Follow those chefs

I was hoping someone could tell me where the chefs from the now-closed Forbidden City went. They served the best Chinese food I’ve ever had at a restaurant. Thank you.

– B. J. Masterson, Sacramento

Memorable chicken dish

I am looking for a recipe that I made for my family many years ago. They have been asking me to make it again for them and I can’t find the recipe.

I think it was made in a slow cooker and it was called chicken divan. It was layers of chicken breasts, broccoli and cheese (maybe cream cheese). It was very good.

I made it so long ago I’m surprised my family remembers it. Thank you.

– Mary Brown, Paradise



If you have recipes in reply to Mailbox reader requests, or questions or comments, write to: Mailbox, c/o Taste, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. You also can email or fax (916) 556-5625. Please include your full name, your city and phone number.

Classic barbecue spice rub

Prep time: 5 minutes

Makes about 1/3 cup

Joe Waters of Sacramento is the president of the Southside Club which is celebrating its 100th anniversary next month. Waters is in charge of preparing the meal and was hoping for a spice rub recipe to use on pork loin roasts.

This recipe was featured in The Bee on May 28, 2012, Grillin’ and Chillin’, by Chris Macias. It may fill the bill for Waters.


4 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons pure chili powder

2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons granulated garlic

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


In a small bowl, mix the ingredients.

Nutrition values negligible.

Apricot-walnut rugelach

Prep time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Makes 32

In September, The Bee’s Food & Wine section featured a story on Rosh Hashana with a related photograph of apricot and cinnamon rugelach. Many readers were hoping for the recipe.

The Mailbox featured the recipe that matched the photo which had this caption: “This take on rugelach results in moist slices that show a spiral of crust and filling.” We heard from some readers that the traditional rugelach is shaped more like a crescent roll. Here is a Martha Stewart recipe for rugelach in its traditional form.

Note: The prep time does not include the 2-hour chill time for the dough or the 30-minute freeze time before the rugelach are baked.


2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for work surface

1 cup dried apricots

1/4 cup brandy

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup water

1 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 large egg, lightly beaten


In a food processor, process butter, cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of the sugar and salt until combined. Add flour and pulse until dough forms. Divide in half, flatten into disks and tightly wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or overnight.

In a small pot, bring apricots, brandy, cinnamon and water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until most of liquid is absorbed, 7 minutes. Transfer to clean food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Stir in walnuts and remaining 2/3 cup sugar.

Working with a disk at a time, on a floured surface, roll out dough into a 12-inch circle. Spread with half of the filling, leaving a 1-inch border. Cut into 16 wedges.

Starting from outside edge, tightly roll each wedge up. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, seam side down. Lightly brush with egg. Freeze 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating halfway through. Transfer to wire racks; let cool completely. Store in airtight containers, up to one week.

Per rugelach: 216 cal.; 2 g pro.; 15 g carb.; 16 g fat (9 sat., 4 monounsat., 3 polyunsat.); 44 mg chol.; 48 mg sod.; 1 g fiber; 67 percent calories from fat