Smoky, Tangy Greens and Beans

October 6th, 2016

Smoky Tangy Greens and Beans 1

It has been a delightful few days.  Tuesday was my birthday and all that I wanted was to spend a day and a night in Asheville, which is just 20 miles up and over the mountain from Lake Lure.  Asheville is such a vibrant town with fabulous restaurants, quirky shops and the kind of vibe that you would find in Greenwich Village in New York City.


Our first stop was lunch.  The restaurant that we had intended to visit was not open for lunch so we found an outside table at an obscure place on the main drag.  It was a beautiful sunny day and there were many people window shopping, strolling and dining.

Asheville Library

In the late afternoon we discovered a new business in the historic Grove Arcade.  It is Battery Park, a book exchange, champagne bar and espresso dog bar.  It was so welcoming with several rooms lined with bookshelves and intimate seating areas. We found a spot for two and then realized that we were sitting in the section that dealt with the history of our Presidents.  I was hoping to get away from politics for a few days.

Bone and Broth

Dinner was at a new restaurant called Bone and Broth.  It is a neighborhood pub situated between The Chop Shop Butchery, where it gets its local, organic meat and City Bakery where it gets its homemade bread.  The menu is reasonably priced with entrees such as Bangers and Mash and Macaroni and Cheese.  One of the appetizers is bone and broth soup.  Will have to try it on a future visit.

Bone and Broth DinnerI had the Bavette Rocket.  Bavette is a cut of meat next to the flank, sometimes called flap meat.  Cooked properly it very tender and flavorful.  It is one of the cuts carried at The Chop Shop next door.  It was served with roasted peppers, arugula and Parmesan, roasted potatoes, and City Bakery Toast.

Buxton Hall 1

But the main reason that we spent time in Asheville was to visit Buxton Hall Barbecue.  It was written up in Bon Appetit Magazine as one of the top 10 new restaurants in the U.S. for 2016.  Barbecue is what North Carolina is known for, so our standards are high.  Buxton Hall did not disappoint.

Buxton Hall BBQ Plate

I especially loved their greens and hushpuppies.  The pork was very good, but I have had better at small local joints.  My favorite way to eat barbecue pork is to order “outside brown”.  I should have asked if this was an option at Buxton Hall.   Basically it is pulled pork from the browned exterior of the pig.  It is crispy and melt in your mouth delicious.  But it was the Smoky Tangy Greens and Beans that brought us here.

Smliky Tangy Greens and Beans 2V

What makes these collard greens so delicious is the sweet, sour and hot combination achieved by adding brown sugar, vinegar and lots of hot sauce to the mix.  Bacon, lima beans and black eyed peas are the embellishments.  I had made these before we went to the restaurant, as they were featured in Bon Appetit.  But it turned out that David was way ahead of me.  It is the recipe that he has made a few times before.  I had not realized that he had the same recipe.

Smoky Greens and Beans

We had a great birthday trip.  We may do it again for David’s birthday later this month.  If you love collard greens, you will love these.



  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups pork or chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • cup hot sauce (preferably Texas Pete)
  • 2 medium bunches of collard greens, stems trimmed, leaves chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 2 cups frozen lima beans and/or black-eyed peas
  • Heat butter in a large heavy pot over medium. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 5–7 minutes; season with salt. Transfer to a plate.
  • Cook oil and bacon in same pot over medium-low, stirring often, until bacon is browned around the edges, 5–8 minutes. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until garlic is golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in red pepper flakes and black pepper, then add stock, vinegar, brown sugar, and hot sauce, then mix in collard greens and reduce heat to low. Bring to a simmer; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are very tender but still have some chew, 60–70 minutes.
  • Uncover pot, add beans, and simmer until beans and greens are very tender and liquid is slightly reduced, 15–20 minutes. Season with salt. Serve topped with breadcrumbs.
  • Do Ahead: Collard greens can be cooked 1 day ahead. Let cool in liquid, then cover and chill. Reheat gently over low before adding beans.

Printable Recipe

Cafe Salle Pleyel Hamburger

September 6th, 2016

French Hamburger 1

I love this riff on an American hamburger from a French chef.  As related by Dorie Greenspan in her book Around my French Table, her friend Helene Samuel is responsible for it.  She created the cafe’ in the newly renovated Salle Pleyel Concert Hall in the 8th Arrondissement.


She wanted to put a hamburger on the menu that would appeal to French people who sometimes equated hamburgers with the McDonald’s version.

French Hamburger 2V

It has the bun and the pickle, but it has very French ingredients worked into the meat and topping; capers, cornichons, tarragon, sun-dried tomatoes and a red onion marmalade.  Instead of the American cheese it is garnished with shards of Parmesan.  It all sounded excellent to me.

French Hamburger 3

The burger became a best seller and ended up being featured in The New York Times.   I think you will agree that this is a worthy burger with French overtones.  The only thing mine was missing was the sesame seed bun. Helene included that as an homage to the American version.


  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • cup oil-packed, sun-dried tomatoes(2.5 ounces), drained and chopped
  • ¼ cup drained capers (1.5 ounces)
  • 6 cornichons
  • ¼ cup tarragon leaves
  • ½ cup flat parsley leaves
  • 1 ½ pounds ground sirloin, chuck or mix
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler
  • 4 large sesame-seed hamburger buns
  • 2 dill pickles, thinly sliced lengthwise with a vegetable peeler
  1. In a small saucepan, combine red onion with butter, coriander and 1 cup water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small food processor, pulse sun-dried tomatoes with capers, cornichons, tarragon and parsley until finely chopped.
  3. In a medium bowl, lightly mix meat with sun-dried tomato mixture and season with pepper. Shape meat into 4 patties about 3/4 inch thick.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add burgers and cook for about 2 minutes on each side for rare or 3 minutes for medium rare. Transfer burgers to a platter and top with Parmesan. Lightly toast buns. Spread a thin layer of onion jam on bottom buns. Top with pickle slices and burgers. Cover with top buns and serve.

Printable Recipe

Summer Squash Casserole

August 23rd, 2016

Summer Squash Casserole 1

I remember when we had a garden and had to deal with the prolific profusion of yellow squash and zucchini.  Our lake house is too shady to support a garden these days, so I have to rely on friends, the Farmers’ Markets and the Supermarket for my squash.  You can never have too many summer squash recipes.  This one, that I adapted from The New York Times, is a winner.

Summer Squash Casserole 2v

The cooked and pureed yellow squash is combined with cheese and minced peppers, onions and flavoring and cooked in a custard of eggs and cream topped with buttered bread crumbs.  It makes a casserole that everyone will love.  It was easy to photograph too.  Photography has become important to me, although I’ve always had an interest.  I just found this early picture of myself and my Mom.  I was very proud of my new Brownie camera.

Christmas 1956

The intrepid girl photographer.  What memories this brings back.

Enjoy this summer squash casserole.  Your harvest will thank you for not wasting all of that bounty.


  • 2 pounds yellow summer squash
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 4 slices plain white bread, toasted
  • 24 Ritz crackers, crumbed in food processor
  • ½ pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2 1/2-quart baking dish. Cut the squash into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cook in boiling, salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Purée in a food processor.
  2. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and peppers and cook until just tender. Meanwhile, crumb the toast in a food processor, melt remaining butter and toss together.
  3. Mix the squash purée, onions, peppers, garlic, cracker crumbs and cheese. Stir in the eggs, cream, sugar and seasonings. Blend well. Pour into the baking dish. Top with bread crumbs and bake until browned, about 40 minutes.

Printable Recipe

Fig and Goat’s Cheese Tart

August 8th, 2016

Fig Tart 3

When figs are in season it is worth the time to make use of them in familiar and/or unusual preparations.  They are wonderful as a component in an appetizer or used in a salad or a dessert.  But they are also excellent in pizzas and tarts.  Pared with goat cheese or Gorgonzola they shine.Fig Tart 1I adapted a recipe from a British magazine for a fig and goat’s cheese tart.  It is a very easy recipe to assemble.  It uses frozen puff pastry, so lining the tart pan is a piece of cake. But I must say that I would have preferred a homemade pastry crust.  Puff pastry tends to be very flaky but somehow airy.  I tend to like the more substantial weight of a pie crust.  But, because of the ease of preparation, I was very happy with the results.

Fig Tart 2 Close

A drizzle of balsamic glaze takes it over the top.  It makes a delicious light supper with a salad of peppery arugula leaves.


Plain flour, for dusting
1 sheet of puff pastry, defrosted
2 eggs and 1 egg yolk
2/3 cups heavy whipping cream or half and half
6 figs, halved
1/2 cup soft goat’s cheese
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Several sprigs of thyme to scatter over top
Balsamic glaze to drizzle over top

Dust the work surface with flour and roll the pastry out into a rectangle 1 inch larger than your pan.  Lift it into the pan and press into the corners, lining the base and sides.  Prick the base of the pastry case with a fork.  Pop into the freezer for 30 minutes while you heat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Place a baking sheet on the middle shelf.

Beat the eggs and egg yolk with the cream until combined.  Season well.

Trim the stalk from each fig and cut the fruit in half.  Pour the egg mixture into the pastry case.  Crumble the cheese on top and arrange the figs evenly between, cut side up.  Scatter with the walnuts and thyme sprigs.

Slide the tart onto the tray and bake for 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 350 and cook for 15 to 20 minutes longer.

Remove it from the oven and leave to cool slightly.  Serve drizzled with the balsamic glaze.

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.