Grilled Ham and Dill Havarti Cheese Sandwiches and the Discovery of America

Fusion Entree

GRILLED HAM AND DILL HAVARTI CHEESE SANDWICH

INGREDIENTSHamAndDill-

6 tablespoons butter
8 slices of your favorite bread
1 pound slice deli ham
6 ounces dill Havarti cheese

PREPARATION

Cut butter into 4 equal pieces or pats. Cut havarti cheese into 8 equal slices. Add 1 pat of butter to skillet. Melt butter using medium heat. Add 2 bread slices to skillet. Quickly Add 1/4 of the ham slices and 2 havarti slices to one the bread slices. Put the other slice butter-side up on top of the ham and cheese.

Grill for 2 minutes on medium heat or until bottom slice is browned on bottom. (Unless you have a skillet made of transparent aluminum, you will have to use your spatula to take a peek.) Carefully flip sandwich over and grill other side for 2 minutes or until the new bread on the bottom is golden brown and cheese has melted. (Note: cooking times for this sandwich will tend to become shorter with each new sandwich as the skillet absorbs more and more heat.)

TIDBITS

1) On April 1, 1491, Chef Bjorn Havarti sailed west from Copenhagen, Denmark, to discover a shorter route to the empire of the Great Khan. His voyage lasted just two minutes Remarkably, Mr. Havarti had not succeeded in hiring and keeping a crew. To this day, in Denmark, attempting a great task with woefully insufficient resources is called, “pulling a Chef Bjorn.”

3) Apparently, the Danish chef had prepared a bon voyage dinner of lutefisk. Four of their senses damaged beyond repair by contact with lutefisk, the entire crew elected to stay ashore. Before Bjorn could raise funds for another voyage, Christopher Columbus would discover America*. Bjorn was destined to be forgotten for two tidbits.

4) * = Columbus was not the first to discover America. Arriving before him were the First Americans who crossed over the land bridge from Asia, possible voyagers from China, and Vikings. Apparently, America can be discovered many times. You just need a new starting point.

5) Okay, I look out my window and see America. I hereby state that I am the first one to discover America from my home in Poway, California. April 24th will now be known as Chef Paul Day.

5) Chef Bjorn learned his lesson and devoted his life to discovering a truly tasty food. On April 1, 1920, just 429 years later, he succeeded with his pièce de resistance, Havarti cheese. He died just one day later, exhausted but triumphant.

- Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Mexican Tres Leches Cake

Mexican Dessert

TRES LECHES

INGREDIENTSTresLeches-

1 tablespoon cake flour (1 ½ cups more later)
1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter (½ cup more later)
½ cup softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar (½ cup more later)
5 eggs
1 ½ cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (1 teaspoon more later)
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

SPECIAL UTENSIL

9″ x 13″ baking pan
electric beater

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon cake flour to grease and dust baking pan. Add butter and 3/4 cup sugar to first large mixing bowl. Mix butter and sugar together, using cake or medium setting on electric beater, until butter and sugar become fluffy. Add eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Blend again. Add 1/3 of the baking powder and the 1 ½ cups flour at a time to batter. Use blender set on cake after each addition.

Pour batter into baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cake cool for 30 minutes. Poke cake several times with fork, skewer, or ninja knife. While cake cools, add whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk to second large mixing bowl. (Also clean mixing bowls. As my Grandma Anna use to say, “The outstanding chef’s kitchen is perfectly clean when the dish is served.”) Mix the three milks together with whisk or with electric beater set on fold or low. Pour combined milks evenly on top of cake. Refrigerate cake for 1 hour.

Add whipping cream, ½ cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to recently cleaned ☺ mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set on whip or high until topping is thick. Pour topping over cake. Keep tres leches cake refrigerated until ready to serve.

TIDBITS

1) Doesn’t evaporated milk sound as if there should be no milk left? Well, because it’s all evaporated milk.

2) Condensed milk also seems like it should be hard to make. If you were to try condensing a cartoon of milk with, say, a sledgehammer, you’d most likely get milk flying all over the kitchen.

3) Then you’d have to clean up all that milk from the walls.

4) And goodness sakes, you’d be in big trouble if you shattered your sweetheart’s Ming Dynasty Vase on your back swing with that sledgehammer.

5) Best leave condensing milk to the condensed-milk manufacturers. Let them work their magic.

6) But you can safely smoosh a marshmallow bunny with your thumb and index finger.

7) Doing so will give a marshmallow figure that looks like that North Korean dictator, Kim Something.

8) The dour dictator doesn’t have a sense of humor. Maybe we can destabilize his regime by posting Kim marshmallow bunny pictures all over the internet. Maybe we can shake his authority to the point where he flees his country and a democracy takes his place.

10) We will all share in a Nobel Peace Prize.

11) Posting marshmallow bunny pictures can bring down Kim’s Stalinist regime. Remember the power of culinary politics. After all, it was Queen Marie Antoinette’s remark of, “Let them eat cake,” to the starving mobs of Paris that started the French Revolution.

- Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Potato Waffle with Hot Dog, Wars, and Manners

Norwegian Entree

POTATO WAFFLE WITH HOT DOG
(potetvafler met pølse)

INGREDIENTSPotatoWaffles-

5 russet potatoes or 2 pounds brown potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
12 hot dogs or hot-dog shaped sausages
4 eggs
3 cups milk
2 ½ cups flour
½ tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
no-stick spray

makes 12 potato waffles with hot dog

SPECIAL UTENSIL

waffle maker

PREPARATION

Peel potatoes. Cut each potato into eight pieces. Put potato pieces into large pot. Add enough water to cover potato bits. Bring water to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potato is tender. Drain potato bits. Add butter to pot with potato pieces. Mash potatoes with potato masher.

While potato bits simmer, add hot dogs to pot with enough water to cover them. Boil on high heat for 5 minutes. Turn off heat.

Also while potato bits are simmering, add eggs and milk to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add flour and baking powder to pot. Mix with whisk. Add egg/milk mixture, salt and sugar to pot. Mix with whisk until smooth.

Spray waffle maker with no-stick spray. Fry waffles according to instructions with waffle maker or until waffles are golden brown. Remove waffle. Wrap waffle around hot dog. Smaker godt (Tastes great.)

TIDBITS

1) An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

2) Garlic keeps vampires away.

3) Garlic infused apples would keep vampires doctors away.

4) There are no vampire doctors in Norway.

5) Thus, the Norwegians may eat whatever food they want and still feel safe.

6) Waffles are great comfort food. So are hot dogs.

7) Eating a waffle-wrapped hot dog will make you quite happy. Ecstatic even. Best not to overdo it. All things in moderation.

8) Potatoes, not pancakes as was once believed, enabled the Prussian kingdom survive the Seven Years War, 1756 – 1763. Invading armies destroyed the crops that grew above ground, such as wheat, but couldn’t find the potatoes lurking underground. The Prussian peasants simply waited for the marauders to leave, dug up the potatoes, ate them, and survived.

9) However, you cannot hide waffles or even hot dogs in the ground for any length of time and expect to find them edible. Which is why peasants never planted waffles.

10)) The Seven Years War of tidbit 8) fame really did take seven years.

11) However, the Hundred Years War, which ran from 1337-1453, took 116 years.

12) Similarly, Panama hats do not come from Panama.

13) They come from Ecuador.

14) Ecuador is not that far from Chile.

15) In Chile. It is impolite to eat using your hands.

16) So if you are carrying a potato in your Panama hat, because you never know when a ruffian soldier frisks you for a loaf of rye bread, be sure to eat it with a fork.

17) It might be hard to eat a raw potato with a fork. Eating mashed potatoes would be easier.

18) However, your Chilean friends will think that coming to their houses with mashed potatoes on your head is also impolite. And they will tell you so.

19) However, your Chilean hosts might forebear from social criticism if you are a vampire doctor.

20) It’s all so confusing. It’s why we have etiquette experts.

- Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Caramel Corn and Staying Alive at the Movies

American Dessert

CARAMEL CORN

INGREDIENTSCaramelCorn-

6 tablespoons popcorn kernels
1/2 cup butter
1cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup light-colored corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

SPECIAL UTENSIL

popcorn popper

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Pop popcorn according to instruction on bag or from popcorn popper. Remove all unpopped popcorn. (Peter Piper popped a peck of popcorn.) Put popcorn in large mixing bowl.

Add butter, sugar, corn syrup, and salt to skillet. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until mixture boils. Stir occasionally. Add baking soda and vanilla. Stir this syrup until well blended. Add popcorn evenly to baking pan. Pour syrup over popcorn. Bake in oven for 1 hour. Stir popcorn/syrup every 15 minutes.

TIDBITS

1) Everybody loves caramel corn, hard-working people and politicians too. However, not everyone likes to hear popcorn being eaten. In 2011, a Latvian movie goer was arrested for shooting another man dead for eating his popcorn too loudly during the film Black Swan. The dead man would have been safer eating caramel popcorn as it’s not nearly as crunchy as regular popcorn.

2) Or if you don’t wish to get shot during movies but still wish to munch on regular popcorn, may I suggest going to a comedy? The film goers’ laughter will mask the sound of your popcorn chomping.

3) As a public service to you popcorn lovers, here are my favorite all-time gun-shot-free-funny movies: Bananas, The Bank Dick, Bringing Up Baby, A Christmas Story, The Court Jester, Duck Soup, Father of the Bride, A Hard Day’s Night, It’s a Gift, Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, One, Two, Three, The President’s Analyst, She Done Him Wrong, A Shot in the Dark, Tight Little Island, Tootsie, and Unfaithfully Yours.

4) There, I am bringing peace to the world. I shall certainly be getting the Nobel Peace Prize soon. Taps foot.

- Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Mayan Tacos and How to Beat a Drunk-Driving Ticket

Mexican Entree

MAYAN TACOS

INGREDIENTSMayanTaco-

3 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups achiote sauce
12 4-1/2″ wide corn tortillas

PREPARATION

Shred chicken breasts. Add chicken breasts and vegetable oil. Sauté chicken on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir frequently. Warm all tortillas in microwave for 30 seconds or in another skillet on low-medium heat for about 10 seconds or until warm. Add chicken equally to tortillas. Top with achiote sauce.

TIDBITS

1) Tacos is an anagram for tacos. The phrase “Mayan tacos can be found on the Mayan Coast” will help you remember this fact.

2) You may never forget the anagram and the phrase shown in tidbit 1). Indeed, you may find yourself pulled over by a traffic cop for weaving. You were only weaving because you were tired from attending a late-night lecture on the effects of heteroskedasticity on the confidence intervals of coefficients using three stage iterative least squares analysis.

3) But the traffic cop doesn’t know that. He knocks on your window. You roll it down. He says, “You know how fast you were going?” You say, “Sorry, officer, I was in a hurry to get home.” He grunts. “You were weaving out there. Been drinking much?” You shake your head. You want to say no but you blurt out, “Mayan tacos can be found on the Mayan Coast.”

4) The officer yells, “All right, get out of the car.” You get out. He handcuffs you. So convinced by your outburst of your drunkeness, he doesn’t bother to test your breath. He leads you to his patrol car. Sweat dots your forehead. “But honestly officer, I’m not drunk. I really am dead tired from trying to wrap my brain around a lecture on the effects of heteroskedasticity on the confidence intervals of coefficients using three stage iterative least squares analysis.”

5) To back up your claim, you launch into the lecture. The traffic cop’s eyes glaze over. A tsunami of tiredness crashes onto his soul. His will to live evaporates. He realizes he’ll have to listen to you spout the intricacies of empirical economies all the way back to the police station. He lets you go. You will both suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder the rest of your lives.

- Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Achiote Sauce

Mexican Appetizer

ACHIOTE SAUCE

INGREDIENTSAchioteSauce-

4 ounce achiote brick or dry paste
1 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup water
3 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
5 jalapeno peppers
2 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons white vinegar

makes 4 cups

PREPARATION

Add achiote brick, lemon juice, orange juice, and water to mixing bowl. Stir with whisk until achiote dissolves. Remove seeds from jalapenos. (Be sure to wash your hands immediately afterward or touching your face will make it sting like the dickens.) Dice garlic, onion and jalapenos. Melt butter. Add onion, jalapeno, butter, chili powder, cilantro, olive oil, and vinegar to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Goes well with Mayan tacos and nearly everything Mexican. Well, maybe not flan.

TIDBITS

1) And now a crossword puzzle for people who don’t like to be confused.CrosswordSquare-

ACROSS 1 ) The first letter in the alphabet.

DOWN 1) The word “apple” starts with this letter.

- Chef Paul

 

 

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

 

 

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Saudi Al Kabsa – chicken and rice

Saudi Entree

AL KABSA
(Chicken and rice)

INGREDIENTSAlKabsa-

3 pounds chicken breasts (or other parts)
2 carrots
5 garlic cloves
2 medium onions
3 Roma tomatoes
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup tomato puree
2 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups chicken stock
2 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons kabsa spice mix (See Kabsa Spice Mix recipe if you can’t find the mix.)
2 cups basmati rice (Do not precook.)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Serves 6

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Dutch oven

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop chicken into 12 pieces. Grate or dice carrots. Mince garlic cloves and onions. Dice Roma tomatoes. Add garlic, onion, and butter to Dutch oven. Sauté garlic and onion on medium-high heat or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add chicken, tomato puree, and chopped tomatoes, Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add water, chicken stock, carrot, cloves, nutmeg, salt and kabsa spice mix. Bring to boil using high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove chicken and bake for 25-to-30 minutes at 350 degrees or until it starts to brown.

Bring to boil. Stir in rice. Simmer for 30 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally. Add raisins. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Place rice on plate and top with 2 chicken pieces. Garnish with an equal amount of almonds.
TIDBITS

1) The Temple of Eve is supposedly located in the Saudi city of Jeddah. Cool.

2) Saudi Arabia is one of the driest countries in the world.

3) British humor is one of the driest in the world.

4) These tidbits are getting shorter, aren’t they?

5) Yes, they are. You can measure them.

6) Soon nothingness.

7)

8) And rebirth.

9) And so new, longer, vibrant tidbits come into being.

10) I feel like writing a haiku to tidbits.

11) Tidbits, o, tidbits.
Life was so sad when you were gone.
I’m glad you are back

12) Haikus are composed of three lines of five, seven, and five syllables respectively. They can evoke complex imagery within this restrictive space or they can display the elegant simplicity of the following effort:

Word, word, word, word, word
Word, word, word, word, word, word, word
Word, word, word, word, word

13) Speaking of using words to communicate information; all shops in Saudi Arabia are forbidden on Valentine’s day from selling anything red or with hearts on it. You may not wear anything red.

14) Movie theaters and beer are banned in Saudi Arabia. You must drive to Bahrain for these things, which depending on where you live could be anywhere from twenty minutes to twenty hours away. That movie had better be good.

15) And what if the beer you had made you sleepy and you fell asleep during the movie? That movie that took you twenty hours to get to? And twenty hours to get back?

16) If had to drive forty total hours for a beer, I would get the best, most expensive beer I could buy and really, really, really savor it.

17) And I would get gourmet popcorn for the movie. A giant tub of it.

- Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Bubble and Squeak

British Entree

BUBBLE AND SQUEAK

INGREDIENTSBubble&Squeak-

4 potatoes
½ head cabbage
4 ounces bacon
2 celery stalks
1 onion
2 ½ tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

PREPARATION

Peel potatoes. Cut each potato into eight pieces. Put potato pieces into large pot. Add enough water to cover potato bits. Bring water to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potato is tender. Drain potatoes. Add butter to pot with potato pieces. Mash potatoes with potato masher.

While potatoes simmer, thinly slice cabbage. Put cabbage with enough water to cover and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Dice celery, and onion. Add onion, celery, and butter to large skillet. Sauté onion and celery for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add bacon to frying pan. Fry bacon on medium-high heat or until bacon starts to turn crispy. Remove bacon and press with paper towels to remove grease. Cut bacon into 1″ squares.

Add mashed potato, cabbage, bacon, celery, onion, pepper, and salt to large skillet. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until bottom (The mixture in the skillet, not your bottom. Goodness.) turns golden brown. Turn mixture over and cook for another 5 minutes or until it browns again on the bottom.

TIDBITS

1) This traditional British dish is named after the bubbling and squeaking sounds it makes while being cooked. The earliest known recipe comes from Maria Rundell, who made it in 1806. No, I do not know what she did in 1805. Still, knowing this fact will give you an advantage over the other contests in JeopardyTM when the Bubble and Squeak category comes up.

2) Bubble and squeak is also Cockney rhyming slang for Greek. Just like fashion and fad is Cockney for iPad. Similarly, Pow and socko for taco, Sang froid and calm for A-bomb, symphonies and coda for soda, large rat and busy bee for reality TV, Jeb and Jethro for cilantro, grovel and beg for nutmeg, mite and midge for fridge, bondsman and post bail for junk mail, and, of course, tasty and new for chicken cordon bleu.

- Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Kabsa Spice Mix

Saudi Appetizer

KABSA SPICE MIX

INGREDIENTSKabsaSpice-

2 1/4 teaspoons allspice
2 1/4 teaspoons cardamom
3/4 teaspoon cloves, ground
½ tablespoon coriander
½ tablespoon cinnamon
½ tablespoon fennel
3/4 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon lime or orange zest
½ tablespoon pepper
½ tablespoon turmeric

Makes 4 2/3 tablespoons

Note: The above list of ingredient assumes the spices to be already ground. However, spice mixes taste better when using grinding your own spices. However, if you think the effort in tracking down ginger root, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, and peppercorns might turn you into an axe-wielding murderer, please consider using already ground spices.

PREPARATION

Mix ingredients together with fork.

TIDBITS

1) Isn’t that the shortest preparation instruction you’ve ever seen?

2) William Shakespeare could have had the shortest resume ever. All he would have needed to write was, “I am available.”

3) The smallest country in the world is Vatican City with an area of 0.2 square miles and 770 permanent residents. This tiny nation is the spiritual center for over one billion Roman Catholics.

4) Monaco gets the silver medal in the small-countries event with an area 0.7 squares miles and 32,000 people. It’s ruled by Prince Albert II. This nation maintains its independence from France only as long as the princely line produces heirs. Last time I checked the good prince had not produced kids, much less get married. Get cracking, Albert.

- Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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