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He submits potato soup to a baptism of fire by jalapeno chilies.

The most that people expect of potato soup is that it be filling; they are happy if it is also comforting. But Hunt Towler requires that it also be exciting: he submits it to a baptism of fire by jalapeno chilies, from which it is reborn with a stimulating new personality.

His Rich and Spicy Potato Soup is prettier, too, with a confetti of crumbled bacon and diced green and red bell peppers enlivening its traditionally monochromatic surface.

Chef Towler occasionally extends his creamy potato soup into chowder by adding 1/2 to 1 cup of tiny cooked and shelled shrimp at the very end.

Rich and Spicy Potato Soup 6 slices bacon 6 fresh jalapeno chilies, seeded and diced 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped 1 cup diced celery 1/4 cup each diced green and red bell peppers 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 1-1/2 cups water 6 medium-size (about 2 lb.) thin-skinned potatoes, peeled and diced 2 cups (1 pt.) whipping cream 3 cups milk 1/4 cup dry white wine Salt and pepper

Place bacon in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat; cook and turn bacon occasionally until crisp, then lift out, drain, and crumble. Set aside.

Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings from pan. Add the jalapeno chilies, onion, celery, green and red peppers, and garlic to the drippings. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in a 4- to 5-quart pan over high heat; add the potatoes, cover, reduce heat, and boil gently until tender when pierced, about 12 minutes. Stir in the cooked vegetables, cream, milk, wine, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook over low heat until steaming, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour into a soup tureen and garnish with bacon. Makes about 10 cups, or 5 servings of about 2 cups each.

Our archives attest that Chefs of the West expend more ingenuity on pancakes and waffles than on any other branch of cookery except barbecuing.

It is hard to conceive of any grain or grain combination that they have not used, of any fruit that they have employed either in a batter or as a topping, of any syrup yet untried. Still, they find ways to surprise us.

Steve Harrison, for example, gives his pancakes a whiff of vanilla and almond extract; he adds crunch with almond butter. As a topping, he uses honey-sweetened almond butter or, for a more down-home flavor, apple butter.

Look for almond butter in jars alongside peanut butter in your local supermarket.

Almond Butter Pancakes 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 large egg 2 tablespoon crunch-style almond butter 1 cup milk 2 to 3 tablespoons salad oil 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 1/8 teaspoon almond extract Almond butter topping (recipe follows)

In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In a small bowl, beat egg and blend in almond butter, milk, 2 tablespoons of the oil, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir egg mixture into dry ingredients until evenly moistened.

Place a griddle or 10- to 12-inch frying pan on medium-high heat (or set an electric griddle at 350[deg.]). When hot, lightly brush with oil. For each pancake, spoon about 3 tablespoons of batter onto griddle and spread into a 4-inch circle. Cook until bubbles appear and surface looks dry. Turn and cook until brown on the other side. Serve pancakes as cooked, or keep warm until all are cooked. Serve with almond topping. Makes 9 pancakes.

Almond butter topping. In a small bowl, beat together 1/2 cup each almond butter (crunch-style preferred) and butter or margarine at room temperature; add 2-1/2 to 3 tablespoons honey.

Corn (maize, that is) is the most important native American grain, but wild rice is the classiest. Until recently, though, its high price made it tycoon food.

Wild rice is the seed of a monster grass (Zizania aquatica) that can grow to 10 feet tall in wet soil or in water up to 3 feet deep. The grains tend to ripen unevenly and drop from the plant as they ripen, complicating harvest. Traditionally, Minnesota's Chippewa Indians gathered it by shaking seeds into their canoes as they paddled slowly around the edges of marshy lakes.

The situation, luckily, has changed; farmers now grow wild rice in artificial paddies. California's Sacramento Valley has large agricultural tracts in which wild rice is handled in much the same way as domestic rice. This is possible because of the development of a shorter-stemmed plant that holds its seeds well and can be machine-harvested. Though it costs less, the cultivated grain has the same nutty flavor and slightly chewy texture as the wild product.

Minnesota relatives supply Wendell Anderson with an occasional stash of "the good berry" (mahnomen), as the Indians call it, but he is not so extravagant as to use it straight in poultry stuffing. Still chary with this grain, he blends it with an equal amount of white rice.

Chicken with Wild Rice Stuffing 2/3 cup wild race Water 2-1/2 cups regular-strength chicken broth 2/3 cup long-grain white rice 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine 1 small onion, finely chopped 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced 1/2 teaspoon each dry rosemary, dry thyme leaves, rubbed sage, and dry summer savory 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 1 roasting chicken (5 to 6 lb.)

Rinse wild rise in warm water and drain. In a 3- to 4-quart pan, bring broth to a boil over high heat. Add wild rice, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until rice is tender to bite, about 40 minutes; stir occasionally. Drain; if desired, reserve broth for soup or other uses.

At the same time, in another 3- to 4-quart pan, combine white rice and 1-1/2 cups water; bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes, covered.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat; add onion and cook, stirring often, until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned.

In a large bowl combine the wild rice, white rice, onion mixture, rosemary, thyme, sage, savory, and walnuts.

Remove chicken neck and giblets; reserve for other uses if desired. Discard lumps of fat and rinse chicken inside and out; pat dry. Stuff breast cavity with some of the rice mixture, then secure neck skin over opening to back with a skewer. Fill body cavity with stuffing, then skewer skin in place over cavity. Place extra stuffing in a shallow 2- to 3-cup baking dish.

Place chicken, breast down, on a rack in a 12- by 15-inch roasting pan. Roast, uncovered, in a 350[deg.] oven or 30 minutes. Turn chicken breast up and continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of thigh (not touching bone) registers 185[deg.], about 45 more minutes. Cover stuffing in baking dish and place in oven during last 30 minutes.

Place chicken and stuffing on a large platter. Carve to serve, spooning stuffing from breast and body cavities. Serves 5 or 6.

The Open-faced Ellenburger is a cook's discovery from the Sandwich Islands. Bill Ellenburger of Kapaa, Hawaii, elaborated it from a sandwich he used to prepare as a steakhouse cook before he burned out from long shifts at the grill. The basic sandwich was a grilled fish fillet on dark rye with tartar sauce. Ellenburger's additions and elaborations make it a complete meal, and a fine one.

Open-faced Ellenburger 11 slices dark rye bread 1 large egg Herb butter (recipe follows) 4 red snapper (rock fish) fillets, each about 1/2 inch thick (about 1-1/4 lbs. total) 4 slices (3/4 to 1 oz. each) Swiss cheese 4 slices (3/4 to 1 oz. each) jack cheese 4 medium-size butter lettuce leaves, washed and crisped about 3/4 cup alfalfa sprouts 2 medium-size ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced 1 large firm-ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced 4 thin slices mild red onion Lemon wedges Parsley sprigs Tartar sauce (recipe follows)

Toast 3 slices of the rye bread, then whirl in a blender or food processor to make fine crumbs. Place crumbs on a large sheet of waxed paper. In a shallow dish, such as a pie pan, beat egg until well blended.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the herb butter in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Dip each fillet in the egg to coat all sides, drain briefly, then completely coat with the rye bread crumbs. Fill pan with coated fillets, without overlapping.

Cook until fillets are brown on the bottom, adding herb butter as needed. Turn fish over and arrange 1 slice of Swiss cheese and 1 slice of jack cheese on each fillet; cover and cook until cheese is melted and fish is opaque in center of the thickest part when prodded with a fork, about 3 more minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the remaining 8 rye bread slices; spread 1 side of each with the remaining herb butter and keep warm. To serve, evenly top 4 of the toast slices with the lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, and avocado. Arrange fish on remaining toast. Garnish with onion slices, lemon wedges, and parsley. Spoon tartar sauce, to taste, onto individual portions. Makes 4 servings.

Herb butter. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine; 2 tablespoons minced parsley; 1 tablespoon lemon juice; and 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed.

Tartar sauce. In a small bowl, stir together 1 cup mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish, 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion, 1 tablespoon each lemon juice and dry dill weed, 1/2 teaspoon each Worcestershire and Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Nov 1, 1985
Words:1658
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