Monthly Archives: January 2021

Teriyaki Salmon

Japanese Entree

TERIYAKI SALMON

INGREDIENTS

½ cup mirin or (½ cup white wine and 3 tablespoons sugar)
¼ cup sake or dry white wine
⅔ cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons corn starch
2 teaspoons ginger
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
4 6-ounce salmon fillets
1 green onion
½ tablespoon sesame seeds
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSILS

large, resealable plastic bag
outdoor grill

Serves 4. Takes 3 hours 25 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add mirin, sake, soy sauce, corn starch, ginger, brown sugar, and white sugar to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. until sugar dissolves. Stir constantly. Remove and let cool to room temperature. Add marinade and salmon fillets to large, resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

30 minutes before marinating is done, dice green onion. Add sesame seeds to pan. Toast sesame seeds at medium heat for 5 minutes or until they start to brown. Remove from heat. Add marinade to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until marinade thickens to a glaze. Stir frequently. Transfer to a bowl.

Spray grill with no-stick spray. Heat grill to low-medium. Brush salmon with glaze. Add salmon fillets to grill. Grill for 10 minutes for every 1″ of fillet thickness or until the thickest part starts to flake when tested with a fork. Turn once. Baste salmon with glaze every 2 minutes. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.

TIDBITS

1) Look at the above picture. The piece on the right looks like a triangle. So, in 570 B.C., when the geometry whiz, Pythagoras, was about to feast on a right-angled shaped piece of salmon teriyaki, inspiration naturally struck. “Whoa ho, the sum of the square of the two-sides equals the square of the hypotenuse.” None of this would have happened if he had been eating a hard-boiled egg.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

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

Currywurst

German Entree

CURRYWURST

INGREDIENTS

1 large onion
1½ tablespoons vegetable oil (1 more tablespoon later)
1½ tablespoons curry powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound bratwurst, knockwurst, or kielbasa
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Serves 3. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince onion. Add onion and 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil to pot. Sauté at medium-high heat or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add curry powder, chili powder, paprika, and salt. Reduce heat to medium and sauté for 1 minute. Stir frequently. Add tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir enough to prevent sauce from burning.

While sauce simmers, slice bratwurst into ½” slices. Add bratwurst and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium heat for 10 minutes. Flip and stir bratwurst slices until they are all browned on both sides. Pour sauce over bratwurst slices and serve. Goes well with French fries.

TIDBITS

1) The city state of Ur was founded nearly 6,000 years when social media required flint chisels and stone. Archeologists–woo, spelled it right the first time, have found previous few examples of trolling in wall-platform comments’ sections, probably because they took several days to upload. Even then, the ripostes limited themselves to the likes of “Sez you.” and “So’s, your mother.”

2) So, Urs?, Urps?, Curs?,citizens of Ur generally expressed themselves in the culinary arts. German sausages were quite popular, thousands of years before the creation of the modern Germany. So far, culinary historians, always a fractious bunch, haven’t arrived at a consensus explaining this.

3) However, we know that Ramses II, pharaoh of Ancient Egypt–an inventor of the first condom, it still bears his name, loved Nile sausages. He hated the imports from Ur. “Ugh,” he said, “Those Curs, their sausage is the worst.” It was then only a hop, skip, and jump to the calling the foreign sausage, “Curry Wurst.” Currywurst, however, experienced a renaissance with the advent of refrigeration and air travel between Ur and Berlin. It’s now quite popular in the German capital.

– 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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Falafel (Tamiya) From Egypt

Egyptian Appetizer

FALAFEL
(Tamiya)

INGREDIENTS

2 cups dried fava beans* (aka broad beans)
1 small onion
8 green onions
2 garlic cloves
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2½ tablespoons fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
4 cups vegetable oil (Enough to cover falafel patties)

* = Look in Middle Eastern supermarkets, supermarkets selling mostly organic food, or online. Also see if you can get these dried beans with the skins already removed. If you can only find canned fava beans, be sure to rinse them thoroughly before using.)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
large no-stick pan

Serves 6. Takes overnight for soaking plus 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add fava beans to large pot. Cover with water. Cover with lid and let soak overnight.

Rinse fava beans. Rub skins off beans. Add onion, green onion, garlic, baking powder, coriander, cumin, salt, fresh cilantro, and fresh parsley to food processor. Blend until everything is blended and minced. Add beans, Blend only until beans form a paste. (If the beans are blended more, your falafel might fall apart later.) Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Shape bean paste in 1″ balls. Flatten balls until they are ½” thick patties. Add oil, enough to cover patties, to large no-stick pan. Heat oil at high heat until bubbles form on the bottom. Carefully add falafel patties to pan. Don’t let them touch each other. (You will need to cook in batches.) Fry patties until golden brown. (This happens quickly.) Remove patties and drain on paper towels. Goes quite well with warm pita bread, hummus, and tomato salad.

TIDBITS

1) This dish is an appetizer. Culinary cryptographers will tell you that “appetizer” comes from an anagram for “Zap Peter I.”

2) And culinary linguists know that “zap” comes from the Russian “zapkya.” This word means to assassinate, kill, plot against, and otherwise dethrone and overthrow by means of feeding appetizers to the hated tsar.”

3) So, zap Peter I means to overthrow Peter I, perhaps even kill. Tsar Peter I was not completely enamored of this concept. Particularly so when the streltsky, Russian musketeers, engineered coups against him by serving appetizers to the palace guard. “Have some appetizers,” they said to the guards, “They’re quite tasty.” And they were. So much so that the entire guard ate and ate until they all had to take lengthy naps.

4) While the palace guard napped, the musketeers rounded up Peter’s supporters and imprisoned them. The streltsky would then enthrone in a figurehead, one who could be counted on the double the daily vodka ration.

5) Doubling the vodka ration made the musketeers drunk and pass out. Peter then reclaimed power while the streltsky lolled around in drunken stupors. Eventually, the musketeers sobered up and fed appetizers to the palace guards again.

6) And so it went, appetizers put the musketeers’ figurehead in power again. Drunken binges enabled Peter I to get back in control.

7) Then on April 1, 1698, Peter I experienced a brainstorm. Why not try giving the musketeers rivers of vodka AND appetizers? The idea worked. The besotted musketeers became so logy from eating platter after platter of appetizers, they slept themselves into oblivion.

8) Peter I, tsar of all the Russias, took advantage of the streltsky’s lasting inertia to tie them up. When they came to, they found themselves on a giant iceberg in the Arctic Ocean. The musketeers had enough food to last 30 days, along with hundreds of ping pong battles and ping pong balls. Tsar Peter had thoughtfully provided them also with enough pencils and entry forms to the First Winter Ping Pong Arctic Ocean Tournament.

9) Culinary historians doubt that the musketeers ever finished the tournament. The strong winter gales prevalent would have simply blown one ping pong ball after another into oblivion. At any rate, the marooned men would have found hitting remaining white ping pong balls quite difficult in the ever present white blizzards.

10) But the constant appetizer-fed revolts burned a lesson into Tsar Peter I’s brain. Never let any Russian eat appetizers. In 1699, he ordered the destruction of all the restaurants making appetizers.
No one would ever “Zap Peter I.”

11) But in 1917, Tsar Nicholas II foolishly permitted the making of appetizers. Lenin and Trotsky fed appetizers to the palace guard who fell asleep. The communists seized power. We are still living with the consequences of the Russian Revolution. Now you know why.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

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

Llapingachos

Ecuadorian Entree

LLAPINGACHOS
(Potato Cheese Patties)

INGREDIENTS – POTATOES

½ small white onion (½ small onion more later)
2½ pounds russet or brown potatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (additional ¼ cup vegetable oil later)
½ tablespoon achiote powder
3 green onions
¼ teaspoon salt (¼ teaspoon more later)
1 cup queso blanco, queso fresco, quesillo, or mozzarella cheese
¼ cup vegetable oil (or ¼ cup per batch)

INGREDIENTS – SALSA DE MANI

1¼ cups milk
½ small white onion (See? I told you it would show up again.)
1 cup smooth peanut butter
¼ teaspoon salt

SPECIAL UTENSIL

potato masher

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours.

PREPARATION – POTATOES

Dice ½ small white onion. Peel potatoes. Cut each potato into eight pieces. Put potato pieces into large pot. Add enough water to cover potato bits. Bring water to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potato is tender. Remove potatoes and let cool.

While potatoes and then cool, add 2 tablespoons oil, onion, and achiote powder to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Drain potatoes Mash potatoes with potato masher. Mince green onions. Add white onion, green onion, and salt to mashed potatoes. Mix with fork until well blended.

Form mashed-potato mix into 16 balls. Insert 1 tablespoon queso blanco into center of each potato ball. Close hole in potato ball and flatten slightly to make llapingachos. Add ¼ cup oil and llapingachos to pan. Heat oil using low-medium heat. Do not let llapingachos touch. Sauté for 7 minutes or until golden brown. Gently turn over once. Repeat for each batch.

PREPARATION – SALSA DE MANI

While potatoes cook and then cool, slice ½ small white onion into 4 pieces. Add this white onion and milk to pan. Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Stir frequently to keep milk from burning. Remove onion and discard. Add peanut butter and salt. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until peanut-butter sauce, salsa de mani thickens. Spread warm salsa de mani over llapingachos.

TIDBITS

1) Ever get deja vu? Like you read this recipe some twenty years ago? Or maybe you knew tonight’s dinner would be pot roast? Okay, maybe you knew that because today is Tuesday and you always have pot roast on Tuesday. But what about the time you saw Spiffy the Squirrel win the Boston Marathon and only you had known he’d win because you somehow had seen it happen a week ago?

2) Anagram scientists know now that deja vu is not merely a feeling but instead that alga, the stuff that grows on the surface on ponds, are trying to communicate to us from the future. It’s true! Fishermen, golfers, and politicians will tell you the same. Look at the name of this dish, Llapingachos” That word is an anagram for “alga phonics.”

3) In 2032, internet providers, locked in ever increasing competition search looked frantically for faster and faster ways of data transmission. On April 2nd , Timothy “Timothy” Harris, Ph.D and CEO. of Harris Labs dropped his cell phone in an alga-ridden pond. To his surprise, it still dried out instantly! It still worked! It even worked 38% faster than before! Timmy’s brain swirled with exclamations marks. He’d win a Nobel Prize! Then his phone stopped transmitting. The screen stayed on, but the wallpaper switched to pond scum. Dr. Harris slapped his forehead. But, of course, the alga now in his phone had dissolved and replaced its the precious metals. The phone would now only send forth images and concepts the alga understood.

4) Indeed the alga, relatively dim witted due to their single-cell existence and, to be frank, lack of any secondary education to speak of, couldn’t comprehend even the simplest text messages such, “lol” or “smh.” Clearly, alga needed to up their linguistic skills. But how to do this?

5) Timothy had another “aha” moment. Didn’t there, wasn’t there, a program called “Hooked on PhonicsTM? Did they ever make a version for alga? They had! It was still out there on EBayTM. Would this program work on specific single-celled organisms? It would! Harris Labs’ revolutionary cell phones took the communication world by storm. However, Dr. Harris feared industrial espionage and never wrote down the specifics of his invention. But how would he remember to process to make his phones? After all, he was scatter-brained after all.

6) Simple. For in 2033, he had a flash of insight. Could phonics-enabled alga send messages back in time to people’s brains if they were first coded in anagrams? Yes, yes, it proved to be so! Who knew? All you had to receive this message was to walk by a stagnant pond. So yes, whenever you experience deja vu, it is really coming from alga way into the future.

7) “Remember, alga phonics,” thought Dr. Harris. What was an anagram for “alga phonics?” Why no other than the Ecuadorian dish, llapingachos! The great scientist fed this word to his alga who keep forwarding the recipe back in time to us. This is why we keep hankering for this recipe.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Black Bean Chicken

Chinese Entree

BLACK BEAN CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS

1 pound chicken breasts
½ tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon grated ginger
4 teaspoons rice wine or sake
2 garlic cloves
2 shallots
2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
½ teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons black bean sauce (aka black bean paste)*
¼ cup chicken stock
¾ teaspoon sugar
1 green onion
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds or sesame seeds

* = If you can’t find black bean sauce, you can substitute with hoisin sauce or miso. Alternatively, use your sonic obliterator on any guest complaining about your lack of authenticity. You don’t need that negativity in your life.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

sonic obliterator

Serves 3. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Slice chicken breast crosswise into ¼” thin strips. Add corn starch, ginger, and rice wine to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add chicken strips. Mix with hands until chicken strips are thoroughly coated. Marinate for 15 minutes.

While chicken strips marinate, mince garlic cloves and shallots. Add peanut oil, sesame oil, garlic, and shallot to pan. Heat peanut oil using high heat. (Peanut oil is ready when a bit of shallot starts to dance in the oil.) Sauté at medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Stir constantly. Add black bean sauce. Sauté for another 30 seconds. Stir constantly.

Add chicken strips, chicken stock, and sugar. Bring to boil using high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Stir occasionally. While chicken simmers, chop green onion into thin slices. Garnish with green onion and toasted sesame seeds.

TIDBITS

1) Chickens are usually calm creatures. “Live and let live is their motto.”

2) Unless, they don’t get black beans to eat. Then things get ugly.

3) In 1848, farms all around Scotland ran out of black beans. It all came to a head in the great Paisley Chicken Riots.

4) In retrospect, Paisley’s authorities should have seen it coming. The local chickens had forsaken their usual, “Poc, poc, poc, poc” for “POC, POC, POC, POC!!” Since then, chickens speaking in all capital letters and exclamation points have become a byword for terror. But back then, the town’s constabulary was caught flat footed. Enraged Scottish hens broke into seed barrels everywhere.

5) Fortunately, it rains a lot in Scotland and rain seeped into barrel upon barrel filled with corn seed, or maize seeds as the local chickens would have said. These soaked seeds became fermented from the rain. The chicken got drunk, wobbled around with outstretched wings, and finally passed out in the streets.

6) “They need intervention,” said the bonnie Franchesca. Paisley’s mayor agreed. Just one week later work started on the World’s First* Chicken Alcohol Treatment cent or as WFCAT as it is more commonly goes by. * = As far as we know.

7) The Chicken Rebellion of 1848 fizzled out. Unrest in Great Britain died down. Isn’t amazing how many people take their lead from chickens?

8) But other European leaders learned nothing from this. Their poor people starved. Middle class people protested for more and more say in government. Chickens demanded the black beans their brethren in England got. European fowl ransacked seed stores in all major cites.

9) Orators everywhere exhorted the mobs. “Citizens, are we cowards? Are we going just sit at our tables eating mushroom mush while our fowl friends lead the charge towards liberty and equality?” “No!” shouted the seething masses. And so, Europe erupted into the Year of Revolution.

10) Finally governments responded to the crisis engulfing their lands. First, no succeeding year would ever be known as 1848 for, as we all know, there is lots of symbolism in numbers. Second, generous subsidies to farmers would ensure bumper crops of black beans for centuries to come. In fact, in1927 seed growers planted so many black-beans that its future market crashed. Economic depression loomed. Alert government chefs suggested a dish made of chicken and black beans to gobble up the seed surplus.

11) You might think the chickens would have objected to being eaten. But they never have, remaining docile as long as they got their black beans to eat, “Thank you very much.”

12) Then, in 1993, the Chinese Bikini Team visited Great Britain and later brought the dish back with them. Black bean chicken became enormously popular. It still is. This is why this entree is known as coming from China.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Chocolate Chip Cookies

American Dessert

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

¾ teaspoon baking soda
2¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1¼ teaspoons vanilla
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
2 cookie sheets

Makes 50 cookies. Takes 1 hour. (Varies with the number of batches.)

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add baking soda, flour, and salt to 1st, large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until thoroughly blended. Add butter, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, and vanilla to 2nd, larger mixing bowl. Blend with electric beater set on medium until mixture becomes fluffy.

Gradually add dry mixture from 1st mixing bowl to the butter/sugar mixture in 2nd mixing bowl. Mix with beater at medium setting until thoroughly mixed. Fold in chocolate chips. Mix with hands until well blended.

Roll dough into little balls about 1″ wide. Leave a 1″ gap between chocolate chip/dough balls. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes or until golden brown. (Baking times for successive batches may vary.) Let cookies cool for 2 minutes before transferring with a spatula to wire rack or cold plate. Cool for an additional 5-to-20 minutes or as long as you can stand waiting.

TIDBITS

1) In 2006 a company developed a microchip to be inserted into its employees. This was done prevent industrial espionage of its products and also deter the excuse, “But I was only going to the water cooler.” Management’s new enhanced employee monitoring resulted in a staggering 87% decrease in time spent away from work desks. “Na, na, na, poo, poo,” corporate security would say, “Our restrooms are in the other direction.”

2) All major businesses were posed to micro chip their workforce. But because of a typo, engendered by a poorly administered time-travel program, corporate America placed an order for one-trillion dollars of chocolate chips. This huge expenditure tore gaping holes in their budgets, forcing them to cancel their microchipping programs.

3) In a completely related event, production of chocolate-chip cookies output soared by billions and billions. So much so, that the Commerce Department started sending super tankers filled with such cookies to countries lacking chocolate-chip cookies.

4) This program, Chocolate Chip Cookies for People, or CCCP became permanent when, a scant year later, a chocolate chip congressman became head of the influential Ways and Means Committee.

5) International communist propaganda vanished when unstable countries confused CCCP with Soviet-style communism. Money that should have spent destabilizing their neighbors went to heretofore unimportant culinary budgets.

6) Dictators for life everywhere found their menus restricted to chocolate-chips for every meal of every day. Fortunately, chocolate-chip cookies are so yummy and delicious that tyrants all over couldn’t stop eating these delights. They became filled with the contentment that only chocolate-chip cookies can give.

7) It is time to ponder why Roget’s ThesaurusTM has no synonym for chocolate-chip cookies. Let’s just call them CCC, shall we?

9) Any way, it’s time to pick up the thread events that we left in tidbit 6.

10) World leaders became too contented to invade anyone.

11) Happy people everywhere even stopped saying, “And so’s your mother.”

12) In 2016, Gaston LaCroute, won the Nobel Peace Prize for his fortuitous typo,

13) In 2017, Monsieur LaCroute became president of France. He didn’t have a platform at all other than all entrees should be properly spiced.

14) French voters wrote him on their ballots by the tens of millions. “It’s about time our presidents concentrated on food,” they said.

15) America was happy too. Burgeoning employment in its CCC industry meant that the unemployment rate fell to -2.3%

17) Negative unemployment rates are possible when your government possesses a time-machine. In 2005 the United States was poised to prevent World War II by going back to 1938 and eliminating warmongering dictators. But typos, once entered into official documents take on a life of their own. All we ended up in doing was to cause Monsieur La Croute into making his famous typo.

5) And so, the world became peaceful and happy. Now you know why.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

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

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