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Culinary SOS

A Tortilla Soup Sure to Make a Big Splash at a Party

August 06, 1987|ROSE DOSTI | Times Staff Writer

Dear SOS: I was at a Mexican restaurant where they served the most terrific soup I ever tasted before--tortilla soup. Do you have such a recipe?


Dear Steve: You've come to the right place. El Torito's Tortilla Soup is fairly standard and fancy enough to take to a pool party.


4 corn tortillas


2 1/2 cups fish stock

1/4 cup tomato sauce

2 tablespoons diced celery

2 tablespoons diced onion

2 tablespoons diced green pepper

2 tablespoons diced tomato

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground oregano

1 bay leaf


3/4 cup shredded Jack cheese

3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Cut tortillas into strips. Deep-fry in hot oil until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Combine fish stock, tomato sauce, celery, onion, green pepper, tomato, white pepper, garlic powder, oregano and bay leaf in saucepan. Season to taste with salt. Bring to boil and simmer 20 to 30 minutes.

To serve, place tortilla strips in bowl. Cover with shredded cheeses and add broth. Makes 4 servings.

Dear SOS: Some time ago you printed a very good recipe for Raspberry Trifle. Please send the coveted recipe as soon as possible.


Dear Gabrielle: We would have sent it sooner, but gremlins who trifled with our stacks weren't quite sure which of the many raspberry recipes you wanted. They finally decided on the recipe from the Five Crowns in Corona del Mar. We hope you like it. Incidentally, the rum pudding called for in the recipe is made with pudding mix, an excellent shortcut dessert to serve by itself for company.


1 (3 1/4-ounce) package vanilla pudding mix

2 cups half and half

2 tablespoons dark rum

2 1/4 cups whipping cream

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons red raspberry preserves

1 (10-inch) round spongecake layer, 2 inches thick

1/4 cup brandy

1/4 cup Sherry

30 to 38 whole strawberries

Combine pudding mix and half and half in saucepan. Cook over low heat until mixture comes to boil and partially thickens. Stir in rum, then chill pudding thoroughly.

Combine 1 1/4 cups whipping cream and 1 tablespoon sugar and whip until cream is stiff. Fold into chilled pudding mixture.

Using brush, coat deep 10-inch bowl with raspberry preserves to within 1 inch of top of bowl. Slice spongecake horizontally into quarters. Place top slice, crust side up, in bottom of coated bowl. Cut remaining slices into fingers, about 2 inches wide and stand against sides of bowl, pressing so fingers adhere to coating.

Combine brandy and Sherry and sprinkle over cake in bottom and on sides. Spoon custard into bowl. Beat remaining 1 cup whipping cream with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar until stiff. Pipe whipped cream around rim of bowl and in mounds around center. Decorate whipped cream with strawberries. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. To serve, spoon onto chilled dessert plates. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Dear SOS: We had a dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Riverside and everything, especially the rumaki, was wonderful. Do you have a recipe?


Dear Micky: Thanks for resurrecting this favorite appetizer, which was quite popular during the '50s. Rumaki recipes are fairly standard and go a long way to satisfy a crowd at low cost. How about a flaming one to impress guests? Flaming is optional if it leaves you cold.


1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup bourbon

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 small clove garlic, crushed

1 pound chicken livers

Onion powder

1 (7-ounce) can whole water chestnuts, drained

6 slices bacon

Combine soy sauce, 2 tablespoons bourbon, curry powder, ginger, cinnamon and garlic.

Cut chicken livers in halves. Sprinkle lightly with onion powder.

Cut each water chestnut into 3 slices. Cut each bacon slice into 4 pieces. Sandwich water chestnut slices between 2 liver halves. Wrap in bacon and pierce with wood pick to hold together. Place in shallow baking pan and pour soy sauce mixture over. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.

Remove from marinade and broil 3 inches from source of heat 5 minutes, turning often. Arrange rumaki on heatproof platter. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons bourbon and carefully ignite. Pour, flaming, over rumaki. Makes 12 appetizers.

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