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Jane Henegar

Welcome to March, and shall we sit down and enjoy it together?

Al E. got into the popular pound cake topic, but got stuck on buttermilk glazes. "I am looking for buttermilk glazes made with regular sugar, not powdered sugar. I know they need to be cooked, but how do you keep them from being grainy? I would like an orange-flavored one."

Jan Swallows and her Ringgold family are fans of "what McCormick's called Swiss steak. I bought a McCormick's seasoning packet and used pounded round steak. It was wonderful. We just didn't care for it when the tomatoes were added. It took about an hour to make. Now they don't make that seasoning packet anymore. I've tried a couple of recipes off the internet, but it seems to be missing the flavor we were used to. Would you happen to know of a similar copycat recipe, so that our family could enjoy it again?"

And here's a request that arose from the Chicken Piccata that T.R.B. shares with you in the paragraphs that follow. "What is the difference between fresh-ground black pepper and white pepper in cooking?"

Finally, Julia Rorex is seeking a recipe for Cincinnati Chili, "which someone told me was a healthier version of beef chili."

 

POTLUCK FAVORITE

What is your specialty to take to potluck? We asked you all, and Dan Cobb of Soddy-Daisy knew right away what to send. He wrote, "I am responding to your request for potluck favorites. This is far and away a favorite. When I take this to an event, it is always the first one gone and the recipe people ask me for the most.

"It is an unusual combination of ingredients that just explode on your taste buds. It can be a sandwich if cut in half diagonally or an appetizer if cut in quarters. Just adjust the quantities for the number of people you expect to serve."

Clobber Club Finger Sandwiches

Mayonnaise Spread

2 tablespoons mayonnaise (low-fat is OK, but not fat-free)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon thyme

Mix together in a little bowl.

Sandwich

3 slices honey-wheat bread, toasted

Thin-sliced turkey breast

2 strips bacon, fried crispy

1 apple, cored, peeled and sliced in inch slices

Pimiento cheese

Lettuce

Spread the Mayonnaise Spread on one side of each bread slice.

On one slice, layer pimiento cheese, turkey and lettuce.

Top with another slice of bread, spread side up.

Layer bacon and 2 to 3 apple slices.

Top with remaining bread slice, spread side down. Skewer each section with long picks.

 

THICKENERS

February was full of commentary on thickening liquids, and cookbook author Ferris Robinson of Lookout Mountain has a simple solution for soups. "I have found that if I make soups with broths and no cream and use my emulsifier for a minute or two, they are so creamy. I sometimes cream the whole thing and sometimes leave a few beans or whatnot whole."

Enter Marilyn B. Garner of Signal Mountain with a mother-daughter set of bright ideas. "My daughter Paige uses instant potato flakes to thicken anything. I make several vegetable cream soups using canned cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken, etc. I blend the vegetables and add to the cream soup."

 

BEGINNER CHICKEN

T.R.B. has sent two more recipes for chicken from her favorite cookbook, "Mary James Dishes It Out." "Chicken Piccata was the first company dish I learned to make, and this cookbook says it's a first dish to teach a beginning cook. And here's a chicken salad with the unusual twist of fresh ginger."

Chicken Piccata

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/3 cup flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup chicken stock or white wine

Juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons capers

1/4 cup parsley, minced

2 or 3 tablespoons butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Trim chicken breasts of any fat. Place between sheets of plastic wrap and, using a veal pounder, pound to a thin, even thickness. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a flat dish. Dredge flattened chicken (i.e., scaloppine) in flour mixture.

In a skillet, heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter until hot. Add scaloppine, and sauté until golden. Remove to a platter, and keep warm.

Deglaze hot skillet by adding chicken stock or white wine. Add lemon juice, and reduce pan juices in a glaze. Add capers and parsley. Remove from heat, and whisk in 2 to 3 tablespoons butter. Adjust salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken, and serve.

 

GINGER CHICKEN

And here is T.R.B.'s tempting ginger-laden salad. The cookbook recipe specifies cooking times for the chicken, but we have probably all noted the large size of bone-in chicken breasts available locally. Although I have not tried this recipe yet, perhaps you would want to be ready to add some cooking time if the meat requires it.

Lemon Ginger Chicken Salad

5 pounds bone-in chicken breasts

1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, sliced

Celery tops

1/2 medium onion, cut in wedges

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

2 teaspoons sugar

Grated zest of 1 large lemon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup seedless red grapes, halved

1 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

Garnishes (optional):

2 avocados

1 cantaloupe

1 cup macadamia nuts, toasted

Wash chicken thoroughly, and place in stockpot with ginger, celery tops, onion and bay leaves. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Remove chicken breasts [and test for doneness]. Remove skin, and pull meat from bones. Tear into bite-size pieces, and set aside.

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, grated ginger, sugar, lemon zest, ground ginger and salt. Stir well to combine. Add chicken, grapes, celery and red pepper. Toss gently. Cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours before serving.

To serve with garnishes: Fan wedges of avocado from edge of chicken salad, and place cantaloupe melon balls alongside. Sprinkle with macadamia nuts.

Here's a comment also from the margins of this teaching cookbook. "When cooking chicken for salad, use bone-in breasts, don't overcook, and always pull the meat."

We will be watching for you next week, same time, same space.

 

REQUESTS

* Buttermilk glaze made with granulated sugar

* Copycat seasoning for Swiss steak

* Black pepper vs. white pepper

* Cincinnati chili

 

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

Email: chattfare@gmail.com

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