The Wonder Dog – Part 1

We won the war. We brought the Nazis to their knees, not some namby-pamby foot soldier who probably counted dodging Spam thrown in the mess halls as combat experience. Yes sir, it was me and the airmen of Okeechobee. Young man, I’m gonna tell you our story.

Okeechobee, Florida then was only known for its millions of bugs; huge bugs the size of baseballs. But it was there, in 1944, that the Army set up the 800th Bomber Group, captained by Henry Pizarro.

Well, we were out in the middle of nowhere in a state often forgotten by the rest of the Union. Supplies never did get to us in a regular manner. Sometimes we’d go weeks without any supplies. Sometimes, we got a lot of stuff we didn’t really need. One week they sent us one million scarves, and 22,187 bird feeders stamped “U.S. Army bird feeder, Red-Headed Woodpecker Only.” Antonio Cedeno, Army Head Scratcher First Class, scratched his head and said, “That’s army for you.” Oh, we also received eight hundred tons of papayas. It seemed that although our nation’s scientists were still failing with the general concept of refrigeration, they had miraculously found a way to refrigerate papayas several months ago.

Well, around August, we had run out of all food but papayas for two months, and no one wanted to eat bugs. Hell, the bugs had been biting us so much that some of us figured we’d be cannibals if we’d eat them. So, we approached Lieutenant Kelso, who was in charge of food supplies. Kelso said that he was mighty sick of papaya soup and papaya burgers. He said he’d raise heaven and earth to find some new food.

The next day we heard a terrible ruckus all around us. Every flea-bitten mutt in the flea-bitten state of Florida was barking, yelping, yipping, and scratching his balls. Sergeant Niekro went out to investigate. Apparently, Kelso planned to use these dogs to sniff up some food for us.

Well, I decided to follow the dogs. They headed away from the mess hall as even dogs get tired of papaya biscuits. Those mutts made a bee line toward the swamp where bugs felt particularly secure and ornery. Way in the distance I could make out that huge ominous, gray, metallic building so forbidding that even the chaplain called it “the Hut of Hell.” The Hut of Hell housed our chemical supplies, used oil drums, and various pleasant poisons.

Those dogs just ran to the Hut and barked something fierce. Kelso, opened the door and immediately the dogs keeled over in agony. Kelso doubled over and proceeded to vomit big yellow chunks of papaya loaf. Sure, it was up to me, Robert Carbo, the man with the big sniffer. I dodged a stream of papaya spew from Kelso and went inside.

As God is my witness, I have never seen so many hot dogs in my life. These hot dogs were arranged in huge columns. Each column was twelve feet long by ten feet wide and stretched at least fifty feet up to the ceiling. There were thousands of these majestic columns.

Well, perhaps not majestic, more like tons of decaying, larva infested, grayish-green beef shapes. How long had they been sitting in that metal building in Florida’s fine, humid, 120-degree weather? However, stench worse than Private Aparicio’s pits after a twenty-mile hike, prompted to me continue this thought outside. I wrenched my boots free from some hot-dog ooze and bolted outside.

I carried Kelso all the way back to the infirmary. Unfortunately, our doctor was away in Miami picking up popsicle sticks off the sidewalks as we had run through our last shipments of tongue depressors. Corporal Johnny Conigliaro, a quack in civilian life, prescribed a dose of deadly nightshade, a rather poisonous, purplish flower. Kelso nearly died from this treatment but did not complain, saying, “It’s worth risking death to eat something that’s not yellowish orange.”

A week later Captain Pizarro, arose from his desk and put on his papaya-woven flak jacket and walked to the mess tent. The cook had outdone himself with a gourmet feast. We started off with a snappy papaya fondue and a Waldorf salad where the apples, celery, walnuts, and mayonnaise were substituted with papaya, papaya, papaya, and papaya sauce. For the main course he regaled us with a choice of: barbecued papaya sandwiches on papaya bread with a papaya sauce or chicken cordon bleu, where instead of chicken, ham, gruyere cheese, breading, and butter, he substituted papaya, papaya, curdled papaya juice, papaya crumbs, and melted papaya. For dessert we could choose either the papaya balls or the papaya flavored ice cream made with creamed papaya instead of cream. We washed down this feast with good ol’ papaya juice.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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

Nidi di Rondini

San Marinese

NIDI DI RONDINI

INGREDIENTS

1 12-ounce package lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup marinara sauce (⅓ cup more later)
1¼ cups grated mozzarella
½ pound prosciutto or deli-sliced ham
⅓ cup marinara sauce
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

SPECIAL UTENSILS

8″-x-8″ casserole dish
kitchen scissors or scissors
aluminum foil

Serves 5. Takes 1 hours 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions on package. (Do not let noodles stick together. You might need to cook them in batches.) Drain noodles. Spray flat surface. Place lasagna noodles flat on flat surface. (Do not let them touch each other.)

While noodles cook, add butter to pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Gradually add in flour. Stir frequently until well blended. Gradually add milk until the sauce thickens. Stir frequently. Add salt. Stir until blended. This is the bechamel sauce. Remove pan from heat.

Pour ⅔ cup marinara sauce into casserole dish. Smooth with spatula. Spread bechamel sauce evenly over all the noodles. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over the bechamel sauce. Place proscuitto strips over the bechamel-mozzarella lasagna noodles. (If necessary, trim or fold prosciutto strips so that they are narrower than the noodles.)

Roll up lasagna noodles so that they form a tight cylinder. Place lasagna cylinders upright and close together in casserole dish. (If necessary, place wadded-up balls of tin foil in casserole dish to keep lasagna cylinders from falling over.) Make four ½” cuts at the top of each lasagna cylinders. Pull the lasagna between the cuts down and out a bit. so that they look like rose petals.

Drizzle ⅓ cup marinara sauce over the lasagna cylinders. Sprinkle cylinders with Parmesan cheese. (Not so much that you can’t see the rose-petal design of the lasagna cylinders.) Bake for 35 minutes or until the tops of the cylinders turn crisp and golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) Nidi di rondini tastes great. Anyone making this entree will be immediately be hailed as an amazing chef and host.

2) If you are up for a Nobel Prize, you would do well to serve this dish to the judges.

3) As of press time, it is not illegal to do this.

4) So, what are you waiting for?

5) Nidi di rondini comes from the great, but tiny country of San Marino.

6) Despite being the size of a rather large postage stamp (24 square miles, 61 square kilometers), the San Marinese have preserved their independence for 1,816 years.

7) The above number is accurate as of the time of writing. Please increase the above number by one for every year after 2021.

8) Anyway, how did this tiny country maintain its independence from many other countries with much bigger armies such as: the Roman Empire, the Papal States, the French Empire under Napoleon, Italy, and Hitler’s Germany?

9) Simple. As culinary historians will tell you, soldiers with red hair make the fiercest warriors in the world. San Marino has always had fighting redheads. The chefs of this happy land commemorates their heroes with these rolled-up lasagna rolls topped with marinara sauce.

10) However, the most famous fighters in the world come from Scotland. Neighboring England failed for centuries to conquer the Scots, The English armies quailed, broke ranks and fled in terror whenever they caught sight of all that Scottish red hair.

11) The only success the English had came from their archers. But, of course, the archers were to far away to see the hair color of the Scottish pikemen.

12) One wonders why the English army never colored their hair red. Then the Scottish warriors would have fled whenever came in contact with the English.

13) What if? What if all the countries of the world made their soldiers die their hair?

14) All armies fear fighting fierce redheads. With all armies comprised of gingers, no army would dare attacking any other.

15) Peace would break out.

16) There you have it. Dye the hair of all combatants red.

17) I see a Nobel Peace Prize in my future, as long as I remember to serve nidi di rondini to the judges.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Almond Sherry Soup from Spain

Spanish Soup

ALMOND SHERRY SOUP

INGREDIENTS

1 onion
2½ tablespoons butter
15 saffron threads
¼ pound blanched almonds
2 eggs yolks
3 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons sherry
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon Spanish paprika or paprika
½ cup cream
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 teaspoons slivered almonds

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder or food processor

Serves 5. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Mince onion. Melt butter in pan using low-medium heat. Add onion. Simmer at low-medium heat for 8 minutes or until onion softens and turns yellow. Stir frequently. Add saffron. Simmer at low-medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add blanched almonds to pan. Toast by using medium-high heat until almonds start to brown. Grind toasted almonds until they become a paste. Add almond paste, egg yolks, and minced onion to mixing bowl. Mix with fork until you a well blended almond/egg/onion paste.

Add chicken stock, sherry, nutmeg, pepper, salt, and Spanish paprika to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low-medium and add cream. Gradually add almond/egg/onion paste. Stir until well blended. Simmer at low-medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. While soup simmers, mince parsley. Garnish soup with parsley and slivered almonds.

TIDBITS

1) Last year, culinary archeologists found this painting in the Rohoño cave near Valencia, Spain. They believe it depicts a caveman giving thanks to the gods for raining down tasty almond sherry soup. (See the soup bowls at the bottom.) Conventional archeologists disagree. Prehistorians are a fractious lot. But you know, this soup is from Spain. So maybe.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Great Chicken Invitational – Part 2

But the reason for their poor performances lay in the chickens themselves. Remarkably, no one had considered the possibility that a twenty-ounce chicken using a four-inch club would drive a regulation golf ball a considerably shorter distance than would a two-hundred-pound man with a regulation club. Furthermore, for all their attentiveness to their swings, the chickens’ lack of hands proved to be a major obstacle to getting firm grips on their clubs.

Two weeks later, eighteen hardy chickens reached the green. Two chickens hit their balls into sand traps and couldn’t get out even though they remembered to use their chicken-sized wedges. Ten other chickens ended their brief golf careers by running into the adjacent woods to search for worms, and disappeared forever.

Play picked up considerably on the green. It turned out that chickens are natural born putters. Aided by cleverly-designed putters, made small enough to be held in their beaks, they dazzled the crowd with one precise putt after another. “I wish I could putt like those chickens,” said Norm Gregson of the PGA.

Observant golfers noticed that the chickens stand so close to the ground that they can figure out exactly which way their putts would break. One of these golfers, John Hona, later suggested to the PGA that chickens be used as “designated putters” in human-golf tournaments. It turned him down flat, “The answer is no.”

Official scorers added up the strokes at the end of the first hole. Roxanne led the pack by thirteen strokes with a score of 397. Technically, Roxanne shot a tricentinonadecadouble bogey, but the press just called it a “chicken bogey.”

Around the third week, while the chickens were half way through the second hole, sarcastic geeks ruffled the plucky poultry by yelling, “Cacciatore,” “Southern Fried,” or by calling their clubs “drum sticks.” The chickens flinched under the pressure of these specieist remarks, slicing more balls than usual. The organizers resorted to handing out free, fresh eggs from the competitors to keep them quiet.

Froussard golf club celebrated the Fourth of July in grand style. Organizers labored all week setting up a spectacular fireworks display. The remaining eleven chickens then contributed to the crowd’s enjoyment when they put on a snappy, morality play based on the daily life of a chicken. Afterwards, all sorts of chicken dishes were served to a hungry audience. “That’ll teach you to miss the cut,” growled Bob Banks as he bit into a hot-and-spicy chicken wing.

Three chickens exited the tournament in August. Vain and high-strung, Sandra, up and left the course clucking about a bad feather day. Nadine, suddenly felt the need to establish her roots and departed to seek her biological mother. Spontaneous combustion claimed the life of Martha as she prepared to putt out the eighth hole. “If she was going to blow up, she should have done it during last-month’s fireworks display,” sniffed organizer, Beverly Hatcher.

Rain fell heavily in late October. The downpour bothered none of the chickens, who clucked, drove, and putted as if nothing was wrong. Seeing this, a golfer’s wife remarked, “They’re just like human golfers.”

Snow fell heavily in the middle of December, and so, play deteriorated rapidly when chickens swung their clubs with difficulty through snow that came up to their beaks. Many chickens could no longer find their balls in the snow drifts. Indeed, the tournament’s officials lost several chickens in the deep snow.

By New Year’s Day, only two chickens remained, Agatha and Roxanne. These two had reached the green and were within only a few hours of finishing the course. Tension and excitement coursed throughout the golfing world as the two chickens were tied, each having a score of 6,127.

Interest in this tournament had grown so feverish that the television networks pushed the New Year’s Day bowl games back one week. Tens of thousands of people lined the rope around the eighteenth hole while helicopters from scores of television stations, domestic and foreign, circled above. “Those chickens upstaged us,” complained Bob Gallina, quarterback of the top ranked, LSU Tigers.

The crowd cheered every well-executed putt of the dueling chicks. Excitement reached a peak when Roxanne holed out with a score 6,157. But Agatha was only four inches from the cup, needing to make her putt for a sudden-death tie.

Agatha intently bent down, surveyed the green, picked up her putter, and set herself to putt. Then, disaster struck! A red fox burst onto the green and snatched Agatha in his hungry jaw. Hundreds of people ran after the fox into the trees to save Agatha, but found only a pile of feathers and a tiny putter.

The crowded peeled away from the course in horror and rage. Its hero had been eaten, an unprecedented event in golf. Things got ugly when many yelled threats at the tournament’s organizers. The more rabid fans produced nooses and proposed hanging the hated organizers. Hearing this, the objects of their hate took off in a flash, jumped into their cars, and sped away.

That was the end of the Great Chicken-Golf Invitational. From nearby Canby, Montana, the organizers declared Roxanne the winner, by default.

The carnage of the tournament appalled golfers and people everywhere. The American Wildlife Federation and corporations withdrew their sponsorships of a proposed second tournament. Interest in chicken golf died off rapidly after that. Now only a few people still think back to the days when chickens had a tournament of their own.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: history, short story, sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Great Chicken Invitational – Part 1

Golf had long been a bastion of people, its exclusivity maintained by a silent gentle folk’s agreement. But no longer, for on January 1, 1974, in Kippen, Idaho, chickens finally integrated the game.

The top thirty chickens in Idaho arrived at the prestigious, private golf club, Froussard for “The Great Chicken Invitational.” Earlier, in late August, Froussard enrolled a chicken to qualify as the host.

Skeptics everywhere had maintained that chickens do not have the necessities to play golf. Other critics had argued that even if physically able chickens could be found, they would not have the mental skills required to converse and to make business contacts.

Nevertheless, the Great Chicken Invitational came to pass. The Invitational’s organizers invited the most athletic chickens for miles around. Intrepid entrepreneurs designed full lines of chicken-sized golf clubs. Chicken owners everywhere got into the spirit and demanded full sets of these clubs for their tiny friends.

Golf enthusiasts from all over the world yearned to see the momentous event. Sven Fjaderfa, CEO and owner of mammoth Swedish Furniture, up and left work a day before the start of the tournament. “I want to see chickens play golf,” he told his employees. Thousands of other golfers joined him at Kippen, Idaho, for the greatest exhibition of golf the state has ever seen.

At seven in the morning of January 1, the organizers trucked in the chickens to the golf course. While the officials spent an hour assigning starting times, the spectators admired the chickens’ traditional tartan knickerbockers. “They look darling,” stated Heather Anders of Fashion Magazine.

At eight o’clock, the organizers unloaded the chickens near the first tee. The chickens immediately scattered to peck for worms in the recently mowed course. Eventually, an official, Tom Purdue, caught Agatha and plopped her down at the tee. He gave the chicken a number one wood, as this was a 476 yards, par 5 hole.

The crowd watched in anticipation, as Agatha surveyed the fairway. She carefully held the driver in the traditional chicken grip, the top wing just touching the bottom wing. All expected Agatha to be a serious competitor, as she never smiled. She looked down the fairway once more, clucked a few times, moved the club back, keeping her left wing straight, and then rapidly brought it forward to hit the ball.

Sarah Dindon, was there for the tee off. “I was lying down on the ground looking up at the blue sky, as I have always found this the best way to view chicken golf.” Sarah watched Agatha’s ball soar above her head into the clouds. The ball then came down, landing a yard down the fairway. At this effort, some unsympathetic fans hooted in derision. Agatha reacted angrily by pecking her nearest tormentors.

The organizers hoped for better results from Roxanne, a fierce, muscular chicken, who spat gravel at the poor official who carried her to the tee. Roxanne followed Agatha’s lead by selecting a driver from the tiny bag on her back. She exhibited perfect form, as a lifetime of looking for worms in the ground had given her the enviable ability to keep her darn, stupid head down. Although her drive nearly doubled Agatha’s in length, this still meant she was 474 yards short. Nearly all the attending journalists agreed that her chances of parring the hole were remote.

Chicken after chicken followed the pattern of Agatha and Roxanne. Something had gone wrong. Apologists for the fowls suggested that the media circus attending this first professional contest unnerved the flock. Indeed, Bob Banks, owner of Francine, slugged a reporter who badgered chickens in rather one-sided interviews.

But the reason for their poor performances lay in the chickens themselves. Remarkably, no one had considered the possibility that a twenty-ounce chicken using a four-inch club would drive a regulation golf ball a considerably shorter distance than would a two-hundred-pound man with a regulation club. Furthermore, for all their attentiveness to their swings, the chickens’ lack of hands proved to be a major obstacle to getting firm grips on their clubs.

(To be continued)

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: book reviews and excerpts, humor, short story | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gibanica (Serbian Cheese Pie)

Serbian Dessert

GIBANICA
(Cheese Pie)

INGREDIENTS

6 eggs
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
1 pound filo (phyllo) dough

SPECIAL UTENSILS

9″-x-13″ baking pan or casserole dish

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Separate eggs. Beat egg whites until fluffy. Add egg yolks, cottage cheese, feta cheese, and sour cream to mixing bowl. Blend thoroughly with whisk or fork. Fold in egg whites. Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Melt butter using low heat. Brush baking pan with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Place 2 sheets filo dough in baking pan. Drizzle 2 tablespoons melted butter over filo. Spread ¼ cup egg/cheese mix on top. Gently crinkle 2 filo sheets into accordion-like balls. Dip accordion balls into cheese/egg mix from bowl until lightly coated. Place coated accordion-like filo balls over flat filo sheets in pan. Repeat until you have 2 filo sheets remaining.

Top with remaining 2 filo sheets. Brush top filo sheets with remaining butter and cheese/egg mix. Bake in over at 360 degrees for 50 minutes or until top is reddish, golden brown. Serve warm or let cool.

TIDBITS

1) Many different groups of people settled America’s Old West. The most obvious types were men and women. It’s obvious now, but no historian before me had ever mentioned it.

2) Chinese settled Western America, but Irish, Swedes, and Germans left Europe to come to the New World’s eastern shores and kept going until they hit the Great American Plains. For a body in motion tends to stay in motion. Long-ago settled Americans from the east pulled up stakes and joined those traveling west. For such a drastic measure as the only way to avoid house calls from salesmen offering to extended their wagon’s extended warranty.

3) However, Serbian cheese pie makers did not participate in the Great Western Movement as their eggs, cottage cheese, feta cheese, and sour cream never survived the months-long journey.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cookbook, cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicken Kebabs from Lebanon

Lebanese Entree

CHICKEN KEBABS

INGREDIENTS

3 boneless chicken breasts
7 garlic cloves
1 green bell pepper
1 small onion
¼ cup lemon juice
6 tablespoon Greek or plain yogurt
3 tablespoons olive oil
¾ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon white pepper or pepper
2 tablespoons red vinegar or apple cider vinegar
¾ teaspoon tomato paste
6 pita loaves

SPECIAL UTENSILS

outdoor grill
6 skewers (If wooden, soak in water for 20 minutes.)

Serves 6. Takes 3 hours.

PREPARATION

Cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Crush garlic cloves. Seed and chop green bell pepper into 1″ squares. Chop onion into 1″ squares. Add all ingredients to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until chicken cubes are well coated. Cover and let marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Thread chicken cubes, bell pepper squares, and onion squares onto skewers. Turn heat on grill to medium. Add skewers to grill. Heat all sides for 3 minutes each. Place skewers in large pot and cover. Let rest for 10 minutes. (This step helps keep the chicken cubes moist.) Serve on skewers or if using pita loaves, remove all ingredients from skewers and place on pita loaves.

TIDBITS

1) Kebabs have been around since Ancient Greece. See Herodotus’s History of Greek Kebabs. You might think it should have been called History of Ancient Greek Kebabs. However, he lived in ancient times only to us. He thought he was being quite modern. Anyway, Herodotus noticed the shape of the pita bread would make a nifty shield and the skewer would make a spiffo spear. Ancient Greek warriors, hoplites, adopted both ideas and would become their era’s fiercest warriors. Now you know.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chilli Taiyo (Spicy Tuna Casserole)

Solomon Islander Entree

CHILLI TAIYO
(Spicy Tuna Casserole)

INGREDIENTS

½ pound thin noodles (Chinese or Italian)
2 garlic cloves
1 onion
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 12-ounce can tuna*
4 ounces chili paste*
2 tablespoons lime juice.
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
8 fresh basil leaves

* = If you are willing to order from Australia, you can buy cans of chilli taiyo instead of getting the first two ingredients. You can also substitute the chili paste with 6 very small but quite spicy hot peppers. Do you feel lucky?

Serves 4. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook noodles according to instructions on package. Drain and reserve noodles.

Mince garlic cloves. Dice onion. Add garlic, onion, and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Add tuna and chili paste to pan. Stir with spoon until well blended. Flatten the tuna. Cook at medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir frequently enough to prevent burning. Add lime juice, pepper, and salt. Stir until blended. Cook for an additional 7 minutes or until tuna reaches your desired level of crispiness. Stir frequently enough to prevent burning.

Add noodles to tuna in pan. Simmer at low-medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir frequently enough to prevent burning. Garnish with basil leaves.

TIDBITS

1) This entree is served in a round bowl.

2) Have bowls always been round?

3) No, although culinary archeologists have found many round bowls in Cro-Magnon burial grounds, the evidence shows that Neanderthals used rectangular bowls.

4) Moreover, when experts say that Neanderthalic bowls were rectangular, they were being generous. Not a single bowl fashioned by a Neanderthal boasts of having a straight edge. It’s almost as if the neanderthals didn’t care if their bowls made a fashion statement. In fact, the Neanderthals often made bowls with more than four angles, with hardly any of them being 90 degrees.

5) Please refer to the definitive study on this matter: von Kartofflen, Otto, Ph.D., “Lack of Geometric Precision in Neanderthalic Bowls, Indifference or Straight-Edge and Right-Angle-Tool Technology Deprivation, Prehistoric Research, August, 1973.

6) Many culinary researchers believe possession of round bowls enabled the Cro Magnons to overcome their Neanderthal cousins. Perhaps the round bowls could be hurled farther, like a discus.

7) This discus-bowl theory is gaining more and more credence. One only has to look at Ancient Greek paintings on vases. The earliest depictions show the athletes flinging round bowls. As time went on, discuses supplanted the bowls.

8) In 1673 B.C., geometricians of Sumer-Akkad develop the first straight edges and right angles. People could now dine out and eat off tables! It was the first golden age of dining out.

9) But this golden age of eating, did not last for ever. For in the times of legend, knights all wanted to be seated nearest to the king while feasting. The closer you were to your liege lord’s chair, the more prestige you had. If you sat far away, the more prestigious knights would laugh at you and say “Na na na poo poo” to say and you would hang your head in shame.

10) But then the quite possibly fictitious ruler, King Arthur, thought why not make a round table? With such a table, there is no specific king’s chair, so no one will know how far, in advance, how much or little prestige they have when sitting down to sup. This idea worked marvelously well. Jockeying for position and status by the knights in the feasting hall disappeared.

11) Hundreds of years later, a knight noticed that you could count how many spots you sat away from the king. War, born out of rivalry, would have broken out but for the soothing round shapes of their soup bowls. It was a near run thing. This is why bowls, to this day, are always round.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round shape brings peace.                                                                       Rectangular shape brings war.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Use, #2, Kitchen Burner

Dear readers,

Today we learn how to use your stove’s burner. You may have an electric one that looks like this.

Here are the two things you must know if you wish to master the art of cooking with a burner.

1) Turn it on. Your burner won’t cook anything unless you turn it on. No matter how patient you are.

2)  Turn it off when you’re done. You don’t want any ouchies on your hands.

Try it! And as always, bon appetit.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: how to use, humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Great Arctic Eats – Archangelsk, Russia

Great Arctic Eats – Archangelsk

Do you like to eat well, but you’re an introvert? Do you find social distancing difficult in your crowded, bustling metropolis? Well, I have the place for you. It’s Archangel in northern Russia. It’s perfect for those who can’t find authentic Russian cuisine near their home and absolutely have to turn the thermostat down whenever the office gets above 40 degrees.
As of press time, Archangelsk’s population was 351,000. The temperature was 12º F.
°
SPECIAL NEW FEATURE! Top rated restaurant that delivers: Presto/Presto Pizzeria. Click here for menu.
°
SPECIAL NEW FEATURE! Top rated restaurant with outdoor seating: Paratov Club & Restaurant
.
If you traveled to Russia to get an authentic Russian meal, by all means, make your way to Velvet. People love this restaurant; I can tell by its good ratings. However, what customers raved about is a mystery to me as all the comments are in Russian. Commenting in Russian for the Russian restaurants seems to be a thing for the inhabitants of Archangelsk. It’s quite likely this occurs from the nearly all Russian population of Archangelsk. By the way, the Russian language has a word for everything.
°
However, the best restaurant in Angelesk is El Fuego. It’s a Latin Steakhouse where they serve amazing food. No, Latin does not mean the menus are in Latin and that the waiters speak Latin. Rather, this establishment serves Latin American specialties.
°
Fine diners who meant to fly to the French Riviera, but accidentally boarded a plane to arctic Archangelsk, can at least feast on Mediterranean fare at restaurant Rika where they serve beautiful food at a great price. Although you may wish to sample Restaurant Pochtovaya Kontora 1786. It also serves Mediterranean cuisine. However this restaurant is known for good food AND comfy seats. With all that, I am at a loss to know why Poctovaya Kontora 1786 doesn’t score higher than Rika.
º
Hungry travelers who meant to fly to the French Riviera but ended up here can also drown their sorrows in alcohol at the gastropub Lock Stock Pub where they serve excellent beers and good food.
°
What whirlwind tour of frigid Archangelsk would be complete without dining on the fine Czech dining to be had at Stare Mesto? One customer summed his experience up by simply saying, “The Meat.” What more do you need to know?
º
Finally, don’t let your culinary adventure of the pizzeria capital of Arctic Russia end without visiting Dodo Pizza. Its customers can’t stop raving about it in Russian.
º
º

In my mind, the most exciting thing to see in Archangelsk is a British Tank Mark V from World War I. How it got here beats me. Did it break through German lines in France and simply through lack of orders keep going until it ran out of gas in northern Russia? How did it manage to go so far on one tank of gas? How did the German air force and army not even notice the tank plodding ever forward on its epic journey across nearly all of Europe? Disappointingly though, it’s enclosed in glass. You may not take it for a spin.

The Small Korela Wooden Architecture and Folk Art Museum comes highly rated. It’s unclear if: the museum is small in number of buildings, if it’s buildings are actually small as in three-feet tall, or if it’s named after Ms. Korela Wooden who was small. If you go, please let me know.

Visit Archangelsk Gastiry Dvory, This museum tells the story of the area through stone objects, bone carvings, Middle Ages’ stuff, church icons, and other stuff. This is a must-see stop for lovers of stuff.

People who love to ride horses should go on the Horse Lovers Tours. The name says it all, doesn’t it?

Jazz lovers will feel at home at Jazz Club JAZZ WORKSHOP. I don’t know why jazz workshop is completely capitalized. Perhaps their caps-lock button got stuck.

Similarly, lovers of puppet theater, must visit the Puppet Theater.

Many fine churches and monasteries adorn Archangelsk. Be sure to visit the Holy Trinity Antony of Siya.

Northern Tourist Company provides a multi-day historical-and-heritage tours.

As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.” See the city’s points of interest, the countryside, and snow.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Arctic eats, international, things to see and do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: