corn

Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

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Gnocchi  with corn, peas, ham, mushrooms, cream and Camoscio d’Oro.
(Camoscio d’Oro is an Italian cheese similar to camembert or brie, sometimes available in Italian markets around here ).
So, can you guess where I ate this dish the first time?  Yep, at  Via Candia 17, Torino, Italy.
I was about 20 years of age at the time and to this day, when I close my eyes, I can see the dish and the people I shared it with in front of me as if it was just a little while ago.
Happy memories, may they never fade…….. 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Live is Good !
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Gnocchi Recipe
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More Gnocchi on ChefsOpinion
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Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

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Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

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Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

Gnocchi Alla Via Candia

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables In Black-Bean Chile Sauce

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Today  I had a craving for really spicy food and I answered the call with this dish. I made it very spicy, but at the same time it was also very flavorful, thank’s to the addition of hoi sin sauce, soy sauce and lots of ginger and garlic. ( If you prefer less spicy, just tone down on the chili paste)
Fabulously tasty and satisfying, this was the perfect Sunday early-dinner dish, tasty, pretty and quick to wrestle-up 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is good !
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Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables In Black-Bean Chile Sauce

Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables In Black-Bean Chile Sauce

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Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables In Black-Bean Chile Sauce

Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables In Black-Bean Chile Sauce

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Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables In Black-Bean Chile Sauce

Stir Fried Chicken And Vegetables In Black-Bean Chile Sauce

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P.S.
In order to be able to throw together these quick meals, I always have an assortment of blanched, frozen veggies in the fridge, ready to go at a moments notice.
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Also always in my fridge are grated fresh ginger (commercial, good quality) and garlic confit paste (home made, usually once a week)
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Seasoning Essentials
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On to today’s dinner:
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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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P.P.S.
I used Chor’s Food USA “Black Bean Chile Sauce” in this dish.
If not available in your neck of the woods :-(, substitute with equal parts of fermented black beans and chili paste 🙂
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Pasta Salad With Squid And Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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Conventional  wisdom dictates that squid (Calamari) for salad should be cooked in liquid or steam.
Not so, say I 🙂
I am of the opinion that squid when done in liquid lack enough taste and texture to add interest to a salad. In my opinion, coating the squid with a mixture of corn starch and corn meal, then frying them in very hot oil to a scrumptious crisp, will give a far superior result and brings out the best of the little sea critters. Should you decide to use this method, add the squid to the top of the salad for presentation, then mix with the rest of the salad just before eating to ensure the crispness of the squid.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
When cooking pasta for salad, you should cook the pasta all the way ! Al dente is for hot dishes;
It is not a good texture for pasta salads. (This is of course my very own opinion, make your own decision according to your own preference 🙂
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Pasta Salad With Squid And Sundried Tomatoes

Pasta Salad With Squid And Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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Pasta Salad With Squid And Sundried Tomatoes

Pasta Salad With Squid And Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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

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Even  if you never had mondongo (tripes, kutteln) before, this variation should help you overcome your resentment easily because it is eye-appealing, tastes mild and best of all, it smells great, which you can’t say of some recipes utilizing tripe. The secret here is to blanch the tripe 3 times in salted, vinegared water, so that the typical smell of tripe has disappeared and you have an odorless piece of offal which should please you with its great taste and unique texture 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Link to more Mondongo Recipes
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All about Tripe
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Mondongo

Mondongo

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Mondongo

Mondongo

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Preparation :
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Mama Tilly’s “Quer Durch Den Garten” Eintopf

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Link to “Hans’ Lighter, Healthier Comfort Food
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I wish  I could sit one more time at my parents dinner table and be served my moms “Quer Durch Den Garten” eintopf. Of course, as a child, veggies and stews were not exactly big time favorites, but, as with so many memories, decades later all we usually remember are the good parts of our experiences and so it is with this dish – so, one more time please 🙂
This dish shows up in many homes nowadays but its new name is usually  “clear out the fridge”.
But, what was then, way back, poetically called “quer durch den garten” (across the garden) was literally just that – everything that was ripe in the vegetable garden and had to be used up before it spoiled. Therefore, during harvest time in our back of the house small veggie garden, “quer durch den garten” was a dish that showed up a bit too often. Always a bit different, sometimes added pasta or rice instead of potatoes, usually different vegetables (whatever was ready for consumption) and most always a different protein – bacon, sausage, chicken, beef, or a combination of whatever was available. Obviously, this is one of my favorite dishes now, but back then…….. 😦
So here it is, in honor of my mom’s “Quer Durch Den Garten” eintopf:
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Bon Appetit !   Hans, you are not allowed to go outside before you finish your plate !!!
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Link to  ” Eintopf
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Link to  ” Gnocchi ” Recipe

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 Mama Tillys "Quer Durch Den Garten"  Eintopf

Mama Tillys “Quer Durch Den Garten” Eintopf

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 Mama Tillys "Quer Durch Den Garten"  Eintopf

Mama Tillys “Quer Durch Den Garten” Eintopf

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 Mama Tillys "Quer Durch Den Garten"  Eintopf

Mama Tillys “Quer Durch Den Garten” Eintopf

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Trottole Alla Fortunello

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Although  this dish might not look very “light and healthy”, the small portion served makes it as promised – “Hans’ Lighter, Healthier Comfort Food”. (I share the portions pictured with one of my neighbors) 🙂
I have, contrary to classic cooking methods, omitted to saute the coppa ham, prosciutto ham and the salame. I rather love the taste and texture of the protein without sauteing them over piping hot pasta (make sure you slice the coppa, prosciutto and the salame paper-thin), but as usual, if you prefer to saute them, don’t hesitate to do so.

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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Trottole Alla Fortunello

Trottole Alla Fortunello

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Preparation :
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To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Caribbean Shrimp & Coconut Soup



Usually,  when we think of the combination of shrimp and coconut, Asian food is foremost in our mind. Lately, every publication seems to have a preference for food with an Asian origin or at least an Asian  influence. While I am a huge fan of Asian food, I am also very fond of the food from our closest neighbor, the Caribbean. Here now is a shrimp and coconut soup I had first put on the menu while I was working in Negril, Jamaica in the late 80’s. (How time flies when you look back)

Bon Appetit !   Iree, Mon !

Caribbean Shrimp & Coconut Soup

Caribbean Shrimp & Coconut Soup

Caribbean Shrimp & Coconut Soup

Caribbean Shrimp & Coconut Soup



Preparation :

to split the coconut, saw a small inision around the outside of the coco, then crack it with the back of a large chefsknife or machete (I live in Florida where it is normal to have a machete in the house) :-)

to split the coconut, saw a small incision around the outside of the coco, then crack it with the back of a large chef’s knife or machete (I live in Florida where it is normal to have a machete in the house) 🙂

good job

good job

aaute finely diced onions in coco oil

saute finely diced onions in coco oil

season shrimp with sea salt and cayenne pepper, dust lightly with corn starch

season shrimp with sea salt and cayenne pepper, dust lightly with corn starch

add shrimp and garlic paste to pan and saute until shrimp are halfway cooked

add shrimp and garlic paste to pan and saute until shrimp are halfway cooked

remove shrimp, reserve

remove shrimp, reserve

deglaze pan with cocnac (careful, it might ignite)

deglaze pan with dark caribbean rum (careful, it might ignite)

add white wine

add white wine

add coconut water from coco, two small can of coconut milk, one small can of clam juice

add coconut water from coco, two small can of coconut milk, one small can of clam juice

simmer soup until slightly thickened

season with sea salt and cayenne pepper, simmer until slightly thickened

add diced cooked potatoes, corn and shrimp, heat through and remove from heat, dont let it simmer or the shrimp will toughen and get dry

add diced cooked potatoes, corn and shrimp, heat through and remove from heat, don’t let it simmer again or the shrimp will  get dry and tough

spoon shrimp, potato and corn into clean coconut, spoon soup on top and sprinkle with chopped cilantro

spoon shrimp, potato and corn into clean coconut, spoon soup on top and sprinkle with chopped cilantro

Caribbean Shrimp & Coconut Soup

Caribbean Shrimp & Coconut Soup

my portion :-)

my portion 🙂

Caribbean Shrimp & Coconut Soup

Caribbean Shrimp & Coconut Soup

Caribbean Shrimp & Coconut Soup

Caribbean Shrimp & Coconut Soup







Szechuan Style Stir Fried Beef With Broccoli, Corn & Fan

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The  beauty of this dish is that although your taste bud’s will almost go numb after an initial shock of extreme heat, the excitement of the spiciness will linger in your mouth for some time to come and will leave you with an hour-long  satisfaction of your taste senses.
Tuesday dinner – a hot affair 🙂
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Bon Appetit !    Life is Good !

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Click here for  “Fan” Recipe
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Szechuan style stir fried beef

Szechuan style stir fried beef


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Szechuan Style Stir Fried Beef With Broccoli, Corn & Fan

Szechuan Style Stir Fried Beef With Broccoli, Corn & Fan


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Frisée Salad With Shrimp, Egg, Corn, Peppers & Honey / Lime Vinaigrette

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A  light lunch will leave room for a big dinner to come later in the day 🙂

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Frisée With Shrimp, Egg, Corn, Peppers & Honey / Lime Vinaigrette

Frisée Salad With Shrimp, Egg, Corn, Peppers & Honey / Lime Vinaigrette

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Sour Dough Bread, Sauteed In Garlic & Herb Butter

Sour Dough Bread, Sauteed In Garlic & Herb Butter

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Frisée With Shrimp, Egg, Corn, Peppers & Honey / Lime Vinaigrette

Frisée Salad With Shrimp, Egg, Corn, Peppers & Honey / Lime Vinaigrette

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Frisée With Shrimp, Egg, Corn, Peppers & Honey / Lime Vinaigrette

Frisée Salad With Shrimp, Egg, Corn, Peppers & Honey / Lime Vinaigrette

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Frisée With Shrimp, Egg, Corn, Peppers & Honey / Lime Vinaigrette

Frisée Salad With Shrimp, Egg, Corn, Peppers & Honey / Lime Vinaigrette

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Dear Friend’s, to help support this blog, please be so kind and click on the video below.  ( You don’t have to watch it, just click once )   Thank you 🙂

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” Why would anyone EVER EVER EVER use those crappy pre packaged corn taco shells ???? Yeesh !!! “

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Dear Friend’s
In response to my post :  ”  Tacos Al Camaron ” ,
the following esteemed comment was posted by a young lady who obviously knows and loves her food and with whom I basically wholeheartedly agree :

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”  Why would anyone EVER EVER EVER use those crappy pre packaged corn taco shells???? Yeesh!  “

Dear Friend’s
In response to my post : ” Tacos Al Camaron ” ,
the following esteemed comment was posted by a young lady who obviously knows and loves her food and with whom I basically wholeheartedly agree :
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” Why would anyone EVER EVER EVER use those crappy pre-packaged corn taco shells???? Yeesh! “

Whilst I agree with the reader that freshly made tacos are (usually) a tremendous improvement over ready-made products, my reply below should help to clarify a bit about how and why I enjoy food the way I do and most of all, how and why I choose the content I put on my Blog :

Dear disgusted reader of ChefsOpinion. First, let me assure you that I agree with you inasmuch that ” freshly made anything” is usually better than crappy ” store bought anything “.

Although I am in no way an expert on Mexican food, I’d like to tell you that I lived for a year in Mexico while I was married for the first time, back in the seventies.
Then In the early 2000’s, I went back to Mexico, where I was in charge of the food operation’s (at the same time) of three high-class boutique hotels, as well as one five-star Westin hotel and one four-star Sheraton hotel, all in the Yukatan, Mexico.
I am a huge fan of Mexican food and have certainly had my share of the good, the bad and the ugly.
I have had the finest tacos in the best restaurants and in the grimmest joints and at any place in between.
I have taught hundreds of cooks and thousands of culinary students about tacos, tortillas, flautas, burritos, you name it, I’ve done it.
However, when it comes to ChefsOpinion, I try to have a good time with like-minded folks who “GET IT”.
Good food is what we enjoy to eat; What is practical at the moment, what makes economic sense and what’s the best you can do whilst your time is extremely limited.
What I try to do on my blog is to share and discuss food and food-related issues with a broad range of folk’s, from culinary students to hobby cooks to perfectionists.
Also with old warrior’s like myself, who have seen it all and done it all, who are maybe just a bit more tolerant to situations where we must substitute with a lesser ingredient for some reason, or when we are just too damn exhausted to move another finger.
If I had a choice I would eat and drink only the best, freshest, most refined, most exquisite food and drinks available.
While I was privileged to live in that ideal world for most of my professional life, there were and there are situations when a sudden lust for a specific food or drink can sometimes require a quick fix just to take care of that overwhelming craving.
I have been immersed in this wonderful world of food service for 45 years. I have been in charge of meals for kings and queens, heads of states, the famous and not so famous. I am certainly aware of quality and perfection for which we should strife whenever possible. However, at this point in my life, I have just started a new job which keeps me away from my home for 11 hours. I live alone with my dear dog Bella, so before I take off for work at 5.00 am, there are already two solid hours of me getting ready for work, taking care of Bella for an hour, walking her, playing with her, trying to keep her from chasing the neighbors cat’s, etc.
When I come home at 5.00pm, my first priority is to take Bella for a long walk.
Then on to take care of the blog, usually for about three hours. Then cooking dinner, taking pic’s of the food for the next post, enjoying dinner, cleaning the kitchen, walking Bella for another hour. By the time I finally get to rest it is usually 12.30 am.

So then, please, forgive me for using pre-made tacos (They were actually very good, all things considered). The folks who will use the pre-made stuff will enjoy a quick and easy to follow food inspiration. The folks who are a bit more dedicated to only the best will no doubt spent the extra time and effort to produce awesome fresh tacos.
Hopefully, in the end, “Life is Good” for everybody. 🙂

So then :
Why would anyone EVER EVER EVER use those crappy pre-packaged corn taco shells???? Yeesh!

Because sometimes………

P.S.
Have you noted the store bought! mayo in the picture ? Yeesh! 🙂
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