mexico

Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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Traditional Tandoor  (This is NOT Hans) 🙂

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Modern Tandoor

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Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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When I was a chef it was essential for me to teach my cooks, then later my students at Le Cordon Bleu, recipes of dishes which were as authentic to their classic origin as possible.
Especially during my many years as a teacher and program chair at Le Cordon Bleu Miami, I taught meticulously what I had learned many decades ago back in the Black Forest of Germany – Classic French Cuisine.

I also taught classic German Cuisine and many other cuisines from around the world which I had enjoyed, studied and learned during my many years as Executive Chef living and working in dozens of countries. (Cuisines of China, Russia, Japan, Mexico, Fillipines, Italy, Spain, India, Brazil, Sweden,  and many more.
While I am only an expert of French, German and Italian cuisine, I do have good knowledge and personal experience of the cuisines of the aforementioned countries and I was therefore able to teach international cuisine with authority.  Unlike many (most ?) “teachers” and “chefs” nowadays, who will read a recipe, practice (maybe) a bit, then “teach” what they just read on sometimes questionable (at best) sources. Mostly, even the folks who write the syllabus for a class have only the “experience” of reading about things, never having cooked it, eaten it or visited the country of origin of a dish.
While this might work for certain professions, it is certainly a disaster for our beloved trade.
No wonder real food becomes more and more the stuff only wealthy people can enjoy in the few excellent restaurants left in most places, while the rest of us is being served mediocre fare for unreal prices.
However, even at that time, while trying to teach original, and classic recipes and methods from specific cuisines, I tried to teach tips and tricks which might not be original, but are more practical, economical and sometimes even result in better food (Not often, but sometimes) 🙂
But one MUST ALWAYS POINT OUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ORIGINAL AND THE VARIATION !
In a restaurant, the Guests should also be informed about the difference, which, in my humble opinion, MUST be made clear in the name of the dish on the menu, for example:

Pesto” – basil, olive oil, garlic, PINE NUTS, pecorino, parmigiano reggiano.
Walnut Pesto” – same ingredients, same method, but replace the PINE NUTS with WALNUTS.
or
Wiener Schnitzel” – thin, breaded, VEAL cutlet
Pork Schnitzel Wiener Art” – same ingredients, same method, but replace the VEAL with PORK.
Turkey Schnitzel Wiener Art” – same ingredients, same method, but replace the VEAL with TURKEY.

Wow, this became a long entry to what I want to clarify here – ChefsOpinion is a blog that celebrates real food that tastes good, looks good and is simple enough that the average beginner of home-cooking, as well as a top professional and everybody in between can find inspiration, tips and other useful information to be able to prepare wonderful food at home, be it a simple soup or salad, an elaborate roast or stew, or whatever I feel like cooking at the moment and share with you, be it classic/original or not.
At this stage of my life, I don´t find it necessary to prove that I can cook, that I was a decent professional or that I have mastered “original and /or classical dishes from around the World in my more than 50 years of being a cook.
My goal at this time is to remind old chefs from around the Globe about the food we once studied, cooked, taught and enjoyed, and to help the “youngens” to be able to enjoy the same food even now, when some of it is not “IN” anymore and one has a hard time to find well-loved, classic dishes in restaurants, where one now finds mostly second-class food, tasteless and pointless, but dressed to the hilt to impress the folks who don´t know better.
To this end, I try to simplify many dishes while keeping the original flavor and texture as close to the real thing as possible, simply to give everybody the chance to prepare certain dishes at home, which they otherwise would find too difficult, expensive, complicated and daunting to try.
A typical example of this philosophy is the dish on this page. Just google the word TANDOORI, or CURRY, or GOULASH and you will know what I mean. Or choose the word of a dish and add the word ORIGINAL or CLASSIC before it.
The result are usually thousands of recipes, seldom the actual CLASSIC recipe (The definition of ORIGINAL or CLASSIC is a whole different chapter) 🙂 , while most others range from slightly off to downright nasty and ridiculous. 😦
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Curry  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Chicken  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Tandoori  on  ChefsOpinion
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How to make Tandoori chicken without a Tandoor

Tandoori Chicken is one of the most popular dishes from northern India. It is grilled chicken rubbed with a blended spice marinade, identifiable by its red coloring. Tandoori is Indian style of BBQ. The marinade has garlic, salt, coriander, tamarind, cumin, ginger, lentils, and oil.
Tandoor is an Indian style oven, which one cannot buy in an appliance store like you can with a traditional grill or oven. Basically, the tandoor is made entirely of clay and is 3-4 feet tall. Charcoal is placed at the bottom of the tandoor and allowed to burn for several hours. Then the meat is placed on long skewers and cooked inside till roasted. Tandoor is also used to make, among other dishes, naan, kebabs, and tandoori rotis.
It is not practical to build your own tandoor. In fact, most homes in India do not have one. Indian restaurants generally special order tandoors (from restaurant equipment sellers) which can cost upwards of thousands of dollars
So, if you want to enjoy tandoori chicken at home, what do you do?
Here is a very simple tandoori chicken recipe that does not require any special equipment. The chicken retains its juices and is fully cooked while keeping a nice crispy bite on the outside. It has only 2 ingredients, but the cooking technique is very important. Once you follow this recipe, you will realize how simple and delicious this recipe is!

Tandoori Chicken Recipe
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Prep Time: 5 mins (24 hours); Cook Time: 45 mins

(Serves 4 )
4 ea skin less chicken legs,
8 tablespoons tandoori paste   (see picture below for brand example)
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Thoroughly rub the tandoori paste into the chicken.
Place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate 24 hours
When ready to cook, preheat broiler on low. Once the temperature is attained, place the chicken pieces on a rack with a drip pan under it. 
Broil on low for 30 minutes, turning the chicken once. Then turn the broiler to high and cook for another 15 minutes, turning once so that the chicken is crisp on both sides. You will see that the marinade will start to dry up and the chicken will start getting a crust.
Remove from oven and transfer to a plate. Serve immediately with naan, sliced onions, quartered lemons, chopped cilantro and mint chutney or condiments of your choice (or follow the suggestion on this page)

Click here for  Indian Tomato Chutney Recipe


Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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steamed rice, tomato chutney, curried chickpeas, spicy cucumber salad – this alone would be a great meal

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

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Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

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While  in most parts of the world and in many languages “Torta” or “Torte” is generally understood to be a sweet concoction, it can also describe a sandwich, made with flatbread or a leavened bread, depending on the country/region of origin.
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Wiki excerpt:
Mexican Sandwich

In Mexico, a torta is a kind of sandwich, served on an oblong 15 cm firm, crusty white sandwich roll. Depending on the region, this is called a bolillo, telera, birote, or pan francés. Tortas can be eaten cold or hot, grilled or toasted in a press in the same manner as a Cuban sandwich.
Garnishes such as avocado, chili pepper (usually poblano or jalapeño), tomato, and onion are common. The dish is popular throughout Mexico, and is also available anywhere with a large number of Mexican immigrants. In Northern Mexico, the torta is very frequently called “lonche by the influence of the English “lunch“, as it may be eaten during lunch break.
The sandwich is normally named according to its main ingredient:

  • Torta de jamón, ham-filled torta
  • Torta de aguacate, avocado-filled torta
  • Torta de adobada, adobo meat-filled torta
  • Torta de huevo, scrambled eggs-filled torta
  • Torta de milanesa, milanesa meat-filled torta
  • Tortope, chicken sope-filled torta

Although the torta ahogada (meaning “drowned” torta) of Guadalajara is so called because it is smothered in a red sauce, different fillings are available and they may be mixed to create an original torta.
Due to the practicality of being hand-carried, tortas are sold at massive events, such as football matches, parades, and outdoor concerts, but they are also available for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at dedicated establishments or sold as street food by food carts.
In Mexico, the sweet cake is normally referred to as pastel, which is also used in other parts of Latin America with this meaning.
Origin:
The origin of the torta is unclear, but some claim it sprouted in Puebla due to Spanish-French interaction. Teleras (the bread usually used in tortas) were inspired by French baguettes ”
End of Wiki excerpt.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

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Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

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Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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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 :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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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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Click here for more  Steak  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  recipes of  Guacamole, Escabeche De Cebolla and Salsa Mexicana  on  ChefsOpinion

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Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

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Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Comfort In A Bowl…….Lamb, Peppers, Onions And Rice

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Lately, some chefs, food bloggers and food-writers would like us to believe that a  “Rice Bowl” is the latest, newly invented, “IN” thing. Nothing could be further from reality. A rice bowl is a very old, very traditional thing, born out of necessity, at least in many parts of the world.
In all my travels around the globe, the most widespread food staple I encountered was rice. In most places where the majority of the population gets most of their daily nourishment from rice, which is the main food-staple of the land, a large bowl of rice, topped with “stuff”, (aka a “Rice bowl”), will have to do on most days as the single meal available.
The “stuff” can be anything – a single egg, a small amount of vegetables of any type, a tiny bit of animal protein, or just a flavorful, starch-thickened sauce.
I used to live in places where a single chicken wing was a great addition to a rice bowl (Philippines) ; In other places I met families who had to share a single fish head (Indonesia); Places where workers came in on their day off because the rice bowl contained chicken back stew (literally only the backbones),(Grenada); Or rice and beans (literally just rice and beans only), (Jamaica).
Of course, all these rice bowls are interchangeable from one country to another, and to this day can still be found in large parts of the world, where balanced nutrition and a better way of life has not trickled down to the general populace, even in the twenty-first century. Unfortunately, sometimes we forget that to obtain basic nutrition is still a daily struggle for many millions of people around the world, sometimes closer to home as we can and want to imagine, so a basic rice bowl is most appreciated in more places than we want to acknowledge.
I guess you’ve got the idea – a rice bowl can be a lifesaver because it constitutes the only meal of the day and the main source of nutrition.
On the other hand and on a happier note, a rice bowl can be a real culinary delight, as in the dish featured here today.
As with all other rice bowls mentioned above, it consist mostly of rice, topped with simple, filling and tasty “stuff” 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Comfort In A Bowl.......Lamb, Peppers, Onions And Rice

Comfort In A Bowl…….Lamb, Peppers, Onions And Rice

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Comfort In A Bowl.......Lamb, Peppers, Onions And Rice

Comfort In A Bowl…….Lamb, Peppers, Onions And Rice

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Comfort In A Bowl.......Lamb, Peppers, Onions And Rice

Comfort In A Bowl…….Lamb, Peppers, Onions And Rice

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

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I’ve  been “feeling Mexican” this morning 🙂
Solution: Huevos Rancheros, my kind of breakfast, any time of the day 🙂
I have put my own little twist on the original by replacing the chili/tomato sauce with  Salsa Mexicana  and the  Queso Fresco  with freshly grated  Asiago Cheese.
While this is definitely not “Original”, it is the way I like it and the way I always had it while I was living in Mexico (usually replacing the queso fresco with grated parmesan, which was always available, – asiago not so much). But this is of course just a personal preference, so, by all means, go “original” if you prefer.
Serve with fresh guacamole and refried beans.
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Link to Guacamole
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Link to Salsa Mexicana
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All about Refried Beans
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Bon Appetit and have a great day !
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Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros

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Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros

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

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I used  to eat tostadas two or even three times a week when I was living in Cancun.
There was this small bar/restaurant on the beach of the lagoon across from where I lived, about a five minute walk away. (I believe it was on Blvd. Kukulcán KM 21 – I wonder if the place still exists?) On one side of the road is the ocean, on the other side, less than five hundred yards across the street, was this tiny place on the beach of the lagoon with a wooden pier protruding about thirty yards into the lake. Many a night I gave the waiter a small tip to set up a table for me at the end of the pier, to enjoy the night and a few drinks and snacks all by myself, usually while on the phone for a while with Maria who was back in Miami, taking care of things there. On most nights I had shrimp or chicken tostadas and a few “Negra Modelo” .
Happy times ! Aaahhhh, the memories 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Live is Good !
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Link to Salsa Mexicana
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Link to Guacamole
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Link to Tostadas De Camarones
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Chicken Tostadas

Chicken Tostadas

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flour tostadas, chicken in chipotle, salsa mexicana, tomato/onion salad, sour cream, guacamole, pickled chili

flour tostadas, chicken in chipotle, salsa mexicana, tomato/onion salad, sour cream, guacamole, pickled chili

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Milanesa Mexicana



Playing with food 🙂
Green
, white and red –
very easy to come up with a real Mexican dish using the  mexican flag  colors.

 ¡ Buen Provecho !    ¡ Viva México!


Click here for  Guacamole  recipe

Click here for  Salsa Mexicana  recipe


Mexican Flag (without the eagle)

Milanesa Mexicana

Milanesa Mexicana

Milanesa Mexicana

Milanesa Mexicana



Preparation :

mise en place

mise en place

season veal cutlet with kosher salt and cayenne pepper, bread with flour, egg and breadcrumbs, saute in olive oil and butter until golden and cooked medium well, remove to absorbent paper

season thinly pounded veal cutlet with mustard, kosher salt and cayenne pepper, bread with flour, egg and breadcrumbs, saute in olive oil and butter until golden and cooked medium well, remove to absorbent paper

place onto serving platter, drizzle with lime juice, top with guacamole, sour cream and salsa mexicana, sprinkle with chives or cilantro

place onto serving platter, drizzle with lime juice, top with guacamole, sour cream and salsa mexicana, sprinkle with chives or cilantro (however, there is already plenty cilantro in the guacamole)

Milanesa Mexicana

Milanesa Mexicana

Milanesa Mexicana

Milanesa Mexicana



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please be so kind and click on the video on the bottom of this page.  Thank you 🙂






The Well Travelled Hot Dog



Tonight’s  hot dog took a long, imaginary jouney from being a simple German veal bratwurst (kalbsbratwurst to “The Well Travelled Hot Dog”.
Born in Germany, it went to  France where it was joined by garlic aioli. On to Mexico for some ensalada de repollo con chipotle and from there to India to pick up freshly baked naan. From there to it’s final stop in the USA, where it became “The Well Travelled Hot Dog” 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

For  Garlic Aioli  recipe click here

For  Chipotle Coleslaw recipe click here

For  Naan  recipe click here

For more about  German Bratwurst  click here

The Well Travelled  Hot Dog & Chipotle Cole Slaw

The Well Travelled Hot Dog & Chipotle Cole Slaw

The Well Travelled  Hot Dog

The Well Travelled Hot Dog



PREPARATION :

saute bratwurst

saute bratwurst

prepare chipotle cole slaw

prepare chipotle cole slaw

chipotle cole slaw

chipotle cole slaw

top naan with bratwurst

top naan with bratwurst

add cole slaw, sprinkle with pickled jalapenos, drizzle with garlic aioli

add cole slaw, drizzle with garlic aioli, sprinkle with pickled jalapenos

The Well Travelled  Hot Dog & Chipotle Cole Slaw

The Well Travelled Hot Dog & Chipotle Cole Slaw

The Well Travelled  Hot Dog

The Well Travelled Hot Dog

The Well Travelled  Hot Dog

The Well Travelled Hot Dog

The Well Travelled  Hot Dog

The Well Travelled Hot Dog



Dear Friend’s, to help support this blog,
please be so kind and click on the video on the bottom of this page.  Thank you 🙂





Best Fish Taco

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Well, at least for me they were the best in a very long line of disappointing restaurant and food truck fish tacos.
Most of the time, if you want to have the really good stuff, you’ve got to prepare it yourself 🙂
The secret here is the fish batter. You don’t want to have to prep something complicated or difficult for such a simple meal. So here I give you my  “secret”  easy and quick batter recipe:
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A/P flour, crushed ice, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, granulated garlic, chilled sparkling water (I use syfo lemon-lime, the only bottled water for me).
Mix all ingredients lightly, don’t worry about a few lumps, they fry out in the hot oil and become crispy. See the prep pic to get an idea about the texture. Then dip the fish into the batter and fry at 375F until crispy and fish just done. Remove to absorbent paper. Build your tacos with your favorit ingredients / condiments.
Voila !  Best fish taco 🙂
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Viva Mexico !   Viva Los Tacos !   Viva La Vida !
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Best Fish Taco

Best Fish Taco

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