Author: Hans Susser

My Trip To Costa Rica

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Since I traveled the world and worked in many different countries for four decades, I ended up  having friends all over the Globe. Some of them stayed back in the countries where we met, most, like myself, have moved on to new adventures in foreign places. My Friend George originally hails from Egypt, but after decades of moving from continent to continent and from country to country, he seems to have found his forever-home ??? in Costa Rica.
Since he had visited me a few times in Miami, it was now my time to visit him, so I spend the beginning of October with him and his very lovely family at their beautiful home in Playa Herradura.
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Playa Herradura (Herradura Beach) is a coastal town on the Central Pacific Region of Costa Rica. It is located about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) north of Jacó in the province of Puntarenas. The name Herradura (horseshoe) refers to the bays horseshoe shape. The town has developed into an important tourist destinations in Costa Rica. This has been in part thanks to Los Suenos Resort and Marina. The resort and related amenities, including a full service five-star Marina, have positioned the town as the Fishing Capital of Costa Rica. The Marina is home to the largest fleet of Sports fishing boats in the country. Located right next door to Jaco Beach and 1 hour from Costa Rica’s primary International airport in San Jose, the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). Apparently,  Playa Herradura and the Jaco Beach region have become the most popular tourist destination in all of Costa Rica, far surpassing the regions where eco-tourism now plays a second fiddle to wild fun at the beach.
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Before I left for CR, George asked me what I wanted to do during my stay, so he could organize some tours and excursions. Of course, traveling in CR was the last thing I wanted to do, and I let him know that. After all, (Pls forgive the arrogant tone of this – “Been there, done that”. 🙂
My Idea of a great vacation nowadays is lounging under a fan on a terrace, eating great meals cooked by others than myself and mostly, the company and conversations of good friends.
That was what I asked for, and that was what I got.
Thanks again George, Anna, Maria and Stefanie for having me and making my stay a wonderful one. 🙂

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Click here to learn about Costa Rican Food
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Life is Good !
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Here now some Pictures of the Costa Rica I did not see and experience this time :
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And here some pics of the Costa Rica I experienced and truly loved :
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Panierte Frikadelle Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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Panierte Frikadellen Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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WHY ARE MOST AMERICAN BURGERS CRAP ? “

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Easy boy’s and girls, just trying to get your attention here. 🙂
But………..

For many years the American style burger was a complete mystery to me.
You see, when I came to America for the first time in 1970, my  “burger”
senses were still completely in love with our German version, which go
by the names of:

Frikadellen, Buletten, Hamburger, Fleischpflanzln.

To this day I can not understand how one can forgo the deliciousness
and texture of a “proper” Frikadelle for a limp , skinny, mostly dry and
tasteless meat patty made of  low-grade, unseasoned and uninteresting
ground beef.
( Notice friends, I said “most’ American burgers, not “all” )
Of course, the principle of having a good piece of meat layered with lettuce,
tomatoes, pickles, mayonnaise and a variety of other goodies is a wonderful
idea. But, if this is such a standby and tradition for so many folks, why on earth
do most people treat it like crap ? Crappy buns, crappy patties, crappy condiments. No love 😦 .
So here is what I suggest to the American public :
Let’s LOVE and RESPECT our food from here on, even a simple burger !     🙂
I will throw the first coin by giving you all the simplest and best recipe for
a plain, good old frikadelle. There are many variations and once you have
mastered the basics, you should experiment until you find your personal favorite.
A frikadelle is a very versatile dish. It can be served as a snack, cold with mustard
to dip and a slice of sour dough bread on the side. Or as a lunch or dinner dish,
with mashed potatoes and mushroom sauce, roast potatoes and fried onions,
french fries (fritten) and salad or any other side dish, condiment and sauce
which would go well with a steak or regular beef burger. Just make sure that if you go the
few extra steps to make a wonderful frikadelle instead of a measly, skinny patty,
don’t destroy the good stuff by adding lesser sides and condiments.
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If you are a burger fanatic, you want to read :  History of the Hamburger

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Ingredients:
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1/2 cup finely diced onion
1 tsp. olive oil
1 day-old roll (about 2 oz.), softened in hot milk and squeezed dry.
1 lb. ground meat (half and half; pork and veal)
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 Tsp chopped, fresh parsley
1 Tsp chopped, fresh marjoram
1 oz butter

Method:
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Saute 
onions in oil until translucent. Cool slightly.
Cut softened roll into little pieces in a bowl, add meat and the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Heat butter and olive oil together in a frying pan.
Shape 4 patties and saute over medium high heat until browned on both sides. Place the patties on a baking sheet and place in a 375°F oven until done.
You may also continue sauteing them in the pan until they are no longer pink inside.

Variation 1: You may want to roll your patties in dried, seasoned bread crumbs before sautéing for a really nice, crispy exterior.
Variation 2: If you have German relatives, they might tell you to add some Maggi Seasoning.  In my house we use Maggi as a table side condiment.
Variation 3: Meat Patties with caraway. Substitute 1 teaspoon caraway and 2 teaspoons prepared mustard for the parsley and marjoram.
Variation 4: Add 4 ounces of finely chopped bacon to the meat .

Find your own best burger or fricadelle recipe by experimenting and giving them the love they deserve  !   🙂 

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Patties  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here to read all about
Frikadellen, Buletten, Fleischplanzerl, Fleischküchle, Faschierte Laibchen, Fasírt,  Faširanci, Perkedel, etc…….


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Panierte Frikadellen Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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Panierte Frikadellen Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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Panierte Frikadellen Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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Panierte Frikadellen Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures>
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Dak Bulgogi (Korean Grilled Chicken)

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Dak Bulgogi (Korean Grilled Chicken)

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Dak Bulgogi (Korean Grilled Chicken)

Dak Bulgogi (Korean Grilled Chicken)

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Dak Bulgogi (Korean Grilled Chicken)

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A few day’s ago a friend an I went to our favorite korean BBQ restaurant Kabose in Ft Lauderdale. Maria and I used to frequent this place quite often, especially when we had guests from overseas for whom the grilling at the table was usually a new and well-loved experience. This time around, the food and service was still as good as ever, but boy oh boy, the prices have skyrocket 😦
So what’s a poor retiree to do when Korean BBQ calls? – you guess’t it, do it at home. I must say my home version may not be as genuine as the restaurant’s, but it was at least as delicious and definitely a lot prettier to look at, not to mention at a fraction of the cost. Of course, this is usually the case with the food one cooks at home versus the same dishes at a restaurant, but in this case, the difference was tremendous and therefore well worth the extra little effort 🙂 

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Korean Dishes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Chicken  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here to read all about  Capon
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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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Goan Tandoori Pork Ribs With Aloo Palak

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Goan Tandoori Pork Ribs With Aloo Palak

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Goan food is much influenced by the Portuguese, so the ingredients and seasoning often differ a bit from the usual Indian suspects. In the 70’s I spend a few months in Goa, living in cheap housing right on the beach. If one was able to forgo typical western luxuries such as A/C, running water and fork and knife, living on $ 3.00 a day was possible most of the time.
Those were the days of free love, cheap booze and even cheaper “tobacco”, so life was a constant, carefree blast. And to top it all off, the food, even as it was dirt-cheap, was always great, tasty, in abundance and available around the clock. (Important because of the “tobacco”) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Goan Food  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Indian  Food  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  Garam Masala Recipe  on  ChefsOpinion

Click here to read all about  Goa

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Goan Tandoori Pork Ribs With Aloo Palak

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Goan Tandoori Pork Ribs With Aloo Palak

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Goan Tandoori Pork Ribs With Aloo Palak

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Goan Tandoori Pork Ribs With Aloo Palak

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Goan Tandoori Pork Ribs With Aloo Palak

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Goan Tandoori Pork Ribs With Aloo Palak

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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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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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During my shopping trips to Foodtown Supermarket in Davie, about 5 minutes drive from my home, I usually go to their cooked food section, which has a great selection of Chinese roasted meat – Peking duck, cha siu, roast chicken, etc. I usually buy my dinner there, which I did a few days ago. As usual, my eyes were bigger than my stomach, resulting in leftover char siu for today. What better way to use leftover cha siu than in steamed buns or soup? Making steamed bun dough was out of the question because of ….. laziness :-),  so soup was the order of today, and here is the result 🙂

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here to read all about  Cha Siu ( 叉燒 )
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Click here for more  Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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

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Salad Of Cracked Pepper -Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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The success of this dish hinges entirely on the proper preparation of the liver nuggets. They must be crisp on the outside, medium-rare to medium (depending on your preference) on the inside and spicy but not mouthburningly so.
Seem’s easy enough, as long as you know how to handle VERY HOT fat.
If the temperature is not right, the nuggets will get well-done before they are crisp, resulting in a rubbery, dry and even tough protein. But when done right, they are truly wonderful. The result is a great dish that belies its humble ingredients.
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P.S.
If you can procure duck livers to replace the chicken livers, they will lift this dish from merely wonderful to absolute divine 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Salad  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Liver  on  ChefsOpinion
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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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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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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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I am a big fan of chocolate mousse, but usually it is served a bit too sweet for my taste. On the other hand, the mousse featured on this page is quicker and easier to make than the more traditional French version, while every bit as delicious – serious lovers of dark chocolate may find themselves liking it even more (I sure do). 🙂
The tart yogurt and total absence of cream and eggs let the fruity side of good dark chocolate really break free, for a bright and tangy mousse that won’t make you want to crawl into bed after a few spoonfuls.
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Greek Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse Recipe :
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Ingredients:
6 oz good-quality dark chocolate with 70% cacao, finely chopped
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tblsp Grand Marnier
cup whole Greek yogurt
2 tblsp orange marmalade
1 tblsp organic honey
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Method:
Place the chocolate into a medium heatproof bowl. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk just to a boil over medium heat. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate and leave it to sit for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir with a spatula or a wooden spoon until you have a smooth ganache.
In a small bowl, beat the Greek yogurt with a small whisk or a fork until smooth.
Fold the yogurt into the chocolate mixture using a spatula until thoroughly combined, then stir in the honey, Grand Marnier, marmalade and 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds.
Spoon the mousse into four small or three slightly larger serving cups and chill until firm,covered with plastic wrap.
To serve, add a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with topping of your choice, such as fresh fruits and/or nuts. Serves 3-4.

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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Roast Chicken Thighs With Grape Tomatoes In Yogurt Dressing

 

 

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While a whole roast chicken is a wonderful thing, my regular grocery store now charges about $ 10.00 for a medium-sized bird (tax included), which makes it just too expensive in my opinion (Not the $10.00 itself, but the fact that a supermarket now can charge $10.00 for a simple, low quality, frozen chicken and get away with it)
Mind you, these are not the never-frozen, super fresh and healthy birds I can get at my Asian grocer, but rather mass-produced, completely tasteless chicken with no texture or taste to write home about. 😦  I guess only us old folks remember how good chicken meat actually tastes 🙂
So, lately I have turned to buy nearly all my chicken (as well as most other meat and seafood) either at my neighborhood Asian/International grocer/butcher, or, for even more bargains, especially beef and chicken, at one of the individually owned latino groceries/butchers, which are in abundance around here, such as Sedanos, Bravo, Presidente, to name a few large chains, as well as the countless Mexican, Cuban, Nicaraguan, Columbian, etc groceries/butchers, which thrive here in South Florida.
A 10 lbs bag of chicken legs, thighs, wings or breasts are usually around $5.00 to $8.00, compared to around $40.00 to $60.00 at my regular store, (or much higher for boneless breasts), with the quality usually notably better at the Latino or Asian/International food stores. The same goes for just about ALL meat, seafood, vegetables and canned food. Which goes to show once again, it helps (big time) to shop around, especially for food, which, like it or not, we use every day of our lives. We all tend to fall into the trap of convenience and shopping at familiar places, while these establishments get ever bigger and more and more expensive, while their quality usually suffers along with their customer service. Some of the huge chains are represented at every corner of town with multi million dollar stores and store managers who make well over $100.000.00 a year. Guess who pays for all that.
While I do enjoy the convenience of a chain store which I have frequented for well over 20 years, nowadays’ I enjoy a bargain even more.
So, while I still purchase certain stuff at my fancy regular place, I also buy most of the expensive items at the “Little Guy’s”.
BTW, I also have started to buy bulk items (canned food/ oils/ paper goods, cleaning supplies, etc, online at Amazon(Prime) and Walmart, which saves me another bundle every month and is even more convenient than my grocer around the corner 🙂
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Bon Appétit !  Life is Good !  (When you can safe a bundle ) 🙂
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Click here for more  Chicken  on  ChefsOpinion
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Grape Tomatoes In Yogurt Dressing Recipe
Prick 1 lb grape tomatoes with a toothpick all over. For the dressing, mix 1/2 cup greek yogurt with 2 tblsp honey, 3 tblsp fresh lemon juice, 1/3 tsp garlic paste, 2 ea sliced scallion stalks, a pinch of oregano and coriander, and cayenne pepper and kosher salt to taste.
Mix with the tomatoes, cover airtight, marinade overnight in fridge.
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Roast Chicken Thighs With Grape Tomatoes In Yogurt Dressing

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Roast Chicken Thighs With Grape Tomatoes In Yogurt Dressing

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Roast Chicken Thighs With Grape Tomatoes In Yogurt Dressing

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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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Seafood Fried Rice

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Seafood Fried Rice

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Seafood Fried Rice

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Seafood Fried Rice

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Seafood Fried Rice

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Excerpt from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Fried rice is a dish of cooked rice that has been stir-fried in a wok or a frying pan and is usually mixed with other ingredients such as eggsvegetables, seafood, or meat. It is often eaten by itself or as an accompaniment to another dish. Fried rice is a popular component of EastSoutheast and certain South Asian cuisines. As a homemade dish, fried rice is typically made with ingredients left over from other dishes, leading to countless variations. Being an economical hodgepodge, the same approach is often taken with fried noodles or pyttipanna as well. Fried rice first developed during the Sui Dynasty in China and as such all fried rice dishes can trace their origins to Chinese fried rice.

Many popular varieties of fried rice have their own specific list of ingredients. In Greater China, the most famous varieties include Yangzhou fried rice and Hokkien fried rice. Japanese chāhan is considered a Japanese Chinese dish, having derived from Chinese fried rice dishes. Korean bokkeum-bap in general is not, although there is a Korean Chinese variety of bokkeum-bap. In Southeast Asia, similarly constructed Indonesian, Malaysian, and Singaporean nasi goreng and Thai khao phat are popular dishes. In the West, most restaurants catering to vegetarians have invented their own varieties of fried rice, including egg fried rice. Fried rice is also seen on the menus of American restaurants offering cuisines with no native tradition of the dish. Additionally, there are variations of fried rice in Middle and South Americas. Some of these variations include Ecuadorian chaulafan, Peruvian arroz chaufa, Cuban arroz frito, and Puerto Rican arroz mamposteao.

Fried rice is a popular street food in Asia. In some Asian countries, small restaurants, street vendors and traveling hawkers specialize in serving fried rice. In Indonesian cities it is common to find fried rice street hawkers moving through the streets with their food cart and stationing it in busy streets or residential areas. Many Southeast Asian street food stands offer fried rice with a selection of optional garnishes and side dishes”.

P.S.
If you ever wonder why fried rice in some chinese restaurants is so beautifully golden in color, here is the answer: Add a pinch of turmeric 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Rice Dishes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click her for more  Chinese Dishes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Seafood Fried Rice

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Seafood Fried Rice

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Seafood Fried Rice

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Seafood Fried Rice

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Curried Beef And Mushroom Buddha Bowl

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Curried Beef And Mushroom Buddha Bowl

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Named for its big, round Buddha belly shape, a “Buddha bowl” can mean different things to different people, but here I am talking about the culinary meaning, which is a one-dish meal consisting of rice or pasta, whole grains, veggies, protein (by way of meat or seafood, beans, tofu, lentils) and a dressing or sauce, even hot or cold cereals, savory with meat and veggies, or cold with fruits or jello.
What they all have in common is that since the name contains the word “Bowl”, it usually features uncomplicated, tasty, satisfying comfort food that is eaten unceremoniously, with just a spoon or fork.
Like so many other foods, because of its simplicity, it usually contains quality ingredients and is highly seasoned, anywhere from very mild to fiery hot.

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Curried Dishes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Bowls  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Beef  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for a list of  Rice Dishes from around the World
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Click here for a list of  Fried Rice Dishes
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Click here for  a list of  Rice Beverages
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Click here for a list of  Rice Varieties
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Click here for a list of  Pakistani Rice Dishes

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Curried Beef And Mushroom Buddha Bowl

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Curried Beef And Mushroom Buddha Bowl

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Curried Beef And Mushroom Buddha Bowl

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boneless chicken – 35 cents each

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

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