Dear SOS: La Pasteria on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles has the best pasta salads. I would love the recipe of the light and tasty sauce they serve on the pasta salad with scallops and shrimp. Is it possible?
Dear Yvette: Yes, and what an excellent salad it is for an upcoming holiday buffet, because it needs no heating, fuss or muss once on the table. Here's the entire recipe, using pasta, but you can also use rice on occasion. The recipe makes enough for a crowd, so cut it in half if you plan it for a small family meal or party.
LA PASTERIA SEAFOOD PASTA SALAD
12 ounces bay scallops
12 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
1 sweet red pepper, cut into fine julienne
1 yellow pepper, cut into fine julienne
1 pound haricots verts (French string beans), sliced diagonally
1 shallot, minced
1 cup olive oil
1 pound fusilli (corkscrew) pasta
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or to taste
1/2 to 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper or to taste
Poach scallops and shrimp in white wine with salt and pepper to taste and thyme. Remove and set aside. Saute red and yellow peppers, haricots verts and shallot in 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Cook pasta in boiling salted water until tender and drain. Mix with seafood, vegetables, remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar and crushed pepper. Toss. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, if necessary. Chill. Makes 20 (1-cup) servings.
Dear SOS: A friend told me that you have printed a recipe for the dark, chewy bran muffins sold at Ralphs grocery stores. I'd love to have the recipe or one similar. Don't forget: dark, chewy, dense. Thank you.
Dear JoAnna: The recipe has a light, bright, fluffy place in our readers' hearts. It's been around, you know.
RALPHS' DARK, MOIST BRAN MUFFINS
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup bran
3/4 cup milk
1 cup sifted flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely cut dates
Cream together shortening, molasses and egg. Stir in bran and milk. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to molasses mixture with dates and stir only until blended. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes. Makes 12 small muffins.
Dear SOS: Around the holiday season you ran a recipe for Cranberry Catsup. I would be grateful if you could locate this recipe. With the holidays coming up, I would like to make this as a gift for friends.
Dear Patricia: A perfect gift. Freeze, if you are doing them far in advance, or make and give at the last moment. You can refrigerate this up to one month, or if you choose, process in water-bath for cool shelf storage up to one year.
1 3/4 cups canned whole cranberry sauce
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/3 cup white vinegar
Combine cranberry and tomato sauces and vinegar. Simmer about 10 minutes. Cool. Makes 3 cups.