Reader-submitted recipes offer a saucy onion, robust quiche, creamy fish, extravagant pie

bakery background

As we sit down together around this imaginary kitchen table, there's curry powder on the plate.

One reader remembered the first recipe she ever sent to Fare Exchange, when it was in The Chattanooga Times. "It was Curry Lusciousness." We wouldn't mind that recipe either, longtime correspondent.

Another of us, in sorting an unmanageable batch of recipe pages, noted how often her family file contained curry recipes. "Many were from the '70s, I would guess, and they included curried seven-boy chicken, shrimp, vegetables, chicken salads, cocktail balls." The question that arose from this search was, "How can I use curry powder in recipes these days? Salads? Main dishes? Maybe with tofu or in Thai food?" Please send some good ideas from your current kitchen.

Martha Eaves, who sent two scrumptious pies, one of which we print this week, also extends a challenge. "I am looking forward to finding a new pie recipe in your column to add to my collection." Consider yourself, therefore, to be up next.

A shopping question came from Cleveland, Tennessee, and the home of Sharon Guy. "I absolutely cannot find Brazil nuts in Cleveland. I did find some at Trader Joe's in Chattanooga. They are a very healthy nut."

TWO FAVORITES

Betsy Alderman, who has quite a culinary history, stirred up for you a whole baked onion and a ham and cheese quiche that is a favorite.

As to the latter, "The trick is to buy fresh cheeses and grate them yourself."

Betsy's Baked Onion

1 large sweet white onion (Vidalia when in season)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 package dry onion soup

8 ounces of vegetable broth or canned onion soup

Cut the top and bottom from the onion, and peel off the outer layer. Then cut the onion into about six chunks, and put into a glass casserole dish with a lid. Add the butter and dry soup, then stir in the vegetable broth. The broth does not have to dissolve all of the soup. Put on the lid, then cook in the microwave on high for 5 to 6 minutes to start the cooking. Then put into a 350-degree oven for about an hour.

Don't worry about overbaking (although you may consider taking it out sooner). My husband loves this as a topping for baked potatoes instead of sour cream.

Menu and variations: This is excellent served over a charcoal-grilled steak or other beef. Sliced and sauteed mushrooms could also be added after baking.

You may have heard someone say that real men don't eat quiche. Absolutely not so. As the cook says with a smile, "Even my burly husband loved this quiche."

Savory Ham and Cheese Quiche

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup half-and-half

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cups ham, cubed into bite-size pieces

1 cup Swiss cheese, grated (freshly grated is best)

1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated (freshly grated is best)

1/2 cup green onions, white parts only, thinly sliced

1 frozen deep-dish pie crust

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk the eggs, half-and-half and salt and pepper together. Stir in the ham and cheeses and onion. Pour into the pie crust. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet, and bake for about 45 minutes.

This is delicious with fresh fruit salad.

FISH DISH

Last week we printed a recipe for Florida baked stuffed grouper, sent by a reader who had not tried it but thought it looked good. This week Linda Morris sent the very same recipe, with the benefit of experience. "This recipe is fabulous; it has definitely been a keeper. I got it many years ago at this fine seafood restaurant in the Jacksonville/Atlantic Beach area. I don't recall the name of the restaurant." So if you missed the recipe, refer to Feb. 23's Exchange. Let me know if you want Ms. Morris' version, which is almost identical.

Ms. Morris stayed in the fish category with her second submission.

"This recipe has been a keeper of mine, also, and very, very easy."

Fish Fillets in Shrimp Sauce

1 pound fish fillets, frozen or fresh (any kind of mild white fish works perfectly; I am partial to Dover sole and sea bass)

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Softened butter

1 can cream of shrimp soup

1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Paprika

Pepper and butter tops of fillets, and place them in a 9- by 9-inch pan. Add soup, and top with cheese. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. I like to serve this over rice.

TREASURES BY THE SLICE

Here's the first of Martha Eaves' treasures poured into a pie crust. She says, "Chocolate Mousse Pie is a recent addition to my recipe repertoire, but oh how good it is and how easy it is to make."

Chocolate Mousse Pie

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 1 1/3 cups)

1/3 cup water

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks

2 tablespoons powdered sugar, added to whipped cream near the end of beating process

2 teaspoons vanilla extract, added at the end as well

1 prepared pie shell (unless you are using mixture as mousse in individual glasses; see variation)

Optional garnishes:

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks and sweetened with 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar

Cocoa powder

Place the chocolate chips, water, cocoa, sugar and salt in a large nonmetal mixing bowl, and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each one, until the mixture is melted and smooth (this can also be done in a double boiler). In my microwave, this took only 2 (30-second) rounds.

Prepare the whipped cream, and fold in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract.

Pour mousse mixture into a prepared pie shell. I used a chocolate cookie/pecan pie crust.

- Variation: You can divide the mousse equally among 6 dessert cups or glasses. Whichever you choose, cover and chill in refrigerator until set (at least 1 hour).

Garnish with sweetened whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder if desired.

Nutritional information (per serving): 495 calories, 42 grams fat, 102 milligrams cholesterol, 81 milligrams sodium, 294 milligrams potassium, 25 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams protein.

TO FINISH

That was the perfect ending to today's menu: a saucy onion, a robust quiche, a creamy fish and an extravagant pie. Thank you for your good company, not to mention your good recipes.

REQUESTS

- Curry-flavored dishes

- New and noteworthy pie

- Brazil nuts in Cleveland

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, and know we cannot test the recipes printed here.

Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

Email: chattfare@gmail.com

photo Jane Henegar