Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Lemon Pepper Asparagus

Lemon Pepper Asparagus (1)

Asparagus has to be my favorite Springtime vegetable. I found these beauties at my local Farmers’ market just in time for Easter. Look at the size of these babies!

I’m making my Lemon Pepper Asparagus with my Fennel And Garlic Bone-In Pork Loin for our holiday dinner. I’m also serving my Garlic Roasted Potatoes With Sautéed Peppers. If you’d like to check out those recipes, the links are available at the bottom of this post.

Lemon Pepper Asparagus (4)

Lemon Pepper Asparagus (3)

Lemon Pepper Asparagus (5)

Lemon Pepper Asparagus (7)

Lemon Pepper Asparagus (8)

Lemon Pepper Asparagus (11)

Lemon Pepper Asparagus (10)

Lemon Pepper Asparagus (1)

Prep Time: 10 minutes (includes par-boiling of the asparagus)
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 12-inch sauté pan, large mixing bowl, tongs, vegetable peeler

2 pounds of large asparagus
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of lemon pepper seasoning blend
Kosher salt

Start by prepping the asparagus spears. Because they are so thick in size, the outer skin may be a little fibrous. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the outer layer of each spear. Next, simply hold the asparagus spear between your thumb and forefinger bending the spear bending until it breaks. The asparagus spear will break naturally where the woody part ends and the fresh part of the asparagus begins. Discard the end woody ends they’re not edible.

In a sauce pot filled with boiling salted water, add the asparagus. Boil the spears about 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately transfer the asparagus into an ice bath (a large bowl filled with ice water) to stop the cooking process. Once the asparagus has cooled, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain off any excess water.

In a large sauté pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus spears and 1 tablespoon of the lemon pepper seasoning. Using tongs toss until all the spears are all coated. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until crisp-tender. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the remaining lemon pepper and Kosher salt to taste. Serve hot.



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Provencal Style Grouper

Provencal Style Grouper (1)

Provencal Style Grouper (2)

A dish known for its flavors from Provence, France.  Lavender fields, and medieval hilltop villages, the southeastern region of Provence stretches from the Rhône in the west to the Italian border.

This sauce with its colorful and bright flavors enhances the succulent taste of the grouper. Grouper should not be overcooked. The fish should be tender and using a fork should flake apart easily.

I’m using asparagus in this recipe, so I need to blanch the asparagus stalks first. I want them to remain vibrant green in color.

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Provencal Style Grouper (1)

Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes, including blanching asparagus
Total Cook Time: 1 hour
Equipment: 12″ saute pan, large casserole dish

Directions for blanching asparagus:
First, you want to rinse, under cold water, the stalks off to remove any dirt that may be attached. Take one of the stalks hold it towards the bottom third of the stalk , then bend the stalk.  This part of the asparagus is the woody end and very fibrous. The stalk will break naturally where the tender part ends and the tough part begins. Have a pot of 6 cups of boiling salted water and a large bowl filled with ice and water on stand-by. Place the stalks into the boiling water and let them cook for 2-3 minutes. Using a pair of tongs remove the asparagus from the hot water and place them immediately into the ice bath. Toss around in the ice water for a minute. This process is called “shocking”. You’re stopping the cooking process. Drain well and transfer to a plate. Next, cut, on the bias, the stalks into 2 inch pieces.

Ingredients For Fish:
3 tablespoons olive oil
4- 8 ounce center cut skinless grouper fillets, 2 pounds
3 tablespoons olive oil, to be used on fillets
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions For Searing Grouper:
Let fish rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes ( utilize this time for prep). Once fish reaches room temperature, prep the fish with olive oil, Kosher salt, and pepper.
Note: A cast iron skillet or a large non-stick saute pan work best for searing fish.

Preheat a large, cast iron skillet, or a non-stick saute pan on medium high heat. Carefully tilt pan off the heat to add the olive oil,  swish the oil around in the pan, then back onto the heat. You may see the pan start smoking, that’s what you want. Next, carefully place the grouper fillets into the pan, presentation side down. Jiggle the pan immediately so fish does not stick. Do not touch the fillets for about 3 minutes. The fillets will release from the pan easily, once they’ve browned on that side. If you believe they’re ready to flip, using a spatula, pick up one corner of the filet and see if it’s not sticking and looks golden brown. Turn the fillets over and sear the other side for another 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Transfer the fillets to a plate until sauce is ready to be transferred to the casserole dish.

Ingredients For Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped fennel, (1 bulb}
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced yellow bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic ( 3 cloves)
1-28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
2 tablespoons low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons good dry white wine
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (reserve 1/4 cup for garnish)
1/4 cup fennel fronds for garnish
2 lemons sliced for garnish
4- 8 ounce (1 inch-thick) grouper fillets ( 2 pounds)

Directions For Sauce:
For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large (12 inch) saute pan. Add the onions, fennel, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft.

Place the tomatoes and their juices in a large bowl. Take a knife and slice through the tomatoes until they’re large bite-size pieces. Add the tomatoes to the sauce, then the chicken stock, white wine, salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Add the chopped basil and caper and cook for 1 minute.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer the sauce to casserole dish. Lay the seared grouper fillets on top of the sauce and bake for about 15 minutes. To judge if your fish is fully cooked (because oven temperatures may vary and so might the thickness of the fillets), make a small cut with a paring knife to see if the flesh has turned from translucent to opaque. Finally, lay lemon slices, the reserved chopped basil, and fennel fronds over the top.

Place a puddle of the sauce onto a plate, place a filet on top, and garnish with basil, lemon, and fennel fronds.

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Puff Pastry Wrapped With French Brie Cheese, Strawberry Honey Jam, And Walnuts- A Thanksgiving Day Brunch




This holiday I’m making brunch for some friends. They’re going to be making the turkey, ham, and all the sides. I thought it is a nice gesture to bring them a couple of my special brunch items. I’m also going to bring my stuffing muffins and frittata muffins.

Most of the time, people are always dropping by throughout the day.  I thought it would be really nice if there were food there that could be served at room temperature.

First, my Puff Pastry Wrapped French Brie Cheese with Strawberry Honey Jam and Walnuts.

Second, are my MiniItalianSausage, Asparagus, and Truffle Fontina Cheese Frittatas.

Finally, were my Stuffing Muffins, filled with my sweet Italian Sausage, golden raisins, celery, onions, and fresh sage.

For this post, I’m going to share my recipe for my Puff Pastry Wrapped French Brie Cheese With Strawberry Honey Jam And Walnuts.  The other two recipes will follow soon.

Equipment: baking sheet, pastry brush
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Oven Temperature: 400 degrees F.
Cook Time: 15 minutes or until golden brown

1 sheet of cold thawed puff pastry
1-13 ounce ( 5 inches in diameter) Brie cheese wheel
3 tablespoons of strawberry honey jam ( or fig jam)
2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts
egg wash- 1 beaten egg + 1 tablespoon of water
2 tablespoons of Apricot jelly
1 tablespoon of very hot  water
5 inches of kitchen twine
Sanding sugar

Note: Remove the puff pastry, the night before, from the freezer, and transfer it to the refrigerator. The dough needs to be cold but completely thawed.

On your board, lay out one sheet of puff pastry. Roll the sheet out until it’s 1/8 inch in thickness. You want to make sure it’s large enough to cover the wheel of Brie and come together to be tied at the top. Refer to the pictures above. Transfer the pastry carefully to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Lay the wheel in the center of the rectangle shaped pastry. Using a spoon, add the jam over the top of the cheese and spread to cover the entire top of the wheel. Next, sprinkle on the chopped walnuts.

Bring each of the sides up to the top collecting them to come together at the top center so it can be tied up like a package. Using the kitchen twine, tie the overlapping pastry at the top together. Using your fingers spread the pastry out where it meets together at the top for presentation. Trim the twine as close as possible so as not to see the string.

Brush the entire pastry package with egg wash. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

In a small bowl, whisk together the apricot jelly and hot water together until there are no lumps. Once the pastry is out of the oven, brush the apricot glaze all over the outside of the pastry. Sprinkle sanding sugar liberally all over. Carefully cut the twine.

Let rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into. Serve with your favorite crackers.

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Lemon Pepper Asparagus

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Roasted, sauteed, or with a drizzle of Hollandaise sauce, it doesn’t matter, this is my favorite vegetable. A simple preparation, with a sprinkling of lemon pepper seasoning, sends the asparagus over the top. It’s a great side that goes with just about everything. Here’s how easy this is to prepare.

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When prepping the your asparagus, you want to break off the ends. I prefer the thicker stalks of asparagus. They have so much more flavor. Just bend one holding the stalk at the half way point and bend the bottom. It will snap off naturally where it is suppose to. Once all the stalks have had their uneatable bottoms broken off, I move on to peeling the outer layer. Using a vegetable peeler, I just take some of the outer skin off, not too much. Next, your ready for the blanching.

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I have some boiling salted water on the stove and I just placed all the cleaned asparagus stalks into the water for about 2 minutes or so. I then place them into a bowl that I’ve filled with ice water to stop the cooking process. This will also set that beautiful green color. After they’ve all cooled down, I fish them out of the ice water and dry them off completely.

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I have a large saute pan, set on med heat, that I’ve let get nice and hot. To that I add, 3 tablespoons of olive oil. I move the oil all around the bottom to coat the entire pan with the oil. Next, I place the asparagus into the pan with 2 tablespoons of lemon pepper seasoning and 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt. Using my tongs, I turn the asparagus so that all of the oil and seasoning coat each stalk. I saute all this for about 3-5 minutes. If some of the seasoning falls to the bottom of the pan, that’s alright. That’s why I added 2 tablespoons to start with. Finally, I take it off the heat, place onto a serving dish. To finish, a very light sprinkling of Fleur de sel, or Kosher salt

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I bunch of fresh asparagus. (1 pound)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of lemon pepper seasoning
2  tablespoons of Kosher salt ( for the blanching water)
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
Fleur de sel for a finishing garnish ( Kosher salt is fine)

Directions: First prep the asparagus. Next blanch the veggies for two minutes, remove then place them in an ice bath. Next remove the asparagus from the water and dry completely. Finally with the pan on med heat and hot, add the olive oil to the pan and the asparagus carefully. Place them into the pan away from you, so as not to burn yourself. Add the seasonings in, and toss with tongs so all the stalks get coated with the lemon pepper and  Kosher salt. Let saute for 3-5 minutes before removing the asparagus from the pan to a serving platter. Finish with a sprinkling of Fleur de sel.

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