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Macaroni and meat feed a multitude


Recipes for a Greek casserole and a super candy filled the response basket and are sure to please those who have never made them.

Ellen Eisenstadt of Owings Mills asked for a "pastitsio recipe which is pasta, meat and sauce." Her answer came from Carol Leo of Bend, Ore.

Leo's Greek Pastitsio

(macaroni with meat)

2 pounds elbow macaroni

10 tablespoons butter, divided

2 cups finely chopped onions

3 pounds round steak, ground

2 cups tomato puree

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 cups milk

1 1/2 cups cream

5 egg yolks, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook macaroni in boiling salted water until tender but still firm, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water and set aside. Don't overcook since it is to be baked.

Heat 4 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and add the onions. Cook, stirring, until onion is wilted. Add meat and cook about 10 minutes stirring and breaking it up with a spoon. Add tomato puree, salt and pepper to taste, cinnamon, oregano and nutmeg.

Melt remaining 6 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Add the milk and cook, stirring until thickened and smooth. Blend together the cream and egg yolks and stir into the sauce. Heat thoroughly but do not boil or the mixture will curdle.

In a large buttered baking pan, 18-by-12-by-2-inches (a 6-quart or two 3-quart shallow pans may be substituted) make a layer of macaroni, then meat, then macaroni and end with meat. Pour the cream sauce over all and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand until lukewarm. Slice into large squares and serve.

Ms. Leo notes that the recipe "serves 24 but may be cut in half or even less for smaller groups. It came from the Craig Claiborne 'New York Times International Cook Book' and makes an excellent party dish since it is best served at a lukewarm temperature, which allows the hostess plenty of time for other preparations or relaxing."


Jean M. Cordial of Fayetteville, N.C., has lost a recipe for Almond Roca that was given to her several years ago. "My family and friends dearly loved this candy and I have missed making it," she wrote.

Her answer came from Sherri Thompson of Longview, Wash., who writes, "This is an excellent recipe and is much better than the store-bought version."

Thompson's Almond Roca

2 cups butter

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons white corn syrup

8 ounces semisweet chocolate

2 cups finely chopped almonds

Melt real butter in a heavy saucepan, add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add water and corn syrup and cook, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reaches 290 degrees, which takes about half an hour. When it has reached 290 degrees, remove from heat and pour caramel mixture quickly along a buttered cookie sheet. Let cool.

Meanwhile melt chocolate in a double boiler. Spread over caramel. Sprinkle almonds over chocolate. When set, break into pieces. Cool.

Recipe requests

* Veda Collier of Godwin, N.C., asks for a recipe for pear butter.

* Antonia V. Miner of Baltimore wants to know how to caramelize onions. She writes that she has consulted with many and cannot find a recipe. So far she has followed some instructions and has only gotten "ordinary browned onions."

* Rose Strine of Elkridge "could just cry because she has lost her recipe for Festive Cake. What I remember about the cake, other than the usual flour, baking powder etc., is that it had almonds, almond flavoring, crushed pineapple and was frosted with cream cheese icing."

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

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a long-gone recipe, maybe we can help. 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 that each recipe makes. We will test the first 12 recipes sent to us.

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