Dinner at Chattanooga Giardino restaurant sparks recipe requests

Good morning, companions around the kitchen table. Today AE went out and discovered a new restaurant called Giardino, “across from Sugar’s Ribs. Their food is delicious, and I especially want a recipe for their shrimp and polenta which has squash, zucchini, tomatoes and wine. Also, would Giardino share the rosemary cream on their excellent salmon?”

We had a rate swap conversation about both chocolate and chili flavored desserts. It’s completely Mexican. On the Italian menu, according to the aforementioned restaurant Giardino, DCB is looking for a dessert that tastes like tiramisu, “but simpler and cheaper to prepare”.

ALL WEATHER SOUP

Summer seems like a weird time for soup recipes, but we learned from a college cook that whipping up a hearty pot of soup at the start of the week and eating it all week is a wise move. This week, thank you, MHW, for sharing another all-weather soup.

“My source,” Mrs. W. wrote, “was Marilyn Geraldson’s cookbook, ‘The Veggie Lady Shares Tips and Recipes’.”

So far we’ve had lamb and vegetable soup, gazpacho and now one that starts with ground beef and ends with beans.

taco soup

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 package taco seasoning

2 packages dry ranch dressing

2 cans of Ro-tel tomatoes

2 cans of hoof corn

1 can of pinto beans

1 can of black beans

1 can light red kidney beans

Brown and drain the ground beef. Add other ingredients; empty nothing. Let simmer until heated through.

This soup is good served with a dollop of sour cream and grated cheddar cheese on top.

Note: Whole kernel corn can be substituted with hoof corn. If 2 cans of Ro-tel tomatoes are too hot, substitute 1 can of diced tomatoes with 1 can of Ro-tel. It’s perfect for the slow cooker and freezes well.

THE BASICS OF HOMEMADE

When she married into a pie-loving, pie-loving family, Susan Gary brought her own homemade crust into the family mix.

Pastry

1 cup shortening (more for a flakier crust)

1/4 cup butter (more for flavor)

3 cups flour

Pinch of salt

pinch of sugar

1 beaten egg

1 tablespoon of vinegar

5 tablespoons of water

Cut the shortening and butter into a mixture of flour, salt and sugar until you get very fine crumbs.

Mix in a separate bowl the egg, vinegar and water. Quickly add liquid to flour mixture; stir with a spoon quickly until just blended.

With your hands, form 2 balls. Covering one, roll the other between 2 sheets of floured waxed paper, flipping halfway, until the dough is larger than the pie pan. Remove the top sheet of paper, invert the mold over the dough, turn over and push the dough into the mold. Add your chosen filling, repeat with the second ball of dough and place it on top of the pie.

Also handwritten on Mrs. Gary’s pie crust page were the following recipes for making buttermilk and crème fraîche at home. Note that you will need a small “starter” of buttermilk to start your homemade pint.

Homemade buttermilk

1/4 cup buttermilk

Enough milk to make 1 liter

Seal and set aside in a warm place until thickened. Refrigerate.

Fresh cream

1 pint whipped cream

1 tablespoon fresh buttermilk

Seal and let stand in a warm place until the consistency of sour cream. Refrigerate. Can be sweetened with powdered sugar.

THE PERFECT PEACH

And here is a seasonal use of this crème fraîche, from an anonymous reader in the discussion of the peach season that has just begun. He or she wrote, “This is a Martha Stewart recipe. I haven’t tried it, but it looks good.”

Peach and fresh cream tart

The rich texture and slight acidity of crème fraîche is an ideal foil for tender (but not too soft) peaches in this streusel-filled pie. As it cooks, the cream – spread over the crust and sprinkled over the fruit – sets like a custard.

Pate Sucree (French sweet pastry crust):

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cold cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons ice water, more if needed

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter; mix until mixture resembles coarse flour, about 10 seconds. Add egg yolk and pulse. With the machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube until the dough just holds together. Roll out the dough on a work surface; form a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (up to 2 days).

Streusel:

1/4 cup icing sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup cold (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Sift together sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Using your hands or a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Put aside.

Preparation of the crust:

Remove the sweet pie from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Place in a 9 1/2 or 10 inch (about 1 1/2 inch deep) pie plate. Trim edge to 1 inch; fold under and crimp as desired. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork. Transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover edge of crust with foil. Line crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake, covered, 10 minutes. Remove weights and parchment (keep foil around edge). Bake until pale golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes longer. Transfer to wire rack to cool slightly; remove foil; reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Filling:

1 1/2 pounds ripe yellow peaches (4 to 5 medium), pitted and quartered

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Pinch of salt

5 tablespoons fresh cream

Place peaches in medium bowl and sprinkle with sugar and salt; toss gently to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.

Filling the crust:

Spread 2 tablespoons of crème fraîche on bottom of crust; sprinkle with 1/3 of the streusel. Arrange peaches on top; spread or sprinkle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of fresh cream. Sprinkle with remaining streusel.

Bake the pie until the crème fraîche is bubbly and the streusel is golden brown, about 50 minutes. Cover edge of crust with foil if browning too quickly. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

On that sweet note, we’re closing the conversation for today, looking forward to next week.

REQUESTS

— Two Giardino specialties

— A simpler tiramisu

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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