Spain

Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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Traditional Tandoor  (This is NOT Hans) 🙂

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Modern Tandoor

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Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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When I was a chef it was essential for me to teach my cooks, then later my students at Le Cordon Bleu, recipes of dishes which were as authentic to their classic origin as possible.
Especially during my many years as a teacher and program chair at Le Cordon Bleu Miami, I taught meticulously what I had learned many decades ago back in the Black Forest of Germany – Classic French Cuisine.

I also taught classic German Cuisine and many other cuisines from around the world which I had enjoyed, studied and learned during my many years as Executive Chef living and working in dozens of countries. (Cuisines of China, Russia, Japan, Mexico, Fillipines, Italy, Spain, India, Brazil, Sweden,  and many more.
While I am only an expert of French, German and Italian cuisine, I do have good knowledge and personal experience of the cuisines of the aforementioned countries and I was therefore able to teach international cuisine with authority.  Unlike many (most ?) “teachers” and “chefs” nowadays, who will read a recipe, practice (maybe) a bit, then “teach” what they just read on sometimes questionable (at best) sources. Mostly, even the folks who write the syllabus for a class have only the “experience” of reading about things, never having cooked it, eaten it or visited the country of origin of a dish.
While this might work for certain professions, it is certainly a disaster for our beloved trade.
No wonder real food becomes more and more the stuff only wealthy people can enjoy in the few excellent restaurants left in most places, while the rest of us is being served mediocre fare for unreal prices.
However, even at that time, while trying to teach original, and classic recipes and methods from specific cuisines, I tried to teach tips and tricks which might not be original, but are more practical, economical and sometimes even result in better food (Not often, but sometimes) 🙂
But one MUST ALWAYS POINT OUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ORIGINAL AND THE VARIATION !
In a restaurant, the Guests should also be informed about the difference, which, in my humble opinion, MUST be made clear in the name of the dish on the menu, for example:

Pesto” – basil, olive oil, garlic, PINE NUTS, pecorino, parmigiano reggiano.
Walnut Pesto” – same ingredients, same method, but replace the PINE NUTS with WALNUTS.
or
Wiener Schnitzel” – thin, breaded, VEAL cutlet
Pork Schnitzel Wiener Art” – same ingredients, same method, but replace the VEAL with PORK.
Turkey Schnitzel Wiener Art” – same ingredients, same method, but replace the VEAL with TURKEY.

Wow, this became a long entry to what I want to clarify here – ChefsOpinion is a blog that celebrates real food that tastes good, looks good and is simple enough that the average beginner of home-cooking, as well as a top professional and everybody in between can find inspiration, tips and other useful information to be able to prepare wonderful food at home, be it a simple soup or salad, an elaborate roast or stew, or whatever I feel like cooking at the moment and share with you, be it classic/original or not.
At this stage of my life, I don´t find it necessary to prove that I can cook, that I was a decent professional or that I have mastered “original and /or classical dishes from around the World in my more than 50 years of being a cook.
My goal at this time is to remind old chefs from around the Globe about the food we once studied, cooked, taught and enjoyed, and to help the “youngens” to be able to enjoy the same food even now, when some of it is not “IN” anymore and one has a hard time to find well-loved, classic dishes in restaurants, where one now finds mostly second-class food, tasteless and pointless, but dressed to the hilt to impress the folks who don´t know better.
To this end, I try to simplify many dishes while keeping the original flavor and texture as close to the real thing as possible, simply to give everybody the chance to prepare certain dishes at home, which they otherwise would find too difficult, expensive, complicated and daunting to try.
A typical example of this philosophy is the dish on this page. Just google the word TANDOORI, or CURRY, or GOULASH and you will know what I mean. Or choose the word of a dish and add the word ORIGINAL or CLASSIC before it.
The result are usually thousands of recipes, seldom the actual CLASSIC recipe (The definition of ORIGINAL or CLASSIC is a whole different chapter) 🙂 , while most others range from slightly off to downright nasty and ridiculous. 😦
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Curry  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Chicken  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Tandoori  on  ChefsOpinion
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How to make Tandoori chicken without a Tandoor

Tandoori Chicken is one of the most popular dishes from northern India. It is grilled chicken rubbed with a blended spice marinade, identifiable by its red coloring. Tandoori is Indian style of BBQ. The marinade has garlic, salt, coriander, tamarind, cumin, ginger, lentils, and oil.
Tandoor is an Indian style oven, which one cannot buy in an appliance store like you can with a traditional grill or oven. Basically, the tandoor is made entirely of clay and is 3-4 feet tall. Charcoal is placed at the bottom of the tandoor and allowed to burn for several hours. Then the meat is placed on long skewers and cooked inside till roasted. Tandoor is also used to make, among other dishes, naan, kebabs, and tandoori rotis.
It is not practical to build your own tandoor. In fact, most homes in India do not have one. Indian restaurants generally special order tandoors (from restaurant equipment sellers) which can cost upwards of thousands of dollars
So, if you want to enjoy tandoori chicken at home, what do you do?
Here is a very simple tandoori chicken recipe that does not require any special equipment. The chicken retains its juices and is fully cooked while keeping a nice crispy bite on the outside. It has only 2 ingredients, but the cooking technique is very important. Once you follow this recipe, you will realize how simple and delicious this recipe is!

Tandoori Chicken Recipe
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Prep Time: 5 mins (24 hours); Cook Time: 45 mins

(Serves 4 )
4 ea skin less chicken legs,
8 tablespoons tandoori paste   (see picture below for brand example)
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Thoroughly rub the tandoori paste into the chicken.
Place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate 24 hours
When ready to cook, preheat broiler on low. Once the temperature is attained, place the chicken pieces on a rack with a drip pan under it. 
Broil on low for 30 minutes, turning the chicken once. Then turn the broiler to high and cook for another 15 minutes, turning once so that the chicken is crisp on both sides. You will see that the marinade will start to dry up and the chicken will start getting a crust.
Remove from oven and transfer to a plate. Serve immediately with naan, sliced onions, quartered lemons, chopped cilantro and mint chutney or condiments of your choice (or follow the suggestion on this page)

Click here for  Indian Tomato Chutney Recipe


Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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Hans’ Delicious Tandoori Chicken

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steamed rice, tomato chutney, curried chickpeas, spicy cucumber salad – this alone would be a great meal

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

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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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LEFT SIDE


 

RIGHT SIDE


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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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