Posts Tagged With: chefs

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.

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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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.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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

Icelandic Crepes – (Pönnukaka)

Icelandic Entree

ICELANDIC CREPES
(Pönnukaka)

INGREDIENTSIcelandicCrepe-

4 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 3/4 cups flour
12 ounce jar lingonberry jam
1 cup whipped cream
2 tablespoons confectionary sugar
no stick spray

makes 15 crepes

SPECIAL UTENSIL

crepe pan or skillet

PREPARATION

Melt butter in skillet. Let butter cool. Add cooled butter, eggs, milk, and sugar to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk for 1 minute or until thoroughly blended. Add baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and flour to second mixing bowl. Mix these dry ingredients with whisk.

Gradually fold in the baking powder/baking soda/cardamom/flour mix into the butter/
eggs/milk/sugar bowl. Mix with whisk. Batter is ready when lumps disappear.

Add drop of water to pan. Turn heat to medium-high. Pan is ready when water sizzles. Spray pan with no-stick spray. Pour 1/4 cup batter into pan. Make sure batter spreads evenly. Cook on medium-high heat for about 1 minute or until bottom of crepe turns golden brown. (X-ray vision helps. If you do not possess this skill, gently lift up the edges of the crepe with a spatula and take a peek.) Turn over crepe with spatula, a wide one is helpful, and cook for about 1 minute or until golden brown. Remove crepe from pan. Repeat for each crepe.

Place 1 heaping tablespoon whipped cream and 1 tablespoon lingonberry jam on the middle of each crepe. Fold in half to make a half-moon shape. Fold in half again to make a pie wedge. Press down gently to spread lingonberry and whipped cream through crepe. Top with 1/2 teaspoon confectionary sugar. Repeat for each crepe. Serve right away.

TIDBITS

1) Over half of all Icelanders believe in elves! Icelandic music companies have a bias in signing musicians who profess to believing in elves. It is said the elves will defend their rocky homes by using magic powers. Bulldozing companies sometimes arbitrate with elves in hopes of getting the wee people to leave. I would love to see this.

2) The Yule Lads are Iceland’s answer to Santa Claus. While the story around Santa Claus originated from a real person, Saint Nicklaus, the Yule Lads descended from evil trolls. Indeed, parents tormented wild children with, “The Yule Lads will get you if you don’t behave.” However, the powers that be made this form of parenting illegal in the 18th century. Now, they are relatively benign even though they sport names such as Bowl Licker and Window Peeper.

3) Today, kids are tormented by internet outages.

4) Britain and Iceland nearly went to war three times over the right to fish for cod near the Icelandic shores. Something to thing about when munching on a fish stick.

5) This tidbit did not survive editing.

6) Icelanders love to play midnight golf during July and August when the day is twenty-four hours long. There are lava beds on some Icelandic golf courses. Is there a lava-bed wedge in Icelandic golf bags? I don’t know.

7) Ice melts when dropped into any one of Iceland’s volcanoes.

8) Indeed, ice melts in any of the world’s volcanoes.

9) Cheese sandwiches burn rapidly when placed in an active volcano. That’s a bad way to toast your cheese sandwiches. Indeed, doctors everywhere recommend against this cooking technique, citing near certain incineration of the chef.

10) This is why Iceland has no gourmet toasted-cheese sandwiches restaurants close to active volcanoes, not even for tourists.

11) Can Iceland’s magical elves survive the intense heat of an active volcano? If so, they could toast cheese sandwiches. Sure, Iceland’s elven chefs would have to have incredibly quick and skilled hands. But wouldn’t a volcano-fired golden brown cheese sandwich be way cool?

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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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.

– Chef Paul
cover

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World, is available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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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

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.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.

 

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