Flavorful Favorites

(above) photo by Rich Smith

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by Brenda Shafer

We asked these chefs to create
their most flavorful dishes – bold, spicy, and unique – and they delivered! Check out these
flavorful favorites from local chefs!

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“Being Greek, lamb is always the go-to protein. Lamb is more robust and flavorful than beef, especially if it’s a braised, bone-in cut, two characteristics that add more flavor and complexity. Braising is great for fall and winter when you really want warm and bold flavors. Cooking this dish will fill your house with rich aromas and will have your palate watering before you even plate it.”


Acropolis Mediterranean Grill

Braised Lamb Shank → Chef Lloyd George

6 lamb shanks (hind shanks 16-20oz.)
Kosher salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped rough
3 large carrots, chopped rough or “sticked”
10 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups dry red wine
1 28-oz. can diced or sliced tomatoes with juice
2 cups beef broth
5 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme

Sprinkle shanks with kosher salt and black pepper. Heat oil in heavy large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear all sides of shanks to a rich brown color. Add onions, carrots, and garlic to pot and sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Deglaze with red wine and cook for a minute or two more to cook off alcohol and reduce. Add remaining ingredients. Bring liquids to boil. Finish in oven at 325˚ for about two hours or until meat is tender. Take braising liquid and reduce for sauce. Serve over potatoes, orzo pasta, or risotto.

Photos by Rich Smith

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“These ribs are bold. The baked beans have a hint of heat to complement the dry rubbed ribs, and the chow chow adds a fresh, cool element. These ribs are packed with flavor that I think everyone will love!”


1885 Grill

Baked Bean Glazed St. Louis Style Ribs with Green Chili Chow Chow → Chef Chase Cope

Dry Rib Rub

2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated garlic
1/4 cup granulated onion
1/4 cup smoked paprika
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup pepper

Combine all ingredients for seasoning. Rub down ribs with seasoning. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate overnight. Place ribs in a deep pan with an elevated rack so you can put a quart of water in the pan. Double wrap with plastic wrap and then wrap with aluminum foil. Bake for 2 and 1/2 hours at 350˚.

Baked Bean Glaze

10 strips of bacon
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
4 tbsp. garlic, chopped
2 cups cooked navy beans
1/4 tsp. cumin
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup Carolina Gold BBQ sauce
1/4 cup Texas Pete hot sauce
1/2 tbsp. salt
1/2 tbsp. pepper

Crisp bacon in a pan. Pull bacon from pan. In same pan, sauté onion, pepper, jalapeno, and garlic until translucent. Add all other ingredients. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring constantly. Add bacon back in. Purée in food processor. Brush ribs with baked bean glaze
during last 5 minutes of baking.

Green Chili Chow Chow

1 qt. apple cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup salt
2 cinnamon sticks
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
4 green tomatoes, diced
4 green chilies, diced
1 head green cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, shredded

Bring vinegar, sugar, salt, and cinnamon sticks to a boil. Pour over other ingredients in a pan. Let sit overnight. Sprinkle on top of ribs when plating.

Photos by Lanewood Studio

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“The perfect beginning to any meal, this salad mixes flavors and textures for a unique experience. The baked salmon skin is a little oily, smoky, and crunchy. The pickled root vegetables and fresh spring mix with a hint of ponzu add a fresh vinegar flavor. This colorful dish is both healthy and tasty!”


Totto Sushi & Grill

Salmon Skin Salad → Chef James Jin

5-6 strips of baked salmon skin
Handful of Japanese pickled vegetable (burdock, dried gabocha, daikon)
Handful of fresh lettuce, chopped
Handful of spring mix
Sprinkle of sweetened ponzu sauce

Photos by Lanewood Studio

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“This dish really brings me back to my roots. My mom is Cuban and my father is Southern, so shrimp and grits represents both sides of me. It’s an elegant dish with very humble beginnings. On Sunday evenings we would gather at my abuela’s (grandmother’s) house, and she would often prepare Enchilado de Camarones. And my nanny on my dad’s side would always make us grits when we visited. The smokiness of the cheddar and the tang of the goat cheese really make these grits pop. The shrimp cooked with the sofrito (onions, garlic, and green pepper) and tomato sauce really sets the dish apart from others. The Southern staple dish of shrimp and grits may not be something new, but this preparation is my interpretation to make an already amazing dish even better, while still keeping me connected to my roots.”



Shrimp ‘n Grits → Chef Andrew Platt

1 oz. melted unsalted butter
1 oz. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. garlic, minced (about 10 cloves)
1 tbsp. shallots, minced (about 1 shallot)
2 cups chicken stock
4 oz. heavy cream
1 cup stone ground grits
5 oz. crumbled goat cheese
5 oz. smoked cheddar cheese
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1/2 tbsp. cracked pepper

In a large pot over medium heat, add melted butter, olive oil, and garlic. Sauté until fragrant. Add shallots and cook until translucent. Add chicken stock and heavy cream and bring to a boil. Add grits, and cook over medium heat until tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from heat and incorporate goat cheese, smoked cheddar, salt, and cracked pepper. Makes 4 generous portions.

Shrimp Creole – Enchilados de Camarones

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on (about 21-25 shrimp)
1/4 cup sherry cooking wine
1 14-oz. can peeled crushed tomatoes (I prefer San Marzano)
2 bay leaves
4 oz. beer (I use a pilsner)

In a large sauce pan, over medium-high heat, add olive oil, onion, bell pepper, garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Sauté until the onion and pepper are tender. Add shrimp and cook in mixture for about 10 minutes, turning shrimp to cook evenly. Add wine, tomatoes, and bay leaves. Cook for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beer, turn to high heat and cook for 4 minutes. Makes 4-6 portions.


4 oz. thick cut bacon
2 oz. thinly sliced green onion

To assemble: in a small bowl, place about 8 oz. of grits. Top with 6 shrimp and ladle tomato sauce over grits. Garnish with crispy bacon and sliced green onion.

Photos by Lanewood Studio

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