Food

“Cobb” Yogurt

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“Cobb” Yogurt

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Fresh fruit yogurt is a dish I love to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and …….just about any time of the day.
Which brings up the question  – why would anybody buy the crappy ready-made stuff when this is so much better !?
I make this all the time, using whatever fruit is available, changing often so as to have a great variety of what is basically the easiest dish out there to prepare from scratch. Most of the time when good fruit is avilable, it is sweet enough that I don´t even have to add honey to the mix. The pictued amount is usually what I eat during a single day, either in addition to, or in place of, a regular meal. After years of eating this 4 to 5 times a week, I still do not get tired of it and I believe I never will. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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“Cobb” Yogurt

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“Cobb” Yogurt

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“Cobb” Yogurt

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“Cobb” Yogurt

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“Cobb” Yogurt

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Preparation :
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Tostadas With Shrimp, Black Bean Salsa & Avocado

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Tostadas With Shrimp, Black Bean Salsa & Avocado

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Just my kind of “Junk Food”
After all, ready-made tostadas from a pack ??? !!!!  Beans from a can ??? !!!!
How low can I sink…..  ??? !!!!  😦   🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Tostadas With Shrimp, Black Bean Salsa & Avocado

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Tostadas With Shrimp, Black Bean Salsa & Avocado

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Tostadas With Shrimp, Black Bean Salsa & Avocado

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Tostadas With Shrimp, Black Bean Salsa & Avocado

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Preparation :
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Steak Salad # 2153

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Steak Salad # 2153

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While I crave for steak at least once or twice a week, I can´t say the same for salad, although I absolutely love a good salad. However, STEAK SALAD (or SEAFOOD SALAD)  I can happily eat daily.
Of course, the meat/seafood must be combined intelligently with ingredients which enhance the dish, not just be a cheap filler. In the average restaurant these days, too many times the combinations appearing in front of you are less than fortunate, and the concoction of a tiny bit of inferior meat/seafood and a bunch of “rabbit food”  ( mostly the outer leaves of greens) and some crappy bottled “dressing” does nothing to justify the (usually) premium price of most restaurants steak/seafood salad.
So, as usual, if I want the good stuff, I pretty much have to prep it at home.  🙂
Yes I know, there ARE great restaurants out there, but unfortunately, they are harder to find by the day.  😦
The overwhelming reasons are not only the lack of education, talent, pride and practice by the cooks and “chefs”, but the lack of food education and common food-sense by the customers, which makes education, talent, pride and practice to produce decent food for an acceptable price mostly obsolete.  😦
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for some great and some not so great Steak Salads on the Net
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Click here for some great and some not so great Seafood Salads on the Net
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P.S.
Obviously, the quantities for this dish are clearly visible in the pics. This amount makes one generous main course or four appetizers/snacks. However, if you have a beloved dog, you might want to double the amount of meat.  🙂
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Steak Salad # 2153

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Steak Salad # 2153

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Steak Salad # 2153

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Steak Salad # 2153

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Preparation :
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” Phoenix Claws ” 豉汁凤爪 (Braised Chicken Feet In Fermented Black Bean Sauce)

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” Phoenix Claws ” 豉汁凤爪 (Braised Chicken Feet In Fermented Black Bean Sauce)

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JUST GET OVER IT !!!!!
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Get over the mental hurdle, that is 🙂
It might take  a little pressure and daunting from your fellow diners for you to try this wonderful snack for the first time.
But, if you love chicken skin (who doesn´t  ??? ), this dish is for you. You might even get addicted to it if you are lucky enough to eat them prepared by a knowledgable chef or home cook (Grandma knows best) 🙂 Or, easier yet, just follow my recipe.
There is a tiny bit of meat on these, but don´t bother looking for it, just suck the skin in its delicious sauce off the bone and you´re good.  There is a reason that this is one of the most-loved snacks in China and many other places in Asia. Some Latin/Caribbean countries and Islands are also hotbeds for chicken feet.
The lesson here ? – Don’t knock it before you try it !!!
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Pls note :
This is a recipe which I modified for my very own, personal taste. Follow the recipe and try it – then, if you prefer, adjust the seasoning to your own preference 🙂
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Click here to read all about  Chicken Feet
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Click here to find more  Chicken Feet  from all over the World
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” Phoenix Claws ” 豉汁凤爪 (Braised Chicken Feet In Fermented Black Bean Sauce)

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” Phoenix Claws ” 豉汁凤爪 (Braised Chicken Feet In Fermented Black Bean Sauce)

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” Phoenix Claws ” 豉汁凤爪 (Braised Chicken Feet In Fermented Black Bean Sauce)

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” Phoenix Claws ” 豉汁凤爪 (Braised Chicken Feet In Fermented Black Bean Sauce)

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” Phoenix Claws ” 豉汁凤爪 (Braised Chicken Feet In Fermented Black Bean Sauce)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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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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Click here to see what happened to this particular Knuckle
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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 :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Salad “Quintana Roo” – Octopus In Salsa Verde, Iceberg, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onion & Watermelon

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Salad “Quintana Roo” – Octopus In Salsa Verde, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onion & Watermelon

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While being Area Executive Chef for Starwood in Quintana Roo Aeons ago, I’d put this salad on the menu at the pool areas of some of our hotels, and it quickly became a great hit.
While at first, the combination might seem strange, it actually works great together in the heat, together with an ice-cold beer (or a few of them) 🙂
Because I eat octopus at home quite often, this salad (or a slight variation of it) pops up at least once a month at my house.
Instead of watermelon, other suitable fruits are different types of melons, apples, pears, pomegranate seeds, and other firm and not too sweet fruits. And, of course, instead of the salsa verde, you could use any dressing/sauce you’d prefer;
Instead of the Romaine, you can use any salad you have at hand and instead of the octopus any other seafood or grilled meat. In the end, this salad hopefully serves to inspire you to get out of your salad-shell and cook exactly the version that makes you the happiest 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  Salsa Verde Recipe (Fresh)  on  ChefsOpinion

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Click here for Pictures of  Quintana Roo:
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Salad “Quintana Roo” – Octopus In Salsa Verde, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onion & Watermelon

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Salad “Quintana Roo” – Octopus In Salsa Verde, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onion & Watermelon

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Salad “Quintana Roo” – Octopus In Salsa Verde, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onion & Watermelon

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Preparation :
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Calamares Al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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This was such a down to earth, yet wonderfully delicious meal. Well-prepared rice and beans are something I enjoy at least twice a week. But not just the simple black beans and white rice common here in the Caribbean, South America and South Florida, but many, many combinations of different rice and different beans (or peas)
Add a simple protein, such as steak, schnitzel, roast pork, braised pork, fish, seafood, sausages, eggs or other veggies and you have a meal fit for a (Latin) king 🙂
As for the rice and beans, there are the same endless possibilities of variations – curry rice and fried chickpeas, white rice and black eye beans, risi e bisi, curried chickpeas with wild rice, succotash and white rice, rice porridge (congee) with beans or peas, sautéed rice patties with hummus, etc, etc. Just make sure you season these dishes to be fragrant with fresh herbs, chilies, cumin, garlic, a bit of soy sauce and/or Maggi seasoning. If left bland, rice and beans are a sorry excuse for a multicultural/multinational staple, but when properly prepared, they will be exciting and satisfying 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  Mexican Rice  Recipe
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Click here for  Black Beans  Recipe
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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Arroz Mexicana

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Frijoles Negro

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Preparation :
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One for the Kid´s # 7 – Banana/Cranberry/Walnut Cake With Fresh Strawberries, Nutella & Whipped Cream

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Despite the headline of this post, this sweet dish does, of course, normally involve cooking (baking), but this time I did not make my own banana/cranberry/walnut cake, I did not make my own fruit yogurt and I did not make my own chocolate/hazelnut cream or whipped cream.
Instead, I bought all the ingredients ready-made at my grocery store, the cake, strawberry yogurt, Nutella and ready whip, and of course, fresh strawberries.
Not very glorious and original as such, but it was a few days before the movers arrived to ship my entire household to Germany, so the urge to be involved and creative in the kitchen was not in the forefront of my mind.
Besides, the goal of ChefsOpinion was alway´s to help the folks who are not so proficient (yet) in the kitchen to prepare good-looking and delicious food without much knowledge and fuss.
And, to top it off,  this is a sweet treat that is not only quick and easy to prepare,  it certainly will also be a hit with the kids, who should have no trouble preparing this all by themselves or with a little help from a grown-up (or vice versa, for those of you who REALLY have two left hands)  🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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fresh strawberries, strawberry yogurt, Nutella, ready whip, banana/cranberry/walnut cake

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One for the Kid´s # 7 – Banana/Cranberry/Walnut Cake With Fresh Strawberries, Nutella & Whipped Cream

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One for the Kid´s # 7 – Banana/Cranberry/Walnut Cake With Fresh Strawberries, Nutella & Whipped Cream

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top the ready whip with sliced strawberries, the top with more ready whip

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One for the Kid´s # 7 – Banana/Cranberry/Walnut Cake With Fresh Strawberries, Nutella & Whipped Cream

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

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 70 – “Smoked Salmon & Fried Eggs On Sourdough Bread”

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 70 – “Smoked Salmon & Fried Eggs On Sourdough Bread”

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Smoked salmon and eggs – what’s not to love ?
I’ll just leave it at that and throw in the pictures.
If these don´t hook you, all´s lost and you better find another passion. Food certainly is not your calling 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 70 – “Smoked Salmon & Fried Eggs On Sourdough Bread”

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Preparation :
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Escargots à la Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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The garlicky butter in this dish is almost as delicious as the escargots themselves, and what better use for crusty bread than sopping up this delicious “snail butter.”
But the main event are the escargots’ tender texture and clean, woodsy flavor.
When I was an apprentice back in the mid-sixties, preparing FRESH snails was a most hated assignment, taking hours to remove the snails from the shells and then cleaning and cooking them, then cleaning and sterilizing the shells. I don’t want to go into the less than pretty details, but it was not a pleasant task and as a young kid of 14 years old I thought I would never in my life eat something as shocking as snails.
Boy, was I wrong 🙂
Nowadays snails are among my favorite appetizers in the World and I order them whenever I see them on a menu, which, sadly, becomes rarer every year. 😦
Luckily, I found that canned snails work just as well and turn this appetizer into one that can be whipped up quickly, economical, anytime. I usually buy a case online which lasts me for about a year.
Traditionally,  Escargots à la Bourguignonne  are served 6 ea or 12 ea in their shells on a special metal or porcelain dish, or, if these are not available, on a heat-proof dish covered with sea salt into which indentions the size of the shells have been pressed to avoid the shells to move or topple over and spill their butter. I would not shy off to buy these dishes for my home, plus the special tweezers to hold them and the tiny two-pronged forks to remove the snails from their shells, but the fact is 6 or 12 snails will not do it for me and the whole ritual makes no sense for me at home alone. So I always serve them in a bowl with lots of the traditional toasted bread on the side.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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snail tweezer and fork

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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first bite always goes to Bella 🙂

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Preparation :
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