Cook’s Corner

‘Fudgie’ request elicits two terrific brownie recipes


Sleuth’s Corner

Q. I am a huge fan and have tried many of your recipes. I am hoping that you can help me find one. There was a hotel in Marathon Key named the Faro Blanco and they had a restaurant called Kelsey’s. What I am looking for is their shrimp au gratin recipe.

B. Dorfman


Los Ranchos Chimichurri Sauce

2 bunches fresh parsley, chopped

8 to 10 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon oregano

Ground white pepper to taste

1/2 cup vinegar

1 1/2 cups olive oil

Place parsley and garlic in a food processor, and pulse until well blended. Add salt, oregano, pepper, vinegar and oil; pulse to combine. Let stand for at least 30 minutes.

Separate a portion of the sauce and brush it on steak just before grilling. Serve the rest on the side for dipping or topping cooked steak. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Per serving: 585 calories, 98 percent from fat, 65 g fat, 9 g sat fat, 47 g mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g protein, 2 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 236 mg sodium.


Grandma’s Fudgies

2 squares unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. Melt chocolate and butter together, and set aside to cool.

Beat eggs until light. Beat in sugar and vanilla until thick. Beat in cooled chocolate mixture. Add flour, stirring just until blended.

Spread batter into prepared pan, and top with nuts. Bake 30 minutes, until set and pulling away from the pan slightly. Cool slightly, and cut into squares. Makes 16 brownies.

Per serving: 165 calories, 56 percent from fat, 11 g fat, 5 g sat fat, 4 g mono fat, 42 mg cholesterol, 2 g protein, 17 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 51 mg sodium.


Soupbox Cool Cucumber Soup with Mint

3 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into rough chunks

2 cups plain yogurt

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon

1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 scallions, two chopped, one thinly sliced

Fresh mint leaves to taste

Put all the ingredients save the mint leaves and sliced scallion into a blender and puree. Pour into a large bowl, add the mint and scallion, and refrigerate for at least two hours. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh mint leaves. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 69 calories, 37 percent from fat, 3 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 1 g mono fat, 11 mg cholesterol, 4 g protein, 7.5 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 236 mg sodium.


Chocolate Caramel Brownies

1 (18.25-ounce) box chocolate cake mix

1 cup chopped nuts

1 cup evaporated milk, divided

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted

35 caramels (10-ounce bag), unwrapped

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (12-ounce bag)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix and nuts in large bowl. Stir in 2/3 cup evaporated milk and melted butter; batter will be thick. Spread half the batter in an ungreased 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat caramels and remaining evaporated milk in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted. Sprinkle chocolate chips over partially baked brownie; drizzle with caramel mixture.

Drop remaining batter by heaping teaspoons over caramel mixture. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares. Makes 24 brownies.

Per serving: 301 calories, 93 percent from fat, 15 g fat, 7 g sat fat, 6 g mono fat, 14 mg cholesterol, 4 g protein, 40 g carbs, 2.5 g fiber, 273 mg sodium.

Diane Friedberg of Miami Beach asked if anyone had the recipe for brownies called Fudgies that her mother used to make from a Woman’s Home Companion cookbook she received as a wedding present in 1941. She remembered they were made with evaporated milk and had powdered sugar on top.

Jon suggested Friedberg watch eBay for a copy of the cookbook. “There’s one up for auction, but it will probably be gone by the time she gets this message.” (Indeed, the book was sold right away, though there is always a chance another will surface.)

“Otherwise, I offer this recipe from my wife’s grandmother,” Jon continued. “They, too, referred to them as Fudgies. They can be topped with chopped nuts (pecans) or dusted with powdered sugar. We do both. I believe she would be happy with this recipe, although it does not contain evaporated milk.”

Caroline K. sent the caramel brownies recipe here, “even though I know it isn’t what your reader wanted. It does call for evaporated milk, which gave me an excuse to share this recipe for the best brownies I’ve ever tasted!”

Since I know how much Cook’s Corner readers love fiddling with a cake mix, I had to try the recipe, which is from Carnation. These brownies will make you swoon if you are a caramel lover. Several of my tasters who are big fans of the salted caramel flavor so popular now suggested adding a sprinkling of coarse salt to the top while the brownies are still warm.

Q. I love the chimichurri on the steak at Los Ranchos, but have never been able to get the proportions right when I try to make it at home. Can you get the recipe?

I remember when Los Ranchos opened in Miami, introducing South Florida to the enticing flavors of a Nicaraguan steakhouse, including gallo pinto and tres leches cake. Now there are locations at Bayside, The Falls, Sweetwater and Westland Mall. The chimichurri recipe is simple but lively.

Cookbook corner

I’m a great believer in soup no matter the weather. I love its warm, welcoming aroma when there is chill in the air, and also enjoy the simple, fresh taste of a cool soup that refreshes with the flavors of spring.

Happily, The Soupbox Cookbook by Dru Melton and Jamie Taerbaum (Race Point, $27) offers 125 creative and traditional recipes from the noted Chicago restaurant of the same name. Though there are a few long-simmering recipes, many take hardly any prep time. The cucumber soup here, for example, can be made in minutes.

Send questions and responses to or Food, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132. Replies cannot be guaranteed.

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