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...
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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...
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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....
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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...
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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.
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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...
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St. Louis Style Toasted Ravioli

Package Fresh or Frozen Beef or Sausage filled Ravioli 1 egg Milk Italian Bread Crumbs Oil for Deep Frying Red Pasta Sauce Some recipes call for frozen ravioli, but I seem to get better results if they’re thawed. Preheat oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees. Create an egg wash with the egg and milk Dip ravioli in the egg wash. Coat ravioli with Italian bread crumbs. Deep fry ravioli several at a time until golden, about 5 minutes. Serve with spaghetti sauce.
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Frank’s Secret Pizza Recipe

Preheat your oven to 425 to 450. Beer Flavored Crust Take your favorite crust mix such as “Pizza Quick” crust. However, substitute flat beer in place of the water. It’s best if you can have the open beer sit in the refrigerator overnight. The beer should be a good import or micro-brew that has a nice strong flavor. Don’t use something like Bud or Coors because you might as well just use water. Heat the beer in the microwave until it is very warm (not boiling — you don’t want to kill the yeast) and add to the pizza...
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Russian Salad

3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and halved Mayonnaise Dijon mustard Cider vinegar Horseradish Salt Pepper Mash and mix egg yolks with next 6 ingredients to moisten. Fill egg whites with mixture. 3 ripe avocados, peeled, halved, cut lengthwise 6 thick tomato slices 6 thin red onion slices Lettuce leaves Place each filled egg half into avocado half. On each serving plate layer lettuce leaves, tomato slice, red onion slice, and inverted, filled half avocado. Top with Russian dressing (below). Russian dressing 1/2 cup mayonnaise 2 TBL catsup 2 tsp cider vinegar 1 TBL mustard 1/2 tsp sweet relish 2 TBL...
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Zucchini Bisque

1 onion, chopped 1/2 cup butter 1 1/2 pounds zucchini – shredded 2 1/2 cups chicken broth 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1 tsp basil 1 tsp salt 1 cup heavy cream Saute onion in butter until limp. Add zucchini and chicken broth. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Puree and return to sauce pan. Add seasonings and cream. Heat through, but DO NOT BOIL.
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