Monthly Archives: February 2014

Pretzels

American Appetizer

PRETZELS

INGREDIENTSPretzel-

3/4 cup warm water
2 cups bread flour or plain flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon dry active yeast

1 egg
no-stick spray
1/2 tablespoon coarse salt
(coarse salt is not a crude sailor)

makes 12 pretzels

SPECIAL UTENSIL

bread maker

PREPARATION

Put water, flour, sugar, salt, brown sugar, and yeast in bread maker. Follow instructions for dough setting. Take a nice relaxing bath for about 45 minutes before summoning courage to beat egg.

Beat egg. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. When bread maker is done, separate dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 15″ log. Fold each log into a pretzel shape. Spray cookie sheet with no-stick spray. Place pretzels on cookie sheet. Brush pretzels with egg. Sprinkle pretzels with coarse salt. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-to-15 minutes or until pretzels are golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) Pretzels were invented by Christian monks around the start of the seventeenth century. They were given to children for learning their devotions and resembled arms crossing the chest in prayer.

2) Italians, Spanish, and French have always claimed to have invented the pretzel. This disagreement grew so heated that they fought each other constantly from 1494 to 1525. The Spanish eventually prevailed, winning the right to rule Italy and claim ownership of the pretzels for 200 years. Deprived of pretzel bragging rights, the Italians lost interest in the Renaissance. Indeed, arts languished everywhere for hundreds of years until the Richard Wagner’s operas and Jim Henson’s Muppets Show. It is no coincidence that German Wagner and American Henson hail from the two greatest pretzel making countries in the world.

– Chef Paul

3novels

Please check out Paul De Lancey’s books on Amazon.com.

or visit his website www.lordsoffun.com for signed copies.

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Lay’s Lutefisk and Liver Potato Chips

I will become a millionaire. I have entered the most scathingly brilliant flavor idea for Lay’s potato chip contest – lutefisk and liver. How could it lose? It can’t. Everybody loves lutefisk. Only the people who can taste, smell, or see don’t. And liver well … is incredibly healthy for you. Don’t forget the Vikings ate lutefisk and nearly conquered the world. Eat lutefisk and liver potato chips, for the healthy Viking in all of us.

Notice even Lay’s says, “Lutefisk and Liver? That does sound yummy as a chip!”

lutefiskChips– Chef Paul

 

3novels

Please check out Paul De Lancey’s books on Amazon.com.

 

or visit his website www.lordsoffun.com for signed copies.

 

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Pork and Tofu Stir Fry

Chinese Entree

PORK-AND -TOFU STIR FRY

INGREDIENTSPorkTofuStir-

12 ounce firm tofu
1 pound pork tenderloin
3 garlic cloves
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon hot-pepper paste or chili-garlic sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons sherry
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock

SPECIAL UTENSIL

food processor
a wok would be nice as well

PREPARATION

Cut tofu into 1/2″ cubes. Use food processor to shred pork. Mince garlic cloves.

Add pork, garlic, cornstarch, hot-pepper paste, red pepper flakes, oil, sherry, and soy sauce to mixing bowl. Toss ingredients until pork is thoroughly coated. (You make take the toss instruction in a non-culinary way if your guests look upon your efforts and say, “Ew, I don’t like Chinese.”)

Add peanut oil, sesame oil, and ingredients from mixing bowl to skillet. (Ask for a wok for Christmas.) on medium-high heat for 2-to-3 minutes or until pork is no longer pink. Stir frequently. Add tofu. Sauté for 1 minute or until tofu is heated through. Stir in chicken stock and cook covered on medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) It’s comforting to know that the Earth’s orbit will not be affected if all billion or more Chinese jump off a chair at the same time. Physicists say so. So there. So no nation needs to develop a counter-jumping program.

2) However, an experiment in Britain in 2001 had school kids jumping off chairs at the same time. The reason for this trial completely escapes me. Sounds like fun though. Anyway, this scientific research caused a 2.0 earthquake. 2.0! Pshaw, I’m from California. That’s not an earthquake. Pish!

– Chef Paul

 

3novels

Please check out Paul De Lancey’s books on Amazon.com.

 

or visit his website www.lordsoffun.com for signed copies.

 

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Corned Beef Hash and Hornswoggling

American Breakfast

CORNED BEEF HASH

INGREDIENTSCornedBeefHash-

3 medium brown potatoes
1 pound corned beef
1 onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup beef broth or broth from cooking corned beef

PREPARATION

Bake potatoes, keep skins on, at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Remove potatoes. While potatoes cool, dice corned beef and mince onion. Put onion and butter in large skillet. Sauté onion at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until it softens. Stir frequently.

Cut potatoes into 1/2″ cubes. Add potato, corned beef, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and broth to skillet. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or until potato turns golden brown. Stir occasionally. Add broth and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir occasionally.

TIDBITS

1) Reporters once ridiculed Vice President Dan Quayle for misspelling potato. Thank goodness for him he didn’t need to write the word “heteroskedasticity.” Indeed how many reporters can spell that word? Can you spell “heteroskedasticity?” Okay, without looking at this tidbit? Of course, if you weren’t looking at this, you wouldn’t be challenged to spell “hetero…” Oh never mind.

2) Potatoes are used to make French fries at baseball games. However, corned beef hash is not served at any baseball stadium, not even at the single A level. Caviar-and-filet mignon hash might be served at ball parks located in the ritziest of neighborhoods, but I’ve never heard of it.

3) By the way, the word “hornswoggle,” meaning to “bamboozle,” comes from baseball as this excerpt from the novel The Fur West states,

“I loved baseball, too. Timmy played it and so did many of my other friends, Jeb, Bobby, Pete, and Josh, although I didn’t cotton to a sneaky Irish kid named Sean Hornswoggle. The redhead would hit the ball and run directly to second base if he thought he could get away with it. We soon took to calling any cheating “hornswoggling.”

– Chef Paul

3novels

Please check out Paul De Lancey’s books on Amazon.com.

 

or visit his website www.lordsoffun.com for signed copies.

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National Stereotypes on Google

Here is how Google completes your search question when you type in the words, “Why is (some country) . . .?” Presumably the first completed choice by Google mirrors peoples’ stereotypes about particular nation.

The following  stereotypes garnered more than one country:

Poor countries were: Indonesia, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Romania, Vietnam
Expensive countries were: Argentina, Brazil, Britain, Fiji
Happy countries were: Denmark, Sweden
Rich countries were: Germany, Norway, Switzerland
Dry countries were: Australia, Peru, Turkey
Big countries were: Greenland, Russia
Why so important countries? were: Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece
Violent and dangerous countries were: Colombia, Iraq, Pakistan, South Africa

And now, stereotypes for the first fifty countries that popped into my mind. Okay, many of the following countries were chosen because I love their cuisine. or I enjoyed traveling there. My favorite is, “Why is Greenland so big?”

Country      Stereotype
———      ————
Afghanistan – important
America – fat
Argentia – expensive
Australia – dry
Brazil – expensive

Britain – expensive
Canada – nice
China – polluted
Colombia – violent
Cuba – important

Denmark – happy
Egypt – important
Fiji – expensive
France – gay
Germany – rich

Greece – important
Greenland – big
Iceland – peaceful
India – poor
Indonesia – poor

Iraq – violent
Ireland – green
Israel – important to us
Italy – racist
Jamaica – violent

Japan – clean
Kenya – good at running
Mexico – poor
Mozambique – poor
Netherlands – liberal

Nicaragua – poor
New Zealand – free
Nigeria – poor
North Korea – bad
Norway – rich

Pakistan – dangerous
Peru  – dry
Poland – weak
Romania – poor
Russia – big

Saudi Arabia – stupid
Scotland – cold
South Africa – violent
Spain – empty
Switzerland – rich

Tibet – important to China
Turkey – dry
Sweden –  happy
Vatican City – small
Vietnam – poor

Chef Paul is busy cooking up a meal. He loves cuisines from so many countries and will be back soon. Please check out his novels and his cookbooks on Amazon.com.3novels

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Reuben Sandwiches and Hypnosis

American Entree

REUBEN SANDWICH

INGREDIENTSReubenSandwich-

8 slices rye, pumpernickel, wheat bread, or favorite bread
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons Russian salad dressing (see recipe)
12 ounces corned beef
4 ounces Swiss cheese
1 1/4 cups coleslaw (see recipe)

SPECIAL SKILL

hypnosis

PREPARATION

Spread butter on one side of each bread slice and Russian dressing on the other. Place bread slices butter-side down. Top slices in order with equal amounts of corned beef, cheese, and coleslaw. Assemble sandwiches.

Did you spill anything while putting sandwiches together? If no, hooray! If yes, was anyone looking? If not, hooray! If yes, stare them in the eye and use hypnosis until they forget the whole mishap.

Anyway, place as many sandwiches as will fit in skillet. Cook covered on medium heat for 2-to-4 minutes per side or until bread toasts and cheese melt. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Serve to aware and hypnotized guests alike.

TIDBITS

1) Russians never shake hands through an open door. They believe it leads to arguments.

2) No, it doesn’t.

3) Yes, it does.

4) Russians never shake hands through a closed door.

5)

6) Hah! Got you there, odd tidbits. Left you speechless.

7) Russians never open doors with salad dressing on their hands. See? Got my voice back.

– Chef Paul

 

3novels

Please check out Paul De Lancey’s books on Amazon.com.

 

or visit his website www.lordsoffun.com for signed copies.

 

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Coleslaw

American Entree

COLESLAW

INGREDIENTSColeslaw-

1 head green cabbage
2 medium carrots
1/2 sweet onion (Vidalia or Walla Walla)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt

SPECIAL UTENSIL

food processor

PREPARATION

Use food processor to grate half of the cabbage head. Thinly slice the other half. Grate carrots and onion. Add all ingredients to mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Serve first to the person who offers to clean up.

TIDBITS

1) Please relax a bit and enjoy the best song I know about coleslaw, “Coleslaw,” by Jesse Stone.

American Entree

COLESLAW

INGREDIENTS

1 head green cabbage
2 medium carrots
1/2 sweet onion (Vidalia or Walla Walla)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt

SPECIAL UTENSIL

food processor

PREPARATION

Use food processor to grate half of the cabbage head. Thinly slice the other half. Grate carrots and onion. Add all ingredients to mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Serve first to the person who offers to clean up.

TIDBITS

1) Please relax a bit and enjoy the best song I know about coleslaw, “Coleslaw,” by Jesse Stone.

2) There are no fun facts about coleslaw. It’s best to talk about something other than coleslaw at parties if you wish to get invited again.

3) But people will think urbane and witty if you expound eloquently on the brilliant songwriter, Cole Porter. Cole Porter wrote the song, “Anything Goes.” It manages to be absolutely wonderful without even mentioning coleslaw once.

4) There is no coleslaw museum anywhere, so Cole Porter isn’t the only one to ignore this noble dish.

5) But if there were a coleslaw museum, I’m sure Jess Stone would have a place of honor.

6) Coleslaw does get mentioned in the classic song, “Ghost Chickens in the Sky” by Leroy Troy. The cause of culinary music marches on.

– Chef Paul

3novelsPlease check out Paul De Lancey’s books on Amazon.com.

or visit his website www.lordsoffun.com for signed copies.

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