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Posted: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

CChef Troy Gagliardo is a self-taught chef that has parlayed his years of kitchen experience into many other culinary ventures. Including a proprietary spice line, cook books, commercials, food styling, cooking/restaurant columns, endorsements, cooking classes, and live appearances. Troy has been voted as one of the Charlotte’s Top Five Chefs two years in a row by Creative Loafing readers. Chef Troy has appeared in two national commercials with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and joined him for a media tour day just days before Dale Jr. won his second Daytona 500 to start the 2014 NASCAR season. For the past seven years, Chef Troy has appeared each week on Charlotte's morning show WCCB News Rising, cooking his way through "Troy’s Everyday Eats". Filmed live each week at the WCCB Charlotte studios, Chef Troy teaches his unique style of food with a simple Warren publishing recently signed Chef Troy to publish his new cookbook entitled Pseudo Southern-a playful twist on the art of southern cooking, which has been endorsed by Top Chef Alum and best-selling author Fabio Viviani and also star of “A Chef’s Life” Vivian Howard. Fabio said of Pseudo Southern, "Southern food is my second home. It's as close to my heart like Italy is, and that is why I love Troy's recipes so much. They remind me of the childhood I would have had if I was born in the south”. Vivian had this to say, “Troy’s take on southern food is just left of center, fun, and refreshing. His recipes are approachable that even the most jaded cook will be intrigued to try.” Chef Troy is also a free-lance food writer for the Charlotte Observer and Examiner.com and lives in Mooresville, NC with his wife Tracy, of twenty-three years, and their two daughters, Ally and Isabella. He can be seen every Tuesday morning from 7-9 am on WCCB News Rising.

Go ahead… invite some folks over for football; it’s ok, you’ll be fine. Here is an easy way to keep your guests’ beer-a-tite going strong and feed them at the same time. Watching football is as much about the food as it is the drink; but you don’t want to fill up on heavy snacks that will ruin your thirst for some cold ones. Here is a way to have your drink and eat it too.

Steamed mussels are the answer and a little goes a long way. Steaming mussels is the perfect way to show off your skill with pot and pan. Nothing is simpler to cook than mussels, and once you try this recipe for this recipe you are sure to create many versions of your own.

You will need a large pot with a lid, a few bowls for empty shells and lots of crusty bread for sopping. Make sure to have all your ingredients ready to go; once you get started it goes really fast. Start with a hot pot, something to stir with and lots of napkins.

For entertaining try a live mussel bar with lots of different herbs, veggies, wines, beer, liquors and cured meats to create lots of options. Move over Mr. Hot Wing, Mr. Mussel is taking your place… well at least this weekend anyway!

Tequila Bacon Lime Mussels

• 4 Cups Prince Edward Island Mussels, breads removed and outer shells cleaned
• 2 Ounces Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 1/2 Cup Bacon, sliced into strips, cooked and drained
• 1 Tablespoon Onion, fine diced
• 1 Teaspoon Garlic, fine chopped
• 1 Each Serrano Pepper, deseeded and sliced thin
• 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
• 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
• 1 Each Lime and Juice, quarter lime
• 2 Ounces Tequila
• 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter, cold
• To Taste Fresh Cilantro, chopped


1. Heat large pan or stock pot over high heat and add olive oil.
2. Heat oil until it starts to smoke.
3. Add mussels, toss to coat, cover and steam for one minute.
4. Add bacon, onion, garlic, serrano, salt/pepper, toss to coat, cover and steam for 1 minute.
5. Squeeze in lime juice, add tequila, butter, toss to coat and cover.
6. Cook until all mussels are open, discard any that do not open.
7. Remove from heat and remove mussel with a slotted spoon.
8. Place mussels in a large serving bowl and cover to keep warm.
9. Place pan with juices back on stove over high heat.
10. Cook until sauce slightly thickens and add cilantro.
11. Pour sauce over mussels and serve with grilled garlic bread.

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