published Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Fare Exchange: In search of recipes for red-eye gravy, daiquiris

Jane Henegar

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: chattfare@gmail.com

Welcome, cooks and diners. Today’s requests are all repeats. You may have missed them on their first mention: lemon mousse, red-eye gravy and really creamy grits, salads using squash blossoms, frozen ginger daiquiris, recipes using Arborio rice, and the crusty dense bread often called “levain.” Tall orders, these.

A recipe for Italian cream cake didn’t take long to surface, thanks to Joan Sass and an anonymous emailer who credited the recipe to Nancy Roberts of Memphis, and noted that “I’ve used this recipe for nearly 40 years.” That sounds like a recommendation. Sass’ version is from her late mother’s recipe file; she has never prepared it, but says, “I remember it being pretty darn tasty.” That sounds like a recommendation, too.

The recipes are almost identical; we’ll give you the slight variations.

Italian Cream Cake

Cake

1 stick margarine

1/2 cup Crisco

2 cups sugar

5 egg yolks

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 small can coconut (3 1/2 ounces)

1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans

5 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Using electric mixer, beat margarine and shortening. Add sugar and beat well. Add egg yolks, one at a time, and beat well. Sift flour, soda and salt together and add alternately with buttermilk. Add vanilla, coconut and pecans, and beat. Fold in beaten egg whites. Pour into 3 (8-inch) or 2 (9-inch) greased and lined cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until sides break loose from pan. Cool on wire rack before removing from pans.

Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 to 1 stick margarine

1 box powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla (or almond) extract

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cream the cream cheese and margarine together using electric mixer. Add sugar and extract and beat well.

Frost cake, then sprinkle sides and top with chopped pecans, or put all pecans on top.


Roseann Strazinsky sent another way to use angel food cake pieces in a congealed dessert — and gave you a bonus recipe, too.

Cherry Filled Angel Cake

1 (1-pound) can dark sweet cherries, pitted (reserve syrup)

1 (1-pound) can light sweet cherries, pitted (reserve syrup)

1 (10-inch) baked angel food cake

1 (3-ounce) package cherry gelatin

3/4 cup boiling water

3/4 cup cherry syrup (drained from the cherries)

2 cups whipping cream whipped, or 1 cup whipped cream and 1 cup whipped topping mix combined

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

Drain cherries, reserving 3/4 cup of the syrup. Cut a 3/4 inch slice from top of cake. Place aside. Carefully hollow out cake, leaving a 3/4 inch shell on sides and bottom.

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add the cherry syrup. Reserve 1/3 cup gelatin for glaze, keeping at room temperature.

Chill remaining gelatin until syrupy, then fold in dark cherries and half of whipped cream.

Tear into small pieces the cake that you removed from the hollowed-out part.

Spoon gelatin mixture into cake shell, layering with cake pieces, Repeat till completely filled. Replace top slice of cake.

Arrange well-drained light cherries on top of cake. Spoon reserved gelatin over top. Fold sugar and almond extract into remaining whipped cream. Frost sides of cake evenly. Chill 3 hours before serving.

Rum Sausage

1 pound sausage links

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

1/2 cup dark or golden rum

In a skillet, brown sausage links on all sides. Cut into thirds and set aside.

In another pan, heat brown sugar, teriyaki sauce and rum until boiling.

Place the sausage into a medium casserole pan and pour the rum sauce over it. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 25 minutes. Serve with eggs.


Ginnie Gaines answered the request for a nonfried okra with a Spanish version that has a Georgia twist. “This one comes from an old cookbook I purchased years ago at the Sautee Inn in Helen, Ga., that is no longer in business. But the delightful couple that ran the inn and served dinners certainly had wonderful recipes. I have made this one often.”

Spanish Okra

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups chopped onions or less (I don’t use nearly that much)

2 cups canned tomatoes, petite cut, or use fresh tomatoes chopped

2 cups tiny okra (large ones do not work for this recipe)

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

In a skillet, melt butter and cook onions. Add tomatoes and continue heating to a boil, then add okra and cook as little as possible. You don’t want slimy okra. Possibly 8 to 10 minutes. Don’t let it stick, so stir it gently. When you are satisfied that the okra is the desired doneness, add sugar and salt to taste.


We attended a pot luck dinner recently, the kind of dinner where college kids are not expected to bring food. After all, their kitchens are few and their repertoire is small. Imagine the organizers’ surprise when a college senior named Scott came in the door with a beach towel cradling a gracious plenty of green bean casserole. Scott is the kind of young person who always asks what he can do to help, and then actually does it. He called his mother in Michigan and was relieved that she prescribed only four ingredients: well-drained canned green beans mixed with a can of cream soup and some milk, placed in the casserole and topped with canned crisp onion rings and baked 35 minutes at 350-degrees or until the bean mixture is bubbly and the onions are crisp. We ate heartily and, because of the dish’s generous proportions, he had a good bit to take back home. There’s a promising man, for sure.

I remember long ago when few cooks were men; how good it is that gender equity rules. Everybody wins. And young or old, male or female, plain or fancy: you are welcome here, always.

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