The Mailbox: Teri Watson

Published: Wednesday, May. 1, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 5D

Need the rub recipe

About five years ago, I found a rub recipe in The Bee for pork spareribs. It was called "Ray's rub for ribs." I think Ray lived in El Dorado County. I have since lost the recipe and was hoping someone else saved it. Thank you.

– Richard Fish, Fair Oaks

A delightful salad

A dear friend and I enjoyed a delightful lunch recently at Karen's Bakery in Folsom. One of the offerings was a phenomenal asparagus, snap pea and broccoli salad, perfectly dressed with an Asian vinaigrette. There were whole garlic cloves in the mix along with an abundance of black sesame seeds.

I was wondering if anyone had this recipe.

– Melissa Caldwell, Sacramento

Italian wedding soup

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves 8

Jean Hunerlich of Davis was looking for an Italian wedding soup recipe. The Mailbox featured one last week from Mary Brown of Modesto, who found her recipe in one of the versions of "Taste of Home Heartwarming Soups."

This week, Nancy Siegel of Carmichael shares a version that comes from the "Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics" (Clarkson Potter, $35, 272 pages).

Note: Prep and cook times do not include time to make the homemade chicken stock. The cook time for the soup overlaps the cook time for the meatballs.


For the meatballs:

3/4 pound ground chicken

1/2 pound chicken sausage, casings removed

2/3 cup fresh white breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan plus extra for serving

3 tablespoons milk

1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the soup:

2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 cup minced yellow onion

1 cup diced carrots (about 3 carrots), cut into 1/4-inch pieces

3/4 cup diced celery (about 2 stalks), cut into 1/4-inch pieces

10 cups homemade chicken stock

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup small pasta such as tubetini or stars

1/4 cup minced, fresh dill

12 ounces fresh baby spinach, washed and trimmed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the meatballs: Place the ground chicken, sausage, breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork.

With a teaspoon, drop 1 to 1 1/4-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 40 meatballs. They don't have to be perfectly round.) Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.

In the meantime, for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots and celery and sauté until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and wine, and bring to a boil.

Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan.

Per serving: 393 cal.; 27 g pro.; 31 g carb.; 17 g fat (6 sat., 7 monounsat., 2 polyunsat., 2 other); 109 mg chol.; 924 mg sod.; 4 g fiber; 41 percent calories from fat.

Chocolate walnut biscotti

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Makes about 30 cookies

Julie Adams of Huntersville, N.C., was visiting Sacramento and discovered the chocolate biscotti from Bella Bru. She hopes for their recipe, or one close.

Although we haven't received Bella Bru's recipe, Joanne Hesse of Colfax shares her recipe.


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup chopped walnuts

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a large baking sheet.

In a bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In bowl of electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until combinedl. Stir in flour mixture to form a stiff dough. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.

On prepared baking sheet, with floured hands, form dough into two slightly flattened logs, each about 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Bake logs 35 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch. Cool biscotti on baking sheet about 5 minutes.

On a cutting board, cut biscotti diagonally into 3/4-inch slices. Arrange them, cut sides down, on baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Keep in airtight container 1 week or frozen 1 month.

Per biscotti: 141 cal.; 3 g pro.; 18 g carb.; 7 g fat (3 sat., 2 monounsat., 2 polyunsat.); 19 mg chol.; 125 mg sod.; 1 g fiber; 43 percent calories from fat.

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