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Chicken Basquaise

French Entree

CHICKEN BASQUAISE

INGREDIENTS

1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
3 tomatoes
2 pounds chicken pieces, bone in or boneless
1 teaspoon salt or fleur de sel*
¼ cup olive oil
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto or Bayonne ham*
¾ cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoon Spanish paprika, paprika, or espelette*
1 tablespoon fresh parsley

* = You can find fleur de sel, Bayonne ham, and espelette online, but they can be expensive.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

mandoline
8″ * 12″ casserole dish

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Seed bell peppers. Cut bell peppers and onion into ¼” slices with mandoline or knife. Cut slices in half. Dice garlic and thyme. Cut tomatoes into ½” wedges. If you are using chicken breasts, cut them in two. Rub chicken pieces with salt.

Add olive oil and prosciutto to large pan. Sauté for 2 minutes at high heat or until prosciutto becomes crispy. Stir frequently. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add chicken pieces to large pan. Sauté for 10 minutes at medium heat or until chicken turns golden brown. Flip chicken pieces every 2 minutes. Remove chicken and drain on paper towels. Add bell pepper, garlic, and onion. Sauté for 2 minutes at medium-high heat. Stir frequently. Add white wine and bay leaf. Simmer at low heat for 2 minutes. Stir frequently.

Add contents of pan, thyme, chicken stock, and chicken pieces to casserole dish. Sprinkle chicken pieces with Spanish paprika. Place tomato wedges between chicken pieces. Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees or until sauces thickens. While chicken bakes, dice parsley. Remove casserole dish from oven. Remove bay leaf. Place crispy prosciutto slice over chicken. Garnish with parsley.

TIDBITS

1) It is well known fact that the Basque word for basket is saskia

2) The Franks who overran Gaul, modern day France, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire loved peaches.

3) Indeed, they invaded purposefully to pick prized perfect peaches produced by the innumerable peaches orchards to be found there.

4) At first, frenetic fresh Franks gathered peaches with their hands.

5) But one can only carry off two peaches that way.

6) The ravenous ravagers ranged right to the Rhone valley. The Rhone Valley had for reasons unclear to current culinary historians had a surplus of over a million peach baskets.

7) An advance party of Franks plundered the valley and carried off all the peach baskets. Indeed, everyone of the frightening Franks walked away with maybe twelve baskets; we don’t know the exact number.

8) The First Franks never went anywhere without their baskets. The enraged basketless Second Franks chased them to southwest France.

9) The locals called them Saskia after the First Franks word for basket.

10) In time the Saskia lost their original language. A new language required a new name. The medieval French dubbed these people, Basques.

11) The Basques loved sports. In particular, they loved to play Basquaise Boule. The object of this game was to pass a ball around and try to toss it into a peach basket. Sometimes the players fashioned the ball out of chicken breasts, hence the name Chicken Basquaise. Chef Jean Paul La Grange created this dish to honor the new sport.

12) But wait! There’s more! In 1890, YMCA director James Naismith toured the land of the Basques. His synapses fired and he determined bring this sport back home. It’d be just the thing to tire out restless school kids. The game proved popular, at first, in his town of Springfield. But the kids eventually grew bored of having to climb up a ladder to retrieve the ball from the peach basket. Late one night, a gang of hoodlums calling themselves The Epic of Gilgamesh Haters cut the bottom off all the baskets.

13) But far from ruining the game, this vandalism, made the game much faster. Indeed the tempo of pass, shoot, score, pass, shoot, score now prevailed. The kids loved the game now. So did their parents. A year later, a senior taking Basque studies opined that as we’re living in America, why not call the name something American like basketball.

14) America embraced basketball and soon became a superpower. Now you know how.

 

– 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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Don’t Block the Aisle With Your Shopping Cart

You work hard all day. Things went wrong. You’re seething with barely suppressed anger. But food is needed at home. So off to the supermarke you go. The one particular item you need is all the way down the aisle. This aisle is so long you can barely see the other end for the curvature of the Earth. You almost make it to your package of squid-ink spaghetti you need for that meal you were going to make for your Venetian boss, where you were going to ask for a much needed raise.

But, but, but, there’s someone blocking your way with her cart. You summon your last reserves of patience and say, “Excuse me, would you please move your cart.” But no, the oaf, she doesn’t move her cart. She is oblivious. You shout at her, “Move your fecking cart.” She sneers at you. “How rude.”

Your self control evaporates. The two of you tussle. Another shopper has filmed the whole thing and posts it everywhere. Shoppers everywhere take this video as a license to attack other shoppers. Shopping-cart riots engulf our great nation. This unbridled anger spreads to politics. Soon, all of America descends into undeclared civil war. Lutefisk vendors take advanage of the widespread chaos to sell lutefisk at our grammar schools. My forward-looking mind shuts down at this point.

DON’T BLOCK THE AISLE WITH YOUR SHOPPING CART!

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Paul R. De Lancey

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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Mauritian Napolitaines

Mauritian Dessert

SIMPLE NAPOLITAINES
(Sandwich Cookies)

INGREDIENTS

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups flour (3 more tablespoons later)
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons raspberry jam
2 9-ounce bottles pink cookie icing (Not cake icing)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
1 cookie sheet
parchment paper
1½” cookie cutter (Must be a cookie cutter)
sonic obliterator

Makes 20 cookies. Takes 3 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 335 degrees. Add butter and 2 cups flour to large mixing bowl. Blend with electric beater set or medium until butter and flour form a dough ball. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons flour on flat surface. Roll out dough until it is about ⅓” thick. Cut out dough circles with 1½” cookie cutter. Make them as level and smooth as you can. (I cannot stress this enough. Smooth cookie sides will make proper icing much easier later.) Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place dough circles on parchment paper.

Bake dough circles at 335 degrees for 20 minutes or until the middle of a circle is no longer soft when pressed. Don’t let the circles turn brown! They should remain pale. Gently life parchment paper with circles and let cool on a wire rack or plate. (Leave circles on parchment paper.)

Once circles have cooled completely, spread ½ teaspoon raspberry jam over a baked circle. Gently place another circle over the jam to make a cookie. Repeat until all circles have been used.

Put cookies on large plate. Do not let them touch each other. Pour icing from bottles over cookies. Make sure to pour icing over the edge of the cookie tops so that the icing will flow down and coat the sides of the cookies. Do this all in one go. Let sit until icing hardens completely.

This is a hard one to do perfectly. There’s a reason dessert chefs differ from the other chefs. So appreciate why some things, particularly these cookies, can be expensive. And for the insensitive oafs who give you guff about your cookies, zap them with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need their negativity in your kitchen.

TIDBITS

1) Napolitaines look a lot like UFOs.

2) By the way, Napolitaines is pronounced Napolitaines.

3) I’m glad I cleared that up.

4) UFOs really do resemble Napolitaines. There’s a reason for that.

5) Having a successful space program brings enormous international prestige.

6) If you were to ask people what are the ten greatest things about America, 93.6% would say, “NASA.” The remaing 6.4% couldn’t find a No. 2 pencil and so, couldn’t fill out the questionaire.

7) So what do you if you want to develop a space program but simply do not possess the vast resources of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration?

8) Well, what do you if you want to make crab salad, but you haven’t the money to buy crabmeat?

9) Why, you purchase krabmeat, a crabmeat substitute. It’s made of various seafoods and costs much less than the real thing.

10) Similarly, if you wish to fling manmade objects into space, you send up something small. Dispense with lunar modules, the Hubble telescope, space stations or other enormously heavy gadgetry.

11) Fling Napolitaines from the Earth instead.

12) A batch of Napolitaines is easy to make. All you need is butter, flour, raspberry jam, and pink cookie icing.

13) While even the simplest of Hubble telescopes involve: miles of circuitry, rare metals, scads of computing power, and other complicated gizmos.

14) The Apollo Program required gigantic rockets, specialize fuel, more frigging circuitry, with all of its parts engineered with incredible precision, and a reinforced launching pad to hurl its lunar modules to well, the moon.

15) What does it take to fling Napolitaines into outer space?

16) A really big slingshot.

17) So that’s what thrifty Mauritius did. It slingshotted hundreds of Napolitaines into space. Some made it to the moon, some to Neptune, and some even exited the Solar System. However, many Napolitaines never left our atmosphere and orbit our planet a few dozen feet in the air. The cookies in this recipe, at that altitude, resemble alien space ships. Except for the color. Orbiting UFOs are grey or off white. Napolitaines are pink. Now you know.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., and travel advisor

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

Venezuelan Guasacaca

Venezuelan Appetizer

GUASACACA

INGREDIENTS

3 avocados
1 green chile
2 garlic cloves
⅓ cup fresh cilantro
½ cup fresh parsley
1½ tablespoons lime juice
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
2½ tablespoons white vinegar

SPECIAL UTENSIL

food processor

Serves 8. Takes 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Peel and seed avocados and green chile. Add all ingredients to food processor. Blend until you get the desired consistency. Store in a Mason jar in the refrigerator.

TIDBITS

1) Guasacaca, wait, wait, wait! How the heck does my spell checker know the word “Guasacaca?”

2) Does everybody in America and the rest of the English speaking world know what guasacaca is? Do people know where to find guasacaca in their supermarket? Or if not, do they ask the employees for help in finding it. Hint: it’s usually in aisle 7A.

3) Oh great, just great I saved this file to look up something. Now that I’ve come back, the spell checker doesn’t recognize the word “guasacaca” anymore. I tell you, there are dark forces lurking in every hidden crevice of our world.

4) Well now, I don’t have much space left to expound on how to find gusacacaca if you don’t feel like making it. Guasacaca resides in vast pools in the Earth’s mantle. It then gradually and gently percolates upward and through Earth’s crust in much the same way coffee percolates.

5) If you’re lucky enough to live above subterranean pools of guasacaca, then all you have to do is go to a guasacaca lake, scoop some up with a bucket, and take it home. However, if you reside above great pools of lava, then you will suffer through endless cycles of volcanoes and lava flows. Choose the location of your home wisely.

 

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, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You Need to See Two Chicks Cuddling

Russia may very well invade Ukraine quite soon. America’s politics remain frightening. Your printer achieved consciousness and took an instant dislike to you.

You need something to soothe your wearied soul. You need to see something that’ll make you smile, something heartwarming.

You need to see chicks cuddling and here they are.

We will make you smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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: you need to see | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spanish Shrimp in Crispy Batter (Gambas en Gabardina)

Spanish Appetizer

SHRIMP IN CRISPY BATTER
(Gambas en Gabardina)

INGREDIENTS

1 egg
½ cup water
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
⅛ teaspoon saffron (or ¼ teaspoon safflower)
¾ pound jumbo shrimp (20-25 count, peeled and deveined)
2 cups oil (vegetable or olive)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

deep fryer or skillet with tall edges

Serves 8. Takes 25 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add egg and water to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Add flour and salt. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add baking soda and saffron. Mix batter with whisk until well blended.

Add oil to deep fryer. Heat oil using medium heat. until a little bit of batter starts to dance in the oil. Roll shrimp in batter until they are completely covered. Shake off any excess.

Carefully drop shrimp one at a time into the hot oil. Do not let them touch each other. Let shrimp deep fry for 2 minutes they become crispy and turn golden brown. Remove shrimp with slotted spoon or regular spoon and let dry on plate covered with paper towel. Goes well with parsley and lemon wedges.

TIDBITS

1) Shepherds use sheep dogs to move their flocks of sheep. No other animal does this job as well. Similarly, clover drovers use shrimp to corral their herds of clover. (An unattended clover is prone to wander off anywhere and get into all sorts of mischief.)

2) Four-leaf clovers are more than worth their weight in gold. For these clovers will provide good luck as long as you keep them on your person. (Take that genies, with your paltry three wishes.) So, four-leaf clover drovers employ shrimp in crispy batter. Culinary veterinarians tell us this is because the whole process toughens up the shrimp something considerable, making them more than a match for the wily four-leafers. Just like boot camp toughens up marine recruits.

 

– 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, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anafre (Bean and Cheese Dip)

Honduran Appetizer

ANAFRE
(Bean and Cheese Dip)

INGREDIENTS

½ red onion
½ teaspoon chicken broth
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup refried beans or red refried beans
½ teaspoon pepper
½ pound quesillo or Oaxacan cheese
3 tablespoons crema Hondureño, crema Mexicana, or sour cream
tortilla chips, unsalted if possible, for dipping

Serves 8. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Dice red onion. Add red onion, chicken broth, and vegetable oil to large pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add refried beans and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or untl boiling. Stir frequently.

Add quesillo and crema Hondureño. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until cheese melts completely. Stir occasionally. Serve with tortilla chips.

TIDBITS

1) Ana Fre was a good Swede who spent some time in Honduras. My grandmother’s first name was pronounced somewhere between Ana and Annie. She went with Anna when she moved to America. You’ll notice that her first name has two ns in it, while Ana Fre’s had just one. That’s because my grandma didn’t fear an extra n. Ana Fre did fear an n. So for her, the previous sentence for her became, “Ana fear a n.”

2) Ana fear a n is, of course, an anagram for Anafre. So in a way, the name Anafre, expresses the Honduran people’s love for Ana, who came up with this dish.

3) Ana was not the first nor to fear extra ns. The Romans phrase for “fear a n” or “fear for the letter n” was “timere litteras n.” The great Julius Caesar suffered from this affliction.

4) Dr. Sigmund Freud, the great Viennese pyschoanalyst, referred to this anxiety as Buchstabe n Phobie.

5) So if you fear the letter n, or just an excessive amount of them, fret not, you are not alone. You can even be a fully functioning member of society.

 

– 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

NORAD (North American Defense) Tracks Santa

As of press time, Santa Claus was delivering presents over Tibet. How do we know this? NORAD (North American Defense) tell us . Why does NORAD do this? The official explanation (see below) is that in 1955 Sears accidently gave out the phone number for the CONAD Commander in Chief hotline. Many calls came to this number. The worthy staff decided to run with it and provided “live” updates to all the believing little ones. Staff and kids were so happy about the Santa Claus spotting that it became an annual event.

Yes, 364 days a year NORAD does protect America from nuclear and other threats coming over the North Pole. But on Christmas Eve, this worthy arm of America’s armed forces tracks Santa’s gift-giving trip. Give NORAD’s website, http://www.noradsanta.org a look on December 24. There also a Santa app from NORAD, so you can keep of Santa’s sled even when you’re away from your computer.

noradsanta.org was particularly exciting one year when they showed sightings of Santa by F-14s and other jets. One of the sightings had an Air Force pilot telling how he was providing fighter escort over Rio de Janeiro, I think, for Santa Claus. Egad, chill out people. No sledjacking. They’re enough presents for everyone. Besides NORAD is full of Santa Claus believers and would take a rather dim view of anyone causing Santa any grief.

noradsan.jpg

– 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: proof you cannot deny | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fantastic Pizza at Carl La Fong’s Italian Pizzeria

Quick, what are the most beloved foods in America?

Why, they’re pizzas, tacos, and hamburgers.

What’s the only thing wrong with pizzas, tacos, and hamburgers?

You can’t have them all in one entree. If only there were an authentic Italian Pizzeria that had taco and hamburger toppings. Not just some hamburger meat, taco meat, some onions, cheese, and Mexican spices. No! We all want, we all crave, a pizza topped with entire tacos and entire hamburgers. But where, oh where, is their such a culinary heaven?

This dining bliss is found at Carl La Fong’s Italian Pizzeria. Order the Mammoth Pepperoni Taco Hamburger pizza. After just one slice you will be the happiest you’ve ever been while dining. So go down the Carl La Fong’s Italian Pizzeria. You’ll never want to dine anywhere else ever again.

The 32″ Mammoth Pepperoni Taco Hamburger Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– 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: Carl La Fong, cuisine, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hottest New Sport – Egg Volleyball

Egg volleyball burst upon the collegiate scene this August and is taking our universities by storm. Listen to what the egg-volleyball luminaries are saying.

“We’re all scrambling to find the find the best athletes,” said Eunice Oeuf, Women’s Athletic Director for the University of Wisconsin.

“High-school athletes know there’s a high demand for their talents,” said Coach Ben “Data Base” Yumurta of the Cal Tech Beavers. “The big schools eat up most of the hot prospects. We get all sorts of rejections. You really need a hard shell to make it in this coaching job.”

“We poached an egg-volleyballer who had committed to Stanford,” said college recruiter Joe Eieren of the UCLA Bruins. “Now, we’ll whip them.”

“We’re forming men’s and women’s volleyball teams,” said Executive Chef Sue Vide of the Culinary Institute of America,” Our students already know how their way around eggs and have the necessary supple wrists for egg volleyball. We expect to leave our opponents with egg on their faces.”

“Other teams will crack under pressure when they face us,” boasted Yoko Arrautzak of the Duke Blue Devilled Eggs. “They might even run.”

Yancy Atody, hard-boiled coach of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers, scoffed at this claim. “We’ll make omelettes out of them.”

“Ha,” retorted Coach Arrautzak, “They don’t have the eggs to beat us.”

Albert “Al” Bumen, spokesman for the American Poultry Council can’t stop smiling. “We’re so pleased that the universities are finally taking this support seriously. We’ve been tossing this idea to them for decades.

 

– 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: sports, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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