spinach

Cheese And Potato Vareniki, With Spinach, Bacon and Tomato


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I have to confess – I cheated when I prepared these Vareniki 😦
Instead of preparing the vareniki/pierogi dough fresh and rolling it into thin sheets before cutting, filling, folding and sealing it, I used 1 lb store-bought fresh pasta sheets and my trusted ravioli/pierogi-mold. Not necessarily because I am lazy (well, sometimes I am), but mainly because my counter space is tiny and making fresh pasta dough and stuffed dumpling always results in a huge mess, with flour everywhere, requiring a lot of time to get the kitchen spick and span again.
(However, I do know how to make the dough fresh. 🙂
I have made it a hundred times and I am therefore not embarrassed to admit to the store-bought sheets and the mold) 🙂
The rest of the dish is as easy and quick as 1-2-3. Cook the pasta, saute everything in butter and done !
Here is the recipe for the filling and the final dish :
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Ingredients and method for filling:

Saute onions in butter until translucent.
Stir in the 2 cup mashed potatoes, grated cheese and yogurt, season with salt and cayenne pepper, mix well. Check/adjust seasoning.
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Ingredients and method for the rest of the dish:

Cut the dough sheets into rounds corresponding to the size of your ravioli/pierogi-cutter.
Top each round of dough with 1 tblsp cheese/potato filling, add ea round to the ravioli/pierogi-mold.
Moisten the dough’s edges with water, fold over, and press together to seal.
Repeat procedure with the remaining dough and filling.
Cook in boiling salted water until the dough is done, about 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the thickest part of the dough.
Remove with a slotted spoon, drain.
Saute 2 oz chopped bacon, 1 tsp garlic paste, julienne of 1/2 onion, 6 oz fresh spinach in 2 oz butter, add 8 oz fresh spinach and 1/3 cup heavy cream, simmer 1 minute, remove from heat, add julienne of one medium size onion, 1 ea seeded and julienned tomato and the freshly cooked vareniki, check/adjust seasoning. to serve, sprinkle with grated pepper-jack.
Serves 4 appetizers or 2 main courses.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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More  Pierogi on  ChefsOpinion
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More  Stuffed Dumplings  on  ChefsOpinion
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Cheese And Potato Vareniki, With Spinach, Bacon and Tomato

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Cheese And Potato Vareniki, With Spinach, Bacon and Tomato

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Cheese And Potato Vareniki, With Spinach, Bacon and Tomato

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Cheese And Potato Vareniki, With Spinach, Bacon and Tomato

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 57 – Chicken, Spinach And Potato Frittata

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A bowl  of granola for breakfast is a wonderful thing for a lot of folks – but for me, it is NOT.
If I want my day to start on a happy note, I need food that say’s HAPPY to me.
A bowl of granola or such just says BAHH to me and is, in my humble opinion, but a sorry excuse for a satisfying breakfast 😦 .
On the other hand, a delicious frittata – now we are talking ! 🙂
Throw in a couple of gherkins, a few green leaves and grape tomatoes in yogurt/honey dressing and Voilà ! – bring it on, tough day !
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Breakfast of Champions  on  ChefsOpinion
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Yogurt/Honey Dressing :
Whisk together 2 tblsp greek yogurt, 1 tsp organic honey, 1 tsp rice vinegar, kosher salt and cayenne pepper to taste
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Chicken, Spinach And Potato Frittata

Chicken, Spinach And Potato Frittata

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Chicken, Spinach And Potato Frittata

Chicken, Spinach And Potato Frittata

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Chicken, Spinach And Potato Frittata

Chicken, Spinach And Potato Frittata

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Spinach, Potato & Garlic Cream Soup

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Here  now is a top-candidate for easiest to prepare comfort food of the month 🙂
– Actual prep time – less than 5 minutes.
– Total time from start to finish – 25 minutes max.
– Gratification – immense 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Spinach, Potato & Garlic Cream Soup

Spinach, Potato & Garlic Cream Soup

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Spinach, Potato & Garlic Cream Soup

Spinach, Potato & Garlic Cream Soup

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Bombay Vegetable Omelette

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Although  most egg dishes which I have encountered in India and Pakistan use hard-boiled eggs, this dish, which I make often when I have some leftover curry sauce in the fridge, seems to capture (for me) the spirit of Indian and Pakistani breakfast dishes I had in hotels and private homes while living (Pakistan) and traveling (India) in both countries 🙂
Serve with naan and / or rice
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Bon Appetit !   कृपया भोजन का आनंद लीजिये !  (kripyā bhojan kā ānnaṅd lijīyai)
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Link to  “EASY DOES IT # 11 – CURRY”

Link to Naan Recipe
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Link to Chelo / Polo
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Link to Rice
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Bombay Vegetable Omelette

Bombay Vegetable Omelette

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Bombay Vegetables

Bombay Vegetables

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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EASY DOES IT # 22 – Quiche Lorraine

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This  dish will make you the hero at the next pot luck party, office party or any other gathering where the usual (tired) contribution is chicken salad, spinach dip or potato salad (nothing wrong with those – but………..)
A properly prepared Quiche is elegant, beautiful and delicious, done with a minimum of effort, cooking skills, time and $.
It will be a guaranteed success for any occasion, because it’s easy to make, has no boundaries for your creativity and can be served cold (room temperature), warm or hot. So at a fancy or basic cocktail party, in the office, at the beach or when you bring a snack to my house – go ahead, make my day 🙂
As for creativity, step up a basic Quiche lorraine (bacon, Swiss cheese and onions) by adding / replacing the standard ingredients with the following goodies:
Roasted, small diced vegetables or potatoes, seafood (no cheese in this one please), pickled onions and feta cheese, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, sautéed ham, small diced corned beef, lots of  fresh herbs, etc, etc.
The constant in any Quiche should be a great pie crust and a mixture of 3/4 whisked whole eggs / 1/4 half & half, seasoned with salt, pepper and a small amount of nutmeg, everything else is up to your fancy and willingness to experiment 🙂
As for myself, I love a warm Quiche with lots of bacon, onions and cheese when sitting in front of the TV and watching a great movie, always pairing the Quiche with a salad of simple greens and usually washing it all  down with a torrent of iced peach tea.

Blind-bake the pie crust until golden.
Add dry ingredients, add egg mixture, bake until a toothpick inserted in the filling comes out clean. DONE !

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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more “Easy Does It”
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Quiche Lorraine

Quiche Lorraine

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Quiche Lorraine

Quiche Lorraine

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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 Florentine

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Link to  Hans’ Lighter, Healthier Comfort Food
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Chicken livers – these once universally beloved little morsels have fallen out of favor with most diners in recent years. I assume that lack of availability , rising cost and most importantly (and sadly), the inability of most un-trained or little-trained cooks in many kitchens to turn these unassuming little buggers into a tasty, yummy looking dish has greatly contributed to their demise in the restaurant scene. Not so in my kitchen 🙂
I love a chicken liver mousse, chicken liver dumplings, fried chicken livers on toast or as a tasty addition to an otherwise plain and simple salad, as presented below.
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Bon Appetit !   Live is Good !
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P.S.
For those of you who can not warm up to chicken livers, use duck livers – just kidding !  – as usual, replace the chicken livers with a protein of your choice, such as shrimp, sausages, calamari, salmon, chicken breast or tights, etc.
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 Salad Florentine

Salad Florentine

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  Salad Florentine

Salad Florentine

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serve with vegetable chips and dried fruits

serve with vegetable chips and dried fruits

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Creamed Spinach

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Like  so much other comfort food, creamed spinach is hardly found on menus (or homes, for that matter) anymore, with the exception of steakhouses where it usually is one of the standard side dishes. I just love spinach, no matter how it is prepared, but the price goes without a doubt to creamed spinach. Following is the simple instruction how to prepare this great dish.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach

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blanch spinach in generously salted water.

blanch spinach in generously salted water.

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shock in ice water ( screaming BOOOOO does not work )

shock in ice water ( screaming BOOOOO does not work )

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saute onions and garlic in butter

saute onions and garlic in butter

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add flour (ratio butter flour = one to one)

add flour (ratio butter flour = one to one)

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add half milk and half heavy cream, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Simmer for five minutes. sauce must be VERY thick, chopped spinach contains lot's of water

add half milk and half heavy cream, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Simmer for five minutes. sauce must be VERY thick, chopped spinach contains lot’s of water

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chop blanched spinach to the texture you prefer

chop blanched spinach to the texture you prefer

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add to sauce. simmer for 5 minutes. check/adjust seasoning

add to sauce. Simmer for five minutes. check/adjust seasoning

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Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach

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Fried Seafood, Creamed Spinach & Tonkatsu Sauce

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The  secret for the success of this dish is in the seasoned flour/bread crumbs in which to dredge the seafood, as well as frying it in small batches in very hot peanut oil. Mix 1/3 of panko bread crumbs, 1/3 of regular bread crumbs and 1/3 of corn starch. Season with plenty of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper, kosher salt, granulated garlic and grated lemon peel. Fry for about one minute only or until the coating has turned golden brown. Remember, this is NOT breaded seafood, so you don’t have to worry if the seafood is not completely covered by the coating. The flour mixture serves to  give color, taste and texture. I served this with creamed spinach and tonkatsu sauce, but a green salad and remoulade sauce will fit just as well. Just make sure that you squeeze the lemon on one piece of seafood at a time, so by the time each bite reaches your mouth, the crumbs will still be crispy 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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tonkatsu sauce recipe click here
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creamed spinach  recipe click here
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Fried Seafood, Creamed Spinach & Tonkatsu Sauce

Fried Seafood, Creamed Spinach & Tonkatsu Sauce

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Fried Seafood, Creamed Spinach & Tonkatsu Sauce

Fried Seafood, Creamed Spinach & Tonkatsu Sauce

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Fried Seafood, Creamed Spinach & Tonkatsu Sauce

Fried Seafood, Creamed Spinach & Tonkatsu Sauce

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Fried Seafood, Creamed Spinach & Tonkatsu Sauce

Fried Seafood, Creamed Spinach & Tonkatsu Sauce >>>>  

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Duo Of Spinach Cream

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When  I was a Kid, the only vegetable I hated more than onions was spinach.
Now,  a few short years later, Onion soup (cream or french) and spinach soup
are some of my great favorites, be it as a soup course, main course or snack.
Tonight,  cream of spinach was calling and I answered 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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To serve, top with chicharones (crispy pork rind) and / or butter-sauteed shrimp

To serve, top with chicharones (crispy pork rind) and / or butter-sauteed shrimp


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Sauteed Vegetables In Ginger / Garlic Cream With Fan

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Last
 night’s dinner could have been sooooo healthy, if  I’d have stuck to olive oil instead of butter and no heavy cream.
But then again,  what is life without love, food and drink as good and rich as possible.
(Well, for me, anyway)
So, there you have it, an almost healthy dinner, great tasting and not too shabby looking either 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

For FAN  (chinese steamed rice) recipe, click here

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Sauteed Vegetables In Ginger / Garlic Cream

Sauteed Vegetables In Ginger / Garlic Cream

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Dear Friend’s, to help support this blog, please be so kind and click on the video below.  ( You don’t have to watch it, just click once )   Thank you
🙂
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