published Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Fare Exchange: Making monkey bread and Eggs Benedict casserole

By Jane Henegar
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: janehenegar@gmail.com

Fax: 423-668-5092

Welcome to Fare Exchange in a month of unpredictable weather, up and down, wet and dry. There are predictables, however, your hastening to find some answers for your cooking cohorts, as you do each Wednesday. Today we are searching for a foolproof chocolate meringue pie, fish like the trout served at Canyon Grill and the salmon at 212 Market, and a hearty, thick chicken and dumplings.

Lisa of Lookout Mountain made a beautiful chocolate meringue pie, “and then by the time I took it to the table it had separated and the filling was watery and runny. I need a foolproof version.” Marguerite McCammon thinks Canyon Grill and 212 Market are the best places in town to eat, particularly for the fish. She would love the 212 Market recipe or a similar one for salmon, “crisp on the outside and just right on the inside. The trout at Canyon Grill had a delicate coating and great taste. Has anybody managed to cook fish like that?”

Finally, Bruce Garner and his wife have tried recipes for chicken and dumplings (he suggests the more downhome spelling of “dumplins”) that floated in a clear soup. Not what they want. “I’m talking about chicken and dumplings where the soup part is thick and probably very bad for you. A great cold-weather meal is a big pot of chicken and dumplings.”

And here is a general request. A Watchful Reader clipped a muffin recipe from Fare Exchange but needed more precise information. Here’s how she compensated ... and here’s what she hopes we will be more attentive to, in the days ahead: giving exact sizes and amounts of ingredients in our recipes.

Watchful Readers was ready to try a Fare Exchange cranberry muffin recipe but “the recipe uses terms like ‘1 package’ or ‘1 box’ and doesn’t specify which size. I usually buy my Craisins at Sam’s Club so the packages are really large and I’m not sure what sizes are normal in the grocery stores. My grandmother gave me the recipe for Brunswick stew which required a bottle of ketchup. She was dead before I got around to trying to make it myself (I didn’t need to make it because she always had some in the freezer) so my mother and aunt agreed that we should start with a small one and go from there.”

“Start small, then go from there.” That’s a good principle. And here’s how you might apply it. The recipe below came from a cookbook for a children’s cooking class and, as it was printed, it had no specific sizes or amounts of ingredients. What size refrigerator biscuits, then? I would here avoid the Grands and other super-size ones and choose instead the lesser biscuit size and use the 10-count tube. The general designation of a cup of cinnamon and sugar mixture sends me to the Web, where I find — cup granulated sugar to 4 teaspoons of cinnamon fits the bill.


Karen White has that sweet monkey bread you were looking for, and she got it from an elementary school cooking class attended by her son. “My son went to an afterschool enrichment program at Bryan College in Dayton. His was a cooking class. The students put together recipe booklets of all the things they made.”

Monkey Bread

1 stick of butter or margarine

1 cup brown sugar

3 cans buttermilk biscuits

1 cup cinnamon and sugar mixture

1 cup chopped pecans

Heat butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for one minute. Cut biscuits into fourths. Roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture. Put cut rolled biscuits into a greased Bundt pan. Pour the butter/brown sugar mixture and chopped pecans over the biscuits. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool for 10 minutes. Turn the pan over onto a plate.


As to the request for an Eggs Benedict Casserole and a reliable Hollandaise sauce, we heard from Shari Dupuis, who found the recipe on the Taste of Home website. Linda Morris sent her version, identical to the aforementioned, with a recommendation that if Hollandaise sauce is a problem to make, “you can simply make the packaged Hollandaise sauce and save time. It’s really just as good, in my opinion. The secret is to stir constantly for a nice smooth consistency.” (I believe that packaged Hollandaise might be an envelope of dry mix, possibly from Knorr.) Here is the Dupuis/Morris version.

Eggs Benedict Casserole

3/4 pound Canadian bacon, chopped

6 English muffins, split and cut into 1-inch pieces

8 eggs

2 cups milk

1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Dash of salt and pepper to taste

Place half of the bacon in a greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish; top with English muffins and remaining bacon. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, onion and garlic powders; pour over the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least a few hours.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Uncover, bake 10-15 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve with sauce (recipe follows).

Sauce

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup butter, melted

In a double boiler or metal bowl over simmering water, constantly whisk the egg yolks, cream, lemon juice and mustard until mixture reaches 160 degrees or is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Reduce heat to low. Slowly drizzle in warm melted butter, whisking constantly. Pour over casserole and serve immediately or pour in a small pitcher and serve at the table on individual servings.

• Yield: 12 servings (1 2/3 cups sauce)

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