Dear SOS: While visiting Yountville, Calif., we had a delicious cold peach soup served at the Washington Street Restaurant. We'd love the recipe.
Dear Mrs. J.B.: A perfect idea for summer entertaining. You can serve the soup as a first course, or as an unusual dessert.
WASHINGTON STREET CHILLED PEACHES AND CREAM SOUP
3 pounds peaches
2/3 cup whipping cream
Strawberries or peach slices
1 sprig of mint
Remove pits and skins from peaches. Cut up peaches into blender or food processor container. Add whipping cream, cinnamon, nutmeg and mace. Blend or process until smooth. Add honey to taste and blend. Strain and chill. Garnish with slices of strawberry and sprig of mint. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Dear SOS: Might you have a recipe in your files for a mocha chocolate chip cheesecake? Someone let us sample theirs at the Hollywood Bowl, and it was wonderful. I would really appreciate your help.
Dear Sue: We might.
NEW YORK-STYLE MOCHA CHOCOLATE CHIP CHEESECAKE
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) package semisweet chocolate squares
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup strong cold coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa
Mix cracker crumbs with butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, working with fingers until blended. Press firmly and evenly onto bottom of 8-inch springform pan.
Beat cream cheese in mixer bowl with 1 cup sugar. Add eggs, and beat at low speed until smooth, increasing speed as necessary. Melt chocolate with whipping cream, and add sour cream. Add coffee. Add vanilla, and beat until mixture is well blended.
Fold in chocolate pieces. Turn into prepared springform pan, and bake at 350 degrees 45 minutes or until puffed at sides. Center will remain somewhat soft but will become firm when cool. Cool cake rack, remove sides of pan and garnish with chocolate curls dusted with powdered sugar mixed with cocoa. Makes 1 (8-inch) cheesecake.
Dear SOS: I adore the iced Thai coffee at Chan Dara in Hollywood and would love to know how to prepare it at home.
Dear Karen: Thai grocery stores, of which there now are many throughout Los Angeles, carry Thai coffee, which should be cooked to a strong brew for iced coffee. Here's Chan Dara's recipe.
CHAN DARA THAI ICED COFFEE
4 cups strong Thai coffee
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
Half and half
Pour coffee into decanter. Stir in sugar and condensed milk. Chill. When ready to serve add ice cubes to each glass and top with splash of half and half to taste. Makes 4 to 8 servings.
Dear SOS: Do you think you could obtain the recipe for the heavenly Ratatouille prepared daily at Cafe Casino in Beverly Hills? It is absolutely the best. Everyone will be so grateful.
Dear Nancy: Ratatouille is a terrific picnic dish to accompany barbecued or cold meats.
CAFE CASINO RATATOUILLE
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large green pepper, cut into strips
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 large eggplant, diced
4 to 5 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Dash cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
Heat olive oil in saucepan. Add onion and green pepper. Saute a few minutes until onion is wilted. Add zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, salt, pepper, tomato paste, cayenne, oregano, garlic and parsley. Mix well and simmer over low heat 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just done. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Dear SOS: I have looked high and low for a recipe for honeycomb candy, sometimes named sea foam, which you dip into chocolate. Please help.
Dear Sue: You're in business.
CHOCOLATE-COVERED SEA FOAM
3 cups light brown sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 pound bittersweet, semisweet or milk chocolate
Mix sugar, water and vinegar in saucepan and place over low heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Cook mixture quickly to soft ball stage, 238 degrees on candy thermometer.
Beat egg whites and salt in bowl until whites are stiff. Pour syrup over egg whites in thin stream, beating constantly. Place bowl over, but not in, boiling water and beat until candy is thick and creamy. Add vanilla.
Pour candy onto greased platter and cut into squares while hot. Cool. Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water. Remove chocolate from heat. Pierce 1 square of sea foam with metal skewer and immerse or roll in melted chocolate until completely covered with chocolate, tilting pan if necessary. Continue to coat remaining squares of sea foam. Makes about 1 pound.
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.