Hans’ Poutine

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When  I was a small kid, french fries were a VERY special treat for me. At the time, restaurant visits were a seldom enjoyed occasion and therefore happened only once in a while. But whenever we did visit a restaurant, French Fries, or”Fritten” as they are called in many parts of Germany, were one of the highlights to look forward to. The most common dish served to kids was “Schnitzel with Fritten”, a small veal or pork scallop with french fries and sauce. Thus, french fries doused in sauce or gravy is one of my earliest and fondest restaurant memories. Imagine my delight many years later when I visited Quebec/Canada the first time and ordered Poutine. As the waiter explained it to me, this seemed to be the most ideal food in the world – french fries doused in sauce and topped with soft cheese.
But, my oh my, what a disappointment I got served: Crappy fries with crappy sauce and crappy cheese :-(.
(Sorry my dear Canadian friends, but this is how it appeared to me at the time.
I am of course talking about my very own, personal taste and opinion when I talk about this much beloved Canadian dish, but it is what it is – to this day I don’t like it in its original form. To make a point, have a look at a cross-section of Poutine on this Link, then tell me the majority of it does not look, to put it mildly, less than appetizing. On the other hand, If you love cheese curds…….
So, I was pondering this the other day and I decided to improve my Poutine experience, thinking of the possibilities which proper fries with proper sauce and proper cheese (meaning cheese I personally prefer to cheese curds, which I can’t stand),  could provide and I came up with this version, which I absolutely love.
I understand that nowadays, there are many different versions of Poutine available and popular, so my version is probably not as alienating to my dear Canadian friends as it would have been 40 years ago when I first encountered this culinary Canadian icon.
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Bon Appetit ! Life is Good !
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Hans' Poudine

Hans’ Poudine

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Hans' Poudine

Hans’ Poudine

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Link to how to prepare great Tomato Sauce
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How to prepare great French Fries:
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Peel large baking potatoes and cut them into even size fries. Add to COLD duck fat and set on medium-high heat. Carefully stir fries once in a while so they cook evenly. Once they are golden brown, they will be crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Remove to absorbent paper, then toss in a bowl with sea salt and cayenne pepper. Enjoy :-)
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Salmon & Grits In Garlic/Lime Butter

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I prepare  grits quite often, usually buttery cheese grits, which are so rich, so good and so bad for you-if you eat large portions (which I tend to do) :-( .
Lately I use mostly instant grits and I am happy with the results, as long as I add enough butter (and enough grated cheese when preparing cheese grits). For me, the extra cooking time to use non-instant just does not justify the small difference in texture and taste. But today I made plain grits without cheese, just seasoned with kosher salt and cayenne pepper and a sinful amount of unsalted butter. I also made the grits a bit more dry than usual, since there was added fat and moisture from the garlic/lime butter which I spooned over the sauteed salmon and grits at plating time. The salad dressed in yogurt gave a pleasant tang and additional texture to the dish.
While sauteing the salmon I was looking forward to the crispy skin, but Bella loves the skin even more than I do so I let her have it (along with half the salmon) :-)
All around, a very delicious lunch, easy to prepare and full of flavor and different textures.
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Bon Appetit !   Live is Good !
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All about Grits
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More Grits on ChefsOpinion
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Watch my friend  Mark Dowling  prepare “Instant Cheese Grits”
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P.S.
Notice in the pictures of the broken up salmon below how very juicy the fish is, even when cooked well done. Well done fish is never dry when properly cooked to the right temperature. Unfortunately, this is not taught anymore to our young “Chefs”, most of whom think that all fish has to be served raw in order to not be dry (Don’t even get me started on parasites…..)
But if you insist on eating raw and/or under-cooked fish, you might want to read this : About fish diseases and parasites

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Salmon & Grits In Garlic/Lime Butter

Salmon & Grits In Garlic/Lime Butter

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Salmon & Grits In Garlic/Lime Butter

Salmon & Grits In Garlic/Lime Butter

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Salmon & Grits In Garlic/Lime Butter

Salmon & Grits In Garlic/Lime Butter

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Beef Satay’s

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Although peanut sauce is one of my favorite condiments for grilled or broiled meat, today I opted for Thai Chili Sauce instead. The combination of the beef, rice, pickled cucumbers and chili sauce was absolutely delicious and I am sure that in the future I will be having this dish often, whenever a quick, light and tasty meal is in order :-)
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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More Satay’s on ChefsOpinion
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Beef Satay's

Beef Satay’s

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Beef Satay's

Beef Satay’s

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Chicken Fried Steak

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The  great thing about CFS is that one can utilize an economical (cheap, in plain English)  cut of beef, such as top round or cube steak and still get excellent results. However, I happened to have some leftover raw strip loin left from yesterday’s dinner, which I sliced thin, then pounded it even thinner for this CFS.
Usually the traditional side dish would be mashed potatoes, but I am trying to cut down on my starch intake, so I felt the flour from the breading and the “Gravy” was enough of that for the day.
(The rendered fat from the chorizo and the chicken fat made this southern style gravy even tastier than it’s usual version made with bacon fat)
American comfort food at it’s finest ! (Just don’t tell your cardiologist) :-)
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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All about Chicken Fried Steak
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All about Gravy
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Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak

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Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Easy does it # 26 – Char Siu Bao

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Dear  Friend’s,
Although most of my followers are culinary professionals, there is also a large segment of followers who are just starting to enjoy cooking on a slightly higher than basic level. I have therefore decided to publish, under the moniker “Easy Does It“,  from time to time some very basic recipe variations of dishes (and even pre-cooked dishes) which otherwise might seem too complicated to some folks. I will break them down to the easiest, most simple instructions, so that those of you who are intimidated by elaborate recipes will be able to prepare these dishes properly, adjusted to your taste and liking, right from the get-go. After all, just because you are not (yet ?) a professional chef should not prevent you from enjoying great food at home. :-)
Enjoy !
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If only  Char Siu Bao (Cantonese barbecue-pork-filled buns) would be as easily available as our western buns in any restaurant, supermarket, bar and dive ! I would devour them at least once a day, everyday :-).
In the not so distant past, I have made Char Siu Bao many times from scratch. After all, over the years (decades), I was in charge of a few Chinese restaurants and even cooked in one on a daily basis (in Pakistan), so I am lucky enough to know the basics of some delicious Chinese food preparation.
However, with a great international/Asian food market close by, there is no need to do all the work by myself anymore. In fact, some of the prepared, frozen food items such as Baozi , Shumai or many other baked, steamed and boiled dumplings which are available frozen at  “Foodtown Supermarket” in Davie are better than what I can get in most of the Chinese restaurants around here. And, as a quick dinner after work or a lazy lunch or just a snack in-between, these frozen marvels are unbeatable for convenience, quality and price. So I suggest that if you want to have another great standby for a rainy day, surprise guests or just a quick “different” meal, put some of these into your freezer and be prepared for anything. :-)
Foodtown Supermarket” has many varieties of steamed buns, filled with all kind of fillings, but I always come back to the Char Siu Bao which are my favorites.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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For more about Foodtown Market click here
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Char Siu Bao

Char Siu Bao

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Char Siu Bao

Char Siu Bao

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Char Siu Bao

Char Siu Bao

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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What features of restaurants and hotels have almost completely vanished? A trip down memory lane….

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The following are but a few of the comforts and luxuries that made great restaurants and hotels of the past such wonderful places to frequent (besides the food and drinks of course) :-).
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(All comments from QUORA :
http://www.quora.com/What-features-of-restaurants-and-hotels-have-almost-completely-vanished)
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Jonas Mikka Luster, trimethylxanthine addict

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Michael Forrest Jones, Beechmont Hotels Corporation

Fresh Corn And Arugula Salad With Chorizo

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sauteed fresh corn with garlic paste and cracked black pepper

sauteed fresh corn with garlic paste and cracked black pepper

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When  I sautéed the corn in preparation for this salad, I could hardly resist to eat the corn just of the cob, it smelled and looked so appetizing. But alas, I was able to resist and finish the salad first, then enjoyed the whole concoction together.
Great salad, great lunch :-)
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Fresh Corn And Arugula Salad With Chorizo

Fresh Corn And Arugula Salad With Chorizo

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Fresh Corn And Arugula Salad With Chorizo

Fresh Corn And Arugula Salad With Chorizo

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Naan

Naan

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Latkes With Caramelized Nectarines

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Latkes, kartoffelpuffer, reibekuchen, potato pancakes, bramborák, draniki – a hundred different countries, a hundred different names for the same amazing potato dish. Jewish in origin, it has found its way into a myriad of other cuisines were it has become a beloved dish of longstanding tradition.
Potato pancakes are very popular in Europe and particularly in Germany, where you can find “Puffer Kiosk”s on many streets, at fairs and festivals and of course in many restaurants and in many homes, were they will be served by themself as snack, or accompanied by fruits, or part of savory dishes, with bacon, fish or other proteins.
I have eaten and loved “Kartoffelpuffer ” ever since I had the first ones at our home, lovingly prepared by my mom. At our home they were always served with apple sauce, no exception.
Tilly was not the world’s greatest cook, but she made the best potato pancakes – period. Memories…….. :-)
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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More about ” Latkes
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More “Latkes” on ChefsOpinion
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Latkes Recipe
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Typical German

Typical German “Latke Kiosk”

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Latkes With Caramelized Nectarines

Latkes With Caramelized Nectarines

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Latkes

Latkes

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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AUGUST CALENDAR DOWNLOADABLE US EDITION AND INTERNATIONAL EDITION

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Downloadable Monthly Desktop Calendar, US Edition and International Edition
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To display the calendar on your computer screen :
> download the calendar of your choice to your desktop,
> right-click on the image,
> choose the option that says, “Set as Desktop Background”, (exact wording will depend on the browser you use).

If the image does not fit your desktop background neatly, you may have to go to your preference panel :
> Control Panel
> Display
> Desktop) and choose “Fit to screen” as the display mode of your background image. (Mac users will have to use different commands to the same effect).

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Click here for   “Afternoon Coffee On The Terrace – Life Is Good !
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August  2015 International Edition :
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August Calendar
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August  2015 US Edition :
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August Calendar  US
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Cornmeal-Dusted Sauteed Pork Ribs

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So who decided that the only good ribs are BBQ’d Ribs ?!
Once you have tried these here knock-out babies, you might be hooked on this very different spin on one of Americas favorite pork cut’s.
I for one prefer this preparation to the traditional way of barbequing ribs. This way you will actually be able to taste the rib meat, as well as enjoy the unique texture of the ribs, all of which is lost after hours of grilling, smoking and then drowning in a bucket-load of bbq sauce.
Of course, there are some great bbq’d ribs out there, but in my own humble opinion, they are few and far between.
So here we go, great ribs served with a wonderful German potato and cucumber salad.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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German Potato Salad 
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Cornmeal Dusted Sauteed Pork Ribs

Cornmeal Dusted Sauteed Pork Ribs

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Cornmeal Dusted Sauteed Pork Ribs

Cornmeal Dusted Sauteed Pork Ribs

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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