Fare Exchange: Serving turkey, bread and casseroles

Fare Exchange: Serving turkey, bread and casseroles

December 19th, 2012 by By Jane Henegar in Life Entertainment

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.

Good morning, readers.

We have one shopping request: where to purchase a frozen turkey breast; and three cooking ones: Cuban bread, broccoli soup like the soup served at Panera, and freezable vegetable casseroles that have no flour or bread crumbs in them.

Nancy Sisk, who recommends turkey breasts cooked in a crock pot, wants to know where to purchase the frozen turkey breast. Melynne York, preparing for a wonderful week of holiday company, wants to bake easy crusty Cuban bread and serve it with soup. She's got a ham in the freezer and wants to pair it "with a vegetable casserole, but I have guests who don't eat gluten or sugar, so I want recipes I can make ahead that will work for them."

"Save that ham bone!" and read the subject of a recent missive from Everett Kidder, who explained: "Here is one recipe for a great white bean, carrot and ham soup that my family has loved for years. I got it from the Wakulla Springs Lodge in Florida.

"The request specifically asked for a soup with leeks, but this recipe, in its original, does not contain leeks. I see no reason why leeks couldn't be substituted for the carrots -- either all or partially. I suggest that she sauté the leeks along with the onions if she decides to try this. And, since leeks are related to onions, she may wish to keep the carrots, and either reduce or eliminate the onions and substitute the leeks."

To give you a little history that may whet your appetite, or get you interested in travel south, Kidder added that "Wakulla Springs, Fla., is a tiny town about 20 miles south of Tallahassee. Ponce de Leon believed he had discovered the Fountain of Youth when he came upon Wakulla Springs in 1513. Tucked into a heavily wooded nature area in the Wakulla State Forest next to that crystal-clear spring is the Wakulla Lodge. The lodge is a stately, early 20th-century inn that drips with charm. We always stop there when we travel to the Gulf Coast beaches. This recipe, along with other wonderful traditional Southern dishes, is served in the lodge's dining room."

Wakulla Springs Lodge Bean Soup

1 pound dried Great Northern beans

4 cups water

2 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken broth

2 (14.5-ounce) cans beef broth

1 large ham bone with ham scraps

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

2 onions, chopped

13/4 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled, diced

3 cups carrots, chopped

3 bay leaves

2 cups diced ham (about 12 ounces, see cook's note, below)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place beans in large bowl. Add enough water to cover by 3 inches. Soak beans overnight. Drain. Place beans, 4 cups water, the broths and the ham bone in a large pot. Cover and simmer until beans are almost tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove and pick over the ham bone, leaving any ham scraps with the beans.

Melt butter in heavy, large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the onions, potatoes, carrots, bay leaves and ham to the beans. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground pepper as desired. Remove bay leaves. Serve hot.

Makes 16 cups.

(Cook's note: Depending on the amount of ham still left on the ham bone, you may need to get a small package of ready-diced ham from your supermarket.)

Ginny Gaines noted how cooking has changed in the last few years and how her thoroughly modern green bean recipe would go well with a Christmas dinner. Unlike the old days, when vegetables were "boiled and boiled until most likely all the nutrients were gone, and then we added lots of unhealthy additions, this recipe is fresh, simple and easy ... the key lately to what we love." This has received rave reviews at the Gaines' table, and you know those guests are used to eating well.

Oregano Green Beans

2 cups chopped onion or less according to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed (Or use frozen green beans, which also work well.)

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

1/2 cup vegetable or low-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or dried)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (Tomato basil feta crumbles work well.)

Sauté onion in hot oil over medium heat 8 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook, stirring often, 4 minutes or until garlic is tender and golden brown. Add beans and next 6 ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until beans are tender. Stir in lemon juice. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with feta.

Continue with the green bean meal by adding the following Gaines recipe, a good menu match.

Lemon Roasted Potatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil

11/2 tablespoons butter

3 pounds small Yukon gold or red potatoes scrubbed, but unpeeled

1/4 cup lemon juice

4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

Salt to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter and olive oil in skillet, stirring constantly till it slightly turns golden. Remove butter mixture from heat and add potatoes, tossing gently to coat.

Spread potatoes in a single layer in jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until potatoes are golden brown and tender, stirring twice. Transfer potatoes to a large serving bowl and toss with lemon juice, chopped fresh thyme, salt and pepper until well coated. Serve immediately.

And as the perfect ending for a wonderful meal, here's a pie that brings back memories for Ginny Gaines. A neighbor shared this recipe and through the years she's found it hard to beat.

Pecan Pie

3/4 cups light brown sugar (Add a pinch, 1/2 teaspoon, of cornstarch to the sugar, as it seems to keep it from being so sticky.)

6 tablespoons melted butter

1 cup white Karo syrup

3 eggs well beaten

1 cup (or more) chopped pecans (may be left whole, if desired)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix brown sugar and butter, add Karo syrup, eggs, pecans and vanilla. Pour in 9-inch prepared or homemade unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.

Thanks to you all ... and keep it up. When you ask for a recipe over the next week, please copy it to the rest of us.