shrimp

Shrimp And Rice Stick Pillows With Peanut Sauce And Sweet Chili Sauce

Shrimp And Rice Stick Pillows With Peanut Sauce And Sweet Chili Sauce

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Last night on my way home I stopped at a Vietnamese restaurant where I used to eat pho. I stopped eating there because of the tiny portions (see my post about it by clicking this link:  ….Pho….
Knowing that I would be disappointed by the skimpy pho, I placed my hope into an order of summer rolls…….
Well, the same crappy principle as with the pho (a ton of stock, a tiny amount of anything else); only this time, there was a ton of wrapper (2 per roll !) and just a tiny bit of filling. I could have kicked myself for not following my own previous advise to avoid this place.
So, what’s an old cook to do? Well of course, make my own version of rice paper rolls 🙂
Mind you, these are NOT Vietnamese summer rolls! And, because of their plumpness, rather than eating them by hand, I suggest you use a fork in order to have a less messy encounter with these babies. 🙂
However, these rolls consist of the exact amount and ratio of ingredients I craved when I ordered the rolls in the restaurant and was so badly disappointed:
A small amount of wrapper, LOT’S of noodles and shrimp, and NOT drowned in fish sauce and basil. Ahhhh, the good life ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
If you prefer the more traditional skinny shape, just arrange the filling accordingly.
P.P.S.
I am still hoping to find a decent Vietnamese restaurant around here 🙂
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Hans’ Peanut Sauce

This recipe may not be the most authentic, but it’s really, really good.
Serve it as a dipping sauce, over hot or cold noodles or as a salad dressing.

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons chili paste
  • ½ teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. Whisk again before serving.
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Shrimp And Rice Stick Pillows With Peanut Sauce And Sweet Chili Sauce

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Shrimp And Rice Stick Pillows With Peanut Sauce And Sweet Chili Sauce

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

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A few  years after I was born, the German “Wirtschaftswunder” (Economic Miracle) was in full swing (I wonder if my existence helped?), and Germany was in need of a new, different kind of army – an army of workers, to fill all the open labor-positions. It was the time (1955) when Germany invited millions of “Gastarbeiter” (Guest Workers) to come and make their luck and life in Germany. Mostly poor, working class people from Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Portugal and eventually, in 1968, Yugoslavia, took a chance and started a new life in this new promised land, first alone, working very hard, saving money, learning the language and customs and then, usually a couple of years later, having their family join them and slowly but surely integrating themselves and their families, and most of them eventually becoming Germans. (Passport, language, customs, and all) 🙂
I don’t want to go into the political, economic and social results of this enormous “Völkerwanderung” (Human Migration), but rather talk about the effect it had on the culinary landscape.
Up until then, there were basically three culinary styles in Germany –
“Deutsche Hausmanskost”, which translates into plain home cooking
“Deutsche Koch Kunst”, or German Culinary Arts, meals that are as pleasing to the eye as to the palate,  primarily available in upper-class restaurants, hotels, and delicatessens.
“Traditional French Cuisine”, also mainly available in upper-class restaurants, hotels, and delicatessens.
Of course, this all changed rapidly with the influx of millions of people cooking the traditional food of their countries of origin, and within a few short years one could easily find a Turkish doner shop, Italian pizzeria, Greek taverna, Spanish tapa restaurant, Portuguese cervejaria or Yugoslavian restaurant serving food from all over Europe, first in the big cities, but eventually even in the smallest of villages.
(Incidentally, nowadays you are more likely to find an ethnic restaurant than a typical “German Gasthaus” (German Tavern) in most places 😦
Securely wedged in my memory are the Cevapcici of that time. Up ’til then, we did not know “Burgers”. We had either buletten or meatloaf, typically served hot with mashed potatoes or pasta and mushroom sauce, or served cold with bread and mustard.
So when Cevapcici came along, they were pretty special and exotic to our palette and view.
Spiced with plenty of garlic, oregano and cumin among other seasonings, they tasted and looked very different to anything made with ground lamb (or any other ground meat) we’d seen up to then.
They were usually served with rice and salad or with some type of flatbread and salad, often accompanied by a yogurt sauce and raw onion rings.
Again, at the time, this was pretty new and exotic for most of us 🙂
So when I got this ground lamb yesterday, I was looking forward to preparing and eating, for the first time in many years, this wonderful dish.
I am happy I did because I enjoyed every morsel of it (and so did Bella) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !   (And full of memories) 🙂
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Pls note:
Replace the lamb with beef, or pork or a mixture of both if you prefer.
Cevapcici can be grilled, sauteed, baked (roast) or fried. However, do NOT overcook them or you are left with a dry stick of coal-like substance 😦
See the pic of the close-up of the meat. Well done but VERY juicy and tender 🙂
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Click here for  Potato Salad Recipe   (Add sliced, seeded cucumbers if desired)
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Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

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Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

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Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

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Ćevapi (Cevapcici)

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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 Black Beans Taco Bowl

Shrimp And Black Beans Taco Bowl

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I do realize that taco bowls are sooo 80’s, but I feel they still look great today, and this piece of once “in” popular food culture deserves a place within the classics we should re-visit once in a while so as not to forget them 🙂
In order to be a bit more colorful, instead of the usual flour tortilla, I have used a brightly colored spinach wrap here. Wraps come in all kinds of colors, so this opens up the visual spectrum to be a bit more varied.
As far as the filling is concerned, today I felt like bean salad, avocado, greens, and shrimp, but of course, the sky is the limit, as long as it is not liquid and you serve it right after preparation in order to avoid the shells to become soft.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Shrimp  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  Salsa Mexicana Recipe  on  ChefsOpinion

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Shrimp And Black Beans Taco Bowl

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ready to go……………serves 2

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Preparation :
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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
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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 :
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 58 – Shrimp Croissant And Fresh Fruits With Kefir And Honey

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What a wonderful way to start the day early today – a walk in the park with Bella, a great breakfast with Bella, then a great movie – “Galaxy Quest” (Bella not interested), all followed by a long nap ! (Bella enthusiastically interested again) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Breakfast of Champions  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more Tonkatsu  and  Donkatsu  on  ChefsOpinion
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Tonkatsu sauce  (my way) :

Mix 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 tblsp soy sauce, 1 tsp garlic paste, 1 tsp mustard, 1 tblsp white wine (or sherry), 1 tsp sriracha and a few drops of maggi seasoning.

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 58 - Shrimp Croissant And Fresh Fruits With Kefir And Honey

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 58 – Shrimp Croissant And Fresh Fruits With Kefir And Honey

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 58 - Shrimp Croissant And Fresh Fruits With Kefir And Honey

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 58 – Shrimp Croissant And Fresh Fruits With Kefir And Honey

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Fresh Fruit With Kefir And Honey

Fresh Fruit With Kefir And Honey

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Preparation :
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Not Your Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner ……..Shrimp And Potato Salad

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So  here I was on a Thanksgiving afternoon, coming home at 4.30 pm, hungry but absolutely not  in the mood to do the turkey thing just for Bella and myself.
But you see, being alone has the distinct advantage that tradition and customs can be ignored at will in ones own four walls, especially when the one you live with, Bella in my case, is even less into tradition but a sucker for ANY good food, as long as there is meat or seafood involved.
So after our walk, a decision what to prep for dinner was due.
A quick glance at the contents of the freezer and fridge revealed shrimp, cooked potatoes, cucumber, mayo, avocado, grape tomatoes and pomegranate.
Ten minutes later, myself comfortable in my TV chair and Bella by my feet, a tasty (and huge) plate of shrimp salad in my hand, we truly enjoyed our Thanksgiving dinner with not even a bit of a longing for turkey and its trimmings 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Not Your Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner ........Shrimp And Potato Salad

Not Your Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner ……..Shrimp And Potato Salad

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Not Your Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner ........Shrimp And Potato Salad

Not Your Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner ……..Shrimp And Potato Salad

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Preparation :
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Red Beet Grits With Shrimp In Garlic/Herb Butter And Poached Egg

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While  I love grits and eat them quite often, after a while they can become a bit boring, so I like to dress them up a bit with additional flavors and textures. The version here is especially yummy and pretty, what with the added red beets who give a brilliant red hue, the interesting and unusual texture and a wonderful, earthy flavor. This earthy flavor is nicely greeted by the shrimp in their lemony herb butter (as you can see in the pictures, I splurged a bit on the butter, but so what, sue me).
After all, one probably does not have a rich breakfast like this everyday, so I guess that makes the over-indulgence acceptable  (once in a while, anyway) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Grits  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Red Beets  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for a recipe using Red Beet Leaves  on  ChefsOpinion
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Red Beet Grits With Shrimp In Garlic/Herb Butter And Poached Egg

Red Beet Grits With Shrimp In Garlic/Herb Butter And Poached Egg

Red Beet Grits With Shrimp In Garlic/Herb Butter And Poached Egg

Red Beet Grits With Shrimp In Garlic/Herb Butter And Poached Egg

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Preparation :
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Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg

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This  dish is one of my  “go to”  dishes when contemplating endlessly without resolve in my mind what I will cook for the next meal.
Although I am a sucker for real curry, pasta sautéed in curry powder and “stuff” is something I can eat happily any time of the day, as often as twice a week.
Usually the basic ingredients are items I have always stocked in my fridge, freezer or cupboard:
Pasta, beef, shrimp or chicken, any type of vegetables, curry powder, a bit of kecap manis, chili paste, soy sauce or maggi seasoning, onion or scallion, eggs and herbs.
An added bonus to this dish is that it reheat’s wonderfully. (Some say it’s even better when re-heated) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Pasta  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Curry  on  ChefsOpinion
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Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg (Sunshine On A Plate)

Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg (Sunshine On A Plate)

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Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg

Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg

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Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg

Curried Pasta With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Veggies And Egg

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Preparation :
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Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

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I recently  came across an article which proclaimed “Pasta actually makes you lose Weight”.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe that ANY food I love (I love most 🙂 ) will make me loose weight, especially pasta. Why? Because if I love something, I consume it in excess quantities.
But then, a lot of food which falls into the category of “food I love”, will never make me fat, for the simple reason that it is too expensive to become fattening – caviar, lobster, fresh stone crab claws, foie gras, chanterelle, matsutake, wagyu (the real McCoy), and a bunch of other stuff I had the privilege to eat plenty of in the 70’s, when most of these delicacies were still affordable in their countries of origin.
I used to have a few cans of caviar in my fridge when we did black sea cruises in the mid-seventies, when one was able to exchange a pair of used jeans in St Petersburg’s black market for 1 kg of caviar. Matsutake and wagyu was expensive in Yokohama and Kobe, but not excessively so. Chanterelles in Germany in the 70’s and 80’s when I went home on vacation – same thing, not cheap but affordable. And so it was with most of these specialties at the time – not cheap but within reach, at least for me and my friends who traveled the world, loved good food and after visiting a place a couple of times, knew where to get a bargain.
But now let me get back to pasta.
Fortunately, pasta is one of the most affordable food stuffs which have a special place in my heart (and stomach).
Consequently, I eat it too often, and usually way too much, packing 2 or 3 portions into one meal – which is good for my happiness 🙂 , bad for my weight 😦 .
So there you have it – while pasta “does not actually make me lose weight”, it does actually makes me happy .
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Pasta  on  ChefsOpinion
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P.S.
All the food you see on  ChefsOpinion  is cooked and served in my home, usually just for myself and Bella. I like to pick and hold the shrimp by their tail (Bella just eats the whole shrimp, tail and all, including the tails from my shrimps). If you are not comfortable with the tails on the plate, just remove them before adding the shrimp to the dish 🙂
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Corksrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

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Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

Corkscrews, Shrimp, Bok Choy and Eggs

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