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Biltmore’s Blueberry Muffins Ease the Work for Christmas Brunches

Times Staff Writer

DEAR SOS: I’ve lost my favorite recipe for Hotel Biltmore Blueberry Muffins. Please help.

--VERNA

DEAR VERNA: Doing a Christmas brunch? The muffins will be ideal. They’re loaded with blueberries.

HOTEL BILTMORE BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

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1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup shortening

1 teaspoon salt

3 whole eggs

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1 cup milk

4 cups cake flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 pound frozen or fresh blueberries

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Cream sugar with shortening and salt. Gradually add eggs, 1 at time, mixing well. Scrape sides of bowl to mix well.

Combine flour and baking powder. Add milk alternately with flour mixture and blend well. Fold blueberries into batter.

Divide mixture into well-greased muffin pans and bake at 400 degrees 25 to 30 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen muffins.

DEAR SOS: One of my favorite meals is to order chicken teppan at a Japanese restaurant, and I especially like the accompanying ginger sauce.

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--WENDY

DEAR WENDY: Teppan, for those who don’t know, is griddle cookery in Japanese cuisine. It’s an ideal method for cooking foods quickly during busy holiday shopping days.

The entire meal is prepared on the griddle. You can use boneless chicken or steak, shrimp or lobster, or any tender cut of meat, fish or poultry for griddle cooking. Vegetables should be the tender type, as well: zucchini, onions, mushrooms, bean sprouts or any cooked hard vegetable, such as cooked potato, sweet potato and carrot slices.

The art is in knowing when things are done, as foods cook quickly on the griddle. Once done, the meats are cut into slices or cubes to eat with chop sticks, but they can also be left whole to eat with knife and fork. The accompanying ginger or dipping sauces are used for dipping the small bits of meat.

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JAPANESE TEPPAN CHICKEN

2 boneless chicken breast halves

Oil

Ginger Sauce

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5 or 6 large mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 or 2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced

1/2 cup bean sprouts, about

Sesame seeds, optional

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Garlic slices

Ginger Sauce

Dipping Sauce

Remove skin from chicken breasts. Heat griddle and grease with oil or chicken fat taken from skin, if available. Cook breasts on hottest part of griddle until browned, basting or sprinkling with Ginger Sauce to keep moist.

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Move breasts to edge of grill. Cut into large bite-size pieces and turn cut side down. Cook and turn until done as desired, sprinkling with Ginger Sauce. Push to edge of griddle to keep warm.

Meanwhile, place mushrooms, zucchini and bean sprouts in chicken drippings remaining on griddle and cook, tossing, until lightly browned and tender-crisp. Sprinkle with Ginger Sauce and sesame seeds.

Arrange meat and vegetables on serving platter. Top chicken with garlic slices. Serve with Ginger Sauce or Dipping Sauce. Makes 1 to 2 servings.

Ginger Sauce

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1 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup oil

2 teaspoons grated ginger root

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1 clove garlic, minced or mashed

Combine and heat together soy sauce, sugar, oil, ginger and garlic. Use as basting or dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup chicken broth

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1/2 cup soy sauce

1 green onion top, minced

Combine broth, soy sauce and onion top. Mix well.

DEAR SOS: When we were in Hawaii this summer, we had the best Macadamia Pie ever tasted. It was like chess pie in texture.

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--LOUISE

DEAR LOUISE: We have a typical Hawaiian macadamia nut pie recipe that probably fits your need.

VOLCANO MACADAMIA PIE

3 eggs

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2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

1 cup dark corn syrup

1 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts

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1 (9-inch) pie shell

Whole macadamia nuts

Rum Sauce, optional

Beat eggs until well blended and foamy. Beat in sugar and butter. Blend in corn syrup and chopped nuts.

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Pour into prepared pie shell and bake at 350 degrees 35 to 40 minutes or until wood pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on rack. Garnish with whole macadamia nuts and serve with Rum Sauce on side. Makes 8 servings.

Rum Sauce

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 cup brown sugar, packed

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1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup light rum

2 teaspoons vanilla

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat and stir in brown sugar and corn syrup. Cook, stirring, until sugar melts and mixture becomes smooth. Add rum and vanilla. Heat through.

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