traditional

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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Click here for more  Escargots  on  ChefsOpinion
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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 :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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Grilled Tuna Steak, Garlic Confit With Black Olives And Greens In Raspberry Vinaigrette


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Fresh grilled tuna steak might seem a tad old-fashioned these day’s, but when it is so yummy, who cares ? 🙂
This dish, and the memories it evoked, mentally transported me back to the shores of the Mediterranean, where this would be a traditional, light lunch – a few, simple but fresh and fragrantly seasoned ingredients, enjoyed with good company and a few glasses of wine, then, a short Siesta and on to a wild night about town 🙂
Well, in my case it was iced tea instead of wine, then a walk with Bella instead of a siesta and afterward a good movie instead of a wild night about town. 🙂
But, nevertheless, great food and a wonderfully relaxing evening.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Grilled Tuna Steak, Garlic Confit With Black Olives And Greens In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Mediterranean Fish Seasoning:

  • 3tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 2tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 12teaspoon salt

Mix ingredients well. This mix seasons 4 to 6 steaks.
Brush tuna with olive oil, season liberally with the spice mix, grill until temperature reaches your preference.
Saute confit and black olives in EVO, add to steak.
Serve with a salad of your choice.
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Click here for  Garlic Confit  on  ChefsOpinion
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Grilled Tuna Steak, Garlic Confit With Black Olives And Greens In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Grilled Tuna Steak, Garlic Confit With Black Olives And Greens In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Grilled Tuna Steak, Garlic Confit With Black Olives And Greens In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Grilled Tuna Steak, Garlic Confit With Black Olives And Greens In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Eiskaffee

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During  the past few very hot and very humid weeks I went to a couple of different establishments to get a cooling drink which I have had a huge craving for lately – “Eiskaffee“.
Today, after numerous unsuccessful attempts, I finally ended-up making it myself at home, because I could not get it anywhere 😦
Maybe it’s because German “eiskaffee” translates into English “Iced Coffee”???
At different places I was served various things, none of it even close to a Eiskaffee. Most versions were simple coffee with ice cubes, some contained added cream or condensed milk, some of them cold brewed coffee with ice cubes (why waste your time and $ on cold-brewed coffee when you water it down with ice??) but none of them was the original I was craving for.
You see, Eiskaffee is usually served at a Café (coffee shop)Eiscafé or Eisdiele (Ice Cream Parlor) in Germany. There you can order a huge variety of “Eisbecher“, different concoctions of ice cream, fresh or canned fruit, whipped cream, liquors, sweet wafers, coffee, chocolate, sprinkles, etc, etc, etc……..and one of the traditional  Eisbecher  is  Eiskaffee. It’s simplicity is stunning, it’s wonderful taste and refreshingness even more so. Like all simple food and drinks, the secret in it’s greatness lies in the use of top-notch ingredients. Top of the line vanilla ice cream, best quality, double strength coffee, fresh-whipped heavy cream, great quality coco powder to sprinkle on top and, if used, good quality cognac or coffee liquor.
So simple! So Good !
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here to see a large variety of  Eisbecher
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Click here to see what’s  NOT  Eiskaffee
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Below see the real McCoy.
Two different presentations, same ingredients :
Top of the line vanilla ice cream, best quality, double strength coffee, fresh-whipped heavy cream, great quality coco powder to sprinkle on top.
Optional : A shot of good quality cognac or coffee liquor.
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Eiskaffee

Eiskaffee

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Eiskaffee

Eiskaffee

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Chicken Fried Steak

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The  great thing about CFS is that one can utilize an economical (cheap, in plain English)  cut of beef, such as top round or cube steak and still get excellent results. However, I happened to have some leftover raw strip loin left from yesterday’s dinner, which I sliced thin, then pounded it even thinner for this CFS.
Usually the traditional side dish would be mashed potatoes, but I am trying to cut down on my starch intake, so I felt the flour from the breading and the “Gravy” was enough of that for the day.
(The rendered fat from the chorizo and the chicken fat made this southern style gravy even tastier than it’s usual version made with bacon fat)
American comfort food at it’s finest ! (Just don’t tell your cardiologist) 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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All about Chicken Fried Steak
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All about Gravy
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Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak

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Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Cornmeal-Dusted Sauteed Pork Ribs

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So who decided that the only good ribs are BBQ’d Ribs ?!
Once you have tried these here knock-out babies, you might be hooked on this very different spin on one of Americas favorite pork cut’s.
I for one prefer this preparation to the traditional way of barbequing ribs. This way you will actually be able to taste the rib meat, as well as enjoy the unique texture of the ribs, all of which is lost after hours of grilling, smoking and then drowning in a bucket-load of bbq sauce.
Of course, there are some great bbq’d ribs out there, but in my own humble opinion, they are few and far between.
So here we go, great ribs served with a wonderful German potato and cucumber salad.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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German Potato Salad 
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Cornmeal Dusted Sauteed Pork Ribs

Cornmeal Dusted Sauteed Pork Ribs

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Cornmeal Dusted Sauteed Pork Ribs

Cornmeal Dusted Sauteed Pork Ribs

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Tortilla Española (Tortilla De Patatas) (Spanish Omelette)

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While a Spanish tortilla is steeped in tradition and has it’s long-standing recipes (usually just thinly sliced potatoes and eggs,) I like to make my own, more elaborate versions by adding “stuff”, such as ham, bacon, vegetables, mushrooms, shrimp, or any other ingredient I find suitable to a dish I love but would find boring after a while had it only the two original ingredients. I justify calling these versions “Tortilla Española” because of the fact that while I was traveling in Spain, I encountered many such versions with different ingredients, all the same called “Tortilla Española”. As for browning the potatoes in the version containing diced potatoes instead of thinly sliced potatoes, this just seems to result in a different texture (better, in my opinion) than if using potatoes without a crispy crust.
I hope the Tortilla Española Purist’s out there will forgive me and everybody else will experiment until they find their own favorite version of this great dish 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Tortilla Española (Tortilla De Patatas) (Spanish Omelette)

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Tortilla Española  (Tortilla De Patatas)  (Spanish Omelette)

Tortilla Espagnola

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Tortilla Espagnola

Tortilla Espagnola

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Sauteed Red Beet Leaves With Steamed Swai Filet, Aji Amarillo Sauce, Parmesan Shavings & Scallions

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Today’s post on  “Hans’ Lighter, Healthier Comfort Food” 

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Week One – Wednesday Dinner
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Sautéed Red Beet Leaves With Steamed Swai Filet, Aji Amarillo Sauce, Parmesan Shavings & Scallions
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Click here to see all pictures and Cooking Instructions
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Who would have thought that red beet leaves are so yummy? !
Definitely not me, having never even considered cooking them before. But now that I have been looking into a more balanced, healthier diet, I have discovered a number of ingredients I will use in the future which will both expand my repertoire and at the same time improve my nutritional values.
Some of you might wonder why I have added cheese to this dish, since parmesan and fish does not usually end up on the same plate, but here , in my opinion, it just goes perfect with the vegetable, so in this case it won against  traditional restrictions.
And as far as the Aji Amarillo Sauce is concerned, because of its versatility, the bottled version has become a bit of a go-to condiment for me, convenient and oh-so-good 🙂 .

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Bon Appetit ! Enjoy a Healthy, Happy Life !
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Sauteed Red Beet Leaves With Steamed Swai Filet, Aji Amarillo Sauce, Parmesan Shavings & Scallions

Sautéed Red Beet Leaves With Steamed Swai Filet, Aji Amarillo Sauce, Parmesan Shavings & Scallions


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Sauteed Red Beet Leaves With Steamed Swai Filet, Aji Amarillo Sauce, Parmesan Shavings & Scallions

Sautéed Red Beet Leaves With Steamed Swai Filet, Aji Amarillo Sauce, Parmesan Shavings & Scallions


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Hans’ Pork Buns (Not David Chang’s Pork Buns)

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David Chang’s  pork buns have achieved a mythical status only American “foodies “would allow to be bestowed upon a simple steamed bun, smeared with hoisin sauce and topped with salt and sugar seasoned pork belly and pickled cucumbers.
When I had these wonderful little sandwiches a few years back in New York I was truly smitten by their delicious simplicity, but I never understood their immense cult following. My only explanation would be that pork belly, pickled cucumbers and steamed buns are fairly new to most folks who fall all over them self touting these “innovative” ingredients and combinations. (Kind of making fools of them self by flaunting their lack of experience with international cuisine while considering them self “foodies” and “experts”). Steamed pork buns are a traditional staple in many Asian cuisines, especially in China. There are infinite numbers of great variations out there, one better than the next.
Today, I want to introduce you to my own version of the pork bun. For this version, I am using kaiser roll (a very light version) instead of the traditional steamed bun and introduce my pork to a lot more flavor and texture. I consider my pork buns not necessarily to be better but definitely tastier and more textural interesting. You’ll be the judge 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Hans' Pork Belly Bun

Hans’ Pork Belly Bun

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Hans' Pork Belly Bun

Hans’ Pork Belly Bun

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top pork with cucumber/radish and coarsely chopped cilantro

top pork with cucumber/radish and coarsely chopped cilantro

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Preparation :
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season porkbelly with salt and saute until golden brown

season porkbelly with salt and saute until golden brown

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when brown, remove pork and set aside

when brown, remove pork and set aside

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 saute onions in garlic oil  until lightly caramelized

saute onions in garlic oil until lightly caramelized

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add hoisin sauce, grated ginger, garlic paste

add hoisin sauce, grated ginger and garlic paste

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add oyster sauce

add oyster sauce

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add say sauce

add soy sauce

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add sriracha

add sriracha

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return pork to pan, add water

return pork to pan, add water

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simmer covered until pork is tender but NOT falling apart, remove pork, set aside, reduce sauce until thickened and onions are very soft, check / adjust seasoning

simmer covered until pork is tender but NOT falling apart, remove pork, set aside, reduce sauce until thickened and onions are very soft, check / adjust seasoning

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meanwhile, slice radishes and cucumber into julienne, season with kosher salt, let sit for 20 minutes, squeeze dry, discard juices

meanwhile, slice radishes and cucumber into julienne, season with kosher salt, let sit for 20 minutes, squeeze dry, discard juices add rice wine vinegar and white pepper, check / adjust seasoning

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cut pork into bit sized pieces

cut pork into bite-size pieces

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cut kaiser rolls in half, toast lightly

cut kaiser rolls in half, toast lightly

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top both halves of buns with onion/sauce

top both halves of buns with onion sauce

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add pork to bottom half of bun

add pork to bottom half of bun

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top pork with cucumber/radish and coarsely chopped cilantro

top pork with cucumber/radish and coarsely chopped cilantro

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Hans' Pork Belly Bun

Hans’ Pork Belly Bun

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Hans' Pork Belly Bun

Hans’ Pork Belly Bun

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Hans' Pork Belly Bun

Hans’ Pork Belly Bun

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Embarrassing secret revealed below. Continue to scroll if you think you can take it………..
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Hans' Pork Belly Bun The actual dinner portion :-) :-(

Hans’ Pork Belly Bun
The actual dinner portion 🙂 😦

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Hans' Pork Belly Bun

Hans’ Pork Belly Bun

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