No Name Soup

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This delicious soup follows the popular “whatever I find in the larder” principle.🙂
Today, I found beef bones, mushrooms, canton noodles, eggs, cabbage, chinese sausage and fried shallots, which, together with a bit of time for the broth,  is all you need to prepare this tasty delight.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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No Name Soup

No Name Soup

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No Name Soup

No Name Soup

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Preparation :
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Dragon Waffles

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Pitaya,  drachenfrucht, fruit du dragon, buah naga, kaeo mangkonthanh long, huǒ lóng guǒlóng zhū guǒnanettika fruit – these are just a few of the many  names for one of the most versatile, beautiful and delicious fruits I know.
Dragon fruit comes in three main varieties – red, green and yellow peel with either fiery red flesh with black dots (seeds) or white meat with black dots (seeds). Then there is the less common bright-yellow dragon fruit, with yellow peel and white meat with black dots (seeds). The taste of the dragon fruit spans a great range, from rather sour to very sweet.
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Today’s at breakfast time I had a great craving for waffles. I had a couple of mangos as well as one dragon fruit in the larder, so the menu was set :
Dragon Waffles With Mangoes In Honey/Vanilla Cream”.
I usually serve the dragon waffles with caramelized apples, but the mangoes I had in the fridge were rather ripe and needed to be used – good thing I did use them for this dish, because the soft, very sweet mangoes fit perfectly with the slightly tart dragon fruit and the crisp waffles. What a wonderful way to start the day🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Waffle Batter :
Ingredients :
1. 1/3   cup flour, 4 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp sugar, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1. 3/4 cup buttermilk, two egg yolks (whisk the two egg whites to stiff peaks)
Method :
Mix dry ingredients well, add buttermilk, egg yolks and melted butter, fold-in whisked egg whites
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Dragon Waffles With Mangoes In Honey/Vanilla Cream

Dragon Waffles With Mangoes In Honey/Vanilla Cream

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Dragon Waffles With Mangoes In Honey/Vanilla Cream

Dragon Waffles With Mangoes In Honey/Vanilla Cream

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Dragon Waffles With Mangoes In Honey/Vanilla Cream

Dragon Waffles With Mangoes In Honey/Vanilla Cream

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Preparation :
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Braised Teriyaki Chicken With Spicy Rice Sticks

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Braised  teriyaki chicken tastes more intense of teriyaki sauce than grilled or sautéed teriyaki chicken, because the braising process allows the sauce to penetrate the meat much better than marinating and then grilling or sauteing would.
However, if you only like your chicken skin crisp, this preparation might not be for you. But if on the other hand you do like the texture of a braised chicken skin (think  coq au vin  as a reference) and if you love the braising liquid/sauce from a well-seasoned braised dish (again, think of the great sauce a coq au vin will provide), this  “Braised Teriyaki Chicken With Spicy Rice Sticks” will make you happy. The additional sauce from the chicken provides a wonderful coating to the already flavorful rice sticks.
Superb food, achieved with small effort and in little time. Life is Good !
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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BraisedTeriyaki Chicken With Spicy Rice Sticks

Braised Teriyaki Chicken With Spicy Rice Sticks

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Braised Teriyaki Chicken With Spicy Rice Sticks

Braised Teriyaki Chicken With Spicy Rice Sticks

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BraisedTeriyaki Chicken With Spicy Rice Sticks

Braised Teriyaki Chicken With Spicy Rice Sticks

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Preparation :
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Salad of Tomato, Cucumber, Alfalfa Sprouts And Parmigiano Reggiano

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While  ” Just A Salad ” usually does not do it for me, this one certainly did🙂
Consisting of just a few simple ingredients, the quality and richness they possessed made this a complete, delicious and utterly satisfying meal.
The tomatoes were super ripe and super sweet, the cucumbers crispy and fresh, the sprouts added a new texture and the parmigiano reggiano was as perfect as can be.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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slice 2 large, very ripe tomatoes into fine slices, arrange on serving platter, sprinkle with sea salt to taste

slice 2 large, very ripe tomatoes into fine slices, arrange on serving platter, sprinkle with sea salt to taste

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slice 2 large, very ripe tomatoes and 1 medium size white onion into fine slices, arrange on serving platter, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper to taste, add 1/2 tray alfalfa sprouts, drizzle with 3 tblsp white balsamic vinegar and 3 tblsp olive oil

slice 2 medium size cucumbers and 1 medium size white onion into fine slices, arrange on serving platter, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper to taste, add 1/2 tray alfalfa sprouts, drizzle with 3 tblsp white balsamic vinegar and 3 tblsp olive oil

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shave 6 oz of parmigiano reggiano on top of salad, drizzle with 2 tbslp olive oil and sprinkle with fresh-cracked black pepper to taste

shave 6 oz of parmigiano reggiano on top of salad, drizzle with 2 tbslp olive oil and sprinkle with fresh-cracked black pepper to taste; serves 2

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Salad of Tomato, Cucumber, Alfalfa Sprouts And Parmigiano Reggiano

Salad of Tomato, Cucumber, Alfalfa Sprouts And Parmigiano Reggiano

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Salad of Tomato, Cucumber, Alfalfa Sprouts And Parmigiano Reggiano

Salad of Tomato, Cucumber, Alfalfa Sprouts And Parmigiano Reggiano

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Pearl Burgers

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Pearl Balls

Pearl Balls

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Pearl  Balls Burgers :
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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.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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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.
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Click here to read about  Maillard Reaction
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Click here for  Kecap Manis Recipe  on  ChefsOpinion
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Pearl Balls Burger

Pearl  Burger

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Asian Flavored Pork Burger

Asian Flavored Pork Burger

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

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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 .
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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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🙂
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Rice Pudding With Fresh Berries And Yogurt

Rice Pudding With Fresh Berries And Yogurt

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Rice Pudding With Fresh Berries And Yogurt

Rice Pudding With Fresh Berries And Yogurt

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

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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 .
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Pasta  on  ChefsOpinion
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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🙂
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Corksrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

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Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

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Preparation :
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Cheese Rösti (Swiss Hash Browns With Cheese)

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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🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Käse Rösti (Swiss Hash Browns With Cheese)

Käse Rösti (Swiss Hash Browns With Cheese)

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Cheese Rösti (Swiss Hash Browns With Cheese)

Cheese Rösti (Swiss Hash Browns With Cheese)

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Preparation :
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Grilled Chicken Salad – Grilled Chicken On A Higher Level

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

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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Grilled Chicken Salad

Grilled Chicken Salad

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Grilled Chicken Salad

Grilled Chicken Salad

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Grilled Chicken Salad

Grilled Chicken Salad

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Grilled Chicken Salad

juicy perfection……..

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Preparation :
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Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

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English – Rice Porridge;  Japanese – Okayu;  Korean – Jukin;  Thai – Jok;  Tagalog – Lugao, Burmese – Hsan Pyok.
plain congee/law fu kee
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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
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

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Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

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Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

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Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

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Preparation :
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