Matt Farag: Welcome summer with fresh, fabulous food (recipe)

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Welcome to summer, y’all! It's time to get your food and live music game on!

The Nashville Social crew and I are turning up the heat here at the Club with our new lunch and dinner menu enhancements, that include some permanent new dishes and flavor profiles that guests fell in love with over the last six months, as we first tested their worthiness as specials. We are excited to share the love and the flavors with you.

Nashville Social strives to use locally and sustainably sourced, high-quality ingredients that we would be happy to serve our own families. Freshness and quality go a long way toward creating a memorable meal and experience.

Our commitment to pleasing customers has earned us 16 nominations in the "Nevada Appeal's annual Best of Carson City 2024."

When putting together this week's column, we thought it would be cool to include every dish you need for a full meal presentation. Therefore, recipes for Eric's Blackened Salmon, Roasted Vegetables, Forbidden Rice, Bacon Corn Salsa and Red Pepper Couli, follow. The details are presented in a way that makes professional presentation easy for cooks of any skill level. Afterall, we want cooking and eating to be a fun experience that brings your people together.

Eric's Blackened Salmon, when served at Nashville Social Club, is available at lunch and dinner. We use salmon that is sustainably raised in the icy waters of Patagonia. You cannot get any purer than that.

While it is impossible to find our particular supply of salmon in stores locally, Costco carries a good selection of wild salmon. For this recipe, I am using the 8-ounce filet, but you can make them smaller if you like. All the recipes presented here can easily be increased to serve a greater number of people, so you can enjoy an intimate dinner for two or bring on a big summer gathering.

Either way, the flavors will delight!

Eric's Blackened Salmon

Serves 2; increase as needed


1 pound salmon (skin off)

1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 tablespoon each of chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika

1/2 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 tablespoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

Directions: Please note that you will want to start fish preparation when there is about 15 minutes cooking time remaining for the Forbidden Rice (see recipe below). Combine the spices in a bowl and once mixed, rub a generous amount on the top of the salmon. Grab your sauté pan and add 2 to 3 Tablespoons olive oil and bring to temperature over medium-low heat. Place the salmon filets in the oil and cook approximately 4 minutes. Remove filets from oil, and place them in an oven-safe pan, cover and put in the oven for 8 minutes. Total cooking time will be 12 minutes.

Roasted Veggies

My recommendation is to use your choice of in-season vegetables whenever possible, and in a pinch, whatever you have on hand. I like carrots, peppers, onions and squash this time of year.

Preparation is easy. Just cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and place on a baking sheet. Roast in a 400-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Forbidden Rice


1 cup rice

1 3/4 cups vegetable stock

1 Tablespoon butter

Directions: Combine all ingredients in an oven-safe dish, approximately 4 x 9-inches. Cover and place in a 400-degree oven and bake 40 to 55 minutes. When done, uncover and let rest a few minutes before service.

Bacon Corn Relish

1/2 pound bacon, rough chopped (approximately 1/2-inch)

1 can corn, rinsed and drained

1/2 red onion, minced

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

1 1/2 tablespoon cold butter

Directions: Place your pan over medium-high heat, and begin rendering the bacon. Once bacon is crisp, remove from the pan to drain and add the corn, cooking it until it is blistered in the bacon grease. Then add the onion and allow the corn and red onion and cook approximately 5 minutes. Add the sherry vinegar and tarragon and toss all ingredients together in the pan. Cut the heat and add the cold butter. The butter being cold is important as it helps bind and thicken the salsa. Set aside until it is time for service.

Red Pepper Coulis


1 12-ounce jar red bell peppers

1/2 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Place peppers, garlic and vinegar in a food process and blend until combined. Then, slowly add olive oil to the mixture in approximately 1 tablespoon increments, until you have achieved a smooth, just slightly thick consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.

Plating presentation: Place Forbidden Rice in the center of the plate. Then, add the roasted vegetables to either side of the rice. The salmon filet will then be placed on top and centered in the rice. Finish with a generous portion of Roasted Corn Relish on top the filet.

Once the plates are ready, it is time to garnish by drizzling the outer edges with the coulis. Be sure to garnish the entire circumference of the plates.

A nice, light pinot noir from Oregon's Willamette Valley provides the perfect accompaniment to this dish.

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