Dear SOS: I'm rapidly approaching my 74th birthday and I'm sure that I've been brushed off a time or two along the way, and I am not overly sensitive. But it rankles me quite considerably that you cannot obtain a recipe I have requested. I have contacted the owners of Old Vienna in Ventura and they assured me they would be happy to provide the information on how they prepare roast pork shanks.
Dear Paul: OK. You win. We requested the recipe after receiving your letter and here it is, fully tested, approved and ready to share with other readers. It should give the New Year a hearty boost.
OLD VIENNA ROAST PORK SHANKS
6 to 8 fresh pork shanks
1 large onion, chopped
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 cup sliced leek
1 cup sliced celery
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons juniper berries
10 black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
12 ounces beer or stock
Place shanks in large pot, cover with water and add onion, parsley, leek, celery, bay leaf, juniper berries, salt to taste and peppercorns. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until tender.
Remove shanks from stock. Dry and make grooves on pork skin with knife. Place in large baking pan. Rub with 3 tablespoons salt, black pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Bake at 500 degrees until shanks are crisp, turning shanks 3 or 4 times and basting with beer or reserved stock, as desired.
To serve, skim off fat and strain drippings. Use shank drippings as sauce. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Note: Serve with sauerkraut or other vegetables and potato dumplings, if desired. Juniper berries can be found in gourmet food stores.
Dear SOS: Do you have a recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes? My husband and I ordered them at a restaurant in Escondido; they were so light and fluffy and delicious. I would love to make them not just for the holidays, but all year long.
Dear Mrs. R.B.: 'Tis always the season for pumpkin, so why not? Here is a recipe from our file, which is fairly standard. You can, however, use canned pumpkin.
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup milk
Oil or melted shortening
1/2 cup cooked and mashed pumpkin
Beat egg well. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, milk and 2 tablespoons oil. Blend in pumpkin. Lightly grease griddle. Pour about 1 1/2 tablespoons batter onto hot griddle. Cook pancakes until puffed and dry around edges. Turn and cook other sides until golden brown. To keep pancakes hot, stack on hot plate with wax paper in between. Warm on baking sheet in 250-degree oven until remaining pancakes are done. Serve with bottled apple butter and whipped cream, if desired. Makes about 18 small pancakes.
Dear SOS: A year or so ago you published a recipe for a wonderful Shrimp Fettuccine made with asparagus, cayenne, garlic and wine. I have lost track of the recipe and would love to have it again.
Dear Joyce: Your wish is our command. The recipe ran in 1983, so time does fly by. It's a lovely meal-in-a-dish fettuccine for friends or family.
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sliced asparagus
3/4 cup peas
1/2 cup sliced green onions
3/4 pound cooked small shrimp
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon crushed, dried hot red pepper
2 tablespoons dry white wine
8 ounces fettuccine, cooked and drained
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Saute garlic in butter in large skillet. Add asparagus, peas and green onions and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender but still crisp. Stir in shrimp, parsley, basil, red pepper and wine. Cook, stirring, over high heat 1 minute or until shrimp are heated through. Serve over hot fettuccine. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.
Dear SOS: Could you possibly publish the recipe for the Broadway Cheesecake? It's one of my favorite desserts.
Dear Jean: It's one of our favorite desserts, too.
1/2 cup lemon-flavored gelatin
1 1/4 cups hot water
1/2 cup chilled evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
Graham Cracker Crust
Dissolve gelatin in hot water and set aside until syrupy. Combine evaporated milk and whipping cream and beat until mixture is quite thick. In separate bowl, combine cream cheese, cottage cheese, lemon juice, vanilla, salt and sugar. Add milk mixture to cheese mixture. Add partially set gelatin and mix thoroughly. Pour into prepared crust. Chill 4 hours. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Graham Cracker Crust
6 tablespoons margarine
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
Melt margarine. Work crumbs and sugar into melted margarine, using fingers. Divide mixture, using two-thirds to cover bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan and remaining 1/3 as topping to sprinkle over filling.