A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

“Killed” Lettuce Fried Pork Chops with Onion Gravy Buttermilk Cornbread with Sorghum Butter Apple Dumplings   “Killed” Lettuce Yield: 4 servings. 3 bunches green leaf lettuce (about 9 cups), rinsed,

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

“Killed” Lettuce Fried Pork Chops with Onion Gravy Buttermilk Cornbread with Sorghum Butter Apple Dumplings   “Killed” Lettuce Yield: 4 servings. 3 bunches green leaf lettuce (about 9 cups), rinsed,

Flavors of Appalachia: 4 Mountain Recipes


“Killed” Lettuce

Yield: 4 servings.

3 bunches green leaf lettuce (about 9 cups), rinsed, dried well, and torn into bite-size pieces
4 slices bacon
4 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste

Place lettuce in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet and cook over medium-high heat until evenly browned and crisp on both sides, about 10 minutes. Place bacon on a paper towel-lined plate.

Add green onions to bacon grease; cook, stirring, for about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Pour sautéed onions and bacon grease-vinegar mixture over lettuce and toss. Crumble bacon and add it to lettuce. Top with black pepper and salt to taste. Serve immediately.

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Fried Pork Chops with Onion Gravy

Yield: 4 servings.

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 large bone-in pork chops, about 1 inch thick, patted dry
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ cups chicken broth
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup water

Mix together poultry seasoning, thyme, salt, and pepper. Rub seasoning mix on both sides of pork chops. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown pork chops for about 4 minutes; turn chops over and cook for 2 minutes. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low. Simmer pork chops for 5 minutes, then transfer to a plate.

Using the same skillet, melt butter on low heat. Stir in onions and cook on medium heat until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until flour starts to brown. Pour chicken broth into skillet and stir. Be sure to scrape up any bits from the pork chops. Add buttermilk and stir until smooth. Add water. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook until onions begin to break down and gravy is thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Place pork chops back into the skillet with the gravy, spooning over meat to coat. Turn heat to low and simmer until chops are tender and cooked through (to an internal temperature of 145°), about 8 to 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve chops with gravy on top.

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Buttermilk Cornbread with Sorghum Butter

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
½ cup butter, melted
⅓ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup whole buttermilk
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 9-inch cast-iron skillet with vegetable shortening. Place skillet in oven.

In a large mixing bowl, add melted butter and sugar, and whisk to combine. Whisk in eggs and buttermilk. In a separate bowl, add baking soda, cornmeal, flour, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and stir until just combined with no lumps.

Remove skillet from oven and pour batter into hot skillet. Bake in oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Sorghum Butter

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup sorghum syrup
½ teaspoon salt

In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, syrup, and salt until well blended. Serve with cornbread, biscuits, or on pancakes. Store leftover butter in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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Apple Dumplings

Yield: 6 servings.

1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 rounds refrigerated pie pastry
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
¾ cup dark brown sugar
3 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Juice of 1 lemon
Vanilla ice cream (for serving)

Preheat oven to 400°. Use 1 tablespoon butter to grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Mix together cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.

On a clean, lightly floured countertop, place pastry rounds end to end, then roll out into one large rectangle, about 24 x 16 inches. Cut into 6 square pieces. Place an apple on each pastry square with the cored opening facing upward. Cut butter into 8 pieces. Place 1 piece of butter in the opening of each apple; reserve remaining butter for sauce. Divide brown sugar between apples, filling some inside each cored opening and the rest around the base of each apple. Sprinkle the cinnamon spice mixture over the apples.

With slightly wet fingertips, bring one corner of pastry square up to the top of an apple, then bring the opposite corner to the top and press together. Bring up the two remaining corners and seal with fingers. Slightly pinch the dough at the sides to completely seal. Repeat with the remaining apples. Place in prepared baking dish.

In a large saucepan, combine water, white sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and reserved butter. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Pour over dumplings.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Place each apple dumpling in a bowl and spoon sauce over the tops. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

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This story was published on Sep 20, 2021

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.