Salads

Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

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Before  anybody get’s their knickers in a twist about “real” Curries, let me explain something.
Many years ago, whenever we used commercially available, pre-mixed curry powder in Europe, more often than not, the name of the dish included the moniker “Madras”. This made it clear to everyone and all that the dish contained stock, curry powder, cream, some fruit, and flour. There were also salads and cold appetizers using curry powder, which mostly also used to end up being called “Madras”.
Almost nobody had ever tasted a real curry, much less cooked one, so the “classique” French way of preparing “curry sauce”, (sauce au curry à l’indienne) was usually utilized.
Hence – “Madras” or Indian Style. 🙂

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here to learn how to cook  Authentic” Curry Sauce  on  ChefsOpinion
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Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

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Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

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Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

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Preparation :
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Steak Salad – Recipe # 1379

Paintings below, including all the paintings displayed in the living room, are by Hans Susser (Soupi)
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Since I got old, occasionally my mind starts wandering aimlessly all over the place, sometimes I’ll get these “WOW” moments, when I realize the obvious………. 🙂 .
Such as this bonbon :
“When I create a dish I have not seen, prepared or eaten previously, it feels nearly the same as when I used to create a beautiful painting”.
I utilized canvas (the serving dish), paints (the ingredients), garnish/final-touch (the varnish) and, most important, a picture of a finished painting in my mind (a picture of a finished dish in my mind).
And there you have it – creativity, skills, and experience, applied to very different mediums 🙂
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(I used to paint in my spare time and was rather successful at selling my art for rather good $$$. Maria used to gold-, silver- and bronze-leaf the raw-wood frames for these paintings, as well as bespoke frames for other artist’s paintings.
For a few years, this provided us with a handsome, additional income, until I started my web business and, later on, this blog). 🙂
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But back to the present time and the dish at hand.
This steak salad recipe makes for a super delicious entrée for lunch or dinner, a light snack or anything else you want it to be (Buffet, anybody?).

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Instead of the more traditional croutons, I used tarallini  (Small  Taralli , (sometimes marketed as “Italian Love Knots”)

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Preparation :
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Life is Good ! – Sunday Lunch By The Pool – “Grilled Shrimp Brochettes On Honey/Rum-Macerated Fruits”

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Life is Good ! – Sunday Lunch By The Pool – “Grilled Shrimp Brochettes On Honey/Rum-Macerated Fruits”

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Summer has hit our little part of paradise, Florida, over the head with a vengeance.
While the first three weeks of official summer were pure liquid sunshine, with all the flooding and whatever else goes with torrential rain, now the real sunshine has finally arrived.
Alas, as usual, we all complain that it is too hot. When it rains we complain that it is too wet. Outside of summer, we complain it is too cold, and all year-long we complain about the traffic, the tourists and our mothers in law 🙂
One just can’t make us Floridians unconditionally happy, no matter what.
But the one thing that will make us feel good, at least for a while, is a BBQ by the pool.
Good, simple food, a few cold brewskies and good company and the world is fine for a few hours.
As for me, I do have good company in Bella, my brew is iced tea and Madam and I enjoy our time alone by the pool, (of course, the damn water in the pool is too warm this time of the year) 😦
But, the tranquility and peace, some great music from the boom box and wonderful food are all we need for now 🙂 .
How times have changed……..
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Life is Good ! – Sunday Lunch By The Pool – “Grilled Shrimp Brochettes On Honey/Rum-Macerated Fruits”

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Honey/Rum-Macerated Fruits

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Life is Good ! – Sunday Lunch By The Pool – “Grilled Shrimp Brochettes On Honey/Rum-Macerated Fruits”

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Preparation :
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Another Day, Another Wonderful Salad (Plus A Great Grilled Chicken Breast)

Grilled Chicken Breast With Red Beet/Broccoli Salad And Chimichurri

Grilled Chicken Breast With Red Beet/Broccoli Salad And Chimichurri

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In my ongoing (and admittedly, so far not very successful) quest for a more healthful lifestyle, I do eat a lot more vegetables and salads.
Unfortunately, most of the time when I choose a healthy dish for one meal, I offset the good effect with a not so healthy dish for the following meal. But, I keep trying………
Today’s lunch was a rather salubrious choice, grilled lean meat, accompanied by a delicious vegetable salad with olive oil dressing and, for a bit of extra zing, a few pickled chilies and a herb-laden chimichurri.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Grilled Chicken Breast With Red Beet/Broccoli Salad And Chimichurri

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Grilled Chicken Breast With Red Beet/Broccoli Salad And Chimichurri

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Red Beet/Broccoli Salad

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Preparation :
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Salad & Bread

Spinach Salad with Grapefruit Filets, Shrimp, Avocado and Grape Tomatoes, dressed with Honey/Citrus Vinaigrette, accompanied by Garlic/Chili Pita Bread

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“Spinach Salad with Grapefruit Filets, Shrimp, Avocado and Grape Tomatoes, dressed with Honey/Citrus Vinaigrette, accompanied by Garlic/Chili Pita Bread”
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Once in a while, “just” a salad is all I want for lunch. Today was such a day and this salad satisfied all the needs and wishes I had for such a lunch.
Light, refreshing, pretty and very flavorful, I recommend this for anybody who “just” wants a salad as a wonderful meal 🙂
As an added bonus, the garlic/pita bread was exceptional and I added it to my regular repertoire.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Spinach Salad with Grapefruit Filets, Shrimp, Avocado and Grape Tomatoes, dressed with Honey/Citrus Vinaigrette, accompanied by Garlic/Chili Pita Bread

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Garlic/Chili Pita Bread

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Spinach Salad with Grapefruit Filets, Shrimp, Avocado and Grape Tomatoes, dressed with Honey/Citrus Vinaigrette, accompanied by Garlic/Chili Pita Bread

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Spinach Salad with Grapefruit Filets, Shrimp, Avocado and Grape Tomatoes, dressed with Honey/Citrus Vinaigrette, accompanied by Garlic/Chili Pita Bread

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Shrimp And Rice Stick Pillows With Peanut Sauce And Sweet Chili Sauce

Shrimp And Rice Stick Pillows With Peanut Sauce And Sweet Chili Sauce

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Last night on my way home I stopped at a Vietnamese restaurant where I used to eat pho. I stopped eating there because of the tiny portions (see my post about it by clicking this link:  ….Pho….
Knowing that I would be disappointed by the skimpy pho, I placed my hope into an order of summer rolls…….
Well, the same crappy principle as with the pho (a ton of stock, a tiny amount of anything else); only this time, there was a ton of wrapper (2 per roll !) and just a tiny bit of filling. I could have kicked myself for not following my own previous advise to avoid this place.
So, what’s an old cook to do? Well of course, make my own version of rice paper rolls 🙂
Mind you, these are NOT Vietnamese summer rolls! And, because of their plumpness, rather than eating them by hand, I suggest you use a fork in order to have a less messy encounter with these babies. 🙂
However, these rolls consist of the exact amount and ratio of ingredients I craved when I ordered the rolls in the restaurant and was so badly disappointed:
A small amount of wrapper, LOT’S of noodles and shrimp, and NOT drowned in fish sauce and basil. Ahhhh, the good life ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
If you prefer the more traditional skinny shape, just arrange the filling accordingly.
P.P.S.
I am still hoping to find a decent Vietnamese restaurant around here 🙂
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Hans’ Peanut Sauce

This recipe may not be the most authentic, but it’s really, really good.
Serve it as a dipping sauce, over hot or cold noodles or as a salad dressing.

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons chili paste
  • ½ teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. Whisk again before serving.
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Shrimp And Rice Stick Pillows With Peanut Sauce And Sweet Chili Sauce

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Shrimp And Rice Stick Pillows With Peanut Sauce And Sweet Chili 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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Shrimp And Black Beans Taco Bowl

Shrimp And Black Beans Taco Bowl

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I do realize that taco bowls are sooo 80’s, but I feel they still look great today, and this piece of once “in” popular food culture deserves a place within the classics we should re-visit once in a while so as not to forget them 🙂
In order to be a bit more colorful, instead of the usual flour tortilla, I have used a brightly colored spinach wrap here. Wraps come in all kinds of colors, so this opens up the visual spectrum to be a bit more varied.
As far as the filling is concerned, today I felt like bean salad, avocado, greens, and shrimp, but of course, the sky is the limit, as long as it is not liquid and you serve it right after preparation in order to avoid the shells to become soft.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Shrimp And Black Beans Taco Bowl

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ready to go……………serves 2

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Preparation :
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Bella’s Fault ! (“Any Cook Can Turn Gold Into Crap, But Only A Good Cook Can Turn Crap Into Gold”)

Greek Lamb Sandwich

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So  today, at around noon, I seasoned and seared this wonderful boneless leg of lamb I bought earlier, then put it in the oven to roast it slowly until rare, let it rest a bit, then serve with a nice salad for a great lunch.
Well, THAT did not happen ! 😦
As soon as I’d put the meat in the oven, Bella insisted that we go for a walk. I thought to myself ok, just around the corner, then back to take care of lunch.
But, as soon as we started our walk, she pulled me towards the park by the lake and I forgot all about the lamb in the oven. Needless to say, when we got back 1.5 hours later, the meat was well done. After kicking myself (mentally), I cut the leg into smaller, flat pieces, wrapped them in alu-foil and put it back into the oven at 375F for another 2,5 hours, at which point the meat was very tender and almost falling apart. I let it cool off a bit, then pulled it into fine shreds with two forks, seasoned it with olive oil, kosher salt, cumin, cayenne, oregano and voilà – the perfect topping for a Greek sandwich.
When I was an apprentice, my chef, Herr Mueller, used to say about cooking:
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” Any Cook Can Turn Gold Into Crap, But Only A Good Cook Can Turn Crap Into Gold. “
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And there you have it ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Greek Lamb Sandwich

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Greek Lamb Sandwich

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Preparation :
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Salad Of Smoked Salmon, Avocado And Egg

Salad Of Smoked Salmon, Avocado And Egg

Salad Of Smoked Salmon, Avocado And Egg

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When I got up this morning, I had a big craving for egg salad. During the day, in my head, I kept adding ingredients to the egg salad until finally, when it was time to prepare early dinner, this yummy concoction materialized 🙂
Very simple and straightforward, yet a real delicious and pretty dish that can be enjoyed either as a salad with bread on the side or, as I did, on top of toasted bread as a sandwich that left nothing to be desired for Bella’s and my dinner.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Personally, I prefer Florida avocados over Haas avocados. Click here to read about the pros/contras of both 🙂
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Salad Of Smoked Salmon, Avocado And Egg

Salad Of Smoked Salmon, Avocado And Egg

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Preparation :
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Poor Man’s Crab Meat Risotto – Kani Kama Risotto

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Residing  close to Hialeah means one can buy a lot of goodies by the roadside from “flying vendors”, who sell anything from the trunk of their cars, – electronics, Christmas decorations, clothes, steaks, flowers, fruit, churros, plants, mani, limes, and of course, “fresh seafood”.
I suspect that most of this stuff comes from a “fell off the truck supplier”, but who knows 🙂
My neighbor, Maribel, showed me some of the bargains she bought yesterday from a roadside seafood dealer and asked me if I can replicate one of her favorite dishes, crab meat risotto. Of course, I was happy to do this for her and her husband, as I do cook at least twice a month for them. I asked her to bring me the crab meat; I had the rest of the ingredients in my larder and fridge, so no problem. Well, to no surprise to me, the $10.00 pack of “crab meat” turned out to be Surimi (Kani Kama). To the seller’s credit, at least it was in good shape and smelled and felt very fresh when defrosted, so I explained to Maribel that I can make a seafood risotto for her and that it would be a great dish, although with a basic seafood taste instead of crabmeat taste. And so I did, using the surimi and clam juice for flavor, and the resulting risotto looked great, tasted great and, most important, it made my neighbors happy. (I assume the “crabmeat risotto” which they usually eat at their favorite restaurant in Hialeah is not exactly loaded with “real crabmeat” either 🙂
So there you have it – a wonderfully tasty and pretty dish for the price of a basic “fish and rice” meal. Mission accomplished! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Poor Man's Crab Meat Risotto

Poor Man’s Crab Meat Risotto

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Poor Man's Crab Meat Risotto

Poor Man’s Crab Meat Risotto

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Preparation :
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