recipes

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 70 – “Smoked Salmon & Fried Eggs On Sourdough Bread”

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 70 – “Smoked Salmon & Fried Eggs On Sourdough Bread”

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Smoked salmon and eggs – what’s not to love ?
I’ll just leave it at that and throw in the pictures.
If these don´t hook you, all´s lost and you better find another passion. Food certainly is not your calling 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 70 – “Smoked Salmon & Fried Eggs On Sourdough Bread”

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Preparation :
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Escargots à la Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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The garlicky butter in this dish is almost as delicious as the escargots themselves, and what better use for crusty bread than sopping up this delicious “snail butter.”
But the main event are the escargots’ tender texture and clean, woodsy flavor.
When I was an apprentice back in the mid-sixties, preparing FRESH snails was a most hated assignment, taking hours to remove the snails from the shells and then cleaning and cooking them, then cleaning and sterilizing the shells. I don’t want to go into the less than pretty details, but it was not a pleasant task and as a young kid of 14 years old I thought I would never in my life eat something as shocking as snails.
Boy, was I wrong 🙂
Nowadays snails are among my favorite appetizers in the World and I order them whenever I see them on a menu, which, sadly, becomes rarer every year. 😦
Luckily, I found that canned snails work just as well and turn this appetizer into one that can be whipped up quickly, economical, anytime. I usually buy a case online which lasts me for about a year.
Traditionally,  Escargots à la Bourguignonne  are served 6 ea or 12 ea in their shells on a special metal or porcelain dish, or, if these are not available, on a heat-proof dish covered with sea salt into which indentions the size of the shells have been pressed to avoid the shells to move or topple over and spill their butter. I would not shy off to buy these dishes for my home, plus the special tweezers to hold them and the tiny two-pronged forks to remove the snails from their shells, but the fact is 6 or 12 snails will not do it for me and the whole ritual makes no sense for me at home alone. So I always serve them in a bowl with lots of the traditional toasted bread on the side.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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snail tweezer and fork

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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first bite always goes to Bella 🙂

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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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Chinese Pork Dumplings In Tamarind Broth

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Chinese dumplings in soup – there must be a thousand and one variations. Different stuffings, different shapes, different wrappers to enclose the dumplings, dumplings without wrappers (spherical), different broths/soups, thick soups, clear soups, different vegetables to include in the soups, etc, etc, etc.
Then there are all the other Asian countries who have their own traditional versions of all of the above. So, basically, there is probably a MILLION and one recipes out there, one better than the other. 🙂
I have prepared many different ones myself over the decades, both while working in Asia and learning from the locals, as well as creating my own versions of some of the ones I learned to prepare over the years.
The point is, there are too many Asian dumpling soups to mention, but here I give you the most basic, delicious and quick version there is. Once you master this, you will be able to build on that knowledge and practice, preparing your own versions with the ingredients which are the most easy to obtain, the most affordable and the most delicious for your own preferred taste and texture. For this basic recipe, I suggest that you use store-bought wanton wrappers, ground pork and tamarind broth. Then, next time, move on to shrimp, lobster, scallops, chicken or whatever protein you prefer, then use any vegetables or mushrooms you have at hand, any broth/soup such as chicken, beef, fish, sour, spicy, with or without egg, thickened or clear, with or without garlic, with or without ginger, sesame oil, chili oil, fresh lime, calamansi, or – WHATEVER !
Just try to make the whole soup a harmonious combination of flavors and textures. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  CHINESE NEW YEAR EGG DUMPLING SOUP ( 蛋饺 ) ( DAN JIAO )  on  ChefsOpinion    (Click here to read about : The Year of the Pig begins on Tuesday February 5, 2019)

Click here for more  Dumplings  on  ChefsOpinion

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P.S.
To prepare the tamarind broth, season chicken beef, seafood or Vegetable broth with tamarind paste or granulated tamarind to taste
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Just a pretty set………

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Pork Dumplings In Tamarind Broth

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Pork Dumplings In Tamarind Broth

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Preparation :
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Gordon Bond

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Grilled Pork Belly & Green Asparagus

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Grilled Pork Belly & Green Asparagus

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One of the greatest mysteries in our Universe is without doubt the fact that pork belly is not the most popular food there is !
In my opinion, it should be treasured and respected with the likes of caviar, foie gras and lobster. 🙂
It certainly is a delicacy if prepared by a Chinese master chef and transformed into a pyramid, or if just simply roasted or simmered, with lots of spices or just sea salt and pepper, in chinese buns, in a kaiser roll or as Szechuan-style or Shanghai-style braised pork belly ( hong shao rou,  红烧肉  ) or any of the never-ending list of pork belly recipes from around the world.
While I have cooked many of these pork belly dishes, nothing is more satisfying than the dish featured here – it tastes like a million bucks, yet takes less than 5 minutes of actual prepping time (plus a few minutes for the asparagus). It’s like playing the Lotto for a dollar and winning the jackpot 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Grilled Pork Belly & Green Asparagus

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Grilled Pork Belly & Green Asparagus

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Grilled Pork Belly & Green Asparagus

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grilled asparagus & chili relish

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Preparation :
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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Why this  Mediterranean Seafood Stew  may be the best seafood stew on Earth ……… 🙂

Quite obviously, this Seafood Stew bears a close family resemblance to France’s  Bouillabaisse  and Spain’s  Zarzuela de Mariscos, both of which are known all over the Globe and are considered by many in the know as  the best of the best.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise at all.
The Catalan coast of Spain, where the  Zarzuela de Mariscos calls home, borders the Mediterranean coast of France. (Barcelona is a mere 500 km from Marseilles). Both Spain’s Zarzuela de Mariscos, as well as France’s/Marseille’s Bouillabaisse are profiting from an abundance of seafood treasures available in and around the Mediterranean coast of this area.
They’re practically neighbors, and they’ve been making fisherman’s stews out of fish and other seafood that comes from the same sea for hundredths, if not thousands, of years. (The fish-only version is called Zarzuela de Pescado ). They both have their own rules, ingredients and accompaniments, most notably the  ground almonds  in the Zarzuela of Spain and the  baguette with rouille  with the Bouillabaisse of France. However, todays stew has added white beans and potatoes, which turn this fish stew into a full, satisfying meal which leaves nothing to be desired.
The Best seafood stew on Earth ? – maybe sometimes, depending what you crave in that particular moment.
ONE  of the three Best Seafood Stews on Earth ? – ab-so-lutely 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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Click here for more  Stew  on  ChefsOpinion

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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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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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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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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Suppli al Telefono

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Many fans of Italian fried rice balls are a bit unclear about the difference between Arancino and Suppli.
I found this explanation online which seems to be very accurate to me and should help to calm down future hot-blooded discussions 🙂
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Excerpt from La Piccola Fontana :
“The Sicilian people will be having some stern words with us for combining their beloved arancino with it’s Roman cousins, supplì, and vice versa but the fact remains that when in Italy you should try at least one type of freshly fried rice ball.

These starch bombs appear in bars, restaurants, and market stalls all over Italy, but if you are going to order one, it helps to know the difference. The Sicilian arancino is often larger, and either conical or circular in shape. In fact, its name means “small orange.” It is typically filled with ragu and some sort of cheese, with optional veggies like peas, mushrooms, or eggplant.

You will also find specialty arancini like carbonara, though purists tend to turn up their noses at these newfangled inventions.

Supplì, on the other hand, are a Roman specialty usually found in pizzerias and as antipasti. They are often oblong in shape and traditionally contain only rice, tomato sauce, and a large piece of mozzarella in the middle.”
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And there you have it. Clear, once and for all 🙂
As for me, I love both equally, the only difference being that I can eat a bunch of Arancini as a main course, while two Suppli are usually enough and therefore more suited (for me) as an appetizer or snack.
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PS:
There are many different variations of both arancini and suppli, different fillings, different types of rice, tomato sauce added to the rice, etc.
In my opinion, when made and served with love, they are all equally delicious and satisfying 🙂
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P.P.S.
Supposedly, the name Suppli al Telefono stems from the mozzarella cheese which forms into long thin strands (Telephone Lines) when one pulls the supply apart 🙂
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P.P.P.S.
Usually fried rice balls are served with tomato sauce. However, I prefer to eat them with Tonkatsu Sauce
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Suppli al Telefono

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Suppli al Telefono

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Suppli al Telefono

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Arancina

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Preparation :
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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Black beans, potatoes, mushrooms, eggs and loads of cilantro – what would serve better as proper condiments than salsa verde and salsa Mexicana ? 🙂
Ever since I have discovered authentic tasting salsa verde and salsa Mexicana at my neighborhood international food market, I have them in my larder and fridge at all times, using it to enhance breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes of all types – eggs, seafood, meat, pasta, rice, vegetables, etc, etc. Together with chili paste of all levels of hotness, Maggi seasoning and soy sauce, these are the condiments/seasonings  without almost none of my meals are complete. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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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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