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: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Fax: 423-668-5092
Good morning and welcome to mid-November's Fare Exchange. Today's requests in short form are: Soups from the restaurant Mainly Soup that stood on Brainerd Road and easy-but-interesting Thanksgiving meal ideas for every part of the meal.
We are getting close to the Magnificent Meal season of the year, as you may have noticed, and so the first request today is a rush one from Anonymous in Chattanooga: Ideas for a different, but not too difficult, Thanksgiving dinner. "I would like a different way to do the turkey, a little twist on dressing, some healthful sides that aren't baked with buttered crumbs on top. And a spectacular dessert. I don't want to work too hard to do this, as the guests are more important than the preparations of the meal, and I don't want to be too tired to enjoy them."
K.H. commented on Fare Exchange's mention of Mainly Soup "on Brainerd Road - up on that hill. I remember that they served honey-butter with the delicious bread. I think that's why I went there. This was a favorite date spot for my husband and me."
We'd be grateful for a plethora of soups, a little dollop of honey butter and some yeast bread. How about some old Mainly Soup favorites, or mainly yours?
Exciting recipes poured forth in our mailbox this week from Kim Brown, whose favorite source is the Bright School centennial cookbook, "Fork Knife Spoon" compiled by the Parents' Council. The title is reminiscent of the days when training for life included training in placement of forks and knives and spoons ... and napkins ... and also to placement of oneself, both as a server and as a guest. Hopefully, we haven't lost all the form by embracing informality. The beautiful cookbook may be ordered by calling Bright School at 423-267-8546. They sell it for $20 plus postage, but you can also pick up a copy at Barnes and Noble for the retail price of $30.
There has been plenty of discussion in this column about local restaurants' magical recipes. The cookbook includes a section titled "Recipes from Restaurants We Love," and here are two of those.
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon gelatin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pounds cream cheese, left at room temperature to soften
4 regular MoonPies, cut into 1/8-inch dice
2 (9-inch) graham cracker crusts
Heat heavy cream, sugar, gelatin and vanilla extract until sugar dissolves. Combine with cream cheese until smooth. Fold in MoonPies and turn into pie shells. Chill until set.
The next recipe is an elegant appetizer or side dish. It calls for a pastry bag to dispense fluted filling to the egg halves. Although our own 13-year-old granddaughter is a practiced piper, her grandmother is limited to generous spoonfuls. A spoon should also work well here, since the candied bacon is ornamentation enough.
30 large eggs, boiled
1 cup Duke's mayonnaise
3/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely diced gherkin pickles
Salt and pepper to taste
Hard boil 30 large eggs. Cool, peel and cut in half, removing yolks. Press yolks through a wire mesh strainer and add mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, red bell pepper and diced gherkin pickles. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix ingredients and place in a pastry bag with a fluted tip. Pipe mix into reserved egg halves. Sprinkle with paprika and top with pieces of candied bacon. (Recipe follows.)
8 ounces bacon, diced
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
Cut bacon into 1/4-inch dice. Place in a 2-quart saucepot over low heat and cook until crispy. Strain and place on a sheet tray in a single layer on parchment or a silicon baking mat. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, to a light caramel. Pour caramel over bacon and allow to cool. Once cool, break into pieces.
Helene Langlois read the recent request for Shapiro's potato salad and remembers only that she once had a similar recipe made without mayonnaise, only oil and vinegar, and that the cook's secret was to season with a little sugar.
"I didn't find the Shapiro's recipe but this is as close as I could come, and I think I will try it," she wrote. "I was interested in the fact that the potatoes are cut in slices, not chunks. Another important difference from traditional potato salad is that this salad is served at room temperature, or even warm immediately after preparing."
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, about 5 medium, unpeeled
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup red onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons parsley
Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain. Cool to just warm, 10 to 15 minutes; peel potatoes. Cut each potato in half, and then cut into 1/3-inch slices. Place warm potatoes in large bowl. Stir red wine vinegar and sugar in small bowl until sugar dissolves, then drizzle over potatoes. Toss to coat. Mix in onion slices. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature.
Add olive oil and parsley to potatoes. Toss well and let marinate at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours at room temperature.
Barbara Mann, prolific recipe woman, sent a recipe that fills two bills. "This should fill the bill for both chocolate and out of the ordinary."
1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup melted butter
1 (6-ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate bits
1/2 cup milk
3 cups miniature marshmallows, divided
1 small package instant vanilla pudding and pie filling mix
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
Combine crumbs, nuts and butter; press into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 375 degrees for 5 minutes. Combine chocolate, milk and 1 cup marshmallows, stir over low heat until melted. Pour into crust and chill.
Prepare pudding as directed except use only 1 1/2 cups milk. Chill. Fold in whipped cream and remaining marshmallows. Arrange bananas over chocolate layer; pour marshmallow mixture over bananas. Chill several hours.
Mann is the one who sent a recent shrimp sauce that neither contained shrimp nor was designed only for topping shrimp. But there is a very good reason for its name. She explained, "When I first started eating Japanese, I wondered why the sauce didn't seem to have shrimp in it. One day I asked the restaurant why it is called that, and they said because it is shrimp-colored from the paprika. Who would guess that?"
We had no Dashes in the mailbox this week, which means this sentence must become a dot-dot-dot. Won't you finish the everyday culinary sentence with an easy meal or shortcut that the rest of us can copy?