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Applebee’s Shares Recipe Minus ‘Secret’ Its Delicious Oriental Chicken Salad Uses Special Ingredients Contained In Sauce Sold At Its Restaurants

By Merri Lou Dobler The Spokesman-

Dear Merri Lou: Recently, I had the pleasure of experiencing Applebee’s great Oriental Chicken Salad. It was far better than any other chicken salad recipe that I have tried.

I would appreciate it if Applebee’s would choose to share their “secret,” or if not, do you have a favorite that you might publish? Sincerely, - Barbara, Spokane.

Dear Barbara: The South Hill Applebee’s kitchen manager, Greg Hobbs, was kind enough to share the salad recipe, minus the dressing. You can purchase the dressing at Applebee’s ($3.50 for 16 ounces), or try the similar recipe printed here.

The Oriental Chicken Salad is Applebee’s most popular salad; I’ve adapted the recipe for 4 servings.

Applebee’s Oriental Salad

10 ounces frozen, breaded chicken tenders

1/2 head (about 1 pound) green cabbage, shredded

1/4 head (about pound) red cabbage, shredded

1/2 pound carrots, shredded

1 bunch romaine lettuce, shredded

Oriental dressing (such as the recipe below)

2 ounces sliced almonds, toasted (see note)

1/2 cup sliced green onions

Cook chicken tenders as package directs.

Combine green and red cabbage, carrots and romaine lettuce. Toss with dressing.

Distribute salad mixture among 4 large bowls. Top with almonds, chicken tenders and green onions. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving, without dressing: 232 calories, 11.1 grams fat (43 percent fat calories), 18 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrate, 41 milligrams cholesterol, 90 milligrams sodium.

Note: To toast almonds, heat oven to 350 degrees. Place almonds in single layer on baking sheet or in shallow baking pan. Bake 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until light brown. Cool completely.

(Almost) Applebee’s Oriental Dressing

This dressing, adapted from “Top Secret Restaurant Recipes” by Todd Wilbur (Plume, 1997), is similar to Applebee’s but not quite as smooth or thick. Be sure to mix it well.

3/4 cup honey

1/3 cup white vinegar

5 tablespoons mayonnaise

4 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil ,

Using an electric mixer, blend together all ingredients in a small bowl. Chill in refrigerator while you prepare the salad.

Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 335 calories, 14.9 grams fat (40 percent fat calories), 1 gram protein, 55 grams carbohydrate, 10 milligrams cholesterol, 288 milligrams sodium.

Dear Merri Lou: I am looking for a Reuben Soup recipe. We had some at Michels Restaurant in Post Falls, and it was wonderful. Thank you. - Barbara, Spokane.

Dear Barbara: Vickie Michels at Michels Restaurant appreciated your request but wanted to keep the recipe private; it originally came from a German chef in Minnesota. I found another recipe that makes a rich and creamy soup. Hope you enjoy it.

Reuben Soup

From Amy Gale’s recipe archive on the World Wide Web (www.cs.cmu.edu/ People/mjw/recipes/).

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/4 cup celery, chopped

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup flour

3 cups water

4 teaspoons instant beef bouillon

1/2 pound corned beef, shredded

1 cup sauerkraut, well-drained

3 cups half-and-half

3 cups shredded Swiss cheese

6-8 slices rye or pumpernickel bread, toasted and cut into triangle quarters

In a large saucepan, cook onion and celery in butter until tender; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in water and bouillon and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

Add corned beef, sauerkraut, cream and 1 cup of the cheese. Cook for 30 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently.

Ladle into 8 ovenproof bowls. Top each with a slice of bread and put 1/4 cup of the cheese on top of the bread. Place in oven under broiler until the cheese melts and browns ever so slightly.

Yield: 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 456 calories, 31.5 grams fat (62 percent fat calories), 22 grams protein, 22 grams carbohydrate, 99 milligrams cholesterol, 635 milligrams sodium.

Dear Merri Lou: At a meeting I was served a cheesecake that had a spice taste, like spice cake. It was so good. Do you have a recipe for any cheesecake like this? Sincerely, - June, Spokane.

Dear June: Here’s an apple-spice cheesecake that may be similar to the one you enjoyed. It’s very rich, needless to say. This makes a 10-inch cheesecake; I used my 8-inch springform pan and poured the extra filling into a 9-inch pie pan (it won’t rise as much, but it’s still very good).

Uncle Ronnie’s Blue-Ribbon Apple and Spice Cheesecake

From “The 50 Best Cheesecakes in the World,” by Larry and Honey Zisman (St. Martin’s Press, 1993).

Crust:

1-1/2 tablespoons butter, softened

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

Filling:

3 pounds cream cheese, softened

2-3/4 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons cornstarch

3/4 cup light cream

2 tablespoon vanilla

6 eggs

6 egg yolks

2-1/2 cups apple pie filling

1/2 cup cinnamon

1 tablespoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

To make crust, coat the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan with butter. Roll graham cracker crumbs to coat pan. Set aside.

To make filling, with an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat cream cheese until fluffy.

In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, mix together sugar, salt and cornstarch and add to cream cheese, blending well. Stir in cream and vanilla, beating thoroughly.

Using an electric mixer set on medium speed, mix eggs and egg yolks together and then blend into cream cheese mixture. Mix together apple pie filling, cinnamon and nutmeg and then add to batter.

Pour filling into crust and bake for about 1 hour and 40 minutes; cheesecake will rise very high. Turn off oven, open door and let cheesecake sit in oven to cool until cheesecake drops.

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Remove rim of pan and chill for 4 to 6 hours.

Yield: 1 (10-inch) cheesecake, about 24 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 426 calories, 26.2 grams fat (55 percent fat calories), 7 grams protein, 43 grams carbohydrate, 171 milligrams cholesterol, 270 milligrams sodium.

, DataTimes MEMO: Write to Cook’s Notebook, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210, or e-mail to merrid@spokesman.com. As many letters as possible will be answered in this column; sorry, no individual replies.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Merri Lou Dobler The Spokesman-Review

Write to Cook’s Notebook, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210, or e-mail to merrid@spokesman.com. As many letters as possible will be answered in this column; sorry, no individual replies.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Merri Lou Dobler The Spokesman-Review

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