Soups / Stews

Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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During my shopping trips to Foodtown Supermarket in Davie, about 5 minutes drive from my home, I usually go to their cooked food section, which has a great selection of Chinese roasted meat – Peking duck, cha siu, roast chicken, etc. I usually buy my dinner there, which I did a few days ago. As usual, my eyes were bigger than my stomach, resulting in leftover char siu for today. What better way to use leftover cha siu than in steamed buns or soup? Making steamed bun dough was out of the question because of ….. laziness :-),  so soup was the order of today, and here is the result 🙂

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here to read all about  Cha Siu ( 叉燒 )
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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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Preparation :
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Cannellini And Potato Stew With Ham Hocks

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Cannellini And Potato Stew With Ham Hocks
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A Ham Hock / Stelze / Hough / Schweinshaxe /  Golonka / Sauhaxn / Stinco / Wädli / Fläsklägg or / Pork Knuckle is the joint between the tibia/fibula and the metatarsals of the foot of a pig, where the foot was attached to the hog‘s leg.
It is the portion of the leg that is neither part of the ham-proper nor the ankle or foot (trotter), but rather the extreme shank end of the leg bone.

(Or, as I like to think, it’s one of the very best parts of the pig).  🙂

Since they generally consists of much skin, tendons and ligaments, ham hocks requires long cooking through stewing or braising to be made palatable (or long, slow roasting). Hocks can be cooked with greens and other vegetables or in flavorful sauces. They are often added to soups, such as pea and ham soup, with the meat being added to the soup prior to serving. The meat of particularly meaty hocks may be removed and served as is. Ham hocks, like hog jowls (pigs’ cheeks), add a distinctive flavor to various dishes. This is particularly true for collard greens, mustard greens, cabbage, green beans and navy beans.

Ham hocks, fresh, brined, or smoked, are an essential ingredients for the distinct flavor in soul food and other forms of American Southern country cooking. In the Mid-Atlantic States, in rural regions settled by the Pennsylvania Dutch, hocks are a commonly used ingredient for making a kind of meat loaf called scrappleEisbein is the name of the joint in north German, and at the same time the name of a dish of roasted ham hock, called Schweinshaxe in BavariaStelze in Austria and Wädli in Switzerland. Golonka is a very popular Polish barbecued dish using this cut. Ham hocks are also popular when boiled with escarole, more commonly called endives, in Italian-American cuisineFläsklägg med rotmos is a Swedish dish consisting of cured ham hocks and a mash of rutabaga and potatoes, served with sweet mustard. In Canada, and particularly Montreal, ham hocks are referred to as “pigs’ knuckles” and are served in bistros and taverns with baked beans. In northern Italy ham hocks are referred to as stinco, and is often served roast whole with sauerkraut.
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Cannellini Beans And Potato Stew

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Cannellini And Potato Stew With Ham Hocks

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Cannellini And Potato Stew With Ham Hocks

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Cannellini And Potato Stew With Ham Hocks

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Before you make a long face at the Mollejas (Chicken Gizzards), pls know that you can easily replace them with any other part of the chicken, such as breast, wings, tighs, etc. If you are not in the mood for chicken, many other proteins will work just as well, such as beef, pork, shrimp, or any other seafood, or just add more veggies of your choice.
However, if you love mollejas as much as I do, this soup will surely find a special place in your heart 🙂
In my opinion, the mollejas fit perfectly with the other ingredients, but as usual, use what you prefer, what you can afford or whatever you have in your larder that seems to fit the dish.
If you look at the pictures and try to immagine the taste of it, you’ll know that the main attraction is the Ginger/Tamarind Broth, the pasta pearls and the bok choy, everything else is just icing on the cake 🙂

Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Pasta Pearls, Bok Choy, Mollejas And Chillies In Ginger/Tamarind Broth

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Beef Neck – probably the most underrated cut of beef overall. Simmered for soup or braised in red wine sauce, the texture and taste of this cut is only surpassed by beef shank. On top of that, since few people use it, it is the cheapest of all beef cuts, pound for pound. I hope it stays under-appreciated by most folks for much longer, so I can buy it often and in large quantities without breaking the bank 🙂
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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Beef Neck And Vegetables Soup

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Bella’s Portion

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce (Fish Soup). It doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But in many parts of Italy, fish soup rules, and rightfully so.
Since Italy is bordered by water on three sides, it’s not surprising that there are thousands of variations of zuppa di pesce throughout the country, especially in the towns that dot the coastline. Families in the same village often have utterly distinct, yet equally delicious, preparations.
In Genoa, fish soup is called burrida, a name residents got from their neighbors in France from the Provencal dialect bourrido (“to boil”). There, it’s a soup made of cuttlefish, angler and anchovies. In Tuscany, it’s called caciucco, and on the opposite side of Italy, along the Adriatic, it’s referred to as brodetto. Many Americans are familiar with the term “cioppino,” which is not an Italian word. It comes from the Ligurian immigrants in San Francisco and is based on their dialects name for the dish, ciuppin.
While this recipe calls for some specific species, feel free to use any firm, light-fleshed fish. There’s a delicate balance to a good zuppa di pesce, so strong-flavored fish like salmon or snapper don’t work. No sole or flounder either–they’re too flaky. Use an ample supply of shellfish, whatever’s freshest is best. Finally, make sure you have a good loaf of bread to serve with the zuppa.
Some traditional preparations from Liguria do not add tomato,, as the original recipe calls for the full flavor of the sea to be maintained in the fish soup.
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Cioppino  is considered San Francisco’s signature dish, and no trip to this West Coast city would be complete without a bowlful of this delicious seafood stew.  Because of the versatility of the ingredients, there are numerous recipes for it.  Cioppino can be prepared with a dozen different kinds of fish and shellfish.  It all depends on the day’s catch and/or your personal choice.
You will not believe how easy it is to make this Cioppino.  The key to this recipe is experimentation.  Be creative with this fish stew: Leave something out, or substitute something new.  Serve cioppino with a glass of your favorite wine and warm sourdough bread.
History of Cioppino:  This fish stew first became popular on the docks of San Francisco (now known as Fisherman’s wharf) in the 1930s.  Cioppino is thought to be the result of Italian immigrant fishermen adding something from the day’s catch to the communal stew kettle on the wharf.
The origin of the word “cioppino” is something of a mystery, but many historians believe that it is Italian-American for “chip in.”  It is also believed that the name comes from a Genoese fish stew called cioppin.

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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

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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Pork & Beans

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If the mention of  “Pork & Beans” stirs up a picture in your head like the one above, you might be ready to move on to the wonderful “Pork & Beans”  I’d like to introduce to you today.
Admittedly, there were times when during my (much) younger years, after a night of too much booze and too many other spoils of the wild life, many times the final straw was a cold can of baked beans, straight off the cupboard and out of the can, washed down with the last couple of beers of the day. Ahhhh, the sophistication of youth. 🙂
Nowadays, at least for myself, enjoying pork and beans requires slightly more effort, better quality ingredients, and flavor and texture more geared towards grown-ups. The reward is a dish I always and often enjoy to the fullest, any time of the day, either as a snack, appetizer or outsized main course 🙂

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Pork & Beans

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Pork & Beans

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Pork & Beans

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Pork & Beans

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Pork & Beans

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Preparation :
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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Thanks to its ease of preparation and its wonderful taste and texture, chicken noodle soup in its never-ending varieties is one of the dishes I prepare at least once every week.  🙂
I remember the noodle soups from my youth, which had the same flaw as all other pasta dishes at the time in the “old country” – the pasta was nearly always overcooked. Not just in the home I grew up in, but in all homes and restaurants.
To cook pasta al dente became only common after the influx of Italian Immigrants and the explosion of Italian restaurants in Germany in the late 60’s and early 70’s.
Unfortunately, nowadays, the original Italian patrons of these restaurants have mostly retired. Their (German-educated) kid’s, and more often than not, new immigrants from countries such as Turkey, Albania, Rumania, etc have taken over these restaurants and unfortunately, the cuisine has been watered down to an unfortunate mix of second-class Italian and third-class German cooking style, including in many cases, overcooked pasta. Sadly, when I visited Germany last September, it was nearly impossible for me to find decent pasta, pizza, and other traditional Italian food of good quality ( see also “My trip to Germany and Spain“)

However, let’s get back to the “Chicken Noodle Soup” at hand.
No danger of overcooked pasta to be found here, although, there is the (slight?) possibility to overcook the carrot noodles and/or the beans, so if you decide to prep this dish, please keep the veggies bright in color and of proper texture. 🙂
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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Bella’s Chicken Noodle Soup (She still ate half my wings and carrots) 🙂

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for 
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE
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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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I prepared this soup on February 16th, the day of the Chinese new year and the beginning of the year of the dog.
I had planned to prepare and publish this post well before the 16th, in order to give my readers a chance to bring this wonderful, traditional dish to the table as part of the new year’s dinner celebration. Alas, some unforeseen events kept me from doing so. Now then, here it is, “Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup, two weeks late for the New Year celebration, but NOT TOO late, since these wonderful dumplings can, of course, be enjoyed anytime during the year. 🙂
Chinese egg dumplings, also known as dan jiao, are also often served in hot pots, in other soups or just as is, with a tasty dipping sauce.
These dumplings may look a lot more complicated and difficult to prepare as they actually are, so there is no reason not to enjoy them often. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
These dumplings cook in a very short time when simmered in soup, so you should add them towards the very end of the cooking time !
They can also be prepared ahead and frozen, then easily reheated in simmering soup.
However, if you serve the dumplings without soup, bake them or steam them for a short time, since the original short cooking time in the omelet is not enough to cook the meat through !
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P.P.S.
This soup is believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the new year because of its long noodles (longevity),
and the color of the dumplings, which resembles the color of gold coins ( prosperity)
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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Preparation :
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Hans’ Pork Goulash With Peppers & Pasta Pearls

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Hans’ Pork Goulash With Peppers & Pasta Pearls

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Goulash is my favorite meat stew, no matter which protein is used – beef, veal, pork, poultry or game. The texture, color, and flavor have great appeal to me.
While there are of course different ways of preparing goulash, as well as different recipes, the main mark of a good goulash is to use the same amount of onions as protein, a great amount of sweet paprika powder for color and texture (sometimes hot paprika is added), as well as a special season mix of 1/3 thyme, 1/3 caraway seeds, and 1/3  lemon peel (yellow part only), all finely chopped and added to the meat while sauteing, to impart a rich, un-mistaking goulash-flavor. Of course, salt and pepper is a must.
Naturally, as with most dishes that have been around that long, there are dozens of variations,- you can add (or not) garlic, rosemary, bell peppers, potatoes, marjoram, red wine, bell peppers (zigeuner goulash) and even sauerkraut (Szegediner goulash). Also very popular is goulashsuppe (goulash soup). The big difference between preparing goulash and a regular stew is that for goulash, the onions are sautéed first until broken down and lightly colored, THEN the meat is added, and sautéed until all liquid has evaporated.
Because of the collagen in the meat, as well as the large amount of onions and ground paprika, no flour is needed to thicken the sauce.
Best enjoyed with pasta, goulash can also be served with rice, bread dumplings or potato dumplings, mashed potatoes, croquette potatoes, roast potatoes or just plain rustic bread.
Myself, I enjoy any type and version of goulash, paired with any good side dish that’s available 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here to read all about “Original Hungarian Goulash”,
as well as its History and Evolution through the Centuries.

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Hans’ Pork Goulash With Peppers & Pasta Pearls

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Hans’ Pork Goulash With Peppers & Pasta Pearls

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Hans’ Pork Goulash With Peppers & Pasta Pearls

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Hans’ Pork Goulash With Peppers & Pasta Pearls

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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See you again in 2018……….

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Dear Friends,
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.I am spending the next three weeks in Argentina, visiting friends, eating (mostly) parilla and drinking (mostly) red wine.
Since I am living with friends who keep me busy 24/7 🙂 , I will not post my usual three or four posts per week during this time.
However, I have a surplus of about 50 dishes/post’s I have cooked and photographed in the past few months, which I will post as soon as I’ll return to Florida in mid- January, together with the new stuff I’ll produce when I will be back in my own kitchen.
Until then, here is a preview of a small selection of dishes waiting to be published. Hope to see you all again in 2018 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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