cuisine

Sow (Milk Drink from Senegal)

Senegalese Appetizer

SOW
(Milk Drink)

INGREDIENTS

8 cups (2 quarts) buttermilk*
⅔ cup sugar
¼ cup vanilla sugar**
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

* = Traditionally made by letting fresh milk go sour outside then adding sugar and ice.
** = Can be ordered online. PenzeysTM has it. Or make your own with vanilla beans and sugar.

Serves 8. Takes 5 minutes.

PREPARATION

Combine all ingredients into pitcher or jug. Stir with spoon until well blended.

TIDBITS

1) “Sow,” if pronounced incorrectly, in Woolof, a Senegalese language, means something bad.

2) What if calling someone “sow” in Woolof means something that would you get you roughed up, put in prison, or expelled from Senegal?

3) You wouldn’t want that especially after spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on four-star hotels and flying there for its magnificent food and scenery and friendly people. Okay, friendly as long you don’t say “sow” the wrong way to them.

4) So what can you do to keep your words from getting yourself assaulted?

5) Go to another country? Nope. Won’t work. Foreign countries have foreign languages just chock full of okay words that are similar in pronunciation to dirty words, offensive words, and words that if said a little different that will get you dumped off all alone at a glacier when all you really wanted was an ice cube for your orange juice.

6) Learn Woolof. Learn all the languages that are spoken in Senegal. Take those intense language courses! Conjugate those Woolofian verbs every chance you get.

7) Or just smile and point to glass of sow. Just be careful how you point? Pointing the wrong way in a foreign country can get you trouble.

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

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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My Mason Jars: Filled With Flours, Spices, and Herbs

Hi. I’m sorry for today’s short food blog. I went to two supermarkets to get ingredients for Tuluk, sort of a banana wrapped tamale from Vanuatu, and for Napolitaines, a cookie sandwich with raspberry jam, from Mauritius. I then came home to show Number Two Son how to assemble his documents and fill out his Federal Tax Form. I’m having a slight break now. Afterward, I will show him how to do his state taxes. What fun!

Sorry for the blurry photos. I blame plate tectonics.

And as always, “Good cooking. Good Eating.”

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

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 With Coffee Sauce

Sao Tomean Entree

CHICKEN WITH COFFEE SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 teaspoon salt
2 red chile peppers
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons butter
1 bay leaf
½ cup brewed coffee
1 cup white wine
9 coffee beans
¼ cup heavy cream

Serves 2. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut chicken breasts into 1″ cubes. Rub salt onto chicken cubes. Seed and mince red chile peppers. Mine garlic cloves. Add butter to large pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Add chicken cubes. Cook for 12 minutes at medium heat or until the sides of the chicken cubes start to turn golden brown. Turn cubes enough so that they brown evenly.

Add red chile, garlic, and bay leaf to pan. Cook at medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove chicken cubes and set aside. Add brewed coffee and white wine to pan Cook until sauce reduces by half. Stir frequently.

Add coffee beans and heavy cream to pan. Stir until well blended. Return chicken cubes to ban. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove bay leaf. Goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) It costs a pretty penny for NASA to shoot one of its rockets into space. For those rockets–whether they carry amazing machines for carrying out zero-gravity experiments, taking astronauts to Mars, or people who named the murderer before you could watch that must-see mystery movie on a way trip to Pluto–use expensive rocket fuel Just like us, NASA too has a budget. Sure, its annual budget is tens of billions of dollars more than ours, but the concept is the same.

3) Heavier payloads on space missions require more fuel than lighter ones. So budget conscious NASA is always looking for ways to save weight. NASA particularly favors this entree because it combines a nutritious, satisfying meal while, at the same time, providing those hard-working astronauts with their caffeine fix. There’s no need to stow heavy coffee. No heavy coffee, less need for fuel. Less fuel, more things that can taken on the spaceship. More things aboard, more instruments. More instruments, more experiments. More experiments, more knowledge gained. Soon we will be living in a Golden Age. And we’ll all owe it to the entree from Sao Tome.

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

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, international, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

My Spices and Herbs

Hi! I love to make cuisines from all over the world. Actually, I need to discover new appetiziers, soups, entrees, side dishes, and desserts, Cooking is therapeutic for me. Well, mostly.  Making dishes from everywhere requires all the spices and a good selection of the world’s myriad herbs. So, I’ve accumulated quite a few spices and herbs as you can see in the pictures below. Many thanks to all the wonderful people who have given me spices, herbs, and blends.

And as always, “Good cooking. Good Eating.”

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

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 Stew From Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean Entree

CHICKEN STEW

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
½ green chile
1 carrot
1 garlic clove
1 onion
1 tomato
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon basil
2 teaspoons parsley
½ teaspoon thyme
2½ cups chicken stock

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Cut chicken breasts into 3 pieces each and thighs into 2 pieces. Seed green chile. Dice green chile, carrot, garlic, onion, and tomato.

Rub chicken pieces with pepper and salt. Add chicken and olive oil to pot. Sauté at medium heat for 10 minutes or until chicken pieces are no longer pink on the outside. Stir occasionally. Remove chicken. Add green chile, carrot, garlic, and onion to pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently.

Add basil, parsley, thyme, tomato, and chicken stock. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Add chicken pieces. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender. Goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) This recipe calls for ½ green chile. Stores don’t sell a half of a green chile. Not even if you ask nicely. But then you’ll have an extra half green chile that you don’t need and won’t need. So you throw it away.

2) But all our lives, religious leaders, civic leaders, teachers, and parents have all instructed us with, “Waste not, want not.” Yet here we are, wasting a half chile. This sort of conflict stresses us. It drives our slowly mad, unless we buy a carton of ice cream. Ice cream reduces stress. And, of course, we always eat the entire carton. So we never waste a single bit of cream. Now we are, “Wasting not, wanting not.” We can once again feel good about ourselves and be at peace with the world. There you go.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

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, international, observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Swedish Raspberry Cave Cookies

Swedish Dessert

SWEDISH RASPBERRY CAVE COOKIES
(Hallongrottor)

INGREDIENTS

1¼ cups butter, softened
⅔ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
½ cup potato starch or corn starch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup raspberry jam (or your choice of jam)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

24 paper cookie cups
baking sheet
cooling rack

Makes 24 cookies. Takes 1 hour plus 30 minutes to cool..

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add butter and sugar to 1st large mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set at medium until soft and well blended. Add baking powder, flour, potato starch. and vanilla to 2nd large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended.

Gradually add baking powder/flour/potato starch mixture to bowl with butter/sugar. Mix with electric beater set at medium until you get a fluffy dough.. Roll out dough until becomes a 12″-long log. Cut dough log every ½” to get 24 even circles.

Place dough circles into paper cookie cups. Press finger in middle of each dough circle to make a little indentation. Carefully fill each indentation with 1 teaspoon raspberry jam. Place filled paper cups on baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until the cookies just begin to turn golden brown. (These cookies should remain fairly pale.)

TIDBITS

1) Billions of year ago, the Earth was just seething seas and voluminous volcanoes. Yes, the elements of life existed, but nothing actually came into being, not even the simplest of telemarketers. There was just no animating catalyst.

2) The week after that, microscopic cave cookies appeared. These microscops were themselves inert, but any element of life attaching itself to a cave cookie became alive. Hooray for life! As thecookie micrcoscops naturally enlarged, so did the number of life elements that could attach to it. So, life forms became bigger and bigger. Eventually we would we would have life on Earth as we know it.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., Paul I

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, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Triple Sandwich

Peruvian Entree

TRIPLE SANDWICH

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs
4 slices white bread
1 small avocado
1 small tomato
3 tablespoons mayonnaise (6 times at ½ tablespoon)
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt

Makes 1 sandwich. Serves 2. Takes 20, or so, minutes, depending on the hardness of the boiled egg.

PREPARATION

Boil 2 eggs in water for 6 minutes, for soft boiled, to 12 minutes, for hard boiled. While eggs boil trim crusts off bread slices. Peel and remove pit of avocado. Cut avocado into ½” cubes. Dice tomato. Peel eggs. Cut each egg into 2 slices along its length.

Spread ½ tablespoon mayonnaise on 1st slice of bread. Arrange avocado cubes evenly over mayonnaise. Sprinkle pepper and salt over avocado.

Spread ½ tablespoon mayonnaise on each side of 2nd slice of bread. Put 2nd slice of bread on avocado. Sprinkle diced tomato evenly on 2nd bread slice.

Spread ½ tablespoon mayonnaise on each side of 3nd slice of bread. Put 3nd slice of bread on diced tomatoes. Arrange egg slices evenly on 3rd bread slice.

Spread ½ tablespoon mayonnaise on 4th slice of bread. Put 4th bread slice, mayonnaise side down, on egg slices. Cut sandwich diagonally. This sandwich looks really nice.

TIDBITS

1) A triple is a term from Peruvian baseball. Baseball was invented in Peru by Señor Alfredo Lopez de Santiago y Albondigas. Lopez owned many large diamond mines in Northern Peru. Diamond mining was cramped work. Cramped work leads to cramped workers. Cramped workers lead to crimped productions. So to stretch the muscles of his miners, Lopez invented the game of Baseball. This occurred in 1834, a full eleven years before Alexander Cartwright supposedly invented the sport in America.

2) Lopez found no takers from his weary and famished workers. He had to bribe his miners with food. Batters who ended up at third base, were rewarded with a triple-layered sandwich of avocado, tomato, and eggs. This sandwich came to be known simply as a “triple.” The corresponding base hit also became a triple. Now you know.

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

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, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Favorite Restaurants – Mother’s, New Orleans

New Orleans is chock full of superb dining establishments. However, my favorite one, the one I always go to whenever I have the good fortune to visit the Crescent City is Mother’s Restaurant.

Mother’s claims it serves the “World’s Best Baked Ham.”  I have to agree. However, I am a sucker for dipped, hot sandwiches. I nearly always go for their Ferdi Special.

As you can see from the picture on the right, the place displays a modest decor, while the many photos on the brick are of celebrities who made a point to going to Mother’s.

The omnipresent long line outside to get into the restaurant, shows the enduring popularity of this historic eatery.  Be sure to pick out your dining choices as you make way in the line to the counter; there are lots of people behind waiting to get in.

As I mentioned above, my favorite dish at Mother’s is the Famous Ferdi Special. It’s a po’ boy with ham and roast beef. Be sure to ask for it with “debris.” Debris is the bits of roast beef that fall into the gravy while carving. This po’ boy is so good that ordering any of their other fine dishes feels like having an affair on the Ferdi Special. But what an affair, it would be. I recommend trying the World’s Best Baked Ham Dinner, the Ham Po’ Boy, the Gulf Shrimp Po’ Boy, Red Beans and Rice with ham, and Shrimp Creole.

Google Maps(tm) describes Mother’s Restaurant as “Greasy spoon with Southern comfort food.” And how! I’m getting rather hungry writing this blog. So let me leave after listing their tasty sides: cabbage, turnip greens, red beans & rice, Jake’s green beans with tomatoes, grits, cheese grits, potato salad, and French fries.

I want to go back to Mother’s Restaurant. You should go too.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

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: book reviews and excerpts, cuisine, humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Caramelized Banana Cake

Cape Verdean Dessert

CARAMELIZED BANANA CAKE

INGREDIENTS

4 eggs
½ cup butter, softened
1½ cups sugar (1¼ cups more later)
½ cup milk
⅛ teaspoon salt
2⅓ cups wheat flour or flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
no-stick spray
4 ripe bananas
⅓ cup water
1¼ cups sugar
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
8″ * 12″ cake pan
9″ * 13″ cookie tray
sonic obliterator

Serves 10. Takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Separate eggs into yolks and whites. Add butter and 1½ cups sugar to large mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set on medium until well blended. Add egg yolks, milk, and salt. Mix with electric beater set on medium until well blended. Gradually add wheat flour. Mix with electric beater set on medium until well blended. Add baking powder and egg whites. Mix with electric beater set on medium until this dough is well blended and fluffy. Spray cake pan with no-stick spray.

Cut each banana into 6 circles. Add water and 1¼ cups sugar to pan. Warm sugar using low-medium heat until it begin to melt. Stir enough to keep sugar from burning and clumping. Reduce heat to low and continue warming sugar until it melts completely and turns a caramel brown. Stir constantly. Pour this caramel immediately into cake pan. (Don’t let it set.) dish. Smooth with spatula.

Place banana circles evenly over caramel. (Be careful if caramel is hot.) Spoon dough over bananas. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick stuck in middle of cake comes out clean. Loosen cake by sliding spatula around the edges and, as far as possible, under the bottom. Put cookie tray on top of cake pan. Carefully turn cake pan and cookie tray upside down. Tap cake pan with knife. Say a brief prayer. Lift cake pan. Cake should come out cleanly onto cookie tray. Let sit until cool. Serve to adoring guests. Zap unappreciative ones with sonic obliterator.

TIDBITS

1) One of the most beloved form of communal games of gambling is craps. Just go to any casino. Any time you hear a loud roar of happiness, it is quite likely it came from the craps table. Of course, as with all gambling choices in a casino, you will likely go home a loser. But you have more fun losing than people playing slot machines. And that’s the main thing.

2) There are two games that come to mind for people to play face to face. They are chess and dominoes.

3) However, chess is mostly a silent game. It’s bad form to disturb, in any way, the player about to make a move. People can take the longest time pondering whether to move their bishop or not. Or where. How long can some players take to move?

4) Eons.

5) Culinary sociologists have determined that chess is the game of choice for prison wardens. The wardens deal with violent and otherwise troublesome prisoners by placing them in solitary confinement.

6) There is always a chess game going in solitary confinement. The guard tells the ingoing inmate whether he is playing for white black. The player looks at the game. His mind goes a mile a minute thinking over the 172,329 possible moves. This takes a while, and lo and behold. just as he moves his chess piece, his time in solitary is over.

7) The head guard then picks the current troublemaker in the chess-game cell and informs this inmate that his is playing the opposite color from that of the previous cell mate.

8) Solitary Prison Cell has become all the rage. Inmates have begun to commit offenses just to play chess in solitary. Prisoners have begun to form chess gangs. The most popular gang names are the White Knights and the Black Bishops. For a while, wardens tried segregating these groups.

9) However, as this policy is proving insufficient in decreasing prison violent, the guards are starting to take away solitary-chess privileges for frequent rule offenders. These men can only play dominoes, a much less violent game. It’s still addicting, though.

10) When prisoners are released, the dominoes players need a good fix of the game. This is why you see people playing dominoes outside a remote, rural general store. But there aren’t many such establishments any more. So dominoes junkies naturally flock to anything that has the big dots on them that dominoes has. What do they do? They can’t play chess anymore. That games doesn’t have dots. Beside, the ex-cons have been conditioned against playing that game? So what do they do?

11) They play craps. The dice in craps have plenty of dots on them, enough for any dominoes junkie. However, as we established in the first tidbit, people who plays craps lose all their money.

12) Then what do these one-time felons due for their dot fix? They eat food with dots on them. Like caramelized banana cake. The bananas in ths dessert look like the dots on a domino tile. (See the above photo.) This is why this dessert is so enormously popular around the world. Now you know.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

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, international, obsevations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stifado (Stew from Cyprus)

Cypriot Entree

STIFADO
(Stew)

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds stewing beef
2 pounds frozen pearl onions*
½ tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
3 cups beef stock
3″ cinnamon stick
2 cloves
¾ teaspoon pepper
1½ cups red wine
2½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
water, if liquid cooks away too soon

* = Fresh pearl onions will taste a bit better than frozen ones. But my gosh, the fresh ones have to be peeled. You can speed up the peeling process by boiling, plunging them into cold water, and squeezing the pearl onion out of its skin. This peeling took me 40 minutes the one and only time I tried. I’d rather join the French Foreign Legion than do it again. Buy the frozen ones.

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut stewing beef into 1″ cubes. Peel pearl onions, if necessary. Dice rosemary. Add olive oil and beef cubes to large pan. Sauté at medium-high heat until all sides brown. Stir occasionally. Add pearl onions. Sauté at medium heat until onions soften. Stir frequently.

Add remaining ingredients. Stir until completely blended. Put lid on pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour 40 minutes or meat becomes quite tender and the liquid reduces to a thick sauce. Stir occasionally. (Add water as necessary, if liquid evaporates completely before beef cubes become tender.) Remove bay leaves and cinnamon stick.

TIDBITS

1) America’s Prohibition banned the selling and consumption of alcohol. If you were a barkeep and sold a customer a large whiskey, you were liable to arrest by a lurking cop. And your bar would be shut down. So customers took to calling a large whiskey, a stiff one. Such subterfuge, fooled the police only for a bit. They were naturally suspicious that a liquid that looking like whiskey, and being sold in a speakeasy was, in fact, whiskey. So, whiskey dens took to injecting avocados with whiskey. They called the new concoction “stifado,” a combination of “stiff one” and “avocado”. A visiting chef from Cyprus so loved the stifado, that he named his signature stew, “Stifado.” Now you know.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

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 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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