Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Disney Springs 2017


 

This year, when my daughter came to visit, I didn’t think we could top our adventures from the last time. I was wrong! Before leaving for our Colorado vacation, we spent the entire day at Disney Springs.

We started out our day at The Boathouse.  A restaurant that overlooks the water, and has a bar set up at the end of its dock. Relaxing by the water, taking in the magnificent view, and enjoying a cocktail.

Dinner with family and friends was at Morimoto Asia.  I’d been there before and knew that my friends would love it, and they did! The food was delicious and the restaurants’ decor was simply candy for the eyes.

After an amazing dinner, we walked around. We listened to music, saw sidewalk performers, then, made out way to Paddlefish.  A little trivia, many years ago, this river boat known as, Paddlefish,  was once named The Empress Lilly.

Paddlefish, a beautiful river boat, is a restaurant with a cocktail lounge on the top deck. They make a Bloody Mary that included a few surprises!

Disney Springs was just magical. Enjoying time with family and good friends. Watching the sun set over the water then seeing it disappear into the horizon was beautiful.  Disney Springs, flipped its magical switch, and all the many lights came on. The sparkle of the lights reflecting over the water was simply breathtaking.

 

3 Comments »

How To Cook and Open A Lobster


 

2015-11-13 15.40.42

Today was a really fun day! Tonya, a good friend of mine, went with to shop for seafood. I think she was somewhat surprised to see me stick my hand right into the lobster tank.

This is one of those posts that may not be easy for everyone to read.  Most all shellfish, should be alive before cooking.  This makes it really hard for a lot of people to handle. BEING HUMANE IS KEY!

I’ve worked for many years cooking and handling lobsters, blue crab, shrimp, mussels, and clams. The fresher the seafood, the better the finished dish is going to be.

The Lobster Institute has come up with a study. The study reads… lobsters, like insects, do not have complex brains that allow them to process pain like humans other animals do. They have compared it to when you kill a mosquito. Cooking a lobster, in the practical sennse, is like killing a big bug.

Let’s get back to cooking and opening a lobster. Once I bring the lobster(s) home, I make sure they are kept in the bag with some crushed ice. You want to cook them as soon as possible. Before placing them into the pot of boiling water, I put them to sleep. This is something I learned when I worked at a seafood restaurant.

Place the lobster face (head) down on a counter, tail end in the air. Cross their arms and claws, then rub the back side of their shell, in an up and down motion. In about 45 seconds, their legs and antenna will stop moving. The lobster will then be asleep.  Balancing on their heads, by themselves on the counter. If you want to see how this is done,  just google “How to put a lobster to sleep”, and there are videos available.

I make sure that the water is salted, with sprigs of fresh tarragon, and at a hard boil. Next,  I place the sleeping lobster, head first, immediately  into the boiling water. You’ll notice that the lobster is not totally submerged. I prefer to let steam and water cook the lobster. Place a tight-fitting lid on the pot. Using a dish towel, I hold on to the lid for a about 10 seconds before letting go.

Below is a peek to show you how I do this.

In a very large stock pot I place water and tarragon into water. On high heat, I bring the water up to a hard boil. I place the sleeping lobster into the boiling water then place the lid on, holding it with a towel for around 10 seconds.

Once cooked, I lift the lobster up using large tongs to release any excess water the lobster may hold, back into the pot. Next, I place the lobster into a large plastic container to cool before removing the meat.

Once cooled, first I take off the rubber bands from the claws. I remove the arms with the claws. Next, I twist off the tail to release from the body, also known as the thorax. I discard the thorax.

There are two ways to remove the meat from the tail. First is to bend, in a backwards direction. Now the very end of the tail meat is showing. Use a pair of scissors and cut down the inner side of the tail to release the meat. The other way is to squeeze to tail together until you hear the back side snap. Turn the tail over, where the underbelly is facing in the upwards direction. Using two hands, split the tail open.

2017-11-21 18.56.27

2017-11-21 18.56.51

There is a piece of that needs to be removed on the outer side of the tail meat. It’s really a bit fibrous, just discard. You can see above, the indention it leaves on the backside of the tail meat. The tail is now clean and done. Next, the claws.

This is where a good pair of lobster cracker comes in. Even a meat mallet comes in handy. One of the claws in larger and harder to crack than the other one. You may need some help with that one, that’s why I mention the meat mallet. Lay a towel over the larger claw and hit it one time. That should put a crack into the claw and make it easier to remove the meat in one piece. When using the crackers, be careful not to crack the meat, just the shell. The is insure the meat will come out in one piece. For the arms, they can be a bit tricky. They have knuckles and meat can get caught in them. If you don’t have a lobster pick, you can use a large skewer to help get that meat out.

How’s this for a finished dish! Great to take to parties.  For this recipe, type in key words Shrimp Scampi, into the search bar, at the top right corner, of my home page. My recipe will pop up. The only change is that I incorporated cooked lobster to the dish.

Lobster And Shrimp Scampi Over Linguine (1)

Equipment:
Large stock pot with lid (8 to 16 quart pot)
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes per pound (Cooked lobster should be vibrant red in color)
Prep Time:
Allow for time to put lobster to sleep as explained above. 5-7 minutes to bring water to a hard boil.

Ingredients:
1 live 2 pound lobster
1-1/2 quarts of water
2 heaping tablespoons of Kosher salt
3 sprigs of fresh tarragon.

Leave a comment »

Toasted Quinoa Salad


 

2017-12-15 06.45.51

I took this salad to a graduation celebration and it  was a hit! Something as simple as a salad, using a few fresh ingredients, has had friends asking me for this recipe. I knew I needed to post this ASAP!

If you’ve never made quinoa, it’s really easy. First you always want to do a quick rinse of the quinoa first. The outer coating is called saponin and it’s bitter. Place quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water for a few seconds.

The directions are basically two to one. Two parts liquid to one part quinoa. Cooking quinoa is very similar to cooking rice.  Follow the directions on the back of the package, then all you need to do is to add the other ingredients.

Many times I’ll toast the quinoa first. this adds another layer of flavor to the quinoa. All you do for that is to add canola oil ( a neutral oil), add your quinoa and stir over med-low heat for about 6-8 minutes. Next, you’ll add the boiling liquid to the pot and follow the timing directions on the package.

 

Whenever I’m adding different vegetables to a salad, I like to make sure they are about the same size. You can see above how I diced up the hothouse cucumber (English cucumber), the grape tomatoes are just halved.

2017-12-15 06.45.38

Yields: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes (add 6-8 minutes cooking time if you are toasting quinoa)
Total Time: 22-24 minutes

Ingredients:
1-12 ounce package=1-1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
3 cups of vegetable stock (optional choices are water or low sodium chicken broth)
1/2 diced red onion
1 diced red bell pepper
1 diced orange bell pepper
2 cup of diced feta cheese
1-1/2 pints of halved grape tomatoes
2 cups of diced hothouse cucumber
1/4 cup of fresh basil- Chiffonade style
2 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh Italian Parsley ( dried 1 tablespoon)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 lemon juiced
1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions For Toasting and Cooking Quinoa:
First, rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve before cooking.
Best with pot with a glass fitting lid.

In a pot, on med-low heat, add 2 tablespoons of Canola oil ( any neutral oil). Add in the quinoa. Stir slowly coating all the quinoa with the oil. Continue stirring for about 6-8 minutes or until quinoa is golden brown.

Directions:
In a another pot have you liquid ( vegetable stock) at a boil. Add the boiling liquid to the quinoa. Give a stir and cover. Turn the heat down to low simmer. Once all the liquid has been absorbed, the quinoa is done. It’s really important to keep your eye on the quinoa, it cook pretty fast. Remove from the heat and let the quinoa cool down for about 5 minutes.  I use a fork to fluff the quinoa around in the pot it helps it to cool down quicker.

While the quinoa is cooking dice up all the vegetables, zest and juice of a lemon, dice the feta, and place into a large bowl.  Add in the cooled cooked quinoa, season with salt and pepper. Finish by adding in the chopped basil and parsley and toss through gently. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Before serving I like to add a drizzle of really good E.V.O.O.

 

Leave a comment »

Mocha Chili Spiced Roasted Asparagus- P.S. Flavor- Artisanal Spice Blends


 

Pam Smith’s daughter Nicole, and my daughter Melissa are long time friends. Once I really got into blogging about my recipes, it was important for me to acknowledge those people who inspire me. Pam Smith is at the top of my list. She started out in the area of nutrition, had her own radio program, and now is affiliated with Epcot. She has developed her own line of spice blends and rubs that are AMAZING! My daughter and I have watched her narrate cooking demos, with well known chefs at the EPCOT Food And Wine Festival. Now Pam has gone on to perform her own food demos with her daughter Nicole narrating them by her side. What a tremendous family achievement.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

I received an early Christmas package from the girls and was so excited to test a recipe out using this Mocha Chili Spice blend.  I decided to roast some asparagus using the Mocha Chili.

 

Mocha Chili Spiced Roasted Asparagus (4)

Equipment: 1 1/4 sheet pan
Yields: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes (time may vary depending on thickness of asparagus)
Ingredients:
1 pound of Asparagus
2 tablespoons of Mocha Chili Spice Blend
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Rinse the Asparagus under cold water first. Next, dry all the spears off really well.  Once they are all dry, hold each one at both ends, and where they naturally break off, discard the bottom portion.
Place asparagus onto sheet pan. Next, add the Mocha Chili, Kosher salt, and olive oil. Using clean hands, toss the asparagus spears so they are coated really well. Then spread them out evenly into one layer so they roast nicely.  WOW!, they were so delicious. The Mocha Chili gave the asparagus such a unique flavor profile. For more information visit…

           P.S. Flavor- Spice Blends by Pam Smith, RDN.
Pam Smith will be teaching monthly online classes to go along with the P.S. Flavor Club. Available are 3 month seasonal kits, you can go to http://www.psflavorclub.com.

Leave a comment »

joypassiondesire

From no self-esteem to total self-empowerment

Pinkiebag

Food & Tea Reviews

the creative life in between

cherishing the moments and exploring my passion for creativity... through art, photography, food, and writing

Agnes Ashe

Pomegranates & Vine Scroll - Art Inspired Living

Wonderful Creations Blog

Fun and Inexpensive DIY Projects

Simply Made Kitchen and Crafts

Wholesome family living, simple recipes and crafts

Crafts 'n Coffee

Get your creative buzz as we craft with STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam. Brought to you by The Dow Chemical Company.

craftandothercrazyplans

Trial and error-the best way to learn

kelleysdiy

Where Creativity and Imagination Creates Wonderful Ideas for Your Home!

Penny's Food Blog

so many recipes, so little time . . .

Man Fuel Food Blog

Recipes, Restaurant Reviews, and Travel

"We Graze Together"

Food Bloggers Unite/List of (free) Food Blogs/Recipes/Worldwide

Ramya Recipes

Food is essential for LIFE, Make Food with LOVE

%d bloggers like this: