Cheese

Tacos De Pescado (Grilled Fish Tacos)

Tacos De Pescado (Grilled Fish Tacos)

I just realized that lately, I prepare tacos at least ones a week, sometimes even more often.
Of course, this makes perfect sense, since they are very tasty, easy to prepare and the possible variations are endless. I have them for any meal of the day, breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack.
My favorite taco is……..always the one I presently prepare and eat, no matter if they are soft or crisp, contain lots of “stuff” or just a few basic ingredients. They can contain beef, pork, fish, crab, shrimp, chicken, duck, chorizo, egg, guacamole, refried beans, shredded lettuce, shredded cabbage, onions, chiles, cheese, salsa Mexicana, salsa verde, black beans and a myriad of other stuff. As long as it is tasty, anything (well, almost anything), goes. 🙂
For today’s tacos, I used fresh cod fillets I got this morning at the “International Market”, a lonely Haas Avocado which was sitting all but forgotten by herself on a shelf in the pantry, and leftover red cabbage slaw, to which I added a bit of kernel corn . The result was, dare I say, as with all my tacos, smashing 🙂

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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Click here for more  Tacos  on  ChefsOpinion
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Tacos De Pescado (Grilled Fish Tacos)

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Tacos De Pescado (Grilled Fish Tacos)

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Tacos De Pescado (Grilled Fish Tacos)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Twice Baked Shepherd’s Potatoes

Twice Baked Shepherd's Potatoes

Twice Baked Shepherd’s Potatoes

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Shepherds Pie  is such great comfort food.
Meat sauce, mashed potatoes, and cheese – who could resist ? 🙂
However, there is one flaw in shepherds pie which diminishes its enjoyment a bit for me – it is entirely soft in texture and usually, the sauce is a bit bland and the whole thing, therefore, often resembles baby food 😦
Let me come to the rescue with this new recipe.
Instead of mashing the potatoes to a puree, just break them up a bit into med-sized chunks. Adding the peppers and lots of onions and garlic to the meat sauce will further increase the taste and texture of the filling of the potato shells, which will result in a dish who’s taste still resembles shepherds pie but at the same time is so much more interesting and TASTY !
Overall, this “fully loaded” baked potato is without a doubt one of the tastiest incarnations of the lowly baked potato as well as the ordinary shepherd’s pie.
While I have prepared and created dozens of variations of twice baked potatoes over the years, some more, some less exotic, some over the top and some down to earth,  using all kinds of additions to the stuffing, such as shrimp, smoked salmon, ham, different vegetables, cheese, yogurt, herbs, etc, etc., the ones I prepared today are the very best of the best 🙂
Although very simple and easy to prepare, the texture, taste, and looks are just perfect and go to show that uncomplicated food, if done right, can take the price over complicated and elaborate any time ……..
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more Twice-Baked Potatoes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Twice Baked Shepherd's Potatoes

Twice Baked Shepherd’s Potatoes

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Twice Baked Shepherd's Potatoes

Twice Baked Shepherd’s Potatoes

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

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When  I was a small kid, french fries were a VERY special treat for me. At the time, restaurant visits were a seldom enjoyed occasion and therefore happened only once in a while. But whenever we did visit a restaurant, French Fries, or”Fritten” as they are called in many parts of Germany, were one of the highlights to look forward to. The most common dish served to kids was “Schnitzel with Fritten”, a small veal or pork scallop with french fries and sauce. Thus, french fries doused in sauce or gravy is one of my earliest and fondest restaurant memories. Imagine my delight many years later when I visited Quebec/Canada the first time and ordered Poutine. As the waiter explained it to me, this seemed to be the most ideal food in the world – french fries doused in sauce and topped with soft cheese.
But, my oh my, what a disappointment I got served: Crappy fries with crappy sauce and crappy cheese :-(.
(Sorry my dear Canadian friends, but this is how it appeared to me at the time.
I am of course talking about my very own, personal taste and opinion when I talk about this much beloved Canadian dish, but it is what it is – to this day I don’t like it in its original form. To make a point, have a look at a cross-section of Poutine on this Link, then tell me the majority of it does not look, to put it mildly, less than appetizing. On the other hand, If you love cheese curds…….
So, I was pondering this the other day and I decided to improve my Poutine experience, thinking of the possibilities which proper fries with proper sauce and proper cheese (meaning cheese I personally prefer to cheese curds, which I can’t stand),  could provide and I came up with this version, which I absolutely love.
I understand that nowadays, there are many different versions of Poutine available and popular, so my version is probably not as alienating to my dear Canadian friends as it would have been 40 years ago when I first encountered this culinary Canadian icon.
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Bon Appetit ! Life is Good !
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Hans' Poudine

Hans’ Poudine

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Hans' Poudine

Hans’ Poudine

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Preparation :
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Link to how to prepare great Tomato Sauce
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How to prepare great French Fries:
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Peel large baking potatoes and cut them into even size fries. Add to COLD duck fat and set on medium-high heat. Carefully stir fries once in a while so they cook evenly. Once they are golden brown, they will be crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Remove to absorbent paper, then toss in a bowl with sea salt and cayenne pepper. Enjoy 🙂
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Casarecce Gorgonzola

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I was  going to make a quick salami and gorgonzola sandwich, when I realized that I felt I had to treat myself to a better lunch than a simple sandwich, so I checked the larder for a few available goodies and the following is what I came up with. By the time the pasta was cooked al dente, I had all the other ingredients prepped and it took only about another five minutes to complete the dish. While I love a good sandwich, this dish was a far more rewarding lunch and it took only slightly more time to prepare.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Casarecce Gorgonzola

Casarecce Gorgonzola

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Casarecce Gorgonzola

Casarecce Gorgonzola

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Salade De Pâtes

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A simple  pasta salad will, more often then not, hit the spot for a simple yet satisfying meal.
And if you add some fruits to it, culinary bliss will be achieved with a minimum of fuss and expense 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is good !
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P.S.
Use any protein or vegetable to replace the bologna and Swiss cheese, such as shrimp, crab meat, chicken, roast beef and/or any vegetable and cheese at hand.
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More Pasta Salad
Even more Pasta Salad
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Pasta Salad. Salade De  Pâtes

Pasta Salad. Salade De Pâtes

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Pasta Salad. Salade De  Pâtes

Pasta Salad. Salade De Pâtes

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Sauteed Pork Medallions With Mushrooms And Pasta

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Link to :  “Hans’ Lighter, Healthier Comfort Food”
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This  is a dish straight out of my childhood, yet after all these years, it still has the same appeal to me which it had then (or maybe even more) .
Everything just falls into place – pasta, tomato sauce, parmigiano reggiano, sautéed mushrooms, peppers, onions,  juicy pork medallions nicely seared and seasoned with lots of black pepper – my oh my, anytime 🙂
It’s dishes like this which keep me from needing a lot of “fru fru” on my plate.
Simple, honest, beautiful ingredients, proper execution and flavors to match, THAT is what food should be all about !
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Sauteed Pork Meaillions With Mushrooms And Pasta

Sautéed Pork Medallions With Mushrooms And Pasta

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Sauteed Pork Meaillions With Mushrooms And Pasta

Sautéed Pork Medallions With Mushrooms And Pasta

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Sauteed Pork Meaillions With Mushrooms And Pasta

Sautéed Pork Medallions With Mushrooms And Pasta

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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 # 19 – Cheese Sandwich (Paratha With Emmentaler, Tomato and Cucumber)

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I assume
 that 99 % of all adults (and many kids) have tried their hands on a cheese sandwich, some with more, some with less success 🙂 :-(.
Following is a nice cheese sandwich which can be prepared by anybody in a minimum of time, but the result will provide a maximum flavor and texture experience.
Might I add that the presentation is not too shabby either :-).
Yesterday evening was like most Friday evenings for me – end of work-week, tired, lazy, not interested in spending much time in the kitchen. Also, tomorrow, Saturday, is my day for shopping (and cleaning and laundry and bathing Bella and whatever else piles up during the week), so my fridge and cupboard were rather depleted today. What I found was the following:
Frozen paratha, emmentaler cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, pomegranate, honey and limes for the sandwich and it’s salad.
Throwing it all together resulted in a great looking, excellent tasting, quick and easy to prepare dinner.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Paratha With Emmentaler, Tomato and Cucumber

Paratha With Emmentaler, Tomato and Cucumber

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Paratha With Emmentaler, Tomato and Cucumber

Paratha With Emmentaler, Tomato and Cucumber


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Paratha With Emmentaler, Tomato and Cucumber

Paratha With Emmentaler, Tomato and Cucumber

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Preparation :
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put paratha in a pan on low heat

put paratha in a pan on low heat

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top with emmentaler

top with emmentaler

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top with sliced tomato, sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

top with sliced tomato, sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

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top with pickled cucumber slices(salt, pepper, vinegar) and more emmentaler

top with pickled cucumber slices (salt, pepper, vinegar) and more emmentaler

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cook slowly on both sides until cheese has melted

cook slowly on both sides until cheese has melted

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plate salad (romaine in honey/mustard dressing), sprinkle with pomegranate seeds

plate salad (romaine in honey/mustard dressing), sprinkle with passion fruit seeds

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Paratha With Emmentaler, Tomato And Cucumber

Paratha With Emmentaler, Tomato And Cucumber

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Paratha With Emmentaler, Tomato and Cucumber

Paratha With Emmentaler, Tomato and Cucumber

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Paratha With Emmentaler, Tomato and Cucumber

Paratha With Emmentaler, Tomato and Cucumber

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Croque Madam



I am  trying to vindicate the Croque Madame, who has been so brutally mistreated in so many kitchens lately that her true identity has been all but forgotten 😦
During the past couple of years I have ordered a croque monsieur (without fried egg)  or croque madam (with fried egg) on several occasions late at night, usually in a hotel lobby or nightclub. What I have been served on every occasion has been less than stellar, to say the least. Typically what is being served nowadays is a grilled cheese sandwich wich has been stuffed with a few thin slices of ham and american sliced cheddar, topped with more sliced cheddar and then finished under the broiler. This is no doubt a fine ham and cheese sandwich but that’s where the similarities with a croque mensieur or croque madame end.
Both croques in it’s original form should be prepared in the following way:
Toast slices of rustic bread, top with bechamel to which a fine mustard has been added. Top first slice with cooked ham and lot’s of shredded  Gruyere Cheese , top with a second slice of bread, cover with mustard-bechamel and plenty more shredded gruyere. Sprinkle with herbs de province or other herbs of your choice. Bake at 425 F until the bechamel/cheese bubbles.
There you have it – Croque Monsieur ! Top with fried egg for Croque Madame !

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

Croque Madam

Croque Madam

Croque Madam

Croque Madam



Preparation :

mise en place

mise en place

toast thick slices of sour dough bread on bothe sides, mix bechamel with grey poupon mustard

toast thick slices of sour dough bread on both sides, mix bechamel with grey poupon mustard

top bread with mustard-bechamel

top bread with mustard-bechamel

top with grated gruyere

top with grated gruyere

saute thick slice of ham on both sides

saute thick slice of ham on both sides

top first bread with ham, sprinkle with grated cheese and scallions or herbs of your choice

top first bread with ham, sprinkle with grated cheese and scallions or herbs of your choice

top with second slice of bread, sprinkle with scallions or herbs of your choice

top with second slice of bread, sprinkle with scallions or herbs of your choice

bake until cheese and sauce bubble

bake until cheese and sauce bubble

almost.....

almost…..

meanwhile, fry eggs, season with cosher salt and chili flakes

meanwhile, fry eggs, season with cosher salt and chili flakes

Croque Madam

Croque Madam

Croque Madam

Croque Madam

 

Croque Madam

Croque Madam

Croque Madam

Croque Madam






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Gratinated Rib Eye With Straw Mushrooms & Great Northern Beans

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After  two days of turkey, tonight’s dinner required something more beefy. Only a large rib eye with lot’s of other goodies would do, so this is how I rolled:
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Gratinated Rib Eye With Straw Mushrooms & Great Northern Beans

Gratinated Beef Rib Eye With Straw Mushrooms & Great Northern Beans

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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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(You don’t have to watch it, just click once)   Thank you 🙂

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Sauted Rib Eye with Mushrooms and Taleggio Ca De Ambros stuffed Twice Baked Potato

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The  steak : EXCELLENT !
The mushrooms : EXCELLENT !
The twice baked potato : OUT OF THIS WORLD !!!
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I have only recently discovered “Taleggio Cheese”, and I feel sorry for myself to have gone 62 years without enjoying this marvel of Italian cheese making. I only know of one shop around here that carries it. It is one of my least favorite stores because it tries to be everything to everybody, which just does not work.  But since a friend steered me to their cheese section, I have gone there at least once a week, just to get my fill of  “Taleggio Ca De Ambros”
For this dinner, I have sauteed the steak in peanut oil, sauteed the mushrooms with diced onions and garlic paste in butter. I baked the potato until cooked through, then I removed the potato flesh from the shell, added kosher salt, sriracha, butter, sliced scallions, garlic paste  and a generous amount of Taleggio. Then I put the mixture for half a minute into the microwave to soften the butter and cheese, mixed it all well and stuffed it back into the potato shell. Baked it in the oven for twenty minutes and – voilà – best twice baked potato ever 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

Sauted Rib Eye with Mushrooms and Taleggio Ca De Ambros stuffed Twice Baked Potato

Sauted Rib Eye with Mushrooms and Taleggio Ca De Ambros stuffed Twice Baked Potato





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