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

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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:-)
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  “One For The Kids”  on  ChefsOpinion
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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.

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Strawberry And Chocolate Pudding Pocket

Strawberry And Chocolate Pudding Pocket

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Strawberry And Chocolate Pudding Pocket

Strawberry And Chocolate Pudding Pocket

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Preparation :
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Cucumber And Carrot Slaw In Greek Yogurt Dressing

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It’s  BBQ time ! The perfect opportunity to shine with your favorite home made salads, sauces and condiments.
This salad is one of my BBQ standby’s, a perfect side dish to accompany hot meat just off the grill.
“Cucumber and carrot slaw in Greek yogurt dressing” is full of flavor and crunchy texture, looks great and can be made hours in advance, which makes it well-suited to take to potlucks, or before friends and family show up for a BBQ at your house.
Actually, I sometimes enjoy a large bowl of it just by itself as a light and tasty lunch on a hot summer day (As I did yesterday):-)
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Great Salads  on  ChefsOpinion
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Cucumber Carrot Slaw In Greek Yogurt Dressing

Cucumber Carrot Slaw In Greek Yogurt Dressing

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Preparation :
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slice 1 lb of cucumbers into thin slices

slice 1 lb of cucumbers into thin slices

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season generously with 2 tblsp kosher salt, mix well, set aside for 15 minutes

season generously with 2 tblsp kosher salt, mix well, set aside for 15 minutes

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after 15 minutes, squeeze all excess water/juices from the cucumbers, discard the liquid

after 15 minutes, squeeze all excess water/juices from the cucumbers, discard the liquid   (or add vodka and ice for a great cocktail:-)

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add 1 lb freshly shredded raw carrots

add 1 lb freshly shredded raw carrots

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add 1 tsp sriracha, 1 tblsp garlic paste, 2 cup Greek yogurt, mix all together

add 1 tsp sriracha, 1 tblsp garlic paste, 2 cup Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup ranch dressing,, mix all together

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check/adjust seasoning

check/adjust seasoning

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Cucumber Carrot Slaw In Greek Yogurt Dressing

Cucumber Carrot Slaw In Greek Yogurt Dressing

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Cucumber Carrot Slaw In Greek Yogurt Dressing

Cucumber Carrot Slaw In Greek Yogurt Dressing

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Kecap Manis

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Kecap Manis

Kecap Manis


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Kecap manis  (ketjap manis), pronounced KEH-chup MAH-nees is an Indonesian sweet soy sauce with a molasses consistency and a dark brown color.
Sometimes flavored with garlic, star anise, chili, five spice powder, etc, the sauce is more syrupy than commonplace soy sauce. Sold in most Asian markets, kecap manis can be used as a condiment or marinade for satay’s and grilled meats or as a dipping sauce. Basically just sweetened soy sauce, it is by far the most popular type of soy sauce used in Indonesian cuisine, where it plays a important role in signature dishes, such as nasi goreng, mie goreng, satay, tongseng and semur.
Sambal kecap is a type of sambal dipping sauce of kecap manis with sliced chili, tomato and shallot, a popular for sate kambing (goat meat satay) and ikan bakar (grilled fish/seafood).
Since soy sauce is of Chinese origin, kecap asin is also an important seasoning in Chinese Indonesian cuisine. It is also a staple ingredient in many other traditional dishes of Indonesia.

Kecap manis is also a staple in my kitchen. I use it mainly for my “lazy meal” day’s, when much cooking is not on my list and a simple plate of stir fried vegetables with mushrooms, noodles or rice mixed with kecap manis, garlic and chili is all that’s on the menu for a quick yet satisfying dinner. I usually have both store-bought and homemade kecap manis in the fridge. When a original recipe calls for it, I use the more complex store-bought version which usually contains star anis, garlic and sometimes other flavor agents.
On the other hand, if I prepare a “lazy meal”, the simple home-made version described below suits me better. I’s not a question of quality but rather a personal taste-preference:-)
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Happy Cooking !   Life is Good !

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P.S.
If you decide to prepare this homemade version of ketsap manis, I highly recommend that you don’t leave the sauce unattended while simmering. If it boils over, the high sugar content makes it a nuisance to clean off the stove:-)😦
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mix 2 cup cane sugar with 2 cups soy sauce

mix 2 cup cane sugar with 2 cups soy sauce

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bring sauce to a VERY SLOW simmer

bring sauce to a VERY SLOW simmer

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while simmering, skim off all foam that rises to the top; cook sauce until it has the texture of syrup, let cool; it will then further thicken to the texture of thick molasses

while simmering, skim off all foam that rises to the top; cook sauce until it has the texture of syrup, let cool; it will then further thicken to the texture of thick molasses

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Kecap Manis

Kecap Manis

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A Pig And A Hoagie

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there you have it ........

There you have it – a pig at it’s finest……..

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This  meal started out to become a traditional Asian-style braised pork belly dish, served with steamed rice and some kind of green vegetables.
However, after starting the belly, I changed my mind and decided to go with another sandwich, because…….why not ?:-)
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Pork Belly  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Sandwiches  on  ChefsOpinion
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A Pig And A Hoagie

A Pig And A Hoagie

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A Pig And A Hoagie

A Pig And A Hoagie

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A Pig And A Hoagie

A Pig And A Hoagie

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A Pig And A Hoagie

A Pig And A Hoagie

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A Pig And A Hoagie

A Pig And A Hoagie

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A Pig And A Hoagie

A Pig And A Hoagie

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Preparation :
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Ox Tripe Two Way’s

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Even  though ox tripe is not everybody’s cup of tea, I myself am an incurable fan of it.
Originally classified as “Poor Man’s Food”, it has lately become more widely used, especially since the “Head To Tail” movement has become popular and it is now  “in”  to classify former “Poor Man’s Food” as “Comfort Food :-) .
Well, I grew up loving this type of food, so for today’s lunch, I made two versions, one for lunch and one to be re-heated at dinner.
Of course, there are a million recipes for ox tripe from around the world and I love most of them. But these two versions of (almost) the same recipe are without a doubt on the very top of my list. Great looks, super taste and outstanding texture lift them to the level of excellence the humble ox tripe deserves.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Oxtripe  recipes on  ChefsOpinion   ( Mondongo/ Beef Tripe/ Kutteln/ 牛百叶/ 牛百葉/ Goto/ Tripa/ требухаأمعاء, شىء تافه )
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Clear Ox Tripe Stew

Clear Ox Tripe Stew

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Creamy Ox Tripe Stew

Creamy Ox Tripe Stew

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Creamy Ox Tripe Stew

Creamy Ox Tripe Stew

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Preparation :
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SINGAPORE NOODLES (SINGAPORE MEI FUN) 新洲米粉, 星洲炒米, 星洲米粉)

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Having  traveled the world long before I moved to Singapore to live and work there in the early 80’s, I remember how much I was looking forward to finally learn how to prepare “real” Singapore Noodles. By then I had enjoyed them in many Chinese restaurants all over the world and they had become a trustworthy (most of the time, anyway) shoe-in if nothing else appealed on the menu to my at that time still rather newfound love of Chinese food . Much to my surprise, there were no Singapore Noodles to be found anywhere😦
It then did not take me long to find out that Singapore Noodles are NOT a Singaporean dish but have probably been invented years earlier in Hong Kong.
(As far as I know, the verdict of its true origin is still not entirely agreed upon):-)
While there are many different variations, the most common one I have encountered in my travels and here in the USA contain rice sticks, curry, scallions, soy, garlic, ginger, vegetables, shrimp and chicken or pork.
The following version is more or less the one I have cooked for many years, only making slight changes to the ingredients if something is not readily available or leftovers beg to be utilized, such as roast pork, squid, bok choy, celery, etc.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Asian Style Noodles  on  ChefsOpinion
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Singapore Noodles

Singapore Noodles

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Singapore Noodles

Singapore Noodles

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Singapore Noodles

Singapore Noodles

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Preparation :
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“WhatAPig” – Pork & Peppers On Baguette

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Every  so often, a quick sandwich is all I need to satisfy my culinary cravings.
The range of sandwiches I enjoy is wide and spans from a simple ham & cheese sandwich to the most elaborate lobster roll, foie gras on toast and anything in-between.
Today I feasted on such a typical “in-between” sandwich : The “WhatAPig”.
Although quick and easy to prepare, it does not lack in substance, taste and appearance and is a great meal for any occasion when sophistication is not required to impress:-)
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Sandwiches  on  ChefsOpinion
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WhatAPig - Pork & Peppers On Baguette

“WhatAPig” – Pork & Peppers On Baguette

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WhatAPig - Pork & Peppers On Baguette

“WhatAPig” – Pork & Peppers On Baguette

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Preparation :
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Stir Fried Flower Mushrooms, Bok Choy And Carrots In Hoi Sin Sauce

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This  is my all-time favorite meatless entrée. I used to special-order this in Chinese restaurants which Maria and I frequented, but now I hardly go out anymore, so special orders are not something I want to bother the chefs with in places where I only show up once in a blue moon.
So, I prepare it for myself at home and usually it is at least as good as I could hope for in a restaurant:-)
I don’t normally plan this in advance, but when I am at my neighborhood Asian market and see fresh Shiitake , also called Chinese mushroom or black mushroom, this dish is on the table the next day. (Especially if the “Flower Mushroom”, xiang-gu or huāgū (花菇) is available).
Today I had vegetable stock at hand from vegetables I prepped, blanched and froze in the morning for the coming week, so I used that instead of the chicken stock I usually use, which actually made it suitable for vegetarians to enjoy.
So, if you are looking for a great meat-less or vegetarian dish, this delicious beauty will serve you well:-)
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Stir Fried Flower Mushroomes, Bok Choi And Carrots In Hoi Sin Sauce

Stir Fried Flower Mushrooms, Bok Choy And Carrots In Hoi Sin Sauce

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Stir Fried Flower Mushroomes, Bok Choi And Carrots In Hoi Sin Sauce

Stir Fried Flower Mushrooms, Bok Choy And Carrots In Hoi Sin Sauce

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Stir Fried Flower Mushroomes, Bok Choi And Carrots In Hoi Sin Sauce

Stir Fried Flower Mushrooms, Bok Choy And Carrots In Hoi Sin Sauce

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Preparation :
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Steak Salad – Just A Bit Different

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We  have come to expect a steak salad to be mostly beef and greens, usually with an afterthought of a few cucumbers, tomatoes and onions thrown in. (Myself – guilty):-)😦
So today I went into a different direction, with a salad of pickled artichokes, sliced red onions, diced tomatoes, black beans and garbanzos in a delicious sweet chili, garlic confit and cilantro vinaigrette .
The result was a spectacular dish, outstanding in looks, taste and texture.
Definitely a permanent addition to my personal repertoir.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Steak Salad  on  ChefsOpinion
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Sweet Chili, Garlic Confit And Cilantro Vinaigrette Recipe :
Mix 1/2 cup olive oil with 10 cloves of garlic confit, 1 tblsp sweet thai chili sauce, 1 tblsp chopped cilantro, 2 tblsp rice vinegar and kosher salt to taste.
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Steak Salad - Just A bit Different

Steak Salad – Just A Bit Different

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Steak Salad - Just A bit Different

Steak Salad – Just A Bit Different

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Artichoke & Legume Salad

Artichoke & Legumes Salad

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Preparation :
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Ziti Pie

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Easy  and cheesy, this the perfect meal for a busy weeknight.
Just a few simple steps and off you are to a great meal that will leave you and your family and friends happy and satisfied.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  Tomato Sauce Recipe  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  Sauce Mornay  Recipe
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Ziti Pie

Ziti Pie

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Ziti Pie

Ziti Pie

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Ziti Pie

Ziti Pie

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Ziti Pie

Ziti Pie

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Preparation :
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