Fried Chicken&Boursin Sandwich

Fried Chicken&Boursin Sandwich

A great sandwich can be a wonderful dish. Put a few good ingredients together, add some love and voilà, a quick and most satisfying meal can be on the table in minutes, without breaking the bank.
And yet, so many folks at home and in restaurants manage to screw up this simple task.
Substandard ingredients, lack of imagination and the absence of love for what you are doing will all prevent a good sandwich, but rather transform bread and stuff into bahhh……….
Not so this here baby !
While the choice of bread is purely a personal preference, I make most of my sandwiches with toasted sourdough bread or other rustic bread. I just love the texture and taste, but of course, you should use whatever bread rings your bells. The chicken can be grilled or fried, the cheese can be the one you love the most, and the veggies – well, you get the point 🙂
Just make sure you prepare it all with love and gusto, don’t skimp on the good stuff and prepare it with the respect a great sandwich (as well as any other good food) deserves 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
The chicken, while it has the taste and texture of fried chicken, is actually sauteed.
Classic French Cuisine defines sauteed :  “Cooked in fat, not covered by fat”
Classic French Cuisine defines fried :        “Cooked in fat, covered by fat”
In most restaurant settings, one would just fry the chicken in the fryer.
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Fried Chicken&Boursin Sandwich

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Preparation :
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Life is Good ! – Sunday Lunch By The Pool – “Grilled Shrimp Brochettes On Honey/Rum-Macerated Fruits”

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Life is Good ! – Sunday Lunch By The Pool – “Grilled Shrimp Brochettes On Honey/Rum-Macerated Fruits”

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Summer has hit our little part of paradise, Florida, over the head with a vengeance.
While the first three weeks of official summer were pure liquid sunshine, with all the flooding and whatever else goes with torrential rain, now the real sunshine has finally arrived.
Alas, as usual, we all complain that it is too hot. When it rains we complain that it is too wet. Outside of summer, we complain it is too cold, and all year-long we complain about the traffic, the tourists and our mothers in law 🙂
One just can’t make us Floridians unconditionally happy, no matter what.
But the one thing that will make us feel good, at least for a while, is a BBQ by the pool.
Good, simple food, a few cold brewskies and good company and the world is fine for a few hours.
As for me, I do have good company in Bella, my brew is iced tea and Madam and I enjoy our time alone by the pool, (of course, the damn water in the pool is too warm this time of the year) 😦
But, the tranquility and peace, some great music from the boom box and wonderful food are all we need for now 🙂 .
How times have changed……..
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Life is Good ! – Sunday Lunch By The Pool – “Grilled Shrimp Brochettes On Honey/Rum-Macerated Fruits”

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Honey/Rum-Macerated Fruits

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Life is Good ! – Sunday Lunch By The Pool – “Grilled Shrimp Brochettes On Honey/Rum-Macerated Fruits”

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Preparation :
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Confession Of An PT Addict

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I confess !
I am a lifelong PT addict, ever since I was a child and my mother fed me my first dose of PT ………
I will eat PT (pig’s tails) with gusto, in whatever guise you set them before me – braised in soy sauce, salted, fried, in stews, souse, soups, or just by themselves with bread and condiments, as shown here.
For today’s lunch, one bucket of 5 lbs was the exact right amount for Bella and me to pig out (pun intended). Of course, there are a lot of bones, so the actual amount of meat is not really that excessive (well, maybe a little……).
One might call this a case of “PT Overdose” 🙂
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Excerpt from an article by  Chichi Wang  on  Serious Eats :
” I want to make the case that pigs’ tails contain everything desirable in the pig, and in exactly the right proportions. Unlike ox tail, the tails of pigs come with the skin intact so that each segment is a perfect cross-section of skin, fat, tendon, and meat.
Fried or roasted, the skin of the tail is chewy and crisp, with a gelatinous layer underneath. Tail flesh is fork-tender like that of the neck bones, but meatier than trotters. There’s a modest amount of tendon around each bony hub–just enough to make the gnawing enjoyable, but not so much as to distract from the whole. All in all, a Pigs tail is a little porky universe unto itself. 
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– Looks like I am not the only “PT Addict” 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Confession Of An PT Addict

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Confession Of An PT Addict

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serve with fresh pretzel bread (laugenstangen), hot and mild chilies and mustard (or fresh horseradish if available)

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Confession Of An PT Addict

a bucket of heaven……

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Preparation :
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Rösti-Waffles, Gravlax And Poached Egg

Rösti-Waffles, Gravlax And Poached Egg

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I usually don’t participate in spreading nonsense like “Rösti-Waffles”, but this is different. When I saw this the first time, I thought – why?! – this got to be just another silly way of trying to be “inventive” and/or “different”, or “cutting edge”, or whatever.
But, I tried it nevertheless. Instantly, I became a big fan! 🙂
I am probably the biggest non-Swiss fan of rösti, however, these rösti-waffles are a completely different potato dish.
Using a non-stick waffle iron, one needs to use only a thin film of clarified butter or duck fat. Then, to keep the potatoes light and crisp, loosely fill in just a small amount of shredded, seasoned potato (compared to the amount one would use for the same size “real” rösti in a pan), cook on low heat until the resulting dish resembles a thinly spun web of tender yet crispy potatoes.
Very different from rösti in texture, but at least as delicious 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
This dish can, of course, be enjoyed any time of day. I had it for breakfast, so I omitted the onion rings I’d usually serve with this 🙂
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Rösti-Waffles, Gravlax And Poached Egg

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Rösti-Waffles, Gravlax And Poached Egg

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Rösti-Waffles, Gravlax And Poached Egg with capers and finely sliced chives

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rösti-waffle should be very crisp on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside; this recipe makes 8 ea rösti-waffles


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Preparation :
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Sliced Beef Shanks Braised In Merlot

Sliced Beef Shanks Braised In Merlot

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Shank’s of beef, veal, lamb, or game is perfectly suitable to be braised slowly in wine. The cooking liquid and gentle heat of slowly simmering breaks down the collagen, producing a wonderful texture and great flavor, unlike any other part of the animal. One can use the shank meat for stews, soups, goulash, bulalo, braised whole, or, as shown here, braised sliced/cross-cut. But remember, no matter which dish or cooking method you choose, DO NOT overcook the meat. A big part of the appeal of shank is the superb texture of a tender, but NOT falling apart piece of muscle meat. Therefore, simmer the shank very slowly. It might take a long time, (after all the shank is pure muscle), but you will be rewarded with a spectacular texture and mouthfeel which no other cut of meat possesses 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Traditionally, the bone marrow is incorporated into the sauce.
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P.P.S.
But, also traditionally, the wise cook steals the bone marrow and prepares himself a great snack of “Bone Marrow On Toast” 🙂 .
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Sliced Beef Shanks Braised In Merlot

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Sliced Beef Shanks Braised In Merlot

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Sliced Beef Shanks Braised In Merlot

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Sliced Beef Shanks Braised In Merlot

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Preparation :
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Enjoy A Super-Delicious Dish For $ 1.00 !

Chicken Liver Mousse

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No, this was not at a hawker cart in Singapore, nor was it on the side of the road in Manila, it was not in the bush in Zanzibar and certainly not on the beach in Goa. This was in Miami, at “Chez Bella”.
All the ingredients for 4 portions came to about $ 4.00, which, yes, I carefully and meticulously calculated it, comes to about a buck a portion. 🙂
In all my years living in America,  I have realized that the majority of Americans say they don’t like liver or any other dish prepared with offal. However, serve them a slice of “Foie Gras” in a fancy restaurant where they are too shy to ask what they are being served, and all of a sudden you get all ahhh’s and ohhh’s. And it’s usually the same with chicken liver mousse, terrine or pate. Serve it on little canapes, put a cherry or grape on top and all of a sudden it becomes great.
Speaking of chicken liver mousse and parfait. Sadly, most of what’s being served in restaurants these days can at best be described as utter garbage. I know, because I love chicken liver mousse and have tried it a hundred times, in fact, I almost always order it if I come across it on a menu. Low-quality liver, too many distracting ingredients, overseasoned, underseasoned, grainy, broken, too long in the fridge, off-putting color, you name it.
So then, for those of my readers who share the love with me, I give you a recipe which is pretty much foolproof, as long as you use top quality liver.
Of course, you can use this recipe to make any other liver mousse. Pork liver, veal liver, duck liver, game liver. You can also, if you must, add a few additional flavors, as long as you take it easy and don’t overpower the fine taste of the liver. Armaniac, calvados, grand marnier, cognac, diced apples, garlic, herbs, sauteed shallots, orange essence, etc. You can even call it a parfait if you want to, since this recipe provides a mousse so fine, it appears to have been strained through a fine hair sieve.
All in all, a spectacular tasty dish, easy to prepare, cheap economical, and definitely better than most of the stuff you can buy ready-made or in most restaurants.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
This amount of mousse serves 4 main courses or 8-12 snacks/appetizers
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Chicken Liver Mousse

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Chicken Liver Mousse

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Chicken Liver Mousse

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Preparation :
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Grilled Veal Breast, Sauteed Potatoes, Chimichurri

Grilled Veal Breast, Sautéed Potatoes And Chimichurri

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Sliced veal breast is a cut I use often at home, mainly for these three reasons:
1.- It’s cheap. 1 lb costs around $2.50.
2.- It tastes great.
3.- I love the texture.
Since veal breast is not a very tender part of an animal to begin with, most folks would braise it for a couple of hours to reach the tenderness they are accustomed to. While this will produce a great dish if properly done, it will lose most of that special veal flavor that some of us cherish. But if you prefer to grill or saute the veal breast, you must make sure that you do it right, otherwise, it will end up being dry and tough.
However, if you sear the meat at high heat, then cook it VERY ! slowly for the rest of the cooking process, you will be rewarded with a very fine piece of veal, full of flavor, juicy and tender. The veal breast slices I used for this dish cooked on each side for about 35 minutes until they were medium-well, then I let them rest another 10 minutes before cutting into them. They were perfect and an absolute delight 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Grilled Veal Breast, Sautéed Potatoes, And Chimichurri

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Grilled Veal Breast, Sautéed Potatoes, And Chimichurri

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Grilled Veal Breast, Sautéed Potatoes, And Chimichurri

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Preparation :
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Fourth Of July – Celebrating The First Brexit Of 1776 (English Trifle)

Fourth Of July – Celebrating The First Brexit Of 1776 (English Trifle)

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Tomorrow is the 4th of July, “Independence Day”, Americas most celebrated public holiday.
And what better way than to rub it into the 400-year-old wound of the British than to celebrate this glorious occasion with this most typical of British desserts, the English Trifle 🙂
Well, just kidding. We are of course thankful that the Brit’s left us with this superbly wonderful dessert
(But mostly with the fact that they left us) 🙂 .
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Excerpt from “The Spruce”:
>>An English Trifle is the quintessential pudding that has graced British tables for more than four centuries.
The blousey looking, decadent, rich dessert is simply luscious. There are so many variations in the traditional recipe; some will boast jelly in their trifle, some not; fruit is a must-have for some, for others, no way. This is my recipe and one I have been making for many years. Essentially a trifle needs a sponge soaked (if for adults) in sherry, a thick layer of creamy custard and a deep layer of lightly whipped fresh cream. The rest is all about personal preference. My favorite trifle recipe is made with jelly as it is even more appealing to children though if so, do leave out the sherry. If you prefer a trifle without jelly, simply omit and proceed without, this will be quicker to make as it will not require setting in the fridge. You choose, they are all delicious.<<
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Vanilla pudding recipe:
1/3 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, pinch of salt, 2 cups milk, 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten, 2 tablespoons softened butter, a dash of vanilla extract.
1) – In a 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Simmer and stir 1 minute.
2) – Gradually stir at least half of the hot mixture into egg yolks, then stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Simmer and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla.
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P.S.
You can easily control the texture of your trifle by adding more or less cake, more or less fruit or jello, more or less whipped cream, more or less pudding and by soaking the cake with more or less liquid (booze for the grown-up’s, juice or honey for the kids)
(I personally prefer a lighter texture – more pudding, more cream, more fruits, easy on the cake).
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I would usually use a bright red jam for a trifle, but when I started to prepare this one, I realized that I forgot to buy the jam. After an agonizing 2 seconds of mental deliberation, I decided to save myself a 5 mile trip to the store and instead use the apricot preserve I had in the larder. Less color, same great flavor.
And there you have it 🙂
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HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY !!!
(Great Britain rejoice, you still have Gibraltar) 🙂
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Fourth Of July – Celebrating The First Brexit Of 1776 (English Trifle)

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Fourth Of July – Celebrating The First Brexit Of 1776 (English Trifle)

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Fourth Of July – Celebrating The First Brexit Of 1776 (English Trifle)

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Fourth Of July – Celebrating The First Brexit Of 1776 (English Trifle)

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Preparation :
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Snow Crab And Fusilli Lunghi In Anchovy Butter

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Ok now, don’t get any ideas about eating these vampire crabs pictured above !
The only reason I feature their pics here is that they are so pretty 🙂
They are actually small pets, just to love, look at and to take good care of, until their natural life cycle comes to an end.
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Snow Crab And Fusilli Lunghi In Anchovy Butter

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So, on to these snow crabs.
They are definitely not pets. They are some of my favorite seafood, and if they would not be so darn expensive, they’d be on my table twice a week 🙂
I love them steamed and served with just a squirt of lemon and drawn butter, transformed into crab cakes, soup, salad, fried rice and of course with pasta, as I enjoyed them for today’s lunch.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Snow Crab And Fusilli Lunghi In Anchovy Butter

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Snow Crab And Fusilli Lunghi In Anchovy Butter

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Preparation :
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Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables

Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables

Does stir fried chicken ever get old? Not in my book, for sure 🙂
Its beauty lays in large part in its versatility.
Not only can it be served with or without sauce, but there is no limit to the number of variations with which you can prepare the sauce. If you choose to prep it with sauce, you can include hoisin sauce, soy sauce, fermented bean sauce, oyster sauce, chili sauce, yuzu-soy sauce, kecap manis, etc, etc. You can serve it over stir fried noodles, fried noodles, steamed rice, fried rice, steamed buns; with a myriad of different vegetables, mushrooms and even potatoes (in some part of China potatoes are rather common).
When I cook stir fried chicken at home (or most other stir fries, for that matter), it rarely has the same ingredients twice – if ever.
But, all stir fries (and any other dish) I prepare at my home have one thing in common – I put a lot of love in them, therefore they all are delicious 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables

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Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables

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Preparation :
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