Sautéing

Old Fashioned Hoisin Glazed Grilled Tuna Steak

Old Fashioned Hoisin Glazed Grilled Tuna Steak

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If  you wonder why I call this dish “old fashioned”, the answer is simple: “It is fully cooked but still juicy”, which is undoubtedly one of the most difficult things to master in good cooking and unfortunately a part of our craft lost to the majority of today’s cooks/ chefs.
In order to cook any food item, especially seafood and poultry, the cook/chef has to take into consideration the carry-over heat of the food item, which will depend on the thickness, cooking temperature, texture, and the time it takes the food from the time it is removed from cooking equipment in the kitchen to being served on a plate and starting to be eaten by the customer. Get this wrong and your dish is ruined! 😦
Old fashioned, because once this was an absolute necessity for any cook to master in order to be rightfully employed in a professional kitchen, while nowadays, sadly, cooks who perfectly have mastered this most important skill are the exception. (Hence, all the undercooked or overcooked meat, seafood, and even vegetables). It is so much easier to rather just “pan sear” a piece of fish than to perfectly cook it. While there certainly is a place and time for sashimi, and one has to admire the chefs who serve it perfectly, the majority of the fish quality served in most restaurants, homes, supermarkets, etc, make this way of serving fish a ridiculous way of trying to cover-up the cooks/chefs inability to cook the fish and other food perfectly.
NO raw fish has the beautiful texture and is as juicy as a perfectly cooked fish! NONE !
And don’t even get me going on half cooked pork or chicken breast 😦
But enough of this, let’s get back to the dish at hand. Instead of the more common teriyaki glaze, I glazed the tuna with hoisin sauce, which was even better, at least for my personal taste.
If you look at the pictures, you will notice that I have not removed the “blood line” from the fillet. When preparing tuna for myself, I always cook the filet with this dark flesh attached. When I was still preparing food in restaurants, I removed this part because the flavor is very strong and some folks don’t like it. (Bella does, so no questions asked at our house 🙂  (Also see note below)
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  Steamed Rice Recipe (Fan)  on  ChefsOpinion
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P.S.
“That dark, nearly black area on the side of your tuna or swordfish steak is nothing bad or unhealthy, although you may not like it’s strong flavor. It is a muscle that is rich in myoglobin, a blood pigment. But lest that sound creepy to you, bear in mind that myoglobin is the same iron-containing pigment that makes red meat red.You can leave it in when you cook the fish: the stronger flavor of that small area will not affect the taste of the rest of the fish.”
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Old Fashioned Hoisin Glazed Grilled Tuna Steak

Old Fashioned Hoisin Glazed Grilled Tuna Steak

Old Fashioned Hoisin Glazed Grilled Tuna Steak

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Catalan Shrimp & Mussels Stew

Catalan Shrimp & Mussels Stew


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 are that if you love seafood and have traveled in Spain, especially in the provinces of Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona, you have at one point or another had an encounter with the dish featured here. It represents the philosophy of both old and new cooking styles one finds all over this area and in fact, in most parts of the Mediterranean coastline – a few first-class ingredients cooked without fuss and pronto- Life is Good !
A wonderful meal, ideally shared with great company and a glass (or two) of the local wine, and, if on top of that you are lucky enough to sit in a cozy little restaurant by the sea, life is as good as it gets.
Somebody gifted me with a small bag of mussels on Sunday, which by itself would have made a great appetizer. But because I always have shrimp in the freezer (today I had two different types,  small/ peeled,/ tail-off and large/ tail-on), and because I wanted to have something a bit more substantial for dinner, I thought this seafood stew would do the trick. And indeed, it did 🙂
Great taste, easy on the eyes and a snap to prepare, both Bella and I were completely happy with the way this turned out 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Since I don’t drink/use alcohol, I have started to use apple cider as a substitute where wine is called for.
Works out great for most dishes, both in the food and with the food 🙂 Cheers !
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Click here for more  Seafood  on  ChefsOpinion
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Catalan Shrimp & Mussels Stew

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Catalan Shrimp & Mussels Stew

Catalan Shrimp & Mussels Stew

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Catalan Shrimp & Mussels Stew

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Catalan Shrimp & Mussels Stew

Catalan Shrimp & Mussels 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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Twice Baked Shepherd’s Potatoes

Twice Baked Shepherd's Potatoes

Twice Baked Shepherd’s Potatoes

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Shepherds Pie  is such great comfort food.
Meat sauce, mashed potatoes, and cheese – who could resist ? 🙂
However, there is one flaw in shepherds pie which diminishes its enjoyment a bit for me – it is entirely soft in texture and usually, the sauce is a bit bland and the whole thing, therefore, often resembles baby food 😦
Let me come to the rescue with this new recipe.
Instead of mashing the potatoes to a puree, just break them up a bit into med-sized chunks. Adding the peppers and lots of onions and garlic to the meat sauce will further increase the taste and texture of the filling of the potato shells, which will result in a dish who’s taste still resembles shepherds pie but at the same time is so much more interesting and TASTY !
Overall, this “fully loaded” baked potato is without a doubt one of the tastiest incarnations of the lowly baked potato as well as the ordinary shepherd’s pie.
While I have prepared and created dozens of variations of twice baked potatoes over the years, some more, some less exotic, some over the top and some down to earth,  using all kinds of additions to the stuffing, such as shrimp, smoked salmon, ham, different vegetables, cheese, yogurt, herbs, etc, etc., the ones I prepared today are the very best of the best 🙂
Although very simple and easy to prepare, the texture, taste, and looks are just perfect and go to show that uncomplicated food, if done right, can take the price over complicated and elaborate any time ……..
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more Twice-Baked Potatoes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Twice Baked Shepherd's Potatoes

Twice Baked Shepherd’s Potatoes

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Twice Baked Shepherd's Potatoes

Twice Baked Shepherd’s Potatoes

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

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I always  wondered why leeks are such an underrated vegetable ?
Leeks look good, taste good, are healthy, available year-round and very cheap economical 🙂
When I was a kid, braised leeks were a common side dish on most restaurant menus. I have NOT seen leeks on any menu for years 😦
So as usual, if I have a specific food craving, I have to take care of it myself. To up the ante, instead of just featuring leeks as a side dish, I made it an equal partner to the gnocchi in this dish.
And what a great dish it is !
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Gnocchi  on  ChefsOpinion
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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 eggs, 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 a strainer. Saute in melted butter.
Serves four.
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Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

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Preparation :
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To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Pork Sinigang (Sinigang na Baboy)

Yesterday  I had a long-standing wish fulfilled 🙂
(Mind you, there are “BIG WISHES” in life and then there are “small wishes” This was a small wish, but nevertheless, I am happy that it finally came through)
For years, I wished there’d be a good Filipino restaurant in my neighborhood, but there is only one that I know of within a few miles around, and frankly, that one sucks!
I don’t want to go into details, but believe me, if it would be halfway decent I would still go there. I have tried it three times, but all three times it was VERY disappointing, so I stopped going there and gave up hope. Whenever I needed a Pinoy food-fix, I had to prepare it myself.
So yesterday I went to do some errands in a close-by shopping center to which I have been going for more than 15 years. Much to my surprise, I saw a “new” restaurant named Manila Grill&BBQ  tucked away in a corner. (I asked an employee how long they’ve been open and he said more than two years)
I had never noticed it before, maybe because what sticks out on the sign is  Grill & BBQ,  so one does not quickly associate this with Pinoy food………..
The place is very clean, simply but nicely appointed and the employees are very friendly, attentive and professional.
The food, THE FOOD 🙂 – it was absolutely delightful, very authentic, nicely presented and wonderfully tasty. The prices are moderate and overall, it was one of the best lunch experiences I had in any restaurant in Miami in years.
You can read more about it here: Manila Grill & BBQ, Pembroke Pines, Florida
So now, back to the dish at hand,  Sinigang Na Baboy
Sinigang is a sour soup native to the Philippines. Beef, pork, shrimp, fish, and even chicken (sinampalukang manok) can be used. The one featured here today uses pork as the main ingredient. One can use boneless pork, though bony parts of the pig known as “buto-buto” are usually preferred. Neck bones, spare ribs, baby back ribs, and pork belly all can be used.
The most common vegetables used are egglant, okra, onion, green beans, tomato and taro root.
The most common souring agent is tamarind juice, (sampalog), but if not available, you can use calamansi, lime, lemon,  guava, bilimbi (kamias), green mango, pineapple, and wild mangosteen (santol) To go an even easier route, you can buy instant “Sinigang Mix” ready to add to the stock while cooking. (For my personal taste this is too salty and not sour enough)
Today I went to look-up the sinigang I posted before on ChefsOpinion, but much to my surprise I could not find a single post, although I cook sinigang quite often. I then checked my folder of unpublished posts and low and behold, there was a bunch of pics of a sinigang I cooked about 6 years ago but never published. Looking at the quality of the pics I understand why I hesitated, but what the heck, here it is:
Sinigang na baboy from the distant past 🙂
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Masaya Ang Buhay !   Kainan Na !
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Sinigang Na Baboy  (Pork Sinigang)

Sinigang Na Baboy (Pork Sinigang)

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Sinigang Na Baboy  (Pork Sinigang)

Sinigang Na Baboy (Pork Sinigang)

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Sinigang Na Baboy  (Pork Sinigang)

Sinigang Na Baboy (Pork Sinigang)

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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 Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

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Seafood , wine, olive oil, tomatoes, onions, garlic, beans and potatoes give this dish that familiar taste and appearance you’ll find when ordering seafood stew along the coast of Portugal and it’s islands.
Maria and I have had this particular stew (sometimes with, sometimes without the beans) a couple of times in the home of one of our friends in Funchal, Madeira, while living there, ca 17 years ago.
Served with rustic bread and LOTS of red Douro (Portuguese wine from vineyards along the Douro river) and Madeira (fortified wine from the islands of Madeira), seafood cooked in wine has since become one of my favorite meals to share with friends, and it has been one of the foods I remember most of that happy time, that beautiful country and its wonderful people.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Food and Memories of Portugal  on  ChefsOpinion
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Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

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Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

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Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

Shrimp And Octopus Stewed In Red Wine

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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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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This Is Not A Pretty Picture……….

Smoked Turkey Leg With Collard Greens And Yuca In Mojo

Smoked Turkey Leg With Collard Greens And Yuca In Mojo

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This  Is Not A Pretty Picture……….just a darn tasty and satisfying dish 🙂
Just as any other food blogger who is making big efforts to produce a popular food blog, I usually strive to present my food as “pretty” as possible (Food Porn anybody?)
But, today I was not interested in that at all. Instead, I was rather hoping that the essence of this meal shines through to my readers, by showing it as natural as possible, emphasizing it as the great comfort food it actually was. This meal was so tasty and satisfying, additional “fru fru” would just have distracted from its simplicity and down to earth flavors and textures.
So, without further ado, here it is –

“Smoked Turkey Leg With Collard Greens And Yuca In Mojo”
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more about  Yuca (Cassava)
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Click here for more about  Mojo
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Click here for more  Turkey Leg  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  instruction on how to prepare  Collard Greens  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for instructions how to prepare  Yuca In Mojo
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Smoked Turkey Leg With Collard Greens And Yuca In Mojo

Smoked Turkey Leg With Collard Greens And Yuca In Mojo

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Smoked Turkey Leg With Collard Greens And Yuca In Mojo

Smoked Turkey Leg With Collard Greens And Yuca In Mojo

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

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While  you can use just about any flat cut of beef to prepare  London Broil,  “Teres Major” (or Faux Tender) was what I had on hand today. It was perfect for the cooking method of London Broil – VERY slowly broiled on both sides until rare, then rested for another 15 minutes, lightly covered, during which time the carry-over heat took the meat to a beautiful, even medium. (Contrary to most folks, I like to cook the tougher cuts of meat a bit more than rare, somehow the texture appeals more to me.
On the other hand, cuts of meat which are more tender, are always served med-rare or rare at my house, unless I have guests who prefer otherwise.
(My guests always play the first fiddle) 🙂
Accompanied by sauteed potatoes and green asparagus, this was a wonderful, tasty and somewhat rugged meal greatly enjoyed by Bella and myself.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Piri Piri Chicken With Portuguese Fried Rice

 

Piri Piri Chicken

Piri Piri Chicken

Here  we have two beloved Portuguese dishes which are not typically recognized as Portuguese staples (rice) and chicken (piri piri chicken).
Piri piri chicken is a favorite way of preparing chicken/poultry in most parts of Portugal, especially in Lisbon. I remember eating grilled chicken brushed with a spicy sauce in Lisbon way back in the seventies and then twenty five years later again, when I lived on Madeira with Maria, although I did not recall the “piri piri” part until I came across this video on my Portuguese friend’s Peter a few weeks ago (see link below) .
As for “Portuguese fried rice”, any cuisine in which rice features as a staple also has at least a few fried rice recipes, since everybody is used to reheat the leftover rice in a pan and adding “stuff” to it, usually in the form of other leftovers and/or veggies, seasoning, eggs, protein etc.
Grilling over an open fire is, of course, one of the best ways to cook chicken (or most other protein, no matter the country, style of cuisine or occasion. Brushing the meat when it almost ready to be served with a savory, spicy sauce and a squirt of fresh lemon or lime is all one needs to lift said protein (or vegetables) one more step up to reach culinary heaven 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more info about  Piri Piri Sauce
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Click here for a short video about  Piri Piri Chicken
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Click here for more info about  Food , Dining & Drinks In Portugal
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Pls note :
Piri piri sauce is prepared in a myriad of different ways, depending on the country, region, family preference, etc. The one essential common ingredient is the use of piri piri peppers. Also, the amount of piri piri you brush onto your food depends on your own preference. As you can see in the picture, I love to be generous with my thicker than usual  piri piri 🙂
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Hans’ Piri Piri Sauce Recipe :
4 tablespoons lemon juice, 5 tablespoons olive oil1cup vinegar, 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce (optional), 1 tablespoon garlic, minced, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon piri piri peppers ;
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

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Piri Piri Chicken And Portuguese Fried Rice

Piri Piri Chicken And Portuguese Fried Rice

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Portuguese Fried Rice

Portuguese Fried Rice

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Piri Piri Chicken And Portuguese Fried Rice

Piri Piri Chicken And Portuguese Fried 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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Being a Chef.......
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