published Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Fare Exchange: Slow-cook risotto, microwave corn and no-bake bites

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 to May in all its tender greens and sunshine glories. A big meal is on my mind this morning. This can keep a person’s mind whirring in the night watches, thinking of what to prepare for somebody specially loved. In the merry month of May, to think of this is to think big in taste but not heavy in calories.

So now consider light and heavy requests: Mason jar breakfasts, James Beard cheese bread and fruit nut bars sampled in April at Whole Foods. And please, dear readers, send your favorite light spring menus and recipes: entrees, vegetables, salads and desserts.

R.R. has gotten good at Mason jar salads, but now she has heard about breakfasts in the same jars and wants recipes for taking these easy breakfasts to work. It’s Minnie of Chickamauga whose long-ago food memories come back with the aroma of James Beard’s cheese bread — “my favorite bread of all time. Perhaps it had several cheeses in it.”

And Anne Steves lost her copy of a fruit and nut bar she sampled at Whole Foods. “It contained dried pineapple and coconut and they were giving out copies of the recipe, but I lost mine.” Steves has been packing the following treat as she goes to work and to tennis. Although she would like to see the Whole Foods recipe requested above, she loves this one.

No-Bake Energy Bites

1 cup dry oatmeal

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix together and press into a pan. When firm, cut into bars.


Judy Bellenfant found rice wine vinegar, but at a price. “Roland rice wine vinegar may be purchased on Amazon for $2.95 for a 10-ounce bottle. Unfortunately, the shipping is $11.”

This brings to mind a committed Chattanoogan named Becky, a generous woman. She is committed to paying more if needed, so that she can patronize hometown, independent vendors. If you have such a source, please pass it on. Note that the request is not just for rice vinegar, but rice wine vinegar.


Nancy Seale responded to the recipe for oven-baked corn on the cob printed last week.

Corn on the Cob for One or Two

2 ears corn on the cob, still in the husk

Trim up both ends of each ear just in case any little caterpillars may be in hiding.

Place corn in microwave (for a 1,200-watt oven) still in the husk and microwave on high for 5 minutes. If preparing 1 ear, microwave for 3 minutes. You may need to adjust for lesser wattage.

Be careful when taking corn out of husk as it is really hot. Let cool a minute before shucking. Silks come right off.


We will turn the forum over to Anonymous of LaFayette, Ga., who addresses the request for Arborio rice recipes.

“When I saw this request I remembered a recipe printed long ago in Fare Exchange. Risotto, which is made with Arborio rice and takes a lot of tending to, is easily prepared in a crock pot. This recipe is from ‘Slow Cooker Cooking’ by Laura Brody.”

Risotto with Parmesan in a Slow Cooker

1/4 cup olive oil

2 shallots, peeled and minced, or ½ cup onion

1 1/4 cups raw Arborio rice

1/4 cup dry white wine

3 3/4 cups chicken broth or chicken stock

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 to 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano

Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat and sauté the shallots or onions until they have softened. Scrape them into the slow cooker. Use a 4- to 6-quart cooker.

If your microwave oven is large enough to hold the slow cooker insert, place the oil and shallots in the insert of the slow cooker, cover with the inverted lid or a flat plate, place the insert in the microwave, and cook on high for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the shallots have softened.

Toss the rice in the insert to coat it with the oil. Stir in the wine, broth and salt. Cover and cook on high for about 2 hours, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Just before serving, stir in the cheese.

Variations: Add 1 teaspoon of the dried herb of your choice along with the rice.

Makes 4 servings.


From the generous hand of Signal Mountain Rose, this recipe was tucked in the Save for Later file. And we did. She got it from a Carnival Cruise Line cookbook, and pronounced it “delicious.”

Chocolate Tres Leches

Cake

3/4 cup sifted cake flour

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup sugar

4 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line bottom of a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper. Sift together flour and cocoa; set aside. In large mixer bowl, beat sugar, eggs and egg yolks on high speed until very light, about 5 minutes. Fold in flour mixture. Fold in oil. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool completely and remove from pan.

Soaking Liquid

2 cups evaporated milk

1 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup Kahlua or coffee-flavored liqueur

1 cup chocolate syrup

In medium bowl, combine evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, cream, Kahlua and chocolate syrup. Blend well.

Place cake on 15-by-10-by1-inch jelly roll pan; spoon milk mixture over cake until cake is thoroughly soaked.

Topping

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1 cup whipping cream

2 1/2 tablespoons Kahlua or coffee-flavored liqueur

Sift powdered sugar and cocoa together and set aside. In a medium bowl, whip cream on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in powdered sugar mixture. Continue beating until stiff and fold in Kahlua. Using a star tip, pipe on top of cake, or spoon on top. Cut into small squares and serve.

Thinking of making a special occasion dessert? The recipe above fits that description, and it reminds me of a certain Susan, now a bride in Lima, Peru, who brought back a Peruvian recipe for Tres Leches (that is, three milks) and prepared it as a labor of love for many a birthday.

Here’s a toast, here’s a Tres Leches cake, here’s a simple meal across the table from someone dear: all in the name of love.

Just a Dash ...

One might call this a Dash-Dash, as it continued an earlier idea from R.R. “I will call myself F.F. and say that I tried the Opa brand Greek yogurt dressing R.R. recommended and it was delicious. It was buy-one-get-one at Bi-Lo so I also purchased the feta dill version. I served it over Chinese cabbage, thin-sliced onion and tomato. The Chinese cabbage is light and does not have a strong cabbage taste; it works well in place of any lettuce.

That is all for today, and we thank you for your company in these pages.

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