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Strata-gy From the Raft

A Chicken Soup Souvenir


DEAR SOS: I am hoping you can obtain the recipe for sausage and mushroom strata from the Raft Cafe, a delightful place on the water in Newport Beach.



DEAR VIRGINIA: The portabello mushrooms lend a modern air to this old-fashioned quiche-like luncheon dish. It's a great do-ahead dish to take to a potluck brunch or supper.

The Raft Cafe Turkey Sausage and Mushroom Strata

Active Work Time: 1 hour * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

1 pound lean turkey sausage

4 large portabello mushrooms

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 large red onion, sliced


1 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme

6 eggs

3 1/2 cups low-fat milk

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Nonstick cooking spray

16 (3/4-inch-thick) slices sourdough bread

1 slice Jewish rye bread, lightly toasted

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella

* Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the sausage until it's browned and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Cut it into thin slices and set aside.

* Trim the mushroom stems and remove the gills from the caps by gently scraping them with a paring knife. Slice the caps and set them aside.

* Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over low heat. Add the onion slices and cook them until they're lightly browned, 25 minutes. Add salt to taste. Remove the onion from the skillet and set aside. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet over low heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until they're dark brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the thyme and salt to taste. Set aside.

* Mix together the eggs, milk, pepper and mustard in a bowl.

* Spray a 13x9-inch pan with nonstick spray. Layer half the sourdough bread in the bottom of the pan, cutting it, if necessary, to make it fit, followed by a layer of sausage slices, onions, mushrooms, half of rye bread, diced, and half of the cheese. Pour half of the egg mixture over the top of the bread mixture. Repeat layering with the sourdough bread, sausage, onions, mushrooms and diced rye bread and ending with the cheese. Pour the remaining egg mixture on top. Press down to lightly soak the bread.

* Cover the pan with parchment paper and foil and bake 30 to 40 minutes. Uncover the pan and bake until the strata is puffed and golden brown, 10 minutes more. Cut it into slices to serve.

8 servings. Each serving: 459 calories; 1,366 mg sodium; 224 mg cholesterol; 18 grams fat; 55 grams carbohydrates; 25 grams protein; 3.02 grams fiber.

A Chicken Soup Souvenir

DEAR SOS: Can you obtain the recipe for chicken soup served at the Knott's Berry Farm Chicken Restaurant in Buena Park?


DEAR MARK: Knott's Berry Farm sent us the "Knott's Berry Farm Cookbook" by Florine Sikking and Judith Zeidler (Armstrong Publishing, $4.95), created as a souvenir for theme park guests. The recipe for the chicken soup is called Charleston Chicken Soup and comes with mushroom dumplings.

Knott's Berry Farm Charleston Chicken Soup

Active Work Time: 40 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 2 hours 10 minutes


2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs, separated

1 teaspoon minced parsley

1/2 cup mushrooms, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

* Combine the flour and baking powder.

* Beat the egg yolks on high speed until light, 3 minutes. Add the parsley, mushrooms, flour mixture, salt and pepper. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute.

* In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until they're stiff but not dry, 2 minutes. Fold them into the yolk-mushroom mixture. Set the batter aside while you make the soup.


1 (3-pound) chicken, cut up

2 onions, diced

6 carrots, diced

4 stalks celery with tops, sliced

1 parsnip, diced

5 sprigs parsley, cut into fourths

Salt, pepper

10 cups water

* Place the chicken, onions, carrots, celery, parsnip, parsley and salt and pepper to taste in a Dutch oven or large saucepan. Add enough water to cover the ingredients, about 10 cups, and bring to a boil over high heat. After 15 minutes, skim off the foam, reduce the heat and simmer 1 hour, skimming the soup occasionally as it simmers.

* Remove the chicken pieces and, when they're cool enough to handle, separate the meat from the bones and cut it into small pieces. Return the chicken to the pot and bring the soup back to a simmer.

* Drop the Mushroom Dumpling batter by the tablespoon into the soup. Cover the pot and simmer the soup until the dumplings rise to the surface, 10 minutes more.

* Serve the soup in warm bowls with a dumpling or two floating on top of each serving.

6 to 8 servings. Each of 8 servings: 260 calories; 213 mg sodium; 169 mg cholesterol; 10 grams fat; 2 grams carbohydrates; 37 grams protein; 0.15 gram fiber.

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