Pastry Cups with Praline Pastry Cream

Prepare pastry cream (below) the day before and refrigerate over night. Praline 1 cup toasted almonds 1/2 cup powdered sugar Combine almonds and powdered sugar in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar melts and caramelizes. Quickly pour in to buttered pan and allow to cool. Break in to pieces and chop in food processor. Pastry Cups 2 – 3 sheets phyllo dough Butter Preheat oven to 400. Butter and layer phyllo dough. Press over the backside of muffin tins. Repeat, staggering points to form 8 petals. Gently press a second muffin tin over pastry. Place on...
Continue Reading

Cream of Tomato Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, sliced 2 cloves garlic, chopped 3 large stems of fresh basil 1 sprig of fresh thyme 1 bay leaf 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 pounds very ripe tomatoes, quartered pinch of sugar 1 cup chicken stock 1/3 cup whipping cream fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips, to garnish Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently cook the onion for 3 minutes, or until it is soft and translucent. Add the garlic, basil stems, thyme, bay leaf, tomato paste, and the fresh tomatoes.  Season with the sugar, salt and black...
Continue Reading

Mexican Rice

1 cup uncooked white rice (I use jasmine rice) 1 clove garlic, mashed 1/4 cup corn kernels 2 cups chicken broth 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 small carrot cup into 1/4 inch cubes 1 medium ripe tomato, coarsely chopped salt and pepper to taste Heat oil in large skillet until hot. Add uncooked rice to skillet. Fry rice until toasted, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add chicken broth, garlic, tomato, and carrots. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Variation I’m working on but haven’t tried yet – Add one small potato cut into 1/2 inch cubes....
Continue Reading

Creamy Tomato Soup

3 tablespoons butter 1 pound, 9 ounces ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped 3 3/4 cups hot vegetable stock 1/2 cup ground almonds 2/3 cup milk or light cream 1 teaspoon sugar 2 tablespoons shredded basil leaves salt pepper Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes until the skins start to wrinkle.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the stock to the pan, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, under a preheated broiler, lightly toast the ground almonds until they are golden brown.  This will only...
Continue Reading

Cornbread

2 cups Bisquick 1 cup sugar 4 teaspoons baking soda 1 cup milk 2 eggs 7 Tablespoons yellow cornmeal 1/2 pound butter, softened honey Preheat the oven to 350. Mix the above ingredients, except the honey, and beat for 3 minutes. Pour into a 9×12 pan. Drizzle in the honey (to taste). Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
Continue Reading

French Onion Soup

4 medium Spanish onions, sliced thin 4 Tablespoons butter 1 clove garlic mashed with 1 tsp salt 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/2 teaspoon sugar 6 cups beef stock 1/2 cup dry red wine 3 Tablespoons brandy 6 slices toasted french bread Swiss or gruyere cheese. Cook onions slowly in butter until yellow (about 10 minutes). Stir in the seasonings and continue cooking until onions are golden brown (20 to 30 minutes). Add broth and wine. Simmer covered for 30 minutes more. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Stir in brandy and pour soup into oven-proof bowls. Butter...
Continue Reading