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.
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Welcome to Fare Exchange and today's menu of ham and cheese rolls, gluten-free cheesecake, cornbread and granola.
You are welcome as well to provide the following missing recipes and kitchen wisdom: organizing tips for the refrigerator and kitchen, crustless fudge pie baked over hot water, Swedish meatballs like those served at Ikea in Atlanta and homemade cream of celery soup.
Carol Pearson heeded a double request and sent her ham and cheese rolls. Ms. Pearson's recipe is delightfully simple.
Ham and Cheese Rolls
Remove biscuits from can, and split into 2 or 3 rounds per biscuit. Put ham and cheese slices on each round, and roll up. Brush with garlic butter and bake in a preheated 350 F oven for about 10 minutes.
Jan Antman sent her well-tested recipe for a cheesecake that is gluten-free. "It is not in any way, shape or form low-fat or low-sugar, but my gluten-free friends really feel special when I serve this to them."
New York Cheesecake (Gluten Free)
Note: An hour or so before cooking, set out eggs and cream cheese so that they can come to room temperature.
2 cups ground pecans
1 tablespoon melted butter
4 tablespoons brown sugar (no substitute)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl with a fork. Press mixture down on the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan and up the sides. Heat oven to 300 F.
3 (8-ounce packages) real cream cheese (not low-fat)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cut cream cheese in cubes, and put in the bowl of an electric mixer. Gradually mix together on medium-high speed. Slowly mix in sugar, and add eggs one at a time, beating at medium speed only until blended in. Add vanilla, and mix. Pour into pan on top of crust, and bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes. Turn off oven and leave door ajar for 30 minutes.
Sour Cream Filling
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Mix ingredients together thoroughly. Carefully spread on top of warm cheesecake and return to oven for 30 minutes with door ajar. (Do not reheat oven.) Remove from oven, set on cooling rack, and let cool for at least an hour. After cake is cooled, set in refrigerator overnight and serve the next day.
Cheesecake may be topped with sliced, sweetened strawberries, canned cherry pie filling or served plain.
Note: Cheesecakes don't like a lot of mixing, so take it easy. To prevent cracking, don't open the oven door during the first 60 minutes unless you think the cake is getting overdone, and carefully run a knife around between the crust and the pan when you take the cake out of the oven to cool.
Valerie Bowers in Ooltewah returns us to the low-fat topic, this time for granola, reporting that "it's the amount of sugar in granola that is the major drawback, not the oil. That said, however, the type of oil is of concern. Consider replacing vegetable oil with organic coconut oil in any granola recipe. Coconut oil is heart-healthy, supports a healthy metabolism and is good for your skin. If you'd like to add the taste of coconut to your granola, use organic extra-virgin coconut oil. If you want the benefit of the oil without the flavor of coconut, use organic coconut oil (not extra-virgin). Just melt before tossing with the other ingredients as it is a soft solid at room temperature. You don't have to go to a health-food store either. Walmart carries reputable brands in both forms." Spoken with authority, Ms. B.
She then chose a favorite healthful granola recipe, from Food Network's Alton Brown with her own variations. "I use coconut oil and unsweetened coconut flakes to make it slightly healthier. The best oats to use are organic thick-cut rolled oats (less processing, more fiber)."
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
Heat oven to 250 F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut and brown sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil and salt. Combine both mixtures, and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color. Remove from oven, and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins, and mix until evenly distributed.
We are not finished with cornbread commentary, and today's three do not exhaust the list. Both of today's writers suggest that cornbread will not be crusty enough if it's thick.
First, an Exchanger named Lib weighed in. Lib's writing is timely; "I have just put the lid on a stockpot of chopped cabbage/vegetable/Italian meatball soup and couldn't get the idea of cornbread out of my head while I was chopping."
OK, Lib, you brought it up; may we have that recipe?
And this cornbread commentary from another:
1. Sometimes the size of the pan is critical. You might try dividing your recipe between a 7-inch Lodge skillet and a cast-iron corn-stick pan. That way, the crust would get crispy yet leave enough inside to remain the texture you are working for. Maybe your batter is too deep in the pan you are using to form a crispy crust with fine texture inside.
2. I also put the pans in first and turn on the oven, but I wait to add the oil called for in the recipe when the very, very hot pans come out. The oil heats immediately when it is added to the pan and never smokes or creates a problem. Carefully swish it around with a flexible silicone spatula or silicone pastry brush to coat; drop a spoonful or so in each corn-stick section or again use the silicone pastry brush. Then pour most of the very hot oil into the batter in the bowl and stir just a bit, leaving some not mixed in on top, which improves the flavor of the top of the cooked cornbread. Leaving some in the pan(s) makes the batter begin immediately to get a head start. Those Lodge pans are beyond wonderful. Never wear out, never warp, hold the heat forever.
3. I learned on the pages of the Times Free Press to always use whole milk buttermilk in biscuits. Well, the same goes for cornbread. Whether made from a mix or from scratch, it kicks it up a full notch in quality.
4. You might also think about placement in the oven. I used to remember which level was best for what; now I refer to any notes I have added to the recipe to remind me. But I do think the rule of thumb is to put a prebaked pie crust on the bottom shelf and put the assembled pie with meringue topping on the top shelf to brown. You might play around with that, also.
5. If all the above fails, well, even disappointing cornbread is tasty with homemade soup.