beautiful food

Easy Does It # 33 – Brie and Capocollo Pie


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As  I have mentioned before, I love to prepare my own pizza dough, pie dough, tortillas, fresh pasta, and a myriad of other things which are usually better (although not always) when home made.
On the other hand, sometimes this is just not very practical or sensible, for example at times when there is simply no time or space to do so.
Also, I have cooked just about anything one can cook, mostly? with good results, so I am not embarrassed to sometimes use  good- quality  convenience products, such as the crust I used for this pie. I actually bought it without a plan, just because it looked so delicious and I wanted to find out if it tastes as good and has the great texture it promised when I looked at it on the shelf in my neighborhood grocery store. Well – it did, even much better than I had expected 🙂
I absolutely love it and have used it already twice since I made this pie, once for an onion pie and once as a base for sandwiches.
It is supposed to be used for pizza, but for that, I will stick with my homemade dough for now.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Easy Does It  on  ChefsOpinion
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Easy Does It # 33 – Brie and Capocollo Pie

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Easy Does It # 33 – Brie and Capocollo Pie

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Old Fashioned Hoisin Glazed Grilled Tuna Steak

Old Fashioned Hoisin Glazed Grilled Tuna Steak

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If  you wonder why I call this dish “old fashioned”, the answer is simple: “It is fully cooked but still juicy”, which is undoubtedly one of the most difficult things to master in good cooking and unfortunately a part of our craft lost to the majority of today’s cooks/ chefs.
In order to cook any food item, especially seafood and poultry, the cook/chef has to take into consideration the carry-over heat of the food item, which will depend on the thickness, cooking temperature, texture, and the time it takes the food from the time it is removed from cooking equipment in the kitchen to being served on a plate and starting to be eaten by the customer. Get this wrong and your dish is ruined! 😦
Old fashioned, because once this was an absolute necessity for any cook to master in order to be rightfully employed in a professional kitchen, while nowadays, sadly, cooks who perfectly have mastered this most important skill are the exception. (Hence, all the undercooked or overcooked meat, seafood, and even vegetables). It is so much easier to rather just “pan sear” a piece of fish than to perfectly cook it. While there certainly is a place and time for sashimi, and one has to admire the chefs who serve it perfectly, the majority of the fish quality served in most restaurants, homes, supermarkets, etc, make this way of serving fish a ridiculous way of trying to cover-up the cooks/chefs inability to cook the fish and other food perfectly.
NO raw fish has the beautiful texture and is as juicy as a perfectly cooked fish! NONE !
And don’t even get me going on half cooked pork or chicken breast 😦
But enough of this, let’s get back to the dish at hand. Instead of the more common teriyaki glaze, I glazed the tuna with hoisin sauce, which was even better, at least for my personal taste.
If you look at the pictures, you will notice that I have not removed the “blood line” from the fillet. When preparing tuna for myself, I always cook the filet with this dark flesh attached. When I was still preparing food in restaurants, I removed this part because the flavor is very strong and some folks don’t like it. (Bella does, so no questions asked at our house 🙂  (Also see note below)
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  Steamed Rice Recipe (Fan)  on  ChefsOpinion
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P.S.
“That dark, nearly black area on the side of your tuna or swordfish steak is nothing bad or unhealthy, although you may not like it’s strong flavor. It is a muscle that is rich in myoglobin, a blood pigment. But lest that sound creepy to you, bear in mind that myoglobin is the same iron-containing pigment that makes red meat red.You can leave it in when you cook the fish: the stronger flavor of that small area will not affect the taste of the rest of the fish.”
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Old Fashioned Hoisin Glazed Grilled Tuna Steak

Old Fashioned Hoisin Glazed Grilled Tuna Steak

Old Fashioned Hoisin Glazed Grilled Tuna Steak

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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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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Click here for more  Lamb  on  ChefsOpinion
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Greek Lamb Sandwich

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Greek Lamb Sandwich

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Not Your Typical Poolside Snack

Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Lately, the weather has been perfect for poolside meals – not too hot, not too windy, no rain.
Bella has taken on to take a swim in the pool whenever we are in the back. She used to hate the water, but all of a sudden she has become a big fan. For me, the water is still a bit too cold to enjoy swimming, but I love to cook outside and eating al fresco next to the water. Life is Good 🙂
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Bon Appetit !  Living In Florida Is Great (Mostly)  🙂
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Click here for more  Shrimp  on  ChefsOpinion
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Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Grilled Pork Chop, Caramelized Lemon, Baked Potato And Mast-O Klar

JUICY ! grilled pork chop, cooked all the way 🙂

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To  all the wannabe “Chefs” out there who insist that pork, poultry and fish has to be undercooked to be juicy – look at this piece of well-cooked pork, then please go back to school/apprenticeship and let a REAL chef teach you how to cook !!!
As Chef Susser used to say:
Cooking is easy – IF you know how to do it 🙂
(However, if you just happen to like the awful texture of undercooked pork – pls go ahead and enjoy) 😦
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Pork  on  ChefsOpinion
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Grilled Pork Chop, Caramelized Lemon, Baked Potato And Mast-O Klar

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Grilled Pork Chop, Caramelized Lemon, Baked Potato And Mast-O Klar

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Catalan Shrimp & Mussels Stew

Catalan Shrimp & Mussels Stew


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Chances
 are that if you love seafood and have traveled in Spain, especially in the provinces of Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona, you have at one point or another had an encounter with the dish featured here. It represents the philosophy of both old and new cooking styles one finds all over this area and in fact, in most parts of the Mediterranean coastline – a few first-class ingredients cooked without fuss and pronto- Life is Good !
A wonderful meal, ideally shared with great company and a glass (or two) of the local wine, and, if on top of that you are lucky enough to sit in a cozy little restaurant by the sea, life is as good as it gets.
Somebody gifted me with a small bag of mussels on Sunday, which by itself would have made a great appetizer. But because I always have shrimp in the freezer (today I had two different types,  small/ peeled,/ tail-off and large/ tail-on), and because I wanted to have something a bit more substantial for dinner, I thought this seafood stew would do the trick. And indeed, it did 🙂
Great taste, easy on the eyes and a snap to prepare, both Bella and I were completely happy with the way this turned out 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Since I don’t drink/use alcohol, I have started to use apple cider as a substitute where wine is called for.
Works out great for most dishes, both in the food and with the food 🙂 Cheers !
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Click here for more  Seafood  on  ChefsOpinion
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Catalan Shrimp & Mussels Stew

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Catalan Shrimp & Mussels Stew

Catalan Shrimp & Mussels Stew

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Catalan Shrimp & Mussels Stew

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Catalan Shrimp & Mussels Stew

Catalan Shrimp & Mussels 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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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).
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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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Flaming Hot Chili Chicken Noodle Bowl With Broccolini And Straw Mushrooms

Meanwhile - in Florida..........BBQ Floridian Style

Meanwhile – in Florida……….BBQ Floridian Style

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OK,  while you let this sink in, let’s move on to today’s featured dish :
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If  you are not used to VERY hot food, don’t try these noodles !
If you love bland and boring noodle dishes, don’t try these noodles !
If you don’t want to open your mind and taste buds to new sensations, don’t try these noodles !
But, if you love the sensation of flaming hot (spicy) food and the incomparable mouthfeel you get when the pain of the first few spicy bites subside, to be replaced by the warm, slight numbness which can only be achieved by eating large numbers of chilies, then this dish is for you. (Think Szechuan hot pot)
While I don’t eat VERY spicy food as often as I used to, once in a while I need my fix, and today was the time to get it. 🙂
A wonderful dinner, a full belly and clear sinuses – another great and very enjoyable evening !
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Flaming Hot Chili Chicken Noodle Bowl With Broccoli And Straw Mushrooms

Flaming Hot Chili Chicken Noodle Bowl With Broccolini And Straw Mushrooms

 

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Flaming Hot Chili Chicken Noodle Bowl With Broccoli And Straw Mushrooms

Flaming Hot Chili Chicken Noodle Bowl With Broccolini And Straw Mushrooms

 

 

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Twice Baked Shepherd’s Potatoes

Twice Baked Shepherd's Potatoes

Twice Baked Shepherd’s Potatoes

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Shepherds Pie  is such great comfort food.
Meat sauce, mashed potatoes, and cheese – who could resist ? 🙂
However, there is one flaw in shepherds pie which diminishes its enjoyment a bit for me – it is entirely soft in texture and usually, the sauce is a bit bland and the whole thing, therefore, often resembles baby food 😦
Let me come to the rescue with this new recipe.
Instead of mashing the potatoes to a puree, just break them up a bit into med-sized chunks. Adding the peppers and lots of onions and garlic to the meat sauce will further increase the taste and texture of the filling of the potato shells, which will result in a dish who’s taste still resembles shepherds pie but at the same time is so much more interesting and TASTY !
Overall, this “fully loaded” baked potato is without a doubt one of the tastiest incarnations of the lowly baked potato as well as the ordinary shepherd’s pie.
While I have prepared and created dozens of variations of twice baked potatoes over the years, some more, some less exotic, some over the top and some down to earth,  using all kinds of additions to the stuffing, such as shrimp, smoked salmon, ham, different vegetables, cheese, yogurt, herbs, etc, etc., the ones I prepared today are the very best of the best 🙂
Although very simple and easy to prepare, the texture, taste, and looks are just perfect and go to show that uncomplicated food, if done right, can take the price over complicated and elaborate any time ……..
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more Twice-Baked Potatoes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Twice Baked Shepherd's Potatoes

Twice Baked Shepherd’s Potatoes

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Twice Baked Shepherd's Potatoes

Twice Baked Shepherd’s 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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And The Oscar Goes To …………This Salad

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Salade Oscar

Salade Oscar

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No – I did not watch the Oscars tonight.
In fact, although I am a huge movie fan who watches at least one movie per day, often two and sometimes three, I stopped watching the once glamorous and exciting Oscars years ago, when it had become a boring, extremely drawn-out and pointless parody of its former glory.
So, in order to have my own little oscar celebration, I created my personal version in form of a great dinner, replacing the little statue with the best dish of the night.
While avocados, nectarines, red onions and pears in a dressing of lemon juice and sweet Thai chili sauce might not seem to be nominees that fit into the same (salad) category, here they share the top honors for my new favorite salad 🙂
For obvious reasons, I’ll call this salad “Salade Oscar”
Best supporting actor – bone-in rib eye steak 🙂
In the end, a great (show) dinner, lots of applause (Bella, for the steak) and I walking away with yet another trophy (salad) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for last years  “Oscar”  on  ChefsOpinion
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Salade Oscar . Bone-In Rib Eye Steak

Salade Oscar . Bone-In Rib Eye Steak

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Salade Oscar . Bone-In Rib Eye Steak

Salade Oscar . Bone-In Rib Eye Steak

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Salade Oscar . Bone-In Rib Eye Steak

Salade Oscar . Bone-In Rib Eye Steak

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