Posts Tagged With: American

Corn On The Cob

American Entree

CORN ON THE COB

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup fresh basil
¼ cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
4 ears corn, in their husks

Serves 4. Takes 35 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

aluminum foil
outdoor grill                                                                                              Modern food, ancient weapons.

PREPARATION

Dice basil. Add all ingredients save corn to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Peel back corn husks most of the way and remove corn silk. Brush corn with buttery blend. Close husks over ears. Tightly wrap corn in aluminum foil. Preheat outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Place foil-wrapped corn on grill. Grill for 20 minutes or corn is tender to the fork. Remove corn and place on plate. Let sit for 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove husks.

TIDBITS

1) Since the dawn of time, people have been trying to hurt each other. At first, combatants made scary faces. However, all cavemen had scary faces and all fights ended in draws. Then Ogg, an intellectual giant for his time, dislodged the bugs in his hair and let a stiff wind carry the little critters onto his opponents’ face. Exactly, 1,217 years later Ogg LXII found if he lifted up his arms, the wind would waft the ripe odor from his armpits toward his foes, knocking them out instantly.

2) However, this Oggian technique relied rather heavily upon getting the wind at one’s back. However, this secret would soon be discovered by all cavemen a scant two millennia later. Cavemen would dance around each other trying to get the wind advantage. Indeed, Ogga, Ogg CXI’s wife, found herself grabbing Ogg and whirling around, trying to get the upper hand. But then, she found this close-quarter dancing with her husband to be great fun. It caught on with all cave couples. The waltz, and all other forms of dancing, had been invented.

3) Three millennia later, Ogg CCCXXXIII, discovered how to grow corn. This act revolutionized warfare. The corn cob, with its hard kernels, delivered a vicious migraine, extended the attacker’s reach, and most of all, eliminated the role of wind in combat. Migraine battles proliferated. Then, in the Bronze Age, Ogg DCIV figured out how to make swords. The mighty corn cob lost its position on the battlefield, but not in our meals. We eat corn cobs to this day. There you go.

Chef Paul

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

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Deep Fried Mars Bars

British Dessert

DEEP FRIED MARS-TM BARS

INGREDIENTS

1 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup water
¼ cup seltzer water
¼ teaspoon baking powder
5 chilled Mars bars (worldwide version) or Milky WayTM (American version)
4 cups vegetable oil or enough to cover Mars bar in deep fryer

SPECIAL UTENSILS

deep fryer Two aliens on a flying saucer
tongs

Serves 5. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add flour, salt, water, seltzer water, and baking powder to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

Pour batter into tall glass. Add oil to deep fryer. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Use tongs to dip Mars bar into tall glass. Remove and let excess batter drip off. Use tongs to place coated Mars bar in deep fryer. Fry for 2 minutes or until bars turn golden brown and become crisp. Remove from oil with tongs. Place deep-fried bar on paper towel and pat dry. Repeat for remaining bars.

TIDBITS

1) MarsTM was first produced by Forrest Mars in 1932. It’s sparked religious interest ever since.

2) Mars is the Roman god of war. Technically, the deity could have sued Mr. Mars for copyright infringement, but didn’t. Many culinary theologians have argued that a living god of war would certainly challenged Forrest Mar’s logo appropriation. Therefore, Mars doesn’t exist. Once we accept Mars non-existence, belief in all the other Roman dissolves. And indeed, the number of people worshiping Roman gods after 1932 has been pretty darn close to zero.

3) The American Mars bar ceased production in 2002, came back, stopped production in 2011, and finally came back online 2017. Its composition and size has varied over the decades. Culinary theologians hypothesize that these observable events led to widespread believe in reincarnation.

4) Currently, the Muslim community of Australia is debating halal certification for Mars bars.

Chef Paul

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

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Tarragon Chicken – Poulet à Estragon

French Entree

TARRAGON CHICKEN
(Poulet à Estragon)

INGREDIENTS

3 chicken breasts
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1 shallot
3 green onions
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
⅔ cup crème fraîche or heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves (1 tablespoon if dried)

Serves 3. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Rub chicken breasts with pepper and salt. Dice shallots. Thinly slice green onions. Add butter, olive oil, and shallot to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until shallot softens. Stir frequently. Add chicken breasts and green onion. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes for each side or until chicken starts to brown. Stir occasionally. Add white wine and crème fraîche. Stir until sauce is well blended. Bring sauce to boil. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes or until sauce has been reduced by half. Stir occasionally. Spoon lemon juice over chicken breasts. Sprinkle with tarragon.

TIDBITS

1) In 1922, the Agricultural Department, finding itself with an extra twenty-billion dollars decided to help the American farmer. Specifically, the American tarragon farmer. Why the tarragon growers? It had a really, really, really good lobby back then.

2) That amount of money bought quite a lot of tarragon seeds back then, enough to plant the entire Great Plains. Farmers gave up costly corn and wheat seeds in favor of free tarragon. USA became a global tarragon powerhouse. Tarragon farmers in other lands, however, faced bankruptcy. Foreign nations protected their farmers with prohibitively high tariffs on American tarragon. The United States retaliated with fees on European cheeses, even the non-stinky ones. European countered with tariffs on American wheat. Things got out of hand, with agricultural departments saying, “Na, nana, poo, poo” to each other and finding new ways to destroy each others commerce. Soon the global economy collapsed and we had the Great Depression of 1929-1939. Tens of millions of people were thrown out of work, including America’s tarragon farmers. This was bad; no tarragon on chicken for ten long years. But America survived. Its people are resilient.

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

Chef Paul

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

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Chicken Fried Steak

American Entree

CHICKEN FRIED STEAK

INGREDIENTS

2¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
8 4-ounce cube steaks
1¾ cups buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup vegetable oil
4 cups whole milk

Serves 8. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add flour, garlic powder, pepper, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Add buttermilk and egg to medium mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Dredge steak through flour mix. Dredge steak through buttermilk mix. Dredge steak once more through flour mix. Repeat for each steak. SAVE flour and buttermilk mixes remaining in mixing bowls.

Add vegetable oil to large skillet. Heat oil using medium-high heat. It will be hot enough when tiny pinch of buttermilk starts to dance in the oil. Add as many steaks as will fit in the skillet without touching. (You might need to cook in batches.) Fry for 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place steaks on plates covered with paper towels.

Reduce heat to low-medium. Discard all but ⅓ cup liquid from the pan. Leave as much solid bits as possible in the pan. Add remaining flower mix from the large mixing bowl. Mix with wooden spoon until well blended while scrapping bottom of skillet with spoon to ensure even distribution of bits. Add milk. Stir with spoon until you have a well-blended gravy. Raise heat to medium and simmer for 7 minutes or until gravy thickens. Stir enough to keep gravy from burning. Place steaks on plates. Ladle gravy over steaks.

TIDBITS

1) Chicken Fried Steak is an anagram for Chicken Fired Keats. Keats was a romantic poet during the early nineteenth century, also known as the nine teeth century due to poor dental hygiene. His publisher was a chicken who took ill one day. Keat’s brought his boss chicken-noodle soup. Couldn’t hurt, he thought. But strange to say, the chicken took offense and fired the poet just after publishing his worst poems, Ode To A Doorknob. People stopped reading Keats. He became depressed, so much so that he up and died. Then suddenly in the 1920s, the American South experienced Romantic Poet Mania, none more than Chef Scalding of the famed Bella Bellum Hotel. Indeed the Chef named his newly created chicken fried steak after the poet’s dramatic incident. But Scalding was dyslexic and that is why the dish is now known as Chicken Fried Steak.

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

Chef Paul

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

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Paul’s Camembert Burger – Blog 999

American Entree

PAUL’S CAMEMBERT BURGER

INGREDIENTS

1½ pounds ground beef
½ teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine
½ cup heavy whipping cream or crême fraiche
1 tablespoon fresh* herbs (thyme, marjoram, or sage)
4 ounces Camembert cheese, no rind
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 French rolls

* = Try to use fresh ingredients for this dish. However, if that is not possible, use 1 teaspoon dried herbs instead.                A still-life painting by Vincent van Gogh.

Serves 4. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add ground beef and herbes de Provence to mixing bowl. Mix with hands. Shape beef into 4 oblong patties that match the shape of the French rolls. Add butter and olive oil to pan. Warm butter using medium heat until butter melts and browns. Tilt pan occasionally to ensure even melting. Add beef patties. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes per side or until meat is done to your liking. Remove beef patties to dish and cover to keep warm. Keep liquid in pan.

Toast French rolls. Add wine to pan. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir frequently. Add whipping cream and herbs. Stir. Bring to boil again using high heat. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to medium high. Add Camembert cheese and Dijon mustard. Stir constantly until cheese dissolves and blends into the rest of the sauce. Add beef patty to each French roll bottom. Pour sauce over beef patties. Place French roll tops on sauce-covered patties.

TIDBITS

1) Vincent van Gogh painted food for cookbooks. It kept him going during his lean years which were many as he sold only one non-food pictures in his lifetime. Van Gogh also had to work at carnivals as an egg catcher. He and his pals wowed crowds by tossing raw eggs for longer and longer distances without dropping them or letting them break. Van Gogh’s supple hands that helped him catch eggs also allowed him to wield his paint brush with a deft touch. Today, we honor his memory with Poway’s annual Impressionist Egg Toss Festival.

2) All his food paintings but for the incredibly valuable one here perished in s freak fire. Odd.

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

Chef Paul

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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Atlanta Brisket

American Entree

ATLANTA BRISKET

INGREDIENTS

3½ pounds beef brisket
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups ketchup or bottled chili sauce
1 packet instant onion soup mix
4 cups Coca ColaTM
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

SPECIAL UTENSILS

9″ x 13″ casserole dish
tin foil, if your casserole dish doesn’t have a lid
particle accelerator (Costs billions. Start saving.)

Serves 6. Takes 4 hours 30 minutes plus at least 6 hours to marinate.

PREPARATION

Add brisket to casserole dish. Use fork to poke holes in brisket. Rub garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper onto brisket. Add ketchup, onion soup mix, and Coca Cola. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight. Turn every 2 hours, if possible.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove brisket from casserole dish and add to pan. (Keep marinade in casserole dish.) Add vegetable oil. Sauté for 10 minutes on medium-high heat or until brisket browns. Turn over once. Return brisket to casserole dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 4 hours or until meat is tender to the fork. Add Coca Cola, if necessary, to keep brisket from drying out. Goes well with sides or desserts prepared by someone else. ☺

TIDBITS

1) Instant onion soup mix transforms soup instantly into cold onion soup with the addition of water.

2) Of course, onion soup is much tastier warm. As we know, there are three ways to heat onion soup: the stove top, the microwave, and the particle accelerator.

3) For the last method, simply put your bowl in the particle accelerator. Press the start button and whoosh, piping hot soup. Before you do though, and I cannot stress this strongly enough, make sure your bowl is particle-accelerator safe. If not, you might melt down an entire town, which your surviving neighbors will hold against you for a long time.

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

Chef Paul

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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Homemade Butter

American Appetizer

HOMEMADE BUTTER

INGREDIENTS

3 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup ice water
¼ teaspoon salt (optional, to taste)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor (best), immersion blender or electric whisk
fine-mesh colander or colander with cheesecloth
butter molds (optional)

Makes 1 cup or 2 sticks butter. Takes 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add whipping cream to food processor. Whip cream until it cream fully separates into thickish butter and buttermilk. This can take up to 10 minutes. Place large bowl under colander. Pour contents of food processor into colander. Most of the buttermilk will go through the colander and into the bowl.

Put butter into 2nd bowl. Use your hands to press down on the butter until all of the buttermilk is out of the butter. Pour some cold water onto the butter. Knead butter. Carefully drain water from bowl. Repeat until poured-off water is clear. This process removes the last of the buttermilk from the butter. Add salt, to taste, and mix into butter with fork. Save the buttermilk for drinking or for recipes.

This butter is soft but will harden in the refrigerator. You can make sticks of butter with butter molds. Butter will store in the fridge for 2-to-6 weeks.

TIDBITS

1) There’s always the hope that prison time will rehabilitate criminals.

2) This is why most American prisons have ParcheesiTM leagues. This game teaches people to deal with the ups and downs of life and to take a longer view of things. Plus the long Parcheesi season keeps the inmates busy. More than one avid prisoner has had to be dragged from a post-season tournament game simply because his sentence was up.

3) Freshly made butter hardens in refrigerators. So do freshly made convicts. This is why the higher-security prisons never let jailbirds ever get inside a fridge or even own one. Butter also makes it much easier for people get out of handcuffs. This is why arresting officers won’t give their suspect a stick of butter. One phone call yes, but butter never.

Chef Paul

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

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

Hatch Chile Onion Pie

American Entree

HATCH CHILE ONION PIE

INGREDIENTS

3 medium onions
4 tablespoons butter
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons flour
¼ cup milk
1 cup sour cream
4 Hatch chiles or 1 can Hatch chiles
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
2 9-inch pie shells
6 ounces white Mexican cheeses or any desired white cheeses

SPECIAL UTENSIL

mandoline

Makes 2 pies. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Use mandoline or knife to slice onions ⅛” thick. Add butter and onion slices to pan. Sauté on medium-heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add onion and its drippings, eggs, flour, milk, sour cream, pepper, and salt to large mixing bowl. Blend well with whisk. Pour into pie shell. Grate cheese. Sprinkle pie with cheese. Bake in oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower temperature to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 20-to-40 minutes or until center of pie is firm.

TIDBITS

1) Cro Magnon chefs felt unfulfilled serving the same old berries year after year. One day a caveman chef pointed to a mastodon. “Why not eat that?” he asked. “Yes, let’s,” said his tribe. So, the Twofoot Tribe organized mastodon hunts which became more successful when they attacked with rocks instead of berries. And the tribe would dine on raw mastodon chunks.

2) A century later, an enfant terrible chef pointed to some chickens. “Why not eat those?” “Yes, let’s,” said the Hatch Valley clan. And the cavemen started to herd chickens.  A decade later, through a series of fortuitous accidents, the H.V. Clan invented pie crusts. It was a natural step to get their chickens to lay eggs into the pie crusts, add a few Hatch chiles, onions, and sour cream from sour cows. Then cook the pie over an open flame, thank goodness for the invention of fire. And so Hatch Chile Onion Pies were first made. You can see finger paintings of them in the famous Lascaux Caves. Oh, we’ve made improvements since then. We pick the egg shells out of the pies.

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

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

Phosphate

American Dessert

PHOSPHATE

INGREDIENTS

½ teaspoon acid phosphate*
2½ tablespoons syrup (your choice, cherry was the most popular)
1¼ cups carbonated water
ice cubes as desired

Makes 1 glass. Takes 5 minutes.

* = You really need acid phosphate to make an authentic phosphate. Its closest substitute is citric acid which imparts a citric taste to all syrups. You will probably have to order your acid phosphate on line. The path to culinary nirvana is strewn with obstacles.

PREPARATION

Add all ingredients to glass. Stir until well blended. Add ice cubes as desired.

TIDBITS

1) Why did George Washington chop down the cherry tree?

2) He needed cherries to make cherry phosphates.

3) Why didn’t he just pick the cherries from the tree?

4) Culinary historians have been debating this for decades. Two reasons have gained currency. First, chopping down cherry trees is good aerobic exercise while mere cherry picking is not. Second, tree chopping builds strong muscles while cherry picking wouldn’t even strengthen a grasshopper.

5) And young George really wanted to win the International He Man Buff Body Competition of 1745. He needed to make his mother happy and proud of him, as his listed birth dates of February 11, 1731 and February 22, 1732 suggest a difficult childbirth.

6) Anyway, George fessed up to his tree chopping. This gained him a reputation for honesty. Mr. Washington even became general of the Continental Army and won the American Revolution.

7) Double Birth George was chosen to become the new American nation’s first president as his cherry-tree honesty was one more example than all the other politicians could provide. Besides, he was buffer. Now, his face is on the quarter and on the dollar bill. Yay, George.

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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Hermit Cookies

American Dessert

HERMIT COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

¾ cup butter (1 more tablespoon later)
1¼ cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon clove
¼ teaspoon mace
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup raisins
1 tablespoon butter

SPECIAL UTENSILS

3 cookie sheets

Makes 96 (8 dozen) cookies. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add ¾ cup butter to large mixing bowl.  Use high setting on electric beater until butter becomes creamy. Add sugar. Use high setting until butter and sugar are thoroughly blended. Add eggs and milk. Use high setting on beater until ingredients are well blended. Add flour, baking, powder, cinnamon, clove, mace, and nutmeg to 2nd mixing bowl. Mix ingredients with whisk or fork. Gradually add flour/spice mix to mixing bowl with butter. Use medium setting on electric beater dough is well blended. Dice raisins. Add raisins. Blend in raisins with electric beater set on medium.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rub cookie sheet with 1 tablespoon butter or spray with no-stick spray. Use a teaspoon to drop rounded balls 2″ apart onto cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes or until cookies start to brown. (Keep an eye on the cookies. Cooking times vary with the placement and the thickness of the cookie sheet and with the oven itself.)

TIDBITS

1) The name “hermit cookies” comes from the hermit crab and the hermits of Cinco Rios, Jamaica. These hermits loved cookies, as who does not? Anyway, these reclusive holy men noticed male hermit crabs carrying spicy cookies back to their homes. It was a simple matter to set up a trade where the monks received the cookies in return for painting hermit-crabs’ shells in festive colors. Every one knows that female hermit crabs go gaga for brightly colored shells. However, we still aren’t sure how the hermit crabs knew that the hermits liked spicy cookies nor where the crustaceans got these hermit cookies, but 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

Categories: cuisine, history | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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