Salad wrap from Hawaii, a meals weblog by Soddy-Daisy and a lemon cake from the Junior League
It’s Cinco de Mayo, so why not celebrate? Diana Brown started our conversation with a variety of questions to keep you busy.
She wrote, “I have enjoyed reading this column for many years. I have copied many excellent recipes. I watch cooking shows on television like the Great American or the British version of cooking competitions. Participants often make basic recipes to get started. Could you please help with some basic recipes for things like choux, ganache, a pastry base for things that require flaky crusts, and a simple sponge cake. What’s the difference between a sponge cake and a regular cake? Any help or guidance would be so appreciated. “
Barbara Mann uses her butter salad to create wraps like those tried in Hawaii, “a recipe by Chef Bev Gannon at her Hali’imaile General Store restaurant. It was a highlight to eat there a few years ago.”
Minced Beef Salad Wraps
2 tablespoons of oil
1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken, cut very small
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 tablespoons of chopped ginger
2 teaspoons of garlic
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 cup finely chopped water chestnuts
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons of plum sauce (or use plum jam)
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
3/4 cup pine nuts, chopped
2 heads of butter lettuce with larger leaves
Heat the pan with oil over high heat. Add chicken and saute. Then add mushrooms and stir-fry, then ginger, garlic, onions, water chestnuts, hoisin and plum sauces, rice vinegar and pine nuts. Put 2 generous tablespoons of filling in each salad wrap and roll up.
POTATOES AND PESTO
From Soddy-Daisy came the authoritative voice of Pam Greer, who writes a blog called Sidewalk Shoes that features food, cocktails and travel. It just happens that their blog covers some of the same things that you’ve been looking for. Should we start?
“In your last column, you asked about mint syrup and the preservation of herbs. I love preserving herbs and I have a summary of 20 ways to preserve herbs on my website.”
Ms. Greer had some fascinating pestos in it, and this one caught my eye – chives pesto served with small potatoes. And if that doesn’t take you straight to her blog, remember, “My blog has everything from basil vinegar (delicious on cherry tomatoes in winter) to a lavender-infused gin.”
Fried fingerling potatoes with chives pesto
Fingering the potatoes
1 3/4 pounds of fingerling potatoes washed, scrubbed, and cut into equal sides
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Throw to coat the potatoes. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes.
1/2 cup fresh chives chopped, wrapped
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped, wrapped
2 tablespoons of pine nuts
1 clove of garlic
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
While the potatoes are roasting, place the chives, parsley, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor. Process until finely chopped. With the processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Scoop out and transfer to a large bowl, add the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water and stir. Leave half of the pesto in the bowl and transfer the other half to a small bowl.
Potatoes and chives pesto
Take the potatoes out of the oven, transfer them to the large bowl of pesto, and toss them together. Serve with the additional pesto.
Maribeth Johnson sent in a lemonade cake similar to last week’s, and here’s Ginny Green’s lemonade cake with a generous helping of cream cheese. She credited Seasoned to Taste, a Junior League of Chattanooga cookbook.
Creamy lemonade cake
2 (5 ounce) cans of condensed milk
2 (4 ounce) packs of lemon instant pudding
22 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 (12 ounce) can of frozen lemonade concentrate, partially thawed
1 (9 oz) graham cracker pie shell
Whipped cream for garnish
Sprigs of fresh mint for garnish
Lemon wedges for garnish
Whisk the evaporated milk and pudding mixture in a bowl for 2 minutes or until thickened. Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until frothy. Add the lemonade concentrate and beat until blended. Stir in the pudding mixture until blended. Pour into the cake dish. Freeze for 4 hours or until firm. Garnish with whipped cream, sprigs of fresh mint and lemon wedges.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
You will soon see the first nominations for My Favorite Cookbook. Thank you Becky Fugatt, Mignon Ballard, and Margaret Flynn for suggesting a variety of favorites. This reminds me of a recently visited website, thriftbooks.com, which has thousands of cookbook titles. I ordered a book and was happy to find underlines, exclamation marks and a few more words in this used copy. It was better and no worse to read this book with others.
Becky Fugatt was there first. “My favorite cookbook (and I have many) is ‘Recipes and Memories’, which was collected and compiled by my friend Jo Ann Everett. This wonderful book has time-tested recipes from family and friends and you can count on any recipe to come, delicious.
“Jo Ann self-published and had to reorder at least one extra print to keep up with all requests. Word of mouth sold this great cookbook. I’m sure glad I got mine.”
Mignon Ballard also knew her favorite cookbook author well. She is her sister.
“Just after college, neither my roommate nor I knew how to cook, and my sister made me a cookbook and carefully typed every page in it. (Typing wasn’t her thing, but thank God, cooking was.) a few recipes began with: “Fill the pan with water, turn on the stove and turn on the burner.” This is how I learned to cook and I keep referring to time-honored family recipes. Second, a long out-of-print “Joy Cooking, “now in ruins, and favorite recipes from the Calhoun (Georgia) Junior Woman’s Club. I knew who the best cooks were.”
She’s right about those hometown cookbooks. You know the promise a recipe keeps when you know the chef himself.
Margaret Flynn, on the other hand, chose a Martha Stewart band. “My favorite cookbook is Martha Stewart’s Cooking School. It’s excellent for cooks of all abilities. It explains the how and why of techniques and equipment, and has excellent recipes that always work. It’s great, especially for beginners.”
ONLY ONE BLOW
And while Ms. Flynn has the floor, she offers a baker’s tip.
How to stop a pie crust from getting damp: Beat an egg with a spoonful of cream or milk until it’s blended, then brush the bottom and sides of an unbaked pie crust before adding the filling. If you have a top crust brush this as well and sprinkle a little sugar over it, it will make a nice golden brown crust.
Thank you for all you sent and for everyone who read.
* Choux, ganache and pastry bases
* Sponge cake
Fare Exchange is a long-standing meeting place for people who like to cook and like to eat. We look forward to both your recipes and your wishes. Make sure to include precise instructions for each recipe you send.
Postal address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750
Email: [email protected]