onions

Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

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Seafood , wine, olive oil, tomatoes, onions, garlic, beans and potatoes give this dish that familiar taste and appearance you’ll find when ordering seafood stew along the coast of Portugal and it’s islands.
Maria and I have had this particular stew (sometimes with, sometimes without the beans) a couple of times in the home of one of our friends in Funchal, Madeira, while living there, ca 17 years ago.
Served with rustic bread and LOTS of red Douro (Portuguese wine from vineyards along the Douro river) and Madeira (fortified wine from the islands of Madeira), seafood cooked in wine has since become one of my favorite meals to share with friends, and it has been one of the foods I remember most of that happy time, that beautiful country and its wonderful people.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Food and Memories of Portugal  on  ChefsOpinion
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Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

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Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

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Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Steak And Pasta Salad With Pickled Onions

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Some  of us “Tough Guy’s” might feel a bit dainty when out with our buddies and would like to actually have “just a salad, please” 😦
Well, boys and girls, not with this baby, I’ll guarantee ! Here we have  “just  a salad” for every real man and every real woman, anytime and anyplace. Buhaaa ! Enjoy ! 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life (and salad) is Good !
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Steak & Pasta Salad

Steak And Pasta Salad With Pickled Onions

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Steak & Pasta Salad

Steak And Pasta Salad With Pickled 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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Salad With Irish Cheddar

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The  other day I came across this cheese and thought I’ll give it a try. Turns out that this is my new favorite semi-hard cheese. It is simply delicious and, because of its sharpness and strength, ideal to pair with salad, which of course I did at once. Here is the result:
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Salad And Irish Cheddar

Salad And Irish Cheddar

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Salad And Irish Cheddar

Salad And Irish Cheddar

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Preparation :
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Adana Kebab (Kıyma Kebabı) (Turkish Lamb Skewer)

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In  the early seventies I was lucky enough to be visiting Turkey many times ( Istanbul,  Kusadasi  and  Izmir  among other places). At that time, Turkey  still had an oriental mystique to it which was incredibly fascinating and exiting to a young man like me. The sights, smells and noises were so much different from what I was used to – even after all these years, they still linger vividly in my memory
My girlfriend and I almost got stoned by an angry mob one day at the market in Izmir. (They actually threw stones and small rocks at us). We just came from the Caribbean and my girlfriend Edith was wearing the popular outfit of the day – high heels, hot pants and a thin t-shirt without a bra – not a good idea at the time in a mostly Muslim country. Only the quick help and intervention of our taxi driver who came running to rescue us (carefree idiots) prevented great harm or worse.
But beside that particular episode, I only have great memories of Turkey in the seventies. One of the highlights of our stay’s were always the great meals we had in local restaurants. We tried anything we could, from five-star restaurants in five-star hotels in Istanbul to small dives along the beaches and funky eateries in the sea port’s more seedy areas. The food was always great, fresh, spice-laden and exotic (to me at that time, most anything seemed exotic)
I remember  Adana Kebab  to be widely served and today I finally got around to do my own version which turned out pretty spectacular 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Afiyet Olsun !
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Turkish Adana Kebab

Turkish Adana Kebab

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Turkish Adana Kebab

Turkish Adana Kebab

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Turkish Adana Kebab

Turkish Adana Kebab

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Pollo En Escabeche (Fried Chicken In Vinegar And White Wine)

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Like  so many other “classical / original dishes, there is a million and one ways to prepare “en escabeche”, which in Spanish simply means marinated or pickled.
As usual, I have picked my favorite one to be featured on ChefsOpinion.
Of course you can also do vegetables, seafood, and other proteins “en escabeche”. (For my German-speaking friends, how about “Brathering 🙂
But today we are going to savor one of the goodies which I used to serve many times in our house to my family and friends in times past.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more on Escabeche
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Pollo En Escabeche

Pollo En Escabeche

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Pollo En Escabeche

Pollo En Escabeche

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Preparation:
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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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Spicy Octopus And Rice Noodles In Peanut Sauce

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Yesterday,  on my way home from work , I told myself that under no circumstance will I cook and clean up the kitchen, I was just too tired and a bit under the weather.
So, while driving along university drive and contemplating where to stop for a bite or some take out, evaluating the choices a I checked out the restaurants along the way, I crossed off one after the other, knowing that none of them would be able to satisfy my craving for real, good, tasty food for a decent price. Eventually, as I drove by my favorite Asian Market, I made a quick stop to buy some octopus sashimi. I was not sure at this point what I would prepare with it, but I usually have enough stuff at home to fix a couple of good meals. When I got home, rice noodles, peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic paste, grated ginger, chili oil, sesame oil, red chilies, green peppers and onions were the usual suspects.  Together with the octopus they became a great and perfect dinner.
As usual, more often than not, if I want to eat exactly what I want, I have to prep it myself (and clean up the kitchen afterward 😦  ).
But as always, it was well worth the time and effort and I’ve saved a bunch of good dollars doing it 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Spicy Octopus And Rice Noodles In Peanut Sauce

Spicy Octopus And Rice Noodles In Peanut Sauce

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Spicy Octopus And Rice Noodles In Peanut Sauce

Spicy Octopus And Rice Noodles In Peanut Sauce

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Preparation :
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mix soy sauce, water, peanut butter, sriracha, sesame oil, lime juice, chili oil, simmer for one minute, if too thick, add water, if too thin, add peanut butter

mix soy sauce, water, peanut butter, sriracha, sesame oil, lime juice, chili oil, simmer for one minute, if too thick, add water, if too thin, add peanut butter

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season octopus with kosher salt and chili oil, saute in VERY HOT pan with garlic oil for about 3 seconds, remove from pan, set aside

season octopus with kosher salt and chili oil, saute in VERY HOT pan with garlic oil for about 3 seconds, remove from pan, set aside

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saute onion, green peppers and red chilies in garlic oil

saute onion, green peppers and red chilies in garlic oil

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add rice noodles which you had soaked in warm water for 10 minutes then drained, add a small amount of  soy sauce and water, cook until liquid has evaporated

add rice noodles which were soaked in warm water for 10 minutes, then drained, add a small amount of soy sauce and water, cook until liquid has evaporated

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put noodles to one side of the pan, add some more garlic oil, add whisked eggs, scramble, cook until eggs are dry

put noodles to one side of the pan, add some more garlic oil, add whisked eggs, scramble, cook until eggs are dry

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add peanut sauce, mix well

add peanut sauce, mix well

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stir fry for another minute, check / adjust seasoning

stir fry for another minute, check / adjust seasoning

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plate noodles on serving dish, top with octopus, sprinkle with chives and sesame seeds

plate noodles on serving dish, top with octopus, sprinkle with chives and sesame seeds

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Spicy Octopus And Rice Noodles In Peanut Sauce

Spicy Octopus And Rice Noodles In Peanut Sauce

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Spicy Octopus And Rice Noodles In Peanut Sauce

Spicy Octopus And Rice Noodles In Peanut Sauce

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Spicy Octopus And Rice Noodles In Peanut Sauce

Spicy Octopus And Rice Noodles In Peanut Sauce

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Hickory Smoked, Panko Crusted Bone-In Ham Steak

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Here  we have another dish which exemplifies home cooking at it’s most simple, most tasty, most satisfying goodness.
It goes to show that you don’t have to be rich or a professional chef in order to serve excellent food. Creativity and good, simple  ingredients will get you pretty far.
While I love my lobster, caviar and foie gras, food made with  simple ingredients  should, in my opinion, alternate with the high-end stuff which most of us could not afford on a daily basis anyway. But even back in the day’s when I ran five star operations and could have had “the good stuff” for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I always liked to mix it up with some home style cooked dishes. After all, the beauty of good food lies, among other things,  in variation.
Well, there you have it : Another  ChefsOpinion 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

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Hickory Smoked Panko Crusted Bone-In Ham Steak

Hickory Smoked Panko Crusted Bone-In Ham Steak

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Hickory Smoked Panko Crusted Bone-In Ham Steak

Hickory Smoked Panko Crusted Bone-In Ham Steak

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Hickory Smoked Panko Crusted Bone-In Ham Steak

Hickory Smoked Panko Crusted Bone-In Ham Steak

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Preparation :
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mix 1/3 corn starch, 1/3 ap flour, 1/3 panko bread crumbs, season with cayenne pepper, english mustard powder and granulated garlic

mix 1/3 corn starch, 1/3 ap flour, 1/3 panko bread crumbs, season with cayenne pepper, english mustard powder and granulated garlic

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dip ham steak on both sides into flour mixture, saute in butter until golden, remove ham and set aside, fry sunny side up eggs in same butter, season eggs with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

dip ham steak on both sides into flour mixture, saute in butter until golden, remove ham and set aside, fry sunny side up eggs in same butter, season eggs with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

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almost......

almost……

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saute onions in butter until lightly caramelized, add garlic confit paste

saute onions in butter until lightly caramelized, add garlic confit paste

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add cabbage and peppers, saute until cabbage starts to wilt

add cabbage and peppers, saute until cabbage starts to wilt

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add demi glace and grape tomatoes, season with kosher salt and cayenne pepper, simmer for one minute, check / adjust seasoning

add demi glace and grape tomatoes, season with kosher salt and cayenne pepper, simmer for one minute, check / adjust seasoning

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plate cabbage on serving dish

plate cabbage on serving dish

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top with ham steak

top with ham steak

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top with fried eggs, serve with horseradish mashed potatoes or a good rustic bread to soak up the sauce and juices

top with fried eggs, serve with horseradish mashed potatoes or a good rustic bread to soak up the sauce, egg yolks and juices

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Hickory Smoked Panko Crusted Bone-In Ham Steak

Hickory Smoked Panko Crusted Bone-In Ham Steak

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Hickory Smoked Panko Crusted Bone-In Ham Steak

Hickory Smoked Panko Crusted Bone-In Ham Steak

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Stew Of Cornish Hen In Merlot With Beans And Vegetables

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Cornish Hen  has very tender meat and does not need to be stewed – it can be grilled, roasted , poached or sautéed.
However, once in a while I like to braise (stew) one because of the delicious sauce this cooking method will produce. So then, this is what I had for lunch today, accompanied by a tall  glass of  iced tea. (No more booze for me, at least for the moment 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Stew Of Cornish Hen In Merlot  With Beans And Vegetables

Stew Of Cornish Hen In Merlot With Beans And Vegetables

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Stew Of Cornish Hen In Merlot  With Beans And Vegetables

Stew Of Cornish Hen In Merlot With Beans And Vegetables

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Preparation :
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season 8-cut chicken with salt, cayenne pepper and granulated garlic in olive oil until golden brown

season 8-cut chicken with salt, cayenne pepper and granulated garlic in olive oil until golden brown

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add onions, saute until translucent

add onions, saute until translucent

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add chorizo, saute until starting to brown

add chorizo, saute until starting to brown

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add diced red peppers, garlic paste and scallions, saute one minute

add diced red peppers, garlic paste and scallions, saute one minute

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deglaze with merlot, add small blanched potatoes, chopped tomatoes with their juices, cannelini beans and straw mushrooms

deglaze with merlot, add small blanched potatoes, chopped tomatoes with their juices, cannelini beans and straw mushrooms

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simmer until sauce sliightly thickens and chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes

simmer until sauce slightly thickens and chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes

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 add grated asiago cheese, check / adjust seasoning

add grated asiago cheese, check / adjust seasoning

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to serve, sprinkle with chopped cilantro

to serve, sprinkle with chopped cilantro

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Stew Of Cornish Hen In Merlot  With Beans And Vegetables

Stew Of Cornish Hen In Merlot With Beans And Vegetables

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Stew Of Cornish Hen In Merlot  With Beans And Vegetables

Stew Of Cornish Hen In Merlot With Beans And Vegetables

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Fusilli Col Buco With Mushrooms In Merlot Cream



Living  in Florida does not necessarily lend itself to be inspired to cooking with mushrooms, but thankfully the markets around here carry small offerings of fresh mushrooms which I like to enrich by adding some good quality dried mushrooms. Today I got some fresh baby bellas, oyster mushrooms and botton mushrooms, to which I added dry shiitakes and porcini’s. To intensify the mushroom flavor even more, I added some porcini powder to the sauce as well.
And voilà  –  Mushrooms Galore 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

Fusilli Col Buco With Mushrooms In Merlot Cream

Fusilli Col Buco With Mushrooms In Merlot Cream

Fusilli Col Buco With Mushrooms In Merlot Cream

Fusilli Col Buco With Mushrooms In Merlot Cream



Preparation :

boil fusilli al buco until al dente, strain, reserve some of the cooking liquid

boil fusilli al buco until al dente, strain, reserve some of the cooking liquid

saute diced onions and fresh mushrooms in butteruntil onions are opaque

saute diced onions and fresh mushrooms in butteruntil onions are opaque

add garlic paste and re-hydrated mushrooms, saute until dry

add garlic paste and re-hydrated mushrooms, saute until dry

almost....

almost….

add heavy cream, demi glace, merlot, sliced chives, porcini powder, kosher salt and cayenne pepper

add heavy cream, demi glace, merlot, sliced chives, porcini powder, kosher salt and cayenne pepper

simmer until nape texture is reached, check / ajust seasoning

simmer until nape texture is reached, check / ajust seasoning

add pasta and a small amount of fresh grated asiago cheese, blend well, if too thick, add a bit of the reserved cooking liquid

add pasta and a small amount of fresh grated asiago cheese, blend well, if too thick, add a bit of the reserved cooking liquid

Fusilli Col Buco With Mushrooms In Merlot Cream

Fusilli Col Buco With Mushrooms In Merlot Cream

Fusilli Col Buco With Mushrooms In Merlot Cream

Fusilli Col Buco With Mushrooms In Merlot Cream

Fusilli Col Buco With Mushrooms In Merlot Cream

Fusilli Col Buco With Mushrooms In Merlot Cream



Dear Friend’s, to help support this blog,
please be so kind and click on the video on the bottom of this page.  Thank you 🙂





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