cuisine

Bicycle Chicken

Burkina Faso

BICYCLE CHICKEN
(Poulet Bicyclette)

INGREDIENTS

1 MaggiTM chicken or vegetable bouillon cube*
2 tablespoons peanut oil or other oil
1 teaspoon vinegar
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 chicken breasts with bone and skin
2 chicken thighs with bone and skin
2 bay leaves
2 potatoes
2 red or green chile peppers
2 carrots
4 garlic cloves
2 medium onions
2 tablespoons butter

* = It’s way more authentic with a Maggi cube. Maggi rules western Africa.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

baking sheet.
kitchen thermometer

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 35 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add Maggi cube to large mixing bowl. Crush Maggi cube. Add peanut oil, vinegar, pepper, and salt. Mix thoroughly with whisk or fork. Add chicken pieces. Turn chicken pieces until they are completely coated. Add bay leaves. Let marinate for 40 minutes.

While chicken pieces marinate, preheat oven to 390 degrees. Peel potatoes. Add potatoes and enough water to cover to them to pot. Boil potatoes on high heat for 20 minutes or until tender. Place chicken pieces on grill in oven. Place baking sheet under chicken to catch drippings. Cook at 390 degrees for 55 minutes or until no longer pink inside or the chicken’s temperature reaches 165 degrees. Turn chicken pieces over once.

While chicken pieces cook, seed chile peppers Mince carrots, chile peppers, garlic cloves and onions. Add butter, carrot, chile pepper, garlic, and onion to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. Add a chicken piece to each plate. Top chicken with sautéed veggies. Surround chicken with potato slices.

TIDBITS

1) There are many reasons why this dish is called Bicycle Chicken.

2) The chickens running about the streets in Burkina Faso look like they’re riding a bicycle.

3) The chicken vendors in Ouagadougu, the capital city, bicycle around the town with chickens hanging upside down from their bike’s handle bars*.

* = Do not confuse handle bars with Handle bars, which the great musical composer used to organize his written music in small sections.

4) People know chickens derive enjoyment from looking a bicycles. So whenever a bicyclist pedals past a hen, people will say, “Look, a bicycle, chicken.”

5) Would-be chicken vendors who are afraid to ride a bicycle are known as “bicycle chicken.”

6) The 1st grade textbook used in Ouagadougu’s grammar school has a picture of a bicycle on page one and a bicycle on the next page. The words are shown below the corresponding picture. So, the first words the country’s young learners learn to spell are bicycle and chicken. Walk by any 1st grade classroom first thing in the morning and you will hear the words “bicycle, chicken” spoken over and over.

7) Some very small dictionaries have the words bicycle and chicken next to each other. Don’t buy these books. They’re not of much use.

8) “Bicycle chicken” is spy code for “my cover has been compromised.” Oh dear, I compromised that code now, haven’t I?”

9) However, culinary etymologists* tend to believe that the phrase “bicycle chicken” derives from the world-renowned Le Tour du Poulet Burkinabé (LTDPB).

10) The muscular thighs of Burkina Faso’s chickens make them naturals for bicycle races.

11) Indeed, chickens are quite athletic when properly motivated. The longest recorded flight by a chicken is 301 feet. The chicken’s motivation remains unknown. At least, no one is talking.

12) Anyway, every May sees the LTDPB sees the chickens pedal like mad from Banforo toward Ougadougu.

13) Every August sees the chickens cross the finish.

14) The great popularity of the LTDPB has naturally spawned imitations such as the ones in Greenland*, Oregon, and Scotland.

15) * I’m sad to say, that this year’s Chicken Race Across Greenland (CRAG)has been cancelled due to inclement conditions. It’s best, anyway, to wait for and watch LTDPB on ESPN9TM.

 

– 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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Sauna Eggs

Korean Appetizer

SAUNA EGGS

INGREDIENTS

8 eggs
enough water to cover eggs.
½ tablespoon salt
ice

SPECIAL UTENSIL

instant pot or sauna

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours to bring to room temperature and 1 hour 45 minutes to cook.

PREPARATION – INSTANT POT

Let eggs sit at room temperature for 2 hours. (This will help keep them from cracking.) Carefully add eggs to instant pot. Add enough water to cover eggs. Add salt. Secure lid on instant pot and set valve to “airtight” or “sealing.” (Exciting things can happen if you don’t.) Press “time adjust” or “manual” button. Set timer to 1 hour 30 minutes, or 90 minutes.

Fill large bowl with ice and water. When instant pot has stopped cooking, set valve to release steam. (Oh gosh, this is important.). Slowly release lid. Use slotted spoon to remove eggs and transfer them to large bowl. Allow eggs to cool in ice water for 10 minutes or until they are cool enough to peel. Peel eggs.

These eggs have a nutty taste.

PREPARATION – SAUNA

Put eggs on benches in sauna. Let eggs cook for 7 hours at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Let eggs cool in ice water and peel in ice water. All this is a wild guess. I don’t have a sauna. I don’t know anyone who has a sauna who’d let me cook eggs in it for 7 seven hours. I do know that eggs already cooked in a sauna or in an instant pot are quite an appreciated appetizer for Korean sauna goers.

TIDBITS

1) South Korean chickens lay their eggs in saunas. Not for seven hours of course, that would turn their would-be offspring into Sauna Eggs. No they just lay their eggs on the sauna floor and then roll them outside. The short time in the sauna is enough to toughen the chickens to be for the rest of their lives. And, oh my gosh, the mama hens, laying eggs time after time in the sauna, become super tough and resilient. So much so that the South Korean army positions an entire division of sauna hens along the armistice line with North Korea. No army in the world has trained enough to fight sauna chickens and no soldier is brave enough to attack them.

 

– 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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Shrimp and Tofu Fritters

Filipino Appetizer

SHRIMP AND TOFU FRITTERS
(Ukoy)

INGREDIENTS – DIPPING SAUC

2 garlic cloves
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ teaspoon pepper (¼ teaspoon more later)
⅛ teaspoon chili

INGREDIENTS – BATTER

1 egg
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
½ cup corn starch
¾ cup flour
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

INGREDIENTS – MAIN

2 green onions
½ pound firm tofu
2 cups bean sprouts
¾ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (20 count)
1 cup vegetable oil

Serves 8. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic cloves. Add all dipping sauce ingredients to serving bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended.

Add egg to mixing bowl. Beat egg with whisk or fork. Add all remaining batter ingredients. Mix with fork until well blended.

Dice green onions and tofu. Add green onion, tofu, bean sprouts, and shrimp to mixing bowl with batter. Stir until shrimp are well coated with batter.

Add vegetable oil to large pan or wok. Heat oil using medium-high heat until a tiny bit of batter will dance in the oil. Add 3 tablespoons batter and 1 shrimp (fritter) to a corner of the pan. Repeat adding batter and shrimp as long as none of the fritter touch each other. You might have to cook in batches. Sauté fritters for 4 minutes or until golden brown. Turn over once. Serve with dipping sauce.

TIDBITS

1) Cooking Shrimp and Tofu Fritters is such fun as the below book proves.. There are even chapters devoted to merriment with the already cooked fritters. What will be your favorite form of Shrimp and Tofu Fritter fun?

 

– 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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Butter Chicken

Indian Entree

BUTTER CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS – MARINADE

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 garlic cloves (3 more later)
1 teaspoon chili powder (1 teaspoon more later)
1 teaspoon cumin (1 teaspoon more later)
2 teaspoons garam masala (1 teaspoon more later)
½ teaspoon turmeric

INGREDIENTS – SAUCE

3 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
1″ ginger root
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil
1 tablespoon butter (5 more tablespoons later)
5 tablespoons butter
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 cup cream
4 naan loaves or rice

SPECIAL UTENSIL

blender

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 15 minutes.

PREPARATION – MARINADE

Cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Mince 2 garlic cloves. Add all marinade ingredients to large mixing bowl. Mix with fork until thoroughly blended and chicken cubes are thoroughly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

PREPARATION – SAUCE

Add marinated chicken and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high for 10 minutes or until the chicken cubes brown on all sides. Remove chicken and set aside. Mince 3 garlic cloves and onion. Grate ginger root. Add 1 tablespoon butter, garlic, and onion to pan. Sauté for 5 minutes at medium-high heat or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. Add ginger. Reduce heat to medium. Sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir frequently.

Add 5 tablespoons butter, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, garam masala, and salt. Simmer at low heat for 1 minute or butter melts and absorbs into the spices. Stir frequently. Add crushed tomatoes. Simmer at low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Empty contents of pan into blender and puree them.

Add puree back to pan. Add cream and chicken cubes. Simmer on low heat for 12 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Stir occasionally. Serve with naan bread.

TIDBITS

1) In 1948, Stalin, the brutal dictator of the Soviet Union decided to force the Western Allies out of Berlin by blockading all rail and road access to the city. He figured that the Allied armed forces and Berlin’s citizens would give up in weeks as they’d have to leave to eat. Then the Soviets could take Berlin without fighting.

2) But by agreement, the Western Allies had access to Berlin via three air corridors. The American and British, by herculean efforts, air lifted millions upon millions of tons of coal to the city. They did the same for foodstuffs, flying in untold tons of: flour, fat, meat, fish, dried potatoes, sugar, powdered milk, yeast dried veggies, salt, and cheese.

3) But no butter.

4) Without butter, it’s impossible to make buttered toast. It’s hopeless to make tasty cookies without butter. Without tasty cookies, the way to live ebbs away. Without cookies, people grow listless and indifferent. President Truman realized that without cookies, the Berliners wouldn’t lift a finger to resist any Russian invasion.

5) But there was no room on the air transports to bring in butter.

6) So Truman in conjunction with German chicken farmers organized the Butter Chicken Brigade, Butterhühnerbrigade in German. They really do have a word for everything.

7) The German chicken handlers loaded their chickens with panniers brimming with tubs of butter. The Soviet soldiers surrounding Berlin couldn’t stop the chickens from running the blockade. Have you ever did to catch a chicken? It isn’t easy.

8) Anyway, Berliners, their resolve stiffened by the now possible cookies, united against the Russians. The Russians knew they could face them down. Soon afterward, Stalin lifted the blockade. The Butter Chickens of Berlin had preserved their city. Indeed, they’d saved the world.

9) Said to say, their only recognition came, strangely, enough from India which developed this dish in honor of the Berlin’s plucky chickens.

 

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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Halloween Skull Meatloaf

American Entree

HALLOWEEN SKULL MEATLOAF

INGREDIENTS

½ cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 small onion
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon ground mustard
¼ teaspoon paprika
⅛ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ketchup
6 slices provolone, about ¼ pound
2 stuffed queen olives
3 ounces tomato paste
1 red bell pepper
9, or so, tic tacsTM (Only for display. Do not eat.)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

8″-x-8″ loaf pan

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add bread crumbs and eggs to large mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Mince onion. Add onion, milk, ground beef, mustard, paprika, pepper, salt, and ketchup. Mix with hands until well blended. Transfer meatloaf mix to loaf pan. Smooth with fork or spatula. Shape meatloaf into a skull. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until meatloaf is no longer pink in center.

Okay, this is where the meatloaf becomes Halloweenish. Remove loaf pan from heat. Completely cover top of meatloaf with provolone slices. (Cover top half of the meatloaf’s side with cheese. (Do not completely cover the sides. The cheese on the bottom will melt onto the pan, taking away from the effect of the skull.)

Poke holes in cheese for the eyes. Place queen olives in these holes. Remove cheese from where nose will be. Cut a ring large enough for a mouth from red bell pepper. Place bell-pepper ring where the mouth should be. Spread tomato paste in the nose hole and in the mouth

Put meatloaf back in oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Use spoon to remove any stray bits on the side or any cheese that melted past the meatloaf skull. Place tic tacs inside bell-pepper ring. These are the teeth. (The tic tacs are for display only. Don’t eat them with the meatloaf). Boo!

TIDBITS

1) Get into the Halloween spirit and serve this dish during October to valued friends and family.

2) Serve it during all the other months to all other guests.

3) As a hint.

4) Should one complain, simply, “Ha, ha, my mistake, is it really not October?”

5) When he retorts, “No, it’s April.”

6) Then you say, “Well, it must be April in the Southern Hemisphere.”

7) They’ll say, “It’s still April, even there.”

8) Don’t give in. “I know for a fact the seasons down there are reversed. It’s spring here. So it must be fall down there.

9) At this point the recalcitrant guest will cover his face with his hands and commence to moaning.

10) Press home your advantage. “October is in fall. If it is fall down there, it must be October in the Southern Hemisphere. Quod Erat Demonstratum.

11) This will rouse the guest. “That was to be proved. You know Latin. I’m impressed.”

12) Puff out your chest. “I’m not just another pretty face.”

13) “Maybe so, but it is still April in the Southern Hemisphere. If it’s April here, it’ll be April there.

14) “How do you know?” you’ll ask. “Have you been to both hemispheres at the same time? Can you bilocate?

15) Your rapier-like insights will temporarily flummox him. “No I have not,” he’ll manfully concede. “But, I know the American ambassador in Australia. Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere. I’ll give him a call if that is all right with you.” You agree as you are fairness incarnate.

16) Your guest calls his friend in Australia. “I have someone here who claims it’s April where you are. Would you please tell him the month?”

17) He passes his cell phone to you. The ambassador says, “Hi, it really is April in Australia.”

18) “Thank you,” you say, “you have solved a rather knotty scientific conundrum. Sorry to have disturbed you at work.”

19) “Not at all,” says the Ambassador, “while it is Friday where you live, it is Saturday here.”

20) “Good heavens!”

 

– 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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Shrimp Briouates

Moroccan Entree

SHRIMP BRIOUATES

INGREDIENTS

1 garlic clove
2 green onions
1 small yellow onion
2 tablespoons olive oil (maybe ½ cup more later)
¼ teaspoon chives
½ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon parsley
¼ teaspoon white pepper or black pepper
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 ounces filo (phyllo)* sheets
¼ cup melted butter
1 egg yolk**
3 tablespoons olive oil.

* = It’s more authentic to buy ouarka or warqa sheets. They, however, can be very, very difficult to find no matter what the spelling might be.
** = It’s a frustrating experience buying a single egg yolk at the store. For that matter, purchasing a single egg is often difficult as well.

Makes 30. Takes 1 hour 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic, green onions and yellow onion. Add garlic, green onion, yellow onion, and 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add chives, coriander, cumin, paprika, parsley, and pepper. Add shrimp. Lower heat to medium and sauté for 3 minutes or until shrimp turns pink or orange. Stir frequently. Remove from heat. Mince shrimp.

Add filo sheet to flat surface. (Keep other sheets covered until needed. They dry out fast.) Brush filo sheet with butter. Cut filo sheet into strips 4″ wide. Add ½ tablespoon shrimp ½” from the end of the strip. Take one corner of the strip and fold it over diagonally to make a side of a triangle. Take bottom corner of triangle and fold it up to make another triangle. Continue to fold dough until you come to the end. You now have a briouate. Dab loose end of briouate with butter and fold into pocket formed by the open edg.

Add olive oil (½” deep) to pan. Heat oil using medium-high heat. Add as many briouates as possible without them touching. Deep fry on medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until golden brown. (Frying times go down with successive batches.)Turn briouates enough to prevent burning. Removebriouates and drain on paper towels. Repeat for successive batches. Goes well with harissa.

TIDBITS

1) Frankia, modern-day France, was named after I. A. Frank.

2) Frank operated a chain of sausage stands/inns for hungry, weary pilgrims.

3) The pilgrims loved Frank’s sausage in a bun.

4) So much so that they started calling his delicacies, Franks.

5) The entire land went so hot-dog made that the entire region started calling itself Frankia.

6) See the seminal work on Medieval treatise by Monk Jean de Tours, Mon Dieu, Mon Pays, et Mon Frank.

7) Reading this literary masterpiece is harder than just seeing it. You really do need to be fluent in Medieval French.

8) Anyway in 732*, an invading Arab army under Emir Abdul Rahman threatened Frank’s culinary empire and Frankia itself.

9) *That’s 732 AD. AD stands for Anno Domini, Latin for the year of Our Lord. This system of dating is falling out of favor with many historians who prefer the less assertive, CE, or Common Era. I like to refer to this date as 1246 APB, or After Paul’s Birth. In a strange coincidence, my name is Paul.

10) So why did the Arabs invade Frankia? To convert Frankian Christians to Islam.

11) Culinary historians assert, however, that the reason was that Frank’s Franks were made out of pigs. The Arabs believed no one should eat pigs. So by conquering Frankia, they’d rid the land of forbidden pig-filled Franks.

12) To be replaced by Shrimp Briouates The invaders believed this blessed dish to be the best entree in the entire world.

13) I, personally, do not wish to take sides in the Great Hot Dog/Shrimp Briouate Controversy that has racked humanity for centuries. I can see, however, how they came to believe so strongly in the tastiness of the Shrimp Brioautes.

14) But the adherents of Frank’s Franks prevailed in the Battle of Tours. European pilgrims came to visit Tours to give thanks for hot dog’s victory. Larger and larger groups of pilgrims came, necessitating the forming of tour companies. So many tours came to Tours, that people took to changing the town’s name from Tours to Tours.

15) As a side note, briouate is one of the few dishes that’s spelled with all the vowels: a,e,i,o, and u.
You can even use the sometime vowel, y, if you want to spell briouatey, as in “That pastry is so flaky, it’s positively briouatey.”

 

– 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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We Need Fresh Produce Trucks

We were told in a recent election that electing a certain presidential candidate would result in taco trucks on every corner. Fantastic! This great news decided me. I voted for the taco-truck party. But they lost. America didn’t get all those trucks selling yummy tacos. Life is hard.

But this visionary idea got me to thinking. We need fresh-produce trucks. I mean how many times had nine of ten ingredients needed for an elegant meal? And that missing item was produce. It could be an herb, a tomato, two green onion, etc. But the thing is, you’re usually missing a bit of produce. Then you have to drive to the supermarket and back. This takes 40 minutes. By the time you get back, you no longer feel like cooking. Or if you had already started to cook before discovering you needed an herb, your meal will have been ruined.

No, we all need fresh-produce trucks. And why can’t we buy produce in smaller amounts? I mean, how many times do we needed to buy an entire head of lettuce, 20 green onions, or even four cups of fresh parsley? Never.

If I had my way, we’d be able to buy only the amount of produce we want and from a door-to-door truck.

I might even run for president on this platform.

 

– 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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Cut Rounds Revisited

British Dessert

CUT ROUNDS

INGREDIENTS

5 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups flour (1½ tablespoons more later)
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons softened butter
1⅓ cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon flour (so more later)
flour to dust rolling pin, about 1 tablespoon total flour to dust pastry cutter, about ½ tablespoon total

SPECIAL UTENSILS

baking sheet
2″ round pastry cutter or cookie cutter

Makes 15. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add baking powder, 3 cups flour, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix gently with fork until well blended. Cut butter in ¼ cubes. Fold in butter cubes.

Use fist to make a well in the middle of the flour. Pour buttermilk a bit at time into well. Knead gently with hands only until dough is sticky, but doesn’t stick to hands. (Use only as much butter as is necessary. Also don’t over knead.) Dust flat surface with 1 tablespoon flour. Add dough ball to flat surface. Dust rolling pin with flour as needed. Gently roll out dough until it is ½” deep. Use pastry cutter to cut out rounds. (This is why this dessert is called cut rounds.) Dust pastry cutter with flour as needed.

Place cut rounds on baking sheet. (Don’t let them touch.) Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until rounds have risen and tops have turned golden brown. Rounds go well with cream and jam on them. Or put cream and jam between two cut rounds. Use clotted cream if you can get it.

TIDBITS

1) Cut rounds are round. If the jam and the cream that often go inside them were replaced with surveillance devices you could conduct a 360˚ observation. In general, enemy countries are always on the alert for our eavesdropping. But no one would ever suspect a Cut Round. It’s so yummy. So, I propose that the CIA put cameras and listening devices in Cut Rounds and leave them wherever they need to glean foreign intelligence. You could ask the CIA if they already employ Cut Rounds, but they tend not to tell the public things as it is., after all, it is a top-secret organization.

 

– 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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Provoleta

Argentinian Appetizer

PROVOLETA

INGREDIENTS

8″ baguette (optional)
1½ pounds provolone cheese
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon oregano
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¾ teaspoon salt
grill spray or cooking spray

SPECIAL UTENSIL

outdoor grill

Serves 4. Takes 20 minutes plus optional 5 hours.

PREPARATION – OPTIONAL

Dry cheese out on a rack for 5 hours. This helps the cheese keep its shape when grilled.

PREPARATION – MAIN

Cut baguette into circles 1″ thick. Cut cheese into slices ¾” thick. Place olive oil into mixing bowl. Add cheese slices. Turn cheese slices until they are thoroughly coated with oil. Sprinkle cheese, then gently press oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt into cheese slices.

Spray grill liberally with grill spray. Set grill to 450 degrees or medium heat. Grill for 2 minutes or until bottom side browns. Lift cheese slices off grill and spray grill again. Flip cheese slices. Grill for another 2 minutes or until the new bottom browns. DO NOT let cheese slices fall apart or even lose their shape.

While cheese browns on both side, toast both sides of the baguette slices. Eat cheese by itself or on toasted baguette slices. Provoleta goes well with Argentinian chimichurri sauce,

TIDBITS

1) The Mormons first settled Utah in 1847. Mormon leaders soon realized that their colony needed many more settlers to survive. The word went out from Utah for Mormons in the U.S. and around the globe to make their way to this new dessert sanctuary. Indeed, many Mississippian Mormons mounted covered wagons and headed west. But the original message became more and more corrupted the farther it went. By the time it reached Leta, Argentina, the decree simply said, “More men.” So lusty, Argentinian cheese making men headed to Provo, Utah thinking the message meant Utah had too many unwed señoritas. The cheese makers liked what they saw in Provo and decided to stay. They made a new cheese which they called Provoleta to honor their new and old homes.

 

– 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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Indio Viejo From Nicaragua

Nicaraguan Entree

INDIO VIEJO

INGREDIENTS

1 green bell pepper (1 more later)
10 garlic cloves
2 pounds skirt steak, flank steak, chuck, or chicken breast
1 onion (2 more later)
1 green bell pepper
2 onions
5 tomatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2⅓ cups masa harina or 12 corn tortillas
3 tablespoons sour orange juice or lemon juice
1 teaspoon achiote powder or sweet paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons mint, spearmint, or cilantro

SPECIAL UTENSIL

sonic obliterator

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Seed 1 green bell peppers. Cut each garlic clove into four pieces. Add meat, garlic cloves, 1 green bell pepper, 1 onion, and enough water to cover to large pot. Bring to boil using high heat . Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes or until meat is tender to the fork. Strain and reserve meat/garlic/bell pepper/onion. Save broth.

30 minutes before meat should be tender, seed 1 green bell pepper. Dice 1 green bell pepper, 2 onions, and tomatoes. Add diced bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, and vegetable oil to large pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until bell pepper and onion soften. Add reserved meat/garlic/bell pepper mix, masa harina, sour orange juice, achiote, pepper, and salt. Stir constantly while adding enough reserved broth it obtains the consistency of a thick stew. Simmer on low for 10 minutes or until there are no flour lumps. Stir constantly. Dice mint. Garnish with mint. Use sonic obliterator on guests, who after you’ve cooked for three hours, complain that this dish would go well with rice or fried plantains.

TIDBITS

1) Your kitchen needs a sonic obliterator, like the one here. Buy one now.

 

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

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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