garlic

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)  🙂

P.S.
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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” Phoenix Claws ” 豉汁凤爪 (Braised Chicken Feet In Fermented Black Bean Sauce)

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” Phoenix Claws ” 豉汁凤爪 (Braised Chicken Feet In Fermented Black Bean Sauce)

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JUST GET OVER IT !!!!!
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Get over the mental hurdle, that is 🙂
It might take  a little pressure and daunting from your fellow diners for you to try this wonderful snack for the first time.
But, if you love chicken skin (who doesn´t  ??? ), this dish is for you. You might even get addicted to it if you are lucky enough to eat them prepared by a knowledgable chef or home cook (Grandma knows best) 🙂 Or, easier yet, just follow my recipe.
There is a tiny bit of meat on these, but don´t bother looking for it, just suck the skin in its delicious sauce off the bone and you´re good.  There is a reason that this is one of the most-loved snacks in China and many other places in Asia. Some Latin/Caribbean countries and Islands are also hotbeds for chicken feet.
The lesson here ? – Don’t knock it before you try it !!!
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Pls note :
This is a recipe which I modified for my very own, personal taste. Follow the recipe and try it – then, if you prefer, adjust the seasoning to your own preference 🙂
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” Phoenix Claws ” 豉汁凤爪 (Braised Chicken Feet In Fermented Black Bean Sauce)

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” Phoenix Claws ” 豉汁凤爪 (Braised Chicken Feet In Fermented Black Bean Sauce)

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” Phoenix Claws ” 豉汁凤爪 (Braised Chicken Feet In Fermented Black Bean Sauce)

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” Phoenix Claws ” 豉汁凤爪 (Braised Chicken Feet In Fermented Black Bean Sauce)

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” Phoenix Claws ” 豉汁凤爪 (Braised Chicken Feet In Fermented Black Bean Sauce)

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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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Goan Tandoori Pork Ribs With Aloo Palak

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Goan Tandoori Pork Ribs With Aloo Palak

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Goan food is much influenced by the Portuguese, so the ingredients and seasoning often differ a bit from the usual Indian suspects. In the 70’s I spend a few months in Goa, living in cheap housing right on the beach. If one was able to forego typical western luxuries such as A/C, running water and fork and knife, living on $ 3.00 a day was possible most of the time.
Those were the days of free love, cheap booze and even cheaper “tobacco”, so life was a constant, carefree blast. And to top it all off, the food, even as it was dirt-cheap, was always great, tasty, in abundance and available around the clock. (Important because of the “tobacco”) 🙂
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Goan Tandoori Pork Ribs With Aloo Palak

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Goan Tandoori Pork Ribs With Aloo Palak

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Goan Tandoori Pork Ribs With Aloo Palak

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Goan Tandoori Pork Ribs With Aloo Palak

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Goan Tandoori Pork Ribs With Aloo Palak

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Goan Tandoori Pork Ribs With Aloo Palak

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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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Salad Of Cracked Pepper -Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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The success of this dish hinges entirely on the proper preparation of the liver nuggets. They must be crisp on the outside, medium-rare to medium (depending on your preference) on the inside and spicy but not mouthburningly so.
Seem’s easy enough, as long as you know how to handle VERY HOT fat.
If the temperature is not right, the nuggets will get well-done before they are crisp, resulting in a rubbery, dry and even tough protein. But when done right, they are truly wonderful. The result is a great dish that belies its humble ingredients.
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P.S.
If you can procure duck livers to replace the chicken livers, they will lift this dish from merely wonderful to absolute divine 🙂
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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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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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Roast Pork Butt Sandwich (Gebratene Spanferkelkeule Mit Brot)

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This  sandwich is as German/Austrian as can be.
Roasted, juicy, tasty pork, rustic bread, good mustard and the pan jus from the roast.
End of story 🙂
Now, if this would be a typical, old-fashioned “American Style Sandwich”, it would probably be as follows:
Tasteless, soft, soggy wonder bread or a tasteless, soggy burger bun, topped with shredded, completely over-cooked pork (better known as “Pulled Pork” around here), limp lettuce (hot meat and lettuce, what else to expect?), pickles, onions, ketchup, mustard, oceans of crappy BBQ sauce (most of the commercial ones are crap, as well as many “Home Made” BBQ sauces, what with the artificial “Smoke” most of them contain),  crappy yellow cheese substitute (pre-sliced American “cheddar cheese” anyone?) and probably another 5 fillers to make the sandwich 5 inches tall, all served with limp fries (sadly, more often than not) and even limper (probably not a word 🙂 ) cole slaw.
If this all sounds negative, it is not meant to be. I just want to point out the fundamental different opinion Americans and Germans/Austrians have to what constitutes a great sandwich. Mind you, I am a bit of an old school fart, the kids in Germany and Austria, as well as kids in the rest of the world, nowadays’ all eat mostly the same soul-less stuff . 😦
I myself enjoy both approaches to a good sandwich, having lived in America for so long and gotten used to it and able to enjoy it on countless occasions.
You’ll find many instances of the “American Style Sandwich” approach to sandwiches on the pages of ChefsOpinion. However, when it comes down to it, the sandwich of choice for me would always be the simple variety with few but impeccable ingredients instead of the “American Style Sandwich” :
“It was the best sandwich I ever ate ! – it was so big I couldn’t even finish it” .
Of course, most of the bad stuff will be found at the fast food temples, who sell Billions of sandwiches every single day.
But thankfully, there are also many restaurants and shacks out there who will serve you a truly wonderful sandwich, made of quality ingredients, properly prepared and reasonably priced 🙂
And there you have it !
Different approaches to one final result – a well-loved sandwich 🙂
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Roast Pork Leg Sandwich (Gebratene Spanferkelkeule Mit Brot)

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Roast Pork Leg Sandwich (Gebratene Spanferkelkeule Mit Brot)

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Roast Pork Leg Sandwich (Gebratene Spanferkelkeule Mit Brot)

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Roast Pork Leg Sandwich (Gebratene Spanferkelkeule Mit Brot)

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lightly toasted sourdough bread, whole grain Maillard mustard

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Preparation :
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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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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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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 :
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Baked Wild Sockeye Salmon With Baby Arugula

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Baked Wild Sockeye Salmon With Baby Arugula

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Once in a while, when you don’t have the time, urge or patience to cook a complicated dish, but still want to dine like a king/queen – this is for you 🙂
Total prep time – 5 minutes
Total time from start to end – 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the filet and your preference of doneness of the fish (internal temperature).
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Baked Wild Sockeye Salmon With Baby Arugula

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Baked Wild Sockeye Salmon With Baby Arugula

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Baked Wild Sockeye Salmon With Baby Arugula

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Baked Wild Sockeye Salmon With Baby Arugula

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Bella’s Baked Wild Sockeye Salmon

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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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