Tag Archives: mason jar

Nashville: Lockeland Table

As I mentioned in many blog posts, I spent a weekend in Nashville a couple of weeks ago.  It was a girls weekend trip planned last June to run the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon.  Although we had pretty horrible weather for the trip, I was glad to experience Nashville’s delicious food!

Whenever I travel to new places, I like to have a good grasp on the city: popular bars, good restaurants, the streets that you need to walk on, or the beautiful parks.  This time around I wasn’t as prepared as I wanted to be.  But with the amount of rain falling on the city, I was just fine with exploring the great food and music.

Nashville 1

There are many bars such as this one on Broadway, filled with local beers, live music, and an entertaining crowd.  Don’t worry, that was a box the girls and I definitely checked off- but we also wanted to try delicious food!

My friend Becky, who resides in Boston and is a new blogger, and I flew into Nashville on Thursday before everyone else.  Back in the January issue of Food & Wine, we noticed Top 10 Plates of Nashville.  After browsing the menus and reviews, we chose Lockeland Table as our Thursday girly date night location.

Nashville: Lockland Table

Lockeland Table opened in August of 2012, so it’s a fairly new restaurant- but I couldn’t tell that by the excellent service and delicious dishes.  The building used to be a small grocery store, and Chef Hal Holden-Bache and General Manager Cara Graham wanted to keep some of the historical details- the original phone number, the 30-foot rafters, and they even replicated a similar sign that once hung in the original store.  The ambiance is relaxing and intimate, with a wood-fire oven as the centerpiece of the room, a repurposed original stamped-tin ceiling, and the recovered barn wood decorating the space.

The restaurant is situated in the East Nashville residential district, a couple of miles away from the bars and music halls.  We took a cab ride from the Sheraton, where we were staying, and it was about $10- definitely worth the trip!  Per website recommendation “reservations are highly recommended”, we had made one about 2 months ago!

Nashville: Lockland Table 2

The menu is local, with purveyors for produce and meat given credit on the menu, and seasonally inspired, which makes it hard to choose your dish- but that’s a good problem to have!  The low-carbon footprint extends to the bar, with just American vodkas, local bourbon and whiskey, as well as Tennessee beers such as Yazoo, Fat Bottom and Jackalope.  There are a couple of exceptions, the bar does have scotch and international wines.

Nashville: Lockland Table 3

Chicken Liver Pâté in a Jar: Benton’s bacon fat, grilled Tuscan bread, and smoked peach preserves

The pâté is served in a small mason jar, with the layer of bacon fat on top.  The liver was smooth and velvety.  The thick-cut grilled toasts are perfect for the spread, and the overturned lid holds the smoky preserves.

Nashville: Lockland Table 4

Cox Farms Roasted Bone Marrow: grilled Tuscan bread, Italian parsley, pickled red onion salad

The pickled onion isn’t just there for decoration, it’s to add to the dish.  Interestingly enough, it is pickled by Holden-Bache’s mom, his friends, and himself from his garden!  Rubbing the marrow on the crisp toast, and sprinkling with parsley and pickled onions, was dazzling and finger-licking delicious!  The straight-forward presentation fit the ambiance of Lockeland Table.

Nashville: Lockland Table 5

Carolina Mountain Trout with Honey Bourbon Glaze: spring hash, lemon spring cream, crispy prosciutto

Although the trout is always on the menu, the sides depend on the season- the start of spring is vivid with the fresh green peas, light cream and dill.  The trout was perfectly seared with a crispy skin, not overwhelmingly heavy, but still full of flavor.

Nashville: Lockland Table 6

Steak and Frites with Roasted Tomato Aioli: Hereford hanger steak with balsamic, cipollini butter, arugula

The steak was cooked just as I asked, medium rare.  Seared, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.  The aioli was balanced, rich and savory- great to spread on the steak, or to dip your fries into!

We were too full for dessert- but the sweet ricotta doughnuts and the rhubarb strusel cake did catch my eye.  I think this just means we have to visit Nashville for another (sunny) weekend!

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie in a Mason Jar

Two nights before our wedding we got a box with presents from our registry- it was one of the first ones, and I got really excited (it felt like an early Christmas!).  First, I pulled out a set of dessert plates I’ve been eying for some time, but there was also a cute cookbook which I didn’t have on my list.

As any food blogger would do, I flipped through the cookbook- Handheld Pies: Dozens of Pint-Sized Sweets & Savories by Sarah Billingsley & Rachel Wharton- and picked out my favorite recipes.  Immediately, I opened to the page with Shepherd’s Pie on it, and I knew this was going to be the first recipe I would make.  Since we still had a wedding, and a honeymoon I knew it’d be a couple of weeks- but the moment we came home this recipe was immediately on my “to cook” list!

Using mason jar’s was a great idea for this dish- it kept everything in equal servings, and it was so easy to store, heat up, and take to work.  The book suggested using smaller mason jars, but since I only had the medium size, this is what I used.  With nights getting colder, this is the perfect dish to wrap your hands around the mason jar to keep warm, and your tummy full!

Thank you Jen & Neil- this is a great addition to our cookbook collection!

Shepherd’s Pie in a Mason Jar
Adapted from: Handheld Pies: Dozens of Pint-Size Sweets & Savories

You can use lamb, beef or tofu crumbles- all would be great with this dish.  If there are other veggies you’d like to add in here, definitely do- we stuck with the traditional version the first time around.

3 russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & quartered
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled & finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup green peas
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

In a medium pot, add the potatoes and water (so it covers the potatoes) and bring the water to a boil.  Then reduce the heat to medium, and cover the pot.  Cook until the potatoes are tender, when pierced with a fork (about 20-30 minutes).

When the potatoes are cooked, drain them.  In a large bowl, mash them using a potato masher (or mixer).  Then add the milk, cheese, butter, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper- stir well.

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Then add in the onion, carrots, and celery and cook, until the onions are translucent.  Next, add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the lamb and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon and stirring frequently until it is browned, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the vegetable broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Finally, add the peas, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and stir well.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Place 6 medium-sized mason jars on a baking sheet.

First divide all of the meat mixture, then the mashed potatoes into all of the jars.  Place the jars and banking sheet on the top rack of the oven and bake for about 15 minutes (or until the potatoes turn golden).

The pies can be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.  Reheat at 350ºF for 15 minutes.