Chicken Pasta, Persimmon Pudding, Ceviche

DEAR SOS: Would you please print the recipe for spicy bow tie pasta with chicken served at World Cafe in Santa Monica? The waiter said the chef wouldn't tell.


DEAR JULIE: You're in luck. Somebody did.


Extra-virgin olive oil

1 to 2 teaspoons Thai or Indonesian chile paste (sambal oelek) or to taste

1 pound skinless chicken breast, cubed

12 ounces bow-tie pasta

6 to 8 tablespoons Basil Pesto

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil and chili paste in large skillet. Add chicken breast and cook until golden brown.

Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.

Place chicken mixture in bowl. Add Basil Pesto, cilantro and Parmesan cheese. Add cooked pasta and toss lightly but thoroughly. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains about:

426 calories; 228 mg sodium; 39 mg cholesterol; 17 grams fat; 44 grams carbohydrates; 24 grams protein; 0.22 gram fiber.

Note : Vegetables such as sauteed zucchini, mushrooms or broccoli may be used in place of cilantro sauce. Shrimp or turkey may be substituted for chicken.

Basil Pesto

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, packed

2 tablespoon toasted pine nuts

1 clove garlic

Combine oil, basil, pine nuts and garlic in blender container. Blend until creamy. Makes about 1/2 cup sauce.

DEAR SOS: Quite a few years ago I had a recipe for persimmon pudding with hard sauce. We have a great crop coming up with the holidays around the corner. Can you dig up that great recipe?


DEAR ELLEN: Readers have voted for Mrs. Ronald Reagan's persimmon pudding recipe over the years. Is this what you want?


1 cup sugar

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)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons warm water


1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup seedless raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Brandy Whipped Cream Sauce

In bowl stir together sugar and melted butter. Resift flour with salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to butter mixture. Add persimmon pulp, baking soda dissolved in warm water, 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 wire 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.

Each of 6 servings, with Brandy Whipped Cream Sauce, contains about:

791 calories; 448 mg sodium; 230 mg cholesterol; 43 grams fat; 95 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 0.59 gram fiber.

Brandy Whipped Cream Sauce

1 egg

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

Dash salt

1 tablespoon brandy flavoring

1 cup whipping cream

In bowl beat egg until light and fluffy. Beat in butter, sugar, salt and brandy flavoring. Beat whipping 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 that have been pasturized may be used in place of raw eggs in certain circumstances. Check egg substitute package for applications.

DEAR SOS: I've been to libraries but can't find the recipe for raw fish marinated in lime juice as served in Mexican beachside towns. Can you help?


DEAR READER: Ceviche comes in many variations throughout Mexico's seaside towns. It makes a great holiday appetizer.


1 pound fish fillets (mild-flavored white fish)

Juice 12 small limes

2 medium tomatoes, peeled

2 pickled jalapeno chiles

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon oregano, crumbled

3 to 4 sprigs cilantro, chopped

Salt, pepper

Avocado slices

Cut uncooked fish into small pieces. Add enough lime juice to cover fish. Cover and refrigerate 3 to 4 hours or until fish loses transparent appearance. Stir occasionally.

Chop tomatoes and discard seeds. Remove seeds from chiles and chop chiles finely. Add tomatoes, chiles, onion, oregano, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste and lime juice to fish. Let stand 1 to 2 hours. Serve with avocado slices. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Each serving contains about:

136 calories; 139 mg sodium; 34 mg cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 12 grams carbohydrates; 20 grams protein; 0.92 gram fiber.

Only recipes of general interest will be printed. Send recipe request to Culinary SOS, Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Include restaurant address when requesting recipes from restaurants.

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