Black Pepper

Braised Beef Back Ribs With Glazed Baby Rainbow Carrots

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All chef’s, once in a while :

WTF did I come in here for ??? 🙂


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Once in a while, I come across an unbelievable food bargain that I just MUST buy; these ribs are a typical example.
I had to go downtown Miami this morning, so on the way back home, I stopped at my Argentinian butcher in Hialeah to get some empanadas for lunch. There I saw these beautiful beef ribs for $ 3.95, which is less than a pack of chicken wings of equal weight will cost me at my neighborhood grocery store – go figure 😦
So, I had the empanadas for lunch, then started the ribs for a full-fledged, big and yummy dinner 🙂
(My butcher’s empanadas are as close to Argentinian empanadas as can be, nothing like the crappy ones one can usually get around here. After all, he is Argentinian)
But now let’s talk a bit about today’s beef rib dinner.
If you look at the pics of the preparation below, you might notice that the ratio of onions to meat is very high, about 2 to 1 in quantity. The reason is that since I usually don’t use red wine (or any other alcohol) in my cooking anymore, I like to add additional flavor and color by increasing the amount of caramelized onions and add some apple cider. It does not replace the red wine taste, but rather substitute one great flavor with another one. Also, instead of using flour to thicken the sauce, once the meat is tender, I remove it and set it aside, then push the onions through a fine mesh sieve and simmer the sauce another few minutes to thicken it.
And there you have it – another day, another wonderful meal 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Beef Ribs  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  Pork Ribs  on  ChefsOpinion
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Braised Beef Back Ribs With Glazed Baby Rainbow Carrots

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Braised Beef Back Ribs With Glazed Baby Rainbow Carrots

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Braised Beef Back Ribs With Glazed Baby Rainbow Carrots

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Braised Beef Back Ribs With Glazed Baby Rainbow Carrots

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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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 :
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Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

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Seafood , wine, olive oil, tomatoes, onions, garlic, beans and potatoes give this dish that familiar taste and appearance you’ll find when ordering seafood stew along the coast of Portugal and it’s islands.
Maria and I have had this particular stew (sometimes with, sometimes without the beans) a couple of times in the home of one of our friends in Funchal, Madeira, while living there, ca 17 years ago.
Served with rustic bread and LOTS of red Douro (Portuguese wine from vineyards along the Douro river) and Madeira (fortified wine from the islands of Madeira), seafood cooked in wine has since become one of my favorite meals to share with friends, and it has been one of the foods I remember most of that happy time, that beautiful country and its wonderful people.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Food and Memories of Portugal  on  ChefsOpinion
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Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

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Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

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Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

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Preparation :
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Today I Ate An Convertible………

Smoked Salmon, Avocado, And Pickled Onions Hoagie
( Convertible With Top Up / Convertible With Top Down )

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Hero,  sub, foot long, hoagie, garibaldi, spuckie, blimpie, torpedo, zeppelin, bomber, poor boy, wedge, or just plain old sandwich –
whatever you call a sandwich made of a long crusty roll split lengthwise and filled with meats/cheese/seafood/tomato/onion/lettuce/condiments and/or anything else from the kitchen sink, this here beauty surely ranks among the best you can find and/or imagine anywhere.
As for naming it “Convertible”  –
Obviously, it’s as good open, with the top down and eaten with a knife and fork; or closed, with the top up, eaten with both hands firmly locked around it  🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Sandwiches  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  Pickled Onions Recipe (Escabeche De Cebolla)

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Click here for  Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe  on  ChefsOpinion
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"The Convertible" Smoked Salmon, Pickled Onions  And Avocado

“The Convertible” Smoked Salmon, Pickled Onions And Avocado

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"The Convertible" Smoked Salmon, Pickled Onions And Avocado Hoagie

“The Convertible” Smoked Salmon, Pickled Onions And Avocado Hoagie

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"The Convertible" Smoked Salmon, Pickled Onions  And Avocado

“The Convertible” Smoked Salmon, Pickled Onions And Avocado

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Preparation :
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London Broil

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While  you can use just about any flat cut of beef to prepare  London Broil,  “Teres Major” (or Faux Tender) was what I had on hand today. It was perfect for the cooking method of London Broil – VERY slowly broiled on both sides until rare, then rested for another 15 minutes, lightly covered, during which time the carry-over heat took the meat to a beautiful, even medium. (Contrary to most folks, I like to cook the tougher cuts of meat a bit more than rare, somehow the texture appeals more to me.
On the other hand, cuts of meat which are more tender, are always served med-rare or rare at my house, unless I have guests who prefer otherwise.
(My guests always play the first fiddle) 🙂
Accompanied by sauteed potatoes and green asparagus, this was a wonderful, tasty and somewhat rugged meal greatly enjoyed by Bella and myself.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Preparation :
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Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

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This  is probably the dish I have eaten the most often in restaurants while living in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. It is of course served with country-specific sides depending in which place you are, but it has never disappointed and continues to be one of my favorite beef cuts – a close second to rib eye. And, at a fraction of the cost of rib eye, it can be served frequently, unlike rib eye, which has become a special treat because of its high price.
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Bom Proveito !   Buen Provecho !
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Click here for more  Steak  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  recipes of  Guacamole, Escabeche De Cebolla and Salsa Mexicana  on  ChefsOpinion

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Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

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Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

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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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Click here for more  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 :
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chefs-doctors-and-allergies
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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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Click here for  Panzanella  on  ChefsOpinion
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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 :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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Potato And Onion Pierogi With Grape Tomatoes And Cracked Black Pepper In Beurre Noisette


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Pierogi  or  Vareniki   are half circular dumplings of unleavened dough, stuffed (singularly or in various combinations) with mashed potatoes, cheese, farmer’s cheese, bryndza, cabbage, sauerkraut, meat, mushrooms, or other ingredients depending on the cook’s personal preferences. Dessert versions of the dumpling can be stuffed with a fresh fruit filling, such as cherry, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, peach, or apple; stoned prunes are sometimes used.
Mashed potatoes mixed with farmer’s cheese and fried onions is a popular filling in Poland and Ukraine. In Poland this variety is called Ruskie pierogi. A popular filling for pierogi in Canada is mashed potatoes mixed with grated cheddar cheese .
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more info on  Pierogi,  Vareniki  and  Pelmeni
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Click here for a link to the above pictured   Pierogi  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  Beurre Noisette
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P.S.
If the tiny black spots in the butter bother you, strain the beurre noisette after browning through a cheese cloth,  then  saute the veggies and the pierogies.
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Ingredients :

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Method :

Saute onion in butter until translucent.
Stir into the mashed potatoes, add grated cheese and yogurt,
season with salt and cayenne pepper, mix well.To make the dough, beat together the eggs and sour cream until smooth.
Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder; stir into the sour cream mixture,
mix well and knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until firm and smooth.
Divide the dough in half, then roll out one half to 1/8 inch thickness.
Cut into 3 inch rounds using a cutter or drinking glass.Place a small spoonful of the mashed potato filling into the center of each round.
Moisten the edges with water, fold over, and press together with a fork to seal.
Repeat procedure with the remaining dough and filling.Cook in boiling saltwater until dough is done, about 4 to 5 minutes,
depending on the thickest part of the dough. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain.
Saute in butter, duck fat, chicken or pork schmaltz to your liking – soft without color, lightly browned or browned and crisp.
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Preparation :
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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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