garlic

Chicken Tandoori/Naan Sandwich

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Chicken Tandoori/Naan Sandwich

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This tandoori chicken sandwich needed no simple or fancy condiment to elevate it. The chicken was very juicy, very tender and VERY tasty. Usually, I would serve this with raita, sliced onions, sliced tomato, sliced cucumber, a few spritz of fresh lime, plain yogurt, finely sliced cabbage slaw, or any other addition to moisten the sandwich, elevate the texture or the flavor. But on this sandwich, that would have been a wasted effort, since it was perfect, in every aspect, the way it was.
(If I would serve this in a restaurant, I would of course “improve” the presentation to make it seem fancier and justify a higher selling price, but since this was at “Chez Bella” (our home), I did not deem this a requirement. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
I prefer to cook the chicken bone-in and tear the meat from the bones at the table. For a less messy way, you can, of course, use boneless thighs and knife and fork 😦
P.P.S.
Because I am a huge Stones fan, for obvious reasons I almost called this sandwich “Sticky Fingers”, but then something (good sense?) advised me against it.  🙂
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Garam Masala Recipe:
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You will need :
Coriander seeds, black cardamom pods, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, bay leaves, peppercorn, a small amount of cinnamon bark. Dry roast in a pan on low heat until fragrant, about one minute. Put in spice blender until powder-fine. Remove to a jar, cover airtight.
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Chicken Tandoori/Naan Sandwich

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Chicken Tandoori/Naan Sandwich

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Chicken Tandoori/Naan Sandwich

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Preparation :
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Cantonese Soy Sauce Chicken ( See Yao Gai ) ( 酱油鸡 )

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Cantonese Soy Sauce Chicken ( See Yao Gai ) ( 酱油鸡 )

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If roast chicken is your favorite chicken dish, it’s probably because you never had the opportunity to taste this marvel of Chinese cuisine. Even if you did taste it, you most likely thought that this is way too complicated and difficult to prepare at home.
Well, here comes ChefsOpinion to the rescue 🙂
I am happy to give you all the info you’ll need to prepare this wonderful, actually simple to prepare, flavor-bomb at home.
Once you see the easy step by step instructions and how few ingredients are required, you will surely ask yourself why you’ve never tried your hands at this before. Enjoy ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Cantonese Soy Sauce Chicken ( See Yao Gai ) ( 酱油鸡 )

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Cantonese Soy Sauce Chicken ( See Yao Gai ) ( 酱油鸡 )

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Cantonese Soy Sauce Chicken ( See Yao Gai ) ( 酱油鸡 )

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Cantonese Soy Sauce Chicken ( See Yao Gai ) ( 酱油鸡 )

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note the juiciness of the chicken breast ……..

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Preparation :
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Here is what I did the next day with the leftover chicken and sauce :
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Leftover Soy Chicken

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Hoisin Chicken With Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta And Cherry Bomb Peppers

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Hoisin Chicken With Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta And Cherry Bomb Peppers

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First of all – calm down, don’t be scared, hold your horses, don’t panic !
Despite their vicious name, “cherry bomb peppers” (sometimes just called “cherry peppers”), are not very hot at all, registering at just 2500 to 5000 Scoville heat units (SHU). (Think jalapeno). They can be red, yellow or green and, depending on the pickling marinade, the original heat-level is sometimes brought down to a mild, tasteful flavor which adds a welcome light kick (the kick of a lady, not the kick of a mule) to some otherwise overly sweet and/or mild dishes, without burning your mouth to a crisp.
And of course, as I have mentioned many times, pls adjust the recipe according to the preference of the folks you serve your food to, so if you do not enjoy chilies, just omit them 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Hoisin Chicken With Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta And Cherry Bomb Peppers

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Hoisin Chicken With Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta And Cherry Bomb Peppers

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Hoisin Chicken With Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta And Cherry Bomb Peppers

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Hoisin Chicken With Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta And Cherry Bomb Peppers

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Hoisin Chicken With Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta And Cherry Bomb Peppers

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Preparation :
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Roast Cornish Hen With Caramelized Onions And Potatoes (Best Potatoes EVER?)

Roast Cornish Hen With Caramelized Onions And Potatoes

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Upon first glance, one’s impression would be that the Cornish Hen is the star of this dish.
While this is certainly the case in the looks-department, when it comes to taste, these potatoes do steal the show. (But of course, the Cornish Hen is awesome as well) 🙂
First, the potatoes and onions are coated in duck fat, seasoned with rosemary sprigs, kosher salt, and fresh-cracked black pepper, then slowly roasted until golden brown. Next, duck stock (or chicken stock)  is added,  topped with a whole Cornish Hen and roasted for another 45 minutes, during which time all the rendered fat from the Cornish Hen, together with its richly seasoned juices, oozes into the potatoes and combine to produce the best potatoes you will find this side of culinary heaven 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Roast Cornish Hen With Caramelized Onions And Potatoes

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Best Potatoes EVER?

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Roast Cornish Hen With Caramelized Onions And Potatoes

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Preparation :
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Who’s Ball’s Are Prettier Than Mine? – Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Not all meatballs are created equal. Some are different from others,  some are worse than others, and some are better than others.
And then you’ll come across these delicious, juicy, pretty Meatballs here, which are in a class all by themselves. Different? – For sure!  Better? – absolutely!
Well, at least that is my opinion, and I’ll stick to it until somebody can prove me wrong 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Garlic & Herb Yogurt  recipe :
Mix 1/2 cup Greek yogurt with 1 ea tsp garlic paste, chopped cilantro, chopped parsley and a chiffonade of mint, season with 1 tsp lime juice, and kosher salt and cayenne pepper to taste. This pairs well with most grilled and sauteed proteins and veggies 🙂
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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew


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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Rice Bowl With Spicy Meatballs, Black Beans & Garbanzo Stew

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Preparation :
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Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Portobello, Broccoli And Tomato

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Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Portobello, Broccoli And Tomato

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In my opinion, pork tenderloin (fillet) is one of the most underrated cuts of meat. And of course, that is wonderful, because once people catch on, it will be priced out of reach of most folks (Lamb chops, anyone ? 😦 )
But since this has not happened yet, I can enjoy pork tenderloin as often as I wish, without going broke 🙂
This preparation looked and tasted particularly yummy. It’s economical and a snap to prepare, so there is no excuse not to indulge in this beauty once in a while.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Portobello, Broccoli And Tomato

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Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Portobello, Broccoli And Tomato

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Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Portobello, Broccoli And Tomato

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Preparation :
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Grilled Seafood Salad – Baby Octopus, Squid And Shrimp On Romaine In Honey/Lime Yogurt Dressing

Grilled Seafood Salad – Baby Octopus, Squid And Shrimp On Romaine In Honey/Lime Yogurt Dressing

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After a recent bout of gluttony during my month in Europe, I have to lose at least the 15 lbs I gained, and if I continue on my present path of eating and drinking sensibly, maybe even shedding at least 20 lbs in the first month, and another 15 during the second month.
So far I have lost 13 lbs since my arrival 15 day’s ago. 🙂
I am not on a diet, just eating less in general, smaller portions and instead of 2 or 3 large meals a day, only one, with lot’s of fruit and tiny snacks in between. Other than that, I basically eat what I feel like. Pasta (tiny portions), rice (tiny portions), potatoes (tiny portions). Meat and seafood (large portions), fruit (large portions) and huge amounts of salad of any kind, form, and shape, mostly greens with some kind of protein, such as the seafood salad featured here. I have the occasional glass of wine, lots of iced tea and water and a large pot of coffee daily. Breakfast usually consists of a large bowl of starch-free vegetable soup and peppermint tea, alternating on other days with apples and power bars.
So far since I started this, I have not felt hungry and have a lot more energy than when I started this 2 weeks ago.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
If you’d like to lose weight while eating and drinking well, you might want to check this out:
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD ON CHEFSOPINION”

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Grilled Seafood Salad – Baby Octopus, Squid And Shrimp On Romaine In Honey/Lime Yogurt Dressing

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Grilled Seafood Salad – Baby Octopus, Squid And Shrimp On Romaine In Honey/Lime Yogurt Dressing

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Grilled Seafood Salad – Baby Octopus, Squid And Shrimp On Romaine In Honey/Lime Yogurt Dressing

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Preparation :
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Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

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Before  anybody get’s their knickers in a twist about “real” Curries, let me explain something.
Many years ago, whenever we used commercially available, pre-mixed curry powder in Europe, more often than not, the name of the dish included the moniker “Madras”. This made it clear to everyone and all that the dish contained stock, curry powder, cream, some fruit, and flour. There were also salads and cold appetizers using curry powder, which mostly also used to end up being called “Madras”.
Almost nobody had ever tasted a real curry, much less cooked one, so the “classique” French way of preparing “curry sauce”, (sauce au curry à l’indienne) was usually utilized.
Hence – “Madras” or Indian Style. 🙂

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

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Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

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Cauliflower Salad “Madras”

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Preparation :
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Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

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“Totopos With Shrimp And Avocado Salad”.
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The name  totopo  comes from the Aztec word tlaxcaltotopochtl. It is a combination of the word for a tortilla, tlaxcalli, and the word for thunder.
Combined, it means “tortillas that are noisy to chew”.
Originally, totopos are prepared with corn tortillas. They can be fried, as I have done here, or baked or toasted.
However, I sometimes make totopos with flour tortillas, which makes them lighter and, of course, results in a different, more delicate flavor.
They pair perfectly with this refreshing shrimp and avocado salad and make for a wonderful, tasty snack or appetizer.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

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Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

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Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

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Tlaxcaltotopochtl Y Ensalada De Camaron Con Aguacate

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Preparation :
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Cheese And Potato Vareniki, With Spinach, Bacon and Tomato


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I have to confess – I cheated when I prepared these Vareniki 😦
Instead of preparing the vareniki/pierogi dough fresh and rolling it into thin sheets before cutting, filling, folding and sealing it, I used 1 lb store-bought fresh pasta sheets and my trusted ravioli/pierogi-mold. Not necessarily because I am lazy (well, sometimes I am), but mainly because my counter space is tiny and making fresh pasta dough and stuffed dumpling always results in a huge mess, with flour everywhere, requiring a lot of time to get the kitchen spick and span again.
(However, I do know how to make the dough fresh. 🙂
I have made it a hundred times and I am therefore not embarrassed to admit to the store-bought sheets and the mold) 🙂
The rest of the dish is as easy and quick as 1-2-3. Cook the pasta, saute everything in butter and done !
Here is the recipe for the filling and the final dish :
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Ingredients and method for filling:

Saute onions in butter until translucent.
Stir in the 2 cup mashed potatoes, grated cheese and yogurt, season with salt and cayenne pepper, mix well. Check/adjust seasoning.
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Ingredients and method for the rest of the dish:

Cut the dough sheets into rounds corresponding to the size of your ravioli/pierogi-cutter.
Top each round of dough with 1 tblsp cheese/potato filling, add ea round to the ravioli/pierogi-mold.
Moisten the dough’s edges with water, fold over, and press together to seal.
Repeat procedure with the remaining dough and filling.
Cook in boiling salted water until the dough is done, about 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the thickest part of the dough.
Remove with a slotted spoon, drain.
Saute 2 oz chopped bacon, 1 tsp garlic paste, julienne of 1/2 onion, 6 oz fresh spinach in 2 oz butter, add 8 oz fresh spinach and 1/3 cup heavy cream, simmer 1 minute, remove from heat, add julienne of one medium size onion, 1 ea seeded and julienned tomato and the freshly cooked vareniki, check/adjust seasoning. to serve, sprinkle with grated pepper-jack.
Serves 4 appetizers or 2 main courses.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Cheese And Potato Vareniki, With Spinach, Bacon and Tomato

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Cheese And Potato Vareniki, With Spinach, Bacon and Tomato

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Cheese And Potato Vareniki, With Spinach, Bacon and Tomato

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Cheese And Potato Vareniki, With Spinach, Bacon and Tomato

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