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Culinary SOS

Watercress and Pear Soup From the Bath Hotel

June 15, 1989|ROSE DOSTI | Times Staff Writer

DEAR SOS: Last May my wife and I were served a most delicious watercress and pear soup at the Bath Hotel in Bath, England. Since you could not request the recipe for me, I wrote to the Bath Hotel myself and received a reply. The soup when properly prepared is absolutely sensational.

--MARTIN

DEAR MARTIN: Thank you. As you can imagine it would be impossible to follow up the many hundreds of recipes requested by mail considering the limited space for printing recipes each week. We do, however, appreciate your efforts and won't let them go unnoticed. We tested the recipe you sent with great success. Here it is for others to enjoy as well.

BATH HOTEL WATERCRESS AND PEAR SOUP

1 onion, chopped

1 small leek, sliced

1 small celery heart, sliced

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup flour

1 quart chicken stock, about

1 (8-ounce) can pear halves in syrup or water

3 bunches watercress

1/4 teaspoon dried mixed herbs (bouquet garni)

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

Salt

White pepper

Saute onion, leek and celery in butter until tender, but not brown. Add flour and stir until smooth, but not brown. Add 1 quart chicken stock and syrup from pears (reserving pears).

Chop 2 bunches watercress and stalks of third, reserving leaves of third bunch for garnish. Add to soup and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour.

Puree soup, adding additional chicken broth if necessary. Add mixed herbs and basil. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Garnish with reserved sliced pears and watercress leaves. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

DEAR SOS: About two years ago you published a recipe for fruit salad served in a bowl with chopped white chocolate and macadamia nuts. It was served with a custard-like sauce. It was wonderful and very attractive.

--JULIE

DEAR JULIE: What good timing. Summer fruit should give the salad a riot of color and refreshing taste. So pretty for a party. The recipe was a winning My Best Recipe from Norma J.N. Camp of Northridge.

WHITE CHOCOLATE AND FRUIT SALAD

1 cup whipping cream

2 egg yolks

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 pint or more raspberries, sliced peaches or combinations of berries and other fruit such as plums and grapes, cherimoya and orange, kiwi and orange

1/3 pound dried apricots, chopped

1/2 cup chopped white chocolate

2/3 cup pistachios, shelled or unsalted macadamias, chopped

Heat whipping cream just to boiling. Beat egg yolks and sugar in bowl. Gradually whisk hot cream into sugar-egg mixture. Return to saucepan and cook over low heat until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla. Cool, then cover and chill in bowl or jar.

Layer fresh fruit in serving dish. Sprinkle with apricots, white chocolate and pistachios. Serve with cream custard sauce on side, or toss with custard just before serving. Makes about 6 servings.

DEAR SOS: If possible could you print the recipe for Turkey Tetrazzini?

--ALICE

DEAR ALICE: Certainly. Keep it in mind for summer entertaining when there's a crowd. The casserole can be completely assembled and baked in advance, then heated just before serving. It's also freezable.

Another tip: If you don't happen to have 3 cups of cooked leftover turkey waiting to be used from the freezer, purchase a turkey breast (cooked is easier) or other turkey parts rather than buying a whole bird. You can also use chicken if turkey is unavailable.

TURKEY TETRAZZINI

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 stalk celery, minced

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup flour

1 tablespoon chicken stock base

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup whipping cream

Salt, pepper

2 tablespoons dry Sherry

1/2 pound spaghetti or linguini, cooked

3 cups cubed cooked turkey

3/4 cup soft fine bread crumbs

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Saute mushrooms, onions and celery in 1/4 cup butter until tender. Remove vegetables and set aside.

Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in saucepan. Add flour and stock base. Mix until smooth, then stir in chicken broth and cream. Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in Sherry and reserved vegetables.

Fold in spaghetti and turkey. Turn into buttered 3-quart casserole. Mix crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle evenly over casserole. Bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes or until bubbly. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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