Cook’s Corner

Cook’s Corner: Finding a favorite dressing from Spiral


Sleuth’s corner

Q. I am hoping someone who moved to Miami from New York has the recipe from the fabled Lutece for a chicken dish made with white wine and cream and served over hot noodles. It was a favorite of my wife and I’d like to make it for our anniversary in June. We’ll be celebrating our 50th.


Main dish

Talavera’s Grilled Chicken Huarache

4 huaraches (recipe follows)

1 can black beans, drained, pureed with 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

8 tablespoons salsa verde

1 cup shredded lettuce

4 grilled chicken breasts

4 ounces crumbled feta cheese

3/4 cup roasted tomato sauce (recipe follows)

Top each hot grilled huarache with about 3 ounces black bean puree, 2 tablespoons salsa verde, shredded lettuce, followed by grilled chicken. Finish with crumbled feta and surround with tomato sauce. Makes 4 servings.


2 cups cornmeal flour (masa), such as Maseca

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 tablespoon oil

In a bowl, stir masa flour, baking powder, salt and 1 3/4 cups of water until dough holds together well, adding a little water if needed. Divide the dough into 4 ovals. Press each oval between 2 sheets of greased parchment paper and press to about 1/4 inch thick, thicker than a tortilla. Refrigerate until needed.

When ready to serve, oil a griddle or 2 heavy frying pans and place over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, flip huarache ovals onto pan and peel off paper. Cook until bottom is light golden brown, about 3 minutes. Use a wide spatula to turn huaraches over and again cook until browned. Remove huaraches from pan and let stand until cool enough to handle; pinch outer edge to form a ridge. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 665 calories (26 percent from fat), 19 g fat (6.8 g saturated, 5.3 g monounsaturated), 96 mg cholesterol, 42.5 g protein, 83 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber, 1,092 mg sodium.


Roasted Tomato Sauce

1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes

1 jalapeno, seeds removed if desired

1 tablespoon oil

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 dry guajillo chiles (other chiles may be substituted)

1/2 cup chicken stock

Halve tomatoes and place on cookie sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Add the jalapeno. Roast in a 250-degree oven until browned, 25 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, place oil in a skillet and heat on medium-high. Saute onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes with the seeded and deveined dried chiles, until onions are caramelized. When tomatoes and jalapenos are ready, add to the pan along with the chicken stock. Cook 15 minutes at a low simmer. Place mixture in food processor in two batches and blend until smooth. Strain to remove any seeds or vegetable skins. Makes 1 quart.

Per serving (1/2 cup): 49calories (36 percent from fat), 2.1g fat (.3g saturated, .6g monounsaturated), .4 mg cholesterol, 1.7 g protein, 6.8 g carbohydrates, 1.5g fiber, 28 mg sodium.


Maple Pecan Granola Crunch

Cooking spray

2 cups regular oats

1/2 cup pecan pieces

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons canola oil

1/8 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Coat a large jelly-roll pan with cooking spray. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Spread evenly in pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely. Makes 16 1/4-cup servings.

Per serving: 109 calories (37 percent from fat), 4.6g fat .4 g saturated, 2.6 g monounsaturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 1.6 g protein, 16.1 g carbohydrates, 1.3 g fiber, 21 mg sodium.

More information

Process the onion and vinegar in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend for 4 minutes. Best made 24 hours in advance. Makes about 4 cups.

Per serving (2 tablespoons): 136 calories (91 percent from fat), 14g fat (2 g saturated, 3 g monounsaturated), 0 mg cholesterol, .6 g protein, 2.1 g carbohydrates, .2 g fiber, 296 mg sodium.


The Spiral’s Miso Dressing

1/4 medium onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 cups soybean oil

3/4 cup filtered or bottled still water

1/4 cup tamari

3/4 cup white miso (also called fermented soybean paste)

1 tablespoon honey (optional)

Kayla Friedman asked for help finding the recipe for miso salad dressing from the Spiral in Coral Gables, a pioneer health foods restaurant in the flower power era. Happily, many readers not only fondly remembered the restaurant and owner Mama Mango, but shared the recipe.

“I actually have a very blurred index card with the recipe,” wrote Ann Goldman. “A favorite from the ‘70s.” “I’ve had the recipe since the Woodstock days,” said Patty V. “Back then miso and tamari were exotic ingredients.”

“A girlfriend gave it to me and I always loved the flavor,” said J. Jenson. “I’ve had it since the late 1970s.”

“I cut this recipe from the paper in the ‘70s and have been making it & giving it to friends ever since,” said Carol Seiderman. “It’s always a hit.”

There were a few variations in the shared recipes. Some called for safflower oil rather than soybean, but any light-flavored oil will do. Some used apple cider vinegar and some rice wine vinegar. Some added a tablespoon of honey.

For those unfamiliar with tamari, it is similar to soy sauce since it is made from fermented soy beans, but it is thicker, darker and contains less sodium.

Huarache sandal

Q. They make a very interesting dish shaped like a huarache sandal at Talavera in Coral Gables. The base is like a corn cake. Can you tell me how it is made?


Chef Oscar del Rivero kindly supplied the recipe, just in time for Cinco de Mayo. The restaurant makes its own salsa verde and black bean puree, but I have adapted the recipe to use commercial products to make it easier on a home cook. The roasted tomato sauce is quite distinct and quite fiery, but as a shortcut, consider draining a can of tomatoes with green chiles and pureeing in a blender.

The real star of the dish is the huarache base, which is thicker than a corn tortilla and more finely flavored. Though often sold as street food in Mexico City, these are rarely found in this country. Yes, huaraches are named after the shoes because of the shape.

Note: You will have roasted tomato sauce left over for other uses. Refrigerate for a few days or freeze.


Children can make breakfast on their own for mom with this easy yet delicious recipe for homemade granola (they may need an adult to man the oven). It’s from Kids in the Kitchen by Time Magazine for Kids ($19.95). The recipes are pretty standard, but the spiral bound format is nifty and the recipes all have cultural or historical nuggets as well.To make a Mother’s Day breakfast even more special, layer the granola with fresh fruit and yogurt to make a morning sundae.

Send questions and responses to or Food, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132. Personal replies are not possible.

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