Red Rice Salad and Florida Gardening

February 3rd, 2018

Red Rice Salad

We are cooking on the grill tonight.  David is making ribs.  I was excited about this rice salad from Giada De Laurentiis and thought it would be a great accompaniment.  One of the ingredients is radicchio.  I was having a hard time finding it here in New Smyrna Beach.  The local Publix did not have it.  I went to the local health food market, Heath’s Natural Food and, although they did not have radicchio, they ordered it for me.  It came within days.  I shared Giada’s recipe with them and they will display the recipe near the radicchio to encourage others to buy and use it.  I also bought Organic Madagascar Pink Rice from them since I could not find red rice anywhere.  The local businesses here in NSB are very accommodating.

Red Rice Salad

There is much to love about this rice salad.  It is full of flavor with fennel, radicchio, oranges, cucumber and fresh basil.  The whole-grain mustard vinaigrette ties it all together.

NSB Planters

I am hopeful that the days of freezing temperatures are behind us.  Everything that the owner of the house had in her outside planters was taken out by the freeze.  I have been busy for the last week trying to replace what she has lost.  This large planter now has Geraniums and  White Bacopa flowers.

New Smyrna Beach Planters

I bought this Dorotheanthus succulent that can withstand high heat.  It is also called Livingstone Daisy.  Hopefully it will make it through the summer.

NSB Planters

I also chose a native plant: the Dune Daisy, which is indigenous to Florida.  I am looking forward to more blooms.  With winter blanketing so many of you, I wanted to offer a glimpse of Spring and Summer.  It has also been  restorative to my well being to work on these planters.

Red Rice Salad

This may be too late for a Super Bowl side dish, but I am sure that it would be welcomed by anyone wanting a side dish for a Pot Luck or a crowd.  Enjoy and thanks to Giada!


Waldorf Salad with Fennel and Candied Walnuts

June 1st, 2017

Waldorf Salad with Fennel and Candied Walnuts

Tweaking familiar recipes keeps my enthusiasm for cooking on point.  A while back I changed up my decades old meatloaf recipe for this one and I haven’t gone back.  This update of Waldorf Salad is another change that is good.  The addition of fennel to the standard ingredients of apples and celery gives a nice slightly licorice flavor.  The candied walnuts add a boost in flavor too. Next time I may add the usual grapes back in the mix.

Waldorf Salad with Fennel and Candied WalnutsThe recipe came from my new cookbook by Erin French, {the} Lost Kitchen.  I have been enjoying cooking from her book.  You can read about her in one of my previous posts here.

Waldorf Salad with Fennel and Candied WalnutsThe fennel fronds and soft lettuce add to the visual appeal of this common salad gone wild.  Actually that is a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my meaning.  Changing things up is sometimes a good thing.  Give it a try.


2 crisp apples, cut into cubes
1 small fennel bulb, cored and sliced, fronds reserved for garnish
2 celery stalks, sliced, leaves reserved for garnish
Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup candied walnuts (See below)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup parsley leaves
Salt and Pepper
1 heaping handful of radicchio or good-looking greens such as Bibb lettuce or arugula

In a large bowl, combine the apples, fennel, celery, and lemon zest and juice.  Toss to coat.  Add the walnuts, mayo, and parsley and toss again.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make a bed of lettuce on individual plates or a platter, top with the dr3essed mixture, and garnish with fennel fronds and celery leaves.


1/2 cup sugar
2 cups nuts, such as walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, or almonds
Maldon salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the sugar with 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Toss in the nuts, stir to coat, then, with a slotted spoon, spread them out on the baking sheet.  Bake until toasty, 8 to 10 minutes. (Watch carefully so that they do not burn).  Sprinkle with Maldon salt to taste.  Set aside to cool.

Store any leftovers in a sealed container in your pantry for up to a month.

Printable Recipe 


Beets and Blood Orange Salad

February 21st, 2017


Beet and Blood Orange Salad

I love experiencing the Farmers’ Markets in new areas.  Local beets and blood oranges are in season right now in Florida.


The New Smyrna Beach Farmers’ Market has several vendors carrying organic local produce. They have several varieties of beets including chioggia, golden and a lovely pink specimen.

Beet and Blood Orange Salad

I put this salad together using the standard dark red beets and the golden and pink beets combined with the blood oranges that I had found at the supermarket.  I love the colors.  Plus the salad was delicious.


4 Red Beets, trimmed
2 Pink Beets, trimmed
2 Golden Beets, trimmed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 blood oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds
3 scallions chopped, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Wash beets and place in foil packets separated by color.  Roast in oven until beets are tender, about 40 minutes.

Unwrap cooked beets and let cool slightly.  Peel and slice cooked beets.

Mix oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

In 3 quart size bags place the different colored sliced beets.  Divide the oil and vinegar between the bags and allow the beets to marinate for a few hours.  Can place in refrigerator if you will not use right away.

Arrange the beet rounds and orange rounds on a platter. Scatter scallions over the top.

Printable Recipe

NSB House

While we were at the Farmers’ Market, I spotted this bungalow across the street.  This would make a perfect Fixer Upper for Johanna Gaines or anyone with the skills.  It has good bones and I think it is charming.

Winter Salad

January 22nd, 2017

Winter Salad

We are spending more time in the kitchen this winter.  Usually we are in Florida this time of year.  But we sold the Florida house last spring and this is our first year experiencing winter in North Carolina. Granted we don’t have the brutal weather of the north, but it has been snowy, bleak and cold.  We’ve had fires in the fireplace, cooking some of our meals there.  There have been roasts and grilled poultry, lots of soups and casseroles.  All of this heavy cooking makes me hungry for something light and nutritious.

Winter Salad

This winter salad utilizes canned black beans and chickpeas along with easily found winter vegetables like cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onions and celery.  It keeps well in the refrigerator and can be turned into several different dishes.  Served on its own it is delicious but you could also:

1. Serve it over ground beef tacos.
2. Mix it with couscous or tabouli.
3. Add to a green salad.
4. Add canned tuna and serve it in a pita bread.

Winter Salad

This bright salad is getting us through the dreary weather.  One bright spot is that we will be leaving soon for 6 weeks in a rental house in Florida.  It is in a different small town for us and we are looking forward to it.


1 Can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 English cucumber, stripes peeled and diced
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 stalks celery, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients through the chopped parsley in a large bowl.  Combine the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Add to salad and toss well.  Store in the refrigerator for up to a week and use as you please.

Printable Recipe


Caribbean Pork with Black Beans and Mango Salsa

July 15th, 2016

Pork Caribbean Dinner 1

I would be curious if any of you have tasted Panamanian cuisine.  I have just been introduced to this  flavor profile. Panamanian cuisine is similar to other Caribbean locales and has been influenced by the Native Americans, Spanish and African immigrants who populate this land bridge between two continents. It includes tropical fruits, coconut, herbs like cilantro, rice and beans and seafood, pork and poultry.

I recently met Smith Anderson, founder of 980 Panama Gourmet Sauces. With his partner Alexis Gallardo, he conceived the idea of manufacturing sauces with ingredients straight from the fields of Panama.  All of their sauces are natural and gluten free. Alexis Gallardo, a native of Panama, had studied chemical engineering and was a part of his family’s manufacturing and distribution company that is the top exporter of natural vinegars in Central America.  Smith and Alexis formed their own company to produce flavorful sauces with an emphasis on freshness and quality ingredients.

980 sauces

Imagine adding Pineapple Coconut sauce to your caribbean rice dish or as a marinade for your favorite chicken.  The Wild Cilantro sauce adds just the right heat and flavor to tacos.  The Smoky Chipotle sauce would be great on ribs.  One of the newer sauces, not pictured above , is Caribbean Lime.  I used it in addition to the Wild Cilantro in the recipes I developed here. It has a bit of heat and a piquant flavor.

Pork Carribean Dinner 3 close

I marinated the pork cutlets in a mixture of the Wild Cilantro Sauce and the the Caribbean Lime Sauce with olive oil and vinegar before breading and frying.  The black beans were coated with a vinaigrette of olive oil, lime juice and the Wild Cilantro and Caribbean Lime Sauce. The Mango Salsa or Chatini comes from Dory Greenspan and is part of the cuisine of the island of Mauritius.  This is a meal worthy of sharing with friends and family with unique flavors and bright taste.

Smith Anderson has graciously offered to donate a four pack of sauces to one of my followers.  All you have to do is leave a comment below and like 980 sauces on Facebook. I will pick a winner by random drawing.


4 Tenderized boneless pork cutlets
1 Tablespoon Wild Cilantro 980 Sauce
1 Tablespoon Caribbean Lime 980 Sauce
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

3/4 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg beaten with a little water
1 cup Panko crumbs

2 Tablespoons oil for frying

Combine the 980 sauces with the olive oil and white wine vinegar.  Place pork cutlets in shallow rectangular bowl.  Spoon sauce over them, turn and cover both sides of pork evenly with marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Place flour in bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Place egg and water in another bowl.  Put Panko crumbs in a third bowl.  Dip pork chops in flour, then egg and then in Panko crumbs being sure that the chops are well covered.  Place chops and on large plate and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour to set crumbs.

Heat oil in large skillet and brown chops on both sides.  Place in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes to be sure that they are cooked through.


1 15 Oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
1 large celery stalk, diced
1/4 cup chopped celery leaves
2 roma tomatoes, diced
2 scallions chopped

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon lime juice
zest of 1 lime
1 teaspoon Wild Cilantro 980 Sauce
1 teaspoon Caribbean Lime 980 Sauce

Combine black beans with celery, celery leaves, tomatoes and scallions.

Combine the vinaigrette ingredients and pour over black bean mixture.  Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour to combine flavors.  Serve as is or over a bed of watercress.

MANGO CHATINI ( Dory Greenspan )

Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, or to taste
1 large ripe but firm mango, peeled, pitted, and finely diced
1 spring onion, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne

Stir the lime juice and ginger together in a small serving bowl.  Add the mango, onion, and cilantro and season with slat, pepper and if you’d like, a pinch of cayenne.

Serve over Caribbean pork cutlet.

Printable Recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.