cooking

Chicken And Udon In Coconut/Chili Soup

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Chicken And Udon In Coconut/Chili Soup

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While this soup might seem a bit in the style of Thai food, it actually isn´t, but rather, it is a combination of things I love to be in my food – juicy simmered or roasted chicken, coconut/chicken broth, ginger, garlic, Ichimi togarashi, furikake, cilantro, Thai sweet chili sauce, and udon noodles, items you can usually find at all times in my fridge and in my cup board.
Not Thai at all, but rather a fusion of food/ingredients from different countries/cultures, combined to form their own, delicious bond, without being too complicated to prepare with ease in a short time, or being too heavy on the wallet. 🙂
In fact, if you already have leftover cooked (or roasted) chicken in your fridge, the whole process of assembling and finishing this dish will not take more than a few minutes 🙂
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Pls note :
Adjust the quantities and use of all the ingredients according to your own moods, taste buds and their availability.  🙂

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Chicken And Udon In Coconut/Chili Soup

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Chicken And Udon In Coconut/Chili Soup

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Chicken And Udon In Coconut/Chili Soup

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Preparation :
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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions and Grape-Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions, and Grape- Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Ever since I moved back to Germany and I found out that the VEAL which I remember from my youth and my apprenticeship is still widely available in Germany, as well as in most other European countries, I buy veal at least once a week ( I love any part/cut of the veal ).
The laws and regulations, and most importantly the government controls  concerning veal, are quite different in Europe and the US, and too complicated and confusing, so I suggest to anybody who has any interest in the matter should study it on official government websites of the different States in the US, as well as on the official government websites of the different countries in Europe.
However, the simple reason why I seldom bought  “VEAL” in Florida was because it was priced in the stratosphere and usually not real “VEAL” as we know it in Germany. There are even well-established categories (types) of veal, but again, that´s too complicated for most folks who never eat veal anyway.  😦
I don´t intend to sound negative about this, just an observation and the reason why you hardly ever saw a post about veal liver on ChefsOpinion while my home was in Florida.
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But, luckily, that was then, and this is now – affordable, high-quality Veal everywhere ! 🙂
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PS.
The quantities on this page serve one generous portion (as shown)
Two regular portions
Four appetizers (cut ea slice one more time so you have 4 ea small portions)
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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions and Grape- Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions and Grape- Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions, and Grape Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions, and Grape- Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions and Grape-Tomatoes

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Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Preparation :
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Beef Stew With Potatoes, Peppers And Tomatoes

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Beef Stew With Potatoes, Peppers And Tomatoes

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The original dish I wanted to cook was Hungarian Goulash, which is one of my favorite dishes. However, when I started to gather the ingredients, I realized that I did not have enough onions and paprika powder, not enough thyme leaves, lemon peel and caraway seeds in my pantry. Since I did not have any desire to go shopping at the moment, I came up with this concoction, which, although different from goulash, turned out to be just as delicious and satisfying.  🙂
It contains lots of potatoes and veggies, so it can be enjoyed as is, or served with rice, pasta or bread of your choice to mop up the wonderful sauce 🙂
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Beef Stew With Potatoes, Peppers And Tomatoes

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Beef Stew With Potatoes, Peppers And Tomatoes

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Beef Stew With Potatoes, Peppers And Tomatoes

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Beef Stew With Potatoes, Peppers And Tomatoes

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Beef Stew With Potatoes, Peppers And Tomatoes

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Preparation :
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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)

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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)

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Pasta e fagioli , meaning “pasta and beans”, is a traditional Italian soup, (although beansoup with pasta is served the World over, with different beans, different pasta, meats or seafood and vegetables, and of course different local names).
Like many other Italian favorites, including pizza and polenta, it started as a peasant dish, being composed of inexpensive ingredients. It is often called pasta fasul (fazool) in the United States, derived from its Neapolitan name, pasta e fasule.

Recipes for pasta e fagioli alter greatly, the only true requirement being that beans and pasta are included. Ingredients vary from region to region, town to town, restaurant to restaurant, household to household, cook to cook, and of course, also depend on available ingredients.
Pasta e fagioli is most commonly made using cannellini beansGreat Northern beans or borlotti beans, and a small variety of pasta such as elbow macaroni or ditalini. The base typically includes olive oilgarlic, minced onioncelerycarrots and often stewed tomatoes or tomato paste. Some variations omit tomatoes and instead use a broth base. Preparation may be vegetarian, or contain meat (often bacon or pancetta) or other proteins and a meat-based stock. The consistency of the dish can also differ to a wide range, with some being soupy, while others are much thicker. For instance, in Bari the dish is thicker in consistency and uses mixed pasta shapes. It also uses pancetta in the base of the sauce. Other varieties call for the beans to be passed through a food mill, giving it a stew-like consistency.
As for the version on this page, it could not be more perfect for my personal taste/texture. I prepare Pasta and beans in uncounted versions all the time, but pigs feet, pork/tomato broth, pasta and bean can hardly be topped (unless you add tripe)  🙂

P.S.
The word for “beans” varies in different Italian languages, e.g. fagioli [faˈdʒɔːli] in standard Italianfasule [faˈsuːlə] in Neapolitan, and fasola [faˈsɔːla] in Sicilian. “Pastafazoola“, a 1927 novelty song by Van and Schenck, capitalizes on the Neapolitan pronunciation in the rhyme, “Don’t be a fool, eat pasta fazool”; and the song “That’s Amore“, by Warren and Brooks (popularized by Dean Martin), includes the rhyme “When the stars make you drool, just like pasta fazool, that’s amore”.

Pls note:
Part of the above article is an excerpt from wikipedia.
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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)


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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)


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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)


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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)

 

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Preparation :
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Pork Nirvana – “Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft” – (Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus)

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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First of all, a word of warning:
This is NOT your typical American-or Latin –style, super-long cooked roast pork.
This is German / Bavarian-style roast pork, very juicy (no need to drown it in sauce to be able to swallow it), very delicious pork with a wonderful texture, more like a perfectly cooked steak than a stringy mess that falls apart when you barely touch it.
While I enjoy both versions (as you know from previous posts), today´s version is by far my favorite one. Assuming you have pork of perfect quality, roasting it this way outshines the “cooked-to-death” variation by a mile. 🙂
While the pictures seem to show pork which is still a bit undercooked, I can assure you it was fully cooked, extremely juicy, had the texture of a very tender steak and, surprise surprise, had a pure, unadulterated pork taste which was further enhanced with the slightly thickened pork jus which collected during the cooking in the drip pan beneath the roast and was enhanced with a generous jug of good quality Merlot.
In other words –  Pork Nirvana. 🙂

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Preparation :
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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon-Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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The texture of beef neck is absolutely stunning. I wish I’d be able to buy just a slab of the meat, without the bones. That would make the perfect goulash or braised roast. In the meantime, I’ll just have to make do with the neck bones and the meat on them. They are of course the same wonderful texture and flavor as a large boneless slab would be, but naturally, the presentation suffers a bit.  😦
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P.S.
These bread dumplings are a typical example of the fact that most savory recipe measurements are at best guidelines. In this case, there are too many possible variables for the ingredients to use ANY measurements. Rather, the measurements are loose guidelines. For dumplings especially, experience is the key to a successful dumpling. As I mentioned in previous posts, most young (or old) cooks and chefs have never perfected the art/craft of proper dumplings for that particular reasons  – one needs experience and  “feeling” to get the ratios of the ingredients just right. Dumplings of any type (fish, meat, liver, potato, bread, lobster and so forth must be very light without falling apart while cooking. By just following measurements, because of the many and large variables, this is impossible to achieve. One needs practice, practice and practice – THEN one needs feeling, feeling and feeling. I believe the reason why we hardly see dumplings on menus anymore is the same as the reason why most cooks embraced the idiotic habit of eating fish, pork vegetables and other food items “seared on the outside, raw on the inside”, – any moron can achieve that without any skills, knowledge or experience 😦
Anyway, don’t be discouraged if by the first try you don’t succeed, – just put in lots of practice, lots of love and lots of feeling, and soon you too will be able to enjoy homemade dumplings (and properly cooked protein) as often as you crave it 🙂

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Braised Beef Neck In Merlot/Mushroom Sauce With Bread Dumpling (Geschmorter Rindernacken In Merlot/Champignon -Soße Und Semmelknödel)

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Semmelknödel – Bread Dumpling

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Preparation :
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Grilled Pork Belly & Green Asparagus

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Grilled Pork Belly & Green Asparagus

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One of the greatest mysteries in our Universe is without doubt the fact that pork belly is not the most popular food there is !
In my opinion, it should be treasured and respected with the likes of caviar, foie gras and lobster. 🙂
It certainly is a delicacy if prepared by a Chinese master chef and transformed into a pyramid, or if just simply roasted or simmered, with lots of spices or just sea salt and pepper, in chinese buns, in a kaiser roll or as Szechuan-style or Shanghai-style braised pork belly ( hong shao rou,  红烧肉  ) or any of the never-ending list of pork belly recipes from around the world.
While I have cooked many of these pork belly dishes, nothing is more satisfying than the dish featured here – it tastes like a million bucks, yet takes less than 5 minutes of actual prepping time (plus a few minutes for the asparagus). It’s like playing the Lotto for a dollar and winning the jackpot 🙂
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Grilled Pork Belly & Green Asparagus

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Grilled Pork Belly & Green Asparagus

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Grilled Pork Belly & Green Asparagus

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grilled asparagus & chili relish

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Preparation :
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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Why this  Mediterranean Seafood Stew  may be the best seafood stew on Earth ……… 🙂

Quite obviously, this Seafood Stew bears a close family resemblance to France’s  Bouillabaisse  and Spain’s  Zarzuela de Mariscos, both of which are known all over the Globe and are considered by many in the know as  the best of the best.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise at all.
The Catalan coast of Spain, where the  Zarzuela de Mariscos calls home, borders the Mediterranean coast of France. (Barcelona is a mere 500 km from Marseilles). Both Spain’s Zarzuela de Mariscos, as well as France’s/Marseille’s Bouillabaisse are profiting from an abundance of seafood treasures available in and around the Mediterranean coast of this area.
They’re practically neighbors, and they’ve been making fisherman’s stews out of fish and other seafood that comes from the same sea for hundredths, if not thousands, of years. (The fish-only version is called Zarzuela de Pescado ). They both have their own rules, ingredients and accompaniments, most notably the  ground almonds  in the Zarzuela of Spain and the  baguette with rouille  with the Bouillabaisse of France. However, todays stew has added white beans and potatoes, which turn this fish stew into a full, satisfying meal which leaves nothing to be desired.
The Best seafood stew on Earth ? – maybe sometimes, depending what you crave in that particular moment.
ONE  of the three Best Seafood Stews on Earth ? – ab-so-lutely 🙂
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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Mediterranean Seafood Stew

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Preparation :
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Some of my favorite dishes are the ones that come together without set ingredients, without planning and without recipes.
I just go to the fridge and/or cupboard, look what’s available and what needs to be used, and just throw together what I think will fit and taste delicious. Such was the case with this soup. I had some krakauer sausage, leftover cooked broccoli, leftover cooked cauliflower and leftover fresh leek from previous dishes, and of course there are always onions in the cupboard and at least 2 or 3 types of cheese in the fridge. Throw it all together and in a few short minutes – a dish as good as can be 🙂  Life is Good !
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transfer to soup bowl or soup plate, sprinkle ea bowl with 1/2 tblsp grated asiago and drizzle with 1 tblsp EVO

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Preparation :
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Shrimp & Spinach

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Shrimp & Spinach

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Not too long ago, one esteemed member of our happy ChefsOpinion family mentioned that I prepare shrimp too often. While I understand that not everyone loves shrimp as much as I do (many folks do, though), 99.9 % of my posts show what Bella and I actually prepare and eat at home and is not selected for popularity but for whatever we feel like eating that day. 🙂
If I would write this blog to get “likes”, make money or be universally popular, I would pick the food according to those criteria. ChefsOpinion evolved from my original, for-profit online business “Chefcook.Us” and is now a simple account of food I like and prepare at home for Bella and myself, with the occasional opinion about food in general thrown in.
Remember, ChefsOpinion is about “Real Food & Real Opinions”, not about trends or “in”- food, otherwise I would not feature such delicacies as ham hogs, tripe, liver, heart, gizzards,snails, kidneys and so many other dishes which are definitely not popular or even known to most folks, at least around here in the US. I pride myself to try to also cater to all (including myself) who love food that is not easily available at other places and has disappeared from the mainstream, even if those posts are sometimes only popular with a select few.
Obviously shrimp are not in this category, I just wanted to make this point again, lest my readers forget – “ChefsOpinion – Real Food & Real Opinions”
So then, please forgive me, but here, once again, is another post about Shrimp. 🙂

(To Robert, With Love) 🙂
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Shrimp & Spinach

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Shrimp & Spinach

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Shrimp & Spinach

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Preparation :
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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