April 16, 2010

First Ramps of the Season!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — eaglesmere @ 1:33 pm

Today, Kelly, Sam and I went to pick some wild leeks, also known as ramps(pictured here).

After we got them cleaned up we had a salad using the ramp greens and dandelion (Pictured above). We cooked some Guanciale in pork fat, then added some diced ramps and garlic. We finished the dressing with cider vinegar and a little brown sugar.It was really good.

After lunch I made some ramp relish. We’ll use this with our Trout tonight. This is the recipe I promised you in my last post. Here  it goes:

In honor of Tomorrow being the first day of the 2010 Pennsylvania Trout Season

Roasted Rainbow Trout with Ramp Relish and Citrus Butter.

Relish:

2 cups Ramp stem small diced, cleaned and placed in a large glass measuring cup or stainless steel bowl.

1 c. cider vinegar mixed with pickling spices(I blend my own, but you can buy it premixed)

1 c. sugar

Zest from 1 whole each lemon,  lime, and orange(juice these fruits and save for later)

Combine zest and sugar and bring to a simmer, at the same time simmer the vinegar and spices. After 20 minutes strain the vinegar mixture into the sugar mixture. Bring to a boil then pour over ramps in heat resistant bowl. Cover with plastic and let sit for two hours until cooler. Put it in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Citrus Butter:

Reduce the juice from the citrus fruits until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. While stirring constantly,  whip 3 Tbsp of butter into it.

To finish:

Place clean trout filets in a glass casserole. Baste with the citrus butter liberally. Place the fish in a preheated 375 degree oven.

When trout starts to brown (about 6-8 minutes)remove it and serve immediately with a scoop of the relish.

If you try this and have any trouble, don’t hesitate to call me at the Inn and I’ll help you through it.  Make sure to be certain you have wild leeks and not something that looks similar, especially skunk cabbage, it could make you very sick.

 Good luck and Bon Appetit!!!!

April 15, 2010

And the survey says…….

Filed under: Uncategorized — eaglesmere @ 7:22 pm

   

……………getting a whole lamb from Jamison Farm was AWESOME.

 Here is the breakdown:

I boned out and tied the legs for roasts, probably to do a lamb “two ways” paired with a chop, which is what I did with the racks.

The front legs I also boned out and will use in a curried lamb and pork meatloaf that I’m doing for this coming wine weekend.

I’m trying something different with the belly/brisket. I put a dry rub on it and I’m going to smoke it(hopefully I’ll end up with a lamb “pastrami”, who knows?)

The saddle was really nice and I’m not sure what I’ll do with it yet. I ate the tongue myself, braised, on an arugula salad with some quick “bacon” dressing I made with a little of my Guanciale(which just finished drying and is AMAZING).

I cooked the foreshanks Osso Bucco style, which is what is in the above picture.

Here is a secret for making great Osso Bucco: soak some sundried tomatoes in Sambuca for 10 minutes and then lightly drain them leaving some liquid and throw it all into your braise. Also, make sure you have a lot of fresh garlic, you really can’t have too much. The Sambuca gives the dish a sort of fennel flavor that is real nice, but subtle.

I also ended up with a nice lamb stock that I’ll probably reduce to demi-glace. The hindshanks I’m saving for a nice meaty snack in the near future.

That was it for the lamb this time.

Tomorrow, I’m going Ramp collecting and I will post my first Eagles Mere Inn Blog recipe.

Until then, hang on to your seats.

April 13, 2010

Signs of Spring

Filed under: Uncategorized — eaglesmere @ 12:54 pm

 Here are a few pictures of some signs of Spring up here in Eagles Mere. The Azaleas and Daffodils are in full bloom, and the Fiddlehead Ferns are peeking out ready to be plucked and cleaned. In the past I’ve roasted them in olive oil and also sauteed them in butter and onion, but one of my favorite preparations is to pickle them with some dill, garlic and some hot red chilis. We’ll see what I come up with this year.

Update #1: I represented the Inn at a benefit for the Blomsburg Theater Ensemble last Saturday. The event is called “The Taming of the Brews” and it features many local restaurants and breweries offering samples of their goods.  I was very happy to be a part of it. Most importantly, it raised a lot of money to help fund one of the better small town theaters in Pennsylvania. I also had a chance to network with some good local microbreweries and we hope to have some new brews in stock by the beginning of Summer. There were probably 20-30 other restaurants there, but we won the people’s choice award for the best restaurant voted by the patrons of the event!! Considering they only give out two awards(the other is for best brewery), I felt extremely honored to have been chosen for this. We did a seared Sea Scallop with a cilantro creamed corn with a carrot and ginger orange sauce. Slightly ambitious considering the volume of people(we cooked over 600 scallops), but it paid off in the end.

Update #2 While fishing on Hunter’s Lake last Thursday, I was lucky enough to see a pair of Ospreys hunting for fish. We were right nearby when one went into its dive and smacked the water. At first I thought it came up empty-handed, but upon a second glance we saw it did have a fish, and a nice one at that(about 12 inches or so). I also only caught one but considered it a successful trip nonetheless.  

Update #3   My lamb should be here this afternoon so I’ll have another post about what we do with that, probably tomorrow. I’m also going to search for some ramps later to prepare with the lamb and this weekends offerings, and I’ll also end up preserving some for future use.

I don’t want to, but feel I need to, end with this quick clarification. I was told by some guests who are attending an upcoming wedding, that another lodging establishment in the area has been giving false information about our rates. Several different people were told that if you stay with us you had to pay the full price even if you weren’t eating with us. Although these potential guests chose not to stay with us, I figured I’d mention it here to clarify these things.

I can see where the confusion would come from considering our guests almost always choose to eat here, so they aren’t seen elsewhere in town for dinner, but we never tell anyone they have to and nor would we charge for dinner if they choose not to eat with us. We DO discount your rate if you don’t want dinner.

The whole lamb I’m getting today is a perfect example of the reason everyone who stays with us(and some at other places) want to eat here. We serve good, fresh, local products, made from scratch, to those who want to eat with us.

That’s all for today. I’ve got my work cut out for me today.

More about the lamb tomorrow.

April 5, 2010

Spring and the Haystacks

Filed under: Uncategorized — eaglesmere @ 7:54 pm

Today, Diana and I went to do the Haystacks hike along the Loyalsock Trail. We chose to drop down over to check out Dutchman falls before following the Loyalsock down to the haystacks rock formation in the creek. The sun was out all day and it was warm, so it ended up being a really nice hike because it was under the shade of evergreens the entire way.

Diana’s favorite part was the Dutchman waterfall and she also liked walking over the different types of rock that formed a field right before the haystacks. I guess they got pushed there in high water.

I thought the water was a little high today and I contemplated for a second trying the kayaks down this section. After I saw whitewater near the Haystacks, I changed my mind. I’ve read that with the right conditions they could be up to a class IV or V rapids. Yikes!!

Haystacks on the Loyalsock- 15 minute drive from the Inn, 2  1/2 hour walk-Great time!!

Side note- The loyalsock trail runs on an old railroad bed for about 2 miles in this area, you could take bikes down and ride for most of the way, and then walk down to see the haystacks.  

Another highlight of our beautiful day today was seeing all of the ramps(wild leeks) starting to get big. Soon enough I’ll gather a bunch and make some different preparations. I’ll probably do some caramelized and use it with my pork tenderloin or the loin I didn’t smoke. Also, I will pickle some and then do a little ramp relish,  which goes great with our fresh rainbow trout and other seafood.  

We spent the second half of our day working to get the garden ready.  Later this week, I will get some blueberry and raspberry bushes planted.  I also plan on getting some peas and different edible flowers in the ground by the end of next week. 

Di and I finished her last day of Easter vacation with a glass of iced tea on the front porch of the Inn while relaxing on the rocking chairs.  Somewhere in the distance the Spring Peepers started discussing their plans for the evening, Di and I made our own plans for the garden and where we want to go on our next hike.

All in all, today was a good combination of fun and work.  Although, I wouldn’t call what we did in the garden “work”, considering we will be enjoying the literal “fruits” of our labors all summer long.  Maybe, you will too!