Dear SOS: A friend took me to the Camelions restaurant in Santa Monica, where I had a most delicious angel hair pasta dish made with sun-dried tomatoes. I would love to go home to Detroit with the recipe to make them for my family. Please try to get the recipe for me.
Dear Nancy: Camelions' chef, Elka Gilmore, came through with it. Detroit will love it.
CAMELIONS' ANGEL HAIR PASTA
1 pound angel hair pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoon olive oil
8 sun-dried tomatoes, cured in oil, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, leaves only
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 sweet red peppers, roasted, peeled and cut julienne
2 green peppers, roasted, peeled and cut julienne
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain. Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan. Add olive oil and heat. Add tomatoes, basil, parsley, garlic and peppers. Saute until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add to drained pasta and toss to mix well. Top with Parmesan cheese. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Dear SOS: Would you please find an old-time recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake? It would bring happy memories back to the present.
Dear Constance: With pleasure. It's always good to keep up with the past.
PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
5 slices canned pineapple, drained
5 maraschino cherries
3 eggs, separated
5 tablespoons water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Melt butter in 9-inch square baking pan and sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Arrange pineapple slices in butter mixture and place cherry in center of each slice.
Beat egg yolks until light colored and thick. Gradually add water and granulated sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.
Wash beaters thoroughly, then dry. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold lightly into egg yolks. Sift together flour and salt and fold gently into egg mixture.
Turn into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees 45 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes in pan, then invert onto plate and carefully lift off pan. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream. Makes 9 large servings.
Dear SOS: As a member of the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society we have been working very hard over the past four years to raise money to build an animal shelter in our city. Much of our fund-raising consists of having booths. We would very much like to be able to serve the old-fashioned Mexican tamales wrapped in corn husks, but haven't found a recipe with instructions and are wondering if you can help us out.
Dear Mrs. R.E.A.: Certainly. And we wish you luck with your fund-raising efforts. The recipe is home size, so you will need to double and triple the recipe for starters and go from there with several batches if you need to. There is, by the way, a note on how to make these entree-size tamales into miniature, cocktail-size ones, if that will help stretch them and, we hope, the profit. Other members pitching in?
MEXICAN BEEF TAMALES
Corn husks for 18 tamales
1 pound lean beef, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
7 cups instant masa
4 cups reserved beef broth or water
1 1/2 cups lard or shortening
2 (1-pound 12-ounce) cans red chili sauce
1 cup flour
Soak corn husks in warm water until pliable. Drain, then pat off excess water with paper towels and cover with damp towel until ready to use. Simmer beef in 1 cup water with garlic and salt and pepper to taste until tender, about 1 hour. Drain well, reserving broth for tamales.
Combine masa, reserved broth and 2 teaspoons salt. Beat lard until fluffy. Add masa mixture and beat until small amount of dough floats when dropped into glass of water. Cover with damp cloth and keep cool until ready to use.
Pour chili sauce into saucepan. Remove 2 cups sauce and blend with flour until smooth. Stir into sauce in pan and cook, stirring, until very thick and smooth. Stir in meat.
To assemble tamales, select wide husks or overlap 2 or 3 husks. Spread husks flat on board and spread dough about 1/4 inch thick almost to edges of husks. Leave space at ends for twisting closed.
Place rounded tablespoon filling in center. Roll up husks, turning in edges and patching any gaps in wrapper with thin strip of husk. Hold ends while rolling so filling remains in center.
Tie ends firmly with string. Clip ends of husks evenly. Arrange tamales on rack over boiling water in steamer. Cover and steam about 1 hour or until dough pulls away easily from husk when tested. Serve at once or refrigerate or freeze. Thaw, if frozen, and steam 30 minutes to reheat. Makes 18 tamales.
Note: Mixture also may be made into miniature cocktail-size tamales. For each tamale, cut 1 husk in half, spread with masa and top with rounded teaspoon of filling. Close as directed in recipe above.