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CULINARY SOS

Muffins, Like Orange Julius, Sicilian Rice Balls

October 20, 1994|ROSE DOSTI

DEAR SOS: We had the most delicious breakfast muffins at the Beachcomber restaurant in Honolulu. They were big, moist and sticky--out of this world. Having the recipe would remind me of our vacation in Hawaii.

--CHRISTINE

DEAR CHRISTINE: The Beachcomber people were delighted you enjoyed the muffins and had chef Craig Yasaka provide the recipe.

MACADAMIA NUT MUFFINS

2 1/4 cups cake flour

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening

2 eggs

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Sift together cake and all-purpose flours, baking powder, sugar and salt in bowl of electric mixer. Add shortening and mix at medium speed with paddle attachment until texture of cornmeal.

In bowl combine eggs, milk and vanilla. Add to flour mixture. Mix until smooth, but do not overmix.

Grease muffin pans and fill 2/3 full with muffin mixture. Sprinkle macadamia nuts over batter and bake at 375 degrees 25 to 30 minutes, turning pans after 15 minutes to ensure even baking. When done, wood pick inserted near center of muffin will come out clean. Makes 24 muffins.

Each muffin contains about:

230 calories; 196 mg sodium; 19 mg cholesterol; 12 grams fat; 28 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 0.34 gram fiber.

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DEAR SOS: Since moving to Arizona, I am unable to locate my "almost like" Orange Julius recipe. I'm still a faithful reader.

--MRS. R.L.

DEAR MRS. R.L.: The Orange Julius people understandably cannot divulge their trade secret, but with the help of readers we have developed a version that comes quite close.

ALMOST LIKE ORANGE JULIUS

1/2 (6-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

5 to 6 ice cubes

Combine orange juice concentrate, milk, water, sugar, vanilla and ice cubes in blender container. Cover and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Serve immediately. Makes about 2 servings.

Each serving contains about:

211 calories; 32 mg sodium; 5 mg cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 48 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 0.10 gram fiber.

*

DEAR SOS: The Sicilian rice balls served at Drago restaurant in Santa Monica are delicious. Is there a way of obtaining the recipe?

--CARI

DEAR CARI: Celestino Drago shared the recipe with us in 1988, at the height of the modern Italian cooking craze. The rice balls make excellent appetizers, as well as a buffet side dish.

CELESTINO'S RICE BALLS

5 ounces arborio rice

2 cups chicken broth

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Salt

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped shallots

2 ounces ground veal or beef

1 1/2 teaspoons butter

1/2 cup dry white wine

Dash nutmeg

1 tablespoon canned tiny peas

2 tablespoons canned tomato sauce or puree

Pepper

1 tablespoon diced mozzarella cheese

1 hard-cooked egg, chopped

1 egg, beaten

Fine dry bread crumbs

Olive oil for frying

In pot cook rice in chicken broth to cover, adding more broth as it is absorbed, until all chicken broth is used and rice is tender. Let rice stand 10 minutes to absorb excess moisture. Add egg yolks and Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt. Mix well. Set aside to cool.

In skillet saute shallots with veal in butter until veal is crumbly and browned. Add wine and simmer until wine is absorbed. Add nutmeg, peas and tomato sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed. Simmer few minutes until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.

Combine mozzarella cheese and egg in small bowl. Roll 2 tablespoons cooked rice into ball. Make cavity in ball and insert scant tablespoon veal mixture, then small amount of mozzarella cheese and egg mixture. Cover with another tablespoon rice and seal cavity to make ball or pyramid shape.

Dip rice ball in egg and roll in bread crumbs. Heat 1 1/2 inches olive oil in skillet to 400 degrees. Add rice balls, few at time, to avoid overcrowding pan. Fry until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes, turning often to brown evenly. Makes 8 rice balls.

Each rice ball contains about:

180 calories; 361 mg sodium; 131 mg cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 18 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 0.14 gram fiber.

Note : Arborio rice may be found at most Italian grocery stores and supermarkets. When cooked, texture will be soft and mushy.

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