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Pork With Camembert

French Entree

PORK WITH CAMEMBERT

INGREDIENTS

1½ pounds pork tenderloin
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine
½ cup heavy whipping cream or crême fraîche
1 tablespoon fresh* herbs (thyme, marjoram, or sage)
4 ounces Camembert cheese, no rind
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 sprigs fresh parsley

* = Try to use fresh ingredients for this dish. However, if that is not possible, use 1 teaspoon dried herbs.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

kitchen mallet

Serves 4. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Slice pork tenderloin crossways into slices 1″ thick. Put pork slices on flat surface. Use the flat side of the mallet to pound slices until they become ½” thick. Rub pepper and salt onto slices. 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 pork slices. Sauté at medium heat for 4 minutes per side. Remove pork slices to dish and cover to keep warm. Keep liquid in pan.

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. Pour sauce over pork slices. Garnish each place with a sprig of parsley.

TIDBITS

1) The above picture proves pork tenderloins covered with Camembert sauce always point to Magnetic North, even when close to the North Pole. Sure, this dish doesn’t pack as many calories for the hard-working dog sledder as does pemmican. And yes, cooking pork with Camembert in the frigid, howling Arctic winds can be difficult, but the entree’s dependability cannot be denied. Indeed, as Peary, the first man to the top of world, would say, “As reliable as pork with Camembert.”

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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Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

Jamaican Appetizer

JERK SEASONING

INGREDIENTS

2 teaspoons allspice
½ tablespoon cayenne pepper
½ tablespoon chives
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 teaspoons garlic powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon parsley
¾ teaspoon pepper
½ tablespoon salt
½ tablespoon sugar or brown sugar
2 teaspoons thyme

Makes about 3 ounces. Takes 5 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add all ingredients to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk. Store in a tightly closed jar.

TIDBITS

1) Jar is an anagram for raj. And not much else, even in 1860. The Pony Express started in 1860, ceasing operations in 1861 because of high costs.

2) In 1859, Mara Angs of Ranam Gas, California, came up with the perfect recipe for root beer. Everybody loved it. One drink of Mara’s delectable beverage and everybody became happy. Californians felt their cares slip away. However, the worthy Miss Angs never did send her recipe to America’s leaders. She couldn’t afford the Pony Express’ postage. Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis never sipped root beer, never became mellow, and so never reached a comprise. The Unpleasantness of 1861-1865 ensued.

3) On July 7, 1869, Ana Gram, proprietor of A Rag Man Bar and Girl sat down after hiring another waitress. Why, her customers would eat anything, even leather shoes, as long as a pretty woman served them. Miss Gram couldn’t hire enough beauties. Everyday, the stage brought 123 waitresses west to Margansa, Kansas. Why not have her new employees bring letters and parcels with them? So, she started AnaGramsTM. An improved postal service would eventually put her out of business, but her contribution to the taming of the West lives on. And a root beerian wave of happiness crashed over the rest of the American land. once she could afford to afford to mail her recipe to President Grant in 1870 . The USA would never fight another Civil War

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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Kuwaiti Machboos

Kuwaiti Entree

MACHBOOS

INGREDIENTS

1 green chile
2 garlic cloves
2 inches ginger root
2½ pounds boneless chicken, thighs or breasts
½ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon turmeric
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups basmati rice
1 gram saffron (This is expensive. Get a sonic obliterator to protect it.)
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
3 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
2 medium onions
1 large tomato
1 bay leaf
4 inches cinnamon sticks
3 cloves
2 dried lemons

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
sonic obliterator (To protect your saffron.)

Serves 5. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Slice chile in half lengthways. Seed chile. Add garlic cloves and ginger root to food processor. Chop until garlic and ginger becomes paste. Add chicken, cardamom, coriander, paprika, pepper, and turmeric to mixing bowl. Mix with hands until chicken pieces are well coated.

Use sonic obliterator to zap intruder trying to steal your saffron. Add chicken stock, rice, and saffron to pot. Simmer on low for 30 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Add almonds and raisins to mixing bowl. Add enough warm water to cover almonds and raisins.

While chicken stock/rice simmers, mince onions and tomato. Add ghee, onion, and tomato to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Cut dried lemons in half. Add coated chicken, bay leaf, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and dried lemon halves. Cook at medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Add chile, garlic/ginger paste, and tomato. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir occasionally.

Drain water from almonds and raisins. Remove and discard bay leaf and cinnamon sticks. Remove chicken and set aside. Add rice to plates, then onion/garlic/spices remaining in pan, and then chicken. Garnish with almonds and raisins.

TIDBITS

1) The United States Paranormal Force (USPF) is based out of Casper, Wyoming.

2) This was totally secret until tidbit 1) which kinda let the cat out of the bag. Ok, totally out of the bag. It was all an accident. I was looking for a substitute for goat meat for one of my recipes. My search engine said, “Did you mean ghosts?” No, I did not. But the search engine already had the bit between its teeth, giving me a link to the USPF’s website.

3) How did this happen? Last April, Lieutenant Amos Keeto of the USPF sent an email with the title, “Ghosts or Goats, Better Adjunct to the Potentially Revived Star Wars Defense Initiative?

4) Unfortunately, Keeto clicked on the “Send to All Option” Everyone who had a Yahoo account received this email. Fortunately, the sheer volume of recipients flagged this email as spam and never made it to your inbox. Unfortunately, you could have read it had you been scrutinizing every post in your trash folder before emptying it. Fortunately, none of you do. But the search engines did. And the search algorithms waited and waited until someone, me, asked for goat-meat substitute.

5) Military goats have a long and illustrious heritage. In 1775, a wild goat, apparently a Tory, carried the colors for a Welsh regiment during the British assault on Bunker Hill. Another Welsh goat, Taffy IV, fought in World War I, participating in four major battles. Taffy died in 1915 and was awarded the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

6) Clearly goats, especially Welsh ones, can be awesome instruments or war when properly led. So, the Air Force reasoned how much more fiercesome would flying goats would be dealing death from the sky. “Baa, baa,” would become a byword for terror.

7) However, the USAF eventually concluded that they would never get goats to fly at Mach 1, the speed of sound, much less fly at all.

8) Then in August, 1990, Major Keeto, feverish from drinking buttermilk past its expiration date, had a vision. He saw a friendly ghost change into a fiendish one able to make entire battalions retreat with blood-chilling baas or boos as they often seem to sound like.

9) The newly-formed USPF brass began recruiting local ghosts. At first the ghosts couldn’t do more than 300 miles an hour. But with a year of the training that makes America’s Paranomal Force the envy of the world, the ethereal specters could fly at Mach 1 and terrify the enemy with terrifying boos. Hence, Mach boos or Machboos.. In honor of this achievement, the cadets at Casper, Wyoming renamed their favorite chicken/rice dish to Machboos. Machboos has become a well-liked entree in Kuwait as well. Now you know.

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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Yakitori

Japanese Entree

YAKITORI

INGREDIENTS

½ cup mirin
1⅓ cups sake or dry white wine
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup sugar
1 pound boneless chicken thighs
4 green onions

SPECIAL UTENSILS

grill
8 10″-bamboo skewers

Makes 6 skewers. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Soak skewers in water. Add mirin, sake, soy sauce, and sugar to pan. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to low-medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens and is reduced by half. Stir frequently. Remove sauce from heat and let cool.

Slice chicken thighs into 1″ squares. Slice green onions into 1″ long pieces. Alternate threading chicken squares and green-onion slices onto skewers. Warm grill to medium heat. Add as many skewers as possible without them touching each other. Grill chicken/green onion skewers on each side for 2 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink on outside. Generally skewers with sauce. Grill each side for 2 minute. Repeat 2 more times or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve with unused sauce.

TIDBITS

1) Not all Americans in 1776 favored independence from Great Britain. The Tories remained loyal to their mother country. Tories, in general, were far more talkative than their revolutionary counterparts. The patriots derided the loyalists as “Yaky tories,” or in its shortened form, “Yakitori.”

2) On August 27, 1776, the British under General Howe routed the Continental Army, To celebrate, Tory chef, Abner Davis, made the victorious commander this tasty dish. General Howe loved his dinner and asked repeatedly for more helpings. The well-fed commander soon became sleepy and didn’t wake until noon. These hours of inactivity gave General Washington the time he needed to retreat his battered army. The Americans regrouped and trained until they could stand up to any British army. The chance to crush the Revolution was lost. America would become independent.

3) In 1856, Commodore Matthew Perry lead a U.S.. squadron to Japan. He gave the Japanese many gifts, including the recipe to Yakitori. This is how Japanese cuisine came to Japan.

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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Cinnamon Rolls (Kanelbullar)

Swedish Dessert

CINNAMON ROLLS
(Kanelbullar)

INGREDIENTS – DOUGH

⅔ cup butter (⅓ cup more later)
1½ cups milk
1 egg (1 egg more later)
2 teaspoons cardamom
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar (⅓ cup more later)
2½ teaspoons yeast
5 cups bread flour or flour (2 tablespoons more later)

INGREDIENTS – FILLING

2½ tablespoons cinnamon
⅓ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup butter, softened

INGREDIENT – ASSEMBLY

2 tablespoons flour
1 egg
1½ tablespoons water
3 tablespoons pearl sugar*, sparkling sugar, or sugar

* = Pearl sugar is remarkably hard to find in supermarkets. Try Whole FoodsTM, the food department of IKEATM, or the cake decoration sections of JoannTM, Michael’sTM. and other hobby stores. Alternatively, smash sugar cubes with a kitchen mallet.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

bread maker
parchment paper
2 cookie sheets

Makes 16 rolls. Takes 2 hours 45 minutes.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

Add ⅓ cup butter and milk to pan. Cook using low-medium heat until butter melts. Stir often. Add butter/milk and 1 egg to small mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add cardamom, salt, ½ cup sugar, yeast, and 5 cups flour to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add butter/milk from small mixing bowl to large mixing bowl. Whisk until well blended.

Add flour/butter/milk/sugar/yeast mix to bread maker. Run bread maker using dough setting for 10 minutes. Add dough to large mixing bowl. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

PREPARATION – FILLING

While dough doubles in size, add cinnamon, ⅓ cup sugar, brown sugar, and ⅓ cup softened butter to small mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended.

PREPARATION – ASSEMBLY

Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Add dough to center of dusted flat surface. Roll out dough until is a 12″ x 16″ rectangle. Spread filling evenly over rolled-out dough. Tightly roll dough along 16″ side until you get a 12″ long log. Cut log into 16 round discs or rolls. Cover with kitchen towel for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

While dough rises, add 1 egg and water to cup. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place rolls on parchment paper. Brush rolls with egg/water. Sprinkle pearl sugar on rolls. Bake at 425 degrees for 7 minutes or until golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) October 4 is Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden. Sweden is a wonderful country.

2) So is Britain. Even during hard times when its RAF was on the ropes fighting the Luftwaffe, which could turn the sky black with its fighter planes.

3) British pilots were superb. But no matter how many dogfights the British aces won, they still lost planes. No one could get around the fact that the RAF was running out of metal to build new Spitfires and Hurricanes.

4) Britain needed a miracle. It occurred when Chef Ollie Erickson of London’s Royal Swedish Bakery mentioned the dual nature of cinnamon rolls to Prime Minister Winston Churchill. “They’re tasty as Heaven when fresh, but absolutely impenetrable when dry.”

5) The boffins at Churchill’s Toy Shop learned how to make Spitfire-shaped cinnamon molds. One only needed to pour cinnamon-roll batter into these molds, remove the molds, and let the shaped dough dry. These cinnamon-roll Spitfire proved to be impervious to the Luftwaffe’s machine-gun and cannon fire. Not only that, bakeries turned out cinnamon-roll fighters by the baker’s dozens. The RAF rapidly established supremacy in the skies and soon won the Battle of Britain.

6) Britain also mass produced thousands of cinnamon-roll tanks. America with its preference of bacon and eggs over cinnamon rolls, had many more steel-rolling mills than bakeries. So, it mass produced tanks and planes the old-school way, with steel. Germany simply could not compete against both dough and steel. Germany lost. The world was once again made safe for breakfast.

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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Peanut Butter French Toast

Hong Kong Breakfast

PEANUT BUTTER FRENCH TOAST

INGREDIENTS

4 slices thick white bread*
6 tablespoons condensed milk
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
3 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup golden syrup or maple syrup

* = Really should be milk bread, but it’s powerful hard to find outside an Asian bakery.

Serves 2 or 4, depending if you want to skip the next meal. These really are calorie bombs. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Spread 1st bread slice with 3 tablespoons condensed milk. Spread a 2nd bread slice with 2 tablespoons peanut butter. Place 2nd bread slice, peanut butter side down, on 1st bread slice. Gently press the bread slice together to make a sealed sandwich. Repeat for 2nd sandwich..

Add eggs to mixing bowl. Whisk eggs until well blended. Dredge the sandwiches through the eggs until they are well coated, but not soggy. Add vegetable oil to pan. Fry at medium-high heat for 1-to-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. (The 2nd sandwich is likely to take less than the 1st.) Remove sandwich. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the middle of the top slice. Drizzle ¼ cup golden syrup over sandwich. Cut in half, if desired. Repeat for remaining sandwich.

TIDBITS

1) Asphalt roads are built with asphalt.

2) The Yellow Brick Road was built with yellow bricks.

3) The Silk Road was built with silk. Silk is strong. This is why construction crews prize silkworms so highly. Look up how many silkworms were employed building the Empire State Building.

4) The recently completed Peanut Butter French Toast Road (PBFTR) was built with peanut butter French toast. Of course, Of course, newly cooked peanut French toast while tasty is completely unable to support the weigh of a big-rig truck or even a bicycle. You have to let the toast dry out. In the meantime, workers can be fed using the same peanut butter French toast. Name one other road-building material that’s edible. Not concrete, let me tell you. The closest thing America has to China’s culinary engineering is its famed Tobacco Road.

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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Shrimp Po’ Boys

Cajun Entree

SHRIMP PO’ BOYS

INGREDIENTS – REMOULADE

1 tablespoon capers
1½ tablespoons flat-leaf parsley or parsley
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons Creole mustard or French coarse-grained mustard.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¾ cup mayonnaise
½ tablespoon paprika (½ teaspoon more later)
¼ teaspoon pepper (¼ teaspoon more later)
¾ teaspoon TabascoTM or CrystalTM hot sauce

INGREDIENTS – SHRIMP

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined.
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
¾ cup cornmeal
⅓ cup peanut oil or oil

INGREDIENTS – FINAL

⅓ head lettuce, iceberg or romaine
1 tomato
4 French rolls or 4 quarters of a baguette

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric skillet

Serves 4. Takes 50 minutes

PREPARATION – REMOULADE

Dice capers, flat-leaf parsley, and garlic clove. Add all remoulade ingredients to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Chill in refrigerator.

PREPARATION – SHRIMP

Add shrimp, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, paprika, pepper, and salt to 1st small mixing bowl. Toss shrimp until well coated. Add egg to 2nd small bowl. Beat egg with whisk or fork. Add shrimp to beaten egg. Toss shrimp until well coated. Add cornflour to 3rd small bowl. Add egg-coated shrimp to cornflour. Dredge shrimp through cornflour until well coated.

Add oil to electric skillet. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Add coated shrimp to skillet. (Do not let shrimp touch. You might have to cook in batches.) Fry at 350 for 3 minutes or until dredged shrimp turn golden brown. Carefully flip shrimp once. Remove and drain on plate covered with paper towels.

PREPARATION – FINAL

Shred lettuce. Cut tomato into 8 slices. Slice rolls almost all the way through, leaving enough for a hinge. Spread remoulade over all roll tops and bottoms. Sprinkle shredded lettuce equally over all roll bottoms. Arrange shrimp equally over all roll bottoms. Top the shrimp on each sandwich with 2 tomato slices. Close rolls. Serve hot.

TIDBITS

1) The famed Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809. A lesser known Edgar Allan Poe (LKEAP) was born on March 30, 1833. Interesting enough, 33 totally unimportant Edgar Allan Poe have been on February 29. Of course, that has statistical clustering written all over it.

2) Our Edgar Allan Poe (OEAP) was never totally adopted and had a constant need for income due to gambling losses. Never draw to an inside straight, never. Indeed, you need to know when to fold and to know when to walk away. Unfortunately, Kenny Rogers hadn’t written his great song, “The Gambler,” by 1822., so OEAP was bereft of this potentially life-improving advice.

3) The indebted Poe turned to writing menus. They were pure literary magic. As Thomas Jefferson penned, “Edgar Allan Poe’s descriptions of the tempting dishes to be had by the discerning dinner are pure culinary genius. Undoubtedly, if he’d been around in 1776, he’d have been invited to write the Declaration of Independence.”

4) Inspired by his success, Poe turned to writing novels. We now hold his first effort, The Elephant’s Tusks to be the greatest novel of all time. Unfortunately, the letter “e” on his typewriter was broken and the published text of lphant’s Tusks was absolutely unreadable.

5) Distraught, Poe turned to drugs for solace. (Hey, I spelled that word correctly on the first try!) His drug habit drove him deeper into debt.

6) Poe’s life had to pick up, and in a hurry, as I am running out of space on this page. Poe went back to menus. His typewriter still had occasional trouble with the letter “e.” Then brilliance struck his brow like a tiny meteorite made of kitty fur; why not substitute an apostrophe for “e?.” His creation the Shrimp Poe Boy could now be written up as the Shrimp Po’ Boy. Elated, Poe felt confident enough to write a short book chock full of wrote a short book entitled, “Simple and Tasty Treats to Eat After Taking Heroin.” This wildly successful work provided him with the financial success he’d always craved. Poe would become a literary giants. Menus, however, would once again be boring. They still are. It’s a tradeoff.

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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Drunken Cheeseburgers

American Entree

DRUNKEN CHEESEBURGERS

INGREDIENTS

4 garlic cloves
1 pound ground beef (80%) or ground chuck
2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon, Marsala, or red wine
1 red onion or sweet onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 sesame hamburger buns
⅔ cup grated cheddar cheese
¼ cup fresh basil leaves

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Dice garlic cloves. Add garlic and ground beef to large mixing bowl. Mix by hand. Form 4 patties by hand. Pour wine over patties. Cover and marinate in refrigerate for 2 hours. While patties marinate, thinly slice onion. Add onion and olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until softens. Remove onion slices from pan and place on plate covered with paper towel. Keep olive oil in pan.

Add patties to large pan. Cover and fry patties at medium heat for 5 minutes. Flip patties, cover, and fry for 3 minutes or until patties are cooked nearly to your desired level of doneness. Sprinkle cheese over each patty and fry for another 2 minutes or until cheese melts. While patties fry, toast buns. Place patty on bottom hamburger bun. Add patty. Carefully ladle 1½ tablespoons marinade onto patty. Top with 1 tablespoon basil leaves. Add top hamburger bun.

TIDBITS

1) Brynne Chandler was born a peasant girl in Nevers, France on November 2, 1755. the same day as Marie Antoinette . Because of their great beauty, Brynne and Marie became European fashion models. Then Marie up and became queen of France. Bereft of her modeling companion, Brynne naturally pursued quantum physics. Brynne did well in her new career. She even discovered how to run faster than the speed of light. Indeed, she holds the world record for the mile, .0000056 seconds.

2) Things went differently for Marie Antoinette. Her lavish spending bankrupted the French monarchy. The impoverish monarchy fell. Marie found herself at a guillotine on October 16, 1793. Brynne protested. “No, no, no.” Our heroine rushed the guillotine intending the save the queen. Unfortunately, she ran at the speed of light. It was at this point that our plucky soul discovered that time halted for her while staying same for the French revolutionaries. When Brynne stopped running, she found herself in the year 2017. “Well, that won’t happen again,” said Brynne.. So she took up cooking with wine. All drunken dishes, including drunken chicken and drunken cheeseburgers are inspired by her trail blazing culinary spirit. Brynne says she’s no longer even tempted to run as fast of the speed of light. Olympic runners, aspiring to set records, are grateful.

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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Hainanese Chicken Rice

Singaporean Entree

HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE

INGREDIENTS – CHICKEN

2″ ginger root
4 cups chicken stock (4 cups more later)
4 cups water
2½ pounds boneless chicken
1 tablespoon sesame oil

INGREDIENTS – RICE

4 cups chicken broth
3 pandan leaves*
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups long-grain rice
4 garlic cloves
3″ ginger root
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

INGREDIENTS – FINAL

¼ cup fresh cilantro
1 cucumber
1 green onion
¼ cup chili garlic sauce
¼ cup soy sauce

* = This is quite hard to find outside of Asian supermarkets. You can also order dried pandan leaves online. Or substitute part of a banana leaves for the pandan leaves. But banana leaves are just as hard to find as pandan leaves. Or omit the pandan leaves altogether; this is a simplified recipe after all. If guests complain that your Chicken Hainanese Rice isn’t authentic without pandan leaves, biff ‘em good with your fists of fury.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

rice cooker
fists of fury (See above note.)
x-ray vision (It helps to be a super hero.)
up to 12 dipping bowls, bowls, or small cups

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes.

PREPARATION – CHICKEN

Cut 2″ ginger root into ¼” slices. Add ginger root slices, 4 cups chicken broth, water, and water to large pot. Bring water to boil in large pot at high heat. (The recipe gets harder after this.) While water comes to boil, cut chicken into 1½” pieces. Coat chicken with sesame oil. Add chicken to pot. Cover, reduce heat to warm and simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. (You can check this with x-ray vision or by slicing open one piece of chicken.) Remove chicken from pot and add to mixing bowl. Save chicken stock.

PREPARATION – RICE

While the water for the chicken comes to boil, tie pandan leaves into a knot just like you would with a string. Add 4 cups chicken broth, pandan leaves, and rice to rice cooker. Cook according to instructions for rice cooker. (Probably, just push the “cook” button until it stops cooking.) While chicken simmers, mince garlic and dice 3″ ginger root. Add garlic, ginger, and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium for 5 minutes or until garlic and ginger browns and becomes fragrant. Stir frequently. Add rice and stir fry at low-medium for 3 minutes. Stir enough to prevent burning.

PREPARATION – FINAL

While water for the chicken comes to boil and rice cooks, dice cilantro and green onion. Cut cucumber into thin slices. Add diced green onion and chicken stock from large pot to a small dipping bowl for each guest. Each guest also gets a dipping bowl for the chili-garlic sauce and the soy sauce. Add chicken to plates. Garnish chicken with cilantro. Add rice to plates and shape into dome. Place cucumber on plate beside chicken and rice.

TIDBITS

1) “Hainanese” is an anagram for “I, a sane hen.”

2) Sane hens are safer than insane hens.

3) You don’t have to lock your doors if you’re raising sane hens.

4) However, if you’re raising insane hens, oh boy! Insane hens naturally form gangs and terrorize the countryside. Indeed, a particular brutal gang of Rhode Island reds went on a car-jacking spree in Hicken County, Colorado back in 1969. You can imagine the difficulty the Colorado Tourism Board had in hushing that up.

5) By 2006, intelligent, insane hens had penetrated all the major American banks and brokerage houses. Their coop smarts and the fact they could lay fresh eggs without even taking time off from work gave them an irresistible leg up on all other applicants. I mean omelettes need fresh eggs.

6) In turn, the hens wanted worms. As they climbed the corporate ladders, they wanted ever more costly worms and ever fancier worm meals. By late 2008, the demand for pricy worms and gourmet-worm chefs had far outstripped the supply. More and more, the large financial firms were forced to feed ordinary mash to their top-revenue-generating hens.

7) Mash ticked off the executive layers, so much so that they engineered the Great Recession of 2008. Now prospective chicken hires must assert their mental stability with the oath, “I, a sane chicken . . .”

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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Pabellón Criollo

Venezuelan Entree

PABELLÓN CRIOLLO

INGREDIENTS – PULLED MEAT

3 garlic cloves (2 more cloves later)
1 medium onion
1 tomato
2 pounds flank steak
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon cumin (¼ teaspoon more later)
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon pepper (¼ teaspoon more later)
3 quarts water (or enough to cover ingredients)

INGREDIENTS – BLACK BEANS

2 garlic cloves
1 small onion
¼ cup olive oil or oil (¼ cup more later)
1 green bell pepper
1 15-ounce-can black beans
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt

INGREDIENTS – RICE & PLANTAINS

1⅓ cups rice
2 plantains or bananas
½ cup olive oil or oil

SPECIAL UTENSILS

3-quart pot
4 plates with 3 sections. These are mighty hard to find if you’re looking for them at the last moment.
sonic obliterator

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 50 minutes.

PREPARATION – PULLED MEAT

Dice 3 garlic cloves, medium onion, and tomato. Add diced garlic, onion, tomato, flank steak, bay leaf, ¼ teaspoon cumin, oregano, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and enough water to cover ingredients. Bring to boil using high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours 30 minutes or until meat is tender to the fork. Remove and discard bay leaf. Remove meat and place on plate. Pull flank seat apart with forks. Save stock for future soups.

PREPARATION – BLACK BEANS

While flank steak simmers, mince 2 garlic cloves and small onion. Seed and dice green bell pepper. Add garlic, onion, green bell pepper, and ¼ cup olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add black beans, ¼ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

PREPARATION – RICE & PLANTAINS

About 30 minutes before flank steak should be ready to be pulled apart, cook rice according to instructions on package. Peel plantains. Cut plantains into slices 1″ wide diagonally along the length of the plantain. Add plantain and ½ cup oil to pan. Sauté slices for 3 minutes on each at medium heat or until plantain softens and browns.

PREPARATION – FINAL STEP

This step is much easier if you have a plate that is divided into 3 sections. Carefully add enough pulled flank steak to make a pie wedge that takes up ⅓ of the plate. Carefully add enough beans next to the flank steak to make a pie wedge taking up ⅓ of the plate. Carefully add (Yes, you are doing things carefully here.) enough rice to take up the remaining ⅓ of the plate. Add ¼ of the plantain slices to the outside of the rice pie-wedge.

Zap, with your sonic obliterator, any guests who fail to appreciate just how much heart and soul went into the preparation of this dish.

TIDBITS

1) This dish, pabellón criollo, is enormously popular, among Venezuelans. So much so, that Venezuelans will bring the ingredients for this dish wherever they travel or migrate.

2) And boy, they sure have migrated. On May 1, 16,870 BC priests revealed to the proto-Venezuelans that their gods would be having a millennium-long jamboree in a land beyond the Great Mother Sea. Of course, everyone knows the best time to petition gods is when they’ve been drinking, eating pulled beef, and dancing and singing up a storm.

3) So, all the proto-Venezuelans took to their rafts and floated and paddled their way down the east coast of South America, suffered ice storms in the Straights of Magellan, endured fresh-water deprivation, and got eaten by gigantic sharks and whales.

4) All of which sucked, especially when compared to jamboreeing with the gods. So once there, the proto-Venezuelans stayed and planted rice. This is how rice came to India, Vietnam, China, and Japan.

5) The proto-Venezuelans were pretty happy. Then the gods’ beer ran out. The deities became surly and hurled thunderbolts and really hard bread rolls at the humans.

6) Life sucked again. Enough to brave the perils of an ocean voyage back home. This is how peoples from Asia settled the Americas, not by the headline hunters who crossed the land bridge from Siberia to Alaska.

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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