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.

Birthday

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.

SMOKY TANGY GREENS AND BEANS ( Buxton Hall Barbecue)

SERVINGS: 8

  • 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

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.

SUMMER SQUASH CASSEROLE ( The New York Times)

  • 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

Broccoli Salad

March 15th, 2016

Brocolli Salad 1

I know all of you have had a raw broccoli salad.  But I have to say that this particular recipe is a little different and, in my opinion, a real winner.  It comes from blogger Kathleen at Gonna Want Seconds.  What makes it so special is the addition of orange zest and juice to the dressing.  It also incorporates grapes into the mix.  It is beautiful to look at and even more refreshing when you taste it.

Broccoli Salad 2

We have had company for the past week.  Our good friends were here for bike week.  David made ribs on the grill for the first night they arrived. Instead of the usual coleslaw, I made this broccoli salad to rave reviews.  This is something you need to add to your Summer repertoire.

Jackie and Barbara

 

I admire Jackie and Barbara for swimming in our frigid pool.  It is not heated and usually swimmable only after April.  We had spent the previous day at the beach and, as you can tell by the picture, Barbara overdid the sun.  I did also.

So with this preview of summer, I hope you enjoy the salad.  Thank you Kathleen for a great recipe.

BROCCOLI SALAD

  1.  In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, orange juice, sugar, apple cider vinegar, orange zest, Dijon, salt and pepper until smooth and creamy.
  2. In a large salad bowl, toss together the broccoli, grapes, pecans, red onions, bacon, cheese, and dates. Toss the salad with half the dressing. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. Adjust seasoning, adding more salt and pepper and dressing as needed. Serve.  (I used all of the dressing)

Printable Recipe

Ribollita – Tuscan Vegetable and Bread Soup

October 24th, 2014

Ribollita 1

Ribollita is a classic Tuscan peasant soup.  It utilizes stale bread and inexpensive winter vegetables.  Translated ribollita means “reboiled”.   Many times left-over minestrone was used as its base.  I admire the frugality of this soup because it also offers a wealth of nutrient rich vegetables.  Leafy kale (cavalo nero in Tuscany), savoy cabbage, carrots, potatoes, celery,cannellini beans and tomatoes are all part of the ingredients.  The stale bread stretches it to feed many.  I was inspired to make this soup because I had a left-over chunk of the wonderful Parmesan bread that I made in my last post.  It was perfect for this soup; a little dense and full of Parmesan flavor.

Ribollita 2

I reviewed several recipes for ribollita.  Some included pancetta or bacon, some added garlic and rosemary, but I went with a classic recipe from Gabriele Corcos, who with his wife Debi Mazar, has the cooking show Extra Virgin on the Cooking Channel. Gabriele is a native of Tuscany.  For me, this hearty soup had a depth of flavor that emanated from the vegetables.  The tomatoes were kept to a minimum and water was used instead of broth to flavor the soup.  So the overall flavor was mild with a rich earthy vegetable taste.  This is most likely the way it was made originally.  My husband decided he needed some meat, so added sauteed sausages to his soup.

Ribollita 3

This soup is very forgiving of any ingredients that you may want to add, and I have decided that I will be hoarding stale bread just for the purpose of making it.  Warm, filling, delicious and good for you.  You couldn’t ask for more.

David Cooking

Today is David’s birthday.  Happy birthday to my partner, soul mate and best friend.  As you can see we have a lot in common.  But I don’t mind sharing kitchen space with him.

RIBOLLITA (Adapted from Extra Virgin by Gabriele Corsos and Debi Mazer)

8 ounces dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water to cover (Or 1-15 ounce can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans)*
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1/2 white onion, roughly chopped
2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 bunch Tuscan kale or regular kale, leaves, removed and roughly chopped
1/2 head savoy cabbage, roughly chopped
1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
1/2 pound stale country style bread (I used 1/3 of a loaf of Parmesan bread), cut into cubes

Rinse and drain the soaked beans.  Bring a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot full of water to a boil.  Add the beans, making sure they’re covered by a few inches of water, and reduce the heat to medium-low.  Cook for at least 1 hour, salting the water after 40 minutes, until tender.  Drain the beans and set aside.

In an 8-quart pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot.  Add the carrots, onion, and celery and saute’ for 8 to 10 minutes, or until soft and translucent but not golden.  Add the potatoes, kale and cabbage and saute’ for about 5 minutes, until the cabbage is wilted.

Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon and the drained beans.  Add enough water to cover the ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes, until it thickens considerably.

Add the bread and continue cooking for another 30 minutes , until the crust of the bread begins falling apart.*  If using canned beans add them when you add the bread.

Serve in bowls with an extra drizzle of olive oil.  Serves 6.

Printable recipe

Green Beans Gremolata

June 10th, 2014

Green Beans Gremolata 1

 

While shopping at one of my favorite Supermarkets, I found a package of Haricot Vert, the lovely French thin green beans.  By the way, that store is a mega Harris Teeter store that we have dubbed the Taj maTeeter.  Although I usually like to shop at small stores with quality ingredients, Farmer’s markets and butcher shops, sometimes a trip to a mega store yields interesting ingredients.  Haricot Vert are hard to find.  Translated haricot means beans, vert means green.  French green beans are thinner and longer than the beans that we grow here in the United States.

Green Beans Gremolata 2V

 

The beans are cooked quickly and then put in an ice and water bath to stop the cooking and set the color.  This can be done way ahead of time.  What makes the beans taste so special is the gremolata garnish that is added during the final cooking.  Gremolata is a mixture of garlic, parsley, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts.  It is usually associated with Osso Bucco, the popular Milanese veal shank dish.  The slow cooked veal shanks are garnished with the gremolata mixture.  But used on the green beans, the mixture sings with flavor.

Green Beans Gremolata 3

 

This is a wonderful side dish for a company meal.  Eat your heart out Dave S..  This was supposed to be for you.  We had a wonderful time at the blogger get together at Almost Heaven South.  There will be more about our gathering in future posts.  But in the meantime, enjoy this lovely and delicious side dish.

GREEN BEANS GREMOLATA (Ina Garten)

1 pound French green beans, trimmed
2 teaspoons minced garlic ( 2 cloves )
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest ( 2 lemons )
3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons tasted pine nuts
2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the green beans and blanch them for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender but still crisp.  Drain the beans in a colander and immediately put them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and preserve their bright green color.

For the gremolata, toss the garlic, lemon zest, parsley, Parmesan, and pine nuts in a small bowl and set aside.

When ready to serve, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Drain the beans and pat them dry.  Add the beans to the pan and saute, turning frequently, for 2 minutes, until coated with olive oil and heated through.  Off the heat, add the gremolata and toss well.  Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and serve hot.

Printable Recipe

 

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