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Culinary SOS

A Reader's Plea Nets Chicken Tomatillo Recipe With Rice Pilaf

July 09, 1987|ROSE DOSTI | Times Staff Writer

Dear SOS: Please, please, please give me the recipe and cooking techniques used to make chicken tomatillo, the most tender, juicy, tasty chicken I've had, which is served at the Coffee Emporium in Marina del Rey. And while you're at it, please include the recipe for the pilaf they serve with the chicken.

--CATHERINE

Dear Catherine: At your service.

COFFEE EMPORIUM CHICKEN TOMATILLO

1/2 pound tomatillos

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper

1 green jalapeno chile, roasted

2 whole chickens

1/2 large yellow onion, chopped

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Rice Pilaf

Peel tomatillos and puree with garlic, pepper and jalapeno chile. Cut chickens in halves and place, cut side down, in large baking pan.

Spread tomatillo mixture evenly over chicken halves. Sprinkle with chopped onion and cilantro. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees 90 minutes. Serve chicken halves with Rice Pilaf. Makes 4 servings.

Rice Pilaf

1/2 pound short-grain rice

1/4 cup butter

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced

2 teaspoons tamari

Cook rice according to package directions until tender and water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, melt butter and add mushrooms and tamari. Saute until mushrooms are tender. Add to rice and toss to mix well. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Note: Tamari, a mixed herb seasoning in powder or liquid form, is available at health food stores.

Dear SOS: My grandmother used to make a peppermint cake that had peppermint in the frosting. I can still taste it. Do you have such a recipe?

--STEVE

Dear Steve: We found this old-fashioned recipe under the old-fashioned name, "color cake."

OLD-FASHIONED PEPPERMINT CAKE

3 cups sifted flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter or margarine

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 egg whites

Pink Peppermint Frosting

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Combine milk, water and vanilla. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk mixture, beating after each addition.

Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold egg whites into batter. Turn into 2 greased paper-lined 9-inch round pans. Bake at 350 degrees 35 to 40 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then turn onto wire rack to cool completely. Frost with Pink Peppermint Frosting.

Pink Peppermint Frosting

2 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Dash salt

1 pound package powdered sugar

1/3 cup butter or margarine

Few drops red food color

1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy

Combine egg whites, cream of tartar, lemon and peppermint extracts and salt. Beat at high speed on mixer until fairly stiff.

Gradually add sugar, 1 cup at a time. Beat until smooth, scraping bowl often. Add butter and food color, beating until well blended. Stir in crushed peppermint candy. Makes enough to frost 2 (9-inch) layers.

For green mint frosting, use green food color and omit crushed peppermint candy.

Dear SOS: You once featured a recipe for Frank Sinatra's Sausage and Peppers. It would make a terrific and easy camping meal. Do you still have the recipe?

--READER

Dear Reader: We certainly do. And we agree. It is a good camp-out recipe, as well as something quick and easy for a family meal.

FRANK SINATRA'S SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS

3 green peppers

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt, pepper

1 pound hot Italian sausage

1/3 cup red wine

Remove stems and seeds from green peppers and cut into large chunks. In baking dish that can be used on top of stove, saute green peppers in oil until they begin to soften. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove green peppers from dish and set aside.

Brown sausages in same baking dish. When browned, add red wine. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees 40 minutes or until done.

Uncover and add sauteed green peppers. Bake additional 30 minutes and serve in same baking dish. Makes 4 servings.

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