Smoked Salmon and Potato Salad Wraps – Alaska

As mentioned last week, we recently spent a fabulous two weeks in Scandinavia. We ate our way through Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Boy, did we eat.

The Danish enjoy their smørrebrød, which are open faced sandwiches,  usually on buttered rye bread or a hearty brown bread.

Smørrebrød from Denmark
Smørrebrød from Denmark

As you can see, the Danish have elevated the presentation so that this becomes so much more than just a boring old sandwich.

The Swedish love their lingonberries. We of course had to have meatballs with lingonberries, a very traditional dish. We loved the

Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberries
Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberries

contrast between the creamy sauce on the meatballs and the tart zing of the lingonberries, which taste similar to cranberries. We’ve also talked before about Norwegian lefse, a soft potato crepe, and we saw that on many menus.

But one item that all of these countries had in common was their love for smoked salmon. We saw it on breakfast buffets, on smørrebrød at lunch, and even on dinner menus, like in this wrap.

Smoked salmon and potato salad wrap

We first encountered this simple yet delicious combination on a train of all places, and knew we had to recreate it with Alaskan smoked salmon. Salmon is a good-for-you protein, loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which may aid in heart health, reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of stroke. Look for wild caught salmon rather than farm raised salmon which may contain contaminants.

Mendenhall Glacier is less than 30 minutes away from Juneau, Alaska. This very accessible glacier is 12 miles long, boasts six hiking trails and is part of Tongass National Forest.

Smoked Salmon and Potato Salad Wraps

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 5 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2-3 ounces smoked salmon
  • 1/3 cup potato salad
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup diced red pepper (optional)
  • 1 spinach wrap or flour tortilla

Instructions

In the middle of a wrap or tortilla, spread salmon lengthwise, then add potato salad, arugula, cherry tomatoes and diced pepper (if using). Fold in ends, then roll up the wrap. Slice on the diagonal.

Sour Cherry and Rosemary Focaccia – Michigan

Hi folks! We’re back after a fabulous vacation in Scandinavia. The food was terrific! More on that next week. First we have to talk about sour cherries. We’ve talked before about how Michigan is the top producer of sour cherries. The sour cherry season is just a few

Sour Cherry and Rosemary Focaccia - Michigan

short weeks, so you really have to hustle to take advantage of this delicate but delicious fruit. Living close to Michigan, we’ve been indulging for a week now with sour cherries in our morning yogurt, sour cherries on top of salad and this fabulous focaccia recipe topped with sour cherries from Martha Stewart. Don’t be put off by the amount of time it takes, most of that time is hands off when the dough is resting. The finished product is delightfully crisp and chewy, and the sour cherries and dusting of sugar add a hint of sweetness. Don’t fret if you can’t find sour cherries, just use bing cherries instead.

Sour cherry and rosemary focaccia - Michigan

Mackinac Island is located in Lake Huron between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. Bicycles reign supreme on this vehicle-free island where Somewhere in Time was filmed. Golf or horseback ride, tour Fort Mackinac or the Grand Hotel, and don’t pass up the many fudge shops throughout town.

Martha Stewart’s Sour Cherry and Rosemary Focaccia

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 5 hrs.
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 2 ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 cups pitted sour cherries
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar 

Instructions

Combine flour, water and yeast in bowl of a stand mixer. Mix for 2-3 minutes or until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot until tripled, about 2 hours. Add salt, then switch to a dough hook. Beat on low speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds longer. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface (it will be very runny and sticky). Fold dough into thirds as best you can, patting as you go so the dough deflates. Return dough to well floured mixing bowl. Cover and let stand for one hour or until doubled. Repeat folding process. Cover again and let stand for one hour or until doubled.

Take a large baking sheet (preferably 13 x 17) and add 1/3 cup olive oil. Using your fingers, make sure the oil covers the entire baking sheet. Turn dough onto the baking sheet, spreading it out evenly. Let sit for 15 minutes, and continue to press out the dough until it fills the entire baking sheet. Drizzle dough with 2 remaining tablespoons of olive oil. Add cherries, then rosemary. Dust with sugar. Bake at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until focaccia is golden brown.

Perfect Pairing: Strawberry Rhubarb Galette – California

Tomorrow is National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day! Didn’t know it was a thing, did you? California is the top producer of strawberries in the U.S. with 2.3 billion pounds harvested in 2014. We don’t know

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

why they pair so well but the strawberry’s best friend is rhubarb, in all its celery-like simplicity. We decided instead of pie, we would make a rustic galette which is just a free form pastry, baked without a pie plate. We topped our galette with sliced almonds, another California product. In fact, California is the only state in the country that produces them. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have an easy dessert that will impress any guest.

Slice of Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

Big Sur is a 90 mile stretch of gorgeous coastline from Carmel to San Simeon. Camping and hiking are the big draws, with several state parks along the route, but you can also shop, grab a bite to eat or climb the Point Sur Lighthouse.

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 60 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1¼ cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/2 cup cold water

For filling:

  • 1 ½ cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 ½ cup sliced rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Lemon zest from half of lemon
  • Juice from half of lemon
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons milk (can use non-dairy milk)

 Instructions

For crust: Place all ingredients except water in food processor and blend until fine crumbs are formed. Add water a little at a time until the dough is moist and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use (can be made a day ahead). Roll out onto floured surface, adding a bit of flour at a time if the dough is too sticky. Lift the dough with a spatula and transfer carefully onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

For filling: In a large bowl, combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add cornstarch. Mound fruit mixture into center of dough. Fold sides of dough in, leaving about a 6 inch diameter in the center. Sprinkle with almonds. Brush milk over the outside of the crust. Place in 350 degree oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or the filing is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.

Caramelized Walla Walla Onion Goat Cheese Flatbread – Washington

We’ve talked before about how Walla Walla onions are Washington’s official state vegetable thanks to some lobbying

Caramelized Walla Walla Onion Goat Cheese Flatbread - Washington

schoolkids. Available mid-June to August, these favored alliums have a very low amount of pyruvic acid which is why they are so mild.

We admit to being huge fans of caramelized onions with recipes here and here, but this Caramelized Walla Walla Onion Goat Cheese Flatbread couldn’t be any easier. Cut it up into smaller portions as an appetizer paired with wine or beer, or serve with grilled chicken or shrimp and a salad as part of a full meal. If you can’t find Walla Walla onions, use regular white onions and add a pinch of sugar when the onions are done.

Olympic National Park is the fifth most-visited national park. With almost a million acres, Olympic contains the only temperate rainforest in the contiguous United States, but is also boasts miles of coastline and majestic mountains.

Caramelized Walla Walla Onion Goat Cheese Flatbread - Washington

 

Caramelized Walla Walla Onion Goat Cheese Flatbread

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 40 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium Walla Walla onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Pinch of sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup torn arugula
  • 2 8”x11” flatbreads
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 ounces goat cheese

Instructions

To caramelize onions – heat olive oil in sauté pan until hot. Add onion. Cook on medium-low heat until onion begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add a pinch of salt after 10 minutes. Cook another 10-15 minutes or until onions are a deep golden brown. Remove from heat, add arugula. Season with pepper and a pinch of sugar (if desired).

Brush a thin layer of olive oil onto each flatbread. Top flatbread with half the onion/arugula mixture. Top with half the goat cheese. Repeat with the remaining flat bread. Heat at 425 degrees for about 7-9 minutes or until goat cheese is melted and flatbread is crisp.

Oh, Give Me a Home: Cowboy Cookies – Wyoming

We will not say one discouraging word against the Cowboy Cookie. A variation on the tried-and-true chocolate chip, this cookie is satisfyingly crisp on the outside and chewy in the center. The origin

Cowboy Cookies

of the name is as fuzzy as spring duckling. Some say it has something to do with the addition of coconut, oats and pecans, which help keep a cowboy fortified in the saddle. Sounds mighty sensible to us. The StateEats kids gobbled these up before we could utter “giddyup.”

Cowboy Cookies - Wyoming

If you’ve never seen it, the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is a wonder to behold. It is the largest hot spring in the U.S. and is known for its striking rainbow hues.

Cowboy Cookies

  • Servings: 2 dozen
  • Time: 35 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, cream the shortening and two types of sugar on medium speed until thick and creamy. Add eggs, and vanilla. Add flour mixture. Stir by hand until well combined. Then add oats, coconut, chocolate chips, and nuts if using. Stir by hand until well combined. Drop walnut size dough balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 7-9 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove to wire rack to cool. Transfer to an airtight container.

Over the Moonie: Goudarooni – Nebraska

The goudarooni is a variation on the calzone, a folded over pizza with the filing inside. We couldn’t determine where the wacky name comes from since there is no gouda in the recipe, but this regional

Goudarooni- Nebraska

dish you’ve never heard of comes to you by way of Omaha, Nebraska, specifically Orsi’s Italian Bakery on Pacific Street. This joint has been around since 1919 so you can bet they know their stuff. Our recipe is a slight adaption of Saveur’s and is filled with potatoes, tomato-y ground beef and two types of cheese. Make this and you will not go hungry for days.

Goudarooni - Nebraska

Do not miss Omaha’s Durham Museum. Located in the former Union Station, the Durham is a hands-on history museum with restored trains from different eras, western artifacts, and even an old time soda fountain.

Goudarooni

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 2.5 hours
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

 For crust:

  • 1 package yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray

For filing:

  • 1 ½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced with mandolin
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Instructions

To make crust: To make crust: In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in ½ cup warm water. Let sit until mixture begins to foam. Add rest of water and olive oil. Add 3 ½ cups flour, salt, and remaining sugar. Mix with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook until well combined. If dough is too sticky add a quarter cup of flour at a time, until dough is smooth and elastic and pulls away from the bowl. Transfer dough to a large bowl that has been coated with cooking spray. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.

To make filing: Place potatoes with a ¼ cup olive oil, salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Mix with hands until potatoes are well coated. Spread evenly and bake at 500 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove and set aside.

In a large sauté pan, cook onions in remaining ¼ cup olive oil until translucent. Add meat, breaking it up while it cooks until it is no longer pink. Add tomato paste, spices and sugar, along with ½ cup water. Cook until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

To assemble goudarooni: Punch the dough down. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into an 18” X 20” rectangle. Slide a well-floured pizza peel under half the dough. Spread half the mozzarella and pecorino, leaving a 1-inch border. Spread the potatoes, then the meat sauce. Top with the remaining cheese. Fold up dough over the filling, and crimp the edges closed. Cut two slits in the top for steam to escape. Slide into 500 degree oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

A Win Hands Down: Hot Browns – Kentucky

It’s Kentucky Derby week! Some of the good eats associated with the Derby include mint juleps (see our recipe for the hands down best way to pump up the mint flavor) and decadent Bourbon Pecan Pie. Add to that Hot Browns, an open faced turkey sandwich fancied

Hot Browns - Kentucky

 

up with mouthwatering Mornay sauce and then topped with tomatoes, bacon and Pecorino Romano cheese. Invented at the Brown Hotel in the 1920s to satiate dinner-dance guests, this knife and fork sandwich has been wowing Louisville residents and visitors for close to a century.

Of course the best Hot Browns are made when you can roast your own turkey. If that is too involved for you, freshly sliced deli turkey will work too. Mornay sauce is a white cheese sauce that is actually very simple to make. Classically made with Gruyere, the Brown Hotel uses Pecorino Romano but we used a sharp cheddar to mix it up a bit.

Don your fanciest hat or fascinator and make your way to Louisville on May 7 for the 2016 Kentucky Derby.

 

Hot Browns

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For Mornay Sauce:

  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste

For Sandwiches:

  • 4 slices thick sliced white bread with crusts removed, toasted
  • 2 pounds sliced turkey, divided
  • 2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 8 slices cooked bacon
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely diced parsley
  • Paprika

Instructions

To make Mornay sauce: In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and make a roux. Cook roux, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Add milk in a thin stream and whisk until sauce is thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat, add cheese and stir until melted. Add cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Set aside.

To assemble sandwiches: Arrange toasted bread on a baking sheet. Divide the turkey into four equal parts. Top each sandwich with Mornay sauce, then tomato slices, then two slices of bacon arranged in a cross. Sprinkle each sandwich with Pecorino Romano cheese and paprika. Place under broiler for 5 minutes or until tops of sandwiches are bubbling. Sprinkle diced parsley on top before serving.

Bar Food is for Lovers: Sweet and Savory Peanuts – Virginia (vegan)

We don’t know about you, but when we think of the foods of Virginia, two things come to mind: Smithfield ham (which is a type of country ham protected by state law and only produced in the town

Sweet and Savory Peanuts - Virginiaof Smithfield) and peanuts. There are actually thousands of peanut cultivars but the four main groups grown in the U.S. include Spanish, Runner, Valencia and Virginia. Virginia peanuts are mostly grown in southeastern Virginia but also in the Carolinas. Virginia peanuts are prized because they are bigger than the other types.

For those who love sweet and salty snacks to go with a beer or cocktail, this recipe will deliver. Just try to keep yourself from eating too many at once, we found them totally addictive. You’ve been warned.

Enjoy the wildflowers on the historic Skyline Drive which covers 105 miles through Shenandoah National Park. Be sure to allow enough time for checking out the visitor center, hiking, exploring neighboring towns, and of course, eating.

Sweet and Savory Peanuts

  • Servings: 10
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (up to ¼ teaspoon if you like spicy)
  • 1 ½ cups lightly salted Virginia peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

In a large bowl, place agave syrup and spices (everything except the sugar). Stir until well blended. Add peanuts and stir to coat. Spread peanut mixture evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees, stirring every five minutes for 20 minutes or until nuts are caramel brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle on sugar, then toss with spatula until nuts are fully coated. Let cool. Break up into smaller pieces and store in an airtight container.

Life is Gouda: Trio of Grilled Cheese Sammies – Wisconsin

Today is National Grilled Cheese Day – a bona fide holiday if you ask us. Who doesn’t love an ooey, gooey, straight-from-the-griddle-to-plate melted cheese sandwich? Of course, Wisconsin is the natural pairing here as we’ve talked before about how Wisconsin has led the United States in cheese making for over a century. The Badger State produced a staggering 11.5 billion pounds of cheese in 2014.  Americans sure do love their cheese; we consume about 34 pounds of it annually.

Because we are celebrating the day in excess style we bring to you not, one, not two but three fancy-schmancy grilled cheese recipes. You’re welcome. First up is muenster, with tomato, avocado and bacon on whole wheat. If you like BLTs, you’ll love this combo.

Grilled Cheese with muenster, tomato, avocado and bacon on whole wheat

Next we have cheddar with fig preserves and caramelized onions on sourdough. This is for those of you who like a sweet/salty flavor profile.

Grilled cheese with cheddar, fig preserves and caramelized onions

Mmmmmm, look at all that melty cheese goodness (and if you look very closely you can see the back of the StateEats dog who licked up the fig preserves that dripped on the floor).

Last but certainly not least, we bring you mozzarella, pesto, and tomato on rustic Italian bread.

Grilled cheese with mozzarella, pesto, and tomato

One StateEats kid who is a carnivore extraordinaire took a bite of this sandwich and declared it “almost like a burger.” High praise, there.

Get yourself to Madison to attend the 2016 Wisconsin Film Festival, April 14-21, 2016.

Trio of Grilled Cheese Sammies

Ingredients

For Muenster with Tomato, Avocado and Bacon:

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 4 slices Muenster cheese
  • 2-3 slices tomato
  • 4 slices cooked bacon
  • Butter

For Cheddar with Fig Preserves and Caramelized Onions:

  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons fig preserves
  • 1-2 tablespoons caramelized onions*
  • Butter

For Mozzarella with Pesto and Tomato:

  • 2 slices rustic Italian bread
  • 2-3 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • 2-3 slices tomato
  • Butter

Instructions

Place half of cheese on top of one slice of bread. Add fixings. Add remaining cheese, then bread. Generously butter both sides of sandwich. Cook on medium heat until cheese is melted and both sides of the sandwich are golden brown.

*To caramelize onions – slice one onion very thin, cook on medium heat with olive oil until onion begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add a pinch of salt after 10 minutes. Cook another 10-15 minutes or until onions are a deep golden brown. Can add a pinch of sugar if desired to finish.

True Grit: Shrimp and Grits – North Carolina

Grits are about as synonymous with the South as sweet tea and pulled pork barbeque. For those unfamiliar, grits are made with stone-ground cornmeal. Think of them as the southern version of polenta.

Shrimp and grits North Carolina

 

Grits are a carb that can be dressed up sweet — with a little pat of butter and maple syrup — or like in this recipe, savory — with cheese. The quintessential pairing of shrimp and grits is one that you will find in kitchens from Wilmington to Charlotte with tons of variations in between. We like this version, which is slightly adapted from Saveur. Just don’t use instant grits which are gluey and bland. To quote the 1992 film classic My Cousin Vinny, “no self-respectin’ Southerner uses instant grits.”

Wilmington is home to the annual North Carolina Azalea Festival, April 6-10, 2016. Celebrate spring with arts and crafts shows, entertainment, kids’ activities, a street fair and live music.

Shrimp and Grits

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup white stone ground grits
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 lb. medium peeled shrimp (about 30)
  • 6 white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in grits. Cook on low, whisking frequently, until grits are cooked through and are tender and creamy, about 30-40 minutes. Add cheeses and 1 tablespoon butter. Salt to taste. Set aside.

Cook bacon in a medium skillet until browned and crisp. Remove to paper towel. Set aside. Reserve the bacon fat.

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Using the same pan over medium-high heat, cook the shrimp until pink and no longer opaque. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Lower heat to medium. Add mushrooms and cook until browned. Add garlic and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Return heat to high, add broth. Scrape browned bits from pan and then let liquid reduce by about half. Return shrimp to pan, then add lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and hot sauce. Cook until sauce thickens, stirring constantly. Season again with salt and pepper if necessary.

To serve, divide grits into 4 portions. Add shrimp and sauce. Top with bacon and scallions.

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