Sautéing

Shrimp & Spinach

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Shrimp & Spinach

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Not too long ago, one esteemed member of our happy ChefsOpinion family mentioned that I prepare shrimp too often. While I understand that not everyone loves shrimp as much as I do (many folks do, though), 99.9 % of my posts show what Bella and I actually prepare and eat at home and is not selected for popularity but for whatever we feel like eating that day. 🙂
If I would write this blog to get “likes”, make money or be universally popular, I would pick the food according to those criteria. ChefsOpinion evolved from my original, for-profit online business “Chefcook.Us” and is now a simple account of food I like and prepare at home for Bella and myself, with the occasional opinion about food in general thrown in.
Remember, ChefsOpinion is about “Real Food & Real Opinions”, not about trends or “in”- food, otherwise I would not feature such delicacies as ham hogs, tripe, liver, heart, gizzards,snails, kidneys and so many other dishes which are definitely not popular or even known to most folks, at least around here in the US. I pride myself to try to also cater to all (including myself) who love food that is not easily available at other places and has disappeared from the mainstream, even if those posts are sometimes only popular with a select few.
Obviously shrimp are not in this category, I just wanted to make this point again, lest my readers forget – “ChefsOpinion – Real Food & Real Opinions”
So then, please forgive me, but here, once again, is another post about Shrimp. 🙂

(To Robert, With Love) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Shrimp & Spinach

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Shrimp & Spinach

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Shrimp & Spinach

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

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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Cork Screw Pasta With Chicken And Vegetables In Curried Coconut Cream

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Leftover pasta. What to do with it ?
Usually, most folks just pop it in the microwave with a bit of sauce (or ketchup?? ) 🙂
Or maybe cook it up in a pan with some eggs ?
How about doing this easy, sexy beauty next time !
I had some left over pasta and roast chicken in the fridge from the previous day, and of course there is always some type of veggie in the fridge and coconut cream in the larder, so this wonderful tasty and pretty dish basically crawled together by itself 🙂
It took a mere few minutes to prepare and was truly delicious and satisfying. Definitely better than “microwaved leftover pasta with ketchup” ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Cork Screw Pasta With Chicken And Vegetables In Curried Coconut Cream

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Preparation :
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Sautéed  Chicken Thighs

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Sautéed  Chicken Thighs

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Sometimes when I think long enough about a certain dish, I can hardly wait to have it in front of me and to dig in.
Many times, my craving is so strong that I just want to have that particular item, with no “distraction” from side dishes, sauce or condiments. Such was the case with these chicken thighs, which madam and I nearly finished in one sitting.
Aaahhhh, gluttony………….  😦 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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season chicken with sriracha, granulated garlic, dried oregano, soy sauce and kosher salt for at least 6 hours, better yet, overnight

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pat the chicken dry, saute in peanut oil on both sides until golden and crisp (about 12 minutes on each side, depending on the size of the thighs); the temperature on the bone, at the thickest part of the meat should reach 162 F; remove from pan to absorbent paper, the carry-over heat will take the chicken to a safe and juicy 165F (any more and the chicken will be dry) !!!!!

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almost……….

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Sautéed  Chicken Thighs

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Sautéed  Chicken Thighs

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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce (Fish Soup). It doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But in many parts of Italy, fish soup rules, and rightfully so.
Since Italy is bordered by water on three sides, it’s not surprising that there are thousands of variations of zuppa di pesce throughout the country, especially in the towns that dot the coastline. Families in the same village often have utterly distinct, yet equally delicious, preparations.
In Genoa, fish soup is called burrida, a name residents got from their neighbors in France from the Provencal dialect bourrido (“to boil”). There, it’s a soup made of cuttlefish, angler and anchovies. In Tuscany, it’s called caciucco, and on the opposite side of Italy, along the Adriatic, it’s referred to as brodetto. Many Americans are familiar with the term “cioppino,” which is not an Italian word. It comes from the Ligurian immigrants in San Francisco and is based on their dialects name for the dish, ciuppin.
While this recipe calls for some specific species, feel free to use any firm, light-fleshed fish. There’s a delicate balance to a good zuppa di pesce, so strong-flavored fish like salmon or snapper don’t work. No sole or flounder either–they’re too flaky. Use an ample supply of shellfish, whatever’s freshest is best. Finally, make sure you have a good loaf of bread to serve with the zuppa.
Some traditional preparations from Liguria do not add tomato,, as the original recipe calls for the full flavor of the sea to be maintained in the fish soup.
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Cioppino  is considered San Francisco’s signature dish, and no trip to this West Coast city would be complete without a bowlful of this delicious seafood stew.  Because of the versatility of the ingredients, there are numerous recipes for it.  Cioppino can be prepared with a dozen different kinds of fish and shellfish.  It all depends on the day’s catch and/or your personal choice.
You will not believe how easy it is to make this Cioppino.  The key to this recipe is experimentation.  Be creative with this fish stew: Leave something out, or substitute something new.  Serve cioppino with a glass of your favorite wine and warm sourdough bread.
History of Cioppino:  This fish stew first became popular on the docks of San Francisco (now known as Fisherman’s wharf) in the 1930s.  Cioppino is thought to be the result of Italian immigrant fishermen adding something from the day’s catch to the communal stew kettle on the wharf.
The origin of the word “cioppino” is something of a mystery, but many historians believe that it is Italian-American for “chip in.”  It is also believed that the name comes from a Genoese fish stew called cioppin.

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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Zuppa Di Pesce

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

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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Parmesan Crusted Sautéed Pork Medallions, With Potatoes, Bell Peppers And Crimini

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Parmesan Crusted sautéed Pork Medallions, With Potatoes, Bell Peppers And Crimini

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Pork tenderloin – so versatile, tasty and wonderfully textured. What’s not to love about this “other white meat” 🙂
However, make sure you cook it to a safe temperature without overcooking it. Frankly, I don’t understand the trend to cook pork medium or even medium rare.
Besides the obvious health risk, medium or rare-cooked pork has a horrible texture. But then, maybe that’s just old-fashioned me ?
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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(The National Pork Board recommends cooking pork chops, roasts, and tenderloin to an internal temperature between 145° F. (medium rare) and 160° F. (medium), followed by a 3 minute rest.
Since large cuts increase approximately 10° F. while resting, remove them from the heat at 150° F. followed by a 10 minute rest).
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top the potatoes with the medallions

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add 2 tblsp of tomato sauce to each medallion, top with the sautéed veggies

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Parmesan Crusted sautéed Pork Medallions, With Potatoes, Bell Peppers And Crimini

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Parmesan Crusted sautéed Pork Medallions, With Potatoes, Bell Peppers And Crimini

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Parmesan Crusted Sautéed Pork Medallions, With Potatoes, Bell Peppers And Crimini

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Grilled Shrimp And Peppers-Brochette With Red Wine-Bucatini And Pangrattato

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Grilled Shrimp And Peppers-Brochette With Red Wine-Bucatini And Pangrattato

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While grilled shrimp is a dish that is well known to most of us, pasta cooked in red wine is probably less known/experienced by most folks, even those who are fans of pasta in all shapes and tastes 🙂
I for one have cooked pasta in red wine a few times, many years ago, but had forgotten about it since, until I came across it while browsing through some of my (very) old menus, notes, and pictures.
I have cooked this now twice in the past couple of weeks, and it has become one of my absolute favorite side –  and even main-dish. The secret to preparing this pasta successfully lies in the red wine. Please, don’t even consider to use an inferior bottle of wine. Of course, you also don’t want to break the house, but, as with all very simple dishes, your success lies squarely on the quality of the ingredients. Also, it is my opinion that this pasta works best with butter instead of olive oil, since a really good EVO would, in my humble opinion, overpower the flavor of the wine. Again, this pertains to my very own taste preference and might work differently for yours 🙂
Also, panko in the pangrattato is a better choice  for me  than regular breadcrumbs 🙂

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Before somebody gets’ their knickers in a twist about the pangrattato – there is no ONE way of preparing it. Pangrattato simply means “grated bread”.
It can be toasted, cooked in a dry pan until golden, sautéed in butter or olive oil. It can be highly seasoned or just a little, it can contain herbs and/or whatever dry ingredient suit your palette and the dish you prepare. 🙂
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Red Wine-Bucatini

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Grilled Shrimp And Peppers-Brochette With Red Wine-Bucatini And Pangrattato

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Grilled Shrimp And Peppers-Brochette With Red Wine-Bucatini And Pangrattato

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Grilled Shrimp And Peppers-Brochette With Red Wine-Bucatini And Pangrattato

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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 # 35 – Italian Sausages And Bell Peppers

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EASY DOES IT # 35 – Italian Sausages And Bell Peppers

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“Sausage & Peppers”  seem to be an American/Italian thing that most of us fail to enjoy and/or appreciate.
And of course, there is a good reason…….
Sausage and peppers are usually just an afterthought on Italian/American restaurant menus, often using inferior/leftover/stale ingredients, and therefore being treated as food for the fools 😦 .
While traveling and living in Italy, I never came across anything similar in any restaurant, although in private homes, using leftovers and whatever the fridge and/or cupboard provided, could occasionally provide a similar dish………
When I first encountered this dish here in the US a few decades ago, I ordered it a few times and also saw it on plates my fellow diners ordered.
Frankly, more often than not, it was less than appealing, to say it in a nice way.
So, for many years it never occurred to me to prep this dish at home, until it just so happened that Italian sausage meat and peppers were the only things I found in my fridge before going to stock-up my supplies.
Long story, short solution – just look at the pics in this post to see what you can do with these most basic ingredients if you put a bit of love and feeling in the preparation of this so often abused and massacred dish 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
If you ever had this dish in a typical Italian/American restaurant, it was probably prepared with sliced Italian sausages, instead of the plain Italian sausage stuffing, shaped into balls, as I did here.
The texture will be very different, but the taste will be the same (Assuming you use “first-class ingredients”) 🙂
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EASY DOES IT # 35 – Italian Sausages And Bell Peppers

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EASY DOES IT # 35 – Italian Sausages And Bell Peppers

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EASY DOES IT # 35 – Italian Sausages And Bell Peppers

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EASY DOES IT # 35 – Italian Sausages And Bell Peppers

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for 
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Once in a while, my neighborhood fishmonger receives an overnight delivery of fresh-caught, never frozen salmon. He usually leaves me an e-mail message the same morning, so by noon I’ll have salmon in my kitchen which happily swam in the ocean or stream just one or maybe a couple of days before that. Ahhh, the wonders of our modern times 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette


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Preparation :
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Hans’ Pork Goulash With Peppers & Pasta Pearls

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Hans’ Pork Goulash With Peppers & Pasta Pearls

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Goulash is my favorite meat stew, no matter which protein is used – beef, veal, pork, poultry or game. The texture, color, and flavor have great appeal to me.
While there are of course different ways of preparing goulash, as well as different recipes, the main mark of a good goulash is to use the same amount of onions as protein, a great amount of sweet paprika powder for color and texture (sometimes hot paprika is added), as well as a special season mix of 1/3 thyme, 1/3 caraway seeds, and 1/3  lemon peel (yellow part only), all finely chopped and added to the meat while sauteing, to impart a rich, un-mistaking goulash-flavor. Of course, salt and pepper is a must.
Naturally, as with most dishes that have been around that long, there are dozens of variations,- you can add (or not) garlic, rosemary, bell peppers, potatoes, marjoram, red wine, bell peppers (zigeuner goulash) and even sauerkraut (Szegediner goulash). Also very popular is goulashsuppe (goulash soup). The big difference between preparing goulash and a regular stew is that for goulash, the onions are sautéed first until broken down and lightly colored, THEN the meat is added, and sautéed until all liquid has evaporated.
Because of the collagen in the meat, as well as the large amount of onions and ground paprika, no flour is needed to thicken the sauce.
Best enjoyed with pasta, goulash can also be served with rice, bread dumplings or potato dumplings, mashed potatoes, croquette potatoes, roast potatoes or just plain rustic bread.
Myself, I enjoy any type and version of goulash, paired with any good side dish that’s available 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here to read all about “Original Hungarian Goulash”,
as well as its History and Evolution through the Centuries.

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Hans’ Pork Goulash With Peppers & Pasta Pearls

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Hans’ Pork Goulash With Peppers & Pasta Pearls

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Hans’ Pork Goulash With Peppers & Pasta Pearls

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Hans’ Pork Goulash With Peppers & Pasta Pearls

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Preparation :
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Torta De Milanesa De Res – A Dainty Little Sandwich ( NOT ! )

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Torta De Milanesa De Res – A Dainty Sandwich ( NOT ! )

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And  here we go – another beautiful, tasty example of what a sandwich can be if you love food and take it serious 🙂
(If you wonder about the name “Torta”, click the link below to learn all there is to know about this great Mexican sandwich 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Because I used a double layer of beef, I did not use standard breading (flour, egg, and breadcrumbs) for the beef, instead, I just dipped the beef slices in a mixture of 50/50 flour and panko. However, if you use a single layer of beef, I suggest you employ the traditional breading method.
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Click here to read all about  Mexican Torta  on  ChefsOpinion
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Torta De Milanesa De Res – A Dainty Sandwich ( NOT ! )

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Torta De Milanesa De Res – A Dainty Sandwich ( NOT ! )

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Torta De Milanesa De Res – A Dainty Sandwich ( NOT ! )

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avocado, radish, and cucumber salad

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Preparation :
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