Dear SOS: While traveling this summer we had a zucchini soup that was excellent at the Villa de Bruno in Lynwood, Ill. My husband, who hates zucchini, asked for seconds. I'm sure your readers would enjoy it, too.--MRS J.J.
Dear Mrs. J.J.: This rib-sticking, delicious soup is a winner. It would be terrific as the main dish for a holiday open house party.
VILLA DE BRUNO'S
3/4 pound Italian sausage without casing
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 stalk celery, diced
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 cups canned tomato puree
1 quart beef stock
1/2 cup Burgundy wine
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon beef base
1 tablespoon chicken base
3 zucchini, sliced
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
Saute sausage in oil, stirring to break up sausage until browned. Add onion, green pepper and celery and saute until vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes, tomato puree, beef stock and wine. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
Season with garlic powder, basil, oregano, pepper, onion powder, seasoned salt, Worcestershire, beef base and chicken base. Add zucchini. Simmer a few minutes longer. Serve with Romano cheese. Makes 4 to 8 servings.
Dear SOS: I'm looking for a party snack mix recipe that contains dry cereal and thin pretzel sticks, plus other ingredients. I would like the recipe for use during the holiday season.--JUDY
Dear Judy: Happy holiday season.
1 cup butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups bite-size shredded rice biscuits or other dry cereal
1 1/2 cups bite-size shredded wheat biscuits or other dry cereal
1 cup bite-size ready-to-eat oat cereal
1 cup pretzel sticks
1 (6 3/4-ounce) can salted peanuts
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon onion salt
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
Melt butter and add garlic. Cook over low heat 10 minutes but do not allow butter to brown. Remove and discard garlic. Add Worcestershire.
Mix cereals, pretzel sticks and peanuts in large shallow baking pan. Pour butter over cereal mixture. Toast at 250 degrees 30 minutes, stirring often.
Combine celery, onion and seasoned salts. Sprinkle over cerea mixture and blend well. When cool, store in tightly covered containers. Makes about 6 cups.
Dear SOS: I am taking the liberty of asking you how lox is prepared. I have access to salmon in season and need a recipe.--MAYNARD
Dear Maynard: This recipe for lox (called gravad lax by Scandinavians) served with Mustard-Dill Sauce is from Scandia restaurant in Beverly Hills. The recipe has been a longtime Food Section favorite and appears in our Los Angeles Times California Cookbook (Abrams: $25, hardcover; New American Library: $9.95, paperback).
GRAVAD LAX WITH
1 (2-pound) piece salmon
3 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon crushed peppercorns
1/2 bunch dill
Mustard Dill Sauce
Cut salmon in half lengthwise. Remove bones. Combine salt, sugar and peppercorns. Rub half of spice mixture over 1 salmon half and place fish, skin side down, in baking dish. Spread dill over fish. Rub other half of salmon with remaining spice mixture and place, skin side up, on first salmon half. Cover with foil.
Place plate on top of fish and a weight on top of plate. Refrigerate 48 hours. Turn fish over every 12 hours, separating fillets slightly to baste with pan liquid. When ready to serve, scrape away dill and seasonings. Place fillets, skin side down, on cutting board. Cut salmon diagonally in thin slices away from skin. Serve cold with Mustard-Dill Sauce. Makes 12 appetizer servings.
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/3 cup oil
3 tablespoons chopped dill
Combine mustard, sugar, vinegar and dry mustard. Slowly beat in oil until thick. Stir in dill. Chill.
Dear SOS: My husband has been asking me to make him an old-fashioned raisin pie with golden raisins. I promised one for Christmas, but now I can't find a recipe anywhere.
Dear Worried: Worry no more. You can prepare this Old-Fashioned Raisin Pie with black or golden raisins.
1 pound raisins
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
Shredded peel of 1 lemon
1/2 cup cold water
Pastry for 2-crust (9-inch) pie
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon milk
Place raisins in saucepan and pour boiling water over. Bring to boil, remove from heat and let raisins stand.
Meanwhile, combine sugar, flour and shredded peel. Stir in cold water to make smooth paste. Add to raisins and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Pour hot mixture into pastry-lined 9-inch pie plate. Cover with top crust and flute edges.
Mix sugar and milk. Brush top of pie with sugar mixture. Bake at 425 degrees 30 to 40 minutes.
Dear SOS: I've had a yen to make my own Candied Citrus Fruit Peel for holiday baking. Do you have a recipe? Before holidays?