onion

Salad “Quintana Roo” – Octopus In Salsa Verde, Iceberg, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onion & Watermelon

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Salad “Quintana Roo” – Octopus In Salsa Verde, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onion & Watermelon

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While being Area Executive Chef for Starwood in Quintana Roo Aeons ago, I’d put this salad on the menu at the pool areas of some of our hotels, and it quickly became a great hit.
While at first, the combination might seem strange, it actually works great together in the heat, together with an ice-cold beer (or a few of them) 🙂
Because I eat octopus at home quite often, this salad (or a slight variation of it) pops up at least once a month at my house.
Instead of watermelon, other suitable fruits are different types of melons, apples, pears, pomegranate seeds, and other firm and not too sweet fruits. And, of course, instead of the salsa verde, you could use any dressing/sauce you’d prefer;
Instead of the Romaine, you can use any salad you have at hand and instead of the octopus any other seafood or grilled meat. In the end, this salad hopefully serves to inspire you to get out of your salad-shell and cook exactly the version that makes you the happiest 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Salad “Quintana Roo” – Octopus In Salsa Verde, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onion & Watermelon

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Salad “Quintana Roo” – Octopus In Salsa Verde, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onion & Watermelon

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Salad “Quintana Roo” – Octopus In Salsa Verde, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onion & Watermelon

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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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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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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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Clam Chowder

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Clam Chowder

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(Below find excerpts from Wiki.com and Mobile Cuisine.com)
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Clam Chowder Fun Facts: Clam chowder is any of several chowders containing clams and broth. Along with the clams, diced potato is common, as are onions, which are occasionally sauteed in the drippings from salt pork or bacon. Celery is frequently used. Other vegetables are uncommon, but small carrot strips might occasionally be added, primarily for color. A garnish of parsley serves the same purpose. Bay leaves are also sometimes used as a garnish and flavoring. It is believed that clams were added to chowder because of their relative ease to collect.

  • Fish chowders were the forerunners of clam chowder. The chowders originally made by the early settlers differed from other fish soups because they used salt pork and ship’s biscuits.
  • In 1832 newspaperwoman, novelist, and ardent advocate of women’s rights, Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) published her cookbook called The American Frugal Housewife. She described the standard layering technique of chowder-making, but also suggested additional ingredients such as lemons, beer, tomato catsup, and the first written directions to add clams.
  • Clams and oysters were consumed in such quantities along the Atlantic coast by the American Indians that, in some favorable gathering-places, empty shells were piled into mounds ten feet high.
  • January 21st is National New England Clam Chowder Day.
  • February 25th is National Clam Chowder Day.
  • New England clam chowder shares the number one spot of most served soups in the United States with chicken noodle.
  • In 1939 Maine, Assemblyman Seeder attempted to pass legislation in 1939 making it illegal to put tomatoes in clam chowder.
  • THE BEST CLAM CHOWDER IS PREPARED BY HANS “SOUPI” SUSSER.
    (Recipe follows on this page) 🙂 

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History

Clam chowder with whole clams

The earliest-established and most popular variety of clam chowder, New England clam chowder, was introduced to the region by French, Nova Scotian, or British settlers, becoming common in the 18th century. The first recipe for another variety, Manhattan clam chowder, known for using tomatoes and its consequently distinctly red coloring, was published in 1934. In 1939, the New England state of Maine debated legislation that would outlaw the use of tomatoes in chowder, thereby essentially prohibiting the “Manhattan” form.

Primary variants and styles

Since the popularity of New England clam chowder spread throughout the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries, many other regions have introduced their own, local twists on the traditional recipe.

Delaware clam chowder

This variety typically consists of pre-fried cubed salt pork, salt water, potatoes, diced onions, quahog clams, butter, salt, and pepper. This variety was more common in the early and mid-20th century, and likely shares most recent common ancestry with New England clam chowder.

Hatteras clam chowder

Served throughout North Carolina‘s Outer Banks region, this variation of clam chowder has clear broth, bacon, potatoes, onions, and flour as a thickening agent. It is usually seasoned with copious amounts of white and/or black pepper, and occasionally with chopped green onions or even hot pepper sauce.

Long Island clam chowder

Long Island clam chowder is a variant that is part New England-style and part Manhattan-style, making it a creamy tomato clam chowder. The name is a geographical pun, noting that the location of Long Island, just like the recipe, is about halfway between Manhattan and New England. This variant is popular in many small restaurants across Suffolk County, New York.

Manhattan clam chowder

Manhattan clam chowder has a reddish color from ripe tomatoes

Manhattan clam chowder has red broth, which is tomato-based. The addition of tomatoes in place of milk was initially the work of Portuguese immigrants in Rhode Island, as tomato-based stews were already a traditional part of Portuguese cuisine.

In the 1890s, this chowder was called “Fulton Fish Market clam chowder” and “New York City clam chowder.” Manhattan clam chowder was referenced in Victor Hirtzler’s “Hotel St. Francis Cookbook (1919).

Minorcan clam chowder

Minorcan clam chowder is a spicy traditional version found in Florida restaurants near St. Augustine and the northeast corner of Florida. It has a tomato broth base, with a “secret ingredient”, Spanish datil pepper, an extremely hot chili comparable to the habanero. The datil pepper is believed to have been brought to St. Augustine by the Menorcan settlers in the 18th century, and tradition holds among Menorcan descendants that it will only thrive and grow in two places: Menorca, Spain and St. Augustine, Florida.

New England clam chowder

New England clam chowder, occasionally referred to as Boston Clam Chowder in the Midwest, is a milk or cream-based chowder, and is often of a thicker consistency than other regional styles, even though traditionally it is rather thin (with many late 19th and early 20th century recipes using condensed milk as the base). It is commonly made with potatoes, onion, and clams.

New England clam chowder is usually accompanied by oyster crackersCrown Pilot Crackers were a popular brand of cracker to accompany chowder, until the product was discontinued in 2008. Crackers may be crushed and mixed into the soup for thickener, or used as a garnish.

Traditional New England clam chowder is thickened with oyster crackers instead of flour. (Oyster crackers do not actually contain any oysters.)

New Jersey clam chowder

Its primary ingredients are chowder clams, onion, bacon, diced potatoes, pepper, celery powder, parsley, paprika or Old Bay seasoning, asparagus, light cream, and sliced tomatoes.

Rhode Island clam chowder

Traditional Rhode Island clam chowder—going back decades—is a red chowder and is served as Rhode Island clam chowder throughout the state. Rhode Island clam chowder has a tomato broth base and potatoes, but unlike Manhattan red chowder, Rhode Island clam chowder has no chunks of tomato and does not contain other vegetables. The origins of traditional Rhode Island clam chowder are reportedly Portuguese immigrants in Rhode Island dating back over a century. This recipe has been served for decades with clamcakes at memorable establishments like Rocky Point and Crescent Park. Rhode Island clam (red) chowder is served principally and especially at long-established New England restaurants and hotels.

A secondary Rhode Island clam chowder has a clear broth and be found commonly along a stretch of the south coast of New England from eastern Connecticut to southwestern Rhode Island. In southwestern Rhode Island, this clear clam chowder is sometimes called “South County Style” referring to the colloquial name of Washington County, Rhode Island, where reportedly it originated; however in other parts of New England, this clear clam chowder is called Noank Clam Chowder. This clear clam chowder, which generally contains quahogs, broth, potatoes, onions, and bacon, is served mostly along a stretch of the south coast of New England from southwestern Rhode Island, including on Block Island.

Other variations

Some restaurants serve their own unique clam chowders that do not fall into any specific categories. For example:

  • Clam chowder is sometimes served in sourdough bread bowls, especially in San Francisco, where sourdough bread is popular with tourists, and has been considered a signature dish since 1849.[8][9]
  • Except for the substitution of smoked haddock for clams, the chowders are remarkably similar to the traditional Scots broth cullen skink.
  • Fish chowder is similar to clam chowder except that shredded fish, often cod, is substituted for the clams. Other ingredients are often onions and potato. A clam and fish chowder can be made with both clams and fish.
  • In Pacific Northwest cuisine, such as the cuisines of Seattle and Portland, Oregonsmoked salmon is sometimes added to clam chowder. Salmon chowder is also a popular fish chowder

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Clam Chowder

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Clam Chowder

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Clam Chowder

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Clam Chowder

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Preparation :
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Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions

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Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions

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When I have leftovers (meat, seafood, pasta, rice, veggies) in the fridge, rather than just reheat it the next day and have the same dish again, I prefer to create a new, different dish with it.
Therefore, the  braised veal breast  from the other day became today’s spectacular, highly satisfying “Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions”.
Although I used the same meat, it was a completely new dish which, taste-wise and in texture, did not at all remind me of the previous meal it provided me with.
This sandwich was so delicious, I almost padded my own proud and happy shoulder when I ate it.  🙂
While I was writing this, it just came to my mind that this sandwich satisfies a wide range of flavors – sour from the onions, spicy from the chilies, salty from radishes and umami from the veal – marvelous ! 🙂

Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions

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Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions

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Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions

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cut sandwich into pieces, serve with salted radishes

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add a generous amount of pickled onions, chopped cilantro and pickled peppers/chilies of your choice

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Preparation :
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Butterflied Grilled Chicken Breast With Sautéed Onion

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Butterflied Grilled Chicken Breast With Sautéed Onion

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This dish should have earned two “Best of Show Awards” –
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*Best Tasting Chicken Breast* 
and  *Most Beautiful Chicken Breast* 
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Alas, this baby did not participate in any competition, it just made a wonderful dinner in our home, where it  won  the love and admiration of Bella and myself 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Butterflied Grilled Chicken Breast With Sautéed Onion

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Butterflied Grilled Chicken Breast With Sautéed Onion

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Butterflied Grilled Chicken Breast With Sautéed Onion

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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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Turkey For Singles

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Jimiiiiiiiiii 🙂 

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Because I live alone with Bella,  I have  we have  the luxury of only eating what  I love  we love  to eat the most.
(Bella tend’s to agree with my choices, so when it comes to Thanksgiving turkey, only  my   our  favorite part, the wing, will be present in our feast.
As for the side dish, knowing that there will be leftovers today and looking forward to the proper utilization of them tomorrow, orzo with beans, tomato and peas made  a delicious side dish today and it will make a great garnish for a substantial yet light chicken soup tomorrow 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
I did not strain the turkey jus, because the only solids in it were the very tasty tomatoes and onions that were braising with the meat, it would be a shame to throw them away 🙂
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Turkey For Singles

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Turkey For Singles

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Turkey For Singles

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Turkey For Singles

Turkey For Singles

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Orzo Pasta With Cannellini Beans, Green Peas and Tomato Concassé

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Preparation :
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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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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 :
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Dak Bulgogi (Korean Grilled Chicken)

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Dak Bulgogi (Korean Grilled Chicken)

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Dak Bulgogi (Korean Grilled Chicken)

Dak Bulgogi (Korean Grilled Chicken)

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Dak Bulgogi (Korean Grilled Chicken)

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A few day’s ago a friend an I went to our favorite korean BBQ restaurant Kabose in Ft Lauderdale. Maria and I used to frequent this place quite often, especially when we had guests from overseas for whom the grilling at the table was usually a new and well-loved experience. This time around, the food and service was still as good as ever, but boy oh boy, the prices have skyrocket 😦
So what’s a poor retiree to do when Korean BBQ calls? – you guess’t it, do it at home. I must say my home version may not be as genuine as the restaurant’s, but it was at least as delicious and definitely a lot prettier to look at, not to mention at a fraction of the cost. Of course, this is usually the case with the food one cooks at home versus the same dishes at a restaurant, but in this case, the difference was tremendous and therefore well worth the extra little effort 🙂 

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here to read all about  Capon
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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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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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Snails And Gnocchi In White Wine, Pernod & Mustard Cream

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Snails And Gnocchi In White Wine, Pernod & Mustard Cream

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Snails and Gnocchi, what a wonderful combination.
Add Pernod Ricard, wine, and whole grain mustard, and you have a heavenly dish that is super easy to prepare, looks like a million and tastes like 2 million 🙂
I have created this dish decades ago, and have served it in many restaurants around the World since.
Good, simple food never get’s old 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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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 eggs, 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 a strainer. Saute in melted butter.
Serves four.
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P.S.
If you are squirmish about snails, replace them with large scallops. This will give you a different, but equally wonderful dish 🙂
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Snails And Gnocchi In White Wine, Pernod & Mustard Cream

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Snails And Gnocchi In White Wine, Pernod & Mustard Cream

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Snails And Gnocchi In White Wine, Pernod & Mustard Cream

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Preparation :
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