Cayenne pepper

“The Ultimate Mushroom Sandwich” – Sauteed Rock Oyster Mushrooms With Grape-Tomatoes & Peppers, Goat Cheese Spread With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, And Fried Onions, Tsatsiki, Cilantro, And Arugula On Greek Bread

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“The Ultimate Mushroom Sandwich” – Sauteed Rock Oyster Mushrooms With Grape-Tomatoes & Peppers, Goat Cheese Spread With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, And Fried Onions, Tzatziki, Cilantro, And Lettuce On Greek Bread

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Since I have moved from the US back to Germany a few months ago, I have re-discovered many food-items from my youth in Germany, which I had not seen for many decades. One of them is this Greek bread (Prosimi), which, way back then, our neighbor in Gechingen offered to us kids often. My Dad preferred “Black Forest Black Bread” (Which therefore automatically made that the bread of choice for the whole family), but we kids loved the white, mild and fluffy Greek bread, which was much more suited to a child´s palette. 🙂
Now, there is this great Greek vendor with a food truck outside my favorite supermarket, so whenever I go shopping there, I make sure I get a bunch of Goodies from his supplies. Besides the bread, he as a huge selection of cheese spreads and pickled veggies, which I also adore. Unfortunately, most of his offerings are the traditional Greek meze, namely feta cheese and various types of olives, both of which cause me to experience culinary horror 🙂 (I can´t stand neither, never have, never will) 😦
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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“The Ultimate Mushroom Sandwich” – Sauteed Rock Oyster Mushrooms With Grape-Tomatoes & Peppers, Goat Cheese Spread With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, And Fried Onions, Tzatziki, Cilantro, And Lettuce On Greek Bread

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“The Ultimate Mushroom Sandwich” – Sauteed Rock Oyster Mushrooms With Grape-Tomatoes & Peppers, Goat Cheese Spread With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, And Fried Onions, Tzatziki, Cilantro, And Lettuce On Greek Bread

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“The Ultimate Mushroom Sandwich” – Sauteed Rock Oyster Mushrooms With Grape-Tomatoes & Peppers, Goat Cheese Spread With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, And Fried Onions, Tsatsiki, Cilantro, And Lettuce On Greek Bread

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“The Ultimate Mushroom Sandwich” – Sauteed Rock Oyster Mushrooms With Grape-Tomatoes & Peppers, Goat Cheese Spread With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, And Fried Onions, Tsatsiki, Cilantro, And Lettuce On Greek Bread

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Preparation :
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Sautéed King Oyster Mushrooms with Pommes Dauphinoise (Sautierte Kräuterseitlinge mit Kartoffel-Gratin (Pleurotes Du Panicaut)

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Sautéed King Oyster Mushrooms with Pommes Dauphinoise (Sautierte Kräuterseitlinge mit Kartoffel-Gratin  (Pleurotes Du Panicaut)

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I feel so lucky to be in Germany during the mushroom season. Mushrooms are so affordable right now, you can buy them by the basket for a few € and really pig-out without putting a dent into your wallet.
I prepare different varieties at least three times a week, and still, I don´t get tired of them.  🙂
As usual with fresh, quality produce, most of the time, simple is best. Most mushrooms just need to be sauteed in butter or EVO with a bit of salt and pepper and voilà – a meal fit for a king and queen can be had in minutes.
And potato gratin of any type – well, not much needs to be said about that. It makes a great side dish, or just served by itself with a few leaves of green by its side, it will be a wonderful meal on its own. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
This amount of mushrooms serves 2 main courses, while the Dauphinoise serve 10 portions. You can, of course, scale up the mushrooms to feed up to 10 pax. However, the dauphinoise heat up great and can also be served at room temperature, so when the next meal time comes around, you´ll be glad you prepared more of it. 🙂
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Sautéed King Oyster Mushrooms with Pommes Dauphinoise (Sautierte Kräuterseitlinge mit Kartoffel-Gratin (Pleurotes Du Panicaut)

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Sautéed King Oyster Mushrooms with Pommes Dauphinoise (Sautierte Kräuterseitlinge mit Kartoffel-Gratin (Pleurotes Du Panicaut)

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Sautéed King Oyster Mushrooms with Pommes Dauphinoise (Sautierte Kräuterseitlinge mit Kartoffel-Gratin (Pleurotes Du Panicaut)

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Sautéed King Oyster Mushrooms with Pommes Dauphinoise (Sautierte Kräuterseitlinge mit Kartoffel-Gratin (Pleurotes Du Panicaut)

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Sautéed King Oyster Mushrooms with Pommes Dauphinoise (Sautierte Kräuterseitlinge mit Kartoffel-Gratin (Pleurotes Du Panicaut)

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Pommes Dauphinoise

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Preparation :
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Veggie Salad With Chanterelles & Poached Eggs

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BUT FIRST, THIS :
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One of the reasons I moved from Florida back to Germany (besides the Hurricanes) was the fact that I loathe Floridas heat and humidity ( Lets not even mention the traffic).
On the other hand, here in Germany, while we are at the hight of summer, the average temperature is very agreeable, with only the occasional very hot day, and always very little humidity.
But, nevertheless, Florida, Germany, or wherever – who could say no to this beautiful salad, any time of the year, anywhere, and in any weather ?  🙂
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Veggie Salad With Chanterelles & Poached Eggs

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Veggie Salad With Chanterelles & Poached Eggs

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Veggie Salad With Chanterelles & Poached Eggs

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Preparation :
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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions and Grape-Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions, and Grape- Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Ever since I moved back to Germany and I found out that the VEAL which I remember from my youth and my apprenticeship is still widely available in Germany, as well as in most other European countries, I buy veal at least once a week ( I love any part/cut of the veal ).
The laws and regulations, and most importantly the government controls  concerning veal, are quite different in Europe and the US, and too complicated and confusing, so I suggest to anybody who has any interest in the matter should study it on official government websites of the different States in the US, as well as on the official government websites of the different countries in Europe.
However, the simple reason why I seldom bought  “VEAL” in Florida was because it was priced in the stratosphere and usually not real “VEAL” as we know it in Germany. There are even well-established categories (types) of veal, but again, that´s too complicated for most folks who never eat veal anyway.  😦
I don´t intend to sound negative about this, just an observation and the reason why you hardly ever saw a post about veal liver on ChefsOpinion while my home was in Florida.
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But, luckily, that was then, and this is now – affordable, high-quality Veal everywhere ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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PS.
The quantities on this page serve one generous portion (as shown)
Two regular portions
Four appetizers (cut ea slice one more time so you have 4 ea small portions)
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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions and Grape- Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions and Grape- Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions, and Grape Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions, and Grape- Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions and Grape-Tomatoes

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Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Preparation :
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Beef Shank Soup With Pasta & Ravioli (Rindersuppe Mit Schupfnudeln & Maultaschen)

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Beef Shank Soup With Pasta & Ravioli (Rindersuppe Mit Schupfnudeln & Maultaschen)

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This soup contains four of my most beloved food-ingredients :
Strong, flavorful Beef Broth, Maultaschen (Swabian Ravioli), Schupfnudeln (Swabian Gnocchi), Beef Shank and Grape Tomatoes, ready to burst from the heat.Each of these ingredients can stand at it´s own, but together, they are culinary bliss at it´s best.
Serve the soup with the whole shank slice, bone-in (with the bone marrow), or, for convenience, remove the meat from the bone and cut into bit-size pieces, then remove the marrow from the bone and divide it between the soup plates, top with the rest of the ingredients and the broth.
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Click here for more info about  Schupfnudeln
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Click here for more info about  Maultaschen
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Beef Shank Soup With Pasta & Ravioli (Rindersuppe Mit Schupfnudeln & Maultaschen)

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Beef Shank Soup With Pasta & Ravioli (Rindersuppe Mit Schupfnudeln & Maultaschen)

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Beef Shank Soup With Pasta & Ravioli (Rindersuppe Mit Schupfnudeln & Maultaschen)

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Beef Shank Soup With Pasta & Ravioli (Rindersuppe Mit Schupfnudeln & Maultaschen)

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Beef Shank Soup With Pasta & Ravioli (Rindersuppe Mit Schupfnudeln & Maultaschen)

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Preparation :
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German Veal-Burger with Garlic/Herb Butter, Gnocchi, Peppers & Onions

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German Veal-Burger with Garlic/Herb Butter, Gnocchi, Peppers & Onion

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I have made dozens, maybe even hundreds, of honest attempts to love the American Burger – unfortunately, most of the time, my honest attempts have failed miserably. 😦
This includes restaurants of all price points, even when, because of its simple nature, most burgers are consumed in simple joints. (I don´t want to go into the pitiful, sorry nonsense of the $100.00 or $1000.00 burger here)
While, in a long lifetime, I had a few spectacular good ones, lots of mediocre ones and, unfortunately, hundreds of lousy ones, generally the American burger is mostly a sorry excuse of a meal or snack. Most of the time, even when it starts out as a perfectly fine little disk of decent ground beef or other protein, most of the time it will then be mistreated every step of the way until it finally reaches the inside of your mouth where you´ll mostly experience a nasty mix of  grey, tasteless dry meat, inferior buns, stale raw onions and tomatoes, limp lettuce and a few squirts of the cheapest mayo and mustard available this side of Bangladesh.
While this may sound harsh, I fully stand behind these words as being the honest truth.
Now, on the other hand, why not take this precious ground meat (beef/ pork/ game/ turkey, seafood, etc, etc, and season it well, add some more ingredients to make it light, juicy, tasty and pretty, then pair it with proper condiments and sidings.
Not MORE, but BETTER ingredients, condiments, and sides, to give puck-shaped ground protein the respect it deserves  ! 🙂
Or, maybe try the ground meat patties the rest of the World enjoys in thousands of different variation, typically starting out with ground protein, adding interesting, good ingredients to make it BETTER and more APPEALING, then serve it with STUFF that tastes good, looks good and makes one feel good, such as the little gem on this page. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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divide the gnocchi/veggies onto 4 serving plates

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sprinkle with finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

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German Veal-Burger with Garlic/Herb Butter, Gnocchi, Peppers & Onion

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German Veal-Burger with Garlic/Herb Butter, Gnocchi, Peppers & Onion

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top with a veal patty each, top the patty with 1 oz garlic/herb butter

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Preparation :
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Beef Stew With Potatoes, Peppers And Tomatoes

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Beef Stew With Potatoes, Peppers And Tomatoes

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The original dish I wanted to cook was Hungarian Goulash, which is one of my favorite dishes. However, when I started to gather the ingredients, I realized that I did not have enough onions and paprika powder, not enough thyme leaves, lemon peel and caraway seeds in my pantry. Since I did not have any desire to go shopping at the moment, I came up with this concoction, which, although different from goulash, turned out to be just as delicious and satisfying.  🙂
It contains lots of potatoes and veggies, so it can be enjoyed as is, or served with rice, pasta or bread of your choice to mop up the wonderful sauce 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Beef Stew With Potatoes, Peppers And Tomatoes

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Beef Stew With Potatoes, Peppers And Tomatoes

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Beef Stew With Potatoes, Peppers And Tomatoes

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Beef Stew With Potatoes, Peppers And Tomatoes

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Beef Stew With Potatoes, Peppers And Tomatoes

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Preparation :
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Calamares Al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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This was such a down to earth, yet wonderfully delicious meal. Well-prepared rice and beans are something I enjoy at least twice a week. But not just the simple black beans and white rice common here in the Caribbean, South America and South Florida, but many, many combinations of different rice and different beans (or peas)
Add a simple protein, such as steak, schnitzel, roast pork, braised pork, fish, seafood, sausages, eggs or other veggies and you have a meal fit for a (Latin) king 🙂
As for the rice and beans, there are the same endless possibilities of variations – curry rice and fried chickpeas, white rice and black eye beans, risi e bisi, curried chickpeas with wild rice, succotash and white rice, rice porridge (congee) with beans or peas, sautéed rice patties with hummus, etc, etc. Just make sure you season these dishes to be fragrant with fresh herbs, chilies, cumin, garlic, a bit of soy sauce and/or Maggi seasoning. If left bland, rice and beans are a sorry excuse for a multicultural/multinational staple, but when properly prepared, they will be exciting and satisfying 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Arroz Mexicana

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Frijoles Negro

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Preparation :
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Escargots à la Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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The garlicky butter in this dish is almost as delicious as the escargots themselves, and what better use for crusty bread than sopping up this delicious “snail butter.”
But the main event are the escargots’ tender texture and clean, woodsy flavor.
When I was an apprentice back in the mid-sixties, preparing FRESH snails was a most hated assignment, taking hours to remove the snails from the shells and then cleaning and cooking them, then cleaning and sterilizing the shells. I don’t want to go into the less than pretty details, but it was not a pleasant task and as a young kid of 14 years old I thought I would never in my life eat something as shocking as snails.
Boy, was I wrong 🙂
Nowadays snails are among my favorite appetizers in the World and I order them whenever I see them on a menu, which, sadly, becomes rarer every year. 😦
Luckily, I found that canned snails work just as well and turn this appetizer into one that can be whipped up quickly, economical, anytime. I usually buy a case online which lasts me for about a year.
Traditionally,  Escargots à la Bourguignonne  are served 6 ea or 12 ea in their shells on a special metal or porcelain dish, or, if these are not available, on a heat-proof dish covered with sea salt into which indentions the size of the shells have been pressed to avoid the shells to move or topple over and spill their butter. I would not shy off to buy these dishes for my home, plus the special tweezers to hold them and the tiny two-pronged forks to remove the snails from their shells, but the fact is 6 or 12 snails will not do it for me and the whole ritual makes no sense for me at home alone. So I always serve them in a bowl with lots of the traditional toasted bread on the side.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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snail tweezer and fork

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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first bite always goes to Bella 🙂

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Preparation :
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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon-Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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The texture of beef neck is absolutely stunning. I wish I’d be able to buy just a slab of the meat, without the bones. That would make the perfect goulash or braised roast. In the meantime, I’ll just have to make do with the neck bones and the meat on them. They are of course the same wonderful texture and flavor as a large boneless slab would be, but naturally, the presentation suffers a bit.  😦
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P.S.
These bread dumplings are a typical example of the fact that most savory recipe measurements are at best guidelines. In this case, there are too many possible variables for the ingredients to use ANY measurements. Rather, the measurements are loose guidelines. For dumplings especially, experience is the key to a successful dumpling. As I mentioned in previous posts, most young (or old) cooks and chefs have never perfected the art/craft of proper dumplings for that particular reasons  – one needs experience and  “feeling” to get the ratios of the ingredients just right. Dumplings of any type (fish, meat, liver, potato, bread, lobster and so forth must be very light without falling apart while cooking. By just following measurements, because of the many and large variables, this is impossible to achieve. One needs practice, practice and practice – THEN one needs feeling, feeling and feeling. I believe the reason why we hardly see dumplings on menus anymore is the same as the reason why most cooks embraced the idiotic habit of eating fish, pork vegetables and other food items “seared on the outside, raw on the inside”, – any moron can achieve that without any skills, knowledge or experience 😦
Anyway, don’t be discouraged if by the first try you don’t succeed, – just put in lots of practice, lots of love and lots of feeling, and soon you too will be able to enjoy homemade dumplings (and properly cooked protein) as often as you crave it 🙂

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Semmelknödel – Bread Dumpling

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Preparation :
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