Ideas needed for new mandoline slicer, crushed pineapple

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Welcome to the ides of March, Wednesday companions. As always, we begin with requests.

This one's from Yeast of the Ridge. "I received a mandoline slicer for Christmas, and I love it. If you have a mandoline, how do you like to use it?" Recipes for use are of course part of this request.

An accidental purchase prompted this one, from an anonymous Exchanger, A.E. "I ended up with four cans of crushed pineapple, not rings. What can I make with them?"


Ann Richey today offers us a slider version of Kentucky Hot Browns, with variations on this much-loved theme. Ms. Richey began with the good news that these sliders "were very simple to assemble ahead of time (refrigerate until needed) for our book club. Brush the onion topping on right before you pop the sliders into the oven. Pretty yummy even without the Mornay sauce and easier to handle as a finger food."

Once again you connected a tasty dish with the setting of a well-loved book. "Our book club selection was 'Horse' by Geraldine Brooks, which is set in Kentucky and revolved around many of the unspoken aspects of horse racing. This is historical fiction in the hands of a great writer.

"These Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders are perfect for Derby parties, though I serve them at parties throughout the year. A traditional hot brown is an open-faced sandwich, which isn't great for gatherings, but this recipe turns them into finger food. Cover and refrigerate assembled sandwiches so you can just pop them in the oven when company arrives."

Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders

1 package (12 ounces) Hawaiian sweet rolls

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

12 slices deli turkey, folded into quarters

12 slices cooked bacon strips, halved widthwise

1 jar (4 ounces) diced pimientos, drained, or 2 plum tomatoes, cut into 12 slices

6 slices Gruyere cheese, halved

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup butter, cubed

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Without separating rolls, cut the package of rolls in half horizontally; arrange bottom halves in a greased 11- by 7-inch baking pan. Spread mayonnaise evenly across the bottom halves. Top each with turkey, bacon, pimientos, Gruyere and Parmesan cheese. Replace top halves of rolls. In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved; drizzle over sandwiches. Cover and bake 25 minutes. Uncover; bake until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes longer.


Typically, there is a Mornay sauce to top the Kentucky Brown sandwich. Ms. Richey's recipe offered help there, too.

"This mini riff on the classic was designed to be picked up, so the creamy, cheesy sauce on top is left out, but you could easily add it. Drizzle it over top, then stick the dish under the broiler until the cheese begins to brown and bubble.

"A Mornay sauce is a cheesed-up offshoot of a simple bechamel, which is one of the fundamental mother sauces. For a simple bechamel, make a smooth roux of melted butter and flour, then stir in milk or cream. If you're making a Mornay sauce, first make a thin bechamel sauce, using 1 tablespoon each of butter and flour to each cup of milk. Then, to make it into Mornay, melt in 1/2 cup cheese. The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, which invented the Hot Brown, uses pecorino Romano, but Swiss and Gruyere work beautifully, too.

"Mornay sauce is especially good with vegetables and seafood -- try asparagus Mornay, salmon with Mornay sauce or crab Mornay.

"These hot brown sliders don't need an especially heavy side, so they would go well with a simple salad. If you're looking for a Southern classic to accompany them, you can't do better than a Kentucky spoonbread.

"You can reheat fully prepared sliders, but if you want to prepare them in advance, it's best to assemble and put them in the refrigerator. Then, when you're ready to bake, take them out, make the sauce and then bake as directed."

The source: Hazel Wheaton, Taste of Home book editor.


There's no higher praise than taking home an empty dish at the end of a potluck supper. Of the German Potato Salad you are about to read, Jaime Sue Threadgill wrote, "Every time I bring this dish to potluck, I get mobbed for the recipe, and I come home with an empty dish."

Her husband, Tim Threadgill, added a serving hint. "Since this potato salad is great with corned beef, we will just have an Irish/German St. Patrick's Day."

German Potato Salad

1 1/2 pounds new or Yukon gold potatoes

2 eggs

4 pieces of bacon

1 medium onion, minced to 1/4-inch

2 ribs of celery, sliced 1/4-inch thick

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 to 2 tablespoons sugar, to taste

2 tablespoons favorite mustard

Salt and pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes and eggs until they can be pierced by a fork. Cool, and slice to 1/4-inch. Set aside.

Brown bacon in a large Dutch oven or heavy skillet, then set aside. Use rendered fat to brown onion and celery. Add flour to coat veggies. Sauté over medium heat for 1 minute. Add water, vinegar, sugar and mustard until dressing is mixed well. Allow to come to a boil; add reserved potatoes, eggs and crumbled bacon. Add salt and pepper to taste; make sure everything is coated well and serve warm.

If you want it less chunky, cut veggies to 1/8-inch thickness.


Nancy Ruby has North Carolina barbecue expertise. Here's some shopping information.

"Brookwood Farms barbecue, from Siler City, North Carolina, is sold locally but until recently not their vinegar-based barbecue. I have found it now at my Signal Mountain Walmart. It is the real deal. They also carry their brisket."

Ms. Ruby has garnered second places at a couple of local barbecue cook-offs, and though she laments, "Always the bridesmaid, never the bride," second place in such cook-offs is pretty notable indeed.

And you, dear readers, are First-Place People to me, every Wednesday morning. Thank you for that.


-- Mandoline uses, recipes

-- Ideas for crushed pineapple


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


  photo  Jane Henegar