DEAR SOS: The Harborside Restaurant on the waterfront in Santa Barbara serves a marvelous layered potato souffle. Could you possibly get them to share the recipe?
DEAR B.S.: The custard binding the sliced potatoes, as in potatoes Dauphine, may qualify the dish for a souffle designation but don't expect a soft, puffy product. The layered potatoes in custard make a wonderful company side dish for roasts. Assemble the dish ahead and bake it before guests arrive.
5 large Russet potatoes
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon white pepper or to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Peel and thinly slice potatoes. Rinse 3 times to remove starch.
Mix milk, eggs, salt, white pepper and cheese with electric mixer or well by hand.
Alternate layering potatoes with milk mixture in 13x9-inch baking pan until about 3/4 inch from top of pan. Press potatoes down and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until top is browned and potatoes pierced with knife feel tender. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
DEAR SOS: There was a recipe for a blueberry pudding from former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt sometime in the distant past. Any chance of digging it out for me?
DEAR READER: The first printing was in 1973, probably dug from a deeper pocket of The Times files way back when. And guess what? We lost it only to find it again, a ghost from the past.
We love the pudding because it is so basically simple, economical and thoroughly American.
ELEANOR ROOSEVELT'S BLUEBERRY PUDDING
1 (1-pound) loaf firm bread
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (1-pound, 5-ounce) can blueberry pie filling
Line 9x5-inch loaf pan with foil, letting ends extend over edge of pan. Trim crusts from bread and brush both sides of each slice with butter mixed with cinnamon.
Layer buttered bread and blueberry filling in pan, beginning and ending with bread. Cut slices to fit pan. Chill several hours.
Invert pan on platter. Carefully remove foil and cut pudding into slices. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Note: Serve with thick cream or warm custard sauce.
DEAR SOS: In a recent column, Barbara inquired about a frozen fruit salad served at the Broadway department store in Los Angeles. Here is the original recipe from the store's old Marston Tea Room before it became the Broadway.
DEAR JOSEPHINE: Goodness. What would we do without readers who help give historical perspective to these wonderful, old-time recipes? How nice of you to share it.
MARSTON TEA ROOM FROZEN FRUIT SALAD
1/2 cup orange sections, membrane removed
1 cup sliced peaches
1 1/2 cups sliced bananas
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup Maraschino cherry halves
2 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Fruit Salad Dressing
1 cup whipping cream
Combine drained oranges, peaches, bananas, nuts and cherries. Blend cream cheese with lemon juice until creamy. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Slowly add salad dressing. Blend mixture well.
Add to mixed fruits. Whip cream, and fold into fruit mixture. Pour into 9-inch square pan or individual molds. Freeze until firm. Makes 8 servings.
Fruit Salad Dressing
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Heat 2/3 cup pineapple juice. Sift sugar and flour together and add remainder of pineapple juice. Add mixture to hot pineapple juice. Cook until thickened and clear.
Beat egg yolks. Slowly add hot mixture to egg yolks while continuing to beat 3 minutes. Add lemon juice. Beat 3 minutes longer. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
Note: Although many recipes call for uncooked eggs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has found them to be a potential carrier of food-borne illness and recommends that diners avoid eating raw eggs. Commercial egg substitutes may be used in place of raw eggs in certain circumstances. Check egg substitute package for applications.