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The Wall Street Journal - Food & Drink: 'America’s Most Satisfying Salad'

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on Oct 18, 2018

Chef Shelley Cooper is quoted by The Wall Street Journal's Food & Drink section for an article titled "America's Most Satisfying Salad." Here is an excerpt from the Sept. 2018 article by Louisa Shafia about Kilt greens, the Appalachian salad doused with delicious bacon fat: "Also known as killed lettuce, this unabashedly indulgent sort of salad hails from Appalachia. 'It’s a warm bacon salad, or wilted greens,' said Shelley Cooper, the chef at Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro in East Tennessee. 'It’s just we call it kilt.'"

Watermelon and Charred Okra Salad with Warm Sorghum Vinaigrette (Yields 4 Salads)

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on Aug 14, 2018


8 small okra cut in half length ways
1.5 cup deseeded and cubed (bite sized) watermelon
2 cups cleaned mixed greens ( spinach, arugula, chard, frisee)
1 small red onion sliced very thin
1 tbs feta cheese crumbled
2 tbs sorghum
2 tbs red wine vinegar
4 tbs virgin olive oil


Divide greens among 4 plates.
In a dry hot cast iron skillet char okra cut side down.

Remove okra from skillet, remove skillet from heat and add oil, onions, sorghum and vinegar and wilt.

Place watermelon, okra, feta over greens then drizzle warm dressing from the skillet.

Season with flaky sea salt and black...

Crab-Stuffed Mountain Trout with Preserved Lemon, Corn and Lobster Succotash

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on Nov 06, 2017

Bring water to a boil in a medium-size pot. Add the whole lemons and cook for 5 minutes. Discard water. Cut lemon into paper-thin slices. Bring vinegar, salt, sugar and pickling spice to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Transfer lemons and all liquids to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate. In a large sauté pan, melt bacon grease. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add corn, black-eyed peas, lobster and peppers, and cook over high heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off heat and add Pernod, salt and pepper.

Locally Sourced Ingredients: The Appalachian Way

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on Sep 01, 2017

At Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro, we strive to create uniquely memorable Appalachian cuisine that not only tastes amazing but also, “feeds the soul.” When you dine with us, you’ll be taken on a culinary adventure that is complemented by the beauty and naturally relaxing ambiance of the Great Smoky Mountains, at every turn.

Staying true to her Appalachian roots, Executive Chef Shelley Cooper takes great care and when sourcing the ingredients she uses in her continually evolving, innovative dishes, in order to provide only the freshest and highest quality products available. Dancing Bear garden

Some of these ing...

Come Home to Appalachia with Chef Shelley

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on Jul 11, 2017

Authenticity is a word that gets thrown around a lot lately, especially in the culinary scene. Ever since the local food movement took off and eating green became the thing to do, people are craving “real” food that is simple, unprocessed, and has a story. They want to taste a place. As much as we crave something authentic, though, diners also love the exciting and new. There’s never been a bigger moment for fusion cuisines, from bahn mi tacos to poke nachos, made by brilliant cooks with no ties to either cuisine’s place of origin. But at Dancing Bear Lodge, the secret is what happens when a c...

Appalachian Produce: A Summer Celebration

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on Jun 23, 2017

Eating seasonally has always been a huge part of Appalachian heritage. It started thousands of years ago with the Native Americans who hunted and gathered in these hills, and it became a refined practice when they settled into villages where they grew the three sisters: squash, beans, and corn. Cherokee leaders lived in large townhouses atop mounds, from which they could oversee their communities, which cultivated vast communal gardens.

The Cherokee largely lived off fresh produce in the spring and summer, enjoying nuts, berries, mushrooms, and wild plants such as poke and ramps that are still...

Ramps: Appalachia’s First Taste of Spring

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on May 25, 2017

Ramps appear in two of the dishes on our current menu, including the Braised Rabbit, which comes with pickled ramps, and the Wild Mushroom “Toast.” If you aren’t familiar with Appalachian cuisine, you might be wondering what on earth a ramp is. If you’re in the know, you might be pretty excited to see this regional ingredient with our spring dishes. The simple answer is that ramps are essentially a wild leek (that’s allium tricoccum to you botanists) indigenous to the eastern United States and especially the Appalachian Mountains.

Ramps have a spicy, pungent flavor similar to spring onions or ...

Quick Pickled Garden Vegetables

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on Nov 06, 2015

Quick Pickled Garden vegetables

These pickled garden vegetables are sweet, tart, spicy and crunchy. They complement any meat and are especially delicious with pimento cheese and deviled eggs. Now is broaching peak growing season, so we've included everything we can get our hands on in the mix.

Step 1: Prepare your chosen vegetables and keep them separated.

1 Carrot Peeled, Cut into ¼Inch Thick Sticks
1 Cup Celery Cut into Sticks
1 Cup Radishes
1 Cucumber Cut into Sticks
2 Jalapeno- Keep Seeds If You Want Heat, If Not Remove Seeds & 1/2 Peppers
1 Cup Green Beans Of Choice, Sug...

Butternut Squash Burrata

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on Nov 06, 2015

BUTTERNUT_SQUASH_BURRATA_AND_SAGE_CROSTINI-webDancing Bear Appalachian Bistro Chef Shelley Cooper brings a wealth of worldly experience to the table when it comes to fine cuisine. Today, she offers a recipe for a party-perfect snack: Butternut Squash, Burrata and Sage Crostini.

1 large Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons (packed) light brown sugar
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
24 fresh sage leaves
2 balls of fresh burrata
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
12 half-inch-thick baguette slices, toasted
Add fresh le...

Stuffed Squash Blossoms (Yields 12 Blossoms)

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on Nov 06, 2015

Set oven to 350 degrees
Clean 1 dozen large squash blossoms
Pick any shells from 1# Best quality fresh crab meat
In a bowl mix 1/8 cup fresh chopped tarragon, Zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 lime, 1 orange, ¼ cup best quality mayonnaise, 2 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp white pepper and crab meat. Taste mixture and adjust seasonings to your liking
Gentle stuff crab mixture in blossoms
Place blossoms on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper
Brush blossoms with 1 egg slightly beaten and then lightly dust with ½ cup breadcrumbs
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until crab is hot
Enjoy with green goddess dressing—r...

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