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Caponata, Funnel Cakes, Kahlua-Pecan Pie

July 29, 1993|ROSE DOSTI

DEAR SOS: Recently at a luncheon at the Pasadena Hilton Hotel I was served a delicious side dish of eggplant with my club sandwich order. What's the chance of a recipe? --MARY ANNE

DEAR MARY ANNE: Excellent. John Anderson, the executive chef at the Pasadena Hilton, graciously provided the recipe for the side dish, which is actually called caponata and is served as an appetizer at the Hilton's Italian restaurant, Trevos. "It is also one of my favorite dishes," Anderson says, "because it can be served hot with grilled prawns or pasta. Or it can be served cold as an accompaniment with a sandwich or as part of an entree salad."

PASADENA HILTON CAPONATA 2 large eggplants Salt 1 large sweet green pepper 1 large sweet red pepper 1 large sweet yellow pepper 1 cup chopped fresh basil 5 ounces finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese Balsamic Vinaigrette

Peel and slice eggplant. Sprinkle slices with salt and set aside 30 minutes to draw out bitter juices from eggplant. Rinse thoroughly and dry well.

Grill eggplant on char-broiler or under broiler until barely cooked, about 2 minutes on each side. Cool.

Grill green, red and yellow peppers with skin on, until skin is charred and blistered. Place peppers in paper bag and cool until peppers are easy to handle. Peel peppers and remove seeds. Dice peppers and eggplant into 1/2-inch squares. Toss with basil and cheese. Add Balsamic Vinaigrette. Marinate at least 3 hours. Makes 12 appetizer servings.

Each serving contains about: 101 calories; 561 mg sodium; 12 mg cholesterol; 8 grams fat; 4 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 0.27 gram fiber.

Balsamic Vinaigrette 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon minced garlic 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 teaspoons salt

Combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, sugar, pepper and salt. Mix well. Makes about 3/4 cup.

DEAR SOS: The funnel cakes served at Knott's Berry Farm and Magic Mountain are delicious. I would deeply appreciate a recipe. --RENEE

DEAR RENEE: Funnel cakes or fritters, generally served for breakfast but also eaten as snacks, originated with German immigrants settling in New York and Pennsylvania farmlands. Recipes are fairly standard. The batter is piped through a funnel to create a lacy effect. They can be served plain as breakfast fritters with syrup or molasses, or with sausages, hams or other meats.

FUNNEL CAKES 2 eggs 1 1/2 cups milk 2 to 2 1/4 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt Oil Syrup or molasses, optional Cooked sausages, optional

Beat eggs in mixing bowl, then mix in milk. Sift together 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to liquid and mix thoroughly. Test mixture to see if it flows easily through funnel with 1/2-inch-diameter opening. If too thin, add more flour.

Pour oil for deep-frying into heavy iron skillet or pan to depth of about 2 inches. Heat oil until very hot but not smoking. Ladle 1/2 cup batter into funnel, keeping spout closed with forefinger. Dribble batter directly into hot oil, moving funnel in circle to build snail-like coil, or 3 or 4 rings about 6 inches in diameter. Fry about 2 minutes on each side, turning once with slotted spatula.

When cakes are brown, arrange side by side on wax paper-lined baking sheets and keep warm in very low heated oven. Repeat procedures until batter is used. Serve cakes warm with syrup and sausages. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Each of 6 servings, without syrup or molasses, contains about: 204 calories; 319 mg sodium; 75 mg cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 32 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams protein; 0.11 gram fiber.

DEAR SOS: In the fall of 1979 you printed a recipe for pecan pie with Kahlua. The pie received raves from family and guests. Alas, I lost the recipe. Please print it again. --MIRIAM

DEAR MIRIAM: Certainly. It's a festive pie for any occasion.

KAHLUA-PECAN PIE 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1/3 cup sugar 3 large eggs, beaten 1/4 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup dark corn syrup 1/4 cup coffee-flavored liqueur 1 (8-inch) unbaked pie shell 3/4 cup pecan halves Whipped cream or soft ice cream, optional

Melt butter and whisk in sugar, eggs, salt, corn syrup and liqueur. Pour in pie shell. Arrange pecans on top of filling.

Bake at 350 degrees 45 to 50 minutes or until pie filling is set. Cool slightly before cutting. Serve with whipped cream. Makes 1 (8-inch) pie or 6 servings.

Each serving, without whipped cream or ice cream, contains about: 525 calories; 296 mg sodium; 117 mg cholesterol; 27 grams fat; 62 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 0.29 gram fiber.

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