history

Easy Poutine

Canadian Entree

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EASY POUTINE

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INGREDIENTS
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1½ pounds French fries
¾ pound cheese curds
1½ cups beef gravy
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Makes 4 bowls. Takes 35 minutes.
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PREPARATION
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Cook French fries according to instructions on package. While French fries cook, warm gravy in small pot. Put fries on large plate. Place cheese curds on top of fries and ladle gravy over everything.
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TIDBITS
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1) We call this entree “Easy Poutine” because it has only three ingredients and is easy to make.
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2) Or maybe, it got its name from “Easy” Poutine of hockey fame. Easy Poutine’s real name was Farine Poutine. It still is.
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3) “Easy” didn’t mean she was an “easy” date. Oh no, Easy was an enforcer for the Sudbury Sirens All Canadian Ladies’ Hockey League, (ACLHL.)
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4) Indeed, Miss Poutine sent many an opponent player to the hospital. She also caused many dates who attempted non-consensual liberties to intensive wards. Not easy with her heart, you bet.
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5) In fact, sportswriters bestowed her nickname on her for the easy way she racked up uncontested goals, hat tricks even, game after game.
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6) Then, in 1945, World War II ceased. Most culinary historians agree that ending the massive bloodshed was on the whole, a good thing.
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7) Not so for Easy. The need for her vaunted strong-arm tactics evaporated with the onset of peace. She failed completely when she searched for a position in traditional female jobs; her violent reputation prevented her hire. She became an enforcer for the Canadian mob. She didn’t last. The underworld patriarchy made sure of that.
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8) The world soon lost track of Farine Poutine. Although, the Canada’s intelligence services would suspect her involvement whenever a small country’s government toppled from a violent coup.
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9) So be kind and give Easy Poutine a caring thought before digging into this delicious entree.
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– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
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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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Slow Cooker Kalua Pork With Cabbage

Hawaiian Appetizer

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SLOW COOKER KALUA PORK WITH CABBAGE

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INGREDIENTS
2½ pounds pork, butt, roast, or shoulder
4 teaspoons Hawaiian salt or Himalayan pink salt, fleur de sel, or coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
½ head cabbage
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Serves 8. Takes 4 hours 50 minutes.
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PREPARATION
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Rub pork with Hawaiian salt. Add pork to slow cooker. Use fork to poke holes in pork. (This helps get liquid smoke into pork.) Pour liquid smoke onto pork. Cover and cook at high setting for 2 hours. Flip pork. Cover and cook at 2nd time at high setting for 1 hours 30 minutes.
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While pork cooks a 2nd time, cut cabbage into 1½” cubes. Place cabbage to side of pork. Cover again and cook a 3rd and final time at high setting for 30 minutes or until cabbage becomes tender. Use slotted spoon to add pork to serving bowl. Shred pork with two forks. Use slotted spoon to add cabbage to serving bowl. Mix with spatula or fork.
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Goes well with macaroni salad or rice.
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TIDBITS
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1) Norse mythologists hold the primary head god of the Vikings was Odin. Nose mythologists hold their noses. Culinary Norse mythologists believe that Kalua ruled Valhalla before Odin.
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2) Kalua cooked slowly, hence “Slow Cooker Kalua.” Kalua retorted that he cooked slowly because he cooked with a slow cooker. The other Norse gods yelled, “Na, na, poo, poo. We don’t care. Serve us now.”
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3) Kalua said, “I will serve my pork with cabbage when it’s ready and no sooner.”
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4) This didn’t sit well with the surly gods. Alternative lineages were given. The assemblage bandied about all sorts of words. The more irate divinities even conjugated Portuguese verbs incorrectly. Truly, Valhalla was ripe for revolution. The insurgents toppled Kalua, replacing him with Odin. The new All Father learned his lesson well. Out with slow cookers. In with the Valhalla caterers.
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5) Slow cookers would not reappear until the late 20th century. The Norse gods didn’t live to see it. Culinary historians say they disappeared with the onset of fast-cooking Christian missionaries. Something to remember when dining on this entree.
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– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
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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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Strawberry Cobbler

American Dessert

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STRAWBERRY COBBLER

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INGREDIENTS
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1¾ fresh strawberries
½ cup sugar (½ cup more later)
1¾ teaspoons baking powder
1 cup flour
1 cup warm whole milk
⅜ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup melted butter (1 tablespoon more later.)
1 tablespoon butter
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SPECIAL UTENSIL
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8″ * 13″ casserole dish
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Serves 12. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.
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PREPARATION
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Completely remove stem from strawberries. Cut strawberries in half. Add strawberries and ½ cup sugar to 1st mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with spatula. Add baking powder, flour, milk, salt, ½ cup sugar, and vanilla extract to 2nd mixing bowl. Use spatula to slowly fold in melted butter. This is the batter. Stop when all is combined. (Overstirred crust will be dense, not fluffy.)
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Grease casserole dish with 1 tablespoon butter. Pour batter into casserole dish. Use slotted spoon to sugar-coated strawberries onto batter. Do not stir. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until cobbler turns golden brown andl strawberry juices bubble.
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TIDBITS
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1) Just as pigging is the process of making new pigs, shoemaking is the process of making new shoes. In the 19th-century shoes were made by shoemakers. Cobblers cobbled things together, such as shoes that had come apart. All this should have been easy to understand–unlike quantum physics or nuclear missile repairs–to the many 19th-century peasants, who called shoemakers cobblers.
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2) So, if people get confused so easily, it’s hardly surprising that in 1812 Napoleon invaded Russia instead of Austria. His soldiers shoes fell apart from the wet Russian rain. But there was no leather to be had, the French soldiers had eaten all the cattle. Fortunately, there were a lot of strawberries in Russia in 1812, The Year of Napoleon and Strawberries. In the winter, Nappy’s plucky cobblers repaired shoes with layers of frozen strawberries. These repairs lasted all the way back to France. French chefs used these strawberries to make strawberry cobblers to honor the heroic cobblers.
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– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Simple Corned Beef 2

Irish Entree

SIMPLE CORNED BEEF 2

INGREDIENTS

6 russet potatoes
3 large carrots
1 large white onion
1 4- pound ready-to-cook corned beef brisket
½ head cabbage

SPECIAL UTENSIL

crock pot

Serves 6. Takes 8 hours using low setting on crock pot and 14 hours using high setting.

PREPARATION

Clean potatoes and carrots. Cut potatoes in two. Cut carrots and onion into slices no thicker than ½”. Add potato, carrots, onion, and corned beef to crock pot. You may need to cut the corned beef into smaller pieces depending on the size of your crock pot. Add water to crock pot until it covers the corned beef. If using low setting on crock pot, cook for 12 hours, possibly overnight. If using high setting, cook for 8 hours (or 2 hours per pound.) Either way, cook until brisket is tender.

Now that you have lots of time, let’s play tic-tac-toe.

 

 

 

 

 

45 minutes before corned beef is ready, cut cabbage into slices no thicker than ½”. (1 hour 30 minutes before if using low heat.) Add cabbage to crock pot. Add water until it covers the cabbage. Cook on high setting for about 45 minutes or on low setting for 1 hour 30 minutes or until everything is tender. Serve to adoring guests.

Tell your spellbound guests corned-beef takes 10 days to prepare. This, of course, is the do-it-yourself corned-beef version. You used ready-to-eat corned beef brisket. But you needn’t tell them that.

TIDBITS

1) Potatoes make great French fries.

2) They’re nutritious and a great source of calories too.

3) They grow in the ground where they can’t be seen by hungry, foraging armies marching back and forth across peasants’ fields.

4) On July 14, 1689 Madame Farine du Blé of Poulet sur Marne noticed invading Bavarians ransacking the granary of her neighbors, the Herbes, while leaving her own field of potatoes untouched.

5) This fact kinda excited the peasantry of France who relied almost exclusively on food for eating.

6) Frederick the Great of Prussia noticed this fact as well. He insisted that all the Prussian peasants plant potatoes.

7) And boy, those peasants were glad they did. Massive French, Austrian, and Russian armies crisscrossed the Prussian kingdom from 1756 to 1763 carting off all the wheat they could find. But the Prussian peasants didn’t starve.

8) Why? These farmers simply waited for the invading soldiers to leave, dug up their potatoes, and cooked them. And if the peasants also had the proper spices and deep fryers, they dined on papas rellena, Peruvian stuffed potatoes.

9) When individual peasants don’t starve, the country as a whole doesn’t starve. A well-fed nation can afford to feed its armies in the field. And those Prussian armies did really well earning both victory and survival at the end of the Seven Years War.

10) Prussia united Germany in 1871. A united Germany caused World War I. A united Germany caused World War II. Both wars were unarguably unpleasant.

11) So think about that when you are asked, “Do you want fries with that?”

 

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

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Tofu Rice

Chinese Entree

TOFU RICE

INGREDIENTS

1 cup rice
6 hard-boiled eggs
3 garlic cloves
3 stalks green onion
1½ pound package extra-firm tofu
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
⅓ cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

SPECIALTY UTENSIL

Wok (If you have one.)

Serves 4. Takes 35 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook rice according to instructions on package. Boil 6 eggs. Mince the garlic cloves. Mince green onion. Cut tofu into strips ½ inch wide. Cut these strips into ½-inch squares. Mix in bowl, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sugar with whisk.

While rice and eggs cook, heat olive oil in wok or saucepan, preferably non-stick, medium-high heat. Sauté garlic and green onion. Add tofu, salt, and pepper. Cook until tofu is golden brown on both sides. (Pay attention or your tofu can dry out faster than your printer jams paper.)

Add sauce from bowl. Cook for a few minutes or until tofu absorbs the sauce. Serve with rice. Peel eggs and crumble. Cover plate with rice. Top rice with egg. Add tofu squares.

TIDBITS

1) I don’t how many times I accidentally typed “bowel” instead of “bowl.” Don’t worry; I corrected the two or three mistakes. Yes, those typos would change the recipes considerably.

2) China has over a billion people and is growing by millions each year despite having an official policy of one child per family. It sounds as if some couples are cheating. In feudal Japan, tax collectors took rice as payment. All sorts of meat substitutes are made with tofu. One of the best known is TofurkeyTM. This springs up in health-food stores around Thanksgiving and is surprisingly tasty and expensive.

3) Would there have ever been the first Thanksgiving if the Pilgrims and the Native Americans had to eat TofurkeyTM?

 

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

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Pan Fried Chicken Breast

American Entree

PAN FRIED CHICKEN BREAST

INGREDIENTS

4 chicken breasts, boneless & skinless, 5-to-6 ounces each
½ teaspoon pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¾ teaspoon onion powder
1¼ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon parsley (1 teaspoon more later)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (ip to 3 tablespoons more, if necessary)
up to 3 tablespoons more, if necessary
1 lemon
1 teaspoon parsley

SPECIAL UTENSILS

plastic wrap
kitchen mallet

Serves 4. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Remove chicken breasts from refrigerator and pat dry with paper towels. Cover with plastic wrap. Pound chicken breasts lightly with kitchen mallet until they are ½” thick or thinner. Rub chicken with pepper and salt.

Add flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and parsley to small mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Dredge chicken breast through mixture in bowl. Shake off any excess. (Excess flour falls off in the oil, adding a burnt taste and look..) Repeat for remaining breasts.

Add 3 tablespoons vegetable oil to large pan. Heat oil using medium-high heat until a little bit of flour in the oil starts to dance. Add 2 chicken breasts to pan. Cover and fry chicken breasts for 2½ minutes or until bottom of chicken breasts turn golden brown. DO NOT move them. (Only lift a corner of a chicken breast to see if the bottom is golden brown. Use spatula to flip chicken breasts. Cover and fry for another 2 minutes or when new bottom turns golden brown as well. Remove breasts to plate and cover to keep warm. Add up to 2 more tablespoons oil, if necessary. Repeat for 2nd batch of chicken breasts. (The 2nd batch might take less time to cook.)

Slice lemon into 4 pieces. Serve each chicken breasts with a lemon slice Garnish each chicken breast with ¼ teaspoon parsley..

 

TIDBITS

1) The title of this dish pretty much tells us that chicken breasts are fried in a pan.

2) Or can we be so sure of this?

3) Sure, the picture to the right is indeed a pan.

4) But maybe, just maybe, pan here means something else.

5) “Pan” is a term used by drama and movie critics to denote harsh criticism of the artistic endeavor.

6) Indeed, Cal Porter’s*, Broadway play, Fried Chicken Breast closed after only one performance.

7) The very next day, the headline on Variety(tm) read, “All Critics Pan Fried Chicken Breast.”

8) Noted acid-penned critic, Farine du Ble called the play, “Fried Chicken Beast” and advised Cal Porter to stick to one-word haikus.

9) To this day, actors morn the quick closing of a play by eating Pan Fried Chicken Breasts. And this is how this entree got this name.

10) But wait, there’s another subtle explanation.

11) In ancient Greek mythology, Pan was the god of the wild, shepherds, rustic music, and great chefs. He had the hindquarters, legs, and horns of a goat. Yep, he was the original Goat Man.

12) Goat Man loved chicken as what Greek god didn’t?

13) Pan originally ate fire-burned chicken. This recipe involved herding chickens into a brush fire. This frustrated the hooves off Pan. When the blaze finally died, chances were all the chickens had to turned to ash. He’d throw himself down and beat the ground with his fists. This is the origin of the line, “Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.”

14) Plus Goat Man had to wait for lightning to strike the fields near his chicken. And you can’t really count on a lightning strike when you’re hungry.

15) Then happy mythological day, the god Prometheus** gave fire to us mortals. Zeus’s monopoly on fire went up in smoke. Petulant Zeus tied Prometheus to a rock and had an eagle peck away every day at the fire-donor’s liver.

16) Sure, that was bad for Prometheus, but fire was a positive boon to Greek cuisine***. We could now fry things. Pan started Hellenic cuisine off right with his Fried Chicken breast. Grateful Greek chicken diners called it Pan Fried Chicken Breast. So maybe this dish got its name this way.

17) * Cal Porter was Cole Porter’s distant cousin. ** Prometheus twin brother was Antimetheus. *** Fire was also a boon for Greeks wishing to stay warm on cold, like during wintry nights.

 

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

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Fiesta Stew

Mexican Entree

FIESTA STEW

INGREDIENTS

4 THIN boneless pork loin chops

2 avocados
1 jalapeno pepper
½ onion
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup diced tomatoes
10 ounces queso quesadilla jalapeno (queso = cheese)
½ cup Crema Mexicana (sour cream)
¼ cup grated Four Mexican cheeses
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

SPECIAL UTENSILS

cooking scissors
Dutch oven

PREPARATION

Cut each thin pork loin into ½ inch squares. It is easier to do all this cutting with kitchen scissors than with a knife.

Mash the avocados thoroughly with a fork. (Make sure avocados are soft to the touch.) Ruthlessly remove stem and seeds from jalapeno pepper. Mince jalapeno pepper, onion, and cilantro. Crumble the queso quesadilla jalapeno. (There are no known tongue twisters that use the word, jalapeno.)

Add all ingredients to Dutch oven. Blend completely with fork or whisk. Cook stew on low heat for about 15-to-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Cheeses should be completely melted.

TIDBITS

1) Pigs were first domesticated around 5,000 BC.

2) But beer was first brewed about 9,500 BC. Go, beer!

3) But it wasn’t until the last part of the twentieth century that packages of pork rinds AND six packs of beer were available in convenience stores.

4) At one time, some peoples used pig bones as weapons.

5) These civilizations lost out to ones using bronze swords.

6) Can you imagine Achilles and Hector fighting each other with pig knuckles?

7) Finally, pork’s myoglobin content is lower than beef’s.

8) I have no idea what that means.

 

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

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Tuscan Sunset Soup

Italian Soup

TUSCAN SUNSET SOUP

INGREDIENTS

FIRST BATCH

2 cups garlic bread
2 garlic cloves
½ avocado
½ green bell pepper
1 7 ounce can red beans
1 7 ounce can pork and beans
1 7 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can condensed tomato soup
15 ounces water
½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup grated Romano cheese
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon chopped chives
¼ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon parsley flakes
⅛ teaspoon ground mustard
⅛ teaspoon tarragon

SECOND BATCH

½ pound ground turkey
⅛ teaspoon white pepper
⅛ teaspoon rosemary
⅛ teaspoon sesame seed
2 eggs

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Large soup pot or saucepan

PREPARATION

Cut the garlic bread into 1-inch cubes. Mince the garlic cloves. Remove the skin and pit of the avocado, and cut the yummy remaining part into ½-inch cubes. Mince the green bell pepper.

Add all ingredients listed under first batch to soup pot. Cook on medium heat. Stir frequently enough to keep soup from burning on the bottom before the top gets hot.

(Take a break to consider how beer saved the world.)

Use clean hands to mix second batch of ingredients: ground turkey, white pepper, rosemary, and sesame seed. Cook on medium-high heat. Transfer to soup pot after turkey meat changes from pink to white.

Add eggs after soup gets hot. Stir thoroughly with fork so eggs blend in. Cook on medium heat for 3 minutes. This soup is great.

TIDBITS

1) This was originally called “Paul’s Refrigerator Soup” as many of the ingredients came from my refrigerator, but it tastes so good that I went with Tuscan Sunset.

2) Garlic bread, in particular, was taking over the fridge and blocking the view of everything behind it.

3) The food behind the garlic would have spoiled and eventually mutated into all sorts of new life forms.

4) Who’s to say these life forms wouldn’t have evolved into ravenous carnivores?

5) So, I might have saved my family with this soup. And my goodness, it’s tasty.

6) The food of the ancient Romans was simpler. They were often called “porridge eaters” after the blandness of their cuisine.

7) In their defense, these Romans possessed no refrigerators.

 

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

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Thai Burger Wrap

Thai Entree

THAI BURGER WRAP

INGREDIENTS

1½ pounds turkey meat
1 medium carrot, about ¼ cup
3 stalks green onion
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon chili powder
2 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ tablespoon peanut oil
¼ cup fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons mayonnaise

romaine or iceberg lettuce

PREPARATION

Mince garlic cloves. Mix all top ingredients thoroughly by hand. Make about 4 patties. Fry patties on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, flipping them once. Wrap patty with a leaf of romaine lettuce. Wash hands before greeting dinner guests, likable or not.

TIDBITS

1) Steve Martin was a romaine-lettuce salesman appearing on a Saturday Night Live takeoff of Family Feud.

2) Thailand used to be called Siam. The musical, The King and I, was set in Thailand. The non-fiction book, on which it was based, is much more serious in tone.

3) Thailand was never conquered by the Europeans.

4) At one time, Thailand’s new army officers were required to master golf.

5) Golf is a good way to learn cussing.

6) There is no 6).

 

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

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

American Dessert

GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

1¼ teaspoon baking soda
2¼ cups gluten free flour*
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

* = I used King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure For Measure Flour.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
2 cookie sheets

Makes 50 cookies. Takes 1 hour. (Varies with the number of batches.)

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add baking soda, flour, and salt to 1st, large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until thoroughly blended. Add butter, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, and vanilla to 2nd, larger mixing bowl. Blend with electric beater set on medium until mixture becomes fluffy. Gradually add dry mixture from 1st mixing bowl to the butter/sugar mixture in 2nd mixing bowl. Mix with beater at medium setting until thoroughly mixed. Fold in chocolate chips. Mix with hands until well blended.

Roll dough into little balls about 1″ wide. Leave a 1″ gap between chocolate chip/dough balls. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes or until golden brown. (Baking times for successive batches may vary.) Let cookies cool for 2 minutes before transferring with a spatula to wire rack or cold plate. Cool for an additional 5-to-20 minutes or as long as you can stand waiting.

TIDBITS

1) Culinary archaeologists hold Lucy of Olduvai Gorge baked the first cookies 3.2 million years ago. Lucy cookies inspired her hominid neighbors to evolve into humans and to develop agriculture. Farming freed people from non-stop hunting and gathering. This left time for adults to get frisky. Frisky adults sparked a population explosion that ate up all the wheat. Whole tribes left Africa searching for new lands suitable for wheat and gluten-free substitutes. Humanity’s ascent had begun.

 

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

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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