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Yogurt Dip, Coconut Cake and Garlic Bread


DEAR SOS: I'd love the recipe for the yogurt dip called tzatziki served at the Greek restaurant Papadakis Taverna in San Pedro.


DEAR GILL: The dip is wonderfully refreshing--and nourishing--with fresh, raw vegetables. It's also a great, tangy dressing for pita sandwiches, hamburgers or other grilled meats, fish or poultry.


1 pint plain yogurt

1 large cucumber

3 large cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

Strain yogurt through cheesecloth overnight.

Peel cucumber and split in halves. Remove seeds and cut in chunks. Place yogurt in food processor bowl. Feed cucumber through food processor into yogurt. Add garlic and salt. Mix well. Makes about 2 cups.

Note: Use as dip or topping for vegetables or meat.

DEAR SOS: I'm a coconut fanatic, especially when it comes to cakes and pies, and the coconut cake at the Willows in Honolulu is the best I've eaten. Could you possibly obtain the recipe?


DEAR DAVID: We have a recipe for a similar coconut cake from the Kahala Hilton in Hawaii. We hope you find it satisfactory.


4 eggs, separated

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup cake flour


Custard Filling

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

3 cups freshly grated coconut

Mix egg yolks, oil, water and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Add salt, baking powder, cake flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Mix until smooth.

Beat egg whites until stiff and carefully fold into batter. Pour into 10-inch springform pan that has been greased and floured or lined with wax paper. Bake at 325 degrees 50 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool.

Cut cake into 4 very thin or 3 thicker layers. Spread cooled Custard Filling between cake layers. Whip cream with 3 tablespoons sugar until stiff. Frost top and sides of cake with whipped cream. Sprinkle top and sides generously with coconut. Chill. Makes 1 (9-inch) layer cake.

Custard Filling

2 cups milk

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons cold milk

2 eggs, beaten

Combine milk, sugar and vanilla in saucepan. Bring to boil. Mix cornstarch with cold milk and beaten eggs. Blend cornstarch mixture into sugar mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened. Cool.

DEAR SOS: I am looking for the recipe for the terrific garlic bread served at the Smoke House in Burbank. Hope you'll able to get it.


DEAR LINDA: We've printed the recipe numerous times throughout the years and it appears in "The Los Angeles Times' California Cookbook" (Abrams, hardcover; American New Library, soft cover).


1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 (1-pound) loaf French bread, cut in 15 slices

2 cups shredded processed American cheese

Melt butter, add garlic and let mixture stand several hours or overnight to blend flavors. Strain off garlic.

Brush bread slices with butter mixture, then sprinkle with cheese. Place under broiler until heated and golden brown. Makes 15 slices.

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