TO REACH US
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Welcome to a spicy, crunchy, toasty October menu from Fare Exchange. Aah, the foods of fall … and the foods of anytime, really.
There is a certain poetry to October, and a Wallace Stevens poem passed around this week echoes the joys of an ordinary suppertime. So how about writing the rest of us, describing in a few words the particular joys of “no particular dinnertime”? Give us, perhaps, the menu, plain and simple.
Here’s the inspiration from the Stevens poem:
Now a chicken roasts in the pan,
and the children return,
the murmur of their stories dappling the air.
I peel carrots and potatoes without paring my thumb.
We listen together for your wheels on the drive.
Grace before bread.
And at the table, actual conversation …
Note that the old stand-bys carrots and potatoes call forth the muse here. Who knows a tasty recipe for carrots? Years ago, Sandy Cushman was profiled in a newspaper article for preparing a carrot dish in every category, from entrée to dessert. Creative carrot cookery deserves a continuing conversation; please join in.
And here are some repeat requests from Barbara B: smoothies of any kind, watermelon pickles and pear relish. There are some hard-as-rocks pears on neighborhood trees, and this request reminds us that they can be turned into a delicacy with the proper attention. If you know how, please let us know.
On this particular day I am out of range of your recipes, but there is still a stash in the wire basket, recipes that came in generous collections from one cook in one envelope. In other words, food from the cupboard. Here goes.
Fran Berven’s Broccoli Salad
1 bunch broccoli, cut up
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1 cup combined green and red grapes cut in half, or 1 cup raisins
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled (alternative is Bac-O’s, but real is better)
1/4 cup shredded almonds, toasted about 10 minutes in a 350-degree oven
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon vinegar
Combine broccoli, celery, onions and grapes. Mix together dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Just before serving, add bacon and almonds to the broccoli mixture along with the dressing.
Barbara Arnold’s Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie
1 stick butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, broken
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
Mix together first 7 ingredients and pour into pie shell. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes.
— Linda Leake
Town and Country Vegetable Soup
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 cup peas
1 cup green beans
1 onion, chopped
2 potatoes, cut into small chunks
4 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup lima beans
1 cup corn
16 ounces water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup cooked macaroni
Combine all ingredients except macaroni; bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 hours. At this point add cooked macaroni.
— Linda Leake
Shrimp a la Greque
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups chopped or fresh canned tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons finely chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1-1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled
3 ounces feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until garlic colors, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes, wine, 1 tablespoon parsley, marjoram, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until sauce is the thickness of a light puree, stirring occasionally.
Add shrimp; cook until shrimp turn pink, about 5 minutes. Add feta, stirring gently (try to keep cheese from crumbling too much). Garnish with remaining parsley. Serve hot.
Skillet Hash Browns
Here is a recipe that justifies the existence of that food processor grating disk. If you don’t have one, a box grater will do.
5 russet potatoes (about 3 pounds), peeled and coarsely shredded
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 bunches scallions, greens and whites separated, thinly sliced
Coarse sea salt
Rinse potatoes in a colander under cold water until water runs clear. Squeeze firmly to remove excess liquid. Transfer to a large bowl. Add salt and pepper; toss to coat.
Heat 6 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of potatoes; press gently into an even layer. Sprinkle with scallion whites. Top with remaining potatoes; press gently again. Cook until golden brown on bottom and sides, 10 to 15 minutes.
Slide hash browns onto a plate. Carefully place skillet upside down over hash browns and flip to invert into skillet, browned side up. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons oil around sides of skillet. Cook hash browns until bottom is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes longer; slice onto a plate and season with sea salt. Top with scallion greens and cut into wedges.
Do ahead: Hash browns can be made 1 hour ahead. Place on a wire rack set inside a large rimmed baking sheet and keep them in a 200-degree oven. Top with scallions before serving.
— Bon Appetit magazine
Just a Dash…
Lisa the Vegetable Girl has a simple formula: “He grills, I do the vegetables. Works every time.” And vegetables? Here is one possibility from her kitchen: “spaghetti squash, halved and baked and shredded into spaghetti-like strands and topped with any sautéed vegetables.”
Send us your brightest ideas, your quickest and your tastiest. We will be waiting.
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