texture

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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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 :
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Salmon Fried Rice – 鮭チャーハン

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stylish………. 🙂

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If you ever had a Japanese breakfast, you probably have enjoyed a slice of salted salmon.
With it´s great texture and wonderful, mild flavor, it provides the perfect protein for a healthy breakfast. And, as you can see from the pictures on this page, it is the perfect protein for a light, tasty and healthy Japanese fried rice.
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P.S.
Lately, I have fallen in love with all kinds of different Asian bowls for rice, soup and noodles. But, at 40.00 to 100.00 bucks a pop, I have to slow down a bit with my Amazon late-night ordering.  🙂  Nevertheless, the collection keeps growing……… 🙂
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Salmon Fried Rice – 鮭チャーハン

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Salmon Fried Rice – 鮭チャーハン

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Salmon Fried Rice – 鮭チャーハン

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Preparation :
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Red Wine-Braised Veal Shank Slice, With Tagliatelle & Yucatan Cebolla En Escabeche On A Crispy Noodle Pillow

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Yucatan Cebolla En Escabeche

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While traditional Osso Bucco is one of my favorite meat dishes, this version of braised sliced veal shanks is, in my humble opinion, far superior.
First, the crispy noodle pillow adds great texture to the soft texture of the meat.
Second, the marinated onions add great umami to the normally quite one-dimensional flavor of an original osso buco.
Third, and most importantly, the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, star anise and red wine (instead of white wine) make a great improvement to the regular, traditional seasoning of osso buco.
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Pls note, this is in no way a negative judgment of a great osso buco, but rather a testament to the fact that I love my food on the spicy, flavorful side. Let me live, please  ………. 🙂
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Red Wine-Braised Veal Shank Slices With Tagliatelle & Yucatan Cebolla En Escabeche On A Crispy Noodle Pillow

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Red Wine-Braised Veal Shank Slices With Tagliatelle & Yucatan Cebolla En Escabeche On A Crispy Noodle Pillow

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Crispy Noodle Pillow

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Red Wine-Braised Veal Shank Slices With Tagliatelle & Yucatan Cebolla En Escabeche On A Crispy Noodle Pillow

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Yucatan-style marinated onions are one of my go-to condiments to (almost) everything. (Sandwiches, roasts, braises, bbq´s, veggies, potatoes, salads, etc, you name it – I slap on a few Yucatan Cebolla En Escabeche.  🙂
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Preparation :
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Breakfast of Champions # 74 – Belgian Waffles With Caramelized Fruit

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Breakfast of Champions # 74 – Belgian Waffles With Caramelized Fruit

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Today I tried out my new waffle iron.
I am happy to report that the Iron functions as it should, that I still can prepare delicious waffles and that both Bella and I are still big fans of freshly baked waffles with caramelized fresh fruit.
Simple and quick, yet soooo satisfying 🙂
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Belgian Waffles Recipe :
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Ingredients :
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2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs, separated
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Method :
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In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, lightly beat egg yolks. Add milk, butter and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until combined. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.
Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown. Serve with fruits or syrup of your choice

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Breakfast of Champions # 74 – Belgian Waffles With Caramelized Fruit

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Breakfast of Champions # 74 – Belgian Waffles With Caramelized Fruit

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Breakfast of Champions # 74 – Belgian Waffles With Caramelized Fruit

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Breakfast of Champions # 74 – Belgian Waffles With Caramelized Fruit

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Breakfast of Champions # 74 – Belgian Waffles With Caramelized Fruit

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Preparation :
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Pickled Tomatoes (トマトの酢漬け )

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Pickled Tomatoes (トマトの酢漬け )

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How can you improve a perfect tomato? By pickling it !
Any salad, sandwich or any other dish that contains tomatoes will get an additional level of debt of flavor and texture, so, in my humble opinion, the extra few minutes of preparation will be well worth the time and effort. The recipe for the pickling liquid on this page is only a guideline, you can experiment with the length of marination, as well as the flavor of the marination, for example, omit the dashi, add garlic, increase or decrease the vinegar and sugar, etc, etc.
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Pickled Tomatoes (トマトの酢漬け )

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Pickled Tomatoes (トマトの酢漬け )

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Pickled Tomatoes (トマトの酢漬け )

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Preparation :
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Click here to connect to WORDSFROMANNELI

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Annelis Boat ( Curtesy of WORDSFROMANNELI )

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Annelis boat ( Curtesy of WORDSFROMANNELI )

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German Veal-Burger with Garlic/Herb Butter, Gnocchi, Peppers & Onions

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German Veal-Burger with Garlic/Herb Butter, Gnocchi, Peppers & Onion

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I have made dozens, maybe even hundreds, of honest attempts to love the American Burger – unfortunately, most of the time, my honest attempts have failed miserably. 😦
This includes restaurants of all price points, even when, because of its simple nature, most burgers are consumed in simple joints. (I don´t want to go into the pitiful, sorry nonsense of the $100.00 or $1000.00 burger here)
While, in a long lifetime, I had a few spectacular good ones, lots of mediocre ones and, unfortunately, hundreds of lousy ones, generally the American burger is mostly a sorry excuse of a meal or snack. Most of the time, even when it starts out as a perfectly fine little disk of decent ground beef or other protein, most of the time it will then be mistreated every step of the way until it finally reaches the inside of your mouth where you´ll mostly experience a nasty mix of  grey, tasteless dry meat, inferior buns, stale raw onions and tomatoes, limp lettuce and a few squirts of the cheapest mayo and mustard available this side of Bangladesh.
While this may sound harsh, I fully stand behind these words as being the honest truth.
Now, on the other hand, why not take this precious ground meat (beef/ pork/ game/ turkey, seafood, etc, etc, and season it well, add some more ingredients to make it light, juicy, tasty and pretty, then pair it with proper condiments and sidings.
Not MORE, but BETTER ingredients, condiments, and sides, to give puck-shaped ground protein the respect it deserves  ! 🙂
Or, maybe try the ground meat patties the rest of the World enjoys in thousands of different variation, typically starting out with ground protein, adding interesting, good ingredients to make it BETTER and more APPEALING, then serve it with STUFF that tastes good, looks good and makes one feel good, such as the little gem on this page. 🙂
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divide the gnocchi/veggies onto 4 serving plates

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sprinkle with finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

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German Veal-Burger with Garlic/Herb Butter, Gnocchi, Peppers & Onion

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German Veal-Burger with Garlic/Herb Butter, Gnocchi, Peppers & Onion

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top with a veal patty each, top the patty with 1 oz garlic/herb butter

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Preparation :
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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)

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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)

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Pasta e fagioli , meaning “pasta and beans”, is a traditional Italian soup, (although beansoup with pasta is served the World over, with different beans, different pasta, meats or seafood and vegetables, and of course different local names).
Like many other Italian favorites, including pizza and polenta, it started as a peasant dish, being composed of inexpensive ingredients. It is often called pasta fasul (fazool) in the United States, derived from its Neapolitan name, pasta e fasule.

Recipes for pasta e fagioli alter greatly, the only true requirement being that beans and pasta are included. Ingredients vary from region to region, town to town, restaurant to restaurant, household to household, cook to cook, and of course, also depend on available ingredients.
Pasta e fagioli is most commonly made using cannellini beansGreat Northern beans or borlotti beans, and a small variety of pasta such as elbow macaroni or ditalini. The base typically includes olive oilgarlic, minced onioncelerycarrots and often stewed tomatoes or tomato paste. Some variations omit tomatoes and instead use a broth base. Preparation may be vegetarian, or contain meat (often bacon or pancetta) or other proteins and a meat-based stock. The consistency of the dish can also differ to a wide range, with some being soupy, while others are much thicker. For instance, in Bari the dish is thicker in consistency and uses mixed pasta shapes. It also uses pancetta in the base of the sauce. Other varieties call for the beans to be passed through a food mill, giving it a stew-like consistency.
As for the version on this page, it could not be more perfect for my personal taste/texture. I prepare Pasta and beans in uncounted versions all the time, but pigs feet, pork/tomato broth, pasta and bean can hardly be topped (unless you add tripe)  🙂

P.S.
The word for “beans” varies in different Italian languages, e.g. fagioli [faˈdʒɔːli] in standard Italianfasule [faˈsuːlə] in Neapolitan, and fasola [faˈsɔːla] in Sicilian. “Pastafazoola“, a 1927 novelty song by Van and Schenck, capitalizes on the Neapolitan pronunciation in the rhyme, “Don’t be a fool, eat pasta fazool”; and the song “That’s Amore“, by Warren and Brooks (popularized by Dean Martin), includes the rhyme “When the stars make you drool, just like pasta fazool, that’s amore”.

Pls note:
Part of the above article is an excerpt from wikipedia.
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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)


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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)


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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)


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Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) (Pasta And Beans)

 

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Preparation :
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Pork Nirvana – “Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft” – (Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus)

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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First of all, a word of warning:
This is NOT your typical American-or Latin –style, super-long cooked roast pork.
This is German / Bavarian-style roast pork, very juicy (no need to drown it in sauce to be able to swallow it), very delicious pork with a wonderful texture, more like a perfectly cooked steak than a stringy mess that falls apart when you barely touch it.
While I enjoy both versions (as you know from previous posts), today´s version is by far my favorite one. Assuming you have pork of perfect quality, roasting it this way outshines the “cooked-to-death” variation by a mile. 🙂
While the pictures seem to show pork which is still a bit undercooked, I can assure you it was fully cooked, extremely juicy, had the texture of a very tender steak and, surprise surprise, had a pure, unadulterated pork taste which was further enhanced with the slightly thickened pork jus which collected during the cooking in the drip pan beneath the roast and was enhanced with a generous jug of good quality Merlot.
In other words –  Pork Nirvana. 🙂

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Schweinebraten Mit Kartoffelsalat & Bratensaft – “Roast Pork With Potato Salad & Jus”

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Preparation :
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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Pork knuckles have many fans and admirers around the world, yet, despite so many folks loving to eat them in restaurants (especially German restaurants or, if the opportunity presents itself, at the most famous “Knucklefest” of them all, Munich’s Oktoberfest 🙂 , very few people prepare them at home, especially in the US.
I assume the reason for this reservation is the fear of doing something wrong when preparing a rather underused and underappreciated part of the animal with which most cooks have never cooked.
While it can be daunting if one does not know how to do it right and there is a lack of proper guidance and hands-on experience, the following recipe it is nearly impossible to screw it up, therefore I hope it will serve to have more folks preparing this wonderful dish at home.
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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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before roasting……..

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during roasting……..

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after roasting……….

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Preparation :
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Calamares Al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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This was such a down to earth, yet wonderfully delicious meal. Well-prepared rice and beans are something I enjoy at least twice a week. But not just the simple black beans and white rice common here in the Caribbean, South America and South Florida, but many, many combinations of different rice and different beans (or peas)
Add a simple protein, such as steak, schnitzel, roast pork, braised pork, fish, seafood, sausages, eggs or other veggies and you have a meal fit for a (Latin) king 🙂
As for the rice and beans, there are the same endless possibilities of variations – curry rice and fried chickpeas, white rice and black eye beans, risi e bisi, curried chickpeas with wild rice, succotash and white rice, rice porridge (congee) with beans or peas, sautéed rice patties with hummus, etc, etc. Just make sure you season these dishes to be fragrant with fresh herbs, chilies, cumin, garlic, a bit of soy sauce and/or Maggi seasoning. If left bland, rice and beans are a sorry excuse for a multicultural/multinational staple, but when properly prepared, they will be exciting and satisfying 🙂
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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Calamares al Ajillo, Arroz Mexicana Y Frijoles Negro

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Arroz Mexicana

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Frijoles Negro

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Preparation :
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