September is about to end and, for a farewell, here are some important issues to be resolved: a new request for pecan bars, a question about freezing and a repeat request.
-Suzannah Baker began, "Back in April or May, the Times Free Press ran a recipe for pecan bars that featured a pecan cake mix as the base. It also had cream cheese, but that's all I remember. I made it twice, it was great, but I lost the recipe, much to my chagrin. I think it was called Perfect Pecan Bars or some such. Anyway, I enjoy your part of the Food section and always scan the recipes for ones that interest me. The ultimate compliment is when people ask for the recipe that I cut from your section. I've enjoyed our newspaper since I moved here from Michigan in 1984."
I love that this Michigan transplant called this newspaper "our newspaper." Indeed it is.
-The frozen-food question is anonymous and broad: "What foods do you know from experience freeze well? What about meats? What foods are not as good when thawed?"
-Finally, Earl Arnold would like recipes for wraps or burritos.
Debbie Pataky of Lookout Mountain continued the sandwich discussion; after all, sandwiches are the basic one-dish meal. Or one-napkin meal, if you will.
She explained, "This is a sandwich that was being made at Publix. They sell White Mountain sliced bread in their bakery department. I don't like a lot of heat or spice, but this is one fine taste treat."
I'm going to give it a name, just because — using Debbie's words.
One Fine Toasted Sandwich
White Mountain bread
Thin-sliced spicy turkey or chicken
Sliced pepper-jack cheese
Spread White Mountain bread on both sides with ranch dressing. Place one slice in a skillet with a little butter. Top with thin slices of spicy turkey or chicken. Add a few pieces of bacon. And a slice of pepper-jack cheese. Top with other side of the bread, press down and toast sandwich as you would a grilled cheese.
GREASING THE SKID
Mary Anne of Signal Mountain loves to bake, especially cakes "especially Bundt cakes. Continuing the discussion A Pound of Prevention, here is a solution that allows the cake to slide right out."
A Pound of Prevention for Keeping Cakes From Sticking to the Pan
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup regular Crisco (not butter flavor)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Mix flour, Crisco and vegetable oil in a small bowl. Mix well, then with pastry brush, coat the pan evenly, and be sure to get into all the "flutes" and center stem. When the cake is cooled, it will slide out perfectly.
TOASTED PECANS, PARTICULAR SYRUP
Karen R. has a favorite pecan pie distinguished by Golden Eagle syrup, "from a family-owned business in Fayette, Alabama. I have found it at Publix and at Dobbins Supermarket on Sand Mountain (in Bryant, Alabama). This has become my pecan recipe of choice. It has a richer taste than just using corn syrup." She explained that she lightly toasted the pecans before chopping, and that light toasting seems to be always beneficial when baking with any nuts.
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup Golden Eagle syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans (my only deviation from the recipe on the Golden Eagle jar is to lightly toast the pecans before chopping)
1 deep-dish unbaked pie shell
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Slightly beat eggs; mix in sugar, Golden Eagle syrup, vanilla, salt and butter. Sprinkle pecans in unbaked shell, and add filling. Bake 50-55 minutes. The pie will thicken as it cools.
Here's a new twist on cheesecake. It's Mexican and is filled with salsa and chilies and avocado and the like. Thank you, Janice Hixson — and Jimmie Ruth Wilson, the originator of the recipe.
Spicy Party Cheesecake
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey-jack cheese
2 cartons (8 ounces each) dairy sour cream, divided
1 cup mild or hot salsa
1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies, drained
1 container (6 ounces) frozen avocado dip, thawed (see note)
1 medium tomato
Tortilla chips or large corn chips
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine cream cheese and Monterey-jack cheese in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 carton sour cream. Add eggs all at once; beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in salsa and chilies.
Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake in oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the center is almost set. Immediately spread the remaining sour cream over the top of the hot cheesecake. Cool on a wire rack. Cover pan, and refrigerate for 3 to 24 hours.
To serve, remove the sides of pan. Dollop avocado dip around the edge of cheesecake, and sprinkle with chopped tomato, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips or corn chips.
Variations: You can use almost any kind of cheese as long as you use 2 cups. Same with the salsa. I've used the garden salsa as well as Fiesta Taco salsa. This is good for parties, especially at Christmas. Pipe the avocado dip around the edge with a cake decorating tube and sprinkle with chopped tomatoes.
Note: If frozen guacamole is not available, check the dairy case.
JUST A DASH
Barbara Mann sent, in answer to a request, an angel food cake that was baked in a 9- by 13-inch pan. A reader asked whether one would flour that pan, and Ms. Mann answered, " I think whatever you would do for an angel cake." And then she added a recommendation for parchment paper in baking pans and for copper nonstick pans in the oven.
"At this point in life, I use a lot of parchment paper. I have also discovered how wonderful those copper nonstick pans are. Since you can put them in the oven, I put casseroles, etc. in them." Her "at this point in life" expression suggests she has logged a few years in the kitchen, and so I trust we are hearing from an expert.
Thank you, each and every one.
* Pecan bars
* Good freezer foods
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