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Culinary SOS

Valentino Restaurant in Santa Monica Shares Fried Mozzarella Recipe

March 13, 1986|ROSE DOSTI | Times Staff Writer

Dear SOS: Valentino restaurant in Santa Monica serves an appetizer of fried cheese with tomato sauce. Can you get the recipe?

--FREDERICKA

Dear Fredericka: Owner Piero Selvaggio sent chef Antonio Orlando's version of this dish. VALENTINO'S MOZZARELLA MARINARA

12 (2x2x1/2-inch) slices smoked mozzarella cheese

Flour

3 eggs, beaten

Bread crumbs

1 quart oil

Marinara Sauce

Coat slices of mozzarella with flour on both sides. Dip mozzarella slices in beaten egg, a few pieces at a time. Roll in bread crumbs until coated on all sides.

Heat oil in large skillet until hot. Add 3 or 4 slices breaded mozzarella at a time, and cook until browned on both sides, turning once. Arrange on serving platter. Top with Marinara Sauce. Allow 2 pieces mozzarella cheese per serving. Makes 6 servings. Marinara Sauce

1/2 cup olive oil

2 large onions, coarsely chopped

3 large cloves garlic, minced

2 small carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

3 anchovy fillets

2 (1-pound 12-ounce) cans Italian plum tomatoes

Salt, pepper

8 basil leaves, sliced julienne

Heat olive oil in 4-quart saucepan. Add onions, garlic, carrots and anchovies. Saute over medium heat until onions are golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Coarsely chop tomatoes and add to carrot mixture. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Strain sauce, returning liquid to saucepan.

Place vegetables in food processor fitted with steel blades or in blender, and puree until smooth. Transfer to saucepan. Add liquid and basil and blend well. Cook over low heat 20 minutes. Correct seasoning to taste. Makes about 4 cups sauce.

Dear SOS: Last year I clipped your recipe for chocolate-walnut pie. I made it several times and it became the favorite of my friends, who insisted I'd bought it. Much to the chagrin of myself and friends, I misplaced this wonderful recipe. Could you please send me a copy of it?

--MARCIA

Dear Marcia: Our mail is full of requests for lost recipes. One solution devised by a chronic recipe-loser was to fill one kitchen wall with her favorite recipes--all framed as part of the decoration as well as insurance against loss, theft or mangling by cat, dog or leprechaun.

GALLERY CHOCOLATE CHIP-WALNUT PIE

2 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

1 (6-ounce) package chocolate pieces

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell

Beat eggs until foamy in large bowl. Beat in flour, granulated and brown sugars until well blended. Blend in melted butter. Fold in chocolate pieces and walnuts. Spoon into unbaked pie shell and bake at 325 degrees 1 hour or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Serve warm. Makes 1 (9-inch) pie.

Dear SOS: I need your best recipe for a beef pot pie. I pretend to be one of the world's best cooks but my husband won't believe me until I make a meat pot pie. I hope it's also easy to make.

--CONNIE

Dear Connie: Hello, young lovers, wherever you are. This pie will safeguard your pretensions. It's not difficult to make; it's classic at best and one I think you should try.

OLD-FASHIONED BEEF PIE

2 pounds boneless beef shoulder or chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

3 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons oil or bacon drippings

1 small onion, minced

1 1/2 cups water

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon marjoram, crumbled

1 teaspoon savory, crumbled

1/2 teaspoon thyme, crumbled

2 cups sliced carrots, uncooked

2 cups small potato chunks, uncooked

1 (10-ounce) package pie crust mix or pie dough for 2-crust pie

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon milk

Coat beef cubes with mixture of flour, salt and black pepper. Heat oil in large heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add beef, a few pieces at a time. Brown well on all sides. Remove beef from pot.

Add onion and saute in pan liquids until tender. Add water and vinegar. Cook and stir to loosen particles from bottom of pan. Return beef to pot with bay leaf, marjoram, savory and thyme. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 hour.

Add carrots and potatoes. Cover and simmer until meat and vegetables are fork-tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and spoon stew into 9-inch pie pan.

Prepare pie crust according to package directions. Roll out pastry 1/4 inch thick and 1 inch wider all around than pie pan. Cut off extra 1 inch pastry in strip. Press strip onto rim of pie pan. Place pastry over meat and pastry rim. Press edges to seal. Flute edges. Cut hole in center.

Beat together egg yolk and milk and brush over pastry. Bake at 425 degrees 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake 35 minutes longer. Makes 6 servings.

Dear SOS: Is it possible to find a recipe for Hermit bars? Many years ago I had one but lost it. I believe it was made with molasses and raisins.

--MINNIE

Dear Minnie: Hermits are usually baked as drop cookies and contain brown sugar, not molasses. Here is a traditional recipe. HERMITS

1 cup sifted flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 cup golden raisins

2 cups bran flakes

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Blend butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture with nuts, raisins and bran, mixing well. Drop by teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheets and bake at 375 degrees for 11 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen.

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