Dear SOS: As a member of the Rotary Club, my husband has for years raved about the short ribs served at the Ambassador Hotel, where their meetings are held. I would like to prepare the ribs as a surprise for my husband on his birthday. Do you suppose they'll share the recipe?
Dear Terri: We're a little late for the birthday, but I'm sure your husband will enjoy the recipe nevertheless. We did.
AMBASSADOR HOTEL BEEF SHORT RIBS
6 (12-ounce) beef short ribs
Salt, pepper and rosemary
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup red wine
Sprinkle each rib with salt, pepper and rosemary to taste. Place in baking pan with celery and carrots. Bake at 350 degrees 1 hour. Add red wine and Brown Gravy. Cover with foil and bake 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender when fork is inserted. Makes 6 servings.
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can clear chicken broth
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can clear beef broth
1 tablespoon beef concentrate powder
Melt butter and stir in flour until smooth and pale gold. Stir in chicken broth, beef broth and beef concentrate until blended. Bring to boil and simmer 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed.
Dear SOS: A few weeks ago I had lunch at Clifton's Cafeteria in Century City and tried the Pumpkin-Nut Crumble. It was delicious. With the holidays upon us, it would be a wonderful addition to my dessert list.
Dear Mrs. M.J.: And ours, too. I have a feeling the dessert will become a perennial favorite with our readers, don't you?
1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 (29-ounce) can pumpkin
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup milk
Reserve 1 cup cake mix for topping, then combine remaining cake mix, butter and 1 egg in bowl. Do not use mixer as cake mixture is crumbly, not smooth. Press mixture into bottom of greased (bottom only) 13x9-inch pan.
Combine pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, brown sugar, remaining 2 eggs and milk. Spread filling over mixture in pan. Sprinkle Topping over pumpkin mixture. Bake at 350 degrees 45 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.
Cut into cake-size servings and serve with whipped cream, if desired. Makes 12 servings.
Note: 1 (1-pound, 14-ounce) can pumpkin pie mix can be substituted for canned pumpkin, sugar and spices listed (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and brown sugar).
Reserved 1 cup cake mix
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter or margarine, slightly softened
1 cup chopped walnuts
Combine reserved cake mix, sugar, cinnamon and softened butter. Mix until crumbly, then add walnuts to topping mixture.
Dear SOS: Orza's Romanian Restaurant in Hollywood is a well-known hangout for the folks who work at Paramount Picture. All their food is delicious, but in my opinion the best thing they serve is Lentil Soup. I've tried every recipe I can find and haven't been able to come close.
Dear Patricia: Orza's has graciously complied with our request. Here's a rib-sticking, hearty soup recipe for chilly nights.
ORZA'S LENTIL SOUP
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
8 cups water
1 pound lentils
1 stalk celery, sliced
3 medium carrots, sliced
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
Heat oil. Add onion and garlic and saute until onion is tender. Stir in flour until well blended and browned. Add water and bring to boil. Add lentils, celery, carrots and parsley. Cover partially and simmer 45 minutes or until lentils are tender and soup is slightly thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with lemon wedges. Makes 8 servings.