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• Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750
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Good morning, faithful readers and writers. It's funny how we are often interested in duplicating a favorite dish at a restaurant ... while restaurants proudly advertise that they serve home cooking. Today's challenges: Deli Man/Cake Lady's chipotle chicken salad, Brabson House chicken salad, Fehn's Shrimp Remoulade and Raphael's cucumber dip. Details follow.
Roberta Echols wrote that the late Deli Man/Cake Lady's chipotle chicken salad was delicious and "now that they are closed you are my only hope." Bea Hicks often entertains far-flung family and next week is planning for another set of company. "Do you have the recipe for the chicken salad that the Brabson House served? I would love to have it. We have other company coming this Tuesday and I would love to serve some good chicken salad."
Charlotte Freeman remembers Fehn's restaurant down by the river "serving the most delicious Shrimp Remoulade that I have ever had. It was a bed of lettuce with a huge scoop of what I assume were boiled shrimp dressed in the most unusual Remoulade sauce. It was a deep orange-brown color and full of chopped-up things ... tangy but not peppery. I've never found another Remoulade sauce that comes close to that one."
And finally, D. G. wrote: "With all of the great cucumbers coming out of the garden, I'd love to have the recipe for the cucumber dip from Raphael's in Collegedale-Ooltewah."
There is a fun back story to the fig preserves that arrived in our mailbox this week via Times Free Press staff writer Jim Tanner. He was simply the delivery man for his mother and grandmother, who are experts in the fig preserve field. Mama is Mary Tanner of Ringgold, Ga., retired University of Tennessee at Chattanooga provost, and her mother is Barbara Poston of Graysville, Ga.
Mary Tanner wrote that, "last year my mother had an abundance of figs and I discovered that to use the recipe for apricot jam in the Sure-Jell package insert produced a great result. The figs maintain a pretty deep-red color and have the consistency of preserves. The year before I had tried to make them without Sure-Jell by an old recipe for fig preserves and they turned out an ugly brown color and the consistency was not right.
"Serve fig preserves made by this recipe over cream cheese or goat cheese, with crackers, for a great hors d'oeuvre."
Thanks to Linda Thomas of Bridgeport and Barbara for sending their versions of the previously requested 7-Up Biscuits. Thomas commended the idea of a friend, Wanda Willis, who cut them into mini-biscuit size to put on a brunch table.
Barbara recommended the following butter as an accompaniment.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
In small mixing bowl, beat butter, honey and orange peel until fluffy. Serve with biscuits.
Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.
Mary Zelle's yeast bread sounds mighty tempting; I can almost smell the aroma of yeasty bread, ready to turn out of the oven. Zelle described it thusly: "Delicious and super easy. Messy to make but very good. For my 'heavily floured surface' I used a tray, but a baking sheet with sides would be fine - anything to contain the flour. Makes for easier clean-up."
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1-1/2 cups water
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 to18 hours. Overnight works great.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees, then place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball (I used a tray, but you may use something with sides, like a cookie sheet). Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating. Remove hot pot from the oven and drop dough into the pot. Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.
To sweeten the loaf, add a mixture of 4 tablespoons cinnamon, 6 tablespoons sugar, 4 tablespoons oil.
For a more moist loaf, add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons oil.
Our inbox brimmeth over with nostalgia these days, and here's a chance to actually enjoy some Fehn's specialties without having to recreate them. We are grateful to Anne Dillard for this: "Just a follow-up to let readers know that Fehn's restaurant is serving macaroon pie and a lot of their originals favorites - such as fried chicken and shrimp, homemade clam chowder and dressing, plus many other homemade desserts, in the Fehn's 1891 House in Dayton, Tenn. They are open Thursday through Saturday and for Sunday lunch the second and fourth Sundays of each month. Call 423-775-1892 for reservations."
Today's tip is for a romantic kind of meal and came from Marie-Laure Poire.
"Get a good fresh baguette, several kinds of interesting cheeses (my favorite is d'Affinois, available at Sam's and at Whole Foods) and a box of salad greens and your favorite dressing. And a bottle of wine. Simple and special-occasion. If you have to have meat, how about sliced salami? For dessert, maybe some grapes or strawberries. Whatever is in season and on sale."
Just a Dash is a place to report ways you are simplifying at home - not recipes, but tips. Not instructions, but quick, three-part menus. What ideas and hints and easy menus and how-to's are making your kitchen life tastier and easier?
And come back next week, you hear?