Pearl Burgers

.

Pearl Balls

Pearl Balls

>
>
<
Pearl  Balls Burgers :
>
DON’T  PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD !
When we were kids, most of us had to be told not to play with our food in order to install respect and gratitude towards our daily nourishment, which in my case, immediately after WWII in Germany, was not nearly as guaranteed and abundant as is now for most of us.
But, decades later, like any professional chef, I love to “play” with food, either to improve a dish’s taste, appearance, profitability, or just for the heck of it.:-)
Just for the heck of it” happened today.
I was well on my way to prepare traditional “Chinese Pearl Balls”, which I love dearly and I prepare quite often for myself at home. They are easy and quick to prepare, look wonderful and they serve perfect as snack, appetizer or main course in a multi-course meal.
However, today I had the urge to “play with my food” a bit and the following was the result. Both versions of the burgers were outstanding in taste and especially in texture, and I will definitely prepare them again:-)
Because of their size and the additional liquid added to the ground meat, the pearl burgers were much more juicy than regular pearl balls, which tend to dry-out quickly when removed from the steam. The burgers without the rice coating were very juicy as well, with the additional bonus of the taste/texture-enhancement resulting from the maillard reaction.
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
P.S.
As mentioned above and as you can see in the prep-pictures below, I added much more water to the ground meat as one would to regular pearl balls, since holding their shape was not an issue for the patties as it would have been shaping the pork into spherical shapes. The added moisture made a huge difference in the final product.
P.P.S.
Serve with Kecap Manis or other dipping sauce of your choice.
>
>
Click here to read about  Maillard Reaction
>
Click here for  Kecap Manis Recipe  on  ChefsOpinion
>

>
>
>

Pearl Balls Burger

Pearl  Burger

>

Asian Flavored Pork Burger

Asian Flavored Pork Burger

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


>
>


>
>


>
>


>
>


>
>
>
>

Rice Pudding With Fresh Berries And Yogurt (Arroz Con Leche)

>
>
What  do vegetables and rice pudding have in common ?
– Most of us have been turned off by crappy versions when we were kids. Overcooked vegetables and over-sweetened, wallpaper-paste resembling, under-cooked rice pudding made most of us hate the stuff as kids. While a few moms and even fewer restaurants served decent vegetables and rice pudding, the majority of it turned us off to it for life😦
Only with the introduction of nouvelle cuisine did vegetables get the respect they deserved. Nowadays, vegetables have finally achieved the place they deserve. Bright, perfectly cooked, deliciously seasoned and in an incredible variety, they are here to stay, from the simplest home preparation to incredible concoctions at fine dining establishments.
So what the heck happened to rice pudding ???!
For some reason, outside of some Latin countries, it has never caught-on in the mainstream, neither in most homes and definitely not in commercial food establishments.
To this day, it has the stigma as being too simple, too boring, too old-fashioned and just simply “bah”.
Yet I beg to differ, as I am trying to proof with this recipe of one of my newly re-discovered childhood favorites.
My mom was a less than stellar cook (love made me say that – in reality, outside of very few dishes she had mastered, she was as bad at cooking as one can imagine):-)😦 .
But, as I recall from sweet memory, her rice pudding was second to none. However, through the years I had completely forgotten about the deliciousness of a well-prepared rice pudding, until a few months back when I had a perfect one at a friend’s house. This made me remember how wonderful it can be when done right and ever since, I have prepared it often for Bella and myself .
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
P.S.
Usually, I would top this pudding with whipped cream and fresh berries. However, I prepared this large badge because I was invited to a beach party and whipped cream would not hold-up in the heat. Low and behold, the yogurt made a huge difference, the added tartness and the texture took the the final dish to an even higher level of comfort food heaven:-)
>
>
>

Rice Pudding With Fresh Berries And Yogurt

Rice Pudding With Fresh Berries And Yogurt

>

Rice Pudding With Fresh Berries And Yogurt

Rice Pudding With Fresh Berries And Yogurt

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


>
>
>

Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

>
>
I recently  came across an article which proclaimed “Pasta actually makes you lose Weight”.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe that ANY food I love (I love most:-) ) will make me loose weight, especially pasta. Why? Because if I love something, I consume it in excess quantities.
But then, a lot of food which falls into the category of “food I love”, will never make me fat, for the simple reason that it is too expensive to become fattening – caviar, lobster, fresh stone crab claws, foie gras, chanterelle, matsutake, wagyu (the real McCoy), and a bunch of other stuff I had the privilege to eat plenty of in the 70’s, when most of these delicacies were still affordable in their countries of origin.
I used to have a few cans of caviar in my fridge when we did black sea cruises in the mid-seventies, when one was able to exchange a pair of used jeans in St Petersburg’s black market for 1 kg of caviar. Matsutake and wagyu was expensive in Yokohama and Kobe, but not excessively so. Chanterelles in Germany in the 70’s and 80’s when I went home on vacation – same thing, not cheap but affordable. And so it was with most of these specialties at the time – not cheap but within reach, at least for me and my friends who traveled the world, loved good food and after visiting a place a couple of times, knew where to get a bargain.
But now let me get back to pasta.
Fortunately, pasta is one of the most affordable food stuffs which have a special place in my heart (and stomach).
Consequently, I eat it too often, and usually way too much, packing 2 or 3 portions into one meal – which is good for my happiness:-) , bad for my weight😦 .
So there you have it – while pasta “does not actually make me lose weight”, it does actually makes me happy .
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Pasta  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
P.S.
All the food you see on  ChefsOpinion  is cooked and served in my home, usually just for myself and Bella. I like to pick and hold the shrimp by their tail (Bella just eats the whole shrimp, tail and all, including the tails from my shrimps). If you are not comfortable with the tails on the plate, just remove them before adding the shrimp to the dish:-)
>
>
>

Corksrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

>

Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

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


>
>
>
>

Cheese Rösti (Swiss Hash Browns With Cheese)

>
>
Today’s  breakfast served actually as an early lunch (10.45 am), so I added a small salad to the eggs and Rösti, which turned the whole thing into a complete, delicious meal which sustained me well into the evening.
The tart apples in the salad as well as the ranch dressing were a great fit with the crisp Rösti. The gooey cheese inside the potatoes took the dish to new heights and the addition of eggs turned the whole thing into a wonderful lunch with nothing else to wish for:-)
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
>
Click here for more  Rösti  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Käse Rösti (Swiss Hash Browns With Cheese)

Käse Rösti (Swiss Hash Browns With Cheese)

>

Cheese Rösti (Swiss Hash Browns With Cheese)

Cheese Rösti (Swiss Hash Browns With Cheese)

>
>

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


>
>
>
>

Grilled Chicken Salad – Grilled Chicken On A Higher Level

>
>
I believe  this salad does not need a fancy introduction – just look at it and plan when, not if, you will prepare this beauty:-)

>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

>
>
>

Grilled Chicken Salad

Grilled Chicken Salad

>

Grilled Chicken Salad

Grilled Chicken Salad

>

Grilled Chicken Salad

Grilled Chicken Salad

>

Grilled Chicken Salad

juicy perfection……..

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


>
>
>
>

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

>
>
English – Rice Porridge;  Japanese – Okayu;  Korean – Jukin;  Thai – Jok;  Tagalog – Lugao, Burmese – Hsan Pyok.
plain congee/law fu kee
>
In  my own experience, there’s no food more simple and more comforting than a bowl of congee, which is basically just rice cooked with a lot of liquid until it forms a soft porridge.
Congee can be enjoyed any time of the day (or night:-) and there are as many recipes and methods for making congee as there are restaurants, homes, mothers and grandmothers to prepare them. However, the basics are just water and rice, cooked until thickened to the texture you prefer, anywhere from very liquid to quite thick.
In this basic form, congee has provided a full belly as well as help against minor ailments since ancient times.
Additional ingredients and condiments for congee are limited only to ones fantasy, taste and wallet. (Lobster anyone?)
For some of the more adventurous variations of congee click HERE
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
>
Click here for more info on  Congee
>
Click here for more  Congee  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

>

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

>

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

>

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

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

>
>
>
>

Lazy Udon

>
>
Throughout all the years I have spent in the food-industry, I came across many folks who proclaimed their jealousy about the fact that I, as a chef, eat better than anybody else they know.
Reading private food blogs, one would assume that this might be the case not only for chefs, but also for food bloggers, since most of the food published at least looks better than what shows up daily on the average household’s table.
While some bloggers are fortunate enough to eat the high level food they publicize on their sites at all times, most of us less fortunate bloggers neither have the time,the money nor the desire to eat gourmet meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In my own case, I usually prepare food that is (in my opinion) fit to publish about every other or every third day,  including down to earth comfort food. The rest of the time, I eat the same simple food as most other folks do, although probably prepared with a bit more love and interest in the end result as most home cooks (or chefs at home) will muster day-in and day-out. This however does not mean that the food I don’t publish is poor or crappy.
The meal I had for lunch today is just such an example. I prepare similar noodles quite often, using slightly different ingredients such as different pasta, different veggies and different seasonings (although the seasoning used here is pretty standard for my “Lazy Noodles” dishes). 
At once extremely simple, easy to prepare and cheap, it is at the same time pretty to look at and super yummy. If prepared with love and attention to detail, food like this does not have to hide itself behind any “gourmet” food:-)
Not that I want to eat like this all the time, but in reality, food like this makes perfect sense as alternative to the high-end stuff.
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for  Kecap Manis Recipe  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
Click here for more Udon  on  Chefsopinion
>
>
>

Lazy Udon

Lazy Udon

>

Lazy Udon

Lazy Udon

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


>
>
>
>

Beef Medallions, Gnocchi And Truffled Eggs

>

>
Gnocchi,  in a slightly different shape as the Italian version, are very popular in Germany, especially in the south – namely, in  Baden-Württemberg and Bayern.
Our “Gnocchi” consist of the same basic ingredients, potatoes, flour and egg, but they are slightly different in shape -more elongated than the Italian version.
We prepare them savory or sweet. We use rye or wheat flour, add eggs or not, add potatoes or not, fry them or simmer them, saute them after simmering or not, and do basically whatever we want to do with them:-) (Unlike our Italian friends, who are pretty set on how to do their own gnocchi).
As for the name given to our versions, we are pretty flexible as well: Schupfnudel, Fingernudel, Baunzen, Dradewixpfeiferl, Erdepfebaunkerl, Schopperla, Bauchstecherla, and even “Bubenspitzle“, which literally translates into “little boys’ willies” – look at the pic and you’ll understand:-)
Btw- If you wonder about the rather unrefined addition of a couple of slices of tomatoes- the texture and fresh taste of the tomatoes compliment the gnocchi, eggs and beef perfectly.
The entire recipe below serves 2 big eaters, or 4 with a smaller appetite…..
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Gnocchi  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
P.S.
Jamaican Dumplings – Sinkers (round) or Spinners (bubenspitzle shape)  are another, even more distant version -made mostly of flour and water; they are fried (Jonny Cakes),  simmered, or first simmered and then fried. Add cornmeal, baking powder and sugar, then fry them and you have Festival.
>
Click here for  Jamaican Dumplings  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
Gnocchi Recipe:
>
Ingredients:

1 lb Russet potatoes,   cooked, peeled, mashed
A/P flour,   sifted – as needed
Eggs,  whole, whisked
Kosher salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 0z Butter
>
Method :
Add egg, seasoning and flour to potatoes, mix lightly until smooth.
Shape into gnocchi.
Make light indentations with a fork.
Cook a sample in simmering salted water. If too soft, add flour. If too dense, add egg.
Cook gnocchi in simmering water until gnocchi float. Remove with slotted spoon into strainer. Saute in melted butter.
>
>

Beef Medaillons, Gnocchi And Truffled Eggs

Beef Medallions, Gnocchi And Truffled Eggs

>

Beef Medaillons, Gnocchi And Truffled Eggs

Beef Medallions, Gnocchi And Truffled Eggs

>

Beef Medaillons, Gnocchi And Truffled Eggs

Beef Medallions, Gnocchi And Truffled Eggs

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


>
>
>
>

Bulalo (Kansi) Beef Marrow Bone Soup

>

Beef Marrow Bone

Beef Marrow Bone

>

The  first time I had the pleasure to eat this soup I fell in love with it. It was at “Pistang Filipino”, an open air arts and craft center in Manila. (Little did I know then (1974), that a few years later I would be living next door for nearly five years). However, during my first visit, a couple of friends and I went there to have a proper, traditional “Pinoy” dinner. It turned out to be one of the best meals in my entire life. Pancit sotanghon and pancit bihon, huge grilled prawns for $1 a piece, kare kare, adobo, lechon, sisig, sinigang, bulalo and a whole lot of other wonderful dishes, all spread out on a huge buffet. There were woven bamboo plates with palm leaves to put your food on and coconut shell spoons for the soups. Most of the food was eaten using one’s fingers as utensils. Lined up along one wall were water containers with spouts to facilitate hand washing before and after the meal. The food and entertainment (tinikling , traditional Philippine folk dancing) was superb and to this day I remember almost every minute of that evening. Years later when I lived next door, I went there once or twice a month, mainly for the bulalo . However, I quickly became less enthusiastic about the tinikling. While beautiful to watch, its accompanying music, which was always played at maximum levels, kept me awake many a night until the wee hours😦
Such is my love for bulalo that until this day I prepare it at least once a month. I mostly use thick sliced shank (osso buco), but when available, I buy a whole leg bone and have the butcher cut it into 4 pieces, 2 of which I use at once and 2 which I freeze for the next going of bulalo or any other beef soup.
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here to watch a video of  Tinikling
>
>
>

Bulalo

Bulalo

>

Bulalo

Bulalo

>

Bulalo

Bulalo

>

Bulalo

Bulalo

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


>
>
>
>

One For The Kids # 3 – Strawberry And Chocolate Pudding Pockets

>
>
When my friends come by with their kid’s, I like to prep a quick but fun sweet for them and with them (by now, it’s expected and the kid’s are looking forward to it).
So, when Pete and Claudia announced their intention to visit today, I went to the store to get some ingredients, mainly fresh strawberries and pre-made pastry dough. I had some leftover chocolate pudding in the fridge (I am a sinner😦 ) which I added to the strawberry filling to make it even more of a treat.
As I mentioned before, the counter space in my apartments kitchen is tiny, so I usually buy raw dough in the store instead of prepping it at home, which works great for simple pastries of the type featured here today😦
When I opened the can of  “Pilsbury Crescent”  dough, I was a bit skeptical at first because of it’s rather less than refined appearance. I doubt that I would use this product in an attempt to make “real” croissants, but it turned out to be perfect for my  “Strawberry And Chocolate Pudding Pockets”.
These are real easy to prep, so you can ask your kid’s to give you a helping hand in the production, which will make them proud and add even more happiness to a wonderful treat:-)
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  “One For The Kids”  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
Chocolate pudding recipe:
1/3 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, pinch of salt, 2 cups milk, 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten, 2 tablespoons softened butter, dash of vanilla extract.
1) – In a 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Simmer and stir 1 minute.
2) – Gradually stir at least half of the hot mixture into egg yolks, then stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla.

>
>
>

 

Strawberry And Chocolate Pudding Pocket

Strawberry And Chocolate Pudding Pocket

>

Strawberry And Chocolate Pudding Pocket

Strawberry And Chocolate Pudding Pocket

>
>
>

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


>
>
>
>