garlic paste

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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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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Chinese Pork Dumplings In Tamarind Broth

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Chinese dumplings in soup – there must be a thousand and one variations. Different stuffings, different shapes, different wrappers to enclose the dumplings, dumplings without wrappers (spherical), different broths/soups, thick soups, clear soups, different vegetables to include in the soups, etc, etc, etc.
Then there are all the other Asian countries who have their own traditional versions of all of the above. So, basically, there is probably a MILLION and one recipes out there, one better than the other. 🙂
I have prepared many different ones myself over the decades, both while working in Asia and learning from the locals, as well as creating my own versions of some of the ones I learned to prepare over the years.
The point is, there are too many Asian dumpling soups to mention, but here I give you the most basic, delicious and quick version there is. Once you master this, you will be able to build on that knowledge and practice, preparing your own versions with the ingredients which are the most easy to obtain, the most affordable and the most delicious for your own preferred taste and texture. For this basic recipe, I suggest that you use store-bought wanton wrappers, ground pork and tamarind broth. Then, next time, move on to shrimp, lobster, scallops, chicken or whatever protein you prefer, then use any vegetables or mushrooms you have at hand, any broth/soup such as chicken, beef, fish, sour, spicy, with or without egg, thickened or clear, with or without garlic, with or without ginger, sesame oil, chili oil, fresh lime, calamansi, or – WHATEVER !
Just try to make the whole soup a harmonious combination of flavors and textures. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  CHINESE NEW YEAR EGG DUMPLING SOUP ( 蛋饺 ) ( DAN JIAO )  on  ChefsOpinion    (Click here to read about : The Year of the Pig begins on Tuesday February 5, 2019)

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P.S.
To prepare the tamarind broth, season chicken beef, seafood or Vegetable broth with tamarind paste or granulated tamarind to taste
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Just a pretty set………

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Pork Dumplings In Tamarind Broth

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Pork Dumplings In Tamarind Broth

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Preparation :
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Gordon Bond

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Szechuan Beef Noodles

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Szechuan Beef Noodles

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The food at our house is usually flavorful and piquant, but not “fiery hot”.
However, once in a while, I crave Szechuan food. Not the watered down version you get in Western influenced restaurants, but the real, Szechuan deal. ( When you look at the pictures of the noodles with sauce below, that bright red comes from the Szechuan chili oil and Szechuan chili paste) If you prepare this recipe, you might want to add the chili oil and chili paste at the end (STEP 2),  in VERY small increments, until you reach a level of hotness that almost hurts. The beauty of Szechuan peppers is the fact that after a few seconds of eating them, your mouth becomes almost numb, to the point where you can tolerate spice to a level you did not previously imagine you could.
This might sounds a bit like a bit of senseless torture (to the novice to Szechuan cuisine it certainly is), but it will also provide you with an extreme satisfaction of your taste buds 🙂
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Szechuan Beef Noodles

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Szechuan Beef Noodles

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Szechuan Beef Noodles

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Szechuan Beef Noodles

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Szechuan Beef Noodles

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Szechuan Beef Noodles

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Preparation :
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Sautéed Cod Fillet With Cannellini Bean Salad

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Sautéed Cod Fillet With Cannellini Bean Salad

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It’s no wonder people eat more and more sh***y fast food.
This 2 lbs of cod fillet was $ 20.00 incl tax !!! 😦
Ground beef $ 7.00 a pound, chicken wings $ 5.00 and up, a small loaf of bread $ 4.00 and up, etc, etc 😦
Yet,  a small crappy cheeseburger with fries and a coke is $3.00 ! What a shame.
I spend about $ 200.00 per week just on groceries and paper goods for Bella and myself, no laundry or cleaning cost for my cleaning lady included. How do families with a few kids and regular income do it ??? Everybody works, money and time is tight, so fast food is the only answer. Most young people do not have home-economy classes in school anymore, so it eludes them how to prepare a good, tasty, healthy, and economic meal for lets say $ 2.00 per person from scratch, or mostly from scratch with some canned protein or “secondary meat cuts” added. For a professional chef this should not be a problem, but for an inexperienced young couple with kids, who were never taught how to economize, save, calculate and be frugal, this will be nearly impossible. Financial disaster, poor nutrition, and a never ending circle of misery is the inevitable result.
Teaching home economics in school, affordable supplies of nutritious food at acceptable prices and less waste because of idiotic standardisation of size and appearance, mostly by supermarkets, as well as the stupid expectation by consumers that all food should be standardized, is highly required and necessary if we don’t want to be living in a world were only the rich can afford to buy nutritious food and drink.
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Ok now, done with the rant and back to today’s dish, which was delicious, beautiful and healthy  (and Expensive).   🙂
As you can see in the pictures, there was a lot of EVO and whole butter, (I used a spoon to eat the beans) but as long as you don’t consume this much every day, you’ll be fine,
Also, if you don’t think it’s good for you, just use less ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Sautéed Cod Fillet With Cannellini Bean Salad

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Sautéed Cod Fillet With Cannellini Bean Salad

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Sautéed Cod Fillet With Cannellini Bean Salad

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Preparation :
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And of course, Madam’s meal 🙂
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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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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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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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Seafood Salad….(Worthy Of The Holidays)

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Romaine Lettuce With Shrimp, Mussels, Crab Claws, And Fruits, Dressed In Avocado Salsa

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Before I went to get some last-minute shopping done this morning, I contemplated my probable food-intake for the next two days. It downed on me that if I don’t want to gain at least 10 lbs over the holidays, I must offset the gluttony with sensible breakfasts and luncheons, so I started today with this simple and light salad;
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“Romaine Lettuce With Shrimp, Mussels, Crab Claws, And Fruits, Dressed In Avocado Salsa”
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For seafood salads, I always like to “refresh” refrigerated seafood in a mixture of room temperature-water, lemon juice, garlic paste, kosher salt and cayenne pepper. (Keep in liquid for ten minutes)
For all hot dishes, I like to “refresh” refrigerated seafood in a mixture of room temperature-whole butter, lemon juice, garlic paste, kosher salt and cayenne pepper. (Keep in butter for ten minutes)
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Mix romaine lettuce, cucumbers and rainbow grape tomatoes with a simple honey/mustard vinaigrette, plate on serving platter.
Top with pomegranate seeds, blueberries and mango, refresh seafood according to instruction on this page.
Top with seafood.
Drizzle with avocado dressing/salsa.
Serves – well, that depends entirely on you.  🙂   (This one was just the perfect sized meal for Bella and me)
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Avocado Salsa/Dressing Recipe:
In a food processor, blend 1 cup honey/mustard vinaigrette and juice from 1 lime with meat from 1 to 2 ea Hass(Haas) Avocado (depending on size) until smooth, stir-in 1 tblsp finely chopped cilantro.
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Romaine Lettuce With Shrimp, Mussels, Crab Claws, And Fruits, Dressed In Avocado Salsa

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Romaine Lettuce With Shrimp, Mussels, Crab Claws, And Fruits, Dressed In Avocado Salsa

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Romaine Lettuce With Shrimp, Mussels, Crab Claws, And Fruits, Dressed In Avocado Salsa

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Romaine Lettuce With Shrimp, Mussels, Crab Claws, And Fruits, Dressed In Avocado Salsa

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I could eat just the salad on its own……….

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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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Clam Chowder

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Clam Chowder

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(Below find excerpts from Wiki.com and Mobile Cuisine.com)
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Clam Chowder Fun Facts: Clam chowder is any of several chowders containing clams and broth. Along with the clams, diced potato is common, as are onions, which are occasionally sauteed in the drippings from salt pork or bacon. Celery is frequently used. Other vegetables are uncommon, but small carrot strips might occasionally be added, primarily for color. A garnish of parsley serves the same purpose. Bay leaves are also sometimes used as a garnish and flavoring. It is believed that clams were added to chowder because of their relative ease to collect.

  • Fish chowders were the forerunners of clam chowder. The chowders originally made by the early settlers differed from other fish soups because they used salt pork and ship’s biscuits.
  • In 1832 newspaperwoman, novelist, and ardent advocate of women’s rights, Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) published her cookbook called The American Frugal Housewife. She described the standard layering technique of chowder-making, but also suggested additional ingredients such as lemons, beer, tomato catsup, and the first written directions to add clams.
  • Clams and oysters were consumed in such quantities along the Atlantic coast by the American Indians that, in some favorable gathering-places, empty shells were piled into mounds ten feet high.
  • January 21st is National New England Clam Chowder Day.
  • February 25th is National Clam Chowder Day.
  • New England clam chowder shares the number one spot of most served soups in the United States with chicken noodle.
  • In 1939 Maine, Assemblyman Seeder attempted to pass legislation in 1939 making it illegal to put tomatoes in clam chowder.
  • THE BEST CLAM CHOWDER IS PREPARED BY HANS “SOUPI” SUSSER.
    (Recipe follows on this page) 🙂 

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History

Clam chowder with whole clams

The earliest-established and most popular variety of clam chowder, New England clam chowder, was introduced to the region by French, Nova Scotian, or British settlers, becoming common in the 18th century. The first recipe for another variety, Manhattan clam chowder, known for using tomatoes and its consequently distinctly red coloring, was published in 1934. In 1939, the New England state of Maine debated legislation that would outlaw the use of tomatoes in chowder, thereby essentially prohibiting the “Manhattan” form.

Primary variants and styles

Since the popularity of New England clam chowder spread throughout the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries, many other regions have introduced their own, local twists on the traditional recipe.

Delaware clam chowder

This variety typically consists of pre-fried cubed salt pork, salt water, potatoes, diced onions, quahog clams, butter, salt, and pepper. This variety was more common in the early and mid-20th century, and likely shares most recent common ancestry with New England clam chowder.

Hatteras clam chowder

Served throughout North Carolina‘s Outer Banks region, this variation of clam chowder has clear broth, bacon, potatoes, onions, and flour as a thickening agent. It is usually seasoned with copious amounts of white and/or black pepper, and occasionally with chopped green onions or even hot pepper sauce.

Long Island clam chowder

Long Island clam chowder is a variant that is part New England-style and part Manhattan-style, making it a creamy tomato clam chowder. The name is a geographical pun, noting that the location of Long Island, just like the recipe, is about halfway between Manhattan and New England. This variant is popular in many small restaurants across Suffolk County, New York.

Manhattan clam chowder

Manhattan clam chowder has a reddish color from ripe tomatoes

Manhattan clam chowder has red broth, which is tomato-based. The addition of tomatoes in place of milk was initially the work of Portuguese immigrants in Rhode Island, as tomato-based stews were already a traditional part of Portuguese cuisine.

In the 1890s, this chowder was called “Fulton Fish Market clam chowder” and “New York City clam chowder.” Manhattan clam chowder was referenced in Victor Hirtzler’s “Hotel St. Francis Cookbook (1919).

Minorcan clam chowder

Minorcan clam chowder is a spicy traditional version found in Florida restaurants near St. Augustine and the northeast corner of Florida. It has a tomato broth base, with a “secret ingredient”, Spanish datil pepper, an extremely hot chili comparable to the habanero. The datil pepper is believed to have been brought to St. Augustine by the Menorcan settlers in the 18th century, and tradition holds among Menorcan descendants that it will only thrive and grow in two places: Menorca, Spain and St. Augustine, Florida.

New England clam chowder

New England clam chowder, occasionally referred to as Boston Clam Chowder in the Midwest, is a milk or cream-based chowder, and is often of a thicker consistency than other regional styles, even though traditionally it is rather thin (with many late 19th and early 20th century recipes using condensed milk as the base). It is commonly made with potatoes, onion, and clams.

New England clam chowder is usually accompanied by oyster crackersCrown Pilot Crackers were a popular brand of cracker to accompany chowder, until the product was discontinued in 2008. Crackers may be crushed and mixed into the soup for thickener, or used as a garnish.

Traditional New England clam chowder is thickened with oyster crackers instead of flour. (Oyster crackers do not actually contain any oysters.)

New Jersey clam chowder

Its primary ingredients are chowder clams, onion, bacon, diced potatoes, pepper, celery powder, parsley, paprika or Old Bay seasoning, asparagus, light cream, and sliced tomatoes.

Rhode Island clam chowder

Traditional Rhode Island clam chowder—going back decades—is a red chowder and is served as Rhode Island clam chowder throughout the state. Rhode Island clam chowder has a tomato broth base and potatoes, but unlike Manhattan red chowder, Rhode Island clam chowder has no chunks of tomato and does not contain other vegetables. The origins of traditional Rhode Island clam chowder are reportedly Portuguese immigrants in Rhode Island dating back over a century. This recipe has been served for decades with clamcakes at memorable establishments like Rocky Point and Crescent Park. Rhode Island clam (red) chowder is served principally and especially at long-established New England restaurants and hotels.

A secondary Rhode Island clam chowder has a clear broth and be found commonly along a stretch of the south coast of New England from eastern Connecticut to southwestern Rhode Island. In southwestern Rhode Island, this clear clam chowder is sometimes called “South County Style” referring to the colloquial name of Washington County, Rhode Island, where reportedly it originated; however in other parts of New England, this clear clam chowder is called Noank Clam Chowder. This clear clam chowder, which generally contains quahogs, broth, potatoes, onions, and bacon, is served mostly along a stretch of the south coast of New England from southwestern Rhode Island, including on Block Island.

Other variations

Some restaurants serve their own unique clam chowders that do not fall into any specific categories. For example:

  • Clam chowder is sometimes served in sourdough bread bowls, especially in San Francisco, where sourdough bread is popular with tourists, and has been considered a signature dish since 1849.[8][9]
  • Except for the substitution of smoked haddock for clams, the chowders are remarkably similar to the traditional Scots broth cullen skink.
  • Fish chowder is similar to clam chowder except that shredded fish, often cod, is substituted for the clams. Other ingredients are often onions and potato. A clam and fish chowder can be made with both clams and fish.
  • In Pacific Northwest cuisine, such as the cuisines of Seattle and Portland, Oregonsmoked salmon is sometimes added to clam chowder. Salmon chowder is also a popular fish chowder

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Clam Chowder

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Clam Chowder

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Clam Chowder

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Clam Chowder

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Preparation :
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Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions

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Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions

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When I have leftovers (meat, seafood, pasta, rice, veggies) in the fridge, rather than just reheat it the next day and have the same dish again, I prefer to create a new, different dish with it.
Therefore, the  braised veal breast  from the other day became today’s spectacular, highly satisfying “Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions”.
Although I used the same meat, it was a completely new dish which, taste-wise and in texture, did not at all remind me of the previous meal it provided me with.
This sandwich was so delicious, I almost padded my own proud and happy shoulder when I ate it.  🙂
While I was writing this, it just came to my mind that this sandwich satisfies a wide range of flavors – sour from the onions, spicy from the chilies, salty from radishes and umami from the veal – marvelous ! 🙂

Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions

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Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions

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Toasted Focaccia Sandwich With Veal & Pickled Onions

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cut sandwich into pieces, serve with salted radishes

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add a generous amount of pickled onions, chopped cilantro and pickled peppers/chilies of your choice

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Preparation :
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Butterflied Grilled Chicken Breast With Sautéed Onion

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Butterflied Grilled Chicken Breast With Sautéed Onion

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This dish should have earned two “Best of Show Awards” –
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*Best Tasting Chicken Breast* 
and  *Most Beautiful Chicken Breast* 
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Alas, this baby did not participate in any competition, it just made a wonderful dinner in our home, where it  won  the love and admiration of Bella and myself 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Butterflied Grilled Chicken Breast With Sautéed Onion

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Butterflied Grilled Chicken Breast With Sautéed Onion

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Butterflied Grilled Chicken Breast With Sautéed Onion

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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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Red Beet “Pasta” With Mushroom Cream

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If you a fan of great texture, this “Pasta” is for you. Most of the earthy flavor of the red beets will be lost after cooking the thin strands in salted water, but the texture is phenomenal, assuming you cook them exactly right. Overcooking results in a mushy mess, under-cooking in a mouthful of tough root veggies. But, when done just right – absolute “pasta”- bliss 🙂

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Red Beet “Pasta” With Mushroom Cream

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Red Beet “Pasta” With Mushroom Cream

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Preparation :
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