Cook’s corner

Readers still carrying a torch for Embers restaurant


Sleuth’s Corner

Q. Our family celebrated special events at the Embers on Miami Beach. I would love to reproduce their twice-baked potato and apple ring. Does anyone have these recipes?

Ilene Rindom


Martha Stewart’s No-Bake Spider Web Cheesecake


3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan

2 (9-ounce) boxes chocolate wafer cookies, finely ground (4 1/2 cups)

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon coarse salt


4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream


32 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled

Make the crust: Butter a 10-inch springform pan. Mix cookies, sugar, butter and salt in a medium bowl. Pat into prepared pan, pressing firmly into bottom and all the way up the side. Cover and refrigerate.

Make the ganache: Place chocolate in a food processor. Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan; pour over chocolate. When chocolate begins to melt, process until smooth. Reserve 2 tablespoons for decorating; spread the remainder evenly up sides of crust. Refrigerate.

Make filling: With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed and slowly add sugar and salt. Raise speed to medium high, and beat until very fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in lemon juice.

In a separate bowl, whisk cream to medium-stiff peaks. Whisk one quarter of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in remaining whipped cream. Pour filling into crust; spread evenly. Gently tap bottom of pan on counter.

Transfer reserved ganache to a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip (such as No. 3). Starting in center of cheesecake pipe a spiral, spacing lines about 1/2-inch apart. Pull the tip of a paring knife in a gently curved line from the center of the spiral to outer edge. Wipe knife clean; repeat every inch of so to form a web.

Cover and freeze at least 3 hours or overnight. Unmold cheesecake and serve immediately. Makes 14 servings.

Per serving: 747 calories, 65 percent calories from fat, 56 g fat, (30 g saturated, 13 g monounsaturated), 144 mg cholesterol, 7 g protein, 60 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 597 mg sodium


Embers House Dressing

2 cups mayonnaise

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup sweet pickle juice (from a jar of sweet pickles)

1/4 cup orange juice

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon yellow mustard

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon paprika

Juice of 2 lemons

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 hard-cooked egg (optional)

A few black olives (optional)

In a blender, process the mayonnaise, ketchup, sour cream, pickle juice, orange juice, garlic, mustard, sugar, paprika, lemon juice and Worcestershire for just a second or two. Refrigerate 24 hours. If you like, chop the egg fine and garnish salad plates with egg and olives. Makes about 2 3/4 cups dressing.

Per tablespoon: 92 calories (81 percent from fat), 8.5 g fat (1.2 g saturated, 1.5 g monounsaturated), 7.1 mg cholesterol, 0.3 g protein, 4.1 g carbohydrates, 0.1 g fiber, 102.3 mg sodium

Side Dish

Cran-Apple Rice

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 1/2 cups raw rice

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups apple juice

1 cup cranberry juice

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup dried cranberries

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

1/2 to 1 teaspoon curry powder, or to taste (optional)

2 small tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped

1/2 cup chopped green onions

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add rice and salt, and stir to coat. Add the 3 juices, cranberries, brown sugar and curry powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, or until rice is tender. Just before serving, stir in apple and green onion. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 240 calories, 13 percent calories from fat, 3.4 g fat, ( 1.9 g saturated, 0.8 g monounsaturated), 7.6 mg cholesterol, 2.8 g protein, 50 mg cholesterol, 2.8 g protein, 50 g carbohydrates, 2.1 g fiber, 177 mg fiber

Q. Ever since the Embers closed we’ve been missing their house dressing. My daughter told us to try asking you for it, so here goes!

Gail and Eddie

I can bat .500 on today’s Embers questions (see Sleuth’s Corner for the other one). For those unfamiliar with the restaurant, it was a Miami Beach institution from 1948 until it was destroyed by fire in 1984.

We first published the Embers’ French-style house dressing recipe in 1993, courtesy of Dr. Allan S. Land, who said he’d gotten it in payment for a surgical procedure many years before.

Q. Quite some time ago I had a recipe in which you made rice with cranberry juice to serve as a side with chicken. I believe it came from one of my neighbors, who has since moved on, and I’d really like to make it again. Do you have anything like it?

Carolyn Petra

The recipe here is one I clipped in the 1990s from a Mahatma rice package, and have since tinkered with (the original, for example, calls for cinnamon and I’ve opted for curry powder; it used raisins and now I use dried cranberries). I also switched up some of the measurements.

Sometimes I turn this into a main dish, adding diced leftover chicken or turkey. You might also want to consider using brown or wild rice, adjusting the cooking time accordingly.

Cookbook Corner

I’ve never read a Martha Stewart cookbook I didn’t want to cook from, and the just-released Martha Stewart’s Cakes: Our First-Ever Book of Bundts, Loaves, Layers, Coffee Cakes and More (Clarkson Potter, $24.99) is no exception.

In true “it’s a good thing” style, it’s full of beautiful photographs, clever techniques and so many recipes I can’t wait to try. It is truly tipped to novice bakers, but still has lots to entice experienced ones.

The spider web cheesecake recipe here is easy and delicious, and the simple method of decorating is foolproof.

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

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