Cook’s corner

Readers to the rescue with Royal Caribbean dressing recipe


Sleuth’s corner

Q. More than 20 years ago, Hickory Farms made a wild rice that came in a box. On the back of the box was a recipe for shrimp and jambalaya rice. You cooked the rice and then added shrimp and sour cream to it and baked it. It was absolutely unbelievable! It wasn’t a traditional spicy jambalaya rice but it was brown and had spices in it. I haven’t been able to contact anybody at Hickory Farms who knows anything about it.

Brenda Head


Creamy French Dressing

To avoid any risk of salmonella contamination, you may wish to use pasteurized eggs here. Or simply substitute 2 tablespoons mayonnaise for the egg yolks.

1/4 cup champagne vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 garlic cloves, smashed with a knife, peeled and minced

1/4 cup minced parsley

2 egg yolks

1 to 2 teaspoons sugar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup olive oil

Whisk vinegar with mustard, garlic, parsley, egg yolks, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate at least 1 hour for flavors to mature. When ready to serve, gradually whisk or blend in olive oil. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 259 calories (97 percent calories from fat), 28 g fat, (4 g sat fat, 20 g mono fat) 46 mg cholesterol, .7 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 19 mg sodium.

Main Dish

Chinese Chicken Salad

For the chicken:

4 whole, bone-in chicken breasts (about 4 pounds), split into halves

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

For the salad:

2 cups vegetable oil

5-ounce package rice sticks

3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

6 scallions (white and green parts), trimmed and chopped

1 head iceberg lettuce, trimmed, cored and thinly sliced

For the sauce:

6 tablespoons rice-wine or white-wine vinegar

6 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sesame oil

3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil

3 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

In a large glass baking dish, marinate the chicken in the sesame oil and soy sauce, turning several times, for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the chicken in the same dish with the marinade until cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, Remove and discard skin and bones and shred meat into bite-size pieces. Refrigerate.

The morning of the dinner, heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Drop in a few rice sticks. When they poof up and turn white, add the rest of the sticks. Turn the pile over and fry on the other side. They should stay white. This takes only a few seconds on each side. When they stop making a sizzling noise, remove and drain on paper towels.

In a small bowl, whisk all the sauce ingredients.

Just before serving, combine the chicken, sesame seeds, scallions and sliced lettuce in a large bowl. Add the sauce and toss well. Place the crispy noodles on a big platter and spoon the chicken salad on top of them. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 745 calories, (65 percent calories from fat), 54 g fat, (7.8 g sat fat, 24 g mono fat) 110 mg cholesterol, 34 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates, 2.4 g fiber, 844 mg sodium.


Kaleidoscope ’s Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding

8 cups cubed day-old French bread

8 eggs

6 egg yolks

2 cups milk

1 quart heavy cream

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cinnamon

5 cups sugar, divided

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

For the sauce:

2 cups sugar

4 tablespoons butter, melted

2 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided

4 egg yolks

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 teaspoon water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup bourbon

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and add cubed bread. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the yolks, milk, cream, cloves, nutmeg, salt and 3 cups of sugar. Pour over the bread. Combine the remaining 2 cups sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle on top. Dot with butter.

Bake until lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes. Let pudding settle for 30 minutes before cutting.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: Caramelize the sugar in a heavy saucepan until golden brown. Whisk in the butter and 1 cup of the cream; bring to a light boil. Set aside.

In a bowl, blend the remaining 1 1/2 cups cream, 4 egg yolks, salt and cornstarch-water mixture. Return hot liquid to low flame and slowly blend in cold mixture. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Add vanilla and bourbon and cook another 2 minutes.

Serve bread pudding with Bourbon-Caramel Sauce. Makes 16 servings.

Per serving: 1,060 calories (57 percent calories from fat), 68 g fat, (41 g sat fat, 20 g mono fat) 421 mg cholesterol, 10 g protein, 105 g carbohydrates, 1.2 g fiber, 584 mg sodium.

Annabel asked if anyone could help her find the recipe for the creamy house dressing “with a tad of sweetness” served tableside in the late 1980s and early 1990s on Royal Caribbean cruise ships.

Gail writes that the inquiry “brought fond memories to my taste buds for this dressing, created by my friend executive chef Henri Ducluzeau. He and I started at Royal Caribbean back in 1970, long before the Song of Norway, Nordic Prince and Sun Viking were launched.

“He planned all the menus on the ships, but his favorite menus were created especially for the ships’ French Night held weekly. All five main entrees were his special French creations, plus the breads, salad dressings and desserts. The meals were outstanding.”

John Campanella provided the recipe here, which he says he received “at least 20 years ago” while on a Royal Caribbean cruise. “It is very easy, but very good. I think it is worth it to get champagne vinegar, but when I’m out I simply use white wine vinegar or even lemon juice.”

Kaleidoscope catch

Q. You recently had a request for a recipe from Kaleidoscope, to my mind one of the best restaurants ever in Coconut Grove and sadly missed. That letter made me think of a recipe I lost for the bread pudding from there, which I remember clipping from your column some time back. I’m sure other Kaleidoscope fans will enjoy it, too.

D. N.

You have a keen memory, as it has been more than 20 years since I published the recipe from the always gracious Hagen V. Taudt. I called it “wicked” then and I still agree. The bourbon caramel sauce alone is to die for!

Cookbook corner

Ellen Wright, who studied under Julia Child and worked with James Beard, has been called the “low-key Martha Stewart.” You can see why in her new cookbook Hampton Weekends: Easy Menus for Casual Entertaining All Year Round (East End Press, $24.95).

The recipes are straightforward and yet enticing, for foods that embrace the best the seasons have to offer: A buttery asparagus quiche in spring, road-stand tomatoes turned into gazpacho in summer, sizzling potato pancakes with chunky applesauce in fall, a warming stew when winter comes.

Besides a wealth of recipes, the book is full of entertaining ideas and lots of preparation tips. I particularly was taken by these keys to easy parties:

• Keep it simple — perfect a few dishes rather than try to dazzle with many.

• Avoid last-minute panic — organize early and stick to your plan.

• Mix and match — this applies to both guests and china.

• Get guests to help — it helps to break the ice.

The Chinese Chicken Salad recipe here is one of Wright’s most requested. All proceeds from the cookbook go to New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery — Ellen and Joe Wright Prosthetic and Orthotic Fund. Wright set up the fund after meeting a 3-year old child in great pain whose parents could not afford the proper braces for his feet.

Send questions and responses to or Food, Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172. Replies cannot be guaranteed.

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