Monthly Archives: September 2018

Kuwaiti Machboos

Kuwaiti Entree

MACHBOOS

INGREDIENTS

1 green chile
2 garlic cloves
2 inches ginger root
2½ pounds boneless chicken, thighs or breasts
½ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon turmeric
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups basmati rice
1 gram saffron (This is expensive. Get a sonic obliterator to protect it.)
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
3 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
2 medium onions
1 large tomato
1 bay leaf
4 inches cinnamon sticks
3 cloves
2 dried lemons

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
sonic obliterator (To protect your saffron.)

Serves 5. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Slice chile in half lengthways. Seed chile. Add garlic cloves and ginger root to food processor. Chop until garlic and ginger becomes paste. Add chicken, cardamom, coriander, paprika, pepper, and turmeric to mixing bowl. Mix with hands until chicken pieces are well coated.

Use sonic obliterator to zap intruder trying to steal your saffron. Add chicken stock, rice, and saffron to pot. Simmer on low for 30 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Add almonds and raisins to mixing bowl. Add enough warm water to cover almonds and raisins.

While chicken stock/rice simmers, mince onions and tomato. Add ghee, onion, and tomato to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Cut dried lemons in half. Add coated chicken, bay leaf, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and dried lemon halves. Cook at medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Add chile, garlic/ginger paste, and tomato. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir occasionally.

Drain water from almonds and raisins. Remove and discard bay leaf and cinnamon sticks. Remove chicken and set aside. Add rice to plates, then onion/garlic/spices remaining in pan, and then chicken. Garnish with almonds and raisins.

TIDBITS

1) The United States Paranormal Force (USPF) is based out of Casper, Wyoming.

2) This was totally secret until tidbit 1) which kinda let the cat out of the bag. Ok, totally out of the bag. It was all an accident. I was looking for a substitute for goat meat for one of my recipes. My search engine said, “Did you mean ghosts?” No, I did not. But the search engine already had the bit between its teeth, giving me a link to the USPF’s website.

3) How did this happen? Last April, Lieutenant Amos Keeto of the USPF sent an email with the title, “Ghosts or Goats, Better Adjunct to the Potentially Revived Star Wars Defense Initiative?

4) Unfortunately, Keeto clicked on the “Send to All Option” Everyone who had a Yahoo account received this email. Fortunately, the sheer volume of recipients flagged this email as spam and never made it to your inbox. Unfortunately, you could have read it had you been scrutinizing every post in your trash folder before emptying it. Fortunately, none of you do. But the search engines did. And the search algorithms waited and waited until someone, me, asked for goat-meat substitute.

5) Military goats have a long and illustrious heritage. In 1775, a wild goat, apparently a Tory, carried the colors for a Welsh regiment during the British assault on Bunker Hill. Another Welsh goat, Taffy IV, fought in World War I, participating in four major battles. Taffy died in 1915 and was awarded the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

6) Clearly goats, especially Welsh ones, can be awesome instruments or war when properly led. So, the Air Force reasoned how much more fiercesome would flying goats would be dealing death from the sky. “Baa, baa,” would become a byword for terror.

7) However, the USAF eventually concluded that they would never get goats to fly at Mach 1, the speed of sound, much less fly at all.

8) Then in August, 1990, Major Keeto, feverish from drinking buttermilk past its expiration date, had a vision. He saw a friendly ghost change into a fiendish one able to make entire battalions retreat with blood-chilling baas or boos as they often seem to sound like.

9) The newly-formed USPF brass began recruiting local ghosts. At first the ghosts couldn’t do more than 300 miles an hour. But with a year of the training that makes America’s Paranomal Force the envy of the world, the ethereal specters could fly at Mach 1 and terrify the enemy with terrifying boos. Hence, Mach boos or Machboos.. In honor of this achievement, the cadets at Casper, Wyoming renamed their favorite chicken/rice dish to Machboos. Machboos has become a well-liked entree in Kuwait as well. Now you know.

Chef Paul

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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Yakitori

Japanese Entree

YAKITORI

INGREDIENTS

½ cup mirin
1⅓ cups sake or dry white wine
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup sugar
1 pound boneless chicken thighs
4 green onions

SPECIAL UTENSILS

grill
8 10″-bamboo skewers

Makes 6 skewers. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Soak skewers in water. Add mirin, sake, soy sauce, and sugar to pan. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to low-medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens and is reduced by half. Stir frequently. Remove sauce from heat and let cool.

Slice chicken thighs into 1″ squares. Slice green onions into 1″ long pieces. Alternate threading chicken squares and green-onion slices onto skewers. Warm grill to medium heat. Add as many skewers as possible without them touching each other. Grill chicken/green onion skewers on each side for 2 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink on outside. Generally skewers with sauce. Grill each side for 2 minute. Repeat 2 more times or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve with unused sauce.

TIDBITS

1) Not all Americans in 1776 favored independence from Great Britain. The Tories remained loyal to their mother country. Tories, in general, were far more talkative than their revolutionary counterparts. The patriots derided the loyalists as “Yaky tories,” or in its shortened form, “Yakitori.”

2) On August 27, 1776, the British under General Howe routed the Continental Army, To celebrate, Tory chef, Abner Davis, made the victorious commander this tasty dish. General Howe loved his dinner and asked repeatedly for more helpings. The well-fed commander soon became sleepy and didn’t wake until noon. These hours of inactivity gave General Washington the time he needed to retreat his battered army. The Americans regrouped and trained until they could stand up to any British army. The chance to crush the Revolution was lost. America would become independent.

3) In 1856, Commodore Matthew Perry lead a U.S.. squadron to Japan. He gave the Japanese many gifts, including the recipe to Yakitori. This is how Japanese cuisine came to Japan.

Chef Paul

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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Chicken alla Valdostana

Italian Entree

CHICKEN ALLA VALDOSTANA

INGREDIENTS

4 chicken breasts
¼ cup flour
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1½ tablespoons butter
1½ tablespoons olive oil
½ cup dry white wine
4 proscuitto (aka Parma ham) slices
4 slices Fontina or Gruyère or Gouda slices

SPECIAL UTENSIL

kitchen mallet

Serves 4. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Pound chicken breasts with kitchen mallet until they are ½” thick. Add flour, pepper, and salt to mixing bowl. Add chicken breasts to bowl. Turn chicken breasts until they are thoroughly coated. Add butter and oil to large frying pan. Use high heat until butter melts and foams. Stir frequently to ensure even melting. Add chicken breasts. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes on each side on until both sides turn golden brown. Remove chicken and set aside. Keep butter and oil.

Add wine to pan. Heat for 3 minutes or until liquid bubbles. Stir frequently. Top each chicken breast with a slice of proscuitto and a slice of Fontina cheese. Return chicken to pan. Spoon liquid from pan over each chicken breast. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Pairs well with the expensive Italian white wine your guests should be bringing.

TIDBITS

1) One of the most successful series of booklets ever is “Where’s Waldo?” Here, a child needs to find the character WaldoTM hidden on a page with of hundreds of lookalikes. This challenge gives new mothers time to perform only distantly remembered pleasures such as taking naps or being undisturbed in the bathroom.

2) In Italy, however, they play “Where’s Valdo?” This title of this recipe is one example. “Valdo” is cleverly hidden in “Valdostana.” Yes, this is a word game in contrast to the pictorial “Waldo.” In this case, young Italian mothers invite their little ones to find “Valdostana” in the daily newspaper. Sometimes it takes all day to find that word in print. This gives mothers a golden chance to get things done. And all that reading does wonders for children’s vocabulary. Indeed, most six-year olds in Italy can read at the fifth-grade level.

Chef Paul

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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Sweet and Sour Shrimp

Thai Entree

SWEET AND SOUR SHRIMP

INGREDIENTS – SAUCE

3 garlic cloves
1 small onion
2 tomatoes
1 tablespoon corn starch
2½ tablespoons water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (1 cup more later)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce or ¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 cup vegetable oil or enough to cover shrimp

INGREDIENTS – SHRIMP

1 egg
⅔ cup fine bread crumbs
1 pound shrimp (24-to-32 count), peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Serves 4. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION – SAUCE

Mince garlic cloves, onions, and tomatoes. Add corn starch and water to cup. Mix with fork until well blended. Add garlic, onion, and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to pain. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add tomato, sugar, fish sauce, and white wine vinegar. Bring to boil. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce reduces by one-fourth. Add corn starch/water and Sriracha sauce. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Remove sauce and set aside.

PREPARATION – SHRIMP

Add egg to small bowl. Beat egg with whisk or fork. Add bread crumbs to medium bowl. Dip shrimp in egg. Dredge shrimp through breadcrumbs. Repeat for all shrimp. Add 1 cup oil to pan. Heat oil using medium heat. Oil is ready, when a bread crumb will dance in the oil. Add shrimp. Deep fry at medium heat for 4 minutes or until shrimps are golden brown.

Add sesame seeds to pan. Toast sesame seeds on medium heat for 4 minutes or until they start to brown. Ladle sauce over shrimp. Garnish with sesame seeds. Goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) Sweet and sour shrimp is one of the world’s tastiest dishes.

2) If you are served this in America, you are a valued guest indeed. If your boss invites over and cooks sweet and sour shrimp for you.

3) However, If you’re served this in Thailand, you might or might not be asked to formally unite your family and their family in a marriage alliance. That’s how tasty this entree is.

4) Of course, people and nations change their outlooks all the time. Nowadays, a repast featuring this shrimp might just mean, “Wow, you are the best folks we’ve ever met. We’ll buy the neighboring house for you so we can all play bridge on Fridays and race elephants on Sunday.”

5) Then again, it might mean that marriage pact. In this case, your family and theirs will naturally try forming a new ruling dynasty.

6) Are you ready to rule Thailand?

7) Think it over carefully. Thailand already has a king and a military that is tied in closely with the monarchy. You will have to defeat them.

8) This means overcoming the King’s hundreds of thousands of supporters.

9) You and your Thai family allies will number ten to hundreds, depending whether on not you count all those in-laws that you don’t really like.

10) You will have to count heavily on the element of surprise.

11) All in all, it seems a rather risky endeavor just for the sake of one meal, no matter how tasty.

12) This is why I’ve written this recipe for you.

13) For serving sweet and sour shrimp in America simply means, “You seem nice. Enjoy my hospitality.”

14) In Britain, it means, “What ho, you’re a splendid sort.”

15) This is why a million Thai tourists travel the US and the UK. It’s just so relaxing to eat your food without the worry of fomenting revolution or making your host thinking you’re gauche in some other way.

16) As Sigmund Freud once said, “Sometimes sweet and sour shrimp is just sweet and sour shrimp.”

17) I know, I know, many people thought he said a “banana” instead of “sweet and sour shrimp,” but that is just a typo. An extraordinary typo, yes, but still a typo.

18) It’s a lot to take in. May I suggest reading What to Serve If You Don’t Want to Start Wars by Raymond Burr Ito.

Chef Paul

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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Cinnamon Rolls (Kanelbullar)

Swedish Dessert

CINNAMON ROLLS
(Kanelbullar)

INGREDIENTS – DOUGH

⅔ cup butter (⅓ cup more later)
1½ cups milk
1 egg (1 egg more later)
2 teaspoons cardamom
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar (⅓ cup more later)
2½ teaspoons yeast
5 cups bread flour or flour (2 tablespoons more later)

INGREDIENTS – FILLING

2½ tablespoons cinnamon
⅓ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup butter, softened

INGREDIENT – ASSEMBLY

2 tablespoons flour
1 egg
1½ tablespoons water
3 tablespoons pearl sugar*, sparkling sugar, or sugar

* = Pearl sugar is remarkably hard to find in supermarkets. Try Whole FoodsTM, the food department of IKEATM, or the cake decoration sections of JoannTM, Michael’sTM. and other hobby stores. Alternatively, smash sugar cubes with a kitchen mallet.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

bread maker
parchment paper
2 cookie sheets

Makes 16 rolls. Takes 2 hours 45 minutes.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

Add ⅓ cup butter and milk to pan. Cook using low-medium heat until butter melts. Stir often. Add butter/milk and 1 egg to small mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add cardamom, salt, ½ cup sugar, yeast, and 5 cups flour to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add butter/milk from small mixing bowl to large mixing bowl. Whisk until well blended.

Add flour/butter/milk/sugar/yeast mix to bread maker. Run bread maker using dough setting for 10 minutes. Add dough to large mixing bowl. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

PREPARATION – FILLING

While dough doubles in size, add cinnamon, ⅓ cup sugar, brown sugar, and ⅓ cup softened butter to small mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended.

PREPARATION – ASSEMBLY

Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Add dough to center of dusted flat surface. Roll out dough until is a 12″ x 16″ rectangle. Spread filling evenly over rolled-out dough. Tightly roll dough along 16″ side until you get a 12″ long log. Cut log into 16 round discs or rolls. Cover with kitchen towel for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

While dough rises, add 1 egg and water to cup. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place rolls on parchment paper. Brush rolls with egg/water. Sprinkle pearl sugar on rolls. Bake at 425 degrees for 7 minutes or until golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) October 4 is Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden. Sweden is a wonderful country.

2) So is Britain. Even during hard times when its RAF was on the ropes fighting the Luftwaffe, which could turn the sky black with its fighter planes.

3) British pilots were superb. But no matter how many dogfights the British aces won, they still lost planes. No one could get around the fact that the RAF was running out of metal to build new Spitfires and Hurricanes.

4) Britain needed a miracle. It occurred when Chef Ollie Erickson of London’s Royal Swedish Bakery mentioned the dual nature of cinnamon rolls to Prime Minister Winston Churchill. “They’re tasty as Heaven when fresh, but absolutely impenetrable when dry.”

5) The boffins at Churchill’s Toy Shop learned how to make Spitfire-shaped cinnamon molds. One only needed to pour cinnamon-roll batter into these molds, remove the molds, and let the shaped dough dry. These cinnamon-roll Spitfire proved to be impervious to the Luftwaffe’s machine-gun and cannon fire. Not only that, bakeries turned out cinnamon-roll fighters by the baker’s dozens. The RAF rapidly established supremacy in the skies and soon won the Battle of Britain.

6) Britain also mass produced thousands of cinnamon-roll tanks. America with its preference of bacon and eggs over cinnamon rolls, had many more steel-rolling mills than bakeries. So, it mass produced tanks and planes the old-school way, with steel. Germany simply could not compete against both dough and steel. Germany lost. The world was once again made safe for breakfast.

Chef Paul

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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Peanut Butter French Toast

Hong Kong Breakfast

PEANUT BUTTER FRENCH TOAST

INGREDIENTS

4 slices thick white bread*
6 tablespoons condensed milk
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
3 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup golden syrup or maple syrup

* = Really should be milk bread, but it’s powerful hard to find outside an Asian bakery.

Serves 2 or 4, depending if you want to skip the next meal. These really are calorie bombs. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Spread 1st bread slice with 3 tablespoons condensed milk. Spread a 2nd bread slice with 2 tablespoons peanut butter. Place 2nd bread slice, peanut butter side down, on 1st bread slice. Gently press the bread slice together to make a sealed sandwich. Repeat for 2nd sandwich..

Add eggs to mixing bowl. Whisk eggs until well blended. Dredge the sandwiches through the eggs until they are well coated, but not soggy. Add vegetable oil to pan. Fry at medium-high heat for 1-to-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. (The 2nd sandwich is likely to take less than the 1st.) Remove sandwich. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the middle of the top slice. Drizzle ¼ cup golden syrup over sandwich. Cut in half, if desired. Repeat for remaining sandwich.

TIDBITS

1) Asphalt roads are built with asphalt.

2) The Yellow Brick Road was built with yellow bricks.

3) The Silk Road was built with silk. Silk is strong. This is why construction crews prize silkworms so highly. Look up how many silkworms were employed building the Empire State Building.

4) The recently completed Peanut Butter French Toast Road (PBFTR) was built with peanut butter French toast. Of course, Of course, newly cooked peanut French toast while tasty is completely unable to support the weigh of a big-rig truck or even a bicycle. You have to let the toast dry out. In the meantime, workers can be fed using the same peanut butter French toast. Name one other road-building material that’s edible. Not concrete, let me tell you. The closest thing America has to China’s culinary engineering is its famed Tobacco Road.

Chef Paul

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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Shrimp Po’ Boys

Cajun Entree

SHRIMP PO’ BOYS

INGREDIENTS – REMOULADE

1 tablespoon capers
1½ tablespoons flat-leaf parsley or parsley
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons Creole mustard or French coarse-grained mustard.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¾ cup mayonnaise
½ tablespoon paprika (½ teaspoon more later)
¼ teaspoon pepper (¼ teaspoon more later)
¾ teaspoon TabascoTM or CrystalTM hot sauce

INGREDIENTS – SHRIMP

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined.
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
¾ cup cornmeal
⅓ cup peanut oil or oil

INGREDIENTS – FINAL

⅓ head lettuce, iceberg or romaine
1 tomato
4 French rolls or 4 quarters of a baguette

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric skillet

Serves 4. Takes 50 minutes

PREPARATION – REMOULADE

Dice capers, flat-leaf parsley, and garlic clove. Add all remoulade ingredients to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Chill in refrigerator.

PREPARATION – SHRIMP

Add shrimp, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, paprika, pepper, and salt to 1st small mixing bowl. Toss shrimp until well coated. Add egg to 2nd small bowl. Beat egg with whisk or fork. Add shrimp to beaten egg. Toss shrimp until well coated. Add cornflour to 3rd small bowl. Add egg-coated shrimp to cornflour. Dredge shrimp through cornflour until well coated.

Add oil to electric skillet. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Add coated shrimp to skillet. (Do not let shrimp touch. You might have to cook in batches.) Fry at 350 for 3 minutes or until dredged shrimp turn golden brown. Carefully flip shrimp once. Remove and drain on plate covered with paper towels.

PREPARATION – FINAL

Shred lettuce. Cut tomato into 8 slices. Slice rolls almost all the way through, leaving enough for a hinge. Spread remoulade over all roll tops and bottoms. Sprinkle shredded lettuce equally over all roll bottoms. Arrange shrimp equally over all roll bottoms. Top the shrimp on each sandwich with 2 tomato slices. Close rolls. Serve hot.

TIDBITS

1) The famed Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809. A lesser known Edgar Allan Poe (LKEAP) was born on March 30, 1833. Interesting enough, 33 totally unimportant Edgar Allan Poe have been on February 29. Of course, that has statistical clustering written all over it.

2) Our Edgar Allan Poe (OEAP) was never totally adopted and had a constant need for income due to gambling losses. Never draw to an inside straight, never. Indeed, you need to know when to fold and to know when to walk away. Unfortunately, Kenny Rogers hadn’t written his great song, “The Gambler,” by 1822., so OEAP was bereft of this potentially life-improving advice.

3) The indebted Poe turned to writing menus. They were pure literary magic. As Thomas Jefferson penned, “Edgar Allan Poe’s descriptions of the tempting dishes to be had by the discerning dinner are pure culinary genius. Undoubtedly, if he’d been around in 1776, he’d have been invited to write the Declaration of Independence.”

4) Inspired by his success, Poe turned to writing novels. We now hold his first effort, The Elephant’s Tusks to be the greatest novel of all time. Unfortunately, the letter “e” on his typewriter was broken and the published text of lphant’s Tusks was absolutely unreadable.

5) Distraught, Poe turned to drugs for solace. (Hey, I spelled that word correctly on the first try!) His drug habit drove him deeper into debt.

6) Poe’s life had to pick up, and in a hurry, as I am running out of space on this page. Poe went back to menus. His typewriter still had occasional trouble with the letter “e.” Then brilliance struck his brow like a tiny meteorite made of kitty fur; why not substitute an apostrophe for “e?.” His creation the Shrimp Poe Boy could now be written up as the Shrimp Po’ Boy. Elated, Poe felt confident enough to write a short book chock full of wrote a short book entitled, “Simple and Tasty Treats to Eat After Taking Heroin.” This wildly successful work provided him with the financial success he’d always craved. Poe would become a literary giants. Menus, however, would once again be boring. They still are. It’s a tradeoff.

Chef Paul

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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Drunken Cheeseburgers

American Entree

DRUNKEN CHEESEBURGERS

INGREDIENTS

4 garlic cloves
1 pound ground beef (80%) or ground chuck
2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon, Marsala, or red wine
1 red onion or sweet onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 sesame hamburger buns
⅔ cup grated cheddar cheese
¼ cup fresh basil leaves

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Dice garlic cloves. Add garlic and ground beef to large mixing bowl. Mix by hand. Form 4 patties by hand. Pour wine over patties. Cover and marinate in refrigerate for 2 hours. While patties marinate, thinly slice onion. Add onion and olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until softens. Remove onion slices from pan and place on plate covered with paper towel. Keep olive oil in pan.

Add patties to large pan. Cover and fry patties at medium heat for 5 minutes. Flip patties, cover, and fry for 3 minutes or until patties are cooked nearly to your desired level of doneness. Sprinkle cheese over each patty and fry for another 2 minutes or until cheese melts. While patties fry, toast buns. Place patty on bottom hamburger bun. Add patty. Carefully ladle 1½ tablespoons marinade onto patty. Top with 1 tablespoon basil leaves. Add top hamburger bun.

TIDBITS

1) Brynne Chandler was born a peasant girl in Nevers, France on November 2, 1755. the same day as Marie Antoinette . Because of their great beauty, Brynne and Marie became European fashion models. Then Marie up and became queen of France. Bereft of her modeling companion, Brynne naturally pursued quantum physics. Brynne did well in her new career. She even discovered how to run faster than the speed of light. Indeed, she holds the world record for the mile, .0000056 seconds.

2) Things went differently for Marie Antoinette. Her lavish spending bankrupted the French monarchy. The impoverish monarchy fell. Marie found herself at a guillotine on October 16, 1793. Brynne protested. “No, no, no.” Our heroine rushed the guillotine intending the save the queen. Unfortunately, she ran at the speed of light. It was at this point that our plucky soul discovered that time halted for her while staying same for the French revolutionaries. When Brynne stopped running, she found herself in the year 2017. “Well, that won’t happen again,” said Brynne.. So she took up cooking with wine. All drunken dishes, including drunken chicken and drunken cheeseburgers are inspired by her trail blazing culinary spirit. Brynne says she’s no longer even tempted to run as fast of the speed of light. Olympic runners, aspiring to set records, are grateful.

Chef Paul

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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Pumpkin Porridge (Sidvudvu)

Swazi Entree

PUMPKIN PORRIDGE
(Sidvudvu)

INGREDIENTS

1 pound pumpkin or butternut pulp
4½ cups water
1 cup maize meal, mealie flour, polenta, grits, or corn flour
¼ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar (optional)

Serves 3. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Remove seeds from pumpkin and discard or use them for something else. Remove 1 pound pumpkin pulp from pumpkin. Cut pulp into ½” cubes. Add pumpkin cubes and water to pot. Bring water to boil using high heat. Boil at high heat for 10 minutes or until pumpkin cubes are soft. Stir occasionally. Add maize meal, nutmeg, salt, and sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until maize meal thickens and has the consistency of porridge. Add water if necessary. Mash with potato masher until there are no pumpkin cubes. Stir with spoon until well blended.

TIDBITS

1) Some 2,000 years ago the top warriors of Swaziland would gather around a truly long serving rectangle full of pumpkin porridge, the food of the warrior class.

2) Naturally, all assumed that the person sitting at the north end of the serving rectangle was the warrior with the most authority; the one with the authority over life and death over the rest. The warriors with the second-most authority sat next to the man at the northern end. As you went further south, prestige ebbed further until the poor man would get told mean knock-knock jokes, get sent out for snipe hunts, and drink milk from expired cartons.

3) Then in 914, Wickus, aligned the serving rectangle east-west instead of north-south. That way, no one man would be closest to the north. No single warrior could hold the power of life and death. Unfortunately, it also meant the whole northern half of the table could claim to have lethal authority and the southern side of the table would go on snipe hunts. Things simmered until 916, when Obed led the southern half in rebellion. They’d been saving expired milk cartons for two years. The food fight got stinky in a hurry. The gasping northen warriors gave in. Felix the Wise arranged the peace. He sat the warriors around a round rotating serving table. All would have an equal time sitting at the north. The northern eater would rule fairly and kindly knowing he’d soon be a southern eater. King Arthur stole the idea of the Table Round, but never gave credit to Felix the Wise. Meanie.

Chef Paul

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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