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Good morning, readers. Today we open with a request from a young fiddler named Sam, who at an early age wants to master kitchen secrets as well as fiddling tunes. "I have heard that it is not too hard to make homemade chai tea, and I would like a recipe."

Second, an anonymous reader picked up the best-seller "The Nightingale," and in the early parts of the book read of a cook preparing pork tenderloin by wrapping it in bacon strips. "I would like a recipe, please."

 

SPECIAL TREATS

Marge Pasch sent several recipes, and we will pass on two of those today. She wrote, "A special treat in our house is when my husband Ron makes his Scrambled Eggs With Smoked Trout. The eggs are great for either breakfast or dinner. Ron's secret is that he cooks the eggs very slowly while stirring constantly, stopping before they get dry, so they are velvety and smooth. The smoked trout is sold at Trader Joe's."

Scrambled Eggs With Smoked Trout

4 large eggs

1 (3.9-ounce) can Trader Joe's smoked trout fillets (see note)

Spread about half of the can of smoked trout onto paper towels to drain. Break up any clumps.

In small bowl, add eggs and season with salt and pepper. Whisk eggs well until thoroughly blended. Put a couple of teaspoons of oil from the trout can into a small nonstick skillet on low heat. Add eggs and cook slowly, scraping bottom over and over as they cook. When they are about halfway cooked, add the drained trout. Continue to scrape bottom until eggs are set but still moist. Turn out onto heated plates. Makes 2 servings.

Note: Remaining trout can be enjoyed on crackers.

Pimiento Cheese

1 sweet red pepper

1 block extra sharp or sharp cheddar cheese

1 block Havarti cheese

1 block Gouda or smoked gouda cheese

Worcestershire sauce, a few shakes

Hot sauce and/or cayenne pepper, to taste

Salt and black pepper

Sweet onion, to taste (I use about 1 tablespoon, minced)

Mayonnaise, to taste (I use Hellmann's)

Blacken red pepper's skin over gas flame or in broiler. Put pepper into a paper bag or a bowl with a lid, let steam for about 10 minutes. Remove charred skin, chop pepper into small pieces.

Grate cheeses by hand or with food processor, and put in a large bowl with the Worcestershire, hot sauce or cayenne, salt, pepper and onion. Add enough mayonnaise to make of spreading consistency. I like to then put the mixture into the food processor in two batches, and pulse until just blended, adding more mayo and spices if needed. The onion will mellow after a few days, but I find only a little goes a long way, so don't add too much.

Note: Food City has red pepper at a reasonable price, and Aldi has cheeses at a reasonable price.

 

OVEN STIR-FRY

Diane Marrs prefaced her missive, "This easy stir-fry has been a big hit with my family. I serve it with steamed brown rice; however, fried rice or white rice would be good also."

Sheet Pan Asian Stir-Fry

Sauce:

3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon sriracha, optional

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients; set aside.

Chicken and vegetables:

3 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small 1-inch chunks

2 carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups broccoli florets (add the last 10 minutes)

1 1/2 cups snow peas (add the last 10 minutes)

1 teaspoon sesame seeds (for garnish)

1 green onion, thinly sliced (for garnish)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.

Place chicken, carrots and bell peppers in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Stir in soy sauce mixture, and gently toss to combine. (It's easier to toss together in a large bowl, then spread onto baking sheet.)

Place into oven, and bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in broccoli and snow peas during the last 7 to 10 minutes of cooking time.

Serve immediately, garnished with sesame seeds and green onion, if desired. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

 

PASTA CASSEROLE

Next you will discover another treasure from the Clay Pot blog. Joe Jumper reported, "This chicken dish is a favorite around our house. Hope you like it too."

Chicken Tetrazzini

6 pieces celery, chopped

2 onions, chopped

Butter

1 pint chicken stock

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper

1 can cream of chicken or celery soup

1/2 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 pound thin spaghetti

4 to 6 chicken breasts, cooked and diced

Chopped pecans

Cook celery and onions in butter until tender. Add stock and seasonings. Add soup slowly, and simmer 15 minutes. Add cheese, and turn off heat. Boil spaghetti, drain and add to stock mixture. Add chicken, and put in long casserole dish. Sprinkle with pecans, and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes until heated.

 

WING-IT BISCUITS

There is a nice man who lives at my house, who for long working years did no cooking. Now, if he's inclined to biscuits of a Saturday morning, he just figures it out.

"What recipe did you use?" I ask him, innocently, as he gently mixes the dough with plastic-gloved hands.

"I didn't use a recipe."

"What?"

Not only was there no recipe, but he also forsook the rolling pin and floured board for a less-mess floured handshake of dough — a gentle shaping of big mounds of dough. He took a suggestion of a generous brush of melted shortening or butter right before baking, and when those free-form biscuits emerged from the oven, they were perfectly light and peaks-and-valleys crisp.

So now I say, "Who needs a rolling pin? Who needs a recipe for biscuits?" One must encourage such efforts, as I am doing, so that there will be repeats.

Thanks to you all for today's tasty treats.

 

REQUESTS

— Homemade chai tea

— Bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin

 

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, and know we cannot test the recipes printed here.

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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