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
It's the end of August and the continuation of good things culinary. (There will be no end to that.)
Several requests from summertime are still needing answers; perhaps you were off the grid or on the beach when they appeared before. An okra lover, of whom there are many, wanted some variations on the fried okra theme, and in particular one made with cornstarch.
Another reader has a big bag of dried cherries and dried blueberries, and wanted recipes — "especially ones for a Type 2 diabetic."
One more reader wrote during picnic season, asking for a lemon chicken that could be taken to a picnic as well as be served hot. Now it's a great idea for taking into tailgating season.
As to the dried cherries and blueberries request, our neighborhood breakfast lover opined, "They are always welcome served alongside yogurt, as a topping separate from granola. Though I have seen some recipes for baking raisins and other dried fruit with the granola, in my experience at least they are better served separately."
Please offer your opinion there, as well as recipes for anything made with dried fruit, especially low-sugar and low-carb. Granola recipes will also be received with gratitude.
An anonymous Exchanger sent this quintessential brownie recipe, original printed in the Wall Street Journal. Note a most generous supply of eggs — eight — and a whole tablespoon of vanilla extract, among other things.
Ultimate Chocolate Brownie
Vegetable oil spray
2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
8 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces dark chocolate, preferably 60 percent cacao, coarsely chopped
2 cups unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 3/4 cups granulated sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat bottom and sides of a 12- by 16-inch baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Line bottom with parchment paper, then spray parchment.
Sift flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a large bowl. In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk eggs, vanilla and salt until combined.
Set a metal bowl over a pot to create a double boiler. Add enough water to pot to reach just below bottom of bowl. Heat water in double boiler to a steady simmer. Place dark chocolate and butter in bowl of double boiler and cook, stirring to prevent chocolate from burning, until melted. (Alternatively, microwave them together in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted.) Whisk chocolate and butter briskly until combined.
Place sugar in a large bowl, then pour melted chocolate mixture over top. Whisk to combine. Add half of flour mixture to chocolate, whisking gently. Repeat with remaining flour mixture. Add egg mixture to bowl. Use a rubber spatula to carefully fold all ingredients together, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl, until combined.
Pour batter into prepared sheet pan. If there are streaks of egg visible on top of batter, use spatula to smooth them into batter using a circular motion. Smooth top with a small offset spatula or a rubber spatula.
Bake brownies until batter has risen a bit, crust is even and slightly bubbling, and edges are starting to dry out and break, 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely in pan, on a wire rack, before serving.
— Adapted from "There's Always Room for Chocolate."
* Variations on fried okra (including cornstarch)
* Low-sugar recipes for dried fruits
* Picnic-friendly lemon chicken
The question of ice cream made with nitrogen has an answer, a caution and a recommendation for where to find it. We can thank Mr. and Mrs. Sunday for that, and here is a caution that such ice cream should not be made at home. They explained.
"It's actually liquid nitrogen you use to make ice cream. If you add it while you're stirring the ice cream base, the ice crystals form and are broken up so quickly that the ice cream is incredibly smooth.
"Do NOT try this at home, though; liquid nitrogen is quite dangerous. This is tricky stuff; leave it to others. We've heard some grim stories.
"If you'd like to see the process and/or taste the result, go to Sofa King Juicy Burgers on Dayton Boulevard near Signal Mountain. They used the equipment noted above the last time we were in there."
Zucchini plenitude can be addressed by this recipe from "A Floured Hand Up," the cookbook of the Northside Neighborhood House, shared with us by Lynn Carroll.
Minnie's Zucchini Bread
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups zucchini, shredded
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
Combine dry ingredients and pecans, and set aside. Beat eggs and sugar, oil and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Stir in zucchini and pineapple.
Add dry ingredients and stir until all is moist. Spoon into 2 well-greased loaf pans or muffin tins. For 2 loaves, bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Bake muffins about 18 minutes, depending on size of muffins.
Here's a continuation of the fig collection, this one again thanks to E. of Henagar, Ala.
Spicy Fig Loaf
This one is from "The Quick and Easy Cookbook."
3 cups flour, sifted
3/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup dried figs
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup salad oil
Sift flour with sugar, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Stir in nuts, figs and oats. Stir the buttermilk and oil into the dry ingredients.
Pour into a greased 9- by 5-inch loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.
Let stand several minutes, then remove from pan and let cool on rack.
Thank you for your company, as always. Come back next week, please.