published Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Fare Exchange: Saving time through crock-pot cooking

Jane Henegar

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.


Fax: 423-668-5092.

Good morning end-of-March readers, full of anticipation and hope, we hope. Today's requests include vegetarian recipes that work for meat lovers, ripe olive hummus and the cornbread that is used to sandwich barbecued pork at the Sportsman's Barbecue in Nashville.

A recent discussion of health foods brought a plaintive request from a husband recovering from surgery. DAC wrote, "My wife is determined to feed me a vegetarian diet and everything tastes horrible." Would you help this loving wife and this hungry husband by providing foods that have the heartiness of a meat-based diet, but are plant-based?

At our house, portobello mushrooms, onions and a generous dousing of soy sauce comes to mind. But the real question is: What works in your house?

The second request came from Lou LaNieve, who went to Trader Joe's in another city to get their ripe olive hummus and found that particular slot in the refrigerator shelf lamentably bare. She hopes you can supply a reasonable facsimile.

And finally, R. McCann ordered his barbecue at Sportsman's Barbecue in Nashville and was delighted that it came sandwiched between two thick cornbread pancakes. He wrote, "Can you help me make those pancakes at home?"


A busy reader who signed herself only MHW has been thinking about a long-ago request for crock-pot recipes, "so a young mother could have dinner ready when her family came home from the ballpark. I think of that young mother each time I fix these recipes. I hope she will enjoy them as much as my family does."

Crock-pot Swiss Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

6 slices Swiss cheese

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup

1/4 cup milk

2 cups herb stuffing (Pepperidge Farm)

1/2 cup melted butter

Spray crock-pot with cooking spray. Arrange chicken breasts on bottom. Top with cheese. Combine soup and milk. Spoon over cheese. Sprinkle with stuffing mix. Drizzle melted butter over stuffing. Cook on low 8 to 10 hours or high 4 to 6 hours.

Crock-pot Cube Steak with Potatoes

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup

1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup mix

1/2 can of water

4 cube steaks

4 potatoes, halved, with or without peelings

Spray crock-pot with cooking spray. Mix soup, soup mix and water together. Put 1/2 cup soup mixture in bottom of crock-pot. Add two steaks. Put another 1/2 cup soup mixture on top of steaks. Add the other two steaks. Top with rest of soup mixture. Lay potatoes on top. Cook on low 8 to 10 hours or high 4 to 5 hours (or until potatoes are done).

Note: No need to brown the steaks before putting them in the crock-pot.

A discussion of fried rice and sauces brought ideas from our last-nameless Barbara, who sent a recent shrimp sauce that she says goes well with Japanese fried rice.

How does one make this fried rice? Barbara has "no recipe for that. I cook my rice ahead so it is cold. I usually use a small steak and a few shrimp. Always mushrooms and green onion, a bit of sliced red pepper for color, usually a sliced yellow squash. When I add the rice to my iron skillet, I add soy sauce and oyster sauce for flavor. I've also found sriracha sauce adds to the flavor. I brown the steak ahead and slice it, sauté the shrimp and vegetables, then add altogether." (I had to look up the sriracha sauce, which is a Thai hot sauce that goes well with seafood.)

Sabrina Daniel pulled out her family recipes -- and in so doing, pulled out all the stops -- adding these true words: "When someone shares a recipe, they are not only sharing ingredients put together in a certain order to make a delicious dish, but they also are sharing a part of themselves, their family and culture. That is what makes this such an interesting pursuit."

Ms. Daniel wrote a whole envelope full of recipes by hand. Today we will give you several that might go well with an Easter dinner, if you are having such. In fact, Ms. Daniel describes the first dish as "great for Easter, with ham."

Posh Squash

2 pounds yellow squash, sliced

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup (8 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese

1 small onion, chopped

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup soft bread crumbs

1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted

Cook squash in boiling salted water for 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool slightly.

Combine mayonnaise, cheese, onion, eggs salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Add squash mixture and spoon into lightly greased 1 1/2-quart casserole.

Combine bread crumbs and butter and spoon over squash mixture. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

— "Reformed Theological Female Seminarian" Spring 1984

Aunt Lucille Blackwelder's Fruit Salad

1 (1 pound, 14-ounce) can fruit cocktail

1 cup liquid (fruit cocktail juice and water to make 1 cup)

1 (3-ounce) package strawberry Jell-O

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese

1/3 cup salad dressing

1 cup whole nuts

1/2 large jar maraschino cherries

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1 pint whipping cream, whipped

Line a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with foil, leaving 11/2 inches of foil over pan. Drain fruit, measure syrup and add water to make 1 cup.

Bring liquid to boil, add Jell-O and stir until melted. Chill Jell-O mixture in the refrigerator until syrupy. Beat softened cream cheese until fluffy. Add salad dressing and Jell-O mixture. Beat until smooth. Fold in nuts and fruit, marshmallows and cream that already has been whipped.

Spoon into a foil pan. Chill and serve. Should be firm when set.

There is a 14-year old boy I happen to love very much. He was home sick the other day while his mama was at work. She supplied him with an easy-to-make package of macaroni and cheese. He texted his mama: "What's margarine?"

"Pretend butter," she replied.

"So, can I use butter?"


A few minutes later, Boy reported, "That is the worst thing I have ever eaten." We know all kids love mac and cheese, so there must have been some cooking failure on his part. Thanks to you when you can give us very specific instructions, as we've all got a little of that boy in us. We're hungry, and we need help.

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