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Trader Vic's

On 21 Jun 2007 at 18:50, Pamela wrote:

> Hello,
>   My mom and I have been searching everywhere to find a meatball
>   appetizer recipe that Trader Vic's restaurant in Emeryville, CA.
>   served perhaps in the sixties. My mom thinks they are called pupu
>   meatballs, but I knowe that pupu means appetizer in polynesian. We
>   are both hoping you can help us find this very delicious recipe!
>   We have scoured your database and have not come upon it either.
>   Thank you very much,
>   Pam

Hi Pam,

No luck finding that recipe on the Internet. You might try posting a request for it on this message board:

Tiki Central

Also, there is a Trader Vic's cookbook available on
Trader Vic's Tiki Party!: Cocktails & Food to Share with Friends (Hardcover) by Stephen Siegelman (Author), Trader Vic (Author), Maren Caruso (Photographer)

Another book that might have the recipe is this one:
Retro Luau: Planning the Perfect Polynesian Party (Retro Series) (Hardcover) by Richard Perry


From another reader:

The following recipes are from Trader Vic’s Pacific Island Cookbook.
They are essentially the same as those that used to be serve at the 
Pake Pork Meatballs
1 pound ground pork
1/4 cup mushrooms, minced
5 ounce can water chestnuts, drained and minced
2 tablespoons soya sauce
1 tablespoon Sherry
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon MSG
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoon cornstarch
Oil for frying
Combine the pork, mushrooms and water chestnuts. Add the soya sauce, 
Sherry, sugar, MSG, garlic powder and then the beaten egg; mix 
thoroughly. Sprinkle the meat mixture with the cornstarch and roll 
into small meatballs about 1 inch in diameter. Fry in deep fat until 
golden brown and then drain.
Serve hot on tooth picks with Chinese mustard and ketchup.
Pake Beef Meatballs
2 cups soft bread crumbs
1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon grated onion
2 tablespoons soya sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
5 ounce can water chestnuts, drained and minced
1 large egg, beaten
Oil for frying
Soak the break in the stock; drain and add to the ground beef. Add the 
soya sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sea salt, water chestnuts and then with 
the beaten egg. Mix thoroughly and then shape into meatballs about 1 inch 
in diameter. Fry in deep fat until golden brown and then drain.  Serve hot 
on tooth picks with Chinese mustard and ketchup.
Note: Chinese mustard is found in most well stocked supermarkets, Chinese 
ketchup is more difficult to find. If you can not find it, try mixing a 
little horseradish with ketchup or Heinz Chili Sauce. 

Onion Pie

Onion Pie

this is usually served when tasting wine and beer in Germany. A good
easy tasty recipe. Serve hot, or room temp. Bake in a large baking sheet,
(cookie pan with sides.)

24 squares

2 1/2 lbs white onions or yellow onions
4 ounces butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flour
4 large eggs
1 pint sour cream
1 tablespoon caraway seeds (or enough for your taste)
1 large yeast bread dough, enough for a large size pizza

1. Line a large slightly oiled pizza pan with your favourite pizza yeast
dough, about 1/4 inch thick.
2. I usually use a large cookie sheet with low sides.
3. Press dough on bottom and give slight edges.
4. Fry onions slowly in the butter.
5. Do not brown the onions, make them transparent and cooked but not browned.
6. Beat eggs with the salt, sour cream, flour, and seeds.
7. Mix in the cooked onions and butter.
8. Pour over the pizza dough.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 40- 50 minutes or until knife comes out clean.
10. Serve hot, or at room temperature. 

I was reading in your archieves a message by Debby looking for Onion Bread.

I hope this helps,  My mom recieved this way back from a German friend
Gabrielle,she said this was always made in germany at beer tasting, and
wine tasting time.

Thanks, Andrea



I just wanted to follow up a little on the “lobster-tail” (Sfogliatella)
discussion you wrote about with Brandy.
This is all second hand as told to me from a boston area baker who made
excellent lobster tails.

Lobster tail overview:

Make a white pastry flour dough similar to croissant dough and sheet it and
lube it 10-20 times

Make cream puff batter

Make a log from the layered dough rolled down to 1/10th inch thick, lube the
log as you roll it up, stretching the dough tight while rolling
Cut the log into disks 3/8 in wide, creating a spiral “plate”. (about 3 oz
Using your palm, broaden the disk to twice its size in diameter
Create a depression in the center of the disk
Add cream puff batter to the depression (about 1.75-2 oz)
Close the disk around the batter, making a cardoid shape (kinda like a heart
Bake 375 for 15-20.
Poke hole in pastry and fill with cream as described below

The lobster tail is arduously produced by stretching the dough out, layering
with fat, as you would any Mille-feuille prep. Once at 1/10 inch thickness
and well into the tens of layers, it is stretched and rolled into a log,
lubricated with shortening to produce the desired layering as the log is

When the log gets to be 6 inches or so in diameter, it is sliced across
producing a spiral disk. 

The “modern” adornment has to do with a baker (sorry, folklore seldom has
the names correct, but this should be verifiable, it wasn’t Mikes though)
from the north end who wanted to make a special dessert for jack Kennedy
after he won the presidency.  He modified the formula to include a dollop of
crème puff pastry in the center of the disk, The disk was first flattened
out, doubling the diameter and splayed open with the dollop deposited in the
center then the disk is closed around the dollop.

Since the materials bake differently (a pastry dough on the outside, and a
cream puff batter on the inside) the batter would grow, forcing the layers
to be  separated or opened up. 

As you can see, this is different from the sfogliatella recipe you provided.

I think it is closer to what brandy has in mind, even though she got hers in
a NY bakery


The cream is usually one of these things:

1)       Yellow custard cream
2)       Italian sweet white cream
3)       Ricotta cream
4)       A mixture of them all 
I hope that sheds a little light on the confusion

The Boulevard Bakery 

The Transylvanian Cookbook?

Dear Uncle Phaedrus,

My boss and I were discussing recipes today and I mentioned your website.
She's been trying to find a copy of the cookbook, The Transylvania Cookbook
for their rice pilaf recipe.  She said it's the best rice pilaf she's ever
had and would buy the book, just for that recipe.

I did a few searches on the internet and wasn't able to locate any further
information, nor through the typical out of print/speciality sites, alibris,
abe and powell's.  I did try your search engine and index.

If you have any information, it would be much appreciated.  If you can find
it, we'll make it at our next Potluck for the Department of World Languages
her at California State University!

I enjoy your site and have a great day,


Applesauce Cake


I'm searching for a recipe that my grandmother used for Applesauce Cake 
over 40 years ago.  I've checked the Internet and I've also checked your 
website, and none of the recipes listed sounded like what I remember.  
Most of them have applesauce in the cake mixture, or fruit in the filling.

She made regular cake layers from scratch,and the layers were always so 
smooth, light, and moist.  It must have been a basic white cake recipe 
from way back then.  It was not cake mix.  She made the cake layers very 
thin, and did not cut them with a knife or with a string.  The cake recipe 
did not have any applesauce in it.

There was no fruit in the filling, no nuts, no spices, no raisins. Seems 
like it was just plain applesauce.  My Mother thinks she added sugar to 
some applesauce and baked it in the oven before spreading over the cake 
layers. We don't know for sure. 

After cooling, she would always store the cake, covered, in the 
refrigerator to keep from molding.  It was soooo moist and so very 
light. She cut the layers thin and straight; never in a wedge where 
one end is bigger than the other.  It was just enough to leave you 
wanting more.

This may have been a southern recipe because my Granny lived in Atlanta, 
Georgia.  After she passed away, we could not find her recipe book.

Thank you so much for any assistance you can give me in finding this 
very old recipe.  

Brenda from Georgia 

A reader suggested that this might be a "stack cake". See below.

Apple Stack Cake
Serves 10 to 12 
3 (6-ounce) bags dried apples
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk 
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
1. For the filling: Bring the apples and water to cover to a boil in 
a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer until the apples are
completely softened, about 10 minutes. Drain the apples and let cool 
until just warm, about 15 minutes. Puree the apples in a food processor 
until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, 
cloves,and allspice. (The filling can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)
  2. For the layers: Adjust two oven racks to the upper-middle and
lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat 2 baking
sheets with cooking spray. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda,
and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla in a
large measuring cup. 
  3. With an electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat the butter and
granulated sugar in a large bowl until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping
down the bowl as necessary. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture
alternately in two batches, beating after each addition and scraping down
the bowl as needed until combined. (The dough will be thick.)
  4. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Working with 2 portions at a
time, on a lightly floured surface, roll each out into a 10-inch circle
about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 9-inch cake pan as a template, trim away the
excess dough to form 2 perfectly round 9-inch disks. Transfer the disks to
the prepared baking sheets and bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes,
rotating and switching the baking sheets halfway through the baking time.
Transfer the disks to a rack and cool completely, at least 1 hour. Repeat
with the remaining dough. (The layers can be wrapped tightly in plastic
and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.)
  5. To assemble the cake: Place one layer on a serving plate and spread
with 1 cup filling. Repeat 6 times. Top with the final layer, wrap tightly
in plastic, and refrigerate until the layers soften, at least 24 hours or
up to 2 days. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve. (The fully
assembled cake can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)
  Be sure to let the cake sit at least 24 hours, as the moisture from the
filling transforms the texture of the cookie-like layers into a tender
apple-flavored cake. This cake takes a while to create but each step is
simple and the dough rounds that form each layer are sturdy and easy to
handle. Using a cake pan as a template will make this part of the process
foolproof and give you an evenly shaped cake.
Old  Fashion  Stack  Cake

4 c. sifted flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 c. molasses
3 eggs
1 c. buttermilk
5 c. applesauce
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Sift flour, soda, baking powder, and salt together. Cream shortening; 
add sugar gradually, blending well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating 
well after each addition.  Stir in molasses.  Add flour and buttermilk, 
alternately beating until smooth.  Pour batter in six (8 inch) cake pans 
lined with wax paper.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes. When layers 
are done, mix applesauce and spices and spread between each layer.
Old  Fashioned  Stack  Cake

4 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. margarine
3 eggs
1 c. molasses
1 tbsp. ginger
1 1/2 tsp. soda
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. buttermilk

Sift dry ingredients.  Cream margarine and sugar.  Add eggs, one at 
a time. Add molasses.  Add dry ingredients and buttermilk, mixing 
well. Use 9 inch cake pans.  Preheat and grease well.  Pour batter 
as thin as you can to cover bottom of pans.  This will make 10 to 12 
layers. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.  Let cool and stack, 
using the applesauce between layers.


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