Posts Tagged With: appetizer

Berbere Spice Mix From Ethiopia

Ethiopian Appetizer

BERBERE SPICE MIX

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon whole clove
½ teaspoon allspice
½ tablespoon cardamom
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon fenugreek
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon onion salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoons red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric

Takes 5 minutes. Makes 5½ tablespoons.

PREPARATION

Grind whole clove. Mix spices together in bowl with fork. This recipes makes about a cup of Berbere spice mix.

TIDBITS

1) In Roman times, cinnamon cost about twelve times as much as silver.

2) Boy, the Romans must have loved their cinnamon on toast.

3) Texas Toast is a thicker type of toast.

4) It’s a good thing the Romans never conquered Texas and the rest of America because I would hate to blow the family budget on expensive cinnamon on Texas Toast every morning.

 

– 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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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.

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Loaded Nachos

Tex-Mex Appetizer

LOADED NACHOS

INGREDIENTS

1¼ pounds ground beef
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 16-ounce* can refried beans
½ cup warm water
½ pound yellow tortilla chips
3 cups shredded cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, four-Mexican cheeses, or combination)
3 green onions
1 avocado
1 jalapeno pepper
½ cup black olives, drained and chopped** (optional)
½ cup sour cream
1 cup salsa or pico de gallo

* = It might be hard to get exactly one pound. Manufacturers of canned are notorious for gradually shrinking the sizes of their products. It’s much easier for them to make money by shrinking sizes than by raising prizes. Boo.

** = Some people love black olives. Others hate it. Are our special forces forcing olives on prisoners to make them spill important information? It’s hard to say; no one’s talking.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

baking sheet
aluminum foil

Serves 12, 6 if served as an entree. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Add ground beef, chili powder, cumin, and pepper to mixing bowl. Mix with hands until well blended. Add ground beef to skillet. Cook for 5 minutes at medium heat or until meat is no longer pink. Stir occasionally. Drain grease. Add beans and water. Stir until well blended.

Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread tortilla chips evenly over foil. Sprinkle tortilla chips with grated cheese. Top tortilla chips evenly with ground beef/bean mixture. Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees or until cheese melts and starts to brown. While nachos bake, dice green onions. Seed and dice avocado and jalapeno pepper. Remove sheet from oven. Top nachos evenly with sour cream, avocado, green onion, salsa, and jalapeno.

TIDBITS

1) Sometimes great inventions take place slowly. Here, progress occurs only after much brainstorming and experimentation. Such is the case of heavier-than-air flight. Your flight to see your Aunt Minnie most likely took place in a heavier-than-air jet. BoeingTM and AirbusTM have manufactured thousands of heavier-than air passenger planes.

2) Some inventions, like nachos, happen in a day.

3) Señor Ignacio Anaya opened up his restaurant, “Victory Club”, one fine morning in 1940, little dreaming that was destined for greatness and that he would change the trajectory of humanity forever.

4) A regular customer–We know her name! Her name was Mamie Finan, oh dear lady, blessed by fate!–came into his Anaya’s establishment. She had three female friends with her. This quartet had crossed the border from Eagle Pass, Texas to do some shopping in Piedras Negras, Coahuilla and had gotten quick peckish.

5) “Senor,” said Ms. Finan, “we’d like to try something different today. Would you be a dear and make us a totally new snack?”

6) The worthy restauranteur went to the kitchen. What to make? What to make? He saw freshly made tortillas. Then the culinary gods struck Anaya’s brow with cosmic inspiration. He fried those tortillas and cut them into triangles. He topped the triangles with shredded Colby cheese. He quickly heated the cheese-topped tortilla triangles. Anaya was on a roll. Adding sliced jalapeño pepper provided the crowning touch to his ground-breaking pièce de résistance.

7) Mamie Finan dubbed this culinary wonder, “Nacho’s Special.”

8) Why? Because Señor Anaya’s first name was Ignacio. The nickname for Ignacio in Mexico is Nacho. But the dish didn’t have be called ‘nachos.” It could have just as easily been named one of the following:

anayas – from the restaurateur’s last name
mamies – from Ms. Finan’s first name
finans – from her last name
victory clubs – from the name of the restaurant
piedro negrans – from the name of the town
coahuillans – from the name of the province
or evan
piedro negrans coahuillans

But I think we all agree that Nachos was the best choice.

10) Other dishes are named after people as well. Some of these culinary delights are:
Napoleons – named after the French emperor Napoleon.
beef Wellingon – named the English general who defeated Napoleon
franks – named after Frank. We don’t know he last name because he never routed any enemy army.

 

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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Japanse Tamagoyaki (Rolled Omelette)

Japanese Appetizer

TAMAGOYAKI
(Rolled Omelette)

INGREDIENTS

4 eggs
2½ teaspoons dashi (Japanese soup stock. You might have to make it using dashi powder.)
1¾ teaspoons mirin
½ tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (½ tablespoon at a time)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

8″ square, non-stick skillet
measuring cup
bamboo mat (If you have one.)
sonic obliterator

Serves 2. Takes 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add eggs to 1st mixing bowl. Beat eggs with whisk or chopsticks. Add dashi, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar to 2nd mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Add dashi/mirin mix from 2nd mixing bowl to eggs. Mix gently with whisk or chopsticks until well blended. Add egg/dashi mixture to measuring cup. (You will need to measure it out later in equal amounts.)

Add ½ tablespoon oil to skillet. Heat using medium heat until oil ripples. Ladle ¼th of egg/dashi mixture to skillet. Tilt skillet to make mixture form a thin layer. (Lift mixture, if necessary, to spread it evenly.) Heat egg mixture until sets on the bottom, but is still soft on top. Poke a hole in each large bubble as it forms.

Roll setting mixture, omelette, into log shape from one side of the skillet to the other with 3 or 4 flips from a spatula. Gently move omelette log back to the side where you started.

Add ½ tablespoon oil to pan. Tilt pan to ensure oil spreads evenly. Gently lift omelette log with spatula to get oil underneath it. (You will be making a 2nd coating to this egg log.) Ladle ¼th of egg/dashi mixture to skillet. Tilt skillet to make new layer of mixture spread evenly. Again, gently lift omelette log to get new layer of egg mixture underneath it. When new layer of egg/dashi starts to set, roll it up from the same starting side with 3 or 4 flips from a spatula. Repeat these steps one more time. Poke air bubbles as they happen.

Add completed omelette logs to bamboo mat or cutting board. Shape logs into a brick. Cut into 1″-wide slices. Serve to adoring guests. Use sonic obliterator on the others.

TIDBITS

1) Eggs are amazing! They are good for so many things. Their applications are

Bouncing eggs: This use is by far my favorite use after eating them. Simply put an egg in a glass. Cover it with vinegar. Change the vinegar after one day. You should find that after six more days that the egg shell will have dissolved. However, the egg will now have a pliable skin. This egg can be bounced. How cool is that? Egg handball, anyone?

Cleaning leather: Rub egg whites into dirty leather. Wipe with a damp cloth. The rubbed-in egg whites now provide a protective base for your leather.

Compost: Crushed eggs provide essential calcium to the soil being made.

Eating: They are great just by themselves, as in scrambled eggs. They are also essential to cakes, meatloafs, and omelettes, and this tasty entree, Tamagoyaki.

Family picnics: What family picnic would be complete without raw-egg tosses and racing with an egg in a teaspoon?

Family rated rioting: Throwing stones and shooting people to express grievances against the government and the economic system is dangerous. Make rabble rousing safe and fun for the entire family. Next time, vent your rage with eggs and scary faces only.

Gardening: Placed crushed eggshells around tender plant shoots. Slugs and other soft-skinned insects will shy away as the shell’s sharp edges hurt the plant-eating pests. Take that, plantacides.

Glue: Make glue with eggs. Make your own today. Earlier times found eggs indispensable for this process.

Hangovers: Eliminate your hangover by drinking a Prairie Oyster. Add raw egg, hot sauce, pepper, salt, TabascoTM, and Worcestershire sauce to a glass. Stir vigorously. Drink.

Healing burns: First, cool down the burn immediately, any way you can. However, if the burn still swells from blood rushing to the site, try using a newly hard-boiled egg. Remove the hot eggshell and rub it on your burn. This dissipates the blood causing the swelling. Back, back, blood, I say.

Metaphors: You have egg on your face. You can’t make an omelette without breaking an egg. This was quite the popular saying among revolutionaries some hundred years ago. The rate of revolutions dwindled after this adage passed from common speech. Coincidence? Perhaps.

Nineteenth century photography: The eggs made for precise photographs. So much so that commercial establishments kept chickens on site.

Painting eggs: Ukrainians and Poles have been particularly adept at painting eggs. It’s called pysanky. You need skill and patience to triumph at this, but my gosh, the results can be spectacular. And what else are you doing with your life?

 

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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Lemon Drizzle Cake from Britain

British Dessert

LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE

INGREDIENTS – CAKE

1½ cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest (takes 2-to-3 lemons)
1 cup butter
4 eggs
¼ cup milk
5 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2¼ cups flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
4½ tablespoon lemon juice

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
9″ * 12″ baking pan
parchment paper

Serves 12. Takes 1 hour 5 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cool.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 340 degrees. Add sugar, lemon zest, butter, eggs, milk, baking powder, and salt to large mixing bowl. Blend with electric beater set on high until mixture becomes fluffy. Fold in the flour with a spatula until cake mix is well blended. Line baking pan with parchment paper. Ladle cake mix into baking pan. Smooth cake mix with spatula. Bake at 340 degrees for 35 minutes or until cake turns golden brown, becomes springy, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

While cake bakes, add confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice to mixing bowl. Stir with whisk or fork until confectioner’s sugar dissolves. Use toothpick to poke holes in the warm cake. Spoon drizzle over cake. Let cake sit in tin until it’s cools completely. Remove cake and cut into squares.

TIDBITS

1) In 1844, Alexander Cartwright was eating a corner piece of Lemon Drizzle Cake. His piece looked very much like the one like the one shone in this recipe. Then a mosquito landed on his cake. He flicked it off. This act inspired him to invent the sport of Lemon Drizzle. LD as it was called, was supposed to have been played a lot like baseball. However, the athletes would show up and stuff themselves cake after cake until they didn’t feel athletic anymore.

2) Then in 1845, Mr. Cartwright forbade the eating of Lemon Drizzle Cake. Once, players actually played baseball, they loved it. So much so, that it became the national pastime.

 

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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Are There Culinary Force Fields?

I don’t recall why I tried to find out about http://www.CulinaryForceFields.com or even why I thought the company Culinary Force Fields existed. At any rate, Google seems think Culinary Forces Fields is a thing. See below.

This is exciting! As far as study of physics holds, the known forces in the universe are: frictional, tension, normal, air resistance, applied, spring, gravitational, electric, and magnetic. Culinary force is not listed. I have discovered a new force. Wow. I look forward to receiving the Nobel Prize for Physics. You are welcome to attend the award ceremony. There will be drinks, snacks, and cookies afterward. I look forward to seeing you.

 

 

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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Lángos

Hungarian Entree

LÁNGOS
(Fried Bread)

INGREDIENTS

2¼ teaspoons yeast
1 cup water, lukewarm
3½ cups flour (2 tablespoons more later)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons flour
4 cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1⅓ cups shredded cheese (Gouda, Edam, or your choice)
1 cup sour cream

Serves 8. Takes 2 hours 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add yeast and lukewarm water to mixing bowl. Mix with fork until yeast dissolves. Add 3½ cups flour, salt, and sugar. Mix with spoon until well blended. Knead mixture until it becomes a dough ball and is no longer sticky. Cover and let rise 50 minutes or until it doubles in size.

Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Divide raised dough balls into 8 mini dough balls. Add mini dough ball to flat surface. Use hands to press mini dough balls into 6″ wide dough circles.

Add vegetable oil to large pot. Heat oil using medium heat. It is hot enough if a tiny bit of dough in the oil starts to dance. Carefully place a dough circle in the hot oil. Cook for 3 minutes until bottom side turns golden brown. Flip dough circle over. Cook for 2 minutes or until new bottom side turns golden brown. This is your fried bread. Reduce heat a bit if sides turn golden brown in fewer than 2 minutes. Raise heat a bit if it turns brown in more than 3 minutes.

Repeat for remaining 7 dough circles. You might need to reduce to heat to low with succeeding breads to prevent to dough circles browning before the inside is still doughy. Place fried breads on plate covered with paper towels. Pat dry. Spread sour cream equally over the 8 fried breads. Sprinkle mince garlic over cream cheese. Sprinkle shredded cheese over garlic.

TIDBITS

1) Everybody loves Lángos. Including soldiers of invading armies. Defending armies use this to their advantage. Whenever the wind blows toward the attackers, the defender cook thousands of fried breads. The attackers smell the alluring aroma and stampede the Lángos frying in oil. Just as the advancing soldiers reach the pots, the boiling oil bubbles over and scalds their hands. No one likes an oil owie. The attackers retreat. The war ends. Peace breaks out. All is good again.

 

Paul R. De Lancey, 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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Computer Mistakes

The struggle is real.

 

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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Come Visit “Chatting With Chefs”

 

CHATTING WITH CHEFS

 

Chatting With Chefs” is hoping to foster interaction between chefs and all who love food and food preparation. We would love to see you and anything of the following:

Recipes
Food pictures
Food reviews

Reviews of wines
Food and wine pairings
Restaurant reviews

Recommendations of restaurants and hotel with great food
Listings and description of food tours
Where to find ingredients that are hard to find in some regions or how to find them online

Information on legislation to help restaurants and workers in the food industry.
Information on restaurants that are hiring
Information on restaurants that are the best or worst to work for.

I’d like people to advertise* themselves, their restaurants, and their cookbooks.
* = For the time being, advertising will be on Fridays only. Advertising will also be limited to people and restaurants who contribute, at least a little, to discussions on this group’s site. We don’t want to get spammed. Also, advertisements of a non culinary nature are considered spam.

And, of course, we welcome discussion on anything that’s posted.

Again, please feel to visit and participate.

 

Paul R. De Lancey, Ph.D., an administrator of Chatting With Chefs

 

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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Quick Barbecue Sauce

American Appetizer

QUICK BARBECUE SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

½ cup brown sugar
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup ketchup
1¼ teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons water
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Makes 1½ cups. Takes 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add all ingredients to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Put any unused sauce in Mason jar. Store in refrigerator.

TIDBITS

1) King Arthur reigned in Camelot. He had a circle of knights that kept the peace and enforced his decrees. But his knights showed themselves time and time again to be extremely jealous of their prestige and social ranking compared to the others.

2) This constant jockeying for power came out in the open at mealtimes as the head of the table conferred the most prestige on the knight who sat there. This place went to the king whenever he was around. Similarly, the next two most powerful knights sat on opposite sides of the table and one chair away from the head knight. And so on. Everyone could easily calculate his importance at the court just by counting chairs.

3) Naturally, all knights felt they deserved a chair closer to the king. Differences arose. Elbows were thrown. Insults such as “Yea verily, your mater” got bruited about. Knights drew swords. Blood got shed. King Arthur realized he’d have no knights left unless something happened. And happen it did. One fine May day, Arthur and his knights gathered on the castle green for Smoked Pork Ribs. The knights all sprawled around a giant cauldron of Quick Barbecue sauce. The cauldron’s roundness meant no jockeying for the most prestigious spots; there weren’t any. The reason for conflict disappeared.

4) King Arthur saw this and decreed a Round Table for his court’s meals. The knights celebrated feasts there in perfect harmony. A just and lasting peace descended on Camelot. Then Sir Kay noticed that you could determine your value to King Arthur simply counting the number of chairs you were away from him. Civil War broke out. The Kingdom of Camelot fell apart. This is why our leaders always consult books on dining etiquette for meals held for visiting heads of state.

 

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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