaming Seared Albacore, Peppercorn Brandy Cream Flambé here

Puerto Rican Swordfish Escabeche

Puerto Rican Swordfish Escabeche

Puerto Rican Swordfish Escabeche

As you navigate the coastal roads of Puerto Rico, you’re bound to discover a beloved local delicacy: Fish Escabeche, a delectable pickled and marinated fish dish savored throughout the island.

The unique twist on this dish involves grilling swordfish steaks, departing from the more common fried fish preparation. The result is a smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the tangy and tart vinegar used in the recipe.

The escabeche sauce relies on a combination of rice vinegar and honey, not only for preservation but also to introduce a delightful sweetness. Many locals prepare a batch of escabeche de pescado to enjoy during beach trips, embodying a quintessential Puerto Rican culinary experience.

Swordfish can be found in the waters surrounding Puerto Rico, especially in the deeper offshore areas of the Atlantic Ocean. Interestingly, swordfish are known to be more active at night, so many fishermen prefer to go fishing after dark. This involves setting up powerful lights on the boat’s surface to attract the fish to the surface.

Swordfish Escabeche Recipe

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