'A Sweet Deal'and a good causeHere's a sweet deal...

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April 17, 1994|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Sun Staff Writer

'A Sweet Deal'and a good cause

Here's a sweet deal -- dancing, champagne, hors d'oeuvres and pastries from some noted Baltimore chefs, topped off by a dessert competition with celebrity judges. It's all for a good cause, when the non-profit Epilepsy Association of Maryland celebrates "A Sweet Deal" gala at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Evergreen Carriage House, 4545 N. Charles St.

Entrants in the dessert competition include the Antrim Inn, Boccaccio, Cafe Troia, Champagne Tony's, Chef's Expressions, Foster's, King's Contrivance, Linwoods/Due, Peerce's Plantation, Pierpoint, Polo Grill, and Tio Pepe, just to name a few. Chocolatier Albert Kirchmayr, Harbor Court hotel executive chef Michael Rork, and radio personality Elane Stein are among the lucky judges. The event will also include a raffle, and each guest will receive a "Taste of Baltimore" coupon book. The event costs $60 per person, and proceeds benefit the Epilepsy Association. To order tickets or for more information, call (410) 828-7700.

Unless you're an expert cook, "things cookbooks never tell you" can be a big category indeed. What's the best way to keep eggs from cracking during hard-boiling? Is there a way to avoid the smell of cooking broccoli or Brussels sprouts? Why is it bad to peek at cooking rice?

Answers to those questions and thousands of others can be found in "The Food Lover's Tiptionary," by Sharon Tyler Herbst (Hearst Books, $15). Ms. Herbst is also the author of the popular "Food Lover's Companion." The new volume, which is also arranged alphabetically, covers topics from abalone to croutons to lobsters to slow cookers to yogurt. It's a must for virtually anyone who likes to hang around a kitchen. Good food and good music are the themes of "Cookin' up the Blues," a new cook-booklet from Tabasco brand pepper sauce. It features noted musicians and one of their favorite recipes. Musicians include Lonnie Brooks (chicken pot pie), Buckwheat Zydeco (shrimp Creole), Joe Walsh (all-American tuna fish casserole), Irma Thomas (stuffed crawfish bread), Aerosmith (scrod with onions), and Maria Muldaur (Hoppin' John). There are photos of each artist and dish. For a copy, send $10 plus $2 for shipping and handling to the McIlhenny Co., Avery Island, La. 70513, or call (800) 634-9599.

Here's a sample recipe, from Carol Fran and Clarence Hollimon.

Fried chicken salad

Serves four

8 cups mixed salad greens, such as romaine, bibb and leaf lettuce

1 cup torn radicchio or shredded red cabbage

1 cup shreded carrots

1 cup julienne zucchini

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 cup buttermilk

t tablespoon Tabasco sauce

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken, cut into half-inch strips

vegetable oil for deep-frying

4 small slices watermelon

1 tart green apple. sliced

fresh tarragon sprigs

tarragon dressing (recipe follows)

Prepare tarragon dressing and refrigerate until ready to serve. In a salad bowl, combine greens, radicchio, carrots and zucchini; toss together and refrigerate.

In a bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder; mix well and set aside. In another bowl, combine buttermilk and Tabasco sauce; mix well and set aside. Sprinkle chicken strips with additional salt and pepper. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Dip chicken in buttermilk mixture, then dredge in flour mixture. Fry in hot oil about 2 minutes, or until very crispy. Drain on paper towels.

Arrange salad vegetables on plates and top with hot chicken. Place slices of watermelon and apple on the side and garnish with tarragon sprigs. Serve with tarragon dressing.

Tarragon dressing

Makes 1 cup

1 egg

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh or dried tarragon

2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard

2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

Blend egg in food processor or blender until foamy. With machine on, gradually add oil in a thin stream. When mixture is thick and creamy, add remaining ingredients and blend well.

Fried chicken salad is one of the recipes borrowed from musicians in "Cookin' up the Blues."

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