Entrées

Flatbread With Pickled Red Beets, Guacamole And Egg

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Flatbread With Pickled Red Beets, Guacamole And Egg

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All the ingredients for this delicious, beautiful sandwich were leftovers I had in the fridge from the previous two days, so the composition was a result of what my fridge dictated, not what I intelligently and artfully created. 🙂
However,  looking at the result and eating it, I have to admit that I could have done a lot worse.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Flatbread With Pickled Red Beets, Guacamole And Egg

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Flatbread With Pickled Red Beets, Guacamole And Egg

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Flatbread With Pickled Red Beets, Guacamole And Egg

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Preparation :
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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)

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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)

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Pasta e fagioli , meaning “pasta and beans”, is a traditional Italian soup, (although beansoup with pasta is served the World over, with different beans, different pasta, meats or seafood and vegetables, and of course different local names).
Like many other Italian favorites, including pizza and polenta, it started as a peasant dish, being composed of inexpensive ingredients. It is often called pasta fasul (fazool) in the United States, derived from its Neapolitan name, pasta e fasule.

Recipes for pasta e fagioli alter greatly, the only true requirement being that beans and pasta are included. Ingredients vary from region to region, town to town, restaurant to restaurant, household to household, cook to cook, and of course, also depend on available ingredients.
Pasta e fagioli is most commonly made using cannellini beansGreat Northern beans or borlotti beans, and a small variety of pasta such as elbow macaroni or ditalini. The base typically includes olive oilgarlic, minced onioncelerycarrots and often stewed tomatoes or tomato paste. Some variations omit tomatoes and instead use a broth base. Preparation may be vegetarian, or contain meat (often bacon or pancetta) or other proteins and a meat-based stock. The consistency of the dish can also differ to a wide range, with some being soupy, while others are much thicker. For instance, in Bari the dish is thicker in consistency and uses mixed pasta shapes. It also uses pancetta in the base of the sauce. Other varieties call for the beans to be passed through a food mill, giving it a stew-like consistency.
As for the version on this page, it could not be more perfect for my personal taste/texture. I prepare Pasta and beans in uncounted versions all the time, but pigs feet, pork/tomato broth, pasta and bean can hardly be topped (unless you add tripe)  🙂

P.S.
The word for “beans” varies in different Italian languages, e.g. fagioli [faˈdʒɔːli] in standard Italianfasule [faˈsuːlə] in Neapolitan, and fasola [faˈsɔːla] in Sicilian. “Pastafazoola“, a 1927 novelty song by Van and Schenck, capitalizes on the Neapolitan pronunciation in the rhyme, “Don’t be a fool, eat pasta fazool”; and the song “That’s Amore“, by Warren and Brooks (popularized by Dean Martin), includes the rhyme “When the stars make you drool, just like pasta fazool, that’s amore”.

Pls note:
Part of the above article is an excerpt from wikipedia.
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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)


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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)


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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)


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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)

 

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Preparation :
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How Bella And I Celebrated Valentines Day 2019 – “Teriyaki Ribeye With White Asparagus Mornay”

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Teriyaki Ribeye With White Asparagus Mornay

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Although it is a bit late in the year to use in 2019, this might serve as an inspiration for next years Valentine’s celebration 🙂
When I saw this heartshaped 3 lbs steak at the supermarket, I just knew I had to have it for Bella and myself. She loved it a lot, but somehow I assume it was because of the steaks delicious meat, not because of its heart shape 🙂
Either way, it was a great dinner. You might want to share a heart-shaped steak with your loved one next year on Valentine’s day (or any other occasion when you celebrate your love), even if you only have an ordinary Human instead of a special Dog to celebrate with 🙂
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Life is Good !   Woof !
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Click here for  Sauce Mornay  Recipe
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Click here to learn how to prepare  White Asparagus

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Teriyaki Ribeye With White Asparagus Mornay

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Teriyaki Ribeye With White Asparagus Mornay

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Teriyaki Ribeye With White Asparagus Mornay

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My Happy Valentine 🙂

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Preparation :
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Pork Nirvana – “Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft” – (Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus)

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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First of all, a word of warning:
This is NOT your typical American-or Latin –style, super-long cooked roast pork.
This is German / Bavarian-style roast pork, very juicy (no need to drown it in sauce to be able to swallow it), very delicious pork with a wonderful texture, more like a perfectly cooked steak than a stringy mess that falls apart when you barely touch it.
While I enjoy both versions (as you know from previous posts), today´s version is by far my favorite one. Assuming you have pork of perfect quality, roasting it this way outshines the “cooked-to-death” variation by a mile. 🙂
While the pictures seem to show pork which is still a bit undercooked, I can assure you it was fully cooked, extremely juicy, had the texture of a very tender steak and, surprise surprise, had a pure, unadulterated pork taste which was further enhanced with the slightly thickened pork jus which collected during the cooking in the drip pan beneath the roast and was enhanced with a generous jug of good quality Merlot.
In other words –  Pork Nirvana. 🙂

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Click here to see what happened to this particular Knuckle
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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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

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Salad “Quintana Roo” – Octopus In Salsa Verde, Iceberg, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onion & Watermelon

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Salad “Quintana Roo” – Octopus In Salsa Verde, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onion & Watermelon

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While being Area Executive Chef for Starwood in Quintana Roo Aeons ago, I’d put this salad on the menu at the pool areas of some of our hotels, and it quickly became a great hit.
While at first, the combination might seem strange, it actually works great together in the heat, together with an ice-cold beer (or a few of them) 🙂
Because I eat octopus at home quite often, this salad (or a slight variation of it) pops up at least once a month at my house.
Instead of watermelon, other suitable fruits are different types of melons, apples, pears, pomegranate seeds, and other firm and not too sweet fruits. And, of course, instead of the salsa verde, you could use any dressing/sauce you’d prefer;
Instead of the Romaine, you can use any salad you have at hand and instead of the octopus any other seafood or grilled meat. In the end, this salad hopefully serves to inspire you to get out of your salad-shell and cook exactly the version that makes you the happiest 🙂
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Click here for  Salsa Verde Recipe (Fresh)  on  ChefsOpinion

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Click here for Pictures of  Quintana Roo:
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Salad “Quintana Roo” – Octopus In Salsa Verde, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onion & Watermelon

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Salad “Quintana Roo” – Octopus In Salsa Verde, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onion & Watermelon

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Salad “Quintana Roo” – Octopus In Salsa Verde, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onion & Watermelon

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Preparation :
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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Pork knuckles have many fans and admirers around the world, yet, despite so many folks loving to eat them in restaurants (especially German restaurants or, if the opportunity presents itself, at the most famous “Knucklefest” of them all, Munich’s Oktoberfest 🙂 , very few people prepare them at home, especially in the US.
I assume the reason for this reservation is the fear of doing something wrong when preparing a rather underused and underappreciated part of the animal with which most cooks have never cooked.
While it can be daunting if one does not know how to do it right and there is a lack of proper guidance and hands-on experience, the following recipe it is nearly impossible to screw it up, therefore I hope it will serve to have more folks preparing this wonderful dish at home.
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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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before roasting……..

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during roasting……..

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after roasting……….

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Preparation :
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Calamares Al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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This was such a down to earth, yet wonderfully delicious meal. Well-prepared rice and beans are something I enjoy at least twice a week. But not just the simple black beans and white rice common here in the Caribbean, South America and South Florida, but many, many combinations of different rice and different beans (or peas)
Add a simple protein, such as steak, schnitzel, roast pork, braised pork, fish, seafood, sausages, eggs or other veggies and you have a meal fit for a (Latin) king 🙂
As for the rice and beans, there are the same endless possibilities of variations – curry rice and fried chickpeas, white rice and black eye beans, risi e bisi, curried chickpeas with wild rice, succotash and white rice, rice porridge (congee) with beans or peas, sautéed rice patties with hummus, etc, etc. Just make sure you season these dishes to be fragrant with fresh herbs, chilies, cumin, garlic, a bit of soy sauce and/or Maggi seasoning. If left bland, rice and beans are a sorry excuse for a multicultural/multinational staple, but when properly prepared, they will be exciting and satisfying 🙂
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Click here for  Mexican Rice  Recipe
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Click here for  Black Beans  Recipe
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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Arroz Mexicana

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Frijoles Negro

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Preparation :
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 70 – “Smoked Salmon & Fried Eggs On Sourdough Bread”

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 70 – “Smoked Salmon & Fried Eggs On Sourdough Bread”

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Smoked salmon and eggs – what’s not to love ?
I’ll just leave it at that and throw in the pictures.
If these don´t hook you, all´s lost and you better find another passion. Food certainly is not your calling 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 70 – “Smoked Salmon & Fried Eggs On Sourdough Bread”

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Preparation :
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Escargots à la Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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The garlicky butter in this dish is almost as delicious as the escargots themselves, and what better use for crusty bread than sopping up this delicious “snail butter.”
But the main event are the escargots’ tender texture and clean, woodsy flavor.
When I was an apprentice back in the mid-sixties, preparing FRESH snails was a most hated assignment, taking hours to remove the snails from the shells and then cleaning and cooking them, then cleaning and sterilizing the shells. I don’t want to go into the less than pretty details, but it was not a pleasant task and as a young kid of 14 years old I thought I would never in my life eat something as shocking as snails.
Boy, was I wrong 🙂
Nowadays snails are among my favorite appetizers in the World and I order them whenever I see them on a menu, which, sadly, becomes rarer every year. 😦
Luckily, I found that canned snails work just as well and turn this appetizer into one that can be whipped up quickly, economical, anytime. I usually buy a case online which lasts me for about a year.
Traditionally,  Escargots à la Bourguignonne  are served 6 ea or 12 ea in their shells on a special metal or porcelain dish, or, if these are not available, on a heat-proof dish covered with sea salt into which indentions the size of the shells have been pressed to avoid the shells to move or topple over and spill their butter. I would not shy off to buy these dishes for my home, plus the special tweezers to hold them and the tiny two-pronged forks to remove the snails from their shells, but the fact is 6 or 12 snails will not do it for me and the whole ritual makes no sense for me at home alone. So I always serve them in a bowl with lots of the traditional toasted bread on the side.
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snail tweezer and fork

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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first bite always goes to Bella 🙂

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Preparation :
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” LION’S HEAD SOUP ” ( SHR ZA TOU )

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” LION’S HEAD SOUP ” ( SHR ZA TOU )

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Meatballs come in many shapes, sizes and flavors. In the western cuisine we are most familiar with Italian meatballs, while in Asian cuisine soup dumplings are the most common.
Among Asian meatballs, Chinese lion heads are probably my favorite plain (no wrapper) meatballs. They are usually served in a flavorful soup, loaded with the Lions heads, black mushrooms, rice noodles and napa cabbage (pekinensis group cabbage).
Whenever I prepare the soup at home, (click here to see a version I usually prepare at home), I usually do the traditional chinese way, as described above. However, when I prepared the one featured here, I had leftover dumpling wrappers and ground pork mix in the fridge from the previous day’s  “CHINESE PORK DUMPLINGS IN TAMARIND BROTH”.  I always have frozen homemade chicken stock in the fridge, so this  ” LION’S HEAD SOUP ”  was a no-brainer and it took only a few minutes to put together. Easy does it when you’re lazy ! 🙂
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P.S.
Click  Here  or  Here  for  Lion’s Head Meatballs Recipe (different recipes)
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” LION’S HEAD SOUP ” ( SHR ZA TOU )

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More Lion’s Head Soup variations :
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Preparation :
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