Oregano

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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Shrimp And Sardines Pie

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The other day I felt like having pizza.  Or lahmacun.  Or grilled seafood.  Or a nice sardine salad. Or………….
Well, at first I couldn’t make up my mind, but once I opened the fridge and the cupboard, it all came together. The result was this stunner, which was the tastiest seafood pie I’ve ever had. The secret to it’s bedazzling aroma and flavor ? The combination of it’s roasted sardines, shrimp, lot’s of garlic and oregano, the superb pizza dough, the wonderfully fragrant harissa and EVO and a few drops of maggi seasoning.
Can it get any better than this?? Maybe, but not very likely 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  Pizza Dough Recipe  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  Lahmacun  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  Pizza  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  Seafood  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  Salad  on  ChefsOpinion
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Shrimp And Sardines Pie

Shrimp And Sardines Pie

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Shrimp And Sardines Pie

Shrimp And Sardines Pie

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Shrimp And Sardines Pie

Shrimp And Sardines Pie

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Shrimp And Sardines Pie

Shrimp And Sardines Pie

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

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Combine  a good steak, some greens, grilled sour dough bread smeared with herb & garlic boursin and a few more goodies and you have yourself a delightful, quick and easy to prepare dinner, as I did this late afternoon.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Steak Salad Sandwich

Steak Salad Sandwich

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Steak Salad Sandwich

Steak Salad 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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Adana Kebab (Kıyma Kebabı) (Turkish Lamb Skewer)

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In  the early seventies I was lucky enough to be visiting Turkey many times ( Istanbul,  Kusadasi  and  Izmir  among other places). At that time, Turkey  still had an oriental mystique to it which was incredibly fascinating and exiting to a young man like me. The sights, smells and noises were so much different from what I was used to – even after all these years, they still linger vividly in my memory
My girlfriend and I almost got stoned by an angry mob one day at the market in Izmir. (They actually threw stones and small rocks at us). We just came from the Caribbean and my girlfriend Edith was wearing the popular outfit of the day – high heels, hot pants and a thin t-shirt without a bra – not a good idea at the time in a mostly Muslim country. Only the quick help and intervention of our taxi driver who came running to rescue us (carefree idiots) prevented great harm or worse.
But beside that particular episode, I only have great memories of Turkey in the seventies. One of the highlights of our stay’s were always the great meals we had in local restaurants. We tried anything we could, from five-star restaurants in five-star hotels in Istanbul to small dives along the beaches and funky eateries in the sea port’s more seedy areas. The food was always great, fresh, spice-laden and exotic (to me at that time, most anything seemed exotic)
I remember  Adana Kebab  to be widely served and today I finally got around to do my own version which turned out pretty spectacular 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Afiyet Olsun !
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Turkish Adana Kebab

Turkish Adana Kebab

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Turkish Adana Kebab

Turkish Adana Kebab

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Turkish Adana Kebab

Turkish Adana Kebab

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Greek Salad (Limburger Salad)


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” Greek  Limburger Salad “
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When  I decided to have a Greek salad for dinner I had to go to the store first to get the necessary ingredients. To my tremendous surprise and delight, I discovered a type of cheese in the dairy section which I had not encountered for at least 20 years and which I would never have expected to find here in Miami – Limburger Cheese. This was the favorite cheese of my dad when I was a kid, and as I got older, the taste (and smell) eventually grew on me and Limburger became one of my favorite cheeses as well 🙂
So of course, never mind the feta cheese, Limburger it had to be ! It pairs great with the fresh vegetables and vinaigrette of the original Greek salad and, for my palette at least, it is the perfect substitute for the feta cheese in the original Greek salad.
As usual, use any cheese which suits your taste and budget best.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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  Limburger Salad and Jalapapeno / Cheddar Bread

Limburger Salad and Jalapeno / Cheddar Bread

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 Limburger Salad and Jalapapeno / Cheddar Bread

Limburger Salad and Jalapeno / Cheddar Bread

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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“Easy Does It” – Tomato Bisque & Tomato Sauce

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Dear  Friend’s
Although most of my followers are culinary professionals, there is also a large segment of followers who are just starting to enjoy cooking on a slightly higher than basic level. I have therefore decided to publish, under the moniker “Easy Does It“,  from time to time some very basic recipe variations of dishes which otherwise might seem complicated to some folks. I will break them down to the easiest, most simple instructions, so that those of you who are intimidated by elaborate recipes will be able to prepare these dishes properly, adjusted to your taste and liking, right from the get-go.
Enjoy 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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start tomato sauce on the left, tomato bisque on the right

start tomato sauce on the left, tomato bisque on the right

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saute garlic in butter or olive oil before adding to tomatoes

saute garlic in butter or olive oil before adding to tomatoes

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tomato sauce - quartered tomatoes, sauteed garlic, sea salt, cayenne pepper, sugar, small amount of diced potato, water or tomato juice

tomato sauce – quartered tomatoes, sautéed garlic, sea salt, cayenne pepper, sugar, maggi seasoning,oregano, basil, small amount of diced potato, water or tomato juice

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tomato bisque - quartered tomatoes, celery, onions, sauteed garlic, red wine, small amount of diced potato, sea salt, cayenne pepper, sugar, water or tomato juice

tomato bisque – quartered tomatoes, celery, onions, sauteed garlic, red wine, small amount of white rice or diced potato, sea salt, cayenne pepper, sugar, oregano, basil, maggi seasoning, water or tomato juice

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bring to boil, turn down to simmer, simmer for 2,5 hours

bring to boil, turn down to simmer, simmer for 2,5 hours

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put into blender and blend until smooth. The small amount of potato will make the texture silken and keep the liquid from separating from the solids. Check/adjust seasoning

put into a blender and blend until smooth; the small amount of rice or potato will make the texture silken and keep the liquid from separating from the solids. Check/adjust seasoning

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add heavy cream

add heavy cream to bisque

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tomato bisque

tomato bisque

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tomato sauce

tomato sauce

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tomato sauce, ready to be frozen

tomato sauce, ready to be frozen

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Dear Friend’s, to help support this blog, please be so kind and click on the video on the bottom of this page.
(You don’t have to watch it, just click once)   Thank you 🙂
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Asparagus & Brie Pizza

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Pizza,
beer and good company.
Great evening with friends, good music and (mostly) intelligent conversation 🙂
Life is Good !
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Pizza

Asparagus & Brie Pizza


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Ingredient’s :

Dough:

A/P flour,   2 cups (plus more for kneading)
Water,   3/4 cup, warm
Active dry yeast,   1 envelope
Sugar,   1 teaspoon
Olive oil,   3 table spoon
Kosher salt,

Pizza:

Italian sausage,   spicy, sauteed
Asparagus,   green, blanched
Grape tomatoes,   whole
Mozzarella cheese,   shredded
Tomato puree,  fresh
Roasted garlic puree,
Brie cheese,   diced
Asiago cheese,   finely grated
Oregano,   fresh, chopped
Corn meal,

Method :

1.
Pour  water into small bowl, mix in yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes. Brush large bowl lightly with olive oil. Mix 2 cups flour, sugar, and salt. Add yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons oil, knead until dough forms a sticky ball. Transfer to lightly floured surface. Knead dough until smooth. Dust with flour as you work the dough. Transfer to prepared bowl; turn dough in bowl to coat with oil. Cover bowl with moist towel. Let dough rise until doubled in volume.Punch down dough. Pull dough until desired thickness and shape is achieved. If this is too difficult, roll the dough with a rolling pin. However, in my opinion, the pizza will turn out superior if the dough is pulled.
If you like your dough very thin and crispy, proceed with step 2.
If you like your crust a bit more thick and chewy, you might want to pre-bake your pizza dough for a few minutes.

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Sprinkle pizza pan or baking sheet with cornmeal, place pizza on it. Brush pizza with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with corn meal. Add tomato puree and roasted garlic puree, sprinkle with mozzarella and oregano. Add all other ingredient’s according to picture. Sprinkle with asiago and freshly ground black pepper. Bake at 500 F until dough is done and edge of pizza is crispy and golden.

Note : This recipe is works well in a home oven without a pizza stone.
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Tomato Bisque

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This is one of those soups where I have to make enough for two day’s,
because one meal of it’s goodness is just not enough to satisfy the quarterly
craving that  is nagging me    🙂

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Ingredients :

Tomatoes,       15 lbs
Onions,              1 lb
Celery,                 1 lb
Garlic,                 8 oz coarsely chopped
Rice,                    4 oz uncooked
Olive oil,             1/2 cup
Heavy cream,     2 cup
Chicken stock    1 gall
Oregano,             1 bdl
Basil,                    1 bdl
Cayenne,             to taste
Salt,                      to tase

Method :

Add all Ingredients except cream to a large stock pot and simmer for about 2,5 hours.
Blend until VERY smooth. Add cream and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Adjust seasoning and serve.

Note :
Bisques were originally thickened with rice.
This made the bisque smoother and silkier than using flour or other thickeners.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good ! 

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” Beer Braised Turkey Leg’s “

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Last night’s dinner brought out the very best one can get from turkey legs’s:
Tender, juicy, loaded with flavor, accompanied by a wonderful herbed rice.
In my opinion, turkey doesn’t get much better than that  🙂
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Turkey :

Ingredients :

Turkey legs,                bone in
Morcilla,                     diced
Beer,                             a bottle or two of your favorite
Bell peppers,              diced
Onions,                       diced
Garlic,                          paste
Scallions,                    sliced
Oregano                      “Litehouse” freeze dried
Basil                             “Litehouse” freeze dried
Chives                          “Litehouse” freeze dried
Maggi
Grape tomatoes
Tomato sauce            canned
Oil,                               to sautee

Method :

Saute legs in oil until golden, remove and reserve.
Sautee peppers, remove, reserve.
Sautee onions and garlic until translucent, add Morcilla, tomato sauce
and beer, return leg’s and half the peppers to the sauce.
Add salt and pepper and simmer until legs are tender. Shortly before the
end of the cooking process, carefully remove legs into another pot.
Strain sauce onto legs, add remaining peppers, tomatoes and chives.
Bring back to simmer for one more minute and serve.

Rice :

Ingredients :

Jasmin Rice,             soaked for two hours, washed repeatedly
Butter                          melted
Herbs                         fresh or freeze dried
Salt & cayenne pepper to taste

Method :

Cook rice in boiling plain water for approximately 4 minute, or until tender but not mushy (Polo Method)
Strain rice and with a fork mix in the butter, seasoning and herb’s.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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” Paillard of Beef & Peperonata “

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Paillard of Beef & Peperonata, MY WAY !!!

Please note that in my house instead of seasoning the beef with Mustard,
I like to add more by drizzling a good amount over the top while plating.
Also, traditionally, we try to have a perfectly round Paillard for a better presentation    🙂
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Paillard :

Beef,                    very thinly pounded
Cornstarch,       to dust beef
Salt Pepper        to taste
Oil,                      to sauté
Sautee beef in VERY hot oil on both sides for one minute, remove to absorbent paper.

Peperonata :

Saute onions and garlic until translucent, add peppers, sauté until heated through.
Remove from heat,, carefully mix in cherry tomatoes, seasoning and half of your herbs.
(Oregano, basil, cilantro, scallion or whatever tickles
your fancy and will provide the taste you crave that day).
When serving, sprinkle with rest of herbs and, if you desire, parmesan cheese .

Bon Appetit !     Life is Good !
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Below a Paillard I prepared for one of my books about 8 years ago.

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Paillard of Veal, served with marsala sauce, sauteed enoki mushrooms
and fried spinach with curry cream. Image: H.D.Susser.

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