Good morning, exchangers of fare. We have a repeat request from a faraway correspondent, Libby Ivins of Riverside, R.I., who hopes you will come up with Brunswick stew a la Smokey Bones Restaurant. And new to this first paragraph are creamy lemon sorbet and an old-fashioned frozen confection, mint ice. "Or, really, any frozen dessert."
Becky Erndt made a special-occasion winter dish just right for summertime by sending this "breakfast casserole recipe in response to a recent reader request. It is very good and easy to make. I usually serve this on Christmas morning."
1 pound sausage, cooked in crumbles
8 eggs, slightly beaten
6 slices bread, cubed small
2 cups milk
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
Optional: Bacon or mushrooms
Mix all ingredients together, and put into a 9- by 13-inch pan. Chill overnight. Bake uncovered at 350 F for 35 minutes. Cut into squares to serve. Serves 8.
Doreen Johnson sent a caution about ice cream recipes.
She reported, "I just read the ice cream recipes in today's newspaper, and it was my understanding that you should no longer use raw eggs in a recipe where they were not cooked. I googled 'uncooked eggs in ice cream' and found the following at iastate.edu's website: 'If your favorite ice cream uses uncooked eggs, it's time to replace or revise them. Those raw eggs may contain salmonella bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. Freezing doesn't kill bacteria, but cooking does.'
"It goes on to state that whole liquid pasteurized eggs are available at some supermarkets in small cartons. I know I quit using my favorite vanilla ice cream recipe because of this."
If you have found whole liquid pasteurized eggs locally, please let the rest of us know where to find them.
An Atlanta cook with local ties took her turn in a week of family vacation meals. The real hit in her menu was a simple salad that begs to be tried right now.
Corn and Avocado Salad
Fresh ears of corn
Salt, to taste
Cook corn, and cut kernels off cob into a bowl. Cool. Mash avocados, and season liberally with fresh lime juice and minced cilantro leaves. Stir avocados into corn -- for starters, try about 2 cups corn to 1/2 cup avocado. Check for seasonings. To bring out flavor, use both lime juice and salt liberally. Add tomatoes as garnish or include them in the mixture itself. Serve cold or at room temperature. This will keep to the next day.
I love this comment from Rose Secrest: "NOW I understand why people write Fare Exchange. I looked through all my cookbooks and couldn't find any recipes using sun-dried tomatoes. They either put them in recipes that include both fresh tomatoes and tomato paste, or in pesto recipes. In the first case, I felt that they were superfluous." As for the second case? Ms. Secrest is working on a pesto recipe she just might send us.
From Ms. Secrest's cookbook, here are a couple of recipes that use those sun-dried delicacies.
Mushroom Spinach Toss
4 ounces dry pasta, cooked
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup fresh spinach
4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, reconstituted
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup pine nuts
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat all ingredients in a pan until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes.
1 pound tofu, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 orange, peeled and pulled into sections
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Put the tofu in a glass baking dish. Puree remaining ingredients and pour over tofu. Bake at 425 F for 35 minutes. Turn the tofu over, spoon the sauce over it, and bake another 20 minutes.
Efficiency and taste reign with Barbara's one recipe that answers two requests. We are still on the topic of sun-dried tomatoes ... with fresh ones mixed in.
Double Tomato Bruschetta
6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 French baguette
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat oven to broiler setting. In large bowl, combine Roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Cut baguette into 3/4-inch slices. On a baking sheet, arrange the bread in a single layer. Broil 1-2 minutes, until slightly brown. Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the slices. Top with cheese. Broil 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Today's column is full of tempting tastes and aromas. But what's new? Please come back next week.
To reach us
Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send.
* Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750.
* E-mail: janehenegar @gmail.com
* Fax: 423-668-5092