Monthly Archives: December 2015

Steak Diane

American Entree

STEAK DIANE

INGREDIENTSSteakDiane-

1½ pounds beef tenderloin, rib eye, or flank
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter
2 shallots
¼ cup cognac or brandy
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons parsley

Makes 6 plates. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Slice tenderloin into 36 strips. Rub pepper and salt into tenderloin. Let sit for 10 minutes. Add butter to pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Stir frequently. Add as many tenderloin strips to pan as will fit in a single layer. Sear tenderloin using high heat for about 1 minute until strips are completely brown on bottom. Flip slices over and sear other side. Remove tenderloin from pan and set aside. Remove and set aside melted butter.

Mince shallots. Add shallot, cognac, and Worcestershire sauce to second pan. Sauté at medium heat for 2-to-3 minutes or until liquid has been reduced by half. Stir frequently. Add lemon juice, parsley, and melted butter from first pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes or until sauce thickens. Stir occasionally. Add tenderloin strips to plates. Ladle sauce over tenderloin slices. Guests who ooh and aah the loudest get the most strips.

TIDBITS

1) Steak Diane is often prepared at restaurants by lighting the alcohol in it. The flames burn off the alcoholic content while preserving the taste. Diners ooh and aah over the pyrotechnics.

2) The waiters who prepare this dish for you at your table are highly trained. Except, of course, for the ones without eyebrows. They are new.

3) Restaurants also have overhead sprinkles and fire extinguishers handy. Most homes do not. This is why this recipe is prepared without flames. Too dangerous.

4) Unless you are faced with a ravenous, blood-thirsty intruder. In that case, invite him to the kitchen for steak Diane. Use a liberal amount of cognac. Encourage the thug to take in the wonderful aroma of the steak strips. Then, pow, set the entree and the brute on fire with a propane torch. The thief will flee and you’ll have a nice, impromptu feast. Invite your friends over. Share your adventure and your culinary creation with them. Life is good.

– Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

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

 

Categories: cuisine, humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coins Under Your Sofa Cushions Fundraiser for the Bacon & Chocolate Party

B&Ctasty

Right now the nerve center of B&C is the office in my home. It gets crowded when Number One Son uses the other computer in the room. Sometimes Number Two Son kicks me off this computer claiming homework needs to be done. Sometimes, my wife claims I spend too much time on the computer and I better come out now. So, campaigning for the presidency halts. If I don’t campaign, I won’t win the presidency. If I don’t win the presidency, Bacon & Chocolate’s vision for this great nation will be thwarted. What can be done?

I’m glad you asked. B&C has recently learned that really nice, big homes can be rented in Fuggerei, Germany for the rather modest price of 88c. We need one home for the presidential race and another for all our gubernatorial and congressional races. Heather Rhoads has graciously offered to pay the rent for one home. Will you match her generosity? Partially? How about a penny? I know people’s paychecks are often spoken for before they even get them. But I know you want to help Bacon & Chocolate’s glorious cause. Where can you find the spare coins? Where people of the world have always found them. Under their sofa cushions. Please all the pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters you find to the Bacon & Chocolate Party.*

– Paul R, De Lancey, presidential candidate for the Bacon & Chocolate Party

* = Were  not currently set up to accept funds from fund raising. We need to have a fund raiser to get funds so we can get set up to accept funds from fundraisers.

CoverFrontFinal

Check out my latest novel, the hilarious apocalyptic thriller, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms? It’s published by HumorOutcasts Press, B&C’s official sponsor, and is available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com.

 

 

 

Categories: Bacon & Chocolate, politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Swedish Saffransbröd

Swedish Dessert

SAFFRANSBRÖD

INGREDIENTSSaffranBrod-

2¼ teaspoons yeast
⅓ cup warm water
1 cup milk
½ cup butter
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar (½ cup more later)
½ teaspoon (1 gram) saffron threads
⅓ cup raisins
½ cup sugar
2 eggs (1 more egg later)
4 cups flour (2 more tablespoons later)
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSILS

tin foil
cookie sheet

Makes 4 6″ buns. Takes 2 hours 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Add yeast and water to large mixing bowl. While yeast dissolves, add milk to small pot. Heat milk at high heat until scalding hot (almost boiling). Stir constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Add butter, salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar to pot. Stir constantly until butter melts. Remove from heat.

Add saffron to tin foil. Bake at 250 for 5 minutes or until saffron is toasted. Add toasted saffron to cup. Crush saffron with fingers. Add 1 teaspoon sugar to cup. Mix with fork. Add crushed saffron/sugar to mixing bowl with dissolved yeast. Add 2 eggs, raisins, ½ cup sugar, and buttery milk to mixing bowl. Stir in 4 cups flour, one cup a time. Mix with whisk or fork.

Dust cutting board with 2 tablespoons flour. Add dough to cutting board. Let dough stand for 10 minutes. Knead with hands until dough stiffens. Add oil and dough to large bowl. Turn dough until it is coated with oil. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough into 12 pieces. Use hands to turn each piece into a 12″ rope. Put 3 ropes side by side. Braid the 3 ropes together by crossing the left rope and then the right rope over the center rope until there is one long braid. Join ends of long braid to make a circle or crown. Repeat to make three more crowns. Beat one egg. Brush egg over crowns.
Spray cookie sheet with no-stick spray. Place crowns on parchment-covered cookie sheet. Let crowns rise for 15 minutes or until they puff up into a bun. Bake for 15-to-25 minutes or until golden brown and when a toothpick inserted into buns comes out clean. Let cool on rack.

TIDBITS

1) Böard is Swedish for surfboard. Yes, surfboards were invented by the Swedish baker, Franf. For in 1618, Franf found a large tree trunk washed up on shore. The tree was of a sort unknown to Europe. Franf reasoned it must have come from a large continent to the west.

2) He announced his discovery to the Swedish court and asked royal packing for a proposed voyage of discovery. The Swedish king said Franf was an idiot, noting Christopher Columbus had discovered the New World in 1492, in addition to Basque fishermen, Viking explorers, the third-grade class of Stockholm’s very own Lutefisk academy, Chinese traders, and the people of the great migration across the land bridge from Siberia to Alaska.

3) Franf wondered why entire tribes would assemble in frozen Siberia and then trek eastward into howling blizzards to an unknown land. Perhaps they really had a hankering for a White CastleTM burger. Those tiny delights with their minced onions are really tasty. Perhaps the ancient trekkers honestly thought there be a White Castle in the new land, just like the Spanish conquistadors and their Seven Cities of Gold. We’ll never know. Researchers are still waiting for the Cliff NotesTM to come out.

4) Franf waited patiently for the above long tidbit to end, before he could go home.

5) He moped for countless seconds–there were no stopwatches in 1618–before rebounding with the boundless optimism of all Post-Renaissance Swedish bakers.

6) Fraf went to a dock, sat down, pulled out his pipe, lit a match, and commenced to day dreaming. His long reddish beard burst into a fireball of flame; not applying the burning match to the pipe was a mistake. Howling with pain, Franf dove into the bay to put out the fire.

7) Flame extinguished, Franf immediately inventoried certain gaps in his education and there were many. However, the one that consistently came to the forefront was not learning to swim. Thank goodness, the tree trunk from the first tidbit, by now worn down to a thin board, was right next to him. (Notice the neat foreshadowing?)

8) Franf climbed onto the board and sat down to think. Here he was sitting in Sweden, the top of world, when suddenly, in geological terms, he caught a wave. “Häftig,” he shouted, “this is totally awesome!” People gathered on the shore as Franf rode one rörformig wave after another. They joined in. Surfing totally rocked Sweden. It was totally tubular, man.

11) Then the Thirty Years war broke out. Thousands and thousands of surfing Swedes lost their lives in the battlefields of Germany, never again to catch that perfect Baltic Sea wave. Surfing died out in that no longer care free Nordic land.

12) But Franf is still remembered in the vibrant culinary, surfing world. This recipe is called Saffransbröd, in anagrammic remembrance, of Franf’s böard.

– Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

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

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

Chicken Banh Mi

Vietnamese Entree

CHICKEN BANH MI

INGREDIENTSChickenBanhMi-

4 8″ baguettes (not overly cripsy)
3 medium carrots
¼ pound daikon
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup rice vinegar
2 Thai red chiles or jalapeños
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
4 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon vegetable oil                                                                           Not a Van Gogh painting
½ cup aioli sauce (see recipe) or mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sriracha
¼ cup fresh cilantro
1 cucumber
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSIL

cookie sheet

Makes 4 banh mi sandwiches. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Split baguettes in half along their lengths. Grate, or julienne, carrots and daikon. Add sugar and rice vinegar to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves. Remove and let cool. Add carrot and daikon to pot. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While carrots and daikon marinate, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mince Thai red chiles. Cut chicken breasts into 1″-wide strips. Add Thai red chiles, lime juice, garlic salt, pepper, and chicken to large mixing bowl. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes. While chicken marinates, add aioli sauce and sriracha to small mixing bowl. Blend together with whisk. Dice cilantro. Slice cucumber into thin circles.

Coat chicken breasts with vegetable oil. Spray cookie sheet with no-stick spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Add baguette halves to oven. Turn chicken over. Bake chicken and baguettes for 10 minutes or chicken is no longer pink inside and baguettes are lightly toasted.

Spread aioli/sriracha sauce on baguette half. Add an equal layer of cucumber circles to each baguette. Add an equal of chicken strips to each baguette, followed by a layer of mixed carrot and daikon. Sprinkle each baguette with diced cilantro.

TIDBITS

1) Bright, vibrant colors emanate from chicken banh mi. See above photo.

2) The artist Van Gogh (1856-1893) is famous for his bright, vibrant paintings such as Sunflower and starry night. His character is depicted in the well-loved Doctor Who episode, “Vincent and the Doctor,” where he saves the universe. Well done, Vincent.

3) Food always inspired Vincent. His first famous painting is “The Potato Eaters” (1885), known by everyone who has known of it. It was typical of an artistic style called brown gravy, where the only colors on a painter’s palette were: beige, light brown, ecru (remember that for crossword puzzles), brown, dark brown, and chocolate brown.

4) However, Vincent’s magnificent obsession with food developed earlier, certainly after birth and before death.

5) He wrote, during this period of life, wrote many letters to his brother. Food provided the dominant, recurring theme of these epistles.

6) In his letter of September 17, 1875, Vincent worries his brother, Theo, isn’t eating properly. He admonishes his brother to eat lots of bread. Just twelve day later, Vincent tells Theo to eat more bread. On August 18, 1877, the great artist tells his sibling to eat bread as it deters people from suicide. He cites Dickens as his source for this bit of knowledge.

7) Clearly, Vincent did not belong to the gluten-free school of painting.

8) Vincent did take a brief walk on the wild side, when he favored oatmeal over bread. (See his letters of November 9 and November 15, 1875.) Culinary-art historians still debate the reason for this. The dominant view seems to be that his illnesses had been flaring up more than usual. Others maintain that Vincent had simply gone off feed.

9) Then? I don’t know. I cleverly managed to print out only the first nine of Vincent’s twenty-five food-and-drink letters to his brother.

10) Then my friggin’ printer jammed. By the time the cussing had stopped and the printer actually was willing to work again, the mood for research had passed. Hey, don’t judge me.

11) One of Van Gogh’s few non-vegetarian paintings is “Prawns and Mussels” (1886). Everybody loves shrimp and Vincent was no exception. His one true love, however, was potatoes as his many spud painting testify. He did have brief flings with: citrus, cabbage-red and green, onions, grapes, apples, and even quinces!! His one true love, however, was potatoes as his many spud paintings testify.

12) In 2010, the Doctor and Amy Pond visit Vincent with their TARDIS. The Doctor tells Vincent that he shall become the greatest painter of all time. Vincent abandons his bread mania and paints many famous non-culinary paintings. Vincent dies within a year.

13) The great artist would probably have lived long if he had only stayed with still lifes of potatoes. Something to think about for aspiring artists.

– Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

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

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

Beef, Spinach, and Peanut Stew from South Sudan

South Sudanese Entree

BEEF, SPINACH, AND PEANUT STEW

INGREDIENTSSouthSudan-

1¼ pounds chuck steak or round steak
3 garlic cloves
2 medium onions
2½ tomatoes
2 bunches spinach (1 pound)
½ sweet potato
4 tablespoons unsalted, roasted peanuts (4 teaspoons more later)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 cups beef stock
½ tablespoon tomato paste
4 teaspoons unsalted, roasted peanuts
½ cup unsweetened peanut butter

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder
Dutch oven

Makes 6 bowls. Takes 1 hour 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut beef into 1″ cubes. Mince garlic. Dice onions and tomatoes. Remove stems from spinach, then shred. Cut sweet potato into ½” cubes. Use spice grinder to make a paste from 4 tablespoons peanuts.

Add peanut oil and beef cubes to Dutch oven. Cook at medium heat for 6 minutes or until beef browns. Stir occasionally. Add garlic and onion. Raise heat to medium-high and sauté for 5 minutes or until onion and garlic softens. Stir in beef stock and tomato paste. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 50 minutes or until beef becomes tender and stock is reduced by ½. Stir occasionally. Add sweet potato and 4 teaspoons peanuts. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add peanut paste, and peanut butter. Simmer for 5 minutes or until peanut paste and peanut butter blends completely in. Stir frequently. Add spinach and tomato. Raise heat to low-medium and simmer for 10 minutes or until the oil from the peanut paste and peanut butter makes the stew shiny. Goes well with rice and flatbread.

TIDBITS

1) This entree is a stew. Stew is an anagram for west.

2) The Sun sets in the west.

3) Peanuts hate the Sun, because it’s bad for their complexion.

4) So, they dig into the ground to avoid the piercing rays of light.

5) Peanuts never get very far into the soil, though.

6) They don’t have opposable thumbs. You need opposable thumbs to hold hoes and shovels.

7) Nor do peanuts have any hands to speak of, really.

8) Which is why farmers never hire peanuts during harvest time, only humans.

9) Still, the Sun burns the little ground nuts.

10) The Sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

11) So, the peanuts migrate to the west in the morning and back east in the afternoon. They end up in the same place, which is why no one ever notices them moving.

12) Things get ugly, though, when herds of peanuts cross the same interstate freeway. Traffic halts. The traffic jam grows to includes connecting freeways and highways. The economy halts.

14) That’s not all. Giant herds of peanuts moving back and forth along the ground dislodge the Earth’s plates. Earthquakes result as in San Francisco in 1906

15) Indeed, peanut migrations have caused the Earth’s plates to shift. Before peanuts came on the scene there was only one continent, Pangaea.

16) Something had to be done and in 1939 all the nations gathered in Poway, California to discuss the looming peanutian threat.

17) Then, on September 1, Hitler invaded Poland and World War II broke out. Country after country uprooted their peanut fields to feed their rampaging armies. Fewer migrating peanuts meant fewer earthquakes during the war years. You can look it up.

18) The leaders of the major victorious powers: Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin, knew it would be a matter of time before another Hitler would arise or peanuts would make their comeback. Perhaps, the next megalomanic dictator would even gather the peanuts of the world to his standard.

19) The United Nations was formed in 1945 to gather this very threat. An elite anti-peanut battalion was formed and peanut farming within 100 miles of fault lines was banned forever.

20) Something to think about when you have your next peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich.

– Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

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

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

The Travel Grouch’s Guide To Not Sucky Vacationing

Dear Travel Grouch,SelfieGrandCanyon2-

Vacationing is getting less and less pleasant every year. While I used to be able to peacefully admire the scenery, now I can’t even get to the scenic point because of hordes of people taking one selfie after another. They don’t even look at scenery until they get home and look at it on their iPad thingy. And They never leave. Never. What can I do? I want to see nature. Please help me with this. Other tips will be appreciated. Thank you.

– Amos Keeto

Dear Mr. Keeto,

I feel your pain. Why just last summer I had to . . . Whoops, way too public a forum. Deep breath. Ahh. I’m okay now. Here, dear friend, are some helpful hints.

1) Contact Paul’s Flying Squirrel Squadron before going on vacation. They will visit you on your trip and say many kind, encouraging words to you. If asked, they will also serenade you at night. Listen carefully, they have tiny voices. They will even have “chats” with the offending tourists. Best to stay inside until the “chats” are over.

2) Do you have a sonic obliterator? If not, you really should get one. They get rid of the selfie takers quite nicely. You’ll be able to walk up to the scenic outlook. You’ll be happy. You might even find yourselves smiling and isn’t that what vacations are all about?

3) Does the offensive line of a top-ten football team owe you a favor? If so, get it to run a flying wedge in front of you all the way to the railing. Sure, this will knock the selfie takers into the canyon far below, but their screams will be heard only for a moment.

4) The overriding virtue of tips 3) and 4) is that the bodies will be impossible to find or nearly so.

5) Don’t be so busy offing selfie takers that you forget to throw away your litter. No one likes a scofflaw.

6) For some reason, people think that if you can’t understand their language, you can’t hear them. It’s okay to place a glass dome over them and suck out all the air with a giant pump until they stop talking. Just make sure you do this when others aren’t looking.

7) It’s not okay, however, to assume that only foreigners talk so loud that they need the glass dome treat. Your fellow countrymen often shout when they travel abroad. And let me tell you, people of every nation have glass domes and giant pumps.

8) Employees in American visitor centers and toll booths do not carry sonic obliterators. This means drivers can safely engage them in conversations that make a reading of War and Peace go by quickly. I blame budget cutbacks for this. You’ll have to buy your own sonic obliterator. I cannot stress enough the need for proper planning.

Happy traveling.

– Paul R, De Lancey, The Travel GrouchCoverFrontFinal

Check out my latest novel, the hilarious apocalyptic thriller, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms? It’s published by HumorOutcasts and is available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com.

Categories: humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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