pasta

“Blanquette De Veau” (And Please, Don’t Judge Me By The Color Of My – Pasta!)


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In all my years living in the USA, I have never seen this dish on any restaurant menu. Growing up in Germany, it was very common and popular, served in many restaurants and homes. If I had to describe the type of food this is, I would say “sophisticated home cooking”. Full of flavor and texture, it is often served with rice.
I personally prefer it to be served with pasta (apparently, so did Escoffier – there are two recipes in his Le Guide Culinaire – “Blanquette de Veau a l’Ancienne” , as well as “Blanquette of Veal Breast with Celery root and Endive”, both served with pasta. Some folks like to add carrots when serving a blanquette, a practice to which many professionals object in order to keep the whole dish “blanc” (white). Well, usually I am in the “blanc” camp. However, my choice of pasta today has sabotaged that approach by sporting an impossible yellow color 😦 .
When raw, this pasta looked slightly more yellow than usual egg pasta, but I thought it would lose some of its excessive yellowness during the cooking process. Not so. On the contrary, it took on this neon yellow and I was ready to toss it and cook a less color-popping pasta instead. However, when I tried it, I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful texture and taste of this abomination of food coloring. It had one of the best pasta tastes of any dried pasta I ever tasted. So, rather than tossing it, I ate it and enjoyed it very much. (Thank God I threw the packaging in the garbage and have no record of the brand, I also have never seen it before or since in any shop and therefore will not be able to buy it again 🙂
In the end, a delicious, classic, old-fashioned veal stew with a helping of not-so classic pasta 🙂
May the pasta Gods forgive me 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Blanquette De Veau

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Blanquette De Veau

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Preparation :
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Snow Crab And Fusilli Lunghi In Anchovy Butter

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Ok now, don’t get any ideas about eating these vampire crabs pictured above !
The only reason I feature their pics here is that they are so pretty 🙂
They are actually small pets, just to love, look at and to take good care of, until their natural life cycle comes to an end.
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Snow Crab And Fusilli Lunghi In Anchovy Butter

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So, on to these snow crabs.
They are definitely not pets. They are some of my favorite seafood, and if they would not be so darn expensive, they’d be on my table twice a week 🙂
I love them steamed and served with just a squirt of lemon and drawn butter, transformed into crab cakes, soup, salad, fried rice and of course with pasta, as I enjoyed them for today’s lunch.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Snow Crab And Fusilli Lunghi In Anchovy Butter

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Snow Crab And Fusilli Lunghi In Anchovy Butter

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Preparation :
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Spinach Tagliatelle With Crayfish In Garlic/Chili Butter

Spinach Tagliatelle With Crayfish In Garlic/Chili Butter

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Crayfish must be one of the most under-appreciated seafood on the market. I assume it has to do with the fact that it takes a while and a bit of practice to peel them efficiently. There is also the misconception that they are expensive, which, in my opinion, they are not. One pound costs about $ 5.00 and is enough for a generous portion).
Another sad fact is that outside of their harvesting areas and outside of harvesting season, it is not easy to come by great quality crayfish. The reason for this is mostly bad handling, so in order to ensure good quality, make sure the fishmonger lets you stick your nose into (or at least close to) 🙂 the ice box in which they are kept, and always ask to give you the bottom layer, closest to the ice.
This, of course, is an important step in buying any seafood, including frozen or “previously frozen”! Please remember – expertly flash-frozen seafood can be as good as fresh seafood, provided it is handled, stored and defrosted properly.
Much seafood which is labeled fresh or never frozen is, in fact, inferior to properly preserved seafood, due to the length of transport, lack of proper or inconsistent cooling and general lack of proper handling.
But as I wrote earlier, the smell test will easily reveal if you should buy or forget 🙂
Needless to say, the little beauties I used for this meal were fresh, yummy and pretty, so this dish was an all around success 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Spinach Tagliatelle With Crayfish In Garlic/Chili Butter

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Spinach Tagliatelle With Crayfish In Garlic/Chili Butter

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Spinach Tagliatelle With Crayfish In Garlic/Chili Butter

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Preparation :
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Tuna Steak Poached In Olive Oil

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Tuna Steak Poached In Olive Oil

Tuna Steak Poached In Olive Oil


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friend Peter came over for lunch today. Usually, he is a big fan of down to earth home cooking, never getting enough meatloaf, pasta, potatoes, stews, pigs feet, tripe, and other offal.
However, right now he is on a strict diet, so he asked me to prepare something gluten-free, starch-free and sugar-free. This tuna steak with salad was the result of his request, which made him happy and content (or so he said).
I, on the other hand, feasted on some left-over pork belly with potatoes, which made me happy and content 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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1 cup EVO, 2 ea garlic confit, 2 ea scallion, kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper to taste

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5 ea grape tomatoes, 1 ea quintisho chile, 3 slices lemon; simmer slowly on low heat while basting with the oil until tuna is cooked to your preferred temperature; serve with a salad of your choice

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Tuna Steak Poached In Olive Oil

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Tuna Steak Poached In Olive Oil

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Tuna Steak Poached In Olive Oil

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Tuna Steak Poached In Olive Oil

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Sunshine On A Plate – Penne With Raw Tomato And Basil Sauce

Sunshine On A Plate – Penne With Raw Tomato And Basil Sauce

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To  prepare a successful raw “Tomato Sauce”, it is essential that the tomatoes are VERY ripe, sweet and soft.
Other than that, there is not much wizardry to be employed, just make sure that the pasta is cooked perfectly, your basil is fresh, young and sweet, the olive oil is of great quality and the cheese you use is the best you can afford. (Any hard, fresh-grated cheese you prefer will do).
The result will proof once again that if prepared with love and gusto, bringing together a few simple, good quality ingredients will add up to a wonderful meal (Even if the sunshine is lacking) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Sunshine On A Plate – Penne With Raw Tomato And Basil Sauce

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Sunshine On A Plate – Penne With Raw Tomato And Basil Sauce

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Preparation :
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Pasta & Love / Love & Pasta

Pasta & Love / Love & Pasta

Pasta & Love / Love & Pasta

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So this is what happened last night –
I was working on this post for ChefsOpinion.
While processing the pics from the day’s dinner, I came across this sign of love (I did NOT arrange this before I took the pics).
Not only does it look like a heart, it also resembles two stylized swans heads and necks, an image we use often in food decoration.
What are the odds ?????
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Bon Appétit !   Love is Good !
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P.S.
It would have been even more awesome if it would have happened on the 14th (Valentines Day),
but then certainly nobody would have believed that it happened by happy chance 🙂 
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Spaghetti With Cabbage, Peppers And Gorgonzola

Spaghetti With Cabbage, Peppers, And Gorgonzola

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Pasta & Love / Love & Pasta

Pasta & Love / Love & Pasta

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Preparation :
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Szegediner Gulasch (Székelykáposzta / Székelygulyás)

Szegediner Gulasch

Szegediner Gulasch


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Szegediner Gulasch  ( Krautgulasch) is a pork goulash (gulasch) prepared with sauerkraut and sour cream. It probably originated in the Austrian/ Vienna cuisine. (Pork is not typically used for goulash in classic Hungarian cuisine).
The Austrian/German name Szegediner Gulasch is probably misleading since the Hungarian name for the (Austrian) dish does not connect to the city of Szeged, but rather to the Hungarian writer  József Székely, who wrote favorable about this Viennese dish.
In Vienna, Szegediner Gulasch is usually served with serviettenknoedel, potatoes or rustic bread.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Szegediner Gulasch

Szegediner Gulasch

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Szegediner Gulasch

Szegediner Gulasch

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Preparation :
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Jägerschnitzel Vom Huhn Mit Pasta Und Schmelze – Chicken Cutlet Hunter Style

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I just  have come across some debates about what constitutes a “true” Jägerschnitzel, so I’d like to put that to rest, right now, right here, with some authority on the subject (easy now !) 🙂
After all, I grew up  in Swabia in Southern Germany, where, during my youth, schnitzel were one of the most commonly served animal proteins, served a few times a month at home and more often than not during special occasions, such as restaurant visits, birthdays, weddings or funerals or any other gathering where “decent” food was served for a reasonable price.
Traditionally, a Jägerschnitzel is a thin-pounded veal or pork cutlet, dusted with flour and sauteed, then  covered with mushroom sauce, to which sometimes cream and parsley or chives are added, and accompanied by pasta (mostly, but not exclusively Spaetzle), roast potatoes (Bratkartoffeln) or dumplings (Knödel).
A “TRUE”  Jägerschnitzel is “NEVER” breaded (never cover anything breaded with sauce, one of the basics in classic cooking – after all, you bread it to be crisp, so why soften it by covering it with moisture ?!!) And yes, I know, like always in cooking, there are a few exceptions, but they do NOT pertain to schnitzel.
Then there are Jägerschnitzel made of chicken or turkey. While less traditional, they have become popular lately because of changing eating-habits and because the meat is more affordable than pork and veal, (especially milk-veal), which has been priced out of reach for most folks.
So there you have it – the end of the Jägerschnitzel Debate.
You are welcome 🙂
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Guten Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Jägerschnitzel Vom Huhn Mit Pasta Und Schmelze - Chicken Cutlet Hunter Style

Jägerschnitzel Vom Huhn Mit Pasta Und Schmelze – Chicken Cutlet Hunter Style

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Jägerschnitzel Vom Huhn Mit Pasta Und Schmelze - Chicken Cutlet Hunter Style

Jägerschnitzel Vom Huhn Mit Pasta Und Schmelze – Chicken Cutlet Hunter Style

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Preparation :
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End Of The Month Noodles

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While  we like to believe that most folks nowadays can afford any food they like, this could not be further from the truth.
Since the beginning of time, providing nourishment for oneself and ones family has always been and still is an important part and often a struggle of the majority of people around the world, although we usually are ashamed of admitting that it can be hard to feed our-self and our loved ones on a level we would love to maintain at all times, especially the good folks who live on a monthly income. Sometimes, towards the end of the month, it can be a bit difficult to keep the excitement for the next meal going, when the purses get lighter and lighter and the freezer, fridge and cupboards are getting emptier and emptier as the month stretches toward the next payday. Many will just give-up at this point, believing that a meal without meat or seafood is substandard and not worth being happy about. This opinion is of course absolutely misguided, especially since there are many food groups besides meat and seafood which are full of protein and nutrition, which can be prepared to be most attractive and yummy.
However, there are also lots of people out there who really love any type of food, no matter what its consists of, as long as it is great to look at, tasty, filling and nutritious. And sometimes, one just gets tired of the usual stuff and opts for something like the meatless dish featured here (as I did today).
To prepare such a meal is super easy, all you need is love, fantasy and “the spirit”, especially in a time when you can search for anything on the net and get a variety of answers within a split second. For a good example, please click on the “Mamapedia”  link below)
To prepare a successful “End Of The Month Dish”, you can use any kind of pasta/noodles/starch, any kind of vegetables, mushrooms or no mushrooms, any type of seasoning (curry, tomato sauce, reduced chicken stock, hoisin, etc), any thing you have available or anything which is economic to purchase, as long as it comes together as a wholesome meal.
And of course, you don’t have to be broke to enjoy a tasty dish like this!
But then, as the end of the month draws closer…………… 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  End Of The Month Tips  on  Mamapedia
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Click here for  Non-Meat/Seafood  Protein Sources
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P.S.
IF you have a sense of humor, you might want to click here to see how they make ketchup on another planet
 🙂
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End Of The Month Noodles

End Of The Month Noodles

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 End Of The Month Noodles

End Of The Month Noodles

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Preparation :
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Rice Noodles

Rice noodles are much more delicate and fragile than their wheat noodle counterparts. This actually makes them so easy to prepare that we hardly think of it as cooking.

Place all your rice noodles in a deep mixing bowl, trying to snap as few of them as possible as you remove them from the package (always a challenge for us). Bring a good amount of water to boil. Pour the boiling water over the rice noodles until they are completely submerged.

Every minute or two, give the noodles a stir to loosen them up. When they are completely limp, give them a taste to see if they’re cooked through. The thread-like vermicelli noodles used in spring rolls will cook through in just a few minutes. The flat rice noodles might take upwards of ten minutes depending on thickness. Pay attention and test the noodles frequently because they’ll become mushy if they overcook.

Once the noodles are tender, drain them and run them under cool water to stop the cooking. Toss them with a bit of sesame oil to keep the noodles from sticking to each other if you’re not going to use them right away.

More Tips:

  • If the noodles will be used in a stir-fry dish like Pad Thai, you definitely want to under-cook them a bit. They will absorb more moisture and cook the rest of the way through once in the stir fry. If your noodles are perfectly cooked to start, they will turn to mush in the stir fry. Trust us, we’ve done that more times than we can count!
  • If you’re making a soup, you can cook the noodles directly in the broth. Add them just before serving and monitor closely to make sure they don’t over-cook.
  • Even with a bit of sesame oil, the noodles still tend to clump up after you drain them. They will loosen again once you mix the noodles into your dish .

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Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg

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This  dish is one of my  “go to”  dishes when contemplating endlessly without resolve in my mind what I will cook for the next meal.
Although I am a sucker for real curry, pasta sautéed in curry powder and “stuff” is something I can eat happily any time of the day, as often as twice a week.
Usually the basic ingredients are items I have always stocked in my fridge, freezer or cupboard:
Pasta, beef, shrimp or chicken, any type of vegetables, curry powder, a bit of kecap manis, chili paste, soy sauce or maggi seasoning, onion or scallion, eggs and herbs.
An added bonus to this dish is that it reheat’s wonderfully. (Some say it’s even better when re-heated) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg (Sunshine On A Plate)

Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg (Sunshine On A Plate)

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Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg

Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg

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Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg

Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg

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Preparation :
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