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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Summer Time Flowers And My Hanging Herb Garden

Hanging Herb Garden

My hanging herb garden is thriving! Summer Time Flowers And My Hanging Herb Garden are on the move.

Tarragon

Tarragon above I use in so many of my chicken and seafood dishes.

English Lavender

The Lavender above smells so good. I like adding the blooms to sugar. Lavender sugar makes a great gift.

Chive Flowers

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley is used in most of my dishes because of its great flavor.

Thyme

Above is my fresh Thyme. The lemony flavor is perfect for chicken.

Sweet Basil (2)

Sweet Basil with its lemony minty flavor goes with just about everything. I’d say, it’s the one herb I use the most.

Oregano

Above is my Oregano, a super-strong herb so you don’t need much. Great in Tex-Mex dishes.

Oregano

More Oregano! This is the Greek variety.

Sage

Sage is one of those herbs that reminds me of the holidays. A peppery-rosemary flavor that’s super earthy.

Mint

Above is my fresh Mint. Great for desserts, salads and so much more. Below are pictures of flowers from around my house.

Lavender

Lavender can be used in so many ways. I love making Lavender sugar.

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My bright red Gerberas are part of the daisy family.

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Perennials are great because they’re ever changing with each season.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus

Hibiscus bushes are perfect anywhere in your garden.

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One a year the Dragon Lilies bloom. Their vibrant orange color scream summertime is coming!

Rain Lillies

Rain Lilies are so beautiful. They seem to pop up everywhere in my garden.

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Sunflowers

Sunflowers are the meaning of summertime.

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Periwinkles look great in large pots.

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Hydrangeas are my favorite flower, NO question!

Hass Avocado Tree

My Hass Avocado tree is just finding its way. I’m talking 10 years before I’ll see any fruit.

Birdhouse

The Cardinals love their birdfeeder.

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My side garden has a variety of flowers and plants like my baby Fig Trees. Can you see them?

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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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Spring Time Outdoors

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers and Lavender

Lavender and Cinquefoil (from the rose family) always add a spring touch.

My Hanging Herb Garden

Rain Lillies

Aside from cooking and entertaining, I love flowers and herbs. Early spring, especially, is the time where beautiful flowers are available. Let me show you what I’ve been up to so far. Above are my rain Lilies. They bloom during the summer rainy season.

My Fig Trees

Crotons (1)

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Spathiphyllum

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Bird Feeder

Having Jasmine grow up a bird feeder with its little star-shaped white flowers begin to bloom. Their fragrance fills up the yard with such a beautiful aroma. I also want to say, checking the zone (climate area etc..) in which what plants or flowers will thrive is really important. I always try to Google the name of the plant or flower to seek the information first.

Hass Avocado Tree.jpg

This Haas avocado tree is really an experiment for me. I planted this pit from the avocado and this is what has happened so far. They say that the avocado tree grows very slowly, and I guess I’ll just have to be patient.

Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are definitely my favorite flower. Their beautiful large blooms and deep green leaves add so much color to my backyard,

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Heather

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Planting flowers or plants and watching them blossom and grow is an amazing feeling.

Comfort Place

Periwinkles

Changing up your accessories for the season can give you whole new look. My lavender is growing so fast and the aroma fills up my “comfortable place”.

English Ivy

Just a few seasonal changes can make such a big difference. My next project is new patio furniture and a couple of new grills. I can see outdoor cooking videos in my future!

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