Dear SOS: Imperial Gardens on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles serves a delicious eggplant dish. Could you possibly get the recipe?
Dear D.L.O.: With pleasure. Nasu Soboro has been one of the restaurant's most popular dishes of its 31-year history in Los Angeles. This Japanese-style eggplant would make a good luncheon or supper entree for a light summer meal. The topping mixture can be used with squashes, tomatoes or cucumbers, as well.
EGGPLANT WITH CHICKEN SAUCE
Oil for deep-frying
2 (8-inch) regular eggplants, cut in halves lengthwise
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup sake
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons potato starch
1 1/2 teaspoons water
4 teaspoons green peas
Bring oil to medium temperature (340 degrees on frying thermometer) over medium heat. Cut eggplants in halves lengthwise and make 1-inch gashes at 1-inch intervals on face of eggplants.
Slide eggplant halves into oil, skin side down, frying as many as will fit into pan without crowding. Turn eggplant halves after 3 minutes and cook about 1 minute on other side until tender. Test by piercing skin with skewer. Drain eggplant halves on rack or absorbent paper, cut-side down. Place in microwave and microwave 1 minute.
Combine chicken, sake, soy sauce, sugar and broth in saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer over medium-high heat, stirring vigorously and constantly with long chopsticks, until chicken is done, about 5 minutes.
Mix potato starch with water in small bowl. Add to chicken mixture and cook, stirring until mixture comes to boil and is smooth and shiny, about 1 minute.
Place hot eggplant halves on platter and spread cut side with chicken topping. Garnish center with spoonful of green peas. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.
Dear SOS: I hate to be a pest, but I am pleading with you to send me a recipe for Peach Ping. It was pushed several years ago and peaches are now in season.
Dear Barbara: No need to plead. We're on your side. Peaches are dandy as pings. Cobblers, grunts, slumps, pandowdies and roly polys are regional variations of the ping.
10 to 12 large peaches
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Ice cream or whipped cream, optional
Peel peaches, cut into quarters and arrange in 13x9-inch baking pan. Dot peaches with butter, then sprinkle with brown sugar and lemon peel.
Beat eggs until light colored. Gradually add granulated sugar and beat thoroughly. Stir in boiling water and vanilla.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to egg mixture and blend well. Pour batter over peaches.
Bake at 375 degrees 55 to 60 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and stiff when touched. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Dear SOS: I just love the spinach souffle served at Gulliver's restaurant in the Marina in Los Angeles.
Dear Gail: So do the readers who have been requesting the recipe since 1974. Actually, it is a creamed spinach with a fluffy, souffle-like texture.
GULLIVER'S CREAMED SPINACH
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen leaf spinach
3 slices bacon
1 small onion
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Thaw spinach and squeeze completely dry. Grind bacon and onion very fine and place in saucepan. Saute bacon and onion until bacon is cooked.
Stir in flour to make smooth paste. Gradually add milk. Bring to boil and simmer 10 minutes over low heat until thickened. Add salt and pepper. Grind spinach fine and add to cream sauce. Makes 6 servings.
Dear SOS: The nut bran muffins at Griswold's in Claremont are very good and very moist. I would appreciate the recipe.
Dear J.S.: You've got it. The muffin is rich in wheat flour, bran cereal, raisins and pineapple, which makes it a wonderfully healthful breakfast food for all ages.
GRISWOLD'S BRAN MUFFINS
1/4 cup butter or margarine
6 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup well-drained crushed pineapple
3 cups whole bran cereal
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Cream butter until fluffy and gradually beat in brown sugar and 6 tablespoons granulated sugar. Blend in 2 tablespoons honey and water and whip until fluffy.
Coat 18 to 20 large muffin cups liberally and evenly with mixture. Combine whole-wheat flour and cake flour, remaining 10 tablespoons granulated sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
Stir in raisins. Add eggs, remaining 1/4 cup honey, oil and pineapple and blend. Stir in bran and buttermilk and mix until batter is just blended.