Escargot Catalan

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While “Escargots à la Bourguignonne” (Snails in Garlic–Herb Butter) is my favorite snail-dish, “Escargot Catalan” is a close second. (As long as there is enough garlic, herbs and a proper red wine in the sauce).
This dish not only serves as a perfect appetizer or snack, but it can also stand on its own feet as a main course, accompanied by sauteed potatoes, rice, or hearty, crusty bread to mop up the wonderful sauce. 🙂
It also serves perfectly as a family/friends meal, in a large bowl in the center of the table, from where everybody can help themselves to seconds (or thirds), the wonderful meal enriched with good wine and lively conversation. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Escargot Catalan

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Escargot Catalan

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Escargot Catalan

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Escargot Catalan

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Preparation :
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Bombay Carrot, Coconut & Ginger Soup With Salted Cucumbers

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If you think that the salted cucumber addition for this soup are just a fru-fru gimmick to add some green color to the picture, think again 🙂
These pickled cucumbers truly add an surprising element of sophistication to an otherwise simple, everyday soup.
BTW, I also like to eat pickled cucumbers as a snack, either plain-salted, as shown here, or prepared a bit more elaborate,
such as in my “Chinese pickled cucumbers recipe”   (涼拌黃瓜   liáng bàn huáng guā recipe)

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Bombay Carrot, Coconut & Ginger Soup With Salted Cucumbers

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Bombay Carrot, Coconut & Ginger Soup With Salted Cucumbers

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Bombay Carrot, Coconut & Ginger Soup With Salted Cucumbers

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Preparation :
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Easy Does it # 39 – “Tuna Salad”

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Pls don´t miss the link at the bottom of this page for a truly “different” cooking tutorial ……
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Easy Does it # 39 – “Tuna Salad”

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This salad is probably ? the first “Main Course Salad” that ever hit a restaurant table, way back then.
In the meantime, it has been re-invented/improved a million times, with the ingredients changing from year to year, season to season, cook to cook, household to household, country to country, and restaurant to restaurant.
Probably, the only constant were always salad greens, onions, and tuna, otherwise, the imagination for tuna salad knows no bounds 🙂 Other typical ingredients are (among a million others), anchovies, potatoes, eggs, artichokes, herbs, asparagus, etc, etc.
While I have to admit that my desire to create a “new” version of tuna salad has occasionally got the better of me, my favorite version is still this simple one featured here on this page. 🙂
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Easy Does it # 39 – “Tuna Salad”

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Easy Does it # 39 – “Tuna Salad”

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mix everything with 1/3 cup herb vinaigrette

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check/adjust seasoning

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Preparation :
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And now, one for the road, not to be missed :
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Paris Hilton cooks Lasagna at her own “Cooking Show”
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I am torn between being sad, amused, disgusted and/or outraged about the fact that some folks (many ? !!!) find this to be an actual tutorial to learn cooking.
It is without a doubt a tutorial for various bad traits – but cooking is definitely not one of them 🙂 😦
This episode is one of the worst examples of how bad “cooking shows” have actually become. Most are shameful, ridiculous, bad, stupid and, flat-out, pure garbage.
My only hope is that this particular one is supposed to be satire and not to be taken seriously, but, judging from the ladies behavior and the general state of mind of the kind of people who watch crap like this, chances are that it is meant to be taken seriously:-(
God help us all !
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Red Curry/Coconut Ramen With Nappa Cabbage

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During the past view years, with thousands upon thousands of books, articles movies, documentaries and everybody and his/her dog writing about Ramen – the best, the most original, the most exotic, the cheapest, the most expensive, the most complicated, the simplest, the craziest, and what not else about Ramen, the latest craze we are to believe in and are bombarded with is always the final, definitive, all previous wisdom erasing, Fad.
Some, (most?) folks have forgotten what Ramen, or comfort food in general, is all about – when it feels just right what your mom in her kitchen, or the waiter in a five-star restaurant, or the street cook from his cart, sets in front of you and you happily enjoy every aspect of the dish to it´s fullest – the taste, the texture, the aromas, the ingredients, the colors, the surroundings, and last but not least, the company.
Ramen does not really need (deserve ???) all this silly nonsense and mystique which some folks want to make us believe is essential and exists in some mysterious stockpot in some obscure location, prepared by a “Master Artist”, who dedicated his/her life to one particular dish.
Dear God, pls spare me from any more of this pretentious BS !
Like any other thing in the Universe, sometimes there are exceptions to the rules, but……….. 🙂
Just like any other bowl of soup, or any other dish out there, there are awful ones, mediocre ones, average ones, good ones, superb ones and occasionally, a sublime one, which is usually the result of somebody who brings decent ingredients, at least a bit of knowledge, and A LOT OF LOVE to the stove. No mystery, no art, no alchemy.
Dear people, Ramen it is just a bowl of noodle soup !!!!! No matter how simple or complicated – it’s just a bowl of noodle soup !!!!!
And like ALL other food, it should taste great, should not cost an arm and a leg for something simple and basic, and most of all, it should leave you full, satisfied and happy 😉
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I know that I am not the only one who is tired of the loudmouths in our industry, most of whom have nothing else to offer than flash, glitter, and show, never mind the taste and satisfaction of truly wonderful food.
So then, this, like most of my posts, is about comfort food, good food, easy to prepare food, and, last but not least, affordable food. 🙂
I hope, in this spirit at least, ChefsOpinion serves you well 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Red Curry/Coconut Ramen With Nappa Cabbage

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Red Curry/Coconut Ramen With Nappa Cabbage

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Red Curry/Coconut Ramen With Nappa Cabbage

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Preparation :
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Capon Tacos

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Capon Tacos

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I believe, nowadays most everybody is familiar with chicken tacos.
These here beauties are essentially the same, except that the chicken has been replaced with the much more succulent and tasty capon.
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What Is a Capon ?
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Excerpt of an article by Danilo Alfaro on “thespruceEats”
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A capon is a special type of chicken created to make the meat more tender and less gamy. It is a rooster that has been castrated before reaching sexual maturity, which improves the quality of the meat; after that, it is fed a rich diet of milk or porridge. The lack of testosterone makes for a more tender, flavorful meat that is a delight compared to regular chicken. Unfortunately, in the United States today, it may be rare to see capon on a dinner menu or in the grocery store.

You can prepare capon like any other poultry dish. Typically, capons are roasted and the procedure for doing so is similar to roasting a chicken; due to its larger size, however, the cooking time will be longer.
Traditionally, roosters are braised. For instance, the classic French dish coq au vin involves braising a rooster in red wine. That is because their meat is tougher than chicken meat and they are usually slaughtered at an older age, which toughens the meat as well. As such, braising is also a good cooking technique for preparing capon.
A capon is more flavorful than a chicken as well as a turkey, with tender and juicy meat that is is void of any gamey taste. It is full-breasted and has a high-fat content, keeping what could become dry white meat nice and moist as it cools.
If you do manage to find capon meat in your local grocery store, you can follow a braised chicken recipe to prepare it. A whole, cut-up capon combines with bacon, leeks, onion, garlic, rosemary, tomato paste, chicken stock, and white wine and cooks slowly until bubbling and cooked through.

A roasted capon is a perfect centerpiece for a dinner party or holiday table. Keep it somewhat simple or try something a little more exotic.
Depending on where you live and how specialized your local supermarket is, you may be able to find a capon in the poultry section. Since capon is not an item that is bought often and therefore restocked regularly, it is important to look at the “sell-by” date, as well as the quality of the meat and make sure it’s fresh.
If you don’t see a capon in the poultry case, it is worth asking the butcher if he can get one for you. Otherwise, specialty groceries and online meat purveyors are your best bet.
If you don’t plan to cook the capon immediately, you can store it in the refrigerator for two to three days. To be sure that no liquids escape into your fridge, place the packaged capon in a plastic bag first. For longer storage, you can freeze the capon for three to four months, although it will begin to lose its flavor after two months. If the capon came with giblets, remove them before freezing and store separately.
In a 4-ounce serving of roasted capon (including the skin), there are 259 calories and 13.2 grams of fat, as well as 97 milligrams of cholesterol (which is 32 percent of the daily recommended value). Capon also has 32.7 grams of protein, making it a good source of this nutrient.”
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End of excerpt
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Read here all about   Capon
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Capon Tacos

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Capon Tacos

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Capon Tacos

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Capon Tacos

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Capon Tacos

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Preparation :
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Easy Does It # 38 – Slow Roast Crispy Duck, Creamed Spinach, Pommes Croquettes & Red Wine Jus

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Easy Does It # 38 – Slow Roast Crispy Duck, Creamed Spinach, Pommes Croquettes & Red Wine Jus

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When you read the title of this post and then see the final dish, you might wonder – whats easy about this ? 🙂
Let me assure you, everything is ! 🙂
The total preparation time is only about 20 minutes, although the total cooking time is more like 4.5 hours, give or take a few minutes.
How can this be, you ask ?
Well, I prepared this meal on Christmas day just for Bella and myself, so I took some shortcuts which I usually might not have taken, namely using frozen creamed spinach, which I enhanced with some additional heavy cream and a pinch of nutmeg. The result was VERY yummy.
I also used frozen pommes croquettes, which turned out surprisingly delicious, especially when paired with the wonderful duck sauce. (I always have demi glace of pork, poultry and veal in my freezer, so it is easy to produce excellent sauce in a relatively short time. 🙂
Actual prep time was approximately :
10 Minutes – unpacking, washing, drying, salting the duck, and, at the end, portioning the duck.
5 Minutes – unpacking the spinach, adding to a small sauteuse, adding cream and nutmeg.
3 Minutes – unpacking the croquettes, placing on the grill in the oven.
The most difficult thing was to wait for all these hours until we could finally dig-in, while the aroma coming from the kitchen made us hungrier by the minute. Of course, I started the duck for dinner right after lunch, so it was bearable for me, while Bella experienced four hours of nearly going nuts in front of the oven 🙂
I, on the other hand, had things to do, so, for me,  the time went by fast.
At the end, this was a superb meal with very little effort. Bella and I loved all of it. I am sure that if we would have had visitors, they would have been impressed by all the skills and effort and hard work I have spend for them with this dish.  🙂 🙂 🙂
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Easy Does It # 38 – Slow Roast Crispy Duck, Creamed Spinach, Pommes Croquettes & Red Wine Jus

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Serving Suggestion #1 – Slow Roast Crispy Duck, Creamed Spinach, Pommes Croquettes & Red Wine Jus

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Serving Suggestion #2 – Slow Roast Crispy Duck, Creamed Spinach, Pommes Croquettes & Red Wine Jus

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Easy Does It # 38 – Slow Roast Crispy Duck, Creamed Spinach, Pommes Croquettes & Red Wine Jus

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Preparation :
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Happy Holidays 2019/2020 !

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Dear Friends,
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As 2019 draws to a close I would like to thank you all to have spent
time with me in real life and on ChefsOpinion during this eventful 2019.
I wish you all the most wonderful and happy holidays, and a healthy, blessed and prosperous 2020,
filled with love, harmony, and goodness.

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The best from Bella and me to all of you,

Hans Susser
(Soupi)
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God Bless !
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Beef Goulash & Bread Dumplings

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Beef Goulash & Bread Dumplings

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A stew is one of these typical, beloved, easy to prepare dishes that have almost disappeared from fine restaurant menus and, sadly, from most household dining tables (or kitchen tables).
Many home cooks shy away from it because of the extended cooking time. But, once you realize that the actual prep time is usually short and easy, things look a lot more simple. After all, as long as you are at home, you can do whatever you want/need to do around the house as long as you check on your stew once in a while. The reward is a meal chock-full of flavor and debt, hardly achieved with any other cooking method (this one being Braising.” )
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While this one looks like a typical goulash, the seasoning changes it into a very different animal.
In my own opinion, not better or worse, just different. I eat stews and goulash regularly, so I love to change the ingredients/seasoning often, to avoid monotony in my nutrition.
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Beef Goulash & Bread Dumplings

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Beef Goulash & Bread Dumplings

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Beef Goulash & Bread Dumplings

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Beef Goulash & Bread Dumplings

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Beef Goulash & Bread Dumplings

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Beef Goulash & Bread Dumplings

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Preparation :
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Not Your Mama´s Chicken/Noodle Soup – “Chicken Pho” (Phở Gà)

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Not Your Mama´s Chicken/Noodle Soup – “Chicken Pho” (Phở Gà)

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If you have followed ChefsOpinion for a while, you might be aware of my passion for soups, especially for chicken noodle soup, prepared any-which-way.
Without a doubt, the soup featured on this page is by far the best chicken noodle soup I have ever tasted.
The combination and the amount used of the special chicken and all the veggies, as well as the seasoning/aromatics and the six hours of cooking resulted in a heavenly broth, for which only the wide rice noodles and garden-fresh cilantro was needed to transform these simple ingredients into a wonderful, immensely satisfying culinary delight. 🙂
( The plate prepared for the original photo shoot already was all that – but then, the plate I prepared later on with all the “secondary cuts” (neck, wings and dark meat), which was originally not intended to be included in this post, was even better and “hit it out of the park” )  🙂
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P.S.
To prepare the best tasting chicken broth, one must use “Suppen Huhn” (Boiling Fowl, which needs to simmer between three to six hours to be sufficiently tender for the meat to be enjoyed.
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Not Your Mama´s Chicken/Noodle Soup – “Chicken Pho” (Phở Gà)

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Not Your Mama´s Chicken/Noodle Soup – “Chicken Pho” (Phở Gà)

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Not Your Mama´s Chicken/Noodle Soup – “Chicken Pho” (Phở Gà)

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And later on, the second helping looked like this :
(Originally, these photos were not intended to be published 🙂 

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Not Your Mama´s Chicken/Noodle Soup – “Chicken Pho” (Phở Gà)

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Not Your Mama´s Chicken/Noodle Soup – “Chicken Pho” (Phở Gà)

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Not Your Mama´s Chicken/Noodle Soup – “Chicken Pho” (Phở Gà)

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Preparation :
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