There's no need to knead these easy biscuits

There's no need to knead these easy biscuits

April 11th, 2012 Jane Henegar in Life Entertainment

Good morning readers.

We have a repeat request for Chicken Romano and these new ones: blue cheese chicken salad found on the inside of a carton of blue cheese crumbles, a strawberry shortcake with an almond shortcake/biscuit and a special-occasion cake that is neither chocolate or caramel. And one shopping request: What is orzo, and where can it be bought locally?

Ginny Gaines offers cooking help, as she has before, on several fronts. First came the biscuits. "Thought I'd respond to the biscuit request. This does not make a huge number of biscuits, about 12 fairly small to medium size. This was my mother's recipe, and it is excellent."

My Mother's Biscuits

2 cups plain flour, plus extra for rolling biscuits

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons shortening

3/4 cup milk, a little more or a little less

In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Cut shortening into dry ingredients with a fork or pastry cutter until it looks something like coarse meal. Add milk to make a soft dough; it should be sticky. Put on floured board. DO NOT KNEAD. You must handle biscuits as little as possible, and lightly.

Shape dough into a disk, then pat, instead of rolling, into about 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into preferred biscuit size, and place in an ungreased pan. Bake in a preheated 425 F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

The next recipe, also from Mrs. Gaines, answers the request for baked fish.

Baked Cod in Tomato and Shallot Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/4 cup chopped shallots

1 cup tomatoes chopped, or 1 (16-ounce) can chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 teaspoon rosemary

11/2 pounds cod (orange roughy may be substituted)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup parsley

Place 1 tablespoon oil in pan, and sauté shallots until transparent. Add tomatoes, wine and rosemary, and cook until slightly thick.

Place fish in baking dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over fish, and top with bread crumbs and parsley. Bake 10 to 15 minutes in a preheated 400 F oven.

Yeast of the Ridge saw the request for recipes using sun-dried tomatoes and ended up adapting a recipe she found on the Web.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach With Pasta

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fine

1 (8-ounce) package uncooked penne pasta

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3 cloves garlic, minced (less if you don't love garlic)

1 bunch baby spinach leaves, torn into bite-size pieces

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring chicken broth to boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, and add sun-dried tomatoes.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook for 9 to 12 minutes. Drain in a colander, but do not rinse.

Toast pine nuts in a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until toasted but not brown.

Heat olive oil and red pepper flakes in another skillet over medium heat. Sauté the garlic for several minutes or until tender. Add spinach, and cook a minute or two. Add reserved broth/tomato mixture, and cook several more minutes. Toss drained pasta with spinach and sauce. Top with toasted pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Reba Jernigan sent one final caramel frosting recipe with a cake to go beneath it, credited to her friend Mary Peckham. It is very important to use a tube pan.

Mary Peckham's Frosted Caramel Pound Cake

1 (16-ounce) box light brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

11/2 cups butter (no substitute) at room temperature

5 eggs at room temperature

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 325 F. Cream sugars and butter; add eggs, mixing well. Sift together dry ingredients, and add to sugar mixture alternately with milk. Stir in vanilla extract. Pour into greased and floured tube pan (not Bundt pan) and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Frost when cool.

Mary Peckham's Caramel Frosting

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1 (16-ounce) box light brown sugar

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add brown sugar and milk, and bring to a boil. Cook 11/2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add baking powder and vanilla extract.

Place bowl in a pan of ice water, and beat until of spreading consistency. Spread on top of cake.

Kitchen Wisdom

  • This from Ginny Gaines: Since we're all trying to watch what we eat, I use only one chicken breast for my husband and me or, with the cod recipe, one nice fillet. We eat a lot of salads with nice additions of nuts or fruit and a low-cal homemade recipe dressing. I splurge once a week or so and make a nice dessert -- a good banana pudding, pineapple upside down cake or easy shortbread. (Note to Mrs. G: Recipes please, for each of these.)

Eating outside on the deck makes you feel like it's a picnic. If the meal is fairly ordinary, my mother always suggested making a really good bread -- a muffin, loaf or roll. It doesn't matter what, and of course on these warm days a glass of Southern iced tea, maybe not as sweet as I remember in my youth, with lots of ice and lemon and mint. And then of course good conversation with the ones you love. A perfect meal.

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.