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Culinary SOS

Sopa de Albondigas and Can't Fail Fudge Rescued From the Past

December 04, 1986|ROSE DOSTI | Times Staff Writer

Dear SOS: I wonder if you could check your files for a recipe I've partially lost--Sopa de Albondigas. I have only the first four ingredients, starting with three-quarters of a pound each of ground beef and pork. Thanks.

--KATHY

Dear Kathy: Thank you for noting some of the ingredients. They helped us locate the exact recipe from the vast file of soups. Actually, Sopa de Albondigas is one of those terrific soups to keep in mind for open-house entertaining. The soup can be served with sopaipillas (fried bread) and a salad. You can make a shortcut version of fried bread by deep-frying refrigerator biscuits.

SOPA DE ALBONDIGAS

3/4 pound ground beef

3/4 pound ground pork

1/4 cup rice

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

Salt, pepper

2 quarts beef broth

1 tomato, peeled and chopped

2 small carrots, cut into chunks

1 small zucchini, sliced

4 to 6 small whole boiling onions, sliced

Shredded Jack cheese

Combine beef, pork, rice, egg and oregano and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well. Form into small balls and set aside.

Bring broth to boil in large saucepan. Add tomato, carrots, zucchini and onions and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer 15 minutes.

Carefully add meatballs to boiling broth and simmer 30 minutes. Serve meatballs with broth and vegetables. Garnish with cheese. Makes 8 servings.

Dear SOS: I lost my recipe for Can't Fail Fudge. I would really appreciate it if you could please send me another copy. It's the best fudge recipe I've ever tried and you can't fail.

--ALICE

Dear Alice: And we won't, either, in getting the recipe to you--one of the most-requested recipes of the holiday season.

CAN'T FAIL FUDGE

4 cups miniature marshmallows

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate pieces

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Combine marshmallows, milk, butter, sugar and salt in saucepan. Cook and stir until mixture comes to full boil. Boil 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and add chocolate pieces, beating until melted. Fold in vanilla and nuts. Pour into greased 9-inch square pan. Chill until firm. Makes 2 1/2 pounds.

Dear SOS: I would appreciate a recipe for Chicken a la King.

--INDA

Dear Inda: Chicken a la King is an old American classic worth reviving, especially for chafing-dish buffets during the entertaining season. It makes a wonderful late supper served over small split biscuits or toast points with a simple salad of bibb lettuce or romaine hearts vinaigrette.

Here are two versions--the shortcut version, which was used as early as the '30s when canned foods emerged on the scene, and the version that has been around since it was brought to the New World by our British ancestors, for those who insist on cooking from scratch.

JIFFY CHICKEN A LA KING

2 cans mushroom soup

2 cups evaporated milk

2 chicken bouillon cubes

2 (6-ounce) cans diced cooked chicken

1/2 cup diced pimiento

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Baked refrigerated biscuits

Chopped parsley

Stir soup until smooth, gradually blending in milk. Add bouillon cubes. Heat slowly, stirring often. Add chicken, pimiento and hot pepper sauce. Heat to serving temperature. Serve over hot biscuits. Garnish with finely chopped parsley. Makes 8 servings.

CHICKEN A LA KING

1 cup mushrooms

Butter or margarine, chicken fat or lard

6 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 cups half and half

2 cups cooked chicken

1/2 cup diced pimiento

2 egg yolks

Salt, pepper

1/2 cup slivered almonds

2 tablespoons Sherry, optional

Baked biscuits or toast

Saute mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter until barely tender. Set aside. Melt 6 tablespoons butter or, preferably, chicken fat in saucepan. Stir in flour and cook and stir to blend well.

Add chicken stock and half and half. Bring to simmer. Simmer, stirring, until sauce is smooth and bubbling. Add chicken, mushrooms and pimiento. Reduce heat.

Beat egg yolks in small bowl. Add some of liquid from sauce and blend well. Return to sauce and blend well over very low heat. Stir until slightly thickened. (Do not cook briskly or egg will curdle.)

Add salt and pepper to taste, almonds and Sherry. Serve over biscuits or toast, if desired. To reheat or serve buffet-style, place chicken a la king in saucepan or chafing dish over boiling water.

Dear SOS: Please send me your recipe for jalapeno pepper jelly.

--MRS. R.H.

Dear Mrs. R.H.: Gladly. But remember to wear gloves whether or not your skin is sensitive to pepper and chiles. Hot peppers do sting.

JALAPENO JELLY

3/4 cup ground green pepper

1/2 cup ground jalapeno chiles

6 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

1 (6-ounce) bottle liquid pectin

Green food color

Remove seeds from green pepper and jalapeno chiles. Grind green pepper and chiles using fine blade of meat grinder. Mix green pepper, chiles, sugar and vinegar and bring to rolling boil. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Add pectin and 4 or 5 drops food color. Mix well. Strain into hot sterilized jars and seal. Makes about 6 half-pints.

Note: Avoid contact with chiles if skin is sensitive.

Only recipes of general interest will be printed. We are unable to answer all requests. Please include restaurant address when requesting recipes from restaurants. Send your letter with self-addressed, stamped envelope to Culinary SOS, Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.

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