Salads

Bella’s Fault ! (“Any Cook Can Turn Gold Into Crap, But Only A Good Cook Can Turn Crap Into Gold”)

Greek Lamb Sandwich

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So  today, at around noon, I seasoned and seared this wonderful boneless leg of lamb I bought earlier, then put it in the oven to roast it slowly until rare, let it rest a bit, then serve with a nice salad for a great lunch.
Well, THAT did not happen ! 😦
As soon as I’d put the meat in the oven, Bella insisted that we go for a walk. I thought to myself ok, just around the corner, then back to take care of lunch.
But, as soon as we started our walk, she pulled me towards the park by the lake and I forgot all about the lamb in the oven. Needless to say, when we got back 1.5 hours later, the meat was well done. After kicking myself (mentally), I cut the leg into smaller, flat pieces, wrapped them in alu-foil and put it back into the oven at 375F for another 2,5 hours, at which point the meat was very tender and almost falling apart. I let it cool off a bit, then pulled it into fine shreds with two forks, seasoned it with olive oil, kosher salt, cumin, cayenne, oregano and voilà – the perfect topping for a Greek sandwich.
When I was an apprentice, my chef, Herr Mueller, used to say about cooking:
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” Any Cook Can Turn Gold Into Crap, But Only A Good Cook Can Turn Crap Into Gold. “
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And there you have it ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Greek Lamb Sandwich

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Greek Lamb Sandwich

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Preparation :
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Salad Of Smoked Salmon, Avocado And Egg

Salad Of Smoked Salmon, Avocado And Egg

Salad Of Smoked Salmon, Avocado And Egg

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When I got up this morning, I had a big craving for egg salad. During the day, in my head, I kept adding ingredients to the egg salad until finally, when it was time to prepare early dinner, this yummy concoction materialized 🙂
Very simple and straightforward, yet a real delicious and pretty dish that can be enjoyed either as a salad with bread on the side or, as I did, on top of toasted bread as a sandwich that left nothing to be desired for Bella’s and my dinner.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Personally, I prefer Florida avocados over Haas avocados. Click here to read about the pros/contras of both 🙂
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Salad Of Smoked Salmon, Avocado And Egg

Salad Of Smoked Salmon, Avocado And Egg

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Preparation :
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Poor Man’s Crab Meat Risotto – Kani Kama Risotto

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Residing  close to Hialeah means one can buy a lot of goodies by the roadside from “flying vendors”, who sell anything from the trunk of their cars, – electronics, Christmas decorations, clothes, steaks, flowers, fruit, churros, plants, mani, limes, and of course, “fresh seafood”.
I suspect that most of this stuff comes from a “fell off the truck supplier”, but who knows 🙂
My neighbor, Maribel, showed me some of the bargains she bought yesterday from a roadside seafood dealer and asked me if I can replicate one of her favorite dishes, crab meat risotto. Of course, I was happy to do this for her and her husband, as I do cook at least twice a month for them. I asked her to bring me the crab meat; I had the rest of the ingredients in my larder and fridge, so no problem. Well, to no surprise to me, the $10.00 pack of “crab meat” turned out to be Surimi (Kani Kama). To the seller’s credit, at least it was in good shape and smelled and felt very fresh when defrosted, so I explained to Maribel that I can make a seafood risotto for her and that it would be a great dish, although with a basic seafood taste instead of crabmeat taste. And so I did, using the surimi and clam juice for flavor, and the resulting risotto looked great, tasted great and, most important, it made my neighbors happy. (I assume the “crabmeat risotto” which they usually eat at their favorite restaurant in Hialeah is not exactly loaded with “real crabmeat” either 🙂
So there you have it – a wonderfully tasty and pretty dish for the price of a basic “fish and rice” meal. Mission accomplished! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Poor Man's Crab Meat Risotto

Poor Man’s Crab Meat Risotto

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Poor Man's Crab Meat Risotto

Poor Man’s Crab Meat Risotto

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Preparation :
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Mexican Treasures – Guacamole, Escabeche De Cebolla, Salsa Mexicana

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For  me, these three condiments are not to be missed to accompany any Mexican-style meal I prepare at home. In my opinion, they also fit very well with a wide range of dishes of non-Mexican cuisine from around the world. They pair nicely with steaks, schnitzel, sandwiches, salads, meat, seafood, vegetables, eggs, etc.
In fact, I usually have at least a small bowl of one or two or sometimes all three of them in my fridge. I prep them once a week, then serve them with a variety of different dishes, be it for breakfast (without the onions), lunch or dinner.
Sometimes, just these three goodies, together with a bunch of tortillas or on a slice of toast or grilled sour dough bread, make a perfect, tasty and quick meal 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
I did not include measurements for these recipes since I believe you should add ingredients according to the ratios you personally prefer 🙂
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Mexican Treasures - Guacamole, Escabeche De Cebolla, Salsa Mexicana

Mexican Treasures – Guacamole, Escabeche De Cebolla, Salsa Mexicana

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Salsa Mexicana

Salsa Mexicana

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Guacamole

Guacamole

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Escabeche De Cebolla

Escabeche De Cebolla

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Preparation :
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Steak Salad Recipe # 91

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Today’s  dinner salad was pretty special for me, because it contained six of my favorite food items – endive, pears, Gorgonzola, garlic, shiitake mushrooms and Entraña (faux hanger steak).
While the shiitake might not seem a good fit for a salad at first glance, they turned out to be a perfect fit with the rest of the ingredients.
This salad was at the same time very rustic and very refined.
The different textures and flavors combined to be an absolute beautiful and tasty salad that can be served as main course, appetizer or snack.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Steak Salad Recipe # 91

Steak Salad Recipe # 91

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Steak Salad Recipe # 91

Steak Salad Recipe # 91

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Steak Salad Recipe # 91

Steak Salad Recipe # 91

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Preparation :
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chefs-doctors-and-allergies
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Not Your Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner ……..Shrimp And Potato Salad

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So  here I was on a Thanksgiving afternoon, coming home at 4.30 pm, hungry but absolutely not  in the mood to do the turkey thing just for Bella and myself.
But you see, being alone has the distinct advantage that tradition and customs can be ignored at will in ones own four walls, especially when the one you live with, Bella in my case, is even less into tradition but a sucker for ANY good food, as long as there is meat or seafood involved.
So after our walk, a decision what to prep for dinner was due.
A quick glance at the contents of the freezer and fridge revealed shrimp, cooked potatoes, cucumber, mayo, avocado, grape tomatoes and pomegranate.
Ten minutes later, myself comfortable in my TV chair and Bella by my feet, a tasty (and huge) plate of shrimp salad in my hand, we truly enjoyed our Thanksgiving dinner with not even a bit of a longing for turkey and its trimmings 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Not Your Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner ........Shrimp And Potato Salad

Not Your Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner ……..Shrimp And Potato Salad

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Not Your Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner ........Shrimp And Potato Salad

Not Your Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner ……..Shrimp And Potato Salad

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Preparation :
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Hans’ Panzanino

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The first written recipe for  Panzanella dates to the 15th century. Originally, stale bread was soaked in water, onions added, then dressed with olive oil, salt and vinegar. This eventually morphed into the modern  Panzanella , through the addition of cucumbers and, later-on, tomatoes.
Later still, lettuce, olives, mozzarella, white wine, capers, anchovies, celery, carrots, red wine, red onion, cucumber, tuna, parsley, boiled eggs, mint, bell peppers, lemon juice, and garlic were sometimes added, although traditionalist’s still prefer the simple version of soaked bread, onions, olive oil, salt, tomatoes and sometimes fresh basil.
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The dish below is NOT panzanalla !!!
However, it shares with panzanella the rustic, vinegar and olive oil soaked bread and the fresh vegetables (and a lot of other stuff) 🙂
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Here  now is my (slightly askew and liberal) take on panzanella, sandwich and salad – all three rolled into one wonderful dish.
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Today I did not feel like cooking, so I thought I’ll have a simple “Vesper” (the Swabian word for a snack involving bread, cheese, cold cuts and sometimes onions, pickles and tomatoes)
……then I thought, why not make a nice salad of it………then I thought why not make an enriched variation of panzanella…….. then ………..
Well, here you see the final result of my back and forth considerations.
And what a great result/dish it had become. I am not sure if there was such a thing as a Panzanino in Italy before today, but in my opinion, it certainly should be from now on. Even if there was, if it does not include all the stuff you see here, it certainly would not be as splendid as the great  Hans’ Panzanino  you see here.
This dish absolutely rock’s, and for lack of a better name, I officially name it :
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“””   Hans’ Panzanino   “”””
(As in Panzanella / Panino)
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And there you have it.
A wonderful “Italian” style sandwich – born on 11/17/2016 in, of all places, Miami, Florida 🙂 🙂 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Hans' Panzanino

Hans’ Panzanino

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Hans' Panzanella Panino

Hans’ Panzanino

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Hans' Panzanino

Hans’ Panzanino

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Hans' Panzanella Panino

Hans’ Panzanino

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

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Butter Lettuce With Chicken, Artichokes And Grape-Tomatoes In White Balsamic Vinaigrette


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After  a heavy lunch of chile con carne, tonight I needed a light and healthy dinner. This salad not only fit the bill, but it was all I could wish for to have a great, peaceful dinner by the pool.
While I was enjoying my meal, I was watching our new “egg machine” Eugenia getting acquainted with her new surroundings 🙂
My Life lately – less hectic, more healthy, more enjoyable .
(I am not yet at the “happy” stage, but hopefully I’ll get there soon) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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White balsamic vinaigrette :
Mix 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup EVO, 1/2 tsp grey poupon, 1/4 tsp garlic paste, kosher salt and cayenne pepper to taste, whisk until emulsified, check/adjust taste.
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Butter Lettuce With Chicken, Artichokes And Grape-Tomatoes In White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Butter Lettuce With Chicken, Artichokes And Grape-Tomatoes In White Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Insalata Di Gorgonzola

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I hope  that you all will recreate this wonderful salad I have prepped today for my dinner and shared with Bella (She loves gorgonzola) 🙂
The key to the success of this dish are, as usual, the best quality ingredients you can find and afford.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Please don’t shy back from the whole garlic cloves confit – they are slowly cooked in duck fat until VERY mild and VERY soft.
While eating, mash them with your fork or knife into the cheese and tomatoes (a bit of interaction there) 🙂
But, if you must, puree them into the dressing 😦
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Insalata Di Gorgonzola

Insalata Di Gorgonzola

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Insalata Di Gorgonzola

Insalata Di Gorgonzola

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Insalata Di Gorgonzola

Insalata Di Gorgonzola

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Jalapeno & Cheese Sour Dough Bread

Jalapeno & Cheese Sour Dough Bread

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Preparation :
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Salad Of Chili Shrimp, Chicorée Frisée, Pear And Sun-Dried Tomato (Or Is It A Taco ?)

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This  morning for breakfast I had leftover pasta from last night, which required a much lighter lunch and no dinner (Maybe a bit of ice cream though 🙂
So, at around noon, off to the fishmonger down the road to get some fresh shrimp and to the supermarket to see what’s available that would be appealing to my desire for a tasty salad. Red pears, chicorée frisée (endive, curly endive, or frisée) and fresh lime for the salad and its dressing, and a small amount of sun-dried tomatoes and it was on. Twenty minutes after I got home, Bella and I were feasting on this superb creation, wrapped in flour tortillas and accompanied by peach ice tea. Bella ate about half the shrimp and a bit of the tortillas and graciously allowed me to enjoy the rest. Life is Good !
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Bon Appétit !  Thanks Bella, for your Generosity 🙂 
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Salad Of Chili Shrimp, Chicorée Frisée, Pear And Sun-Dried Tomato (Or Is It A Taco ?)

Salad Of Chili Shrimp, Chicorée Frisée, Pear And Sun-Dried Tomato (Or Is It A Taco ?)

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Salad Of Chili Shrimp, Chicorée Frisée, Pear And Sun-Dried Tomato (Or Is It A Taco ?)

Salad Of Chili Shrimp, Chicorée Frisée, Pear And Sun-Dried Tomato (Or Is It A Taco ?)

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Salad Of Chili Shrimp, Chicorée Frisée, Pear And Sun-Dried Tomato (Or Is It A Taco ?))

Salad Of Chili Shrimp, Chicorée Frisée, Pear And Sun-Dried Tomato (Or Is It A Taco ?))

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Salad Of Chili Shrimp, Chicorée Frisée, Pear And Sun-Dried Tomato (Or Is It A Taco ?)

Salad Of Chili Shrimp, Chicorée Frisée, Pear And Sun-Dried Tomato (Or Is It A Taco ?)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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