Dear SOS: We have brunch at Maxwell's in Huntington Beach every so often. They have the most delicious fudge drop cookies we have ever eaten. I wonder if they would share their recipe with us.
Dear Lillian: Chef Danny Brown says the cookies should be shiny on top, fudgy (runny) inside and slightly crisp-cracked and blond in color around the sides. Many textures in a single cookie.
MAXWELL'S FUDGE DROP COOKIES
5 1/4 cups powdered unsifted sugar
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
5 egg whites
Combine sugar, cocoa, nuts and salt in mixer bowl. Mix at low speed until thoroughly blended. Add unbeaten egg whites. Mix just to moisten. Do not overmix. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop by heaping tablespoonful 2 to 3 inches apart on parchment paper. Bake at 300 degrees 20 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen.
Dear SOS: Can you send me the recipe for gypsy chicken stew, which is served by Pioneer Boulangerie in Santa Monica? It is simply delicious.
Dear Cynthia: We thought so, too.
GYPSY CHICKEN BOULANGERIE
1 (2 1/2-pound) chicken
3 medium green peppers, cored, seeded and diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 (1-pound) can whole tomatoes, diced
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
Dash ground thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon gumbo file
Dash hot pepper sauce
Dash Worcestershire sauce
2 cups steamed rice
1 (1-pound) can cut okra, drained
1/2 cup sliced black olives
Steam or cook chicken in boiling water until tender. Remove from pot, let cool slightly and dice meat, discarding skin and bones. Saute green peppers, onion and garlic in oil 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with liquid and tomato sauce. Add thyme, bay leaf, gumbo file, hot pepper sauce and Worcestershire and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook 20 minutes. Add chicken and steamed rice and cook 15 minutes longer. Add okra and olives and heat through. Makes 6 servings.
Dear SOS: I've been selected to bring Irish Soda Bread to a St. Patrick's dinner and need a recipe that is a little lighter and more palatable than the one found in my cookbook. Can you help?
Dear Helen: Recipes for Irish soda breads are fairly standard, and much depends on the way the dough is handled. A word of advice: Don't overbeat or overstir this biscuit bread batter. Keep the hand light and bread will be light.
IRISH SODA BREAD
2 cups sifted flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup whiskey
2 tablespoons milk
Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and sugar. Cut shortening into flour mixture until consistency of cornmeal. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds. Gradually mix in buttermilk and whiskey. Knead briefly and shape into a round loaf.
Place on greased baking sheet and cut deep cross in top of the bread. Brush with milk. Bake at 375 degrees 45 minutes or until golden. Makes 4 servings.
Dear SOS: I'm looking for an old recipe which circulated about 50 years ago. It was called a Date Crumble, made with eggs, dates, sugar and maybe walnuts. It was baked but did not brown or dry out like a cake or cookie. When cooled, it became crunchy, then it was broken in chunks in dessert dishes served with real whipped cream, although it would be just as good with dairy topping.
Dear Mary: This is it. An old-fashioned Date Crumble straight out of our oldest files.
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Sweetened whipped cream
Slivered orange peel or maraschino cherries
Beat together sugar and egg yolks until fluffy. Add dates, nuts, flour and baking powder. Mix thoroughly. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into date mixture. Spread batter in greased 9-inch square pan. Bake at 425 degrees 15 minutes. Cool thoroughly, turn out of pan and crumble into dessert dishes. Top with sweetened whipped cream and slivered orange peel or maraschino cherries. Makes 6 servings.
Only recipes of general interest will be printed. We are unable to answer all requests. Please include restaurant address when requesting recipes from restaurants. Send your letter with self-addressed, stamped envelope to Culinary SOS, Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.