Many of us are feeling that "what's to eat?" pressure of consecutive days stuck at home. Chef Tiffany Williams of The Grill at Jackson Square in Columbus shares a recipe for Bourbon Street nachos, a Grill menu item that - when you can't get to the restaurant - you could make at home. Photo by: Courtesy photo
March 25, 2020 10:27:27 AM
If you're remotely like me, you may have a touch of cabin fever. Funny, when I could go anywhere, I just wanted to be home. Now that I'm supposed to stay put, I'm beginning to obsess about places I suddenly have a hankering to go. And we will be moving around again. But for now, we're limiting social congregation for the good of everyone. In response, the places where we did much of it -- restaurants -- have had to be quick studies.
Federal, state and local guidelines have had dine-in establishments almost overnight transforming to pick-up and/or delivery. One good thing we can do for our community restaurants in this unsettled time is to remain a customer. But even area chefs know we can't eat out every single meal. They also realize it can be tough to keep things interesting day after day in the home kitchen. Two chefs with the Eat With Us Group -- Harveys Executive Chef Jonathan Boyd and The Grill at Jackson Square Chef Tiffany Williams, both in Columbus -- share two recipes they recommend for spicing up mealtime.
"I am a sucker for a bowl of chili, especially when I'm cooped up for a few days," said Boyd. "Chili is a dish that ages well and will only be better the next day. It makes me look forward to having it two days in a row."
Boyd is part of an agile team that has had to adjust to an evolving "new normal" in food service.
"This has been especially challenging with all of the new information coming out on a daily basis," he said. "But our focus is, and always has been, making our guests happy."
Boyd is thankful for "great staff who come in each day and put their best food forward and do everything they can to go above and beyond for each guest."
The temporary shift in focus to to-go orders has inspired adaptations in the menu, such as featuring family meals.
"This week's family-of-four meal is 3 pounds of prime rib, 1 quart of mashed potatoes, four sides of asparagus, au jus, side salads and rolls," explained the chef. "Specials like these will continue to be the forefront of what we are going to offer weekly."
Ms. Clara's creamy chicken noodle soup, he assured, can be packaged to go.
At The Grill on Highway 45 North, another Eat With Us restaurant, Williams suggested Bourbon Street nachos for a change at home that is loaded with flavor. Read on for the recipe.
"And here's a tip for shopping in the grocery store right now: Pick items that can be used several ways, to cut down on the need for storage space as well as money," Williams said.
Harveys and The Grill hours are currently 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Curbside is available; guests can order by phone or online at eatwithharveys.com, or eatwiththegrill.com.
Eat With Us has partnered with The Lazy Guys to provide delivery. Orders may be placed through their app or website as well, at lazyguys.com.
"The great thing about Columbus, Mississippi, and the Golden Triangle as a whole, is that we are all in this together," said Boyd. "I encourage people to support local businesses and restaurants. Your neighbors need you! ... We are all one community helping each other through these times."
Editor's note: Have a recipe to share with others who are cooking more than usual at home? Email [email protected]
3 pounds ground beef
2 ounces oil
8 ounces yellow onion
1 jalapeno, sliced (if you don't like spicy, remove the sides and dice small)
4 cloves chopped garlic
2 quarts beef broth
2 cans tomatoes (I like the fire roasted tomatoes to add some smokiness)
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 cans kidney beans
1 ounce semi sweet chocolate chips
(Source: Jonathan Boyd, executive chef, Harveys, Columbus)
BOURBON STREET NACHOS
2 bell peppers, sliced (preferably red)
2 red onions, sliced
2 pounds sausage (any kind)
2 pounds shrimp
1 pound crawfish tails (any seafood will do, like crab, etc.)
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 jar salsa
1 jar cheese dip (queso)
Family-size bag of chips
(Source: Chef Tiffany Williams, Jackson Square Grill, Columbus)
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.