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Culinary SOS

How Sweet It Is!: Syrup Is Difference in Margaritas

May 22, 1986|ROSE DOSTI | Times Staff Writer

Dear SOS: I recently enjoyed the Margaritas at the Guadalajara Grill in Tijuana. They were rich and delightfully creamy. Could you possibly find out what is put in them to make them so deliciously refreshing? We have tried to duplicate them at home to no avail.

--MRS. I.P.

Dear Mrs. I.P.: These are one of the best I've tasted, too. The recipe calls for simple syrup, which, if made at home, is a blend of equal amounts of water and sugar cooked to a syrup. But you can substitute rock candy syrup or Fallernum, another slightly flavored simple syrup sold at liquor stores.


2 cups crushed ice cubes

2 ounces white tequila

2 1/2 ounces orange liqueur

1 1/2 ounces white simple syrup

3 1/2 ounces lime juice


Pack ice in blender container. Add tequila, orange liqueur, simple syrup and lime juice. Cover and process until slushy. Pour into 4 salt-rimmed glasses. Makes 4 servings.

Dear SOS: We have grown sorrel in our garden. What can we do with it? A simple recipe, please.


Dear Laurence: You can use fresh sorrel as you would lettuce for salads by tossing it with other greens or use by itself in dressing. You can stir-fry or saute it or treat it as you would spinach. You can also use it with its common companion--salmon--in this classic dish, calling for creamed sorrel. The recipe is from Au Petite Cafe in Beverly Hills.


4 salmon fillets

Court Bouillon or 2 cups chicken broth

2 to 4 tablespoons butter

1 bunch sorrel, chopped

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1 egg yolk

Poach salmon in Court Bouillon until fish flakes when tested with fork. Heat butter in skillet, add sorrel and saute. Add 1 cup poaching liquid and simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Add cream and simmer until sauce thickens slightly. Beat egg yolk and whisk into sauce. Serve sauce over poached salmon. Makes 4 servings. Court Bouillon

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon chopped carrots

1 tablespoon chopped celery

1 tablespoon chopped onion

1 sprig parsley


1 or 2 whole cloves

2 cups water

1/2 cup white wine

Melt butter and add carrots, celery and onion. Saute until onion is tender. Add parsley, peppercorns to taste, cloves, water and wine. Bring to boil and boil until mixture is reduced by 1/3. Makes about 2 cups.

Dear SOS: On a recent visit to Vancouver, I tried a wonderful dessert called Nanaimo Bars. There is a city on the eastern side of Vancouver Island named Nanaimo, but I failed to ask whether this delicious treat was named after it. Any chance you might have the recipe?


Dear Mary: Yes, we do, and yes, I think they were named after the city in Vancouver. But perhaps some of our readers will have other details about their origin. Troops? NANAIMO BARS

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix

3 tablespoons milk

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

3 squares semisweet chocolate

Melt 1/2 cup butter in saucepan. Blend in granulated sugar, cocoa, vanilla, egg, crumbs, coconut and nuts. Press mixture into 9-inch square pan.

Cream 1/4 cup butter until light, then add dry pudding mix, milk and powdered sugar, blending well. Spread mixture on top of crumb mixture and chill thoroughly.

Melt chocolate with remaining 1 tablespoon butter, stirring to blend. Spread over chilled mixture. Chill, then cut into bars. Makes 27 (3x1-inch) bars.

Dear SOS: I have lost or misplaced my recipe for Soft Pretzels. Please?


Dear June: We're softies for pretzels, too. SOFT PRETZELS

2 cups warm water

2 envelopes dry yeast

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cups flour

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons water

Coarse salt

Measure warm water into large warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast and stir until dissolved. Add sugar, salt, butter, egg and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add enough additional flour to make stiff dough.

Cover bowl tightly with foil. Refrigerate 2 to 24 hours. Turn dough out onto lightly floured board. Divide in half. Cut each half into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into pencil shape, about 20 inches long. Shape into pretzels. Place on lightly greased baking sheets.

Blend egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water. Brush pretzels with egg yolk mixture. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled, about 25 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees about 15 minutes. Remove from baking sheets and cool on wire racks. Makes 32 pretzels.

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