Grab Bag

Fajas De Res

patty
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To  prepare a great meal is no problem for most of us –
as long as there is plenty of time, money and somebody who cleans up the mess afterward.
But what if there isn’t ??  Well, how about this easy solution: Fajas De Res (Beef Fajitas)
– Cut and marinate the beef and onions: 3 minutes
– Saute the beef: 2 minutes
– Prepare the guacamole: 3 minutes
– Reheat pre-made tortillas: 2 minutes
– prepare salsa Mexicana: 4 minutes
– All in all, no more than 15 minutes for a smashing dinner. Life is Good 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Viva Mexico !
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Click here for  Salsa Mexicana Recipe  and  Guacamole Recipe  on  Chefsopinion
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For the fajas, cut beef flank into slices or batons, season with kosher salt, cayenne pepper and granulated garlic to taste, saute with sunflower oil in a VERY hot pan or comal until rare, add chopped onions, saute another minute. Serve with salsa Mexicana, guacamole, sour cream, and chilies.
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Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

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I recently  came across an article which proclaimed “Pasta actually makes you lose Weight”.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe that ANY food I love (I love most 🙂 ) will make me loose weight, especially pasta. Why? Because if I love something, I consume it in excess quantities.
But then, a lot of food which falls into the category of “food I love”, will never make me fat, for the simple reason that it is too expensive to become fattening – caviar, lobster, fresh stone crab claws, foie gras, chanterelle, matsutake, wagyu (the real McCoy), and a bunch of other stuff I had the privilege to eat plenty of in the 70’s, when most of these delicacies were still affordable in their countries of origin.
I used to have a few cans of caviar in my fridge when we did black sea cruises in the mid-seventies, when one was able to exchange a pair of used jeans in St Petersburg’s black market for 1 kg of caviar. Matsutake and wagyu was expensive in Yokohama and Kobe, but not excessively so. Chanterelles in Germany in the 70’s and 80’s when I went home on vacation – same thing, not cheap but affordable. And so it was with most of these specialties at the time – not cheap but within reach, at least for me and my friends who traveled the world, loved good food and after visiting a place a couple of times, knew where to get a bargain.
But now let me get back to pasta.
Fortunately, pasta is one of the most affordable food stuffs which have a special place in my heart (and stomach).
Consequently, I eat it too often, and usually way too much, packing 2 or 3 portions into one meal – which is good for my happiness 🙂 , bad for my weight 😦 .
So there you have it – while pasta “does not actually make me lose weight”, it does actually makes me happy .
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Pasta  on  ChefsOpinion
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P.S.
All the food you see on  ChefsOpinion  is cooked and served in my home, usually just for myself and Bella. I like to pick and hold the shrimp by their tail (Bella just eats the whole shrimp, tail and all, including the tails from my shrimps). If you are not comfortable with the tails on the plate, just remove them before adding the shrimp to the dish 🙂
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Corksrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

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Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Grilled Chicken Salad – Grilled Chicken On A Higher Level

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I believe  this salad does not need a fancy introduction – just look at it and plan when, not if, you will prepare this beauty 🙂

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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Grilled Chicken Salad

Grilled Chicken Salad

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Grilled Chicken Salad

Grilled Chicken Salad

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Grilled Chicken Salad

Grilled Chicken Salad

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Grilled Chicken Salad

juicy perfection……..

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

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English – Rice Porridge;  Japanese – Okayu;  Korean – Jukin;  Thai – Jok;  Tagalog – Lugao, Burmese – Hsan Pyok.
plain congee/law fu kee
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In  my own experience, there’s no food more simple and more comforting than a bowl of congee, which is basically just rice cooked with a lot of liquid until it forms a soft porridge.
Congee can be enjoyed any time of the day (or night 🙂 and there are as many recipes and methods for making congee as there are restaurants, homes, mothers and grandmothers to prepare them. However, the basics are just water and rice, cooked until thickened to the texture you prefer, anywhere from very liquid to quite thick.
In this basic form, congee has provided a full belly as well as help against minor ailments since ancient times.
Additional ingredients and condiments for congee are limited only to ones fantasy, taste and wallet. (Lobster anyone?)
For some of the more adventurous variations of congee click HERE
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more info on  Congee
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Click here for more  Congee  on  ChefsOpinion
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Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

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Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

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Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

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Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Bulalo (Kansi) Beef Marrow Bone Soup

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Beef Marrow Bone

Beef Marrow Bone

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The  first time I had the pleasure to eat this soup I fell in love with it. It was at “Pistang Filipino”, an open air arts and craft center in Manila. (Little did I know then (1974), that a few years later I would be living next door for nearly five years). However, during my first visit, a couple of friends and I went there to have a proper, traditional “Pinoy” dinner. It turned out to be one of the best meals in my entire life. Pancit sotanghon and pancit bihon, huge grilled prawns for $1 a piece, kare kare, adobo, lechon, sisig, sinigang, bulalo and a whole lot of other wonderful dishes, all spread out on a huge buffet. There were woven bamboo plates with palm leaves to put your food on and coconut shell spoons for the soups. Most of the food was eaten using one’s fingers as utensils. Lined up along one wall were water containers with spouts to facilitate hand washing before and after the meal. The food and entertainment (tinikling , traditional Philippine folk dancing) was superb and to this day I remember almost every minute of that evening. Years later when I lived next door, I went there once or twice a month, mainly for the bulalo . However, I quickly became less enthusiastic about the tinikling. While beautiful to watch, its accompanying music, which was always played at maximum levels, kept me awake many a night until the wee hours 😦
Such is my love for bulalo that until this day I prepare it at least once a month. I mostly use thick sliced shank (osso buco), but when available, I buy a whole leg bone and have the butcher cut it into 4 pieces, 2 of which I use at once and 2 which I freeze for the next going of bulalo or any other beef soup.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here to watch a video of  Tinikling
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Bulalo

Bulalo

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Bulalo

Bulalo

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Bulalo

Bulalo

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Bulalo

Bulalo

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

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Kecap Manis

Kecap Manis


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Kecap manis  (ketjap manis), pronounced KEH-chup MAH-nees is an Indonesian sweet soy sauce with a molasses consistency and a dark brown color.
Sometimes flavored with garlic, star anise, chili, five spice powder, etc, the sauce is more syrupy than commonplace soy sauce. Sold in most Asian markets, kecap manis can be used as a condiment or marinade for satay’s and grilled meats or as a dipping sauce. Basically just sweetened soy sauce, it is by far the most popular type of soy sauce used in Indonesian cuisine, where it plays a important role in signature dishes, such as nasi goreng, mie goreng, satay, tongseng and semur.
Sambal kecap is a type of sambal dipping sauce of kecap manis with sliced chili, tomato and shallot, a popular for sate kambing (goat meat satay) and ikan bakar (grilled fish/seafood).
Since soy sauce is of Chinese origin, kecap asin is also an important seasoning in Chinese Indonesian cuisine. It is also a staple ingredient in many other traditional dishes of Indonesia.

Kecap manis is also a staple in my kitchen. I use it mainly for my “lazy meal” day’s, when much cooking is not on my list and a simple plate of stir fried vegetables with mushrooms, noodles or rice mixed with kecap manis, garlic and chili is all that’s on the menu for a quick yet satisfying dinner. I usually have both store-bought and homemade kecap manis in the fridge. When a original recipe calls for it, I use the more complex store-bought version which usually contains star anis, garlic and sometimes other flavor agents.
On the other hand, if I prepare a “lazy meal”, the simple home-made version described below suits me better. I’s not a question of quality but rather a personal taste-preference 🙂
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Happy Cooking !   Life is Good !

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P.S.
If you decide to prepare this homemade version of ketsap manis, I highly recommend that you don’t leave the sauce unattended while simmering. If it boils over, the high sugar content makes it a nuisance to clean off the stove 🙂 😦
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mix 2 cup cane sugar with 2 cups soy sauce

mix 2 cup cane sugar with 2 cups soy sauce

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bring sauce to a VERY SLOW simmer

bring sauce to a VERY SLOW simmer

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while simmering, skim off all foam that rises to the top; cook sauce until it has the texture of syrup, let cool; it will then further thicken to the texture of thick molasses

while simmering, skim off all foam that rises to the top; cook sauce until it has the texture of syrup, let cool; it will then further thicken to the texture of thick molasses

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Kecap Manis

Kecap Manis

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A Pig And A Hoagie

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there you have it ........

There you have it – a pig at it’s finest……..

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This  meal started out to become a traditional Asian-style braised pork belly dish, served with steamed rice and some kind of green vegetables.
However, after starting the belly, I changed my mind and decided to go with another sandwich, because…….why not ? 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Pork Belly  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Sandwiches  on  ChefsOpinion
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A Pig And A Hoagie

A Pig And A Hoagie

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A Pig And A Hoagie

A Pig And A Hoagie

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A Pig And A Hoagie

A Pig And A Hoagie

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A Pig And A Hoagie

A Pig And A Hoagie

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A Pig And A Hoagie

A Pig And A Hoagie

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A Pig And A Hoagie

A Pig And A Hoagie

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Ox Tripe Two Way’s

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Even  though ox tripe is not everybody’s cup of tea, I myself am an incurable fan of it.
Originally classified as “Poor Man’s Food”, it has lately become more widely used, especially since the “Head To Tail” movement has become popular and it is now  “in”  to classify former “Poor Man’s Food” as “Comfort Food 🙂 .
Well, I grew up loving this type of food, so for today’s lunch, I made two versions, one for lunch and one to be re-heated at dinner.
Of course, there are a million recipes for ox tripe from around the world and I love most of them. But these two versions of (almost) the same recipe are without a doubt on the very top of my list. Great looks, super taste and outstanding texture lift them to the level of excellence the humble ox tripe deserves.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Oxtripe  recipes on  ChefsOpinion   ( Mondongo/ Beef Tripe/ Kutteln/ 牛百叶/ 牛百葉/ Goto/ Tripa/ требухаأمعاء, شىء تافه )
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Clear Ox Tripe Stew

Clear Ox Tripe Stew

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Creamy Ox Tripe Stew

Creamy Ox Tripe Stew

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Creamy Ox Tripe Stew

Creamy Ox Tripe Stew

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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SINGAPORE NOODLES (SINGAPORE MEI FUN) 新洲米粉, 星洲炒米, 星洲米粉)

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Having  traveled the world long before I moved to Singapore to live and work there in the early 80’s, I remember how much I was looking forward to finally learn how to prepare “real” Singapore Noodles. By then I had enjoyed them in many Chinese restaurants all over the world and they had become a trustworthy (most of the time, anyway) shoe-in if nothing else appealed on the menu to my at that time still rather newfound love of Chinese food . Much to my surprise, there were no Singapore Noodles to be found anywhere 😦
It then did not take me long to find out that Singapore Noodles are NOT a Singaporean dish but have probably been invented years earlier in Hong Kong.
(As far as I know, the verdict of its true origin is still not entirely agreed upon) 🙂
While there are many different variations, the most common one I have encountered in my travels and here in the USA contain rice sticks, curry, scallions, soy, garlic, ginger, vegetables, shrimp and chicken or pork.
The following version is more or less the one I have cooked for many years, only making slight changes to the ingredients if something is not readily available or leftovers beg to be utilized, such as roast pork, squid, bok choy, celery, etc.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Asian Style Noodles  on  ChefsOpinion
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Singapore Noodles

Singapore Noodles

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Singapore Noodles

Singapore Noodles

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Singapore Noodles

Singapore Noodles

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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“WhatAPig” – Pork & Peppers On Baguette

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Every  so often, a quick sandwich is all I need to satisfy my culinary cravings.
The range of sandwiches I enjoy is wide and spans from a simple ham & cheese sandwich to the most elaborate lobster roll, foie gras on toast and anything in-between.
Today I feasted on such a typical “in-between” sandwich : The “WhatAPig”.
Although quick and easy to prepare, it does not lack in substance, taste and appearance and is a great meal for any occasion when sophistication is not required to impress 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Sandwiches  on  ChefsOpinion
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WhatAPig - Pork & Peppers On Baguette

“WhatAPig” – Pork & Peppers On Baguette

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WhatAPig - Pork & Peppers On Baguette

“WhatAPig” – Pork & Peppers On Baguette

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