Good morning, and welcome first to today's challenges.
› Julia R. recently attended a potluck lunch in North Carolina and "one of the favorites was red slaw. I thought it was delicious. Had never heard of it, but it was great with barbecue." Do your readers have a recipe for red slaw?
› While we are once again wishing for long-lost Mount Vernon Restaurant recipes, Renee Brasher added a third request. "If you have the recipe for Mount Vernon's amaretto cream pie, I would love to have that also."
And do you?
› Poppy E. joined the job market this month, shortly after a joyful college graduation. Soon, but not quite yet, it's all business.
"A good cookbook for starting out? Some easy, budget-friendly recipes?"
(READ MORE: How to rein in your grocery bill)
CHICKEN WITH SECRETS
The blog of Chattanooga native Emily Cullum Maguire, tasteabundanceblog.com, included this easy one-dish recipe with a trendy touch.
Ms. Maguire explained her cheesy choice for her Baked Caprese Chicken.
"I'm going to let you in on a little secret. A traditional Caprese salad is made with mozzarella — but — whenever I am wanting to use mozzarella but also need it to melt, I always use burrata cheese. It is essentially mozzarella with cream in the center of the cheese. This creates an impeccable melting texture for pizzas, bruschetta and this chicken. The last secret ingredient that absolutely levels this dish up ... bacon. Yep, enough said.
"This dish starts by cooking bacon in an oven-safe skillet. Once that is complete, remove the bacon and sear the seasoned chicken breasts on both sides before putting the tomatoes and cheese on top. Finally, add to the oven and complete the cooking process."
Baked Caprese Chicken
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (see Just a Dash at the end of this column for a small bacon tip)
Salt and pepper
8 strips bacon
2 large pearls of burrata cheese
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Gather all ingredients, and set aside. Heat an oven-safe skillet on medium heat.
Slice tomato into thin slices (at least 8 total). Thoroughly season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
Begin to cook your bacon by adding the strips to the hot skillet. Cook until done on both sides. Remove the cooked bacon from the skillet, and set aside.
Remove about 1/4 cup of the bacon grease, still leaving enough to thoroughly coat the skillet. Turn skillet up to medium high, and immediately add chicken breasts.
Sear each chicken breast on both sides for around 3 minutes each.
Once seared, add sliced tomato to the top of each chicken breast and place the skillet in the oven for around 20 minutes or until fully cooked. For the last 10 minutes, remove the skillet, add torn burrata to cover each chicken breast and return the skillet to the oven.
Thinly slice your basil leaves, and crumble the cooked bacon. Remove chicken from the oven, and add both as garnish. Serve alone or with summer sides such as corn, watermelon or peaches.
Makes 4 servings.
The next recipe calls to mind the tomato soup cake, the kraut cake ... even the carrot cake. Who first dared to experiment with such ingredients in cakes, and to worthy effect? Whoever you are, we thank you.
Roseann Strazinsky wrote, "Here's a sausage cake, from the book of Nordic Ware in Minnesota, 1946."
1 cup raisins
1 cup cold strong coffee
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 pound pork bulk sausage ( I used sweet Italian mild)
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (see note)
Powdered sugar to sprinkle over top when done (optional)
Grease and flour well a Bundt pan or a 9- by 13-inch pan. Set aside till needed.
Place raisins into a bowl, remove any little stems and cover with boiling water for 5 minutes; drain well. Then place a towel on the counter and then a sheet of paper towel and spread out the raisins. Cover with another sheet of paper towel and dab well till dry. Set aside until needed.
Prepare the strong coffee, and stir in the baking soda. Chop the walnuts, and set aside.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Now that everything is ready, the rest is a piece of cake.
In a mixing bowl, combine sausage and brown and white sugars, and stir until mixture is well blended. Add eggs, and beat well.
In a separate large bowl, mix flour, ginger, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice. Alternately add flour mixture and coffee to the meat mixture, beating well after each addition. Fold raisins and walnuts into the cake batter.
Turn batter into prepared pans, and bake.
If using a Bundt pan it will be about 1 1/2 hours. (Check after an hour to see if it is done.)
For a 9- by 13-inch pan, bake 55 to 60 minutes, but since ovens are different, check to see if cake is done earlier. Cool for about 15 minutes before removing from pan.
Cut cake into squares if using a 9- by 13-inch pan. Sausage cake would be nice with scrambled eggs or omelet.
Optional: Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
Note: To make your own pumpkin pie spice, combine 1/4 teaspoon each of powdered allspice, black pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg.
JUST A DASH
Lynda Willow recommends "always cutting bacon strips in half and ideally cooking on the stovetop in a skillet. It cooks more evenly and is easier to manage." And on the irresistible subject of bacon, she added, "I also recommend the bacon at Main Street Meats and the Benton's Bacon at Pruett's on Signal Mountain. Benton's is my go-to for hostess or Christmas gifts."
I remain grateful that you came, and read, and wrote, and then cooked.
— Red slaw
— Mount Vernon's amaretto cream pie
— Budget-friendly recipes
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