Season’s Eatings

December 8th, 2010

Every December one of my favorite bloggers, Katie of Thyme for Cooking The Blog hosts a gift exchange between other foodies.  Katie lives in France and her followers are from all over the world.  Each of us is given a name of another participant and we are to send to them an herb or food item that is typical of the place that we live, along with a recipe or suggestion as to what to do with it.  We in return receive a food gift.  It is always so much fun to see what shows up on my doorstep.

This year I received this abundantly beautiful Ristra arrangement of drying chile pods.  It is not only an ongoing source of chilis to be picked, but it a beautiful addition to the kitchen decor.  I am looking for just the perfect spot to hang it.  It was sent to me by Dan who lives four miles from the Mexican border in El Paso Texas.  He does not have a blog but is known in his comments as Tiki Pundit.  Thank you Dan!  I love it.  If you would like to give a ristra to someone on your gift list go here for a good selection.

Dan sent me a recipe for New Mexico Red Chili which is a pork stew that uses lots of the chilis and is braised slowly to meld the flavors and render the pork succulently tender.  He also sent me directions on how to dry the pods to be used in the recipe.  The chili ristra’s pods were harvested in September and are not completely dried yet, so to use them in this recipe, the pods used had to be dried further in the oven.  Although it took me awhile in preparation, once this stew went into the oven, I could tell that it was worth the effort.  I used fewer pods than the recipe called for because I didn’t know how hot they were.  The recipe calls for 1 cup ground chilis.  I used 8 pods that I dried in the oven until they were crinkly dry and ended up with 1/3 cup of ground chilis.  It was perfect for us, although David felt it could have been a little hotter.  I served it with rice, but it would also be good in tortillas with sour cream and other Mexican condiments.


3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 medium onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
6 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds boned pork shoulder (butt), trimmed and meat cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup ground dried red New Mexico chiles (I used 8 pods seeds removed which yielded 1/3 cup when ground)
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large, heavy-bottomed, ovenproof pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until onions are golden, about 6 minutes.  Remove from heat and transfer onions and garlic to a bowl with a slotted spoon.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, cumin, and pepper.  Add pork and toss to coat.  Return pot to medium-high heat, add remaining 1 tbsp. oil, and working in batches, lightly brown meat on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes per batch.  Transfer meat to a separate bowl as you go.

Return onions and garlic to pot.  Grind dried chile pods in a food processor.  Sprinkle onion mixture with ground chiles and cook, stirring, 2 minutes (mixture will be thick).  Add broth, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of pot.  Whirl sauce in a blender until smooth.  Return sauce to pot and add bay leaf and reserved pork.

Cover pot, put in oven, and cook 1 hour.  Set lid slightly ajar and cook until pork is fork-tender, about 1 hour more.  Remove bay leaf before serving.

Katie will be posting all of the Season Eatings blog posts sometime between Christmas and New Years.  I am anxious to see what my recipient did with her Key Lime Juice and Southern Pecans.  Season’s Eatings everyone!

Printable recipe

Labor Day Pig Out

September 14th, 2010

David (Mr Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen) here again. Penny asked me to write about some of our Labor Day food….specifically, the BBQ part that I was responsible for. We had a house full of extended family here for the long weekend, and everyone pitched-in in the kitchen.  Needless to say we ate well…you might even say “high on the hog”, at least as high as the shoulder.

As of late, I have been inspired by another Dave, the one responsible for the blog My Year On The Grill (MYOTG),  not to mention the inspiration I always get from Bobby Flay and The Neely’s on The Food Network.  It was actually a Neely’s episode back in April about how to smoke spare ribs at home that inspired me buy a Char-Griller off-set charcoal smoker grill.  I christened the grill by cooking some ribs following the Neely’s dry rub recipe and techniques, and I must say they were some pretty tasty ribs.  I was then ready to step it up a notch and tackle some Carolina Pulled Pork, i.e. Pork Butt, which is kind of an odd name for what is in reality a pork shoulder. For detailed instructions on smoking a Pork Butt (it’s a lot more fun to say than shoulder) I referred to MYOTG.  MYOTG Dave is doing for Steve Raichlen’s book How To Grill what Julie Powell did for (or some might say to) Julia Child’s Mastering The Art Of French Cooking…cooking his way through the book, one recipe at a time. Dave has many detailed recipes and instructions on his blog, and his info on Pork Butts was exceedingly helpful in my quest to achieve a nice Butt.  I was particularly interested in his comments on using coffee in the dry rub. After reading MYOTG’s musings on pork butts and studying Steve Raichlen’s and Pat Neely’s recipes, and never being one to leave-well-enough-alone, I concocted my own java dry rub with this formula.

1    Cup white sugar
1    Cup brown sugar
3/4 Cup paprika
1/2 Cup ground coffee
3    Tablespoons onion powder
3    Tablespoons black pepper
2    Tablespoons course salt
2    Teaspoons garlic powder
2    Teaspoons cocoa powder
1    Teaspoon cayenne pepper
1    Teaspoon ground cumin
1    Teaspoon ground coriander

The only picture I thought to take during the Butt cooking process was this one showing the rub on the raw Butt, which I then let sit in the fridge over-night.

For the mop sauce and Carolina vinegar finishing sauce I made up some of MYOTG’s  Raspberry Chipotle Sauce Concentrate and added it to Steve Raichlen’s standard mop and vinegar finishing sauce just like Dave suggested.  I forgot to take a picture of the butts on the grill or after they had cooked for 9 hours, so the only photo of the finished product is the sandwich shot above.

For sides, we did MYOTG’s Blue Cheese Potato Salad and Smoked Beans, both of which are described here.  I had quite a struggle convincing Penny to even let me make the Blue Cheese Potato Salad…she has an aversion to blue cheese for some reason. In the end, she caved in, and guess what….she actually liked it. The blue cheese is not over-powering if you follow Dave’s recipe. 

I had actually been making smoked beans very similar to Dave’s since I got my smoker.  The main difference between mine and Dave’s being the additional bean varieties Dave throws into the mix. Where I had been using only Bush’s baked beans as the base, he adds a can of pinto’s and  a can of great northern’s to the pot….a worthwhile addition.  The smoked beans need to include smoked pork of some variety.  I had some smoked ribs in the freezer, so I chopped some up and threw it in the pot along with a little leftover andouille sausage.  I left the bean pot in the smoker, under the pork butts to catch some of the drippings, for three or four hours.  They were pretty yummy beans.

Penny whipped up some coleslaw following a Bobby Flay recipe.  All in all, a very satisfying all-American Labor Day feast.  Thanks for the recipes Dave, and the advice on how to cook a good Butt.

Paris on my Mind

July 5th, 2010

We have been so busy with the cottage renovations the last few years that travel has not been a priority. But now, with the end in sight, I am longing to broaden my horizons and see more of the world. We have traveled to England, Hawaii, Nova Scotia, and the Canadian Rockies. We have been to Napa Valley, Nantucket, New York and New Orleans. But always, in spite of the fine times we have had, Paris has been on my mind. It is one of those longings that is hard to describe. It has to do with my love of French cooking of course. I want to see #81 Roo de Loo where Paul and Julia Child lived during the years of her culinary enlightenment. I want to sit at the second table in front of the main door at Cafe De Flore where Picasso sat every night after the war and chatted with his friends and order an omelet and a glass of Rose. I want to buy a Poilane baguette and a cumin flecked pork sausage from Charcuterie Alsacienne and enjoy a picnic along the Seine. I want to experience the open air markets and visit Dehillerin to find the perfect copper saucepan. My culinary longings are strong.

But there are museums, antique markets and other things on my mind as well. Planning a trip is almost as much fun as the actual experience. I would like to stay at a small hotel on the left bank. Hotel des Grandes Ecoles is one that I am considering. We will not be able to make this trip until a year from October so there is time to dream and plan. I would appreciate advice from any of you who have been to Paris. The guide books can tell you only so much. If you have been, what were your favorite cafes, lodging, sights and experiences? I would love to hear from you.

I am heading back to the porch to pour over my map and read my books. There will be no cooking today. We will be eating the 4th of July leftovers for days. But if you want a great recipe head over to My Year on the Grill for Dave’s recipe for the best pulled pork made from a smoked pork butt that you will ever taste. Dave was kind enough to walk my Dave through the steps the other day. Thanks for your email. Your advice was great and he did you proud.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Orange-Chipotle Sauce

March 31st, 2010

As you read this we are traveling back to Lake Lure in the beautiful North Carolina mountains. The temperature there today is supposed to be at least 80 degrees. We haven’t seen a temperature that high for the whole winter season here in Florida. Go figure. I am looking forward to working in my kitchen again and having meals on our screened in porch overlooking the lake.

This picture was taken at sunset last summer.
Before we left Florida we had a beautiful warm day and we lit the grill and cooked this flavorful pork tenderloin. The recipe came from a cookbook that I have neglected for some time now. It is The Bon Appetit Cookbook and it is deserving of more of my attention. Pork tenderloin is one of my favorite meats to cook on the grill. It is lean and mild so it lends itself to many flavoring options. I love this spicy hot flavor option with the undertone of citrus. Chipotle peppers in adobe sauce are very hot, so modify the amount you use to your personal taste. My next post will be from my Lake Lure kitchen. I can hardly wait.
3 1/2 pounds pork tenderloins
6 cups orange juice, divided
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter
3 large shallots, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
2 3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 Tablespoon minced canned chipotle chiles in adobe
Divide pork between 2 resealable plastic bags. Add 1 cup orange juice and 1 teaspoon salt to each bag; seal. Turn to coat. Chill at least 3 hours or overnight, turning bags occasionally.
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium high heat. Add shallots and saute until soft but not brown, about 2 minutes. Add wine and boil until reduced to glaze, about 10 minutes. Add remaining 4 cups orange juice and broth; boil until reduced to 1 3/4 cups, about 45 minutes. (Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and chill.)
Prepare barbecue (medium-hight heat). Drain pork; pat dry. Discard marinade. Grill pork until thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 150 degrees F for medium, turning often, about 18 minutes. Transfer to work surface; tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Let stand 10 minutes.
Meanwhile bring sauce to simmer; mix in cilantro, chives, and chipotle chiles. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Slice pork. Serve with sauce.

Glazed Pork Chops

January 30th, 2010

I have flown into the eye of the storm. Yesterday I flew to North Carolina ahead of a strong storm front to help take care of my Granddaughter for the weekend. So far we have 6 inches of snow and it is now sleeting with no end in sight until late tonight. My DIL Kristen was supposed to be in Atlanta for a meeting but had to cancel because of the weather, so we are all hunkered down in the house watching DVD’s and waiting for a chance to go out and build a snowman. The airport is closed and I am wondering if I will be able to make my flight home on Monday.

Before I left I made these glazed pork chops as one of our Weight Watcher’s meals. For some reason it does not seem like a diet. The sweet potato fries were good too. They are Alexia Spicy Sweet Potato Fries found in the frozen foods section of the store. The glaze on the pork chops makes them both sweet and savory. If this is not enough for you go over to My Year on the Grill for some delicious praline pecans for dessert. Dave is tempting me with decadent food.


1/2 cup apricot jam
2 Tbls coarse grained mustard
1 Tbls soy sauce
2 Tbls lime juice
1 garlic clove minced
Pinch cayenne
4 5 oz. Boneless Pork Chops
1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp canola oil

Combine jam, mustard, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, and cayenne in a small bowl.

Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes per side; transfer to a platter and keep warm. Add the jam mixture to the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chops.

4 Servings. 6 Points

Printable recipe

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