You should know Chef Matt Jennings for many reasons. He cooks some of the most delicious food in Boston and has a new cookbook coming out soon and he is also an incredible person...I'll get to that soon.
We were fortunate to have Matt as one of our guest chefs at Make. Eat. Drink. 2016 at the Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin. Before his 8am flight, he met up with one of his fisherman to pick the first of the year bay scallops, which he promptly put on ice and in his carry-on. He arrived in Austin, cooked for our guests, helped wash dishes and then flew home the next day so he could get back home. Without skipping a beat, he was back at Townsman, with his team. He is a friend who will go out of his way to help.
We're all anxiously awaiting his first cookbook, Homegrown: Cooking from My New England Roots which is available for pre-order now and will be released on October 17th....stay tuned for updates about his book toor, which rumor has it will bring him back through Austin.
But that's not all, he is also on a journey of his own as he has recently had a major lifestyle turnaround and has become a voice for health, nutrition and balance in a world that can sometimes make those options difficult to find. You can read a bit more about him in this recent Boston Magazine article.
Matt's loyalty, intellect, drive and leadership skills are why he's one of those folks I add to my mentors who don't know they're my mentors list. We all have those people...right?
We're excited to share a recipe with you all that Matt recently shared on his instagram feed in this edition of Share This Dish.
Share This Dish: Brown Butter Roasted Tofu With Summer Fruit & Cucumber Salad
"Time for a confession: I've been eating tofu. You see, when you cook- and particularly in the summer months- you should be relying on the quality of your ingredients before anything else. With our garden at home prolifically overflowing with cucumbers, the area orchards pumping out end of summer stonefruit and my friends @bridgetofu, crafting some of the country's finest handmade tofu, dinner is quick, easy and delicious. Here is tonight's 'Brown Butter Roasted Tofu With Summer Fruit & Cucumber Salad'. It's wicked good."
- Make the salad. First toast 2 T sesame seeds in a dry sauté pan until nutty and golden. Set aside. Next, create a simple vinaigrette by whisking together 1 T honey, 2 T ponzu, 3 T white wine vinegar, 5 T extra virgin oil. Season with black pepper and kosher salt, to taste. Large dice 1 cucumber, quarter 1 peach or nectarine, julienne 1/2 red onion and slice a couple dozen blueberries in half. Fold the fruits and vegetables carefully into the dressing, to marinate.
- Make the tofu dredge. Combine 2 T whole wheat flour, 2 teaspoons toasted and ground cumin, a pinch of chili flake and 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Dredge 3/4" by 3" slices of tofu. Heat the same sauté pan to medium heat and shallow fry, in 1/2" canola oil, turning heat down if the tofu seems to be getting too dark. Season with salt and pepper. Turn tofu over, so as to crisp up each side. Lower heat to medium-low. Place in a small knob of unsalted butter. Baste the tofu until the butter browns and tofu is caramelized well on all sides. Turn off heat. Set aside.
- Gently fold toasted sesame seeds into the marinating salad. Plate the salad and place a piece of tofu on top. Garnish with fresh basil and a drizzle of the brown butter. Dinner is served. Go sit on the lawn. Feel good.