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Sunshine On A Plate – Penne With Raw Tomato And Basil Sauce

Sunshine On A Plate – Penne With Raw Tomato And Basil Sauce

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To  prepare a successful raw “Tomato Sauce”, it is essential that the tomatoes are VERY ripe, sweet and soft.
Other than that, there is not much wizardry to be employed, just make sure that the pasta is cooked perfectly, your basil is fresh, young and sweet, the olive oil is of great quality and the cheese you use is the best you can afford. (Any hard, fresh-grated cheese you prefer will do).
The result will proof once again that if prepared with love and gusto, bringing together a few simple, good quality ingredients will add up to a wonderful meal (Even if the sunshine is lacking) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Sunshine On A Plate – Penne With Raw Tomato And Basil Sauce

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Sunshine On A Plate – Penne With Raw Tomato And Basil Sauce

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit)

“Meatloaf With Sautéed Cabbage, Horseradish Potatoes And Mushroom Cream”
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Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit) (Meatloaf)

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There is a little story about the origin of the name Falscher Hase.
(Also: Hackbraten, Faschierter Braten, Heuchelhase)
(It might be funny now, but back then it was not funny at all, since it tried to cover-up the poverty and embarrassment of ordinary folks who were too poor to put a meal  on the table of which they could be proud of)
You see, not too long ago there was a time in Germany, Baden-Wuerttemberg in particular, when ground meat was not considered a proper entrée. It was ok for burgers (buletten), which were mostly consumed as a vesper (snack), served cold with bread and mustard.
But meatloaf was perceived as nothing to be proud of, an inferior dish only served when there was no money for a real cut of protein. Usually, it contained hard-boiled eggs in the center and sometimes blanched carrots, celery and bell peppers, not to make the meatloaf prettier but to further stretch the budget, since eggs and veggies were even cheaper than ground meat.
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So, in order to trick casual visitors or passersby to think there is a more prestigious piece of roast in the oven or on the table, “Hase” (Rabbit) was the usual answer to the question what smells so great at lunch or dinner time. This was a time before A/C and long notices before one went to visit one’s neighbor for a chat. Kitchen windows were always open, especially while cooking, everybody stopped by for a quick chat, either the passerby talking to the person inside or the person inside talking to the passerby. After all, before TV came along, leaning on the window and seeing the world go by was some of the choice entertainment as well as the main local news source – who walks with whom, who has new clothes, whose clothes are not properly ironed, how does this or that look……. 🙂
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Of course, everything has changed considerably since then (at least in our “advanced, modern” part of the world, what with tv, the internet, and so forth, a/c which requires closed windows and therefore less personal contact with our neighbors. etc…….. 😦
However, to get back to the dish at hand, if one is able to prepare a good meatloaf, one can and should be proud if this once “inferior” dish. Unfortunately, it is not easy to find a good meatloaf around here, neither in restaurants or in many homes.
Therefore,  I give you this recipe which has been in my repertoire for 50 years. It was one of the very first things I learned to cook as an apprentice when I was 14 years old and I have done it with minor variations ever since. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit) (Meatloaf)

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Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit) (Meatloaf)

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Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit) (Meatloaf)

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Falscher Hase. Fake Rabbit. Meatloaf

Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit) (Meatloaf)


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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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P.S.
Each meatloaf serves 10-12.
Potatoes and cabbage – 5 servings each
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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
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on 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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To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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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 :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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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 :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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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 :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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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 :
To read instructions, hover over 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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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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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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