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Fried Brie, Eggnog Cake, Coulibiac


DEAR SOS: I'd like the recipe for deep-fried Brie as served at Otto Rothschild's restaurant in Los Angeles.


DEAR HELEN: Skewered on a bamboo stick, the fried Brie wedges make superb appetizers to pass around with drinks or as an appetizer course on a plate with jalapeno jelly and fruit. You'll notice that the recipe makes use of panko , the Japanese light and airy bread crumbs used to make tempura. You can, however, use any dry bread crumbs with good results.


6 bite-size wedges Brie cheese



Panko bread crumbs (for tempura)

Oil for deep frying

Jalapeno-pepper jelly, optional

Curly endive leaves, optional

6 cluster grapes, optional

6 strawberries, optional

6 wedges or slices orange, optional

Dip Brie wedges in buttermilk, then dredge in flour. Dip again in buttermilk and roll in panko until completely breaded. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat oil to 375 degrees. Drop Brie in hot oil and cook until lightly browned. Do not overcook or Brie will melt into oil. Drain on paper towels. If used as first course, place cheese on top of plate and dollop of jelly on side. Place endive leaves on lower half of plate and top with cluster of grapes, strawberry and orange slice. Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains about:

213 calories; 275 mg sodium; 29 mg cholesterol; 13 grams fat; 15 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; .03 gram fiber; 56% calories from fat.

DEAR SOS: I lost my recipe for Eggnog Cake. Can you help?


DEAR L.C.E.: We have an Eggnog Cake recipe that might be the one you lost.


1 cup butter or margarine

2 cups sugar

5 egg yolks

1/4 cup light rum

1 cup slivered toasted almonds

1 angel food cake

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at time, beating well after each addition. Blend in rum and 3/4 cup almonds. With sharp knife or string, cut angel food cake into 3 even layers. Restack layers with filling between each.

Chill cake 24 hours. Just before serving, whip cream until stiff. Use to frost cake. Sprinkle cream with remaining 1/4 cup almonds. Makes about 6 servings.

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.

Each serving contains about:

1099 calories; 587 mg sodium; 365 mg cholesterol; 59 grams fat; 128 grams carbohydrates; 14 grams protein; 0.89 gram fiber; 48% calories from fat.

DEAR SOS: Help. It's my turn to make the holiday dinner this year and I've got my heart set on serving coulibiac . I'm told it's a traditional Yule holiday dish in Russia because it looks like a present: red (salmon) and green (spinach), all gift-wrapped in puff pastry.


DEAR RAVEN: I hope we haven't missed your deadline. This dish would also be ideal on a New Year's Eve or Twelfth Night buffet. Here's a salmon coulibiac from Just Off Melrose caterers in Hollywood.


2 (15x12-inch) sheets puff pastry

Rice Filling, chilled

Mushroom-Spinach Filling, chilled

1 1/2 pounds poached salmon, boned and flaked, chilled

1 egg

2 teaspoons half and half

2 (10x4-inch) sheets puff pastry

Cucumber-Dill Sauce

Place 2 (15x12-inch) puff pastry sheets side by side on floured board. For each puff pastry, spoon 1/4 Rice Filling evenly over center of each pastry. Add Mushroom-Spinach Filling evenly on top of rice mixture. Distribute flaked salmon evenly over mushroom mixture. Top each with remaining Rice Filling.

Beat egg with half and half in small bowl to make egg wash. Brush edges of pastry with egg wash. Fold pastry lengthwise, overlapping edges. Tuck ends to seal. Turn over, seam-side down, onto greased baking sheet.

Make cutouts from remaining (10x4-inch) puff pastry sheets, using pastry cutters. Place on top and sides of pastry roll. Make vent in center of roll and brush entire surface and cutouts with egg mixture. Bake at 350 degrees 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing. Serve hot or at room temperature with Cucumber-Dill Sauce. Makes about 10 servings.

Rice Filling

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped shallots

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups cooked rice

1 bunch fresh dill, chopped

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic. Saute until shallots are tender. Add rice and dill and mix well.

Mushroom-Spinach Filling

1/4 cup butter

1 onion, chopped

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Salt, pepper

Melt butter in small skillet. Add onion and saute until tender, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and spinach and cook 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cucumber-Dill Sauce

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup minced shallots

1 1/2 teaspoons flour

1 cup half and half

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup chopped fresh dill

Salt, pepper

1/4 cup grated peeled cucumber

Melt butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until translucent. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Stir in half and half and simmer until slightly thickened. Add sour cream and dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat through, but do not boil. Add cucumber just before serving. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Each serving contains about:

634 calories; 372 mg sodium; 147 mg cholesterol; 40 grams fat; 43 grams carbohydrates; 27 grams protein; 1 gram fiber; 56% calories from fat.

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