cooking

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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Bon Appétit !   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 :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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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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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Shrimp & Spinach

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Shrimp & Spinach

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Shrimp & Spinach

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

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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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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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

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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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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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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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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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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 :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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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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Parmesan Crusted Sautéed Pork Medallions, With Potatoes, Bell Peppers And Crimini

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Parmesan Crusted sautéed Pork Medallions, With Potatoes, Bell Peppers And Crimini

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Pork tenderloin – so versatile, tasty and wonderfully textured. What’s not to love about this “other white meat” 🙂
However, make sure you cook it to a safe temperature without overcooking it. Frankly, I don’t understand the trend to cook pork medium or even medium rare.
Besides the obvious health risk, medium or rare-cooked pork has a horrible texture. But then, maybe that’s just old-fashioned me ?
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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(The National Pork Board recommends cooking pork chops, roasts, and tenderloin to an internal temperature between 145° F. (medium rare) and 160° F. (medium), followed by a 3 minute rest.
Since large cuts increase approximately 10° F. while resting, remove them from the heat at 150° F. followed by a 10 minute rest).
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Click here for  Tomato Sauce Recipe  on  ChefsOpinion
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top the potatoes with the medallions

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add 2 tblsp of tomato sauce to each medallion, top with the sautéed veggies

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Parmesan Crusted sautéed Pork Medallions, With Potatoes, Bell Peppers And Crimini

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Parmesan Crusted sautéed Pork Medallions, With Potatoes, Bell Peppers And Crimini

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Parmesan Crusted Sautéed Pork Medallions, With Potatoes, Bell Peppers And Crimini

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Thanks to its ease of preparation and its wonderful taste and texture, chicken noodle soup in its never-ending varieties is one of the dishes I prepare at least once every week.  🙂
I remember the noodle soups from my youth, which had the same flaw as all other pasta dishes at the time in the “old country” – the pasta was nearly always overcooked. Not just in the home I grew up in, but in all homes and restaurants.
To cook pasta al dente became only common after the influx of Italian Immigrants and the explosion of Italian restaurants in Germany in the late 60’s and early 70’s.
Unfortunately, nowadays, the original Italian patrons of these restaurants have mostly retired. Their (German-educated) kid’s, and more often than not, new immigrants from countries such as Turkey, Albania, Rumania, etc have taken over these restaurants and unfortunately, the cuisine has been watered down to an unfortunate mix of second-class Italian and third-class German cooking style, including in many cases, overcooked pasta. Sadly, when I visited Germany last September, it was nearly impossible for me to find decent pasta, pizza, and other traditional Italian food of good quality ( see also “My trip to Germany and Spain“)

However, let’s get back to the “Chicken Noodle Soup” at hand.
No danger of overcooked pasta to be found here, although, there is the (slight?) possibility to overcook the carrot noodles and/or the beans, so if you decide to prep this dish, please keep the veggies bright in color and of proper texture. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Chicken Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Chicken Noodle Soup (Chicken Soup With Carrot-Noodles & Green Beans)

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Bella’s Chicken Noodle Soup (She still ate half my wings and carrots) 🙂

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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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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Black Pepper & Soy Chicken Wings

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If you think one more post about chicken wings is redundant, I do understand you 🙂
Just move on, don’t get upset, bored or annoyed. I will see you at my next post…….
However, realize this: You’ll miss a chance to look at one of the prettiest, tastiest, no-fuss to prepare chicken wings you will ever come across 🙂
So, if you decided to read on and look on – enjoy, take the time to replicate these babes and be the master of your own future-favorite chicken wings 🙂  Cheers !
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Chicken Wings  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Chicken  on  ChefsOpinion
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P.S.
If you can not obtain anatto powder (Annatto/Achiote/Roucou ), you can substitute red food coloring (In my humble opinion, this is more of a “pride-issue”, rather than a quality-issue) 🙂
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P.P.S.
I did no include measurements in this recipe because I believe they are not necessary.
If you want to add any more or any less of any seasoning, just do so according to your own taste.
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Black Pepper & Soy Chicken Wings

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Black Pepper & Soy Chicken Wings

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Black Pepper & Soy Chicken Wings

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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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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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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I prepared this soup on February 16th, the day of the Chinese new year and the beginning of the year of the dog.
I had planned to prepare and publish this post well before the 16th, in order to give my readers a chance to bring this wonderful, traditional dish to the table as part of the new year’s dinner celebration. Alas, some unforeseen events kept me from doing so. Now then, here it is, “Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup, two weeks late for the New Year celebration, but NOT TOO late, since these wonderful dumplings can, of course, be enjoyed anytime during the year. 🙂
Chinese egg dumplings, also known as dan jiao, are also often served in hot pots, in other soups or just as is, with a tasty dipping sauce.
These dumplings may look a lot more complicated and difficult to prepare as they actually are, so there is no reason not to enjoy them often. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
These dumplings cook in a very short time when simmered in soup, so you should add them towards the very end of the cooking time !
They can also be prepared ahead and frozen, then easily reheated in simmering soup.
However, if you serve the dumplings without soup, bake them or steam them for a short time, since the original short cooking time in the omelet is not enough to cook the meat through !
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P.P.S.
This soup is believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the new year because of its long noodles (longevity),
and the color of the dumplings, which resembles the color of gold coins ( prosperity)
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Click here for more  Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Chinese New Year Egg Dumpling Soup ( 蛋饺 ) ( Dan Jiao )

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Once in a while, my neighborhood fishmonger receives an overnight delivery of fresh-caught, never frozen salmon. He usually leaves me an e-mail message the same morning, so by noon I’ll have salmon in my kitchen which happily swam in the ocean or stream just one or maybe a couple of days before that. Ahhh, the wonders of our modern times 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette


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