Fare Exchange: Sharing secrets of pasta, desserts and tasty beef

Fare Exchange: Sharing secrets of pasta, desserts and tasty beef

March 19th, 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.

Welcome to the teaching and learning place of the best local cooks. We have one topic to challenge you today and it came from an Atlanta reader. The subject at hand is cookies. She who calls herself Cookie asks you for recipes: How to make gingerbread or other stand-up cookie sculptures, ginger snaps with fresh ginger and peanut butter thumbprints or any cookie with peanut butter.

From Nancy Seale's cookbook collection, here's a colorful pasta recipe.

Spinach and Tomato Pasta

1/2 pound pasta, linguine or spaghetti

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

4 cloves garlic, chopped

4 plum tomatoes or grape tomatoes to equal, cubed

1 tablespoon olive oil

Red pepper flakes to taste

Balsamic vinegar to taste

Salt to taste

Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Sauté garlic in olive oil, but do not let it brown. Add tomatoes, then spinach. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired. Cook until tomatoes are juicy. Sprinkle generously with balsamic vinegar. Taste to see if you need more vinegar or salt.

Pour sauce over cooked pasta and add grated Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Pat Buffaloe gave the following easy dessert recipe to Jane Guthrie, who passed it on to all of us. You will have to decide on amounts for some of the ingredients. I note that Guthrie treasures recipes of her friends.

Turtle Dessert

15 to 17 ice cream sandwiches

Prepared caramel topping

Chopped toasted pecans

Frozen whipped topping

Prepared hot fudge topping

Fill a 9-by-13-inch Pyrex dish with ice cream sandwiches. It holds five or six laid side by side and you may be able to squeeze 2 1/2 in lengthwise.

Cover with thin layer of caramel topping and sprinkle with chopped toasted pecans. Add a layer of frozen whipped topping. Top with another layer of ice cream sandwiches and more whipped topping. Sprinkle pecans on top.

Cover and freeze at least two hours.

To serve, let it stand at least five minutes before serving. Cut into squares. Drizzle with hot fudge topping as you serve.

Linda Leake chose this response to the banana pudding challenge.

Easy Southern Banana Pudding

3 cups cold milk

2 (4-serving size) packages vanilla instant pudding and pie filling

30 vanilla wafers

3 medium bananas, sliced

1 tub (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping

Pour milk into a large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Best with wire whisk for 2 minutes or until well blended. Let stand five minutes.

Arrange half the wafers on bottom and up sides of a 2-quart serving bowl. Top with a layer of half of the banana slices and half the pudding. Repeat all layers. Cover with whipped topping.

Refrigerate 3 hours or until ready to serve. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Here's another contribution from Leake, who writes from LaFayette, Ga. Her cousin's meatloaf was a favorite at first taste, and Leake usually doubles it since it makes a small loaf. "The sage," says she, "adds character." Character is what we need in our recipes, not predictability.

Cousin Thelma Dews' Meatloaf

2 eggs

3/4 cup milk

2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried sage, crushed (or to taste)

Dash pepper

1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Stir together with a wire whisk eggs, milk, bread crumbs, onion, salt, sage and pepper. Add ground beef and mix well with hands. Shape into a loaf and place in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour.

For topping, combine ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and lemon juice. Spoon over meatloaf and bake 15 more minutes.

London broil is one of those challenging lean cuts of beef that must be doctored to stay juicy and tender. Yeast of the Ridge found this treatment that seems to solve the problem.

The trick to the juiciness is salt and tightly wrapping the meat in plastic wrap. The salt draws the juices to the surface of the meat, where the salt is dissolved; the tight wrap helps draw this "brine" back into the meat making for a delicious, flavorful piece of meat. Cook time: 20 minutes. * • • Prep time: 5 minutes.

Juicy and Tender London Broil

2 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt

2 to 2 1/2 pounds and 1 1/2 inches thick London broil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Cracked black pepper, liberally applied

Sprinkle both sides of steak evenly with salt. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Remove steak from refrigerator 1 hour before grilling. About 20 minutes before grilling, turn on grill, turn all burners to high, close cover, and heat until very hot, about 15 minutes.

Unwrap steak, brush both sides of steak with oil and sprinkle liberally with pepper.

Place steak on hottest part of grill. Grill, flipping steak every 4 minutes, until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meat registers 120-140 degrees for rare to medium rare, 140-155 degrees for medium to medium well.

Place steak on a cutting board and let rest, tented with foil, about 10 minutes. Holding thin slicing knife at 45-degree angle to meat, slice very thinly and serve. Note: The longer you cook a London broil, the tougher it will be.

Veranda Barron wrote to make sure that Ted Turner's Applesauce Cake from the Jan. 22 edition of Fare Exchange is made without eggs. Indeed it is. We have tried it at our house and it is good.

Don't forget to share your latest quick and tasty kitchen tips for Just a Dash. I am wondering what one-dish salad or one-bowl dinner you are creating these days. If you've got one, Dash it off to Fare Exchange.