shrimp

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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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 :
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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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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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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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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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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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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 :
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Portuguese Eggs

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While Maria and I were living in Funchal, Madeira, we became friends with a wonderful local couple, Balduino and Felicidade. They invited us to their home often, where we usually had an early brunch and then set out to explore the island, usually by car and sometimes by scooter. After a while this became a wonderful routine and it was Balduino’s pride (and our enjoyment) to prepare a different variation of “Portuguese Eggs” each time we met at his house. Over time, we were able to enjoy this dish with squid, octopus, lobster, shrimp, espada (the most popular local fish), chorizo, ham and different greens and herbs. He sometimes sprinkled grated local cheese on top of the eggs before baking, but he never included the more common ricotta cheese. Always accompanied by hearty, home-baked bread and local wine, it was the perfect delicious and fortifying meal to keep us going for hours on our expeditions around the island 🙂
(To be truthful, sometimes we replaced the tours with more wine and a bottle of port and just talked about past and future island-explorations).
Let me say here that Madeira is one of the most beautiful places Maria and I had the luck and privilege to live together 🙂
Here now is today’s version of “Portuguese Eggs” in memory of great friendship, great places to live, happier times and the great love of my life, Maria, who passed away exactly 3 years ago.
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Love ……….
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Portuguese Eggs

Portuguese Eggs

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Portuguese Eggs

Portuguese Eggs

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Portuguese Eggs

Portuguese Eggs

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Portuguese Eggs

Portuguese Eggs

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Portuguese Eggs

Portuguese Eggs

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Preparation :
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Blackberry Waffles With Vanilla Cream

Blackberry Waffles With Vanilla Cream

Blackberry Waffles With Vanilla Cream

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I had  these a couple of days ago and I had waffles again this morning (bacon waffles).
Waffles – my new Addiction 😦 🙂
I have made them with raspberries, bacon, shrimp, crab meat, caramelized apples, shredded chicken and caramelized onions. They are so versatile and never disappoint. Just make sure that when you make a savory version you cut 3/4 of the sugar and add kosher salt to taste.
Good Stuff ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Vanilla cream/pudding recipe:
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1/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, pinch of salt, 2 cups milk, 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten, 2 tablespoons softened butter, a dash of vanilla extract.
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– 1 In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.
– 2 Gradually stir at least half of the hot mixture into egg yolks, then stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla.
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Note:
Use this cream while it is still warm as waffle or pancake topping. To enjoy as pudding, pour into molds and refrigerate.
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Blackberry Waffles With Vanilla Cream

Blackberry Waffles With Vanilla Cream

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Blackberry Waffles With Vanilla Cream

Blackberry Waffles With Vanilla Cream

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Preparation :
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Chili-Shrimp Waffles

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Chili-Shrimp Waffles might just have become both my favorite waffle- and my favorite shrimp-recipe.
It is the best thing I have eaten for some time and as you know, I usually eat good 🙂
The key to the success of this dish  is the balance between sweet and spicy.
The chili must not overpower the slight sweetness of the waffles, but it should deliver a kick of heat and flavor (the kick of a lady – not the kick of a mule), to support the shrimp in providing a balance of flavor and texture to the waffles.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Waffle Batter :
Ingredients :
1. 1/3   cup flour, 4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp sugar, salt to taste, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1. 3/4 cup buttermilk, two egg yolks (whisk the two egg whites to stiff peaks)
Method :
Mix dry ingredients well, add buttermilk, egg yolks and melted butter, fold-in whisked egg whites
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Chili-Shrimp Waffles

Chili-Shrimp Waffles

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Chili-Shrimp Waffles

Chili-Shrimp Waffles

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Preparation :
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