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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)

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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)

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Pasta e fagioli , meaning “pasta and beans”, is a traditional Italian soup, (although beansoup with pasta is served the World over, with different beans, different pasta, meats or seafood and vegetables, and of course different local names).
Like many other Italian favorites, including pizza and polenta, it started as a peasant dish, being composed of inexpensive ingredients. It is often called pasta fasul (fazool) in the United States, derived from its Neapolitan name, pasta e fasule.

Recipes for pasta e fagioli alter greatly, the only true requirement being that beans and pasta are included. Ingredients vary from region to region, town to town, restaurant to restaurant, household to household, cook to cook, and of course, also depend on available ingredients.
Pasta e fagioli is most commonly made using cannellini beansGreat Northern beans or borlotti beans, and a small variety of pasta such as elbow macaroni or ditalini. The base typically includes olive oilgarlic, minced onioncelerycarrots and often stewed tomatoes or tomato paste. Some variations omit tomatoes and instead use a broth base. Preparation may be vegetarian, or contain meat (often bacon or pancetta) or other proteins and a meat-based stock. The consistency of the dish can also differ to a wide range, with some being soupy, while others are much thicker. For instance, in Bari the dish is thicker in consistency and uses mixed pasta shapes. It also uses pancetta in the base of the sauce. Other varieties call for the beans to be passed through a food mill, giving it a stew-like consistency.
As for the version on this page, it could not be more perfect for my personal taste/texture. I prepare Pasta and beans in uncounted versions all the time, but pigs feet, pork/tomato broth, pasta and bean can hardly be topped (unless you add tripe)  🙂

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The word for “beans” varies in different Italian languages, e.g. fagioli [faˈdʒɔːli] in standard Italianfasule [faˈsuːlə] in Neapolitan, and fasola [faˈsɔːla] in Sicilian. “Pastafazoola“, a 1927 novelty song by Van and Schenck, capitalizes on the Neapolitan pronunciation in the rhyme, “Don’t be a fool, eat pasta fazool”; and the song “That’s Amore“, by Warren and Brooks (popularized by Dean Martin), includes the rhyme “When the stars make you drool, just like pasta fazool, that’s amore”.

Pls note:
Part of the above article is an excerpt from wikipedia.
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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)


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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)


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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)


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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)

 

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Preparation :
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Pork Nirvana – “Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft” – (Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus)

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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First of all, a word of warning:
This is NOT your typical American-or Latin –style, super-long cooked roast pork.
This is German / Bavarian-style roast pork, very juicy (no need to drown it in sauce to be able to swallow it), very delicious pork with a wonderful texture, more like a perfectly cooked steak than a stringy mess that falls apart when you barely touch it.
While I enjoy both versions (as you know from previous posts), today´s version is by far my favorite one. Assuming you have pork of perfect quality, roasting it this way outshines the “cooked-to-death” variation by a mile. 🙂
While the pictures seem to show pork which is still a bit undercooked, I can assure you it was fully cooked, extremely juicy, had the texture of a very tender steak and, surprise surprise, had a pure, unadulterated pork taste which was further enhanced with the slightly thickened pork jus which collected during the cooking in the drip pan beneath the roast and was enhanced with a generous jug of good quality Merlot.
In other words –  Pork Nirvana. 🙂

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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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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Grilled Pork Belly & Green Asparagus

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Grilled Pork Belly & Green Asparagus

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One of the greatest mysteries in our Universe is without doubt the fact that pork belly is not the most popular food there is !
In my opinion, it should be treasured and respected with the likes of caviar, foie gras and lobster. 🙂
It certainly is a delicacy if prepared by a Chinese master chef and transformed into a pyramid, or if just simply roasted or simmered, with lots of spices or just sea salt and pepper, in chinese buns, in a kaiser roll or as Szechuan-style or Shanghai-style braised pork belly ( hong shao rou,  红烧肉  ) or any of the never-ending list of pork belly recipes from around the world.
While I have cooked many of these pork belly dishes, nothing is more satisfying than the dish featured here – it tastes like a million bucks, yet takes less than 5 minutes of actual prepping time (plus a few minutes for the asparagus). It’s like playing the Lotto for a dollar and winning the jackpot 🙂
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Grilled Pork Belly & Green Asparagus

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Grilled Pork Belly & Green Asparagus

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Grilled Pork Belly & Green Asparagus

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grilled asparagus & chili relish

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Preparation :
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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Why this  Mediterranean Seafood Stew  may be the best seafood stew on Earth ……… 🙂

Quite obviously, this Seafood Stew bears a close family resemblance to France’s  Bouillabaisse  and Spain’s  Zarzuela de Mariscos, both of which are known all over the Globe and are considered by many in the know as  the best of the best.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise at all.
The Catalan coast of Spain, where the  Zarzuela de Mariscos calls home, borders the Mediterranean coast of France. (Barcelona is a mere 500 km from Marseilles). Both Spain’s Zarzuela de Mariscos, as well as France’s/Marseille’s Bouillabaisse are profiting from an abundance of seafood treasures available in and around the Mediterranean coast of this area.
They’re practically neighbors, and they’ve been making fisherman’s stews out of fish and other seafood that comes from the same sea for hundredths, if not thousands, of years. (The fish-only version is called Zarzuela de Pescado ). They both have their own rules, ingredients and accompaniments, most notably the  ground almonds  in the Zarzuela of Spain and the  baguette with rouille  with the Bouillabaisse of France. However, todays stew has added white beans and potatoes, which turn this fish stew into a full, satisfying meal which leaves nothing to be desired.
The Best seafood stew on Earth ? – maybe sometimes, depending what you crave in that particular moment.
ONE  of the three Best Seafood Stews on Earth ? – ab-so-lutely 🙂
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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Preparation :
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Some of my favorite dishes are the ones that come together without set ingredients, without planning and without recipes.
I just go to the fridge and/or cupboard, look what’s available and what needs to be used, and just throw together what I think will fit and taste delicious. Such was the case with this soup. I had some krakauer sausage, leftover cooked broccoli, leftover cooked cauliflower and leftover fresh leek from previous dishes, and of course there are always onions in the cupboard and at least 2 or 3 types of cheese in the fridge. Throw it all together and in a few short minutes – a dish as good as can be 🙂  Life is Good !
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transfer to soup bowl or soup plate, sprinkle ea bowl with 1/2 tblsp grated asiago and drizzle with 1 tblsp EVO

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Preparation :
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Shrimp & Spinach

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Shrimp & Spinach

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Not too long ago, one esteemed member of our happy ChefsOpinion family mentioned that I prepare shrimp too often. While I understand that not everyone loves shrimp as much as I do (many folks do, though), 99.9 % of my posts show what Bella and I actually prepare and eat at home and is not selected for popularity but for whatever we feel like eating that day. 🙂
If I would write this blog to get “likes”, make money or be universally popular, I would pick the food according to those criteria. ChefsOpinion evolved from my original, for-profit online business “Chefcook.Us” and is now a simple account of food I like and prepare at home for Bella and myself, with the occasional opinion about food in general thrown in.
Remember, ChefsOpinion is about “Real Food & Real Opinions”, not about trends or “in”- food, otherwise I would not feature such delicacies as ham hogs, tripe, liver, heart, gizzards,snails, kidneys and so many other dishes which are definitely not popular or even known to most folks, at least around here in the US. I pride myself to try to also cater to all (including myself) who love food that is not easily available at other places and has disappeared from the mainstream, even if those posts are sometimes only popular with a select few.
Obviously shrimp are not in this category, I just wanted to make this point again, lest my readers forget – “ChefsOpinion – Real Food & Real Opinions”
So then, please forgive me, but here, once again, is another post about Shrimp. 🙂

(To Robert, With Love) 🙂
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Shrimp & Spinach

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Shrimp & Spinach

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Shrimp & Spinach

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Preparation :
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Seafood Indulgence

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Seafood Indulgence

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In that perfect world we’re all longing for, we would all have neverending access to fresh-caught, properly handled and expertly prepared seafood, plentiful and for a reasonable price……….. 🙂
Yet, for most of us, this is but a dream.
However, thanks for modern technology improvements in transport, handling and distribution, there is abundant flash-frozen seafood available in specialty markets, top-tier seafood suppliers and even the internet.
But, in order to get the most out of this seafood, it has to be properly defrosted, cooked (if raw) and seasoned. While I want to keep my seafood chilled at all times, at the very last moment before  consumption, I like to submerge my seafood in  hot cooking liquid from the just cooked shrimp (and crawfish and crab if applicable), just for a minute or two.
This treatment will bring the flavor and texture of the seafood to a whole new level, far improved from chilled seafood fresh out of the fridge.
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Seafood Indulgence

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Seafood Indulgence

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add the shrimp and the simmering stock with a tongue carefully mix all together,

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Preparation :
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Sautéed  Chicken Thighs

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Sautéed  Chicken Thighs

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Sometimes when I think long enough about a certain dish, I can hardly wait to have it in front of me and to dig in.
Many times, my craving is so strong that I just want to have that particular item, with no “distraction” from side dishes, sauce or condiments. Such was the case with these chicken thighs, which madam and I nearly finished in one sitting.
Aaahhhh, gluttony………….  😦 🙂
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season chicken with sriracha, granulated garlic, dried oregano, soy sauce and kosher salt for at least 6 hours, better yet, overnight

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pat the chicken dry, saute in peanut oil on both sides until golden and crisp (about 12 minutes on each side, depending on the size of the thighs); the temperature on the bone, at the thickest part of the meat should reach 162 F; remove from pan to absorbent paper, the carry-over heat will take the chicken to a safe and juicy 165F (any more and the chicken will be dry) !!!!!

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almost……….

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Sautéed  Chicken Thighs

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Sautéed  Chicken Thighs

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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce (Fish Soup). It doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But in many parts of Italy, fish soup rules, and rightfully so.
Since Italy is bordered by water on three sides, it’s not surprising that there are thousands of variations of zuppa di pesce throughout the country, especially in the towns that dot the coastline. Families in the same village often have utterly distinct, yet equally delicious, preparations.
In Genoa, fish soup is called burrida, a name residents got from their neighbors in France from the Provencal dialect bourrido (“to boil”). There, it’s a soup made of cuttlefish, angler and anchovies. In Tuscany, it’s called caciucco, and on the opposite side of Italy, along the Adriatic, it’s referred to as brodetto. Many Americans are familiar with the term “cioppino,” which is not an Italian word. It comes from the Ligurian immigrants in San Francisco and is based on their dialects name for the dish, ciuppin.
While this recipe calls for some specific species, feel free to use any firm, light-fleshed fish. There’s a delicate balance to a good zuppa di pesce, so strong-flavored fish like salmon or snapper don’t work. No sole or flounder either–they’re too flaky. Use an ample supply of shellfish, whatever’s freshest is best. Finally, make sure you have a good loaf of bread to serve with the zuppa.
Some traditional preparations from Liguria do not add tomato,, as the original recipe calls for the full flavor of the sea to be maintained in the fish soup.
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Cioppino  is considered San Francisco’s signature dish, and no trip to this West Coast city would be complete without a bowlful of this delicious seafood stew.  Because of the versatility of the ingredients, there are numerous recipes for it.  Cioppino can be prepared with a dozen different kinds of fish and shellfish.  It all depends on the day’s catch and/or your personal choice.
You will not believe how easy it is to make this Cioppino.  The key to this recipe is experimentation.  Be creative with this fish stew: Leave something out, or substitute something new.  Serve cioppino with a glass of your favorite wine and warm sourdough bread.
History of Cioppino:  This fish stew first became popular on the docks of San Francisco (now known as Fisherman’s wharf) in the 1930s.  Cioppino is thought to be the result of Italian immigrant fishermen adding something from the day’s catch to the communal stew kettle on the wharf.
The origin of the word “cioppino” is something of a mystery, but many historians believe that it is Italian-American for “chip in.”  It is also believed that the name comes from a Genoese fish stew called cioppin.

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Preparation :
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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