Breakfast / Brunch

Easy Does It # 34 – Angel Cake With Vanilla Cream And Blueberry Compote

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Easy Does It # 34 – Angel Cake With Vanilla Cream And Blueberry Compote

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I prepped  this beauty, and a few more, a couple of days before I took off for Germany, thinking that I can keep posting at least twice weekly while on the road. Oooops, that did not work out as planned. But, this here little gem deserves the extra time spent on the computer when I could be exploring my old/new country.
Without further ado, here is the easiest to prepare, prettiest to look at and most important, “yummiest” sweet dish of the month 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  Angel Food Cake  Recipe
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Vanilla Cream Recipe :
Ingredients:
I cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup milk, 1 dash organic vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean), 1 tblsp honey.
Method :
Scrape seeds from vanilla bean with tip of a knife into a bowl. Bring cream, honey, and vanilla to a simmer, add 1 tblsp cornstarch slurry, simmer a few seconds, remove from heat, check/adjust taste and texture, let cool to room temperature.

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P.S.
!!!!! If you use other than edible flowers, wrap the stems tightly in plastic film, then in aluminum foil, so that they don’t come into contact with the edible part of the dish. !!!!! Remove before cutting the cake  !!!!!
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Easy Does It # 34 – Angel Cake With Vanilla Cream And Blueberry Compote

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Easy Does It # 34 – Angel Cake With Vanilla C And Blueberry Compote

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Easy Does It # 34 – Angel Cake With Vanilla C And Blueberry Compote

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

Gravlax

I have prepared gravlax a thousand times over the years, starting at the beginning of the 70’s when I worked in  Torekov/Sweden  for the first time, and usually, it comes out perfect, or at least close to perfect. It is one of those dishes which actually require an effort to mess it up. So every time I prepare it, I am sure that the outcome Is a predictable “10” on a scale from 0 to 10. But then came this baby !!!
I had to increase the scale by another point to accommodate its level of excellence. It was so off the chart, in taste, texture, and color. Just a perfect “11” 🙂
It was probably a combination of the quality of the fish, the freshness, the amount and quality of the dill, the ratio of the ingredients of the brine and finally, the time I left the salmon in the brine to cure. Whatever it was, this gravlax is the one all future gravlax will be judged by.
But, I can not give you the EXACT amount of time or ingredients, only approximates. Like with most savory cooking, recipe-measurements and times can only serve as guidelines. Usually, there are too many variables to cook EXACTLY by a recipe. (I am sure you have often heard folks say “I followed the recipe to the dot, but it did not turn out to be like in the picture or in the book or the video?- well, that’s the reason why – too many variables. It is also the reason why a professional chef “interprets” a recipe because, with his/her experience over many years, he/she has learned to factor-in these variables and make the necessary adjustments accordingly.
To quote myself – “Cooking is easy – if you know how to do it !” 🙂
So here now is the recipe I used for this specific gravlax. Again, there are a million and one recipes out there. Every Scandinavian cook, housewife and home cook guards at least one gravlax recipe they swear by, and most of them are pretty awesome, just slightly different from each other.
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2 lbs raw salmon, skin on
2 cup kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 jigger vodka
1/2 cup sliced dill leaves plus 1/4 cup
1/2 cup red beet juice
2 tblsp dijon mustard
1 tblsp fresh-cracked>
black pepper
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Dill/Mustard Sauce
(Traditional condiment for gravlax)
Good quality mustard, white wine vinegar, kosher salt, neutral tasting oil, sugar, fresh dill leaves, pepper(optional), mix all ingredients well.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Gravlax

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Gravlax

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Gravlax

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add the salmon and onions (for a prettier presentation / restaurant presentation) put the egg and capers together with the onions on top of the salmon, however, the way I did it here will keep the capers and egg from rolling off when you eat the 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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Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

 

Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

Here we have the perfect breakfast for dog owners (and everybody else who loves a great breakfast and can wait awhile before breakfast is ready,) 🙂
Once the prep has been done (you can do this the previous evening), just put the wrap into the oven (hot or cold), turn to 375F and walk your dog.
Make sure you are back before the hour is over and you will be rewarded with a perfect breakfast). Generally, the egg inside will take about 35 minutes for a “sunny side up” texture, while additional time spent in the heat will obviously take the egg to the next level of doneness. This doneness will depend on various factors, such as the thickness of the wrap, the thickness of the ham and tomato, the amount of cheese and /or other fillings, and so forth.
When I made this dish the first time a few years back, I took it out of the oven WAY too early, not realizing how much time the egg actually takes to cook inside all these layers. However, if you like this dish, take some notes about the time and temperature you use in order to get it right on future occasions.
Also, and this is even more important, chose a wrap which suits this preparation. If you select the wrong one, the shell will become dry and tough after it’s considerable time in the oven. But if you find the right one (see the pic below for an example), the wrap becomes wonderfully flaky, almost like a puff pastry, as is clearly visible in the pics of the cut wrap 🙂 . The reason why I use two wraps per pocket is that the (RIGHT) wraps add a great flakiness one would not get with a single layer (there is a lot of moisture inside).
I also like to emphasize the importance of the grated parmesan cheese between the moist layers to help keep a proper texture, (you don’t want a soggy mess !) and the importance of brushing the wrap generously with whole butter before baking, both for taste and texture.
As for the sauce, I love to serve this with sweet Thai chili sauce or a honey/herb yogurt. Again – serve it with whatever makes YOU happy ! 🙂
Of course, as with most of the food I publish on my blog,  I recommend using this dish as an inspiration for your very own variations of a baked wrap. I have prepared them with seafood, ground meat, chicken, veggies, with or without cheese, with or without eggs, etc. ( one of my favorites is tomato, onion, sauteed spinach, and brie). Also, although I have this usually for breakfast, it makes a great snack or meal any time during the day or evening.

Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

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Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

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Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 61 – Chocolate Buttermilk Waffles With Strawberries In Honey/Vanilla Cream

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 61 – Chocolate Waffles With Strawberries In Honey And Vanilla Cream

Today was the first time that I remember getting up at 7.00pm without a reason other than trying this new lifestyle, where I get up early and go to sleep early (Midnight), without any compelling reason other than that’s the conventional thing to do.
Let’s see how long THAT last’s………
So, getting up that early and having nothing planned to do, I treated myself to this wonderful breakfast.  Before I retired fully (last Sunday), I only ever had a full breakfast on a day off, so this was breakfast virgin territory to me. I must say, with a good breakfast under the hood, the day turned out very different from what I am used to. No food-craving until the late afternoon (I did share a few grapes and cashews with Bella at around 2:00 pm), and only had a very small dinner at 8:00 pm. Feels very good and of course, I know that this is far healthier than my usual monstrously sized dinners after 10:00 pm 🙂
Let’s hope I can keep this up and become used to this healthier way of life, where the most important meal is breakfast and/or lunch and dinner is small, healthy and (mostly) sensible 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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More  Waffles  on  ChefsOpinion
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More  Breakfast of Champions  on  ChefsOpinion
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More  Strawberries  on ChefsOpinion
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Waffle Batter :
Ingredients :
1. 1/3   cup flour, 4 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp sugar, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1. 3/4 cup buttermilk, two egg yolks (whisk the two egg whites to stiff peaks)
Method :
Mix dry ingredients well, add buttermilk, egg yolks and melted butter, fold in whisked egg whites
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 61 – Chocolate Waffles With Strawberries In Honey And Vanilla Cream

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 61 – Chocolate Waffles With Strawberries In Honey And Vanilla Cream

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 61 – Chocolate Waffles With Strawberries In Honey And Vanilla Cream

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 60 – “Fruit, Milk And Some Interesting Reading”


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Dear Friends,
while today’s featured breakfast might not warrant a post of its own, I think the accompanying article by Jeremy Taylor, which appeared in  THEFW, will make some interesting reading for my non-professional readers, as well as for my many young cooks and chef- colleagues, who are lucky enough to have entered our beloved profession decades after most of the practices described in this article have been abandoned (at least some of them, in some places).
I don’t want to go into the details and the opinion I nurture about these practices, but those who know me will understand that I believe in most of them to this day 🙂  😦
As for the breakfast on this page, it might not be an example of culinary craft and/or art, but it certainly is an example of the beauty of some of the culinary bounty that is easily available to most of us in its original, God-given state, it’s richness, beauty, and simple awesomeness 🙂
(I know, that was a bit of an awkward sentence, but it just felt good to express the joy that comes to my mind when looking at these pics).
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Breakfast Of Champions  on  ChefsOpinion
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“Ridiculously Demanding Craigslist Ad For Line Cook Goes Viral

Thanks to Bloomington, Indiana and America’s desire to stuff their faces like these are the last days of the Roman Empire the job title of chef has grown in stature and prestige.

But before you become a chef, you have to work your way through the kitchen. Farm Bloomington, a restaurant in Bloomington, Indiana, figured there would be so many applicants with culinary stars in their eyes for their line cook position that they posted a Craigslist ad with 44 intricately detailed job requirements.

They include “Only answer ‘yes, chef’ or ‘oui, chef’ and “Always show up to work, even if you are sick as a dog. Let the chef see that you’re really sick and send you home.”

If taken separately, the requirements are overbearing but not necessarily unreasonable. But when you read them all together it offers a horrifying peak inside the id of the restaurant industry.

Harry Shaffer, the general manager of Farm Bloomington, has admitted the ad was posted in haste by a sous chef and the restaurant quickly took it down.

However you can’t really ever erase something from the internet. You can see the entire list that should make any wannabe Food Network star reconsider their path below.

Farm Bloomington Menu

COMMENTS:
Ridiculously Demanding Craigslist Ad For Line Cook Goes Viral | http://thefw.com/ridiculously-demanding-craigslist-ad-for-line-cook-goes-viral/?trackback=tsmclip

To enjoy the full impact of this article, click on the link to the original post just above this line and scroll to the bottom of the article to read 120 comments, of which the majority is quite entertaining and not a few are very funny 🙂
Cheers !
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A Regular Day In The Life Of A Food Blogger

Here is how my usual day-off’s  look like. (I still work part-time)
I don’t go out, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, and my conversations with Bella are usually pretty one-sided.
Movies and reading a few hours a day.
The rest of the time is usually spent prepping, cooking and eating.
(Bella only helps with the eating).
.So here is what we’ve enjoyed today:
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Breakfast – Dutch pancake with caramelized fruits
Lunch – Porkchop “Parisienne” with tomato/garlic orzo
Dinner – Sautéed bone-in rib eye with potato and Brussels sprouts
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All in all, a day as any other., nothing exciting, but great food 🙂
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( Post’s to follow soon)
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Breakfast – Dutch pancake with caramelized fruits

Lunch – Porkchop “Parisienne” with tomato/garlic orzo

Dinner – sautéed bone-in rib eye with potato and Brussels sprouts


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Red Velvet Waffles (The Good Ones)

Good Red Velvet Waffles

Good Red Velvet Waffles


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Ever
 since I bought a new waffle iron about a year ago, waffles have become one of my favorite “Quickies” (Get your mind out of the gutter) 🙂
I prep them usually about once a week, sweet or savory, with whatever I dream up that could go well with or within waffles. The one thing I stayed away from were red velvet waffles. Whenever I looked up a recipe, it contained red food coloring, usually about 2 tablespoons of the stuff for 2 cups of flour. Now I admit that I have used food coloring on occasions to  enhance  a color, but I abhor to use coloring as the only means to create color in food.
Of corse, the simple solution is to add red fruit puree for sweet waffles or red vegetable puree for savory waffles. This will give the waffles both flavor and color and eliminates the need for food coloring.
The results are beautiful waffles with a shiny, golden outside and a bright, pleasant and appetizing pink interior with full, satisfying fruit- and chocolate flavor.
And there you have it…….. “Good” Red Velvet Waffles 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Waffle Batter :
Ingredients :
1. 1/3   cup flour, 4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp sugar, salt to taste, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 cup strawberry coulis, 1 tblsp chocolate powder, two egg yolks (whisk the two egg whites to stiff peaks)
Method :
Mix dry ingredients well, add strawberry coulis, egg yolks and melted butter, fold in whisked egg whites
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Good Red Velvet Waffles

Good Red Velvet Waffles

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Good Red Velvet Waffles

Good Red Velvet Waffles

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Breakfast Of Champions # 59 – Tamago Gohan

Rice. Chop Sticks>

Breakfast Of Champions # 59 - Tamago Gohan

Breakfast Of Champions # 59 – Tamago Gohan


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While  Tamago Gohan is a quintessential Japanese breakfast, I eat it often and at any time of the day, whenever I want to have a meal that is simple and feels cleansing and light. (To ME it feels cleansing and light 🙂 ), probably because of its simplicity ?
I also frequently enjoy an even simpler dish – plain steamed rice with soy sauce/wasabi drizzled over it and topped with undressed, crisp iceberg chiffonade.
Tamago Gohan in its original form consists of rice, whole raw egg, toasted sesame seeds and a splash of soy sauce. I have been introduced to that version of Tamago Gohan many years ago in Japan, (way before I got married to Maria), after spending the night with a young local lady in a Ryokan just outside of Nakasaki. I must admit that I was very apprehensive at first about the raw egg, but the whole day/night was very adventuresome in so many ways, so why stop there.
Frankly, at that point I was not a big fan of that breakfast experience, but, like so many other experiences one has when young and adventurous, years later when I came across Tamago Gohan again, I remembered it as a more pleasant experience than it actually was at the time. I then started to prepare it at home, slightly adjusted to make it more enticing to me by using egg yolk only instead of the whole egg and adding a knob of soft butter and sliced scallion, which transforms it into a very appealing, tasty dish with great texture. Ever since that adjustment, it’s been an often enjoyed dish in my house, usually accompanied by a piping hot pot of mint tea 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
If you are grossed-out by the raw eggs, think of the raw yolks in sunny side up fried eggs or soft poached eggs.
If that does not help, maybe use chopped-up fried eggs or poached eggs instead of the raw eggs…….
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P.P.S.
Please use only the freshest eggs possible !!! and handle them with the utmost care !!!!
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Click here to see  ” How to Tell If an Egg is Fresh “ !!!!!!!
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Click here to see  ChefsOpinion’s   ” Fresh Egg Machine 
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Steamed Rice : 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup short-grain rice (I sometimes use basmati)
  • 1,5 cup water

Instructions

  1. Put rice in a bowl. Wash and discard water 3 times. Place rice and water in a heavy pot. Let it soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Cook rice without lid at high heat until it boils. Stir and reduce heat. Simmer covered for 15 minutes.
  3. Let stand covered for 10 minutes, fluff with fork or chop sticks.

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Breakfast Of Champions # 59 - Tamago Gohan

Breakfast Of Champions # 59 – Tamago Gohan

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Breakfast Of Champions # 59 - Tamago Gohan

Breakfast Of Champions # 59 – Tamago Gohan

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Breakfast Of Champions # 59 - Tamago Gohan

Breakfast Of Champions # 59 – Tamago Gohan

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Breakfast Of Champions # 59 - Tamago Gohan

Breakfast Of Champions # 59 – Tamago Gohan

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 58 – Shrimp Croissant And Fresh Fruits With Kefir And Honey

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What a wonderful way to start the day early today – a walk in the park with Bella, a great breakfast with Bella, then a great movie – “Galaxy Quest” (Bella not interested), all followed by a long nap ! (Bella enthusiastically interested again) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Tonkatsu sauce  (my way) :

Mix 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 tblsp soy sauce, 1 tsp garlic paste, 1 tsp mustard, 1 tblsp white wine (or sherry), 1 tsp sriracha and a few drops of maggi seasoning.

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 58 - Shrimp Croissant And Fresh Fruits With Kefir And Honey

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 58 – Shrimp Croissant And Fresh Fruits With Kefir And Honey

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 58 - Shrimp Croissant And Fresh Fruits With Kefir And Honey

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 58 – Shrimp Croissant And Fresh Fruits With Kefir And Honey

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Fresh Fruit With Kefir And Honey

Fresh Fruit With Kefir And Honey

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Red Beet Grits With Shrimp In Garlic/Herb Butter And Poached Egg

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While  I love grits and eat them quite often, after a while they can become a bit boring, so I like to dress them up a bit with additional flavors and textures. The version here is especially yummy and pretty, what with the added red beets who give a brilliant red hue, the interesting and unusual texture and a wonderful, earthy flavor. This earthy flavor is nicely greeted by the shrimp in their lemony herb butter (as you can see in the pictures, I splurged a bit on the butter, but so what, sue me).
After all, one probably does not have a rich breakfast like this everyday, so I guess that makes the over-indulgence acceptable  (once in a while, anyway) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Red Beet Grits With Shrimp In Garlic/Herb Butter And Poached Egg

Red Beet Grits With Shrimp In Garlic/Herb Butter And Poached Egg

Red Beet Grits With Shrimp In Garlic/Herb Butter And Poached Egg

Red Beet Grits With Shrimp In Garlic/Herb Butter And Poached Egg

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