Posts Tagged With: barbarians

Costa Rican Chifrijo

Costa Rican Entree

CHIFRIJO

INGREDIENTS – PICO DE GALLO

4 Roma tomatoes
1 medium white onion
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper (or ½ if you like it milder)
4 teaspoons lime juice
½ teaspoon salt (½ teaspoon more later)

INGREDIENTS – MAIN

1⅓ cups rice
1 pound pork belly*
2 garlic cloves
1 medium yellow or white onion
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil (2 tablespoons more later)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 15-oz can red kidney beans, drained
2 tablespoons salsa Lizano* or Worcestershire sauce

INGREDIENTS – FINAL

2 avocados
1 cup tortilla chips

* = Pork belly can be found at CostcoTM. They tend to sell in 5-to-6 pound packages. However, what you don’t use, can be sliced to make bacon.
* = Salsa Lizano can be found online and in ethnic supermarkets.

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION – PICO DE GALLO

Dice tomatoes, white onion, and cilantro. Seed and dice jalapeno. (Wash hands afterward. If you touch your face before washing, it will burn.) Put tomato, white onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, and ½ teaspoon salt in bowl. Mix with spoon until well blended.

PREPARATION – MAIN

Cook rice according to instructions on package. Cut pork belly into ½” cubes. Dice garlic cloves and yellow onion.

Add pork-belly cubes, garlic, cumin, pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt to small mixing bowl. Mix by hand until pork-belly cubes are well coated. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan. Heat olive oil using high heat until a tiny bit of garlic starts to dance in the oil. Add coated pork belly cubes. Sauté cubes for 10 minutes or until cubes turn golden brown and become mostly crispy. Stir frequently, especially so when they start to brown.

While pork belly sautés, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and yellow onion to pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until yellow onion softens. Stir frequently. Add red kidney beans and salsa Lizon. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until beans are warm. Stir occasionally

PREPARATION – FINAL

Peel avocados and cut them in half lengthwise. Remove pits. Cut avocado halves into 4 slices each. Add equal amounts of cooked rice to 4 serving bowls. Top rice with red kidney beans and yellow onion,. Top red kidney beans with pork belly cubes (chicharrone). Finally, top chicharrone with pico de gallo. Garnish with avocado slices and tortilla chips.

TIDBITS

1) This dish uses Roma tomatoes.

2) Roma is Latin for Rome. The Romans had a word for everything.

3) The Roman legionnaires carried Roma tomatoes into battle.

4) When the Roman soldiers got close to the enemy’s forces, they’d hurl Roma tomatoes.

5) The tomatoes splattered on the faces of the opposing infantry. Tomato juice got into the eyes of the foe.

6) Clear-sighted Romans charged into the ranks of the blinded enemy. The professional Roman army would gain a decisive victory within minutes.

7) “LycopersiciSusceptibility et gladii,” “Tomatoes and Swords.” was the slogan of the Roman soldiers.

8) Indeed, early Roman emperors wore a purple robe with vivid red Roma tomatoes on it.

9) But in late 405, extreme frost conditions totally destroyed the entire Roman Empire’s crop of tomatoes. Barbarian hordes crossed the frozen Rhine River and plunged into the heart of the empire.

10) It had been quite a long time since the legionnaires had fought without tomatoes. They didn’t know how to fight without them. The confused Roman army could no longer hold the barbarian forces at bay.

12) So Rome lost battle after battle. The barbarian conquered everything. Mighty Rome was no more. This is why you should stock your pantry with tomatoes.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

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

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spaghetti Omelette From Cameroon

Cameroonian Breakfast

SPAGHETTI OMELETTE

INGREDIENTSspaghettiomelette

2 eggs
½ cup cooked spaghetti
1 stalk green onion
¼ small onion
1 small tomato
⅛ teaspoon white pepper or black pepper
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Makes 1 omelette. Takes 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add eggs to mixing bowl. Beat eggs with whisk until blended. Cut green onion into ¼” slices. Dice onion and tomato. Add spaghetti, green onion, onion, tomato, white pepper, salt, and oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until veggies soften and spaghetti starts getting crispy. Stir occasionally.

Pour beaten eggs over veggies. Cook at medium for 3 minutes or until eggs become hard enough to flip over. Flip egg mixture. Cook at medium heat for 2 minutes or until omelette is done to your desired level of doneness. Goes well inside ½ baguette as a sandwich filler.

Isn’t the very idea of a spaghetti omelette way cool?

TIDBITS

1) China invented spaghetti. They built Great Spaghetti Wall of China in 1155 to keep out the Mongol barbarians. It worked. The wall was too high to scale, too thick to batter through.

2) However, in the summer of 1213, Mongols under Genghis Khan approached the wall. Khan’s engineers studied and studied their obstacle. No use. The frustrated warriors threw tomatoes, one of their more non-lethal weapons, at the wall before turning away to head home. Suddenly hot rain, it was summer, deluged and penetrated the Great Spaghetti Wall for ten minutes. The pasta softened. So did the tomatoes. The Mongol horde, tired of endless yogurt meals, attacked the wall with two-tined forks. The cooked spaghetti was great. and so they ate their way through the wall. The Mongols poured into China and devastated the land.

3) The French built the Maginot Line in the 1930s to keep out the spaghetti-hating German army. Unfortunately, the French didn’t have enough pasta to build a wall along their entire northern border. The Germans, in 1940, simply sent their forces around the wall and defeated France. No nation has tried building a spaghetti wall since.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flatbread From Somalia (Sabaayad)

Somali Appetizer

FLATBREAD
(sabaayad)

INGREDIENTSFlatbread-

2⅓ cups flour
⅔ cup wheat flour (another ⅓ cup later)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
1 to 1½ cups water
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (another 4 teaspoons later)
⅓ cup flour
4 teaspoons vegetable oil

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric skillet

PREPARATION

Add flour, wheat flour, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk. Add ghee. Mix again with whisk. Gradually add water to bowl. Knead flour and water by hand each time. Add water until dough becomes smooth and flexible. Let dough sit for 45 minutes.

Make 8 equal dough balls. Dust hard surface with ⅓ cup flour. Roll out dough ball into a circle 8″ wide. Spread ½ tablespoon oil evenly over dough circle. Fold edges of dough circle in so that four parts meat in the square. You should now have a square.FlatbreadDough-

Roll out square until it is again 8″ wide. (This gives the bread layers and makes it flakier.) Repeat for 7 remaining dough circles.

Set skillet to 325 degrees or medium. Place 8″ dough square in skillet. Let dough square cook for 1 minute or until dough square starts to puff. Flip the dough square and add ½ teaspoon oil evenly to the top. Cook for 1 minute. Continue to cook 1 minute per side until each side turns golden brown Repeat for the remaining 7 dough squares. Drain the golden brown flat breads of paper towels.

Serve warm with: fried eggs, honey, curries, or other stews

TIDBITS

1) The top picture on the previous page looks like a sock. The bottom picture on that page appears to be a sock puppet. These similarities are not an accident. There are an homage to the great Rome-to-Somalia olive-oil-for-socks trade.

2) This trade started in 31 BC after Caesar Augustus secured his position as emperor with his victory over Mark Anthony in the battle of Actium.

3) Rome desperately needed a new source of socks for its vaunted army. Without good socks, the legionnaires developed foot blisters. No soldier can march far with blistered feet. If the Roman legionnaires couldn’t march, they couldn’t catch the invading barbarian hordes before they looted and fired the Roman towns. Unfortunately, the long series of Roman civil wars, 83 BC – 31 BC had completely destroyed the once vibrant sock industry. Things looked grim. The Roman Empire was readt to collapse. The plays of Plautus, Terrance, and Maccius would have been replaced by barbarian reality plays.

6) Fortunately, in 18 BC, Primus Secundus Tertius, a goat herder set out from the tiny village of Perdiem in the southern Egypt to find a missing goat. He headed south, because all good goat herders know that goat only go missing in the south.

7) He walked for years looking for that goat. He was no quitter. Finally, he came across some villagers in Somalia. They were cooking lamb stew. The villagers didn’t give their real names upon meeting Primus for the first time. After all, Somalia is an anagram for Mo’ Alias.

8) While enjoying a delicious meal, Sam and the villagers engaged in pleasant conversation and swapped witty and urbane anagrams. Eventually, Sam handed his empty bowl to the villagers; his mother had raised him to always bring his dirty dishes to the sink. As he did so, he noticed a goat tag at the bottom of his bowl. It read, “Daphne, owned by Primus Secundus Tertius.” The villagers had killed his own goat. The fact that Daphne tasted great after being marinated in lemon juice and pepper only eased his rage a tiny bit.

9) With all the wonderful books deliberately burned in Alexandria’s magnificent library in 395 AD, it’s amazing and perhaps ironic that we have amazing that we have a partial, written record of the following conversation:

Primus: You killed my Daphne?
Villager #1: Who is this Daphne? No woman around here is called Daphne.
Villager #2: I think he means his goat. Roman goat herders like to name their goats Daphne.
Villager #3, Good Primus, are referring to the goat that was in this stew?
Primus: (Shows the goat tag.) I am.

10) The villagers, as was their custom, agreed to compensate Primus with ten pairs of socks. Primus was ecstatic. Emperor Augustus had promised to give a million denarii to any one securing a sock source for the empire. So Primus became fabulously wealthy, the legionnaires got their socks, and the empire became well defended again. It was only when the olive-oil-for-socks trade route got permanently disrupted in 476 AD, that Rome fell. Today, the production of socks is protected everywhere by an international treaty.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

Categories: cuisine, history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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