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Enchanting Squid

September 03, 1997|ROSE DOSTI

DEAR SOS: I've become addicted to the calamari steaks served with caper sauce at Mangia Mangia in Huntington Beach. And I'll bet they are easy to make. Please try to get the recipe.


DEAR TERRY: Owner Giuseppe Cefalu sent this recipe for calamari aficionados. Squid steaks (calamari in Italian), seasonal throughout summer and fall, require no messy cutting and cleaning these days. They are usually available ready to use at most seafood markets. Use the versatile caper sauce with any fish, shrimp or scallops or, for a change, try it with pounded chicken, turkey or veal scallops.


6 (4- to 6-ounce) cleaned and filleted calamari steaks

2 cups flour

Pinch salt

Pinch white pepper

2 cups corn oil

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup fish stock or clam juice

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup capers

Place fillets between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound as thinly as possible without tearing.

Mix flour, salt and pepper in shallow plate. Dredge steaks in flour mixture and shake off excess. Set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet over high heat. Place 3 floured steaks in hot oil and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining 3 steaks.

Pour out oil and return steaks to skillet. Add vinegar and cook 5 seconds. Transfer steaks to serving platter and keep warm in 200-degree oven.

Add fish stock to vinegar in pan and cook 20 seconds. Add butter and cook until butter melts and sauce begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Add capers. Pour sauce over steaks and serve.

6 servings. Each serving:

914 calories; 326 mg sodium; 223 mg cholesterol; 78 grams fat; 35 grams carbohydrates; 19 grams protein; 0.11 gram fiber.

Sweet and Shaggy

DEAR SOS: Several years ago you printed a recipe for Griswold's Haystack cookies. I make these cookies every holiday but could not find the recipe this year. Please help.


DEAR ROBERTA: Thanks for the e-mail request for these cookies. Griswold's in Claremont shared this recipe with us a decade ago, and it's still a favorite with our readers.


13 egg whites, lightly beaten

2 cups sugar

6 1/2 cups flaked coconut

1 1/2 cups chopped dates

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Butter for greasing pan

Combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, in top of double boiler over simmering water until mixture reaches 120 degrees on candy thermometer or feels hot to the touch.

Combine coconut, dates, walnuts, salt and vanilla in mixing bowl. Add hot sugar mixture and blend well.

Form into balls with small ice cream scoop and place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool and remove from pan.

3 dozen cookies. Each cookie:

120 calories; 67 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 20 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 0.45 gram fiber.

Not Even Benihana's Secret Is Safe

DEAR SOS: I know you're a wizard and can obtain absolutely any recipe. How about the recipe for Benihana's famous salad dressing?


DEAR EDITTE: Flattery will get you . . . the recipe.


1/2 cup soybean oil

1/4 cup white vinegar

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 cup sliced celery

1/4 cup coarsely chopped onion

Combine oil, vinegar, tomato paste, soy sauce, salt, ginger, celery and onion in food processor. Mix at medium speed 3 to 5 seconds until celery is finely grated. Add dressing to salad and toss.

1 1/2 cups. Each 1-tablespoon serving:

44 calories; 95 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 5 grams fat; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 protein; 0.06 gram fiber.

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