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Twice Baked Shepherd’s Potatoes

Twice Baked Shepherd's Potatoes

Twice Baked Shepherd’s Potatoes

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Shepherds Pie  is such great comfort food.
Meat sauce, mashed potatoes, and cheese – who could resist ? 🙂
However, there is one flaw in shepherds pie which diminishes its enjoyment a bit for me – it is entirely soft in texture and usually, the sauce is a bit bland and the whole thing, therefore, often resembles baby food 😦
Let me come to the rescue with this new recipe.
Instead of mashing the potatoes to a puree, just break them up a bit into med-sized chunks. Adding the peppers and lots of onions and garlic to the meat sauce will further increase the taste and texture of the filling of the potato shells, which will result in a dish who’s taste still resembles shepherds pie but at the same time is so much more interesting and TASTY !
Overall, this “fully loaded” baked potato is without a doubt one of the tastiest incarnations of the lowly baked potato as well as the ordinary shepherd’s pie.
While I have prepared and created dozens of variations of twice baked potatoes over the years, some more, some less exotic, some over the top and some down to earth,  using all kinds of additions to the stuffing, such as shrimp, smoked salmon, ham, different vegetables, cheese, yogurt, herbs, etc, etc., the ones I prepared today are the very best of the best 🙂
Although very simple and easy to prepare, the texture, taste, and looks are just perfect and go to show that uncomplicated food, if done right, can take the price over complicated and elaborate any time ……..
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more Twice-Baked Potatoes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Twice Baked Shepherd's Potatoes

Twice Baked Shepherd’s Potatoes

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Twice Baked Shepherd's Potatoes

Twice Baked Shepherd’s Potatoes

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

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While Maria and I were living in Funchal, Madeira, we became friends with a wonderful local couple, Balduino and Felicidade. They invited us to their home often, where we usually had an early brunch and then set out to explore the island, usually by car and sometimes by scooter. After a while this became a wonderful routine and it was Balduino’s pride (and our enjoyment) to prepare a different variation of “Portuguese Eggs” each time we met at his house. Over time, we were able to enjoy this dish with squid, octopus, lobster, shrimp, espada (the most popular local fish), chorizo, ham and different greens and herbs. He sometimes sprinkled grated local cheese on top of the eggs before baking, but he never included the more common ricotta cheese. Always accompanied by hearty, home-baked bread and local wine, it was the perfect delicious and fortifying meal to keep us going for hours on our expeditions around the island 🙂
(To be truthful, sometimes we replaced the tours with more wine and a bottle of port and just talked about past and future island-explorations).
Let me say here that Madeira is one of the most beautiful places Maria and I had the luck and privilege to live together 🙂
Here now is today’s version of “Portuguese Eggs” in memory of great friendship, great places to live, happier times and the great love of my life, Maria, who passed away exactly 3 years ago.
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Love ……….
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Click here for more memories of  Madeira  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for all about  Madeira
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Portuguese Eggs

Portuguese Eggs

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Portuguese Eggs

Portuguese Eggs

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Portuguese Eggs

Portuguese Eggs

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Portuguese Eggs

Portuguese Eggs

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Portuguese Eggs

Portuguese Eggs

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

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Gnocchi  with corn, peas, ham, mushrooms, cream and Camoscio d’Oro.
(Camoscio d’Oro is an Italian cheese similar to camembert or brie, sometimes available in Italian markets around here ).
So, can you guess where I ate this dish the first time?  Yep, at  Via Candia 17, Torino, Italy.
I was about 20 years of age at the time and to this day, when I close my eyes, I can see the dish and the people I shared it with in front of me as if it was just a little while ago.
Happy memories, may they never fade…….. 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Live is Good !
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Gnocchi Recipe
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More Gnocchi on ChefsOpinion
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Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

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Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

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Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Easy Does It # 25 – Griddle Ham & Cheese Sandwich

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Let’s  face it and admit to the truth – no matter how passionate we are about good food, not all meals we consume must be and can be culinary masterpieces or be completely homemade in order to make us happy.
In cooking, as with love, sometimes a loving hug will do it instead of a few hours of passionate love-making (Well, sometimes…….. 🙂
I have posted some pretty simple stuff in the past and judging by the positive responses, posts about simple food are as welcome as the more complex meals.
So, I feel confident that mixing a few very simple, basic dishes into my usual mix of international food posts will be a welcome addition to the folks who are still learning their way around the kitchen, as well as for the more seasoned cooks who will be reminded that sometimes, depending on our mood, the time and/or budget, simple means best 🙂
I believe today’s dish is a perfect example of how to lift a usually mediocre dish up to new hights by choosing top-ingredients and preparing the food with love and care.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
If you replace the mayo with the more customary butter and grill the sandwich instead, you will miss out on the best part of this sandwich – the wonderful crust which the mayo helps to provide.
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More  “Easy Does It”
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Griddled Ham & Cheese Sandwich

Griddle Ham & Cheese Sandwich

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Griddled Ham & Cheese Sandwich

Griddle Ham & Cheese Sandwich

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Griddled Ham & Cheese Sandwich

Griddle Ham & Cheese Sandwich

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Roast Fresh Ham With Caraway Jus (Gebratene Schweinekeule Mit Kümmelsoße)

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Like  last year, this year again I celebrated Christmas eve with my dear friends Dieter and Chacha, who were gracious enough to invite me to their family celebration. As usual, the food was out of this world. This years star of the dinner was a wonderful, tasty and succulent  standing rib roast  with all the trimmings and for dessert we all enjoyed Dieters traditional, perfect  soufflé.
After everybody ate, there was one leftover soufflé, which I bravely volunteered to put out of it’s lonely misery.
(All this great food plus two soufflé’s  on one evening – no wonder my belly looks so muscular). 😦
Earlier, just before I left my home to go to dinner, my  friend Curtis showed up with Christmas gifts. Among the goodies was a fresh ham of generous size, about enough to feed 7 people with a healthy appetite. In other words, enough for Bella and I to pig-out for two days 🙂 So, before I took off to Chacha’s and Dieter’s dinner, I scored the skin of the ham, salted it very generously with kosher salt and put it in the fridge to be cooked the next day. (This helps to draw the moisture from the skin and gives you a superior crackling). The next day, Thursday, I cooked the ham by starting it off at 420F for 20 minutes, then turning down the temperature to 325F for 4 hours and finishing the last twenty minutes at 420F again to crisp up the cracklings.
On this occasion I have forgone more traditional sidings such as vegetables, beans, rice, pasta or potatoes in favor of a simple guacamole, seeded rye bread, the pork jus, the onions which cooked together with the ham, grey poupon mustard and horseradish.
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Bon Appetit !   Life Is Good !
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Click here for  Guacamole Recipe
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P.S.
I will post a follow-up on the dishes I prepared with the leftovers.
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P.P.S.
I believe it is time to live a bit more “light” for at least the next few months, so starting January, I will change my food  (and therefore my post’s) to a bit of a lighter fare 5 days a week, while the weekend will feature the same type of food as usual, just smaller portions – and, sad to say, a drastic cutback on sweets.
Look for   ” Hans’ Lighter Comfort Food “  in upcoming post’s. See you there 🙂

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Roast Fresh Ham

Roast Fresh Ham

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Roast Fresh Ham

Roast Fresh Ham

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Preparation :
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To read instructions, hover over picture
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Breakfast Of Champions # 38 – Croissant, Ham, Spicy Chorizo & Soft Boiled Egg



Got  up late today, so a substantial breakfast and no lunch will be the order of the day 🙂
Later an early dinner and to bed early, 3.30am the new work week starts 😦
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Breakfast Of Champions

Breakfast Of Champions  # 38 – Croissant, Ham, Spicy Chorizo & Soft Boiled Egg

Breakfast Of Champions # 38 – Croissant, Ham, Spicy Chorizo & Soft Boiled Egg

Breakfast Of Champions  # 38 – Croissant, Ham, Spicy Chorizo & Soft Boiled Egg

Breakfast Of Champions # 38 – Croissant, Ham, Spicy Chorizo & Soft Boiled Egg



Preparation :

fresh croissant

fresh croissant

cut croissants in half

cut croissants in half

saute ham in garlic oil, top two croissant halves with ham

saute ham in garlic oil, top two croissant halves with ham

top with sliced spicy chorizo

top with sliced spicy chorizo

top remaining two croissant halves with sweet chili sauce

top remaining two croissant halves with sweet chili sauce

grate asiago cheese on top of chorizo

grate asiago cheese on top of chorizo

top with two soft boiled eggs each

top with two soft-boiled eggs each

top with arugula in french dressing

top with arugula in french dressing

Breakfast Of Champions  # 38 – Croissant, Ham, Spicy Chorizo & Soft Boiled Egg

Breakfast Of Champions # 38 – Croissant, Ham, Spicy Chorizo & Soft Boiled Egg

Breakfast Of Champions  # 38 – Croissant, Ham, Spicy Chorizo & Soft Boiled Egg

Breakfast Of Champions # 38 – Croissant, Ham, Spicy Chorizo & Soft Boiled Egg

Breakfast Of Champions  # 38 – Croissant, Ham, Spicy Chorizo & Soft Boiled Egg

Breakfast Of Champions # 38 – Croissant, Ham, Spicy Chorizo & Soft Boiled Egg



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please be so kind and click on the video below.  Thank you 🙂






Every Day Should Start Like This- Bauern Frühstück

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I am  hoping that once I will be retired, this is how all my breakfast’s will look like 🙂

Bon Appetit And Have A great Day !   Life is Good !
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onion/garlic -focaccia, ham, emmenthaler, salame, brie, boiled egg, boursin, salted radishes, salted tomatoes, chilies & merlot

onion/garlic -focaccia, ham, emmenthaler, salame, brie, boiled egg, boursin, salted radishes, salted tomatoes, chilies & merlot

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bauern frühstück

bauern frühstück

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vesper

vesper

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There Is A Monster On My Plate !!!

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My  friend Peter was supposed to be here at 4.00pm for a late end of week lunch.
He had “ordered” (nicely requested) chicken cordon bleu and I was happy to oblige.
As soon as I got home, I took care of Bella, took a shower and started with my food prep.
Ten minutes later Peter cancelled. Rather than being upset about the late cancelation,
I welcomed the chance to make a real monster of a cordon bleu out of the ingredients I had prepared for two regular portions. Of course, I omitted the side dishes (fries and salad) after I had a good look of the size of this baby.  Bella and I finished the whole thing and we were happy for it. Seems to me after all these year’s I finally figured out the proper size of a cordon bleu 🙂

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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Serve with Lime Or Lemon Wedges

Chicken Cordon Bleu

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Dear Friend’s, to help support this blog, please be so kind and click on the video below.  ( You don’t have to watch it, just click once )   Thank you 🙂 > > > > >>
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” 4.00AM. How To Build A Sandwich “

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Just because it is 4.00am should not mean your food suck’s 🙂

This is happy belly sandwich, not impress they neighbor sandwich 🙂
Remember, it’s 4.00 am 🙂
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Good Sandwiches rock !    Life is Good !
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” Fried Ham & Cheese Sandwich “

If a regular ham & cheese sandwich is just too boring, try this !
Serve with any side and / or condiment .

Bon Appetit !