Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

TR Fire Grill


 

It’s been 8 years today, August 20th, since Steve and I went on our first date together. In many ways we are so different. My weaknesses are his strengths and vise versa.  I suppose that’s what makes our relationship work. This year I chose the restaurant. TR Fire Grill is described as an industrial-chic American restaurant serving rustic fare. They also offer an amazing variety of wines and bourbons. Locate at 1035 N Orlando Ave #101, Winter Park, FL. 32789. Here’s a peek into our night out at Tr Fire Grill.

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A look at the menu.

Here are the dishes we sampled.

We started with a twist on a classic, egg rolls.They weren’t your ordinary egg rolls. These were filled with caramelized onions, Wisconsin cheddar, and prime rib. Served with a side of horseradish Aioli and pickled vegetables. Next, a Margherita Flatbread, topped with roasted tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and a balsamic glaze. Our main course was their bacon wrapped smoked meatloaf with a leek and onion gravy. Served with Yukon gold mash potatoes and roasted Broccolini. Everything was simply AMAZING! Here are a couple of other dishes they offer.

Salmon and Zoodles, and for dessert, their Buttery Seared Lemon Pound Cake with blueberry sauce and vanilla ice cream.

Together, we’re looking forward to many more anniversaries and food adventures.

 

 

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Heirloom Tomato Salad


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The Heirloom Tomato goes back generations. When in season, you’ll see them in many colors as well as multi-colored. Unique because they are beautifully misshapen. If that wasn’t enough, they now come in cherry size! I love to have present them, in different ways. I’ll cut a few into wedges, and the cherry size I like to leave whole. It gives a beautiful contrast to the dish.

Bocconcini are small mozzarella cheeses shaped into small balls. They come in a container and the cheese in set in whey or water. They add a creaminess to the dish. To finish, fresh herbs, basil and tarragon.

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients:
4 heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
2 pints of heirloom cherry tomatoes
6-8 whole basil leaves
3 tablespoons of  chopped tarragon leaves
1 tub of Bocconcini drained and dried and seasoned
1-1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
E.V.O.O. to taste

Bocconcini Seasoning:
1 tub (18-20 ct.)  Bocconcini that have been drained and dried well
2 tablespoons of E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a small bowl mix together all the ingredients for the seasoning of the Bocconcini. Place the drained, and really well dried, Bocconcini into the seasoning mixture and toss really well. In a large bowl add the tomato wedges, cherry tomatoes, and seasoned Bocconcini. Add the Kosher salt, black pepper, and chopped tarragon leaves. Toss everything together gently. Lastly, place the whole basil leaves throughout.

When plating, drizzle each serving with E.V.O.O. ( A splash of red wine vinegar is optional)

 

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Winter Park Farmers’ Market


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There is nothing better than getting up early on a Saturday morning and heading out to the local Farmers’ market. This one is located a little north of the College Park area. They are amazing local farmers and just regular people who make an artisanal cheeses, breads, and other products who are ready and willing to sell their products to the community.

Let me take you on a tour of this fabulous outdoor market, where there is something for everyone!

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A Ladies Luncheon At Lynn’s


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My very good friend Lynn asked me if I would have a cooking class/ luncheon at her home. Without hesitation, I said yes! Her home is located in the Historic district of Orlando. This was the perfect place for Lynn and her friends, Marian, Jean, Diane, Gloria, and Sandy to spend some quality time together. I thought it would be a great idea to put a menu together and show the girls some tips, and cooking techniques that they could take home and use when cooking for their families.

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Earlier in the week, Lynn and I met to iron out all the details. We came up with a plan and set it in motion. Gifts for the girls, a tablescape that would compliment the Italian theme, and then of course the menu. The day before the luncheon, I went shopping and found some great seasonal ingredients at the local farmers market in town. I wanted the centerpiece for the table to also echo a few of the ingredients I was using. A large rustic bowl filled with pink grapefruits, lemons, fennel fronds, and fresh bay leaves.

Menu:
Peach Bellinis
Cheese Board, Parmesan, Parmigiano- Reggiano, and Grana Padano
Fennel Salad With Grapefruit, Red Onion, and Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, garnished with edible flowers
Kale And White Bean Soup
Homemade croutons (menu category -breads and muffins)
Eton Mess By Way Of Italy (menu category -desserts)
Peach And Fresh Mint Iced Tea

I set up a small cheese board filled with shards of different types of Parmesan cheeses. The saltiness of the cheeses paired really well with the cocktail I made. I chose to serve Peach Bellinis  Fresh peach puree mixed with Prosecco sparkling wine, garnished with a strawberry. A traditional cocktail that originated in Venice, Italy.

I went through the steps for each coarse step by step. The ladies were taking notes which made me feel pretty special. They asked great questions and I think they went away realizing that when you use fresh and seasonal ingredients, cooking can be fun as well as delicious. I want to say that these were some of the sweetest ladies and I hope that we will be able to get together again in the near future. Lynn, I can’t thank you enough for the opportunity to help you with this amazing luncheon.

Yields: 6 servings
2 heavy bottom soup pots
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time 35-40 minutes

Recipe For Kale And White Bean Soup:
All ingredients divided evenly into two 6 quart heavy bottom pots

2 bunches of fresh kale, stems and center rib removed coarsely chopped
4-15 ounce cans of white Cannellini beans -drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 stalks of celery diced halved and coarsely chopped
2 large onions coarsely chopped
8 carrots peeled and 1/2 inch diced
4 cloves of minced garlic
2 teaspoons of grated fresh nutmeg
2 Fresno chilis seeded and minced
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 quarts of unsalted chicken stock
8 cups of water (amount of water may vary slightly)
2-2 inch pieces of Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
2 fresh bay leaves ( dried are fine)
2 teaspoons of fresh chopped rosemary leaves
grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
E.V.O.O drizzle on top of soup
Accompaniment: homemade croutons

Note: smoked sausage is an option to add to this soup (slice crosswise 1/4 inch thick pieces)

Directions:
Turn the burners on to a moderate heat allowing the two heavy bottom pot to heat up. Remember that all the ingredients will be evenly divided into the two pots.  Once the pots have come up to temperature, adjust the temperature to medium heat. Add in the olive oil, diced onions, minced Fresno chili, celery, diced carrots, and tomato paste. Stir all the ingredients together and allow to start softening. Make sure to season as you go by adding a sprinkling of  Kosher salt, black pepper.

Add the minced garlic, bay leaves, and fresh chopped rosemary leaves. Continue to stir. About 3-5 minutes in, add in the unsalted chicken stock, cheese rinds. Slowly add in the half of the chopped kale leaves to  each pot. Using a spoon, start to submerge the leaves into the liquid. Next, slowly add in the water and the rest of the chopped kale. This is the point is where you’ll be able to see if you have enough liquid, ( refer to the pictures above) allowing 3 inches of space at the top of each pot.

The kale will wilt as it cooks, and most of the ingredients will also release their water. Not to worry, (cooking soup uncovered) as the soup comes up to a boil, water will also evaporate as the soup cooks. Now, add in the drained Cannellini beans. Now is the time to add the 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and the fresh grated nutmeg to each pot. Stir all the ingredients together  Bring the soup up to a boil, reduce the temperature and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until the kale and carrots are tender. Once finished, cover the soup pots until ready to serve.

Serve in big soup bowls with grated Parmesan cheese, croutons, and a drizzle of good E.V.O.O.

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