Welcome, wintry companions. After a satisfying visit to Mike's Smokehouse on Broad Street, a man who shall be known here as "Satisfied Mind" would like to know how to make a vinegar-based barbecue sauce and a South Carolina mustard-based sauce for the brisket he will fix at home.
Here's another request from a reader who lost a page in a cookbook with the second half of a recipe that simply must be tried. "The title of the recipe is Beef Stew in Burgundy With Parmesan Crust, and my page stops at 'cover the stew with a pie crust.' I believe it is a recipe from a Helen Corbitt cookbook."
Gigi Gross is a connector of people, and this Christmas that included finding a last-minute recipe for a friend, a recipe that was needed before it could go into print.
In the conversation that followed, Ms. Gross reported making her favorite coffee cake, the well-known local treasure that was a specialty of the late Baird McClure.
Although Ms. McClure baked her coffee cakes in three round pans, Ms. Gross recently prepared the batter that follows in a 9- by 13-inch pan, topped the finished coffee cake with a light glaze and cut it in smallish squares. This stretched the recipe for a morning event, and it was a hit in this form, as in the original three-rounds version.
Baird McClure's Sour Cream Coffee Cake
2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar, and add eggs and almond extract, stirring to combine.
In separate bowl, sift flour, soda and baking powder, and add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour.
Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) aluminum coffee-cake pans (or small loaf pans). Pour out batter among them.
To make topping, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle half the topping mixture into batter and cut in well. Sprinkle the remaining topping mixture on the tops.
Bake at 350 degrees about 25 minutes.
In the most recent envelope from E. of Henagar, Alabama, came some recipes from Fast & Fresh magazine, a special-interest publication from Better Homes & Gardens. She had received an assortment of recipe clippings from a thoughtful friend and then became a thoughtful friend to the rest of us, by choosing some favorites to share with us.
The first recipe calls for fresh tarragon, and I am thinking that fresh basil just might be a fine substitute.
Tomato-Tarragon Soup With Bacon
3 slices bacon
3/4 cup chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes
3/4 cup club soda
1/4 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, plus more for garnish
In pot, cook bacon over medium, stirring often, until crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel. Add shallots, garlic and 2 tablespoons oil to pot. Cook over low, stirring often, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices. Bring to boil. Simmer over medium until reduced slightly, about 10 minutes. Add club soda, vinegar and 1 tablespoon tarragon. Puree in blender; season. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Top with crumbled bacon and tarragon. Makes 4 servings.
SCALLOPS AND SALSA
In the next recipe you won't learn the desired variety and size of scallops, but sea scallops are much larger and thus better for the searing required here.
Seared Scallops With Green Grape Salsa
1/2 pound green grapes, halved (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 small shallot, minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
1 small clove garlic, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
12 large scallops
4 tablespoons butter
4 sprigs fresh thyme
In bowl, toss first 8 ingredients to make grape salsa.
In cast-iron skillet, heat canola oil over high. Pat scallops dry; season. Sear until browned on bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; turn scallops. Add butter and thyme. Tilt pan; baste scallops until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Serve over grape salsa. Makes 4 servings.
The sender of this recipe signed it "Very Good" but gave no name. And as I look at the ingredients for broccoli cornbread, it seems it would go well with tomato soup or seared scallops. Just a thought.
8 ounces cottage cheese
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
4 eggs, beaten
2 (8 1/2-ounce) packages Jiffy cornbread mix
1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped broccoli
1 medium onion
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, divided
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.
Beat cottage cheese, melted butter and beaten eggs in a large bowl. Stir cornbread mixes into butter mixture just until moistened. Fold in broccoli, onion and 1 cup Cheddar.
Pour batter into prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese. Bake at 375 degrees until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in the baking dish for 10 minutes before slicing; serve warm.
Here's an entry in the conversation about recipe cards that are batter-splattered and well used. This anonymous reader's recipe is also an addition to our recent gracious plenty of pound cakes. (By the way, there are more of those to come.)
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
3 sticks butter
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups flour, sifted (cake flour is best)
Dash of salt
1 tablespoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in flour, salt and both extracts.
Grease and flour a Bundt pan. Pour in batter, and swirl with a knife to get rid of air bubbles.
Put cake in a COLD oven. Set oven at 325 degrees and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
There was a visitor in our home this month. He brought his own food: a hefty portion of lamb, some pimiento cheese, almonds and a jar of some kind of cheese. Ah, such discipline.
"Keto diet," he explained.
Later that night, I heard the clink of glass that sounded like our candy jar and then the rattle of half-price Mint M&M's from the Christmas shelf at Walgreens.
Can one have sweets on a ketogenic diet? I research. Turns out Atkins sells a reasonable facsimile, keto-friendly, labeled Endulge. But alas, ours are the Real Thing.
More clink, more rattle, and the lamb goes home untouched.
I move the remaining candy into a deep drawer, sorry that it led him astray. And I hope we will forget where it is as well, out of sight and therefore out of mind.
Please don't forget where Fare Exchange is, always here on Wednesday morning.
* Vinegar-based barbecue sauce
* Mustard-based barbecue sauce
* Missing half of Beef Stew in Burgundy recipe
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: email@example.com