Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

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Seems like everybody loves fried camembert, yet few folks actually prepare it at home. Which is a mystery to me, since it is really quick and easy to prepare and it is versatile – it can be served as an appetizer, a main course or as a snack. Best of all, it is very economical. (After all, I am a poor retiree 😦  ).
In olden times, we used just one coat of simple breading. However, nowadays I like to use panko crumbs, which requires double breading. The texture is of course very different so you might want to experiment which one of the two versions you prefer. They are both great, it’s just a matter of personal preference.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Salad  on  ChefsOpinion
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Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

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Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

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Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

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Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

 

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Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Plasas & Foo Foo (West African Chicken, Spinach, Tomato and Peanut Stew With Cassava)

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Plasas & Foo Foo (West African Chicken, Spinach, Tomato and Peanut Stew With Cassava)

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There is not much one can say about Plasas – essentially, it is a simple chicken stew. On the other hand, it is without a doubt one of the most delicious chicken dishes anywhere.
Plasas will go well with any starch, but in my opinion, it goes especially well with this version of foo foo, which is my absolute favorite:
Pounded or riced cassava, cayenne, salt, garlic and a sinful amount of butter (no liquid added here)
This fat /calorie bomb is of course not the most healthy dish if consumed in large quantities or if consumed often, but once in a while, a moderate quantity of foo foo will surely make you strong and pretty ………… 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here to read all about  Foo Foo
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Click here to read all about  Plasas
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Click here to read all about the many names, cooking methods and recipes for Cassava, also called Yam, Maniok, TarulTapioka, Ube, Chupri Alu, and many others, ( but NOT the American kind called “Yam”, which is a sweet potato, unrelated to Cassava)
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Plasas & Foo Foo (West African Chicken, Spinach, Tomato and Peanut Stew With Cassava)

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Plasas & Foo Foo (West African Chicken, Spinach, Tomato and Peanut Stew With Cassava)

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Foo Foo

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Plasas & Foo Foo (West African Chicken, Spinach, Tomato and Peanut Stew With Cassava)

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Plasas & Foo Foo (West African Chicken, Spinach, Tomato and Peanut Stew With Cassava)

 

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

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About a week ago I read in a “respected” magazine that one should NEVER eat Sauce Hollandaise or one of its derivatives in a restaurant because hollandaise is NEVER made fresh to order, but rather before the service and then kept warm during the whole service.
What a load of crap !!! 😦
Admittedly, some restaurants may do this, but many restaurants who have one or two dishes with hollandaise on the menu will not waste the ingredients if there is no order for a particular service. It takes a professional cook or chef maybe 1 or 2 minutes to produce 2 portions of fresh hollandaise, so to do it “a la minute” (to order) is no problem at all.
When I was an apprentice and later as a young cook, we ALWAYS made hollandaise a la minute during a la carte service.
– The moral of this? always double-check before you take a story/advise for granted. 🙂
– Also, hollandaise is one of the easiest and quickest sauces to prepare.
– Have I mentioned that Sauce Hollandaise is one of the French mother sauces?
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When I prepare a whole roasted whole chicken for Bella and myself, I usually eat both tights and all the scraps from the bones, including the neck, wings, and back, while Madam enjoys the two breasts (one per day). However, yesterday she kept begging for food while the chicken was still a while before being done, so I gave her a full portion of her own food (usually she gets only half that amount because she’ll eat some of my food later).
After I ate my usual part of the chicken, I removed all the skin and bones from the breasts, submerged it in salted water and kept it in the fridge until today, when I used it to prepare this Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet.
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P.S.
Please note that both mushrooms and sauce hollandaise are optional in this classic dish.
P.P.S.
Nowadays, in most commercial venues, because of safety issues, hollandaise is made from powder or ready-made from a can, which eliminates the danger of eggs served at unsafe temperatures.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

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Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

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Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Pulled Hoisin-Pork Ciabatta Sandwich

Pulled Hoisin-Pork Ciabatta Sandwich

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When it comes to pulled pork, the heavily smoked American version is a wonderful dish
– however, like everything else that has overpowering smoky smoked flavor, it is my least favorite version. I rather have a latin style pulled pork, such as Mexican, Puerto Rican or Cuban.
But on top of my list is the pulled pork featured here. The sauce is my own concoction, which grew out of my desire for a tasty, juicy and slightly Asian-inspired flavor. In my opinion, the ciabatta bread is ideal for this kind of sandwich. It is tasty and robust enough to hold its own next to the stuffing, yet slim enough to make a rich and substantial,  but not ridiculously thick sandwich. (A “modern”, bad culinary habit) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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drizzle generously with Thai chili sauce

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Pulled Hoisin-Pork Ciabatta Sandwich

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Pulled Hoisin-Pork Ciabatta Sandwich

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Pulled Hoisin-Pork Ciabatta Sandwich

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Pulled Hoisin-Pork Ciabatta Sandwich

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

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Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen is usually eaten in late Summer and early Fall, typically served with new wine, but fans (there are legions of them, including myself), will eat it year-round. As with any “traditional/classic” dish which is mostly prepared at home, there are many variations, most of them excellent. After all, it is pretty hard to screw up a simple dish like this, consisting of just a few basic ingredients –
Yeast Dough, (or shortcrust)
Creme Fraiche, (or, in a pinch, sour cream, which makes it slightly more tart)
Onions, sautéed, diced, (or sliced), anywhere from just transparent to caramelized
Bacon, (or not)
Chives (or not)
Caraway Seeds, (or not)
Eggs,
Salt & Pepper,
Round Pie Pan (or square or rectangular)
Deep Dish Springform (or large flat sheet pan) – because of the different heights, the ratio of onions to cream mixture also varies greatly.

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I grew up eating Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen all the time, but even in the area where I lived, cooks (mostly housewives), were very flexible which the variation they would use.
The only exception was the Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen from the time I was but a small child until I was about 7 years old, after which time the village communal oven was not used anymore. Up ’til I was about 7 years old, we still had a communal oven in the village bakery, everybody followed the same regional, well-established recipe. During that time, most farmers wife’s baked huge sheet pan’s of Zwiebelkuchen in the communal oven (as well as the bread for the following week).
Because there where no refrigerators in farmers homes at that time, a good part of the Zwiebelkuchen was shared with friends and neighbors, so that nothing was wasted. This is how I got my first taste of Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen, since my Mom was a city girl and was not fond of cooking, baking or any other domestic chores. when I was about five, my family moved from a large City (Stuttgart) to the small Village of Gechingen, where my father inherited his childhood home from my grandparents, who, like their parents and their parents and their parents……… were farmers. Growing up in a rural environment was in part very great, and in another part very bad for a city boy. I never got used to some of the customs, way’s and restrictions the small-village life provided us with. (One of the biggest reasons why I left home to start an apprenticeship as cook before I was 14 years old)
But, all the food from this time, including Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen, became highly regarded favorites as I got older. To this day, I seek those dishes wherever I go. Sadly, most everywhere, many of these items are not valued anymore and have gone the way of so many old-fashioned things – they have just disappeared. Good food, dood customs, good manners and so many other good things we used to respect, love nurture and appreciate in the past are just gone. Those of us who still (or just newly, in some cases) are fond of the time-proven pillars of “the good old times”, can only hope that “old is new again” will one day soon again apply to most of the beloved standards of our past 🙂
Until then, when I crave Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen, I have to prepare it myself.
And now, don’t get me going about old-fashioned manners, customs, and decent behavior…….
Bit of a nostalgic, old farts rant there, but I feel better now 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  “Schwäbische Dishes”  on  ChefsOpinion
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Zwiebelkuchen Dough:
Use your favorite shortcrust dough or yeast dough.
Substitute with pre-made shortcrust dough, pizza dough, pre-baked Quiche crust or pre-baked pizza crust. I suggest you experiment until you find your favorite. It’s well worth the extra effort 🙂
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Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

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Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

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Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

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Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Smithy’s Beef Rib Soup With Spinach And Pasta (Rinder Suppe Von Der Rippe, Mit Spinat Und Pasta)

Smithy’s Beef Rib Soup With Spinach And Pasta (Rinder Suppe Von Der Rippe Mit Spinat Und Pasta)

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When all else fails, this soup will make you feel better………(Just ask Smithy)  🙂
If you prefer, replace the linguini with any type of pasta, potatoes, or rice.
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P.S.
If you don’t like to use chopsticks, break the linguini (or any other type of long pasta) into small pieces before cooking.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more beef  on  ChefsOpinion
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Smithy’s Beef Rib Soup With Spinach And Pasta (Rinder Suppe Von Der Rippe Mit Spinat Und Pasta)

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to plate, add 1/2 of ea pasta, spinach and beef to a large soup plate, add beef broth

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Smithy’s Beef Rib Soup With Spinach And Pasta (Rinder Suppe Von Der Rippe Mit Spinat Und Pasta)

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Smithy’s Beef Rib Soup With Spinach And Pasta (Rinder Suppe Von Der Rippe Mit Spinat Und Pasta)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Roast Cornish Hen With Caramelized Onions And Potatoes (Best Potatoes EVER?)

Roast Cornish Hen With Caramelized Onions And Potatoes

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Upon first glance, one’s impression would be that the Cornish Hen is the star of this dish.
While this is certainly the case in the looks-department, when it comes to taste, these potatoes do steal the show. (But of course, the Cornish Hen is awesome as well) 🙂
First, the potatoes and onions are coated in duck fat, seasoned with rosemary sprigs, kosher salt, and fresh-cracked black pepper, then slowly roasted until golden brown. Next, duck stock (or chicken stock)  is added,  topped with a whole Cornish Hen and roasted for another 45 minutes, during which time all the rendered fat from the Cornish Hen, together with its richly seasoned juices, oozes into the potatoes and combine to produce the best potatoes you will find this side of culinary heaven 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Cornish Hen  on  ChefsOpinion
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Roast Cornish Hen With Caramelized Onions And Potatoes

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Best Potatoes EVER?

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Roast Cornish Hen With Caramelized Onions And Potatoes

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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 # 35 – Torrejas

Torrejas

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Like most groups of lovers of traditional, old and beloved dishes, Torrejas have their fans divided into two main parts: on one side of the fence you’ll find the traditionalist’s, who don’t want to change a thing and believe that only the original recipe and ingredients are worthy of  their love, and, on the other side of the fence, the folks who believe that nowadays we have access to better and more varied ingredients and therefore should try to improve recipes whenever possible, as long as the character of a dish is respected.
I personally respect both sides, depending on the dish involved. However, when it comes to Torrejas, I am a big fan of improving the original, which is just stale bread, dipped in milk or wine, then dipped in whole whisked eggs, sautéed and finally sprinkled with sugar. While there is nothing at all wrong with that, I believe you can agree that the version on this page outshines those simple, traditional Torrejas by a mile. (I can imagine the steadfast traditionalist’s reaching for their cannons right now……. 🙂
But anyway, don’t knock it until you try it. I am sure you too will become a convert, at least as far as Torrejas are concerned.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for an easy Cranberry/Pecan-Bread Recipe
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Click here for more  “Easy Does It”  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Pan Perdu (Arme Ritter) (French Toast)  on  ChefsOpinion

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Torrejas

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Torrejas

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Torrejas

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Torrejas

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Escargots A La Bourguignonne (Snails In Garlic-Herb Butter In The Style Of The Bourguignon)

Escargots A La Bourguignonne (Snails In Garlic-Herb Butter In The Style Of The Bourguignon)

Remembering  the “Good Old Times”, when I went to Germany I was looking forward to enjoy escargot as often as possible, since in the not so distant past, escargot was one of the dishes which one could find on the dinner menu of most restaurants, usually prepared “A La Bourguignonne” and served in their own shells, but also frequently as soup or in puff pastry.
I was disappointed to find that escargots have mostly gone the way of so many other delicacies ( Tortue “Lady Curzon,  Foie Gras, Duck a la PresseTurtle Steaks, Turtle Stews, Abalone Meunière,  Sole Véronique,  Crab Louie,  Trout Almondine,  Canard à l’Orange, just to mention a few…….
I did manage to find snails on two occasions on the menu, but sadly, both were but a shameful rendition of the once glorious dish (One was escargots a la Bourguignonne, which were burned on top and completely tasteless, the other was escargots in puff pastry, which was served in a soggy puff pastry shell, bound with a tasteless white sauce, deprived of even the slightest bit of the de rigueur Pernod, which is supposed to grace the sauce of escargots in cream.
So, as usual, in order to satisfy my craving, I had to prepare it myself at home. In the past, I have tried to find escargots in the grocery stores around here and sometimes scored, but in the past few years I was not able to find them anywhere anymore 😦 . Thank you Lord for the internet 🙂 . I ordered one dozen cans, which arrived a few days later and made me a happy man indeed.
Here now is the first version of Escargot I prepared…….
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Escargots A La Bourguignonne (Snails In Garlic-Herb Butter In The Style Of The Bourguignon)

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Escargots A La Bourguignonne (Snails In Garlic-Herb Butter In The Style Of The Bourguignon)

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Escargots A La Bourguignonne (Snails In Garlic-Herb Butter In The Style Of The Bourguignon)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Who’s Ball’s Are Prettier Than Mine? – Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Not all meatballs are created equal. Some are different from others,  some are worse than others, and some are better than others.
And then you’ll come across these delicious, juicy, pretty Meatballs here, which are in a class all by themselves. Different? – For sure!  Better? – absolutely!
Well, at least that is my opinion, and I’ll stick to it until somebody can prove me wrong 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Balls  on  ChefsOpinion
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Garlic & Herb Yogurt  recipe :
Mix 1/2 cup Greek yogurt with 1 ea tsp garlic paste, chopped cilantro, chopped parsley and a chiffonade of mint, season with 1 tsp lime juice, and kosher salt and cayenne pepper to taste. This pairs well with most grilled and sauteed proteins and veggies 🙂
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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew


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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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