Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lancaster County Bed & Breakfast Innkeeper Misses the Ocean... and the Seafood

Motif #1 in Rockport MA
So, when the thermostat reaches above 90 degrees, my circuits start frying a bit. I know, you all see me as cool, calm and collected, however, deep inside stands a crazy man that curses at the heat and humidity. You will never hear me complain in the winter time about how cold it is. I may acknowledge that it is cold, however I never complain about it.

So, although Lancaster is beautiful and like no other place in the world, so is my old hometown of Rockport MA. The sights and sounds of the Atlantic Ocean are what I miss. And although the water is still so cold up there now, it was enough just to wade in the salt water while walking through the sand and a warm summer day.

Culinary Cooking Demos at the Harvest Moon
So just as special as the PA Dutch food is here in Lancaster, the coastal New England food was a treat up in Rockport. As an innkeeper here at the Harvest Moon Bed and Breakfast in Lancaster, I find myself always preparing for special culinary weekends or a specific culinary tour. Some of our cooking weekends revolve around culinary demos that showcase exactly how to prepare certain ingredients. I always try to stay away from seafood for I understand that although good, nothing is as fresh as right out of the ocean!

So call me spoiled, however I am all for fresh seafood.... I mean fresh off the boat seafood. Like none other than what you can get from a New England fish shack on the beach. It really is that good! Oh and by the way, I thought I would present a recipe for you.

How likes Halibut? Well, it was always this time of year, when the fishermen would come ashore and offer only the freshest of Halibut caught just moments before. You can always tell fresh fish for it does not smell like fish... it just smells like the ocean. The skin when pressed, bounces back and does not stay in place. And the color of fresh halibut is this absolutely beautiful pearly white with red/pink veins throughout.

Below is a recipe that I had on the menu while working in Rockport. Enjoy for it truly was a great place to be, and damn do I miss the ocean!

Halibut fillets skinned                                 1lb
Chopped Tomatoes  seeded                     2 tomatoes
Butter                                                       2 Tbls
Garlic chopped                                         1 tsp
Shelled Lump Blue Crab-meat                  8 oz
Fontina Cheese                                         To cover fish
White wine                                                Two cups
Salt and Pepper                                         To taste
Dill  (only the fresh stuff)                            1 tsp
Lemon                                                      1 wedge

Prepare two 8 oz portions of Halibut making sure all skin is removed
Place in shallow baking dish with 1 cup of white wine and a squeeze of lemon
Bake at 375` for about fifteen minutes, ( or until center is opaque and fish is snow white in color )
Five minutes before fish is done, place crab-meat on top along with the Fontina Cheese
While fish is baking, in saute pan place butter in and wait till hot; then add tomatoes and garlic, saute till hot
Then add white wine and reduce. At end, add a bit more butter, melt and add fresh chopped dill.
Remove from heat.
Remove fish from oven
Place fish on plate and serve with sauce on top.

Good Stuff!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Twin Brook Winery: Summer Events in Lancaster County

So, someone asked me the other day where I would  go to get my party on! Someplace a little refined, yet knows how to have a rockin' time. Maybe have a glass of wine; a place of culture and history, yet not stuffy and pretentious.

Being an innkeeper here at the Harvest Moon Bed & Breakfast in Lancaster, I was like, Wow, that's a tall order, is there such a place that touches on each one of those points?  Then I remembered Twin Brook Winery. Sure this will fit the bill... they have lots of events during the summer. And all though it was not summer, it sure felt like it!

So off they went, with map in hand to celebrate and get their party on at Twin Brook Winery. Upon their return, they could not say enough of the good time they had. With Entertainment and award winning wine, who could wrong. They had an awesome time and said that they will return.

I have been to Twin Brook myself many times and find it all to be true. Mellisa and Tim really know how to put on a good show. There winery is an old farm, recaptured and made into a truly unique place. Their vineyards surround the property on hills and valleys. They have an outside gazebo that often houses there concerts and musicians.

Their wine... pretty dang good. I highly recommend and The wines at Twin Brook are definitely worth a stop. We have guests that come just for their wine at least twice a year.

So going back to our last blog on Lois Pasteur, I would have to say once again, thanks Lois.... If not for your crazy ideas, we would not have this dynamite experience that we so enjoy at Twin Brook Winery.