Author: Hans Susser

Germany/USA

It is Time to Change “ChefsOpinion”……………..

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Dear Friends,
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The time has finally come to change the format/content of  ChefsOpinion.
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For many years,  Chefsopinion  was a reflection of my priorities in life (outside of family and friends, of course)
It reflected the love of my profession as a cook, and the lifestyle which resulted from the career I was lucky to have, which provided me with a tremendous amount of experience in cooking, teaching, mentoring, and life in general.
After starting out as an apprentice and a few short years as cook at the bottom of the food chain (pun intended), there was worldwide travel, living and working in the most beautiful spots on Earth, great financial rewards, incredible hands-on education in all aspects of life, languages, meeting wonderful people and peers, and, rather early in my life, slowly but surely moving up in the worldwide hospitality industry.
Among other venues, I was involved in :
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Cruise Lines (Worldwide), -executive chef, senior executive chef, food & beverage manager,
Higher Education (US College) manager and instructor,
Hotels and Restaurants (Worldwide) ALL brigade positions, including executive chef, as well as area-executive chef, food & beverage manager, owner.
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It was during my time as chef instructor and program chair at  Le Cordon Bleu  that, together with my beloved wife Maria, we decided to start a food-related web site (www.chefcook.us), which, after the passing of Maria in May of 2013, I simplified into this blog in its present format/content.
Throughout the years, I tremendously enjoyed publishing  Chefsopinion,  even when taking into account all the work, time and money I invested. In contrast to our previous commercial website,  this blog was never intended to generate income. Therefore, I was happy that the cost of running it was covered by the (single) advertising and a few donations.
During the first few years, there were not as many food blogs out there, and during the first four years, there were about 100.000 clicks a year just from the subscribers to the blog alone, without any outside links. This showed me how much people enjoyed my photography, stories and recipes.
Then, I started to post links to LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, FB, and a few more of these types of sites. At present, the vast majority of clicks come from links to LinkedIn (up to sometimes nearly 1000 clicks a day for an interesting dish), while clicks from direct-subscribers have dwindled to about 3.000 to 6.000 a month.
Unfortunately, the changing culture of the web has lead us to the point where most people do not give a rat´s ass about the folks who´s labor they enjoy on an almost daily basis.
Case in point:
Nowadays, I get an average of 200 to 300 clicks from direct-subscribers to the blog a day, mostly from the same folks who have subscribed for years. Yet, sadly, nearly all of these fine people can not even bother to click on the ads (EVERYBODY knows that this gives the only revenue to my blog, just about enough to cover the cost), or, same easy task, click on the “like” button to give a little thanks. Yet, hundreds of folks re-visit every single day, for years, – but a tiny sign of appreciation is too much to ask? 😦
I have never been angry or bitter about this lack of support by subscribers who have taken pleasure in visiting  ChefsOpinion  over and over again over the years, and it still makes me happy to think that my cooking is able to bring a smile to the majority of people who subscribed. 🙂
However, lately, my health and energy is not what it once was, I have to prioritize my time, effort and financial outlays, and I have to adjust my food and  ChefsOpinion accordingly.
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The Bad News :        I have decided that, just for the sake of  ChefsOpinion  alone, I will not prepare elaborate food for Bella and myself at home anymore.
The Good News :     I still have hundreds of unpublished dishes with their recipes and photos in my files, which I will continue to publish on  ChefsOpinion  in the usual, original format.
More Good News :   Of course, Bella and I will still eat great food every day (God willing). Up until now, I posted these simple and less decorated, but nevertheless yummy dishes on FB, where folks seem to be a lot more generous with their appreciation. The big difference between my posts on FB and on  ChefsOpinion  is that there are fewer pictures and no recipes, but of course, as always, I will provide the recipes if requested.
On FB, I post these dishes under the heading  “Chez Bella” , and in the future, I will use the same sub-header on ChefsOpinion.
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So, to clarify (I hope) 🙂 :
In the future, food posts will alternate under the sub-header  “From Chez Bella” with the sub-header ” From my Archives”,  which are the dishes I previously prepared and which are in my archives, about 450 of them, enough material to last for years to come.
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Basically, the changes you can expect (assuming you have continued interest in ChefsOpinion) is a more personalized blog that reflects more personal aspects of my life with Bella, not only the food we eat but also (occasionally), other, non-food related stuff we´d like to share with our friends. 🙂
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Dear Friends,
please let me give a heartfelt thank you to all the subscribers who supported ChefsOpinion, Bella and myself throughout the years. You know who you are, and I know who you are.  🙂
To all the newbies here, (there are actually quite a few who signed up during the past few months), welcome to this special blog, where food is the star of the show, and the show must go on……………
I hope that we can continue together for many years to come on this wonderful path of good food and good vibes.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Below are but a few pictures of the 1500+ recipes/dishes you can find on Chefsopinion.  Enjoy !
(To find the recipe and all pictures of a particular dish, go to ARCHIVE on the top of this page and select by name or picture. If you select by picture, copy the name of the dish, paste into the search box on the top-right, go ahead and click and have fun. If you select by name, clicking on it will take you straight to the page of the dish.)   🙂
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P.S.
Sometimes ! there are traces of ChefCook.US to be found at the Web Archive (Timemachine) 
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PERFECT Cacio e Pepe

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PERFECT Cacio e Pepe

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“Cacio e Pepe” is undoubtedly the most minimalist among Roman pasta.
It´s secret lies in its wonderful creaminess, which is achieved by the perfect balance between its four main ingredients: pasta, water, Pecorino Romano and black pepper. (Because of the saltiness of the Pecorino, no additional salt is needed)
(A similarly simplistic, yet very different flavor and texture are present in “Spaghetti Aglio e Olio”, which, in its most basic form, contains only spaghetti, water, olive oil, garlic, and grated hard cheese. This is usually enriched with pepperoncini and/or arugula).
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When preparing Cacio e Peppe, there are a few RULES one MUST follow to achieve the creamy texture for which Cacio e Peppe is priced, otherwise there will be just “Pasta with Cheese and Pepper”, which is not too bad either, but comes in no way close to the magic of Cacio e Peppe.
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First, – grate the cheese as fine as possible.
Second, – take the pasta straight from the water to the pan with the cheese and pepper.
Third, – quickly and thoroughly lift the pasta with two forks or a tongue from the bottom of the plate to blend and achieve a creamy sauce when the moisture and starch of the pasta and the cheese combine to form a heavenly, creamy, delicious “sauce”.
Fourth, – use warm plates to mix and serve the pasta at once.
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And there you have it !   One of Rome’s and  Italy´s most iconic, simple, delicious and wonderful dishes ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for Recipe of  Spaghetti Aglio e Olio  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Pasta  on  ChefsOpinion
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PERFECT Cacio e Pepe

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PERFECT Cacio e Pepe

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PERFECT Cacio e Pepe

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PERFECT Cacio e Pepe

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PERFECT Cacio e Pepe

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PERFECT Cacio e Pepe

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Preparation: 
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Herring Salad – (Heringsalat) – (Sillsallad) – (Shuba – Селедка под шубой)

 

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At a time when “Regional” and “Ethnic” cuisine has spread all over the World and most of them have reached the far corners of our Planet, a large part of restaurant-goers consider themselves experts of some, or even many, different ethnic/regional cuisines.
Sadly (naturally), most experiences of these wannabe-experts come from a few visits of neighborhood “ethnic” restaurants and a subscription to the food channel, or, at best, a few encounters of local cuisine one has mustered on a once in a lifetime vacation to an exotic, foreign country.
Therefore, nowadays, when everyone pretends to be “food-hip“, “in” and “worldly“, everybody and Joe want to open a restaurant that serves food from around the World, with the proprietor and workers usually never having encountered a dish that is even close to its supposed origin.
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However, because of this worldwide spreading of cuisines,  most folks have had the pleasure to taste Scandinavian herring salad in one form or another, either in a restaurant or at home, sourced in a small plastic container at the neighborhood supermarket. These come in many different flavors and colors – with fresh dill, fresh chives, potatoes, red beets, cucumbers, pasta, capers, pickles of any type, apples, oranges, eggs, with matjes herring or salt herring, even with added sausage, etc, etc.
Many of them are surprisingly delicious, though, after all, these ingredients are hard to mess up. However, in my humble opinion, of the commercial type herring salads, most have one fundamental fault – they are diced way too small and evenly (which, admittingly, is the proper restaurant-way).
When one forkful contains five or more ingredients of very finely diced ingredients, the mix becomes one coherent mess in your mouth, which I find rather boring. I much rather have the ingredients diced larger, so that with each bite I have two or maybe three different textures and tastes, which results in the pleasure of each bite surprising me with a new combination of yumminess. 🙂
This salad can be served as an appetizer, first course, snack or main course, accompanied by steamed potatoes, sauteed potatoes, rustic bread, or Gouda crackers (as in these pictures).
Pls note that I did not include measurements – let the ratio be guided by your preferences – more or fewer veggies, herring, yogurt, mayo, and so forth – and eliminate any of the ingredients which you don´t like.  🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Salad  on  ChefsOpinion
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Herring Salad – (Heringsalat) – (Sillsallad) – (Shuba – Селедка под шубой)

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Herring Salad – (Heringsalat) – (Sillsallad) – (Shuba – Селедка под шубой)

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Herring Salad – (Heringsalat) – (Sillsallad) – (Shuba – Селедка под шубой)

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Herring Salad – (Heringsalat) – (Sillsallad) – (Shuba – Селедка под шубой)

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

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Pimentón En Crema (Peppers In Cream)

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Easy Does It ……….. 👍😎😃

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A week ago I bought a large bag of fresh, beautiful peppers at my neighborhood Turkish grocery store. Since then, I have eaten most of them, usually grilled and served as a side dish to meat or seafood, with tzatziki as a dip. Today I needed something to accompany my dumplings, and yet another grilled peppers dish did not sound very enticing.  Also, I did not feel like eating fish or meat and so I choose the bread dumplings to be the main component of the meal. Since dumplings need a good sauce to be properly enjoyed, this tasty cream sauce with pimentóns seemed to be the perfect combination. Low and behold, it turned out to be VERY delicious, and it hit the spot precisely 🙂
So what started out as a way to get rid of some veggies before they turn South, became a much-loved dish which I will prepare again in the near future. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Peppers  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  Bread Dumpling Recipe  on  ChefsOpinion
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Pimentón En Crema (Peppers In Cream)

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Pimentón En Crema (Peppers In Cream)

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Pimentón En Crema (Peppers In Cream)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Caramelized Banana & Chocolate Burrito With Strawberry Preserve

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Fish & Chips

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While preparing crepes is a snap, both time-wise and on difficulty level, defrosting a large flour tortilla is even easier and faster 🙂
Also, the taste and texture are a bit more rustic, so it fits perfectly with the other ingredients for this dish.
Usually, this is a bit substantial for a dessert, (having stuffed the large tortillas to capacity with Nutella and bananas), so for most folks, it is more suitable as a light (sinful) lunch or a large snack.
Of course,  you can use smaller tortillas and less stuffing if you prefer to serve this as a dessert. Also, use any fruit or fruit combination)
But, whatever size or filling you choose, this is a  wonderfully delicious, economical and easy to prepare dish, which I am sure you will enjoy.  🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Burritos  on  ChefsOpinion
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Caramelized Banana & Chocolate Burrito With Strawberry Preserve

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Caramelized Banana & Chocolate Burrito With Strawberry Preserve

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Caramelized Banana & Chocolate Burrito With Strawberry Preserve

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Caramelized Banana & Chocolate Burrito With Strawberry Preserve

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Caramelized Banana & Chocolate Burrito With Strawberry Preserve

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Escargot Catalan

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While “Escargots à la Bourguignonne” (Snails in Garlic–Herb Butter) is my favorite snail-dish, “Escargot Catalan” is a close second. (As long as there is enough garlic, herbs and a proper red wine in the sauce).
This dish not only serves as a perfect appetizer or snack, but it can also stand on its own feet as a main course, accompanied by sauteed potatoes, rice, or hearty, crusty bread to mop up the wonderful sauce. 🙂
It also serves perfectly as a family/friends meal, in a large bowl in the center of the table, from where everybody can help themselves to seconds (or thirds), the wonderful meal enriched with good wine and lively conversation. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more Escargot / Snails on  ChefsOpinion
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Escargot Catalan

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Escargot Catalan

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Escargot Catalan

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Escargot Catalan

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Bombay Carrot, Coconut & Ginger Soup With Salted Cucumbers

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If you think that the salted cucumber addition for this soup are just a fru-fru gimmick to add some green color to the picture, think again 🙂
These pickled cucumbers truly add an surprising element of sophistication to an otherwise simple, everyday soup.
BTW, I also like to eat pickled cucumbers as a snack, either plain-salted, as shown here, or prepared a bit more elaborate,
such as in my “Chinese pickled cucumbers recipe”   (涼拌黃瓜   liáng bàn huáng guā recipe)

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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Bombay Carrot, Coconut & Ginger Soup With Salted Cucumbers

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Bombay Carrot, Coconut & Ginger Soup With Salted Cucumbers

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Bombay Carrot, Coconut & Ginger Soup With Salted Cucumbers

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Easy Does it # 39 – “Tuna Salad”

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Pls don´t miss the link at the bottom of this page for a truly “different” cooking tutorial ……
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Easy Does it # 39 – “Tuna Salad”

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This salad is probably ? the first “Main Course Salad” that ever hit a restaurant table, way back then.
In the meantime, it has been re-invented/improved a million times, with the ingredients changing from year to year, season to season, cook to cook, household to household, country to country, and restaurant to restaurant.
Probably, the only constant were always salad greens, onions, and tuna, otherwise, the imagination for tuna salad knows no bounds 🙂 Other typical ingredients are (among a million others), anchovies, potatoes, eggs, artichokes, herbs, asparagus, etc, etc.
While I have to admit that my desire to create a “new” version of tuna salad has occasionally got the better of me, my favorite version is still this simple one featured here on this page. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Tuna  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Salad  on  ChefsOpinion
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Easy Does it # 39 – “Tuna Salad”

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Easy Does it # 39 – “Tuna Salad”

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mix everything with 1/3 cup herb vinaigrette

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check/adjust seasoning

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Preparation :
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And now, one for the road, not to be missed :
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Paris Hilton cooks Lasagna at her own “Cooking Show”
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I am torn between being sad, amused, disgusted and/or outraged about the fact that some folks (many ? !!!) find this to be an actual tutorial to learn cooking.
It is without a doubt a tutorial for various bad traits – but cooking is definitely not one of them 🙂 😦
This episode is one of the worst examples of how bad “cooking shows” have actually become. Most are shameful, ridiculous, bad, stupid and, flat-out, pure garbage.
My only hope is that this particular one is supposed to be satire and not to be taken seriously, but, judging from the ladies behavior and the general state of mind of the kind of people who watch crap like this, chances are that it is meant to be taken seriously:-(
God help us all !
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Red Curry/Coconut Ramen With Nappa Cabbage

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During the past view years, with thousands upon thousands of books, articles movies, documentaries and everybody and his/her dog writing about Ramen – the best, the most original, the most exotic, the cheapest, the most expensive, the most complicated, the simplest, the craziest, and what not else about Ramen, the latest craze we are to believe in and are bombarded with is always the final, definitive, all previous wisdom erasing, Fad.
Some, (most?) folks have forgotten what Ramen, or comfort food in general, is all about – when it feels just right what your mom in her kitchen, or the waiter in a five-star restaurant, or the street cook from his cart, sets in front of you and you happily enjoy every aspect of the dish to it´s fullest – the taste, the texture, the aromas, the ingredients, the colors, the surroundings, and last but not least, the company.
Ramen does not really need (deserve ???) all this silly nonsense and mystique which some folks want to make us believe is essential and exists in some mysterious stockpot in some obscure location, prepared by a “Master Artist”, who dedicated his/her life to one particular dish.
Dear God, pls spare me from any more of this pretentious BS !
Like any other thing in the Universe, sometimes there are exceptions to the rules, but……….. 🙂
Just like any other bowl of soup, or any other dish out there, there are awful ones, mediocre ones, average ones, good ones, superb ones and occasionally, a sublime one, which is usually the result of somebody who brings decent ingredients, at least a bit of knowledge, and A LOT OF LOVE to the stove. No mystery, no art, no alchemy.
Dear people, Ramen it is just a bowl of noodle soup !!!!! No matter how simple or complicated – it’s just a bowl of noodle soup !!!!!
And like ALL other food, it should taste great, should not cost an arm and a leg for something simple and basic, and most of all, it should leave you full, satisfied and happy 😉
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I know that I am not the only one who is tired of the loudmouths in our industry, most of whom have nothing else to offer than flash, glitter, and show, never mind the taste and satisfaction of truly wonderful food.
So then, this, like most of my posts, is about comfort food, good food, easy to prepare food, and, last but not least, affordable food. 🙂
I hope, in this spirit at least, ChefsOpinion serves you well 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Red Curry/Coconut Ramen With Nappa Cabbage

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Red Curry/Coconut Ramen With Nappa Cabbage

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Red Curry/Coconut Ramen With Nappa Cabbage

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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