carrots

Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

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Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

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Onion soup is a vegetable soup made of sauteed onions and stock. Onion soup was traditionally served in poorer households and lower-class restaurants.
Onion soup is, and was, found in many countries, prepared in many different variations. What all recipes have in common are the onions and stock. From there on, anything goes……….:
Added red or white wine, beer, egg yolk, flour, cream, cheese, herbs, bread, vinegar, sugar, caramelized onions, sauteed but kept-white onions, puréed onions, sliced onion, diced onions, shallots, sausages, sherry, carrots, and probably another thousand different additions, depending on where in the world you encounter your onion soup.
Names/variations include “Pfälzer Zwiebelsuppe”, “Soupe Soubise”, “Schwaebische Zwiebelsuppe”, “Cipollata”,  “Cherbah”, and countless more.
And then, of course, there is the queen of all onion soups! –
Known and loved most everywhere in the world, it is “French Onion Soup” (Soupe à l’oignon / Soupe d’oignons aux Halles/ Soupe à l’oignon gratinée)
What makes this variation so special is the addition of bread and gruyere to the top of the onion soup, then it get’s some time in the oven or under the broiler until the top is a bubbly, fragrant, addictive, gooey mass of melted bread and cheese.
Each heavenly spoonful should contain some of the bread and cheese, some soup, and some onions.
Voilà, now you know why “French Onion Soup” is the best onion soup in the world 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Onion Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

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Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

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Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

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Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

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

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Korean Inspired Beef Stew (Galbijjim) (kalbitɕ͈im)

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This  stew is very similar to a traditional Korean Galbijjim (kalbitɕ͈im), except that I have omitted some of the typical additions such as  jujube, ginkgo nuts, carrots, pine nuts, chestnuts, shiitake, and seogi mushrooms. This version is a simple home-version of the Galbijjim, unlike the more elaborate version you would get in a restaurant or even at home, when guests are expected or more time and money would be available to prepare a more elaborate, costly and elegant meal.
But, although some of the fancier ingredients are absent from this stew, there is an abundance of flavor and umami which will leave your culinary senses completely happy and satisfied 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
If you prefer a more traditional appearance (dark color and the texture less liquid), add soy sauce instead of the salt and less water to braise
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Korean Inspired Beef Stew (Galbijjim) (kalbitɕ͈im)

Korean Inspired Beef Stew (Galbijjim) (kalbitɕ͈im)

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Korean Inspired Beef Stew (Galbijjim) (kalbitɕ͈im)

Galbijjim (kalbitɕ͈im) Korean Beef 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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Panzanella & Grilled Pork Chops

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If  you never tried  Panzanella, chances are that a dish using stale bread is on the bottom of your “must try this” list.
After all, nowadays stale bread is usually used either for bread pudding, bread dumplings, or, most likely of all – thrown into the garbage bin.
Now, I have to admit that most bread you can buy is best thrown away after a few days, since it was nothing special to begin with. But if you are a fan of really good bread, it would pain you to throw away some of it just because it has survived a few more days than usual and has become a bit stale. If this happens in my kitchen, I usually slice the bread thick and grill it, which will revive it beautifully and will give a loaf at least another 4 days of good use.
Or, surprise surprise – I’ll make  Panzanella.
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 traditionalists still prefer the simple version of soaked bread, onions, olive oil, salt, tomatoes and sometimes fresh basil.
If I prepare  Panzanella as a main dish, I usually add boiled eggs, anchovy fillets, capers, garlic paste, roasted marinated peppers and lots of chives and fresh basil and oregano. I don’t soak my Panzanella  in water but rather in a generous amount of dressing of good olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. I let the salad sit for at least 30 minutes before I dig into it, by which time the dressing has been soaked up by the bread. Usually, I over-eat on this stuff because once I start, I can’t stop until it’s all gone 😦 🙂
However, since I had grilled pork chops with this one, I kept it simple and used only bread, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, basil and dressing. What a wonderful meal this was…….
So, I hope that next time you have some good, rustic bread which has seen better days, you will give this delicious dish a try 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Panzanella & Grilled Pork Chop

Panzanella & Grilled Pork Chop

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Panzanella & Grilled Pork Chop

Panzanella & Grilled Pork Chop

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Sauteed Cod Filet & Honey-Glazed Carrots

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Cod  used to be the cheapest fish you can buy – but look at it now : 4 pieces for $ 38.00 at the fishmonger ! 😦
But once in a while I have to splurge a bit and this cod just fit the bill 🙂
Tomorrow we’ll have dry bread again……
Not really, but I really wish basic food items would be priced a bit more affordable. Shops get fancier all the time, advertising cost’s millions and all these costs have to be covered by the food we consume.
But then again, we are blessed to have this abundance available to us, unlike many (most?) folks in the world who consider them self lucky just to fill their belly every (some) day with whatever scraps they can find.
So with that in mind, on to last nights feast –

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Bon Appetit !   Live is Good (For some of us at least, blessed as we are)

P.S.
if you wonder what happened to the other 3 pieces of fish – Bella had one and I had three 🙂
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Sauteed Cod Filet & Honey-Glazed Carrots

Sautéed Cod Filet & Honey-Glazed Carrots

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Sauteed Cod Filet & Honey-Glazed Carrots

Sautéed Cod Filet & Honey-Glazed Carrots

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Sauteed Cod Filet & Honey-Glazed Carrots

Sautéed Cod Filet & Honey-Glazed Carrots

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Preparation :
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To read instructions, hover over picture
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Szechuan Chicken & Fan


Since  breakfast was substantial and relatively late, lunch was late as well and will have to do for both lunch and dinner. Well, maybe there is a midnight snack on the horizon, we’ll see 🙂
The red jalapeno peppers I used here were exceptionally fruity and only mildly hot, so they were perfect for my taste and heat tolerance. Please adjust the amount and heat level to your own taste or eliminate the chilies altogether and replace with mushrooms, water chestnuts, bell peppers, green peas, carrots or whatever else strikes your fancy.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

Click here for  FAN  (chinese steamed rice ) recipe

 

Szechuan Style Chicken & Fan

Szechuan Chicken & Fan

Szechuan Chicken & Fan

Szechuan Chicken & Fan



Preparation :

season sliced chicken with salt, five spice powder and soy sauce, dust with cornstarch and stir fry in peanut oil

season sliced chicken with salt, five spice powder and soy sauce, dust with cornstarch and stir fry in peanut oil

remove chicken from wok, reserve

remove chicken from wok, reserve

saute chilies and scallions, remove from wok, reserve

saute chilies and scallions, remove from wok, reserve

saute onions and garlic paste in garlic oil

saute onions and garlic paste in garlic oil

add soy sauce, oyster sauce, chicken stock, sesame oil and sugar, simmer until slightly thickened

add soy sauce, oyster sauce, chicken stock, sesame oil and sugar, simmer until slightly thickened

return chicken, chilies and scallions to sauce, remove from heat, check/adjust seasoning

return chicken, chilies and scallions to sauce, remove from heat, check/adjust seasoning

Szechuan Style Chicken & Fan

to serve, sprinkle chicken with white sesame seeds, rice with black sesame seeds

Szechuan Chicken & Fan

Szechuan Chicken & Fan

Szechuan Chicken & Fan

Szechuan Chicken & Fan

Fan (Chinese Steamed Rice)

Fan (Chinese Steamed Rice)



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