published Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Grilled sea bass a celebratory dish for two

Good morning, good readers. Our requests today are varied: Can one make a raclette without a raclette machine? And if so, how? What are the best recipes for an ulcer diet? Can you supply a cabbage slaw without mayonnaise and Wild Rice and Chicken Soup as printed in this paper? And could you unearth a John Tesh dressing, with canola oil and herbs, from a January radio show?

Nadine Carden of Flintstone, Ga., wants cabbage slaw and Tesh dressing; Evette Strickland of Delano, Tenn., would like the soup, and the others are from anonymous readers.

Maraya Magness of Signal Mountain "remembered a recipe I made to impress my guests when they walked into my house for dinner. This bread rises in the refrigerator, and you can cook it within two hours or bake it the next evening when your guests have just arrived. The bread also is high in protein due to milk, eggs and whole grains. You may substitute a cup of whole-wheat flour for uncooked oats, cracked wheat, soybean grits, millet, wheat germ, ground sunflower seeds, bran, crushed wheat cereal or any flour of your choice."

Family Whole-Wheat Bread

5 to 6 cups all-purpose or unbleached flour, divided

2 packages active dry yeast

1 tablespoon salt

2 cups milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup oil

3 tablespoons honey

3 eggs

2 cups whole-wheat flour

Combine 21/2 cups all-purpose flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl.

Heat milk, water, oil and honey in a saucepan until very warm. Add liquid to flour mixture and beat until smooth. Add eggs and continue beating about 3 minutes with an electric mixer.

Stir in whole-wheat flour and enough all-purpose flour to make a soft dough.

Turn dough onto a floured surface; allow to rest for 10 minutes. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes). Let rest for 20 minutes.

Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 14- by 9-inch rectangle. Shape into loaves. Place in greased 9- by 5- by 3-inch loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.

When ready to bake, remove from refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Bake at 400 F for 40 minutes or until done.

Alexis Probasco is up next. "Not only is the recipe I am attaching easy, but it is simply delicious. Another good thing about this recipe is that no candy thermometer is needed. I got the recipe from your column years ago, and I think it may have been Queenie McCallie's, but I am not sure."

Easy Caramel Icing for a Three-Layer Cake

11/2 sticks butter

11/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk (skim works well)

1 (1-pound) box powdered sugar, sifted (see note)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a 2-quart saucepan, melt butter, brown sugar and salt. Add milk. Bring to a light rolling boil. Remove from heat, and immediately add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat well with a hand mixer and ice, or pour over, cake.

Note: The sifting of the powdered sugar is important so icing won't be lumpy. It would still taste good, but it would not be as attractive.

David Brownlee of Ooltewah shared an excellent recipe for sea bass, a fish that a Greenlife employee called "the best fish we have right now." And it is costly, too.

Mr. Brownlee wrote: "During my wife Joanne's two successful lung transplants and living away from our home for months at a time, I soon learned I needed to expand my cooking skills beyond hot dogs, hamburgers and frozen dinners.

"After her second transplant and as a celebration of her return to good health, I prepared this delicious sea bass dinner on an outdoor grill available at the extended-stay hotel where we were staying.

"As a side dish, I suggest you prepare asparagus and mushrooms wrapped in aluminum foil and sautéed in butter on the grill."

Grilled Sea Bass for Two

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon lemon pepper

Sea salt, to taste

2 pounds sea bass

3 tablespoons butter

2 large cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

11/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Heat grill to high heat.

In a small bowl, stir together garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, lemon pepper and sea salt. Sprinkle seasonings onto both sides of fish.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the garlic and parsley. Remove from heat when butter has melted, and set aside.

Lightly oil grill grate. Grill fish for 7 minutes, then turn and drizzle with the butter mixture. Continue cooking for 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Drizzle with olive oil before serving. Watch closely to assure you do not overcook or undercook.

We've only just begun the discussion of the Swiss dish raclette, and there are several letters bearing the title "Raclette," as yet unopened in our inbox. Today we can report some history and sources for both the cheese and the grill.

Katherine Loeffler wrote: "I lived in Switzerland for 13 years, and my whole family and circle of friends love raclette. You can buy raclette cheese at The Fresh Market. Freda, who is I believe manager in the cheese department, gets it every so often. As far as a substitute, there is none. I have tried, and it is not the same texture on the potatoes.

"I also have a new raclette grill if you know someone who needs one. I work part-time at Home Goods, and we sell them; once or twice a year we get a few in. I go to Switzerland every year and bring back pounds of raclette cheese; it is a lot cheaper there, of course."

Sarah Lambert reported that raclette cheese may sometimes be purchased at The Fresh Market and perhaps at Bi-Lo. According to her research (she is a librarian par excellence), there are several alternatives to raclette cheese, which was "originally made from the cows that grazed the sweet grasses along the Swiss countryside. This semi-hard, nutty cheese is wrought with holes and boasts a creamy texture. Alternatives are Gruyere, Emmenthaler and Jarlsberg."

This column makes me think of my friend Lizzy, who's of a mind to open a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich emporium. Raclette would be a candidate for that menu, though it is not an exact parallel.

Please continue as always, and I will watch for you next Wednesday.

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.

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