Posts Tagged With: Chinese

Wonton Soup

Chinese Soup

WONTON SOUP

INGREDIENTS

2 green onions (1 more later)
1″ ginger root
½ teaspoon brown sugar
½ pound ground pork
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce (2 teaspoons more later)
24 wonton wrappers
4½ cups chicken stock
1 green onion
2 teaspoons soy sauce

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Thinly slice 2 green onions. Grate ginger root. Add 2 sliced green onions, grated ginger, brown sugar, pork, rice wine, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce to large mixing bowl. Mix with fork until filling is well blended. Let marinate for 20 minutes.

Place 6 wonton wrappers at a time on flat surface. Keep remaining wrappers covered with wet towel to keep them from drying out. Place ½ tablespoon filling in center of wrapper. Use a finger to lightly wet the edges of the wrapper. Bring 2 opposite corners together to form a triangle. Firmly press edges together. Bring the 2 corners of the long edge together so that they overlap to get a round stuffed wonton with a flat triangle at the top. Repeat for remaining wrappers.

Thinly slice 1 green onion. Add chicken stock to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Add wontons to pot. Reduce heat to low-medium. Simmer for 5 minutes or until wontons start to float. Stir occasionally and gently. Garnish with 1 sliced green onion.

TIDBITS

1) French women, for the last thousand years, have gone for men who are handsome and give them flowers, chocolate, and wonton soup. This held especially true for French queens. Poor old King Phillip II Augustus (1165-1223) had great trouble getting his wife Isabelle of Hainault into a frisky mood. Phil got himself nipple rings. Izzy simply used his rings for coat hangers. Phillip II even gave her flowers, chocolates, and French onion soup. “Not now,” as she gazed at her soup. “Not now.”

2) At his wits end, King Phillip II told his chef to go wild making a new soup. His chef came up with this very same recipe. Isabelle loved it. Indeed, it made her so amorous that the royal couple made whoopee all night long. Nine months later, little Louis VIII was born. Ever since then all French kings who served their queens “Won ton” soup, the opposite of “Not Now” produced future kings; the clods who didn’t, produced no heirs. Something to think about when ordering soup.

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pork Shumai

Chinese Appetizer

PORK SHUMAI

INGREDIENTS

2 garlic cloves
1″ ginger root
2 green onions
1 pound ground pork
½ tablespoon cornstarch
¾ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons rice wine or dry sherry
½ tablespoon sesame oil
1½ tablespoons light soy sauce or soy sauce
40 wonton or gyoza wrappers
3 or so leaves Napa cabbage (You may substitute parchment paper. Be sure to punch holes in it.)
soy sauce for dipping

SPECIAL UTENSILS

kitchen towel
steamer
x-ray goggles

Makes 40 pork shumai. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic, ginger root, and green onion. Add garlic, ginger root, green onions, ground pork, cornstarch, salt, rice wine, sesame oil, and soy sauce to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands. Add 1 tablespoon pork mixture to middle of wonton wrapper. Wet finger with water. Run finger around edges of wrapper. Wrap sides of wrappers around pork mixture. Seal edges with together with hands, starting at the bottom. Repeat until you have enough dumplings to fill steamer’s basket. Covered completed dumplings, shumai, with damp kitchen towel until they are ready for the steamer. You will likely need to steam the shumai in batches. Make another batch while the previous batch is being steamed.

Add water to bottom part of steamer until it is 1″ from reaching the steamer basket. Bring to boil using high heat. While water comes to boil, line steamer basket with 2 Napa cabbage leaves. Place dumplings on cabbage leaves.(This keeps dumplings from sticking to basket.) Leave ½” gaps between shumai. Cover steamer and steam at high heat for 5 minutes or until done. (If you neglected to pick up x-ray vision goggles at your store, you may sample one.) Remove steamed dumplings, shumai and serve. Continue until all batches have been steamed. Dip in soy sauce as desired.

TIDBITS

1) Pork shumai comes from China.

2) Chinese spare ribs also come from China.

3) As do Chinese horoscopes.

4) And Chinese fireworks.

5) We can thus conclude someone from China invented Chinese checkers.

6) Although glass marbles have been invented and produced several times throughout history and in many different locations, their popularity is cyclical.

7) Indeed in the Middle Ages, adults generally forbade children to engage in any games, whether it was Pin the Tail on the Giraffe’s Neck (PTGN) or play marbles.

8) PTGN would have died out naturally as a recreational pursuit as no child during the Middle Ages could have pinned that high on a giraffe, even if he stood on his tippy does.

9) Playing Marbles (M) also waned in popularity. Medieval Children (MC) had to hike to the wheat fields to get away from parental supervision. Unfortunately, marbles got lost immediately in the amber waves of grain. (This image would ultimately inspire our great song “America the Beautiful.”) No more marbles for play, no more games of Marbles.

10) The game Marbles came to China with the Polo brothers in the thirteenth century.

11) The Great Khan loved the game. And since he loved the game so did all his Chinese subjects. Marbles Mania (MM) was poised to take off in the Land of the Panda.

12) But alas, the Polo brothers only brought enough marbles for one game of Chinese checkers. Then tragedy struck, a mighty wind blew away two marbles. A diligent search by the palace guard recovered one marble. Not enough for a game.

13) The Polo brothers, Marco and Ralph, tried diverting the Great Khan’s wrath by giving him three-and-twenty shirts with short sleeves, and a button-down collar. Sad to say, Khan didn’t cotton to these Polo Shirts. He even ordered the brothers’ execution. Things looked grim for the Polos. Only an IRS audit could have made things worse.

14) Then woo hoo, a divine wind blew dozens of pork shumais from the imperial kitchen onto Khan’s Chinese checkers boards. The game was saved for imperial household. The Chinese peasants could now partake as well. Laborers, at the end of a hot day, would invite neighbors over for a nice game of Chinese checkers, then dine on the pork-shumai marbles after playing was done.

15) Health restrictions in 1857 prohibited the use of pork-shumai marbles. (See Dr. Amos Keeto’s work, The Great Chinese Pork-Shumai-Marble Plague of 1856.) From that year on, Chinese checkers would be played only with glass marbles. Now you know.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

Categories: history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Lemongrass and Five Spice Tofu

Vietnamese Appetizer

LEMONGRASS AND FIVE SPICE TOFU

INGREDIENTS

2 stalks lemongrass
3 garlic cloves
1¼ pounds firm tofu
1 cup vegetable oil (2 tablespoons more later)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon red chile flakes
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
¼ teaspoon white pepper or pepper
½ tablespoon soy sauce

PREPARATION

Discard all but the tender, inner and lower, green part of the lemongrass stalks. Mince garlic cloves and remaining lemongrass. Slice tofu into 8 long rectangles. Pat dry with paper towel. Add 1 cup vegetable oil to pan. Heat oil at high heat until a tiny bit of tofu in the oil will start to dance. Carefully add tofu rectangles to pan. Fry tofu rectangles for 8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the bottom. Turn over once. Fry for 4 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the new bottom. (Monitor the tofu carefully as the time between golden brown and crispy can be short.) Remove tofu and drain on paper towels.

Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to 2nd pan. Add garlic, lemongrass, and red chile flakes. Sauté at medium heat for 2 minutes or until lemongrass is tender and fragrant. Stir frequently. Add Chinese five spice, white pepper, and soy sauce. Mix until well blended. Add tofu rectangles. Sauté at low-medium heat for 2 minutes. Turn over once. Place 2 tofu rectangles on each plate. Carefully spoon sautéed lemongrass/garlic from pan over tofu rectangles.

Serves 4. Takes 45 minutes.

TIDBITS

1) It’s startling to hear this now, but for centuries, perhaps even millennia, lemons grew on grass rather than on trees. The reason for this change and other  ensuing culinary changes was war.

2) The British navy had been losing thousands and thousands of sailors to scurvy. In 1753, the British conducted controlled experiments to find a cure for this dread scourge. They strongly concluded that lemon juice would keep scurvy at bay. A scant forty-two years later, the British Admiralty began issuing daily rations of lemon juice. Scurvy disappeared! The navy could indefinitely blockade Napoleon’s ships and keep him from invading England. It was all so neat. Unfortunately, the Admiralty’s lemon mowers cut so much lemon grass that ground lemons were on the brink of extinction. Botanists stepped in and grafted lemons onto trees. This process worked well that the lemons developed seeds that would sprout into full-blown lemon bearing trees. History is such fun.

Chef Paul

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

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Bad Advice Friday + 1, 08-11-17

I am ready. I am able to dispense with stupendously bad advice. It’s one date late because:

1) I was serving on the Neighborhood Plate Tectonics Watch.

2) I was wondering where all my orphan socks went to.

3) I spent all afternoon thinking it would be way cool to be able to walk on the ceiling.

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TLR asks: Should I put a nasty note on this truck?

Dear TLR: No, as tempting as that might be, you can’t out puswad a puswad. Unless, of course, you have access to a particle accelerator. First, rent a large tow truck. Put the puswad’s truck on the tow truck. You might need to buy and speed read, The Complete Freaking Moron’s Guide to Operating a Tow Truck. You should also buy, The Complete Freaking Moron’s Guide to Speed Reading. Okay, the offending truck is ready to be towed.

Drive your tow truck to a site with a large particle accelerator. Ask to be let in. Note: your chances of success go up if you say please and thank you. If they say no, you can probably bash down the gate with your heavy tow truck. One inside, get the mean person’s truck into the particle accelerator. You will have to work quickly if you bashed down the gate. Press the button marked, “Accelerate,” and whoosh, the meanie’s truck will soon reach a velocity close to the speed of light. Any collision between the truck and particle accelerator’s walls will disintegrate the truck. Sweep up the atomized bits of truck–cleanliness is always in style–and go back to the parking lot. Place the back of atomized truck pits where the truck originally took up four spots. Add a sign that reads, “Next time it will be you that gets atomized if you park like a jerk.” Now that will get the jerk’s attention.

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KD asks: Will it ever be acceptable to openly roll one’s eyes when one sees someone do something ridiculous like hold up entering the bus to finish a text? O_O

Dear KD: Oh yes, it already is. However, just rolling your eyes is no longer enough. The texting doofus needs to be taught a lesson. Simply throw a loosely wrapped package of lutefisk, five pounds should be heavy enough, at the texter. The force and stench of the hurled lutefisk will knock him backwards and onto the sidewalk. He’ll a nasty bump on his head that he’ll never forget. Don’t worry about the people on the bus. They’ll be happy that the bus will no longer be delayed. They’ll also never have to smell that lutefisk again. It’s a win-win outcome for everyone.

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CA asks: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Dear CA: The metal thingy hanging from the metal of a giant six-foot high church bell is called a clapper. This is your clue. Simply climb up the side of a church–the Spanish missions in California are good places to try–and get inside. You’ll need to wear clothes that match the color of the church’s walls or you’ll be spotted and stopped. Once inside the bell, smash your hand into the side of the bell. The sound you’ll hear before becoming permanently deaf will be the sound of one hand clapping.

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CC asks: What’s a good date plan for a couple that have been married for over 30 years?

Dear CC: After 30 years, you’ve probably done every possible type of date there is. Except, sky diving over an active volcano. Hire a pilot to fly you over the center of the lava spurting volcano. You might have to ask around a lot before you find one willing to do this. Be persistent.

Simply strap on your parachutes and jump out the plane. Be sure to wait for the pilot’s signal. Safety, as always, is important. When the time is right, pull the cord and your parachute will deploy. Did you take parachuting lessons? I hope so. Twist so that at the last moment you will veer away from the death-vomiting volcano.

Is this dangerous? Yes, it is. But if all goes well, you and your sweetheart will have drawn closer together, your love forged even stronger by fire. And sitting close to each other on a couch looking longingly into each other’s eye will be just what you’ll want to do for the rest of your lives.

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MA asks: If you write a book about failure and it doesn’t sell, would it be a success?

Dear MA: I’m not equipped to answer such a deep philosophical question. But the Tibetan monks would be. Now, the Chinese government is really a super huge dictatorship. Millions of members are in the ruling Communist party. I wouldn’t be surprised at all, really, if Guinness Book of RecordsTM lists the Chinese government as the biggest dictatorship ever.

Anyway, being a dictatorship and all, the Chinese government tries real hard to suppress all discontent against them. They are indeed very thorough about this. And it’s an atheistic ruling body as well. So, it’s real hard to believe they’d let you see a monk. So you’ll have sneak your way to one.

Two possibilities exist. First, fly to Shanghai. Slip by customs without being noticed. May I suggest pointing at the sky and yelling, “Look, Halley’s comet!” Continue to be invisible as you ride trains and busses to a monastery. Ask a monk. Get an answer. Revel in the enlightenment before sneaking your way back home. Second. fly to Bombay, now Mumbai. Take the train to the Tibetan border. Hire a Sherpa guide. Bring oxygen canisters to help you breathe as you cross the Himalayas. Oh and a warm fur parka will help you with the intense cold. Don’t forget to watch for bullets. The Chinese and Indian armies are currently skirmishing with each other. As above, get your answer and come back home.

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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

Categories: bad advice Friday | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking for Toilets, My Travels Through Europe: Venice

VENICE

Doge’s Palace has a public toilet.

See Venice while you can for many parts of it are sinking into the sea. It’s kinda like California slipping into the ocean at the rate of a half inch a year. But there are differences as well.

California has earthquakes, fires, has water shortages, is a hot bed of information technology, has a huge agricultural sector, gives free water at restaurants (if you ask for it) and lets you use restrooms at all sorts of places such as restaurants, supermarkets, and just about any sort of business where the public comes in.

Venice has no shortage of water. It’s everywhere sometimes it floods the main square that tourists infest, which is exciting if you’re wearing designer shoes.

Venice was founded in the fifth century when Attila the Hun was rampaging through Italy, sacking cities, slaughtering the populace, destroying the Roman Empire, and otherwise being rather unpleasant. Anyway, the citizens of Aquileia, a thriving city, saw no future in being massacred and high tailed to the nearby swamp. They reckoned the Huns, a tribe that grew up in east-central Europe, wouldn’t want to slog through the swamp just to extinguish a bunch a people whom they had no real quarrel with. The Aquileians were right and before you knew it, they were sinking pillars in the marsh to provide support for the buildings they were going to put up.

These swamp people called their new city, Venice after Venn diagrams, they were astoundingly into the theory of logic, and ice, a rare commodity in a Mediterranean* seaport in the Dark Ages. Anyway, the Venetians minded their own business for centuries. In disgraceful contrast, the other nations and city states, generally went around for centuries impaling each other with lances and other weapons.

All of a sudden a Venetian woke up and decide to make galleys. These were ships powered by men using oars. Think of fishing in a tiny lake. You used a rowboat. Only the Venetians galley were huge multi-decked rowboats requiring hundreds of oarsmen. Just as you want to protect your fishing spot and perhaps wanted the lake to yourself, the Venetians wanted the Mediterranean to themselves and used their galleys to sink the other nations ships.

However, instead of catching fish, the Venetians transported spices from the Middle East to the rest of Europe. The Europe of the Middle Ages and Renaissance had really no refrigerators to speak of. Thus, their food other rotted and stank, more than lutefisk even. So, the Middle Age diners really appreciated a good spice to cover up the bad food. And so the Venetians thrived.

Until suddenly, the Ottoman Empire conquered the Near East and shut off access to the spices. Moreover, Western Europe developed large sailing vessels that could whoop the pants off the Venetian galleys in combat and could travel long distances across the open sea. Venice went into a centuries long decline. You would have thought they could have used that declining time to come up with anything, like reclining chairs and public restrooms, but no.

Venice lost its independence to Austria in 1806. However, the conquered city still had lots and lots of pasta and fish. This made going to restaurants lots of fun. About this time, Signor Scampi added chairs to his pizzeria. What a great idea. People loved being able to seat down for supper. More and more chefs provided chairs for their customers. The trend toward chairs in Venetian restaurants continues to this very day.

Venice was a republic of sorts, although if you didn’t like the current governor–doges they called them–you were denounced, tried, convicted, and imprisoned or executed in one day. Movers and shakers you bet. People were so afraid of appearing unhappy, that they sported smiles all day long. Hence, the expression, “As smiley as a Venetian.”

My family and I as we got off the water taxi that took us from the port to St. Mark’s square. We headed to our first event, a gondola ride. We took our time, enjoying the architecture. Inevitably with a family of four, some of us had to pee. Where were the public toilets? Where was Waldo? Where was Ameila Earhardt? Actually, we found Ms. Amelia, but the need for the toilets remained unabated. Indeed the pressure mounted. We did find a fancy hotel near the gondola ride. After making our donations, we went outside to find the place where we would show our vouchers. According to the maps, the gondola extravaganza was supposed to be only ten yards away.

As the crow flies. As the drunken crow flies. We crossed a bridge and went to the gondola kiosk. The sphinxes periodically manning the booth ignored us. We recrossed the bridge in search of a caring employee. Nothing. We crossed back to the booth. Nothing. We ended up going over that bridge six times before we found an employee who put a round orange sticker on our shirts. We were good to go.

We got in line. We had a good position even though the gondola guys had sold hundreds of tickets for our time slot. Actually this wasn’t true due to a cultural misunderstanding. In America, people generally stand behind the last person in line. In Venice and in the airport coming back, standing in line meant standing to the side of people in line, generally near the front. Soon a vast semi-circle sea of people stood around the gondolas pressing ever forward as if  trying to get into a Who concert.

Eventually we got on a gondola and began our bumper-to-bumper (prow-to-bow on a gondola?) tour of the back canals of Venice. Many power boats made deliveries on alcohol to the back entrances of various bars. Cool, actually.

After the ride, I had the clever idea of finding where our evening Vivaldi concert would be. Although the venue had St. Mark’s as part of its address, our consensus was to use GPS. GPS resolutely marched us to and around tiny alleys away from St. Marks. We came to an epiphany; GPS sucks in narrow alleys.

We did find a small pizzeria where authentic Chinese waitresses provided efficient and cheerful service. This restaurant might have had a restroom. We’ll never know. None of us felt brave enough to pass a shrieking toddler to look. Oh how, weak and naive we were.

But we were smart and experienced enough now to head back to St. Mark’s Square to find Saint Mark’s Cathedral. (By the way, twenty-four years earlier I had the good fortune to visit this square during the Carnival season. I saw many wonderful acts, many in Italian and some in English. I also did the Hokey Pokey with a bunch of Americans. My contribution was, “You put your left ear in. You put your left ear out…)

Anyway the biggest tourist attraction in Venice is St. Mark’s Cathedral, named after St. Mark. My family went there for a full mass on Saturday evening. Mass was in Italian, but the choir was from Britain and sang in English, which was cool. But no restroom. During mass, touring around the cathedral is forbidden. So is flash photography, at least in theory. Sitting is forbidden during the tourist hours. So, you can’t sit in a pew and look at spectacular mosaic in the ceiling. And there’s no public restroom inside.

After mass, we went outside to find our concert. My gosh, it was literally twenty yards away. There was a big sign saying, “Vivaldi Concert tonight.” Fuck you, GPS.

The concert was fantastic. We were in the second row, only fifteen feet away from the musicians. The concert hall had seats for only about forty people. The energy and the skill of the musicians, well oh my gosh they were great. And they played Vivaldi’s the Four Seasons, one of my favorites. (I had listened to Vivaldi’s Two Seasons a couple decades earlier from a slow-arriving herd of Parisian violinists. No comparison, these Venetian folks were the real McCoys.)

And the concert venue had a public toilet. Sure I had to clamber up a two-foot high step, but I had been toughened, and so it proved no obstacle at all.)

A great concert, two public toilet, and mass at one of the most famous cathedrals in the world, the day had been good.

Next day we stampeded the doge’s palace in St. Mark’s square. The doges had  lived there. It’s also where the nobility conducted the affairs of state. Venice was by the standards of its times, a rabid democracy. At first, nearly all the men could vote. Then sometime during the Middle Ages, the nobility in an admirable display of voter suppression struck all but a few thousand men from the voting rolls. The criminal justice system occurred in this building as well. With a strong Protestant work ethic, this Catholic government (the Reformation wouldn’t occur for centuries) heard, convicted, and sentenced people with assembly line efficiency.

Which they needed to do as they apparently had and still have, thank goodness, one public restroom. Would you want to spend hours uncovering quilt when you needed to pee. How did I know of this restroom? Twenty-four years earlier, I had toured the doge’s palace with a reasonably empty bladder. Only after leaving the palace did I look at my tour guide. It said, “Don’t forget to visit the public restroom at the palace. People restrooms are scarcer than hens’ teeth in St. Mark’s Square.” The tour book was right. A few hours later, I found myself wandering the Square saying, “A toilet! My American ExpressTM travellers checks for a toilet.” So this time I was able to comfortably whiz away while surrounded by centuries of history.

We then took our self-guided tour of St. Mark’s Cathedral. For love of God, Montressor, book your tickets in advance. Plate tectonics moves faster than lines at the Cathedral’s kiosks. The cathedral was as beautiful as it had been the previous day.

Our ticket to the doge palace gave our free entry to the city’s art museum. Let me tell you the energy spent railroading enemies of the state to their death did not diminish in the slightest the output of the land’s magnificent artists. Lots of busts of Napoleon, which was exciting for me as I am a direct descendant of his and it was nice to speculate how all this art and city could have been mine if only he had won the Battle of Waterloo.

Then tragedy struck. The men’s bathroom in the museum was, was . . . oh the humanity, was blocked of for cleaning. Well fuck. So we went outside to look for a public bathroom. We saw a sign for one. We did! We did!

We didn’t find it. We looked for hours. In desperation, we went into a restaurant. Number Two Son approached the proprietor*. The conversation remains burned in my brain.

“Do you have a restroom?” asked Number Two Son.

“Yes,” said the evil proprietor.

“May we use it?”

“No.”

“How about if we eat dinner here?”

“No.”

So we head back to the water-taxis with my bladder full as Boulder Dam after a rainy season. And there it was, Harry’s Bar! My gosh, the famous Harry’s Bar. Ernest Hemingway, Winston Churchill, Orson Welles, Aristotle Onassis, and other luminaries used to get drunk here and it was quite all right. And carpaccio was invented here. Contessa Amalia Nania Mocenigo was told that for her health she had to give up cooked meat. The clever bar owner sliced sirloin steak as thin as possible drizzled a sauce made of mayonnaise, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, and a soupçon of milk. A place fit for an exclamation point!

I went in to whizz. I asked to use the restroom. They answered politely and pointed the way. I expressed my gratitude after I came out. I said how excited I was to be at Harry’s Bar. They smiled and thanked me. We went back to our ship. A palace, an art museum, culinary history, and two public restrooms. Life was good.

* = Mediterranean is hard to spell. So is proprietor.

Paul De Lancey, Intrepid Explorer

 

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: 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

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.

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

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.

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

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?

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

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

Categories: bad advice | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Say All Over the World, “No lutefisk, please, it makes me ill. Where is the nearest taco truck?”

lutefisktacotruck

“No lutefisk, please, it makes me ill. Where is the nearest taco truck?”

I used GoogleTM Translate to translate the above phrases into the following languages. You might never need to use these words in your global travels, but do you want to take that chance? Read and remember.

Afrikaans – Geen lutefisk, asseblief, dit maak my siek. Waar is die naaste taco vragmotor?
Albanian – No lutefisk, ju lutem, kjo më bën të sëmurë. Ku është më i afërt kamion taco?
Arabic – لا lutefisk، من فضلك، يجعلني سوء. أين هي أقرب شاحنة تاكو؟ (Apparently, this language doesn’t have a word for lutefisk. Who knew?)
Chichewa – palibe lutefisk, chonde, IT kupanga chilichonse choipa. uli yapafupi taco galimoto?
Chinese, traditional – 沒有lutefisk,請,這讓我生病。 最近的taco卡車在哪裡?(What? The Chinese don’t have a word for tacos and they have nuclear weapons. Oh, this doesn’t sound good.)
Dutch – Geen lutefisk, alsjeblieft, het enig ziek. Waar is de dichtstbijzijnde taco truck?
French – Pas lutefisk, s’il vous plaît, IT faire tout mauvais. Où est le camion taco le plus proche?
German – Kein lutefisk, bitte, IT jeder krank machen. Wo ist der nächste LKW Taco?
Greek – Δεν lutefisk, παρακαλώ, αυτό με κάνει να άρρωστος. Πού είναι το πλησιέστερο taco φορτηγό; (What? The Greeks don’t have a word for taco and they call their country the Cradle of Western Thought?)
Hindi – कोई lutefisk, कृपया, यह मुझे बीमार बना देता है। निकटतम टैको ट्रक कहां है? (See? You can order a taco in India. All you have to do is read Hindi and pronounce it correctly.)
Hungarian – Nem lutefisk, kérem, ez teszi beteggé. Hol van a legközelebbi taco teherautó?
Latin – Lutefisk non placet, si male me. Ubi est proxima taco dolor? (If by accident you end up in ancient Rome, you’ll be able to ask for a taco truck?)
Polish – Nie lutefisk, proszę, to sprawia, że chory. Gdzie jest najbliższy ciężarówka taco?
Russian – Нет лютефиск, пожалуйста, это не делает меня больным. Где находится ближайший тако грузовик? (The fact that the country is run by an opportunistic dictator must be balance with the fact that Russians have a word for taco.)
Scots Gaelic – Chan eil lutefisk, feuch, tha mi tinn. Càite bheil a ‘fhaisge taco làraidh?
Spanish – Sin lutefisk, por favor, TI tiene ningún enfermo. ¿dónde está el camión de tacos más cercano?
Swedish – Ingen lutefisk snälla, gör mig sjuk. Var finns närmaste taco lastbil?
Vietnamese – Không LUTEFISK, xin vui lòng, nó làm cho tôi bị bệnh. Trường hợp là xe tải taco gần nhất? (Vietnam has no word for lutefisk. Had France and America known this the Vietnam War might never been fought.)
Yiddish – ניט קיין לוטעפיסק, ביטע, עס מאכט מיר קראַנק. ווו איז די ניראַסט טאַקאָ טראָק?

My spell checker went nuts with this blog.

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

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

Taiwanese Soup

BEEF NOODLE SOUP

INGREDIENTSbeefnoodlesoup

5 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger root
6 scallions (white part of green onions)
1 Roma tomato
2 Thai chiles or red chiles
8 cups water (or enough to cover short ribs)
1⅓ cups Chinese rice wine or sherry
¾ cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Sichuan chili bean sauce
(doubanchiang), Korean gochujang. or bean sauce
4 whole star anise pods
3 pounds beef short ribs
1 cup chicken stock
1¼ pounds Asian wheat noodles or linguine
¼ cup mustard greens or spinach
¼ cup baby bok choy, bok choy, or Napa cabbage
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

SPECIAL UTENSILS

8 quart pot
tongs

Makes 8 bowls. Takes 4 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic cloves. Peel and grate ginger root. Cut scallions into ¼” slices. Dice tomato and Thai chiles. Add garlic, ginger, scallion, tomato, water, rice wine, soy sauce, brown sugar, chili bean sauce, and star anise into pot. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add short ribs. Cover and simmer on low heat for 2½ hours or until meat is tender to the fork, but is still on the ribs. Turn off heat, remove lid, and let sit for 1 hour. Remove meat from pot with tongs and place on flat surface. Push bones out of short ribs. Shred beef with fork.. Return shredded beef to pot. Add chicken stock. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

While soup simmers, cook noodles according to instructions on package. Dice mustard greens, baby bok choy, and cilantro. Add noodles to bowls. Add mustard greens and bok choy to bowls. Ladle soup over mustard greens and baby bok choy. Garnish with cilantro.

TIDBITS

1) Not too many years ago, Susan Chang of Poway, California, posted the following question on FacebookTM, “If we took all the cooked noodles in the world and tied them together, would they reach all the way to Mars?” No response. Susan asked the same question, but added a picture of two kittens playing with noodles.

2) The post went viral. Suddenly, billions of people had to know. Purchases of noodles went up a thousand fold. The entire economies of thirteen smallish countries switched over to making noodles. Greenland built sixty million hot houses to raise wheat. Ten million babies were named after noodles, “Noodlo if they were boys or “Noodla” if they were girls.

3) Soon the world had billions of miles of noodles, enough to cover every road in the world. This naturally made traveling anywhere difficult, unless, of course, you had a JeepTM equipped with noodle tires. But we didn’t have many of those vehicles. Most factories still churned out noodles.

4) Time to cook those noodles. On May 5, all seven billion people cooked noodles. The steam from all that water boiling formed a thick cloud over the entire Earth. The cloud lasted an year. No sunlight got through at all; dinosaurs that somehow survived the meteor from 65 million years ago, died up for good. People tied noodle after noodle together. Soon a string billions of miles long circled the globe countless times. We know it was countless because no one tried counting it.

5) Sally was chose for the honor of stretching the string to Mars. Being five foot seven and standing on her tippy toes and extending her hand to sky, she managed to lift the noodle end seven feet to Mars. This was short of the Red Planet as all could see. So, Sally stood on her boyfriend Bob’s shoulders. Still short of Mars. A troupe of Chinese acrobats came over. Although they stood seventeen people tall, a GuinnessTM record for noodle standing they were still not all the way to Mars.

6) Bushnell AviationTM lent a helicopter. One person, Dwayne, held onto the helicopter and then another person held on to him, and so on. However, even though Wayne was a weight lifter, even he couldn’t hold up 15,000 pounds of people for long. He let go. Fortunately every fill into the community swimming pool, establishing Guinness records for the largest number of people to successfully perform a cannonball into a community pool and for the largest tidal wave in Wyoming.

7) Then NASA and the European Space Agency, seeing people actually performing scientific experiments got into the act. A space shuttle spooled out the noodle string as it traveled Mars. The string measured 135 billion miles, enough to get to that planet when it was closest to Earth.

12) Unfortunately, Mars was farther away than that. The phlegmatic population, there being a global cold, shrugged and built a noodle string three time longer than the first, which is still whipping around the Earth. NASA tried again. It worked! It did. It did. All the way to Mars. Sally clipped the string in two. ESA carried the second string all the way as well. The noodle strings stayed in place as the extremely cold temperatures of space froze them into super strong poles.

13) Then Amos Keeto, at Bushnell ConstructionTM said, “We have extra noodle, enough to make rungs between the noodle poles. The people of Earth, did just that. Now, if you have space suit and have enough supplies, you can climb to Mars. Way cool.

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

Shrimp Fried Rice

Chinese Entree

SHRIMP FRIED RICE

INGREDIENTSshrimpfriedrice

1 cup rice
2 medium carrots
1″ ginger root
2 stalks green onions
2 eggs
½ tablespoon sesame oil (1 more tablespoon later)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil or olive oil
¾ pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup snow peas or snap peas

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor or grater
spice grinder
wok or skillet

Serves 4. Takes 35 minutes

PREPARATION

Cook rice according to directions on package. Grate carrot using food processor or grater. Grind ginger root in spice grinder. Dice green onions.

Add eggs to small mixing bowl. Whisk eggs. Add 1 tablespoon sesame oil to wok. Heat oil with medium-high heat until a tiny bit of egg dances in the oil. Add eggs. Sauté egg for 1 minute. (Do not stir.) Flip egg over with spatula. Add egg to flat surface. Cut egg into ¼” wide strips.

Add 1 tablespoon sesame oil, soy sauce, pepper, and salt to mixing bowl. Blend with whisk or fork. Add canola oil to wok. Heat on medium-high heat until tiny bit of ginger dances in the oil. Add shrimp. Sauté shrimp for 2 minutes or until shrimp turns pinkish orange. Stir and flip shrimp occasionally. Remove shrimp and set aside. Keep canola oil. Add ginger, carrot, and snow peas to wok. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until carrot and snow peas soften. Stir frequently.

Add egg strips, rice, green onion, sesame oil/soy sauce mixture to wok. Sauté on medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir frequently. Add shrimp. Stir. Serve in bowls immediately.
TIDBITS

1) The children’s game, CandylandTM, was invented way back when in prehistoric times by Philippe and Miriam Davout. The Davouts were devoted parents and persistent entrepreneurs. Hence, the saying that’s been passed down through the millennia, “As loving as a Davout hug. As novel as Davout fire.” Another stone-age adage that we know is, “As ugh as Ogg’s mastodon mignon.” But Chef Ogg deserves his own tidbit series after a recipe and so we return to the Davouts.

2) Anyway, little Yvette Davout didn’t have much to do. She had no school to go to. And what would the teacher have taught her? “Stay inside your cave. The pumas lurking outside will eat you.” That’s it. Her parents taught her. No need for school.

3) This attitude persists to this day. However, the truth be told, not many people nowadays do not get eaten, or even seriously challenged, by pumas. So, this view is kinda hard to challenge.

4) Meanwhile back at the cave, Yvette fussed and fussed. She couldn’t go out to see the Murat sisters. And after, their daughter Lucy got eaten by pumas, Daddy and Mommy Murat wouldn’t let their remaining girls visit Yvette anymore.

5) It got hot during Olduvai Gorge summers, particularly in a cave. Sweat rolled down Yvette’s sloped forehead like Eddie the Eagle doing a ski jump. She needed a distraction before she went stir crazy and ran outside to eaten by pumas.

6) Then one glorious noon, a thought, the first of the day, popped into Miriam’s head. She explained it to Philippe. He smiled. “Yo ho, Miram, that a’s glorious idea, wife.” They chattered excitedly about rules, then stopped abruptly. Miriam slapped her head with a rock. It didn’t hurt, her skull was thick. Cave folk did this all the time.

7) Miriam, having waited for the author’s intrusion to stop said, “Boo hoo, we don’t have the requisite technology to fabricate the many colors needed to paint this game’s playing cards.”

8) That was quite a complex statement for the time. Philippe, having neither a dictionary nor even a ThesaurusTM, had to guess at its meaning. Then he too smashed something to his head. It was a large chunk of obsidian. It splintered into nice sharp dice-like cubes.

9) The Davouts looked at each other. Light bulbs, at once a metaphor and an artifact, lit up above their heads. “Let’s make dice–the first use of this word–out of these, these DICE,” said Philippe and they did. They finished the game lickety split.

10) Little Yvette loved the game. She played it and played it until the sharp edges of the obsidian dice sliced off too many of her fingers. Distraught and bored, she took up painting. It was tough painting with two fingers on her hand, hence the crudely shaped hunters and mastodons we see depicted in the Lascaux caves.

11) Yvette eventually gave her dice to her own daughter, Sabine. Sabine too was forbidden to go outside the cave or to play bloody Candyland. She took to cooking instead. Being smart like all dawn-of-humanity Davouts, Sabine took to chopping onions with her Candyland dice. She called this technique dicing and so do we. 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 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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