Epicurean Charlotte

Food & Wine Magazine


March/April Recipes

Wake Up Your Taste Buds this Spring

Seared Scallops with Sweet Potato Hash
Chef Aeisha Davis • Turnhouse Grille


• 4 medium sweet potatoes, diced
• 4 tbsp blackening spice
• ¼ c olive oil
• 1 small red bell pepper, diced
• 1 small green bell pepper, diced
• 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
• 2 tsp shallots
• 2 tsp garlic
• ½ c cooked chopped bacon
• 3 scallops per person

Place diced sweet potatoes in a bowl with olive oil and blackening spice, mix well. Place on a cookie sheet and cook for 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft. Let cool.

Heat a teaspoon of oil in a large sauté pan, add peppers, garlic, and shallots. Let sweat, then add the roasted sweet potatoes and bacon. Continue to cook until peppers are soft.

Season scallops on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add scallops in single layer, flat side down, and cook, without moving, until well browned, 1.5 to 2 minutes. Flip scallops and cook for another minute. Serve scallops over sweet potato hash.

Vegetable Pot Pie
Chef Eric Gabrynowicz • Tupelo Honey


• 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp + 2½ tsp kosher salt
• 6 oz baby carrots
• 6 oz green beans, halved
• 4 oz okra, cut into ½” medallions
• 6 oz butternut squash, small dice
• ¼ c olive oil
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• ¼ tsp black pepper
• ½ c all-purpose flour
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 1 c + 3 tbsp heavy cream
• 3 1/3 c whole milk
• rounded ½ tsp sage, dried, rubbed
• rounded ½ tsp creole seasoning
• ¼ tsp white pepper

Cut the frozen puff pastry dough into (4) 5”x5” squares. Beat the egg until smooth, adding water if necessary to thin out the egg wash. Using a pastry brush, gently brush each square with egg wash, and sprinkle with salt. Bake according to package directions until crisp and golden brown.

Toss the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 375°F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and stir until smooth, about a minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and cream until smooth. Bring to a boil and cook for about a minute, until thickened. Add the seasoning and whisk to thoroughly combine. Add the roasted vegetables and gently stir to coat them. Divide the mixture into four equal portions, top with puff pastry squares and serve.

January/February Recipes

Spread New Year's Cheer (and Chow!)

Buffalo Chicken Dip
courtesy Family Features

• 2 c shredded cooked chicken
• 1 package cream cheese, 8 oz., softened
• ½  c Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce or Buffalo Wings Sauce
• ½ c ranch dressing
• ½ c crumbled bleu cheese
• green onions, chopped (optional)

Heat oven to 350°F. In a shallow, 1-quart baking dish, combine all ingredients. Bake 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through. Stir and garnish with chopped green onions, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, or vegetables.

Guilt Free Dark Chocolate Cake
head pastry chef Ellen de Jager-Smith  • Michelin-starred Band of Bohemia

• 3½ oz ground almonds
• 1½ oz cocoa powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 3 eggs
• 5 oz maple syrup
• 7 oz almond milk
• 7 oz pitted dates
• 2 oz grated courgette
• 7 oz olive oil
• 5½ oz dark chocolate

Sieve all of the dry ingredients together. Whisk the eggs and add the maple syrup. Blend the almond milk, dates, grated courgettes, and olive oil together. Melt the dark chocolate. Add the dry ingredients to egg mixture to create a smooth batter. Fold the almond milk mixture carefully into the batter and pour in the dark chocolate. Preheat the oven to 325°F, and pour the mixture into a lined tin. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes for cupcakes and 40 to 50 minutes for a cake.

chocolate, avocado, and date icing

• 2 avocados
• 9 oz dates
• ½ oz cocoa powder
• 2 oz maple syrup
• 12 oz almond milk
• pinch salt
• 14 oz dark chocolate, melted

Blend everything except the dark chocolate in a food processor. Add the dark chocolate carefully while blending. Decorate as you please with raspberries, whipped topping, etc.

November/December Recipes

sweet and savory holiday fare

scotch eggs
chef marcus hart • big ben british pub


• 4 large eggs
• 10 oz sausage (english bangers if available)
• 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
• 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
• 1 spring onion, very finely chopped
• salt and freshly ground pepper
• 4 oz plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water
• 4 oz breadcrumbs
• vegetable oil, for skillet or deep frying

Place the eggs, still in their shells, in a pan of cold salted water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for exactly nine minutes. Drain and cool the eggs under cold running water, then peel.

Mix the sausage with the thyme, parsley, and spring onion in a bowl, and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide the sausage mixture into four and flatten each out on a clean surface into a round flat patty. Place the seasoned flour onto a plate, then dredge each boiled egg in the flour. Place each egg onto a flat sausage patty, then wrap the sausage around each egg. Make sure the coating is smooth and completely covers each egg. Dip each sausage-coated egg into the beaten egg, rolling to coat completely. Then, dip and roll into the breadcrumbs to completely cover.

Heat the oil in a skillet or deep heavy-bottomed pan, until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. Carefully place each Scotch egg into the hot oil and deep fry for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden and crisp and the sausage is completely cooked. Carefully remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve warm or cool.


reyka southside
courtesy reyka vodka


• 2 parts Reyka vodka
• 1 part fresh lime juice
• ¾ part simple syrup (1:1)
• 4 to 6 mint leaves v

Combine all ingredients together in cocktail shaker. Double strain and serve in Coupe glass. Garnish with mint leaf or sprig.


July/August Recipes

Recipes as Cool as a Cucumber

Downtown Daiquiri
courtesy Kindred Restaurant

• 1.25 oz white rum
• 1 oz coconut water
• .75 oz fresh lime juice
• .5 oz pineapple gum
• .5 oz agave (1:1)
• mint leaves (for garnish)
• cucumber (for garnish)

Combine all ingredients. Shake well and strain over ice. Serve with cucumber strip garnish and beautiful mint sprig.


Stuffed Mushrooms
executive chef Alex Jenkins • Oak Steakhouse Charlotte


• 12 button mushrooms, stem off
• 6 oz cream cheese
• 2 oz goat cheese
• 3 oz spinach, blanched and chopped
• ½ c panko bread crumbs
• ½ tsp red pepper flakes
• 2 cloves roasted garlic, puréed
• ½ c Parmesan cheese
• 1 tbsp chopped parsley
• 1 tsp salt & pepper

Place the blanched chopped spinach, Parmesan cheese, roasted garlic purée, red pepper flakes, cream cheese, and goat cheese in a large bowl. Combine with a mixer until smooth and place into a piping bag. In a small mixing bowl, combine the panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and herbs. Pipe the mushrooms with the mix and top with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake at 350oF for 22 minutes and serve.

May/June Recipes

Tasty Treats to Beat the Summer Heat

Strawberry Kiwi Margarita
courtesy Babalu Tapas & Tacos

• 1 strawberry
• ¼ oz vanilla simple syrup
• 1.5 oz vanilla-infused tequila
• ½ oz triple sec
• 1 oz kiwi simple syrup
• 1 oz fresh sour mix
• ginger beer
• sugar for rimming glass
• sugar-encrusted kiwi
• ice

Add one strawberry and ¼ oz. vanilla simple syrup to shaker tin and muddle. Fill shaker tin with ice, and add 1.5 oz. vanilla-infused tequila, ½ oz. triple sec, 1 oz. kiwi simple syrup, 1 oz. fresh sour mix, and a splash of ginger beer. Shake well. Strain into ice-filled, sugar-rimmed glass and garnish with sugar-encrusted kiwi.

Prime Tomahawk with Roasted Carrot & Fennel
Chef Andres • Dean & Deluca

• 2 prime certified angus beef tomahawk
• sea salt & black pepper
• 1 oz dried pumpkin seeds
• 1 lemon
• ½ serrano chili pepper
• 1½ oz verjus white vinegar
• 1 oz clover honey
• 1½ oz extra virgin olive oil
• ½ oz whole coriander seed
• ½ oz fresh thyme
• 1 oz peeled garlic
• 1 lb rainbow carrot
• ½ lb fennel bulb
• ½ lb radish

For the beef, heat an outdoor grill to highest heat, and preheat oven to 375°F. Season the steaks generously all around with salt and pepper. Use a generous amount of salt as this is a thick steak. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, letting the flames lick up the sides. Transfer the steak to a baking sheet and bake until the steak reaches an internal temperature 130°F for a perfect medium rare. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.

Slice the fennel into ½” thick pices and leave the radishes and carrots whole. Mix the olive oil, honey, chopped thyme, toasted coriander seeds, and chopped garlic. In a large mixing bowl, toss all of the vegetables separately with the oil mixture and lay out on sheet pan trays with parchment paper. Roast the carrots at 425°F for 15 minutes, roast the radishes at 425°F for 5 minutes, and the radishes at 450°F for 5 minutes. Cut the serrano chili in half and remove the seeds, then slice the pepper thin. Zest and juice the lemons, then toast the pumpkin seeds at 375°F for 5 minutes. Combine all of the roasted vegetables, pumpkin seeds, chili pepper, and vinegar prior to serving.

March/April Recipes

Spring Into Fresh Flavor

Breakfast Casserole
courtesy Borden® Cheese

• 1 lb bulk pork sausage
• 1 bag (32 oz.) frozen potato rounds
• 10 eggs
• 1 c milk
• 2 c Borden® shreds colby & monterey jack cheese
• 8 slices bacon, cooked crisp, drained

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9”x13” baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the sausage to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned; drain and set aside. Place the potato rounds in the prepared baking dish. Arrange the cooked sausage evenly over the potatoes. Beat the eggs with the milk in a medium bowl or a 1-quart glass measure. Pour egg mixture over potatoes and sausage. Sprinkle cheese over eggs. Crumble bacon over cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until eggs are set and the dish has cooked through. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Chicken Curry
Chef Jairo Santos • Sir Edmond Halley’s Restaurant & Freehouse

• 1 lb chicken breast, cubed
• 4 oz carrots, sliced
• 4 oz cauliflower,
• 4 oz onions, sliced
• 4 oz garbanzo beans
• 4 tsp curry powder
• 3 oz unsalted butter
• 1 c chicken stock
• 1 c basmati rice
• 1 green onion, diced

Prepare basmati rice according to package directions and set aside. Heat a sauté pan with 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil. Add the raw chicken and heat for several minutes. Add the vegetables and curry; cook until tender. Add the butter, chicken stock, salt, and pepper to taste. Heat until melted. Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.

November/December Recipes

Hot Treats for the Holidays

Chicken With Fennel And Tuscan Kale
courtesy Chef Alyssa

• 3 chicken breast
• ¼ c flour
• 2-4 tbsp clarified butter
• ½ fennel bulb, thinly sliced
• 5 leaves lacinato Tuscan kale, de-stemmed and sliced
• 1 sprig rosemary, coarsely chopped
• salt and pepper to taste
• ¼ c white wine
• ½ c chicken stock
• 1 tbsp butter, softened

Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Melt 2 tbsp of clarified butter over medium-high heat. Add the fennel and cook until golden brown. Add the kale and cook down until wilted; season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside. Wipe out the pan, then melt the remaining clarified butter. Add the chicken breasts, leaving 30-45 seconds between each breast. Cook chicken until golden brown on one side, then flip the chicken and give it about 2 minutes on the opposite side. Add the white wine and deglaze the pan. After about 30 seconds, when the alcohol is cooked off, pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid by half. Add the fennel and kale mix and warm with the chicken. Add the rosemary and a sprinkling of salt and pepper and allow the sauce to come to a boil. Remove the chicken and place onto the serving plate. Once the sauce reaches the desired thickness, turn off the heat and swirl in the softened butter. Spoon the sauce over the chicken breast and garnish with extra rosemary and/or fennel fronds.


Eggplant Parmesan
Chef Giosue Coppola • Portofino’s Ristorante Italiano E Pizzeria

• 1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into ⅓-inch slices
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1½ c seasoned dry bread crumbs
• ¼ c olive oil
• 3 c spaghetti sauce
• ½ lb shredded mozzarella cheese
• ⅓ c grated parmesan cheese

Arrange a layer of eggplant slices in a colander. Sprinkle generously with salt. Continue layering and salting all eggplant slices and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Dip each eggplant slice in the beaten egg and dredge with breadcrumbs. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet. Over medium high heat, fry the eggplant in hot oil for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Arrange half of the eggplant slices in the bottom of a baking dish sprayed lightly with nonstick spray. Spread half of the sauce over top. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and half of the Parmesan. Repeat layers. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is bubbly.

July/August Recipes

Fresh Flavors to Beat the Summer Heat

Lomo de Carne (Peruvian Beef Tenderloin Skewers)
Chef Oscar • Craft City Social Club


•  2 lb beef tenderloin
•   ½ c red wine vinegar
•   1 bunch fresh cilantro
•   1 tbsp aji panca
•    ¼ c olive oil
•    sea salt to taste

Cut beef tenderloin 1½- to 2-inch pieces and set aside.

To make the marinade, add the vinegar, cilantro, Aji Panca and olive oil to a food processor or blender. Blend for 30 seconds to a minute on high. Marinate the beef tenderloin for at least three hours. For best results, marinate overnight.

Place two to three pieces of beef tenderloin on a soaked wooden skewer. Season with sea salt and grill until desired preparation.


Fish Tacos with Avocado and Cabbage Slaw
courtesy of Chef Alyssa


•     1 lb white flaky fish, like mahi-mahi or rosefish
•     ¼ c canola oil
•     1 lime, juiced
•     1 tbsp ancho chili powder
•    1 jalapeño, coarsely chopped
•   ¼ c fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
•    8 flour tortillas
•    8 to 10 corn tortillas
•    1 avocado, thinly sliced

Place fish in a medium-sized dish. Whisk together the oil, lime juice, ancho, jalapeño and cilantro and pour over the fish. Let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the marinade and place onto a hot grill on medium-high heat, flesh side down. Grill the fish for 4 minutes on the first side, and then flip for 30 seconds and remove. Let rest for 5 minutes, then flake the fish with a fork. Serve the tacos in warmed tortillas and topped with avocado and slaw.

cabbage slaw:

•     ½  c sour cream
•     1 lime, zest and juice
•    2 tbsp red wine vinegar
•    salt and white pepper, to taste
•     ¼ c chopped cilantro
•    1 lb shaved cabbage
•   ½  red onion, thinly sliced

Whisk the sour cream with the lime, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss in vegetables and adjust seasoning.


May/June Recipes

Eggplant Rolitini
Melanie Cannizzaro Tritten • Cannizzaro Sauces

• 1 large or 2 medium eggplants
• 1 8oz. container ricotta cheese
• ½ c shredded parmesan cheese
• 1 c shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1 jar cannizzaro marinara or arrabbiata

Slice eggplant in very thin, lengthwise slices.Lay out on baking racks or a broiler pan and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 350° F for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the ricotta, parmesan and half of the mozzarella cheeses with the beaten egg. Spray a small lasagna
pan with non-stick spray and fill with half the jar of sauce.
Place 1 tbsp of the cheese mixture at the top of the large side of each slice and roll-up. Place seam side down in pan. Spoon remaining sauce over each roll and top with reserved half cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes or until bubbly and melty.

Tailgater Italian Style Sandwich
Courtesy of The Fresh Market

• ¼ c olive oil
• 1 lb italian sausage
• 1 red and green bell peppers, sliced
• 2 yellow onions, sliced
• 1 tsp each salt and pepper
• 4 garlic cloves, chopped
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• 1 c chardonnay
• 1 c organic marinara sauce
• 4 fresh hoagie rolls

Heat the oil in a heavy, large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on both sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain. Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the peppers, onions, salt and pepper, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the wine and marinara sauce, stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the browned bits. Bring to a simmer. Cut the sausages into 4 to 6 pieces each, about 1-inch slices. Add the sausage back to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes.

Split the rolls in half lengthwise. Hollow out the bread from the bottom side of each roll, being careful not to puncture the crust. Fill the bottom half of the roll with sausage mixture. Top and serve hoagies immediately.

March/April Recipes

Steamed Mussels with Harissa and Preserved Lemon
Chef Nicholas Tarnate • Aix en Provence

• 2 lbs PEI mussels
• 2 tbsp shallot, minced
• ½ c white wine
• 1½ tbsp Harissa paste
• 2 tsp preserved lemon
• ½ c chicken stock
• 3 tbsp butter
• 2 tbsp cilantro, minced

Sweat the shallots over medium heat in 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the mussels and shake the pan, then stir in the Harissa paste. Add the white wine and chicken stock; bring to a boil. Add the butter and preserved lemon. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 2 minutes until the mussels have opened. Finish with cilantro and serve with a toasted baguette.


Irish Guinness Stew
Chef Jairo Santos • Sir Edmond Halley’s Restaurant & Freehouse

• 3 lbs sirloin, cubed
• 2 large onions, course chopped
• 3 carrots, cubed
• 2 stems fresh rosemary
• 1 stem fresh thyme
• 8 oz guinness stout
• 8 oz water
• 16 oz veal stock
• slurry (1 tbsp corn starch mixed with water)
• salt & pepper to taste

Sear the sirloin in large pot until browned. Add the carrots, onion, garlic, Guinness and water. Cook on medium high until the vegetables are almost tender. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Add the veal stock and slurry, and cook until thickened. Top with mashed potatoes and serve.

January/February Recipes

Bloody Mary Meatballs
bonnie julian • www.brucejuilianbloodymary.com

• 32 oz bloody mary mix
• 6 oz tomato paste
• 14.5 oz crushed tomatoes
• ¼ c brown sugar (light or dark)
• 1 tbsp picante pepper sauce

• 1½ lb ground beef
• 1¼ c italian breadcrumbs
• 1 onion, minced
• 1 egg, beaten
• ¼ c parmesan cheese, grated
• 1 tsp bloody mary rimmer

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, mix the beef, rimmer, breadcrumbs, onion and egg. Roll into balls, place in the freezer for 30 minutes, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the meatballs in the preheated oven for 16 minutes if appetizer sized or 25 minutes if entrée sized, turning once.

In a large pan over low heat, combine the bloody mary mix, tomato paste, crusted tomatoes, picante pepper sauce and brown sugar. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Add baked meatballs and simmer for 45 minutes. If using a slow cooker, combine the last two steps and simmer for an hour. Serve as an appetizer, in a bowl over pasta or in a hoagie for tailgating.


Decadent Crab Dip
chef vincent reece • herrera vineyards


• 1 c sour cream                                                   
• 10.5 oz cream cheese, softened
• ¼ c mayonnaise
• ⅛ c lemon juice
• ¼ c worcestershire sauce
• 1½ tbsp whole grain mustard                                                                           
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1½ lb crab meat
• 1½ tbsp texas pete
• ½ tbsp old bay seasoning                                          
• 2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
• 2 c fresh parmesan for garnish

Mix the cream cheese, mayo and sour cream until very smooth. Pour in the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and Texas Pete. Mix well.  Fold in the garlic, Old Bay seasoning, whole grain mustard, cheddar cheese and crab meat. Place the mixture into a large cast iron skillet, top with the Parmesan cheese and cook at 350°F until mixture is hot and cheese is golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.