Bella

A Sad And Unfortunate Temporary Break For Bella, Myself And ChefsOpinion – (Slowly Getting Better)……

Bella

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Dear Friends,

I am happy to be back, able to post and enjoying to cook, eat and share my humble cuisine with you.
From 9/13th to 10/13th I spent a wonderful month in Germany and Spain, visiting friends and family and having a great time eating and drinking in the company of much-missed friends, most of which I had not seen for many years, as well as making new friends along the way 🙂 .
I also put time to good use to facilitate my return to Germany, where I plan to spend the remainder of my life with good food, good friends and (occassionally) good booze 🙂
I bought a car, started looking for a house, registrered my new address in Germany, etc, etc.
I also spend a long weekend in Spain, where my friends Gaby and Ralf own a Beautiful Spanish villa near the beach.
I had taken many notes and pictures to share my trip with y’all as soon as I’d be back in Miami.
However, the night before I got back, my beloved Bella was attacked and badly mauled by two loose-running rottweilers.
This caused both Bella and I to suffer tremendously, her physically, me psychologically, which eventually morphed into a full-blown breakdown of my well-being.
I was bed-ridden for a week, while trying my best to care for Bella (with the help of two great vet’s 🙂
Well, it has been 10 days now and I am happy to report that both Bella and I are on the way to recovery.
I assume that I am able to start posting my European experience starting this coming week, and that the unfortunate episode of Bellas attack will be but a bad memory soon.
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Hans.
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For those of you who are skirmish DON”T scroll down to the bottom of this page !!!
There are pictures of Bellas wound’s there, to let those of you who can handle this kind of stuff see how badly she had to suffer.
Again, she is (slowly) on her way to recovery, and things should be back to normal soon 🙂
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And, on a lighter note:
When I was sick I did not have the strenght nor the will to cook every day. The first two day’s, I lived off apples and dry  knäckebröd .
However, that did not provide me with the nutrition I needed to get back on my feet, so, during a spell of light improvement of my strength,  I prepared a big pot of what must be the oldest, best-working and best-tasting remedy in the word:
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“Chicken Noodle Soup With Veggies And Egg”.
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After five days of this for both lunch and dinner (apples for breakfast), I am now feeling better and blessed with enough strength to take on my daily chores, including driving Bella to the vet daily, preparing my usual food, and keeping “ChefsOpinion” up to date.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Chicken Noodle Soup With Veggies And Egg

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Chicken Noodle Soup With Veggies And 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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LEFT SIDE


 

RIGHT SIDE


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Faux Chicken Biryani


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It looks like biryani.
It tastes like biryani.
It smells like biryani.
Alas, it’s not biryani.
As usual when I cook for Bella and myself, a few days ago I cooked too much jasmin rice. The next day, my usual train of thought at first led me to either one of two leftover dishes – fried rice or congee. But I did not really feel like either one of those, so my next choice was this very easy to prepare “faux biryani”.
While a “real biryani is easy enough to prepare, this one was even easier and of course, with the pre-cooked rice at hand, this was the perfect way to utilize the rice and at the same time get a dish that is wonderful, flavorful and beautiful. Naturally, the texture of the rice was different from the real deal, (not inferior, just different), but nevertheless, the dish was a great success, fully enjoyed by Bella and myself 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Faux Dishes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Chicken  on ChefsOpinion
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P.S.
Usually, one would steep the saffron in ghee, but because of the relatively high-fat content of the chicken skin which will render into the dish, I replaced the ghee with milk.
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Faux Chicken Biryani

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Faux Chicken Biryani

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Faux Chicken Biryani

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Faux Chicken Biryani

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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 Tuna Steak, Garlic Confit With Black Olives And Greens In Raspberry Vinaigrette


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Fresh grilled tuna steak might seem a tad old-fashioned these day’s, but when it is so yummy, who cares ? 🙂
This dish, and the memories it evoked, mentally transported me back to the shores of the Mediterranean, where this would be a traditional, light lunch – a few, simple but fresh and fragrantly seasoned ingredients, enjoyed with good company and a few glasses of wine, then, a short Siesta and on to a wild night about town 🙂
Well, in my case it was iced tea instead of wine, then a walk with Bella instead of a siesta and afterward a good movie instead of a wild night about town. 🙂
But, nevertheless, great food and a wonderfully relaxing evening.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Grilled Tuna Steak, Garlic Confit With Black Olives And Greens In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Mediterranean Fish Seasoning:

  • 3tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 2tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 12teaspoon salt

Mix ingredients well. This mix seasons 4 to 6 steaks.
Brush tuna with olive oil, season liberally with the spice mix, grill until temperature reaches your preference.
Saute confit and black olives in EVO, add to steak.
Serve with a salad of your choice.
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Click here for  Garlic Confit  on  ChefsOpinion
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Grilled Tuna Steak, Garlic Confit With Black Olives And Greens In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Grilled Tuna Steak, Garlic Confit With Black Olives And Greens In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Grilled Tuna Steak, Garlic Confit With Black Olives And Greens In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Grilled Tuna Steak, Garlic Confit With Black Olives And Greens In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

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A few  years after I was born, the German “Wirtschaftswunder” (Economic Miracle) was in full swing (I wonder if my existence helped?), and Germany was in need of a new, different kind of army – an army of workers, to fill all the open labor-positions. It was the time (1955) when Germany invited millions of “Gastarbeiter” (Guest Workers) to come and make their luck and life in Germany. Mostly poor, working class people from Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Portugal and eventually, in 1968, Yugoslavia, took a chance and started a new life in this new promised land, first alone, working very hard, saving money, learning the language and customs and then, usually a couple of years later, having their family join them and slowly but surely integrating themselves and their families, and most of them eventually becoming Germans. (Passport, language, customs, and all) 🙂
I don’t want to go into the political, economic and social results of this enormous “Völkerwanderung” (Human Migration), but rather talk about the effect it had on the culinary landscape.
Up until then, there were basically three culinary styles in Germany –
“Deutsche Hausmanskost”, which translates into plain home cooking
“Deutsche Koch Kunst”, or German Culinary Arts, meals that are as pleasing to the eye as to the palate,  primarily available in upper-class restaurants, hotels, and delicatessens.
“Traditional French Cuisine”, also mainly available in upper-class restaurants, hotels, and delicatessens.
Of course, this all changed rapidly with the influx of millions of people cooking the traditional food of their countries of origin, and within a few short years one could easily find a Turkish doner shop, Italian pizzeria, Greek taverna, Spanish tapa restaurant, Portuguese cervejaria or Yugoslavian restaurant serving food from all over Europe, first in the big cities, but eventually even in the smallest of villages.
(Incidentally, nowadays you are more likely to find an ethnic restaurant than a typical “German Gasthaus” (German Tavern) in most places 😦
Securely wedged in my memory are the Cevapcici of that time. Up ’til then, we did not know “Burgers”. We had either buletten or meatloaf, typically served hot with mashed potatoes or pasta and mushroom sauce, or served cold with bread and mustard.
So when Cevapcici came along, they were pretty special and exotic to our palette and view.
Spiced with plenty of garlic, oregano and cumin among other seasonings, they tasted and looked very different to anything made with ground lamb (or any other ground meat) we’d seen up to then.
They were usually served with rice and salad or with some type of flatbread and salad, often accompanied by a yogurt sauce and raw onion rings.
Again, at the time, this was pretty new and exotic for most of us 🙂
So when I got this ground lamb yesterday, I was looking forward to preparing and eating, for the first time in many years, this wonderful dish.
I am happy I did because I enjoyed every morsel of it (and so did Bella) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !   (And full of memories) 🙂
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Pls note:
Replace the lamb with beef, or pork or a mixture of both if you prefer.
Cevapcici can be grilled, sauteed, baked (roast) or fried. However, do NOT overcook them or you are left with a dry stick of coal-like substance 😦
See the pic of the close-up of the meat. Well done but VERY juicy and tender 🙂
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Click here for  Potato Salad Recipe   (Add sliced, seeded cucumbers if desired)
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Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

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Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

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Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

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Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

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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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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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Click here for more  Salad  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Steak  and  Steak Salad  on  ChefsOpinion
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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 :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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chefs-doctors-and-allergies
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Movie Time – Pizza Roll Time

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Yesterday  evening, looking  forward to binge-watch the final four episodes of season one of “The Crown” on  Netflix, I got settled into my favorite chair, with a bucket of peach iced tea on ice next to me and a dish of pizza-rolls in the oven.
Twenty minutes into the first episode, the rolls were ready. Another fifteen minutes of cool-down time and  voilà , a large tray of great snacks, nurturing me for the rest of the evening through episode 10, until the end of season one.
Great evening, happy as a lark, tired, relaxed, full and content.
I probably gained five lbs, but, such is the price of indulgence 🙂
(To be repeated next year for season two of “The Crown”).
2.30 am – time to take Bella for a one-hour walk around the lake………..
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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More  Snacks  on  ChefsOpinion
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More  Pizza  on  ChefsOpinion
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Pizza Dough Recipe:

Ingredients :

A/P flour,   2 cups (plus more for kneading)
Water,   3/4 cup, warm
Active dry yeast,   1 envelope
Sugar,   1 teaspoon
Olive oil,   3 table spoon
Kosher salt,

Method :

Pour  water into small bowl, mix in yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes. Brush large bowl lightly with olive oil. Mix 2 cups flour, sugar, and salt. Add yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons oil, knead until dough forms a sticky ball. Transfer to lightly floured surface. Knead dough until smooth. Dust with flour as you work the dough. Transfer to prepared bowl; turn dough in bowl to coat with oil. Cover bowl with moist towel. Let dough rise until doubled in volume.Punch down dough. Pull dough until desired thickness and shape is achieved. If this is too difficult, roll the dough with a rolling-pin. However, in my opinion, the pizza will turn out superior if the dough is pulled.

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Movie Time/Pizza Roll Time

Movie Time/Pizza Roll Time

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Movie Time/Pizza Roll Time

Movie Time/Pizza Roll Time

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Movie Time/Pizza Roll Time

Movie Time/Pizza Roll Time

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Belgian Endive (Frissee) With Avocado, Egg & Japanese Broiled Eel (Unagi Kaba-Yaki)

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Who  can resist Unagi Kaba-Yaki when it’s displayed in the front-row of the specialty section in one’s neighborhood fish market ?
I certainly can’t, so today I got to enjoy preparing and consuming (sharing the eel and avocado with Bella) this wonderful, light and tasty salad, accompanied by a few pieces of  Knäckebrot.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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All about  Belgian Endive
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All about  Knäckebrot
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Belgian Endive (Frissee) With Avocados, Eggs &  Japanese Broiled Eel (Unagi Kaba-Yaki)

Belgian Endive (Frissee) With Avocado, Eggs & Japanese Broiled Eel (Unagi Kaba-Yaki)

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Belgian Endive (Frissee) With Avocados, Eggs &  Japanese Broiled Eel (Unagi Kaba-Yaki)

Belgian Endive (Frissee) With Avocado, Eggs & Japanese Broiled Eel (Unagi Kaba-Yaki)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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I Once Was A Sinner………

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Sex, Drugs And Rock & Roll –
– Like most folks, I was not an angel growing up and growing old 😦 🙂
However, nowadays I am a lot older, a bit wiser and much less healthy, so the only sin I still engage in (ruefully) are the few sweet things which are left to me, such as cake, ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate.
Like everything else, I share them with Bella (tiny amounts of chocolate only, which she does not enjoy as much as ice cream and whipped cream anyway)
Here is an example of an afternoon sin-filled session which we both enjoyed 🙂
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Life is Good !   Enjoy It While You Can !
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Pho

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While  Pho comes in many variations and can be served with a plethora of sides, such as finely sliced onions, chili peppers, culantro, lime, bean sprouts, Thai basil, etc, I kept today’s lunch relatively simple but nevertheless very rich and delicious. Preparation was lightning quick, since I had a strong beef stock leftover from yesterday’s “beef and vegetable stew”.
If you prefer your beef paper-thin, you might want to put it in the freezer for a few hours before slicing, but I prefer the texture of the beef the way I sliced it, slightly thicker than usual and thus with a bit more bite to it. Certainly not “original”, but, in my kitchen, cooking for myself and Bella – anything goes. (Well, almost anything 🙂 )
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Bon Appetit !    Life is Good !
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All about  Pho
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More Pho on ChefsOpinion
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Pho

Pho

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Pho

Pho

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