Tuscarora Lodge and Outfitters News
The holidays are upon us and if your fridge is anything like ours, it’s starting to fill up with ingredients it only ever contains this time of year. You know: cheese ball remnants; that bit of smoked fish you were strong-armed into taking home from the holiday party; a gallon-sized Ziploc bag of lefse that was really exciting when it was fresh off the griddle, but now no one can rally the enthusiasm to reheat and smear with butter. For so many of us, it’s just not Christmas without a taste of this or that, but once we’ve had that obligatory taste, the leftovers gets pushed around the fridge by milk and condiment bottles for weeks until its undignified end as a moldy heap in the trash can.
A couple years back, we had some smoked salmon and lefse at the “eat it now or forever hold your peace” stage and rather than push them deeper into the depths of the cheese drawer, I decided to give them a Tex-Mex makeover as the star ingredients of a Scandinavian inspired enchilada dish.
Now, we make this dish about once a year, usually in the midst of the holiday season. The recipe is so good that I (the proud non-Scandinavian Minnesotan) actually buy lefse to make this dish when we have leftover smoked fish.
It’s a straightforward enough recipe. Shred the fish and sauté it up with some onions, jalapenos, garlic, cumin, and chili powder, then roll the mixture up in lefse sheets with some cheese. Bind it all together with a lime-flavored white sauce and bake until bubbly. To serve, top it off with your favorite taco toppings: tomato, lettuce, avocado, and a liberal dose of salsa verde.
We thought you might like to have the recipe in your arsenal this holiday season, on the off chance you too have some smoked fish or lefse kicking around your fridge, or just in case you’re looking for a little inspiration for your next Christmas potluck.
- 1 lb smoked salmon
- 1tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2small onion, chopped
- 2 pickled jalapeños, chopped
- 1clove garlic, minced
- 1/4teaspoon oregano
- 1/2teaspoon cumin
- 3/4teaspoon chili powder
- 2tablespoons butter
- 2tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- pinch kosher salt
- 1cup milk2% or whole
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 6large sheets lefse
- 3/4cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Chopped tomato
- Chopped avocado
- Chopped onion
- Chopped lettuce
- Salsa verde
- Shred salmon into small pieces, making sure to remove any bones or skin; set aside. Heat olive oil in a 10" nonstick skillet over medium heat until oil shimmers. Add onions and jalapeños to skillet and sauté until onions are soft and transparent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and spices and sauté until fragrant - about 1 minute. Stir in salmon. Heat salmon through; then remove from heat.
- Melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour, chili powder, and salt and cook for 4 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk, then stir in lime juice. Continue to cook and stir until sauce is thick and smooth. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 9x5” loaf pan. Pour ¼ cup of white sauce into bottom of pan. Wrap fish mixture in lefse pieces with approximately 1 tablespoon of cheese in each roll. Place rolls in pan, then top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until bubbly and cheese has formed melted crust on top. Let sit for five minutes, then serve topped with chopped vegetables and salsa verde.
Things have changed a little since we last spoke. After a seemingly endless string of days in mid-40s, a week ago Thursday, just before midnight, it started to snow.
By the time the weather system had passed us by on Saturday morning, we had almost 11″ of fluffy snow. By the time Monday morning rolled around there was a thin layer, about 1″, of ice completely covering Round Lake. Talk about Insta-winter!
The thing is, the winter weather hasn’t let up since. On Tuesday and Wednesday, another 5″ of snow accumulated and all day today, fluffy (and un-forecasted) snowflakes drifted down lazily to earth to freshen up the already very wintery scene. As much as winter clobbered us with its arrival this year, after such a long fall, the change in season was very welcome.
We’re steadily marching towards the shortest day of the year, but there are plenty of sights in this new winter wonderland to keep us distracted from the fading daylight. The songbirds (and squirrels) are back at the feeders, each morning we find a new set of wolf tracks zigzagging through the resort, and the otters have been busy slipping and sliding across the beaver pond near the Gunflint Trail.
Now that it actually looks like winter, it’s a little easier to thinking about things like winter camping and ice fishing. Dare we say, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . . ?
If you’re hoping to spend some of your holiday season at Tuscarora, you can check out cabin availability and give us a call at 218-388-2221 to book. Because the Lodge will be closed for renovations over Christmas and New Year’s, we have limited availability over the holidays this year and the cabins we do have available are booking up fast. Consider yourself warned!
As the snow accumulates outside we’re hunkering down, knuckling down on the Lodge bathroom renovation, and preparing for the busy holiday season ahead.
Not to add to the commercialism over this retail-centric weekend, but if you’re looking for Boundary Waters/Tuscarora presents for some of the paddlers on your gift list, look no further than the Gift Shop Mini-Mart we just launched on our website. You’ll find BWCA stocking stuffers like stickers and patches, as well as slightly larger items like coffee mugs for under the tree. Happy shopping and thanks for supporting small businesses!