It's almost Thanksgiving, and there is much cause for thanks-giving early, in today's recipes. But first, but first: Euela Laubenheim is seeking a good recipe for homemade kettle corn. "I have a friend who loves this sweetened popcorn, and I want to make it for her."
Yeast of the Ridge, ready for high-calorie holidays, asked you to share your favorite healthy holiday recipes. "I wouldn't mind if they were simple and easy too, because recipes like this are some of my favorites. I just don't want to be in the kitchen all of December."
Are there handmade, homemade cookbooks in your family's past or present? Go to the end of this column to find a request about those as well.
There's no friend like an old friend; a letter this week from Billy Gillespie reminded me of that fact. A fan of things culinary since childhood, he read the recipe from Cathy Elkins last week and wrote, "I've been making that great chocolate chip cookie recipe for a number of years. When I take them to get-togethers, people ask for the recipe, and, like Cathy, I want to share it because the cookies are so good. It was developed by David Leite for The New York Times in 2008.
If you noted Ms. Elkins' recipe, now note the legendary New York Times version of the cookie with some Gillespie tweaks. And while we're on the topic, is there any dessert, however fancy, that can top a superior chocolate chip cookie? Here's the New York Times commentary and a few tweaks from Gillespie's kitchen.
"Break apart a Torres cookie, and a curious thing happens. Inside aren't chunks of chocolate, but rather thin, dark strata. 'I use a couverture chocolate, because it melts beautifully,' he explained, something traditional chips don't do. Couverture is a coating chocolate used, for instance, for covering truffles. To get his trademark layers, Mr. Torres has his chocolate, which is manufactured by the Belgium company Belcolade, made into quarter-size disks — easily five times the volume of a typical commercial chip. Because the disks are flat and melt superbly, the result, he said, is layers of chocolate and cookie in every bite."
How does Billy Gillespie adapt this recipe? "I use Ghirardelli bittersweet baking chips (60% cacao). I think I've gotten them at Whole Foods. The NYT recipe says 'disks or feves,' which I tried, but I thought they were too big and made it harder to scoop out the dough.
"And course sea salt sprinkled on top before baking."
Jacques Torres' Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour (8 1/2 ounces)
1 1/16 cups bread flour (8 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks)
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar (10 ounces)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (8 ounces)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content
Sea salt flakes (like Maldon)
Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients, and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in, and incorporate them without breaking them.
Press plastic wrap against dough, and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside. Scoop 6 (3 1/2-ounce) mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more.
Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.
Last word about the cookie topping, sea salt. If you haven't tried it, you would be surprised at how it just hits the cookie spot.
Sharon Pedigo of Ringgold found a Chattanooga News-Free Press food section from 1958 and shared it with a smile. One article offered this opinion in a headline: "What every woman wants for Christmas: an apron." Probably not so in 2019. And maybe not even so in 1958. Do you agree or disagree? Here's a 1958 recipe just right for next week.
Turkey Gobbler Soup
2 cups tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 small onion, chopped
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
4 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups diced leftover turkey
Cook the tomatoes, celery, onion, bouillon cubes and pepper for about 15 minutes. Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour. Add milk, stirring constantly. Cook until smooth and thickened. Season with salt. Add vegetable mixture and turkey. Heat to serving temperature. Makes 5 to 6 servings.
Margaret Clark of Lookout Mountain collected favorite recipes from friends and family in a series of cookbooks, and then they were bound together by her sister-in-law, Anne Toy Gathings. Two of the recipes from that collection follow.
Greek Lemon Chicken
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup water
3 pounds of deboned, skinned chicken
3/4 cup flour
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Add chicken, cover and chill 8 hours. Remove chicken from marinade, and coat chicken in flour. Brown chicken in hot oil. Place browned chicken in a 9- by 13-inch pan. Pour marinade over chicken, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Garnish with lemon slices.
Toy's Christmas Dressing
1 large skillet cornbread, crumbled
6 to 8 eggs
2 cups cracker crumbs, seasoned with onion salt
2 cups chopped parsley
2 cups chopped celery
1/4 cup butter
3 cups chicken broth
Mix eggs with crumbled cornbread. Add crumbled crackers. Sauté parsley and celery in butter. Add to cornbread mixture. Add chicken broth to make the mixture moist. Mix well. Bake in a large, greased pan at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes until golden brown.
— From Toy Gandy of Jackson, Mississippi
Here's a final question. Does your family have its own cookbooks, published just for kin, or for other loved ones as well? If so, tell us what and how, and give us a recipe or two from those cookbooks. Please. And do come back as a spectator, a listener, as well as a contributor.
* Homemade kettle corn
* Healthy holiday recipes
* Family cookbooks
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Fax: 423-668-5092