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CULINARY SOS

Gado Gado, Buttermilk-Carrot Cake

August 19, 1993|ROSE DOSTI

DEAR SOS: I'd love to duplicate the Indonesian gado gado salad with peanut sauce for a Hollywood Bowl picnic. Can you help?

--GLORIA

DEAR GLORIA: It's a spectacular salad to serve on an oversized platter for any event under the sun or stars. You'll find most of the specialty ingredients at Asian or Dutch food stores. If not, create a modified version of the salad using available ingredients. For instance, in lieu of Shanghai cabbage, use Romaine lettuce; if no shrimp paste ( terasi ) is available, omit it or substitute anchovy paste. Tamarind pulp is generally available in most Asian food stores, but it can be omitted.

INDONESIAN GADO GADO SALAD

Water

1/2 pound bean sprouts

1/4 pound Chinese long beans or string beans

1/2 pound Shanghai cabbage

1/2 pound napa cabbage

1 bunch watercress

1 pound Chinese-style hard tofu

Oil

2 medium potatoes, cooked with skin on

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

2 hard-cooked eggs, cut in wedges

Tomato wedges

Peanut Sauce

Bring 1 cup water to boil in large saucepan. Remove from heat. Add bean sprouts, stir and drain. Set aside

Snap or cut long beans into pieces about 5 inches long. Steam just until hot but still firm. Remove from steamer and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Rinse Shanghai cabbage, cut in half lengthwise, then slice crosswise. Set aside. Rinse napa cabbage and slice crosswise. Set aside. Wash watercress and drain. Set aside.

Place layer of Shanghai and napa cabbages in steamer, then watercress. Steam until just tender. Cool.

Slice tofu and deep-fry in hot oil until golden. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.

When ready to serve, slice potatoes and place in layer on platter. Top potatoes with Shanghai and napa cabbages and watercress. Arrange long beans along side. Place bean sprouts on top. Arrange cucumber around bean sprouts. Place sliced mushrooms in strip down center. Decorate with some of egg and tomato wedges. Arrange tofu around platter and decorate with remaining egg and tomato wedges. Serve with Peanut Sauce. Makes 10 servings.

Each serving contains about:

309 calories; 486 mg sodium; 47 mg cholesterol; 21 grams fat; 20 grams carbohydrates; 15 grams protein; 2.28 grams fiber.

Peanut Sauce

6 shallots or 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 teaspoon shrimp paste (terasi)

2 dried kaffir lime leaves, chopped

1 very small dried hot chile, chopped

1 teaspoon tamarind pulp

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/4 cups water

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

2 tablespoons Indonesian sweet soy sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup coconut milk

Juice 1/2 lemon

Place shallots, garlic, shrimp paste, lime leaves, dried chile and tamarind pulp in mortar and grind. Heat butter in saucepan. Add shallot mixture and saute slightly, stirring.

Place 1 cup water in another saucepan and heat. Add peanut butter, soy sauce and salt. Cook and stir until blended. Turn heat to low. Stir in 3/4 cup coconut milk.

Place shallot mixture, remaining 1/4 cup coconut milk and 1/4 cup water in food processor or blender and blend until pureed. Add to peanut butter mixture in saucepan. Add lemon juice. Cook and stir until heated through. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

DEAR SOS: Some years ago you printed a recipe for carrot cake that contained pineapple, nuts and buttermilk. A hot syrup containing buttermilk is poured over the cake after baking. Please print this gooey cake so my husband will stop moaning.

--DOLORES

DEAR DOLORES: Start singing. The cake recipe is from a Times My Best Recipe contest winner, Virginia Eville.

BUTTERMILK-CARROT CAKE

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup oil

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 (8 1/4-ounce) can crushed pineapple, well drained

2 cups grated carrots

1 cup chopped nuts

1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut

Buttermilk Frosting

Sift together flour, soda, cinnamon and salt in bowl. Set aside.

Beat in eggs. Then beat in sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until blended. Stir in pineapple, carrots, nuts and coconut. Pour into lightly greased and floured 13x9-inch baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees 55 to 60 minutes or until cake tests done in center. Pierce cake all over with fork. Pour Buttermilk Frosting over hot cake. Let stand until cool. Cut into serving pieces. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Each of 12 servings contains about:

611 calories; 250 mg sodium; 75 mg cholesterol; 32 grams fat; 79 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 0.59 gram fiber.

Buttermilk Frosting

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup butter

1 tablespoon white corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup and soda in saucepan. Bring to boil. Boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over hot cake.

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