Posts Tagged With: Chinese

Gado Gado

Indonesian Appetizer

GADO GADO
(Vegetable Salad)

INGREDIENTS

¾ pound Yukon gold or new potato
3 eggs
½ head Chinese cabbage or Napa cabbage
1¼ cups spinach
1¼ cups bean sprouts (aka mung beans)
½ pound tofu
2 tablespoons peanut oil or sesame oil
½ cucumber
8 prawn crackers*
1 cup peanut sauce or satay sauce

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

* = Some prawn crackers can be served as is. Others need to be deep fried. If so, please follow instructions on package.

PREPARATION

Add enough water to pot to cover potatoes. Bring to boil. Add potatoes. Boil potatoes for 20 minutes using medium-high heat. Remove potatoes and set aside. While potatoes boil, add enough water to 2nd pot to cover eggs. Bring water to boil using high heat. Carefully add eggs. Boil eggs for 6 minutes if soft-boiled eggs are desired or for 12 minutes if you want hard-boiled eggs. Remove eggs from heat and seat aside.

Add enough water to 3rd pot to cover cabbage, spinach, and bean sprouts. Bring to boil. While water comes to boil, dice or shred cabbage and spinach. Add spinach and bean sprouts to pot. Let boil for 30 seconds. Remove spinach and beansprouts with slotted spoon and transfer to large mixing bowl. Add cabbage to pot. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove cabbage with slotted spoon and transfer to mixing bowl with spinach and bean sprouts. Add ice cubes and cold water. Let sit for 2 minutes. Remove veggies with slotted spoon and pat dry with paper towel.

Cut tofu into 1″ cubes. Add tofu and oil to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 15 minutes or until all sides turn golden brown. Stir frequently to ensure even browning. Remove from heat. Cut cucumber into slices ½” thick. Cut potatoes into ½” cubes. Peel eggs and cut each one into 4 slices.

Add cabbage, spinach, and bean sprouts to large serving bowl. Toss veggies with forks. Arrange potato cubes evenly over veggies. Do the same, one ingredient at a time, for the tofu cubes, cucumber slices, egg slices, and prawn crackers. Divide the peanut sauce into 4 small bowls, 1 for each guest. Guests then add peanut sauce as desired to the top of their salad.

TIDBITS

1) Gado Gado is Indonesian.

2) Gado Gado is anagram for A dog, a dog. It’s also an anagram for A god, a god. And even one for O dga, o dga.

3) Dga is, of course, the plural form for dgum.

4) Only the Latin language changes um to a to make a noun plural. The Ancient Romans spoke Latin. These way-back Romans worshiped gods.

5) They only worshiped gods that looked like people. But they were aware of the gods worshiped in other lands. Such as the dga, the dog gods of what is now Olduvai Gorge.

6) This is a long train of thought, so feel free to have coffee and doughnuts.

7) Anyway, Lucy of Olduvai Gorge is the first known human. Dr. Mary Leakey discovered Lucy’s skull on July 17, 1959. Lucy had a pet dog. She called it Dgma. It’s skeleton was discovered 42 years later under a rusty lunch box left behind by the site’s original excavators.

8) Okay, we now have enough information to trace humanity’s history from then to now.

9) Lucy’s tribe, possessing a limited vocabulary, took to calling all dogs Dgma.

10) Over the millennia, Lucy’s and Dgum’s descendants traveled ever northward. Along the way, because there really nothing else to do but walk, these hardy trekkers decided to worship dogs. Prehistoric shrines to Dgma trace the great northward walk.

11) By 1786 BC, the dgma worshipers reached Egypt. Little Osibis, daughter of Ramses II, saw one of the dogs. “Father, would you buy me that dog?” asked Osibis, “I shall call it Annubis.”
“Well okay,” said the ruler of all Egypt, “ but don’t go asking me to make it a god.”
“Ooh, that’s a good idea.” Osibis clapped her hands. “Make it a god or I shall cry.”
And so softy Ramses added Annubis to Egypt’s horde of gods.

12) In 48 BC, Julius Caesar arrived in Egypt, fought a bit, and took the Queen Cleopatra back with him to Rome. Cleo wanted to take all her dogs with her. Caesar said just one.
“Very well,” said Cleopatra, “I shall bring this dgma.”
“No, said Julius, “The singular form of dgma is dgum. The Romans will kill me if I left you butcher their language.”

13) But Cleo never did change the dog’s name to Dgum. This incensed Brutus, an ardent grammarian, so much that he assassinated Caesar. Rome would become an empire and go on to conquer the world.

14) Dog worship did make it to long-ago Indonesia. Those ancient people, all hardy anagramists, changed the chant “O god, o god” to “Gado, gado.” Gado Gado became the name of the food eaten after morning devotions. Then other stuff happened over the centuries and here we are.

 

– 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.

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Omani Chips Sandwich

Emirati Entree

OMAN CHIPS SANDWICH

INGREDIENTS

4 teaspoons cream cheese
1 sub roll, hot dog bun, or flat bread*
1 tablespoon chili sauce.
1 package Oman potato chips**
1 scrambled egg (optional)
1 cooked hot dog (optional)

* = The authentic roll is the samoon , while the flatbread used in the Emirates is the paratha. Paratha can be ordered online. Samoon is powerful to find.

** = Please, please try to get Oman chips. They are available online. If the fates are against you and you cannot score these chips, take a deep breath and buy chili flavored chips.

Serves 1. Takes 5 minutes.

PREPARATION

Spread cream cheese over both roll halves. Sprinkle chili sauce over cream cheese. Sprinkle potato chips on bottom bun. Scrambled egg or hot dog may be placed on chile sauce. Put top roll half on chips. Press down on top just enough to crush potato chips.

The order of ingredients when flatbread is used is the same. Simply roll up the flatbread.

TIDBITS

1) Sometimes, the checker at the supermarket will ask, “Did you find everything you needed?”

2) I have learned to just say yes. These stores will never have Omani chips. No, not ever. Nor even paratha flatbread, Appenzeller cheese, Harzer cheese, fresh banana leaves*, marshmallow fluff**, yak butter, and pumpkin-seed flour.

3) * = Fresh banana leaves are often readily available at your local botanical garden. However, the staff of these places look askance at banana-leaf theft. It’s a trait acquired from working there.

4) ** = Marshmallow fluff while easy to find in some parts of America, it’s powerful hard to get out West.. If you live near San Diego, you’ll have to move.

5) And then there’s that authentic herb I wanted that can only be found in remote parts of northeast China and only in season. So, it’s best to reply yes to the checkers and try ordering online. That or go to jail, move, or wander aimlessly the Chinese wastelands.

– 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.

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The Return of the Bad Advice Column

 

Dear Readers,

I feel a slight disruption in the force as if millions of people are crying out for bad advice. Why do we feel this need? Because we don’t follow good advice. We are contrary. We has filled this void of bad advice? No one, not for years. Your cries have called me back from retirement. I shall help you. I shall once more dispense bad advice. Oh, it will be stupendously bad, but your needs will be fulfilled. You will once again be happy. And what is wrong with that?

All you, dear reader, need to do is the comment on this blog with your questions. I shall reply with bad advice in the next column, probably once a month.

Or post your question on my Facebook(tm) page
Paul De Lancey

Your questions, please!

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Gentle Reader,

below is the last Bad Advice Column. Enjoy.

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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 Records(tm) 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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– 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.

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Great Arctic Eats – Kotzebue, Alaska

Great Arctic Eats – Kotzebue, Alaska

Are you an introvert who loves to dine out? Did you visit Florence, Italy only to be terrified by the mobs of tourists who completely fill entire streets? Do you love Chinese and Italian food, but simply cannot live without fresh reindeer stew? Is southern Alaska too urban for you? Well, I have the place where you can chill out where it’s chilly and feast where it freezes. It’s Kotzebue, Alaska!
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There are five restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm).  So, the competition for your cuisine cash will be intense. Let’s take in the local cuisine.
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The top rated dining establishment is the highly regarded Little Louie’s. They serve a scrumptious reindeer sausage. Yet Little Louie’s is also vegetarian friendly. They make their own sweets. Hooray!  It has great pizza. All its food is good. They pour great coffee. The service is good. What more do you want?

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Next on our restaurant tour is the Bayside Restaurant. Their Mongolian beef platter is great. (Probably because Kotzebue is about as far west you can get in the continental U.S. before hitting Mongolia. Indeed, the Bayside Restaurant is a beacon in the Western Alaskan culinary scene.) Vegetarians will find themselves welcome here. All diners will appreciate their friendly service.
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Winning the culinary bronze medal is  Nullagvik Restaurant. While known for good food, you really must try their reindeer stew. Does your hometown serve great reindeer stew? No, I didn’t think so. Don’t leave Kotzebue without dining on reindeer stew at the Nullagvik Restaurant.

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Next on our list is the Empress Chinese Restaurant. It has the best Chinese food in town. If you crave Chinese cuisine by the Bering Sea, then the Empress Chinese Restaurant is your dining destination.
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Honorable mention goes to the Uutuku restaurant. People have complained that it was only okay, but that it did serve good spicy chicken. For goodness sakes people, how can it be only okay if it plates good spicy chicken? If you’re still not impressed, let me tell you that there isn’t a restaurant within hundreds of miles that makes spicy chicken as good as they do here. And they’re open until midnight. So there.
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Flying to Kotzebue is by far the easiest way to get there. I suppose you could find a way to book passage on some ice breaker or fishing boat. After that, the ease of getting to Kotzebue by other means, such as by car or unicycle, drops off dramatically. Anyway, there are many interesting places to visit here.

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Be sure to visit The Northwest Arctic Heritage Center. It’s run by the National Park Service. It’s chock full of interesting displays and films that help you discover the rich cultures and natural wonders of the Northwest Arctic Circle. The staff is pleasant and helpful. What more do you want?

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By all means, by plane really, go to the Noatak National Preserve. See polar bears, seals, peregrine falcons, and wolves. Just don’t be gauche and complain to your tour leaders about the lack of cell-phone coverage. Don’t make me come up there.

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Immerse yourself in the Northwest Alaska Areas. The best way to get there is through Golden Eagle Outfitters. See grizzly bears and local birds. Go fishing for char, salmon, and Arctic grayling.
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Go to Serpentine Hot Springs where you can witness caribou migrations if you go during the right times of the year. If you appear during caribou-free months, forget your cares in the private bath house. Luxuriate in hot water from Serpentine’s hot spring.

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Other things to see are: Cape Krusenstern National Monument, and Sulianich Art Center (not to be confused with a sandwich center).

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119 people moved to Kotzebue from 2000 to 2010. No doubt, more moved there in the eleven years since then. So don’t wait. See Kotzebue before it turns into a bustling metropolis.
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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

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– 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.

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Why Bluebirds Sing

 

About a million-to-some-three-thousand years ago, life was hard. Life was brutal. Life was boring. After a tough day hunting and killing a mastodon Joe Caveman naturally craved intellectual recreation. So he and his friends, those who survived the hunt, got together for a game of “rock, rock, rock.” But everyone played “rock” and the game ended in one tie after another. This so discouraged prehistory’s brainiacs that even the most cursory of intellectual pursuits, such as telemarketing and mime shows, were put on the back burner for millennia.

Then happy day, papyrus and soon afterward paper were invented. In one literary salon after another in ancient Egypt and Greece the forward thinkers flocked to hearty games of “Rock, Paper.” Life was worth living. Thinking was worthwhile. The Egyptians erected magnificent pyramids in their great joy. The Greeks, the Parthenon. The Chinese, the Colosseum.

Unfortunately, in 989 a lowly, but brilliant rag picker named Arlin reasoned thusly. If I pick rock and my opponent picks rock as well, I tie. If, however, he picks scissors, I lose. So, I either lose or tie with rock. If I pick paper and my opponent also picks paper, I tie. But if he picks rock, I win. So, I either tie or win with paper. Ergo, I should always pick paper. Within a scant fifty years, everyone picked paper and the games degenerated into ties, just as in the days of the caveman.

Joyless people stopped thinking again. The whole world plunged into the Dark Ages.

Then not so long ago, a Italian man with a bad haircut invented scissors. The game became Rock, Paper, Scissors. There was no same, optimal strategy. People could win and lose again. Thinking became worthwhile. The clouds parted. The bluebirds sang.  They’ve sung ever since.

– 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, humor, obsevations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Arctic Eats – Cambridge Bay, Canada

Great Arctic Eats – Cambridge Bay, Canada

Do you like to eat well, but hate crowds? Do you quail at visiting the same local restaurants one more time? Do you wish to chill out in new soundings? Well, I have the place for you. It’s Cambridge Bay in Nunavut, Canada. Chilling out and shunning teeming urbans mobs will be easy peasy in this getaway  above the Arctic Circle.
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There are four restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm).  So, the competition for your dining dollars will be fierce. Let’s sample the local cuisine.
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The top rated dining establishment is the highly regarded Kuugaq Cafe. They serve the best muskox that I know of. You simply cannot visit here without dining on their tasty muskox chili and muskox chili. And if you love fish, may I suggest their delicious Arctic Chow chowder? Kuugaq Cafe regales its dinners with superb lattes and baked goods. The owners don’t neglect the international culinary scene either. Try their tasty Trinidad stew and pizza quesadilla.

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Next on our restaurant tour is the fine Saxifrage Resto-Cafe. This cafe cooks great Arctic Char. (I mean Cambridge Bay really is the only place in the world for serious Arctic char connoisseur to visit.)  Saxifrage also delights its customers with juicy hamburgers and truly good fries. This cafe is known for friendly service. The staff also provides Chinese food to go on Sundays 4 to 6 pm. What more could you want? How about free medium coffee with every meal? There you go.
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Winning the culinary bronze medal is Arctic Island Restaurant. It serves a good breakfast. It’s specialties are Caesar’s salad and Black Forest cake. Visiting workers will be pleased to know that they can have their meal waiting for them at their hotel room when they come back from work.

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Honorable mention goes to the KFC/Pizza Hut restaurant. People have complained of its cost, poor quality, and lack of variety. For Pete’s sake people, this KFC/Pizza Hut lies 400 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It’s by far the best fast-food combo that far north. I’m amazed that KFC/Pizza Hut had the courage to build a restaurant in such an isolated place. All their ingredients must be flown in from over a thousand miles away. Not many many vendors of fresh pepperoni near the North Pole.
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Ahem.
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Speaking of flying to Cambridge Bay, the best way to get there really is by airplane. Hikers will surely be discouraged by the miles and miles of open water between the end of the North American continent and Cambridge Bay’s Island. And I have to imagine that you really won’t be able to carry the tons of food you’ll need to get there. No, fly to Cambridge Bay, even if you adore white landscapes. Book that flight to Cambridge Bay Airport (YCB.) You’ll have to fly the last leg by charter. There are no flights that go all the way from your North American metropolis to this Arctic outpost no matter what those air-fare sites will claim.

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Speaking of hikers, lovers of outdoor rambling will love the trail of Ovayok Territorial Park. See the awesome panoramic views, the wildlife, and the trails when the visibility is good.

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You won’t want to miss the Canadian High Arctic Research Station. It’s open to the public. Does your city have an Arctic Research Station open to the public? No, I didn’t think so. You must reserve your guided tour. I never suspected you’d need to do this. Is it like trying to get tickets for the next Star Wars(tm) movie? By all means, make the reservation. You don’t want to sleep outside in a sleeping bag in that frigid air just to reserve your place. Or just show up and look at the station’s brochure.
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Do you hate coming home only to find out that you’ve missed a hot-spot tourist attraction that everyone has raved about? Don’t let this happen to you. Stampede the Arctic Coast Visitor Centre. They’ll fill you in.
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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

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– 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: Arctic eats, hunks, international, things to see and do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gibanica (Serbian Cheese Pie)

Serbian Dessert

GIBANICA
(Cheese Pie)

INGREDIENTS

6 eggs
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
1 pound filo (phyllo) dough

SPECIAL UTENSILS

9″-x-13″ baking pan or casserole dish

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Separate eggs. Beat egg whites until fluffy. Add egg yolks, cottage cheese, feta cheese, and sour cream to mixing bowl. Blend thoroughly with whisk or fork. Fold in egg whites. Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Melt butter using low heat. Brush baking pan with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Place 2 sheets filo dough in baking pan. Drizzle 2 tablespoons melted butter over filo. Spread ¼ cup egg/cheese mix on top. Gently crinkle 2 filo sheets into accordion-like balls. Dip accordion balls into cheese/egg mix from bowl until lightly coated. Place coated accordion-like filo balls over flat filo sheets in pan. Repeat until you have 2 filo sheets remaining.

Top with remaining 2 filo sheets. Brush top filo sheets with remaining butter and cheese/egg mix. Bake in over at 360 degrees for 50 minutes or until top is reddish, golden brown. Serve warm or let cool.

TIDBITS

1) Many different groups of people settled America’s Old West. The most obvious types were men and women. It’s obvious now, but no historian before me had ever mentioned it.

2) Chinese settled Western America, but Irish, Swedes, and Germans left Europe to come to the New World’s eastern shores and kept going until they hit the Great American Plains. For a body in motion tends to stay in motion. Long-ago settled Americans from the east pulled up stakes and joined those traveling west. For such a drastic measure as the only way to avoid house calls from salesmen offering to extended their wagon’s extended warranty.

3) However, Serbian cheese pie makers did not participate in the Great Western Movement as their eggs, cottage cheese, feta cheese, and sour cream never survived the months-long journey.

– 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: cookbook, cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Bean Chicken

Chinese Entree

BLACK BEAN CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS

1 pound chicken breasts
½ tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon grated ginger
4 teaspoons rice wine or sake
2 garlic cloves
2 shallots
2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
½ teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons black bean sauce (aka black bean paste)*
¼ cup chicken stock
¾ teaspoon sugar
1 green onion
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds or sesame seeds

* = If you can’t find black bean sauce, you can substitute with hoisin sauce or miso. Alternatively, use your sonic obliterator on any guest complaining about your lack of authenticity. You don’t need that negativity in your life.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

sonic obliterator

Serves 3. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Slice chicken breast crosswise into ¼” thin strips. Add corn starch, ginger, and rice wine to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add chicken strips. Mix with hands until chicken strips are thoroughly coated. Marinate for 15 minutes.

While chicken strips marinate, mince garlic cloves and shallots. Add peanut oil, sesame oil, garlic, and shallot to pan. Heat peanut oil using high heat. (Peanut oil is ready when a bit of shallot starts to dance in the oil.) Sauté at medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Stir constantly. Add black bean sauce. Sauté for another 30 seconds. Stir constantly.

Add chicken strips, chicken stock, and sugar. Bring to boil using high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Stir occasionally. While chicken simmers, chop green onion into thin slices. Garnish with green onion and toasted sesame seeds.

TIDBITS

1) Chickens are usually calm creatures. “Live and let live is their motto.”

2) Unless, they don’t get black beans to eat. Then things get ugly.

3) In 1848, farms all around Scotland ran out of black beans. It all came to a head in the great Paisley Chicken Riots.

4) In retrospect, Paisley’s authorities should have seen it coming. The local chickens had forsaken their usual, “Poc, poc, poc, poc” for “POC, POC, POC, POC!!” Since then, chickens speaking in all capital letters and exclamation points have become a byword for terror. But back then, the town’s constabulary was caught flat footed. Enraged Scottish hens broke into seed barrels everywhere.

5) Fortunately, it rains a lot in Scotland and rain seeped into barrel upon barrel filled with corn seed, or maize seeds as the local chickens would have said. These soaked seeds became fermented from the rain. The chicken got drunk, wobbled around with outstretched wings, and finally passed out in the streets.

6) “They need intervention,” said the bonnie Franchesca. Paisley’s mayor agreed. Just one week later work started on the World’s First* Chicken Alcohol Treatment cent or as WFCAT as it is more commonly goes by. * = As far as we know.

7) The Chicken Rebellion of 1848 fizzled out. Unrest in Great Britain died down. Isn’t amazing how many people take their lead from chickens?

8) But other European leaders learned nothing from this. Their poor people starved. Middle class people protested for more and more say in government. Chickens demanded the black beans their brethren in England got. European fowl ransacked seed stores in all major cites.

9) Orators everywhere exhorted the mobs. “Citizens, are we cowards? Are we going just sit at our tables eating mushroom mush while our fowl friends lead the charge towards liberty and equality?” “No!” shouted the seething masses. And so, Europe erupted into the Year of Revolution.

10) Finally governments responded to the crisis engulfing their lands. First, no succeeding year would ever be known as 1848 for, as we all know, there is lots of symbolism in numbers. Second, generous subsidies to farmers would ensure bumper crops of black beans for centuries to come. In fact, in1927 seed growers planted so many black-beans that its future market crashed. Economic depression loomed. Alert government chefs suggested a dish made of chicken and black beans to gobble up the seed surplus.

11) You might think the chickens would have objected to being eaten. But they never have, remaining docile as long as they got their black beans to eat, “Thank you very much.”

12) Then, in 1993, the Chinese Bikini Team visited Great Britain and later brought the dish back with them. Black bean chicken became enormously popular. It still is. This is why this entree is known as coming from China.

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Bunny’s Feast

Bunny Entree

BUNNY’S FEAST

INGREDIENTS

1 large carrot
½ Roma tomato
3 tablespoons raisins.

Serves a bunny family. Takes 5 minutes.

PREPARATION

Break carrot into 2 or 3 pieces. Dice Roma tomato. Do nothing to raisins. Place carrot pieces, diced Roma tomato, and raisins on separate flat surfaces. The separation of ingredients allows the bunnies to create their own three-course meal.

The best time for the bunny feast is just before dusk when it’s dark enough for our furry friends to feel safe and light enough for us to see.

TIDBITS

1) The Chinese dedicate every twelveth year to the rabbit. The Aztecs held that the Centzon Totochtin (say that quickly) are 400 rabbit gods who party all the time. They are the gods of drunks. Ancient Asians believed a rabbit lived on the moon with its friend the moon goddess. Nanabhozo was a Native American creator god who liked to appear as the Great Rabbit.

2) Crusader Rabbit appeared on early television as a force for good. The kindly Velveteen Rabbit appeared in books. Peter Rabbit delighted kids for decades.

3) However, we spurned the good lapins of literature for less savory rabbits. Brer Rabbit and Bugs Bunny were tricksters. To be fair, Bugs Bunny did promote war bonds during World War II.

4) Bunnicula, of literature fame, sucked juice from carrots while the movie, Curse of the Were-Rabbit showed these furry creatures to be other worldly.

5) Rabbits turned deadly in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. “That’s no ordinary rabbit.” 1972’s horror flick, Night of the Lepus treated viewers to thousands of mutated rabbits killing and eating the inhabitants of small towns along their Chicago. Spoiler alert, Chicago survives.

6) See? Even the nicest of rabbits can go rather bad without attention. Go to the library with your kids. Check out Peter Rabbit books. Do it today. Civilization hangs in the balance.

– 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 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

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