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Culinary SOS

Herb-Basted Potatoes From Medieval Times Are Crisp and Crackly

October 06, 1988|ROSE DOSTI | Times Staff Writer

DEAR SOS: Could you please get me the recipe for the herb-basted potatoes served at Medieval Times in Buena Park? They're great.

--SHEREE

DEAR SHEREE: That's for sure. The recipe uses Russet potatoes to get the skins crisp and crackly. Otherwise any baking potato will do in a pinch.

MEDIEVAL TIMES HERB-BASTED POTATOES

6 Russet potatoes, cut in halves lengthwise

1 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon barbecue spice

White pepper

Lemon pepper

Parboil potatoes just until tender. Melt butter in saucepan and add paprika, salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and barbecue spice. Mix well.

Place potatoes on baking sheet. Generously brush butter mixture over all sides of potato halves. Season to taste with white and lemon pepper. Bake at 350 degrees 25 to 30 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

DEAR SOS: I would like the recipe for the crunch cake made with angel food cake, mocha filling and a type of meringue on top.

--PHYLLIS

DEAR PHYLLIS: It's hard to know now where or when coffee crunch cake, an all-time Los Angeles favorite, originated, but it was also part of the Blum's repertoire before the bakery folded. Many tea rooms and bakeries throughout the area sell the cake and here is a version from Blum's that is fairly standard for all.

BLUM'S COFFEE CRUNCH CAKE

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup strong coffee

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

1 (8-ounce) angel-food cake ring

Combine sugar, coffee and corn syrup in saucepan at least 5 inches deep. Bring to boil and cook until mixture reaches 310 degrees on candy thermometer or hard-crack stage (when small amount dropped into cold water breaks with brittle snap).

Press soda through sieve to remove lumps. Remove syrup from heat. Immediately add soda and stir vigorously just until mixture thickens and pulls away from sides of pan. (Mixture foams rapidly when soda is added. Do not destroy foam by beating excessively.)

Immediately pour foamy mass into ungreased 9-inch square metal pan. (Do not spread or stir). Let stand, without moving, until cool.

When ready to garnish cake, knock out of pan and crush between sheets of wax paper with rolling pin to form coarse crumbs. Frost cake with whipped cream. Cover frosted cake generously and thoroughly with crushed topping. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

DEAR SOS: You once printed a recipe for a cheesy onion quiche. I've searched high and low and can't find the recipe. Can you help?

--DeANNA

DEAR DeANNA: We're not sure if this is exactly the recipe you remember, but it should be close. Quiches are making a comeback lately and high time, too. They make great accompaniments to soups and salads and work extremely well during the holiday season when served on buffets and as appetizers.

ONION QUICHE

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

3 large onions, thinly sliced

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups half and half or milk

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 (9-inch) unbaked pastry shell

Heat butter in large skillet. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, but not browned. Combine eggs, half and half, Swiss cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Spread onions in pastry shell and place on rack in center of oven. Carefully pour in cheese filling. Bake at 400 degrees 20 minutes or until filling is set but still moist in center. Makes 1 (9-inch) quiche.

DEAR SOS: Do you have a recipe for chow chow. It's an old-time recipe my mother used to make years ago.

--LILLIAN

DEAR LILLIAN: Chow chow, a pickle made with assorted vegetables, probably originated with Pennsylvania Dutch settlers, who made a canning project of chow chow during late summer, according to Phyllis Pellman Good whose new book, "The Best of Amish Cooking," (Good Books, $19.95), was recently released. "Chow chow does not require the youngest or tiniest vegetables, so it is a way to use the last of the season's (garden) yield," she writes. Here is our recipe.

CHOW CHOW

1 quart chopped cabbage (about 1 small head)

3 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1 medium head)

2 cups chopped onions

2 cups chopped green tomatoes (about 4 medium)

2 cups chopped green peppers (about 4 medium)

1 cup chopped sweet red peppers (about 2 medium)

3 tablespoons salt

2 1/2 cups vinegar

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons dry mustad

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons celery seeds

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

Combine chopped cabbage, cauliflower, onions, green tomatoes, green and red peppers and sprinkle with salt. Let stand 4 to 6 hours in cool place.

Drain vegetables well. Combine vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, turmeric, ginger, celery seeds and mustard seeds. Simmer 10 minutes. Add vegetables and simmer 10 minutes. Bring to boil. Pack boiling hot into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/8-inch head space. Process 10 minutes in boiling hot water bath. Adjust caps. Makes about 4 pints.

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