All I can say is, Crystal Torres called it. In December of 2012 I met her in her hotel room before my very first rehearsal with Beyonce and the rest of the band. We were catching up and she looked at me and said, “Adison, this is going to be a really good year for you. I’m excited for you”. She called it. This year has been UNBELIEVABLE! For all I knew, I’d still be at Juilliard right now finishing my master’s degree.. But instead.. I’ve traveled the world many times over playing the saxophone with the biggest pop star in the world.. Beyonce and the Mrs Carter Show..
I brought in the New Year with her last year at the Wynn in Las Vegas, then we played the Super Bowl..
I’ve traveled to so many places, that I’ve never even dreamt of going to..
I met with friends old and new around the world, from Australia to Warsaw, Poland..
I’ve played for 50k people or more for 110 nights..
I’ve become part of a whole entire new family..
I started Adi’s Jazz Kitchen!
And filmed my cooking show with some of my favorite people/ musicians..
Oh and also! I am able to start my discography with this one..
Thank you to everyone who has supported and pushed me through one of the craziest years of my life. I am so grateful for your love.
I am so thankful and blessed. SO blessed.
I look forward to even more in 2014! I wish you and yours a happy and healthy New Year!
I am lucky to travel the world on tour with Beyonce. However, every single time I come home I manage to get sick. It’s no surprise seeing as how many time zones and parts of the world we go through in such little time. This time it’s walking pneumonia, which is just a fabulous stroll in the park.. not. The ONLY cool thing about it, is it makes me sound like a walking zombie..which is OK in my book since I’ve been addicted to “Plants vs Zombies” (it’s a game) thanks to my Rie Chan, Rie Tsuji.
Anywho, I’m making a classic Chicken Vegetable Soup today loaded with garlic and fresh veggies and herbs to combat the zombie germs inside me..
4 large carrots roughly chopped into chunks (same size)
2 stalks celery roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic crushed and peeled
1 medium yellow onion quartered
3 lbs skinless chicken bone in (thighs and drumsticks)
handful fresh thyme
freshly ground pepper
This is so easy to make (Thank God, since lifting a wooden spoon feels like a workout at this point). Combine all ingredients in a large pot with the exception of salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Fill with cold water until it reaches just above the ingredients. Bring to a low simmer. Cook until chicken falls off the bone. Remove chicken, remove all the bones. Add chicken back in. Season with salt, pepper. Serve. This takes about an hour.
Let’s not forget to add a little hot sauce if you feel like an extra kick. Mine is super hot and made with cachaca from Belo Horizonte, Brazil..
The other night was one of those nights where I just had no idea what I was in the mood to make. I settled on a dinner salad which actually turned out to be pretty killin’. This recipe was inspired by a steak and peppercorn salad recipe, but seeing as I wasn’t in the mood for steak, I substituted shrimp. While doing this, I was listening to Christmas music, of course.. which I’m so looking forward to since I will then have a month off from the road! Anywho, Here’s what I was checking out..
Homemade Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing:
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tbsp sour cream
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon
freshly ground pepper
Whisk together, season with a pinch of salt and lots of freshly ground pepper.
extra virgin olive oil
12 oz baby bella mushrooms sliced
2 cloves garlic smashed and peeled roughly chopped
3/4 lb raw large peeled and cleaned shrimp
juice of 1 lemon
2 stalks romaine lettuce chopped
heirloom tomatoes cut into quarters
2 stalks celery chopped
In a medium pan over medium heat, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. When hot add mushrooms. Leave untouched for 2 minutes. Stir, and cook for an additional 3 minutes, until softened. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside. Over med high heat add another 2 tbsp of olive oil with garlic. Season raw shrimp with salt and pepper. Add shrimp (if you don’t hear the sizzle then you did it too soon). Cook for about a minute on each side, until opaque. Remember, the shrimp continue to cook even when you take them off the heat. Don’t overcook. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Set aside. Construct salad and toss with homemade dressing.
You can improvise:
Instead of using shrimp, try a different protein like steak or chicken.
Add your own favorite toppings, like toasted nuts
Try using a different type of lettuce like boston bibb lettuce
Did you know?
Not only was Nat Cole an amazing singer and pianist, he was one of the first African Americans to host a television variety show, The Nat King Cole Show. His show debuted on NBC. If only he was still alive today! He’d be the most incredible guest to have on Adi’s Jazz Kitchen CookingShow, don’t you think? 😉
I’ve been feeling rather nostalgic all morning since listening to Pepper Adams play the baritone saxophone.. It’s made me miss my baby.. Unfortunately this whole time since I’ve been home, my horn’s been in the shop.. so, I can’t wait to get it back tomorrow and get back to it. In the meanwhile, I made something super warm and comforting to go along with an incredibly beautiful melody by Duke Ellington, ♫”Star Crossed Lovers”. Here’s my recipe for ginger spiced hot chocolate and a homemade cinnamon whipped cream.
What you need:
4 cups milk (any type your prefer- I used whole)
1 cup chocolate, chopped from the block (combination of dark and semisweet for me- but use whatever kind you like)
1 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or nutmeg powder)
For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp cinnamon
In a medium stock pot over medium heat, heat milk, stirring occasionally. Once hot, whisk in chocolate. Then, whisk in ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, and nutmeg. Whisk until smooth. Set aside. In a stand mixer, mix heavy cream and the cinnamon until the whipped cream creates soft to medium peaks. Pour hot chocolate in your favorite mug, top with the whipped cream and enjoy!
Last night I put my improvisational skills that come along with being a jazz musician to the test in the kitchen. I decided to head over to New Jersey to surprise my parents for dinner. Without having stopped at the grocery store first, I took a look around the kitchen in search of something I could throw together, and it worked!
I put a twist on your usual shrimp scampi, due to the lack of shrimp, I decided to use bay scallops and baby clams instead. I wanted some texture on the little “flavor bubbles” of bay scallops so I seared them first then tossed them in with the pasta later.
What you need:
1 lb favorite pasta (I used a really fun fusilli lunghi bucati)
3/4 lb bay scallops
2 tbsp butter
1 lb baby clams
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic crushed, peeled, diced
1 medium spanish onion diced
2 tomatoes de-seeded. diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lemon juice
Handful fresh parsley chopped
Bring generously salted water in a large stockpot to a boil for the pasta. Add pasta when ready. Meanwhile, place scallops on a paper towel to absorb any moisture. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a pan over medium heat, sear scallops for 30 seconds without touching them. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss quickly then set aside. You might have to do this in 2 batches. In order to get a good sear on something, it needs space in the pan to do so.
With a little bit of water in a large pot steam clams until they open up. Discard any clams that don’t open. Set aside.
In a large pan heat 3 tbsp olive oil over med high heat. Add garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Add onion cook until translucent. Add tomato. Cook for another minute. Season well with salt and pepper. Add white wine. Cook down for 2-3 minutes. Toss in clams and clam juice. Be careful not to pour in any sand from the clams. Once pasta is al dente (firm to the bite) toss in pan with clams and sauce. Toss in juice of 1 lemon and taste. Season accordingly. Plate. Garnish with parsley and fresh extra virgin olive oil.
Prepare everything ahead. Get all the chopping out of the way, so you won’t be stressed about pulling things together at the right time. In food and in music, timing is everything!
You can improvise:
Try using a different type of pasta.
Want to make a red sauce instead of white? Try a touch of red wine and adding a can of San Marzano tomato sauce or canned whole tomatoes then crush them with your wooden spoon.
Use different seafood.
This just goes to show, that you can make a dish into anything that you want, given the ingredients that you have. Be creative and confident, and it’ll work out in the most delicious way!
Here’s to one of my favorite improvisers, Sonny Rollins!
Don’t waste your leftover rice! It’s just as valuable as those alternate takes the cats recorded in the 50’s and 60’s! Is it just me, or were there lots of alternate takes on those recordings? Like, all those Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, Horace Silver, Cannonball albums?
*Jazz Lingo: For those non musicians out there (an alternate take is when musicians decide to put two different versions of the same song on one recording)
The point is, is don’t let the rice or the alternate takes go to waste! Don’t skip over them. The alternate take can be just as good as the other version of the tune, if not better!!
Like this one for instance..
♫ Freddie Hubbard “You’re My Everything- Alt. Take”
With my extra brown rice from the Thai place, I made a stir fry with all the leftover veggies I had in my refrigerator. I started with 2 tbsp oliveoil in a pan over med heat. I added 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tbsp grated ginger, 1 red chili (thin slices- deseeded if you don’t like it too hot) But hey, I like it hot. Sidenote: Be careful what you do with your fingers after touching the chili. Don’t touch your nose.. err.. like I just did. It burrnnnns! Ok back to the cooking:
Cook for 2-3 minutes. Tear a handful of kale in the mix. Add a little water if too dry. Cook for a minute. Add rice. Make a well with the rice. Scramble 1 egg in the middle of the pan. Toss with rest of mix. Add soy sauce. Season to taste. Finish with fresh chopped spring onion.
Voila! Super fast meal in five minutes, and you didn’t waste a thing!
Thank you so much Australia and New Zealand! It was yet another incredible leg of the Mrs Carter Show with Beyonce. I can’t wait to visit again, but dang what a long flight! I just got back last night after traveling for 30 hours and to my surprise I was actually able to sleep through the night and so far, (thank goodness) I’m not really that jet lagged! (*knocks on wood*)
I hit the ground running back in New York, running errands and taking care of business today. I went super market hopping today (one of my favorite past times), lugging around my brand new mortar and pestle from Sur La Table, picking up a whole bunch of ingredients for some upcoming recipes.. I could not wait to get back into the kitchen after being away from mine for a month! The first thing that popped into my head was fish tacos with a homemade sweet chili sauce. The tacos are light and fun and the chili sauce is sweet, zingy, and packs a serious punch.. Kind of like the perfect track to pair up with this recipe.. Christian McBride’s “I’m Coming Home” from his “Family Affair” album. It just seems oh so fitting.
Check it out!
You’re going to need a mortar and pestle for this. If you don’t have one, it’s seriously a great investment for the kitchen. Great for grinding up spices, making pesto, guacamole, and much more. (Mine was $25 from Sur La Table)
Recipe makes 4 tacos
Sweet Chili Sauce:
2 red chilis deseeded and chopped (see Adi’s Tips below)
2 cloves garlic crushed and peeled
2 tbsp brown sugar
1.5 tsp salt
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Juice from 1/2 a lime
2 green onions chopped
2 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
Combine chilis, garlic, sugar, and salt in mortar and grind with pestle until smoothish. Stir in olive oil, vinegar, lime, onions, and cilantro. Taste. Season accordingly.
For the Fish:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb firm white fish (I used 2 basa fillets)
1 small red onion sliced finely
Squeeze of lime
4 flour tortillas
any other garnishments you like
Warm tortillas in a 300 degree F oven while fish cooks. In a pan large enough to fit the fillets of fish, heat olive oil over medium high. Season fish on both sides. Place in pan lying the fish down away from you so the oil doesn’t splash you. The fish should sizzle, if it doesn’t you need to wait longer for the olive oil to heat up. Cook fish 3-4 minutes on one side, then flip for an additional 1-2 minutes. Once cooked through, cut fillets into 4 servings and construct tacos with sweet chili sauce, radicchio, onion, and lime.
Can you tell how excited I am to be home and cooking again!? haha
In order to de-seed a chili pepper you can pretend you’re the most killin’ drummer on the face of the planet and they are your drum sticks and jam out on your kitchen counter. (I’m serious) By tapping the pepper against a surface you release all the seeds, so once you cut the top off they will all pour out.
If your fingers start to burn because of touching the inside of the pepper rinse them with lemon juice. It’ll relieve the burn.
You can improvise:
Experiment with different garnishes like cabbage instead of radicchio, or by adding sour cream or guacamole, etc.
Use a different type of fish
Bread the fish with japanese bread crumbs by first dredging it in beaten eggs, flour, and then panko bread crumbs, then sear.
Stay tuned for more recipes! I’ll be cooking and playing up a storm the next 2 and a half weeks!