Fare Exchange: Re-creating the Brabson House Chicken Salad

Fare Exchange: Re-creating the Brabson House Chicken Salad

August 28th, 2013 by Jane Henegar in Life Entertainment


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

• Fax: 423-668-5092

Good morning, readers, in the waning days of August. This week there were more questions than answers, so here goes. You are looking for London broil cooked on a gas or charcoal grill, club soda yeast biscuits, cabbage rolls wrapped in bread dough and salad wraps in lettuce leaves. And here's a shopping request: vanilla bean paste and ricotta salata, called the Italian feta.

M.B.M. of Cleveland, Tenn., was grilling London broil on the grill on his deck. "I just tried, and half of it turned out perfectly, but I am wondering how to go about grilling the half we ended up having to salvage in the oven." In other words, Mr. M wants a recipe for London broil that is 100 percent successful, for every part of the piece of meat.

Nancy Carradine saw a recipe for club soda yeast biscuits but did not copy it. "They had club soda, yeast and a lot of melted butter. The biscuits reminded me of Hardee's biscuits." And Betty Warren "was at a luncheon and they served cabbage rolls, not wrapped in cabbage leaves but wrapped in bread dough. They were delicious. If anyone has this recipe, I will thank them for it."

Tena Wexler saw an article in a magazine at the beauty salon, but failed to save it. "It was a number of recipes for salad wraps using lettuce leaves instead of tortillas for wrapping. They were beautiful and low-calorie. I would love any recipes for salad wraps."

Camille of Hixson wrote: "I would like to find a local source for vanilla bean paste and ricotta salata (called the Italian feta). I have tried Fresh Market for both and World Market for the paste, with no luck."

In our continuing reminiscences about local eateries now closed, Vickie Frazier has provided the recipe for Brabson House chicken salad. At least, "it was given to me as the Brabson House recipe."

Brabson House Chicken Salad

8 chicken breasts, cooked and diced

1 can water chestnuts, chopped

1/2 cup sweet pickle relish

1 small jar pimientos

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped

3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Mayonnaise, as you like it

Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix ingredients together and chill.

Health Nut has been "reading a lot about the importance of acid-alkaline balance in your body and how to eat to balance ... and would like to know more if your readers could weigh in. I came across a post from Emma Deangela with two recipes that seem easy and great for you."

Fiesta Rice Bowls

1 1/2 cups uncooked brown or white rice

1 teaspoon or more sea salt, divided

2 cups black beans, cooked

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 large avocado, peeled and seeded

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh or frozen, not bottled) or fresh lime juice

1 clove garlic, minced

2 green onions, chopped

Cook rice according to package directions, and keep warm.

Warm beans in a small saucepan, and stir in ground cumin.

Cut avocado into cubes. Make a salsa by combining diced tomatoes, avocado, lemon juice, garlic and green onions; then add sea salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon). Ladle into rice bowls add warm rice, seasoned beans and salsa.

Curried Hummus Wraps

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 cup prepared hummus

4 whole-grain flatbreads

1 large avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into fourths

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into thin round slices

4 lettuce leaves

Use a fork to blend curry powder into hummus.

To make each wrap, spread ¼ cup hummus onto bread, and top with avocado, cucumber and lettuce.

Fold in half before serving.

Finally, here is a recipe that was tucked into a sheaf of recipes from an anonymous Exchanger a while back.

Brie and Egg Strata

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cups chopped onion

1 1/2 cups diced unpeeled Yukon gold potato (1 large)

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 cup halved grape tomatoes

1 teaspoon salt, divided

3/4 pound ciabatta, cut into 1-inch cubes, toasted

4 ounces brie cheese, rind removed and chopped

1 cup egg substitute

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon herbes de Provence

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 cups 1 percent low-fat milk

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Cooking spray

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, potato and bell pepper; saute 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomatoes; saute 2 minutes. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt. Combine onion mixture and bread.

Place half of bread mixture into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with half the brie. (Freeze the brie for about 15 minutes to make chopping easier.) Top with remaining bread mixture and remaining brie.

Place egg substitute and eggs in a medium bowl. Add remaining ½ teaspoon salt, herbes de Provence and pepper. Add milk, stirring with a whisk until well blended.

The night before, assemble and layer the casserole without the egg mixture; cover and refrigerate. Combine the egg mixture and refrigerate in a separate container. In the morning, pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture; allow the strata to stand for 30 minutes before baking. Substitute a French baguette or sourdough loaf for the ciabatta, if desired.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 50 minutes or until set. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.

Yield: 12 servings. Calories 205, 30 percent from fat.

Just a Dash ...

This one is from one who calls herself Fledgling Teacher and who cooks most nights for one.

"As I entered the classroom for the first time since I was a student, I knew I would be working late many nights. And so over the weekend I make a big pot of quinoa for protein. I steam a lot of vegetables and refrigerate them, and every night I have my dinner. I can add cooked chicken or fish or tofu and different seasonings to vary it, but I know I am getting good food without trouble every night."

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-tos are making your kitchen life tastier and easier?

I will be watching for you in the inbox, or the mailbox ... or at the other end of the newspaper, in print, over the breakfast table next week.