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
Welcome to Fare Exchange, and here's a toast to good health along with good taste.
The first request is a kind of umbrella request, and it has to do with Southern Sqweeze, the new store selling the most natural of juices and smoothies in North Chattanooga. The questions are these: "There are ingredients in this store that I never heard of, and they can tell you exactly what benefit they offer to the body. Their drinks are delicious combinations of vegetables and fruits. The cold-pressed juices are a favorite. Now, how can we make similar drinks at home? I would like some recipes and ideas for combinations. And the drink I ordered contained coconut yogurt, which I was told is nondairy. How do you make coconut yogurt?"
Here are a couple of questions about last week's recipe for Barney Brody's pickles, once served at Shapiro's. Carolyn Cofer wonders if one should use whole cucumbers. Charlotte Stanfiel would be grateful for more specific instructions since she has memories of these legendary pickles. "I do remember these and would like to try to make them, but I'm a little intimidated at the vague measurements on the spices. Is it possible to get some approximate amounts on the spices? Like what he would have used for the 20 pounds of cucumbers he was using, so we could reduce the amount of spices as we would reduce the 1 cup of salt according to the amount of cucumbers we were using."
And finally, Jane Guthrie has been doing what grandparents do best: making sure her granddaughter has her favorite foods. They include mac and cheese and Allen's green beans. "How to get rid of the flavor that says canned beans ... there are frozen, cut, flat Italian green beans."
The mail was filled with the tartness of lemon curd this week, and we'll give you just a few perspectives on this tasty topic. Becky McGee has found Dickinson's lemon curd in a 10-ounce jar "in the jams and jellies section at Publix, Bi-Lo and even Wal-Mart. It can be used in lemon mousse recipes as well as fillings for cakes." Sandra Oliver has found lemon curd at Fresh Market, but here's a recipe for making it at home.
"This is a recipe furnished by Elaine Faggart," Oliver explained. "She passed away a little over a year ago, but left us with many of her famous recipes. Just in case someone has the urge for an extra treat, I am including Elaine's recipe for Devonshire Cream."
Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
1 medium egg
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup superfine sugar
Beat the rind, juice and egg together in a heatproof bowl. Cream the butter and sugar, and stir into the lemon-scented mixture. Stand the basin over a pan of hot water; stir and beat occasionally until it thickens to bulky creaminess.
Pour into a jar and cover.
Makes about 1/2 pound.
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream and vanilla extract. Using the electric mixer at medium speed, beat until well combined. In separate bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream mixture into cream cheese mixture. Cover and chill.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
Oliver has one more shopping hint. "Tell Edna P. that she can still find tapers at Kingwood Pharmacy."
Lisa Gay Miller makes her lemon curd in the microwave, though she has found it at Kroger and Target and "when all else fails, buy at amazon.com."
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
2 large eggs
Combine all of the ingredients in a large microwave-safe bowl. To avoid bubble-overs, the contents should fill no more than 1/4 of the bowl; an 8-cup measure works well here.
Microwave the ingredients in 1-minute increments, removing from the oven and stirring to combine after each minute.
When curd starts to thicken, coats the back of a spoon and starts to mound a bit as you stir, it's done. This will take anywhere from 4 to 10 minutes, depending on the strength/power of your microwave.
Stir the curd one more time, spoon it into a storage container, and refrigerate until firm.
Keep curd refrigerated for up to 3 weeks; freeze for longer storage.
Yield: 2 cups lemon curd.
This recipe came from King Arthur Flour, with the following "tips from our bakers."
"Four large, juicy lemons should be enough to yield 1 cup of juice. For more intense flavor in your curd, grate the rind of 2 to 4 of the lemons, combine it with the sugar in a food processor, and process until rind is finely ground. Proceed with the recipe as directed. Make a passion fruit version by using passion fruit puree or concentrate in place of the lemon juice."
You may have noted a tasty strawberry cake printed a few weeks back. It was signed simply "Gigi," and so I assumed the cake came from my friend Gigi Gross, with whom I am on a first-name basis. Not so. The sender of the zucchini bread that follows chose lastnamelessness, and therefore she will be East Brainerd GiGi.
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups raisins (optional), lightly floured
1 cup chopped nuts
Mix eggs, oil, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until lemon-colored. Stir in zucchini.
Sift flour, cinnamon, baking powder and soda. Add to egg mixture. Put in floured raisins and nuts.
Place in 1 greased or sprayed large or 2 smaller bread pans in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour or until done. Wrap in foil and store. Aged bread is better. This freezes well.
Just a Dash
Jane Guthrie is a seasoned cook who knows her dashes. "I keep a small plastic bottle of water in the freezer for time when I forget to make the tea in time to cool. It gets the tea in the pitcher cool enough to serve without diluting."
And here is "A Lazy Woman's Devious Whipped Cream."
"Buy a can of sweetened real whipped cream, as heavy as the store has. Spray the whipped cream into a bowl or container until full, stir with a spoon until the air in the cream is released, add more whipped cream and stir until you have enough. The consistency will not peak like hand-whipped cream but it is a good consistency to ladle. To thicken I have cheated and added good vanilla ice cream for immediate serving.
"To make Crème Fraîche, add to Devious Whipped Cream a small amount of sour cream to taste."