Spain

A Sad And Unfortunate Temporary Break For Bella, Myself And ChefsOpinion – (Slowly Getting Better)……

Bella

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Dear Friends,

I am happy to be back, able to post and enjoying to cook, eat and share my humble cuisine with you.
From 9/13th to 10/13th I spent a wonderful month in Germany and Spain, visiting friends and family and having a great time eating and drinking in the company of much-missed friends, most of which I had not seen for many years, as well as making new friends along the way 🙂 .
I also put time to good use to facilitate my return to Germany, where I plan to spend the remainder of my life with good food, good friends and (occassionally) good booze 🙂
I bought a car, started looking for a house, registrered my new address in Germany, etc, etc.
I also spend a long weekend in Spain, where my friends Gaby and Ralf own a Beautiful Spanish villa near the beach.
I had taken many notes and pictures to share my trip with y’all as soon as I’d be back in Miami.
However, the night before I got back, my beloved Bella was attacked and badly mauled by two loose-running rottweilers.
This caused both Bella and I to suffer tremendously, her physically, me psychologically, which eventually morphed into a full-blown breakdown of my well-being.
I was bed-ridden for a week, while trying my best to care for Bella (with the help of two great vet’s 🙂
Well, it has been 10 days now and I am happy to report that both Bella and I are on the way to recovery.
I assume that I am able to start posting my European experience starting this coming week, and that the unfortunate episode of Bellas attack will be but a bad memory soon.
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Hans.
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For those of you who are skirmish DON”T scroll down to the bottom of this page !!!
There are pictures of Bellas wound’s there, to let those of you who can handle this kind of stuff see how badly she had to suffer.
Again, she is (slowly) on her way to recovery, and things should be back to normal soon 🙂
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And, on a lighter note:
When I was sick I did not have the strenght nor the will to cook every day. The first two day’s, I lived off apples and dry  knäckebröd .
However, that did not provide me with the nutrition I needed to get back on my feet, so, during a spell of light improvement of my strength,  I prepared a big pot of what must be the oldest, best-working and best-tasting remedy in the word:
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“Chicken Noodle Soup With Veggies And Egg”.
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After five days of this for both lunch and dinner (apples for breakfast), I am now feeling better and blessed with enough strength to take on my daily chores, including driving Bella to the vet daily, preparing my usual food, and keeping “ChefsOpinion” up to date.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Chicken Noodle Soup With Veggies And Egg

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Chicken Noodle Soup With Veggies And Egg

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Serrano Ham, Morcilla, And A New Car

Dear Friends,

After the most recent hurricane, I have decided beautiful Florida is not for me anymore.
I am currently in Germany to scout for a new place to live. I will spend one month in Germany, a few days in Austria and a few days in Spain (where I am presently at).
Being with friends every day does not afford me to spend much time at the Computer, but I will at least try to show you a few of the “goodies” I encounter along the way 🙂
This morning, breakfast gifted me with the pleasure of eating the tastiest sausage ever, among many other outstanding, beautiful and yummy local products.
Later on, my friends Gaby and Ralf took me to the local market, which had an incredible abundance of local produce, fruits, meats, and seafood.  However, for me, the most outstanding moment came when I found this ham vendor.
Less than $ 20.00 for 1/2 an entire Serrano ham !!!

Aaahhhhh, Life is Good ! 🙂
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Best Sausage – EVER !

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1/2 entire Serrano Ham – Less than $ 20.00 – Paradise 🙂

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My new baby…… 🙂 
Most everything set. Just need to buy a new apartment and I am done. Let the new Life begin …….. 🙂

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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$ 2,000.00 Tasting Menu – A Load Of Crap For Decadent Morons ?

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ChefsOpinion on this topic : Decadent Morons 😦

Nothing wrong with the idea in general for a decent price, but in my opinion, anybody who is dumb enough to pay $ 2,ooo.oo per person for a (hopefully) good meal, elevator music and a crappy light show deserves to pay even more, how about $ 20,000.00. There seems to be an endless supply of idiots out there to which you can sell anything as long as few other people buy it (I wonder why),  ….but,  just watch the video and decide for yourself. 

Please click the link below to see a video and read about the article by Hillary Dixler on  Eater.com

Spanish Restaurant to Become World’s Most Expensive With a $2,000 Tasting Menu


Foto Source:Sublimotion / Eater.com

Foto Source:  Sublimotion. Eater.com

Calamari Rellenos – Stuffed Fried Squid

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The  first time I ate this dish was in 1974 in Vigo, Spain. I was in Spain for the very first time and I fell head over heels in love with the country, the food, the wine, the culture, the music and, of course, the women 🙂  I remember many things from these first visit’s to this beautiful, fascinating country. However, what stands out from all these memories is my first lunch with friends at a small restaurant on the pier in the port of Vigo. Most of my friends had fried calamari, the way we were all  familiar with, fried breaded rings which are probably the most widely known calamari dish of all. I however wanted to try something I never had before, so I ordered the “Calamar Relleno”.
To this day I can recall the platter that was served to me and how much I admired the dish, so much richer and tasty compared to the fried rings I was used to. They were served with a simple salad and lemon wedges. No fancy sauce, garnish or other fru fru that would have destracted from the wholesomeness of this amazing dish.

Buen Provecho !    La Vida es Buena!   Viva España !  



Calamar Rellenos -Stuffed Fried Squid

Calamar Rellenos -Stuffed Fried Squid



Calamar Rellenos -Stuffed Fried Squid

Calamar Rellenos -Stuffed Fried Squid


 

 



Dear Friend’s, to help support this blog,
please be so kind and click on the video on the bottom of this page.  Thank you 🙂





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National Flags Made Of Food

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As part of a promotion for the Sydney International Food Festival, the advertising agency WHYBIN\TBWA designed 18 national flags using foods each country is commonly associated with and that would also match the colors of the flag. 

Wow !
Such a simple, logic idea that has taken so long for somebody to visualize and promote. I stumbled across this by chance and was amazed that it did not get more attention world-wide, considering that everybody and their dog is now into creative food presentation and expressing themself through food. I hope that I can inspire to follow suit and that I can get many submissions from my readers with their own creation of a country flag of their choice. If there are more than one of the same country, we will vote which one to publish. If you’d like to submit, please use a white background and a similar rectangular plate as in the originals.

Life is Good !  Let’s do this ! 🙂

Should your your picture appear here, you will of course get the proper credits !

Below find the originals pictures and on the bottom of the page the appropriate credits.
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Thailand -  sweet chilli sauce, shredded coconut and blue swimmer crab

Thailand –
sweet chilli sauce, shredded coconut and blue swimmer crab

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South Korea -  kimbap and sauces

South Korea –
kimbap and sauces

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Vietnam -  rambutan, lychee and starfruit

Vietnam –
rambutan, lychee and starfruit

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United States -  hot dogs, ketchup and mustard

United States –
hot dogs, ketchup and mustard

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United Kingdom -  scone, cream and jams

United Kingdom –
scone, cream and jams

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Turkey -  Turkish Delight

Turkey –
Turkish Delight

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Switzerland -  charcuteries and swiss cheese

Switzerland –
charcuteries and swiss cheese

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Spain -  chorizo and rice

Spain –
chorizo and rice

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Japan -  tuna and rice

Japan –
tuna and rice

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Lebanon -  tomatoes, pita bread and parsley

Lebanon –
tomatoes, pita bread and parsley

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Indonesia -  spicy curries and rice

Indonesia –
spicy curries and rice

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India -  curry chicken, rice, cheera thoran and papadum wafer

India –
curry chicken, rice, cheera thoran and papadum wafer

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Greece -  olives and feta cheese

Greece –
olives and feta cheese

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France -  blue cheese, brie cheese and grapes

France –
blue cheese, brie cheese and grapes

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China -  dragon fruit and star fruit

China –
dragon fruit and star fruit

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Brazil -  banana leaf, limes, pineapple and passion fruit

Brazil –
banana leaf, limes, pineapple and passion fruit

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Australia -  meat pie and sauce

Australia –
meat pie and sauce

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Credits
Client: Sydney International Food Festival
Advertising Agency: WHYBIN\TBWA, Sydney, Australia
Executive Creative Director: Garry Horner
Creative Director: Matt Kemsley
Art Director: Miles Jeffreys
Copywriter: Tammy Keegan
Photographer: Natalie Boog
Retoucher: Nick Mueller
Food Stylist: Trish Heagerty
via   twistedsifter.com
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Spiders From Mars

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Just  a light dinner tonight with one of my favorite ingredients – Octopus.
In the seventies I spent a lot of time in the  Mediterranean  and some of my  fondest memories take me back to  Turkey,  Spain  and  Greece and their great seafood.. Almost all memories I possess of that time are connected to food. Parties, dates, travel, good times and bad times, all somehow  lead to (mostly) great meals. Most involved seafood of one way or another. While there were too many outstanding meals to count, the ones I remember the most were the many octopus dishes I had, and of those, the ones I had in  Mykonos. To this day I can picture exactly in my head walking along the very small area in town, right on the water, where the fishermen had hung up their freshly caught little monsters on racks in the fresh air. We used to pick the ones which appealed to us the most, took a chair at one of the tiny restaurants right there on the other side of the walk way and just pointed the waiter to our catch, which he then took to the cook who added nothing more than salt, garlic,  olive oil  and lemon juice and grilled it to perfection. Memories……….
I am fond of octopus of any size and any preparation, so today on my way home from work when I saw some nice baby octopus at my neighborhood Asian store, there was only one option for dinner tonight : ” Baby Octopus Salad ” .
( Once I looked at the finished dish,   ” Spiders From Mars ”   just came to my mind and stuck there   🙂
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Click to hear  “Spiders From Mars
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Real Food, Real Opinions &  ”  REAL MUSIC  ”
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When it comes to baby octopus, folk’s have different opinions and preferences. Some people eat the head, others remove it (me). Some grill or saute them straight, others simmer them first until tender (me), then continue to grill or saute. Some like them in complicated sauces, others just simply grilled or sauted (me). Baby octopus curry anyone? Good stuff   🙂  So if you love seafood but have not yet tried these little creatures, it is high time to get a bit adventurous and put them on the menu.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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