Fare Exchange: Brownies, ponzu and a revamped bake-off winner are featured

Fare Exchange: Brownies, ponzu and a revamped bake-off winner are featured

May 24th, 2017 by Jane Henegar in Life Entertainment

To reach us

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 Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Good morning, and may your remaining May days be delicious. Today we have no new requests but some significant repeats. Where, some of you asked, could you find a recipe for cinnamon crumb cake? Menus and recipes for ravenous teenage athletes? Advice about the safety of foods canned in aluminum cans? Instructions for homemade pretzel bread and rolls and any recipes for squash?

CANDY BARS & BROWNIES

Today's contributions came from friends both new and old. Leda Roberts of McMinnville, Tenn., provided a brownie containing candy, a ham-and-cheese delicacy and a beach menu idea straight from a state park far from a beach.

Ms. Roberts' brownies have candy bars (in this case, Hershey's) on top of the mix instead of in the batter as we had last week, and she described them as "very popular with my family and friends."

Hershey Bar Brownies

1 box Chunky Supreme brownie mix (for 8- by 8-inch pan) or 2 for 9- by 13-inch pan

1 teaspoon almond flavoring

1 large Hershey bar broken into marked rectangles

Mix brownies according to directions on box, adding the almond flavoring into the liquids before adding dry mix.

Be careful not to overbake. When set on the corners and around the edges, remove from oven and immediately scatter Hershey bar pieces evenly over hot brownies. Allow to sit 5-10 minutes, then you can spread the Hershey pieces over the whole surface (half a bar for 8-inch pan, a whole bar for 9- by 13-inch pan)

Reminder: A plastic knife cuts brownies more smoothly than a metal knife.

'BEACH' PARTY BUFFET

Ms. Roberts continued, "I had an event similar to the beach party situation requesting recipes, only mine was at Fall Creek Falls cabins.

"One of the easiest things I came up with is putting out trays of sliced meats and sliced American, Swiss, Cheddar, provolone and pepper jack cheeses with a stack of flour tortillas, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, etc. and favorite condiments (mayo, mustard, etc.) That way everyone could make their own customized wrap.

"Tip: If the cherry tomatoes are cut in half vertically, they don't roll around in the wrap and Romaine lettuce leaves fit in better."

And finally, for a beach party, a state park party or a meal at home, Ms. Roberts sent a proven winner. "Going back to the '60s again, one of the Pillsbury Bake-off winners was Ham and Cheese Snack Loaf. Of course this recipe included bread dough. (I found that any good yeast roll or loaf bread recipe would work.) But I have brought this idea into the 21st century and use crescent dough sheets."

This is an inspired idea, and we 21st-century busy people are most grateful.

Requests

» Cinnamon crumb cake

» Food for hungry teens

» Aluminum can safety

» Homemade pretzel bread

» Squash recipes

Ham and Cheese Snack Loaf

2 tubes crescent roll dough sheets

Mustard

2 cups finely chopped ham, divided

2 cups shredded cheese, divided

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Garlic salt for sprinkling on top

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease loaf pans, and set aside. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on counter to spread dough out on.

Flatten dough and spread a thin layer of mustard over all of the center, out to within 1 inch of the long edges. Sprinkle half of chopped ham evenly over the mustard. Then sprinkle half of the cheese over the ham. Fold the inch of uncovered dough on one long side over the ham/cheese and start rolling loosely to the other side until you can pull the other edge up to the top of the roll. Pinch that edge to seal the roll. Seal and fold under ends of roll, and place in a well greased 4- by 8-inch loaf pan.

Repeat with other tube of dough, etc. Bake until nicely browned, 25-30 minutes. When well done, remove and brush top of loaves with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with garlic salt.

If you would like to "braid" the two rolls together for a larger loaf, place the two rolls side by side with seams touching. Gently stretch each roll from the center out to each end, 1 to 2 inches. Hold down lightly in the middle and twist the rolls over once on each end in opposite directions. Seal and tuck under the ends. Place in large greased loaf pan or on a greased baking sheet. (On the baking sheet, loaf will be flatter.)

I have found that this can be moved to pan or sheet more easily if you hold each end and push to the center while lifting it into place. Baking time will need to be extended 10-15 minutes.

IN PRAISE OF PONZU

Next came our experienced cooking couple, Mr. and Mrs. Sunday, who are more likely to send commentary than recipes. An example follows.

"When we first started trying to scratch the 'Asian cooking' itch, we were terrified. The flavors seemed so different, we were sure we'd never be able to find simple alternatives to what we'd always heard were complex recipes that probably involved 20+ years of study."

To that concern they now reply, "Balderdash!" And they continued with an explanation of the new-to-us ingredient, ponzu.

"Ponzu is roughly equal parts of soy sauce and the juice of an Asian citrus fruit called yuzu. Don't have a yuzu tree in the backyard? You'll get really close by using whatever citrus you have on hand (lime, lemon, Meyer lemon, grapefruit, maybe with a little orange or some combination). It won't be 'authentic,' but it'll be close and a lot better than bottled ponzu. The important bit: balance. TASTE it.

"This is a common sauce base in East Asian cuisine: something funky (soy sauce, fish sauce, shrimp paste) balanced with something sour (citrus, one of many vinegars, tamarind) and/or a little sweet (palm sugar, cane sugar etc.) and whatever aromatics (garlic, onion, sesame oil, ginger, chilies) suit your fancy. Smoothe it out with coconut milk/cream if you need to.

"If you've ever had pot stickers or steamed dumplings at an Asian restaurant, they likely came with a dipping sauce based on the above. You can buy the dumplings (frozen) at Asian Food and Gifts on Hixson Pike in many varieties or in most grocery stores if you search a little. The sauce, though, is usually a secret. If anybody cares, we can provide a starter recipe.

"As for Vietnamese food, we rarely bother to make it these days with Noodle and Pho (Hixson, between Staples and Hobby Lobby), Chopstix (Lee Highway near Shallowford), Vietnamese Bistro (in Dayton) and the Vietnamese/Singaporean restaurant next to the Lookout Valley Wal-Mart so easy to go to."

On that note, reminding us once again that Chattanooga is an increasingly diverse place to enjoy life and food, we will say goodbye.

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