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.”
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.
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!
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 LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172. Replies cannot be guaranteed.