Parmigiano-Reggiano

Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

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I always  wondered why leeks are such an underrated vegetable ?
Leeks look good, taste good, are healthy, available year-round and very cheap economical 🙂
When I was a kid, braised leeks were a common side dish on most restaurant menus. I have NOT seen leeks on any menu for years 😦
So as usual, if I have a specific food craving, I have to take care of it myself. To up the ante, instead of just featuring leeks as a side dish, I made it an equal partner to the gnocchi in this dish.
And what a great dish it is !
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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 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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Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Gnocchi, Brussels Sprouts And Grape Tomatoes “Almondine”

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Gnocchi? Check!
Almonds? Check!
Brown Butter? Check!
Grape Tomatoes? Check!
Brussels Sprouts? Check!
Parmigiano Reggiano? Check!
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Wonderful, Beautiful , Tasty Dish? Check! Check! Check!
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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, Brussel Sprouts And Grape Tpmatoes "Almondine"

Gnocchi, Brussels Sprouts And Grape Tomatoes “Almondine”

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Gnocchi, Brussel Sprouts And Grape Tpmatoes "Almondine"

Gnocchi, Brussels Sprouts And Grape Tomatoes “Almondine”

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Gnocchi, Brussel Sprouts And Grape Tpmatoes "Almondine"

Gnocchi, Brussel Sprouts And Grape Tomatoes “Almondine”

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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 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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Faux Lasagna

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A good Lasagna is a wonderful dish. Ideally it is very flavorful and dripping with the goodness of rich ingredients. It is a sumptuous and satisfying dish that usually leaves nothing to be desired – unless you are looking for texture. After all, besides the crispy corners of the baked marvel, there is just one texture in lasagna – SOFT.
Now, while there is nothing wrong with soft, as a singular texture of a meal it can be a bit boring. So I decided to try something a bit different today for lunch and boy! was I happy I did.
Although not real meatballs (I used spicy Italian sausage) nor real lasagna (which by definition contains sheets of pasta) nor ricotta (I used cheddar instead), this dish knocked it out of the park and although I am a certified pasta lover, I would substitute this one for a real lasagna at any time, hands down 🙂
While the taste ranked with the best I ever had, the texture and taste of the potatoes was something else again and made this the very best “(Faux) Lasagna” I ever had 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Potato And Meatballs "Lasagna"

Faux Lasagna

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Faux Lasagna

Faux Lasagna

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Sauteed Pork Medallions With Mushrooms And Pasta

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Link to :  “Hans’ Lighter, Healthier Comfort Food”
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This  is a dish straight out of my childhood, yet after all these years, it still has the same appeal to me which it had then (or maybe even more) .
Everything just falls into place – pasta, tomato sauce, parmigiano reggiano, sautéed mushrooms, peppers, onions,  juicy pork medallions nicely seared and seasoned with lots of black pepper – my oh my, anytime 🙂
It’s dishes like this which keep me from needing a lot of “fru fru” on my plate.
Simple, honest, beautiful ingredients, proper execution and flavors to match, THAT is what food should be all about !
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Sauteed Pork Meaillions With Mushrooms And Pasta

Sautéed Pork Medallions With Mushrooms And Pasta

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Sauteed Pork Meaillions With Mushrooms And Pasta

Sautéed Pork Medallions With Mushrooms And Pasta

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Sauteed Pork Meaillions With Mushrooms And Pasta

Sautéed Pork Medallions With Mushrooms And Pasta

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Trottole Alla Fortunello

H'LHCF Logo

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Although  this dish might not look very “light and healthy”, the small portion served makes it as promised – “Hans’ Lighter, Healthier Comfort Food”. (I share the portions pictured with one of my neighbors) 🙂
I have, contrary to classic cooking methods, omitted to saute the coppa ham, prosciutto ham and the salame. I rather love the taste and texture of the protein without sauteing them over piping hot pasta (make sure you slice the coppa, prosciutto and the salame paper-thin), but as usual, if you prefer to saute them, don’t hesitate to do so.

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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Trottole Alla Fortunello

Trottole Alla Fortunello

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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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The Slammer

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It  is great to have the liberty to name the dishes one creates, even using somewhat goofy but fitting names, such as “The Slammer” 🙂
This is one of the dishes which owe their creation to the fact that sometimes I think I have nothing in the fridge to prep a great meal and going to the shop is not an option. Out of this familiar dilemma, sometimes a wonderful dish finds the light of day, as happened with this mouthwatering, sexy sandwich.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Link to Hans’ Homemade Buffalo Sauce
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The Slammer

The Slammer

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The Slammer

The Slammer

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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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Steamed Cod Filet With Red Beet Risotto And Sugar Peas

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Risotto  is such a delicious, easy preparation of rice that I am amazed it does not show up more frequently in homes and restaurants. Maybe because it has a stigma of being difficult to prepare and labor intensive, which is far from being the truth. While it does take time to prep and simmer for ca 25 minutes while stirring constantly, it might be called tedious but hardly  labor intensive. It also has the advantage of being the perfect dish for a dinner party if done by the “restaurant method” – cooking the risotto about 2/3’s and then cooling off, later finishing the cooking process for just a few more minutes right before service time. (That’s how you get your risotto served on time in restaurants, otherwise too much time would pass from the time you order to the time you get served). Just remember to have the texture of your risotto slightly more liquid when you remove it from the stove top then you actually prefer the risotto when eating it, since the rice will continue to cook and absorb liquid between the time you stop cooking and the time you’ll have your first spoonful.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Steamed Cod Filet With Red Beet Risotto And Peas

Steamed Cod Filet With Red Beet Risotto And Peas

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Steamed Cod Filet With Red Beet Risotto And Peas

Steamed Cod Filet With Red Beet Risotto And Peas

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Bella say's :  Let's dig in...

Bella say’s : Let’s dig in…

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Preparation :
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season cod with kosher salt and white pepper, steam covered very slowly in butter and white wine, when cooked about halfway, set aside on a warm plate  to slowly cook through

season cod with kosher salt and white pepper, steam covered very slowly in butter and white wine, when cooked about halfway, set aside on a warm plate to slowly cook through

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simmer cleaned red beets in salted water until cooked, reserve cooking liquid,peel and dice beets

simmer cleaned red beets in salted water until cooked, reserve cooking liquid,peel and dice beets

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return beet stock to a simmer, season with garlic paste and cayenne pepper

set diced beets aside, return beet stock to a simmer, season with garlic paste and cayenne pepper

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saute onions and garlic paste in butter

saute onions and garlic paste in butter

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add arborio rice and saute another minute

add arborio rice and saute another minute

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add beet stock to the rice, enough to just cover, stir constantly, keep adding beet stock as it is being absorbed by the rice, constantly stirring

add beet stock to the rice, enough to just cover, stir constantly, keep adding beet stock as it is being absorbed by the rice, constantly stirring

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almost........

almost……..

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when rice is almost al dente, add the diced beets and heavy cream, simmer until rice is al dente

when rice is almost al dente, add the diced beets and heavy cream, simmer while stirring  until rice is al dente

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add blanched green peas to the poaching liquid of the fish, let heat through for another minute

add blanched green peas to the poaching liquid of the fish, cover again, let heat through for another minute

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add parmigiano-reggiano, check / adjust seasoning

add parmigiano-reggiano to the risotto, check / adjust seasoning

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plate risotto

plate risotto

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top risotto with steamed cod

top risotto with steamed cod

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top cod with green peas

top cod with green peas

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Steamed Cod Filet With Red Beet Risotto And Peas

Steamed Cod Filet With Red Beet Risotto And Peas

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Steamed Cod Filet With Red Beet Risotto And Peas

Steamed Cod Filet With Red Beet Risotto And Peas

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Mushroom Pizza With Edamame

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Today  I had to catch-up with the chores I neglected during the week. Since this made for a very busy day, there was not much time to cook a fancy lunch, so a quick and easy dish was in order. This pizza fit the bill perfectly. Quick, easy, “lecker” 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

Link To Pizza Dough
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Mushroom Pizza With Edamame

Mushroom Pizza With Edamame

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Penne Rigate In Merlot/Vodka/Yoghurt Sauce With Pepperoni & Fresh Basil

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Fresh Basil

Fresh Basil

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My neighborhood supermarket  charges $ 3.50 for a small twig of maybe 7 basil leaves.
They sell this beautiful basil plant for $ 4.50. Kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it 🙂

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Penne Rigate In Merlot/Vodka/Yoghurt  Sauce With Pepperoni & Fresh Basil

Penne Rigate In Merlot/Vodka/Yoghurt Sauce With Pepperoni & Fresh Basil

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Ingredients :

Penne rigate,   al dente, reserve some of the cooking liquid
Pepperoni sausage,   julienned
Grape tomatoes,   quartered
Greek yoghurt,
Olive oil,
Vodka,
Merlot,
Parmigiano reggiano,   grated
Garlic,   paste
Basil,   fresh
Kosher salt,
Cayenne pepper

Method :

Saute pepperoni until starting to change color, add garlic, saute until fragrant. Add merlot and vodka, simmer until most liquid has evaporated. Add  yoghurt, tomatoes, a bit of the grated cheese, salt, pepper and the pasta,  mix well. Adjust seasoning if necessary. If too thick, add some of the pasta cooking liquid. If too thin, ad some grated cheese.
To serve, sprinkle with more cheese and basil leaves.

Note :
I am aware that most cooks will chiffonade the basil. However, personally I don’t like the texture this will give me. It reminds me of hair in the food which is not very appealing to me 😦
Therefore I like to add whole leaves which become soft and tender immediately  as they touch the hot food and give you a much more pleasant texture / mouthfeel 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

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