tasty

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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Poached Cod Fillet With Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce And Pomegranate Pilaf

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Poached Cod Fillet With Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce And Pomegranate Pilaf

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Cod –
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Kabeljau / Dorsch / タラ Tara / Morue / Bacalao / smk alqadi / Treska / Turska / Γάδος Gádos / Kele / Torsk / треска, etc, etc. 🙂
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Until a few short years ago, cod (kabeljau), and especially cod in mustard sauce was a very popular dish in Europe. It was very cheap, tasted great, looked good and was widely available.
It could be found  at least  once a month on Fridays in private homes, in restaurants on “Daily Specials”, as a choice in school- and factory cafeterias and everywhere else where people did not eat meat on a Friday because of religious reasons, or simply because they loved the dish and welcomed it as a change from the usual daily meat or vegetable offerings.
I would love to eat cod at least 3 times a week, breaded, poached, sautéed, grilled, in tacos or sandwiches, plain or with sauce or condiments, and so forth. However, the exuberant pricing of at least $ 10 a pound prevents me from enjoying cod more often. 😦
But once in a while I spoil myself and Bella and go all out, no matter the cost. 🙂


Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Poached Cod Fillet With Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce And Pomegranate Pilaf

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Poached Cod Fillet With Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce And Pomegranate Pilaf

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Poached Cod Fillet With Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce And Pomegranate Pilaf

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Preparation :
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Sautéed Cod Fillet With Cannellini Bean Salad

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Sautéed Cod Fillet With Cannellini Bean Salad

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It’s no wonder people eat more and more sh***y fast food.
This 2 lbs of cod fillet was $ 20.00 incl tax !!! 😦
Ground beef $ 7.00 a pound, chicken wings $ 5.00 and up, a small loaf of bread $ 4.00 and up, etc, etc 😦
Yet,  a small crappy cheeseburger with fries and a coke is $3.00 ! What a shame.
I spend about $ 200.00 per week just on groceries and paper goods for Bella and myself, no laundry or cleaning cost for my cleaning lady included. How do families with a few kids and regular income do it ??? Everybody works, money and time is tight, so fast food is the only answer. Most young people do not have home-economy classes in school anymore, so it eludes them how to prepare a good, tasty, healthy, and economic meal for lets say $ 2.00 per person from scratch, or mostly from scratch with some canned protein or “secondary meat cuts” added. For a professional chef this should not be a problem, but for an inexperienced young couple with kids, who were never taught how to economize, save, calculate and be frugal, this will be nearly impossible. Financial disaster, poor nutrition, and a never ending circle of misery is the inevitable result.
Teaching home economics in school, affordable supplies of nutritious food at acceptable prices and less waste because of idiotic standardisation of size and appearance, mostly by supermarkets, as well as the stupid expectation by consumers that all food should be standardized, is highly required and necessary if we don’t want to be living in a world were only the rich can afford to buy nutritious food and drink.
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Ok now, done with the rant and back to today’s dish, which was delicious, beautiful and healthy  (and Expensive).   🙂
As you can see in the pictures, there was a lot of EVO and whole butter, (I used a spoon to eat the beans) but as long as you don’t consume this much every day, you’ll be fine,
Also, if you don’t think it’s good for you, just use less ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Sautéed Cod Fillet With Cannellini Bean Salad

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Sautéed Cod Fillet With Cannellini Bean Salad

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Sautéed Cod Fillet With Cannellini Bean Salad

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Preparation :
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And of course, Madam’s meal 🙂
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Breaded Chicken Sandwich With Guacamole, Sweet Chili Relish & Fried Egg, accompanied by Hummus and Small Salad

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BREADED CHICKEN SANDWICH WITH GUACAMOLE, SWEET CHILI RELISH & FRIED EGG, ACCOMPANIED BY HUMMUS AND SMALL SALAD

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Usually, I have a variation of breaded or grilled chicken sandwich at least once a week, always accompanied by some easily prepared salad. As for the chili relish and hummus, I usually make them fresh at home, but I also sometimes use store-bought items. Nowadays, many grocery stores have such great quality conserves that it does not always make sense to prepare them oneself, not so much because of the work involved but because of the limited space in the fridge. Since I have prepared all this stuff a thousand times from scratch, I sure know how to do it and don’t have to be embarrassed to admit to store-bought items, at least once in a while 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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Click here for Hummus Recipe
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BREADED CHICKEN SANDWICH WITH GUACAMOLE, SWEET CHILI RELISH & FRIED EGG, ACCOMPANIED BY HUMMUS AND SMALL SALAD

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BREADED CHICKEN SANDWICH WITH GUACAMOLE, SWEET CHILI RELISH & FRIED EGG, ACCOMPANIED BY HUMMUS AND SMALL SALAD

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BREADED CHICKEN SANDWICH WITH GUACAMOLE, SWEET CHILI RELISH & FRIED EGG, ACCOMPANIED BY HUMMUS AND SMALL SALAD

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BREADED CHICKEN SANDWICH WITH GUACAMOLE, SWEET CHILI RELISH & FRIED EGG, ACCOMPANIED BY HUMMUS AND SMALL SALAD

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BREADED CHICKEN SANDWICH WITH GUACAMOLE, SWEET CHILI RELISH & FRIED EGG, ACCOMPANIED BY HUMMUS AND SMALL SALAD

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

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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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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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Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions

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Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions

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When I have leftovers (meat, seafood, pasta, rice, veggies) in the fridge, rather than just reheat it the next day and have the same dish again, I prefer to create a new, different dish with it.
Therefore, the  braised veal breast  from the other day became today’s spectacular, highly satisfying “Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions”.
Although I used the same meat, it was a completely new dish which, taste-wise and in texture, did not at all remind me of the previous meal it provided me with.
This sandwich was so delicious, I almost padded my own proud and happy shoulder when I ate it.  🙂
While I was writing this, it just came to my mind that this sandwich satisfies a wide range of flavors – sour from the onions, spicy from the chilies, salty from radishes and umami from the veal – marvelous ! 🙂

Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions

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Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions

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Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions

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cut sandwich into pieces, serve with salted radishes

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add a generous amount of pickled onions, chopped cilantro and pickled peppers/chilies of your choice

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Preparation :
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Butterflied Grilled Chicken Breast With Sautéed Onion

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Butterflied Grilled Chicken Breast With Sautéed Onion

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This dish should have earned two “Best of Show Awards” –
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*Best Tasting Chicken Breast* 
and  *Most Beautiful Chicken Breast* 
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Alas, this baby did not participate in any competition, it just made a wonderful dinner in our home, where it  won  the love and admiration of Bella and myself 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Butterflied Grilled Chicken Breast With Sautéed Onion

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Butterflied Grilled Chicken Breast With Sautéed Onion

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Butterflied Grilled Chicken Breast With Sautéed Onion

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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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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Fresh Avocado Preserve

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Florida Choquette Avocado

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Here in Florida we have wonderful locally grown Florida Choquette Avocados available, which generally are much larger than the typical California varieties and about 20% less oily.
The texture, smell and taste is also different, and I prefer them to Haas anytime. (Of course, this is a personal preference and not based on quality)
Nowadays, most of us have a wide range of avocado types to pick from, since we are able to buy produce from different parts of the Country and even from around the World during most of the year.
However, when Avocados are in season in Florida, they are VERY cheap and one can buy very large ones for about a dollar a piece. They are usually sold fresh of the tree, which means they are not yet ripe and will need a few more days in your kitchen before they are ready to eat. So far so good, but many times in the past, for whatever reason, when I did not get a chance to eat them on time, they got overripe and the flesh brown and inedible. I hate to throw food away, but for me, until recently, there was no other option. Then, two weeks ago, I again had avocados which needed to be consumed within 24 hours or they would turn bad (I had them on the cupboard for more than a week).
I used my thinking cap for a moment and came up with this simple solution to the problem – preserve them in EVO 🙂
Today, two weeks later, I still had some of it left and used it for a dish of pasta with avocado and sambal. The avocado looked, smelled and tasted as fresh as they did two weeks ago, with no deterioration whatsoever.

Avocado problem – solved !!! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Fresh Avocado Preserve

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Preparation :
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remove the flesh from 2 ea large choquette avocados (or equal quantity of avocado of your choice), add 1/2 cup EVO, 1/4 cup fresh lime or lemon juice, 1 tblsp chili paste, 1 tsp garlic paste and kosher salt to taste

add 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, mash all ingredients coarsely together, check / adjust seasoning; toss with pasta, spread on toasted bread, as salad topping and as condiment for eggs, meat, seafood

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Fresh Avocado Preserve

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Fresh Avocado Preserve

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Fresh Avocado Preserve

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Fresh Avocado Preserve

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last, top the avocados with 1/2 inch of EVO to completely seal the preserve; re-seal when removing part of the preserve; keep inside of the container above the preserve absolutely clean

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Turkey Soup (Thanksgiving Leftovers)

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Yesterday’s turkey dinner had left me with some turkey and orzo with “stuff”.
I also had chicken soup from the previous day in the fridge, so putting this (very delicious) meal on the table took all of five minutes of heating up leftovers, plating them and adding an egg yolk and fresh cilantro 🙂
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Turkey Soup (Thanksgiving Leftovers)

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Turkey Soup (Thanksgiving Leftovers)

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Turkey Soup (Thanksgiving Leftovers)

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Turkey For Singles

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Jimiiiiiiiiii 🙂 

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Because I live alone with Bella,  I have  we have  the luxury of only eating what  I love  we love  to eat the most.
(Bella tend’s to agree with my choices, so when it comes to Thanksgiving turkey, only  my   our  favorite part, the wing, will be present in our feast.
As for the side dish, knowing that there will be leftovers today and looking forward to the proper utilization of them tomorrow, orzo with beans, tomato and peas made  a delicious side dish today and it will make a great garnish for a substantial yet light chicken soup tomorrow 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
I did not strain the turkey jus, because the only solids in it were the very tasty tomatoes and onions that were braising with the meat, it would be a shame to throw them away 🙂
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Turkey For Singles

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Turkey For Singles

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Turkey For Singles

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Turkey For Singles

Turkey For Singles

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Orzo Pasta With Cannellini Beans, Green Peas and Tomato Concassé

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Preparation :
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