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: email@example.com
Good morning, winter readers. Shivery January wanes; will February warm us? We can at least be warm in the kitchen.
There are requests today for coffee-making guidance and for recipes for two toasty dishes as well as one that is good and cold. Can you produce South American arepas, made with cornmeal? How about recipes for collards, since our requester was told this week that collards are the new kale? And do you have the "Real Thing," Mount Vernon's Amaretto Pie? To top it all off, we have an anonymous request for the best possible coffee maker. "French press? AeroPress? Chemex? Or plain old Bunn?"
Brenda Browning is searching for the one and only amaretto pie from Mount Vernon Restaurant. We are printing one person's guess, from the newspaper 10 years ago, but send us anything you think bears the stamp of authenticity.
Mary H. considered collards an old-fashioned dish, preparing them with an egg added late in the process. "As soon as I switched to kale, somebody told me on a visit to Whole Foods that collards are replacing kale in trendiness. If that is so, please send me some recipes."
Tena Wexler was served arepas at an international brunch. "They are Venezuelan, perhaps, and were served with an interesting combination of avocado and mayonnaise. I would love a recipe and ideas for serving."
The first offering for Mount Vernon's signature pie came originally from J.H. of Signal Mountain, and hopefully you will send us some more options.
1 pie crust, homemade or store-bought
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
3 slightly beaten egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
Meringue or Cool Whip, optional
Prepare the pie crust for baking; press pecan halves into crust. Bake as directed until light brown. Cool.
Mix in double boiler the sugar, flour and salt. Add milk. Cook 10 minutes over hot water until mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
Have the slightly beaten egg yolks ready in a large bowl. Pour half the hot mixture into the bowl and stir. When mixture is smooth, return it to the other unmixed half and cook over hot water until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in butter and Amaretto. Cool slightly, pour into pie crust and chill. If desired, top with a meringue or Cool Whip. May be served as is.
We have begun a discussion of favorite kitchen gadgets and today have two more answers. Mignon Ballard, a former resident of Calhoun, Ga., who has just moved back, is gratefully clipping recipes sent by you, most recently the Ham and Potato Casserole and Whipping Cream Cornbread. She read the Charlotte Observer food page when living nearby, but says she's very grateful here "not to have to look up ingredients in a foreign dictionary." That said, we do have a growing international population here, and we heartily invite those of you who grew up outside the United States to teach us what you remember most fondly.
Ballard wrote that, "One of my favorite kitchen gadgets is a small food processor which comes in handy when you don't need large amounts of grated cheese, bread crumbs, cooked ham, etc."
Marguerite McCammon chose the other end of the kitchen spectrum, a Breville Toaster Oven. "This excellent oven, though it is costly, has replaced the oven in our apartment that was not dependable. It takes a good bit of counter space but is worth it."
Anonymous of Red Bank is up next. "A good while ago you requested individual chocolate mousses. I have been watching for the answer in the paper, but now I can supply it. I saw them in the latest Southern Living magazine. The magazine called the recipe 'seriously easy and decadent.'" You will note a mysterious secret, the addition of a mere half teaspoon of soy sauce, of all things. And a serving suggestion is included: Heat store-bought shortbread in the oven to serve with the mousse.
3 (4-ounce) bittersweet chocolate baking bars (60 percent cacao), chopped
2/3 cup strong-brewed coffee
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups heavy cream, divided
1/2 cup sugar
Store-bought shortbread cookies (optional)
Toppings: sweetened whipped cream, fresh raspberries, chocolate shavings
Microwave chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl at high for 1 minute or until slightly melted.
Bring coffee, bourbon, vanilla extract, soy sauce and 2/3 cup cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour cream mixture over chocolate in bowl. Let stand 15 seconds and stir until smooth. Cool completely (about 30 minutes).
Beat remaining 1 cup cream at high speed with an electric mixer, using a whisk attachment, until foamy; gradually add sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Stir in ½ cup coffee mixture until blended; gradually fold in remaining coffee mixture. (Mixture will be loose.)
Spoon chocolate mixture into a shallow 2-quart bowl or 6 (8- to 10-ounce) glasses. Cover with plastic wrap without letting wrap touch mousse and chill 2 to 3 hours. Serve with cookies, if desired, and toppings.
• Note: Testers used Walkers Pure Butter Assorted Shortbread cookies, warmed in the oven at 350 degrees so they tasted freshly baked.
Carren Bersch addresses a cook's busiest days, full of demands of home and work. In that season, "I spent each Saturday morning shopping for and putting together ingredients for five casseroles. I would choose various recipes for these, so that the offerings were quite different: lasagna; chicken broccoli and cheese; an Asian casserole using rice, etc. I would make up all the casseroles, cover them in foil and store them in the refrigerator."
When her husband arrived home each weekday night, he put the casserole in the oven, and it was ready to eat when she returned not long after. "Afterwards, we'd each get our lunch gear together and spoon whatever leftover portions there were for our Tuesday lunches. We'd usually have meals out with friends or family over the weekends, but Monday through Friday we were set. The casseroles really saved us money, too, as we didn't have to buy lunch out at work. And the other value we found was that we were eating better lunches than if we'd had to rush out at noon."
Thanks to all of you who wrote and who are reading. We hope you will do the very same thing for next Wednesday.