cuisine

Afghan Burgers

Afghan Entree

AFGHAN BURGERS

INGREDIENTS

1 cup fresh cilantro
3 garlic cloves
1 red onion
4 eggs
3 cups crinkle-cut fries or enough to cover cookie sheet
3 sausages, beef or chicken
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
⅓ cup water
2 Roma tomatoes
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup vinegar
5 lavash or roti loaves

SPECIAL UTENSILS

11″ x 17″ cookie sheet
newspaper or paper*
tin foil*

* = This really is a street food. It is meant to be held. If you don’t have paper, and perhaps, foil on the bottom, your hands will get greasy and food will go all over everything.

Makes 6 wraps. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Dice cilantro, garlic cloves and red onion. Slice each sausage into 8 round pieces. Boil eggs, for 6 minutes for soft boiled to 12 minutes for hard boiled. While eggs boil, cook French fries according to instruction on package. While fries cook, add sausage pieces and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté sausage pieces at medium-high for 5 minutes or until they are brown on all sides. Turn sausages enough to prevent burning. Add water. Reduce heat to medium. Cook at medium heat for 3 minutes or until pieces are no longer pink inside.

Cut each egg into 6 slices. Cut tomatoes into ½” slices. Cut lavash loaves into 4″-wide strips. Evenly add ingredients to the lavash strips following order: eggs, tomato, red onion, fries, pepper, salt, sausage, cilantro, garlic, and vinegar. Roll up food-laden naan strips. Wrap naan roll-ups with paper, being careful to fold paper under the bottom of the roll-ups. Then do the same with the tin foil.

TIDBITS

1) As noted above in the recipe, the Afghan burger is a street food.

2) It is less well known, however, is that it is the world’s first street food. And even less known than that is that the Afghan burger was invented in Poway, California, two million years ago*, 100,000 years before Lucy, homo habilis, the supposed first human roamed the Earth.

* = Also written as 2.0 mya. These tidbits are nothing, if not scientific.

3) Patty, homo streetfoodus and chef extra ordinaire, invented the Afghan burger, while pondering the infinite* and keeping an eye out for vicious mountain lions.

* = Homo streetfoodus‘ counting system was one, two, infinite. So, her dreaming of infinity was not as grandiose as it might have seemed. But then she had a smaller brain than we do, so it all worked out.

4) Anyway, while Patty contemplated a herd of infinitely-legged gazelles, the sky began to thunder. Zap! Zap! a lightning bolt struck one of the gazelles. The force and heat of the bolt was so intense that the gazelle exploded into dozens of fully cooked sausages. It is by fortuitous events that humanity advances.

5) Pow! Zap! The storm raged. A lightning bolt hit an elm tree turning into paper. Then the storm stopped, enabling tin traders from Cornwall, homo satnavus, to arrive.

6) Then food traders from Boston*, homo marathonus, showed up at Poway; even then Poway was the place to be. They gave Patty fresh cilantro, garlic, red onions, potatoes, vegetable oil, pepper, salt, and vinegar.

* = The Boston of two million years ago was much smaller than the current city. You wouldn’t have recognized it.

7) “All we need is some eggs.” said Patty. Fortunately, and this was one of those rare days when things really came together for humanity*, a herd of chickens migrated by, leaving an infinite number of eggs.

* = Indeed, Patty won a million dollars in the lottery that very day. However, as she and the others had no notion of money, the winning ticket went uncashed.

8) And so, Patty made Afghan burgers for the happy band of traders. And the burgers said that they were good. And Patty was well pleased. But they were quite hot. Truly and forsooth, through the millennia. as people lost the enormous finger calluses they had 2.0 mya, this version of the hot, juicy Afghan burgers caused more and more pain. Eventually, the Afghan burger disappeared into the sands of time. Fortunately, an unknown chef hero resurrected the entree, this time using flatbread to soak up the hot juices. Afghan burgers are now taking the culinary world by storm.

9) Culinary paleoanthropologists, however, don’t know why this dish is called the Afghan burger when there is no patty in it but was created by Patty, and was first made in Poway, California, not Afghanistan. We may never know. Further research is indicated.

Leave a message. I’d like to hear from you.

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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Italian Panini

Italian Entree

ITALIAN PANINI

INGREDIENTS

1 ciabatta roll, Italian roll, or French roll
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 deli-thin slice Provolone cheese (2 more slices later)
¼ cup roasted red bell pepper strips
4 deli-thin slices capocollo
4 del-thin slices Genoa salami
3 deli-thin slices ham
3 deli-thin slices pepperoni
2 ounces pepperoncini peppers
⅛ teaspoon basil
2 deli-thin slices Provolone cheese

SPECIAL UTENSIL

panini press

Serves 4. Takes 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Open ciabatta roll. Brush outside of roll with olive oil. Brush inside of roll with mayonnaise. Add 2 slices Provolone to bottom half of roll. Then add in the following order: roasted red pepper strips, capocollo, salami, ham, pepperoni, basil, pepperoncini rings, basil. 2 slices Provolone. and top half of roll. Place completed sandwich in panini press. Toast according to panini press’ instructions or until cheese melts or until bread turns golden brown.. Cut panini sandwich into four smaller ones.

TIDBITS

1) Italian panini is best made with a ciabatta roll. The cia batta roll was originally called the CIA batta roll. Because it was invented by the CIA. Specifically, by Guido Panini, the inventor of the Italian shirt press.

2) Guido was recruited by accident, in 1949, by the CIA. Nevertheless, he continually rose in position because all other employees had made enemies, while everyone loved him for his panini sandwiches. Indeed, in 1961 became director.

3) Later that year, Mr. Panini, suffering from an upset stomach, tried to overthrow Cuba’s Fidel Castro by invading the Bay of Pigs. The whole operation was a fiasco. Guido was given his pink slip, while the CIA was discredited to the extent that the CIA batta roll was quietly renamed, the ciabatta. Chastened, the Agency picks it head nowadays by proficiency in intelligence gathering.

Leave a message. I’d like to hear from you.

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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Garlic Bread

Italian Appetizer

GARLIC BREAD

INGREDIENTS

1 loaf Italian bread or French Bread or French rolls
3 garlic cloves
½ cup butter, completely softened
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor (optional)
tin foil

Serves 4. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice bread diagonally every 1″. DO NOT slice bread all the way to the bottom; keep the loaf together. Mince garlic quite finely, use a food processor if desired. Add finely minced garlic, softened butter, olive oil, and Italian seasoning to mixing bowl. Blend thoroughly with whisk or fork. Use spatula to spread garlic butter between bread slices.

Wrap loaf in foil and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until bread is slightly browned.

TIDBITS

1) Garlic bread is an anagram for Grab Da Rice. Grab Da Rice was a slogan for the hungry French rioters of 1781. It was not a particularly good slogan as incendiary slogans go. I mean, some firebrand would whip up the Parisian sans culottes to a fever pitch and then he’d say, “Grab da rice.”

2) But not many stores in the Paris of 1781 even carried rice. So many rioters dissipated their energy tramping all over looking for riceries. They developed blisters and leg cramps and never ever again heeded the call for revolution.

3) The happy few, well as happy as you can be when you’re in full riot mode, found rice stores had trouble grabbing much rice with their hands. The rice kept slipping between their fingers as they scurried all the way home. A more informative slogan would have been, “Scoop the da rice with a large spoon and but it in a sack.” But that’s too long for exciting people to riot.

4) The French revolution only really took off when its leaders targeted bread rioters with, “Liberté, égalité, fraternité.” Proper word choice matters, even in a revolution.

Leave a message. I’d like to hear from you.

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 Fried Steak

American Entree

CHICKEN FRIED STEAK

INGREDIENTS

2¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
8 4-ounce cube steaks
1¾ cups buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup vegetable oil
4 cups whole milk

Serves 8. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add flour, garlic powder, pepper, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Add buttermilk and egg to medium mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Dredge steak through flour mix. Dredge steak through buttermilk mix. Dredge steak once more through flour mix. Repeat for each steak. SAVE flour and buttermilk mixes remaining in mixing bowls.

Add vegetable oil to large skillet. Heat oil using medium-high heat. It will be hot enough when tiny pinch of buttermilk starts to dance in the oil. Add as many steaks as will fit in the skillet without touching. (You might need to cook in batches.) Fry for 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place steaks on plates covered with paper towels.

Reduce heat to low-medium. Discard all but ⅓ cup liquid from the pan. Leave as much solid bits as possible in the pan. Add remaining flower mix from the large mixing bowl. Mix with wooden spoon until well blended while scrapping bottom of skillet with spoon to ensure even distribution of bits. Add milk. Stir with spoon until you have a well-blended gravy. Raise heat to medium and simmer for 7 minutes or until gravy thickens. Stir enough to keep gravy from burning. Place steaks on plates. Ladle gravy over steaks.

TIDBITS

1) Chicken Fried Steak is an anagram for Chicken Fired Keats. Keats was a romantic poet during the early nineteenth century, also known as the nine teeth century due to poor dental hygiene. His publisher was a chicken who took ill one day. Keat’s brought his boss chicken-noodle soup. Couldn’t hurt, he thought. But strange to say, the chicken took offense and fired the poet just after publishing his worst poems, Ode To A Doorknob. People stopped reading Keats. He became depressed, so much so that he up and died. Then suddenly in the 1920s, the American South experienced Romantic Poet Mania, none more than Chef Scalding of the famed Bella Bellum Hotel. Indeed the Chef named his newly created chicken fried steak after the poet’s dramatic incident. But Scalding was dyslexic and that is why the dish is now known as Chicken Fried Steak.

Leave a message. I’d like to hear from you.

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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Machanka

Belarusian Entree

MACHANKA

INGREDIENTS

1 pound pork shoulder or loin
1 pound Polish or pork sausages
1 medium onion
2½ tablespoons lard or butter
1¼ cups pork stock or beef stock
5 tablespoons flour
2 bay leaves
1 cup sour cream
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours.

PREPARATION

Cut pork into 1″ cubes. Cut Polish sausages into 1″ slices. Dice onion. Add pork cubes and lard to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until pork cubes start to brown. Stir occasionally. Remove pork cubes and drain on paper towel. Keep lard in pan.

Add pork stock and flour to small mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add onion and Polish sausage to pan. Sauté for 5 minutes at medium-high heat or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add pork stock/flour mix, pork shoulder cubes, and bay leaves. Cover and simmer at warm-low heat for 1 hour or until pork cubes are tender. Stir enough to keep sauce from burning. Add sour cream, pepper, and salt. Cover and simmer at warm-low heat for 20 minutes. Stir enough to keep sauce from burning. Remove bay leaves.

TIDBITS

1) This dish is made with pork shoulder. It is called Machanka. The speed of sound, 767 miles per hour was, at first, also called Machanka. How was this speed measured? By having someone yell “Machanka” and then measuring the speed of an air molecule issuing from the yeller’s mouth. This technique did not work well. Air molecules are transparent, making them impossible to track.

2) Thank goodness for the scientists at the Pork Shoulder Catapulting Institute (PSCI) in Minsk. The PSCI dates back to the liberation of Belarus from the Mongols in 1373 when Sergey Daškievic, realized that frozen pork shoulders catapulted at Mongol armies completely disrupted their cavalry.

3) In 1962 the United States Air Force needed to know Machanka so it could build wings strong enough to withstand that speed. Naturally, it turned to the PSCI. The Institute’s scientist yelled “Machanka” at a starving artist at the same time a pork shoulder was catapulted. After many trials, the word “Machanka” arrived at the same time as the pork shoulder. The speed of sound was then calculated as (pork shoulder distance/ air time.) Over time Machanka was shortened to Mach 1.

Leave a message. I’d like to hear from you.

Chef Paul

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Paul’s Camembert Burger – Blog 999

American Entree

PAUL’S CAMEMBERT BURGER

INGREDIENTS

1½ pounds ground beef
½ teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine
½ cup heavy whipping cream or crême fraiche
1 tablespoon fresh* herbs (thyme, marjoram, or sage)
4 ounces Camembert cheese, no rind
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 French rolls

* = Try to use fresh ingredients for this dish. However, if that is not possible, use 1 teaspoon dried herbs instead.                A still-life painting by Vincent van Gogh.

Serves 4. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add ground beef and herbes de Provence to mixing bowl. Mix with hands. Shape beef into 4 oblong patties that match the shape of the French rolls. Add butter and olive oil to pan. Warm butter using medium heat until butter melts and browns. Tilt pan occasionally to ensure even melting. Add beef patties. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes per side or until meat is done to your liking. Remove beef patties to dish and cover to keep warm. Keep liquid in pan.

Toast French rolls. Add wine to pan. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir frequently. Add whipping cream and herbs. Stir. Bring to boil again using high heat. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to medium high. Add Camembert cheese and Dijon mustard. Stir constantly until cheese dissolves and blends into the rest of the sauce. Add beef patty to each French roll bottom. Pour sauce over beef patties. Place French roll tops on sauce-covered patties.

TIDBITS

1) Vincent van Gogh painted food for cookbooks. It kept him going during his lean years which were many as he sold only one non-food pictures in his lifetime. Van Gogh also had to work at carnivals as an egg catcher. He and his pals wowed crowds by tossing raw eggs for longer and longer distances without dropping them or letting them break. Van Gogh’s supple hands that helped him catch eggs also allowed him to wield his paint brush with a deft touch. Today, we honor his memory with Poway’s annual Impressionist Egg Toss Festival.

2) All his food paintings but for the incredibly valuable one here perished in s freak fire. Odd.

Leave a message. I’d like to hear from you.

Chef Paul

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Atlanta Brisket

American Entree

ATLANTA BRISKET

INGREDIENTS

3½ pounds beef brisket
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups ketchup or bottled chili sauce
1 packet instant onion soup mix
4 cups Coca ColaTM
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

SPECIAL UTENSILS

9″ x 13″ casserole dish
tin foil, if your casserole dish doesn’t have a lid
particle accelerator (Costs billions. Start saving.)

Serves 6. Takes 4 hours 30 minutes plus at least 6 hours to marinate.

PREPARATION

Add brisket to casserole dish. Use fork to poke holes in brisket. Rub garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper onto brisket. Add ketchup, onion soup mix, and Coca Cola. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight. Turn every 2 hours, if possible.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove brisket from casserole dish and add to pan. (Keep marinade in casserole dish.) Add vegetable oil. Sauté for 10 minutes on medium-high heat or until brisket browns. Turn over once. Return brisket to casserole dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 4 hours or until meat is tender to the fork. Add Coca Cola, if necessary, to keep brisket from drying out. Goes well with sides or desserts prepared by someone else. ☺

TIDBITS

1) Instant onion soup mix transforms soup instantly into cold onion soup with the addition of water.

2) Of course, onion soup is much tastier warm. As we know, there are three ways to heat onion soup: the stove top, the microwave, and the particle accelerator.

3) For the last method, simply put your bowl in the particle accelerator. Press the start button and whoosh, piping hot soup. Before you do though, and I cannot stress this strongly enough, make sure your bowl is particle-accelerator safe. If not, you might melt down an entire town, which your surviving neighbors will hold against you for a long time.

Leave a message. I’d like to hear from you.

Chef Paul

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Homemade Butter

American Appetizer

HOMEMADE BUTTER

INGREDIENTS

3 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup ice water
¼ teaspoon salt (optional, to taste)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor (best), immersion blender or electric whisk
fine-mesh colander or colander with cheesecloth
butter molds (optional)

Makes 1 cup or 2 sticks butter. Takes 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add whipping cream to food processor. Whip cream until it cream fully separates into thickish butter and buttermilk. This can take up to 10 minutes. Place large bowl under colander. Pour contents of food processor into colander. Most of the buttermilk will go through the colander and into the bowl.

Put butter into 2nd bowl. Use your hands to press down on the butter until all of the buttermilk is out of the butter. Pour some cold water onto the butter. Knead butter. Carefully drain water from bowl. Repeat until poured-off water is clear. This process removes the last of the buttermilk from the butter. Add salt, to taste, and mix into butter with fork. Save the buttermilk for drinking or for recipes.

This butter is soft but will harden in the refrigerator. You can make sticks of butter with butter molds. Butter will store in the fridge for 2-to-6 weeks.

TIDBITS

1) There’s always the hope that prison time will rehabilitate criminals.

2) This is why most American prisons have ParcheesiTM leagues. This game teaches people to deal with the ups and downs of life and to take a longer view of things. Plus the long Parcheesi season keeps the inmates busy. More than one avid prisoner has had to be dragged from a post-season tournament game simply because his sentence was up.

3) Freshly made butter hardens in refrigerators. So do freshly made convicts. This is why the higher-security prisons never let jailbirds ever get inside a fridge or even own one. Butter also makes it much easier for people get out of handcuffs. This is why arresting officers won’t give their suspect a stick of butter. One phone call yes, but butter never.

Chef Paul

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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

Brazilian Shredded Collard Greens

Brazilian Appetizer

SHREDDED COLLARD GREENS

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds collard greens (about 4 bunches)
4 garlic cloves
3½ tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Serves 6. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Wash collard greens. Remove the thick part of the stems. Bundle up 8 leaves at a time. Cut bundle crosswise into ¼” strips. Mince garlic cloves. Add olive oil to large pan. Sauté garlic on medium-high heat for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir occasionally. Add collard greens. Reduce heat to medium and sauté for 5 minutes or until greens have started to wilt, but still are semi-firm. Stir frequently. Add pepper and salt. Stir until well blended.

TIDBITS

1) In Greek mythology, Ancient Earth was not peopled with people. It was horsed with horses. Zeus let the horses roam free with the stipulation that they never ate all the tacos from the Olympian taco truck.

2) But they did and Zeus was so angry for he loved the mighty taco. As who would not? So Zeus put green collars made from veggies on the horses and tied the beasts to trees. He could eat tacos again. And he was happy. So happy, in fact, that he created humans.

3) Zeus kept the gift of fire from the humans. People who knew how to use fire, would learn to make crispy shredded tacos. With that knowledge people would soon become powerful enough to overthrow Zeus. They would send him to clean restrooms in casinos for all eternity.

4) Then, on August 10th, Prometheus, the first poor sport, lost a game of ScrabbleTM to Zeus. Enraged, he set loose all the horses and gave fire to humanity. Zeus took his revenge on Prometheus, but it was not enough. Humanity soon dethroned him.

5) Right now, Zeus cleans men’s rooms at a casino in Monaco. Be sure to live him a small tip. He really is in a bad way. Oh my gosh, his apartment is tiny. It got a lot better for us humans, though. We learned how to make tacos and have become ever more advanced since them. Now you know.

Chef Paul

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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SPAM Fried Rice

Guamanian Entree

SPAM(TM) FRIED RICE

INGREDIENTS

1 cup rice
2 garlic cloves
1 small onion
1 12-ounce can SPAM
2 tablespoons oil
3 eggs
¼ cup soy sauce

Serves 4. Takes 35 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook rice according to instructions on package. Mince garlic cloves and onion. Cut SPAM into ½” cubes. Add garlic cloves, onion, and oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Remove garlic and onion and set aside. Keep any oil. Add eggs to pan. Scramble eggs at medium heat for 2 minutes or until eggs are done to your liking. Remove scrambled eggs and slice any large bits into ¼” wide strips.

Add SPAM cubes to pan. Cook at high heat for 3 minutes or until SPAM starts to brown. Stir occasionally. Add garlic, onion, and eggs back to pan. Add rice and soy sauce. Cook at medium heat for 2 minutes or until all is warm and the rice is brown.

TIDBITS

1) Guamanian is the adjective for something from Guam. Ché Guevarra–If this is spelled correctly, it is purely by chance–was a revolutionary.

2) A Guavanian is someone from Guava. Well no, it isn’t. Guava is a bush. The guava bush’s fruit is a guava. No, people live in or around a guava bush. Thus, there are no Guavanians. Indeed, there is no guavanian anything. The adjective for guava is guava.

3) Indeed, this has been the case since prehistoric times. Exactly sometime ago, Cro Magnons switched from herding mastodons and sabertooth tigers to herding the rather more stationary and easygoing guava bush.

4) Che Chevarra–How the heck do you spell his name?–loved sedentary guavas. You can tell he was direct descendant of Cro Magnons. However, Ché didn’t know how to spell guavas. So, if he couldn’t spell guavas, you can’t really expect people to spell his last name correctly. It’s kinda like spelling Benadryl(TM) Cumberbund’s name correctly, who by the way also descends from Cro Magnons.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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