Dear SOS: There is a very good Cajun meat loaf served at Yanks in Beverly Hills. Any chance of a recipe?
Dear Harry: Yes, there is. The consistency may vary from the original depending on the meat and spices used (Yanks uses its own spice blend), but the basic structure is the same. Watch out for the hot seasonings if you're sensitive. Reduce the amount of chiles and hot pepper sauce, if necessary. Otherwise, enjoy.
YANKS CAJUN MEAT LOAF
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 cup finely diced red, green or yellow pepper
1 cup diced onions
1/4 cup diced celery
2 small jalapeno chiles
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/4 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
1 1/4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup Cajun spices (bottled blend)
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup Heinz 57 sauce
1/3 cup catsup
1 pound ground beef (80% lean, 20% fat)
3/4 pound ground pork
2 large eggs
3/4 cup bread crumbs
Saute green onions, pepper, onions, celery and jalapenos in butter until tender, about 10 minutes. Add cayenne, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire, bay leaves and Cajun spices. Saute 5 minutes longer.
Add milk, Heinz 57 sauce and catsup. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, then add beef, pork, eggs and crumbs. Mix well.
Pack mixture into 9x5-inch glass loaf pan. Cover with foil. Bake in pan of hot water at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour. Remove cover and bake additional 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool before slicing. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Dear SOS: Apricot season is here again and I have found no recipe for fresh apricot pie or cobbler. Can you help? I have a very large apricot tree and I'd surely like to use them in a dessert.
Dear Lisa: Here's a recipe for a pie that uses five cups of apricots. It's a lattice-top for pretty looks.
LATTICE APRICOT PIE
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 pounds apricots, quartered
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pastry for double-crust 9-inch pie
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Sprinkle lemon juice over apricots in large bowl. Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, tapioca, salt and cinnamon. Mix lightly with apricots. Let stand 15 minutes.
Roll out 1/2 of pastry 1 1/2 inches larger than inverted 9-inch pie pan. Fit into pan and trim edge. Add apricot filling.
Roll out remaining pastry and cut 11 strips about 1 inch wide. Arrange strips on apricot filling, lattice fashion. Flute edge of crust.
Brush pastry with egg. Dot filling with butter. Bake at 400 degrees 45 minutes or until pastry is brown and fruit in center of pie is cooked. Makes 1 (9-inch) pie.
Dear SOS: On a recent trip to St. Louis my husband and I had wonderful fried rice and cheese balls made with a meat filling. Would you please try your best to get the recipe?
Dear Kathy: Our recipe comes from Celestino Drago of Celestino Ristorante in Beverly Hills. The rice balls also make wonderful appetizers for home entertaining or to take along on a picnic.
CELESTINO'S RICE BALLS
5 ounces arborio rice
2 cups chicken broth
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped shallots
2 ounces ground veal or beef
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon canned tiny peas
2 tablespoons canned tomato sauce or puree
1 tablespoon diced mozzarella cheese
1 hard-cooked egg, chopped
1 egg, beaten
Fine dry bread crumbs
Olive oil for frying
Cook rice in chicken broth to cover, adding more broth as it is absorbed until all chicken broth is used and rice is tender. Let rice rest 10 minutes to absorb excess moisture. Add egg yolks, Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt. Mix well. Set aside.
Saute shallots with veal in butter until veal is crumbly and browned. Add wine and simmer until wine is absorbed. Add nutmeg, peas, tomato sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed. Simmer few minutes until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
Combine mozzarella cheese and egg in small bowl. Using 2 tablespoons cooked rice, roll into ball. Make cavity in ball and place scant tablespoon veal mixture, then small amount mozzarella cheese and egg mixture. Cover with another tablespoon rice and seal cavity to make ball or pyramid shape.
Dip rice ball in egg and roll in bread crumbs. Heat 1 1/2 inches olive oil in skillet to 400 degrees or until very hot. Add rice balls few at time to avoid overcrowding pan. Fry until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes, turning often to brown evenly. Makes 8 rice balls.
Note: Arborio rice may be found at most Italian grocery stores.