fruit

Poor Man’s Crab Meat Risotto – Kani Kama Risotto

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Residing  close to Hialeah means one can buy a lot of goodies by the roadside from “flying vendors”, who sell anything from the trunk of their cars, – electronics, Christmas decorations, clothes, steaks, flowers, fruit, churros, plants, mani, limes, and of course, “fresh seafood”.
I suspect that most of this stuff comes from a “fell off the truck supplier”, but who knows 🙂
My neighbor, Maribel, showed me some of the bargains she bought yesterday from a roadside seafood dealer and asked me if I can replicate one of her favorite dishes, crab meat risotto. Of course, I was happy to do this for her and her husband, as I do cook at least twice a month for them. I asked her to bring me the crab meat; I had the rest of the ingredients in my larder and fridge, so no problem. Well, to no surprise to me, the $10.00 pack of “crab meat” turned out to be Surimi (Kani Kama). To the seller’s credit, at least it was in good shape and smelled and felt very fresh when defrosted, so I explained to Maribel that I can make a seafood risotto for her and that it would be a great dish, although with a basic seafood taste instead of crabmeat taste. And so I did, using the surimi and clam juice for flavor, and the resulting risotto looked great, tasted great and, most important, it made my neighbors happy. (I assume the “crabmeat risotto” which they usually eat at their favorite restaurant in Hialeah is not exactly loaded with “real crabmeat” either 🙂
So there you have it – a wonderfully tasty and pretty dish for the price of a basic “fish and rice” meal. Mission accomplished! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click her for more  Risotto  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click her for more  Seafood  on  ChefsOpinion
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Poor Man's Crab Meat Risotto

Poor Man’s Crab Meat Risotto

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Poor Man's Crab Meat Risotto

Poor Man’s Crab Meat Risotto

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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 # 52 – Glutton’s Delight

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” Cinnamon/Pecan Roll- Cake With Strawberries, Mocca And Yogurt”
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I am still not sure if I should be proud or ashamed of this concoction…….. Not that it is terrible, on the contrary, it is so delicious that I could eat this everyday .
The problem is that once I had started eating , I could not stop until it had been completely devoured. It was just too yummy to stop.
If you will prepare this, make sure that there are at least five people present to share, otherwise the ensuing binge-eating will be hazardous to your weight ! 🙂 😦
It is really a “one pot meal”, combining a complete breakfast in a single dish: Coffee, yogurt, nuts, fruit, pastry, cream, and marmalade.
(If I would still consume alcohol, I would have mixed the coffee with ameretto or rum) If you do enjoy a good drink, go ahead and add another layer of sin in the form of your favorite booze!
All in all, this was a great joy to eat and I will surely prepare it again, but only if guests are on the way with whom I can share 🙂
A good thing can be good for you – too much of a good thing can kill you !
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Breakfast Of Champions # 52 – Glutton's Delight

Breakfast Of Champions # 52 – Glutton’s Delight

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Breakfast Of Champions # 52 – Glutton's Delight

Breakfast Of Champions # 52 – Glutton’s Delight

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Short Ribs, Bok Choy, Shiitake And Noodles In Spicy Ginger/Garlic Broth

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Soup!  – God’s gift to comfort food 🙂
I wonder how many different soups I have eaten in my life and how many different noodle soups in particular. And still, I never get tired of preparing and eating yet another version of this wonderful food category. Soup, to me,  never get’s old. To the contrary, I can never get enough of it, be it cream soup, purred soup, clear soup, soup made of meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit or any combination thereof, hot or cold. So without further ado, here is my latest concoction:
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Bon Appetit !   Life is good !
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Short Ribs, Bok Choy, Shiitake And Noodles In Ginger/Garlic Broth

Short Ribs, Bok Choy, Shiitake And Noodles In Ginger/Garlic Broth

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Short Ribs, Bok Choy, Shiitake And Noodles In Ginger/Garlic Broth

Short Ribs, Bok Choy, Shiitake And Noodles In Ginger/Garlic Broth

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Freeze Your Bananas !!!

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Link to “ Hans’ Lighter, Healthier Comfort Food ”
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One
 of my favorite fruits are bananas. So, me being me, every time I buy a bunch, without fail I buy too many. In the past, I discarded them once they had too many brown spots – until I started to become a fan of smoothies.
At first, I made my smoothies like I’ve seen them being made in bars around the world: Some fruit, lots of ice, milk, lots of sugar. Wonderful concoction if you are young, healthy, slim and have a smoothie once in a while. However, if you drink a lot of the stuff you will soon realize that after standing at room temperature for a short time, all that ice will melt and you have a very watered-down mess in your glass. Also, all that sugar and full-fat milk is fattening and can be harmful if you are a bit overweight (HELLO) and a diabetic (HELLO AGAIN).
In order to remedy all that , here is my recipe for a guilt free, delicious sweet treat / great drink, which can be had any time of day, for breakfast, lunch or dinner or as a sweet treat / dessert in between or after meals:

1.)
Freeze any fruit that is on the verge of becoming overripe in airtight ziplock bags. This will save you money and it eliminates the need to add ice to your smoothie, keeping it from watering down.
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Instead of full-fat milk, use fat-free milk.
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Instead of sugar or artificial sweetener, use natural honey or fruit nectar (frozen into cubes) as sweetener.
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For extra body, add fat free Greek yogurt.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Guilt Free Sweet Pleasure: Banana / Strawberry  Smoothie

Guilt Free Sweet Pleasure:      Banana / Strawberry Smoothie

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Fruit – What’s Not To Love ? ! ………..

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Ever  since I have started my “Hans’ Lighter, Healthier Comfort Food” meal plan, many people have asked me:
“How can you survive on so much fruit without getting bored?”
My meal plan calls for fresh fruit (supplemented by power-bars, dried fruit and nuts) for breakfast, lunch and snacks.
Below find a small selection of typical fruit platters and fruit bowls I make at least once a day. Please notice that there are few (if any) “exotic fruits”.
I will of course buy other fruits besides the ones pictured, such as mango, rambutan, star fruit, kumquat, sapote, dragon fruit, passion fruit, dates, mongosteen, star apple, etc, but what you see below is my usual, daily staple. I usually make a large platter of mixed fruit and berries when I get home from work and put it in the fridge. Later, a few hours after dinner, I usually eat about half, then have the other half for breakfast. For lunch on workdays it’s usually apples, pears, mandarines and such. Lunch at home is usually a bit more elaborate, with grilled fruits and a small cup of sugar- free/fat-free yogurt or sugar-free sherbet thrown into the mix. Most fresh fruit meals are supplemented by either dried fruits, vegetable chips, powerbars and assorted nuts or a combination thereof.
I hope the pictures below will encourage you to eat more fruits and help you to believe that a plate of fruit does not have to be boring 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Caramelized Apples And Walnuts

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Last  night’s dinner was very atypical for me, since I usually don’t like nuts and/or fruits in my savory dishes.
However, in cooking, as in most other things, there is sometimes an exception to the rule, so this is one of the few exceptions where I actually like to add fruit and nuts to a savory dish for my own consumption 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Live is Good !

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Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Caramelized Apples And Walnuts

Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Caramelized Apples And Walnuts

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Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Caramelized Apples And Walnuts

Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Caramelized Apples And Walnuts

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Preparation :
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simmer potatoes in saltwater until tender, drain

simmer potatoes in saltwater until tender, drain

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add garlic paste and garlic oil

add garlic paste and garlic oil

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add heavy cream, kosher salt and white pepper

add heavy cream, kosher salt and white pepper

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mash together until creamy

mash together until creamy

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saute diced apples and walnuts in clarified butter until lightly caramelized

saute diced apples and walnuts in clarified butter until lightly caramelized

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pork tenderloin

pork tenderloin

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trim tenderloin, cut and flatten into steaks

trim tenderloin, cut and flatten into steaks

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season with kosher salt and black pepper, grill to your preferred doneness

season with kosher salt and black pepper, grill to your preferred doneness

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plate potatoes

plate potatoes

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make an indention, add red wine sauce

make an indention, add red wine sauce

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top with steak

top with steak

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top with apples and nuts, sprinkle with chives

top with apples and nuts, sprinkle with chives

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Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Caramelized Apples And Walnuts

Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Caramelized Apples And Walnuts

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Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Caramelized Apples And Walnuts

Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Caramelized Apples And Walnuts

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Iced Tomato Soup With Vodka And Tropical Fruit



The  day before yesterday I started to make a tomato bisque for dinner but had to abandon the plan when unanounced visitors arrived. So I put the tomato stock  overnight in the fridge to finish the bisque yesterday after work. However, it was a rough day at work and whenI came home I wanted to spend some time outside on the terrace. Yesterday was a fairly hot day, so a hot tomato soup did not sound like the best of dinner ideas. Instead, I prepared for myself this delicious, refreshing cold soup which hit the culinary nail right on the head 🙂

Bon Appetit !  Life is Good !



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Preparation :

simmer water, red wine, garlic paste, kosher salt, sugar, cayenne pepper for two hours, cool overnight

simmer  very ripe tomatoes, water, red wine, garlic paste, kosher salt, sugar, cayenne pepper for two hours, cool overnight

mix in blender until texture is very smooth

mix in blender until texture is very smooth

add wodka, check / adjust seasoning

add vodka, check / adjust seasoning

add fresh pineapple, honey dew melon and passion fruit seeds to serving bowl

add fresh pineapple, honey dew melon and passion fruit seeds to serving bowl

ladle iced tomato soup on top of fruit, sprinkle more fruit, garnish with opal basil

ladle iced tomato soup on top of fruit, sprinkle more fruit, garnish with opal basil

Iced Tomato Soup With Tropical Fruit

Iced Tomato Soup With Vodka And Tropical Fruit

Iced Tomato Soup With Tropical Fruit

Iced Tomato Soup With Vodka And Tropical Fruit

 

Iced Tomato Soup With Tropical Fruit

Iced Tomato Soup With Vodka And Tropical Fruit



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End Of The Week Treat # 3 “Vodka Macerated Rambutans”

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Yesterday  after work I finally was able to enjoy what had been getting ready in my fridge during the past week:
Probably the best dish that includes rambutan 🙂
Lately,  rambutan which used to be pretty exotic around here, have become easily available, but strangely enough, they are still not very popular. That’s actually a good thing, because it keeps the price down, at least for now.
In my opinion, rambutan is one of the best tasting, most beautiful fruits .  They lend them self to a large variety of uses. The following is one of my favorite ways of preparing them.
Peel the fruit, top with your favorite spirit, cover airtight and keep in refrigerator for at least 5 days. When you eat them, either just pick the fruit and use the liquid for something else, or do the “sensible” thing, eat them with a spoon, mixed with the liquid.  Either way, have fun, but please don’t operate heavy machinery after you enjoy these 🙂

Note: My favorite Spirits used to macerate are vodka, dark rum and red wine. Just make sure you use the best quality liquor you can afford, no point of skimping here.
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Cheers !    Life is Good !
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End Of The Week Treat # 3  Vodka Macerated Rambutans

End Of The Week Treat # 3 Vodka Macerated Rambutans

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End Of The Week Treat # 3  Vodka Macerated Rambutans

End Of The Week Treat # 3 Vodka Macerated Rambutans

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End Of The Week Treat # 3  Vodka Macerated Rambutans

End Of The Week Treat # 3 Vodka Macerated Rambutans

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End Of The Week Treat # 3  Vodka Macerated Rambutans

End Of The Week Treat # 3 Vodka Macerated Rambutans

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End Of The Week Treat # 3  Vodka Macerated Rambutans

End Of The Week Treat # 3 Vodka Macerated Rambutans

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Death by Chocolate

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” Chocolate & Mascarpone Terrine “

This is my gift to anybody who is not a well versed pastry chef, but a diehard chocolate lover (or a lover of a diehard chocolate lover), who sometimes has to prepare his or her own chocolate fix on short notice without much fuss. I doubt that there are many chocolate desserts out there which are as easy to prepare, yet as rich in texture and pure chocolate goodness as this little gem. Even if you have two left hands, had a few too many drinks, are legally blind and have a case of the jitters, you should still be able to prepare this dish at a moments notice without any difficulty 🙂
You have a choice of the texture being ultra smooth, or, as I did here, studded with shards of chocolate for a more crunchy version. (I’ll explain below)
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Chocolate & Mascarpone Terrine

Chocolate & Mascarpone Terrine

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Ingredient’s :

Mascarpone cheese,
Chocolate fudge brownies,   (or substitute with your favorite brownies or cookies)
Dark rum,   (or substitute with your favorite booze)
Dark bitter chocolate,   (or substitute with your favorite chocolate
Mango,   (or substitute with your favorite fruit)

Method :

1)    Soak brownies in plenty of rum.
2)   Crumble and whisk until smooth.
3)   Whisk mascarpone until smooth.
4)   Temper chopped chocolate until melted and smooth.
5)   Mix cookies and mascarpone until well blended and smooth.
6)   Slowly add chocolate to mascarpone while whisking vigorously.
7)   Or, alternatively, in order to have a more crunchy texture, add a thin film of chocolate to top of mascarpone without stirring. Let set for a few seconds, then break up the set chocolate and mix into mascarpone. Continue to add remaining chocolate to mascarpone while whisking vigorously.
8)  If desired, add sugar, vanilla and  lemon juice to your liking. ( I usually don’t add anything, for me, the taste of the cheese, rum, chocolate and brownies is just perfect, nothing else needed.
9)   Fill into mold of your choice, let set overnight.
10) To serve, slice terrine or scoop into spheres or quenelles. Decorate with fruit of your choice.
11) Eat, be very happy 🙂

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Chocolate & Mascarpone Terrine

Chocolate & Mascarpone Terrine

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Chocolate & Mascarpone Terrine

Chocolate & Mascarpone Terrine

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Chocolate & Mascarpone Terrine

Chocolate & Mascarpone Terrine

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Chocolate & Mascarpone Terrine

Chocolate & Mascarpone Terrine

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Chocolate & Mascarpone Terrine

Chocolate & Mascarpone Terrine

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Chocolate & Mascarpone Terrine

Chocolate & Mascarpone Terrine

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Chocolate & Mascarpone Terrine

Chocolate & Mascarpone Terrine

Life is Good !
Say hi to your sweet tooth from me 🙂
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Fruit Yogurt

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Most  times I buy those little cups of  fruit yogurt  at the
supermarket like most other folks. They are convenient and
an easy, mostly guild free fix for a little sweets – craving.
But lately I use a lot of plain greek yogurt in my cooking,
so earlier when my sweet toot acted up, I took some Fruits
I had in the fridge, (apples, grapes and strawberries), mixed
some yogurt with vanilla essence, castor sugar, freshly
squeezed  lime juice  and a bit of  cayenne pepper. Some
of the Yogurt on the bottom of the plate, then the fruit,
then topped with more of the yogurt. Very quick, cheap,
delicious and pretty to look at.
Question is, WHY do we buy these little expensive
tasteless cups of fruit yogurt if this is so much better  ???

Life is Good !   Enjoy a better Fruit Yogurt !    🙂
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