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Chowder, Pudding, Pumpkin Butter

TIMES STAFF WRITER

DEAR SOS: Lord Charley’s in Upland, Calif., serves a great corn chowder that I would love to make at home. Is there a chance you can get a recipe?

--ABBY

DEAR ABBY: The people at Lord Charley’s were happy to share the recipe. The chowder is a good solution to a low-cost yet glamorous open house party. Serve the soup with a meaty salad, corn bread, biscuits or garlic toast.

LORD CHARLEY’S CORN CHOWDER

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1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

5 slices bacon, chopped

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5 cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon crushed thyme

1 pound potatoes, peeled and diced

1 (1-pound) package frozen corn or kernels of 6 corn on cob

1/4 cup butter

2 tablespoons flour

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1 quart half and half

Saute onion, celery, green pepper and bacon in skillet until onion is brown and bacon is cooked. Add chicken stock, salt, white pepper and thyme. Add potatoes and corn and simmer 30 minutes.

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour. Cook, stirring until smooth roux is formed. Add half and half. Whip until smooth. Add to soup. Cook 10 minutes, stirring, to blend. Makes 10 (1-cup) servings.

DEAR SOS: I’m planning my holiday baking and lost my recipe for Mrs. Reagan’s Persimmon Pudding. Do you still have it?

--STELLA

DEAR STELLA: This will sweeten anyone up.

MRS. REAGAN’S PERSIMMON PUDDING

1 cup sugar

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1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup flour, sifted

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup pureed persimmon pulp (3 to 4 very ripe fruit)

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons warm water

Brandy

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Brandy Whipped Cream Sauce

Stir together sugar and melted butter. Resift flour with salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to butter mixture. Stir in persimmon pulp. Dissolve baking soda in warm water. Add to mixture with 3 tablespoons brandy and vanilla. Add eggs, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Add raisins and nuts, stirring just until mixed.

Turn into buttered 5- to 6-cup heat-proof mold. Cover and place on rack in kettle. Pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up sides of mold. Cover kettle and simmer 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Let stand few minutes.

Unmold onto serving dish. Pour about 1/4 cup warmed brandy over pudding and flame. Serve with Brandy Whipped Cream Sauce. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Brandy Whipped Cream Sauce

1 egg

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

Dash salt

1 tablespoon brandy flavoring

1 cup whipping cream

Beat egg until light and fluffy. Beat in butter, powdered sugar, salt and brandy flavoring. Whip cream until stiff. Gently fold into egg mixture. Cover and chill.

Note: Although many recipes call for uncooked eggs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has found them to be a potential carrier of food-borne illness and recommends that diners avoid eating raw eggs. Commercial egg substitutes may be used in place of raw eggs in certain circumstances. Check egg substitute package for applications.

DEAR SOS: It’s holiday gift time again. Please, do you have a recipe for pumpkin butter?

--SUE

DEAR SUE: Good idea. Thanks.

SPICED PUMPKIN BUTTER

4 cups cooked and mashed pumpkin

1 (2-ounce) package powdered pectin

4 1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter

Place pumpkin in heavy kettle. Stir in pectin. Place over high heat and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar, pumpkin pie spice and butter. Continue stirring and bring to full rolling boil. Boil hard exactly 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir 5 minutes.

Ladle into 1/2-pint hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust caps according to manufacturer’s directions. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. After cooling, check seals. Makes 6 (1/2-pint) jars.


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