Dear SOS: I would particularly appreciate your help in obtaining a recipe from 385 North for mussels with artichokes, corn and mache in an herb sauce.
Dear John: It's a great recipe to use during mussels season, but you can vary the salad by using clams, oysters, shrimp, crab or salmon, too. 385 NORTH MUSSELS WITH ARTICHOKES, CORN, MACHE IN HERB SAUCE
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 cloves garlic, left whole
1/4 cup oil
1 cup wine
3 cups water
2 cups whipping cream
3 artichoke bottoms, cooked
1/2 teaspoon chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon chopped tarragon
1/2 teaspoon chopped chives
1 ear corn
3 cups mache
Cook onion, carrots, celery and garlic in oil until onion is translucent. Add wine and water. Bring to boil.
Add mussels and cook until shells barely open, then remove flesh from shell. Set aside in covered bowl.
Strain liquid from pan and reduce to about 1/3 cup. Add whipping cream and simmer until reduced to about 1 1/2 cups. Reserve.
Slice artichoke bottoms and place in bowl with basil, parsley, tarragon and chives. Cut kernels from corn and add to artichoke bottom mixture. Add to cream mixture in saucepan and bring to boil. Add mussels, and cook until tender, making sure not to overcook mussels.
Place mache in large platter. Pour vegetable-cream mixture over mache. Serve at once. Makes 4 servings.
Dear SOS: I lost my very favorite recipe for Turtle Cake. It had pecans and caramel in the center of a German chocolate cake mix. It was a real winner. Can you help?
Dear Sophie: This recipe was submitted to The Times by Laura Robbins of Canoga Park for a My Best Recipe column prize and won. According to Robbins, the cake is reminiscent of "turtle candy" or "millionaire candy," which Texans seem to enjoy. TURTLE CAKE
1 (1-pound 2 1/2-ounce) package German chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup oil
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (1-pound) package caramels
Combine chocolate cake mix, butter, water, oil and 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk in mixing bowl. Mix well. Pour half of batter into greased and floured 13x9-inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes.
Melt and mix together caramels and remaining condensed milk over low heat until smooth. Spread over baked cake layer. Sprinkle generously with chopped pecans. Cover with remaining cake batter. Return to oven and bake 25 to 35 minutes longer or until cake tests done. Cool. Spread with Frosting.
Note: Since the cake is very sweet, cut it into small servings.
Dear SOS: I believe this is the recipe requested by Gail for California tamale pie.
Dear Ramona: You are kind to share this version, which is fairly typical of the simple California tamale pie. Thanks. RAMONA'S CALIFORNIA TAMALE PIE
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg, beaten
1 pound lean ground beef
1 package chili seasoning mix
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 (1-pound) can whole tomatoes
1 (17-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (7 1/2-ounce) can pitted black olives, drained
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Mix cornmeal, milk and egg in 2 1/2-quart casserole. Brown meat in skillet, stirring to keep it crumbly.
Add chili seasoning mix, salt, tomatoes, corn and olives and mix well. Stir into cornmeal mixture. Bake at 350 degrees 1 hour and 15 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over top and bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes longer. Makes 6 to 8 servings.