Posts Tagged With: appetizer

Turkish Salad

Turkish Appetizer

TURKISH SALAD

INGREDIENTS

1 cucumber
1 green bell pepper
1 red onion
3 tomatoes
1 garlic clove
6 ounces feta cheese
2 tablespoons fresh mint
⅔ cup fresh parsley
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt

Serves 8. Takes 25 minutes.

PREPARATION

Peel cucumber. Seed green bell pepper. Dice cucumber, green bell pepper, red onion, and tomatoes. Mince garlic clove. Crumble feta cheese. Add cucumber, green bell pepper, red onion, and tomato to large serving bowl. Toss ingredients in bowl. Sprinkle feta cheese on top. Toss ingredients lightly.

Mince mint and parsley. Add mint, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, and salt to small mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Pour this dressing over salad in serving bowl. Toss lightly.

TIDBITS

1) It is both enjoyable to eat well. It also necessary to be clean. Clean people needn’t worry about repelling loved ones and friends whenever the wind wafts your scent toward them. But why not have it all? Why not dine well and be squeaky clean? May I suggest a Turkish bath? They’re great fun. You and your 123 closest friends relax in room filled with hot air. This warmth causes healthy perspiring and gives you time to order your meal and sup.* Then cool yourself down with nice, refreshing, cold water.

2) * – But oh my gosh, be sure to tailor you menu choices to the type of Turkish bath. The Islamic hamman variety uses steamy air. This experience lends itself to eating steamed vegetables and steamed hot dogs and buns. When there, do not, do not, order the Turkish salad shown in this recipe. The steamy atmosphere wilts the lettuce something fierce. No if you wish this dish, without having to bolt down, you’d be much better off in a Victorian Turkish bath where the air is dry. Indeed, the well-known British love of salad and bathing, explains why there are only Victorian Turkish baths in that country. Now you know.

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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Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

American Appetizer

BACON WRAPPED SHRIMP

INGREDIENTS

24 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 slices bacon
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSILS

24 toothpicks
baking rack
cookie sheet.

Serves 6. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Set oven to broil and preheat to 400 degrees. Soak toothpicks in water. Slice each bacon strip into two halves crosswise.. Add shrimp, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce to mixing bowl. Toss shrimp until they are well coated. Wrap each shrimp with bacon. Secure with soaked toothpick. Repeat for each shrimp.

Spray baking rack with no-stick spray. Place shrimp on baking rack. Place baking rack 3″ from heat. Place cookie sheet under rack to catch drippings from bacon. Broil at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until bacon becomes crispy. Watch carefully, bacon can go burned quickly.

TIDBITS

1) Sir Francis Bacon was a mainstay in the Elizabethan era because he was brilliant as all get out, being an author, statesman (Lord High Chancellor England), scientist, blah, blah, blah. . . and a budding culinary saint! Francis was researching the effect of freezing on meat when he contracted pneumonia and died. This selfless act, was no doubt, the inspiration for the safe modern freezer/refrigerator. It is tantalizing to further speculate that Sir Bacon invented the cut of pig known as bacon. Many culinary historians assert this hypothesis most vigorously, particularly so after they’ve been drinking heavily.

2) At any rate, bacon was a staple of the American culinary scene by the early 18th century. America’s settlers wouldn’t have even considered crossing the land’s great expanses without an adequate supply of bacon. Tasty bacon would go onto grow and stabilize the great American Republic.

3) Unfortunately, by 2017, demand for bacon began to outstrip its supply. The Republic is in danger. Civil unrest will surely follow. Indeed, political discourse is already getting ever more heated and frenzied.

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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Lemongrass and Five Spice Tofu

Vietnamese Appetizer

LEMONGRASS AND FIVE SPICE TOFU

INGREDIENTS

2 stalks lemongrass
3 garlic cloves
1¼ pounds firm tofu
1 cup vegetable oil (2 tablespoons more later)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon red chile flakes
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
¼ teaspoon white pepper or pepper
½ tablespoon soy sauce

PREPARATION

Discard all but the tender, inner and lower, green part of the lemongrass stalks. Mince garlic cloves and remaining lemongrass. Slice tofu into 8 long rectangles. Pat dry with paper towel. Add 1 cup vegetable oil to pan. Heat oil at high heat until a tiny bit of tofu in the oil will start to dance. Carefully add tofu rectangles to pan. Fry tofu rectangles for 8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the bottom. Turn over once. Fry for 4 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the new bottom. (Monitor the tofu carefully as the time between golden brown and crispy can be short.) Remove tofu and drain on paper towels.

Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to 2nd pan. Add garlic, lemongrass, and red chile flakes. Sauté at medium heat for 2 minutes or until lemongrass is tender and fragrant. Stir frequently. Add Chinese five spice, white pepper, and soy sauce. Mix until well blended. Add tofu rectangles. Sauté at low-medium heat for 2 minutes. Turn over once. Place 2 tofu rectangles on each plate. Carefully spoon sautéed lemongrass/garlic from pan over tofu rectangles.

Serves 4. Takes 45 minutes.

TIDBITS

1) It’s startling to hear this now, but for centuries, perhaps even millennia, lemons grew on grass rather than on trees. The reason for this change and other  ensuing culinary changes was war.

2) The British navy had been losing thousands and thousands of sailors to scurvy. In 1753, the British conducted controlled experiments to find a cure for this dread scourge. They strongly concluded that lemon juice would keep scurvy at bay. A scant forty-two years later, the British Admiralty began issuing daily rations of lemon juice. Scurvy disappeared! The navy could indefinitely blockade Napoleon’s ships and keep him from invading England. It was all so neat. Unfortunately, the Admiralty’s lemon mowers cut so much lemon grass that ground lemons were on the brink of extinction. Botanists stepped in and grafted lemons onto trees. This process worked well that the lemons developed seeds that would sprout into full-blown lemon bearing trees. History is such fun.

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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Garlic Bread

Italian Appetizer

GARLIC BREAD

INGREDIENTS

1 loaf Italian bread or French Bread or French rolls
3 garlic cloves
½ cup butter, completely softened
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor (optional)
tin foil

Serves 4. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice bread diagonally every 1″. DO NOT slice bread all the way to the bottom; keep the loaf together. Mince garlic quite finely, use a food processor if desired. Add finely minced garlic, softened butter, olive oil, and Italian seasoning to mixing bowl. Blend thoroughly with whisk or fork. Use spatula to spread garlic butter between bread slices.

Wrap loaf in foil and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until bread is slightly browned.

TIDBITS

1) Garlic bread is an anagram for Grab Da Rice. Grab Da Rice was a slogan for the hungry French rioters of 1781. It was not a particularly good slogan as incendiary slogans go. I mean, some firebrand would whip up the Parisian sans culottes to a fever pitch and then he’d say, “Grab da rice.”

2) But not many stores in the Paris of 1781 even carried rice. So many rioters dissipated their energy tramping all over looking for riceries. They developed blisters and leg cramps and never ever again heeded the call for revolution.

3) The happy few, well as happy as you can be when you’re in full riot mode, found rice stores had trouble grabbing much rice with their hands. The rice kept slipping between their fingers as they scurried all the way home. A more informative slogan would have been, “Scoop the da rice with a large spoon and but it in a sack.” But that’s too long for exciting people to riot.

4) The French revolution only really took off when its leaders targeted bread rioters with, “Liberté, égalité, fraternité.” Proper word choice matters, even in a revolution.

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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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

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Brazilian Shredded Collard Greens

Brazilian Appetizer

SHREDDED COLLARD GREENS

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds collard greens (about 4 bunches)
4 garlic cloves
3½ tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Serves 6. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Wash collard greens. Remove the thick part of the stems. Bundle up 8 leaves at a time. Cut bundle crosswise into ¼” strips. Mince garlic cloves. Add olive oil to large pan. Sauté garlic on medium-high heat for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir occasionally. Add collard greens. Reduce heat to medium and sauté for 5 minutes or until greens have started to wilt, but still are semi-firm. Stir frequently. Add pepper and salt. Stir until well blended.

TIDBITS

1) In Greek mythology, Ancient Earth was not peopled with people. It was horsed with horses. Zeus let the horses roam free with the stipulation that they never ate all the tacos from the Olympian taco truck.

2) But they did and Zeus was so angry for he loved the mighty taco. As who would not? So Zeus put green collars made from veggies on the horses and tied the beasts to trees. He could eat tacos again. And he was happy. So happy, in fact, that he created humans.

3) Zeus kept the gift of fire from the humans. People who knew how to use fire, would learn to make crispy shredded tacos. With that knowledge people would soon become powerful enough to overthrow Zeus. They would send him to clean restrooms in casinos for all eternity.

4) Then, on August 10th, Prometheus, the first poor sport, lost a game of ScrabbleTM to Zeus. Enraged, he set loose all the horses and gave fire to humanity. Zeus took his revenge on Prometheus, but it was not enough. Humanity soon dethroned him.

5) Right now, Zeus cleans men’s rooms at a casino in Monaco. Be sure to live him a small tip. He really is in a bad way. Oh my gosh, his apartment is tiny. It got a lot better for us humans, though. We learned how to make tacos and have become ever more advanced since them. Now you know.

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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Boston Baked Beans

American Appetizer

BOSTON BAKED BEANS

INGREDIENTS

1 pound great Northern beans
8 cups water
1 medium onion
5 ounces salt pork
¼ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup molasses
2 teaspoons dry mustard
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt

Makes 9 bowls. Takes overnight to soak plus 6 hours to cook.

PREPARATION

Add beans and water to large pot. Soak overnight. Reserve liquid from pot. Mince onions. Cut salt pork into ½” cubes. Add all ingredients including reserved liquid to slow cooker.  (If you discarded the liquid, add 5 cups water.) Use low setting to Cook for 6 hours or until beans are tender. Stir before serving.

TIDBITS

1) Beans are fairly round. Bowls are completely round. The Britons of King Arthur’s time ate beans before battle. Beans gave them strength and courage.

2) Though not the element of surprise. The many toots that came of Arthur’s knights always gave them away, no matter how carefully they concealed themselves in ambush. But the armies of King Arthur’s day generally eschewed–not that the illiterate warriors of the day would have known a two-dollar word as eschewed–complicated tactics such as ambush. Generally they came together and bashed the heck out of each other until one side gave way.

3) Naturally, King Arthur’s knights wanted to eat strength-and-courage-giving beans before combat for the knights eating the most beans, bashed the most enemy knights. In turn, these knights got the most gold, land, and the best castles from a grateful and victorious Arthur.

4) All knights wanted this. This meant they had to get the biggest bowl of beans. Soon combat broke out among King Arthur’s fighters. His warriors began to die off before they even saw the enemy.

5) The only way to have equally large bean bowls was to have only one bowl for all the knights, one they ate from at the same time. Naturally, this bowl had to be enormous. An enormous round bean bowl requires an enormous round table to support it. This is how the Round Table came about.

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

Crab Rangoon

Chinese Appetizer

CRAB RANGOON

INGREDIENTS

1 garlic clove
1 green onion
½ pound canned crabmeat
1 egg
½ pound cream cheese (room temperature)
⅛ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
48 wonton wrappers
3 cups or enough vegetable oil for deep frying

SPECIAL UTENSIL

wok

Makes 48 wontons. Takes 1 hour 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic clove. Cut green onion into thin slices. Drain and flake crabmeat. Add egg to cup. Beat egg with whisk. Add garlic, green onion, crabmeat, cream cheese, pepper, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Use brush to moisten to edges of wonton wrapper with egg. Add 1-to-1½ teaspoons of crabmeat/cream cheese filling to center/upper half of wonton wrapper. Flatten mixture slightly with spoon. (Do not let mixture reach edges or bottom half.) Fold bottom corner of wrapper to top corner to form a triangle. Press down gently as you go. (This will squeeze out pockets of air.) Press down firmly on edges to seal wonton. Place completed wontons on plate and cover with thin, damp towel. (This will keep the completed wontons from drying out.)

Add enough oil to wok to cover wontons. Heat oil to medium-high heat. Oil is hot enough when a little bit of wonton wrapper will dance in it. Carefully ladle in wontons. Do not let wontons touch each other. (You probably will need to cook wontons in batches.) Deep fry for 45 seconds or until wontons turn golden brown on bottom. Turn wontons over and deep fry for another 45 seconds or until that side becomes golden brown. Remove wontons with slotted spoon and let drain on plate covered with paper towel. Goes well with sweet-and-sour and Chinese-mustard.

TIDBITS

1) The Northrop GrummanTM B-2 Bomber, is designed to penetrate deep into enemy airspace to deliver nuclear and conventional bombs, even in the teeth of formidable air-defense systems.

2) Speaking of teeth, did you know that the B-2 bomber’s design is based on the shape of the humble, yet tasty, crab rangoon? Yep.

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, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spelt Bread

Swedish Appetizer

SPELT BREAD

INGREDIENTS

2¼ teaspoons (1 package) yeast
1½ cups lukewarm water
1 tablespoon butter (2 more tablespoons later)
2 tablespoons honey
½ tablespoon salt
4 cups spelt flour
1 tablespoon butter (1 more tablespoon later)
1 tablespoon butter (1 more tablespoon later)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater or stand mixer
9″-x-5″ loaf pan

Makes 1 loaf. Takes 2 hours 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add yeast, lukewarm water, and honey to mixing bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes or until water becomes foamy. While yeast sits, melt 1 tablespoons butter in small pot using low-medium heat. Add melted butter and salt. Stir gently until well blended.

Add 1 cup flour to bowl. Blend using low setting on beater for 1 minute. Repeat until all flour has been added. Dough should be slightly sticky. Cover with cloth and let sit for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size. Grease flat surface with 1 tablespoon butter. Transfer dough to flat surface. Press down on dough to push air out of it. Cover with cloth and let sit for 45 minutes or until dough doubles in size again. While dough is doubling in size a second time, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease loaf pan with 1 tablespoon butter.

Bake dough at 425 degrees for 40 minutes or until dough turns golden brown and toothpick inserted in bread comes out clean. Gently remove bread from pan and let cool on wire rack for 30 minutes or until bread firms enough for slicing.

TIDBITS

1) On January 31, 1968, Hiraama Kamouda of the tiny U.S. island of Madrana spelt “heteroskedasticity” with a c instead of a k. That cost Hiraama the National Spelling Bee Championship. Kamouda’s supporters vigorously maintained their spelling, but to no avail.

2) Their island’s honor tarnished, the Mandranans seceded from America. But no one noticed because the North Vietnamese had just launched the Tet Offensive. Now no one can find the island nation because Happy MapsTM mislabeled it as What Island. Madrana’s tourism industry is suffering.

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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Cucumber Yogurt Salad (salatet zabady bil ajur)

Sudanese Appetizer

CUCUMBER YOGURT SALAD
(Salatet Zabady bil Ajur)

INGREDIENTS

2 cucumbers
2 garlic cloves
1¾ cups plain yogurt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt

Makes 6 bowls. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes

PREPARATION

Peel and dice cucumber. Mince garlic cloves. Add all ingredients to serving. Mix well with whisk. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

TIDBITS

1) The modern-day submarine looks like a cucumber. Of course today’s subs, which can stay submerged for six months and carry enough nuclear missiles to reduce several cities to a glowing fog of atoms, are unarguably more destructive than even the most beserk cuke. The fact remains, however, that nuke rhyming with cuke is no accident.

2) The first military submarine, the Turtle (1775) was based on a turnip. It didn’t do much. Underwater, culinary warfare fell out of favor for twenty-french years. Fulton designed the Nautilus for the French in 1800. It never went to sea as the humidity of the vessel caused the crew’s bread to go moldy and war without fresh bread was unthinkable.

3) In 1864, the submarine, H.L. Hunley, of the Confederate Navy sank the North’s wooden warship, the Housatonic. This was the first successful sinking of a warship by a submarine. It was also the first successful sinking of a submarine as the Hunley was too close to its own exploding torpedo. Remarkably, no had imagined this occurrence. A month later, Rebel scientists hit upon the idea of simulating a submarine attack with cucumbers and matches. Unfortunately for the South, General Sherman had already begun his destructive march through Georgia. He had specific orders from President Lincoln himself to cripple Confederate submarine research by having his army destroy every cucumber it came across. Once the Union soldiers found how much fun came from fighting cucumbers than a grey coat who’d shoot back, they started uprooting and burning all crops. The South no longer had food to feed its armies. Surrender of all rebel forces followed soon.

4) But the Civil War was a near-run thing for the U.S.A. In 1866, Congress authorized the creation of the Cucumber Underseas Naval Department (CUND.) Over the years, research expanded to investigate undersea applications from all fruits and vegetables.

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

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