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CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
Est. preparation time: 0 mins
Est. cooking time: 10 mins

This recipe serves 12 people

1/2 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1/2 cup baking cocoa

Directions: Combine cream and butter in the top part of a double boiler. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat and stir until butter is melted and cream is hot. Add chocolate chips and stir until chocolate melts. Add vanilla or coffee granules and stir to dissolve. Refrigerate, covered, for 2 hours or longer.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into your hand and roll between palms quickly to form a ball. Place in shallow bowl containing cocoa, and roll to coat.

Refrigerate on wax paper-lined trays to chill and solidify.

CREAM PUFFS
Est. preparation time: 30 mins
Est. cooking time: 40 mins
Est. standing time: 10 mins

This recipe serves 12 people

1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 nutmeg
4 large eggs

Directions: In a saucepan, heat water, butter, sugar and salt until butter is melted and water is boiling. Remove from heat, and stir in flour all at once.

Beat vigorously with a spoon or spatula to blend, then return to low heat and stir vigorously until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven at 400°F to 425°F.

Make a well in the center and beat in one egg at a time, beating until smooth. Using two spoons, one to scoop and one to scrape, drop batter onto ungreased baking sheets in little mounds about 1 inch wide. Place mounds 2 inches apart. Bake until puffs are double in size, golden-brown and crusty, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove from oven, and slit the side of each puff with a sharp knife. Then turn off the oven and return puffs to the oven with door ajar for another 10 minutes. Place puffs on rack to cool.

To serve: Split completely cooled puffs in half. Fill with sweetened whipped cream, ice cream or vanilla custard. Top puffs and drizzle, if desired, with chocolate sauce.

CHICKEN LIVER PÂTÉ
Est. preparation time: 15 mins
Est. cooking time: 15 mins
Est. standing time: 8 hrs

This recipe serves 8 people

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 pound chicken livers, cleaned, trimmed
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup brandy
1 lettuce leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 crackers as needed

Directions: In a large skillet, melt butter. Add chicken livers and onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring often, until centers of chicken livers are no longer pink and onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Cool.

In a blender or food processor, process livers and onions with seasonings and brandy until smooth. Spoon into an oiled loaf pan or terrine, cover, and chill for 8 hours.

To serve: Unmold chicken liver pâté on lettuce leaves and sprinkle with chopped green onions. Accompany with crackers, and, if desired, cornichons.

BURGUNDY-STYLE BEEF
Est. preparation time: 30 mins
Est. cooking time: 2 hrs
Est. standing time: 2 hrs

This recipe serves 4 people
2 pounds round steak, cut in bite-size chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups red wine
1 tablespoon oil
3 strips of bacon, diced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup beef broth
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

Directions: In a non-reactive bowl, toss beef with seasonings, onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Add wine and oil, tossing to coat, and marinate covered in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

In a deep pot or fireproof casserole, sauté bacon until cooked, 2 to 3 minutes.

Drain the beef, reserving the marinade. Toss the beef with the flour to coat evenly, then sauté with the bacon, turning frequently, until browned, adding a tablespoon of oil if necessary.

Strain the marinade into the pan and add the beef broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pan tightly and simmer gently over low heat until meat is tender, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Add sliced mushrooms and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve with boiled potatoes, noodles or rice.

Original Recipes by Nancy Ross Ryan

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