Posts Tagged With: Alexander the Great

Prawn Barbecue

Australian Entree

PRAWN BARBECUE

INGREDIENTS

2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine
¾ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt or salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1½ pounds shelled-and-deveined extra-large shrimp* (16-to-20 per pound)
1 lemon (optional)

* = The terms prawn and shrimp are often used interchangeably. However, they are technically different having some unmemorable difference in their shells.

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

outdoor grill
5 skewers

PREPARATION

Mince garlic and parsley. Add garlic, parsley, butter, olive oil, white wine, pepper, sea salt, lemon juice, and shrimp to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until shrimp are well coated. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.

10 minutes before marinating is done, heat outdoor grill to medium heat. Thread 6 shrimps onto each skewer. Cut lemon into 5 slices. Grill shrimp for 2 minutes or until it turns pink. Flip skewers over and grill the other side for 2 minutes or until it to is pink. Garnish with lemon slices. Goes well with rice, spinach,  avocado salad, and beer.

TIDBITS

1) Alexander the Great of Macedon invaded the Persian Empire. in 336 BC. This was okay as the previous year was 337 BC, although the people of the time didn’t know this. Alex was a complete foodie. Unfortunately. the menu of his kingdom, Macedon, consisted of 1,223 almost indistinguishable varieties of wheat and olive oil. So when he heard of prawn barbecues to be had in the Persian empire, he invaded. It transpired that the idea of prawn barbecues was story concocted by long suffering Greek chefs to get the ever harping food critic Alexander far away.

2) Alexander’s army thrashed the Persians at the battle of Granicus. Being an relatively young army– about the age of frat boys albeit ones with twenty-foot spears and trained be an unparalleled fighting machine–they repaired to the local tavern to eat and drink. The tavern’s cook, Bessyrus, knowing a little something of Macedonian cuisine offered Alexander and his troops bread drizzled with olive oil. Alexander became enraged, shouted, “I’m sick of bread and olive oil. Where’s the prawn barbecues?” and ran a spear through the tavern’s chef.

3) This still seems a little unfair. The chef knew nothing of the mythical prawn barbecue. In fact, culinary historians remain absolutely amazed that a cook over 2,000 years ago could make enough bread in one hour to feed 50,000 ravenous soldiers. Alexander’s mob headed to the town’s other eatery and asked for prawn barbecues. Fortunately, the synapses in this restaurant’s cook were firing particularly well. He said that there were prawn barbecues in Egypt. And off Alexander’s mob went dispatching another Persian army along the way.

4) Alexander asked the first Egyptian priest/chef he saw for a prawn barbecue. The priest/chef offered bread drizzled with honey. Alexander drew his sword. The quick thinking priest/chef mollified Alexander by declaring him to be a god. Alexander really liked the idea of being a god and strutted around for days saying, “Look at me, I’m a god. Wow, it’s really cool to be a god.” Anyway, Alexander was so smitten by the idea of his divinity, that he plum forgot to behead the priest/chef. The holy Egyptian chef, however, couldn’t help but dwell on his close call. :Hey, Alex,” he said one day, “there’s plenty of prawn barbecues in Persia.” And off Alexander’s army went.

5) The Macedonians utterly crushed the Persian King’s army at Guagamela. The surviving Persian nobles didn’t want Alexander staying around. Alexander was losing his head beheading them. “Hey Alex,” they said, “there’s prawn barbecues aplenty in India.” And off Alexander’s soldiers went.

6) Alexander’s force kicked hiney in India. But the story remained the same. Alexander the Great One didn’t care for the rajahs’ curry bread and offed one baker after another. “Hey, Alex,” the noble bakers said, “there’s oodles of prawn barbecues in Australia.” And off went Alexander.

7) Except this time, the Macedonian spearmen didn’t follow. They were sick of endless marching. Besides, they had discovered pistachios in Persia and really, really liked them. Why massacre entire cities for an alleged gourmet meal when you could munch on delicious, almost addictive pistachios?Alexander gave in. The Macedonian army would conquer no more. But the mutiny by his beloved army broke his heart. He died soon after. Ironically, the noble Indian bakers were right. There were prawn barbecues in Australia.

8) The Australian aborigines of that time loved shrimp (Same as prawns, remember?)  like no one has ever since. They’d eat 100 shrimp at a time. Of course, no one could barbecue 100 shrimp on the tiny skewers of today. Those hardy people fashioned wooden skewers out of trees. Unfortunately, the millions upon millions of Native Australians made so many long skewers that they totally deforested most of Australia. Shrimp barbecues became impossible. The crestfallen aborigines left Australia in outriggers to settle Hawaii.  They left behind petroglyphs of their enormous shrimp skewers.

9) In 1895, Baron de Courbertin saw these shrimp-skewer pictures. You and I would shrug them off, but the young baron’s mind came up with pole vaulting. His active mind would not rest until he found a way to showcase his new athletic event and so the Olympics were born. There you go.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Raznici (Grilled Pork Skewers)

Croatian Entree

RAZNICI
(Grilled Pork Skewers)

INGREDIENTS

1¼ pounds pork loin
1 small onion
2 bell peppers (any color)
2 garlic cloves
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

SPECIAL UTENSILS

outdoor grill
10 skewers

Makes 10. Takes 2 hours.

PREPARATION

Cut pork into 1″ cubes. Cut onion in half. Separate onion layers and cut them into 1″ squares. Seed bell pepper. Cut bell pepper into 1″ squares. Mince garlic cloves. Add all ingredients to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until pork cubes are coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.

15 minutes before pork cubes have finished marinating, preheat grill to medium. Drain liquid from mixing bowl. Alternate putting pork cubes, onion squares, and bell-pepper squares on skewers. Repeat for each skewer. Place skewers on grill. Grill skewers for 7 minutes on both sides or until pork browns and is white inside . Goes well with salad or veggies.

TIDBITS

1) Long ago, armies fought each other by throwing rocks. The most clever cities fought back with paper, for as we all know paper covers rocks. Then Assyria overran all with its elite scissor forces. But in 605 the Medes conquered Assyria with old-school rocks. Rock, paper, scissors might be seem to be just an innocent children’s game today, but at one time it was a training exercise that all armies took seriously. The entire region remained in rock-paper-scissors (RPS) turmoil for centuries. But in 336 B.C., young Alexander the Great drew blood when he pricked his finger eating shish kabobs. The brilliant military innovator equipped his troops with shisk-kabob skewers. He soon lengthened these skewers into 12′ long spears. His infantry could impale its RPS enemies before they could get close enough to do any harm in return. Alexander’s technologically superior armies would go onto conquer Greece and Persia. The world would never be the same. Shish kabobs are everywhere.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Chocolate and Vanilla Sundae

American Dessert

CHOCOLATE AND VANILLA SUNDAE

INGREDIENTSSundae-

3/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup unsalted peanuts (or already ground)
2 pints chocolate ice cream
2 pints vanilla ice cream
nonpareils (optional)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder or other grinder or quick hands with a knife

PREPARATION

Make chocolate sauce by adding whipping cream, chocolate chips, and vanilla extract to pot. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted or liquid becomes uniformly dark. Stir constantly.

Grind peanuts. Add large scoop (is there any other kind?) of chocolate ice cream and a large scoop of vanilla ice cream for each bowl you make. Drizzle chocolate sauce over each bowl, top with ground peanuts and nonpareils, if desired.

TIDBITS

1) Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) enjoyed snow flavored with nectar and honey. He was just a few steps away from inventing ice cream. But no, Alexander invaded the Persian Empire instead. His armies conquered land after land. However, these conquests never brought him the satisfaction that only a scope of ice cream could have given. Alexander came to realize how he had wasted his life by not coming up with ice cream and he drank himself to death.

2) The Roman Emperor Nero (54-68 A.D.) enjoyed ice and snow topped with fruit. He committed suicide rather than share this dessert with a jealous Roman mob

3) Marco Polo (1254-1324) is most famous for bringing the idea of ice cream from China to Italy. The Renaissance followed shortly.

4) Ice cream became readily available in seventeenth-century France. French literature flourished.

5) Ice cream came to America in the 1700s. and caused the birth of the American Republic in 1776.

– Chef Paul
3novelsPlease check out Paul De Lancey’s books on Amazon.com.
or visit his website www.lordsoffun.com for signed copies.

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Hawaiian Pizza

Hawaiian Entree

HAWAIIAN PIZZA

INGREDIENTSHawaiPi-

no-stick spray
1 pizza crust
1 cup pineapple chunks
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cup pasta sauce
6 ounces deli-sliced ham
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

SPECIALTY ITEM

pizza pan

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray pizza pan to keep the pizza from sticking. (It’s not a good feeling to have your great looking, great smelling pizza fall apart because it sticks to pan when you try to serve it.) Put crust on pan. Mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, and pasta sauce until sugar dissolves. Spread mix evenly over crust.

Cut deli-sliced ham into 1″ squares. Place ham squares and pineapple chunks on crust. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Put pizza in oven and bake at 400 degrees for 10-to-15 minutes or until cheese or crust in golden brown. Now you have a Hawaiian pizza. Life is good.

TIDBITS

1) In 334 BC Alexander the Great, invaded the Persian Empire, changing culinary history forever.

2) In 327 BC, while conquering much of the known world, he discovered sugar cane.

3) Alexander the Great came so close to dying in battle in 334BC.

4) If he had died then, he wouldn’t have conquered the Persian Empire. If he hadn’t have conquered the Persians, he wouldn’t have been able to bring back sugar to the Mediterranean.

5) In 1493, Columbus introduced sugar to the New World.

6) Sugar was so prized by European nobility up until 1800 that many bloody wars were fought over islands with thriving sugar plantations. These plantations required vast numbers of slaves to work them.

7) So if Alexander had died at a young age in battle as Alexander the Mediocre, a lot of conflict and misery might have been avoid.

8) On the other hand, we’d have no doughnuts, no cakes, and no brownies. And no pizza too; the yeast in the pizza requires sugar to rise.

9) So, Alex’s wars of conquest resulted in some good as well. Life’s life that.

10) 2001, sugar is found in outer space. Yay!

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

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Chinese Hamburger Bash From Forthcoming Cookbook

Chinese Entree

CHINESE HAMBURGER BASH

INGREDIENTS

1 medium onion
2 green bell peppers
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 ground turkey
1 pound ground beef
12 ounces extra-firm tofu
1/2 tablespoon peanut oil
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup diced tomato
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon Meat MagicTM spice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
About 16 buns
No-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Large spatula

PREPARATION

This recipe is rightly called a bash. It makes about 16 to 20 patties.

Mince onion, bell peppers, and cloves. In large bowl, mix all ingredients except buns. (Don’t mince your own buns; that would be a disaster.) Be sure to make patties smaller than your spatula.

Coat bottom of frying pan with no-stick spray. Cook burgers on medium-high heat. These hamburgers are moister and more prone to crumble than their American counterparts. So, make sure you have the entire patty on top of the spatula before you turn them over. Turn them over carefully. Do not flip them. Turn them over once.

TIDBITS

1) There have been many mass migrations and conquests throughout history. Some examples are: Alexander the Great’s conquests, Rome’s conquest of the Mediterranean, Germanic tribes overrunning the Roman Empire, Arab conquests of North Africa, Mongol invasions of China, Persia, and Russia, and Spanish victories in Central and South America.

2) What do all these bloodthirsty conquerors have in common?

3) None of them ate hamburgers.

4) With or without cheese.

5) They didn’t even eat sliders.

6) Geez, the Romans ate thrush tongues, for goodness sake. What would it have hurt them to eat a Chinese Hamburger?

7) And the Vikings ate lutefisk. Lutefisk! Think of all the monasteries, towns, and libraries that were sacked because the Vikings ate lutefisk instead of Mexican hamburgers.

8) And then there would have been no Dark Ages. Learning would have flourished. We would have had colonies on the moon by the 17th century if only the Vikings had eaten burgers.

9) Or even sliders.

cover

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World, is available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Egg Foo Young

Chinese Entree

EGG FOO YOUNG

INGREDIENTS 

VEGGIE-CHICKEN MIX

1/2 chicken breast
1 medium white onion
2 stalks green onions
1 stalk celery
1 garlic clove
1 cup bean sprouts
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

2 tablespoons peanut oil
8 eggs (2 at a time)

no-stick spray

SAUCE

4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons cornstarch

PREPARATION

Dice chicken breast, white onion, green onion, celery, and garlic clove. Put sesame oil in frying pan or skillet. Add onion, green onion, celery, clove, and sprouts. Heat on medium for about 5 minutes or until veggies are tender. Stir frequently.

Add chicken breast, cornstarch, soy sauce, salt, and white pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes on medium or until chicken bits have all changed color. Remove veggie-chicken mixture from frying pan and set aside.

Beat eggs. (This should be easy as your grasp of mixed-martial arts exceeds that of the genial egg.) Spray pan with no-stick spray. Heat peanut oil on medium. Add 2 eggs and cook on medium until eggs begin to set. Flip over egg patty. (You might want to use two spatulas. I wonder if any chefs use crossed spatulas as their coats of arms.) Or could use a spatula to cut the big patty into four manageable patties each time you add a layer of eggs.

Add about 1/3 of the veggie-chicken mix to the top of the patty. Add 2 more eggs and cook on medium until eggs on top begin to set. Flip over the whole patty. You should now have 2 layers of eggs and one mix. Repeat this step 2 more times until you have 4 layers of eggs and 3 of the mix. Watch the egg layer each time you flip the whole patty. Be careful that they don’t burn. Lower the heat, if at any time, the egg layer browns.

Remove the patty, or patties, from the pan and set on serving plate.

SAUCE

Put soy sauce, dry sherry, and water in frying pan. Bring to boil then immediately turn off heat. Add cornstarch and mix until sauce thickens. The sauce add flavor, texture, and enhances the appearance of this entree.

(This is especially true if you went the “one big patty” route and it fell apart during cooking. Refrain from cussing in Swahili. Simply cover the broken patty completely with sauce. Nobody will ever know there’s a break in the patty after you’ve divided the patty into two, three, or four pieces.)

Just smile and serve.

TIDBITS

1) Untying knots becomes easier when you sprinkle it with cornstarch.

2) While Alexander the Great was busy conquering the Persian empire he came across a two ropes tied together at Gordian. A prophet told him if could separate the ropes he would win many victories. People pooh poohed the idea that anyone could untie the intricate knot, but Alexander simply slashed the knot into two with one mighty sweep of his sword. To this day, the Gordian knot is a metaphor for not having cornstarch on ones person.

3) Alexander did indeed conquer quite a few exotic lands, even unto India. But he never quite reached China.

4) So, the Great one never got to taste egg foo young.

5) Did China have egg foo young in the time of Alexander the Great, some 2,300 years ago? Would he have like it?

6) We just don’t know. There just weren’t any many alternative military cuisinal historians around.

7)Is “cuisinal” even a word?

4) See above for 4).

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Berbere Burgers From Cookbook, “Eat Me”

Moroccan Entree

BERBERE BURGERS

INGREDIENTSBerbeHB-

1/2 head lettuce
1 medium yellow onion
1 tablespoon Berbere spices (See recipe for BERBERE SPICE MIX INGREDIENTS, if you can’t find the mix)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
8 buns or 16 multi-grain bread slices
1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
no-stick spray

UTENSILS

electric skillet

spice grinder (To make your own Berbere spice mix.)

PREPARATION

Tear lettuce into bun-size pieces by hand. Peel and dice onion. Put Berbere spices, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, parsley, pepper, salt, and ground beef in mixing bowl. Pretend you’re making the mortar for the mighty Egyptian pyramids as you mix everything together with your hands. (Edible pyramids. What a concept.) Make 8 hamburger patties.

Use non-stick spray on frying pan. Put 4 patties in pan. Cook on medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip patties over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t squash the patties with your spatula. This forces the juices out of the patties. (I also don’t recommend flattening oranges with your spatula for a similar if not more spectacular reason.) Patties should have no pink remaining. Repeat to make 8 patties. Toast buns.

Put a patty on each bun bottom. Top with lettuce and cheese. Put bun top and, violà, you have a burger so tasty you’ll want to conquer all of North Africa just to bring this dish’s culinary greatness to all its peoples.

TIDBITS

1) Most world conquerors, such as Napoleon, Cortes, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and Julius Caesar didn’t bring much culinary enlightenment to their defeated nations.

2) Pretty much just death by the thousands and enslavement.

3) What would it have hurt them to give their newly enslaved peoples a wondrous culinary novelty in compensation?

4) Oh sure, there are such things as Napoleons and Caesar salad.

5) But those military geniuses didn’t come up with them.

6) The Caesar salad was invented last century at Caesar’s hotel in Tijuana Mexico.

7) Indeed, it is also verifiable that Julius Caesar and all of the Julian-Claudian Emperors had nothing to do with the comedic brilliance of Sid Caesar.

8) Frederick the Great did encourage potato production in his Kingdom of Prussia, the precursor to modern Germany. The mighty tuber enabled Prussia to feed all its people even though its lands were repeatedly invaded by its enemies.

9) To this day, one may still buy French Fries in Germany.

10) Well done, Frederick.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

Categories: cuisine, food, history, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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