Posts Tagged With: blizzards

Shorba Frik Soup From Tunisia

Tunisian Soup

SHORBA FRIK

INGREDIENTS

1 pound boneless chicken parts
1 celery stalk
1 garlic clove
1 medium onion
2 tomatoes
3½ tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon paprika
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon ras el hanout* spice mix
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup tomato paste
⅓ cup canned chickpeas, drained
¾ cup cracked freekeh*, semolina flour, or spelt flour
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro

* = can be found online or at Middle-Eastern grocery stores.

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut chicken into ½” cubes. Dice celery, cilantro, garlic, onion, and tomatoes. Add olive oil, garlic, onion, paprika, pepper, ras el hanout, salt, and tomato paste to large pot. Sauté at medium heat for 4 minutes or until mixture becomes fragrant. Stir frequently.

Add chicken cubes. Sauté at medium heat for 5 minutes or until chicken cubes turn white on all sides. Add enough water 4 cups or until soup reaches your desired thickness. Add celery, chickpeas, freekeh, and tomato. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour or until chicken and freekeh are tender and soup has thickened. Be sure to stir enough to keep freekeh from sticking to the bottom. Dice cilantro. Garnish with cilantro.

TIDBITS

1) Culinary climatologists assert that the Roman Empire of 138 AD suffered through continual blizzards and freezing rains. AD. Indeed, all salads froze. Milk in cereal bowls also froze. Cereal would not be eaten again until Mr. Kellogg invented Corn FlakesTM in 1894.

2) Romans began to starve. They knew how to make chicken fricassee, but the poor couldn’t afford entire chickens. They desperately needed a way to stretch the little meat they had. Then the current emperor distributed the recipe for Shorba Frik. Romans now had a way to keep feed themselves. Grateful, anagramists, rearranged the letters in the life-saving Shorba Frik to give their adored emperor the new name Antonius Pius. Now you know.

 

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

Falafel (Tamiya) From Egypt

Egyptian Appetizer

FALAFEL
(Tamiya)

INGREDIENTS

2 cups dried fava beans* (aka broad beans)
1 small onion
8 green onions
2 garlic cloves
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2½ tablespoons fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
4 cups vegetable oil (Enough to cover falafel patties)

* = Look in Middle Eastern supermarkets, supermarkets selling mostly organic food, or online. Also see if you can get these dried beans with the skins already removed. If you can only find canned fava beans, be sure to rinse them thoroughly before using.)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
large no-stick pan

Serves 6. Takes overnight for soaking plus 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add fava beans to large pot. Cover with water. Cover with lid and let soak overnight.

Rinse fava beans. Rub skins off beans. Add onion, green onion, garlic, baking powder, coriander, cumin, salt, fresh cilantro, and fresh parsley to food processor. Blend until everything is blended and minced. Add beans, Blend only until beans form a paste. (If the beans are blended more, your falafel might fall apart later.) Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Shape bean paste in 1″ balls. Flatten balls until they are ½” thick patties. Add oil, enough to cover patties, to large no-stick pan. Heat oil at high heat until bubbles form on the bottom. Carefully add falafel patties to pan. Don’t let them touch each other. (You will need to cook in batches.) Fry patties until golden brown. (This happens quickly.) Remove patties and drain on paper towels. Goes quite well with warm pita bread, hummus, and tomato salad.

TIDBITS

1) This dish is an appetizer. Culinary cryptographers will tell you that “appetizer” comes from an anagram for “Zap Peter I.”

2) And culinary linguists know that “zap” comes from the Russian “zapkya.” This word means to assassinate, kill, plot against, and otherwise dethrone and overthrow by means of feeding appetizers to the hated tsar.”

3) So, zap Peter I means to overthrow Peter I, perhaps even kill. Tsar Peter I was not completely enamored of this concept. Particularly so when the streltsky, Russian musketeers, engineered coups against him by serving appetizers to the palace guard. “Have some appetizers,” they said to the guards, “They’re quite tasty.” And they were. So much so that the entire guard ate and ate until they all had to take lengthy naps.

4) While the palace guard napped, the musketeers rounded up Peter’s supporters and imprisoned them. The streltsky would then enthrone in a figurehead, one who could be counted on the double the daily vodka ration.

5) Doubling the vodka ration made the musketeers drunk and pass out. Peter then reclaimed power while the streltsky lolled around in drunken stupors. Eventually, the musketeers sobered up and fed appetizers to the palace guards again.

6) And so it went, appetizers put the musketeers’ figurehead in power again. Drunken binges enabled Peter I to get back in control.

7) Then on April 1, 1698, Peter I experienced a brainstorm. Why not try giving the musketeers rivers of vodka AND appetizers? The idea worked. The besotted musketeers became so logy from eating platter after platter of appetizers, they slept themselves into oblivion.

8) Peter I, tsar of all the Russias, took advantage of the streltsky’s lasting inertia to tie them up. When they came to, they found themselves on a giant iceberg in the Arctic Ocean. The musketeers had enough food to last 30 days, along with hundreds of ping pong battles and ping pong balls. Tsar Peter had thoughtfully provided them also with enough pencils and entry forms to the First Winter Ping Pong Arctic Ocean Tournament.

9) Culinary historians doubt that the musketeers ever finished the tournament. The strong winter gales prevalent would have simply blown one ping pong ball after another into oblivion. At any rate, the marooned men would have found hitting remaining white ping pong balls quite difficult in the ever present white blizzards.

10) But the constant appetizer-fed revolts burned a lesson into Tsar Peter I’s brain. Never let any Russian eat appetizers. In 1699, he ordered the destruction of all the restaurants making appetizers.
No one would ever “Zap Peter I.”

11) But in 1917, Tsar Nicholas II foolishly permitted the making of appetizers. Lenin and Trotsky fed appetizers to the palace guard who fell asleep. The communists seized power. We are still living with the consequences of the Russian Revolution. Now you know why.

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

Durban Masala

South African Appetizer

DURBAN MASALA

durbanmasalaINGREDIENTS

½ teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1¼ teaspoons coriander
1¼ teaspoons cumin
¼ teaspoon fenugreek
¾ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon mace
⅛ teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons turmeric

Makes ¼ cup. Takes 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add all ingredients to mixing. Mix with whisk until well blended.

TIDBITS

1) Durban is a city in South Africa. Durban rhymes with Durban. This is useful when constructing rhyming poems. In much the same way, gnome rhymes with Nome, a city in Alaska. Over 20,000 gnomes live in Nome, admired for their strong work ethic. They’ll guard your garden for amazing lengths of time and everyone knows much polar bears fear gnomes.

4) Gnomes first came to Massachusetts on the Mayflower, fleeing persecution from waffle eaters. Later, they worked their way south, guarding spice gardens along the way. The little guys eventually settled in Chancellorsville, Virginia–Why not?–to lead a safe, if not totally accepted existence.

5) Tragedy struck in 1863. General Stonewall Jackson was shot after the battle of Chancellorsville. Enraged townsfolk held a gnome fired the fatal shot and drove the wee ones out of town.

6) The gnomes drifted ever northwestward, until they reached Nome on the Bering Sea. They could drift no longer. They wore parkas to keep warm. The parkas covered their faces, just like the natives. You couldn’t tell the gnomes and the people apart. Sure, gnomes are much shorter than people, but you always keep your face to the ground during a blizzard. And 19th-century Nome always had blizzards. The townsfolk didn’t even notice the little folk until 1941, when World War II broke out. People. after kneeling, worked shoulder to shoulder with the gnomes to defeat the common foe. The gnomes gained acceptance into one career after another. Today, Nome’s the gnome genome sequencing capital of the world.

– 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, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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