Who’s up for a happy dance? If you’re a fan of QVC’s David Venable, the genial host of “In the Kitchen with David,” you’ll pull out your tap shoes and put on his trademark “yummy face” when you get a look at his new cookbook, out today.
Like any Southern cook, the North Carolina native’s passion for food was handed down from his mother, so it’s no surprise the book is subtitled “comfort foods that take you home.” David clearly still holds tight to his roots with recipes such as Crispy, Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole, Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya, and Southern Barbecued Chicken.
We wanted to know more about the big man, whose fans number in the millions, and asked him a few questions.
We hear you hail from North Carolina. Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Charlotte and I’m a proud graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
What dish do you always ask your mother to make when you go home? Gosh…there are so many. Probably my all-time favorite dish is her Pork Pot Roast. But no weekend-trip home is complete without her famous Banana Pudding.
How did you end up on QVC? I was a news reporter and anchor in WV and PA. I pursued QVC because of the opportunity to do more live television, which really gives you the chance to connect with the viewer. I found I really loved it. It’s more of an opportunity for David to be “David.”
On television you appear to be about 6 foot 12. How tall are you really? I’m 6’6”. But 6’6”, 6’12”…it’s all the same, really. It’s tall. Everything has to be super-sized. Or, as I say…“David-sized.”
What’s your favorite Southern food indulgence? Fried chicken, hands-down. I can’t think of a better example of true Southern comfort.
What would you bring to a potluck? For the fall…I’d say my Ultimate Game Day Chili. It’s got virtually every ingredient under the sun…three kinds of meat, a garden full of veggies, a cabinet full of spices, cheese, sour cream, and beer.
Who’s your dream dinner guest, and why? Julia Child, because she really pioneered the concept of cooking on television.
What’s your most memorable Southern meal? When I was in college, I single-handedly did a pig pickin’ for 100 people…I’ll never forget it. I went to a farm, bought a dressed hog, brought it to the dorm in the backseat of my car, stored it in the dorm fridge, and put it on a smoker the next day. Meanwhile, I made gallons of North Carolina vinegar-based barbecue sauce and 15 quarts of coleslaw!
The next day—two finals and 20 bags of charcoal later—the pig was done and we polished off the entire thing. It was so much fun. But, I’ll never do it alone again!
Here’s a peek inside the pages of this tasty book.
Marinated Rib-Eye Steaks with Gorgonzola Butter
Makes 4 servings
A rib-eye–tender, well marbled, and juicy–has always been my favorite steak. I briefly marinate them in herbs, garlic, and olive oil and then cook them in a really hot skillet. The final touch is a pat of Gorgonzola butter placed on each steak before serving. Of course, the steaks can be grilled on a preheated outdoor grill. Cook them for 6 to 10 minutes per side, depending on desired doneness.
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
4 (8- to 10-oz.) bone-in rib-eye steaks
1 garlic clove
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
2 Tbsp. cream cheese at room temperature
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
Whisk together parsley, garlic, thyme, olive oil, and salt in a small bowl. Arrange steaks in a single layer in a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the steaks, cover, and chill for 1 to 2 hours–any longer and the steaks will become mushy.
Meanwhile, prepare Gorgonzola butter. Pulse garlic in a food processor until coarsley chopped. Add butter and next 3 ingredients, and pulse to combine. Scrape butter onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log. Refrigerate until firm.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Heat a grill pan over high heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the steaks and discard the marinade. Place the steaks in the grill pan and sear for 2 minutes. Turn the steaks; sear 2 minutes more. Place the grill pan in the oven and roast steaks for 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare or until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°. Remove steaks from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
Slice Gorgonzola butter into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Serve each steak topped with a round of butter.
Recipe adapted from: In The Kitchen with David: QVC’s Resident Foodie Presents Comfort Foods That Take You Home @2012. Used with permission of Random House Publishing Group.
Lowcountry Pig Pickin’