Posts Tagged With: American

Chakalaka

Lesotho* Entree

CHAKALAKA

INGREDIENTS

1 red or green bell pepper
2 red chiles
2 carrots
1 red onion
1 yellow onion
2 tomatoes
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ teaspoon curry powder (optional)
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt

Serves 4. Takes 30 minutes.

* = Technically, the adjective for Lesotho is Basotho. Would you have guessed that a Basotho entree was from Lesotho? I wouldn’t have.

PREPARATION

Seed and dice bell pepper and red chiles., Dice carrots, red onion, yellow onion, and tomatoes. Add carrot, red onion, yellow onion, and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or yellow onion softens. Stir frequently. Add bell pepper, chile, tomato, curry powder, pepper, and salt. Sauté at medium heat for 10 minutes or until tomato bits lose their shape and become a stew. Stir occasionally. Goes well with corn meal cooked in water.

TIDBITS

1) As far as I can tell, there exist 23 songs containing the word chakalaka. Most of them do a variant on “chakalaka boom boom.” Culinary musicians, however, believe there are 33 varieties. 27 of them are excellent or at least passably good. The other six not so much. 33 recipes for chakalaka can be found. 27 are tasty. Six are meh. 27 amendments to the United States Constitution passed and became law. Six other amendments did not.

3) Clearly every time a chalaka recipe get written so does a chakalaka song.

4) Although it is not well known, American politicians like to write chakalaka songs and to prepare scrumptious new chalaka dishes. Everytime enough politicians get to write and cook chakalaka, they feel so happy and full of good will that they write an amendment to make life better for all Americans. In 1781, so many American lawmakers made enough such quality songs and meals that they up and wrote ten amendments, which would be become known as the Bill of Rights.

5) Sad to say, the ten recipes and songs that accompanied the first ten amendments have been lost to history. We shall have to console ourselves with the freedoms enshrined by the Bill of Rights.

 

– 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

Stovetop Popcorn

American Dessert

STOVETOP POPCORN

 

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons coconut, avocado, olive, peanut, or vegetable oil
½ cup popcorn kernels

1 tablespoon melted butter or to taste
½ teaspoon salt or to taste

Serves 4 Takes 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add oil to pot. Heat oil using medium-high heat. Put 3 kernels in pot. Cover with lid. Wait until you hear them all pop. Add popcorn kernels as evenly as you can. Cover pot. Remove pan from heat for 30 seconds. This brings all the kernels to the same temperature so that they will pop at about the same time.

Return pot to stove. Shake the pot gently once popping begins to ensure even heating. Remove pot from heat when the interval between popping reaches 3 seconds. Remove from heat. Wait for 15 seconds. (This prevents kernels popping up to your face.) Remove lid and pour popcorn into large serving bowl. Sprinkle popcorn with salt. Drizzle popcorn evenly with melted butter. Gently stir popcorn to ensure butter on all kernels.

TIDBITS

1) Mr. La Fong lived in Paducah, Kentucky in the early 20th century. He sold socks and loved stovetop popcorn. One Saturday he forgot to put the lid atop the pan with the popcorn. The absent minded Carl became the first human to really watch corn kernels pop. To his amazement nearly all of the popping occurred within a few seconds. During that flurry of activity, little kernels burst open to become much bigger popcorn. The thin layer of kernels on the pan erupted into a mountain of popcorn. Then popcorn flew out of the pan of the pan, rocketing to all corners of the kitchen.

2) Now, of course, La Fong possessed the rudimentary knowledge of Einstein’s equations necessary to any successful 20th century Kentuckian sock merchant. “Whoa ho,” said the worthy sock seller, “the universe itself must have started the very same way as this popcorn.” He wrote feverishly through the night to put down his The Big Popcorn Popping Theory of the Universe. He went to bed, exhausted yet proud. Unfortunately, his dog, Rex, ate his manuscript during the night. Later scientists would receive acclaim with the only slightly different Big Bang Theory. However, the eating of his theory, while unarguably bad for the Sock Man of Paducah, did give rise to the “Dog ate my homework excuse” which school kids have used ever since. So, some good came of it.

 

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Makawoni Au Graten (macaroni and cheese)

Haitian Entree

MAKAWONI AU GRATEN
(macaroni and cheese)

INGREDIENTS

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1 pound rigatoni or penne pasta
1 garlic clove
1 small onion
1 red bell pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
⅔ cup mayonnaise
1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
1½ cup grated Edam or Gouda cheese
1 teaspoon seasoned salt

SPECIAL UTENSIL

9″ * 13″ casserole dish

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook rigatoni according to instructions on package. Drain and set aside. Mince garlic clove, onion, and bell pepper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add garlic, onion, bell pepper and butter to pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Add pasta and evaporated milk to pot with sautéed onion. Mix with spoon until well blended. Add mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Edam cheese, and seasoned salt. Mix with spoon until well blended. Ladle ingredients in pot into casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until top turns golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) Albert Einstein, the great mind of the 20th century, theorized that time slows as you travel at speeds closer and closer to the speed of light. He also postulated that as you zip along at velocities near the speed of light, that things get heavier and heavier.

2) So if you were in a spaceship traveling closer to closer to light speed, the time required to make Makawoni au Graten would go from 1 hour 15 minutes to hours and hours or even years. The weight of your macaroni would gradually increase from perhaps four pounds to four tons.

3) Who would ever want to wait years to eat this entree? Who would want to eat four tons of it? Certainly no American astronaut. This is why NASA never serves Makawoni au Graten on its space missions. Not to worry, though, it’s perfectly safe to eat here down on Earth. Darn tasty, too.

 

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

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

Roast Chicken in Pomegranate Date Molasses

Israeli Entree

ROAST CHICKEN IN POMEGRANATE DATE MOLASSES

INGREDIENTS

½ cup date molasses or syrup*
¼ cup pomegranate molasses*
⅓ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3½ pounds chicken thighs, thighs with legs, legs – all with bone in

* = May be found in Middle Eastern or kosher supermarkets

SPECIAL UTENSILS

baking pan
baster

Serves 6 or 1 person per chicken piece. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add date molasses, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, and salt in large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Add chicken pieces. Turn chicken pieces until thoroughly coated. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes.

Add chicken to baking pan. Ladle marinade over chicken. Roast at 425 degrees for 45 minutes or until skin is crispy and browned. Baste with juices from pan every 10 minutes.

TIDBITS

1) When I was growing up, milkmen would deliver milk to your doorstep. They also sold, eggs, butter, and cream. They saved so many trips to the store when only one of these ingredients was missing. And who wants to go to the store for just one thing when baking? When I lived in the Netherlands, the milkmen would deliver all that to your home. They’d also sell soup, jam, and beer. Yes, beer. Who wants drunk people driving to the store when their party runs of beer?

2) We really do need to bring back the American milkman. The Dutch milkman would be even more appreciated. But we need more.

3) For how many times have you gone to the store just for flour? Just for lettuce or tomato? And especially just for one herb? We need a culinary mobile, making door-to-door delivers of: herbs, spices, and produce. We’d, of course, also want dairy products. I’d nominate any one who’d provide this service for a Nobel Prize. I can conceive of no worthier endeavor.

 

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: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Frito Pie In a Bag

American Entree

FRITO PIE IN A BAG

INGREDIENTS

2 green onions
1 pound ground beef
1 30-ounce can chili beans (no meat)
1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chiles
6 1-ounce bags Fritos(tm)
6 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Serves 6. Takes 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Dice green onions. Add ground beef to pan. Fry at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until browned. Stir enough to ensure even browning. Add chili beans and diced tomatoes and green chiles. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes or until thoroughly warmed. Stir enough to blend and keep from burning.

Cut out most of one side of each bag or simply open the bag at the top. Top the Fritos in each bag evenly with pan contents, followed by sour cream, and then cheddar cheese. Garnish with green onions.

TIDBITS

1) Frito Pie In a Bag is also known as a “walking tacos” in America’s Midwest.

2) Tacos, of course, cannot walk. Cannot. This means that at one time tacos could walk.

3) Indeed, for according to culinary archeologists, the huge hard-shell* taco grazed the Indianapolis Gorge in 3,199,978 B.C,. They proved this by unearthing the bones of a young woman, Mabel, who held a fossilized four-legged Taco.

* = Proof that tacos are meant to be crunchy.

4) Unfortunately, this discovery never became common knowledge, because the Leakys had already discovered the bones of Lucy. Lucy’s remains are 3,200,000 years old. Just 22 years older than Mabel’s, but enough to get all the glory. Now no one remembers reading about Mabel and her taco.

5) But we do recall Mabel’s taco in a way, For Mabel’s DNA got passed down from Midwestern homonids to Neanderthals to Cro Magnons, and finally to Modern Humans. Inheriting Mabel’s genes, naturally means current Midwesterners love Walking Tacos. Now you know.

 

Paul De Lancey, concerned citizen and Comic Chef, Ph.D.

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

Categories: cuisine, history | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Solve the Speeding Problem

People drive like bats out of Hell. They don’t care about the speed limit. They don’t care about the law. They don’t care about the injuries, and sometimes death, they inflict on other drive drivers.

Clearly these people are truly reprehensible, bad eggs even.

What can been done to stop these speed demons?

1) Have police issue speeding tickets. This is a good, partial deterrent. It’s main flaw is that are only so man traffic cops on the road. This leaves millions of miles of roads across our nation unpatrolled. True, a number of these cops lurk in speed traps instead of patrolling dangerous stretches of traffic. This is indeed a flaw with this deterrent, but it stills holds that there aren’t enough policemen patrolling our roads to deter the speed demons. An officer of the law who isn’t there can’t issue a speeding ticket.

2) Let the insurance companies take car of the speeders. Let them charge higher insurance rates for the lead-footed drivers. Pfft! Doesn’t work. The speeding drivers just don’t give a rip.

So, what can we do? What do the speeders care about? What will they obey?

The laws of physics.

No matter how fast you drive, no matter how determined you are, you can’t drive your car through the car or truck in front of you.

This means that if all the lanes in front of you are blocked by vehicles going slower than the speed limit, you can’t speed.

But how can we rein in the speeders?

I’m glad you asked. My solutions depend of two observations that are nearly as true as a the laws of physics.

1) A significant portion of drivers are unable to drive as fast as the speed limit if they are going uphill.

All we’d have to do is make roads that only go uphill. But this isn’t true anywhere. Phooey.

2) But there will always, always be one driver that tries to pass a slow truck. However, they will drive one mile per hour faster than the truck they are driving to overtake. Then lanes are blocked by vehicles going slower than the speed limit.

Hurrah! We are onto something here. Simply drive enough trucks everywhere to slow down all the traffic in all lanes of every single road in the country.

But how do we get enough trucks on the roads for this plan to work?

Buy them! It could be the government doing the purchasing. It could be you. Do your part!

Where do we get enough truck drivers?

Hire them! Hire the unemployed, Unemployment would fall to zero. It could be the government doing the hiring. It could be you. Do your part!

There you go. Another problem solved. You may sleep easily tonight.

 

Paul De Lancey, concerned citizen and 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: humor, observations, politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Syrian Meatloaf

Syrian Entree

SYRIAN MEATLOAF
(lahme bil sanieh)

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 large onion
2 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or black pepper
2½ teaspoons pomegranate syrup*
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 Roma tomatoes

* = Found in Middle Easter or World supermarkets

SPECIAL UTENSILS

8″ casserole dish
mandoline (optional)

Serves 4. Takes 50 minutes

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat casserole dish with butter. Dice onion. Add beef, onion, Aleppo pepper, pomegranate syrup, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until well blended. Add beef/onion mix from bowl to casserole dish. Smooth surface with spatula. Gently poke about 30 shallow holes in meat. Drizzle vegetable oil over meat. (The shallow holes you made let the oil get into meat.) Slice tomatoes ¼” thick with mandoline or knife. Arrange tomato slices over meat. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

TIDBITS

1) 1,000,000 B.C. – 1519: Nothing happens in history on in cooking.
1519 – Conquistador Cortez brings tomatoes back to Spain. People don’t eat the pretty plants.
1595 – Europeans note that tomatoes are part of the poisonous nightshade family. The French also believe that tomatoes, pommes d’amour, have aphrodisiacal properties. Tomatoes still aren’t eaten.
1872: Tomatoes first appear in an ingredient in a American recipe for tomato chowder.
1870s: The modern American meatloaf appears on the scene.
1894: Joseph Campbell cans condensed tomato soup. This proves wildly successful.
1929-1939: The Great American Depression forces starving family to extend precious protein to great lengths. Making meatloaf ensures that everyone gets some beef. All Americans eat meatloaf.
1949: LegoTM starts producing Legos. Legos look like squares with four raised dots.
1962: Syria gains its independence. Syria starts making meatloaf. Its meatloaf squares have four raised tomatoes slices. Was this meatloaf inspired by Legos? I like to think so.

 

– 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

Matthew’s Pastrami Sandwich

American Entree

MATTHEW’S PASTRAMI SANDWICH

INGREDIENTS

8 slices rye, crusty deli bread, or French rolls*
⅓ cup Russian dressing
1½ pounds sliced pastrami**
4 slice Swiss cheese
2 cups coleslaw

SPECIAL UTENSIL***

aluminum foil

* = rye bread is by far the most popular bread for this sandwich. However, I’m listing substitutes as some people can’t abide rye.
** = This is a simple recipe, so the quality of the pastrami is particularly important.
*** = Omit this if you wish to eat a cold sandwich.

Serves 4. Takes 10 minutes if sandwiches are served cold, 30 minutes if the sandwiches are hot.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Wrap bread in aluminum foil. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. (Skip this step if you’re making cold sandwiches.) Spread Russian dressing over 2 slices. Add pastrami to bottom bread slice. Place 1 slice of Swiss on pastrami. Top with coleslaw. Complete sandwich by adding the top slice of bread.

TIDBITS

1) Look at the sandwich in the above picture. If you were to turn one of the sandwich halves upside down, you would still have a pastrami sandwich half. In fact, if you hadn’t done the flipping yourself upside down, you never would have been able to tell.

2) This very thing happened to the budding artist, Auguste Renoir. In 1859, he labored all summer painting the best pastrami sandwich the art world had seen or even would see. He painted with such style and such élan that the directors of the Escalier Galerie asked to display his masterpiece.

3) But quelles horreurs, the oaf in charge of exhibitions hung Renoir’s brilliant “Le sandwich au pastrami” upside down. None of the visiting art lovers nor any of the heads of France’s Académie Française noticed this mistake. No, not enough to articulate their artistic uneasiness. But mon Dieu, their psyches did. The viewers’ souls recoiled. The masses, without knowing why, turned away from Renoir. The painting elite also shunned the young Auguste. Renoir shook his fists at the heavens. “Bah, never again will I faithfully painting reality. Mais non, I shall quickly paint my impressions of life. Nothing more. He did and to his lasting amazement, he became one of the pillars of the impressionist movement. Now you know.

– 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.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Applesauce

American Appetizer

APPLESAUCE

INGREDIENTS

8 apples
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1¼ cups water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
⅓ cup white or brown sugar

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
2 mason or other airtight jars. (Enough for 4-to-6 cups.)

Makes 4-to-6 cups depending on the size of the apples.. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Core and peel apples. Cut each apple into 8 wedges. Put apple wedges, lemon juice, and water into large pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until apple wedges soften and start to fall apart. Add cinnamon, ground cloves, and sugar. Stir with spoon until sugar melts completely.

Add contents of pot to food processor. Blend until you obtain you get applesauce with the consistency that you desire.

TIDBITS

1) You can see a swirl in the applesauce shown in the picture above. Doesn’t it look like a whirlpool? Can you imagine what applesauce would look like if it filled a bowl five miles wide? Poe knows.

2) For In 1841 an explosion rocked Thorvald Applesauce Factory. An avalanche of applesauce streaked down the hill in the nearby Maelström whirpool. The force of the raging applesauce combined with the centrifugal of the Maelström to combine the mother of all eddies, an out of control whirlpool that sucked all ships that came too close.

3) On of those ships was the SS Bunion. The Bunion shattered as it careened off the water walls of the eye of the massive vortex. Many died in the Maelström. Passenger Edgar Allan Poe did not. He survived by clutching to a wooden beam. Poe described his ordeal in his famous story, “Descent into the Maelström.” Poe did omit any mention of the applesauce tsunami, holding that nobody would believe it. However, the Norwegians believed and founded the prestigious Eplesaus Katastrofe Institutt to develop measures to forestall the enormous destructive power of unleashed applesauce.

– 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.

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

Brown Sugar Smoked Salmon

American Entree

BROWN SUGAR SMOKED SALMON

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds salmon fillets
vegetable oil

SPECIAL UTENSILS

smoker
electric thermometer
wood chips (apple, cherry, and alder are the most popular)

Serves 6. Takes 3 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add brown sugar, dill, pepper, and salt to small mixing bowl. Blend thoroughly with whisk. This is the rub. Cut salmon into 6 fillets. Pat salmon fillets dry. Rub an equal amount of rub all over the meat sides of each fillet. Let fillets sit in refrigerator for 2 hours.

30 minutes before fillets have finished refrigerating, brush grills in smoker with vegetable oil. This prevents the fish from sticking. Preheat smoker to 220 degrees. When temperature of smoker reaches 220 degrees, place fillets meat side up on grills. Smoke salmon until its internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. It should take about 1 hour 15 minutes, depending on your smoker. The salmon fillets should be pink and flaky.

TIDBITS

1) Plates are round because alien spaceships were round. Alien UFOs were living things. Aliens conquered Earth 66 million years ago. The outer spacers treated our dinosaurs most horribly. A scant million years later the dinos formulated their plan of rebellion, “Rush ‘em, crush ‘em, chomp ‘em.” The uprising was succeeding! Hooray! All the dinosaurs looked up and did a happy dance.

3) But the huge mother spaceship, it really was a mother, beamed a huge death ray at the rampaging dinos. The ray, however, merely reflected off the rebels’ cat-like eyes, disintegrating the mother ship. Circular living bits fell to Earth. Whenever the dinos laid eggs they did so on these bits, for the smarter dinosaurs knew round things can’t grow if weighed down. Today, we weigh down our round plates with food, just in case they are spaceship babies. When we’re not using our plates, we stack them in the cupboard for the same reason. You can’t be too careful with space aliens.

– 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.

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

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