Two recipes meet the demand for spoon bread

Hello fellow readers. Virginia Akins of Dalton, GA starts the conversation today, and it’s about Agan’s Bakery in Cartersville, GA. This bakery “has the best chocolate cookies I’ve ever tasted. I’m sure other bakeries do. Your readers have helped me before, and I hope you can again. The cookie part contains crushed pecans.” The bakery’s website has a photo of a cookie with a thick “drip” of chocolate frosting.

The following request came anonymously, from someone who loved Stouffer’s Glazed Spinach Soufflé and recently found a package at Mountain Market on Lookout Mountain. “Please ask your readers if they have a good homemade spinach soufflé recipe.”

VEGETABLE SOUP

We now pick up on the conversation started by a college student who cooks a pot of soup every weekend to provide a week of healthy make-ahead meals.

Rhonda McDaniel offered another soup suggestion. She wrote: “This is a recipe I’ve used often for lunch during my working years. I’ve never been a fan of a cold lunch. Hot soup was good then and now without be a heavy meal. This recipe can be tweaked easily. I also included ground beef, leftover honey baked ham, and even kielbasa for a hubby who still wants meat. No meat and only vegetables with a little barley is good too.Summer products being in season, this soup can please everyone.

“Overall, the goal is a total of six cups of vegetables. If you like, choose one or two. This is also a great recipe for cleaning out the fridge. My source for this recipe is a cookbook by Mark Bittman titled ‘VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00.'”

Easiest vegetable soup

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 small can of tomato puree

1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste

Black pepper to taste

6 cups vegetable or chicken broth (broth) or water

3 cups firm vegetables (carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli), chopped

3 cups soft vegetables (zucchini, peppers, green beans, mushrooms), chopped

2 cans fresh or frozen canned beans, corn kernels or peas

1/2 cup canned barley (optional)

Put the oil in a large saucepan over medium to high heat. When hot, add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Cook, stirring, until slightly dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add broth or water and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the firm vegetables. Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat until it bubbles gently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the type you’re using.

Add zucchini or other soft vegetables, as well as beans, corn or peas. Add barley if using. Bring back to the boil, then lower the heat so that the mixture bubbles gently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is quite soft and the soup begins to thicken, another 10 to 15 minutes.

This recipe takes 45-60 minutes to prepare and makes 4-6 servings.

STONE COOKIES

Roseann Strazinsky shared two tested recipes from a lifetime of cooking for many.

Easy Chocolate Chip Blondies

2 packages (7.4 ounces each) Martha White Chocolate Chip Muffin Mix

1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

6 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled

1 egg, beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Heat the oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for a dark non-stick pan).

Grease the bottom of an 8 inch square pan.

In large bowl, combine muffin mix and brown sugar; stir to combine evenly. Add melted butter, egg and vanilla; stir until well blended. Add nuts and spread evenly in prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool and cut into bars.

MAC CHILE

Instant Pastafazool

1 can (15 ounces) chili with beans

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

7 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked

1/2 cup grated parmesan

Combine chili and tomato sauce; Heat. Drain the macaroni. Add to chili with cheese. Stir to mix. Top with additional cheese. Makes 4-5 servings.

SPOON BREAD

Southerners love cornbread of all kinds, although most contain flour as well. Spoon bread only calls for cornmeal. Barbara Mann wrote of the two versions she sent: “Neither recipe I have called sugar. The recipes are quite similar. The first is from the Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association. It was on the back from a bag of cornmeal bought in Sevierville. The second recipe cooks quite light.”

Smoky Mountain Spoon Bread

1 cup cornmeal

2 cups cold water

2 teaspoons of salt

1 cup milk

2 or 3 well beaten eggs

2 tablespoons of fat

Combine cornmeal, water and salt. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring. Add the milk, eggs and fat. Mix well. Pour into a warm pan or a well-greased baking dish. Bake 50 minutes at 375 degrees. Serve from the baking dish.

Light Baked Bread Spoon

1 cup cornmeal

1 liter of whole milk

3 tablespoons of butter

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

4 eggs, beaten

Mix the cornmeal with 1 cup of milk. Then add the remaining 3 cups of milk. Cook in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken. Add butter, salt and baking powder. When the mixture is well blended, stir in the eggs. Pour into a greased 1 liter dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Serve hot.

SAVORY SALAD

You can almost see the color and taste the crunch of Rose Secrest’s resolutely vegan recipes, including this one. (It seems to this writer that the freshest seasonal fruits could be substituted here; I am looking at a perfect peach waiting on our kitchen counter. Perhaps the peach would work in July, instead of the apple ?)

Citrus cherry salad

2 cups green leaf lettuce

2 cups watercress

1 cup mandarin orange wedges

4 ounces of tart red dried cherries

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 Granny Smith apple, sliced

1/3 cup blood orange juice

2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine.

Thank you to all of you, readers and writers, for the color, the taste, the sharing and the nourishment and for our long history at the newspaper table together.

REQUESTS

— Cookies with chocolate drops

– Spinach soufflé

TO JOIN US

Fare Exchange is a long-standing hangout for people who love to cook and eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include specific instructions for each recipe you submit, and be aware that we cannot test recipes printed here.

Address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

E-mail: [email protected]

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