Posts Tagged With: cheese

Pan Fried Cheese Pie (Plăcinte) From Moldova

Moldovan Entree

PAN FRIED CHEESE PIE
(Plăcinte)

INGREDIENTS

4 cups flour (9 tablespoons more later)
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup buttermilk
¾ cup milk
1 egg
½ tablespoon dill
4 cups cheese (combination of feta, farmer’s cheese*, ricotta, or Moldovan cow cheese*
9 tablespoons flour (1½ tablespoons per pie)
⅔ cup vegetable oil

* = Can be found in ethnic or specialized supermarkets or online.
** = As far as I found out, you have to go to Moldova for this. Bon voyage.

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add 4 cups flour, baking soda, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with fork or whisk until well blended. Add buttermilk, milk, and egg. Knead until soft dough ball forms. Split dough balls into 6 smaller dough balls. Brush oil onto dough balls. Let sit for 30 minutes.

While the 6 dough balls sit, add dill and cheese to medium mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Dust rolling pin with ½ tablespoon flour. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon flour onto flat surface. Flatten dough ball with rolling pin, or hands, on flat surface until it is ⅛” thick. Add 1/6th of cheese mix (about ⅔ cup) to center of flattened dough ball. Fold in edges until they meet in the middle. Pinch edges together to form a seal. This is the cheese pie. Repeat for each dough ball.

Add oil to pan. Heat at low-medium heat until a bit of dough starts to dance in the oil. Add cheese pie to pan. Deep fry at low-medium heat for 4 minutes or until bottom of cheese pie turns golden brown. Carefully flip over cheese pie. Deep fry for 4 minutes more or until new bottom becomes golden brown. Repeat for each cheese pie. (Deep frying times will decrease with each pie.) Place on plate and pat dry with paper towel.

TIDBITS

1) We know the universe expands at an ever increasing rate as far-off stars display a red shift. If the Plăcinte on your stove shows such a shift, then it’s accelerating away from you at near-light speed. Plan on getting takeout. But, if the Plăcinte looks bluish, it’s coming at you just as quick. Duck!

 

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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Mexican Nopal Revuelto (Cactus)

Mexican Breakfast

NOPAL REVUELTO
(Cactus)

INGREDIENTS

3 cups (1 pound) nopalitos*
2 cups (10 ounces)panela cheese**
1 medium onion
5 eggs
¼ teaspoon cumin

* = These are thin strips of the fleshy part of cactus paddles. (Warning, nopalitos from jars can be quite salty.) Drain and rinse before using. They can be found in some local supermarkets, Mexican markets, or online.
** = They also can be found in some local supermarkets, Mexican markets, or online.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric beater

Serves 5. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Rinse nopalitos if they came from a jar. Crumble panela cheese into small pieces. Dice onion. Separate egg whites from egg yolks. Add egg whites to mixing bowl. Whip with electric beater set on high until soft peaks form. Beat yolks until thoroughly blended. Gradually add yolks to whites. Blend gently with fork. Add nopalitos, cheese, onion, and cumin. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended..

Add 1 cup nopalito mix to pan. Smooth with spatula. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes. Scramble the mix for 4 minutes or until the eggs set. Repeat for the next 4 servings.

Serve with green tomatillo sauce (green), red sauce, or salsa.

TIDBITS

1) This dish, Nopal Revuelto, is made from cactus. Cactus has all sorts of sharp needles all over its green paddles. Those needles would really hurt your hand if you were to grab a cactus paddle. Don’t even contemplate cactus diving.

2) So how do rabbits never get hurt by cactus bushes? They dart in and out of the bush while happily nibbling away. Cactus harvesters would really like to know. But the bunnies aren’t talking.

 

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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Grilled Lobster Tails With Vanilla Sauce From Comoros

Comorian Entree

GRILLED LOBSTER TAILS WITH VANILLA SAUCE
(Langouste à la Vanille)

INGREDIENTS

2 vanilla bean pods (Madagascan are preferred)
3 shallots
¼ cup butter
⅓ cup white wine
4 lobster tails
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons olive oil

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Outdoor grill or grill pan

Serves 4. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Split vanilla bean pods lengthwise. Scoop out tiny seeds with knife. Keep vanilla pods. Mince shallots. Add butter and shallot to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 4 minutes or until shallot softens. Stir frequently. Add vanilla seeds, vanilla pods, and wine. Bring to boil, stirring frequently. then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 minutes or until liquid reduces by half. Stir frequently. Add heavy cream. Simmer for 3 minutes or until sauce starts to bubble. Stir frequently. Remove vanilla pod. Cover pan and remove from heat

Split the lobster tails in half lengthwise. Brush lobster-tail halves all over with olive oil. Set grill to medium-high heat. Place the lobster halves on grill, meat side down. Grill for 5 minutes or until meat starts to char. Flip lobster halves. Grill for an additional 3 minutes or until meat is firm to the touch. Place lobster halves on plates meat side up. Ladle sauce over lobster halves. Serve immediately. Goes well with sautéed spinach. Or even ice cream. See the tidbit below.

TIDBITS

1) Vanilla pods make the popular vanilla ice cream, but strange ice-cream flavors abound. Such as:

lobster (used in this recipe)
cardamom black pepper
cayenne chocolate
fish and chip
garlic caramel
goat cheese beet
green tea
habanero bacon avocado
horseradish
hot dog
ketchup
kimchi
mayonnaise
olive oil
pineapple cilantro
pizza
roasted tumeric and ginger
squid ink
Sriracha
summer corn
sweet potato
Tabasco sauce
ube purple yam
wasabi

 

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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Anafre (Bean and Cheese Dip)

Honduran Appetizer

ANAFRE
(Bean and Cheese Dip)

INGREDIENTS

½ red onion
½ teaspoon chicken broth
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup refried beans or red refried beans
½ teaspoon pepper
½ pound quesillo or Oaxacan cheese
3 tablespoons crema Hondureño, crema Mexicana, or sour cream
tortilla chips, unsalted if possible, for dipping

Serves 8. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Dice red onion. Add red onion, chicken broth, and vegetable oil to large pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add refried beans and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or untl boiling. Stir frequently.

Add quesillo and crema Hondureño. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until cheese melts completely. Stir occasionally. Serve with tortilla chips.

TIDBITS

1) Ana Fre was a good Swede who spent some time in Honduras. My grandmother’s first name was pronounced somewhere between Ana and Annie. She went with Anna when she moved to America. You’ll notice that her first name has two ns in it, while Ana Fre’s had just one. That’s because my grandma didn’t fear an extra n. Ana Fre did fear an n. So for her, the previous sentence for her became, “Ana fear a n.”

2) Ana fear a n is, of course, an anagram for Anafre. So in a way, the name Anafre, expresses the Honduran people’s love for Ana, who came up with this dish.

3) Ana was not the first nor to fear extra ns. The Romans phrase for “fear a n” or “fear for the letter n” was “timere litteras n.” The great Julius Caesar suffered from this affliction.

4) Dr. Sigmund Freud, the great Viennese pyschoanalyst, referred to this anxiety as Buchstabe n Phobie.

5) So if you fear the letter n, or just an excessive amount of them, fret not, you are not alone. You can even be a fully functioning member of society.

 

– 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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Tarte Flambee

French Entree

TARTE FLAMBEE

INGREDIENTS – DOUGH

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2 cups flour (3 more tablespoons later)
½ tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
½ tablespoon olive oil
½ cup warm water
3 tablespoons flour

INGREDIENTS – TOPPINGS

½ pound bacon
¼ pound Gruyère cheese
1 medium onion
¼ cup crême fraiche
¾ pound fromage blanc or cream cheese
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon pepper
¾ teaspoon salt

SPECIAL UTENSILS

pizza stone or baking sheet
parchment paper
mandoline (optional)
sonic obliterator (Go get one)

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

Add pizza stone to center rack in oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Add 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Add oil and water. Knead by hand until well blended and dough forms.

Dust large flat surface with 3 tablespoons flour. Divide dough in half. Roll out dough half until you get a round pizza crust 10″ across. Put parchment paper on baking sheet. Put pizza crust on parchment paper. Repeat for the 2nd dough half.

PREPARATION – TOPPINGS

Dice bacon. Grate Gruyère cheese. Cut onion into slices ⅛” thick. Add crême fraiche, fromage blanc, nutmeg, pepper, and salt to 2nd mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Spread crême fraiche/fromage blanc mix evenly over pizza crusts. Leave a ½” border around the edges. Sprinkle bacon evenly over cheese mix. Sprinkle onion over bacon and crême fraiche. Sprinkle Gruyère cheese over everything.

Carefully, carefully (use oven mitts) slide pizza crusts and the parchment paper underneath them onto preheated pizza stone or baking sheets. Bake at 500 degrees until puffed, golden brown, and crispy. Serve immediately.

Zap unappreciative guests with sonic obliterator. You don’t need negativity in your kitchen.

TIDBITS

1) This recipe uses a pizza stone.

2) The earliest human, Lucy of Olduvai Gorge, did not have a pizza stone. So, she did not make this recipe. If only she had had even a baking sheet. But she did not. No Tarte Flambee for Lucy.

3) Her friend Charlie Olduvai had a football his mom had made from the pelts of little animals. Lucy always promised to hold the pelt football while he ran up to kick it. But Lucy always pulled the pelt ball away at the last moment and Charlie would fall onto his back.

4) Charlie Olduvai grew tired of his mistreatment. So did his parents who never liked Lucy’s parents anyway. “They’ve ruined football for us until the twentieth century. Bah, the slackers will never make anything out of themselves.”

5) So the disgruntled Olduvais left. Many gorge dwellers followed the well-liked family. These first humans thought they’d only walk for a day or so before settling down beside a new stream near a nice plain filled with lots of juicy animals to eat.

6) Then George Gorge piped up and said he wanted a pizza. Now, the little group did carry all the ingredients for pizza for humanity has always hungered for pizza. So they looked for holes in cliffs that would double as a pizza oven. They found dozens of such ovens.

7) But no pizza stones or baking sheets So they marched on. The little walk turned into months, years, and even millennia. Thus, began humanity’s great migration out of Africa.

8) Then the early humans invented the wheel. Brilliant minds soon–thousands of years–made pizza stones. People could finally make pizza! Eat pizza! Huzzah!

9) The Stone Wheel clans appointed wisdom keepers to tell succeeding generations the way to make pizza stones. So for century upon century peoples could feast on mastodon pizza.

10) Then humans, too hungry for mastodon pizza toppings, killed off all the mastodons No other pizza toppings would do. Pizza fell out of favor. There was no long a need for pizza stones, no need to pass on the knowledge to make them. Humanity’s ascent stagnated for millennia.

11) Don’t let this happen again. Buy a baking sheet! Buy a pizza stone! Do it now!

 

– 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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Provoleta

Argentinian Appetizer

PROVOLETA

INGREDIENTS

8″ baguette (optional)
1½ pounds provolone cheese
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon oregano
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¾ teaspoon salt
grill spray or cooking spray

SPECIAL UTENSIL

outdoor grill

Serves 4. Takes 20 minutes plus optional 5 hours.

PREPARATION – OPTIONAL

Dry cheese out on a rack for 5 hours. This helps the cheese keep its shape when grilled.

PREPARATION – MAIN

Cut baguette into circles 1″ thick. Cut cheese into slices ¾” thick. Place olive oil into mixing bowl. Add cheese slices. Turn cheese slices until they are thoroughly coated with oil. Sprinkle cheese, then gently press oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt into cheese slices.

Spray grill liberally with grill spray. Set grill to 450 degrees or medium heat. Grill for 2 minutes or until bottom side browns. Lift cheese slices off grill and spray grill again. Flip cheese slices. Grill for another 2 minutes or until the new bottom browns. DO NOT let cheese slices fall apart or even lose their shape.

While cheese browns on both side, toast both sides of the baguette slices. Eat cheese by itself or on toasted baguette slices. Provoleta goes well with Argentinian chimichurri sauce,

TIDBITS

1) The Mormons first settled Utah in 1847. Mormon leaders soon realized that their colony needed many more settlers to survive. The word went out from Utah for Mormons in the U.S. and around the globe to make their way to this new dessert sanctuary. Indeed, many Mississippian Mormons mounted covered wagons and headed west. But the original message became more and more corrupted the farther it went. By the time it reached Leta, Argentina, the decree simply said, “More men.” So lusty, Argentinian cheese making men headed to Provo, Utah thinking the message meant Utah had too many unwed señoritas. The cheese makers liked what they saw in Provo and decided to stay. They made a new cheese which they called Provoleta to honor their new and old homes.

 

– 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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Makawoni Au Graten (macaroni and cheese)

Haitian Entree

MAKAWONI AU GRATEN
(macaroni and cheese)

INGREDIENTS

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1 pound rigatoni or penne pasta
1 garlic clove
1 small onion
1 red bell pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
⅔ cup mayonnaise
1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
1½ cup grated Edam or Gouda cheese
1 teaspoon seasoned salt

SPECIAL UTENSIL

9″ * 13″ casserole dish

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook rigatoni according to instructions on package. Drain and set aside. Mince garlic clove, onion, and bell pepper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add garlic, onion, bell pepper and butter to pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Add pasta and evaporated milk to pot with sautéed onion. Mix with spoon until well blended. Add mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Edam cheese, and seasoned salt. Mix with spoon until well blended. Ladle ingredients in pot into casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until top turns golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) Albert Einstein, the great mind of the 20th century, theorized that time slows as you travel at speeds closer and closer to the speed of light. He also postulated that as you zip along at velocities near the speed of light, that things get heavier and heavier.

2) So if you were in a spaceship traveling closer to closer to light speed, the time required to make Makawoni au Graten would go from 1 hour 15 minutes to hours and hours or even years. The weight of your macaroni would gradually increase from perhaps four pounds to four tons.

3) Who would ever want to wait years to eat this entree? Who would want to eat four tons of it? Certainly no American astronaut. This is why NASA never serves Makawoni au Graten on its space missions. Not to worry, though, it’s perfectly safe to eat here down on Earth. Darn tasty, too.

 

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

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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Fried Cheese

Czech Appetizer

FRIED CHEESE
(Smažený Sýr)

INGREDIENTS

1 pound Edam cheese or Gouda
2 eggs
1½ tablespoons milk
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
4 cups olive or vegetable oil (Enough to cover fried cheeses)

Serves 4. Takes 30 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Frying pan large enough to cook four cheese squares. I know a large frying pan is not normally considered a special utensil. But it really helps makes fried cheese look nicer when you can cook them all at once. Bits of breadcrumbs can blacken succeeding batches.

PREPARATION

Cut cheese into 4 slices ½” thick.. Add eggs, milk, and salt to mixing bowl. Beat with whisk or fork until well blended. Add flour to 1st plate. Add breadcrumbs to 2nd plate.

Heat oil using medium heat. Oil is hot enough when a breadcrumb dropped in will start to dance. Dredge cheese slices through flour until completely coated. Dredge cheese slices through eggs until completely coated. Dredges cheese slice through breadcrumbs until completely coated.

Gently place coated cheese slices in oil. (Carefully, the hot oil might splatter.) Fry using medium heat for 2 minutes on each side or until it turns golden brown. Remove immediately and pat dry with paper towels. Goes well with tartar sauce as a dipping sauce or with French fries.

TIDBITS

1) The human race abounds with geniuses. Some of them make medical breakthroughs. Others invent devices that make space exploration and planetary excursions ever easier. Then there are the culinary geniuses that find news foods to deep fry.

2) The following is a partial list of foods deep fried by these visionaries: bacon slathered with mayonnaise, bubble gum, butter, Cadbury Cream Egg(tm), cookie dough, corn on the cob, flowers, gravy, guacamole, jelly beans, Mars(tm) bars, Nutella(tm), salsa, sauerkraut, watermelon, and White Castle(tm) burgers. My pick for the most innovative deep-fried dish is the tarantula. It does exist, really.

 

Paul De Lancey, 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, international, observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Omani Chips Sandwich

Emirati Entree

OMAN CHIPS SANDWICH

INGREDIENTS

4 teaspoons cream cheese
1 sub roll, hot dog bun, or flat bread*
1 tablespoon chili sauce.
1 package Oman potato chips**
1 scrambled egg (optional)
1 cooked hot dog (optional)

* = The authentic roll is the samoon , while the flatbread used in the Emirates is the paratha. Paratha can be ordered online. Samoon is powerful to find.

** = Please, please try to get Oman chips. They are available online. If the fates are against you and you cannot score these chips, take a deep breath and buy chili flavored chips.

Serves 1. Takes 5 minutes.

PREPARATION

Spread cream cheese over both roll halves. Sprinkle chili sauce over cream cheese. Sprinkle potato chips on bottom bun. Scrambled egg or hot dog may be placed on chile sauce. Put top roll half on chips. Press down on top just enough to crush potato chips.

The order of ingredients when flatbread is used is the same. Simply roll up the flatbread.

TIDBITS

1) Sometimes, the checker at the supermarket will ask, “Did you find everything you needed?”

2) I have learned to just say yes. These stores will never have Omani chips. No, not ever. Nor even paratha flatbread, Appenzeller cheese, Harzer cheese, fresh banana leaves*, marshmallow fluff**, yak butter, and pumpkin-seed flour.

3) * = Fresh banana leaves are often readily available at your local botanical garden. However, the staff of these places look askance at banana-leaf theft. It’s a trait acquired from working there.

4) ** = Marshmallow fluff while easy to find in some parts of America, it’s powerful hard to get out West.. If you live near San Diego, you’ll have to move.

5) And then there’s that authentic herb I wanted that can only be found in remote parts of northeast China and only in season. So, it’s best to reply yes to the checkers and try ordering online. That or go to jail, move, or wander aimlessly the Chinese wastelands.

– 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.

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Matthew’s Pastrami Sandwich

American Entree

MATTHEW’S PASTRAMI SANDWICH

INGREDIENTS

8 slices rye, crusty deli bread, or French rolls*
⅓ cup Russian dressing
1½ pounds sliced pastrami**
4 slice Swiss cheese
2 cups coleslaw

SPECIAL UTENSIL***

aluminum foil

* = rye bread is by far the most popular bread for this sandwich. However, I’m listing substitutes as some people can’t abide rye.
** = This is a simple recipe, so the quality of the pastrami is particularly important.
*** = Omit this if you wish to eat a cold sandwich.

Serves 4. Takes 10 minutes if sandwiches are served cold, 30 minutes if the sandwiches are hot.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Wrap bread in aluminum foil. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. (Skip this step if you’re making cold sandwiches.) Spread Russian dressing over 2 slices. Add pastrami to bottom bread slice. Place 1 slice of Swiss on pastrami. Top with coleslaw. Complete sandwich by adding the top slice of bread.

TIDBITS

1) Look at the sandwich in the above picture. If you were to turn one of the sandwich halves upside down, you would still have a pastrami sandwich half. In fact, if you hadn’t done the flipping yourself upside down, you never would have been able to tell.

2) This very thing happened to the budding artist, Auguste Renoir. In 1859, he labored all summer painting the best pastrami sandwich the art world had seen or even would see. He painted with such style and such élan that the directors of the Escalier Galerie asked to display his masterpiece.

3) But quelles horreurs, the oaf in charge of exhibitions hung Renoir’s brilliant “Le sandwich au pastrami” upside down. None of the visiting art lovers nor any of the heads of France’s Académie Française noticed this mistake. No, not enough to articulate their artistic uneasiness. But mon Dieu, their psyches did. The viewers’ souls recoiled. The masses, without knowing why, turned away from Renoir. The painting elite also shunned the young Auguste. Renoir shook his fists at the heavens. “Bah, never again will I faithfully painting reality. Mais non, I shall quickly paint my impressions of life. Nothing more. He did and to his lasting amazement, he became one of the pillars of the impressionist movement. Now you know.

– 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

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