Hungarian Beef Goulash

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Today  I combined breakfast, lunch and dinner all into one fabulous meal.
(I did however have a few fruits throughout the day).
Goulash is one of the dishes which were a staple in the South of Germany when I grew up and it was enjoyed in most homes and simple and even fine restaurants frequently. Goulash is quite different from  other beef stews. There is now flour to thicken the sauce as in most other stews (the collagen in the beef will take care of that) and there are much more onions and sweet paprika to give the goulash its characteristic taste and color. Goulash is usually reddish in color and it’s heat level can be high, depending on the amount of hot chili or chili powder added (if any). To obtain the original flavor of good goulash, season with equal parts of finely chopped lemon peel, thyme and caraway seeds.
I usually prefer my goulash to be accompanied by Knödel (dumplings) or Spätzle, but frankly, today this was too much effort for me and I substituted the Knödel or Spätzle with pasta :-)
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Bon Appetit !   Life Is Good !
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All about  Goulash
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All about  Knödel
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More ChefsOpinion on  Spätzle
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Hungarian Beef Goulash

Hungarian Beef Goulash

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Hungarian Beef Goulash With Pasta And Schmelze,  Romaine In Vinaigrette

Hungarian Beef Goulash With Pasta And Schmelze, Romaine In Vinaigrette

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Hungarian Beef Goulash With Pasta And Schmelze,  Romaine In Vinaigrette

Hungarian Beef Goulash With Pasta And Schmelze, Romaine Salad In Vinaigrette

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Preparation :
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Summer Feast Salad

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Today  the temperature was hovering around 100F and the humidity was almost unbearable.
So what, you say; You have A/C, you say….
Well, we do, but Bella and I spend half a day  at the Topeekeegee Yugnee Park, which is just a few miles up the road from our house. It was very relaxing and beautiful, but oh so hot.
So when we got home, a light meal was in order and what better than a salad and a pool of iced tea to cool a scorched body down :-)
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
I usually don’t use much fruit in my salads, but the firm, slightly tart nectarines perfectly complimented the cheese, salad and nuts.
P.P.S.
Instead of croutons I used tarallini (Small  Taralli , (sometimes marketed as “Italian Love Knots”)

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Summer Feast Salad

Summer Feast Salad

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Summer Feast Salad

Summer Feast Salad

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Preparation :
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Dwaeji Bulgogi & Tteokbokki (Korean Spicy Marinated Pork & Spicy Korean Rice Cake Stew)

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I often  wonder why there are not more Korean restaurants around here, given the wide variety of Korean foods which should appeal to most westerners, especially the grilled dishes such as Galbi, Bulgogi and Dak Galbi. Also much liked by me are a number of pasta dishes, most of all Chap Chae, Bibim-naengmyeon and of course Tteokbokki, which appears below. A tougher sale for the uninitiated diner might be the omnipresent Kimchi, which is no doubt an acquired taste (but then, once acquired……. :-)
So , as is so often the case when a craving for special food comes knocking, I had to start my own fires to cook the food I was longing for :-)
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Dwaeji Bulgogi

Dwaeji Bulgogi

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Tteokbokki

Tteokbokki

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Dwaeji Bulgogi, Tteokbokki And Kimchi

Dwaeji Bulgogi, Tteokbokki And Kimchi

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Preparation :
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Open Faced Octopus Salad Sandwich

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The  question might be, was this a salad or was it a sandwich? I am not so sure, probably it was both, rolled into one blissful lunch. One thing however I am sure of – it was absolutely delicious.
While devouring it I was reminded of the old custom of soaking up the salad dressing with a good, hearty bread. Most folks don’t do this anymore because it’s not very elegant or cool.
However, it is a great custom if you put enjoying good food first and appearances second :-)
Just make sure that you cut your bread into thick slices and toast it so it will stand up to the moisture of the salad. And if you are not a great fan of octopus, replace it with shrimp or even chicken and you will be just as happy as I was with the octopus version.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Open Faced Octopus Salad Sandwich

Open Faced Octopus Salad Sandwich

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Open Faced Octopus Salad Sandwich

Open Faced Octopus Salad Sandwich

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Preparation :
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Pied De Cochon

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ANYTHING  sounds better in french ?! :-)
I used to call my wife “Mon Petit Chou”, which sounds perfectly sweet and romantic in french. Translated, it’s “My Little Cabbage” :-(. Not as sweet and romantic, no doubt.
Same with my dinner today : “Pied De Cochon – which translates into “Pig’s Trotters”, one of my all time favorite second cuts.
Pigs trotters are very versatile, they are great fried, steamed, braised, and pickled.
The following dish was created today in my kitchen and, I must say, it was absolutely delicious (and pretty to look at, to boost).
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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More “Pig’s Goodies” on ChefsOpinion
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Wiki on Pigs Trotters
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More about Pigs Trotters
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 Pied De Cochon

Pied De Cochon

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 Pied De Cochon

Pied De Cochon

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Preparation :
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Jamaican Jerk Chicken

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While  there are a million and one jerk chicken recipes out there, the basic seasoning is usually brown sugar or molasses, all spice, garlic, cinnamon, scotch bonnets (as much as you can handle), ginger, thyme, nutmeg and salt. Most folks I know also add soy sauce and scallions (I do).
Then, if you have a wood burning grill, grill very slowly, covered until the chicken is charred on the outside and juicy on the inside. Since I don’t presently have a proper grill, I started my jerk chicken in a cast iron grill pan and after a light char developed, covered it and finished cooking it in the oven. The result was a very tasty, very juicy, close to perfection jerk chicken :-)
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Bon Appetit !   Life is good !
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P.S.
As I was cooking this inside the house, I used all dry herbs and spices.
However, for a more authentic experience, if cooking outside on a wood grill, you want to use fresh spices and herbs, minced and mixed with the soy sauce to a paste and rubbed into the chicken and its cuts. Cooking this on a covered grill will develop the flavorful smoky taste associated with authentic jerk chicken.
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Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

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Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

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Preparation :
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Shrimp Sliders

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After having a monstrous burger with all the trimmings at Fuddrucker for lunch, dinner was a bit more quaint.
The attraction of these sliders is the flavorful butter in which the shrimps are sauteed. Lots of garlic paste, horseradish and sriracha make these sliders exceptional and extraordinary.
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Bon Appetit !  Life is Good !
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Shrimp Sliders

Shrimp Sliders

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top sliders with sauteed sheimp

top sliders with sauteed shrimp

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Preparation :
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Casarecce Gorgonzola

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I was  going to make a quick salami and gorgonzola sandwich, when I realized that I felt I had to treat myself to a better lunch than a simple sandwich, so I checked the larder for a few available goodies and the following is what I came up with. By the time the pasta was cooked al dente, I had all the other ingredients prepped and it took only about another five minutes to complete the dish. While I love a good sandwich, this dish was a far more rewarding lunch and it took only slightly more time to prepare.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Casarecce Gorgonzola

Casarecce Gorgonzola

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Casarecce Gorgonzola

Casarecce Gorgonzola

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Preparation :
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Crustless No Bake Cheese Cake Dessert

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My  intention was to prepare a healthy, no refined-sugar containing, tasty and simple to prepare dessert. I started out on track, replacing the sugar in the cheese-cream filling with organic honey. But then, after I plated the first half of the cheese cake cream in a glass, topped it with honey-enriched strawberries and sugar-free whipped cream, I slipped and piled on the sugar in the form of a oh-so delicious, strawberry-jam filled, sugar-coated doughnut. Now, I will surely go to diet hell for this, but it was absolutely worth it !
And by the way, this particular cream cheese cake filling is the bomb, best I ever had.
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Bon Appetit !  See You In (Dessert) Hell  :-( :-)
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Link to Crustless Apple & Pear Pie
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Crustless No Bake Cheese Cake Dessert

Crustless No Bake Cheese Cake Dessert


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Crustless No Bake Cheese Cake

Crustless No Bake Cheese Cake

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Crustless No Bake Cheese Cake

Crustless No Bake Cheese Cake

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Chicken Tostada

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I used  to eat tostadas two or even three times a week when I was living in Cancun.
There was this small bar/restaurant on the beach of the lagoon across from where I lived, about a five minute walk away. (I believe it was on Blvd. Kukulcán KM 21 – I wonder if the place still exists?) On one side of the road is the ocean, on the other side, less than five hundred yards across the street, was this tiny place on the beach of the lagoon with a wooden pier protruding about thirty yards into the lake. Many a night I gave the waiter a small tip to set up a table for me at the end of the pier, to enjoy the night and a few drinks and snacks all by myself, usually while on the phone for a while with Maria who was back in Miami, taking care of things there. On most nights I had shrimp or chicken tostadas and a few “Negra Modelo” .
Happy times ! Aaahhhh, the memories :-)
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Bon Appetit !   Live is Good !
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Link to Salsa Mexicana
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Link to Guacamole
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Link to Tostadas De Camarones
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Chicken Tostadas

Chicken Tostadas

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flour tostadas, chicken in chipotle, salsa mexicana, tomato/onion salad, sour cream, guacamole, pickled chili

flour tostadas, chicken in chipotle, salsa mexicana, tomato/onion salad, sour cream, guacamole, pickled chili

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