There are those of us who love to do it up big on holidays like New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day, and there are those of us who'd need to be dragged out of our homes while the festivities are going down.
Homebodies: You get forgotten too often, so this one's for you.
Thinking about staying in for Valentine's Day, cooking a nice meal, opening a bottle of wine or such? You can still enjoy (at least close approximations of) some of East Nashville's most delicious wares at home, so long as you have a little direction. And you might be surprised at how many East Side-favorite recipes can be snagged with a little Internet sleuthing. We'll go ahead and make it easy for you: Great East Nashville/East Nashville-related recipes, all in one place.
Watanabe's Ginger Lindsay
Can't hurt to start a Valentine's night meal with a great cocktail. Ever try the fine Ginger Lindsay at Watanabe, made with gin and ginger syrup and cucumber and stuff? It's delicious. (Thank Jon Yeager, pictured above.) You should try it there, or try it at home with this recipe.
Holland House's Mussels Manhattan
If we're sharing a recipe developed at Holland House, makes sense that it'd be one that mixes delicious cocktails and delicious food. This Mussels Manhattan recipe uses whiskey, vermouth and bitters to flavor and simmer the mollusks in -- and we figure it'd make a fine start to a Valentine's meal.
Mas Tacos' Tortilla Soup
East Nashville's Mas Tacos Por Favor may be known best for their tacos (logically enough), but few of us will deny the power of their chicken tortilla soup. Sweet pops of corn, fresh cilantro, crispy tortilla strips, creamy avocado… It's the jam. Of soups. And hooray: Bon Appetit shares the recipe.
Mad Donna's Habanero Mad Mac
If you're looking to have a spicy, comfort food-y Valentine's evening, give some thought to making Mad Donna's fiery twist on mac 'n' cheese, the ante upped with the addition of a topping they fittingly dubbed "Hell Fire Crunch." It's cheesy and flavorful and has that addictively spicy bite we all love in hot chicken. And thanks, Food Network, for hosting the recipe.
Lockeland Table Pork Brine
Pork chops tend to make a fine main dish, that much more so when the meat is properly brined. If you've eaten at Lockeland Table, odds are you'll feel comfortable taking their word on the proper way to prepare food, including pork chops. Their pork brine recipe (thanks Cooking Channel) requires you to have some extra time, so this can't exactly be part of a last-minute Valentine's meal. But there's always the weekend.
Margot's Chicken With Fresh Spring Peas, Potatoes, Lemon and Mint
The book Nashville Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from Music City has a bunch of dishes from a bunch of well-loved Nashville chefs, East Nashville favorites included. Among its offerings: a chicken recipe from Margot leader Margot McCormack that shows off her tell-tale blend of homey complexity. Should you like to peruse the book -- and check out that recipe, in particular -- Google Books can help (page 115).
The * has to be there, since no one -- be they Bolton's or Prince's or Pepperfire -- seems to be looking to share their exact recipe. That said, you can find some pretty decent recipes around and about, including this one from Justin Jones, a past Hot Chicken Festival winner (which serves as pretty decent hot chicken credentials and East Nashville credentials, we'd say).
More Than A Butter Pecan Cookie
You might recognize Melissa D. Corbin's name from our pages -- she's been sharing local food finds and recipes in The East Nashvillian. A fitting dessert choice for V-Day, we figure, is her More Than A Butter Pecan Cookie recipe, which includes a bunch of goodness from East Nashville's Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Co. (salt and pepper buttermilk white chocolate and 45 percent cacao buttermilk white chocolate). She shared this one around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we figure sweet/nutty cookies are celebratory any time of year.
Barista Parlor Hodge Podge Cookie
Barista Parlor is ostensibly a coffee stop, but their baked goods are top-notch, from macarons to scones to cookies. The Lockeland Springs Neighborhood Association was kind enough to share the recipe for Barista Hodge Podge Cookies, stuffed with oats and peanut butter and just enough cocoa.
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
If we're to be real: You're not gonna replicate those wild and wonderful Jeni's concoctions exactly. But the titular Jeni, Jeni Britton Bauer, has been kind enough to share the results of her long slog toward developing the perfect ice cream consistency, in her Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home book and in various periodicals.
If you'd like to give your own faux-Jeni's a go, start with the recipe for Jeni's Ice Cream Base and get creative with your own flavor combos, or try a few Jeni's favorites out, like their Darkest Chocolate, or Beet Ice Cream with Mascarpone, Orange Zest, and Poppy Seeds.
Know of any other East Side recipes we should keep in the ol' Bookmarks bar? Drop 'em in the comments!