texture

Roast Cornish Hen With Caramelized Onions And Potatoes (Best Potatoes EVER?)

Roast Cornish Hen With Caramelized Onions And Potatoes

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Upon first glance, one’s impression would be that the Cornish Hen is the star of this dish.
While this is certainly the case in the looks-department, when it comes to taste, these potatoes do steal the show. (But of course, the Cornish Hen is awesome as well) 🙂
First, the potatoes and onions are coated in duck fat, seasoned with rosemary sprigs, kosher salt, and fresh-cracked black pepper, then slowly roasted until golden brown. Next, duck stock (or chicken stock)  is added,  topped with a whole Cornish Hen and roasted for another 45 minutes, during which time all the rendered fat from the Cornish Hen, together with its richly seasoned juices, oozes into the potatoes and combine to produce the best potatoes you will find this side of culinary heaven 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Cornish Hen  on  ChefsOpinion
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Roast Cornish Hen With Caramelized Onions And Potatoes

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Best Potatoes EVER?

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Roast Cornish Hen With Caramelized Onions And Potatoes

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Preparation :
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Who’s Ball’s Are Prettier Than Mine? – Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Not all meatballs are created equal. Some are different from others,  some are worse than others, and some are better than others.
And then you’ll come across these delicious, juicy, pretty Meatballs here, which are in a class all by themselves. Different? – For sure!  Better? – absolutely!
Well, at least that is my opinion, and I’ll stick to it until somebody can prove me wrong 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Balls  on  ChefsOpinion
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Garlic & Herb Yogurt  recipe :
Mix 1/2 cup Greek yogurt with 1 ea tsp garlic paste, chopped cilantro, chopped parsley and a chiffonade of mint, season with 1 tsp lime juice, and kosher salt and cayenne pepper to taste. This pairs well with most grilled and sauteed proteins and veggies 🙂
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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew


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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Preparation :
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Tonkatsu With Cilantro/Pomegranate Rice

Cilantro/Pomegranate Rice

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Mixing  freshly steamed rice with cilantro is very common. Mixing cilantro rice with pomegranate seeds not so much, at least I have never seen it before.
But what a treat it is. The combination works very well, and both flavor and texture are outstanding. A great new addition to my standards repertoire 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe  on  ChefsOpinion
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serve with lemon and scallion (optional)

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Tonkatsu With Cilantro/Pomegranate Rice

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Tonkatsu With Cilantro/Pomegranate Rice

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Preparation :
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Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

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Before  anybody get’s their knickers in a twist about “real” Curries, let me explain something.
Many years ago, whenever we used commercially available, pre-mixed curry powder in Europe, more often than not, the name of the dish included the moniker “Madras”. This made it clear to everyone and all that the dish contained stock, curry powder, cream, some fruit, and flour. There were also salads and cold appetizers using curry powder, which mostly also used to end up being called “Madras”.
Almost nobody had ever tasted a real curry, much less cooked one, so the “classique” French way of preparing “curry sauce”, (sauce au curry à l’indienne) was usually utilized.
Hence – “Madras” or Indian Style. 🙂

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here to read about  Commercial Curry Powder  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here to learn how to cook  Authentic” Curry Sauce  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here to see more  “Curry”  on  ChefsOpinion
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Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

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Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

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Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

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Preparation :
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One For The Kid’s # 6 – Banana/Walnut Cake With Figs, Raspberry Jam & Nutella

One For The Kid’s # 6 – Banana/Walnut Cake With Figs, Raspberry Jam & Nutella

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“ONE FOR THE KIDS”  is a series of Goodies which are wonderful treats for kids of all ages . They are super easy to prepare so you can ask your little ones to give you a helping hand in the production, which will make them proud and add even more happiness to a wonderful treat 🙂
(Here I used a store-bought banana walnut cake, because you don’t want to have the little ones to labor over the elaborate cake preparations).
In my area, there are many grocery chains and bakeries who sell great banana walnut cake. However, if you prefer to make your own, below is a link to a super easy recipe I’ve used in the past and which I found to give excellent results.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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Click here for more  One For The Kids  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  Walnut Cake Recipe  on  FoodNetwork
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Click here for  more  Dishes with Walnuts  on  ChefsOpinion
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One For The Kid’s # 6 – Banana/Walnut Cake With Figs, Raspberry Jam & Nutella

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One For The Kid’s # 6 – Banana/Walnut Cake With Figs, Raspberry Jam & Nutella

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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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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Faux Chicken Biryani


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It looks like biryani.
It tastes like biryani.
It smells like biryani.
Alas, it’s not biryani.
As usual when I cook for Bella and myself, a few days ago I cooked too much jasmin rice. The next day, my usual train of thought at first led me to either one of two leftover dishes – fried rice or congee. But I did not really feel like either one of those, so my next choice was this very easy to prepare “faux biryani”.
While a “real biryani is easy enough to prepare, this one was even easier and of course, with the pre-cooked rice at hand, this was the perfect way to utilize the rice and at the same time get a dish that is wonderful, flavorful and beautiful. Naturally, the texture of the rice was different from the real deal, (not inferior, just different), but nevertheless, the dish was a great success, fully enjoyed by Bella and myself 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Faux Dishes  on  ChefsOpinion
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P.S.
Usually, one would steep the saffron in ghee, but because of the relatively high-fat content of the chicken skin which will render into the dish, I replaced the ghee with milk.
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Faux Chicken Biryani

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Faux Chicken Biryani

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Faux Chicken Biryani

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Faux Chicken Biryani

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds

Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds


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has to wonder:
Why are sweet or savory crepes not on everybody’s table at least once a week ???
I can’t recall to ever have met anybody who’d claim not to like crepes, either in its sweet or savory form, or both.
Crepes can be prepared easily by anybody, even by a child or somebody with two left hands. Even if one does not like to cook, these babies need all of a few minutes to prepare, are very economical and, have I said this already? – are easy and quick to prepare.
In its sweet, plain variation, just sprinkle some castor sugar on top and maybe a bit of whipped cream, and you have a great dessert or sweet snack.
It’s savory, plain version will make a quick meal by drizzling a bit of butter on top and serving them with a small salad on the side.
And then, you have the more elaborate stuff 🙂
Savory crepes can be filled with creamed or buttered mushrooms, vegetables, seafood, chicken, game meats, spicy sausages and a myriad of other, more or less fancy goodies.
Sweet crepes will be happy to be married to caramelized fruit, creams, chocolate sauce, puddings, cream cheese (blintzes anyone?), nutella, yogurt, nuts, etc, etc, etc.
I myself have prepared just about any combination of crepes and “stuff” under the sun. I don’t really have a favorite per se, I love ’em all 🙂
So here is a version of crepes with caramelized fruits. I have to admit that the blackberries and pomegranate are rather expensive, especially when you cook for a large family. But be assured, caramelized apples, pears, oranges, bananas, strawberries, or any other more economical fruit will be just as wonderful – yummy to taste and pretty to look at 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Pancakes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds

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Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds

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Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Roast Duck – Part One – “Duck With Dirty Noodles”

Roast Duck – Part One – “Duck With Dirty Noodles”

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Last week I came across a special at my grocery store –   $ 10.50 for a whole duck, compared to the usual price of around $17.00 for the same size bird.
Of course, I bought two, because duck – anytime 🙂
After I defrosted the first one, I realized that it might be a good idea to prepare the duck in a way which will be more suitable to a bird which had probably spend a bit of extra time in the freezer (hence the special 🙂 ) , rather than just plain roasted and eaten without any additional preparation.
(I will post part two, “Roast Duck – Part Two – Duck Soup With Rice Sticks And Baby Bok Choy”, within the next few days)
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Duck  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Dirty Noodles  on  ChefsOpinion
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Roast Duck

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Roast Duck – Part One – “Duck With Dirty Noodles”

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Roast Duck – Part One – “Duck With Dirty Noodles”

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Dirty Noodles

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Roast Duck Recipe:
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Ingredients:
1 med size duck
Kosher salt to taste
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Method:
Preheat oven to 400F
Prick skin and fat of duck all over, remove excess fat-flaps
Season duck generously inside and out side with the salt.
Place duck breast-side down on a wire rack which rests on a sheet-pan.
Place into oven, immediately turn temperature down to 300 F
Roast duck for 3 hours and 45 minutes, turning duck every 30 minutes
After 3 hours and 45 minutes, increase heat to 420F, roast duck breast side up until skin is very crisp and golden, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Let the duck rest for 10 minutes before carving.
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Preparation :
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Confession Of An PT Addict

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I confess !
I am a lifelong PT addict, ever since I was a child and my mother fed me my first dose of PT ………
I will eat PT (pig’s tails) with gusto, in whatever guise you set them before me – braised in soy sauce, salted, fried, in stews, souse, soups, or just by themselves with bread and condiments, as shown here.
For today’s lunch, one bucket of 5 lbs was the exact right amount for Bella and me to pig out (pun intended). Of course, there are a lot of bones, so the actual amount of meat is not really that excessive (well, maybe a little……).
One might call this a case of “PT Overdose” 🙂
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Excerpt from an article by  Chichi Wang  on  Serious Eats :
” I want to make the case that pigs’ tails contain everything desirable in the pig, and in exactly the right proportions. Unlike ox tail, the tails of pigs come with the skin intact so that each segment is a perfect cross-section of skin, fat, tendon, and meat.
Fried or roasted, the skin of the tail is chewy and crisp, with a gelatinous layer underneath. Tail flesh is fork-tender like that of the neck bones, but meatier than trotters. There’s a modest amount of tendon around each bony hub–just enough to make the gnawing enjoyable, but not so much as to distract from the whole. All in all, a Pigs tail is a little porky universe unto itself. 
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– Looks like I am not the only “PT Addict” 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  PT  on  ChefsOpinion
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Confession Of An PT Addict

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Confession Of An PT Addict

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serve with fresh pretzel bread (laugenstangen), hot and mild chilies and mustard (or fresh horseradish if available)

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Confession Of An PT Addict

a bucket of heaven……

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Preparation :
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