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GOOD COOKING

Hey, Bring Us Along

August 30, 2000|ABBY MANDEL | Mandel is a cookbook author

These three recipes are perfect for barbecues or any other kind of summer entertaining for which you need to bring a dish, because they travel well.

The two salads are robustly flavored and especially good with grilled meat, fish or chicken. They can easily be doubled or tripled to serve a crowd and improve if made a day ahead.

The fudge cake is the best chocolate cake I've ever tasted. Many years ago, this cake was the winner in a chocolate cake contest that I ran in this column. A great chocolate cake is hard to find at the store; that's why I had the contest. This cake is chocolate at its best--dark, dense and wonderfully fudge-like. It's also easy to make.

Mediterranean Roasted Potato Salad

Active Work Time: 20 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

1 1/2 pounds small red boiling potatoes, scrubbed

Coarse salt

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large tomato, seeded and diced

1/2 cup minced red onion

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons drained capers

3/4 teaspoon minced garlic

Dried red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil leaves

Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

* Cook potatoes in salted water to cover until just barely tender, about 15 minutes for small potatoes, longer for larger potatoes. Drain; spread on paper towels to cool. Cut into quarters or sixths for large potatoes; peel, if desired (peeling is not necessary).

* Put olive oil in 13x9-inch baking pan. Heat at 400 degrees 5 minutes. Add potatoes in single layer. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast until lightly browned, shaking pan occasionally to turn potatoes, about 45 minutes. Transfer to large bowl.

* Add tomato, onion, red wine and balsamic vinegars, capers, garlic and red pepper flakes. Toss to mix. Let cool to room temperature. (Can be served immediately or chilled overnight. If chilled, let come to room temperature before serving.) To serve, toss, add sliced basil leaves and adjust seasoning. Garnish with basil leaves.

3 to 4 servings. Each of 4 servings: 273 calories; 69 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 11 grams fat; 42 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 1.25 grams fiber.

Chopped Spicy Asian Coleslaw

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes plus 8 hours chilling

1 small head cabbage, cored and chopped

2 pickling cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced

3 large green onions, including green ends, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, diced

3 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon minced cilantro leaves

1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced

1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger root

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Cilantro leaves, for garnish

Lime wedges, for garnish

* Place cabbage, cucumbers, onions and bell pepper in large bowl. Combine canola oil, vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, honey, cilantro, jalapeno, ginger and salt in small bowl and toss with vegetables to mix well. Cover and chill overnight.

* To serve, toss well and adjust seasoning. Garnish with cilantro leaves and lime wedges. Serve chilled.

6 to 8 servings. Each of 8 servings: 94 calories; 169 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 6 grams fat; 11 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 1.27 grams fiber.

One-in-a-Hundred Fudge Cake

Active Work Time: 20 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour plus 2 hours cooling

CAKE

1 1/2 cups cake flour, plus more for preparing pan

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups sugar

2 cups sour cream (regular or low-fat, not nonfat)

1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 3 tablespoons butter, softened, plus more for greasing

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into large mixer bowl; stir in sugar. Add sour cream, butter, eggs and vanilla. Use mixer on low speed to combine ingredients, then increase to medium speed and mix 3 minutes. Grease 13x9-inch baking pan and dust lightly with flour. Transfer batter to pan; use spatula to smooth surface.

* Bake at 350 degrees until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. Spread with frosting. (Can be made day ahead and kept at room temperature, covered airtight.)

FROSTING

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup whipping cream

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut in small pieces

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

* Stir sugar and cream in heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate and butter until smooth. Stir in vanilla.

* Refrigerate until chilled and somewhat set but not solid. Put in processor bowl fitted with metal blade and process briefly until light and fluffy. An alternative: Beat with wooden spoon. Spread on cake.

12 servings. Each serving: 634 calories; 287 mg sodium; 119 mg cholesterol; 39 grams fat; 74 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 0.68 gram fiber.

*

Plates from Sur la Table stores.

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