tasty

Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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Traditional Tandoor  (This is NOT Hans) 🙂

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Modern Tandoor

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Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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When I was a chef it was essential for me to teach my cooks, then later my students at Le Cordon Bleu, recipes of dishes which were as authentic to their classic origin as possible.
Especially during my many years as a teacher and program chair at Le Cordon Bleu Miami, I taught meticulously what I had learned many decades ago back in the Black Forest of Germany – Classic French Cuisine.

I also taught classic German Cuisine and many other cuisines from around the world which I had enjoyed, studied and learned during my many years as Executive Chef living and working in dozens of countries. (Cuisines of China, Russia, Japan, Mexico, Fillipines, Italy, Spain, India, Brazil, Sweden,  and many more.
While I am only an expert of French, German and Italian cuisine, I do have good knowledge and personal experience of the cuisines of the aforementioned countries and I was therefore able to teach international cuisine with authority.  Unlike many (most ?) “teachers” and “chefs” nowadays, who will read a recipe, practice (maybe) a bit, then “teach” what they just read on sometimes questionable (at best) sources. Mostly, even the folks who write the syllabus for a class have only the “experience” of reading about things, never having cooked it, eaten it or visited the country of origin of a dish.
While this might work for certain professions, it is certainly a disaster for our beloved trade.
No wonder real food becomes more and more the stuff only wealthy people can enjoy in the few excellent restaurants left in most places, while the rest of us is being served mediocre fare for unreal prices.
However, even at that time, while trying to teach original, and classic recipes and methods from specific cuisines, I tried to teach tips and tricks which might not be original, but are more practical, economical and sometimes even result in better food (Not often, but sometimes) 🙂
But one MUST ALWAYS POINT OUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ORIGINAL AND THE VARIATION !
In a restaurant, the Guests should also be informed about the difference, which, in my humble opinion, MUST be made clear in the name of the dish on the menu, for example:

Pesto” – basil, olive oil, garlic, PINE NUTS, pecorino, parmigiano reggiano.
Walnut Pesto” – same ingredients, same method, but replace the PINE NUTS with WALNUTS.
or
Wiener Schnitzel” – thin, breaded, VEAL cutlet
Pork Schnitzel Wiener Art” – same ingredients, same method, but replace the VEAL with PORK.
Turkey Schnitzel Wiener Art” – same ingredients, same method, but replace the VEAL with TURKEY.

Wow, this became a long entry to what I want to clarify here – ChefsOpinion is a blog that celebrates real food that tastes good, looks good and is simple enough that the average beginner of home-cooking, as well as a top professional and everybody in between can find inspiration, tips and other useful information to be able to prepare wonderful food at home, be it a simple soup or salad, an elaborate roast or stew, or whatever I feel like cooking at the moment and share with you, be it classic/original or not.
At this stage of my life, I don´t find it necessary to prove that I can cook, that I was a decent professional or that I have mastered “original and /or classical dishes from around the World in my more than 50 years of being a cook.
My goal at this time is to remind old chefs from around the Globe about the food we once studied, cooked, taught and enjoyed, and to help the “youngens” to be able to enjoy the same food even now, when some of it is not “IN” anymore and one has a hard time to find well-loved, classic dishes in restaurants, where one now finds mostly second-class food, tasteless and pointless, but dressed to the hilt to impress the folks who don´t know better.
To this end, I try to simplify many dishes while keeping the original flavor and texture as close to the real thing as possible, simply to give everybody the chance to prepare certain dishes at home, which they otherwise would find too difficult, expensive, complicated and daunting to try.
A typical example of this philosophy is the dish on this page. Just google the word TANDOORI, or CURRY, or GOULASH and you will know what I mean. Or choose the word of a dish and add the word ORIGINAL or CLASSIC before it.
The result are usually thousands of recipes, seldom the actual CLASSIC recipe (The definition of ORIGINAL or CLASSIC is a whole different chapter) 🙂 , while most others range from slightly off to downright nasty and ridiculous. 😦
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How to make Tandoori chicken without a Tandoor

Tandoori Chicken is one of the most popular dishes from northern India. It is grilled chicken rubbed with a blended spice marinade, identifiable by its red coloring. Tandoori is Indian style of BBQ. The marinade has garlic, salt, coriander, tamarind, cumin, ginger, lentils, and oil.
Tandoor is an Indian style oven, which one cannot buy in an appliance store like you can with a traditional grill or oven. Basically, the tandoor is made entirely of clay and is 3-4 feet tall. Charcoal is placed at the bottom of the tandoor and allowed to burn for several hours. Then the meat is placed on long skewers and cooked inside till roasted. Tandoor is also used to make, among other dishes, naan, kebabs, and tandoori rotis.
It is not practical to build your own tandoor. In fact, most homes in India do not have one. Indian restaurants generally special order tandoors (from restaurant equipment sellers) which can cost upwards of thousands of dollars
So, if you want to enjoy tandoori chicken at home, what do you do?
Here is a very simple tandoori chicken recipe that does not require any special equipment. The chicken retains its juices and is fully cooked while keeping a nice crispy bite on the outside. It has only 2 ingredients, but the cooking technique is very important. Once you follow this recipe, you will realize how simple and delicious this recipe is!

Tandoori Chicken Recipe
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Prep Time: 5 mins (24 hours); Cook Time: 45 mins

(Serves 4 )
4 ea skin less chicken legs,
8 tablespoons tandoori paste   (see picture below for brand example)
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Thoroughly rub the tandoori paste into the chicken.
Place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate 24 hours
When ready to cook, preheat broiler on low. Once the temperature is attained, place the chicken pieces on a rack with a drip pan under it. 
Broil on low for 30 minutes, turning the chicken once. Then turn the broiler to high and cook for another 15 minutes, turning once so that the chicken is crisp on both sides. You will see that the marinade will start to dry up and the chicken will start getting a crust.
Remove from oven and transfer to a plate. Serve immediately with naan, sliced onions, quartered lemons, chopped cilantro and mint chutney or condiments of your choice (or follow the suggestion on this page)

Click here for  Indian Tomato Chutney Recipe


Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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steamed rice, tomato chutney, curried chickpeas, spicy cucumber salad – this alone would be a great meal

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Preparation :
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Kalbs Haxe, Semmelknödel, Und Rosenkohl Mit Speck… (Whole-Roast Veal Shank, Brussels Sprouts And Bread Dumplings)

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Kalbs Haxe, Semmelknödel, Und Rosenkohl Mit Speck… (Whole-Roast Veal Shank, Brussels Sprouts And Bread Dumplings)

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While Bella and I eat pork shank/knuckle/trotter quite often, veal shank, because of it´s price, is more of a “once in a while” treat.
As I mentioned before one these pages, veal named “Milk Veal” in Germany can only be from an up to 6 months old calf, therefore it carries a hefty price tag.
Nevertheless, at my age, there are not that many treats left to enjoy or afford, so this one seemed well worth the price. (Bella agrees fully.) 🙂
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Kalbs Haxe, Semmelknödel, Und Rosenkohl Mit Speck… (Whole-Roast Veal Shank, Brussels Sprouts And Bread Dumplings)

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Kalbs Haxe, Semmelknödel, Und Rosenkohl Mit Speck… (Whole-Roast Veal Shank, Brussels Sprouts And Bread Dumplings)

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Kalbs Haxe, Semmelknödel, Und Rosenkohl Mit Speck… (Whole-Roast Veal Shank, Brussels Sprouts And Bread Dumplings)

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Kalbs Haxe, Semmelknödel, Und Rosenkohl Mit Speck… (Whole-Roast Veal Shank, Brussels Sprouts And Bread Dumplings)

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Kalbs Haxe, Semmelknödel, Und Rosenkohl Mit Speck… (Whole-Roast Veal Shank, Brussels Sprouts And Bread Dumplings)

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Kalbs Haxe, Semmelknödel, Und Rosenkohl Mit Speck… (Whole-Roast Veal Shank, Brussels Sprouts And Bread Dumplings)

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Preparation :
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Cheese & Tomato Salad – Heirloom Tomatoes, Gouda, Radish, Onion, Basil And Scallion In Herb Vinaigrette

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Cheese & Tomato Salad – Heirloom Tomatoes, Gouda, Radish, Onion, Basil And Scallion In Herb Vinaigrette

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Originally, I named this salad “Summer Salad” when I prepared it in August. But now, summer has passed around here and we are in deep autumn. Most tree leaves have changed from bright green to a golden brown, and the temperatures at night have dropped to a chilly 5 °C .
However. I just skyped with my friends Carlos and Gladis in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where the temperature was a toasty 32 °C, the perfect temperature to enjoy this summer salad on the terrace overlooking the pool and garden. 🙂  To see more about Carlos’ and Gladis’ beautiful place, click here “My Trip To Argentina”
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In the meantime, enjoy this wonderful salad anywhere, anytime, and in any weather 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Cheese & Tomato Salad – Heirloom Tomatoes, Gouda, Radish, Onion, Basil And Scallion In Herb Vinaigrette

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Cheese & Tomato Salad – Heirloom Tomatoes, Gouda, Radish, Onion, Basil And Scallion In Herb Vinaigrette

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Cheese & Tomato Salad – Heirloom Tomatoes, Gouda, Radish, Onion, Basil And Scallion In Herb Vinaigrette

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Cheese , Scallion, Radish & Onion in Herb Vinaigrette

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Preparation :
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“Pigs Trotters” (Part 1 – Caribbean Souse)


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Pig’s feet  are not everybody’s cup of tea, but for those of us who love them, they are a special treat.
I prepare them quite often, in stews, steamed, braised, Asian style, Latin style, German style; any which way is fine with me 🙂
The following dish is Caribbean Style Souse, as I enjoyed it many moon’s ago a couple of times in Trinidad, at the home of my friend Lyron’s mother.
Very spicy and lightly acidic, with lots of vegetables, it was the perfect food on a hot day by the beach, spend in wonderful company and washed down with a few bottles of Carib Beer – nothing else was needed in those moments to feel happy and content 🙂
These meals (and times) are now in the distant past; all that’s left are the happy memories, vividly recalled by preparing the meals we enjoyed together then – Lyron and his wife Dorsey, my wife Maria, myself and Lyron’s mother, whose name eludes me after all these years but whom I always remember when preparing this particular souse………….
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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“Pigs Trotters” (Part 1 – Caribbean Souse)

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“Pigs Trotters” (Part 1 – Caribbean Souse)

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“Pigs Trotters” (Part 1 – Caribbean Souse)

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Caribbean Souse

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Preparation :
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Salmon Fried Rice – 鮭チャーハン

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stylish………. 🙂

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If you ever had a Japanese breakfast, you probably have enjoyed a slice of salted salmon.
With it´s great texture and wonderful, mild flavor, it provides the perfect protein for a healthy breakfast. And, as you can see from the pictures on this page, it is the perfect protein for a light, tasty and healthy Japanese fried rice.
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P.S.
Lately, I have fallen in love with all kinds of different Asian bowls for rice, soup and noodles. But, at 40.00 to 100.00 bucks a pop, I have to slow down a bit with my Amazon late-night ordering.  🙂  Nevertheless, the collection keeps growing……… 🙂
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Salmon Fried Rice – 鮭チャーハン

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Salmon Fried Rice – 鮭チャーハン

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Salmon Fried Rice – 鮭チャーハン

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Preparation :
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A Rare Occasion – “Entrecôte Saignant, Avec Salade Verte À La Française” (Rare Strip Steak With French Style Green Salad)

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A Rare Occasion – “Entrecôte Saignant, Avec Salade Verte À La Française” (Rare Strip Steak With French Style Green Salad)

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Usually, I don´t fancy my red meat cooked rare. Medium rare is more to my liking.
However, today I woke up with a craving for a rare steak. This craving stayed with me until noon, and when it was time to prepare lunch, I decided to give-in and have a rare steak. To my dismay, there was no steak in the fridge, so I had to walk to my neighborhood butcher to get the fine steak pictured here. Its only a 10 minute walk each way, so normally that´s not a problem, but the longer I had to wait to dig in, the bigger the craving grew 🙂
Since the steak was big enough, I thought the only side I needed was a green salad, so that was it. A few slices of bread below the steak to soak up the juices and there it was – the perfect solution to satisfy my hours-long craving 🙂
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As for the salad – “Salade Verte À La Française” sounds rather fancy, but it is really just a green salad with a dijon/garlic dressing. This is the classic French salad, the one that invariably appeared whenever you wandered into a bistro and ordered une salade. It consists simply of lettuce and dressing – no cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes or other embellishments. It doesn’t need them. For it is perfection in its simplicity – light and packed with flavor. The lettuce most often used in France is what Americans call Boston lettuce, and what the French call simply salade . Another favorite is escarole (Scarole in French). Rarely were other types of lettuce used in the old days, but now one may encounter innovations like feuille de chêne, literally oak-leaf, a variety of lettuce with scalloped leaves. As for the dressing, in previous times salade verte was almost always served with vinaigrette à la moutarde – a vinaigrette of Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, sunflower or peanut oil, salt, pepper and shallot or garlic. In Paris, at least. In southern France, olive oil was used, sometimes with lemon instead of vinegar. Now there are variations throughout the country, with balsamic vinegar and other upstarts making an occasional appearance.
The tragedy today is that it’s next to impossible to find a classic salade verte in a French bistro, much less anywhere else in the restaurant World. The lettuce may be the same, but bottled dressings have largely replaced the homemade vinaigrettes that gave this salad such distinction. The newfangled sauce is runny, white and – perish the thought – can be sweet.
(Part of this description of french salad is an excerpt from “The Everyday French Chef”)
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A Rare Occasion – “Entrecôte Saignant, Avec Salade Verte À La Française” (Rare Strip Steak With French Style Green Salad)

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A Rare Occasion – “Entrecôte Saignant, Avec Salade Verte À La Française” (Rare Strip Steak With French Style Green Salad)

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A Rare Occasion – “Entrecôte Saignant, Avec Salade Verte À La Française” (Rare Strip Steak With French Style Green Salad)

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Salade verte à la française

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grilled sour dough bread

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Preparation :
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Sautéed King Oyster Mushrooms with Pommes Dauphinoise (Sautierte Kräuterseitlinge mit Kartoffel-Gratin (Pleurotes Du Panicaut)

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Sautéed King Oyster Mushrooms with Pommes Dauphinoise (Sautierte Kräuterseitlinge mit Kartoffel-Gratin  (Pleurotes Du Panicaut)

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I feel so lucky to be in Germany during the mushroom season. Mushrooms are so affordable right now, you can buy them by the basket for a few € and really pig-out without putting a dent into your wallet.
I prepare different varieties at least three times a week, and still, I don´t get tired of them.  🙂
As usual with fresh, quality produce, most of the time, simple is best. Most mushrooms just need to be sauteed in butter or EVO with a bit of salt and pepper and voilà – a meal fit for a king and queen can be had in minutes.
And potato gratin of any type – well, not much needs to be said about that. It makes a great side dish, or just served by itself with a few leaves of green by its side, it will be a wonderful meal on its own. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
This amount of mushrooms serves 2 main courses, while the Dauphinoise serve 10 portions. You can, of course, scale up the mushrooms to feed up to 10 pax. However, the dauphinoise heat up great and can also be served at room temperature, so when the next meal time comes around, you´ll be glad you prepared more of it. 🙂
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Sautéed King Oyster Mushrooms with Pommes Dauphinoise (Sautierte Kräuterseitlinge mit Kartoffel-Gratin (Pleurotes Du Panicaut)

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Sautéed King Oyster Mushrooms with Pommes Dauphinoise (Sautierte Kräuterseitlinge mit Kartoffel-Gratin (Pleurotes Du Panicaut)

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Sautéed King Oyster Mushrooms with Pommes Dauphinoise (Sautierte Kräuterseitlinge mit Kartoffel-Gratin (Pleurotes Du Panicaut)

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Sautéed King Oyster Mushrooms with Pommes Dauphinoise (Sautierte Kräuterseitlinge mit Kartoffel-Gratin (Pleurotes Du Panicaut)

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Sautéed King Oyster Mushrooms with Pommes Dauphinoise (Sautierte Kräuterseitlinge mit Kartoffel-Gratin (Pleurotes Du Panicaut)

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Pommes Dauphinoise

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Preparation :
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Red Wine-Braised Veal Shank Slice, With Tagliatelle & Yucatan Cebolla En Escabeche On A Crispy Noodle Pillow

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Yucatan Cebolla En Escabeche

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While traditional Osso Bucco is one of my favorite meat dishes, this version of braised sliced veal shanks is, in my humble opinion, far superior.
First, the crispy noodle pillow adds great texture to the soft texture of the meat.
Second, the marinated onions add great umami to the normally quite one-dimensional flavor of an original osso buco.
Third, and most importantly, the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, star anise and red wine (instead of white wine) make a great improvement to the regular, traditional seasoning of osso buco.
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Pls note, this is in no way a negative judgment of a great osso buco, but rather a testament to the fact that I love my food on the spicy, flavorful side. Let me live, please  ………. 🙂
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Red Wine-Braised Veal Shank Slices With Tagliatelle & Yucatan Cebolla En Escabeche On A Crispy Noodle Pillow

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Red Wine-Braised Veal Shank Slices With Tagliatelle & Yucatan Cebolla En Escabeche On A Crispy Noodle Pillow

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Crispy Noodle Pillow

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Red Wine-Braised Veal Shank Slices With Tagliatelle & Yucatan Cebolla En Escabeche On A Crispy Noodle Pillow

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Yucatan-style marinated onions are one of my go-to condiments to (almost) everything. (Sandwiches, roasts, braises, bbq´s, veggies, potatoes, salads, etc, you name it – I slap on a few Yucatan Cebolla En Escabeche.  🙂
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Preparation :
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Breakfast of Champions # 74 – Belgian Waffles With Caramelized Fruit

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Breakfast of Champions # 74 – Belgian Waffles With Caramelized Fruit

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Today I tried out my new waffle iron.
I am happy to report that the Iron functions as it should, that I still can prepare delicious waffles and that both Bella and I are still big fans of freshly baked waffles with caramelized fresh fruit.
Simple and quick, yet soooo satisfying 🙂
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Belgian Waffles Recipe :
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Ingredients :
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2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs, separated
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Method :
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In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, lightly beat egg yolks. Add milk, butter and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until combined. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.
Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown. Serve with fruits or syrup of your choice

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Breakfast of Champions # 74 – Belgian Waffles With Caramelized Fruit

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Breakfast of Champions # 74 – Belgian Waffles With Caramelized Fruit

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Breakfast of Champions # 74 – Belgian Waffles With Caramelized Fruit

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Breakfast of Champions # 74 – Belgian Waffles With Caramelized Fruit

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Breakfast of Champions # 74 – Belgian Waffles With Caramelized Fruit

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Preparation :
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End Of Summer Celebration – “Creamy Tomato & Bell Pepper Soup”

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End Of Summer Celebration – “Creamy Tomato & Bell Pepper Soup”

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Now that summer is almost over in Germany, I took the opportunity to buy some of the last garden-grown tomatoes and bell peppers from my neighbor down the road. (In a normal year, September provides the last locally grown tomatoes, while the season for bell peppers ends during October/November. As much as possible, I like to buy food that has been produced locally. My neighbor produces eggs, chicken, and lamb, as well as potatoes, tomatoes, capsicum, apples, blackberries, mirabelles, and strawberries.
Even the local supermarkets sell a lot of locally grown food-stuff, which makes one feel good about giving a little help to the local farmers. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good
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End Of Summer Celebration – “Creamy Tomato & Bell Pepper Soup”

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End Of Summer Celebration – “Creamy Tomato & Bell Pepper Soup”

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4 lbs tomatoes, 1.5 lbs red peppers

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add 2 ea medium size onions, cut int chunks

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add kosher salt, sriracha, sugar and garlic paste to taste

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add 1 gallon chicken- or veggie – broth,, simmer until liquid has reduced to 2 quarts

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with a stand-mixer or hand-mixer blend all until very smooth, last minute ad 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

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add 2 cup heavy cream, check/adjust flavor

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