White House Eggnog, Crab Imperial


DEAR SOS: A few years ago, while lying flat on my back after surgery, I copied a recipe from the White House chef for President Ronald Reagan’s favorite eggnog. As I am a fan of eggnog I prepared it with enthusiasm. It is wonderful.


DEAR SUSAN: Glad to add the recipe to other holiday favorites of our Presidents.


1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

6 eggs

3 cups half and half

1 cup bourbon

1 cup brandy

1 cup rum

Freshly grated nutmeg

Place sugar, vanilla and eggs in blender. Blend until thoroughly mixed. Add half and half. Blend well.

Pour into serving bowl. Add bourbon, brandy and rum. Stir until well mixed. Dust top of each serving with nutmeg. Makes 12 servings, 2 quarts.


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.

Each serving contains about:

341 calories; 57 mg sodium; 128 mg cholesterol; 9 grams fat; 28 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams protein; 0 fiber.


DEAR SOS: I have more than 200 cookbooks and have yet to find a recipe for Crab Imperial, a rich, creamy crab dish served au gratin.


DEAR ELIZABETH: Glad to help. Versions of the classic Crab Imperial were often used at the turn of the century in holiday menus and casserole dish suppers.


1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup flour

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped celery leaves

1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

1 clove garlic, minced

Dash cayenne pepper

1 egg yolk, beaten

1 cup soft bread crumbs

2 tablespoons dry Sherry

1 teaspoon minced onion

1 teaspoon minced parsley

1 pound cooked crab meat

1/4 cup buttered crumbs


Melt butter in large saucepan. Add flour and blend well. Gradually add milk, salt, pepper, celery leaves, thyme, garlic and cayenne. Cook and stir over low heat until thickened. Add little sauce to beaten egg yolk, then stir back into sauce. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add soft bread crumbs, Sherry, onion, parsley and crab meat, mixing lightly. Pile into crab shells or shallow baking or gratin dish. Top with buttered crumbs and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 400 degrees 10 minutes or until crumbs are lightly browned. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Each serving contains about:

361 calories; 1,668 mg sodium; 176 mg cholesterol; 17 grams fat; 20 grams carbohydrates; 27 grams protein; 0.1 gram fiber.


DEAR SOS: My husband won’t eat salads unless they have poppy-seed dressing on them, and he has asked me to write to you for a good recipe.


DEAR FLORENCE: We like the Bullock’s Tearoom version we’ve had in our files for a long time.


1 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons dry mustard

2/3 cup vinegar

3 tablespoons onion juice

2 cups oil

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

Combine sugar, mustard, vinegar and onion juice. Gradually add oil and whip until smooth. Add poppy seeds and blend well. Cover and chill. Makes about 1 quart.

Each tablespoon contains about:

81 calories; 0 sodium; 0 cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 5 grams carbohydrates; 0 protein; 0.04 gram fiber.