black beans

Crappy Weather Food – Beef, Beans And Other Stuff

Meanwhile, in Florida…….

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Hurricane season has finally arrived in Florida, and boy, has it ARRIVED 😦
While God has spared us a hurricane so far, we had constant rainstorms for the past two weeks, resulting in extensive flooding, turning many streets into rivers and parking lots into lakes.
Hearty food is the partial answer to that misery, making up for the fact that outside grilling and outside cooking in general, is suspended for the moment.
This beef stew with potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garbanzos, white beans, red beans and black beans is the perfect food to enjoy while looking out the window, watching the world drowning in rain and misery 😦
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Crappy Weather Food – Beef, Beans And Other Stuff

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Crappy Weather Food – Beef, Beans And Other Stuff

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Crappy Weather Food – Beef, Beans And Other Stuff

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Crappy Weather Food – Beef, Beans And Other Stuff

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Tacos De Pescado (Grilled Fish Tacos)

Tacos De Pescado (Grilled Fish Tacos)

I just realized that lately, I prepare tacos at least ones a week, sometimes even more often.
Of course, this makes perfect sense, since they are very tasty, easy to prepare and the possible variations are endless. I have them for any meal of the day, breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack.
My favorite taco is……..always the one I presently prepare and eat, no matter if they are soft or crisp, contain lots of “stuff” or just a few basic ingredients. They can contain beef, pork, fish, crab, shrimp, chicken, duck, chorizo, egg, guacamole, refried beans, shredded lettuce, shredded cabbage, onions, chiles, cheese, salsa Mexicana, salsa verde, black beans and a myriad of other stuff. As long as it is tasty, anything (well, almost anything), goes. 🙂
For today’s tacos, I used fresh cod fillets I got this morning at the “International Market”, a lonely Haas Avocado which was sitting all but forgotten by herself on a shelf in the pantry, and leftover red cabbage slaw, to which I added a bit of kernel corn . The result was, dare I say, as with all my tacos, smashing 🙂

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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Click here for more  Tacos  on  ChefsOpinion
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Tacos De Pescado (Grilled Fish Tacos)

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Tacos De Pescado (Grilled Fish Tacos)

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Tacos De Pescado (Grilled Fish Tacos)

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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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Click here for  Salsa Mexicana Recipe  on  ChefsOpinion

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Shrimp And Black Beans Taco Bowl

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ready to go……………serves 2

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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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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Breakfast Of Champions # 53 – Burrito With Scrambled Eggs, Re-fried Beans And Avocado

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Today’s  breakfast – another winner, easily whipped up in minutes.  (Assuming you have some leftover re-fried beans at hand).
If you don’t, just replace the re-fried beans with sautéed red beans, black beans or even chick peas (garbanzos), seasoned with cumin, kosher salt cayenne, garlic paste and diced onion,
which will only just add a few extra minutes to the preparation.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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More  Burritos  on  ChefsOpinion
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Breakfast Of Champions # 33 - Burrito With Scrambled Eggs, Refried Beans And Avocado

Breakfast Of Champions # 33 – Burrito With Scrambled Eggs, Re-fried Beans And Avocado

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Breakfast Of Champions # 33 - Burrito With Scrambled Eggs, Refried Beans And Avocado

Breakfast Of Champions # 53 – Burrito With Scrambled Eggs, Re-fried Beans And Avocado

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Breakfast Of Champions # 33 - Burrito With Scrambled Eggs, Refried Beans And Avocado

Breakfast Of Champions # 53 – Burrito With Scrambled Eggs, Re-fried Beans And Avocado

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Poulet Beaucoup D’Ail

 

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Chicken  breast has gotten a bad rap for a long time.
However, you can safely say that’s not the chicken breast’s fault, but the fault of the cooks who do not know how to properly prepare it.
(It is the same dilemma with fish, veal, pork and most other protein besides red meat – the taste and texture of properly cooked protein is so wonderful yet so elusive in most restaurants these days).
I remember when I was a teacher and I showed my students how incredibly juicy and tasty a breast of chicken can be when cooked in a professional manner. Before the demo, I always asked “why do we prefer chicken leg over chicken breast” and the answer was always: “because breast are dry and tasteless”. How very surprised they all were when I proved them wrong. 🙂
So, the way to do it is to cook it to 160F to 162 F depending on the type and thickness of the protein, then let the carry-over heat do its magic; after a short rest, the protein should reach between 164F and 165F the moment it reaches the guest, but it must never exceed that temperature or it will be dry !!! During my time and before that, cooks would never think of using a thermometer to check the doneness of food – everything was dictated by the experience we garnered over many years of real cooking. Now imagine, some of our successors are not even able to find the center of the protein to get the temperature right (no kidding). And of course, if cooked too fast, protein will also end up less than stellar.
Having said all that, you might understand that I would never order a chicken breast in a restaurant these days, because the absolute majority of cooks nowadays does not know how to do a chicken breast justice. (Again, the same holds true with pork, fish and other protein which are so wonderful tasty, tender and juicy when handled with expertise).
Unfortunately, because of lack of cooking skills, the new “experts” will make you believe that only protein which is under-cooked or raw will be juicy 😦
Ok, ok,  so I vented a bit, I beg your pardon…..
As of today’s dish, I resorted sheepishly to the habit of naming the dish in french, since “Poulet Beaucoup D’Ail” sounds so much better than “Chicken With Lot’s Of Garlic“. ( Or maybe “Pollo Con Un Monton De Ajo” anyone ?) 🙂
And for those of you who do not believe in lots of garlic, just replace the garlic with botton-mushrooms. As for the gnocchi with black beans, lately I have prepared that combination often and in many different variations – gnocchi with butter beans, gnocchi with chick peas, gnocchi with edamame etc, all sautéed in herb butter, pesto, tomato sauce, chili oil, cheese sauce and so forth. The added texture of the beans make the gnocchi even more enjoyable than just plain with butter or sauce.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Poulet Beaucoup D'Ail

Poulet Beaucoup D’Ail

 

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Poulet Beaucoup D'Ail

Poulet Beaucoup D’Ail

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Jamaican Black Bean Soup With Smoked Ham Hocks And Spinners



Here  is another hearty recipe of wonderful comfort food.
Many folks are familiar with Jamaican dumplings and some have become addicted to them like I have.  Although in their most basic form they are made of  just flour, water and salt, as part of a soup or stew they can be mind-boggling great because of their unique texture. As for the taste, I usually add garlic paste and cayenne pepper to give them a bit of extra umph 🙂
The traditional shape of Jamaican dumplings is a thick disk shape with an indention in the center. Spinners are made of the same dough, but they are “spinned” between your hands to shape them into tapered tubes, which is the shape I prefer.
As for the protein in the bean soup, use whatever you like and/or have at hand. Chicken, pork, salt beef, fresh beef, even seafood or just root vegetables. Of course, smoked ham hocks are the price in today’s lunch’ version, which could not have been more tasty and delicious.


Bon Appetit !  Irie, Mon !

Jamaican Black Bean Soup With Smoked Ham Hocks And Spinners

Jamaican Black Bean Soup With Smoked Ham Hocks And Spinners

Jamaican Black Bean Soup With Smoked Ham Hocks And Spinners

Jamaican Black Bean Soup With Smoked Ham Hocks And Spinners



Preparation :

simmer ham hocks in generously seasoned water (kosher salt, garlic paste, scotch bonnet hot sauce) until tender but NOT falling apart

simmer ham hocks in generously seasoned water (kosher salt, garlic paste, scotch bonnet hot sauce) until tender but NOT falling apart

when ham hocks are tender, remove from stock, reserve

when ham hocks are tender, remove from stock, reserve

ham hocks

smoked ham hocks


remove bones from ham hocks, give one each to your dog and his/her friends :-)

remove bones from ham hocks, give one each to your dog and his/her friends 🙂

dice meat and skin into bite size cubes

dice meat and skin into bite size cubes


add canned, strained black beans, quartered onions,  a small amount of curry powder and turmeric and coconut milk to stock, simmer for another 45 minutes

add canned, strained black beans, quartered onions, a small amount of curry powder, turmeric and coconut milk to stock, simmer for another 45 minutes

blend in electric blender until smooth, check / adjust seasoning

blend in electric blender until smooth, check / adjust seasoning

make a dough of a/p flour, water and salt, knead until the dough looks like this

make a dough of a/p flour, water, garlic paste, hot sauce and salt, knead until the dough is smooth

roll individual pieces into small tubes like this, simmer in salt water until cooked through, 25 to 45 minutes, depending on the size you prefer

roll individual pieces into small tubes like this, simmer in salt water until cooked through, 25 to 45 minutes, depending on the size you prefer

almost...........

almost………..

add meat to soup to heat through

add meat to soup to heat through

plate soup in serving dish

plate soup in serving dish

top with spinners

top with spinners

sprinkle with scallions and/or herbs of your choice

sprinkle with scallions and/or herbs of your choice

Jamaican Black Bean Soup With Smoked Ham Hocks And Spinners

Jamaican Black Bean Soup With Smoked Ham Hocks And Spinners

Jamaican Black Bean Soup With Smoked Ham Hocks And Spinners

Jamaican Black Bean Soup With Smoked Ham Hocks And Spinners



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Chicken Liver Congee

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Usually,  I have  congee  for breakfast, but today I just wanted a big bowl of this culinary marvel for lunch.
It is one of the most satisfying dishes out there, as long as it is properly seasoned and has the ingredients you long for at the moment. As far as congee goes – anything goes 🙂
Even the texture has no right or wrong. As long as you like it – that’s the right texture. I like mine fairly thick, tasty, spicy and with lot’s of  “stuff” in it. I happened to have fresh chicken livers today, but you can use any protein you like, shrimps, scallops, chicken or whatever is handy. Maybe just vegetables? With egg or without? Many condiments or none?

Today I cooked my rice in a rich chicken stock, flavored with lots of grated ginger, garlic paste, kosher salt and ground chili pepper and a splash of fermented bean sauce. Once the porridge had the desired texture, I added medium-fried chicken livers,  Chinese black mushrooms,  cooked ham, corn, black beans, sesame oil, finely sliced chilies and scallions.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !


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Chicken Liver Congee

Chicken Liver Congee

Chicken Liver Congee

Chicken Liver Congee


Preparation:

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season with granulated garlic, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, five spice powder, add cornstarch, mix well

season with granulated garlic, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, five spice powder, add cornstarch, mix well

fry in peanut oil until medium, remove to absorbent paper

fry livers in peanut oil until medium, remove to absorbent paper

almost :-) ......

almost  ………

to porridge add livers, beans, corn, mushroom, chilies, scallions and sesame seed oil, check/adjust seasoning

to the porridge add livers, beans, corn, mushroom, chilies, scallions and sesame seed oil, check/adjust seasoning

Chicken Liver Congee

Chicken Liver Congee

Chicken Liver Congee

Chicken Liver Congee

Chicken Liver Congee

Chicken Liver Congee


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please be so kind and click on the video on the bottom of this page.  Thank you 🙂






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