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Armenian Pork Kebabs With Pomegranate Marinade

Armenian Entree

PORK KEBABS WITH POMEGRANATE MARINADE

INGREDIENTS

1¾ cups pomegranate juice
1 pound boneless pork loin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¾ teaspoon pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1¼ teaspoons oregano
1 small onion

SPECIAL UTENSILS

skewers
outdoor grill

Serves 4. Takes 4 hours.

PREPARATION

Add pomegranate juice to pan. Bring to boil using medium-high heat. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to low-medium. Simmer for 25 minutes or until or until pomegranate juice reduces to 1 cup of syrup. Stir enough to prevent clumping Cut pork into 1″ cubes. Add pork cubes, pomegranate syrup, garlic powder, pepper, salt, olive oil, and oregano to mixing bowl. Mix with fork until cubes are completely coated. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours. (Reserve the marinade.)

While pork cubes marinate, slice onion into 1″ squares. Add 1 pork cube and 1 onion square onto skewer until skewer is full. Repeat for each skewer until pork and onion is gone. Set grill to medium-high. Grill for 15 minutes or until pork cubes start to char and are no longer pink inside. Rotate 3 times.

Place skewers on serving plate. Add reserved marinade to pot. Simmer on medium heat until marinade is warm. Transfer marinade to 1 dipping bowl per guest.

TIDBITS

1) Early Armenians used to make a game out of eating their Pork Kebabs. Players would alternate pulling off a cube of pork or a square of onion off their skewers. Anyone who made the rest of the pork and onion fall off lost. The game always ended in a tie. Nothing falls off a skewer. Then the clever Leslie Scott invented the ever popular game, JengaTM. The Jenga tower of wooden blocks can easily fall down, making it a much more exciting game. But, you can’t eat Jenga. There is a trade off.

 

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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Tibs From Ethiopia

Ethiopian Entree

TIBS

INGREDIENTS

1½ pounds sirloin, lamb, or venison
1 red onion or 2 yellow onions
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro
2 tomatoes
5 garlic cloves
¼ cup niter kibbeh*, ghee*, or butter
2 tablespoons Berbere* spice
4 teaspoons ginger
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ cup red wine
1 teaspoon lemon juice

* = May be found in ethnic supermarkets or online.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

mandoline

Serves 6. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut sirloin into 1″ cubes. Use mandoline or knife to slice red onion ⅛” thick. Dice cilantro and tomatoes. Mince garlic cloves. Melt niter kibbeh using medium heat. Add Berbere spice, garlic, ginger, and onion to 1st large pan. Sauté for 3 minutes at medium heat. Stir frequently.

Add vegetable oil and sirloin cubes to 2nd large pan. Leave space between sirloin cubes. (You might have to cook in batches.) Sauté cubes at medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until they are seared on the bottom. Flip the cubes over and sear on the new bottom side for 2 minutes. Continue to turn sirloin cubes until you get your desired level of doneness..

Add sirloin cubes to 1st large pan with the sautéed onion. Add cilantro, tomato, pepper, salt, and red wine. Simmer at medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir enough to prevent burning. Add lemon juice. Stir until well blended. Dish goes well with injera or other flatbread.

TIDBITS

1) This dish, Tibs, is made from sirloin cubes or sirloin bits. This dish was called Sirloin Bits, at first. But,. Sirloin Bits got shortened to Bits. A dyslexic man typed Bits instead of Tibs on a restaurant’s menu. Diners everywhere loved this food. So we now label this entree, Tibs.

 

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 Oblea Sandwich

Colombian Desserts

SIMPLE OBLEA SANDWICH

INGREDIENTS

2 oblea wafers or other 6″ wafers
3 tablespoons each of one or more of the following fillings:
caramel sauce (If you can get the authentic Colombian caramel sauce, arequipe, go for it.)
condensed milk
chocolate sprinkles
chopped pineapple
cream cheese
grated cheese
grated coconut
jam

Serves 1. Takes 3 minutes.

The top wafer shows the filling in the sandwich.

PREPARATION

Spread 3 tablespoons of fillings over first oblea. Put second oblea on top of fillings..

TIDBITS

1) Obleas is the plural form of oblea. Oblea is a Spanish word.

2) The English language is also rich with plural nouns.

3) Popular plural nouns of the English language include: women, ants, hamburgers, and doors.

4) So you can see that English speakers needn’t feel inferior to their Spanish counterparts on this linguistic matter.

5) According to culinary linguists, the word “oblea” has a rich and fabricated history.

6) For in mid 1968, the BeatlesTM traveled to India seeking enlightenment. They did not find it.

7) Disappointed, The Fab Four traveled to Colombia seeking solace in a simple, yet tasty dessert.

8) They found it in the form of Juan Cabrera’s simple oblea sandwich.

9) Such a fabulous dessert was worthy of a song, and soon the gifted Beatles came up with “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.”

 

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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Belgian Liege Waffles

Belgian Breakfast

BELGIAN LIEGE WAFFLES

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup whole milk, lukewarm
1 teaspoon or 1½ packets instant yeast
3 tablespoons white sugar or brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3½ cups flour
1¼ cups pearl sugar or crushed sugar cubes
vegetable oil

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater with dough hooks, if you have them.
Belgian waffle maker (Belgian waffles are twice as thick as regular waffles.)

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Separate eggs. Add milk, instant yeast, and white sugar to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Add butter, egg yolks, salt, and vanilla extract. Mix with electric beater, set on medium high, until well blended. Gradually add flour while using an electric beater set on medium-high. (Use dough hooks for electric beater, if you have them.) Do this until you get a smooth dough ball. Beat egg whites with electric beater set on high until stiff peaks form. Fold egg white into dough ball.

Transfer dough ball to new mixing bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or kitchen towel. Let sit for 45 minutes or until dough ball doubles in size. Fold pearl sugar into dough. Divide dough into 4 round shapes. Brush Belgian waffle maker with vegetable oil. Let it heat up. Add dough round. Heat until waffle turns your desired shade of brown. (See instructions what temperature and time to use.) Or use medium heat for 6 minutes. (Adjust future settings to your liking and write them down.). Repeat for each dough round.

Belgian waffles are designed to handle lot of toppings. Popular toppings are: strawberries, melted butter, maple syrup, chocolate sauce, NutellaTM, confectioners’ sugar, and ice cream

TIDBITS

1) In 1688, England underwent . . .. Belgian waffles! Belgian waffles are so tasty! I’d go to prison if it served its inmates Belgian waffles for every breakfast. Belgian waffles, yay, yay, yay.

 

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)

Greek Soup

LEMON CHICKEN SOUP
(Avgolemono)

INGREDIENTS

8 cups chicken stock
2 pounds chicken breasts
1 cup arborio, other rice, or orzo
3 eggs
½ cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup fresh parsley

Serves 6. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add chicken stock to large pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Add chicken breasts. Lower heat to medium. Add arborio. Simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken breasts can be pulled apart with 2 forks. Stir enough to prevent burning, Remove chicken breasts to large bowl. (Keep chicken stock.) Shred chicken with forks. Return shredded chicken to pot. Stir until well blended.

While chicken simmers for 20 minutes, add eggs and lemon juice to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Take 2 cups chicken stock from large pot and add to measuring cup. Drizzle chicken stock from measuring cup to mixing bowl. Whisk continually as you drizzle in the stock. Add this egg/lemon/stock sauce to the large pot. Add pepper and salt. Simmer for 15 minutes or until soup thickens. Stir enough to prevent burning.

Dice parsley. Garnish with parsley.

TIDBITS

1) Wolves like to eat chickens. Isaac Newton’s chickens were the best. So, it’s no surprise that numerous gangs of unemployed, teenage wolves attacked his chicken coops night after night. Newton first reasoned with the wolves, but his “Now, see here” was met with scorn. He even tried making scary faces. The wolves yawned briefly, then continued their attacks.

2) Desperate, Newton climbed his lemon trees and threw lemon after lemon at the wolves until he had no more. “Deuced wolves, take that.” And the wolves couldn’t take that barrage. They scurried away. Wolves have feared lemons ever since. This is why most chicken ranchers surround their coops with lemon trees. Eventually, culinarily minded lemon tree/chicken ranchers made this dish.

3)Anyway, Newton saved his chickens, but the loss of his lemons ruined him financially. He turned his mind to scientific observation and mathematical theory. Which is why we’ve heard of him.

 

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Debesmanna (Cranberry Mousse) From Latvia

Latvian Dessert

DEBESMANNA
(Cranberry Mousse)

INGREDIENTS

2¼ cups cranberry juice
⅓ cup sugar
⅓ cup cream of wheat, farina, or semolina
1 cup milk

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric beater.

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Add cranberry juice and sugar to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir constantly. Gradually add cream of wheat. Stir constantly to prevent lumps. Reduce heat to low-medium. Cook for 10 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir constantly with whisk or fork.

Transfer mixture to mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set on high for 10 minutes or until mixture becomes fluffy and a lighter shade of red.. Serve in bowls. Pour milk equally over each bowl.

TIDBITS

1) The term “manna from heaven” comes from the Old Testament. The book Exodus tells us how the Israelites fearing the wrath of the Egyptian pharaoh plunged deeper and deeper into the wilderness of the Sinai Peninsula.

2) The Israelites grumbled that they were running out of food, that they were at least assured of getting full meals back in Egypt. They had apparently forgotten that they were enslaved back there.

3) So God, Yahweh, sent them food, manna. This manna floated down from the sky or perhaps even from heaven. Nowadays, “manna from heaven” means any lucky occurrence. In fact, an event so lucky that is on par with the Israelites receiving manna from God.

4) On July 7, 2008, the Latvian village of Dagda was besieged by hordes of scam artists trying to sell them a new warranty for their cars, to replace the old extended warranties that had expired. The Dagdans had only one day of food left. Then little Debbie from the nearby farms catapulted thousands of cranberries mousses into Dagda. She saved the town. The grateful Dadgans called her dessert, “Debbie’s Manna.” Over time, this shortened to Debesmanna. Now you know.

 

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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Kansiye From Guinea

Guinean Entree

KANSIYE

INGREDIENTS

¼ pound butternut squash or sweet potato
1¼ pounds beef (round, chuck, or sirloin) or lamb
2 garlic cloves
1 onion
2 tomatoes
2½ tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ teaspoons cloves
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup rice
2 cups beef stock or lamb stock (Should match the meat used)
¼ cup creamy peanut butter.
¼ teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon parsley, fresh

Serves 4. Takes 1 hours 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Peel squash. Cut squash and beef into 1″ cubes. Mince garlic cloves, onion, and tomatoes. Add beef cubes and oil to large pan. Sauté beef for 5 minutes at medium-high heat or until completely browned. Stir enough to ensure even browning. Add cloves, garlic, onion, pepper, and salt. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir frequently.

Cook rice according to instructions on package. Add beef stock, butternut squash, tomato, creamy peanut butter, and thyme. Stir until well blended. Simmer at medium heat for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low-medium. Simmer for 15 minutes or until squash cubes become tender. Stir enough to keep from burning Add rice to serving bowls. Ladle contents of pan over rice. Dice parsley. Sprinkle bowls with parsley.

TIDBITS

1) Pin the Tail on the Donkey has been a favorite party game for nursery schoolers and kindergartners for decades. Many people think the game originated in America, pointing to Edgar Allan Poe’s thrilling and eerie short story, “Pin the Tale on the Donkey.”

2) No, I say no. Pin the Tail arose in Guinea. Young kids would attempt to pin fresh parsley on the butternut squash cubes in a a bowl of Kansiye. Guinean boys and girls loved the game. Guinean mothers did not. They’d spend hours cleaning up splashed kansiye everywhere. Poe, in one of his travels to Africa, saw kids playing Pin the Parsley on the Butternut Cubes in a Bowl of Kansiye and had an idea. This idea would launch his literary career.

 

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

Dajaj Mashwi (Grilled Chicken) From Saudi Arabia

Saudi Entree

DAJAJ MASHWI
(Grilled Chicken)

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
1½ tablespoons lime juice
4 teaspoons olive oil (1 tablespoon more later)
¾ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¾ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sesame seeds
½ teaspoon sumac or za’atar, lemon zest, lemon pepper, tamarind, or vinegar
2 Roma tomatoes
1 medium yellow onion.
1 tablespoon olive oil

SPECIAL UTENSILS

plastic wrap
kitchen mallet
outdoor grill or grilling pan

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Place plastic wrap on chicken breasts. Flatted chicken breasts with hammer. Add all other ingredients except Roma tomatoes and 1 tablespoon olive oil to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Add chicken breasts. Turn chicken breasts until well coated. Marinate in refrigerator for 40 minutes

Slice onion into 8 pieces. Slice Roma tomatoes in half. Use brush to coat onion and tomato slices with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add marinated chicken, onion slices to grill. Grill at medium heat for 15 minutes. Carefully flip everything once. Goes well with aioli sauce, spicy rice, and garlic sauce.

TIDBITS

1) Humans like grilled chicken. In fact, people love it so much, that no war was ever launched when soldiers ate grilled chicken. A happy, well-fed fighter simply isn’t in the mood to shoot anybody. So, tyrants wishing to invade another country, attack at weird hours in the morning when no one feels like eating. Or the dictator’s soldiers never get chicken. Either way, they’re grouchy and will fight.

 

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

Barbajuan From Monaco

Monegasque (Monaco) Entree

BARBAJUAN

INGREDIENTS – DOUGH

2¼ cups flour (3 more tablespoons later)
1 tablespoon olive oil (1 tablespoon and 3 more cups later)
½ cup water

INGREDIENTS – FILLING

1 bunch chard leaves (maybe ¾ pound)
enough water to cover chard leaves
1 small white onion
1 tablespoon olive oil (3 more cups later)
⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs (1 more egg later)

INGREDIENTS – ASSEMBLY

1 egg
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups olive oil

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

Add 2¼ cups flour to large mixing bowl. Gradually add oil and water. Knead by hand with each addition. Stop adding water when you form a dough ball that isn’t sticky. Put in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – FILLING

Remove chard leaves from stems. Slice chard leaves into ½” squares. Add enough water to cover chard to large pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Add chard to pot. Blanch chard for 5 minutes. Drain. Mince onion. Add onion and 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minute or until onion softens. Add chard leaves, onion, Parmesan, and 2 eggs to 2nd large mixing bowl. Mix with fork, or by hand until thoroughly mixed.

PREPARATION – ASSEMBLY

Add 1 egg to cup. Beat egg with whisk. Dust flat surface with 3 tablespoons flour. Roll dough out on flat surface to 0.1″ thickness. Make 3″-wide circles from dough. (A glass cup works well for this.) Add 1 teaspoon filling to the middle of each circle. Fold dough circles in half to make half moons. Brush edges with egg. Press down on edges to seal half moons. Add 3 cups olive oil to deep, large pot. Heat oil using medium-high heat. Oil is hot enough when a bit of dough dances in the oil. Carefully add half moons to pot. Fry half moons until they turn brown and blister. Flip half moons enough to prevent burning. Drain on paper towels.

TIDBITS

1) The little known opera, The Barber Juan, also known as Barbajuan, opened and closed on May 5, 1795,

2) The great opera, The Barber of Seville, by Rossini, premiered in 1815.

3) Europe’s decades long, Napoleonic Wars ended in 1815.

4) Coincidence?

5) Perhaps.

6) Look! Look! Two one-word tidbits in a row.

7) Alas, the single-word tidbit streak was broken by the tidbit immediately above.

8) Let this be a lesson to us all. Think before you type.

9) Think before you drink and drive.

10) If you really must do something after getting pickled to the gills, may I suggest drinking and typing?

11) The great American novelist, Ernest Hemingway was supposed to have said, “Write drunk. Edit Sober.”

12) But, in fact, he never said that. Indeed, he always wrote while he was sober.

13) Why?

14) He probably knew that if he wrote while drunk, the quality of his writing would plummet.

15) How far would his prose fall?

16) Probably to the point where he’d be writing such memorable lines as, “Iggy piggy poo. Q1c3 4fvt, 7jmk, UIo97*.”

17) It is worth nothing that any human could type the bon mots, “Iggy piggy poo, and the illustrious Hemingway certainly thought he could write better than any human.”

18) But even more damning to Hemingway’s literary soul was the undeniable fact that all the words after “Iggy piggy poo” could have been made by one of his cats walking from left to right across his typewriter. And Papa Hemingway was certainly vain enough to want to out write his cats. So, he always wrote sober. Now you know.

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

Strawberry Frosting

American Dessert

STRAWBERRY FROSTING

INGREDIENTS

1 cup strawberries
1 cup butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
electric beater
no-stick pan

Frosts 1 double-layer cake or 24 cupcakes. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Remove green leaves and stems from strawberries. Puree strawberries in food processor. Add butter and vanilla extract to mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set on medium until fluffy. Set electric beater to medium while gradually add in confectioners’ sugar. Mix until fluffy and completely blended.

Add pureed strawberry to no-stick pan. Cook at medium high until puree starts to boil. Stir constantly. Remove heat to low-medium. Simmer until strawberry puree reduces to ⅓ cup. Stir constantly. Remove thickened puree and put in refrigerator until puree cools to room temperature.

Use spatula to gradually fold strawberry puree into bowl with butter/confectioners’ sugar mix. If frosting turns out a bit thin, thicken it by putting it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

TIDBITS

1) Strawberries are great. They are ever so tasty. One of baseball’s greatest star was Darryl Strawberry. He played for the 1986 world champion New York Mets. One of music’s greatest bands was The Strawberry Alarm Clock.

2) Strawberries are part of the rose family. Who knew

3) Ancient Romans believed strawberries cured depression, kidney stones, and a sore throat. The Roman Empire was one of the world’s mightiest and longest living empires, so they might be right.

4) See the Strawberry Museum in Wépion, Belgium to learn everything about this wondrous fruit.

5) All hail, the strawberry.

 

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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