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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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Bella’s Fault ! (“Any Cook Can Turn Gold Into Crap, But Only A Good Cook Can Turn Crap Into Gold”)

Greek Lamb Sandwich

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So  today, at around noon, I seasoned and seared this wonderful boneless leg of lamb I bought earlier, then put it in the oven to roast it slowly until rare, let it rest a bit, then serve with a nice salad for a great lunch.
Well, THAT did not happen ! 😦
As soon as I’d put the meat in the oven, Bella insisted that we go for a walk. I thought to myself ok, just around the corner, then back to take care of lunch.
But, as soon as we started our walk, she pulled me towards the park by the lake and I forgot all about the lamb in the oven. Needless to say, when we got back 1.5 hours later, the meat was well done. After kicking myself (mentally), I cut the leg into smaller, flat pieces, wrapped them in alu-foil and put it back into the oven at 375F for another 2,5 hours, at which point the meat was very tender and almost falling apart. I let it cool off a bit, then pulled it into fine shreds with two forks, seasoned it with olive oil, kosher salt, cumin, cayenne, oregano and voilà – the perfect topping for a Greek sandwich.
When I was an apprentice, my chef, Herr Mueller, used to say about cooking:
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” Any Cook Can Turn Gold Into Crap, But Only A Good Cook Can Turn Crap Into Gold. “
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And there you have it ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Lamb  on  ChefsOpinion
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Greek Lamb Sandwich

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Greek Lamb Sandwich

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Preparation :
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Not Your Typical Poolside Snack

Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Lately, the weather has been perfect for poolside meals – not too hot, not too windy, no rain.
Bella has taken on to take a swim in the pool whenever we are in the back. She used to hate the water, but all of a sudden she has become a big fan. For me, the water is still a bit too cold to enjoy swimming, but I love to cook outside and eating al fresco next to the water. Life is Good 🙂
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Bon Appetit !  Living In Florida Is Great (Mostly)  🙂
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Click here for more  Shrimp  on  ChefsOpinion
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Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Preparation :
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Balls Galore

Balls Galore........

Balls Galore……..


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“Chicken Soup With Matzo Balls And Chicken Dumplings” 

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If  you love balls (pun intended?), this soup will make you happy. In my own opinion, these chicken balls (ok then, dumplings ! 🙂 ) and these Matzo Ba… Dumplings 🙂  are some of the best dumplings  you can find .
I have previously published quite a few dishes with matzo balls, but this is the first time I combine them with chicken dumplings.
One would think that chicken dumplings are nothing special, but these certainly are an exception to the sea of mediocre or even outright nasty stuff usually being served as chicken dumplings these days.
Very light and full of flavor, they are a far cry from the stuff which many “cooks” will serve you. How do I know that? Because I have been served so much crap labeled as chicken dumplings that I usually don’t order them in restaurants anymore. Mostly they contain less than fresh meat, lots of fillers and they look and taste as if somebody want’s to punish you by making you eat them.
Not these here baby’s !
Prepared from fresh chicken meat with no fillers, tasty and pretty to look at, accompanied by another gift to comfort food in the form of fluffy matzo balls and served in a strong, delicious chicken broth, this is comfort food as wonderful as it can get 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Matzo Balls  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  Chicken Soup Recipe  on  ChefsOpinion
Pls note that this chicken soup recipe is just one version of many 🙂
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Balls Galore

Balls Galore

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Balls Galore

Balls Galore

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Balls Galore

notice how juicy the chicken dumplings are………..

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Preparation :
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The Ultimate (Faux) Tandoori Chicken

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Tandoori Chicken cooking in a Tandoor


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Excerpt from Wiki:
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” Tandoori
chicken is a dish originating in the Indian subcontinent. It is widely popular in South Asia particularly India and Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Western world. It consists of roasted chicken prepared with yogurt and spices. The name comes from the type of cylindrical clay oven, a tandoor, in which the dish is traditionally prepared.
The chicken is marinated in yogurt and seasoned with the spice mixture tandoori masala. Cayenne pepper, red chili powder or Kashmiri red chili powder is used to give it a fiery red hue. A higher amount of turmeric produces an orange color. In milder versions, both red and yellow food coloring are sometimes used to achieve bright colors, but turmeric powder is both mild and brightly colored, as is paprika, a sweet red pepper powder.[5] It is traditionally cooked at high temperatures in a tandoor (clay oven).

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Excerpt from a previous post  on  ChefsOpinion:
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” Some  of my favorite food-memories are from my time living in Karachi, Pakistan, were my wife Maria and I had many wonderful dinners at the rooftop restaurant of our hotel, the ” Avari Towers, Karachi“.
Sadly, I understand that this restaurant has been converted into a steak restaurant by now ( after all, its been nearly 20 years since Maria and I lived there).
At the time, the roof top was a very exclusive, local-fare only, restaurant, with a tandoori oven right there on the rooftop.
Benazir Bhutto, who a few years later became prime minister of Pakistan, resided in a house just next to our hotel and came to eat at the roof top a few times while we were there, which got Maria excited each time and she actually asked Mrs.Bhutto for an autograph (which she got, despite the incredible security), which made Maria happy and embarrassed me🙂 .
Anyway, as far as the food was concerned, all the restaurants at the  Avari Towers  were in my opinion by far the best and safest places to enjoy a meal in all of  Karachi  and the tandoori dishes at the rooftop topped it all !
I had many a good tandoori dish while traveling in Pakistan and of course in India, but never did I find a good one in Florida in all the years I have resided here. While they might exist, so far they have eluded me.
So, whenever I lust for tasty, well prepared tandoori-style food that rekindles my memories of times past, I usually have to take matters in my own hands. ”
Although I don’t have access to a tandoor, this is as close as you can get to the real thing. “Faux”, maybe – but super delicious, definitely 🙂
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مزےکری  !   maze karein   !   زندگی اچھی ہے  !   

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P.S.
Usually tandoori chicken is cut into cubes and threaded on skewers before cooking. However, sometimes whole or split chicken are cooked, hanging on hooks and wires in the center of the tandoor.
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The Ultimate (Faux) Tandoori Chicken

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The Ultimate (Faux) Tandoori Chicken

The Ultimate (Faux) Tandoori Chicken

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let chicken rest in a warm place at least 15 minutes before cutting into serving sized pieces; serves 4 - 6

let chicken rest in a warm place at least 15 minutes before cutting into serving sized pieces; serves 4 – 6

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Pork, Cabbage & Chili Noodles

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Ahhh,  the refreshing, liberating, exciting, sinus-clearing effect of eating a dish as spicy as one can handle.
The key here is –
as spicy as one can handle” !  (Hot as hell in my case)
To season something beyond a level of spiciness which is comfortable and enjoyable would not make sense – but to stay just below, on a level that hurts but feels good at the same time can be very addictive. While not all the food I eat at home is spicy, once in a while I need the rush which comes from a healthy dose of chili.
If you plan to re-create this dish, simply and sensibly adjust the amount of chili you use to your personal preference.
Like I said on other occasions concerning spicy food  –
“It should kick like a lady, not like a mule” 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Spicy Food  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Noodles  on  ChefsOpinion
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Pork, Cabbage & Chili Noodles

Pork, Cabbage & Chili Noodles

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Pork, Cabbage & Chili Noodles

Pork, Cabbage & Chili Noodles

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Pork, Cabbage & Chili Noodles

Pork, Cabbage & Chili Noodles

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Preparation :
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German-Italian Friendship (Deutsch-Italienische Freundschaft)

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I have  prepared this dish in different versions for 45 years. Like so many other unsung culinary heroes, the dish is so simple and logical when you either have leftover pasta and sausages, or cooking it from scratch just because it’s tasty, quick and  cheap – ooops, sorry, we don’t say cheap here – I meant economical 🙂
Use any type of pasta, cheese and sausages you have at hand, just stick to the basics (or not) 🙂
However, if you want to use the name I gave the dish, use a mix of German/Italian ingredients; other than that, let your imagination take a walk on the wild side………….
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Spaghetti  on  ChefsOpinion
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German-Italian Friendship  (Deutsch-Italienische Freundschaft)

German-Italian Friendship (Deutsch-Italienische Freundschaft)

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German-Italian Friendship  (Deutsch-Italienische Freundschaft)

German-Italian Friendship (Deutsch-Italienische Freundschaft)

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German-Italian Friendship  (Deutsch-Italienische Freundschaft)

German-Italian Friendship (Deutsch-Italienische Freundschaft)

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Preparation :
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Chicken, Noodle & Vegetable Soup Recipe # 1001

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Chicken-noodle soup is probably the most unglamorous yet also one of the universally most loved dishes. Who doesn’t remember the comforting warmth it provided when ones Mom utilized it for that all-curing remedy (along with Vicks’VapoRub) during childhood and later as a grown-up the go-to comfort dish that made everything feel good again ? 🙂
As for me, no week goes by without chicken noodle soup showing up at least once, sometimes twice. If I prepare it for guests, I usually make a boneless version. For myself (and Bella), I always prepare the soup with bone-in chicken. For me, holding a leg or drumstick or wing in my hand and pulling the meat off with my teeth is a big part of the pleasure of eating chicken noodle soup. Here now is the version I had for today’s lunch……
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Chicken Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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Chicken, Noodle & Vegetable Soup - Recipe # 1001

Chicken, Noodle & Vegetable Soup – Recipe # 1001

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Chicken, Noodle & Vegetable Soup - Recipe # 1001

Chicken, Noodle & Vegetable Soup – Recipe # 1001

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Chicken, Noodle & Vegetable Soup - Recipe # 1001

Chicken, Noodle & Vegetable Soup – Recipe # 1001

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Salmon In Beurre Noisette With Beans & Carrots In Honey-Mustard Dressing

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I pity  the folks who’ll never taste a properly cooked salmon 😦
What a shame to miss-out on he texture of salmon (as well as most other fish and seafood) which has been cooked the old-fashioned way:
Au Pointe”  – to the point (of being done) , perfect doneness.
I have written about this a hundred times and I don’t get tired to repeat myself again –  just because you are being served by a lousy cook who does not know the finer points of cooking should not mean that you get denied the best of the best. If, on the other hand, you have really had a chance to compare the texture and taste of a half-cooked piece of fish to that of a properly cooked piece and you still prefer the “seared only” version, than I’ll back off and say thank’s God most of us have a choice to eat what we like, and how we like it, no matter what 🙂

(I will also leave it to you to take the enormous risk of consuming certain under-cooked proteins in a less than perfectly controlled environment (from source to preparing and handling); after all, what can a few extra worms in your body do to you…….. 😦

But on to happier thoughts and this wonderful dish which features a great salad, properly cooked salmon and that magic taste & texture-enhancer – brown butter (Beurre Noisette).
While hot brown butter is not a typical addition to salad, in the case of this beans and carrot salad in honey-mustard dressing it provides the perfect final touch.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is good !
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P.S.
This salmon has been cooked slowly in whole butter, resulting in a soft skin, not recommended for human enjoyment. However, if you have a dog or cat living with you, they will most likely be ecstatic about this treat (Bella always is) 🙂
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Click here for : Honey-Mustard Dressing
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Pls read :  The Hidden Dangers Of Uncooked Salmon
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Pls read :   The Dangers Of Eating Raw Or Under-Cooked Fish And Mammals
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Salmon In Brown Butter With Bean & Carrots In Honey-Mustard Dressing

Salmon In Brown Butter With Beans & Carrots In Honey-Mustard Dressing

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Salmon In Brown Butter With Bean & Carrots In Honey-Mustard Dressing

Salmon In Brown Butter With Beans & Carrots In Honey-Mustard Dressing

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notice how juicy the inside of the fish, even minutes after plating

notice how juicy the inside of the fish, even minutes after plating

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Preparation :
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Spinach, Potato & Garlic Cream Soup

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Here  now is a top-candidate for easiest to prepare comfort food of the month 🙂
– Actual prep time – less than 5 minutes.
– Total time from start to finish – 25 minutes max.
– Gratification – immense 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Spinach, Potato & Garlic Cream Soup

Spinach, Potato & Garlic Cream Soup

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Spinach, Potato & Garlic Cream Soup

Spinach, Potato & Garlic Cream Soup

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Preparation :
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