published Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Fare Exchange: Use chicken in bean salad, grilled for tacos

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

E-mail: chattfare@gmail.com

Fax: 423-668-5092

Good morning, dear readers. On the morning of this writing, the rainy season seems to have ended and, on the morning of your reading, July has arrived its place and in all its glory. That means one main thing: peaches. Freestone, juicy, local or at least regional. Sweet.

Well, peaches and tomatoes.

Yeast of the Ridge sent a quartet of requests stirred up in a conversation. Put them together and you might almost have a complete summer meal. She is looking for fresh peach recipes using little or no sugar ... salmon on skewers ... wheat bread made with sunflower seeds and pecans ... and no-chocolate cookies that will do no melting despite traveling in a car on a hot summer day.

We had a big response of brownies made with Symphony candy, and here"s an added thank you to Virginia C. Davis of Ooltewah for her recipe.

But don"t forget that we are still hot on the trail of caramel brownies made with caramel syrup. And that takes us naturally to the subject of salt, just like last week. Have you noticed that caramel is often topped these days with a little coarse seal salt?

Ginny Gaines adds to the discussion of sea salt"s healthfulness. She too saw Times Free Press columnist Dalton Roberts" recent column on the topic.

"He praised the company Selina Naturally for their wonderful sea salt. I recently ordered some of the Celtic Sea Salt online, as this salt is not local. It says... 'Doctor recommended since 1976, sustainably harvested, more nutrition than table salt, kosher certified, exquisite taste ... the highest quality culinary sea salt in the world. Flower of the Ocean in the salt farms of northwestern France, under perfect weather conditions, these delicate crystals form on the surface of the brine. This natural phenomenon produces a rare salt, valued as a delicacy by gourmets around the world."

"It was quite pricey, but definitely different, with almost a sweet flavor in it. This is a coarse salt, and I am using it in dishes worthy of such special salt.

"Locally, one can buy sea salt boxed at most grocery stores and loose at Whole Foods. I find the taste of sea salt is better than regular salt. The abovementioned touts doctor recommended, but I haven"t decided to go for the pricey one all the time yet. It was a great experiment though, and something to ponder as to whether it should be a staple at our house. "

She described the next recipe as worthy of this salt. And worthy of its salt, too.

And here"s a tip from Gaines that has shortened the work for others this summer: You can use a roasted whole chicken from the deli at the supermarket, and you"ll have leftovers for another meal. It also makes this dish super-fast.

Chicken, Red Potato and Green Bean Salad

1 pound small red potatoes

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound diagonally cut green beans

2 cups cubed cooked chicken (about 8 ounces)

2 tablespoons chopped red onion

1 (10-ounce) package gourmet salad greens

Dressing (Recipe follows)

To prepare salad, place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Add 1 teaspoon salt to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until almost tender. Add beans and cook an additional 4 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender. Drain. Rinse with cold water. Drain well.

Quarter potatoes. Place the potatoes, beans, chicken, onion and greens in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing, toss gently to coat. Serve Immediately. Yield 4 servings

Dressing

1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon whole- grain Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

Combine all ingredients, stirring well with a whisk.


East Ridge Reader was "looking for something with a Mexican flavor that could be prepared on the grill, something that wasn"t predictable. I adapted the following from Bon Appetit magazine. The recipe noted that chicken thighs are good to use because "they are fatter than breast which means they are more flavorful and also less expensive. But if you can"t find thighs, breasts work well.”

Grilled Chicken Tacos

1 medium onion, cut in wedges, keeping root intact

2 or more garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 corn or flour tortillas, served soft and warm

2 avocados, sliced

Your favorite salsa, preferably fresh (or a choice of red and green salsas)

Cilantro sprigs

Lime wedges

Sliced radishes (optional, but useful for color and tang)

Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Toss onion, garlic, chicken, oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Grill onion and chicken until cooked through and lightly charred, about 4 minutes per side.

Let chicken rest 5 minutes before slicing. Serve on tortillas topped with avocados and cilantro and serve salsa alongside. Tortillas may be rolled up with mixture inside.


Just a Dash ...

Today"s dash came not on paper but in the presence of a certain hostess. I will call her a hostess instead of a cook, though her fare was delicious.

Given the kind of comfortable welcome she gave her guests, she might have served Vienna sausages from a can and they would have been ambrosial. I am going to include her ideas as a kind of formula; they will express her spirit though not in her actual words.

Invite some friends over for an afternoon visit and to stay for an early supper. On second thought, invite them for a visit, then to stay for a glass of wine and appetizers. That sounds so simple that they won"t all feel like they are coming to a potluck and need to add to the table.

Welcome them with a tray of a couple of interesting cheeses and some crackers — always at least one gluten-free cracker; you never know. You can concentrate on visiting and the kitchen can be clean and clear.

Enjoy your company (after all, we are to treat company like family and family like company). Then pull out the appetizers, which really will comprise a meal. The following were purchased from Whole Foods: a chunky chicken salad with curry, two kale salads, a spinach and tomato salad with dressing served on the side, a bowl of seasonal fruit. Use paper plates and plastic forks. Guests can serve themselves when they are ready, go back as many times as they want and choose exactly what they want to eat.

And the leftovers, if there are any, make dinner the following day.

There"s the Dash (please add your kitchen tips to this new section of Fare Exchange). And now, as ends every column, here"s the period. We prefer to think of the end as a semi-colon, because next week we will pick up right where we left off.

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