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Culinary SOS

Seafood Chowder: The Perfect Dish for Holiday Guests

October 20, 1988|ROSE DOSTI | Times Staff Writer

DEAR SOS: I had occasion to have the fish chowder at Charley Brown's in Redondo Beach and it was delicious. Can you obtain the recipe for me?

--LUCILLE

DEAR LUCILLE: With chowder season coming up we're glad Charley Brown shared the recipe. Chowder makes great party food for a holiday open house, TV-viewing parties and the like. You can add sandwiches or a nice, big chopped salad and plenty of crisp sourdough bread or crackers to go with it for an easy-to-handle party meal. Double the recipe if necessary.

CHARLEY BROWN'S

SEAFOOD CHOWDER

3/4 cup chopped celery

3/4 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon flour

4 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams

1 potato, peeled and cubed

1/3 cup half and half

1/3 cup whipping cream

3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

White pepper

1 tablespoon clam base, optional

3/4 pound cod fillets, cubed

3/4 cup bay shrimp

Saute celery and onion in butter until translucent. Stir in flour until smooth. Cook, stirring, 5 minutes or until golden.

Drain clam juice into flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Cook until slightly thickened. Add potato and simmer about 15 minutes or until tender.

Add half and half, whipping cream, thyme, white pepper to taste, clam base, fish fillets and shrimp. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 to 3 minutes or until fish is tender. Makes 6 cups.

DEAR SOS: A friend served me some beef back ribs that were wonderful and said she clipped the recipe from your column. The ribs had been in the freezer for several weeks, but they were the best I ever tasted. They were smeared with mustard and rolled in bread crumbs and baked after cooking. Would you please reprint the recipe?

--SHIRLEY

DEAR SHIRLEY: With pleasure. This recipe is from the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, where the ribs have been a standby for decades. It's one of our favorite recipes too.

WALDORF DEVILED BEEF RIBS WITH MUSTARD SAUCE

8 pounds beef ribs (from prime rib of beef), about 2 racks

Salt, pepper

1/4 cup virgin olive oil, about

1 cup Dijon mustard

2 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs

10 ounces veal or beef stock

1/2 cup Madeira

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon water

2 tablespoons butter

Lightly season bones with salt and pepper. Place bones on baking sheet and roast at 325 degrees 1 1/2 hours. After bones have cooked, allow to cool until easy to handle, about 15 minutes.

Combine 3 tablespoons olive oil and all but 3 tablespoons mustard, blending well. Separate bones into rib sections and lightly coat with mustard mixture. Dredge each piece in bread crumbs and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle bones lightly with more olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown.

Combine stock and Madeira. Reduce by half. Combine cornstarch with water until smooth. Stir into sauce and cook until sauce coats back of spoon. Continue to simmer over low heat several minutes to blend flavors. Add butter and 3 tablespoons reserved mustard. Stir until smooth. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

DEAR SOS: I have been searching for a recipe for Bread and Butter Pickles like the commercial variety sold. Can you help?

MRS. N.M.

DEAR MRS. N.M.: Yes, we can. You can prepare them now, keeping them in mind for gift giving during the Christmas season. They're wonderful with frankfurters, burgers, steaks and chops.

BREAD AND BUTTER PICKLES

12 medium cucumbers

6 medium onions

Salt

3 cups cider vinegar

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon celery seeds

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon turmeric

Slice cucumbers and onions and soak overnight in solution of 1 cup salt and 4 cups water. In morning, drain and discard liquid.

Combine cider vinegar, sugar, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, celery seeds, mustard seeds and turmeric. Bring to boil and boil 5 minutes. Pack vegetables in 1 1/2-pint jars, pour boiling syrup to top of vegetables, leaving 1/4-inch head space, and seal. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Makes about 2 quarts.

DEAR SOS: I was at a function where I was served a chocolate dessert called chocolate damnation. I'd love the recipe if you have it.

--CAROL

DEAR CAROL: There are numerous versions of this sinfully rich chocolate dessert and our recipe, from a contest winner when Le Dome restaurant in Hollywood held a benefit cooking contest in 1979, is but one. See if it comes close. If not, we have a few more equally lethal ones.

LEE'S CHOCOLATE DAMNATION

3/4 pound semisweet chocolate squares or pieces

1/4 cup strong coffee

2 eggs, separated

1/4 cup coffee-flavored liqueur

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup whipping cream

Brownie Shell

Chocolate Glaze

Chocolate curls, optional

Melt chocolate and coffee in top of double boiler. Remove from heat. Beat egg yolks until pale yellow in color and stir in some of chocolate mixture. Return to chocolate in pan, stirring until smooth. Gradually stir in liqueur and cool.

Beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff. Whip cream until stiff. Fold cream into cooled chocolate mixture, then fold in egg whites.

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