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Who’s Ball’s Are Prettier Than Mine? – Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Not all meatballs are created equal. Some are different from others,  some are worse than others, and some are better than others.
And then you’ll come across these delicious, juicy, pretty Meatballs here, which are in a class all by themselves. Different? – For sure!  Better? – absolutely!
Well, at least that is my opinion, and I’ll stick to it until somebody can prove me wrong 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Garlic & Herb Yogurt  recipe :
Mix 1/2 cup Greek yogurt with 1 ea tsp garlic paste, chopped cilantro, chopped parsley and a chiffonade of mint, season with 1 tsp lime juice, and kosher salt and cayenne pepper to taste. This pairs well with most grilled and sauteed proteins and veggies 🙂
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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew


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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Preparation :
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“Blanquette De Veau” (And Please, Don’t Judge Me By The Color Of My – Pasta!)


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In all my years living in the USA, I have never seen this dish on any restaurant menu. Growing up in Germany, it was very common and popular, served in many restaurants and homes. If I had to describe the type of food this is, I would say “sophisticated home cooking”. Full of flavor and texture, it is often served with rice.
I personally prefer it to be served with pasta (apparently, so did Escoffier – there are two recipes in his Le Guide Culinaire – “Blanquette de Veau a l’Ancienne” , as well as “Blanquette of Veal Breast with Celery root and Endive”, both served with pasta. Some folks like to add carrots when serving a blanquette, a practice to which many professionals object in order to keep the whole dish “blanc” (white). Well, usually I am in the “blanc” camp. However, my choice of pasta today has sabotaged that approach by sporting an impossible yellow color 😦 .
When raw, this pasta looked slightly more yellow than usual egg pasta, but I thought it would lose some of its excessive yellowness during the cooking process. Not so. On the contrary, it took on this neon yellow and I was ready to toss it and cook a less color-popping pasta instead. However, when I tried it, I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful texture and taste of this abomination of food coloring. It had one of the best pasta tastes of any dried pasta I ever tasted. So, rather than tossing it, I ate it and enjoyed it very much. (Thank God I threw the packaging in the garbage and have no record of the brand, I also have never seen it before or since in any shop and therefore will not be able to buy it again 🙂
In the end, a delicious, classic, old-fashioned veal stew with a helping of not-so classic pasta 🙂
May the pasta Gods forgive me 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Blanquette De Veau

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Blanquette De Veau

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Preparation :
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Rösti-Waffles, Gravlax And Poached Egg

Rösti-Waffles, Gravlax And Poached Egg

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I usually don’t participate in spreading nonsense like “Rösti-Waffles”, but this is different. When I saw this the first time, I thought – why?! – this got to be just another silly way of trying to be “inventive” and/or “different”, or “cutting edge”, or whatever.
But, I tried it nevertheless. Instantly, I became a big fan! 🙂
I am probably the biggest non-Swiss fan of rösti, however, these rösti-waffles are a completely different potato dish.
Using a non-stick waffle iron, one needs to use only a thin film of clarified butter or duck fat. Then, to keep the potatoes light and crisp, loosely fill in just a small amount of shredded, seasoned potato (compared to the amount one would use for the same size “real” rösti in a pan), cook on low heat until the resulting dish resembles a thinly spun web of tender yet crispy potatoes.
Very different from rösti in texture, but at least as delicious 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Rösti on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  Gravlax Recipe  on  ChefsOpinion
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P.S.
This dish can, of course, be enjoyed any time of day. I had it for breakfast, so I omitted the onion rings I’d usually serve with this 🙂
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Rösti-Waffles, Gravlax And Poached Egg

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Rösti-Waffles, Gravlax And Poached Egg

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Rösti-Waffles, Gravlax And Poached Egg with capers and finely sliced chives

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rösti-waffle should be very crisp on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside; this recipe makes 8 ea rösti-waffles


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Preparation :
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Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms


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Here  is another simple, hearty and delicious dish that I prepare often, since gnocchi and broccolini are some of my favorite ingredients to a happy meal.
Add cheese, mushrooms, butter and pangrattato and you’ll end up with the dish pictured here 🙂
However, if you are not a fan of any of these ingredients – just nix any one of them, or replace them with something you prefer to the original – shrimp instead of mushroom, another pasta instead of gnocchi , another vegetable instead of the broccolini, etc.
Let your imagination, wallet and available time be the guide to your pasta of the day, while using the one featured here as your inspiration 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more Gnocchi  on  ChefsOpinion
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Gnocchi Recipe:

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Ingredients:
1 lb Russet potatoes,   cooked, peeled, mashed
A/P flour,   sifted – as needed
2 Eggs,  whole, whisked
Kosher salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 0z Butter
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Method :
Add egg, seasoning and flour to potatoes, mix lightly until smooth.
Shape into gnocchi.
Make light indentations with a fork.
Cook a sample in simmering salted water. If too soft, add flour. If too dense, add egg.
Cook gnocchi in simmering water until gnocchi float. Remove with slotted spoon into strainer. Saute in melted butter.
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Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

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Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Butter Lettuce With Chicken, Artichokes And Grape-Tomatoes In White Balsamic Vinaigrette


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After  a heavy lunch of chile con carne, tonight I needed a light and healthy dinner. This salad not only fit the bill, but it was all I could wish for to have a great, peaceful dinner by the pool.
While I was enjoying my meal, I was watching our new “egg machine” Eugenia getting acquainted with her new surroundings 🙂
My Life lately – less hectic, more healthy, more enjoyable .
(I am not yet at the “happy” stage, but hopefully I’ll get there soon) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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White balsamic vinaigrette :
Mix 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup EVO, 1/2 tsp grey poupon, 1/4 tsp garlic paste, kosher salt and cayenne pepper to taste, whisk until emulsified, check/adjust taste.
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Butter Lettuce With Chicken, Artichokes And Grape-Tomatoes In White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Butter Lettuce With Chicken, Artichokes And Grape-Tomatoes In White Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Preparation :
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Black Plum Bread Pudding

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Plums

Plums

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5  Reasons We Love Plums
By Erika Freeman
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1. “Plum” is often used to describe a deep purple hue, but in fact plums come in a wide spectrum of colors, such as black, yellow, red, pink, even green.
2. Dark plums (purple, black) are full of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, antioxidants that give them their color and are associated with helping to keep the heart healthy and the brain sharp.
3. Without the plum, we wouldn’t have prunes! Oh, but excuse us, we call them “dried plums” now. (In 2000, the prune was renamed to make it easier to market—apparently prunes’ reputation as a fruit to keep you regular was no longer a selling point.)
4. They have an au naturel protection; called a “bloom,” it’s a natural wax coating the fruit produces to keep its skin from losing water. Look for the whitish-silvery bloom: it’s also a sign a plum hasn’t been over-handled.
5. This juicy sweet treat has only about 36 calories.
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This plum bread pudding was the glorious end to a great meal I had with my friends Laura, Fernando and André at my house the other day.
It was the first multi- course dinner I hosted at home in four years and it reminded me how much I miss these gatherings with great food, drink and company that were so common and frequent at the homes Maria’s and I shared for so many years in times past. Happy dinner parties were the highlights of our social life when she was still alive and sometimes I miss them, along with so many other things we shared.
Although Maria was not physically present at this dinner, her spirit was with us and so it was only the second social gathering I was happy at since her passing.
(Xmas dinner at Dieters and Chachas house being the only other occasion) 🙂
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So, while the seafood salad, tenderloin steak, flat iron steak, teriyaki cauliflower and tomato/garlic pasta were delicious, the highlight was the dessert in the form of this black plum pudding.
Plums are wonderful to prepare cakes and tatin’s with, superb for marmalade and compote and, as you can see below, just perfect for bread pudding.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Bread And Black Plum Pudding

Bread And Black Plum Pudding

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Bread And Black Plum Pudding

Bread And Black Plum Pudding

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Bread And Black Plum Pudding

Bread And Black Plum Pudding

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Preparation :
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 57 – Chicken, Spinach And Potato Frittata

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A bowl  of granola for breakfast is a wonderful thing for a lot of folks – but for me, it is NOT.
If I want my day to start on a happy note, I need food that say’s HAPPY to me.
A bowl of granola or such just says BAHH to me and is, in my humble opinion, but a sorry excuse for a satisfying breakfast 😦 .
On the other hand, a delicious frittata – now we are talking ! 🙂
Throw in a couple of gherkins, a few green leaves and grape tomatoes in yogurt/honey dressing and Voilà ! – bring it on, tough day !
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Breakfast of Champions  on  ChefsOpinion
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Yogurt/Honey Dressing :
Whisk together 2 tblsp greek yogurt, 1 tsp organic honey, 1 tsp rice vinegar, kosher salt and cayenne pepper to taste
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Chicken, Spinach And Potato Frittata

Chicken, Spinach And Potato Frittata

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Chicken, Spinach And Potato Frittata

Chicken, Spinach And Potato Frittata

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Chicken, Spinach And Potato Frittata

Chicken, Spinach And Potato Frittata

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Salad of Tomato, Cucumber, Alfalfa Sprouts And Parmigiano Reggiano

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While  ” Just A Salad ” usually does not do it for me, this one certainly did 🙂
Consisting of just a few simple ingredients, the quality and richness they possessed made this a complete, delicious and utterly satisfying meal.
The tomatoes were super ripe and super sweet, the cucumbers crispy and fresh, the sprouts added a new texture and the parmigiano reggiano was as perfect as can be.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more Salad  on  ChefsOpinion
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slice 2 large, very ripe tomatoes into fine slices, arrange on serving platter, sprinkle with sea salt to taste

slice 2 large, very ripe tomatoes into fine slices, arrange on serving platter, sprinkle with sea salt to taste

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slice 2 large, very ripe tomatoes and 1 medium size white onion into fine slices, arrange on serving platter, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper to taste, add 1/2 tray alfalfa sprouts, drizzle with 3 tblsp white balsamic vinegar and 3 tblsp olive oil

slice 2 medium size cucumbers and 1 medium size white onion into fine slices, arrange on serving platter, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper to taste, add 1/2 tray alfalfa sprouts, drizzle with 3 tblsp white balsamic vinegar and 3 tblsp olive oil

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shave 6 oz of parmigiano reggiano on top of salad, drizzle with 2 tbslp olive oil and sprinkle with fresh-cracked black pepper to taste

shave 6 oz of parmigiano reggiano on top of salad, drizzle with 2 tbslp olive oil and sprinkle with fresh-cracked black pepper to taste; serves 2

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Salad of Tomato, Cucumber, Alfalfa Sprouts And Parmigiano Reggiano

Salad of Tomato, Cucumber, Alfalfa Sprouts And Parmigiano Reggiano

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Salad of Tomato, Cucumber, Alfalfa Sprouts And Parmigiano Reggiano

Salad of Tomato, Cucumber, Alfalfa Sprouts And Parmigiano Reggiano

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Steak Salad – Just A Bit Different

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We  have come to expect a steak salad to be mostly beef and greens, usually with an afterthought of a few cucumbers, tomatoes and onions thrown in. (Myself – guilty) 🙂 😦
So today I went into a different direction, with a salad of pickled artichokes, sliced red onions, diced tomatoes, black beans and garbanzos in a delicious sweet chili, garlic confit and cilantro vinaigrette .
The result was a spectacular dish, outstanding in looks, taste and texture.
Definitely a permanent addition to my personal repertoir.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Steak Salad  on  ChefsOpinion
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Sweet Chili, Garlic Confit And Cilantro Vinaigrette Recipe :
Mix 1/2 cup olive oil with 10 cloves of garlic confit, 1 tblsp sweet thai chili sauce, 1 tblsp chopped cilantro, 2 tblsp rice vinegar and kosher salt to taste.
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Steak Salad - Just A bit Different

Steak Salad – Just A Bit Different

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Steak Salad - Just A bit Different

Steak Salad – Just A Bit Different

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Artichoke & Legume Salad

Artichoke & Legumes Salad

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Preparation :
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Gulyásleves (Hungarian Goulash Soup) (Hungarische Gulaschsuppe)

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As  I get older, I sadly realize that many of the dishes I took for granted and did not appreciate in my younger years only continue to exist in my memory and are forever gone in my daily life. Many dishes I remember from my years growing-up in Germany have vanished from my surroundings. Especially here in the USA, where food tradition is not something widely honored, especially when it comes to labor-intensive food. Too many cooks have never been introduced to the classics, and if they have, they have not been able nor interested to master them.
When was the last time you have seen a menu featuring “Potage Tortue Lady Curzon”,  “Escargot Bourguignonne”, “Filet Café de Paris”, “Truite Au Bleu”, “Quenelles De Poisson Nantua”, “Consomme Royal”, etc, etc. Or Hungarian Goulash Soup, for that matter.
This is a dish which at one point in time was omnipresent in Germany and Austria, being featured in any type of restaurant. Usually it was served as an “in-between meal”, or during a break while hiking or skiing, or as a snack late mornings or late nights. Usually you could choose between regular or spicy. The spicy version usually differed from the regular one only by the addition of a few dashes of Tabasco, although some cooks took pride in preparing a spicy version from scratch by adding hot paprika powder to the sweet paprika powder which gives Hungarian Goulash Soup its signature reddish color. Like many other “original” dishes, ingredients such as vegetables, the type of meat as well as the seasoning can vary significantly, yet the final product should always be full of flavor, chuck-full of meat and vegetables and pleasantly red hued from a generous amount of good quality paprika.
If you want to make your Hungarian Goulash Soup into a more substantial meal, it is perfectly acceptable (and yummy) to add some hearty pasta to the soup.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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All about  Goulash
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Gulyásleves (Hungarian Goulash Soup) (Gulaschsuppe)

Gulyásleves (Hungarian Goulash Soup) (Ungarische Gulaschsuppe)

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Gulyásleves (Hungarian Goulash Soup) (Gulaschsuppe)

Gulyásleves (Hungarian Goulash Soup) (Ungarische Gulaschsuppe)

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Gulyásleves (Hungarian Goulash Soup) (Gulaschsuppe)

Gulyásleves (Hungarian Goulash Soup) (Ungarische Gulaschsuppe)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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