cinnamon

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

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While  there are a million and one jerk chicken recipes out there, the basic seasoning is usually brown sugar or molasses, all spice, garlic, cinnamon, scotch bonnets (as much as you can handle), ginger, thyme, nutmeg and salt. Most folks I know also add soy sauce and scallions (I do).
Then, if you have a wood burning grill, grill very slowly, covered until the chicken is charred on the outside and juicy on the inside. Since I don’t presently have a proper grill, I started my jerk chicken in a cast iron grill pan and after a light char developed, covered it and finished cooking it in the oven. The result was a very tasty, very juicy, close to perfection jerk chicken 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is good !
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P.S.
As I was cooking this inside the house, I used all dry herbs and spices.
However, for a more authentic experience, if cooking outside on a wood grill, you want to use fresh spices and herbs, minced and mixed with the soy sauce to a paste and rubbed into the chicken and its cuts. Cooking this on a covered grill will develop the flavorful smoky taste associated with authentic jerk chicken.
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Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

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Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

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

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During  the year I was living in Karachi, Pakistan, a large part of the TV programming besides the national programming were Indian music shows and Indian movies of the “Bollywood” Variety, which I came to appreciate and like, so much so that I actually miss it sometimes. So, in honor of the great “Bollywood” shows and movies, I name this sandwich “The Bollywood” 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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naan, tandoori chicken, tomato/cucumber/yogurt salad

naan, tandoori chicken, tomato/cucumber/yogurt salad

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naan, tandoori chicken, tomato/cucumber/yogurt salad

naan, tandoori chicken, tomato/cucumber/yogurt salad

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The Bollywood

The Bollywood

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The Bollywood

The Bollywood

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Adana Kebab (Kıyma Kebabı) (Turkish Lamb Skewer)

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In  the early seventies I was lucky enough to be visiting Turkey many times ( Istanbul,  Kusadasi  and  Izmir  among other places). At that time, Turkey  still had an oriental mystique to it which was incredibly fascinating and exiting to a young man like me. The sights, smells and noises were so much different from what I was used to – even after all these years, they still linger vividly in my memory
My girlfriend and I almost got stoned by an angry mob one day at the market in Izmir. (They actually threw stones and small rocks at us). We just came from the Caribbean and my girlfriend Edith was wearing the popular outfit of the day – high heels, hot pants and a thin t-shirt without a bra – not a good idea at the time in a mostly Muslim country. Only the quick help and intervention of our taxi driver who came running to rescue us (carefree idiots) prevented great harm or worse.
But beside that particular episode, I only have great memories of Turkey in the seventies. One of the highlights of our stay’s were always the great meals we had in local restaurants. We tried anything we could, from five-star restaurants in five-star hotels in Istanbul to small dives along the beaches and funky eateries in the sea port’s more seedy areas. The food was always great, fresh, spice-laden and exotic (to me at that time, most anything seemed exotic)
I remember  Adana Kebab  to be widely served and today I finally got around to do my own version which turned out pretty spectacular 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Afiyet Olsun !
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Turkish Adana Kebab

Turkish Adana Kebab

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Turkish Adana Kebab

Turkish Adana Kebab

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Turkish Adana Kebab

Turkish Adana Kebab

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


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If
 you have not yet decided on a stunning dessert for your holiday party, you might want to strongly consider this one. It is easy to make, can be made in advance and looks and tastes like a million bucks. Otherwise, promise yourself that you’ll prepare this as soon as sanity has returned to your kitchen after the holidays. I am sure it’s ease of preparation, as well as it’s deliciousness, will make it one of your standby’s, just as it has become one of mine. When you prepare this, make sure you let the crumble rest at  least 30 minutes in a warm place to let it set. If you want to re-heat it, give it enough time to get warm in low heat (about 20 minutes at 300F), then a bit under the broiler to re-crisp the crust. – You’re welcome 🙂 >
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

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Pear Crumble

Pear Crumble

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Pear Crumble

Pear Crumble      (My kind of food porn – no tweezers required)

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Pear Crumble

Pear Crumble

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Preparation :

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To read instructions, hover over picture
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 40 – Fruit & Dairy

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I woke  up this morning with a huge craving for fruits and sweets.
Found the perfect ingredients in the fridge and cupboard. Lucky me.
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(Of course, this would also serve, lunch, dinner, snack or dessert) 🙂
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Happy Sunday !   Life is Good !
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 40 – Fruit & Dairy

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 40 – Fruit & Dairy

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 40 – Fruit & Dairy

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 40 – Fruit & Dairy

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Ingredients :
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plum

plum

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plum & banana

plum & banana

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plum, banana & cantaloupe

plum, banana & cantaloupe

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plum, banana, cantaloupe & raspberry

plum, banana, cantaloupe & raspberry

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plum, banana, cantaloupe, raspberry & strawberry

plum, banana, cantaloupe, raspberry & strawberry

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plum, banana, cantaloupe, raspberry, strawberry, strawberry yogurt, whipped cream, cinnamon & milk

plum, banana, cantaloupe, raspberry, strawberry, strawberry yogurt, whipped cream, cinnamon & milk

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 40 – Fruit & Dairy

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 40 – Fruit & Dairy

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 40 – Fruit & Dairy

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 40 – Fruit & Dairy

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Dear Friend’s, to help support this blog,
please be so kind and click on the video below.  Thank you 🙂
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FO FO (Faux Pho)

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I figure,  as long as my soup is made of rich beef or chicken stock, has rice noodles,
fish sauce, herbs and other vegetables in it, I can call it a Faux Pho (fake pho) 🙂
Yesterday evening I felt a craving for noodle soup but had no beef or chicken at hand, so I decided to use finely sliced chorizo instead. The chorizo has a great flavor and it fit in great with the other ingredient’s. I also had some leftover clear oxtail soup in the freezer that came in handy. The soup was very light, flavorful and satisfying. Another great, light, flavorful and satisfying meal that does not break the bank, prepared in less then 15 minutes !

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

FO FO   (Faux Pho)

FO FO (Faux Pho)



Preparation:

add to beef stock star anis, cinnamon bark, chilies , grated ginger and lots of garlic paste, simmer for 10 minutes, check/adjust taste with salt and pepper

add to beef stock star anis, cinnamon bark, chilies , sesame oil, fish sauce, grated ginger and lots of garlic paste, simmer for 10 minutes, check/adjust taste with salt and pepper

meanwhile, cook rice noodles, drain, rinse with hot water

meanwhile, cook rice noodles, drain, rinse with hot water


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add beef broth to noodles, remove and discard solids

add beef broth to noodles, remove and discard cinnamon, chilies and star anis

add thinly sliced chorizo or other protein of your choice

add thinly sliced chorizo or other protein of your choice

add bean sprouts

add bean sprouts

add snow peas sprouts

add snow peas sprouts

add finely diced onion

add finely sliced onion

add finely sliced chilies

add finely sliced chilies

add scallions

add scallions and finely sliced chives

 

FO FO   (Faux Pho)

FO FO  (Faux Pho)

FO FO   (Faux Pho)

FO FO   (Faux Pho)





Dear Friend’s, to help support this blog,
please be so kind and click on the video on the bottom of this page.  Thank you 🙂





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Easy Does It # 11 – Curry

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Dear  Friend’s,
Although most of my followers are culinary professionals, there is also a large segment of followers who are just starting to enjoy cooking on a slightly higher than basic level. I have therefore decided to publish, under the moniker “Easy Does It“,  from time to time some very basic recipe variations of dishes which otherwise might seem complicated to some folks. I will break them down to the easiest, most simple instructions, so that those of you who are intimidated by elaborate recipes will be able to prepare these dishes properly, adjusted to your taste and liking, right from the get-go.
Enjoy :-)
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There  is a great mystery and misconception surrounding a “proper” Indian, Thai, Malay or Indonesian curry. We are to believe that it is too complicated to be attempted by a less than perfect cook, that you will need 101 ingredients, that the ingredients are hard to find, etc, etc.
Now, while a proper curry can be all that and more, “Easy Does It ” is here to help you find a solution to the difficulties of preparing good food.
I am a huge fan of proper Indian and asian Cooking, curries in particular. I have lived in and visited all of the above mentioned countries (and many more) and although I have learned a lot about the local cuisines, I have never become an expert in any one of them. For my private enjoyment I have rather searched and mostly found preparations which will closely resemble some of my favorite exotic dishes but which I can easily prepare at home without getting a shopping cart full of unusual, expensive and hard to find ingredients every time a new craving hits me. Also, please bear in mind that many of the followers of ChefsOpinion live in remote places  and also, not everybody has the means to spend large sums of money on a single meal, yet yearns to taste specialty dishes from around the world.

Here now is a curry sauce which I truly believe will give you that “authentic” taste of India if you add a bit of love and passion while you cook it 🙂
( I have learned a very similar recipe from one of my sous chefs, Said, at his home while I was living and working in Karachi,  Pakistan.

The most important ingredient is your garam masala. Please take the time and effort to make it fresh just before you start cooking. It will be so much superior to the store-bought variety that you will probably never buy it in the supermarket again. Rather, buy the whole seeds and keep them airtight in a dark place in individual containers until you use them.

You will need :
Coriander seeds, black cardamom pods, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, bay leaves, peppercorn, small amount of cinnamon bark. Dry roast in pan on low heat until fragrant, about one minute. Put in spice blender until powder fine. Remove to jar, cover airtight.

Next, saute in ghee finely diced onions, garlic paste and grated ginger until onions are soft but not brown, add turmeric, chili powder, salt, a bit of sugar, lots of chopped fresh coriander with stems (cilantro) and lots of chopped, fresh, very ripe tomatoes. Add chopped fresh chili’s according to your tolerance of heat. Simmer for about 30 minutes. There should be enough moisture from the tomatoes so that after 30 minutes you should have a very thick sauce.
You could use this sauce by itself as a dip for naan (as I do), or use it as base for a quick, simple curry of chicken, vegetables, seafood or even beef. I usually make enough for two or three dishes. I let the base /sauce cool and freeze it in individual containers until I use them.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

P.S.
As usual, I have not included measurements, as I firmly believe part of learning how to cook and enjoy food your way at home you must experiment and practice a bit until it tastes just right FOR YOU ! 🙂


Curry

Curry Sauce






Port Wine & Beaujolais Poached Bartlett Pears

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Hard  to believe, but many folks have never come across a poached pear on a restaurant menu, much less eaten one. What a shame, since this is such a versatile culinary gem. In classic restaurants you would come across them as part of different dishes often, be it by them self with a bit of  Creme Chantilly  or vanilla sauce, or part of a cheese course, maybe part of a dessert , or served as garniture to a savory dish such as pork, poultry, game or pork. But now I suspect it has become old-fashioned? For me however, if it looks good and tastes good it will never be out of fashion, so yesterday I treated myself to this beautiful, decadent and luxurious dish. Later in the evening I added a good shot of “Schladerer Zwetschgen Schnaps” to the remaining spiced wine and enjoyed it hot as a night cup.

Life is Good !
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Port Wine & Beoujolais Poached Pears

Port Wine & Beoujolais Poached Pears

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Ingredient’s :

Bartlett pears,   peeled
Port wine,
Beaujolais
Cinnamon stick,
Sugar,
Star anise,

Method :

Mix port wine and red wine 50/50. Add a bit of orange juice, cinnamon, sugar and star anise , bring to a simmer and reduce by half. Let cool to room temperature. Add the pears,(they must be covered by the liquid),  bring to a slow simmer for one minute. Remove from heat and let cool down to room temperature. Serve with chocolate dusted whipped cream.

Bon Appetit !

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Pork Ribs & Rice Noodles Soup

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I was  tempted to call this dish  “Kluay Teaw Moo Toon”, but then I remembered that Mirandi of the “High Heel Gourmet is coming by at ChefsOpinion sometimes and how fierce she is about authentic Thai  recipes. (I REALLY don’t want to get her mad 🙂
All jokes aside, this dish is  definitely Thai inspired. Fragrant, light, bright, tasty. I hope that recipes like this will inspire my readers to understand the philosophy of cooking as I see it :
Take a look at good stuff, feel inspired by it, learn from it, do your own spin on it. Just make sure you call it “inspired by” or “in the style of”. But then again, if the shoe fit’s……
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 Kluay Teaw Moo Toon (Variation Of A Thai Pork Spareribs Noodle Soup)

“Kluay Teaw Moo Toon”
( “Variation Of A Thai Pork Spareribs Noodle Soup” )

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Ingredients :

Pork ribs,   blanched  (for a clear stock)
Rice noodles,  soaked
Bok choy,   substitute with other green vegetable if you prefer, I used brocoli
Bean sprouts,   (I prefer the crunch and tasteof raw onion julienne)
Cinnamon stick,
Star anise,
Coriander,   crushed
Garlic paste,
Cilantro stems,   Thais normally use cilantro root but I can’t get it around here
Cilantro leaf’s,   coarsely chopped
Soy sauce,
Sugar,
Kosher salt,
Cayenne pepper,
Onion,   peeled, quartered
Ginger,   grated
Pork stock,  substitute with vegetable stock if you prefer
Peanut oil,

Method :

Saute ribs in peanut oil until lightly browned. Add garlic, ginger , star anis , coriander and onion and saute until fragrant. Add stock and cilantro stems (roots if you can get hold of them) and simmer until ribs are tender but not falling apart, about 2 to 3 hours. Remove ribs and set aside. Adjust seasoning. Strain stock. To serve, place noodles, ribs and vegetables in a serving bowl. Top with boiling hot stock. Sprinkle with cilantro and onion julienne. Serve with soy sauce, chili sauce and fried shallots.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

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Breakfast Of Champions # 20 – Mascarpone And Banana Filled French Toast, Caramelized Pomello

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Usually,  sweet stuff for breakfast is not my thing, but today felt so different in many way’s that I thought what the heck! Why not try something different this morning. So I made this great breakfast of french toast with vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, banana and mascarpone, a bowl of strawberry yogurt, chilled chocolate milk, and a giant pomelo with caramelized sugar glaze. What a decadent, wonderful way to start the day 🙂
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Life is Good !   Happy Sunday Everyone ! .

Breakfast of Champions # 20

Breakfast of Champions # 20

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Mascarpone And Banana Filled French Toast, Caramelized Pomello, Strawberry Yogurt

Mascarpone And Banana Filled French Toast, Caramelized Pomello, Strawberry Yogurt

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Note :
You might have noticed in the pictures that contrary to standard procedure, I have not whisked the milk and eggs together but dipped the bread in the sugared and vanilla spiced milk first, then in the egg. This makes for a very different texture of the bread which is in my opinion superior to the traditional method. Just be careful not to soak the bread for too long in the milk or it will disintegrate 😦
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