Posts Tagged With: appetizer

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

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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

Pa Amb Tomaquet (Tomato Bread)

Andorran Appetizer

PA AMB TOMÀQUET
(Tomato Bread)

INGREDIENTStomatobread

4″ baguette or crusty Italian bread
4 garlic cloves
4 big, ripe tomatoes
8 teaspoons olive oil (1 teaspoon per slice)
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt

Makes 8 slices. Takes 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut bread into ½” slices. Toast bread slices in toaster on medium setting, if that exists, for 1½ minutes or slices are .browned to your desired level

Cut garlic cloves in half. Rub each slice with half a garlic clove. Do not use the same clove twice. (Doing so will bring vampires to your neighborhood.) Cut tomatoes in half. Squeeze a different tomato half over each bread slice. Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over each bread slice. Sprinkle an equal amount of pepper and salt over each slice.

TIDBITS

1) Vampires can only go out at night.

2) Vampires can only enter a building after being invited in.

3) The South Pole’s day is six months long.

4) A vampire would die there!

5) Unless it could get inside a building.

6) However, the people at the South Pole are a savvy lot. They would never invite in a vampire.

7) This is why vampires hang out on Alaskan cruises during winter months.

8) However, most people prefer to visit Alaska in the summer.

9) Which is bad for blood thirsty vampires. And even the few people who go on such voyage will not invite vampires into their staterooms. It’s not easy being a vampire tourist nowadays.

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

Baked Potato Chips

American Appetizer

BAKED POTATO CHIPS

INGREDIENTSbakedpotatochips

1 medium russet potato
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon rosemary
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSILS

mandoline (This device helps a lot in making thin, consistent slices quickly.)
2 large cookie sheets.
Good oven mitt (Normally, this is a given, but you might be using it a lot in this recipe.)

Makes 60 potato chips. Takes 1 hour.                                Adult potato chips form circle to protect baby chip.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use mandoline to slice potatoes lengthwise and 1/16″ or ⅛” thick. Add potato slices, garlic powder, rosemary, salt, and olive oil to large mixing bowl. Toss potatoes slices until they are thoroughly coated.

Spray cookies sheets with no-stick spray. Add potato slices to cookie sheets. Do not stack slices or let them touch each other. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-to-30 minutes or until slices turn golden brown. Change the cookie sheet from the top rack to the bottom rack and vice versa after 10 minutes. (Vigilance is necessary as baking times vary with the thickness of the potato slices.) Remove individual chips from oven as they become done. Let potato slices, now heroically renamed as potato chips, cool on paper towels.

TIDBITS

1) The tenth Crowned Heads of European Poker Championship was held in late June, 1914. Kaiser Wilhelm II lost his temper after his full house was beaten by Czar Nicholas II’s straight flush. Wilhelm smashed the pile of potato chips–the poker chips of the time–in the middle with his fist. He instantly regretted his display of temper. However Tsar Nicholas, Nicky, to the other players, merely smiled. “No chips, no gambling. You know this means War.”

2) So, the heads of Europe settled down to the kid’s card game, War. Unfortunately, the ruler’s war ministers were to far away to hear Nicky’s “No chips, no gambling.” They only heard, “This means war.” They did see Willy’s fist smash the potato chips. Phone calls were made. Armies crossed borders. World War I started. This is why we play poker with plastic chips.

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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Hibiscus Tea (Jus de Bissap)

Malian Appetizer

HIBISCUS TEA
(Jus de Bissap)

INGREDIENTShibiscustea

1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
6 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves

SPECIAL UTENSIL

colander

Makes 4½ cups. Takes 30 minutes

PREPARATION

Add water to lst large pot. Bring water to boil using high heat. Add hibiscus flowers Reduce heat to medium-high. Boil for 20 minutes or until water becomes aromatic and turns dark red. Strain red liquid through colander into 2nd large pot. Add sugar to red liquid. Stir with whisk or fork until sugar dissolves. Add vanilla extract. Stir with whisk or fork. Pour into tea cups. Garnish with mint leaves just before serving. Put tea in refrigerator, if you wish to serve it cold.

TIDBITS

1) Being buried by an avalanche is not fun, whether it happens in Switzerland or in the Saharan country of Mali.

2) Burial by avalanche is really, really dangerous. How dangerous? Really, really, really dangerous.

3) The downside of being buried in avalanche is death. See? Dangerous.

4) Legend has St. Bernard dogs seeeking–spelled with two “e”s outside of Switzerland–out avalanche victims and giving them brandy from a keg. What really happens is that rescue camels patrol the Saharan Dessert looking for victims of sand-dune avalanches. It can get cold under a mound of sand. The Sun’s heat can’t penetrate it. Neither can oxygen.

5) This why Malian rescues camels are proficient in CPR. After restoring the human’s breathing and heart beat, the camels serve the unlucky one a nice, hot cup of hibiscus tea. This wonderful restorative never fails, even with snow victims. The ever efficient Swiss have already tested this.

6) Indeed rescue camels are scheduled to start patrolling the Swiss Alps in late December. This will make cross-country skiing much safer. The Swiss Tourist Board expects a 37% increase in tourism.

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

Beninese Peanut Sauce

Beninese Appetizer

PEANUT SAUCE

INGREDIENTSpeanutsauce

1 small tomato
1 small onion
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1½ tablespoons chili powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cube MaggiTM beef bouillon*
1 cup water
10 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

* = While other boullion cubes work fine, Maggi’s are incredibly popular in Africa.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

blender

Makes 1½ cups. Takes 35 minutes.

PREPARATION

Puree tomato in blender. Mince onion. Add onion and peanut oil to pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add tomato puree, chili powder, and salt. Reduce heat to low and sauté for 3 minutes. Stir frequently.

Crush boullion cube. (This makes it dissolve quicker.) Add bouillon and water. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir frequently. Add peanut butter. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes or until sauces thickens to your liking. Stir frequently. This is served in Benin with boiled yam. It also goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) Peanut Sauce is, of course, an anagram for Tuna Ape Cues. Queen Mary I hated the theater, thinking it immoral. She tried fervently to ban it altogether, but succeeded only in driving theater going underground. People attended ribald plays in people’s attics where such animalistic passions such as hand holding and improv comedy took place. Mary I could not abide this licentiousness, so she imposed hateful regulations, such as having all roles played by gorillas holding tuna.

2) It’s important to realize that Joe Ape’s vocabulary was, and still is, quite limited, making line memorization challenging. And as with humans, line retention goes down while holding tuna. So, stage hands constantly cued the tuna holding apes. Hence, “Tuna Ape Cues.” The next queen, Elizabeth permitted human actors. To honor his new patron, Shakespeare, playwright, chef, and anagrammatist, turned Tuna Apes Cues into Peanut Sauce. His peanut sauce was tasty. What luck!

cookbookhunksChef 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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