From the Field- Blogs
Check out my food column in the New Haven Register
above photos provided by Lakeside Inn
My return visit to the Lake County region of Florida brought me to The Lakeside Inn www.lakeside-inn.com 100 N. alexander St. 352-383-4101 Located right in the center of Mt. Dora, the Inn, founded in 1883, is the oldest continually operated hotel in the state. When people think of the sunshine state, they usually think of big hotels on the beach or the many theme parks. What many don’t know, is that Florida is steeped in history and The Lakeside Inn is part of that history. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; an original member of Historic Hotels of America; and a member of the National Historic Trust. President Calvin Coolidge and his wife stayed here for a month-long vacation when he left office in 1930.
You will feel as if you have stepped back in time upon entering North Alexander Street. Today, the Inn, which began with ten rooms, has 90 rooms within its four buildings. The lakefront rooms feature a panoramic view of Lake Dora. The veranda of the original inn features casual dining and rocking chairs where you can enjoy spectacular sunsets.
Tremain’s Tavern, a traditional Old Florida club-like atmosphere serves up light fare and spirits with nightly entertainment. Sunday Brunch in The Beauclaire Dining Room serves breakfast lunch, dinner and the Sunday brunch is popular with the locals and visitors alike.
My dinner began with Southern Gumbo, a classic hearty soup with okra, rice, chicken and andouille sausage; I enjoy smoked salmon, so I had to try the Salmon and shrimp Dip, a flavorful blend of shrimp and smoked salmon, served hot and accompanied by flatbreads. The highlight of dinner was the Chicken Pot Pie, tender pieces of white chicken, with fresh local vegetables in a savory cream sauce topped with a crown of perfectly baked puffed pastry. I was happy that the chef shared his recipe which I hope you will enjoy. The peach cobbler with ice cream topped off dinner in the Beauclaire dining room, with a beautiful view of the Garden Terrace.
The property, for the last five years has been owned by Jim Gunderson, an experienced hotelier. His love of historic properties led to the purchase of the Inn. He has been and continues to carefully restore the last remaining hotel of that era in the Lake Region of Central Florida. While on property, enjoy the lakefront pool, the sandy shore, the Gatehouse gift gallery of regional art, a seaplane ride or boat tour, or take a stroll into town. At the Lakeside Inn, step back in time and soak up the simple pleasure of rocking on the veranda with a good book watching the beautiful setting of the sun.
Chicken Pot Pie
¼ cup olive oil
2 cups diced yellow onion
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced celery
2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon black pepper
1 quart chicken broth
1 ½ quarts heavy cream
1 cup green peas
1 ½ cups diced cooked chicken breast
8 ounces unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 sheet puff pastry
1 cup egg wash
Heat stock pot to medium heat, add olive oil, wait 15 seconds, then add onions, carrots and celery. Cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, while stirring frequently, or until onions begin to become translucent. Add salt and pepper and stir. Add chicken broth and cream and bring to a boil. While that is coming to a boil melt butter in a separate pan on low heat. Once melted add your flour to make the roux. Continue to let the roux cook in the pot on low heat for 2-3 minutes, while stirring often. Once roux is cooked and pot pie mixture is boiling slowly begin adding roux to the pot pie mixture with a whisk. Fully blend each bit of roux you add before adding more. Pot pie should be thick, almost paste like texture at this point. Reduce heat to a simmer, add peas, chicken and all fresh herbs and let simmer for 10-15 min. Pour into an oven safe serving or baking dish of your choosing, top with puff pastry, and brush the egg wash onto the puff pastry. Pre-heat oven to 400 for conventional ovens, 350 for convection. Place Pot pie in oven with enough room above it so the pastry won’t hit anything once it starts to puff up. Cook for 10-15 minutes until puff pastry is golden brown. Serves 6-8.
Check out my food column in yesterday’s New Haven Registerhttp://sfarticles.tumblr.com/post/138234340226/ebingers-chocolate-blackout-cake-was-heaven-in-a
To see my food and travel column archives, please go tohttp://sfarticles.tumblr.com/archive