texture

Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)

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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)

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Pasta e fagioli , meaning “pasta and beans”, is a traditional Italian soup, (although beansoup with pasta is served the World over, with different beans, different pasta, meats or seafood and vegetables, and of course different local names).
Like many other Italian favorites, including pizza and polenta, it started as a peasant dish, being composed of inexpensive ingredients. It is often called pasta fasul (fazool) in the United States, derived from its Neapolitan name, pasta e fasule.

Recipes for pasta e fagioli alter greatly, the only true requirement being that beans and pasta are included. Ingredients vary from region to region, town to town, restaurant to restaurant, household to household, cook to cook, and of course, also depend on available ingredients.
Pasta e fagioli is most commonly made using cannellini beansGreat Northern beans or borlotti beans, and a small variety of pasta such as elbow macaroni or ditalini. The base typically includes olive oilgarlic, minced onioncelerycarrots and often stewed tomatoes or tomato paste. Some variations omit tomatoes and instead use a broth base. Preparation may be vegetarian, or contain meat (often bacon or pancetta) or other proteins and a meat-based stock. The consistency of the dish can also differ to a wide range, with some being soupy, while others are much thicker. For instance, in Bari the dish is thicker in consistency and uses mixed pasta shapes. It also uses pancetta in the base of the sauce. Other varieties call for the beans to be passed through a food mill, giving it a stew-like consistency.
As for the version on this page, it could not be more perfect for my personal taste/texture. I prepare Pasta and beans in uncounted versions all the time, but pigs feet, pork/tomato broth, pasta and bean can hardly be topped (unless you add tripe)  🙂

P.S.
The word for “beans” varies in different Italian languages, e.g. fagioli [faˈdʒɔːli] in standard Italianfasule [faˈsuːlə] in Neapolitan, and fasola [faˈsɔːla] in Sicilian. “Pastafazoola“, a 1927 novelty song by Van and Schenck, capitalizes on the Neapolitan pronunciation in the rhyme, “Don’t be a fool, eat pasta fazool”; and the song “That’s Amore“, by Warren and Brooks (popularized by Dean Martin), includes the rhyme “When the stars make you drool, just like pasta fazool, that’s amore”.

Pls note:
Part of the above article is an excerpt from wikipedia.
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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)


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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)


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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)


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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)

 

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Preparation :
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Pork Nirvana – “Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft” – (Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus)

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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First of all, a word of warning:
This is NOT your typical American-or Latin –style, super-long cooked roast pork.
This is German / Bavarian-style roast pork, very juicy (no need to drown it in sauce to be able to swallow it), very delicious pork with a wonderful texture, more like a perfectly cooked steak than a stringy mess that falls apart when you barely touch it.
While I enjoy both versions (as you know from previous posts), today´s version is by far my favorite one. Assuming you have pork of perfect quality, roasting it this way outshines the “cooked-to-death” variation by a mile. 🙂
While the pictures seem to show pork which is still a bit undercooked, I can assure you it was fully cooked, extremely juicy, had the texture of a very tender steak and, surprise surprise, had a pure, unadulterated pork taste which was further enhanced with the slightly thickened pork jus which collected during the cooking in the drip pan beneath the roast and was enhanced with a generous jug of good quality Merlot.
In other words –  Pork Nirvana. 🙂

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Pork knuckles have many fans and admirers around the world, yet, despite so many folks loving to eat them in restaurants (especially German restaurants or, if the opportunity presents itself, at the most famous “Knucklefest” of them all, Munich’s Oktoberfest 🙂 , very few people prepare them at home, especially in the US.
I assume the reason for this reservation is the fear of doing something wrong when preparing a rather underused and underappreciated part of the animal with which most cooks have never cooked.
While it can be daunting if one does not know how to do it right and there is a lack of proper guidance and hands-on experience, the following recipe it is nearly impossible to screw it up, therefore I hope it will serve to have more folks preparing this wonderful dish at home.
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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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before roasting……..

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during roasting……..

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after roasting……….

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Preparation :
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Calamares Al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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This was such a down to earth, yet wonderfully delicious meal. Well-prepared rice and beans are something I enjoy at least twice a week. But not just the simple black beans and white rice common here in the Caribbean, South America and South Florida, but many, many combinations of different rice and different beans (or peas)
Add a simple protein, such as steak, schnitzel, roast pork, braised pork, fish, seafood, sausages, eggs or other veggies and you have a meal fit for a (Latin) king 🙂
As for the rice and beans, there are the same endless possibilities of variations – curry rice and fried chickpeas, white rice and black eye beans, risi e bisi, curried chickpeas with wild rice, succotash and white rice, rice porridge (congee) with beans or peas, sautéed rice patties with hummus, etc, etc. Just make sure you season these dishes to be fragrant with fresh herbs, chilies, cumin, garlic, a bit of soy sauce and/or Maggi seasoning. If left bland, rice and beans are a sorry excuse for a multicultural/multinational staple, but when properly prepared, they will be exciting and satisfying 🙂
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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Arroz Mexicana

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Frijoles Negro

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Preparation :
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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon-Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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The texture of beef neck is absolutely stunning. I wish I’d be able to buy just a slab of the meat, without the bones. That would make the perfect goulash or braised roast. In the meantime, I’ll just have to make do with the neck bones and the meat on them. They are of course the same wonderful texture and flavor as a large boneless slab would be, but naturally, the presentation suffers a bit.  😦
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P.S.
These bread dumplings are a typical example of the fact that most savory recipe measurements are at best guidelines. In this case, there are too many possible variables for the ingredients to use ANY measurements. Rather, the measurements are loose guidelines. For dumplings especially, experience is the key to a successful dumpling. As I mentioned in previous posts, most young (or old) cooks and chefs have never perfected the art/craft of proper dumplings for that particular reasons  – one needs experience and  “feeling” to get the ratios of the ingredients just right. Dumplings of any type (fish, meat, liver, potato, bread, lobster and so forth must be very light without falling apart while cooking. By just following measurements, because of the many and large variables, this is impossible to achieve. One needs practice, practice and practice – THEN one needs feeling, feeling and feeling. I believe the reason why we hardly see dumplings on menus anymore is the same as the reason why most cooks embraced the idiotic habit of eating fish, pork vegetables and other food items “seared on the outside, raw on the inside”, – any moron can achieve that without any skills, knowledge or experience 😦
Anyway, don’t be discouraged if by the first try you don’t succeed, – just put in lots of practice, lots of love and lots of feeling, and soon you too will be able to enjoy homemade dumplings (and properly cooked protein) as often as you crave it 🙂

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Semmelknödel – Bread Dumpling

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Preparation :
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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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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Black beans, potatoes, mushrooms, eggs and loads of cilantro – what would serve better as proper condiments than salsa verde and salsa Mexicana ? 🙂
Ever since I have discovered authentic tasting salsa verde and salsa Mexicana at my neighborhood international food market, I have them in my larder and fridge at all times, using it to enhance breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes of all types – eggs, seafood, meat, pasta, rice, vegetables, etc, etc. Together with chili paste of all levels of hotness, Maggi seasoning and soy sauce, these are the condiments/seasonings  without almost none of my meals are complete. 🙂
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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Preparation :
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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Some of my favorite dishes are the ones that come together without set ingredients, without planning and without recipes.
I just go to the fridge and/or cupboard, look what’s available and what needs to be used, and just throw together what I think will fit and taste delicious. Such was the case with this soup. I had some krakauer sausage, leftover cooked broccoli, leftover cooked cauliflower and leftover fresh leek from previous dishes, and of course there are always onions in the cupboard and at least 2 or 3 types of cheese in the fridge. Throw it all together and in a few short minutes – a dish as good as can be 🙂  Life is Good !
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transfer to soup bowl or soup plate, sprinkle ea bowl with 1/2 tblsp grated asiago and drizzle with 1 tblsp EVO

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Preparation :
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Salad Of Cracked Pepper -Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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The success of this dish hinges entirely on the proper preparation of the liver nuggets. They must be crisp on the outside, medium-rare to medium (depending on your preference) on the inside and spicy but not mouthburningly so.
Seem’s easy enough, as long as you know how to handle VERY HOT fat.
If the temperature is not right, the nuggets will get well-done before they are crisp, resulting in a rubbery, dry and even tough protein. But when done right, they are truly wonderful. The result is a great dish that belies its humble ingredients.
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P.S.
If you can procure duck livers to replace the chicken livers, they will lift this dish from merely wonderful to absolute divine 🙂
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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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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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“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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I am a big fan of chocolate mousse, but usually it is served a bit too sweet for my taste. On the other hand, the mousse featured on this page is quicker and easier to make than the more traditional French version, while every bit as delicious – serious lovers of dark chocolate may find themselves liking it even more (I sure do). 🙂
The tart yogurt and total absence of cream and eggs let the fruity side of good dark chocolate really break free, for a bright and tangy mousse that won’t make you want to crawl into bed after a few spoonfuls.
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Greek Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse Recipe :
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Ingredients:
6 oz good-quality dark chocolate with 70% cacao, finely chopped
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tblsp Grand Marnier
cup whole Greek yogurt
2 tblsp orange marmalade
1 tblsp organic honey
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Method:
Place the chocolate into a medium heatproof bowl. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk just to a boil over medium heat. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate and leave it to sit for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir with a spatula or a wooden spoon until you have a smooth ganache.
In a small bowl, beat the Greek yogurt with a small whisk or a fork until smooth.
Fold the yogurt into the chocolate mixture using a spatula until thoroughly combined, then stir in the honey, Grand Marnier, marmalade and 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds.
Spoon the mousse into four small or three slightly larger serving cups and chill until firm,covered with plastic wrap.
To serve, add a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with topping of your choice, such as fresh fruits and/or nuts. Serves 3-4.

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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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