DEAR SOS: I'd love to have the recipe for the extraordinary house dressing made with pecans as served at Doubletree in Dallas. Any chance?
DEAR LAURA: The dressing is a balsamic vinaigrette with pecans, and it's great with a bowl of garden greens, such as Romaine, Bibb, radicchio and red leaf lettuce. It also makes a great dressing for grilled chicken, fish or meat.
DOUBLETREE PECAN BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE DRESSING
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup water
1 cup safflower oil
Place egg, pecans, vinegar, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, salt, white pepper, mustard and 1/4 cup water in blender container. Mix at high speed 1 minute until smooth. Put mixer on low speed and slowly add oil and remaining 1/4 cup water alternately until well blended.
Consistency should be thick but may be thinned with small amount water, if necessary. Makes 2 cups or enough dressing for 8 servings.
DEAR SOS: I lost my recipe for Pier 4 Ice Cream Pie, first published in the late '70s or early '80s. My family always enjoyed this delicious dessert served with a hot lemon sauce.
DEAR DEE: Owner Anthony Athanas of Anthony's Pier 4 in Boston sent us this recipe in 1975.
PIER 4 ICE CREAM PIE
1 quart vanilla ice cream
1 (9-inch) graham cracker pie shell
Hot Lemon Sauce
Soften ice cream and spread evenly in pie crust. Place in freezer until ready to serve.
To serve, slice pie in desired number of servings. Pipe or spoon whipped cream around edge of pie and spoon Hot Lemon Sauce over remaining area of pie. Makes 6 servings.
Hot Lemon Sauce
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice concentrate
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
Grate zest and squeeze juice from lemon. Combine zest and juice with 1 1/4 cups water and sugar in top of double boiler over simmering water. Dissolve lemon juice concentrate in 5 tablespoons water and add to double boiler.
Beat egg yolk with 2 1/2 tablespoons water and cornstarch, blending well. Bring lemon liquid to boil, then whisk in egg mixture. Simmer and stir until sauce thickens.
DEAR SOS: I misplaced my recipe for Ham and Cheese Strata using Munster cheese with mustard and butter spread. Can you help?
DEAR HOPEFUL: It's all yours. This is a sandwich recipe that can be prepared in advance for lunch or a light supper.
HAM AND CHEESE STRATA
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
8 slices stale white bread
4 slices boiled ham
4 slices Muenster cheese
8 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Strawberry preserves, optional
Combine butter and mustard until well blended. Spread one side of each bread slice with butter mixture. Cover half of bread slices with 1 slice ham and 1 slice cheese each. Top with remaining bread, buttered side facing cheese. Trim crusts. Cut crusts into cubes. Cut sandwiches into 4 triangles each.
Place bread crusts in bottom of buttered 1 1/2-quart rectangular baking dish. Arrange sandwich triangles on top of crusts. Combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper and pour over sandwiches. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Bake at 350 degrees 50 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve with strawberry preserves drizzled over top. Makes 6 servings.