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Risotto

Italian Appetizer

RISOTTO

INGREDIENTS

5½ cups chicken broth
2 garlic cloves
1 onion
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, or oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Arborio* rice
½ cup dry white wine
¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons butter

* = The properties of Arborio are important to this dish. The best substitute for Arborio is Carnaroli, with regular short-grain rice to be used only in a pinch.

Serves 10 or 5 if served as an entree. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add chicken broth to pot. Simmer at warm heat. While broth simmers, mince garlic cloves and onion. Dice Italian parsley. Add garlic, onion, and olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently

Add rice. Reduce heat to medium. Sauté for 3 minutes or until rice smells toasty and turns translucent. Stir frequently, making sure rice is thoroughly coated with olive oil. Add wine. Sauté until rice absorbs all the liquid. Stir frequently. Add broth 1 cup at time. Stir gently after each addition until the rice absorbs the broth. This should take about 25 minutes with the rice being creamy and al dente, just a little bit firm. Remove from heat and gently stir in butter and Parmesan cheese. Garnish with Italian parsley. Serve immediately.

TIDBITS

1) Karl Marx visited lovely Florence in 1848. While waiting forever for an espresso, Crabby Karl listened as workers at the next table complained loudly and endlessly about the oppressive Austrian rule over their city. His patience exhausted, he yelled at the workers, “So, riot.” They did. Fortunately, the chef had been whipping up a new rice dish. He served the workers just as they were about to go and throw bricks at the constabulary. The workers loved their risotto. They completely lost their urge to run amuck. The anagramist among them said, “no ‘so, riot.’” He lifted up his bowl of rice. “Risoto.” A typo turned that into “Risotto. Oh, and Karl would go on to other things.

– 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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Wonton Soup

Chinese Soup

WONTON SOUP

INGREDIENTS

2 green onions (1 more later)
1″ ginger root
½ teaspoon brown sugar
½ pound ground pork
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce (2 teaspoons more later)
24 wonton wrappers
4½ cups chicken stock
1 green onion
2 teaspoons soy sauce

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Thinly slice 2 green onions. Grate ginger root. Add 2 sliced green onions, grated ginger, brown sugar, pork, rice wine, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce to large mixing bowl. Mix with fork until filling is well blended. Let marinate for 20 minutes.

Place 6 wonton wrappers at a time on flat surface. Keep remaining wrappers covered with wet towel to keep them from drying out. Place ½ tablespoon filling in center of wrapper. Use a finger to lightly wet the edges of the wrapper. Bring 2 opposite corners together to form a triangle. Firmly press edges together. Bring the 2 corners of the long edge together so that they overlap to get a round stuffed wonton with a flat triangle at the top. Repeat for remaining wrappers.

Thinly slice 1 green onion. Add chicken stock to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Add wontons to pot. Reduce heat to low-medium. Simmer for 5 minutes or until wontons start to float. Stir occasionally and gently. Garnish with 1 sliced green onion.

TIDBITS

1) French women, for the last thousand years, have gone for men who are handsome and give them flowers, chocolate, and wonton soup. This held especially true for French queens. Poor old King Phillip II Augustus (1165-1223) had great trouble getting his wife Isabelle of Hainault into a frisky mood. Phil got himself nipple rings. Izzy simply used his rings for coat hangers. Phillip II even gave her flowers, chocolates, and French onion soup. “Not now,” as she gazed at her soup. “Not now.”

2) At his wits end, King Phillip II told his chef to go wild making a new soup. His chef came up with this very same recipe. Isabelle loved it. Indeed, it made her so amorous that the royal couple made whoopee all night long. Nine months later, little Louis VIII was born. Ever since then all French kings who served their queens “Won ton” soup, the opposite of “Not Now” produced future kings; the clods who didn’t, produced no heirs. Something to think about when ordering soup.

– 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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Pork Shumai

Chinese Appetizer

PORK SHUMAI

INGREDIENTS

2 garlic cloves
1″ ginger root
2 green onions
1 pound ground pork
½ tablespoon cornstarch
¾ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons rice wine or dry sherry
½ tablespoon sesame oil
1½ tablespoons light soy sauce or soy sauce
40 wonton or gyoza wrappers
3 or so leaves Napa cabbage (You may substitute parchment paper. Be sure to punch holes in it.)
soy sauce for dipping

SPECIAL UTENSILS

kitchen towel
steamer
x-ray goggles

Makes 40 pork shumai. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic, ginger root, and green onion. Add garlic, ginger root, green onions, ground pork, cornstarch, salt, rice wine, sesame oil, and soy sauce to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands. Add 1 tablespoon pork mixture to middle of wonton wrapper. Wet finger with water. Run finger around edges of wrapper. Wrap sides of wrappers around pork mixture. Seal edges with together with hands, starting at the bottom. Repeat until you have enough dumplings to fill steamer’s basket. Covered completed dumplings, shumai, with damp kitchen towel until they are ready for the steamer. You will likely need to steam the shumai in batches. Make another batch while the previous batch is being steamed.

Add water to bottom part of steamer until it is 1″ from reaching the steamer basket. Bring to boil using high heat. While water comes to boil, line steamer basket with 2 Napa cabbage leaves. Place dumplings on cabbage leaves.(This keeps dumplings from sticking to basket.) Leave ½” gaps between shumai. Cover steamer and steam at high heat for 5 minutes or until done. (If you neglected to pick up x-ray vision goggles at your store, you may sample one.) Remove steamed dumplings, shumai and serve. Continue until all batches have been steamed. Dip in soy sauce as desired.

TIDBITS

1) Pork shumai comes from China.

2) Chinese spare ribs also come from China.

3) As do Chinese horoscopes.

4) And Chinese fireworks.

5) We can thus conclude someone from China invented Chinese checkers.

6) Although glass marbles have been invented and produced several times throughout history and in many different locations, their popularity is cyclical.

7) Indeed in the Middle Ages, adults generally forbade children to engage in any games, whether it was Pin the Tail on the Giraffe’s Neck (PTGN) or play marbles.

8) PTGN would have died out naturally as a recreational pursuit as no child during the Middle Ages could have pinned that high on a giraffe, even if he stood on his tippy does.

9) Playing Marbles (M) also waned in popularity. Medieval Children (MC) had to hike to the wheat fields to get away from parental supervision. Unfortunately, marbles got lost immediately in the amber waves of grain. (This image would ultimately inspire our great song “America the Beautiful.”) No more marbles for play, no more games of Marbles.

10) The game Marbles came to China with the Polo brothers in the thirteenth century.

11) The Great Khan loved the game. And since he loved the game so did all his Chinese subjects. Marbles Mania (MM) was poised to take off in the Land of the Panda.

12) But alas, the Polo brothers only brought enough marbles for one game of Chinese checkers. Then tragedy struck, a mighty wind blew away two marbles. A diligent search by the palace guard recovered one marble. Not enough for a game.

13) The Polo brothers, Marco and Ralph, tried diverting the Great Khan’s wrath by giving him three-and-twenty shirts with short sleeves, and a button-down collar. Sad to say, Khan didn’t cotton to these Polo Shirts. He even ordered the brothers’ execution. Things looked grim for the Polos. Only an IRS audit could have made things worse.

14) Then woo hoo, a divine wind blew dozens of pork shumais from the imperial kitchen onto Khan’s Chinese checkers boards. The game was saved for imperial household. The Chinese peasants could now partake as well. Laborers, at the end of a hot day, would invite neighbors over for a nice game of Chinese checkers, then dine on the pork-shumai marbles after playing was done.

15) Health restrictions in 1857 prohibited the use of pork-shumai marbles. (See Dr. Amos Keeto’s work, The Great Chinese Pork-Shumai-Marble Plague of 1856.) From that year on, Chinese checkers would be played only with glass marbles. Now you know.

– 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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Pumpkin Seed Meatballs (Kanda)

Central African Entree

PUMPKIN SEED MEATBALLS
(Kanda)

INGREDIENTS

3½ cups shelled, lightly toasted pumpkins or squash seeds
6 garlic cloves
1 medium onion (1 more later)
1¼ pounds ground beef
½ cup water (if needed)
1 medium onion
4 tomatoes
1 cayenne chile pepper or chile pepper
6 tablespoons palm oil or peanut oil
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 cup fresh parsley

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
mandoline (optional)

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add pumpkin seeds to food processor. Grind seeds until they become a powder. Mince garlic and 1 onion. Add pumpkin-seed powder, garlic, and onion to large mixing bowl. Blend with hands. (If needed to form a moist round meatball, gradually add up to ½ cup water, blending each time water is added.) Form mix into 1″ meatballs and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While meatballs chill, use mandoline to cut 1 onion into ¼” strips. Dice tomatoes. Seed and mince cayenne pepper. Add palm oil to large pan. Heat oil at medium-high heat or until a little bit of onion in oil starts to dance. Add onion slices, tomato, and cayenne chile pepper. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion slices soften. Stir frequently. Add pepper and salt. Stir.

Add 1 cup water. Bring water and sauce to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Gently add meatballs to pan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir gently and occasionally. Reduce heat to warm-low and simmer for another 30 minutes. Stir gently and occasionally. Dice parsley. Garnish meatballs with parsley. This entree goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) Pumpkins are round. Balloons are also round.

2) This similarity is no coincidence; Louis XVI loved pumpkin seeds.

3) What the king of France wanted, the king of France got.

4) So great merchant fleets set out from France to import pumpkins from the Spanish territory of Peru. These Peruvian pumpkins cost the royal treasury a million francs every year.

5) Disaster struck in 1777. Pirates based from British Jamaica captured the French fleet bound for Peru, along with its many chests of gold. This loss proved such a blow to French finances that its treasury wouldn’t recover until the next tidbit.

6) King Louis hired Jacques Necker to handle France’s money matter. For Monsieur Necker knew how to get the best price for everything, centuries before AmazonTM even. Many even said he’d able to count up to six billion if given enough time. And that is how many francs he borrowed.

7) The French navy could now buy enough ships to escort their pumpkin fleets to and from France. Then boom! The American Revolution started. France went to war with the British. The French fleet helped America gain its independence.

8) However, French naval expenditures trained the French treasury. Its navy wouldn’t put to sea for decades. This left King Louis’ annual pumpkin fleets unescorted, easy prey for British ships of the line.

9) What to do? Louis XVI having scooped out all the pumpkin seeds, looked down at the empty pumpkin and had an epiphany. Why not carry Peru’s pumpkins seeds back using giant, balloons made from empty pumpkins?

10) Well, of course, the Peruvian pumpkins of 1781 were not big enough to make balloons or even the baskets beneath them. So France bought up an enormous pumpkin farm in Peru dedicated to making enormous pumpkins. No franc was left unspent in pursuit of the venture.

11) By 1789, Louis XVI had no money. His finance minister asked the French nobility if it would accept new taxes. It said, “Na, na, na, poo, poo.” So Necker asked all of France for a gigantic weenie roast to discuss ways to raise revenue. Fine suggestions were made, then disaster struck. A nobleman cut in front of a long line of peasants waiting for weenies. Words were said. Knives with drawn. Before you could say François’s your uncle the French Revolution began.

12) King Louis would lose his head in the ensuing kerfuffle. Napoleon would seize power and discontinue the bigger-pumpkin experiment in Peru. So bummer.

13) However, so good came out of Louis’ misfortune. America borrowed the idea of France’s Great Weenie Roast of 1789 to celebrate every Fourth of July. And Peru’s big pumpkins are still the envy of the world.

– 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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Roast Beef Po’ Boys

Cajun Entree

ROAST BEEF PO’ BOYS

INGREDIENTS

8 garlic cloves
3½ pounds beef chuck
¼ cup flour
¾ teaspoon pepper
½ tablespoon salt
¼ cup vegetable oil
5 8″-po’ boy, French, or Italian loaves
1 large carrot
1 medium yellow onion
1 small pickle
1 tomato (beefsteak is best)
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 cups beef stock (additional stock or water may be necessary later)
¾ cup mayonnaise
1½ cup shredded lettuce
¼ cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon thyme

SPECIAL UTENSILS

no-stick pot
Dutch oven (If you don’t have a Dutch oven, use an oven-safe pot.)
cookie sheet

Serves 6. Takes 4 hours 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut garlic cloves in half. Make 16 1″-slits spaced evenly in roast beef. Insert a garlic half in each slit. Add beef, flour, pepper, and salt to large mixing bowl. Turn beef until it is well coated. Dice carrot and onion.

Add oil to no-stick pot. Heat oil at high heat. Add beef when a bit of onion starts to dance in the oil. Sear beef at high heat for 5 minutes on each side or until beef is well browned. Remove beef and place on plate. Add carrot and onion to no-stick pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion and carrot soften. Add bay leaf and Worcestershire sauce.

Add liquid with carrot and onion, beef, and beef stock to Dutch oven. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 3 hours or until beef is tender to the fork. Turn over beef chuck every 45 minutes and add additional stock or water as necessary to keep the level of liquid in Dutch oven to 1½”. Remove Dutch oven. Remove bay leaf.

Cut pickle into thin slices. Cut tomato into 10 slices. Shred beef using two forks. Slice bread loaves in half lengthwise. Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise over all bread-loaf halves. Add shredded beef equally over all bottom loaf-halves. Drizzle liquid from Dutch oven over shredded beef. Be sure to include in the liquid all the little bits or debris. Top beef-laden bread-loaf bottoms equally with lettuce, tomato slices, pickle slices, parsley, and thyme. Top with top halves of bread. Add sandwiches to cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 3 minutes to warm the bread and make it crispier. (This keeps the bread from getting soggy from the mayonnaise and the liquid from the Dutch oven.) Cut in half and serve immediately. Oh gosh, yes. And the liquid remaining in the Dutch oven makes a good soup base.

TIDBITS

1) This dish uses a bay leaf. Like every recipe I’ve come across, this one tells you to remove the bay leaf. Where do used bay leaves go? In the bin labeled “Bay Leaves,” of course. What? You mean you never wondered why bay leaves should be separated from trash and recyclables.

2) Well, in 2007 the great nations of the world, along with some very good ones, some okay ones, some dodgy lands but still attending, and even some teeny tiny countries such as San Marino and Nauru got together to solve the formidable problem of floating islands of plastic waste in our oceans. Oh, and stinky solid waste flowing unchecked into our harbors. They tackled that issue, too.

3) As might be expected from a meeting infested with international politicians, nothing happened. They all adjourned for lunch. Everyone ate roast beef po’ boys, except for vegetarians who ate kale po’ boys and the squidtarians who, of course, ate squid po’ boys.

4) As lunch started, the delegate from Russia bit into a bay leaf. “I’ve been insulted,” he cried. “This means thermonuclear war. Why should anyone live after this assault to my taste buds.” War clouds dissipated when all other conferees stated that they too had bay leaves in their sandwiches. “Throw the bay leaves out!” they all said. And they did.

5) A few minutes later, Carl LaFong, sitting near the trash can with all the discarded bay leaves stood up and addressed the meeting. “Zounds,” he said, “those bay leaves smell mighty good. Why not add tons of used bay leaves to our reeking harbors? That way our ports will smell wonderful without resorting to expensive sewage-treatment facilities.”

6) “Bonne idée,” shouted the slightly tipsy French delegate–slightly sloshed because listening to long winded speeches is thirsty work–“and let’s cover the plastic islands in our Earth’s oceans with bay leaves. This will hide the plastic while marinading all those fish while they’re still alive.”

7) “Hurrah for LaFong and that French guy,” said all the delegates, “let’s do what they proposed. Let’s dump all our bay leaves in the ocean.” And they did.

8) The delegates fired the caterer, but on the other hand, all the plastic islands in our oceans are hidden, our harbors smell nice, and we stepped back from the brink of nuclear war. So something good came out of the conference. And now we separate our bay leaves for pickup.

– 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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Zanzibar Pizza

Tanzanian Appetizer

ZANZIBAR PIZZA

INGREDIENTS – DOUGH

3 cups flour (2 tablespoons more later)
½ teaspoon salt (¼ teaspoon more later)
1 cup water
⅔ cup vegetable oil (2½ tablespoons more later)

INGREDIENTS – FILLING & ASSEMBLY

2 green or red chiles
2 garlic cloves
1 red onion
1½ tablespoons vegetable oil (1 tablespoon more later)
¾ pound ground beef
½ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
¾ cup shredded cabbage
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
chutney or tomato sauce as desired

SPECIAL UTENSILS

bread maker (optional)
no-stick pan

Serves 8. Takes 2 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

If USING BREAD MAKER, add 3 cups flour, water, and ½ teaspoon salt to bread maker. Set bread maker to “dough” setting for 10 minutes. (IF KNEADING BY HAND, add 3 cups flour and ½ teaspoon salt to mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Add water and knead by hand for 10 minutes or until dough is smooth.) Divide dough into 6 balls. Add dough balls to shallow bowl. Drizzle ⅔ cup oil over dough balls. Turn dough balls until they are thoroughly coated with oil. Cover and let sit for 1½ hours.

PREPARATION – FILLING AND ASSEMBLY.

While dough sits, mince chiles, garlic cloves, and red onion. Add chile, garlic, red onion, and 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until red onion softens. Stir frequently. Add beef, curry powder, pepper, and salt. Fry at medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until beef browns. Remove from heat.

Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Add dough ball to flat surface. Flatten dough ball until you have 8 8″-dough circles. Push in edges of dough circles to make a wall high enough to prevent egg from running out. Add beef mixture equally to center of dough circles. Top beef mixtures equally with shredded cabbage. Add raw eggs equally over shredded cabbage.

Fold top and bottom of dough circles to the center. Then fold left and right sides to the center. These are the pizzas. Pinch sides as necessary to keep egg from seeping out. Add 1 tablespoon oil to large no-stick pan. Add as many pizzas as possible without having them touch each other. Cook on medium for 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Flip once. You might need to cook in batches. (Cooking times tend to go down with successive batches.)

Serve with chutney or tomato sauce.

TIDBITS

1) IEC, Intertemporal Enforcement Commission, is powerful. Frighteningly so. Consider the following salutary tale.

2) Around 260 AD, a Roman expeditionary discovered the island of Flutoj off the east coast of Africa. The merchants in the force waxed rapturously–I spelled it correctly on the first try; beams with pride–over the abundance of spices found on the island. Why not conquer it for Rome? It’ll be easy they said. And it was. Centurion Pomodoro won the island in a game of rock, paper, scissors.

3) The Romans named it Zanzibar after their Emperor Zanzi who loved to frequent wine bars. Within two days of the renaming of the island to Zanzibar, the British company, MarsTM, filed a trademark infringement complaint with the Intertemporal Enforcement Commission. Mars–the candy maker, not the Roman god–claimed Zanzibar was a rip off of Mars BarTM. Mars asseted that the Romans, renowned engineers, had clearly used a time machine, visited a twentieth-century candy store, saw Mars Bars on sale, made minimal changes to the name when coming up with Zanzibar.

4) How did the news of the renaming of the island to Zanzibar get back to Rome so quickly at a time of communication was limited to the speed of horses and oar-driven ships? Time machines, as well know the Intertemporal Enforcement Commission has time machines.

5) IEC ruled against Emperor Zanzibar and held a contest, So You Want to Be an Emperor? General Courgette did well on this and won the right to overthow the Emperor. And indeed, the plucky Courgette prevailed after a brief civil war marked with great slaughter.

6) This civil war proved so popular with the Roman armies that these conflicts became a weekly event. Courgette’s reign, in fact, was so brief that only culinary historians remember hir.

7)Anyway, these wars so depopulated the Roman Empire that it so fell to barbarian armies. The Dark Ages descended on Europe. People became so poor that they would have no money to spend on candy bars. People wouldn’t buy candy bars until 1932 when the Mars company made it. IEC realized it’s overreach and disbanded in 1998. We’ve fought no wars over candy ever since. Yay.

– 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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Greenlandic Cake

Greenlandic Appetizer

GREENLANDIC CAKE

INGREDIENTS – CAKE

7 tablespoons butter
1 cup lukewarm milk
2¼ teaspoons (1 packet) yeast
⅔ cup raisins
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
4 cups flour
no-stick spray
2 tablespoons cold coffee
1½ tablespoons sugar, pearl or confectioner’s

SPECIAL UTENSILS

bread maker (optional)
bread pan

Serves 8. Takes 2 hours.

PREPARATION – CAKE

Add butter to pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Add milk. Stir gently until well blended. Add in yeast, stirring gently as you do so. Mix gently until yeast dissolves. Add raisins, salt, and sugar. Mix until well blended. Add flour. Knead with bread maker or by hand for 10 minutes or until you get a smooth dough.

Place dough on flat surface, cover with towel, and let stand for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 390 degrees 15 minutes before dough has finished standing. Spray bread ban with no-stick spray. Add dough to bread pan. Spread coffee on top with brush. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 390 degrees for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

TIDBITS

1) The fierce Vikings of old loved cakes, particularly this cake. They got a might testy, particularly when they didn’t get their favorite dessert. Indeed, the Vikings were apt to loot whole cities when in such a mood. What towns did the berserk Norsemen target? Why, the ones with lots and lots of flour and milk, of course, there being no wheat fields or cowherds in icy, cold Greenland.

2) Why didn’t the Vikings simply move to mainland Europe where there were wheat and cows in abundance? Why not set up cake bakeries there? Because all the great Viking cake makers would only live in Greenland. Something about being able to always step out into cold Arctic air after a long day working beside hot ovens. So you can see, if air-conditioned kitchen had been available in the ninth century, there were have been no Fury of the Norsemen. Something to chew on.

– 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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Choripán

Argentinian Entree

CHORIPÁN
(Sausage Sandwich)

INGREDIENTS

1 small red or green chile
4 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
½ tablespoon oregano
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon minced red onion
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
⅓ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
½ cup olive oil (2 more tablespoons later)
3 Argentinian chorizo sausages or Italian sausages*
¾ cup fresh parsley or ¼ cup dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 crispy baguette
2 tablespoons olive oil

* = Italian sausages are more like Argentinian chorizo sausages than Mexican chorizos.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

outdoor or indoor grill

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Seed chile. Mince chile and garlic cloves. Add garlic, chile, bay leaf, oregano, pepper, red onion, red pepper flakes, red wine vinegar, and water to mixing bowl. Blend together with fork or whisk. Slowly add in ½ cup olive oil, blending as you do so. Mince parsley. Gradually add in parsley and salt, blending as you do so. Let sit for 30 minutes. This is the chimichurri sauce.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Grill sausages for 12 minutes on medium-high heat or until the sausage skins, or casings, are becoming crispy and starting to split open. Turn every 2 minutes to ensure even grilling. Remove sausages from grill and place on a plate. Cut sausages lengthwise ⅔ of the way through. Place sausages back on grill, cut-side down. Grill on medium-high heat for 6 minutes or until cut-side starts to char. Remove sausages to plate. Cover.

Cut baguette into 4 pieces Cut baguette pieces open along their length. Place cut-sides down on grill. Grill for 3 minutes or until cut-sides starts to char. Remove baguette pieces to plate. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil equally on open baguette pieces. Add 1 sausage to each baguette piece. Spoon chimichurri sauce equally over sausages. Close baguette pieces.

TIDBITS

1) Choripan is an anagram for Chopin, R.A.

2) R.A. is an abbreviation for Resident Assistant. A resident assistant is someone lives in the college dorms and makes sure the students living there don’t get out of control.

3) RAs get their tuition waived in exchange for this duty. This fact alone makes the RA position a highly desirable one, especially for poor students.

4) And so it was for Frédéric Chopin, who while not quite a poor as a church mouse, was still poorer than a manor mouse. In fact, many culinary historians put Chopin as being a poor as an ale house mouse, although this remains a contentious issue. Indeed, if you want to cause a riot a chefs’ convention just shout “Chopin.”

5) Anyway, Chopin The Mouse, left Poland for Argentina in 1830. Political historians believe he emigrated to avoid the Polish Revolution of 1830 against the Russians.

6) However, culinary historians insist that he immigrated to Argentina to get a free RA scholarship from Argentina National University. Dormitory historians believe the same. There your have it, two out of three historian types agree on this.

7) The Mouse’s life had been drifting along slowly and erratically because the author of these tidbits gets sidetracked so frequently.

8) Ahem, Chopin studied music in college, after a brief and disastrous fling with differential calculus.

9) The Mouse wrote many exciting etudes. Etude Seven, proved especially popular with Argentina’s gamblers. This is why so many fans of chance yell, “C’mon, seven.” Go to a casino; you’ll see I’m right.

10) Chopin made oodles of money selling his first eleven etudes to the local music halls.

11) Then he lost it all playing dice, coming out with a roll of twelve. Etude 12, “Craps,” remains to this day Chopin’s most melancholy work. And it’s likely to stay that way, him being dead and all.

12) But Number 12, earned him enough money to open his own little restaurant in the tenderloin district of Buenos Aires. “Screw it,” said The Mouse , “the real money is in sausage sandwiches.” He named it “Ra” after his college days.

13) The critics loved his restaurant. “Ra is Chopping Ra, the Pharoah of all restaurants.” The name soon shortened to Chopin’ Ra and finally, to Chopin Ra. This and many other rave reviews naturally drew in the rough-and-tumble anagramists of Buenos Aires who renamed it “Choripan,” after the King of Argentina.

14) His fortune made, The Mouse turned once again to music and wrote a tremendous number of etudes and polonaises. These made him so famous that we’ve forgotten his culinary achievements. Now you know.

– 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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Chicken Angolana

Angolan Entree

CHICKEN ANGOLANA

INGREDIENTS

2 boneless chicken breasts
2 boneless chicken thighs
1 garlic clove
1 medium onion
1 bay leaf
1½ tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
1 12-ounce can beer
1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ tablespoons palm oil
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons vinegar

Serves 4. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut chicken breasts and chicken thighs into 1″ cubes. Dice garlic clove and onion. Put all ingredients in pot. Simmer at low-medium heat for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to low and stir for another 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

TIDBITS

1) Chickens d’Angola look fierce.

2) They do everything as a flock. Indeed traveling as flock on the ground–Oh, I so want to use the word herd–is the only activity that stimulates to urge to mate.

3) There you have it; chickens d’Angola are fierce and engage in mobile, group sex.

4) Which, are of course, the two requirements for a successful play.

5) Indeed, in 1932, the great playwright Bertold Brecht wrote the satirical play, Chicken Angolana.

6) Unfortunately, chickens d’Angolana are black and Himmler, had just issued black uniforms to his evil SS. He felt that the black chickens were a metaphor for the SS, took offense, and banned the play.

7) Indeed, Himmler hounded Brecht until the great playwright left Germany. Bertold’s brilliant play remained shelved for decades. Even now, productions of Chicken Angolana can only be found in neighborhood theaters in Berlin and, strangely enough, in Paducah, Kentucky.

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smoked Paprika Chicken

American Entree

SMOKED PAPRIKA CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS

2 teaspoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ tablespoon garlic salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt
5 chicken breasts
1 bags wood chips (alder, apple, maple, olive, pecan, or walnut)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric smoker
digital thermometer (if your smoker doesn’t have one)
tin foil

Serves 5. Takes 2 hours.*

PREPARATION

Preheat smoker to 225 degrees. Add all ingredients except chicken breasts and wood chips to small mixing bowl. Mix with fork until spice mix is well blended. Rub spice mix equally over chicken breasts. Add wood chips to smoker. Add spiced chicken to smoker. Smoke chicken at 225 degrees until internal temperature of chicken is at least 165 degrees. The thermometer should be inserted into the thicket part of the meat.

Check every 15 minutes. This should take 1-to-2 hours.* If you’re lucky, your smoker will be set up so that your smart phone will tell you when it’s done. Carefully remove chicken breasts from smoker, place them on a plate, cover them with tin foil, and let sit for 15 minutes.

* = Please note that the various smokers perform differently. So, check the manual for placement of chicken in smoker, cooking temperature, how to use wood chips, and other pertinent information.

TIDBITS

1) The Southern tobacco crop failed in 1858. Desperate good ol’ boys took to smoking spinach, cauliflower, and squash. These all proved to be quite distasteful failures. In 1859, Andrew Calhoun rolled paprika-spiced chicken in his cigarette papers. It tasted great. Things were fine. Then, in 1860, Lincoln ran for president on the anti-smoked chicken platform. Prominent Southerners claimed he was trying to destroy their way of life. The South seceded. But the North won the Civil War and banned chicken smoking. This is why we only smoke tobacco.

– 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.

 

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

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