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CULINARY SOS

One Arresting Bread Pudding

September 20, 2000|ROSE DOSTI

DEAR SOS: I've never been a fan of bread pudding, but the one served at the Los Angeles Police Academy Cafe is divine. Is a recipe possible?

GLENA HUGHES

Los Angeles

DEAR GLENA: We got a quick-alert response to your culinary 911 from the L.A. Police Revolver and Athletic Club, home to the cafe, which is open to the public Mondays through Fridays. The club, formed by police officers in 1938, is at 1880 N. Academy Drive, near Dodger Stadium. In this recipe, the cafe uses orange juice instead of Bourbon, but either will do. The sauce is strong, so if you use Bourbon, you may want to reduce the amount.

Police Academy Cafe Bread Pudding

Active Work Time: 20 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 1/2 hours

BREAD PUDDING

9 cups cubed stale bread

4 cups milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted, plus more for greasing

3 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

* Combine bread, milk, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg in bowl. Pour into well-greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Mixture will be very moist but not soupy.

* Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 1 hour. Cool slightly, then cut into squares and serve with Bourbon Sauce.

BOURBON SAUCE

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup Bourbon or orange juice

* Melt butter with powdered sugar in saucepan over medium heat until butter is well incorporated. Remove from heat and blend in egg yolks. Pour in Bourbon, stirring constantly. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

8 servings. Each serving: 833 calories; 611 mg sodium; 221 mg cholesterol; 40 grams fat; 114 grams carbohydrates; 15 grams protein; 1.07 grams fiber.

Suave Squash

DEAR SOS: I had a wonderful butternut squash soup at the Bistro Garden at Coldwater in Studio City. Can you obtain the recipe?

TRACEY POLLACK

Los Angeles

Dear TRACY: What a lovely soup to keep in mind for special occasions.

Bistro Garden Butternut Squash Soup

Active Work Time: 30 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 1/2 hours

2 small butternut squash, about 4 pounds

2 onions, sliced

2 tablespoons butter

1 leek, white part only, sliced

4 cups chicken stock

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt

White pepper

1/4 cup hot whipping cream

* Cut squash in halves. Clean and roast at 450 degrees until very tender, about 1 hour. Scoop out flesh with spoon and set aside.

* In large soup pot, saute onions in 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat until tender. Add leek and squash and cook 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, sugar, curry powder, cumin, salt and white pepper to taste.

* Place soup mixture in blender, a batch at a time, blending until smooth, and return to pot. Blend last batch with 1 tablespoon butter and cream. Return to remaining soup, stirring, and heat through. Adjust seasoning and thickness.

8 servings. Each serving: 194 calories; 463 mg sodium; 19 mg cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 31 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 2.48 grams fiber.

Beach Borscht

DEAR SOS: My favorite restaurant, Warszawa in Santa Monica, serves a delicious borscht. Do you think they would part with the recipe?

ANN VITTI

Pacific Palisades

DEAR ANN: This is the winter version; hope that's all right with you. Warszawa's owner-chef Elina Lejman uses one bunch of beets, if they are large. Use two bunches if the beets are small.

Warszawa Borscht

Active Work Time: 25 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

1 bunch large or 2 bunches small beets

8 cups water

1 onion, diced

2 tablespoons butter

1 pound Polish sausage, diced

1 bunch green onions, sliced

Coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 cups cooked small white beans

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley

1/2 cup chopped fresh dill

1/2 cup sour cream

1 hard-boiled egg, sliced or crumbled

* Cook beets in water over medium-low heat until soft, 45 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid in soup pot. Peel and grate beets. Add to reserved liquid.

* Saute onion in butter over medium heat until softened, 5 minutes. Add sausage and green onions and saute until sausage is heated through. Add sausage mixture to beet soup mixture. Add salt to taste and white pepper.

* Bring soup to boil; boil 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, beans, sugar, parsley and dill, reserving some of parsley and dill for garnish. Return soup to boil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream; do not let boil. Ladle borscht into 8 serving bowls and garnish each with egg, remaining dill and parsley.

8 servings. Each serving: 318 calories; 501 mg sodium; 70 mg cholesterol; 19 grams fat; 25 grams carbohydrates; 13 grams protein; 1.83 grams fiber.

Super Sopa

DEAR SOS: The tortilla soup at La Golondrina Restaurant on Olvera Street in Los Angeles, with its crispy pork, avocado slices and chipotle peppers, would make a wonderful dish almost any night. Since I rarely visit the restaurant, would the chef please share the recipe?

B. SIMMER

Thousand Oaks

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