Posts Tagged With: American

Brined Turkey Breast.

American Entree

BRINED TURKEY BREAST

INGREDIENTS – BRINE

1 gallon ice-cold water
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon rosemary
1½ cups coarse salt
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon thyme
8 pounds thawed turkey breast (for love of God, Montressor, the turkey must be thawed)

INGREDIENTS – COOKING TURKEY

¼ cup butter
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2-to-3 cups chicken broth

SPECIAL UTENSILS

really big pot, 8+ gallons, or turkey bag
spice grinder
large oven-safe pan or casserole dish
wire rack
meat thermometer

Serves 12. Takes 15-to-24 hours

PREPARATION – THAWING TURKEY

A large frozen item like a turkey requires at least a day (24 hours) to defrost in the refrigerator for every 5 pounds of weight.

If you are pressed for time, use this quicker defrosting method. Keep turkey in packaging and add it to a large pot. Cover turkey with ice-cold water. Let turkey sit in cold water for 30 minutes per pound. In this recipe, that would be 4 hours. Pour out water.

But the turkey must be thawed before cooking. Or there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

PREPARATION – BRINE

Crumble bay leaves. Mince garlic cloves. Grind peppercorns. Remove packaging from turkey and rinse in cold water. Add brine ingredients except turkey to pot. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Add turkey. Add ice-cold water as needed to cover turkey. Cover pot or close turkey bag and refrigerate for at least 12 hours but not more than 24.

PREPARATION – COOKING TURKEY

Remove turkey from brine and pat dry. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put turkey in large pan. Melt butter. Brush melted butter onto turkey. Sprinkle pepper and salt onto turkey. Place wire rack in pan. Put turkey on rack. Put meat thermometer in thickest part of turkey. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees. Bake for 2-to-3 hours or until meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Baste with ½ cup of chicken broth after every 30 minutes of baking at 325 degrees.

TIDBITS

1) Wild turkeys hide in trees at night. Just like human ninjas.

2) Wild turkeys can fly. That’s better than human ninjas.

3) All turkeys have periscopic vision. This means they can twist their heads around to see everything. Can human ninjas do that? I think not.

4) Female turkeys do not gobble. This stealthiness makes them the perfect silent warriors.

5) Our founding father, Benjamin Franklin, wanted to make the turkey our national bird. Why? Culinary historians suspect that turkey ninjas fought on the colonists’ side during the American Revolution.

6) How do they know this? The British soldier was far better trained than the American militiaman. The British king had many more soldiers under his autocratic command than did our fractious Continental Congress. King George’s army possessed thousands of cannon and could boast of the biggest and best navy in the world.

7) America could only have won if it had ninja turkeys swooping down, dealing quick, silent death out of the pitch-black night. Historians think American units coordinated ambushes by using bird calls. Culinary historians know better. These were turkey calls, made by fierce turkey warriors.

8) Britain finally countered with the King’s Bear Battalion in 1782. These bears could climb up any tree and were paid in honey. America’s ninja turkeys wouldn’t have stood a chance against the bears’ great strength and massive, sharp claws. Fortunately for America, Britain’s will to continue the war had already been shattered by the decisive battle of Yorktown during the previous year.

9) America disbanded its turkey ninjas in 1806. This is why it didn’t win the War of 1812.

10) America might be using turkey ninjas in covert operations. Who can say? Washington remains mute on the subject.

 

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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Simple Fig Bars

American Dessert

SIMPLE FIG BARS

INGREDIENTS

6½ tablespoons butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour (2 tablespoons more later)
½ cup wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
½ pound fig jam

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
14″ x 10″ cookie sheet
parchment paper

Makes 32 bars. Takes 2 hours 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add butter and brown sugar to large mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set on high until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract. Mix with electric beater set on high until light and fluffy.

Add 1 cup flour, wheat flour, baking powder, and salt to small mixing bowl. Mix with fork or whisk until well blended. Gradually add in flour mix from small mixing bowl to egg/sugar mix in large mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set on high until light and fluffy. Use hands to form a round dough ball. Cover and place in refrigerator for 1 hour or until firm.

Dust 14″ x 10″ flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Add dough ball. Roll out dough ball until it’s ¼” thick. Cut dough along its length into 10″ x 3½” strips. Spread ¼ of the fig jam down the middle of a strip until it’s 1″ wide. Carefully fold both edges of the dough over the fig jam. Pinch seam together to complete fig/dough log. Repeat for each dough strip. Cut each log into 2 shorter mini-logs to make transferring them to the parchment paper easier.

Place parchment paper on cookie sheet. Use spatula to carefully place mini logs seam side down on parchment paper. Use fingers to smooth together any tears in the mini logs. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until mini logs turn golden brown and feel slightly firm. Cut each mini log into 4 fig bars. Let cool on cookie sheet for 15 minutes or until slightly warm. Store in airtight container.

TIDBITS

1) Be sure to mark your calendar for January 16. That’s International Hot and Spicy Food Day.

2) It’s also National Fig Newton Day.

3) So eat hot-and-spicy food and fig bars on that day (IHSFNFND).

4) You might not want to do anything else.

5) Indeed. The Super Bowl used to held in January, but the prospect of having their biggest game of the year fall on International Hot and Spicy Day AND National Fig Newton Day terrified National Football League Executives. They knew the NFL would lose the match up.

6) This is why recent Super Bowls have been held in February.

7) Baseball, for decades, held its World Series in October for the very same reason.

8) Now, World Series Games spillover into November.

9) November is still two months away from IHSFNFND.

10) But the end of the World Series is getting ever closer to that eventful culinary day, because of ever increasing rounds of post-season play.

11) The World Series might eventually coincide with IHSFNFND. If that happens, television executives will simply throw up their hands and stop broadcasting the Fall Classic. This is something even World War II could not do.

12) This must not happen. Contact your senator. Now.

13) It’s worth noting that fig bars’ existential challenge to professional sports in America derives from their many great attributes.

14) Fig bars are high in fiber. Football and baseball are not.

15) Fig bars have many vitamins. Football and baseball do not.

16) Fig bars have many minerals. Football and baseball do not.

17) Fig bars are a tasty snack. Football and baseball do not.

18) Fig bars help digestion. Football and baseball do not.

19) Indeed, footballs and baseballs are even difficult to eat.

20) Oh crudness, National Fig Week runs from November 1 to November 7. The same time as the World Series. Stock up on fig bars; we live in dark, troubling times.

 

– 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

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.

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

With Books

 

 

– 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: observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shrimp Gravy

American Entree

SHRIMP GRAVY

INGREDIENTS

1 green bell pepper
1 celery stalk
1 medium onion
1½ pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined (41-50 count)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
6 bacon slices
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup flour
1½ cups beef stock

Serves 6 Takes 35 minutes.

PREPARATION

Seed and dice bell pepper. Dice celery and onion. Add shrimp, garlic powder, and seasoned salt to mixing bowl. Stir with fork or hands until shrimp are completely coated.

Add bacon to pan. Cook at medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and place on paper towels. Crumble bacon. Keep bacon grease in pan. Add bell pepper, celery, and onion. Sauté for 4 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add butter and flour to pan. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes or until flour turns copper brown. Stir constantly. Reduce heat if necessary, to prevent burning.

Add beef stock and coated shrimp to pan. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 4 minutes or until shrimp turns pink or orange. Stir frequently. Add crumbled bacon. Mix with fork until well blended. Goes well over freshly cooked rice or grits.

TIDBITS

1) When I was a kid, I took speech therapy classes. One of the phrases I had to master was “Butter makes the bitter batter better.” I enrolled in one acting class. I had to say easily, “You need New York, unique New York. You know you need unique New York.”

3) I played Snoopy in my grammar school’s version of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I even danced and sang. I built upon this success to play Wildcat Willie in my middle school’s production of Wildcat Willie Carves the Turkey.

4)Strange to say, I landed no more roles after that. I do however, have the occasional dream where I’m on stage and I don’t know the name of the play or my lines. Sigh.

 

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, humor, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SPAM

Part of my kitchen

1) The derivation of the term “spam” for torrents of unsolicited e-mail and posts comes from a Monty Python skit where a diner serves SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, and more SPAM.

2) While tidbit 1) advanced the cause of literature and the arts, the following tidbits will extol SPAM’s contribution to culinary history.

3) SPAM was first canned in 1937. It’s jingle was: “SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, Hormel’s new miracle meat in a can. Saves time, tastes fine, to eat something grand as for SPAM.”

4) SPAM featured in soldiers’ meal during World War II as it is a good source of protein and is easy to eat. Famous people have spoken out about Spam.

“Without SPAM we wouldn’t have been able to feed our army.”
– Russian President Nikita Kruschev

“SPAM was a war-time delicacy.”
– Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

“I ate my share of SPAM along with millions of other soldiers, I’ll even confess to a few unkind words about it – uttered during the strain of battle you understand. But as the former commander-in-chief of the allied forces, I believe I can still officially forgive you for your only sin: sending us so much of it.”
– President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

5) The SPAM Museum is Austin, Minnesota, “SPAM Town, USA.” Admission is free. Number One Son and I have been there. The poster picture on this blog is from the gift shop.

6) Restaurants in Austin, Minnesota serve SPAM. Sometimes it’s on the menu. Sometimes you just have to ask.

7) In 1989,Americans purchased 1,750 tons of SPAM. Purchases for other years is apparently a secret.

8) Hawaii has the largest per capita consumption of SPAM in the world. These islanders acquired their love for SPAM during World War II when millions of soldiers, marines, and seamen stationed there were fed vast amounts of SPAM.

9) There is an annual SPAM Jam block party in Waikiki. McDonald’s restaurants in Hawaii include SPAM, eggs, and rice on its breakfast menu.

10) Koreans love SPAM. Who knew? Okay, smarty pants, besides Koreans.

11) Many Koreans went hungry during and just after the Korean War. Thousands and thousands averted starvation only by getting food from nearby American army bases. The most prevalent gift from the GIs were cans of SPAM. People there are still grateful for this food and SPAM has been adopted into Korean cuisine.

12) I’ve heard that SPAM is popular in the Philippines as well because of the SPAM American soldiers brought with them in 1944 to 1946. My father was stationed in the Philippines after the War as part of America’s SPAM diplomacy.

13) South Korea is a firm ally of America and a strong trading partner. North Korea, however, threatens us with nuclear attack. Why? Because America never got a chance to get its SPAM bearing armies into that land. SPAM brings peace and amity everywhere. Wonderful SPAM, glorious SPAM.

14) Some years ago, I was asked to participate in the International Bento Contest. SPAM was part of my recipe.

 

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: food, history | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Archer Woman on How to Behave

Archer Woman has boiled down all the rules for model behavior to just one.

Archer Woman #5

 

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: Archer Woman | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pablo Paul Picasso

This is what I would have looked like if Pablo Picasso had painted me. If only the great artist had more time.

 

 

 

– 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: supermodel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mason Jar Chocolate Ice Cream

American Dessert

MASON JAR CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM

INGREDIENTS

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups heavy whipping cream
5 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon salt

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor or blender
3 cup Mason jar

Makes 2½ cups. Takes 20 minutes to make and 4 hours to firm in freezer.

PREPARATION

Add chocolate chips to pan. Melt using low-medium heat. Stir constantly. Add melted chocolate chips and all other ingredients to 3 cup Mason jar. Make sure that the lid to Mason jar is screwed on tightly. Shake jar vigorously for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens to the consistency of batter. Put jar in freezer. Let sit for 4 hours or until firm.

TIDBITS

1) Family dinners can often be quite contentious.

2) Why?

3) There’s always someone who doesn’t like some dish that you made for the gathering on the clan.

4) And you spent up to two days making your feast.

5) And someone always brings up politics, which always gets people riled.

6) But this argument gets forgotten when someone offers to help and puts your grandmother’s cast-iron skillet in the washer. 30 minutes your angel of a daughter, Sally, looks up at you with soulful eyes. Tears drip down as she quavers, “Mommy, you were going to give that skillet one day.” Her distress punches you in the feels as you review the ingratitude and argument of the dining room. You wish, you really wish that just once serenity could prevail while eating with those oafs.

7) With this recipe your wish is granted. Everybody, absolutely everyone loves chocolate ice cream. Eating this dessert makes everyone so happy that they become strangely pleasant. Furthermore, this dish takes almost no effort to make and is so easy to clean. What more could you want?

 

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, observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Air Fryer Garlic Butter Salmon

American Entree

AIR FRYER GARLIC BUTTER SALMON

INGREDIENTS

2 4-ounce skin-on salmon fillets
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1¼ teaspoons minced garlic
1¼ teaspoons lemon juice
1 lemon
¼ teaspoon parsley (⅛ teaspoon at a time)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

air fryer
parchment paper

Serves 2. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel. Rub salmon with pepper and salt. Add butter, garlic, and lemon juice to small mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Brush salmon fillets all over butter/lgarlic/emon juice. Cut lemon into 4 quarters.

Place parchment paper in bottom of air fryer. Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees. Cook for 10 minutes at 390 degrees or until salmon flakes easily with fork. Garnish with 2 lemon quarters and ⅛ teaspoon parsley. Repeat for 2nd salmon fillet.

TIDBITS

1) The ancient Sumerians, who lived in what would become modern Iraq, developed writing in 3500 B.C. They wrote on garlic-butter salmon fillets, using dried parsley instead of ink.

3) The above photo is a Sumerian haiku. It says:
You are so pretty
Leave that oaf of yurs and we’ll
Flee this here city*

* = Haikus were hard to write even back then, especially without spell and grammar checkers.

4) But Sumerian salmon haikus quickly died out. It was simply too expensive to get salmon from Alaska to Sumeria. All the salmon went bad on that ten-year voyage. The lovely object of a man’s affection never got close enough to the reeking salmon to read to love poem. Summeria’s birth rate briefly crashed to zero until a bright young woman thought of etching symbols in clay. Whew!

 

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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