While some may think of the Black Keys’ and Jack White’s pilgrimages to Nashville as the beginnings of the town’s seminal transition from country mecca to rock and roll capital of the South, this started for me back in 2006, when I first heard Be Your Own Pet. Granted I hadn’t yet moved here, so I wasn’t entrenched in the scene and likely missed out on other seminal sonic moments, but it was when I heard Jemina Pearl slaying through these urgent, punk numbers like an amalgam of a female Jesse Michaels, Kathleen Hanna and Joan Jett that my impression of this city by the Cumberland changed permanently. I had no idea I’d eventually move here – I still had yet to pack my things and ship them off to Los Angeles for 14 months living three blocks up from Hollywood’s finest strip clubs, before I returned to NYC and finally settled in Lockeland Springs.
Though, truth be told, what really did it for me was Jonas Stein’s guitar playing: I couldn’t resist his ability to provide a rhythm that was surfy, restless and raw with a completely melodic thread running through, however frayed. I always had a gut feeling that he’d probably go on to front his own band – which he of course did, with Turbo Fruits. And I spun the hell out of Echo Kid and all it’s forward-chugging glory that settled in your eyes like sunshine on a dirty window, not too bright but filtered just-so, sometimes rockabilly, sometimes punk, sometimes all youthful rock with light licks and howls; always fun and never too serious.
I didn’t know that several years later I’d be living in Nashville – I couldn’t have predicted that, but, then again, I was still struggling with my temporary California identity, lucky that my Los Angeles crisis was less existential than temporal (if I’d been Huis Clos on Gardner Street and Hollywood Boulevard we would have had a serious problem, though I can tell you hell is other people that only talk about the movie business). I could have predicted less that one day that very Jonas Stein would be giving my future Nashville music blog his five favorite recipes, one of which includes the word “schmaltz,” a word that warms my heart as much as it clogs it. And that it would be one of my favorite Nashville Fives of all time.
You can catch Jonas and Turbo Fruits tomorrow at Nashville’s Chilin’s Holiday Stocking Stuffer, also featuring Blackfoot Gypsies, Bad Cop and Gunther Doug. A portion of the proceeds go to local charity Sound Forest. Festivities start at 7 p.m. at 318 Elberta Street. (Speaking of holiday parties, come to this). And his N5, below…
By JoNasty (Jonas Stein) of Turbo Fruits :::
If I were to allow myself one serious addiction, it would be food. I fucking love food. I love talking about it, cooking it, smelling it, eating it, and thinking about it. If you want to know where to eat in Nashville, Google it. If you want to make s bomb dish for your friends in Nashville, read my recipes. Below is my current list of my 5 favorite recipes to cook at home.
1. Burt’s Orgasmic Chicken. (serves 4-8) ::: My Dad’s name is Burt and he has been performing this recipe for sometime now. It’s extremely simple and extremely orgasmic. Sometimes simple is better. This recipe creates a chicken which is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.. not to mention very flavorful veggies to accompany the bird.. The veggies are cooked in and flavored by the schmaltz aka rendered chicken fat. Follow this recipe and you will be looked at as a master chef by all who have tasted your dish.
– 1 large iron skillet
– 1 organic chicken
– 1 tbsp kosher salt
– 2-3 cups vegetables of your choice (I prefer brussel sprouts, very small potatoes, and large slices of onion)
Preheat your oven or grill to 450 degrees fahrenheit. Coat chicken with kosher salt inside and out. Place chicken in iron skillet and place iron skillet in preheated oven(or enclosed grill). Set timer for 45min. While the bird starts to cook, start dicing up your choice of veggies into bite sized pieces, only if necessary. After 25min, pull the iron skillet out of the oven and scatter veggies, evenly surrounding the chicken. Place iron skillet back into the oven and let chicken and veggies cook for the last 20min. Remove Iron skillet from oven, let bird rest for 15min, serve, and enjoy!
2. JoSoNasty’s Miso Hearty Soup. (serves 2-4) ::: I love Miso soup but I got really tired of paying $2-5 dollars for a measly one-ladel-pour at japanese restaurants.. with no guarantees of getting any tofu chunks in my small portion of broth. I did some research and some experimentation until I arrived at happy place. There are no rules for this soup but here is how I like to do it.
3 cups water
1 tsp instant dashi (fish stock)
3 tbsp miso paste (white or red)
2/3 cups small diced firm tofu
1 spring onion (sliced thinly and diagonally)
2 tbsp wakame (dried seaweed)
1/2 cup sliced shitake mushrooms (optional)
Soak wakame(dried seaweed) in cold water for 10 min and prepare all other ingredients. Meanwhile, bring 3 cups water to a boil and dissolve instant dashi(fish stock) in water. Reduce to simmer. Add tofu, spring onion, shitake mushrooms, and wakame. Simmer for 3-5 min. Take off of heat and dissolve miso paste into broth with a strainer spoon or small strainer. Let stew for 5 min, serve and enjoy!
3. Million Dollar Steak (serves 1-4) ::: I’ve dabbled in vegetarianism before.. even thought about being a vegan.. This recipe is what keeps JoNasty eating meat. I don’t eat steak very often, but when I do, it’s the Million Dollar Steak. Follow this recipe and you’ll understand where I’m coming from. Ps- it’s very important that you use a cut of meat that is 2″ thick. If not, don’t even bother.
1 T-bone steak cut 2″ thick.
1 tbsp kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
Coat Steak evenly on all sides with Kosher salt. Let sit out in room temperature for 1hr. This will cause the steak to sweat. Periodically pat steak dry with paper towel. In the meantime, preheat grill to high heat. After steak has been sitting for an hour, place onto hot grill. Cooks 4 minutes each side, then 3 minutes each side, then 2 minutes each side, and then 1 minute each side. Remove, from grill, pepper to taste, serve, and enjoy.
4. Nanny’s Fried Chicken (serves 4-8) ::: I never met my Great Grandmother but she went by the name, Nanny. She raised my Grandmother as a single parent in a guest house on a farm in deep Georgia. They used this recipe quite often. Towards the end of my Grandmother’s life, she suffered from dementia and general memory loss. One memory she did not lose is how to make Nanny’s Fried Chicken. She taught me how to make it and I praise her for it. She may have asked me if I wanted a glass of milk 30 times in the 30 minutes it took us to finish this fried chicken, but every minute was absolutely worth the wait. Listen to your grandparents!
1 medium sized brown paper bag
2-4 cups of frying oil (fill pan up half way with oil)
1-2 cups flour
1 handful of table salt
10 pieces of chicken (thighs/legs/breasts)
Place flower and salt into paper bag. Close paper bag and shake to mix flour and salt together. Place raw chicken in paper bag and shake vigorously. Repeat this step until all your pieces of chicken are coated. In the meantime, heat frying oil in a frying pan to medium high heat. Make sure oil is deep enough to submerge half of a piece of chicken. When Oil is hot enough to cook with, strategically place as much chicken in the frying pan as you can at one time. Flip chicken every couple of minutes until frying batter turns to a golden brown. Cooking time should be approximately a total of 10 minutes per each piece of chicken. When chicken looks done, set it aside onto paper towel coated plates to absorb as much oil as possible. Cool, serve, and enjoy!!!
5. Poor Man’s Poutine ::: One time a Canadian border patrol officer hand cuffed me, detained me, and strip searched me. He says it was because he found weed in the car. I think it’s because he liked my good looks. Anyway, that experience made me want to hate Canada for the rest of my life. I never wanted to (or try to) go back again. The mere thought of going to Canada would give me cold sweats and leave a bad taste in my mouth. Eventually, due to my musical career, I haaaad to go back. When I went back to Montreal, It was brief. I did my job, played my show, and now I wanted to go home. Before we could go back to the wonderful U S of A, some partying with the locals had to be done. Several hours later and several Beers heavier, we took a trip to a poutine restaurant. My first time having french fries with cheese curds covered in gravy was a wonderful experience. The contrast in textures and flavor had won me over. Poutine, you may have saved my relationship with Canada. In Nashville, you can’t really find poutine.. and if you do find it, it ain’t no good. So I went to the grocery store late late late one night and used my imagination.
1 Bag of frozen fries of your choice (I like the “fast food style” frozen fries
1 Jar of ready to use gravy
1 bag of cheese curds (if you can’t find cheese curds, you can use large curd cottage cheese)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Evenly spread out french fries on baking sheet. Cook for 15 minutes or as directed on package. In the meantime, heat gravy in a small saucepan on low heat. Have your cheese curds ready. Remove fries from oven and place on a plate. Dump a healthy portion of cheese curds on to your hot french fries. Salt and Pepper to taste. Top off your heated gravy. Serve and Enjoy!