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Prudhomme Muffins, Tony Roma-Inspired Onions

DEAR SOS: Would you please try for the molasses-nut muffin recipe served at K-Paul’s Kitchen in New Orleans?

--JAZBL

DEAR JAZBL: Chef Paul Prudhomme sent us this recipe from his book, “Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen” (William Morrow: 1984).

PAUL PRUDHOMME’S BLACK MUFFINS

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3/4 cup hot water

1/2 cup molasses

1/4 cup milk

2 cups whole-wheat flour

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1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

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1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped dry-roasted pecans

Combine hot water and molasses in medium-size bowl, stirring until well blended. Stir in milk until blended. Set aside.

Sift together whole-wheat and all-purpose flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.

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Fold liquid mixture and pecans into flour mixture with rubber spatula just until flour is thoroughly incorporated but not over-mixed. Spoon batter into 12 greased muffin cups.

Bake at 325 degrees 45 to 60 minutes or until muffin springs back when touched. Remove from pan immediately. Serve while still warm. Makes 12 muffins.

Each muffin contains about:

268 calories; 522 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 8 grams fat; 47 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams protein; 0.64 gram fiber.

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DEAR SOS: Some years ago you printed a recipe for a mushroom souffle containing bacon. It was delicious, but I have lost the recipe.

--CAROL

DEAR CAROL: I like souffles served in small ramekins as a starter to a company meal. Full-size, this souffle makes a great luncheon main course. You can serve it with a cream sauce on the side (some people use heated canned mushroom soup as the sauce), if you want.

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MUSHROOM SOUFFLE

4 slices bacon

1/4 cup butter

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced

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1/4 cup finely diced celery

1/4 cup flour

1 cup milk

2 beef bouillon cubes

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4 eggs, separated

Cook bacon in skillet until crisp. Drain and crumble.

Melt butter in skillet. Add mushrooms and celery and cook 5 minutes. Push vegetables to side of skillet. Blend flour into butter. Stir in milk gradually. Add bouillon cubes and crumbled bacon. Bring to boil over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened.

Beat egg whites in bowl until stiff but not dry. Set aside. In another bowl, beat egg yolks well and stir in small amount of hot cream sauce. Stir egg mixture into remaining hot sauce. Cool slightly, then gently fold into beaten egg whites.

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Turn into ungreased 1 1/2-quart casserole. Bake at 325 degrees 1 hour, or until firm and set. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains about:

254 calories; 263 mg sodium; 175 mg cholesterol; 21 grams fat; 8 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; 0.35 gram fiber.

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DEAR SOS: Would it be possible to get the recipe for the onion loaf served at Tony Roma’s restaurants? It’s outstanding.

--BETTY

DEAR BETTY: Thank you. We love the rings too. The Tony Roma restaurant chain would not share its trade secret, but a close facsimile recipe was developed by home economist Donna Deane, director of The Times Test Kitchen. Tony Roma’s staff did, however, offer a tip: Pack the onions loosely (not firmly) in the loaf pan so they don’t become soggy.

ONION RING LOAF

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4 to 6 white onions

1 cup milk

3 eggs, beaten

Salt

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2 cups pancake mix, about

Oil

Parsley

Slice onions crosswise and separate into rings. Combine milk, eggs and salt to taste in mixing bowl. Soak onion rings in mixture 30 minutes.

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Place pancake mix in shallow bowl.

Heat oil for frying in skillet to 375 degrees.

Remove onion rings from milk mixture, dip in pancake mix and place in hot oil. Fry rings until golden brown. Drain fried onion rings on paper towels.

Pack fried onion rings solidly, but loosely, without pressing, into 8x4-inch loaf pan. Bake at 400 degrees 10 to 15 minutes. Turn onto serving plate. Garnish with parsley. Makes 4 servings.

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Each serving contains about:

377 calories; 1,069 mg sodium; 54 mg cholesterol; 9 grams fat; 64 grams carbohydrates; 10 grams protein; 1.11 grams fiber.


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