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Welcome, well-read cooks and diners.

Patty, longtime reader and first-time requester, began. "I recently received a very generous gift of 6 pounds of frozen jumbo royal red shrimp. Each tail has the shell on and is individually frozen. I desperately need some easy recipes. The bags have a date of June 21 on them, so time is important. I don't want to just boil them, and they are so large I don't think they would be good fried. I am wondering about scampi or perhaps broiling them. Any suggestions would be appreciated."

We have a lemony longing from Yeast of the Ridge, who hopes you can help her find a lemonade pie — "made, I believe, with a can of frozen lemonade concentrate."

Here we are, as spring arrives and thrives, watching fresh fruits and vegetables as they come forth from produce stands and area markets, and opening our CSA [community-supported agriculture) baskets. These are salad days, so don't stop sending fruit and vegetable salads, please.

 

SPRING SALAD

Mrs. Nicholas Aspen visited one of the well-known produce stands hereabouts and wrote to tell about it.

"It may not be easy to get to Linda's Produce in East Ridge right now because of the partial collapse of the hillside around the Bachman tubes and the repairs currently being made to same. But if you can get to that western part of Ringgold Road, you may be just in time to find strawberry onions, which show up in early spring there every year. They get their name from being planted among the rows of strawberries (such as in Florida) and are like giant green onions with a flavor similar to Vidalias. Linda's finally has pickling cucumbers back most days as well, after a drought of them in the winter. And here is a salad that is a taste treat."(By the way, if you cannot find strawberry onions anywhere, note that they are similar to Vidalias.)

"I would mix up both of those, sliced, as well as sliced radishes, a couple of spoons of sour cream (my favorite by far is Breakstone's Reduced Fat, found at Publix) and salt and pepper to taste. This is what my beloved mother always called Spring Salad, and she mostly eyeballed the proportions. I think it probably comes from the Old Country. Its taste is unique and, we think, divine. It goes well with tuna fish salad and corn muffins or popovers, but certainly with hamburgers or on top of a baked potato."

Spring Salad From My Beloved Mother

1/4 large strawberry onion, sliced (or a few scallions)

3 or 4 baby cucumbers

3 or 4 sliced radishes

Sliced green onions

A couple of spoonfuls of sour cream

Mix together, and chill. Makes 3 or 4 servings.

 

STUFFED PEPPERS

Georgia Nelson remembered her Western roots when one of you "asked for a brunch recipe using eggs, green chilies and cheese. This sounds like Chilies Rellenos.

"Growing up in the West, rellenos were, and remain, my favorite Mexican dish. They are best made one or two at a time, fried in hot oil and served immediately. I use the recipe in the 'Sunset Mexican Cook Book.' I paid $2.45 for my 1976 edition.

"But an oven-baked casserole is a good second best, and one I will take to a Cinco de Mayo party in a couple weeks. I use a yellowed recipe clipped from the late, great Sunset magazine (a recipe old enough to mention a rotary beater). Food City carries Hatch products from New Mexico, and I use Hatch whole green chilies and red enchilada sauce. I have learned to cut the pieces of cheese individually, in the shape of each chile and about 1/4-inch thick, so they slide in and fill up the chile.

"This is a mixture of green chilies stuffed with cheese and baked in a quiche-like mixture."

Chilies Rellenos Casserole

4 large eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

10 fresh green chilies, roasted, peeled and seeded, or 10 canned whole green chilies

4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 10 pieces

4 ounces Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese, grated

8 to 10 ounces enchilada sauce, taco sauce or salsa

Butter a 1 1/2-quart casserole. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, flour, milk and baking powder with a rotary beater until smooth. Stuff each chile with cheese pieces, and arrange in a single layer in a prepared pan. Pour egg mixture over chilies.

Bake 25 minutes until center is set, puffed and golden brown. Pour enchilada sauce over eggs, top with grated cheese and return to oven for 8 to 10 more minutes, until sauce is heated and cheese is melted.

Makes 5 servings.

 

FESTIVE SALAD

The letters that came from Clifford Burdette this week offered more than one way to broccoli a salad. This first combines broccoli, strawberries and a few more good things.

Broccoli Strawberry Salad

8 cups fresh broccoli florets

2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered

1 (8-ounce) package Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 teaspoon cider vinegar (can use white wine vinegar)

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Combine broccoli, strawberries and Colby-Monterey Jack cheese in a large bowl.

Whisk mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar together in another bowl until blended; pour over broccoli mixture.

Sprinkle almonds over broccoli salad, and gently toss to coat.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, 1 to 2 hours.

This pandemic year has certainly given a shiny new meaning to meals to go. Today we discovered a red-topped bowl in our cooler as we turned toward home from a trip. It was full of curried chicken salad with lemon zest, basil, almonds and cranberries, as well as plastic forks and fancy paper napkins. Beside the bowl were Honeycrisp apples; beneath the bowl was a thick bar of dark chocolate with hazelnuts. There's a movable feast, for sure, the kind of edible love that you CAN take with you.

What have you had on the run, on the fly, in the cooler someone else packed for you? Tell the rest of us, because we are all, always, hungry for new ideas as well as good food.

Do tell. Do come back.

 

REQUESTS

* Recipes for jumbo shrimp

* Lemonade pie

* Fruit and veggie 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

Email: chattfare@gmail.com

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Jane Henegar
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