A 1960s taste from Hutzler's Topper: Celery-seed dressing "was fantastic," former waitress wrote.

Recipe Finder

September 24, 1997|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,SUN STAFF

Celery-seed dressing and an eggplant Parmesan that can be made in the microwave may rev up your cooking mood.

Cathy McNamara of Baltimore requested the celery-seed dressing. "In the '60s and early '70s, I worked in Hutzler's in Towson as a waitress and we served a chef salad with this dressing. It was fantastic, and I've lost the recipe and hope someone in good ol' Baltimore has it."

Many offered recipes. Chef Gilles Syglowski chose one from Charles Cluxton of Baltimore, who wrote: "Although Hutzler's was privately owned, they did belong to a group of associated stores throughout the country. They shared much information, including recipes for the food they served. I believe this recipe from Rike's department store in Dayton, Ohio, is probably the same."

Cluxton's celery-seed dressing

Serves 2 to 4

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 onion, grated (with juice)

1/3 cup vinegar

1 cup salad oil

1 tablespoon celery seed

Put sugar, mustard and salt in a bowl, add onions and juice and small amount of vinegar. Mix oil in gradually. Add remaining vinegar and celery seed. Mix well.

A recipe with similar ingredients came from Tanya M. Belan of Baltimore, who notes she also worked for Hutzler's. Her recipe calls for 1 cup confectioners' sugar, which should be mixed with 2 teaspoons dry mustard, 2 teaspoons salt and 6 tablespoons vinegar and left to stand for 3 hours but stirred every 30 minutes until it is like honey. Heat 1 cup salad oil and add it to the mixture along with the celery seed. The dressing should be prepared 24 hours before using.

Eggplant Parmesan that could be made in the microwave was the request of Min Hoffspiegel of Baltimore, and the chef chose the response of Letha M. Van Curen of Kelso, Wash.

Van Curen's eggplant Parmigiana

Serves 4

1 egg

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt, if desired

1 large or 2 medium peeled eggplant cut into 8 ( 1/2 -inch) slices

1/4 cup cooking oil

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 (21-ounce) jar Italian cooking sauce

4 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese

In a pie plate, beat egg. In another pie plate combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat microwave browning dish (meat browner) on high for 6 minutes (see note below).

Dip eggplant slices in egg and then in flour mixture to coat. In the heated browning dish, add 2 tablespoons oil and cook four eggplant slices in the oil, uncovered, on high for 2 minutes each side or until browned. Drain well on paper toweling. Wipe browning dish to remove excess oil. Heat browning dish for 3 minutes, then repeat the process with the remaining oil and eggplant slices. Drain well. Wipe browning dish and place in it four slices of the eggplant and top with half the Parmesan, half the cooking sauce and half the mozzarella. Stack the other four slices of eggplant and put Parmesan and cooking sauce on top. Cook the dish, uncovered, on high for 10 minutes or until heated through. Give dish a half turn once. Cut the remaining mozzarella in triangles and lay on top of the eggplant. Cook, covered, on high for one minute.

Note: If you don't have a browning dish, a microwave-safe pie plate can also be used, but the result may not be as attractive.

Recipe requests

* Clovice H. Hatcher of Fayetteville, N.C., would like a recipe for baked potato soup "like the one I had at Lilacs and Lace in Southern Pines, N.C."

* Lisa Shah Beck of Ellicott City wants a recipe for muffins similar to the ones "I had at the Cottage Cafe Restaurant in Ocean City. They had wonderful fresh baked muffins in place of rolls, which were moist and sweet with a hint of coconut."

* Debbie Posa of Hollis, N.H., is seeking a recipe similar to that of a Mexican restaurant "called Shortys. They have a dip called espinaca con queso. It's warm with Jack cheese, hot peppers, onions, spinach and tomatoes. We love it and can't figure out what makes it creamy. Can you help?"

Chef Syglowski and chef Kent Rigby, with the help of chefs and students at the Baltimore International College, tested these recipes.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a long-gone recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and phone number. Please note the number of servings each recipe makes.

Pub Date: 9/24/97

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