published Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Restaurant treats to repeat at home

Good morning, good readers. The challenges today come mostly from treats sampled elsewhere: Grape-pineapple ice cream as once served at Kay's Kastle; for sweet potato pancakes as from the Ham House in Greenville, S.C.; for sweet potato biscuits from anywhere; for elegant vegetarian entrees in the manner of the Bald Headed Bistro in Cleveland, Tenn., and for your favorite desserts.

Cherie Carr of Amarillo, Texas, wrote "looking for Kay's Kastle's recipe for grape pineapple ice cream -- not sherbet. I used to enjoy a cone with my dad in the '60s and '70s." We're hoping someone connected with that not-too-long-ago Chattanooga landmark has kept a file of recipes.

Secondly, W.H.E. visited Furman University and sampled the sweet potato pancakes at the Ham House. This correspondent not only wants the recipe for sweet potato pancakes but also for sweet potato biscuits, another recent Southern favorite.

Finally, here's one from a vegetarian reader: "Although the Bald Headed Bistro in Cleveland specializes in steaks, there is one dish that is all vegetables and seems as elegant as the steaks and seafood.

"Here is the description from the menu: 'Layers of fried green tomatoes, breaded polenta, eggplant parmesan served with boursin cream, roasted tomato sauce, balsamic reduction and spinach artichoke ragout.'

"To tell the truth, I want a recipe for every one of those layers, including the sauces and creams and reductions. It doesn't have to be the restaurant's recipe, though I wouldn't mind that either. Many of my friends are vegetarians, and I would love to serve something like this for a special event."

The request for a recently printed wild rice soup recipe brought Sara Jackson of our staff to her files, since she had wanted to try this recipe as well.

Creamy Rosemary Wild Rice Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 ribs celery, diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

1 large parsnip, peeled and diced

3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced

1 quart (4 cups) low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup wild rice

2 tablespoons instant flour (such as Wondra)

2 cups fat-free half-and-half

Salt

Ground black pepper

In a large saucepan on medium-high, heat olive oil. Add chicken, and sear until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. The meat does not need to be cooked through.

Add onion, garlic, celery, carrot and parsnip; cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rosemary, chicken broth and wild rice. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for 45 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Add the instant flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until thickened. Add half-and-half, and heat; do not boil, or mixture will curdle. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Per serving: 210 calories; 4 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 25 milligrams cholesterol; 15 grams protein; 27 grams carbohydrate; 3 grams fiber; 220 milligrams sodium.

A collegiate pair who have just begun reading Fare Exchange decided to share their first favorite creations. He cooks scones and pies; she prepares only healthful dishes as she deals with the challenges of an autoimmune diagnosis.

Ila's Favorite Baked Salmon

Olive oil

Lime juice

Fresh ginger, grated

Minced garlic

Soy sauce

Fresh salmon

Make a marinade of the olive oil, lime juice, ginger, garlic and soy sauce.

Marinate salmon for 30 minutes or significantly longer. Remove from marinade.

Bake in preheated 400 F oven until salmon flakes easily with a fork. Serve immediately.

This salmon also is good the next day served over fresh spinach with a generous squeeze of lime juice.

Jonny's Potato Gnocchi in Homemade Tomato Sauce

Homemade tomato sauce (recipe follows)

Potato gnocchi (see note)

Goat cheese

Heat tomato sauce. Cook gnocchi according to package directions, and drain. Slice goat cheese into thin rounds.

Put gnocchi on individual plates, spoon tomato sauce on top and put several slices of goat cheese on each serving.

Note: Costco has good gnocchi. You can find it in the pasta section; store at room temperature.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 onion, chopped fine

Olive oil

1 (29-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1 (29-ounce) can tomato sauce

1/2 cup Italian seasoning blend

2 tablespoons crushed red pepper (this is the secret ingredient, but you may take down to 1 tablespoon if you are a coward)

A few leaves of fresh basil, or as many as you have

Sauté garlic and onion gently in olive oil until soft. Mix with remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Cook at a simmer until flavors are blended well. Serve over potato gnocchi with rounds of goat cheese on top.

Dolores Bowling has a wonderful and befitting title. She is The Dessert Lady for our church and always looking for new desserts. She writes, "I don't seem to find many on the Fare Exchange page lately. So I am contributing one, and maybe others will see it and do likewise."

Talk about a creative cook: She makes her dumplings using Mountain Dew. Imagine that.

Pearl's Aunt Helen's Apple Dumplings

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 8 pieces

2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls

11/2 cups sugar

11/2 sticks butter

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 (12-ounce) can Mountain Dew

Wrap each apple slice in 1 crescent roll triangle and place in a pan. Melt sugar, butter and cinnamon just until hot, and pour over wrapped apple slices. Pour Mountain Dew over all, evenly. Bake at 400 F 35 to 40 minutes or until browned.

It's fun to see in these two young ones a natural affinity for the kitchen, each approaching from a very different mindset. I heard a tale of an 11-year-old this week. Her mother was delayed on an errand and long about 6:30 she texted her mama, "Are we going to have dinner tonight?" The mom explained her predicament, and when she returned a good while later, the not-quite-steaming lasagna was on the well-set table, the neatly capped strawberries garnishing each plate.

That girl has a future, doesn't she? I think I'll send a message that we would like one of her recipes for Fare Exchange. And while you are at it, ask the youngest cook you know to send us his or her favorite recipe of the moment. I'm ready to learn from the young and accustomed to that very thing.

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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