kosher salt

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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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 :
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Pozole

Pozole

Pozole

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Partial  excerpts from Wikipedia:
“Pozole. Variants: pozolé, pozolli, pasole), which means “hominy”, is a traditional soup or stew from Mexico, which once had ritual significance. It is made from hominy, with meat (typically pork), and can be seasoned and garnished with shredded cabbage, chile peppers, onion, garlic, radishes, avocado, salsa and/or limes.
It is a typical dish in various states such as Sinaloa, Michoacán, Guerrero, Zacatecas, Jalisco, Morelos, State of Mexico and Distrito Federal. Pozole is served in Mexican restaurants worldwide.
Pozole is frequently served as a celebratory dish throughout Mexico and by Mexican communities outside Mexico. Common occasions include Mexico Independence Day, quince años, weddings, birthdays, baptisms, and New Year’s Day.
Pozole can be prepared in many ways. All variations include a base of cooked hominy in broth. Typically pork, or sometimes chicken, is included in the base. Vegetarian recipes substitute beans for the meat.
Dried hominy can be used for pozole, but it must be soaked and cooked
The three main types of pozole are blanco/white, verde/green and rojo/red.
White Pozole is the preparation without any additional green or red sauce. Green Pozole adds a rich sauce based on green ingredients, possibly including tomatillos, epazote, cilantro, jalapeños, and/or pepitas. Red Pozole is made without the green sauce, instead adding a red sauce made from one or more chiles, such as guajillo, piquin, or ancho.
When pozole is served, it is accompanied by a wide variety of condiments, potentially including chopped onion, shredded lettuce, sliced radish, cabbage, avocado, limes, oregano, tostadas, chicharrónes, and/or chiles.
Pozole was mentioned in Fray Bernardino de Sahagún‘s General History of the Things of New Spain (c. 1500). Since maize was a sacred plant for the Aztecs and other inhabitants of Mesoamerica, pozole was made to be consumed on special occasions. The conjunction of maize (usually whole hominy kernels) and meat in a single dish is of particular interest to scholars, because the ancient Americans(which?) believed the gods made humans out of masa (cornmeal dough).”
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According to research by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History) and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, on these special occasions, the meat used in the pozole was human. After the prisoners were killed by having their hearts torn out in a ritual sacrifice, the rest of the body was chopped and cooked with maize, and the resulting meal was shared among the whole community as an act of religious communion. After the Conquest, when cannibalism was banned, pork became the staple meat as it “tasted very similar” [to human flesh], according to a Spanish priest.

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Pozole

Pozole

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Pozole

Pozole

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Preparation :
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Duck For Dummies………

Duck For Dummies

Duck For Dummies

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Many  folks shy back from preparing duck because of it’s stigma of being difficult to prepare. Now, I admit, duck can be royally screwed-up if you don’t know what you are doing, just like anything else. Many chefs, in order to hoot their own horn,  will also try to convince you that cooking duck, especially a whole duck, is difficult and can only be mastered by an expert. While everything is easy if you are an expert, cooking a whole roasted duck doesn’t have to be difficult or fussy. With just a few hours’ roasting and hardly any work at all, you can have a very tasty, very tender, very juicy bird with very crisp skin.
All you need is a duck (you don’t say), salt, a wire rack and an oven. No need for fancy seasoning, fancy equipment or anything else fancy.  Duck meat is very tasty in itself, so you don’t need to get into complicated spices, glazes, etc. In fact, you only need a sauce with your duck if you serve a starchy side-dish.
If you opt to enjoy the duck by itself, either as a main course or an appetizer, the meat alone, without any distraction such as a side dish or sauce, should make you a happy camper.
The following recipe is absolutely foolproof.
The result looks great, tastes like heaven and its texture is textbook-perfect;  moist and tender on the inside, crackling-crisp on the outside, with all the fat between the skin and meat rendered and with a perfect color to boost 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Duck for Dummies Recipe:
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Ingredients:
1 med size duck
Kosher salt to taste
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Method:
Pre-heat oven to 400F
Prick skin and fat of duck all over, remove excess fat-flaps
Season duck generously inside and out side with the salt.
Place duck breast-side down on a wire rack which rests on a sheet-pan.
Place into oven, immediately turn temperature down to 300 F
Roast duck for 3 hours and 45 minutes, turning duck every 30 minutes
After 3 hours and 45 minutes, increase heat to 420F, roast duck breast side up until skin is very crisp and golden, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Let duck rest for 10 minutes before carving.
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Duck For Dummies

Duck For Dummies

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Duck For Dummies

Duck For Dummies

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Preparation :
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The Buffalo – The Sandwich That Puts Most Others To Shame……….

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Yes  friends, I really believe that this is one of the best sandwiches one can hope to find in today’s landscape of often-times overwrought, senseless concoctions.
While not as spectacular to look at as, let’s say, a five inch high monster loaded with 20 different ingredients, nor as expensive as a foie gras sandwich with lobster, gold leaf, caviar and truffles,  or as wildly exotic as a stinky tofu sandwich with hairy crab claws and pickled blow fish roe, The Buffalo achieves its winner status by being incredibly delicious, with a texture both perfectly crisp on the outside and heavenly moist on the inside, with just the right amount of spicy and tart as one could hope for in a proper sandwich 🙂
And by the way, did I mention that I love this sandwich and believe it to be one of the best ? 🙂

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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The Buffalo

The Buffalo

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The Buffalo

The Buffalo

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The Buffalo

The Buffalo

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Preparation :
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Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

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This  is probably the dish I have eaten the most often in restaurants while living in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. It is of course served with country-specific sides depending in which place you are, but it has never disappointed and continues to be one of my favorite beef cuts – a close second to rib eye. And, at a fraction of the cost of rib eye, it can be served frequently, unlike rib eye, which has become a special treat because of its high price.
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Bom Proveito !   Buen Provecho !
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Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

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Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

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Preparation :
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Curried Pumpkin, Potato And Coconut Soup

Curried Pumpkin, Potato And Coconut Soup

Curried Pumpkin, Potato And Coconut Soup

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The  style of this curry soup has it’s origins in Europe. As I mentioned in previous posts, many decades ago, when I was an apprentice in Europe, “curries” were prepared the European way, nothing at all like “real curries” as they exist in far-away land’s 🙂
Madras curry powder, ground cumin, cream or milk, onion and banana and chicken stock were the main ingredients in our “curries”. They usually contained chicken or shrimp and were thickened with flour, or in the case of soups, with rice or potatoes. Although not in any way “authentic”, they were nevertheless (and still are!) very delicious in their own way.
During the years Maria and I gave regular dinner parties,  we served this soup often and it was always a hit as part of a multi-course meal.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Curried Pumpkin, Potato And Coconut Soup

Curried Pumpkin, Potato And Coconut Soup

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Curried Pumpkin, Potato And Coconut Soup

Curried Pumpkin, Potato And Coconut Soup

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Preparation :
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Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms


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Here  is another simple, hearty and delicious dish that I prepare often, since gnocchi and broccolini are some of my favorite ingredients to a happy meal.
Add cheese, mushrooms, butter and pangrattato and you’ll end up with the dish pictured here 🙂
However, if you are not a fan of any of these ingredients – just nix any one of them, or replace them with something you prefer to the original – shrimp instead of mushroom, another pasta instead of gnocchi , another vegetable instead of the broccolini, etc.
Let your imagination, wallet and available time be the guide to your pasta of the day, while using the one featured here as your inspiration 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Gnocchi Recipe:

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Ingredients:
1 lb Russet potatoes,   cooked, peeled, mashed
A/P flour,   sifted – as needed
2 Eggs,  whole, whisked
Kosher salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 0z Butter
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Method :
Add egg, seasoning and flour to potatoes, mix lightly until smooth.
Shape into gnocchi.
Make light indentations with a fork.
Cook a sample in simmering salted water. If too soft, add flour. If too dense, add egg.
Cook gnocchi in simmering water until gnocchi float. Remove with slotted spoon into strainer. Saute in melted butter.
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Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

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Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

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Preparation :
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Mexican Treasures – Guacamole, Escabeche De Cebolla, Salsa Mexicana

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For  me, these three condiments are not to be missed to accompany any Mexican-style meal I prepare at home. In my opinion, they also fit very well with a wide range of dishes of non-Mexican cuisine from around the world. They pair nicely with steaks, schnitzel, sandwiches, salads, meat, seafood, vegetables, eggs, etc.
In fact, I usually have at least a small bowl of one or two or sometimes all three of them in my fridge. I prep them once a week, then serve them with a variety of different dishes, be it for breakfast (without the onions), lunch or dinner.
Sometimes, just these three goodies, together with a bunch of tortillas or on a slice of toast or grilled sour dough bread, make a perfect, tasty and quick meal 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
I did not include measurements for these recipes since I believe you should add ingredients according to the ratios you personally prefer 🙂
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Mexican Treasures - Guacamole, Escabeche De Cebolla, Salsa Mexicana

Mexican Treasures – Guacamole, Escabeche De Cebolla, Salsa Mexicana

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Salsa Mexicana

Salsa Mexicana

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Guacamole

Guacamole

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Escabeche De Cebolla

Escabeche De Cebolla

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Preparation :
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Balls Galore

Balls Galore........

Balls Galore……..


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“Chicken Soup With Matzo Balls And Chicken Dumplings” 

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If  you love balls (pun intended?), this soup will make you happy. In my own opinion, these chicken balls (ok then, dumplings ! 🙂 ) and these Matzo Ba… Dumplings 🙂  are some of the best dumplings  you can find .
I have previously published quite a few dishes with matzo balls, but this is the first time I combine them with chicken dumplings.
One would think that chicken dumplings are nothing special, but these certainly are an exception to the sea of mediocre or even outright nasty stuff usually being served as chicken dumplings these days.
Very light and full of flavor, they are a far cry from the stuff which many “cooks” will serve you. How do I know that? Because I have been served so much crap labeled as chicken dumplings that I usually don’t order them in restaurants anymore. Mostly they contain less than fresh meat, lots of fillers and they look and taste as if somebody want’s to punish you by making you eat them.
Not these here baby’s !
Prepared from fresh chicken meat with no fillers, tasty and pretty to look at, accompanied by another gift to comfort food in the form of fluffy matzo balls and served in a strong, delicious chicken broth, this is comfort food as wonderful as it can get 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Pls note that this chicken soup recipe is just one version of many 🙂
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Balls Galore

Balls Galore

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Balls Galore

Balls Galore

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Balls Galore

notice how juicy the chicken dumplings are………..

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Preparation :
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Jägerschnitzel Vom Huhn Mit Pasta Und Schmelze – Chicken Cutlet Hunter Style

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I just  have come across some debates about what constitutes a “true” Jägerschnitzel, so I’d like to put that to rest, right now, right here, with some authority on the subject (easy now !) 🙂
After all, I grew up  in Swabia in Southern Germany, where, during my youth, schnitzel were one of the most commonly served animal proteins, served a few times a month at home and more often than not during special occasions, such as restaurant visits, birthdays, weddings or funerals or any other gathering where “decent” food was served for a reasonable price.
Traditionally, a Jägerschnitzel is a thin-pounded veal or pork cutlet, dusted with flour and sauteed, then  covered with mushroom sauce, to which sometimes cream and parsley or chives are added, and accompanied by pasta (mostly, but not exclusively Spaetzle), roast potatoes (Bratkartoffeln) or dumplings (Knödel).
A “TRUE”  Jägerschnitzel is “NEVER” breaded (never cover anything breaded with sauce, one of the basics in classic cooking – after all, you bread it to be crisp, so why soften it by covering it with moisture ?!!) And yes, I know, like always in cooking, there are a few exceptions, but they do NOT pertain to schnitzel.
Then there are Jägerschnitzel made of chicken or turkey. While less traditional, they have become popular lately because of changing eating-habits and because the meat is more affordable than pork and veal, (especially milk-veal), which has been priced out of reach for most folks.
So there you have it – the end of the Jägerschnitzel Debate.
You are welcome 🙂
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Guten Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Jägerschnitzel Vom Huhn Mit Pasta Und Schmelze - Chicken Cutlet Hunter Style

Jägerschnitzel Vom Huhn Mit Pasta Und Schmelze – Chicken Cutlet Hunter Style

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Jägerschnitzel Vom Huhn Mit Pasta Und Schmelze - Chicken Cutlet Hunter Style

Jägerschnitzel Vom Huhn Mit Pasta Und Schmelze – Chicken Cutlet Hunter Style

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Preparation :
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