Peel & Eat Chili / Garlic Shrimp

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Peel & Eat Chili / Garlic Shrimp

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Attention !!!   Bib and lot’s of paper towels required   🙂 
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Shrimp  on  ChefsOpinion
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Peel & Eat Chili / Garlic Shrimp

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Peel & Eat Chili / Garlic Shrimp

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Peel & Eat Chili / Garlic Shrimp

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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

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Haricots Verts En Salade

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Haricots Verts En Salade

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There is “Bean Salad” – and then, there is THIS “Bean Salad”!  🙂
Whether enjoyed as a snack, appetizer or main course – this bean salad ticks off all the marks for a wonderful salad: Beautiful, tasty and satisfying.
What else could you ask for from a salad? 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Salad  on  ChefsOpinion
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Haricots Verts En Salade

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Haricots Verts En Salade

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Haricots Verts En Salade

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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

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Baked Wild Sockeye Salmon With Baby Arugula

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Baked Wild Sockeye Salmon With Baby Arugula

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Once in a while, when you don’t have the time, urge or patience to cook a complicated dish, but still want to dine like a king/queen – this is for you 🙂
Total prep time – 5 minutes
Total time from start to end – 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the filet and your preference of doneness of the fish (internal temperature).
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Salmon  on  ChefsOpinion
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Baked Wild Sockeye Salmon With Baby Arugula

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Baked Wild Sockeye Salmon With Baby Arugula

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Baked Wild Sockeye Salmon With Baby Arugula

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Baked Wild Sockeye Salmon With Baby Arugula

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Bella’s Baked Wild Sockeye Salmon

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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

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Salade De Gésiers (Romaine and Red Onions In Tarragon Vinaigrette, With Chili Gizzards & Honey Garlic Yogurt)

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Salade De Gésiers (Romaine and Red Onions In Tarragon Vinaigrette, With Chili Gizzards & Honey Garlic Yogurt)

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As loyal readers of ChefsOpinion, by now you know of my love of innards and lesser cuts of animals – feet, heart, necks, liver, tails, kidneys, tripe, marrow, tongue,etc.
I fully understand that not everybody is a fan, but on the other hand, many people are.
Today’s featured salad contains chicken gizzards, which are always a special treat for me. (If you prefer another part of the chicken, such as breast or leg, go right ahead – the taste will be nearly the same, but of course you’ll loose-out on the texture). The length of the cooking time of gizzards is VERY important – too short and thy will be too tough to enjoy, too long, and the wonderful texture will be gone and you will be left with hopeless crap. Usually, they will need about one to two hours of simmering or braising before frying or sauteing (Or saute them first, then braise one to two hours). Either way, if you are one of the many folks who love them, the time and effort is well worth the time 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  Tarragon Vinaigrette Recipe
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Click here for more  Gizzards  on  ChefsOpinion
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Salade De Gésiers (Romaine and Red Onions In Tarragon Vinaigrette, With Chili Gizzards & Honey Garlic Yogurt)

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Salade De Gésiers (Romaine and Red Onions In Tarragon Vinaigrette, With Chili Gizzards & Honey Garlic Yogurt)

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Salade De Gésiers (Romaine and Red Onions In Tarragon Vinaigrette. With Chili Gizzards & Honey Garlic Yogurt)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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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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Click here for 
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Pulpo a la Gallega (Galician Style Octopus)

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Pulpo a la Gallega (Galician Style Octopus)

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A Coruña La Coruña ) is a city which I have often visited when I was a young man, about forty years ago.
Sabela, one of my friends from this other life, lived on the outskirts of the city with her parents, who at the time, probably imagined I’d be their future son in law 🙂
However, Sabela’s mom was a wonderful cook, and I remember many great meals in their house. The one dish that to this day still stands out in my mind is “Pulpo a la Gallega”.
This was a dish that I enjoyed in a much simpler version on a daily base, whenever Sabela and I hit the tapas bars, pulpo being one of my all-time favorite tapas. In the bar’s, “Pulpo a la Gallega” was simply octopus cooked until tender, then doused with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and smoked paprika. However, at Sabela’s home, her mother turned this into a full main course, which is the dish I present here. It contains the basic ingredients – pulpo, olive oil, sea salt and smoked paprika, but then, onions, potatoes, garlic, chilies and cilantro are added. And there you have it – pulpo heaven on earth 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Octopus  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Pulpo  on  ChefsOpinion
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Pulpo a la Gallega (Galician Style Octopus)

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Pulpo a la Gallega (Galician Style Octopus)

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Pulpo a la Gallega (Galician Style Octopus)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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

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Stir Fried Beef And Spinach In Cherry-Peppers Sauce

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Stir fried Beef And Spinach In Cherry- Peppers Sauce

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Marinated (pickled) Cherry  Peppers (Cherry Chillies, Cherry Bomb Peppers), both whole and chopped, have become one of my favorite condiments and spices lately. The are both mild and hot, different brands usually have a different heat index. They also taste very fruity, so they make a great ingredient in sauces, as I have done here.
Other times, I like to spread them on sandwiches, steak, fish and seafood, even pasta and potato dishes. Because they are relatively mild, you can add a good amount to get the full flavor without having your mouth burst into flames. Good Stuff 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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Click here for more  Beef  on  ChefsOpinion
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Stir fried Beef And Spinach In Cherry- Peppers Sauce

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Stir fried Beef And Spinach In Cherry- Peppers Sauce

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Stir fried Beef And Spinach In Cherry- Peppers Sauce

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Nicaragua – A Tooth Story

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Dear Friends,
This post is not about food or restaurants or other culinary related Items you’d usually expect to find on ChefsOpinion.
(It might inspire you to save big bucks next time you need extensive dental work (cosmetic) which the insurance does not cover).
Rather, it is about my one week trip to Managua / Nicaragua and the reason I undertook that trip, which was entirely Dental-related.
First of all, let me explain why I chose Nicaragua of all places to have extensive dental work done.
My best friend Dieters wife , Chacha, was born and partially raised in Nicaragua. About two years ago Dieter had an accident which knocked out some of his teeth, requiring implants to replace them. Chacha’s family, which in part still resides in Nicaragua has this great dentist to which they entrust all their dental requirements, so Dieter decided to check it out. After all was said and done, Dieter was extremely happy with the results and recommended I should go there if ever I needed major dental work. It is now nearly two and a half years later, and still dieter is totally satisfied, his Miami dentist even complimented on the work done 🙂 .
(When I talked to the doc, I found out that most of he’s patients are actually flying-in from the USA and Canada). The clinic is very well-appointed, super clean, super modern and very comfortable, with another onside dentist, numerous staff and an assortment of treatment rooms.)
Low and behold, two years after Dieter had his teeth fixed, I needed similar work done as he had, so I started inquiring about quality and cost in Miami, Germany and Hungary. I needed three implants, 5 crowns, deep cleaning and whitening. (I had the necessary bone graft done 6 months earlier in Miami)
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Total estimate by my Miami dentist:  $ 18,000.00
Total estimate by various German dentists:  $ 18,000.00
Total estimate by some Hungarian dentists:  $ 9,000.00
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Total cost by my Nicaraguan  dentist:  $ 3,200.00
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Add to this the price of the airline ticket $ 350.00, as well as one week in a great Bed & Breakfast, including chauffeur for the week which all amounted to $ 300.00, and the total cost was just under $ 4,000.00 compared to at least $ 18,000.00 to 20,000.00 in Miami.
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So then, on to the trip.
Because of the short duration of the flight between Ft Lauderdale and Managua, which takes a little more than two hours, I chose Spirit Airline, because before you can get uncomfortable, you will have arrived already. Plus, I splurged, as I usually do, on extra-large seats and leg room. On this flight it was only additional $ 40.00 each way, so no big deal.
To my surprise, on spirit and on this plane, the extra space are the first two rows at the front entrance. These were actually the original first class seats (Just four of them), so this was the best bargain I ever scored on any flight in my forty-five years of air travel.
We departed Ft Lauderdale at 1:30 am for our short hop to Nicaragua
Upon arrival in Managua International Airport, Maria, the owner of the B&B I was staying at, and her two son’s picked me up. I finally got to sleep at around 5:00 am local time, just a few hour before my first appointment at 9:00 am. The Doc worked on me that morning (Friday) for about three hours (Deep cleaning and drilling the holes into the jaw for the implants), 3 hours on Saturday (upper row, two crowns and first half of the bleaching)  and 3 hours on Monday (lower row, second half of bleaching and setting three crowns.
And that was it – all done ! 🙂
My flight home was Thursday night around midnight.
When I planned the trip, I assumed that the dentist would check what needed to be done on Friday, then I would have had Saturday and Sunday to explore the culinary riches of Nicaragua.
Well, that did not happen. Here is my menu for the week (All white food and drink because of the bleaching, and soft because of the implants and stitches in the gums:
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Friday – Great breakfast before the first dentist appointment,
– afterwards, milk water, potato soup
Saturday – milk, water, small pieces of croissants
Sunday – milk, water, chicken broth with soft small pasta
Monday – milk, water, small pieces of croissants
Tuesday – milk, water, poached fish, mashed cauliflower, rice
Wednesday – milk, water, chicken broth with soft small pasta
Thursday – milk, water, small pieces of croissants and plain bread
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Back in Miami, another week with only white food and drinks, then slowly back to normal 🙂
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My impressions of Nicaragua were 100 % positive. A wonderful country with wonderful people,  clean, friendly and organized, with a population of mostly well-mannered, friendly, clean and organized people. However, the day I left we passed by a street demonstration, which at the time seemed nothing to worry about.
Next day at home I saw in the news what happened and I felt sad and disappointed that, as usual and in so many countries, a few bad apples can upset the freedom and well-being of its people in an otherwise wonderful country such as Nicaragua 😦
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I hope things will settle down quickly and I can return to see more of this beautiful country and have the opportunity to get to know its cuisine 🙂
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Before and after :
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Ma Man, with his Assistant :
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Maria, her Son’s, her B&B and her “Taxi” :
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On Tuesday, I cooked a meal for us ;
Sautéed snapper fillet, cauliflower salad and rice 😦 . See above)
However, for myself,  (white food only)  I prepped the fish poached and the cauliflower mashed 😦 . See below)
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And here is my main nutrition for the duration of my trip 😦  :
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Some random impressions of Managua, Granada and Masaya;
(There is not much tourism, so these are not some show-off places and locations, but rather this is how the country, its cities and attraction for its own folks look like 🙂 :
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Aaaand, back to Miami.
I hope I’ll be back soon to explore all I have missed in this great place this time 🙂
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Grilled Salmon With Artichokes, Red Onions & Tomatoes Marinated In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Grilled Salmon With Artichokes, Red Onions & Tomatoes Marinated In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Usually, if you’d be so inclined and check my fridge, you would find at least one or two pickled/marinaded vegetables in there. Mostly cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, red beets and red or white cabbage, but sometimes artichokes, green or white asparagus, mushrooms, grilled carrots, or whatever else I took my fancy that week.
I love pickled vegetables at any time of the day, by themselves or to accompany a main course, or just simply with a slice of bread. Here I paired artichokes with a great grilled salmon – no starch, just the fish (admittedly, a large portion) and the veggies. A quick meal, (the veggies where already done and ready to be served)  that took just a few minutes to prepare and tasted like a million bucks 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Salmon  on  ChefsOpinion
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season 10 ea artichoke hearts, 1/2 med size red onion, and 6 oz peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes in 1/3 cup raspberry vinaigrette overnight

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Artichokes, Red Onions & Tomatoes Marinated In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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season salmon fillets with kosher salt, cayenne pepper and lime juice to taste, brush with olive oil

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grill together with halved limes until limes are caramelized and salmon is cooked to your liking

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Grilled Salmon With Artichokes, Red Onions & Tomatoes Marinated In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Grilled Salmon With Artichokes, Red Onions & Tomatoes Marinated In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Grilled Salmon With Artichokes, Red Onions & Tomatoes Marinated In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Bone-In Ham Steak With Onion And Tomato

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Sauteed Bone-In Ham Steak With Onion And Tomato

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Ham steaks are a great ingredient which allows a great variety of recipes.
I personally like most, grilled, sautéed or braised, ideally served with mashed potatoes or hash browns, but I stop when ham steaks are slathered with sugar/ or maple syrup, pineapples or other very sweet glazes/condiments. ( Most folks here in America and Canada love the stuff, but for my taste, IF there has to be fruit, it should be apples or other slightly sweet/tart fruit) 🙂
I also find ham steaks agree with red wine sauce, onion marmalade, Thai sweet chili sauce, creamed horseradish or sauce Bernaise.
Today’s featured steak was big enough for Bella and me to forego any side dish besides the tomato/onion topping; in fact, it was a perfect size portion for the two of us 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Sautéed Bone-In Ham Steak With Onion And Tomato

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Sautéed Bone-In Ham Steak With Onion And Tomato

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Sautéed Bone-In Ham Steak With Onion And Tomato

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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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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Click here for 
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE
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Crabmeat, Baby Arugula, Avocado, Egg And Grape Tomato Salad In Honey/Mustard Vinaigrette

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Crabmeat, Baby Arugula, Avocado, Egg And Grape Tomato Salad In Honey/Mustard Vinaigrette

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This beautiful, tasty salad proofs once again that healthy food does not have to be ugly, tasteless or boring !
On the contrary, when looking at this lovely salad, who would not love to have a portion (or two) of this beauty right now ? 🙂
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P.S.

As usual, use the best crabmeat you can afford.
Or, in a pinch, use kani kama, or substitute the crabmeat with shrimp, lobster or even diced roast- or sauteed chicken.

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Salad  on  ChefsOpinion
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Honey/Mustard Vinaigrette Recipe :
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1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup EVO
1/4 cup organic honey
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
Kosher salt and cayenne pepper to taste
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Whisk all ingredients until emulsified.

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Crabmeat, Baby Arugula, Avocado, Egg And Grape Tomato Salad In Honey/Mustard Vinaigrette

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Crabmeat, Baby Arugula, Avocado, Egg And Grape Tomato Salad In Honey/Mustard Vinaigrette

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Crabmeat, Baby Arugula, Avocado, Egg And Grape Tomato Salad In Honey/Mustard Vinaigrette

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Crabmeat, Baby Arugula, Avocado, Egg And Grape Tomato Salad In Honey/Mustard Vinaigrette

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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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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Click here for 
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE
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