Within the past week, a couple of longtime readers of this column commented on its changing format, toward profiling individual home cooks versus the recipe requests and responses of the past.
As I explained earlier this year, we don't get as many requests as we used to due to the Internet and Google. Otherwise there would be no need to change.
But, let me also make clear that this column always welcomes recipe requests. I'm committed to having those types of columns in the mix, too. So I encourage readers to make your recipe wishes known here and let the many good cooks of the Lowcountry answer them. All you have to do is ask.
As it turns out, we did get a few requests recently, so I'll put them on the front burner:
Gwendolynne Y. Frazier of Moncks Corner penned an old-fashioned letter in cursive writing (which is a treat to get), expressing two desires: One is for a pound cake that she got out of this newspaper sometime around 1976-77. She thinks the recipe is named Peggy Ivey's or something like that.
Her second request is for a "poor man's butter cake."
"These recipes are old," she writes. "But I think that 'someone' remembers."
(I wanted to talk with Gwendolynne a little more, but alas, there was no phone number in her letter ... please always include a phone number in your correspondence.)
Another request came in a phone call from Patsy Richards of Jedburg. She remembers making a "real easy" ice cream while growing up in an Air Force family and moving around. She recalls it having lemon juice, orange juice and vanilla.
Do these ring a bell with anyone?
Meanwhile, Sharon Cook of Charleston has a few more contemporary wants: She is looking for non-tomato based pasta toppings for different kinds of pasta, both hot and cold. She also requests quick vinaigrette recipes.
"I know I can do a Google search, but I would prefer recipes that locals have made and tasted," says Sharon. (We agree, of course.)
Gwendolynne was kind enough to share two recipes in her letter, and I thought they might have some local interest, so here goes:
Barbecue Chicken Casserole
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 whole fryer (3 to 4 pounds), cut up
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped green peppers
1 cut thinly sliced celery
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (16-ounce) package frozen corn
Place flour in a large resealable pastic bag. Add in chicken a few pieces at a time and shake to coat. In a skillet, brown the chicken on all sides in oil. Transfer to an ungreased 13-inch baking dish. Drain skillet, reserving 2 tablespoons of drippings. In the drippings, saute the onion, green pepper and celery until tender.
In a bowl, combine the ketchup, water, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Add to the vegetables. Bring to a boil. Pour over the chicken. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the corn. Cover and bake an additional 18 to 20 minutes longer or until chicken juices run clear and the corn is tender.
Pork Chops Over Rice
Makes about 8 servings
8 boneless pork chops (3/4-inch thick)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup of uncooked rice (such as Uncle Ben's or any parboiled rice)
1 (141/2-ounce) can chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1 small green onion, chopped
1 (10-ounce) package frozen sweet peas
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of crushed thyme
Dash of black pepper
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown pork chops in oil. Remove from pan then drain and add remaining ingredients to the pan. Place pork chops over the rice mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.