Posts Tagged With: Chef Paul

Grandma Anna’s Spritz Cookies

Swedish Dessert

GRANDMA ANNA’S SPRITZ COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (2 sticks) butter*
⅔ cup sugar
3 egg yolks
2½ cups flour
1 tsp almond extract (optional)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater**
cookie gun, aka cookie press
2 cookie pans

* = This was also made with NucoaTM. It’s hard to imagine how fiercely devoted some people were to this margarine.

** = Grandma didn’t use an electric beater. She used a hand-held one. However, those beaters are mighty hard to find these days.

Makes 80 cookies. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 360 degrees.  Add butter to large mixing bowl. Use beater set on high until butter is light and fluffy. Add sugar. Mix with beater until butter and sugar are well blended. Add 1 egg yolk at a time, blending each instance. Gradually add flour, mixing all the time. Add almond extract, if desired, and mix briefly with electric beater.

Grease cookie pan lightly with paper from butter. Choose a disk for the cookie gun. Add dough to cookie gun. (Follow instructions that come with cookie gun.) Use cookie gun to press out dough onto cookie pan. Be creative. Make whatever shape you want. (My grandma favored the letter s.) Bake at 360 degrees for 10 minutes or until cookies start to brown. You might have to cook in batches. Gently remove cookies from cookie pans using fork. Gently, gently, as some cookie shapes crumble easier than others.

TIDBITS

1) Why are there so many towns in the western America named after Sweden? Culinary historians hold it is because of the wondrously sturdy wheels the immigrant Swedes used in their covered wagons. While others used wooden spokes in their wagon wheels, the Swedes made theirs from spritz cookie dough. Egg yolks were much stronger back then, making for more durable spokes than ones made from wood. Indeed, chickens were buffer in the 1800s, being able to bench press a 200-pound man.

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Pastrmajlija, Macedonian Pizza

Macedonian Entree

PASTRMAJLIJA
(Macedonian Pizza)

INGREDIENTS

1¼ pounds pork chops, center cut or lamb
½ tablespoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon pepper
1½ cups flour (4 tablespoons more later)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
½ tablespoon yeast
1½ tablespoons milk
½ cup water, room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons flour (1½ tablespoons for each pizza)
4 tablespoons lard or butter (2 tablespoons for each pizza)
no-stick spray.
2 eggs

SPECIAL UTENSILS

bread maker (optional)
baking sheet
x-ray vision

Makes 2 small pizzas. Takes 2 hours.

PREPARATION

Cut pork into ½” cubes. Add pork cubes, cayenne pepper, and pepper to mixing bowl. Toss pork cubes until well coated. Put in refrigerator and let marinate for 1 hour or until is ready to have meat put on it.

While pork marinates, add salt, sugar, yeast, and milk to a large, 2nd mixing bowl. Mix with fork until thoroughly blended. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add 1½ cups flour. Mix with fork until thoroughly blended. Gradually add water. Mix with fork each water gets added. Dough should be soft and pliable. Knead dough for 10 minutes or put in bread machine for 10 minutes on dough setting. (There’s a tiny ant crawling over my monitor as I am typing this. It can’t wait for the recipe.)

Add olive oil to 3rd mixing bowl. Spread oil over the bowl. Add kneaded dough to this mixing bowl. Turn dough until it is well coated with oil. Cover for 40 minutes or until dough doubles in size. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Divide risen dough ball into 2 balls. Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Add 1 dough ball to flat surface. Flatten dough ball with rolling pin, can, or hand until it is a ¼” thick oval about 9″ by 7″. Use spatula to smooth 2 tablespoon lard over dough oval. Add half of the pork cubes to the dough leaving a 1½” edge all around. Fold edges inward until they almost touch the pork. Repeat to make 2nd pizza.

Spray baking sheet with no-stick spray. Add pizzas to baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes or until dough is done to your liking and pork is no longer pink inside. (X-ray vision helps a lot with this. If you don’t have x-ray vision and let’s face it it’s not possible everything to make every recipe, you make remove a pork cube and cut it open.)

While pizzas bake, add eggs to small bowl. Beat eggs with whisk or fork. Take baking sheet out of oven. Brush edges of pizzas with egg. Ladle the remaining egg over the pizza’s pork centers. Bake for 5 minutes over egg is cooked to your liking.

TIDBITS

1) Pastrmajlija tastes fantastic hot of the oven. Like all pizzas it still tastes great the second day. Very good the third day. Good the fourth day. Okay the fifth day, and highly edible the sixth day. And on the seventh it gets so hard that you could use it in your garden as a stepping stone.

2) Many have done so. See, the June 1985, edition of Better Homes and GardensTM for the definitive article on this subject.

3) Dried out, hardened Macedonian pizzas buckle and crack under the weight of a semi truck. This is one reason America’s freeways use concrete instead. However, properly dried-out Macedonian pizzas (MPs) will sustain the weight of people, cattle, and wagons.

4) Indeed, the great Cumberland Pike Road, built 1811-1837, was to have been constructed with MPs. After all, the fabled Roman roads were built with MPs. Unfortunately in 1809, the Federal Government clashed with the project’s culinary engineer, Alexander Cleitus, over the materials for the pike. President Madison, had a delicate stomach and couldn’t handle cayenne pepper. So he hated MP and demanded dried-out Italian pizzas (IPs). Cleitus refused. Madison insisted. Cleitus said, “It’s my way or the highway.” “Na, na, na, poo, poo,” said President Madison, “it’s my funds. It’s my highway. You’re on your way.”

5) The project languished for two years while President Madison searched for other culinary engineers. He did manage to hire the famed Alfonso Linguini from Sorrento, Italy. However, Linguini used too much oregano for Madison’s liking. Not only that, his round pizzas wouldn’t fit together neatly like the rectangular Macedonian pizzas. Signore Linguini was so fired.

6) After that, no culinary engineer would touch the Cumberland Pike Project. It looked like the lands to the west would never be opened up to settlers and commerce. America seemed doomed to hug the Atlantic Coast forever.

7) Then Secretary of the Treasury, Benedict Cumberland, suggested hiring a civil engineer instead. “What a great idea!” said everybody. And so, John Loudon McAdam was hired to complete the turnpike. His macadam roads so revolutionized travel that no one considered using pizzas as materials ever again.

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Affogato, Italian Ice Cream Coffee

Italian Dessert

AFFOGATO

INGREDIENTS

2 cups hot espresso or hot and very strong coffee*
2 scoops vanilla ice cream*

* = There’s only two ingredients here. Higher quality ingredients will show up more than in other recipes. Also, there’s a lot of leeway. The size of your glass or cup and ice-cream scoop can vary a lot. Frequent research will reveal your optimal amounts. Excelsior!

Serves 4. Takes 2 minutes (Plus any time to brew the espresso.)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

4 narrow juice glasses or other glasses you might have. I mean how easy is it to find espresso glasses near you? And if no one’s looking, a Minnie MouseTM coffee mug will do just fine. Of course, a Minnie Mouse espresso glass would be better. The culinary world is fraught with perilous decisions.

PREPARATION

Put a scoop of vanilla ice cream in each glass. Pour hot espresso over ice cream.

TIDBITS

1) “Affogato” is a condensed version of the phrase “(A fog, a to)mato.” Actually, it’s short for “(A f)rigging (fog, a to)mato”

2) Italy experienced tumultuous–There are four “u”s in that word. Remember that for ScrabbleTM- times in 1968. The oafish Soviet led Warsaw Pact invaded nearby Czechoslovakia. Communist provoked student riots erupted up and down the Italian peninsula. It seemed inevitable that Italy would go communist and fall under Russian domination.

3) Remember the fogs of 1968. Over and over, drivers racing high-performance cars through Italy’s mountain passes experienced massive car pileups when fogs descended with stunning quickness. When the fogs lifted, inspectors would wrecked cars along with a single red tomato, the symbol of Italy’s communist party.

4) Italy teetered. But once aroused, its leaders acted decisively. By law, all Italian tomatoes had to be made into pasta sauce. This decree left no tomatoes for Italy’s Communist party. Deprived of their symbolic flourish at car-crash sites, they lost all interest in the people’s revolution thing and went out to restaurants to sample all the new exciting pasta sauces. Italy has been at peace ever since.

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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Piri Piri Chicken

Mozambican Entree

PIRI PIRI CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS

6 garlic cloves
6 piri piri chiles (or Thai chiles)
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
7 tablespoons olive oil
3½ pounds boneless chicken parts, skin on

SPECIAL UTENSILS

blender
outdoor grill
meat thermometer (You really do need this. There is a huge range of times needed to grill the chicken depending on your grill and the size of the chicken breasts.

Serves 6. Takes 15 minutes preparations 12 hours marinating, and another 30 at the grill.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic cloves and chiles. Add all ingredients except chicken to large mixing bowl. Stir with whisk or fork until well blended. Add chicken parts. Mix with fork until chicken is well coated. Cover and let marinate in fridge for 12 hours or overnight. Keep marinade.

Place chicken on grill skin side up. Grill chicken on outdoor grill for 15 minutes using low-medium heat. Flip chicken parts over and grill for another 10 minutes. Baste every 10 minutes with reserved. Check heat with meat thermometer after 20 minutes of grilling. Chicken breasts should have an internal temperature of 165-to-170 degrees.)

TIDBITS

1) “Sugar, Sugar” was big hit song for the Archies in 1969. The song “Piri Piri” was not a hit song for the Chickens in 1976. The Chickens had the great bad luck to form in the start of a nasty civil war Fellow Mozabicans simply didn’t have the money to buy records. And all the radio stations were monopolized to provide propaganda for the warring sides.

2) Piri Piri reunited in 2012. They played minor gigs in Mozambique, when by sheer good luck they landed a concert date in Wrigley Field, Chicago for November 3, 2016. Unfortunately, everyone was watching the Cubs win their first World Series in 108 and so, no one showed. I’m happy to report though, that the group has landed a permanent engagement at the South Pole’s research station where the saying “Party all night” really means something.

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bad Advice Friday, 5-12-17

Oh my gosh. It’s Friday already. Did you know there’s one every week? So, I shall once more be dispensing bad advice As usual, the advice will stupendously bad.
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JW asks: Should I really call my mom, or get her a gift or card, or visit her, or any of those other mother’s day things?

Dear JW: I think you should give the Mothers’ Day of Benedict Cummerbund. He’s handsome as anything, he’s rich, he has a career, what more could mother want? Ask Benadryl Cuminpatch if he’d like to spend the rest of his life with Mom. You’ll have to ask Benpicked Cucumber nicely as he is, as indeed all celebrities, used to people gushing up to him. If a lifetime commitment is too much, would he be willing to do whatever Mom wanted for one day. Should he complain of lost income from his movies, you’ll just have to rob banks until you’ve accumulated $100 million. Oh, and a grilled cheese sandwich. Make sure the cheese is gruyère. Celebrities have expenses tastes. This will be a Mothers’ Day Mom will never forget.

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SL Red, purple, or green?

Dear SL: The White House has been that uninspired white ever since its construction. I applaud your desire to spiff up the world’s most recognized building, to give it some character, to have some fun. Since, the color of the Republican party is often thought to be red, it would good to paint the White House red. I strongly suggest using spray paint for the job as the Secret Service is not going to give you much time to do a professional job with a roller and a paint brush. Indeed, they apt to be rather cross with you while hauling you away to ask such questions such as, “How did you get over the fence and so close to the White House without being spotted?” You’ll be able to answer with, “Why I went to the nearest circus and bought a cannon from the Human Cannonball. I then shot myself and my paint.” Maybe that will impress them. It’s worth a shot. (See what I did there?)

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JCA asks: Mayo, or Miracle Whip? Not for food, but for bedroom fun. (Asking for a friend).

Dear JCA: My natural inclination as a chef is to suggest mayonnaise as it is a purer food and less likely to be a chemical sh*tstorm. Indeed, try to get mayonnaise with all natural ingredients. Let’s keep our planet green. However in this case, spreadability and lubrication will be prized more than it would be in making a tuna sandwich, I suggest the scientific method. Have two bedroom romps with each volunter. Ask them if they preferred the mayonnaise experience or the one with Miracle WhipTM. You might need hundreds of volunteer partners before you become quite confident in your results. Should you have a spouse who balks at your scientific zeal, you might need to present your sweetheart with a nice box of chocolates and some lovely flowers when asking their permission. Oh, and make sure you always use fresh mayonnaise and Cool Whip. You don’t want to get false responses from your volunteers because you used something rancid. Check those expiration dates.

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KGV states: Thanks for the reminder. Being retired, I easily forget which day of the week we are celebrating.

Dear KGV: It is easy to forget the day of the week, isn’t it? Buy yourself a $600 cell phone, one that shows the day of the week. You don’t have to use the phone for anything. If opening the cell phone just to find the day of the week seems a bit weird, hire a butler. The butler will follow you around and will be pleased to tell what day it is no how many times you ask.

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LF asks: Why do ticks tick?

Dear LF: Not all ticks tick, only the explosive ones. Explosiveness was a defensive trait evolved by ticks during the Cretaceous period. Ticks of that time were forever getting trampled underfoot by tyrannosaurus rexes hot on the pursuit of a brontosaurus burger. A tick scout would raise the alarm whenever a T-rex approached. The explosive ticks would rush the killer dinosaur and explode themselves. The explosion would kill the tyrannosaurus, but the rest of the tick colony would be saved. Sure it would take a lot of ticks to fell a mighty Rex, but holy moly, there are a boatload of ticks. There’s a practical use to this as well. North Korea has not acting at all neighborly lately. To help the world, get on the plane to North Korea with a carry-on bag full of explosive ticks. Don’t worry about TSA, the ticks aren’t metallic and aren’t even on any list of prohibited items. The North Koreans, being a wary sort, might ask you what’s in your bag. They might even open your bag and ask, “What are those ticks doing?” You should say, “I don’t know. Do ticks talk?” (See what I did there?) Then head to the nearest military installation, the one where you can do the most damage. Tell the ticks that those North Korean missiles or fighter planes are T-Rexes. The ticks will blow up the entire installation or base. Oh I forgot, the North Korea security is a distrustful lot. Try to blend in as you make your way through the countryside.

Doctor Paul De Lancey

(Please click on my name and submit Bad Advice questions to my Facebook page and simply make a comment to this post. I look
forward to hearing from you.)

 

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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Minced Meat Croquette

Moldovan Entree

MINCED MEAT CROQUETTE
(Parjoale)

INGREDIENTS

3 slices white bread
3 tablespoons milk
1 small potato
1 large onion
2 tablespoons butter
½ pound ground beef
½ pound ground pork or veal
2 eggs
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon parsley
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup bread crumbs
⅓ cup lard or vegetable oil

Makes 12 croquettes. Takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add white bread and milk to small mixing bowl. Let sit for 20 minutes. Press gently on soaked bread. Pour out any milk. While bread soaks, grate or mince potato. Mince onion. Add onion and butter to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens.

Add all ingredients except bread crumbs and lard to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until well blended. Shape meat/potato/onion mixture into croquettes 4″ long, 2″ wide, and 1″ thick. Add bread crumbs to plate. Dredge croquettes through bread crumbs until they are well coated on both sides.

Add lard to pan. Melt lard at medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Add croquettes to pan. Sauté at low heat for 10 minutes on each side or until croquettes are golden brown all over. You will most likely need to cook in batches.

TIDBITS

1) It’s easy to confuse croquet with croquette; they’re spelled nearly the same. Croquet is played with wooden mallets. Minced meat croquette is played with mallets made of minced meat.

2) Wooden mallets do not break when you use it to hit a wooden ball. The ball goes far. You need an entire lawn to play croquet, which is sometimes called lawn croquet. A mince-meat mallet will disintegrate if you use them to hit a wooden ball. Use a meatball instead. Still, a meatball hit by a mince-meat mallet will not go far. Mince-meat croquette is often played on a napkin. So remember.

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, food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Peruvian Quinoa Salad

Peruvian Appetizer

QUINOA SALAD

INGREDIENTS

1 cup quinoa
½ cucumber
¼ cup fresh cilantro
2 Roma tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
¼ pound queso fresco or feta cheese
1¼ teaspoons aji amarillo, aji panca, or chipotle powder
1½ tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 avocados

Serves 6. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook quinoa according to instructions on package. Remove from heat and let cool. While quinoa cooks and cools, peel and dice cucumber. Dice cilantro, tomatoes, and red bell pepper. Dice queso fresco. Add quinoa, cucumber, tomato, red bell pepper, queso fresco, aji amarillo, lime juice, and olive oil to salad bowl. Toss salad with forks until well blended. Garnish with cilantro. Peel, pit, and cut each avocado into 6 slices. Garnish with avocado slices.

TIDBITS

1) Quinoa salad is an anagram for Quad Sinaloa. Sinaloa is a state in Mexico. It is all that remains of the once proud and vast Sinaloan Empire. The heyday of the Sinaloan Empire occurred over 4,000 years ago. It’s realm included North America, South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. It’s technology while primitive by today’s standards was absolutely whizzo back then.

2) Way back then, Rubberto Sinaloa got drunk, cut open a rubber plant, and poured its sap into a boiling cauldron meant to cook fish. The heat turned the sap into rubber. He made rubber bands. Rubberto shot his rubber bands at his neighbor and took over his lands. He made the same land grab over and over again. Soon, he became emperor of Indonesia. We should all go on such drunken tears.

3) Anyway, Rubberto’s armada of rubber rafts crossed the mighty oceans. His marines and soldiers equipped with mighty rubber bands conquered pitiful natives armed only with stick and scary faces. Then Rubberto died, no doubt at the end of his life, leaving no heir. His four main generals quarreled and the Empire divided itself into the Quad Sinaloas of Viking Sinaloa, the Pharaoh’s Egypt, the Aztec Empire, and Poway, California. Sinaloa, Mexico is all that remains of the once feared empire. The prudent Mexican Federal government has banned Sinaloa’s inhabitants from possessing rubber bands, so things are kinda okay.

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

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

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

Carne Asada Tortas

Mexican Entree

CARNE ASADA TORTAS

INGREDIENTS – MARINADE

¼ cup fresh cilantro
3 garlic cloves
1½ pounds flank or skirt steak
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup olive oil (2 tablespoons more later)

INGREDIENTS – OTHER

1 medium onion
1 Roma tomato
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 bolillo, telera, or French rolls
grilling or cooking spray
½ cup refried beans
1 avocado
¼ cup crema Mexicana or mayonnaise

Makes 4 tortas. Takes 2 hours 40 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

mandoline (optional)
outdoor grill

PREPARATION – MARINADE

Dice cilantro. Mince garlic cloves. Add all marinade ingredients to mixing bowl. Mix by hand until steak is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Let excess marinade drip off steak. (If not, you will have some rather exciting flames coming from the outdoor grill.)

PREPARATION – OTHER

Preheat outdoor grill to high. Use mandoline or knife to cut onion and tomato into ¼” thick slices. Add onion and 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan. Sauté onion at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add steak to grill. Grill steak on high heat for 5-to-10 minutes on each side, depending on your desired level of doneness. Remove steak. Spray the cut side of roll halves with grilling spray. Put roll halves spray side down on grill. Grill on high heat for 1 minute or until grilled side of roll halves turn golden brown. Watch carefully. Remove from heat. Cut steak against grain into 4 pieces.

Add refried beans to pan. Cook on medium-high heat until beans are warm. Remove from heat. Peel and cut avocado into 4 slices. Spread crema Mexicana on all roll halves. Add steak strips to bottom halves of rolls. Add onion, tomato, and avocado slices to bottom halves. Make an indentation in top halves of rolls. Place refried beans in indentations. Carefully turn over top halves with refried beans onto the bottom halves with the meat and veggies. Olé.

TIDBITS

1) The Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920 revolved around exceedingly complex issues such as: democracy versus oligarchy, large landed owners* versus impoverished peasantry, the authority of the Catholic church versus secular governments, and the ambitions of powerful generals and local strongmen.

2) * = This is not to imply the land owners were large, perhaps from the eating of too many too many burritos stuffed with shredded beef, lettuce, queso fresco, guacamole, and crema Mexicana. No, they had large estates, haciendas, that ran** for many miles in many directions.

3) ** = Land cannot run. A really big earthquake, 9.0 on the Richter Scale for example, can send shock waves through the ground that look like an ocean wave to any bystander***.

4) *** = Not that you’ll be able to stand up during a 9.0 earthquake. Most likely you’ll be toast.

5) I’ve used my daily allocation of asterisks – *. Life moves on.

6) Anyway, toast in Spanish is tostada. Tostadas are made mostly with beans and corn tortillas, which are cheap. This is revolutionary bands in Mexico ate quite a bit of tostadas.

7) The factions uniting, however briefly, behind successive central governments always had much more money than the rebelling peasants. The authorities could afford steak. Their armies ate well, often dining on carne asada tortas, the dish featured here.

8) The Mexican civil war was a lengthy, bloody affair. Armed bands and their leaders, jefes, shifted allegiances like the wind. Sometimes they fought for the rights of the peasants and sometimes they deserted to the government, the desire to devour a juicy, scrumptious carne asada torta proving too strong the resist.

9) Of course, the Mexican vegetarians stayed true to the cause of the bean tostada. Sometimes, even the most carnivorous soldiers in the Federal army felt the need to cleanse the palate with the delightfully simple bean tostada. When this happened, they deserted back the rebels.

10) And so it went. Battles went this way. Battles went that way. It all came down to which side would strike the decisive blow, to which side appeared the fiercest.

11) Both the Federales and the rebels used people. That was kind of a tie. The forces searched for something else. Then in an accident of fate, Pancho Villa and El Presidente Carranza both hit on the idea of using giant inflatable balloons made from MylarTM. Villa’s soldiers brought huge inflatable squirrels to the battlefield of Celaya. Carranza’s men, however, carried enormous inflatable snakes with them. Snakes are much fiercer than squirrels. Villa’s army broke and ran. The Mexican Revolution was effectively over. This is also why there’s a snake on the Mexican flag. There you go.

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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