A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Grilled Ham, Bacon, Cheddar, & Pineapple Sandwich Pork-Stuffed Collard Wraps Savory Gorgonzola Cheesecake with Peach Preserves Sweet & Sour Margaritas [caption id="attachment_155521" align="alignnone" width="1140"] Photo Credit Enabled[/caption] Grilled Ham, Bacon,

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Grilled Ham, Bacon, Cheddar, & Pineapple Sandwich Pork-Stuffed Collard Wraps Savory Gorgonzola Cheesecake with Peach Preserves Sweet & Sour Margaritas [caption id="attachment_155521" align="alignnone" width="1140"] Photo Credit Enabled[/caption] Grilled Ham, Bacon,

4 Savory & Sweet Recipes

photograph by Matt Hulsman

Grilled Ham, Bacon, Cheddar, & Pineapple Sandwich

Yield: 2 sandwiches.

3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 slices fresh pineapple
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, at room temperature
4 slices fresh sourdough bread
4 slices deli ham
8 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked until crispy
4 slices sharp Cheddar cheese

In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, brown sugar, and vinegar. Set aside.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Place pineapple slices in skillet and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until pineapple is lightly charred. Flip pineapple and heat the other side for 1 minute. Remove from skillet.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in large skillet over medium heat.

While skillet is heating, spread mayonnaise mixture on all four slices of bread. Layer 2 slices of Cheddar, a slice of pineapple, 4 bacon slices, and 2 ham slices on 2 of the sourdough slices; top with remaining bread.

Place sandwiches in hot skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until bottoms of sandwiches are golden brown. Spread remaining butter on top bread slice and flip sandwich over. Cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove sandwiches from skillet and cut in half. Serve hot.

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photograph by Matt Hulsman

Pork-Stuffed Collard Wraps

Yield: 6 to 8 wraps.

For the ground pork mixture:
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1½ pounds ground pork
¼ cup red onion, diced
½ teaspoon fish sauce
1½ cups green cabbage, shredded
¼ cup carrots, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:
¼ cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced

For the collard leaves:
2 cups chicken stock
8 to 10 collard leaves, thoroughly washed and de-stemmed

For serving:
Green onions, sliced
Peanuts, chopped
Lime wedges

For the ground pork mixture: Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground pork and brown it, breaking it up as it cooks. Cook pork until there’s no pink remaining, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Stir in onion and fish sauce. Add all sauce ingredients. Cook until onion becomes translucent, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to low, and stir in cabbage and carrots. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the collard leaves: In a medium skillet, heat chicken stock over medium heat. Just before stock comes to a boil, add collard leaves. Reduce heat to low, and cook collards for 5 to 7 minutes or until fork-tender. Remove collards from stock and lay flat on a cutting board.

Spoon approximately ¼ cup of ground pork mixture into center of each collard leaf. You may need to use two leaves overlapping, depending on size. Add toppings as desired. Fold ends of collard leaves over the pork mixture and roll tightly. Serve warm.

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photograph by Matt Hulsman

Savory Gorgonzola Cheesecake with Peach Preserves

Yield: 10 to 12 servings.

For the preserves:
2 cups peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into ½- to 1-inch pieces (about 3 to 5 peaches)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
⅓ cup water
2 tablespoons powdered pectin
1 cup granulated sugar

Add peaches to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; stir in lemon juice, water, and pectin. Bring mixture to a rolling boil. Stir in sugar. Return to a boil and continue to boil for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until peaches reach desired consistency.

Remove pan from heat. Skim foam from top and discard. Spoon peach mixture into a clean glass jar and allow to sit on counter until it reaches room temperature. Peach preserves will thicken while cooling. Once cool, seal with lid and place in refrigerator until ready to use, up to 3 weeks.

For the crust:
8 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine melted butter and flour with a wooden spoon or your hands. Stir in chopped pecans and form into a dough.

Firmly press dough into prepared pan.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until crust begins to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

For the cheesecake:
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups crumbled Gorgonzola, at room temperature
⅔ cup sour cream
3 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 large eggs, at room temperature

While crust cools, lower oven temperature to 300°.

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and Gorgonzola in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add sour cream, honey, salt, and pepper, and beat until blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour the filling into the crust.

Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until set and lightly browned.

Remove cheesecake from oven and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Spread peach preserves over top and serve.

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photograph by Matt Hulsman

Sweet & Sour Margaritas

Yield: 3 cups of mix.

For sweet & sour mix:
2 cups water
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup honey
½ cup fresh lime juice (about 7 limes)
½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

In a medium saucepan, simmer water, granulated sugar, and honey over medium heat until sugar and honey are fully dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Pour sugar water into a large jar or small pitcher. Stir in lemon and lime juice.

Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to a week.

For 2 margaritas:
3 ounces tequila
3 ounces sweet & sour mix
1½ ounces triple sec
3 fresh lime wedges
Coarse salt

Sprinkle a small amount of coarse salt on saucer. Rub 1 lime wedge around rim of glasses. Dip or roll the rim of each glass around in the salt just to cover of each rim. Note: May substitute sparkling sugar for salt or combine for a salty-sweet rim.

Fill glasses with crushed ice.

In a small pitcher, combine tequila, sweet & sour mix, and triple sec. Stir and pour over ice filled glasses. Garnish with a lime wedge.

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This story was published on Jun 14, 2022

Lynn Wells

Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.