Fare Exchange: Brewing Half-Sour Pickles, whipping up mousse

Fare Exchange: Brewing Half-Sour Pickles, whipping up mousse

July 30th, 2014 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

Jane Henegar

Jane Henegar

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

July has fled fast away, and that means school is upon us. (Remember the good old days when nothing academic happened before Labor Day?) Requests are several; first the old, then the fresh: Town and Country's cinnamon coffee rolls and hamburger steak, Fehn's fried chicken, Lott's roast beef, shrimp from the Shrimp Boat near Eastgate and breakfast in a jar. Fresh off the inbox, how to dry roast nuts, one-minute muffins and cake in a mug.

Micayla Allen has been looking for dry-roasted cashews and cannot find them, so she thought she might roast her own, if you can help. She also wants a recipe for one-minute muffins that calls for almond meal and for a one-serving cake that is prepared in a mug in the microwave.

Rose Jackman found this recipe as suggested in last week's Exchange. She wrote that, "I didn't know what a Kirby cucumber was but evidently they are good ones for making pickles."

Half Sour Pickles

5 Kirby cucumbers (or however many you can fit into your jar)

1/4 cup sea salt

6 cups water

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

3 bay leaves

6 cloves garlic, minced

Few pieces of fresh dill

Additional whole coriander seeds and peppercorns to add on top

Wash the cucumbers. Dissolve sea salt in the water.

Grind up all the dry ingredients (coriander, mustard seeds, peppercorns, 2 bay leaves). If you don't have a mortar and pestle, throw it in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them.

Put the cucumbers in your jar. Put the minced garlic in the jar, then ground up spices, then pour the salt water mixture on top. If any water is left, discard it. Add a few pieces of fresh dill on top. Add in additional coriander seeds, peppercorns and bay leaf.

Make sure cucumbers are completely covered in water and seal up the jar. Put in the refrigerator. Let them sit for at least 4 days before eating.

This recipe is for a half-gallon jar. If you need to use 2 smaller jars instead of a big one, make sure to separate everything evenly - the salt water, the herbs, garlic, etc., when pouring it in the jars.

From Jimmy Holland in Spring City, Tenn., came another red-eye gravy recipe, to be accompanied by cheesy baked grits. Both recipes appeared in the July/August edition of "Good Old Days" magazine. The good old days for this particular writer included coffee, sugar and butter in the red-eye.

Country Ham and Red-eye Gravy

1/2 cup strong brewed coffee

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

6 (1/4-inch thick) slices country ham

2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a bowl, combine coffee and brown sugar; set aside. In a skillet over medium heat, cook ham slices in melted butter until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Remove ham from skillet and keep warm; reserve ham drippings in skillet.

Add coffee and sugar mixture to the drippings and bring to a boil, stirring to loosen brown ham bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil and stir for 5 minutes, until gravy is reduced by half. Serve ham with the gravy. Makes 6 servings.

Serve this rib-sticking Southern breakfast duo with hot biscuits to soak up the gravy.

Cheesy Baked Grits

1 cup dry grits

1 stick butter, cubed

1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3/4 pound finely shredded Cheddar cheese

1 clove garlic, minced

Dash of hot sauce

2 egg whites

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cook grits according to package directions. While prepared grits are still hot, stir in butter, Worcestershire sauce, cheese, garlic and hot sauce.

With an electric or stand mixer beat egg whites until stiff. Fold them gently into grits.

Pour mixture into a 2-quart casserole. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

In a world where most cakes just aren't from scratch anymore, Linda Leake of LaFayette, Ga., still says "no cake mixes for me. My cakes have been to church or family dinners, handed down in my family to the third generation - me - and beyond." Here's a starter.

Chocolate Pound Cake

2 sticks oleo or butter

1/2 cup shortening

3 cups sugar

5 eggs

3 cups plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup cocoa

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Cream butter and shortening; add sugar gradually. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Sift together flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk. Add vanilla extract before last flour.

Bake in greased and floured pound cake pan in a 300-degree oven for 1 hour and 25 minutes.

Chocolate Icing

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup salt

2/3 cup milk

1 stick margarine

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Beat sugar, salt, milk and margarine in a large saucepan. Boil fast for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Start timing when it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Set pan in a larger pan containing cold water until cool. When cool, beat until creamy and top cooled cake.

Fresh and light describes most lemon recipes, and this one from Ginny Gaines is no exception, although her version gets some of its lightness from heavy cream, whipped. If you purchase lemon curd, it is an easy treat to make.

Lemon Mousse

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups lemon curd (purchased or homemade)

Beat cream and sugar till not stiff but kind of droopy. Fold the cream into the curd about one-third at a time till incorporated. It will be this lovely frosty yellow color. Spoon into pretty little bowls or stemmed ware and enjoy.

Food for thought

Claire Coffey is a student of food; she knows the latest healthful things, and she loves a heavy-laden dessert. "My first idea is for transporting food. Soak big sponges in water and seal them up in Ziploc bags. Freeze. They work great for keeping food cold when you are traveling. I love my homemade mint tea, so I make a concentrate to take with me, refrigerated or frozen, when I am traveling. Lastly, I get my inspiration from cooking blogs. My current favorites are Beauty and the Foodie and Sally's Baking Addiction." These blogs represents both ends of the spectrum, as you will see.

We'll watch for you next week. Please come.