Salad

Butter Lettuce & Marinated Octopus

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Butter Lettuce & Marinated Octopus

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Butter lettuce has to be my all time favorite lettuce – perfect texture, a color that can only be described as translucent and pearly, and a delicate flavor that is heavenly. While I love all leaf salads, especially frisee and baby arugula, butter lettuce is always at the forefront of my mind when I lust for salad 🙂
I eat it as often as possible, but unfortunately, most of the time the quality available around here is very low, and in case there is good quality available (as when I found the one for this meal), the price is usually at least quadruple the price of iceberg, romaine or frisee. 😦
As with so many other foods, when I grew up, I could not stand butter lettuce, because it was the cheapest salad available and therefore it showed up during many meals, at least three or four times a week. My Mom used to dress it with a simple vinaigrette with onions, which made the whole affair even more disgusting for me. Since my Dad did not allow us to remove items from our plated food, my Mom used to give me (secretly from my Dad) 10 Pfennig,  which was but a few cents in today’s money, to ease my pain eating the onions in my salad. 🙂 How times have changed…………..
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Butter Lettuce & Marinated Octopus

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Butter Lettuce & Marinated Octopus

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Butter Lettuce & Marinated Octopus

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Butter Lettuce

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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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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Once in a while, my neighborhood fishmonger receives an overnight delivery of fresh-caught, never frozen salmon. He usually leaves me an e-mail message the same morning, so by noon I’ll have salmon in my kitchen which happily swam in the ocean or stream just one or maybe a couple of days before that. Ahhh, the wonders of our modern times 🙂
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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette


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Preparation :
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Salad Of Endive & Chili Chicken

 

Salad Of Endive & Chili Chicken

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This was such a pleasant salad to enjoy early in the day.
The colors, flavors and lightness of its ingredients brightened the rest of my day and gave me a wonderful, guilt-free lunch. (I am still working on losing some of the many pounds I added while in Argentina.
So far it’s going well, 13 lbs in about one month, while always eating good and plenty. 🙂
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Salad Of Endive & Chili Chicken

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Salad Of Endive & Chili Chicken

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Salad Of Endive & Chili Chicken

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Salad Of Endive & Chili Chicken

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Preparation :
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan –
“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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Torta De Milanesa De Res – A Dainty Little Sandwich ( NOT ! )

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Torta De Milanesa De Res – A Dainty Sandwich ( NOT ! )

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And  here we go – another beautiful, tasty example of what a sandwich can be if you love food and take it serious 🙂
(If you wonder about the name “Torta”, click the link below to learn all there is to know about this great Mexican sandwich 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Because I used a double layer of beef, I did not use standard breading (flour, egg, and breadcrumbs) for the beef, instead, I just dipped the beef slices in a mixture of 50/50 flour and panko. However, if you use a single layer of beef, I suggest you employ the traditional breading method.
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Torta De Milanesa De Res – A Dainty Sandwich ( NOT ! )

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Torta De Milanesa De Res – A Dainty Sandwich ( NOT ! )

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Torta De Milanesa De Res – A Dainty Sandwich ( NOT ! )

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avocado, radish, and cucumber salad

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Preparation :
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Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

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About a week ago I read in a “respected” magazine that one should NEVER eat Sauce Hollandaise or one of its derivatives in a restaurant because hollandaise is NEVER made fresh to order, but rather before the service and then kept warm during the whole service.
What a load of crap !!! 😦
Admittedly, some restaurants may do this, but many restaurants who have one or two dishes with hollandaise on the menu will not waste the ingredients if there is no order for a particular service. It takes a professional cook or chef maybe 1 or 2 minutes to produce 2 portions of fresh hollandaise, so to do it “a la minute” (to order) is no problem at all.
When I was an apprentice and later as a young cook, we ALWAYS made hollandaise a la minute during a la carte service.
– The moral of this? always double-check before you take a story/advise for granted. 🙂
– Also, hollandaise is one of the easiest and quickest sauces to prepare.
– Have I mentioned that Sauce Hollandaise is one of the French mother sauces?
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When I prepare a whole roasted whole chicken for Bella and myself, I usually eat both tights and all the scraps from the bones, including the neck, wings, and back, while Madam enjoys the two breasts (one per day). However, yesterday she kept begging for food while the chicken was still a while before being done, so I gave her a full portion of her own food (usually she gets only half that amount because she’ll eat some of my food later).
After I ate my usual part of the chicken, I removed all the skin and bones from the breasts, submerged it in salted water and kept it in the fridge until today, when I used it to prepare this Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet.
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P.S.
Please note that both mushrooms and sauce hollandaise are optional in this classic dish.
P.P.S.
Nowadays, in most commercial venues, because of safety issues, hollandaise is made from powder or ready-made from a can, which eliminates the danger of eggs served at unsafe temperatures.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

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Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

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Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

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Preparation :
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Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

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“Totopos With Shrimp And Avocado Salad”.
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The name  totopo  comes from the Aztec word tlaxcaltotopochtl. It is a combination of the word for a tortilla, tlaxcalli, and the word for thunder.
Combined, it means “tortillas that are noisy to chew”.
Originally, totopos are prepared with corn tortillas. They can be fried, as I have done here, or baked or toasted.
However, I sometimes make totopos with flour tortillas, which makes them lighter and, of course, results in a different, more delicate flavor.
They pair perfectly with this refreshing shrimp and avocado salad and make for a wonderful, tasty snack or appetizer.
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Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

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Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

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Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

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Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

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Preparation :
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Fried Chicken&Boursin Sandwich

Fried Chicken&Boursin Sandwich

A great sandwich can be a wonderful dish. Put a few good ingredients together, add some love and voilà, a quick and most satisfying meal can be on the table in minutes, without breaking the bank.
And yet, so many folks at home and in restaurants manage to screw up this simple task.
Substandard ingredients, lack of imagination and the absence of love for what you are doing will all prevent a good sandwich, but rather transform bread and stuff into bahhh……….
Not so this here baby !
While the choice of bread is purely a personal preference, I make most of my sandwiches with toasted sourdough bread or other rustic bread. I just love the texture and taste, but of course, you should use whatever bread rings your bells. The chicken can be grilled or fried, the cheese can be the one you love the most, and the veggies – well, you get the point 🙂
Just make sure you prepare it all with love and gusto, don’t skimp on the good stuff and prepare it with the respect a great sandwich (as well as any other good food) deserves 🙂
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P.S.
The chicken, while it has the taste and texture of fried chicken, is actually sauteed.
Classic French Cuisine defines sauteed :  “Cooked in fat, not covered by fat”
Classic French Cuisine defines fried :        “Cooked in fat, covered by fat”
In most restaurant settings, one would just fry the chicken in the fryer.
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Fried Chicken&Boursin Sandwich

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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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Another Day, Another Wonderful Salad (Plus A Great Grilled Chicken Breast)

Grilled Chicken Breast With Red Beet/Broccoli Salad And Chimichurri

Grilled Chicken Breast With Red Beet/Broccoli Salad And Chimichurri

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In my ongoing (and admittedly, so far not very successful) quest for a more healthful lifestyle, I do eat a lot more vegetables and salads.
Unfortunately, most of the time when I choose a healthy dish for one meal, I offset the good effect with a not so healthy dish for the following meal. But, I keep trying………
Today’s lunch was a rather salubrious choice, grilled lean meat, accompanied by a delicious vegetable salad with olive oil dressing and, for a bit of extra zing, a few pickled chilies and a herb-laden chimichurri.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Grilled Chicken Breast With Red Beet/Broccoli Salad And Chimichurri

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Grilled Chicken Breast With Red Beet/Broccoli Salad And Chimichurri

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Red Beet/Broccoli Salad

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Preparation :
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Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

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While  in most parts of the world and in many languages “Torta” or “Torte” is generally understood to be a sweet concoction, it can also describe a sandwich, made with flatbread or a leavened bread, depending on the country/region of origin.
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Wiki excerpt:
Mexican Sandwich

In Mexico, a torta is a kind of sandwich, served on an oblong 15 cm firm, crusty white sandwich roll. Depending on the region, this is called a bolillo, telera, birote, or pan francés. Tortas can be eaten cold or hot, grilled or toasted in a press in the same manner as a Cuban sandwich.
Garnishes such as avocado, chili pepper (usually poblano or jalapeño), tomato, and onion are common. The dish is popular throughout Mexico, and is also available anywhere with a large number of Mexican immigrants. In Northern Mexico, the torta is very frequently called “lonche by the influence of the English “lunch“, as it may be eaten during lunch break.
The sandwich is normally named according to its main ingredient:

  • Torta de jamón, ham-filled torta
  • Torta de aguacate, avocado-filled torta
  • Torta de adobada, adobo meat-filled torta
  • Torta de huevo, scrambled eggs-filled torta
  • Torta de milanesa, milanesa meat-filled torta
  • Tortope, chicken sope-filled torta

Although the torta ahogada (meaning “drowned” torta) of Guadalajara is so called because it is smothered in a red sauce, different fillings are available and they may be mixed to create an original torta.
Due to the practicality of being hand-carried, tortas are sold at massive events, such as football matches, parades, and outdoor concerts, but they are also available for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at dedicated establishments or sold as street food by food carts.
In Mexico, the sweet cake is normally referred to as pastel, which is also used in other parts of Latin America with this meaning.
Origin:
The origin of the torta is unclear, but some claim it sprouted in Puebla due to Spanish-French interaction. Teleras (the bread usually used in tortas) were inspired by French baguettes ”
End of Wiki excerpt.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

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Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

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Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

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Preparation :
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