Posts Tagged With: chefs

Bragioli (Maltese Stuffed Beef Rolls)

Maltese Entree

BRAGIOLI
(Stuffed Beef Rolls*)

INGREDIENTS – BEEF ROLL

2 pounds topside, bottom, or round steak
6 slices bacon
2 garlic cloves (3 more cloves later)
⅔ cup fresh parsley
2 hard boiled eggs
¼ cup bread crumbs
½ teaspoon pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil (2 tablespoons more later)

INGREDIENTS – SAUCE

1 carrot
3 garlic cloves
3 medium onions
3 medium tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
⅔ cup red wine

Serves.4. Takes 2 hours 40 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

kitchen mallet
kitchen twine or toothpicks
sonic obliterator (Why is this not in your kitchen?)

* = The best, or at least most common, translation is really “Beef Olives.” Apparently, many people think rolls look like olives. This interpretation has over 500 years of history behind it Indeed, the word olive was sometimes used a verb, as in to olive, roll up, some ingredient. Now you know.

PREPARATION – BEEF ROLL

Cut steak into 12 slices. Pound beef slices with mallet to make them thinner and flatter. Dice bacon. Dice 2 garlic cloves and parsley. Cut each egg into 6 slices. Add bacon, 2 diced garlic cloves, bread crumbs, parsley, pepper, and salt to mixing bowl. Mix with hands until this stuffing is thoroughly blended.

Top a beef slice with 2 tablespoons stuffing. Place 1 egg slice on bacon/bread crumb mixture. Roll up beef slices lengthwise over stuffing. Secure rolled-up steak, bragioli with kitchen twine or toothpicks. Repeat for each bragioli Add 2 tablespoons olive and bragiolis to large pot. Sauté at medium-high heat until bragiolis turn slightly brown. Turn bragiolis enough to ensure even browning. Remove bragiolis from pot.

PREPARATION – SAUCE

Dice carrot, 3 garlic cloves, onions, and tomatoes. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 diced garlic cloves, and onion to same pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add carrot, tomato, bay leaves, and red wine. Simmer at low heat for 10 minutes. Stir enough to prevent burning. Add bagiolis back to pot.

Bring to boil using high heat. Stir enough to prevent burning. (Gently, don’t break open the bagiolis.) Simmer at low-medium heat for 45 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove bay leaves. Serve to adoring quests. Zap unappreciative ones with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need negativity in your kitchen.

TIDBITS

1) This recipe uses eggs. Each egg is to be cut into six slices. This is easy to do if the egg is three inches long. Why, each slice would be one-half-inch thick. That’s easy to measure, but three-inch long eggs are hard to find, especially ones that come from hens.

2) Okay, what about an egg that is 1-8/9 inches long. Divide that by six and you get slices that should 17/54 inches wide. How the heck, do we measure that on a standard ruler? I’ll bet no ruler has ever been made that divides inches into 54 equal parts.

3) So what do we do? I’m glad you asked. 17/9 inches equals 4.8 centimeters. Divide that by six and you get 0.8. It’s a snap to measure that on a metric ruler. But how did we get the metric system?

4) From the French Revolution. French chefs everywhere ran into considerable delays when the aristocrats suddenly wanted their meal portions to include exactly one sixth of an egg. We don’t have rulers that measure in fifty-fourths now. It’s certain that pre-revolutionary chefs didn’t either. So cutting eggs became much problematic.

5) Problems in dividing eggs meant long delays in making the aristocrats’ favorite dishes. This enraged the impatient French nobility. Gourmet chefs all over Paris found themselves chucked into prisons especially the Bastille.

9) The French elite still clamored for their exquisite meals But there were no more gourmet chefs. But where would the aristocracy find new chefs? From the bakeries. This action, however, meant a shortage of bakers to mean bread.

10) So Paris suffered a bread shortage. Incensed Parisian mothers stormed the bakeries for anything they could find. A hungry mob gathered. It stormed the Bastille to release the imprisoned chefs. The French Revolution had begun. Desiring stability, the Revolutionary government of France converted to the metric system. France is now a stable country.

12) America is not metric. We are sitting on a powder keg.

 

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

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

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

Balaleet

Qatari Breakfast

BALALEET

INGREDIENTS

¾ pound vermicelli
2 tablespoons butter or ghee (1 more tablespoon later)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 tablespoon orange blossom water or rose water
2 eggs
½ teaspoon saffron (loosely packed)
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter or ghee
1½ tablespoons pistachios

Serves 4. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Boil water. Break vermicelli noodles in half. Add vermicelli. Continue boiling for 2 minutes. (This will be less than indicated on the package.) Remove vermicelli in a colander. Add 2 tablespoons butter and sugar to 1st pan. Melt using medium heat. Stir constantly. Add cardamom, orange blossom water, and vermicelli to pan. Stir until blended. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 3 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.

While vermicelli/orange blossom water simmers, add eggs, saffron, and salt to mixing bowl. Beat with whisk. until well blended Add 1 tablespoon butter to 2nd pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Add egg/saffron. Cook until egg mixture is done to your liking on bottom. Flip egg pancake over and again cook until the new bottom is done to your liking. Cut egg pancake into 4″-x-1″ strips.

Add vermicelli to plates. Top with egg strips. Sprinkle with pistachios.

TIDBITS

1) This dish is served on a round plate. Most meals are served on round plates.

2) Round plates have to be stored in cupboards.

3) Cupboards take up a lot of space in kitchens.

4) Why not serve food on square plates? After dinner, the square plates can be placed on the kitchen walls like tiles. Everyone loves beautiful tiles. And plates on the walls don’t need to be put back into cupboards. Fewer cupboards means more space in the kitchen. More space in the kitchens makes chefs happier. Happy chefs plate happy dishes. Happy cooking leads to happy dishes. And now the entire world is a happier place. And don’t we all want that?

– 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, international, obsevations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Prawn Barbecue

Australian Entree

PRAWN BARBECUE

INGREDIENTS

2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine
¾ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt or salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1½ pounds shelled-and-deveined extra-large shrimp* (16-to-20 per pound)
1 lemon (optional)

* = The terms prawn and shrimp are often used interchangeably. However, they are technically different having some unmemorable difference in their shells.

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

outdoor grill
5 skewers

PREPARATION

Mince garlic and parsley. Add garlic, parsley, butter, olive oil, white wine, pepper, sea salt, lemon juice, and shrimp to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until shrimp are well coated. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.

10 minutes before marinating is done, heat outdoor grill to medium heat. Thread 6 shrimps onto each skewer. Cut lemon into 5 slices. Grill shrimp for 2 minutes or until it turns pink. Flip skewers over and grill the other side for 2 minutes or until it to is pink. Garnish with lemon slices. Goes well with rice, spinach,  avocado salad, and beer.

TIDBITS

1) Alexander the Great of Macedon invaded the Persian Empire. in 336 BC. This was okay as the previous year was 337 BC, although the people of the time didn’t know this. Alex was a complete foodie. Unfortunately. the menu of his kingdom, Macedon, consisted of 1,223 almost indistinguishable varieties of wheat and olive oil. So when he heard of prawn barbecues to be had in the Persian empire, he invaded. It transpired that the idea of prawn barbecues was story concocted by long suffering Greek chefs to get the ever harping food critic Alexander far away.

2) Alexander’s army thrashed the Persians at the battle of Granicus. Being an relatively young army– about the age of frat boys albeit ones with twenty-foot spears and trained be an unparalleled fighting machine–they repaired to the local tavern to eat and drink. The tavern’s cook, Bessyrus, knowing a little something of Macedonian cuisine offered Alexander and his troops bread drizzled with olive oil. Alexander became enraged, shouted, “I’m sick of bread and olive oil. Where’s the prawn barbecues?” and ran a spear through the tavern’s chef.

3) This still seems a little unfair. The chef knew nothing of the mythical prawn barbecue. In fact, culinary historians remain absolutely amazed that a cook over 2,000 years ago could make enough bread in one hour to feed 50,000 ravenous soldiers. Alexander’s mob headed to the town’s other eatery and asked for prawn barbecues. Fortunately, the synapses in this restaurant’s cook were firing particularly well. He said that there were prawn barbecues in Egypt. And off Alexander’s mob went dispatching another Persian army along the way.

4) Alexander asked the first Egyptian priest/chef he saw for a prawn barbecue. The priest/chef offered bread drizzled with honey. Alexander drew his sword. The quick thinking priest/chef mollified Alexander by declaring him to be a god. Alexander really liked the idea of being a god and strutted around for days saying, “Look at me, I’m a god. Wow, it’s really cool to be a god.” Anyway, Alexander was so smitten by the idea of his divinity, that he plum forgot to behead the priest/chef. The holy Egyptian chef, however, couldn’t help but dwell on his close call. :Hey, Alex,” he said one day, “there’s plenty of prawn barbecues in Persia.” And off Alexander’s army went.

5) The Macedonians utterly crushed the Persian King’s army at Guagamela. The surviving Persian nobles didn’t want Alexander staying around. Alexander was losing his head beheading them. “Hey Alex,” they said, “there’s prawn barbecues aplenty in India.” And off Alexander’s soldiers went.

6) Alexander’s force kicked hiney in India. But the story remained the same. Alexander the Great One didn’t care for the rajahs’ curry bread and offed one baker after another. “Hey, Alex,” the noble bakers said, “there’s oodles of prawn barbecues in Australia.” And off went Alexander.

7) Except this time, the Macedonian spearmen didn’t follow. They were sick of endless marching. Besides, they had discovered pistachios in Persia and really, really liked them. Why massacre entire cities for an alleged gourmet meal when you could munch on delicious, almost addictive pistachios?Alexander gave in. The Macedonian army would conquer no more. But the mutiny by his beloved army broke his heart. He died soon after. Ironically, the noble Indian bakers were right. There were prawn barbecues in Australia.

8) The Australian aborigines of that time loved shrimp (Same as prawns, remember?)  like no one has ever since. They’d eat 100 shrimp at a time. Of course, no one could barbecue 100 shrimp on the tiny skewers of today. Those hardy people fashioned wooden skewers out of trees. Unfortunately, the millions upon millions of Native Australians made so many long skewers that they totally deforested most of Australia. Shrimp barbecues became impossible. The crestfallen aborigines left Australia in outriggers to settle Hawaii.  They left behind petroglyphs of their enormous shrimp skewers.

9) In 1895, Baron de Courbertin saw these shrimp-skewer pictures. You and I would shrug them off, but the young baron’s mind came up with pole vaulting. His active mind would not rest until he found a way to showcase his new athletic event and so the Olympics were born. There you go.

– 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

Hasselback Potatoes

Swedish Entree

HASSELBACK POTATOES

INGREDIENTSHasselbackPotatoes-

10 tablespoons butter (5 tablespoons for casserole dish. 5 tablespoons to spoon over potatoes.)
10 small potatoes
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons grated Våsterbotten or Parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons breadcrumbs

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT

9″ by 13″ casserole dish
baster

Makes, well, 10 potatoes. Takes about 1½ hours to make.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt all butter using medium heat. Peel potatoes Cut off a thin slice off the bottom of the potatoes so that they will lie flat in the casserole dish. Slice potatoes every 1/6″ along its width. Make the cut go ⅔ of the way through the potato. (One way to do this is to put the potato on a large spoon. The sides of the spoon will prevent cutting the potato apart.)

Pour 5 tablespoons butter into casserole dish. Add potatoes to casserole dish. Add 5 tablespoons butter, dill, and salt to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Drizzle potatoes with butter/dill mix. Bake potatoes at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes Baste two times with butter from casserole dish. Remove casserole dish from oven and sprinkle potatoes with grated cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for another 20-to-30 minutes or until golden brown. (The potatoes, not you, for goodness sake.)

TIDBITS

1) The Hasselback potato can be served with almost anything. Oh, don’t tempt me with what.

2) This entree was first made for the “Hasselbacken” restaurant in Sweden in 1940 after the start of World War II. This dish was responsible for keeping Sweden at peace when nearly every other nation got sucked into the conflict. The Germans were told that if they invaded Sweden, the Swedish chefs would stop making Hasselback potatoes. The German commanders knew their soldiers, weary from invading one country after another would stop fighting unless they were fed delicious Hasselback taters. So, Germany never invaded Sweden. To this day, Sweden has a small army. It doesn’t need a lot soldiers. It has a legion of Hasselback-potato chefs.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

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

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

American Entree

CREAMY GARLIC MASHED POTATOES

INGREDIENTSCreamyMashPot-

1 1/2 pounds new or small potatoes
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

PREPARATION

Peel potatoes. Cut each potato into eight pieces. Put potato pieces into large pot. Add enough water to cover potato bits. Bring water to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potato is tender. Drain potatoes.

While potato is cooking, mince garlic cloves. Put garlic and butter in pan. Sauté at medium-high for 5 minutes. Stir frequently.

Add whipping cream, garlic, salt, and pepper to pot with potato pieces. Mash potatoes with potato masher. Use whisk to further blend ingredients together. Serve hot. (But of course, alll chefs are hotties.)

TIDBITS

1) Butter might promote fertility in women.

2) Cholesterol in butterfat helps develop children’s brains and nervous systems.

3) Butter contains arachidonic acid. I have no idea what arachidonic acid is. Clearly, I didn’t eat enough butter when I was a kid. However, I do know a spider is an arachnid.

5) The best, or at least most enjoyable, horror movie about spiders are: Tarantula (1955), Earth Versus the Spider (1958), The Giant Spider Invasion (1975), Kingdom of the Spiders (1978), and Arachnophobia (1990).

6) The best spider-horror movie with a cameo appearance by Clint Eastwood is Tarantula.

7) The most fun spider movie is Charlotte’s Web. It features a talking spider and a talking pig. There is another great movie about a talking pig is Babe. Hollywood thinks pigs are cuter than spiders.

– 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, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spice Substitutions

SPICE SUBSTITUTIONS

Not everyone has 100 bottles and bags of spices and herbs. Not everyone wants to drive five miles to a grocery store just to get one spice, particularly if the contents in your pan are about to burn. Dear harried chefs, this spice substitution list is dedicated to you.

Allspice – Cassia, cinnamon, ginger, mace, nutmeg, cloves (ground)BerbSpi-
Aniseed – fennel seed, anise extract (only a few drops)
Annato powder – turmeric
Cardamom – cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg
Cassia – allspice, cinnamon
Chili powder – cumin, hot pepper sauce, oregano
Cinnamon – allspice (use 1/4 as much), cassia, mace, nutmeg
Cloves, ground – allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg
Cumin – chili powder
Fennel seed – aniseed
Ginger – allspice, chili powder, cardamom, mace, nutmeg
Mace – allspice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg
Mustard, powder – horseradish powder, wasabi powder (1/4 times as much), prepared mustard (3 times as much)
Nutmeg – allspice, cardamom, ginger, mace
Saffron – Only a dash for color of: annato powder, turmeric
Turmeric – annato powder, mustard powder

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

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

St. Martin Hamburger Recipe

St. Martin Entree

ST. MARTIN HAMBURGER

INGREDIENTSStMarHB-

1 medium yellow onion
1/2 teaspoon bird pepper (St. Martin spice)
1 teaspoon nigelle (St. Martin spice)
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
6 hamburger buns

SPECIAL APPLIANCES

spice grinder
time machine

PREPARATION

Mince yellow onion. Use spice grinder to grind bird pepper. Use hands to combine onion, bird pepper, nigelle, and ground beef in large mixing bowl. Make 6 patties.

Your hands will be messy. Use time machine to go back to a moment when your hands were clean. Be sure to come back to the present moment. Those patties need to be fried and you don’t want to cause a time paradox, do you?

Cook patties in frying pan until meat browns. Flip patties over at least once to keep moisture from exiting the top. Toast hamburger buns. Put patties in buns. Enjoy.

TIDBITS

1) St. Martin is the French side of an island in the Caribbeain. St. Maarten is the Dutch side. Both countries valued the island for its vast salt deposits.

2) Packing meat and fish in salt was one of the few ways to preserve meat and fish way back when. Nations in those days often waged war over lands rich in salt.

3) Indeed, global wars raged constantly in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The number of such bloody conflicts plummeted in the twentieth century and in our very own, the twenty-first.

4) Why? The development of the refrigerator made it unnecessary for chefs worldwide to use salt to preserve their perishable beef and fish.

5) Well preserved food results in happy contented chefs. Happy chefs cook for happy eaters. Happy eaters comprise happy nations. Happy nations are agreeable nations. Agreeable nations don’t fight each other. No wars, no nuclear Armageddon.

6) So think about that when considering to send back that overcooked steak to the chef.

– 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

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: