Q. At least 30 years ago, there was a wonderful restaurant parallel to the West Side Highway in Greenwich Village in New York City. It was called Inca and they served Chicken Divan over asparagus. I wrote to The Village Voice hoping for a response with a recipe. No luck. Any ideas?
Steve Rosenberg, Fort Lauderdale
Chicken Divan, basically chicken with almonds topped with a cheese and sherry-laced Mornay sauce served over broccoli, was first created in the 1930s in New York City, where it was the signature dish at the Divan Parisien restaurant. Since I never had the version at the Inca, the best I can do is adapt a favorite method of making the dish by substituting asparagus for the broccoli. If anyone has the authentic recipe I will happily pass it along. I found I actually prefer using asparagus, especially now when it is fresh and redolent of spring.
Eleanor Young of Bangor, Pa., lost a recipe for peanut butter cookies she had clipped from the back of a Pet Milk can in the late 1950s or early ‘60s. She and her son remembered them as “the best”. Rachel Sommerer provided this recipe, which produces a really cookie, and specifically mentions Pet evaporated milk. Thanks also to Claire Berkowitz and Lillian Morrow for contributing.
Note: This is a very sweet cookie. We are publishing the original recipe since that is what Young wanted, but if you prefer less sugar I would cut use 1/2 cup each of white and brown sugars.
Miami-native Cristina Suarez Krumsick is at Books & Books in Coral Gables at 8 tonight showcasing her new cookbook, No Bake Makery: More than 80 Two-Bite Treats Made with Lovin’, Not an Oven (Grand Central Life & Style, $20). The book is the result of living in a small and hot Brooklyn apartment and experimenting with party sweets she could make without an oven. There are recipes for adults and children, from coffee truffles and mini Key lime pies to pudding pops and peanut butter-chocolate bonbons, with lots of illustrations, step-by-step instructions and helpful tips. You can see her Miami roots in The Clary, shortbread cookies ground into crumbs and mixed with guava paste and cream cheese. The recipe here for fruity two-bites goes together in no time. Krumsick recommends using a melon baller or scoop to measure out the dough before rolling into a perfectly shaped truffle by hand.
Send questions and responses to LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172. Replies cannot be guaranteed.