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CULINARY SOS

Cream of Poblano Soup Packs Punch With Bit of Pepper

September 17, 1987|ROSE DOSTI | Times Staff Writer

Dear SOS: At a recent black-tie dinner at the Tower Club in Dallas, the highlight of the meal was a creamy, pepper-based soup with tortilla strips and cheese. I would like to have the recipe if the chef will divulge his secret.

--MARSHA

Dear Marsha: Lucky you, lucky us. It's a terrific, au courant dish and an easy one, too.

Watch out for the peppers. You might want to cut down on the amount if you prefer a milder soup.

TOWER CLUB CREAM OF POBLANO SOUP

3 medium poblano chiles

1/2 cup diced onion

1/4 cup diced carrot

2 tablespoons clarified butter

2 tablespoons flour

4 cups chicken stock

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

3/4 cup whipping cream

Salt

8 tortilla chips

4 slices Jack cheese

Remove seeds from chiles, using plastic gloves to avoid skin irritation. Cut into chunks. Saute chiles, onion and carrot in butter about 5 minutes. Stir in flour. Cook, stirring, 5 minutes over low heat. Whisk in chicken stock and simmer 30 minutes.

Remove mixture from heat and puree in blender. Return to soup pot and continue to simmer. Add cilantro and cream. Season to taste with salt.

Ladle soup into 4 heat-proof cups and top each with 2 tortilla chips and 1 slice cheese. Place under broiler until cheese melts. Makes 4 servings.

Dear SOS: We had stopped to visit an old friend whose wife had spent her childhood in Los Angeles. The entire conversation centered on "Do you remember. . . ?" and Pat remembers a place called the Nut Kettle on Sunset Boulevard where she enjoyed nut burgers during the 1930s. I promised Pat I would try to find the recipe for her through Culinary SOS, my good source. Can you help?

--DOROTHY

Dear Dorothy: I think so. Sort of. No recipe that we could locate was left behind once the nut burger drive-in closed. However, we have two versions, both said to have originated at the fabled drive-in. The first recipe, using loose peanuts, was provided by a reader who said her boyfriend had worked at the drive-in for one day--enough time to spirit away the recipe. The other, in which chunky-style nut butters of all kinds were plastered over the patty, was from a reader who refuted the first recipe. I vote for the second. It just makes more sense.

DRIVE-IN NUT BURGER I

1 grilled hamburger patty

1 hamburger bun

Chopped salted peanuts

Lettuce leaves

Tomato slices

Onion slices

Thousand Island dressing

1 slice American cheese, optional

Place hamburger patty on bottom hamburger bun half. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and serve with lettuce, tomato and onion slices and Thousand Island dressing. If cheeseburger is desired, top partially grilled patty with nuts, then 1 slice cheese and finish grilling until cheese melts. Close sandwich. Makes 1 serving.

DRIVE-IN NUT BURGER II

1 grilled hamburger patty

1 hamburger bun

Chunk-style peanut butter, macadamia nut butter, pecan nut butter or any other nut butter

Lettuce leaves, optional

Tomato slices, optional

Place hamburger patty on bottom hamburger bun half. Spread nut butter of choice directly over patty. Finish grilling until peanut butter melts slightly. Top with lettuce leaves and tomato slices. Close sandwich. Makes 1 serving.

Dear SOS: Since leaving Hawaii, I have yearned for the Macadamia Nut Bread sold there. Do you have a recipe?

--ELAINE

Dear Elaine. Happy to comply. It's one of those recipes that will probably remain in the Los Angeles all-time-recipe favorites repertoire for years to come, with thanks, of course, to the originator--Hawaii.

MACADAMIA NUT BREAD

3 cups whole macadamia nuts

1 (15 1/4-ounce) can pineapple chunks, very well drained

1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut

3/4 cup sifted flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Place nuts, pineapple and coconut in large bowl. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in sifter and sift over nut mixture. Mix until nuts and fruit are completely coated with flour.

Beat eggs until foamy, then add vanilla. Stir in nut mixture. Spoon into greased wax paper-lined 8x4-inch loaf pan. Bake at 300 degrees 50 minutes or until bread tests done with wood pick. Remove from pan and cool completely. When cool, wrap in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate. Makes 1 loaf.

Dear SOS: Old-fashioned pickled hard-cooked eggs made without beets were found in bars and saloons many years ago. They usually had a stick of cinnamon plus whole cloves and a clove or two of garlic in the gallon jar. Can you come up with such a recipe?

--JOHN

Dear John: Yes, we can. They're great for patio parties with drinks or for passing at picnics, too.

PICKLED EGGS

4 to 6 whole cloves

1 stick cinnamon, optional

2 cups white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

6 hard-cooked eggs

Add cloves and cinnamon to vinegar and bring to boil.

Mix mustard, salt and pepper with small amount of cold water or vinegar and add to boiling vinegar. Cool.

Pour into large jar. Add hard-cooked eggs, cover and store in cool place or refrigerator. Makes 6 servings.

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