Posts Tagged With: Chef Paul

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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Cuban Hamburger (Frita Cubana)

Cuban Entree

CUBAN HAMBURGER
(Frita Cubana)

INGREDIENTS

4 garlic cloves
1 onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ teaspoon cumin
½ tablespoon Spanish paprika or paprika
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons ketchup
¼ chorizo (no casings)
1 pound ground beef
¾ pound ground pork
½ cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1½ pounds shoestring potatoes (And cooking oil as well if deep frying or pan frying.)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
12 hamburger rolls

Makes 12 hamburgers. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic cloves and onion. Add garlic, onion, and olive to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion and garlic soften. Add sautéed onions and garlic, cumin, paprika, pepper, salt, ketchup, chorizo, ground beef, ground pork, and bread crumbs. Mix with hands until well blend. Shape meat mix into 12 patties.

Cook shoestring potatoes according to directions on package. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan and as many meat patties that will fit. Cover. Sauté meat patties at medium-high heat for 5 minutes on each side or until meat is cooked to your desired level of doneness. You might need to cook the patties in batches. Top patties with Worcestershire sauce. Warm or lightly toast buns. Add patties to bun bottoms. Top patties with shoestring potatoes. Place bun tops on shoestring potatoes.

TIDBITS

1) The most common geometric shapes drawn by the cavemen was the triangle. So, it’s no surprise cavemen engineers chiseled stone into triangular wheels. This shape proved to be quite useless for transportation. The PorscheTM line of high performance cars would have to wait. But then the Cubanhamburgerpithicus tribe invented the Cuban hamburger. Little prehistoric diners thrilled hunter-gatherers with this avant-garde culinary creation. Soon, an engineer, Ogg Edsel Yugo, had himself a Cuban hamburger. It was tasty. It was round. It inspired him to make a wheel, to make a car. Edsel Yugo’s car flopped. Humanity would wait several millennia for Porsches. Bummer.

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

Anise Bread

Burundian Appetizer

ANISE BREAD

INGREDIENTS

2¼ teaspoons yeast
½ teaspoon sugar (5 teaspoons more later)
¾ cup warm water
1 cup flour (2½ cups more later)
7 teaspoons anise seed
1 teaspoon salt
5 teaspoons sugar
2½ tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
2½ cups flour
½ cup water (or as needed)
1 egg yolk

SPECIAL UTENSILS

bread maker (optional)
cookie sheet
parchment paper

Makes 4 bread rolls. Takes 2 hours 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add yeast, ½ teaspoon sugar, and warm water to large mixing bowl. Stir with fork until yeast dissolves. Let sit for 15 minutes or until yeast becomes foamy. Add 1 cup flour. Stir with fork until well blended. Let sit for 30 minutes or until mixture doubles in size. Add anise seed, salt, sugar and oil. Knead mixture with bread maker or by hand until blended. Add 2½ cups flour gradually. Knead by bread machine or by hand for 10 minutes. Add ½ cup water, or as needed, to get soft, pliable dough. Cover and let sit for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.

Place parchment paper on cookie sheet. Separate dough into 4 balls Add balls to parchment paper. Flatten dough balls slightly with hands. Cover with damp kitchen towel. Let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add egg yolk to cup. Beat egg with whisk. Use kitchen brush to coat dough balls with egg yolk. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until dough balls turn golden brown and their surface hardens. Serve warm or let cool.

TIDBITS

1) In 2200 B.C., King M’bokong of Burundi ordered his subjects bring him a dish to celebrate his 50th birthday. By incredible coincidence, everyone made anise bread. The people further honored their monarch by building a great pyramid three times as tall as the later pyramids of Egypt out of the leftover bread. However, the Pharaohs’ pyramids are made from stone. Stone resists rain. Bread does not. The pyramids of Giza remain. The Burundian pyramid is no more. Bummer.

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

Beef, Herb, and Yogurt Soup (Aashe Mast)

Iranian Soup

BEEF, HERB, AND YOGURT SOUP
(Aashe Mast)

INGREDIENTS

2 garlic cloves
1 large onion
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ pound ground beef
⅓ cup long grain rice
4½ cups water
3 cups Greek yogurt or plain yogurt
¼ cup fresh chives*
¼ cup fresh cilantro*
¼ cup fresh parsley*
1 15-ounce can chickpeas (aka garbanzos beans)
¼ cup fresh mint*

* = Substitute 4 teaspoons dried herbs for 4 tablespoons fresh herbs.

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic cloves and onion. Add onion, garlic, pepper, salt, turmeric, and ground beef to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until well blended. Use hands to make ½” -to-1″ meatballs. Add rice, water, yogurt, chives, cilantro, and parsley to large pot. Simmer on low heat for 30 or until rice softens. Stir frequently. Add meatballs and chickpeas. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally and gently. Garnish with mint.

TIDBITS

1) Earth, Wind, and Fire, a superb American band (1969 to present.) has excelled in many genres including : R&B, soul, funk, disco, Latin, and African. It’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and has played for President Obama.

2) Alas, not all bands succeed . The Iranian group Beef, Herb, and Yogurt (1977-1979) rocked the musical genres of cuisine and bubble-gum love. Their song, “I give you my saffron and my heart” was the number-two Iranian song of 1978 . The shah of Iran even invited them to play for him in early 1979. The Iranian Revolution broke out a scant two weeks later. The Shah was deposed. The police hunted all supporters of the previous regime. Beef, Herb, and Yogurt, tied to the Shah by their command performance, fled to the U.S.. Stigmatized unfairly by Americans who blamed them for the storming of the American embassy, they never played again. The band members eventually opened up an Iranian restaurant in Dubuque, Iowa, where they have been trying to blend in.

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, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bad Advice Friday, 4-07-17

Today is once more Bad-Advice Friday. I shall be dispensing bad advice to all comers. The advice will stupendously bad.

RP asks: Pop Tart wine pairings, please.

Dear RP: While many people and all wine connoisseurs and cannibals know that white wine goes with white food and red wine goes with red food, it’s amazing how few people are aware that blue wine pairs with blue food, as in blueberry Pop TartsTM, brown wine with brown food, such as root-beer Pop Tarts. If you are unsure of the color of the paste inside the Pop Tart, may I suggest adding sprinkles to a fine rose? Sprinkles in wine always pair well with sprinkled food.

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KM asks: Can you make ice cream from Coffeemate?

Dear KM: Yes, if you have a sufficiently powerful energy source. We in Southern California have a nuclear reactor in San Onofre doing absolutely nothing. Go inside the complex while the guards are celebrating. (Well of course, their partying. It’s my birthday.) Be sure to have all the necessary ingredients for brewing before you start. You’d feel awful if you fired up a hurriedly decommissioned nuclear reactor only to discover you forget the coffee filters.

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LHH asks: Cheese Whiz or organic palm oil for that get-away weekend?

Dear LHH: It all depends. If your sweetheart is the type who prefers Cheeze WhizTM or even VelveetaTM then by all means take the Cheez Whiz. There’s nothing so arousing as having your body scented like a good burger. Also, Lots of rain forests are being cut down to produce palm oil. This is a turn off to environmentally concerned lovers. However, guys whose dates cancel at the last moment should probably bring along palm oil
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SWW asks: I’m going to interact with others, this weekend. So which should I bring up–sex, politics, religion, or all of them? If it’s all, can you give me a sentence or two that combines them?

Dear SWW: Any topic is okay as long as your suitably armed. There is nothing so frustrating as to listen to some ignorant clod go on and on incorrectly on some topic and having no way to stop the rant. Many people carry an assault rifle for this very reason. However, if you’re anti-gun, that’s okay, too. In this case, I suggest carrying a kitchen mallet. It’s dual purpose. It tenderizes meat as well as dispatching people. If however, your heart is set on offending people with the minimum of words, may I suggest the following sentence? “God demands you have frequent sex with Democrats.” (Be careful though to substitute in the word “Republicans” if talking to a Democrat. There’s nothing worse than an avoidable faux pas.)

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KD asks: What should I do if I come in contact with a one-eyed, two-toed flying purple people eater (not to be confused with a trump supporter).

Dear KD: It was never clear to me if the song referred to a purple monster that ate all people or merely a monster that ate purple people. If the later interpretation is true, than I am safe as I am note purple. However, I never ever take blueberry baths. I don’t want to look purple in case I run into a purple-people eating monster. However, things get existential if the monster devours everyone. You have two options. One, spout theoretical econometrics at the flying monster. You will rapidly put the critter into a coma. Don’t know theoretical econometrics? Surprisingly few people do. Two, smear yourself all over with lutefisk. That is the nastiest smelling stuff on God’s green Earth. The monster will stay far away from you as will all other nasally equipped beings.

*************************

JAS asks: Is there life on Mars?

Dear JAS: There’s only one way to know for sure. Go to Mars yourself. Of course, once you arrive, there will be life on Mars as you will be there. Oh, I suppose you could look for pre-your-trip-to-Mars life. Honestly. Okay, you’ll need a powerful rocket to get there. NASA has powerful rockets. If, as I suspect, their rockets as scheduled already for future missions, you’ll have to create your method of space travel. Your space capsule should be a Smart CarTM. They’re small and have a radio and a CD player. Attach thousands upon thousands of bottle rockets underneath and along the sides of your car. Light the bottle rockets and quickly, oh my gosh quickly, get in your car and close the door. Put on your seat belt. Safety is important. And away you go.

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MH asks: Donut holes? What gives? Why should I pay more just for a bag of holes separately?

Dear MH: This is a contentious issue. Deep, secret societies are at work. President Bush wouldn’t touch this issue. Neither would Obama. His health care plan was a just an excuse to avoid tackling the doughnut-hole issue. President Trump plays golf every time some brings this up. Clearly, you’re going to have become president if you hope to find out. And be brave, be very brave.

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OM asks: Are we there yet?

Dear OM: No, we are not there yet. We want to visit the Sun. This will not happen as long as the Earth continues to orbit it. Honestly, it really seems as if we are really just going round and round. The only way to get to the Sun is to shove our planet out of orbit. To do this, we simply need to get about two billion people to jump sixty feet to the ground at the same time. Clearly, we need the cooperation of the Chinese and Indians. Travel to those countries, flash your winning smile and persuade those nations’ leader to cooperate. Should their rulers balk for some unforseen reason, they’re foreigners after all, threaten them with nuclear weapons. Don’t have nuclear weapons? Tsk, tsk, it always pays to be prepared. In that case, break into the White House and steal the attache case that launches everything. If security stops you say, “Oops, forgot this. I’d forget my head if it weren’t attacked.” Make your getaway while they laugh at your joke,

************************

KE asks: Is the moon really made of cream cheese?

Dear KE: Only the Cream Cheese Association (CCA) knows and they won’t tell without a million dollars in unmarked bills. If you have that much money fine, ask them. Otherwise, you’ll have to save up through hard work, rob a bank, or make counterfeit bills. Do a good job though, the Treasury Department takes a lot of interest in high quality counterfeit $100s. And gosh darn it, you should be taking pride in your work for its own sake.

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KM asks: Will masturbation really make you go blind?

(long pause)

Dear KM: No. See? I’m typing this. Ok, with touch typing I don’t need to see, but no.

************************

LHH asks: What happens when you smoke the filters?

Dear LHH: You see God. Do this only if your conscience is clear as you will get judged right there and then.

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NB asks: When a stranger asks me – what do I do? – how should I answer. (I think you know what I do.)

Dear NB: Oh my gosh, don’t tell them the truth. Their eyes will glaze over. Their life force will escape shrieking from their nose. Tell them you taste test artichokes. That’s what I say. Unless, of course, you can’t abide the questioner. Then by all means, tell the truth. Honesty is the best policy.

************************

WK asks: Where was the clock that Bill Haley rocked around?

Dear WK: No one knows for sure. It was once spotted at a flea market in Stockton, California back in 1989. Time to follow up this lead. There can’t be more than 10,000 flea markets in America. Right?

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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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Rizogalo (Rice Pudding)

Greek Dessert

RIZOGALO
(Rice Pudding)

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup butter
4½ cups whole milk
½ cup short-grain white rice
½ cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon corn flour
¼ teaspoon cinnamon.

Makes 4 cups. Takes 3 hours.

PREPARATION

Add butter, milk, rice, and sugar to large pot. Bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes or until rice is soft. Remove from heat. Whisk egg yolk in small bowl. Add egg yolk, vanilla extract. and corn flour. Mix with whisk until well blended. Ladle rice pudding into cups. Let cool at room temperature for 15 minutes, then in refrigerator for another 45 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

TIDBITS

1) There is quite a bit of stirring in this recipe. Doesn’t that all that stirring get tiring? Yes, it does. Which is why the Greek Aeronautics and Space Agency (GASA) has developed an autonomous robot designed for voyages to the asteroid belt.

2) Greek astronauts can’t afford to take their eyes off their rocket’s window for even one minute as asteroids and space rocks could crack their window. Whoosh! The astronauts would be sucked out by the vacuum of space. That would be horrible. So, you can see why GASA puts a rizogalo-making robot (RMR) on all missions.

3) RMRs are expensive. It needs enough artificial intelligence (AI) to make rizogalo without human aid. I also needs to cook in zero-gravity. Have you ever tried preparing rizogalo in outer space? It isn’t easy. The last time a human tried this the International Space Station was closed while Greek cleaning women were shuttled in. Getting all those globules with mops proved frustrating. The women had be trained for six months. The clean up took seven months. The Greek government ran up such a debt paying for this that it had enormous difficulties meeting its international obligations. Massive infusions of cash from Germany and other governments saved off default. Even so, the Euro almost collapsed. This would have destroyed the world economy. No one would have had money to buy clothes and most food. We would have been running around naked and eating lutefisk! So again, you can see why RMRs are essential on lengthy space flights.

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: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Raznici (Grilled Pork Skewers)

Croatian Entree

RAZNICI
(Grilled Pork Skewers)

INGREDIENTS

1¼ pounds pork loin
1 small onion
2 bell peppers (any color)
2 garlic cloves
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

SPECIAL UTENSILS

outdoor grill
10 skewers

Makes 10. Takes 2 hours.

PREPARATION

Cut pork into 1″ cubes. Cut onion in half. Separate onion layers and cut them into 1″ squares. Seed bell pepper. Cut bell pepper into 1″ squares. Mince garlic cloves. Add all ingredients to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until pork cubes are coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.

15 minutes before pork cubes have finished marinating, preheat grill to medium. Drain liquid from mixing bowl. Alternate putting pork cubes, onion squares, and bell-pepper squares on skewers. Repeat for each skewer. Place skewers on grill. Grill skewers for 7 minutes on both sides or until pork browns and is white inside . Goes well with salad or veggies.

TIDBITS

1) Long ago, armies fought each other by throwing rocks. The most clever cities fought back with paper, for as we all know paper covers rocks. Then Assyria overran all with its elite scissor forces. But in 605 the Medes conquered Assyria with old-school rocks. Rock, paper, scissors might be seem to be just an innocent children’s game today, but at one time it was a training exercise that all armies took seriously. The entire region remained in rock-paper-scissors (RPS) turmoil for centuries. But in 336 B.C., young Alexander the Great drew blood when he pricked his finger eating shish kabobs. The brilliant military innovator equipped his troops with shisk-kabob skewers. He soon lengthened these skewers into 12′ long spears. His infantry could impale its RPS enemies before they could get close enough to do any harm in return. Alexander’s technologically superior armies would go onto conquer Greece and Persia. The world would never be the same. Shish kabobs are everywhere.

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

Chicken Flautas

Mexican Entree

CHICKEN FLAUTAS

INGREDIENTS

4 chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves
1 small onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (4 cups more later)
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ pound queso fresco or feta cheese
½ cup salsa
12 uncooked or freshly made corn tortillas*
4 cups vegetable oil (or at least ¾” deep)
2 tablespoon fresh cilantro

* = Cooked tortillas from the store will require softening in the skillet or microwave. Uncooked tortillas while harder to find will make preparation easier.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

toothpicks

Makes 12 flautas. Takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add chicken breasts and enough water to cover to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove chicken to plate. Shred chicken using forks.

While chicken simmers, mince garlic and dice onion. Add garlic, onion, and 2 tablespoons oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. Add shredded chicken and cumin. Stir until well blended. Remove from heat. Add equal amounts of the shredded chicken/onion mixture, queso fresco, and salsa to the middle of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas tightly and pin together with toothpicks.

Add oil to pan. Heat oil using medium-high heat until a tiny piece of the tortillas starts to dance in the oil. Add rolled-up tortillas to pan seem-side down. Sauté at medium-high heat for 4 minutes or until tortillas turn golden brown. Turn frequently, but carefully, to ensure even browning. You will most likely need to cook in batches. Remove from heat. Drain on plate covered with paper towel. Dice cilantro. Garnish with cilantro. Goes well with salsa.

TIDBITS

1) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “The Angler of Vienna,” was also a pretty darn talented musician, writing such toe-tapping operas such as, Il re pastore, Zaide, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cossi fan tutte.”

2) By the way, Mozart’s agent, Paolo Fettucine, arranged for tutti frutti, a new ice cream with chopped and candied fruits in it to be served at Cossi fan tutte’s debut. It was a stroke of P.R. genius. Ice cream lovers came for the dessert and stayed for the opera. Wolfgang never looked back, except when on the way to his secret fishing places.

3) But it is in Mozie’s culinary operas where The Angler of Vienna’s talents really shined. Who can fail to be uplifted by his sole English work, The Three Penny Hot Dog? or feel the anguish of Gibt es wirklich keine Apfelkuchen? (Is There Really No Apple Pie?)

4) The years 1784 – 1787 were his happiest; he had great fishing spots to himself. These interludes of quietude were also the moments of his greatest musical creativity as witnessed by the Fish Cycle operas: Der Kabeljau auf dem Markt (The Cod at the Market), Limone Pesce Impanati (Lemon Breaded Fish), and of course, “The Angler of Vienna’s favorite, Il Mio Punto di Pesca (My Own Fishing Spot.)

5) It’s ironic that Mozart, a famous fan of German cuisine, would write his greatest opera about Mexican food. But who could not be inspired by the brilliant cuisine of Vienna’s famous restaurant, “Los Cinco Tacos?” Wolfang tried the restaurant’s chicken flautas and fell in love with them. He would stay up all night to compose the brilliant, brilliant I say, opera, Las Flautas Mágicas (The Magic Flautas.) Unfortunately, the politics of that year dictated that no operas be performed in Spanish. (Do try to see it if it’s being performed nearby.) Broken hearted that he was, Mozart rewrote his opus. And so we have the not too shabby Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute.) But Mozart would never again write about Mexican food.

6) Then on December 5, 1791, Mozart’s muse, Ernestine, imparted to him the idea of writing the opera Stoßen der magische Kugelfisch, (Puff the Magic Pufferfish.) So strong was Mozie’s excitement over what he knew what would be his magnum opus that he grabbed his fishing pole and raced to Danube River. He continually glanced over his shoulders to see if anyone were following, for all the local anglers would descend on him en masse and fish and fish out his little side pond. It was heartbreaking. Mozart had to scrap one seafood opera after another because he couldn’t bring in enough fish to give a true, abiding sense of its flavor and abiding soul. On one occasion, competitors once fished all the trout from his special inlet. This is why we never got to hear his Guten Morgen, Forelle (Good Morning, Trout) and had to settle for the markedly Don Giovanni.

7) Anyway, Mozie eluded all anglers that day and caught six pufferfish. (1791 was an extraordinarily bountiful year for Viennese pufferfish.) Wolfie scurried home as fast as his chubby little legs would carry him. He cooked all the fish. Unfortunately, he died. For while his wiener schnitzel was second to none, he didn’t know how beans about preparing the potentially fatal pufferfish. His last words were, “Gott im Himmel, where are my car keys?” There were, of course, no cars in 1791 and so need for car keys. Culinary historians Mozart had channeling the frustration of millions upon millions of people two centuries later.

9) But Wolfgang’s musical vision for the pufferfish lasted through the centuries floating through the atmosphere until it found a suitable vessel, a worthy receptacle. This is how we got the classic song, “Puff the Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Sure the name and length of Stoßen der magische Kugelfisch changed a bit, but that magnum-opus had been floating around for centuries and became susceptible to modern musical scenes. And 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

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

Cucumber Yogurt Salad (salatet zabady bil ajur)

Sudanese Appetizer

CUCUMBER YOGURT SALAD
(Salatet Zabady bil Ajur)

INGREDIENTS

2 cucumbers
2 garlic cloves
1¾ cups plain yogurt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt

Makes 6 bowls. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes

PREPARATION

Peel and dice cucumber. Mince garlic cloves. Add all ingredients to serving. Mix well with whisk. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

TIDBITS

1) The modern-day submarine looks like a cucumber. Of course today’s subs, which can stay submerged for six months and carry enough nuclear missiles to reduce several cities to a glowing fog of atoms, are unarguably more destructive than even the most beserk cuke. The fact remains, however, that nuke rhyming with cuke is no accident.

2) The first military submarine, the Turtle (1775) was based on a turnip. It didn’t do much. Underwater, culinary warfare fell out of favor for twenty-french years. Fulton designed the Nautilus for the French in 1800. It never went to sea as the humidity of the vessel caused the crew’s bread to go moldy and war without fresh bread was unthinkable.

3) In 1864, the submarine, H.L. Hunley, of the Confederate Navy sank the North’s wooden warship, the Housatonic. This was the first successful sinking of a warship by a submarine. It was also the first successful sinking of a submarine as the Hunley was too close to its own exploding torpedo. Remarkably, no had imagined this occurrence. A month later, Rebel scientists hit upon the idea of simulating a submarine attack with cucumbers and matches. Unfortunately for the South, General Sherman had already begun his destructive march through Georgia. He had specific orders from President Lincoln himself to cripple Confederate submarine research by having his army destroy every cucumber it came across. Once the Union soldiers found how much fun came from fighting cucumbers than a grey coat who’d shoot back, they started uprooting and burning all crops. The South no longer had food to feed its armies. Surrender of all rebel forces followed soon.

4) But the Civil War was a near-run thing for the U.S.A. In 1866, Congress authorized the creation of the Cucumber Underseas Naval Department (CUND.) Over the years, research expanded to investigate undersea applications from all fruits and vegetables.

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

Paul’s Banana Strawberry Nut Bread

American Breakfast

PAUL’S BANANA STRAWBERRY NUT BREAD

INGREDIENTS

3 bananas (overripe ones are better)
5 ripe strawberries
½ cup pecans
½ cup butter (softened or melted)
½ cup raisins
2 eggs
½ cup sugar
2¾ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
2¼ cups flour
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSILS

spice grinder
electric beater
9″ x 5″ loaf pan

Makes 1 loaf. Takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel bananas. Put bananas and strawberrues in large mixing bowl. Mash or smoosh with potato masher or fork. Chop pecans or grind with spice grinder until all the pecan bits are quite small. Add butter, pecan bits, raisins, eggs, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla extract to mixing bowl. Blend with electric beater set on medium or “cake.” With electric beater running, gradually add all the flour. Blend until the batter is smooth. Spray loaf pan with no-stick spray. Pour batter into pan. Put pan in oven. Cook for 45 minutes or until a toothpick or fork inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes. Turn loaf pan over onto a plate.

TIDBITS

1) This is a moist and tasty bread. However, it would surely harden like a brick if left out under a hot, summer Sun and forgotten. Indeed, the Great Wall of China, built to keep out northern invaders, was constructed with banana-strawberry-bread bricks. These ingredients arrived via caravan along the great Banana Strawberry Road, stretching from Bananistan to Peking. The fruit bricks of Great Wall did their job until the advent of the Mongols, fierce fruit lovers who ate their way through. No country has a built a culinary wall 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

Categories: cuisine, history | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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