Cheese Souffle

French Dessert

CHEESE SOUFFLE

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon butter (3 tablespoons more later)
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese (¾ cup more later)
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup flour
1¼ cups milk
1 cup grated gruyère cheese
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 egg yolks
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
6 egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

SPECIAL UTENSILS

4 ramekins or 1 souffle dish
electric beater with whisk attachments, if available
baking sheet
flying monkeys, just in case

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter each ramekin with an equal part of 1 tablespoon butter. Coat each ramekin with an equal part of 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. (This is a good time to separate egg yolks and whites if you haven’t already done so.)

Add 3 tablespoons butter to pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Add flour. Stir flour constantly until you get a flour paste. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with whisk until mixture is smooth. Bring to boil using medium heat. Stir constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes or until you get a thick white sauce. Remove from heat.

Add gruyère and Parmesan to pan. Stir until well blended. Add eggs yolks, paprika, pepper, and salt. Stir gently until well blended. Transfer flour/egg/cheese mixture to 1st large mixing bowl and let cool.

Add egg whites and cream or tartar to 2nd large mixing bowl. Beat egg whites with electric beater set on low. Beat until egg whites become foamy and form peaks. Gently fold in ¼ of the egg whites into the flour/egg/mixture. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites until well blended. Pour this blended souffle equally into the ramekins. Gently smooth souffles with spoon. Place ramekins on baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until souffles puff up and turn golden brown.

Do not open the oven the door while baking the souffles. NO, NOT EVEN ONCE! OPENING THE OVEN DOOR WILL MAKE THE SOUFFLES COLLAPSE. YOU WILL FALL SOBBING TO THE FLOOR. NOT ONLY THAT, YOU WILL RELEASE VICIOUS FLYING MONKEYS ALL OVER THE WORLD.

Serve immediately to adoring guests. If they’re unappreciative or late to table, by all means, release the flying monkeys. Those critters need exercise.

TIDBITS

1) With the proper type of internal combustion engine, cars can run on cheese souffle.

2) This actually happened from 1937 to 1940.

3) For on July 14th, Bastille Day, 1937 a very inebriated Chef Auguste Oeuf accidentally staggered to his Renault, unscrewed its gas cap, staggered back to his restaurant, grabbed a tray of cheese souffles, staggered back to his car, and one by one threw the souffles into his gas tank.

4) What are the odds are doing all those things while drunk? And in that order?

5) Small.

6) Less than half.

7) Any way, Chef Oeuf needed to go to the market and buy some chickens for his plat du jour. He turned the ignition. The engine roared into action. He used the newly untamed fury of his Renault to make to the market in record time.

8) He would make trip after trip for ingredients. His customers loved the unparalleled freshness of his cuisine. Ouef’s restaurant, Le Chaton D’or became the most popular restaurant of all Paris. Other chefs of the city noticed this. They too would get rip-roaring drunk and whip up a batch of cheese souffles for their cars. The culinary reputation of Parisian food reigned supreme.

9) The secret of drunken chefs feeding souffles to their cars soon spread to every corner of France.

10) There was though a distressing period, though. when some chefs didn’t get sufficiently soused. Miles per souffle (MPS) suffered. And in consequence, so did the vital culinary/automotive industry.

11) As a result, an anagramist in French government required all cheese-souffle chefs to enter the Fuels Of Cheese (FOC) association.

12) Mais zut alors, in 1940, the Germans conquered France. The long horrors of the occupation permanently sobered up all the country’s chefs. The dried-up cooks retained no memory of how to make souffle fuel. This is why our cars now run of gas.

– 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.

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Ancient Roman Honey Cake

Ancient Roman Dessert

HONEY CAKE

INGREDIENTS

1½ cups spelt flour or regular flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon coriander
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
¾ cup liquid honey (2 tablespoons later)
¾ cup milk
⅓ cup sweet wine
¼ cup slivered almonds or hazelnuts
2 tablespoons liquid honey
no-stick spray

NOTE: Spelt flour is the closest you can get to what the ancient Romans used. The Romans used the herb “rue” instead of coriander. However, some people are extremely allergic to it; feeling queasy smelling it or getting blisters just by touching. The Romans used pine nuts instead of other nuts. However, many people have allergic reactions to it. Clearly, the Romans were dare-devil eaters. Dare-devil eaters became all-conquering soldiers. This is how the Roman Empire became so big.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

9″ cake pan
wire rack

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, coriander, and pepper to medium mixing bowl. Mix with whisk. Add eggs, ¾ cup honey, milk, and wine to large mixing bowl. Whisk ingredients until well blended.

Gradually add dry ingredients from medium bowl to large bowl. Whisk until well blended. Use spatula to fold in nuts. Spray cake pan with no stick spray. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons honey. Let cool on wire rack for 20 minutes before serving

NO TIDBITS! I ran out of space with the above rather tidbitty NOTE.

– 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.

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Montenegrin Burger

Montenegrin Entree

MONTENEGRIN BURGER
(Pljeskavica)

INGREDIENTS

4 garlic cloves
1 small onion (1 more small onion later)
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground lamb
2 teaspoons paprika
¾ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup sparkling or fizzy water
6 pita* halves (optional)
1 small onion
1 Roma tomato

* = It’s most authentic with lepinja, a Montenegrin flatbread. It can be powerful hard to find.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

outdoor grill

Makes 6 burgers. Takes 2 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic and onion. Add garlic, onion, beef, lamb, paprika, pepper, salt, and sparkling water to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Make 6 patties from meat. Add patties to grill. Grill at medium heat for 6 minutes. Flip patties and grill for another 6 minutes or until meat is done to your liking. Cut onion into 6 slices. Cut tomato into 6 slices. Insert patty and onion and tomato slices into each pita half.

TIDBITS

1) The Montenegrin Burger is eerily similar to the famed Pac-ManTM . Is this a case of parallel development or was one of the two inspired by the other? You decide.

– 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.

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Chilaquiles

Mexican Breakfast

CHILAQUILES

INGREDIENTS

3 serrano chiles
2 tomatoes
1 green bell pepper
1 small onion
18 corn tortillas
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 cup shredded Oaxaca or Monterrey Jack cheese
¼ cup sour cream

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
8″ casserole

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Seed chiles. (Or leave seeds in for a spicier entree. Add chiles and tomatoes to food processor. Blend until tomatoes are pureed. Dice bell pepper. Mince onion. Cut each tortillas into 8 pieces.

Add oil to pan. Heat oil using medium-high heat until a little piece of tortilla in the oil starts to dance. Add tortilla pieces. Sauté for 12 minutes or until tortilla become crispy, but not burnt. Stir frequently. Remove tortillas pieces and place them on plates covered with paper towels. Add bell pepper and onion to pan. Sauté for 5 minutes on medium-high heat or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Remove bell pepper/onion mix. Add eggs to pan. Reduce heat to medium and scramble eggs until they are done to your liking.

Add ⅓ of tortilla to casserole dish, then ⅓ bell pepper/onion, followed by ⅓ egg to casserole. Smooth after each layer. Repeat 2 more times. Pour serrano chile/tomato puree over everything. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from over and spoon sour cream evenly over everything.

TIDBITS

1) “Chilaquiles” is an anagram of “Ah, ice quills.” Unlike their American cousins, Greenlandic porcupines have quills made from ice. These northern critters are also stupendously tasty. This is why Eskimo porcupine-hunters exclaim, “Ah ice quills,” whenever they come across ice quill remnants. And of course, it was but a matter of time before vibrant Greenlandic/Mexican chef community transformed porcupine stew into chilaquiles. Ah ice quills, indeed.

– 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.

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Mustard Chicken

Gabonese Entree

MUSTARD CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS

3 garlic cloves
2 onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 boneless chicken breasts or thighs
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup Dijon mustard

Serves 6. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic cloves. Dice onions. Add oil to large pan. Heat oil using high heat until a tiny bit of onion will dance in the oil. Carefully add chicken breasts to pan. (You might need to cook in batches.) Sear chicken for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove chicken and set aside. Keep oil.

Add garlic and onion to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. Add garlic, onion, chicken, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard to pot. Mix with fork until well blended. Cover and simmer at low/medium heat for 25 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink inside. Stir occasionally. Put chicken breast on each plate. Ladle mustard/onion sauce over chicken breasts. Goes quite well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) “Mustard” is an anagram for “Drums rat.” And it almost goes without saying that “chicken” is an anagram for “chicken.” So, “Mustard chicken” by an extension of logic, an anagram for “Chicken drums rat.” Indeed, “Chickens drum rat” is the first complete sentence in English. In fact, a newly discovered fresco at St. Camembert’s church, dating before 1000 AD, shows chicken pounding drums with their wings. Beneath the painting are the words, “Chickens drum ‘rats’.” And whenever farmers heard “rat” being drummed out, they rushed back and shooed off the ravenous vermin.

2) Unfortunately, English farmers never taught their chickens to drum out “Normans.” So when in 1066 Duke William of Normandy landed his army, a perplexed chicken sentry didn’t know what to do. Eventually, she drummed out “rat” to England’s king. King Harold Godwinson didn’t give a fig about rats and instead scurried north to defeat Harold Hardrada. Meanwhile, back on the southern English beaches, the Norman forces assembled unmolested into a coherent, compact army. The two forces met as Hastings. The tired English lost to the fresh Normans. Duke William became the new English king. However, William knew what a near-run thing his invasion had been. His barons went through the realm slaying every single chicken-drumming teacher. Now, no chicken knows how to drum. It’s a pity as the Chicken Drumming Festival at St. Albans was something to behold.

– 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.

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Spotlight on Concha Alborg, Author of “My Mother, That Stranger. Letters from the Spanish Civil War”

About the book

 

Over eight-hundred letters were written between the author’s newly-engaged parents during the time that her father was on the Republican war front fighting against Franco’s forces, and her mother awaiting the end of the war. Her father, Professor Juan Luis Alborg, would live to become a well-known literary historian and critic. Her mother’s life, on the other hand, was overshadowed by her husband’s academic celebrity. The letters were discovered whilst preparing for a symposium marking the centenary of her father’s birth, celebrated at the University of Malaga in 2014

This unique memoir is a microhistory of the Spanish Civil War at an individual level; it illuminates the ‘official story’ as told in history books at multiple levels. Her mother’s personal narrative adds to the understanding of this significant time because she shows how a family lived in the midst of war. A primary relevance is that she lived in Valencia, which in November 1936 become the official capital of the Republican government. Working in a government co-op gave her an insider’s view of the ongoing political and military situation. She describes the contrasting burdens between family life in Valencia, and the life of her fiancé soldier on the southern frontlines. The author’s mother is exemplary of the women who were formed under the liberal Second Spanish Republic (1931–39) only to be silenced during Franco’s repressive dictatorship (1939–75). The long-lost letters made Concha Alborg realize how little she understood her mother’s passion to set down complex feelings in the most difficult of circumstances. My Mother, That Stranger will be of interest to Hispanists, historians and literary critics for its uniqueness on the epistolary genre and gender studies, and to the general public as a heartfelt family memoir.

 

Excerpt From My Mother, That Stranger. Letters from the Spanish Civil War

 

In this memoir My Mother, That Stranger. Letters from the Spanish Civil War, Concha Alborg included recipes from her family in Spain. Today, we would like to share one with you.

“Rollitos;” Christmas Anisette Cookies:

All the entries in my mother’s recipe notebook are of desserts; there is not a single one of her savory dishes. The recipes are written neatly, underlined with red ink and they encompass a life trajectory of sorts. There are several from the old Alborg aunts, Isabel and Vicenta, some from her Spanish friends, all the way to my recipe for sherry cake and another for chocolate chip cookies, written in English! My mother never ceases to surprise me. It is interesting that she would take the time to write down these recipes, but not any of the meals she was best known for. It is as if she believed that cooking is an art and baking a science. She did not need to record her masterpieces, but needed the exact ingredients of the sweet treats, although she wrote “as much flour as needed” for the “rollitos.”

Growing up we seldom had sweet desserts. Fruit was served at the end of each meal, but cakes and cookies were reserved for holidays, such as the Saints’ Days and birthdays. Only at Christmas time did we have special treats of almond nougat and marzipan. “Meriendas” (a late afternoon or early evening snack) were usually made up of a sweet roll or a croissant, but those were store-bought. As children we usually had plain bread with some chocolate and a glass of milk, nothing more.

She made “rollitos” in early December for our Saint’s Day on the 8th and the leftovers were reserved for Christmas. They were and still are my favorite cookies ever! Their liqueur smell permeated the house and when I was a little girl, I could smell them the minute I stepped out of the elevator. The recipe I have in my mother’s handwriting with red ink on a 3 X 5 card is yellowed and stained, but I would never think of copying it anew.

I started making them as a young bride and continued doing so religiously after my daughters were born. I was glad that most of my friends and in-laws found them strong and strange and preferred the traditional American sugar cookies for Christmas, the more for me to savor. I know that making “rollitos” is a tedious job. They take a minimum of two hours and they are all rolled by hand in small donut-like circles the size of a ring. They are dipped in sugar, which makes one’s hands sticky and you need to wash them often. When I was little, I liked them best eaten warm and I was supposed to wait until they cooled down or I would get a stomach ache. But I found out that it was not true, because once I ate at least a baker’s dozen (an expression in English I love and we do not have in Spanish) when the “rollitos” had just come out of the oven and absolutely nothing happened to my stomach.

Diana, my oldest, learned to make them early and I thought she was a fan until the day that she took the dough and made one huge “rollitón” announcing: “Here, I’m done.” Luckily, her sister was old enough to take over and, again, I thought she enjoyed the family tradition, only to find out that she hated making them too and did not like eating them, even if they were warm. When my daughters grew up and left the nest, I found friends and neighbors to join me making them. I soon got the feeling as soon as the first Christmas songs were heard, that no one wanted to see me, and they would disappear from my kitchen with the excuse of being really busy. My late husband Peter, despite his serious character faults, was very helpful in the kitchen and a fellow “rollito” lover and made them with me for years. In desperation, during my years as a widow, I have recruited unsuspecting boyfriends to bake with me with the expectation of perhaps winning my heart, which has not happened yet.

As we know, life can have very sweet surprises and now I have two lovely twin granddaughters who enjoy making “rollitos” with me, I think. At least they humor me as long as I make them a “tortilla de patatas” in return, a potato omelet, which they love. Having two helpers instead of one makes it more efficient. Actually, I have doubled the recipe since now the three grandchildren expect their own tin of “rollitos” to take home. The twins are amazing. They have figured out that one rolls out the dough and the other dips “rollitos” in sugar, which saves with the hand washing. They know how to charm me and speak Spanish during our baking day. One year, when they were in the “fighting-with-each-other phase,” I allowed them to insult each other as much as they wanted as long as they used the affirmative and negative commands in Spanish, which are so tricky to learn. There is nothing like being a retired professor and a grandmother to come up with this trick!

Here is the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

1 cup virgin olive oil
1 cup anisette
1 cup sugar and more for dipping
2 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons baking powder
Flour, as much as needed (about six cups)

METHOD

In a large bowl, combine the oil, anisette, eggs and sugar. Add the lemon zest and the baking powder. Add the flour little by little until it becomes manageable and it can be kneaded on the counter.

Form rings of half an inch-size wide dough. Dip them in sugar before baking. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 20 minutes. The bottom should be golden brown.

Makes about five dozen.

 

Bio

 

Dr. Concha Alborg was born in Valencia and grew up in Madrid. She has lived in the United States since the 1960s. She received a Masters from Emory University and a Ph.D. from Temple University. She was a professor of contemporary Spanish literature at Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia. Some of her academic publications include: Cinco figuras en torno a la novela de posguerra, a critical edition of Caza menor, and Temas y técnicas en la narrativa de Jesús Fernández Santos. Her fiction and creative non-fiction publications are detailed on the press website.

*********************************

Paul De Lancey

http://www.pauldelancey.com

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Bunny’s Feast

Bunny Entree

BUNNY’S FEAST

INGREDIENTS

1 large carrot
½ Roma tomato
3 tablespoons raisins.

Serves a bunny family. Takes 5 minutes.

PREPARATION

Break carrot into 2 or 3 pieces. Dice Roma tomato. Do nothing to raisins. Place carrot pieces, diced Roma tomato, and raisins on separate flat surfaces. The separation of ingredients allows the bunnies to create their own three-course meal.

The best time for the bunny feast is just before dusk when it’s dark enough for our furry friends to feel safe and light enough for us to see.

TIDBITS

1) The Chinese dedicate every twelveth year to the rabbit. The Aztecs held that the Centzon Totochtin (say that quickly) are 400 rabbit gods who party all the time. They are the gods of drunks. Ancient Asians believed a rabbit lived on the moon with its friend the moon goddess. Nanabhozo was a Native American creator god who liked to appear as the Great Rabbit.

2) Crusader Rabbit appeared on early television as a force for good. The kindly Velveteen Rabbit appeared in books. Peter Rabbit delighted kids for decades.

3) However, we spurned the good lapins of literature for less savory rabbits. Brer Rabbit and Bugs Bunny were tricksters. To be fair, Bugs Bunny did promote war bonds during World War II.

4) Bunnicula, of literature fame, sucked juice from carrots while the movie, Curse of the Were-Rabbit showed these furry creatures to be other worldly.

5) Rabbits turned deadly in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. “That’s no ordinary rabbit.” 1972’s horror flick, Night of the Lepus treated viewers to thousands of mutated rabbits killing and eating the inhabitants of small towns along their Chicago. Spoiler alert, Chicago survives.

6) See? Even the nicest of rabbits can go rather bad without attention. Go to the library with your kids. Check out Peter Rabbit books. Do it today. Civilization hangs in the balance.

– 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.

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Risotto

Italian Appetizer

RISOTTO

INGREDIENTS

5½ cups chicken broth
2 garlic cloves
1 onion
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, or oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Arborio* rice
½ cup dry white wine
¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons butter

* = The properties of Arborio are important to this dish. The best substitute for Arborio is Carnaroli, with regular short-grain rice to be used only in a pinch.

Serves 10 or 5 if served as an entree. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add chicken broth to pot. Simmer at warm heat. While broth simmers, mince garlic cloves and onion. Dice Italian parsley. Add garlic, onion, and olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently

Add rice. Reduce heat to medium. Sauté for 3 minutes or until rice smells toasty and turns translucent. Stir frequently, making sure rice is thoroughly coated with olive oil. Add wine. Sauté until rice absorbs all the liquid. Stir frequently. Add broth 1 cup at time. Stir gently after each addition until the rice absorbs the broth. This should take about 25 minutes with the rice being creamy and al dente, just a little bit firm. Remove from heat and gently stir in butter and Parmesan cheese. Garnish with Italian parsley. Serve immediately.

TIDBITS

1) Karl Marx visited lovely Florence in 1848. While waiting forever for an espresso, Crabby Karl listened as workers at the next table complained loudly and endlessly about the oppressive Austrian rule over their city. His patience exhausted, he yelled at the workers, “So, riot.” They did. Fortunately, the chef had been whipping up a new rice dish. He served the workers just as they were about to go and throw bricks at the constabulary. The workers loved their risotto. They completely lost their urge to run amuck. The anagramist among them said, “no ‘so, riot.’” He lifted up his bowl of rice. “Risoto.” A typo turned that into “Risotto. Oh, and Karl would go on to other things.

– 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.

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Tuna Stuffed Eggs (Uova Ripiene di Tonno)

Italian Appetizer

TUNA STUFFED EGGS

(Uova Ripiene di Tonno)

INGREDIENTS

4 eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 4-ounce can tuna, drained
1 teaspoon capers, drained
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 leaves lettuce
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley

SPECIAL UTENSIL

small food processor

Serves 4. Takes 35 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add enough water to cover eggs with 1″ extra. Bring water to boil. Use a large spoon to carefully add eggs. Boil for 12 minutes. Remove eggs and put in a bowl of cold water. Peel eggs. Cut eggs in half along their length. Remove yolks and set aside.

Add yolks, mayonnaise, tuna, capers, pepper, salt, and lemon juice to small food processor. Blend until creamy. Fill egg-white halves with equal amounts of creamy mixture. Tear lettuce leaves in half. Place filled egg-white haves on lettuce-leaf halves. Dice parsley. Garnish with parsley.

TIDBITS

1) One night Contessina de’ Bardi dreamed this entire recipe in modern Italian. Unfortunately, she and many others on the Italian peninsula still spoke Latin. She had no idea what she had imagined.

2) So asked her husband Cosimo de’ Medici (1389-1464), “We don’t we all learn Italian? That way we can all understand this recipe and make a yummy appetizer. “But,” said Cosimo, “there are sorts of proto-Italian dialects around. How will we get everyone to agree on just one version?”

3) “Well,” said Contessina, “We’ll make Florence the center of the art world. All Italy will come here to marvel at our artistic glory. The visitors will all pick up Florentine Italian. So will I. Then I’ll be able to make you Tuna Stuffed Eggs.” Cosimo said, “Sounds good.” And so began The Renaissance.

– 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.

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Tibet Yak Butter Tea

Tibetan Appetizer

YAK BUTTER TEA

INGREDIENTS

3½ cups water
2 tablespoons loose-leaf black tea or 6 black-tea bags
2 tablespoons yak ghee, yak butter*, or cow butter
½ cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon salt

* = Yak butter can be found in Tibet and nowhere else apparently, not even online. Yak ghee, however, can be purchased on line. I really tried to find yak butter. There are yaks farm in Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming. You can order yak meat from them or even an entire yak. Simply drive to a yak farm and buy the animal.. Somehow put the yak in your van or pickup truck. (I recommend against using the tiny Honda FitTM for this purpose.) Drive the yak back to your humble abode. Milk the yak. (You did buy a female yak, didn’t you?) Put the yak milk in your food processor. Blend until the yak milk separates into yak butter and yak buttermilk. Easy peasy. Drink the yak buttermilk as is or use it to make yak-buttermilk pancakes.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

stool (If you’re milking a yak.)
colander (If you’re using loose tea.)
blender
sonic obliterator

Serves 5. Takes 15 minutes.
.
PREPARATION

Add water to 1st pot. Bring water to boil using high heat. Add black tea. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 3 minutes. Stir enough times to prevent burning. While tea simmers, build a financial empire. Remove tea leaves or tea bags from tea. Add tea, yak butter or ghee, milk, and salt to blender. Blend on low speed for 3 minutes. Serve the tea right away. Zap un-appreciative guests with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

TIDBITS

1) This dish is truly difficult to assemble and make. How difficult, you ask?

2) You have to go to a yak farm in west-central America to even find yaks.

3) Suppose you don’t want to buy a yak and take it home. (As suggested earlier in the recipe.)

4) You could ask the yak ranchers if you could milk the yaks right there.

5) They might refuse. They might charge you a lot for milking privileges. They might let you do it for free if they’re in the mood for a laugh and it has been a plumb stressful week of yak ranching.

6) Suppose you get some yak milk. Good. Now you have to transport it back home and that’s likely to be a long drive. And you’ll need to keep that milk cold all the way back or it’ll go bad.

7) The distance from my home to the Colorado yak ranch is 1,155 miles. That would take me 16.5 hours.

8) I wouldn’t risk using a cooler for such a lengthy venture. I think it’s likely the milk would still get warm and go bad in a cooler.

9) I’d be ticked off beyond measure if I drove 16.5 hours to get to the ranch, got laughed at the ranch hands while I milked the yaks, and took the same time to get back home only to find the yak milk went bad.

10) Nothing’s worse than spoiled yak milk

11) Best to put a refrigerator in your care. Plug the fridge into the cigarette lighter. Could you get enough electricity from the cigarette lighter to power the refrigerator? Even if you could, how many miles to the gallon would your get? Two?

12) You could try taking a portable electric generator with you. Could such a generator power your fridge all the way back from Colorado, where you were laughed at while milking yak cows? Doubtful.

13) It’s simpler to fly to Lhasa, Tibet, then buy some yak butter there. As of today, I can fly round trip from near my home to Lhasa, Tibet for $867 with each flight taking 50 hours, a scant 27 hours each way for a scant $1,344.

14) Then buy a really, really tight container, one that doesn’t let heat in at all. Pack the container with ice. Mail it from Lhasa. Pick package up at home. Is this at possible?

15) Don’t know. That’s why I ordered some yak ghee.

– 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.

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