About Mastering and Enjoying Home Cooking. Drink, Cook, and Live Well!

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Dan dan noodles with black beans

16 ounces egg noodles 
2 tablespoons lard or peanut oil
⅔ cup dry-roasted peanuts 
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce 
1 tablespoons hot chiles
2 teaspoons white sugar 
5 cloves garlic, peeled 
1  thumb size 
fresh ginger, peeled wt a spoon

1/2 lb. ground pork
1 ¼ cups cucumber - peeled, seeded, and chopped 
¾ cup thinly sliced green onions1
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro 
3 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon fermented black beans

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rapid boil. Cook egg noodles at a boil until tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid. 

Place noodles in a large bowl.

Heat oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Add peanuts to pan; saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Combine peanuts, soy sauce, chiles, sugar, garlic, and ginger in a mini food chopper; process until finely ground.

Cook pork in a wok over medium-high heat until no longer pink, stirring to crumble, about 8 minutes. Add peanut mixture and 3/4 cup cooking liquid to pork; bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add pork mixture, cucumber, green onions, cilantro, and lime juice to noodles; toss well. 



  1. green onions stocks (green part) a finely diagonally cut, the green parts are added last, as other ingredients are cooked.
  2. Optionally add Shousing wine.

Steve’s Cheeseburgers

1/2 lb beef and lamb, 50-50

Cooked sweet onion

Small amount sourdough bread crumbs

Cold, crisp iceberg lettuce

Grilled tomatoe or blacken Fresno or poblano Chile 

Small of bacon chopped

Pinch of white and black pepper, salt

Garlic mayonnaise 

Mix ingredient and divide in two  patties. Cook to desired degree. Cooking two medium rare is best.

Add seasoning including salt. Cover with American cheese and melt  in the salamander.

If you prefer you can melt on Munster cheese.

Monday, August 29, 2022

 Fondant potato

Fondant potatoes are from the French cuisine with the word 'fondant' meaning “melting”. Traditionally, fondant potatoes are peeled and cut into round, barrel-like shapes with the top and bottoms cut flat.

Shape the potatoes into little cylinders, smaller ones cook quicker. Cook in a little lard.

When the lard is hot, sear both sides of each potato cylinder until golden brown, about 5 to 6 minutes. Lower heat to medium-high and add butter pieces to the pan to melt around the potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the stock (duck or chicken stock) and simmer for 5 minutes. Finally, add the garlic and thyme sprigs For taste and looks.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Like many cream of vegetable soups, the base is reminiscent of leek-potato called Vichyssoise and like that soup, this one may be also served warm or cold. Like all cream of vegetable soups, this one too is quite elegant and could be served as a first course in any fine meal.


1/2 large chopped red onion (or an equal amount of Shallots)

2 medium new potatoes


White pepper

Red pepper

2 cups good clear chicken stock 

3 tablespoons sweet butter

1 cup tender broccoli flowerets 

1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

1 cup heavy cream

1 crushed chopped clove garlic

2 or 3 bay leaves

Sauté the onion in butter. Cut up and add the potato, white and red peppers, sauté gently for ten minutes in sweet butter, then add chicken stock. Cover and cook on low until broccoli is tender. Puree until fine with a post blender. Add enough cream to achieve the degree of taste required. Taste the soup and correct the salt and white pepper. Serve with a sprinkle of very finely chopped chives


This is almost satisfying soap full of flavour.

3 lbs catfish steaks (about 2 CF steaks per person)

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes (halved)

2 large shallots (halved or roughly chopped)

7 kaffir lime leaves

1 galangal (thickly sliced into about 6 pieces)

1 stalk lemongrass (pulverize and chop)

1/2 cup tamarind paste (gives the soup that yummy sour taste)

handful cilantro (chopped for garnish - optional)

a handful green onion (chopped for garnish - optional)

1/4 cup coconut milk or cream

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. salt or soy to taste

1 tbsp. chicken bouillon powder

2 tbsp. fish sauce or less if you wish

1 tbsp. Sweet paprika to add color

If you like some heat, and I do, I crush some Thai chiles in a motor until pulverised. 

Stir well the tamarind as it is all stuck together.

Assunta’s Calabrese Bread Soup

Assents was our maid in Rome and this is a family favorite especially nice in the winter. She was a large lady that loved to laugh. This soup was one of her favorites and making it, for some reason, made her giddy happy. The soup made us happy too. This is my favorite tomato soup.

3 Tablespoons best fruity unfiltered olive oil plus a teaspoon per bowl. 
3 Cloves chopped garlic
1 Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups very good chicken stock
Whole Italian San Marzano tomatoes, 28 ounce can
1/2 Cup Pinot Grigio wine
10 whole dry Mexican bay leaves (milder than Bay Laurel leaves) 
Sea salt as required
Black pepper
1 Loaf stale Ciabatta bread or other good bread
Garnish with fresh grated hard Italian cheese - any of the following would be good:
• Parmesan
• Grano Padano
• Romano
• Asiago

In a stock pot over medium heat, add olive oil and when the oil is hot, add chopped garlic and the crushed red pepper flakes. Cook 1 minute while stirring all the time. Add wine, chicken stock, tomatoes, and the bay leaves. Cook until the tomatoes are well softened. Correct the seasoning with salt and ground black pepper. Remove the bay leaves and discard.

Cut a piece of stale bread that generally covers most of the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the soup over the bread. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil in each bowl and serve. You can allow the soup to cool while bread soakes up the flavours. .

Cafe Beaujolais Cream of Sorrel Soup (1972)

Cafe Beaujolais was owned back in the early seventies by two retired French chefs whose love of fine food drew them back to opening a very small place in their own home’s living room. They served just dinner and only had four tables, but later crowded in another location  because of demand. They retired, but the name lives on although not a shadow of its former self.

This soup has become a favorite of my dinner guest. I confess to having to grow Sorrel in a pot so that I have ready access. I keep the snails away from this one of their favorites with a wide ring of adhesive backed copper tape which they will not cross.

4 medium Leeks, white sections, washed well 1 medium potato


white pepper

fleshly ground nutmeg

1 cup good clear chicken stock 2 tablespoons sweet butter

10 Fresh Sorrel Leaves

1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 cup Heavy Cream

Sauté the chopped white part of the leeks. Cut up and add the potato, sauté gently for ten minutes in sweet butter, add lemon and chicken stock. Cover and cook on low until the potatoes are just done (al dente) (20-25 minutes). Add sorrel, cook three minutes then Process in Cuisinar. Strain back into the pan in sorrel is old and stringy. Add pepper, cream, correct salt. Serve with a sprinkle of very finely chopped chives.


1. Contrary to a lot of articles about Margaret Fox, she is not the founder of Cafe Beaujolais but acquired it in 1977.