Ponder if you will, the unique selling points of every major city in the world. Dublin is famous for producing a particularly popular dark beer. Rio has a massive statue of Jesus. London has that wacky Windsor family living in a palace. When you think of Nashville, the first thing that will come to anyone’s mind, is country music.
So it should come as no surprise that even it’s native Indie Rock acts may want to embrace some of what their city is best known for. It was no shocker to any of us when The Silver Seas announced that their fourth crack of the studio whip would be a country album. What I did find a little more startling was that even though their lead singer Daniel Tashian can have his pick of the finest Southern Barbecue known to man right on his Nashville doorstep, he is in fact non carnivorous. This came to my knowledge after I asked him about Tennessee cuisine and what his favourite hangover food was, “Yeah it’s all about hot chicken and pulled pork here. For the morning after, I like eggs, toast and tortillas with hot sauce and maybe some veggie sausage because I’m a vegetarian.”
Lead Singer with The Silver Seas, Daniel Tashian. Catch them in Whelan’s on June 29th
While the barbecued aromas of fowl and swine may not tempt him, he sure isn’t afraid of hitting his food with the levels of spice he grew up with. The dish he shares with us is a wicked stew loaded with ginger and Sriracha, the Thai chilli sauce that makes Tabasco taste like lite beer.
“It comes together quickly and would be a great weeknight meal. If you love spicy flavors like me, don’t hesitate to use liberal amounts of ginger and garlic.”
Daniel, we salute your unique take on Southern comfort.
- 1 litre low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bunch kale, ribs removed and leaves chopped into 1-inch strips
- 3/4 cup unsalted peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
- 1/2 cup tomato paste, or 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
- Sriracha hot sauce, use to taste but don’t hold back
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish
In a medium sized stock pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and salt. Cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
Grab another pot and combine the peanut butter and tomato paste, then transfer 1 to 2 cups of the hot stock to the bowl. Whisk the mixture together until smooth, then pour the peanut mixture back into the soup and mix well. Stir in the collard greens and season the soup with hot sauce to taste. Simmer for about 15 more minutes on medium-low heat, stirring often. Serve over cooked brown rice if you’d like, and top with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts.
The Silver Seas play Whelan’s on June 29th and their album “Alaska” is released on July 5th. This piece is also available in today’s Irish Times.