Dirty Dancing Weekend

August 13th, 2015

dirty_dancing_festival

We are looking forward to the Dirty Dancing Festival in Lake Lure this coming weekend, August 15th.  It has become a tradition in Lake Lure since 2010.  The year after Patrick Swayze’s death, it was decided that the town would honor the star and the movie with a festival that would raise money for pancreatic cancer research.  It has been a draw for Dirty Dancing fans ever since.  As one of the major sites of the filming, Lake Lure is the perfect venue.

We bought our small cottage on the lake in 1984.  Little did I realize that in the Fall of 1986, Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey and the cast and crew were in residence at the Lake Lure Inn filming scenes around the lake.  At that time it was a low budget film. No one had ever heard of Patrick Swayze or Jennifer Grey.  Lake Lure was not the only film location. Parts of the movie were also filmed in Virginia.  I wrote a post about our stay at Mountain Lake, Virginia and the confusion about the scene where Baby was put in the corner. I thought it was in Virginia and sat at that corner table, but as it turned out, it was really in Lake Lure. Many of the scenes were filmed in Lake Lure. To teach Baby how to master the move of being held in the air after leaping from the stage, Johnny suggested that they practice in the water. The “lake lift” has become an iconic move.  From what I have heard, because it was late autumn, Patrick and Jennifer were very cold in the frigid water.  A big part of the festival today is a contest to see which couple can perform the best lift.  The above couple did very well.

This couple did their best. . . . .   the picture makes me smile and laugh.  These are two of our guests who rented our small cottage for two weeks a few years ago. Jenel is very talented on the computer and photoshopped a very convincing recreation of the lift.  She offered to do one of David and me, but I wasn’t too sure that it would be a pretty picture.  Maybe after we are toned and buff.  Ha!  But I totally love their picture!

Salmon in Parchment Vegies

We are still trying to eat well.  I have posted about this recipe for salmon in parchment before, but thought it was worth a repeat.  It is one of David’s favorite creations.  You can see the details for the dish here.  One of the things I love about it, other than the taste, is that you can make the parchment packages ahead of time and just bake them when you are ready.  They would be perfect for camping wrapped in foil rather than parchment paper.  Or after an afternoon attending a festival.  Enjoy your weekend.   “Have the Time of your Life”.

 

SALMON EN PAPILLOTE WITH JULIENNED VEGETABLES

This is a very simple, delicious and fool-proof way to prepare salmon with vegetables. And, it looks fancy and festive, but it is so easy. You can use any combination of vegetables that suits your fancy. Listed below are some of the ones we commonly use, but you can substitute or include others such as, leeks, and snow peas, anything that can be cut into thin pieces so that it cooks rapidly. You can also substitute any other type of fish fillet that you might have on hand or can find, and you also might want to experiment with other herbs and spices.

Here are one possible set of ingredients per packet, i.e. per serving

one 8 oz salmon filet
¼ cup julienned carrots
¼ cup julienned green onions
¼ cup julienned broccolini
¼ cup julienned red or green pepper
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp dry white wine
basil ½ tsp dried or 1 tsp chopped fresh
2 lemon slices
3 pats of butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg beaten-to seal the packets

Place a salmon filet to the right of the center of a 15” square of parchment paper. Salt and pepper the filet to taste. Sprinkle the olive oil, garlic, and basil over the salmon. Arrange the julienned vegetables on top of the filet. Place two lemon slices and three butter pats on top. Sprinkle the wine over the top and add a little more salt and pepper to the top of the vegetables. Use a brush and the egg wash to paint the edge of paper all the way around to help seal the packet. Fold the left side of the paper over the fish and vegetables and start at the top left corner making small overlapping folds all the way around the three open sides. When you get to the final fold, turn it under to help keep it from unfolding. Prepare as many packets as you want servings and place on a baking sheet in a 400 deg oven for about 18-20 minutes. The fish will actually be done in about 15 minutes, but the veggies will benefit from the extra time, and the fish will remain moist and tender from the cooking method. To serve, place a packet on each plate along with whatever starch you are serving, and cut the packets open with a sharp knife so the contents can be removed to the plate.  Enjoy.

Printable Recipe

Pappardelle with Salmon and Leeks

February 18th, 2015

Pappardelle with Salmon and Leeks 1

We returned to Florida from North Carolina just before winter storm Octavia descended upon the state. Because the Southern states were being hit so hard with snow, ice and sleet, there was a danger that power outages would occur.  It was a comfort to see over 30 power company trucks with buckets traveling in convoy from Florida up I 95 to the affected states.  I’m sure there were more Florida utility trucks traveling north up I 75 as well.  We are definitely the United States of America.  It was also a comfort to me to watch the outside temperature gauge in our car rise from 16 degrees in NC to 75 degrees in Florida.

This bowl of pasta and shrimp was also a comfort to me the day after we got home.  I was in the mood for something citrusy and healthy but with a little heft to it.  After all, I was still trying to thaw out.

Pappardelle with Salmon and Leeks 2V

The dish is elegant and easy.  Rosy salmon, pale green leaks and fresh herbs are tossed with broad pappardelle pasta.  I adapted the recipe from Cooking Light Magazine.  I didn’t have all of the fresh herbs that they called for, but used what I had; which was parsley, basil and thyme.  It is nice to be able to keep small pots of herbs just outside my door.  The lemons came from our small tree.

Pappardelle with Salmon and Leeks 3

This had the taste of spring to me.  For all of you who are suffering through this brutal winter, I wish you an early spring.  In the meantime, this recipe might help a little.  Enjoy.

PAPPARDELLE WITH SALMON AND LEEKS

3/4 pound uncooked pappardelle pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large leeks (1 pound), trimmed and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced fresh savory or 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme plus 1 teaspoon minced fresh mint
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind
1 (1-pound) fresh or frozen sustainable salmon fillet
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons unsalted butter

Preparation

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid; keep pasta and cooking liquid warm.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, savory, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook 15 minutes or until leeks are translucent, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium-high. Add wine; cook 1 minute. Add stock; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat; stir in pasta, reserved cooking liquid, parsley, and lemon rind.

3. Sprinkle salmon fillet with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter; swirl until butter melts. Add salmon fillet, and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Flake the salmon into large chunks. Arrange 1 cup of the pasta mixture on each of 6 plates, and top evenly with flaked salmon. Serve immediately.

Printable Recipe

Trout Fishing in America

August 7th, 2014

Trout Fishing in America 1

 

We are on a short trip in Northern Georgia.  I wanted to find a cabin in the woods away from everything so that we could totally relax for a few days.  David wanted to try his hand at fly fishing.  Trout Fishing in America is the name of a book by Richard Brautigan written in the 1960’s that became a cult classic for a generation of young people.  We still have our copy on the bookshelf.  The book had very little to do with trout fishing.  But I liked Trout Fishing in America as the title to this post because it has everything to do with trout fishing.

Trout Fishing in America 2

 

We have trout streams all around us in North Carolina, but David has only fished them once or twice.  Since the cabin we rented was on a trout stream, he decided to gear up and give it a try. This trip was supposed to be about complete relaxation after all.  Notice the hot tub in the background.

Trout Fishing in America House

 

The stream is below the cabin.  We loved listening to it, but it was not the best stream for fishing.

Trout fishing in America 3

 

It was too small.  David was able to find better fishing on a larger stream.  Unfortunately he had no better luck there.  But never fear.  He retreated to Betty’s store in Helen, Georgia and came home with these beautiful dressed trout.  I seasoned them inside and out and put lemons and bacon around the outsides.  The recipe came from Nancy Fuller from the Food Network.

Trout Fishing food 1

I need to offer a word here about renting get-away cabins.  It is always wise to bring your own skillet and knives.  Unfortunately I did not follow my own advise this time. There was not one skillet in the cabin big enough to cook the fish, let alone bacon and eggs for breakfast. The skillets that were here were small and useless.  I tried to fry our eggs one morning and I defy anyone to make an over easy egg in what I had to work with.  The knives were a joke. And did I mention the can openers that did not work?   What I can’t understand is how this cottage has not addressed these issues.  Surely someone before me has complained.  Doesn’t anyone cook anymore?  But in spite of my handicaps, I managed to put some really good trout on the table.

Trout fishing food 2

I think I worked harder on this dish than David did trying to catch it.  By the way, he loved it.  It was a really good trout recipe that may need some tweaking.  My bacon was not totally crisp the way I like it. I think it would be good to cook the bacon briefly before wrapping it around the trout, although you want it to be still pliable.  The seasoning on the inside of the trout was spot-on.  I am hoping that when I am home and have better cooking equipment, I will make this trout even better.  We are off to The Montaluce Winery in North Georgia on my next post.  Now it is my turn to indulge.

BACON WRAPPED TROUT

Two 8-ounce rainbow trout, butterflied and dressed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives and thyme
1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon, plus 4 thin lemon slices
4 slices bacon

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Sprinkle the inside and outside of the trout with salt and pepper.  Combine 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the herbs, capers, garlic, lemon juice and some salt and pepper in a small bowl and divide the mixture between the two trout.  Fold the trout back onto themselves, lay 2 lemon slices on top of each fish, and then wrap each trout with 2 slices of bacon holding the lemons in place.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and coat lightly with the remaining tablespoon olive oil.  Place the trout, lemon-side up, in the pan and cook for 3 minutes, then place in the oven.  Roast, flipping halfway through roasting to ensure the bacon is crisp, for 20 to 25 minutes.

Printable Recipe

 

Spicy Glazed Salmon

July 23rd, 2014

Spicy Glazed Salmon 1

 

Sometimes less is more.  With just 5 ingredients I was able to make a delicious dinner.  To be quite honest with you, I have not been inspired to cook lately.  It may be because of two solid weeks of cooking for a crowd.  But I also think it was because of the weather.  We were blessed with two weeks of near perfect weather for the first half of the month.  But when all of our company left, the skies opened up and rain started to fall for days on end.  When it wasn’t drizzling, it was just plain gloomy.  You can tell by the quality of my last post pictures.  Why bother making blog worthy food when it won’t photograph well. Just goes to show you how sick we food bloggers really are.

Spicy Glazed Salmon 3V

 

Well, the skies cleared yesterday afternoon and I was suddenly in the mood to cook, photograph and eat good food again.  This salmon dish has only three ingredients; salmon, peach preserves and Sriracha hot chili sauce.  The simple rice is enhanced with grilled scallions.  That’s it!  I made it in my grill pan because our gas grill was out of gas.  I’m sure it would be even better cooked outside.

Spicy Glazed Salmon 2

 

 

The peach preserves and Sriracha sauce gave a sweet and spicy kick to the salmon.  I will definitely be making this again.  It is nice to have my enthusiasm back.  I think I will make a cherry-almond tart today.

SPICY GLAZED SALMON (Country Living Magazine)

1/3 cup peach preserves
1 1/2 teaspoons chile sauce, preferably Sriracha
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets with skin on
3 green onions
2 cups rice, cooked

Heat grill to medium in one zone and medium-low in another.  To make glaze:  In a heatproof dish, microwave preserves until just warmed, 10 to 15 seconds.  Stir in chile sauce.  Transfer all but 3 tablespoons of mixture to a small dish and set aside to serve at the table.

Season salmon fillets with salt.  Grill fillts, skin side down, on medium heat zone for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, grill green onions on medium-low zone until sear marks appear, about 3 minutes.  Remove onions, chop, and stir into rice; set aside and keep warm.

Brush fillets with some of reserved peach glaze  using a metal spatula, flip each piece.  Continue to grill until flesh is cooked, 2 to 3 more minutes.  Remove and brush with more glaze.  serve salmon over rice and with dish of reserved glaze.

Printable Recipe

 

Tilapia with Lemon Vinaigrette and White Beans and Radicchio

July 19th, 2014

Tilapia with Lemon Vinaigrette 3

 

After two weeks with company, we are on our own again.  The house feels empty.  I am missing the chaos and children’s laughter and even the shrieks of discontent.  But the house is back in order and the refrigerator looks less like a dumping ground for a crowd with disparate appetites.  At one time we had 5 different kinds of milk; soy milk, almond milk, whole milk, 2% milk and skim milk.

Cameron at computerI have reclaimed my computer from my 3 year old Grandson.  He loves watching You tube videos of Thomas the Train.

Cameron and Rachel at River

 

We took the Grandkids to the Rocky Broad River one day to play and splash in the water.

Tilapia with Lemon Vinaigrette 4V

 

 

So now we are back to meals for two.  This recipe for Tilapia with Lemon Vinaigrette is one of our favorites.  It is a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and we have been making it for several years now.  It is always a collaborative effort.  I make the lemon vinaigrette and white beans and radicchio and David pan fries the fish.  It comes together in a flash.  The vinaigrette is perfect with the fish and the combination of white beans and radicchio is a stellar accompaniment. The bitterness of the radicchio is tempered both by sauteing and by being mixed with the mellow cannellini  beans.  It is a simple dish with lots of flavor.

TILAPIA WITH LEMON VINAIGRETTE AND WHITE BEANS AND RADICCHIO (Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)

8 tablespoons olive oil
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 large head radicchio (about 12 ounces), coarsely chopped
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 (5 to 6-ounce) tilapia fillets
All-purpose flour, for dredging
Lemon Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallots and saute until tender, about 2 minutes.  Add the radicchio and saute until wilted, about 5 minutes.  Add the beans and broth and cook until the beans are heated through, stirring often, about 5 minutes.  Season the radicchio mixture, to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a 14-inch (or 2 smaller) nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle the fillets with salt and pepper.  Dredge the fillets in flour to coat completely.  Shake off the excess flour and fry 3 fillets in each pan until they are golden brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

Spoon the radicchio mixture over the center of the plates.  Top with the fillets.  Drizzle the the vinaigrette over and serve immediately.  Serves 6

LEMON VINAIGRETTE

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup lightly packed Italian parsley and fresh tarragon leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Blend the lemon juice, parsley, tarragon, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor.  With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil  Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper.

Printable Recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.