international

Bicycle Chicken

Burkina Faso

BICYCLE CHICKEN
(Poulet Bicyclette)

INGREDIENTS

1 MaggiTM chicken or vegetable bouillon cube*
2 tablespoons peanut oil or other oil
1 teaspoon vinegar
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 chicken breasts with bone and skin
2 chicken thighs with bone and skin
2 bay leaves
2 potatoes
2 red or green chile peppers
2 carrots
4 garlic cloves
2 medium onions
2 tablespoons butter

* = It’s way more authentic with a Maggi cube. Maggi rules western Africa.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

baking sheet.
kitchen thermometer

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 35 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add Maggi cube to large mixing bowl. Crush Maggi cube. Add peanut oil, vinegar, pepper, and salt. Mix thoroughly with whisk or fork. Add chicken pieces. Turn chicken pieces until they are completely coated. Add bay leaves. Let marinate for 40 minutes.

While chicken pieces marinate, preheat oven to 390 degrees. Peel potatoes. Add potatoes and enough water to cover to them to pot. Boil potatoes on high heat for 20 minutes or until tender. Place chicken pieces on grill in oven. Place baking sheet under chicken to catch drippings. Cook at 390 degrees for 55 minutes or until no longer pink inside or the chicken’s temperature reaches 165 degrees. Turn chicken pieces over once.

While chicken pieces cook, seed chile peppers Mince carrots, chile peppers, garlic cloves and onions. Add butter, carrot, chile pepper, garlic, and onion to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. Add a chicken piece to each plate. Top chicken with sautéed veggies. Surround chicken with potato slices.

TIDBITS

1) There are many reasons why this dish is called Bicycle Chicken.

2) The chickens running about the streets in Burkina Faso look like they’re riding a bicycle.

3) The chicken vendors in Ouagadougu, the capital city, bicycle around the town with chickens hanging upside down from their bike’s handle bars*.

* = Do not confuse handle bars with Handle bars, which the great musical composer used to organize his written music in small sections.

4) People know chickens derive enjoyment from looking a bicycles. So whenever a bicyclist pedals past a hen, people will say, “Look, a bicycle, chicken.”

5) Would-be chicken vendors who are afraid to ride a bicycle are known as “bicycle chicken.”

6) The 1st grade textbook used in Ouagadougu’s grammar school has a picture of a bicycle on page one and a bicycle on the next page. The words are shown below the corresponding picture. So, the first words the country’s young learners learn to spell are bicycle and chicken. Walk by any 1st grade classroom first thing in the morning and you will hear the words “bicycle, chicken” spoken over and over.

7) Some very small dictionaries have the words bicycle and chicken next to each other. Don’t buy these books. They’re not of much use.

8) “Bicycle chicken” is spy code for “my cover has been compromised.” Oh dear, I compromised that code now, haven’t I?”

9) However, culinary etymologists* tend to believe that the phrase “bicycle chicken” derives from the world-renowned Le Tour du Poulet Burkinabé (LTDPB).

10) The muscular thighs of Burkina Faso’s chickens make them naturals for bicycle races.

11) Indeed, chickens are quite athletic when properly motivated. The longest recorded flight by a chicken is 301 feet. The chicken’s motivation remains unknown. At least, no one is talking.

12) Anyway, every May sees the LTDPB sees the chickens pedal like mad from Banforo toward Ougadougu.

13) Every August sees the chickens cross the finish.

14) The great popularity of the LTDPB has naturally spawned imitations such as the ones in Greenland*, Oregon, and Scotland.

15) * I’m sad to say, that this year’s Chicken Race Across Greenland (CRAG)has been cancelled due to inclement conditions. It’s best, anyway, to wait for and watch LTDPB on ESPN9TM.

 

– 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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Sauna Eggs

Korean Appetizer

SAUNA EGGS

INGREDIENTS

8 eggs
enough water to cover eggs.
½ tablespoon salt
ice

SPECIAL UTENSIL

instant pot or sauna

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours to bring to room temperature and 1 hour 45 minutes to cook.

PREPARATION – INSTANT POT

Let eggs sit at room temperature for 2 hours. (This will help keep them from cracking.) Carefully add eggs to instant pot. Add enough water to cover eggs. Add salt. Secure lid on instant pot and set valve to “airtight” or “sealing.” (Exciting things can happen if you don’t.) Press “time adjust” or “manual” button. Set timer to 1 hour 30 minutes, or 90 minutes.

Fill large bowl with ice and water. When instant pot has stopped cooking, set valve to release steam. (Oh gosh, this is important.). Slowly release lid. Use slotted spoon to remove eggs and transfer them to large bowl. Allow eggs to cool in ice water for 10 minutes or until they are cool enough to peel. Peel eggs.

These eggs have a nutty taste.

PREPARATION – SAUNA

Put eggs on benches in sauna. Let eggs cook for 7 hours at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Let eggs cool in ice water and peel in ice water. All this is a wild guess. I don’t have a sauna. I don’t know anyone who has a sauna who’d let me cook eggs in it for 7 seven hours. I do know that eggs already cooked in a sauna or in an instant pot are quite an appreciated appetizer for Korean sauna goers.

TIDBITS

1) South Korean chickens lay their eggs in saunas. Not for seven hours of course, that would turn their would-be offspring into Sauna Eggs. No they just lay their eggs on the sauna floor and then roll them outside. The short time in the sauna is enough to toughen the chickens to be for the rest of their lives. And, oh my gosh, the mama hens, laying eggs time after time in the sauna, become super tough and resilient. So much so that the South Korean army positions an entire division of sauna hens along the armistice line with North Korea. No army in the world has trained enough to fight sauna chickens and no soldier is brave enough to attack them.

 

– 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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Shrimp and Tofu Fritters

Filipino Appetizer

SHRIMP AND TOFU FRITTERS
(Ukoy)

INGREDIENTS – DIPPING SAUC

2 garlic cloves
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ teaspoon pepper (¼ teaspoon more later)
⅛ teaspoon chili

INGREDIENTS – BATTER

1 egg
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
½ cup corn starch
¾ cup flour
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

INGREDIENTS – MAIN

2 green onions
½ pound firm tofu
2 cups bean sprouts
¾ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (20 count)
1 cup vegetable oil

Serves 8. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic cloves. Add all dipping sauce ingredients to serving bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended.

Add egg to mixing bowl. Beat egg with whisk or fork. Add all remaining batter ingredients. Mix with fork until well blended.

Dice green onions and tofu. Add green onion, tofu, bean sprouts, and shrimp to mixing bowl with batter. Stir until shrimp are well coated with batter.

Add vegetable oil to large pan or wok. Heat oil using medium-high heat until a tiny bit of batter will dance in the oil. Add 3 tablespoons batter and 1 shrimp (fritter) to a corner of the pan. Repeat adding batter and shrimp as long as none of the fritter touch each other. You might have to cook in batches. Sauté fritters for 4 minutes or until golden brown. Turn over once. Serve with dipping sauce.

TIDBITS

1) Cooking Shrimp and Tofu Fritters is such fun as the below book proves.. There are even chapters devoted to merriment with the already cooked fritters. What will be your favorite form of Shrimp and Tofu Fritter fun?

 

– 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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Butter Chicken

Indian Entree

BUTTER CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS – MARINADE

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 garlic cloves (3 more later)
1 teaspoon chili powder (1 teaspoon more later)
1 teaspoon cumin (1 teaspoon more later)
2 teaspoons garam masala (1 teaspoon more later)
½ teaspoon turmeric

INGREDIENTS – SAUCE

3 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
1″ ginger root
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil
1 tablespoon butter (5 more tablespoons later)
5 tablespoons butter
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 cup cream
4 naan loaves or rice

SPECIAL UTENSIL

blender

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 15 minutes.

PREPARATION – MARINADE

Cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Mince 2 garlic cloves. Add all marinade ingredients to large mixing bowl. Mix with fork until thoroughly blended and chicken cubes are thoroughly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

PREPARATION – SAUCE

Add marinated chicken and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high for 10 minutes or until the chicken cubes brown on all sides. Remove chicken and set aside. Mince 3 garlic cloves and onion. Grate ginger root. Add 1 tablespoon butter, garlic, and onion to pan. Sauté for 5 minutes at medium-high heat or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. Add ginger. Reduce heat to medium. Sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir frequently.

Add 5 tablespoons butter, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, garam masala, and salt. Simmer at low heat for 1 minute or butter melts and absorbs into the spices. Stir frequently. Add crushed tomatoes. Simmer at low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Empty contents of pan into blender and puree them.

Add puree back to pan. Add cream and chicken cubes. Simmer on low heat for 12 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Stir occasionally. Serve with naan bread.

TIDBITS

1) In 1948, Stalin, the brutal dictator of the Soviet Union decided to force the Western Allies out of Berlin by blockading all rail and road access to the city. He figured that the Allied armed forces and Berlin’s citizens would give up in weeks as they’d have to leave to eat. Then the Soviets could take Berlin without fighting.

2) But by agreement, the Western Allies had access to Berlin via three air corridors. The American and British, by herculean efforts, air lifted millions upon millions of tons of coal to the city. They did the same for foodstuffs, flying in untold tons of: flour, fat, meat, fish, dried potatoes, sugar, powdered milk, yeast dried veggies, salt, and cheese.

3) But no butter.

4) Without butter, it’s impossible to make buttered toast. It’s hopeless to make tasty cookies without butter. Without tasty cookies, the way to live ebbs away. Without cookies, people grow listless and indifferent. President Truman realized that without cookies, the Berliners wouldn’t lift a finger to resist any Russian invasion.

5) But there was no room on the air transports to bring in butter.

6) So Truman in conjunction with German chicken farmers organized the Butter Chicken Brigade, Butterhühnerbrigade in German. They really do have a word for everything.

7) The German chicken handlers loaded their chickens with panniers brimming with tubs of butter. The Soviet soldiers surrounding Berlin couldn’t stop the chickens from running the blockade. Have you ever did to catch a chicken? It isn’t easy.

8) Anyway, Berliners, their resolve stiffened by the now possible cookies, united against the Russians. The Russians knew they could face them down. Soon afterward, Stalin lifted the blockade. The Butter Chickens of Berlin had preserved their city. Indeed, they’d saved the world.

9) Said to say, their only recognition came, strangely, enough from India which developed this dish in honor of the Berlin’s plucky chickens.

 

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 Briouates

Moroccan Entree

SHRIMP BRIOUATES

INGREDIENTS

1 garlic clove
2 green onions
1 small yellow onion
2 tablespoons olive oil (maybe ½ cup more later)
¼ teaspoon chives
½ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon parsley
¼ teaspoon white pepper or black pepper
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 ounces filo (phyllo)* sheets
¼ cup melted butter
1 egg yolk**
3 tablespoons olive oil.

* = It’s more authentic to buy ouarka or warqa sheets. They, however, can be very, very difficult to find no matter what the spelling might be.
** = It’s a frustrating experience buying a single egg yolk at the store. For that matter, purchasing a single egg is often difficult as well.

Makes 30. Takes 1 hour 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic, green onions and yellow onion. Add garlic, green onion, yellow onion, and 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add chives, coriander, cumin, paprika, parsley, and pepper. Add shrimp. Lower heat to medium and sauté for 3 minutes or until shrimp turns pink or orange. Stir frequently. Remove from heat. Mince shrimp.

Add filo sheet to flat surface. (Keep other sheets covered until needed. They dry out fast.) Brush filo sheet with butter. Cut filo sheet into strips 4″ wide. Add ½ tablespoon shrimp ½” from the end of the strip. Take one corner of the strip and fold it over diagonally to make a side of a triangle. Take bottom corner of triangle and fold it up to make another triangle. Continue to fold dough until you come to the end. You now have a briouate. Dab loose end of briouate with butter and fold into pocket formed by the open edg.

Add olive oil (½” deep) to pan. Heat oil using medium-high heat. Add as many briouates as possible without them touching. Deep fry on medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until golden brown. (Frying times go down with successive batches.)Turn briouates enough to prevent burning. Removebriouates and drain on paper towels. Repeat for successive batches. Goes well with harissa.

TIDBITS

1) Frankia, modern-day France, was named after I. A. Frank.

2) Frank operated a chain of sausage stands/inns for hungry, weary pilgrims.

3) The pilgrims loved Frank’s sausage in a bun.

4) So much so that they started calling his delicacies, Franks.

5) The entire land went so hot-dog made that the entire region started calling itself Frankia.

6) See the seminal work on Medieval treatise by Monk Jean de Tours, Mon Dieu, Mon Pays, et Mon Frank.

7) Reading this literary masterpiece is harder than just seeing it. You really do need to be fluent in Medieval French.

8) Anyway in 732*, an invading Arab army under Emir Abdul Rahman threatened Frank’s culinary empire and Frankia itself.

9) *That’s 732 AD. AD stands for Anno Domini, Latin for the year of Our Lord. This system of dating is falling out of favor with many historians who prefer the less assertive, CE, or Common Era. I like to refer to this date as 1246 APB, or After Paul’s Birth. In a strange coincidence, my name is Paul.

10) So why did the Arabs invade Frankia? To convert Frankian Christians to Islam.

11) Culinary historians assert, however, that the reason was that Frank’s Franks were made out of pigs. The Arabs believed no one should eat pigs. So by conquering Frankia, they’d rid the land of forbidden pig-filled Franks.

12) To be replaced by Shrimp Briouates The invaders believed this blessed dish to be the best entree in the entire world.

13) I, personally, do not wish to take sides in the Great Hot Dog/Shrimp Briouate Controversy that has racked humanity for centuries. I can see, however, how they came to believe so strongly in the tastiness of the Shrimp Brioautes.

14) But the adherents of Frank’s Franks prevailed in the Battle of Tours. European pilgrims came to visit Tours to give thanks for hot dog’s victory. Larger and larger groups of pilgrims came, necessitating the forming of tour companies. So many tours came to Tours, that people took to changing the town’s name from Tours to Tours.

15) As a side note, briouate is one of the few dishes that’s spelled with all the vowels: a,e,i,o, and u.
You can even use the sometime vowel, y, if you want to spell briouatey, as in “That pastry is so flaky, it’s positively briouatey.”

 

– 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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Cut Rounds Revisited

British Dessert

CUT ROUNDS

INGREDIENTS

5 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups flour (1½ tablespoons more later)
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons softened butter
1⅓ cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon flour (so more later)
flour to dust rolling pin, about 1 tablespoon total flour to dust pastry cutter, about ½ tablespoon total

SPECIAL UTENSILS

baking sheet
2″ round pastry cutter or cookie cutter

Makes 15. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add baking powder, 3 cups flour, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix gently with fork until well blended. Cut butter in ¼ cubes. Fold in butter cubes.

Use fist to make a well in the middle of the flour. Pour buttermilk a bit at time into well. Knead gently with hands only until dough is sticky, but doesn’t stick to hands. (Use only as much butter as is necessary. Also don’t over knead.) Dust flat surface with 1 tablespoon flour. Add dough ball to flat surface. Dust rolling pin with flour as needed. Gently roll out dough until it is ½” deep. Use pastry cutter to cut out rounds. (This is why this dessert is called cut rounds.) Dust pastry cutter with flour as needed.

Place cut rounds on baking sheet. (Don’t let them touch.) Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until rounds have risen and tops have turned golden brown. Rounds go well with cream and jam on them. Or put cream and jam between two cut rounds. Use clotted cream if you can get it.

TIDBITS

1) Cut rounds are round. If the jam and the cream that often go inside them were replaced with surveillance devices you could conduct a 360˚ observation. In general, enemy countries are always on the alert for our eavesdropping. But no one would ever suspect a Cut Round. It’s so yummy. So, I propose that the CIA put cameras and listening devices in Cut Rounds and leave them wherever they need to glean foreign intelligence. You could ask the CIA if they already employ Cut Rounds, but they tend not to tell the public things as it is., after all, it is a top-secret organization.

 

– 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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Provoleta

Argentinian Appetizer

PROVOLETA

INGREDIENTS

8″ baguette (optional)
1½ pounds provolone cheese
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon oregano
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¾ teaspoon salt
grill spray or cooking spray

SPECIAL UTENSIL

outdoor grill

Serves 4. Takes 20 minutes plus optional 5 hours.

PREPARATION – OPTIONAL

Dry cheese out on a rack for 5 hours. This helps the cheese keep its shape when grilled.

PREPARATION – MAIN

Cut baguette into circles 1″ thick. Cut cheese into slices ¾” thick. Place olive oil into mixing bowl. Add cheese slices. Turn cheese slices until they are thoroughly coated with oil. Sprinkle cheese, then gently press oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt into cheese slices.

Spray grill liberally with grill spray. Set grill to 450 degrees or medium heat. Grill for 2 minutes or until bottom side browns. Lift cheese slices off grill and spray grill again. Flip cheese slices. Grill for another 2 minutes or until the new bottom browns. DO NOT let cheese slices fall apart or even lose their shape.

While cheese browns on both side, toast both sides of the baguette slices. Eat cheese by itself or on toasted baguette slices. Provoleta goes well with Argentinian chimichurri sauce,

TIDBITS

1) The Mormons first settled Utah in 1847. Mormon leaders soon realized that their colony needed many more settlers to survive. The word went out from Utah for Mormons in the U.S. and around the globe to make their way to this new dessert sanctuary. Indeed, many Mississippian Mormons mounted covered wagons and headed west. But the original message became more and more corrupted the farther it went. By the time it reached Leta, Argentina, the decree simply said, “More men.” So lusty, Argentinian cheese making men headed to Provo, Utah thinking the message meant Utah had too many unwed señoritas. The cheese makers liked what they saw in Provo and decided to stay. They made a new cheese which they called Provoleta to honor their new and old homes.

 

– 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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Indio Viejo From Nicaragua

Nicaraguan Entree

INDIO VIEJO

INGREDIENTS

1 green bell pepper (1 more later)
10 garlic cloves
2 pounds skirt steak, flank steak, chuck, or chicken breast
1 onion (2 more later)
1 green bell pepper
2 onions
5 tomatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2⅓ cups masa harina or 12 corn tortillas
3 tablespoons sour orange juice or lemon juice
1 teaspoon achiote powder or sweet paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons mint, spearmint, or cilantro

SPECIAL UTENSIL

sonic obliterator

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Seed 1 green bell peppers. Cut each garlic clove into four pieces. Add meat, garlic cloves, 1 green bell pepper, 1 onion, and enough water to cover to large pot. Bring to boil using high heat . Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes or until meat is tender to the fork. Strain and reserve meat/garlic/bell pepper/onion. Save broth.

30 minutes before meat should be tender, seed 1 green bell pepper. Dice 1 green bell pepper, 2 onions, and tomatoes. Add diced bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, and vegetable oil to large pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until bell pepper and onion soften. Add reserved meat/garlic/bell pepper mix, masa harina, sour orange juice, achiote, pepper, and salt. Stir constantly while adding enough reserved broth it obtains the consistency of a thick stew. Simmer on low for 10 minutes or until there are no flour lumps. Stir constantly. Dice mint. Garnish with mint. Use sonic obliterator on guests, who after you’ve cooked for three hours, complain that this dish would go well with rice or fried plantains.

TIDBITS

1) Your kitchen needs a sonic obliterator, like the one here. Buy one now.

 

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

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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Bragioli (Maltese Stuffed Beef Rolls)

Maltese Entree

BRAGIOLI
(Stuffed Beef Rolls*)

INGREDIENTS – BEEF ROLL

2 pounds topside, bottom, or round steak
6 slices bacon
2 garlic cloves (3 more cloves later)
⅔ cup fresh parsley
2 hard boiled eggs
¼ cup bread crumbs
½ teaspoon pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil (2 tablespoons more later)

INGREDIENTS – SAUCE

1 carrot
3 garlic cloves
3 medium onions
3 medium tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
⅔ cup red wine

Serves.4. Takes 2 hours 40 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

kitchen mallet
kitchen twine or toothpicks
sonic obliterator (Why is this not in your kitchen?)

* = The best, or at least most common, translation is really “Beef Olives.” Apparently, many people think rolls look like olives. This interpretation has over 500 years of history behind it Indeed, the word olive was sometimes used a verb, as in to olive, roll up, some ingredient. Now you know.

PREPARATION – BEEF ROLL

Cut steak into 12 slices. Pound beef slices with mallet to make them thinner and flatter. Dice bacon. Dice 2 garlic cloves and parsley. Cut each egg into 6 slices. Add bacon, 2 diced garlic cloves, bread crumbs, parsley, pepper, and salt to mixing bowl. Mix with hands until this stuffing is thoroughly blended.

Top a beef slice with 2 tablespoons stuffing. Place 1 egg slice on bacon/bread crumb mixture. Roll up beef slices lengthwise over stuffing. Secure rolled-up steak, bragioli with kitchen twine or toothpicks. Repeat for each bragioli Add 2 tablespoons olive and bragiolis to large pot. Sauté at medium-high heat until bragiolis turn slightly brown. Turn bragiolis enough to ensure even browning. Remove bragiolis from pot.

PREPARATION – SAUCE

Dice carrot, 3 garlic cloves, onions, and tomatoes. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 diced garlic cloves, and onion to same pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add carrot, tomato, bay leaves, and red wine. Simmer at low heat for 10 minutes. Stir enough to prevent burning. Add bagiolis back to pot.

Bring to boil using high heat. Stir enough to prevent burning. (Gently, don’t break open the bagiolis.) Simmer at low-medium heat for 45 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove bay leaves. Serve to adoring quests. Zap unappreciative ones with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need negativity in your kitchen.

TIDBITS

1) This recipe uses eggs. Each egg is to be cut into six slices. This is easy to do if the egg is three inches long. Why, each slice would be one-half-inch thick. That’s easy to measure, but three-inch long eggs are hard to find, especially ones that come from hens.

2) Okay, what about an egg that is 1-8/9 inches long. Divide that by six and you get slices that should 17/54 inches wide. How the heck, do we measure that on a standard ruler? I’ll bet no ruler has ever been made that divides inches into 54 equal parts.

3) So what do we do? I’m glad you asked. 17/9 inches equals 4.8 centimeters. Divide that by six and you get 0.8. It’s a snap to measure that on a metric ruler. But how did we get the metric system?

4) From the French Revolution. French chefs everywhere ran into considerable delays when the aristocrats suddenly wanted their meal portions to include exactly one sixth of an egg. We don’t have rulers that measure in fifty-fourths now. It’s certain that pre-revolutionary chefs didn’t either. So cutting eggs became much problematic.

5) Problems in dividing eggs meant long delays in making the aristocrats’ favorite dishes. This enraged the impatient French nobility. Gourmet chefs all over Paris found themselves chucked into prisons especially the Bastille.

9) The French elite still clamored for their exquisite meals But there were no more gourmet chefs. But where would the aristocracy find new chefs? From the bakeries. This action, however, meant a shortage of bakers to mean bread.

10) So Paris suffered a bread shortage. Incensed Parisian mothers stormed the bakeries for anything they could find. A hungry mob gathered. It stormed the Bastille to release the imprisoned chefs. The French Revolution had begun. Desiring stability, the Revolutionary government of France converted to the metric system. France is now a stable country.

12) America is not metric. We are sitting on a powder keg.

 

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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Gado Gado

Indonesian Appetizer

GADO GADO
(Vegetable Salad)

INGREDIENTS

¾ pound Yukon gold or new potato
3 eggs
½ head Chinese cabbage or Napa cabbage
1¼ cups spinach
1¼ cups bean sprouts (aka mung beans)
½ pound tofu
2 tablespoons peanut oil or sesame oil
½ cucumber
8 prawn crackers*
1 cup peanut sauce or satay sauce

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

* = Some prawn crackers can be served as is. Others need to be deep fried. If so, please follow instructions on package.

PREPARATION

Add enough water to pot to cover potatoes. Bring to boil. Add potatoes. Boil potatoes for 20 minutes using medium-high heat. Remove potatoes and set aside. While potatoes boil, add enough water to 2nd pot to cover eggs. Bring water to boil using high heat. Carefully add eggs. Boil eggs for 6 minutes if soft-boiled eggs are desired or for 12 minutes if you want hard-boiled eggs. Remove eggs from heat and seat aside.

Add enough water to 3rd pot to cover cabbage, spinach, and bean sprouts. Bring to boil. While water comes to boil, dice or shred cabbage and spinach. Add spinach and bean sprouts to pot. Let boil for 30 seconds. Remove spinach and beansprouts with slotted spoon and transfer to large mixing bowl. Add cabbage to pot. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove cabbage with slotted spoon and transfer to mixing bowl with spinach and bean sprouts. Add ice cubes and cold water. Let sit for 2 minutes. Remove veggies with slotted spoon and pat dry with paper towel.

Cut tofu into 1″ cubes. Add tofu and oil to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 15 minutes or until all sides turn golden brown. Stir frequently to ensure even browning. Remove from heat. Cut cucumber into slices ½” thick. Cut potatoes into ½” cubes. Peel eggs and cut each one into 4 slices.

Add cabbage, spinach, and bean sprouts to large serving bowl. Toss veggies with forks. Arrange potato cubes evenly over veggies. Do the same, one ingredient at a time, for the tofu cubes, cucumber slices, egg slices, and prawn crackers. Divide the peanut sauce into 4 small bowls, 1 for each guest. Guests then add peanut sauce as desired to the top of their salad.

TIDBITS

1) Gado Gado is Indonesian.

2) Gado Gado is anagram for A dog, a dog. It’s also an anagram for A god, a god. And even one for O dga, o dga.

3) Dga is, of course, the plural form for dgum.

4) Only the Latin language changes um to a to make a noun plural. The Ancient Romans spoke Latin. These way-back Romans worshiped gods.

5) They only worshiped gods that looked like people. But they were aware of the gods worshiped in other lands. Such as the dga, the dog gods of what is now Olduvai Gorge.

6) This is a long train of thought, so feel free to have coffee and doughnuts.

7) Anyway, Lucy of Olduvai Gorge is the first known human. Dr. Mary Leakey discovered Lucy’s skull on July 17, 1959. Lucy had a pet dog. She called it Dgma. It’s skeleton was discovered 42 years later under a rusty lunch box left behind by the site’s original excavators.

8) Okay, we now have enough information to trace humanity’s history from then to now.

9) Lucy’s tribe, possessing a limited vocabulary, took to calling all dogs Dgma.

10) Over the millennia, Lucy’s and Dgum’s descendants traveled ever northward. Along the way, because there really nothing else to do but walk, these hardy trekkers decided to worship dogs. Prehistoric shrines to Dgma trace the great northward walk.

11) By 1786 BC, the dgma worshipers reached Egypt. Little Osibis, daughter of Ramses II, saw one of the dogs. “Father, would you buy me that dog?” asked Osibis, “I shall call it Annubis.”
“Well okay,” said the ruler of all Egypt, “ but don’t go asking me to make it a god.”
“Ooh, that’s a good idea.” Osibis clapped her hands. “Make it a god or I shall cry.”
And so softy Ramses added Annubis to Egypt’s horde of gods.

12) In 48 BC, Julius Caesar arrived in Egypt, fought a bit, and took the Queen Cleopatra back with him to Rome. Cleo wanted to take all her dogs with her. Caesar said just one.
“Very well,” said Cleopatra, “I shall bring this dgma.”
“No, said Julius, “The singular form of dgma is dgum. The Romans will kill me if I left you butcher their language.”

13) But Cleo never did change the dog’s name to Dgum. This incensed Brutus, an ardent grammarian, so much that he assassinated Caesar. Rome would become an empire and go on to conquer the world.

14) Dog worship did make it to long-ago Indonesia. Those ancient people, all hardy anagramists, changed the chant “O god, o god” to “Gado, gado.” Gado Gado became the name of the food eaten after morning devotions. Then other stuff happened over the centuries and here we are.

 

– 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

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