published Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Stuffed jalapenos can be made in conventional or lazy way

Jane Henegar

Good morning, July readers. Please tend to the following requests, and then we can head together into the kitchen. We are in need of heart-healthy recipes and sausage/cheese breakfast casseroles.

Our first correspondent today has professional credentials. Susan Yelliott-Batten is a senior instructor in the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, N.C. More importantly, she returns to Chattanooga to visit her mother. She noted, "I really enjoying watching the food scene here in Chattanooga. Things surely have blossomed since I lived here 30 years ago.

"It seems like every time I come back to Chattanooga, there is something in the food section about quinoa," she continued. "Quinoa has a natural compound on the exterior of the grain called saponin. Unless you rinse quinoa, it will have a bitter taste that turns people off. I just put the quinoa in a strainer and rinse under running water for a few seconds. I love the grain for its versatility and texture and use it in many applications."

Ms. Yelliott-Batten offered two versions of stuffed jalapenos, wrapped up in one simple recipe.

Stuffed Jalapenos

Fresh jalapenos, sliced and seeded

Goat cheese

Bacon

Conventional version:

Stuff jalapenos with goat cheese, wrap them in bacon, and bake in a preheated 400 F oven until the bacon is crisp.

Lazy version:

Roast peppers until charred under the broiler, on the grill or over an open flame. Peel and seed them, chop and blend with goat cheese and cooked bacon that has been crumbled.

To serve, use as a dip or spread on crackers. Or spread on slices of baguette, and broil until melted and bubbly.

Tricia from Walden found the recipe Jane Guthrie sought; she has not tested this one.

Sweet Potato Muffins

6 tablespoons butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

13/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

11/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup evaporated or regular milk

11/2 cups peeled, finely shredded sweet potato

2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

In a large mixing bowl with handheld mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until well blended.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir into the butter mixture alternately with milk, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in sweet potato and chopped nuts. Spoon batter into greased muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. Bake at 375 F for 25 to 30 minutes or until centers spring back when pressed with fingertips. Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and serve muffins warm. Makes about 1 dozen.

Mary Ann McInturff credited Christiana Campbell's Tavern in Williamsburg, Va., for the sweet potato muffins she has sent, "a very old recipe, made in Williamsburg in mini muffin tins. If you use regular-size muffin tins, increase the baking time to 30 minutes."

Christiana Campbell's Tavern Sweet Potato Muffins

2/3 cup canned or cooked fresh sweet potatoes, well drained

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

4 teaspoons chopped raisins

Cinnamon and sugar for topping (optional)

Heat oven to 400 F.

Grease muffin tins that are 11/2 inches in diameter.

Purée the sweet potatoes in a food processor or blender.

Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in egg and puréed sweet potatoes.

Sift the flour with the baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients alternately by hand with the milk and chopped nuts and raisins, mixing just until blended. Do not overmix.

Spoon into the greased muffin tins, filling each tin completely full. A little sugar and cinnamon may be sprinkled on top of each muffin, if desired. Bake at 400 F. for 20-25 minutes.

Janell Bontekoe weighed in on the best of bread-machine bread, declaring this one her family's favorite whole-wheat bread, "and we use a Zo machine also. It is one of our favorite kitchen servants. We use the manual cycle and make this recipe into some of the best dinner rolls."

Bread Machine Whole-Wheat Bread

11/2 cups water, 90 to 100 F

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons oil

31/2 cups whole-wheat flour

11/2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons dough enhancer

3 tablespoons vital gluten

2 teaspoons yeast

Place in bread machine in order listed above for best results. Bake in machine on whole-wheat cycle or use manual cycle and form into rolls. Let rise and bake in a preheated 350 F oven about 10 minutes.

We've just come back from a vacation that included dinners out and dinners in, and I'd have to go with the dinners in. They included a hot-dog meal, empanadas from a takeout restaurant consumed furniture-less after the movers left and a whole beef tenderloin with lemon- and garlic-laced mushrooms. But it was all about the delightful company, so hot dogs didn't take a back seat to tenderloin.

What are you cooking for the people who delight you, and what are the people who delight you preparing for you? Let us know so we can copy.

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.

• E-mail: janehenegar@gmail.com.

• Fax: 423-668-5092.

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