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You Asked For It

Reader's fond wish is for pickled fish


© St. Petersburg Times, published March 19, 2003

Melvin Lawnicki has fond memories of enjoying pickled fish in Wisconsin, but has no information about preparing it. Northern pike is apparently the ultimate fish for this specialty, but any fish with a light color and firm texture can be used.

Margaret Jacobs writes that she and her family fished in Big Lake in northern Minnesota and always prepared the catch with the recipe she shares.

Marilyn Bradow sends a recipe she found in a sports magazine years ago; it uses either saltwater or freshwater fish, she says it is the best one she has tried.

Florence Crowe remembers most of the ingredients in Rosalynn Carter's Baked Chicken Salad, but needed measurements.

Ranger cookies have been family favorites for years, and a number of readers have shared their recipes. Recipes that have been passed down, as this one has, develop interesting variations based on family tastes. Use corn flakes or Rice Krispies or even Wheaties. Use chocolate chips or chocolate covered raisins or plain raisins or none at all.

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For: Melvin Lawnicki of Palm Harbor.

From: Margaret Jacobs of Holiday.

Recipe: Pickled Fish from Minnesota.

Minnesota Pickled Fish

5 or 6 pounds fish, skinned and boned

4 cups water

1 cup salt

White vinegar

1 large onion, sliced

Pickling solution:

2 cups white vinegar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

4 bay leaves

8 to 10 whole cloves

1 teaspoon whole allspice

8 peppercorns

6 dried whole red peppers

Sour cream for topping (optional)

Place fish in freezer until it is firm. Cut into bite-size cubes. Mix water and salt; add fish and refrigerate overnight.

Next day: Rinse fish in cold water, cover with white vinegar and store in the refrigerator for 5 days. Rinse well and pack with the sliced onion in jars.

Pickling solution: In a large saucepan, combine 2 cups white vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, cloves, allspice, peppercorns and dried red peppers. Boil until sugar is dissolved. Cool. Pour over fish and onion slices in jars, making sure there are bay leaves, cloves, allspice, peppercorns and red peppers in each jar. Cover and store in refrigerator for one week.

Before serving, mix in sour cream if you like. Enjoy this Minnesota specialty.

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From: Marilyn Bradow of Bradenton.

Recipe: Pickled Fish.

Pickled Fish

Skinned and boned fish, any firm white fish

White vinegar

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup salt

2 tablespoons pickling spices

1 large onion, sliced

Sour cream

Cut fish into bite-size pieces.

Fill a quart jar half full of white vinegar. Add sugar, salt and pickling spices. Put the lid on and shake until the salt and sugar are dissolved.

Alternate fish and onion slices in the vinegar mixture. Cap the jar and refrigerate for two weeks. At that time, pour off the vinegar and add sour cream.

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For: Florence Crowe of New Port Richey.

From: Honor Hollingshead and Mavis Lovett of Largo.

Recipe: Rosalynn Carter's Baked Chicken Salad.

Rosalynn Carter's Baked Chicken Salad

2 cups diced cooked chicken

2 cups diced celery

2 teaspoons grated onion (or more)

1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 can cream of chicken soup (or cream of celery soup)

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese

1 small package potato chips, crushed

Combine all ingredients except cheese and chips. Place in well-greased 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with grated cheese, then crushed chips. Bake at 325 to 350 degrees until thoroughly hot and bubbly.

Note: Turkey can be substituted.

* * *

For: Helen Cooper of Inverness.

From: Janet Bier of Pinellas Park, Lucy McGee of Oldsmar, Ruth Briggs of Redington Shores, Renee Key of Spring Hill, Judy Plageman of Lecanto, Suzy Rosenblum of Odessa, Geraldine Allen and Andria VanBeuning, and Connie Long and Evelyn Dunn of Palm Harbor.

Recipe: Ranger Cookies.

Ranger Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (2 sticks) cup butter or margarine, softened (or shortening, or half cup of each)

1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups cornflakes (or Rice Krispies or Wheaties)

1-3/4 cups quick or old-fashioned oats

1-1/3 cups chocolate-covered raisins or chocolate chips or raisins

3/4 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in small bowl.

In large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in corn flakes or Rice Krispies, oats, chocolate chips or raisins, coconut and nuts (batter will be stiff). Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Press down slightly with bottom of glass dipped in sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes or until light golden brown. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 41/2 dozen cookies or more, depending on size.

Recipe requests

Lou Vanberbleek of St. Petersburg writes that a friend has lost her recipe for Natchez chicken, which is served over corn bread. The recipe initially was found in a cookbook purchased in the early 1970s, possibly a Tampa Junior League cookbook. Do you have this excellent recipe?

Jean Guimond of Clearwater is looking for a recipe for butterscotch pie that resembles a custard, not pudding, pie. Jean's grandmother used to make it and probably got it from her English mother.

Jean also would like to have the recipe for sugar tea biscuits. The tops are criss-crossed with a fork. We call them cookies, but the English call them tea cakes or biscuits.

Dorothy Zander of St. Petersburg needs some advice about freezing orange juice and sections. Dorothy thinks they lose their good sweet taste when thawed. What can she do to preserve the flavor?

Frances Regnier of Largo has searched for a long time for the recipe for Holland creme. It is a soft marshmallow creme used to fill bismark doughnuts. Frances turns to you for help.

The breakfast bread found at Publix is loaded with nuts, plums and apricots and is outstanding. Lori Graves of Beverly Hills has searched for the recipe for a similar bread. If you have a recipe, please send it for Lori.

- You Asked for It is a reader mail column. If you have a cooking question or the answer to someone else's question, write to: You Asked for It, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Be sure to include your full name, city and phone number with your letter. Letters without this information will be discarded. Requests cannot be answered by phone or mail.

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