recipes

Swedish Raspberry Cave Cookies

Swedish Dessert

SWEDISH RASPBERRY CAVE COOKIES
(Hallongrottor)

INGREDIENTS

1¼ cups butter, softened
⅔ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
½ cup potato starch or corn starch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup raspberry jam (or your choice of jam)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

24 paper cookie cups
baking sheet
cooling rack

Makes 24 cookies. Takes 1 hour plus 30 minutes to cool..

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add butter and sugar to 1st large mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set at medium until soft and well blended. Add baking powder, flour, potato starch. and vanilla to 2nd large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended.

Gradually add baking powder/flour/potato starch mixture to bowl with butter/sugar. Mix with electric beater set at medium until you get a fluffy dough.. Roll out dough until becomes a 12″-long log. Cut dough log every ½” to get 24 even circles.

Place dough circles into paper cookie cups. Press finger in middle of each dough circle to make a little indentation. Carefully fill each indentation with 1 teaspoon raspberry jam. Place filled paper cups on baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until the cookies just begin to turn golden brown. (These cookies should remain fairly pale.)

TIDBITS

1) Billions of year ago, the Earth was just seething seas and voluminous volcanoes. Yes, the elements of life existed, but nothing actually came into being, not even the simplest of telemarketers. There was just no animating catalyst.

2) The week after that, microscopic cave cookies appeared. These microscops were themselves inert, but any element of life attaching itself to a cave cookie became alive. Hooray for life! As thecookie micrcoscops naturally enlarged, so did the number of life elements that could attach to it. So, life forms became bigger and bigger. Eventually we would we would have life on Earth as we know it.

 

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

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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Mocha Coffee Creamer

American Appetizer

MOCHA COFFEE CREAMER

INGREDIENTS

4 cups half and half
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

SPECIAL UTENSILS

2-to-3 screw-top bottles or jars.

Makes 4 cups. Takes 15 minutes plus 30 minutes cooling in refrigerator

PREPARATION

Add half and half and sugar to pot. Warm on low-medium heat until sugar dissolves. Stir constantly. Don’t let it boil. Remove from heat. Add cocoa powder and vanilla. Stir until cocoa powder dissolves and liquid is well blended. Pour into bottles and refrigerate. This creamer will stay fresh up to 7 days.

TIDBITS

1) The bottle in this picture looks tall. It is tall! How tall is it? It’s as tall as Mount Everest. In fact, it was constructed right next to the world’s highest mountain. That’s how we know the bottle’s height.

2) Wow, how did I not notice it? You did. The Tall Bottle Filled With Mocha Creamer Next To Mount Everest story dominated the news for a week.

3) Then thieves stole the bottle for its recycling value. The epic journey of the bottle to a recycling center in Manchester, England became news as well.

4) How do I not remember any of this? Well, other things happened in the world, sports, politics, etc. On Facebook, pictures of kittens and puppies crowded out all other items.

5) Oh, and when the thieves emptied the bottle, they created a vast mocha-creamer glacier right there in Tibet. Inspired culinary scientists are now looking to making sheets made of mocha-creamer to replace the disappearing polar-ice shelves. This is why you can’t find any mocha creamers on your supermarket shelves.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

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Khoresh Ghormeh Sabzi

Iranian Entree

KHORESH GHORMEH SABZI
(Herb Meat Stew)

INGREDIENTS

1 cup basmati rice or rice
1½ pounds stewing beef or lamb
1 large onion
2 tablespoons olive oil (2 more tablespoons later)
¼ cup fresh cilantro*
¼ cup fresh fenugreek leaves*
¼ cup fresh garlic chives or green onions or fresh chives*
4 green onions
½ cup fresh parsley*
½ tablespoon turmeric
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained
3 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2½ cups water

* = As a rule, you may substitute an amount of fresh herbs with ⅓ the amount of dried herbs.

Serves 5. Takes 2 hours.

PREPARATION

Cook rice according to instructions on package. While rice cooks, chop beef into 1″ cubes. Mince onion. Dice cilantro, fenugreek leaves, garlic chives, green onions, and parsley. Add onion and 2 tablespoons olive oil to large pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add beef cubes and turmeric. Sauté at medium heat for 5 minutes or until beef cubes brown on all sides.

Add cilantro, fenugreek leaves, garlic chives, green onions, parsley, and 2 tablespoons olive oil to small pan. Sauté at medium heat for 3 minutes or until herbs start to wilt. Stir frequently. Add sautéed veggies and herbs to large pan. Add kidney beans, lemon juice, pepper, salt, and water. (There should be enough water to cover ingredients by 1″.) Simmer on low heat for 1 hour or until meat is tender. Serve over rice.

TIDBITS

1) Eating khoresh ghormeh sabzi makes you smart. Hence, people who eat this entree are known as “ghormehful” or “gormful.” However, folks who don’t eat khoresh ghormeh sabzi have, of course no ghormeh inside themselves. They are known as “gormless.” Those who refuse to eat ghormeh are called “gormless fools,” particularly so in Britain where culinary intelligence is particularly valued.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

American Dessert

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

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

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) In 2006 a company developed a microchip to be inserted into its employees. This was done prevent industrial espionage of its products and also deter the excuse, “But I was only going to the water cooler.” Management’s new enhanced employee monitoring resulted in a staggering 87% decrease in time spent away from work desks. “Na, na, na, poo, poo,” corporate security would say, “Our restrooms are in the other direction.”

2) All major businesses were posed to micro chip their workforce. But because of a typo, engendered by a poorly administered time-travel program, corporate America placed an order for one-trillion dollars of chocolate chips. This huge expenditure tore gaping holes in their budgets, forcing them to cancel their microchipping programs.

3) In a completely related event, production of chocolate-chip cookies output soared by billions and billions. So much so, that the Commerce Department started sending super tankers filled with such cookies to countries lacking chocolate-chip cookies.

4) This program, Chocolate Chip Cookies for People, or CCCP became permanent when, a scant year later, a chocolate chip congressman became head of the influential Ways and Means Committee.

5) International communist propaganda vanished when unstable countries confused CCCP with Soviet-style communism. Money that should have spent destabilizing their neighbors went to heretofore unimportant culinary budgets.

6) Dictators for life everywhere found their menus restricted to chocolate-chips for every meal of every day. Fortunately, chocolate-chip cookies are so yummy and delicious that tyrants all over couldn’t stop eating these delights. They became filled with the contentment that only chocolate-chip cookies can give.

7) It is time to ponder why Roget’s ThesaurusTM has no synonym for chocolate-chip cookies. Let’s just call them CCC, shall we?

9) Any way, it’s time to pick up the thread events that we left in tidbit 6.

10) World leaders became too contented to invade anyone.

11) Happy people everywhere even stopped saying, “And so’s your mother.”

12) In 2016, Gaston LaCroute, won the Nobel Peace Prize for his fortuitous typo,

13) In 2017, Monsieur LaCroute became president of France. He didn’t have a platform at all other than all entrees should be properly spiced.

14) French voters wrote him on their ballots by the tens of millions. “It’s about time our presidents concentrated on food,” they said.

15) America was happy too. Burgeoning employment in its CCC industry meant that the unemployment rate fell to -2.3%

17) Negative unemployment rates are possible when your government possesses a time-machine. In 2005 the United States was poised to prevent World War II by going back to 1938 and eliminating warmongering dictators. But typos, once entered into official documents take on a life of their own. All we ended up in doing was to cause Monsieur La Croute into making his famous typo.

5) And so, the world became peaceful and happy. Now you know why.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

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Tripleta

Puerto Rican Entree

TRIPLETA

INGREDIENTS

 

1 garlic clove

1 medium onion
¼ cup ketchup
3 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons adobo seasoning
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1¼ pounds sirloin steaks
1¼ pounds pork loins
2 chicken breasts
1 Roma tomato
¼ pound cabbage
4 French rolls
8 slices Swiss cheese
3 ounces crispy French fries (or follow instructions on French fry package)

Makes 4 big sandwiches. Serves 4 to 8. Takes 1 hour 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic clove and onion. Add garlic, onion, ketchup, lemon juice, mayonnaise, adobo seasoning, pepper, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Cut sirloin steaks, pork loins, and chicken breasts along their heights until you have 4 pieces of each. (Otherwise, you’ll might have a sandwich so tall, you won’t be able to eat it.) Add sirloin, pork, and chicken to mixing bowl. Toss with hands until meat is well coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour. While meat marinates, cut tomato into 8 slices. Shred cabbage.

Set grill to medium setting. Remove meat from marinade and add to grill. Save marinade. Grill meat for 10 minutes or until done or done to your liking. Turn meat once. Toast roll halves on grill for 3 minutes or until they begin to brown.

Spread equal amounts of marinade on all French-roll halves. Add equal amounts of shredded cabbage, sirloin, pork, chicken, Swiss cheese, tomato, and crispy French fries to French-roll bottoms. Add French-roll tops. Cut sandwiches in half, if desired.

TIDBITS

1) This is a big meal. But we can’t stay in shape if we eat this sandwich and right after take a nap.

2) This sandwich is delicious. We can’t give it up for any reason. But we want to stay in shape.

3) Clearly, we need to exercise after eating this.

4) What exercise?

5) Cartwheels. Cartwheels? Egad. They’re hard. I’ll fall. I’ll hurt myself.

6) Ok then, how about lifting weights? Oh my gosh, no! I don’t have weights. I’ll have to go to the gym. The gym is far. It’s expensive. It’s crowd. It smells like a gym.

7) Ok then, how about running? Heck no! Running shoes are expensive. I’ll twist my ankles. I’ll get lost. I’ll get blisters. I’ll get completely tired and won’t be able to make it back home without calling an expensive taxi.

8) Ok then, how about walking? Boring. It’s too slow.

9) How about letting the Tripleta do the cartwheels? Yes, I like that. Let’s do that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Afghan Burgers

Afghan Entree

AFGHAN BURGERS

INGREDIENTS

3 cups crinkle-cut fries or enough to cover cookie sheet
4 eggs
1 cup fresh cilantro
3 garlic cloves
1 red onion
3 sausages, beef or chicken
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
⅓ cup water
2 Roma tomatoes
½ cup vinegar
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
5 lavash or roti loaves

SPECIAL UTENSILS

11″ x 17″ cookie sheet
newspaper or paper*
tin foil*

* = This really is a street food. It is meant to be held. If you don’t have paper, and perhaps, foil on the bottom, your hands will get greasy and food will go all over everything.

Serves 5. Takes 55 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook French fries according to instruction on package. While fries cook, boil eggs, for 6 minutes for soft boiled to 12 minutes for hard boiled. While eggs boil, dice cilantro, garlic cloves and red onion. Slice each sausage into 8 round pieces. Add sausage pieces and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté sausage pieces at medium-high for 5 minutes or until they are brown on all sides. Turn sausages enough to prevent burning. Add water. Reduce heat to medium. Cook at medium heat for 3 minutes or until pieces are no longer pink inside.

Cut each egg into 6 slices. Cut tomatoes into ½” slices. Add vinegar, pepper, and salt to onion. Stir with fork until well blended. Cut lavash loaves into 4″-wide strips. Evenly add ingredients to the lavash strips in the following order: egg, tomato, red onion/vinegar/pepper/salt, fries, sausage, cilantro, and garlic. Roll up food-laden lavash strips. Wrap the lavash roll-ups with paper, being careful to fold paper under the bottom of the roll-ups. Then do the same with the tin foil.

TIDBITS

1) As noted above in the recipe, the Afghan burger is a street food.

2) It is less well known, however, is that it is the world’s first street food. And even less known than that is that the Afghan burger was invented in Poway, California, two million years ago*, 100,000 years before Lucy, homo habilis, the supposed first human roamed the Earth.

* = Also written as 2.0 mya. These tidbits are nothing, if not scientific.

3) Patty, homo streetfoodus and chef extra ordinaire, invented the Afghan burger, while pondering the infinite* and keeping an eye out for vicious mountain lions.

* = Homo streetfoodus’ counting system was one, two, infinite. So, her dreaming of infinity was not as grandiose as it might have seemed. But then she had a smaller brain than we do, so it all worked out.

4) Anyway, while Patty contemplated a herd of infinitely-legged gazelles, the sky began to thunder. Zap! Zap! a lightning bolt struck one of the gazelles. The force and heat of the bolt was so intense that the gazelle exploded into dozens of fully cooked sausages. It is by fortuitous events that humanity advances.

5) Pow! Zap! The storm raged. A lightning bolt hit an elm tree turning into paper. Then the storm stopped, enabling tin traders from Cornwall, homo satnavus, to arrive.

6) Then food traders from Boston*, homo marathonus, showed up at Poway; even then Poway was the place to be. They gave Patty fresh cilantro, garlic, red onions, potatoes, vegetable oil, pepper, salt, and vinegar.

* = The Boston of two million years ago was much smaller than the current city. You wouldn’t have recognized it.

7) “All we need is some eggs.” said Patty. Fortunately, and this was one of those rare days when things really came together for humanity*, a herd of chickens migrated by, leaving an infinite number of eggs.

* = Indeed, Patty won a million dollars in the lottery that very day. However, as she and the others had no notion of money, the winning ticket went uncashed.

8) And so, Patty made Afghan burgers for the happy band of traders. And the burgers said that they were good. And Patty was well pleased. But they were quite hot. Truly and forsooth, through the millennia. as people lost the enormous finger calluses they had 2.0 mya, this version of the hot, juicy Afghan burgers caused more and more pain. Eventually, the Afghan burger disappeared into the sands of time. Fortunately, an unknown chef hero resurrected the entree, this time using flatbread to soak up the hot juices. Afghan burgers are now taking the culinary world by storm.

9) Culinary paleoanthropologists, however, don’t know why this dish is called the Afghan burger when there is no patty in it but created was by Patty, and was first made in Poway, California, not Afghanistan. We may never know. Further research is indicated.

Leave a message. I’d like to hear from you.

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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Melon Salsa

Mexican Appetizer

MELON SALSA

INGREDIENTSMelonSalsa-

1 jalapeno pepper
½ medium honeydew melon
1 peach
1 red bell pepper
½ teaspoon cilantro
1½ tablespoons lime juice

PREPARATION

Remove seeds from jalapeno pepper. (Remember to wash hands after doing this.) Remove seeds from honeydew melon, peach, and red bell pepper. Dice jalapeno pepper, honeydew, peach, and red bell pepper. Add all ingredients to serving bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Goes well with chicken, fish, and tortilla chips.

TIDBITS

1) This dish is not that spicy hot as it contains only one jalapeno pepper. However, there are people who sweat profusely even at the sight of a hot pepper. Some people are even tempted to strip off all their clothes in order to get relief from the spicy heat.

2) If your one of these people may I suggest attending the Global Rainbow Gathering in La Paz, Mexico? The festival runs from November 1 to 30 and celebrates peace and love. And nudity, but you’ll already be nude because you panicked from the spicy heat of a jalapeno pepper and doffed your clothes in front of everybody. But it’ll be okay because many of the other revelers will naked as well. You’ll feel one with the universe and friends with everyone as sample the plentiful marijuana. Discuss healing the world with your new-found friends while getting a massage from Sunshine. Don’t expect to imbibe alcohol here; the emphasis is on good, clean fun.

3) Crave nocturnal excitement ‘round Christmas time? Visit Oaxaca, Mexico, on December 23 for the Night of the Radishes. No, this is not a low-budget sequel to The Night of the Living Dead. It is the height of after-dusk vegetarian excitement. Radish growers neighboring towns assemble for perhaps the largest radish-carving competition in the world. See culinary artists depict scenes from the Bible, history, and mythology from huge, carved radishes. Enjoy gigantic radish salads while watching spectacular firework displays. This festival is a must for the radish lover in all of us.

4) Visit the Zacatecas, Mexico for its La Morisma celebration. Held in late August, this festival features a staged battle between thousands of Christian and Moorish warriors. I had never heard of Moorish soldiers getting to Mexico, so it all sounds historically dubious. Men and women, people of all ages dress up in period uniforms and recreate fictitious battles for three days. Whoa. Fine wandering bands of musicians provide additional entertainment. Note, people who fit it well with the Global Rainbow Gathering usually do not enjoy this event. It’s an either or sort of thing.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

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Portuguese Fish Sauce (molho cru)

Portuguese Appetizer

FISH SAUCE
(molho cru)

INGREDIENTSMolhoCru-

3 garlic cloves
6 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 onion
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red peppers
½ teaspoon pepper
1 package saffron
⅓ cup cold water
1 cup cider vinegar

PREPARATION

Mince garlic and parsley. Dice onion. Add all ingredients to serving bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Put bowl in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Serve cold. This dish also works well for marinating fish.

TIDBITS

1) Want to really run with the bulls? Visit the Portuguese island of Terceira for the Sanjoaninas festivites in August. Simply hold a rope that is tied to a running bull. Okay, it is suggested that you run as well. Prove your courage to your loved one by scampering as close to the enraged, huge, muscular, sharp horned beast as possible. A gore wound is guaranteed to give you a story you can tell your friends forever. Go for it!

2) Admittedly, painful injuries just aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Well, if you’re one of these people may I suggest the Orange Throwing Competition in Ivrea, Italy? Held forty days before Lent, it’s perfect for the warrior in all of us yearning to participate in a safe war. (And how many of those occur these days?) Watch a parade. Blend in, pretend to savor the historical significance of some long ago battle. Then pelt other tourists and locals with overripe oranges. If life gives you rotten oranges, hold a festival.

3) Sometimes you just feel like being a dick. That’s a good time to head to Tyrnavos, Greece for its Phallus Festival. Start your celebration of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and whoopee, by eating spinach and nettle soup. Then go crazy and bop others on their heads with an enormous phallus–fake, not your own. This all ensures a good harvest and occurs at the start of Lent.

4) The Festa della Madonna Bruna in Matera, Italy, is perfect for everyone thirsting for vengeance against the law for that $400 in towing fees and fines they gave you for parking illegally in a spot where you couldn’t see the no-parking signs twelve feet off the ground and twenty yards behind you. Ahem. Police, locals, and participants battle for the possession of the float honoring the Madonna. Held on July 2, it’s good fun, it’s legal, and doesn’t cause run-on sentences.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

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Ifisashi From Zambia

Zambian Entree

IFISASHI

INGREDIENTSifisashi-

1 pound unsalted peanuts
1 onion
2 tomatoes
½ pound collard greens
½ pound spinach
1 small sweet potato
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1¾ cups water
¾ teaspoon salt

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Dutch oven

Makes 6 bowls. Takes about 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Chop peanuts into fourths. Dice onion and tomatoes. Dice or shred collards greens and spinach. Peel and dice sweet potato.

Add onion and peanut oil to Dutch oven. Sauté onion on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add water. Bring water to boil on high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to medium. Add peanuts, tomato, and salt. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add collard greens, spinach, and sweet potato. Cook for about 15 minutes or until liquid thickens to a thick buttery sauce.

Ifisashi often is paired with nshima or cornmeal dumpling. Don’t panic over the nshima, ifisashi also goes well over rice.

TIDBITS

1) The sound of people snoring is often described as, “Zzzz..” Because of their pleasant climate, nighttime temperatures, and comfy beds, Zambia and Zimbabwe are the best places for pleasant, refreshing zzzs.

3) Indeed, The International Sleeping Association (IFA) awarded its highest honor possible to these two nations, the Order of The Z which gives the lucky land the right to rename themselves with a word starting with a z. Well done, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

4) Sad to say, in 1997 sleeping conditions in once restful Zaire deteriorated to the point that the IFA took away Zaire’s “Z.” This sad land now calls itself The Democratic Republic of the Congo.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

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Kedjenou (chicken stew from Ivory Coast)

Ivory Coast

KEDJENOU
(chicken stew)

INGREDIENTSKedjenou-

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 eggplant
3 tomatoes
2 jalapeño or other hot peppers
3 garlic cloves
2 onions
3 tablespoons peanut oil
¾ cup chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon ginger
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon thyme

Takes about 2 hours
makes 8 bowls

SPECIAL UTENSILS

large oven proof pot or casserole dish with tight fitting lid
tin foil, if lid does not fit tightly

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Peel and cut eggplant into ½” cubes. Seed and dice tomatoes. Dice chile peppers, garlic cloves, and onions.

Combine all ingredients into large, oven-proof pot. Stir. Cover pot with lid. If the lid doesn’t make a tight seal, cover pot with tin foil and then the lid. DO NOT remove lid while baking. Bake at 325 degrees for 90 minutes. Use oven mitt to shake pot every 10 minutes to prevent chicken and other ingredients from sticking to the bottom and sides.

After the 90 minutes of baking has passed, check to see if ingredients are tender. If not, replace foil and lid, bake for another 30 minutes, and check once more for doneness. Again, use oven mitt to shake pot every ten minutes. Goes well with rice or attiéké, made from grated, fermented cassava. Attiéké can be found in African food markets.

TIDBITS

1) This recipe call for skinless chicken breasts.

2) It would have been exciting if one of the ingredients were shinless chickens.

3) I don’t know if chickens have proper shins.

4) Or even improper shins.

5) You need to wear shin guards if you play soccer.

6) This advice holds if you are human or a chicken.

7) Have you ever beheld a chicken playing soccer without shin guards?

8) No, I don’t think so.

9) Ivorians, people from the Ivory Coast, love to play soccer and often play in the World Cup.

10) They also love chicken.

11) So we can conclude they love to see chicken play soccer.

12) Of course, chickens can play soccer. Their tiny size enables them to dribble the ball easily through the legs of any defender.

13) And my gosh, chickens sure can head the ball into the net. Their brain is so tiny that concussions really can’t damage their intellect. And the best chickens can fly for up to  200 feet. They can indeed get to any ball in the air. One flick of the hen’s head and there’s another goal for poultry.

14) Ivorian chicken soccer is of the highest level.

15) Ivorian chickens would play in the World Cup except for the fact that the men’s national soccer team is still somewhat better than the poultry squad and a nation may only enter one team in the tournament.

16) Greenland’s human soccer team garners few victories and never qualifies for any international tournaments. The land’s chickens hatch from the shell with moves that would have put Pele to shave. One would think that the Greenlandic chickens might have a good chance for soccer fame.

17) Unfortunately, it’s a tough life for any chick yearning for soccer glory. Actually, it’s a short life. Greenland’s arctic freezes one chicken after another. Sure, they could survive playing indoor soccer, but as of press time, no Greenlandic municipality has budgeted for an indoor poultry soccer arena.

18) This isn’t so much of a concern for human soccer players, but Greenlandic chickens are terrified of being eaten by polar bears on their way from the coop to the indoor soccer arena.

19) An obvious solution would be to send Greenland’s soccer chickens to a country without a top-level human team, Albania for example. However, the process of navigating the bureaucratic mazes to get poultry visas to Albania has stopped everyone so far. We can only dream.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

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