Good morning, reading cooking friends. It's time to bake some cookies and otherwise cheer our people. Here's the first request. "I have just heard about compost cookies this week, and though the name doesn't sound appetizing, I would like the recipe." Yeast of the Ridge was speaking here.
Dan Huth, who reported that he can be patient, is hoping you will provide that recipe for a boneless pork loin.
A.S.H. offered some good salad ideas below, and that is a fair exchange for what she hopes you will send to her, through this column. "For hot weather I just want to eat salads. I would like some new recipes for simple salads that are easy to make when coming home after a stressful day as a nurse."
FISH FOR TACOS
The quest for baked fish recipes produced this taco special from Jeana Reidl. "I started with a recipe from Skinny Taste but changed it up a little. I got fresh wild cod from Costco."
Fish Tacos With Baked Fish
1 pound or more firm white fish (I used cod, but snapper and mahi-mahi are good too.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon lime chili seasoning, such as Tajin Classic
Olive oil for cooking
Sauce (make 1/2 cup):
1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream or buttermilk (your choice)
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 to 2 tablespoons water, to thin
3/4 teaspoon chili-lime seasoning salt, such as Tajin Classic
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 package slaw mix
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 corn tortillas, warmed in microwave – or substitute flour tortillas
Lime wedges, for serving
Season fish with salt and Tajin.
Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl, and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Toss the slaw ingredients, and keep cold.
Heat skillet and add olive oil — not too little, not too much. Cook fish over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until fish is just opaque and a little browned. Break up into large chunks.
Microwave the tortillas just before serving.
Assemble tacos. Place slaw on the bottom of each tortilla, top with fish and drizzle with sauce. Serve with lime wedges and, if desired, guacamole. Makes 4 servings.
Mary Lynn Wilson spoke from her recent experience with stone-ground grits. I love her serving idea for special occasions: grits topped with country ham, red-eye gravy and biscuits.
She wrote, "I recently had to find instructions for cooking stone-ground grits after emptying grits into a Mason jar for storage. I use Charleston Favorite stone-ground grits and followed the Classic Southern Grits recipe listed below. These directions include a method for removing the chaff, and I think this extra step is definitely worth the effort. My favorite way to serve these grits is to cover a healthy portion of them with a large piece of fried country ham, red-eye gravy and hot biscuits. Certainly not something to eat often but delicious. I found a Walmart ad for the grits on Pinterest, but I've found them at my local Ingles, and apparently Amazon sells them as well."
The package read, "Stone-ground grits are ground the same way our ancestors ground them 170 years ago. The grind processes all the flavors and the textures that gave the original grits their reputation." The recipe follows.
Extra Creamy Grits
1 cup stone-ground grits
4 cups milk
1 cup water
1/4 pound butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
In a saucepan add all ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and stir often for 20 to 30 minutes. (This recipe is from Charleston Favorite Stone-Ground Grits, White.)
Classic Southern Grits
Pour measured amount of grits into a bowl. Cover with water, and stir. Drain off excess water and the floating chaff, and hulls. Add rinsed grits (and salt to taste) to 3:1 ratio of boiling water. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring frequently. Add additional 1 part water at this time when grits have thickened, and stir for correct consistency. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
To make 4 servings use 1/2 cup grits, 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Recipe may be doubled.
Charleston Creamy Grits
Follow the Classic Southern Grits recipe above, and use 1/2 part soda water and 1/2 part cream or milk during last 10 minutes of cooking time. To protect product integrity, store in the refrigerator freezer as Charleston Favorite grits contain no preservatives or additives.
Finally, here, A.S.H. offers a couple of her favorite salad ways. She leaves it up to you to decide the appropriate proportions, and thereby you can make this dish your own.
Summer or Winter Salad Bowl
Fresh tomatoes, diced (use grape, cherry or Roma tomatoes in winter)
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans), canned, drained and rinsed
Black beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
Corn, fresh or frozen (optional)
Cooked sweet potatoes, cubed (optional)
Mix, and serve warm or cold. No dressing is needed, but season with salt and pepper.
Cooked quinoa, warm or cold
Chopped walnuts (preferably lightly toasted)
Vinaigrette, homemade or bottled, or dressing of your choice
Mix all ingredients except dressing to your taste, and then add a little vinaigrette — not so much that it pools in the bottom of your bowl. Toss lightly, adjust seasonings and serve.
This has been an interesting week food-wise at our quarantined house. We have delighted in heirloom tomatoes from wherever we can find them, and Ralph West's wonderful corn from his six-days-a-week stand in Trenton, Georgia, and the large seedless watermelons delivered by Aldi. Our son in residence has produced sourdough bread almost every day, and three nights running, an astounding focaccia bread with an olive-oiled crust and a cloud-like interior. He has upgraded predictable butter with sea salt flakes, and his father has turned into the drive-thru window of a fried chicken specialist on more than one day. Cream cheese muffins from the Bread Basket are the granddaughters' necessary breakfasts, thanks to a generous friend who delivered them along with the best peaches of the season. The days drag on, the uncertainties of school and health and work tug at our patience and our heartstrings.
But dinner — oh dinner — and breakfast and lunch, for that matter — continue to carry us.
For this we give thanks.
* Compost cookies
* Boneless pork loin
* Simple salads
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