Posts Tagged With: cilantro

Slow Cooker Tacos Barbacoa

Mexican Entree

SLOW COOKER TACOS BARBACOA

INGREDIENTS – MARINADE

2 ancho chiles, dried or fresh
1 chipotle chile from can. (Keep 2 tablespoons of the can’s liquid)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon coriander
2 teaspoons epazote or oregano
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt (1 teaspoon more later)
1¾ cups water
1 tablespoon vinegar

INGREDIENTS – LAMB

3 pounds boneless lamb parts*
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large bananas leaf or 3 avocado leaves**
2 cups bone broth, beef broth, or water

INGREDIENTS – GARNISH

1 medium onion
⅓ cup fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
12 8″-flour tortillas

* = Beef is the most popular meat for this in Mexico. Goat is also popular. Regions in Mexico usually have a strong preference. But NO ground meat.
** = Bananas leaves and avocado leaves are mighty hard to find outside of Mexican or Asian supermarkets. If you cannot find them, use cornhusks, parchment paper, or tin foil as a substitute. Leaf or leaves should be able to cover the width of the slow cooker.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor or blender
slow cooker
serving platter

Serves 6. Takes 9 hours 40 minutes.

PREPARATION – MARINADE

Remove stem and seeds from ancho and chipotle chile. Add all marinade ingredients to food processor. Puree in food processor.

PREPARATION – LAMB

Rub salt onto lamb. Cut lamb into as many pieces necessary to fit them in a slow cooker. Add oil to pan. Heat oil at high heat until it starts to ripple. Carefully, carefully add lamb pieces. Sauté lamb at high heat until all sides are well seared or you get a dark-brown crust on the lamb. Turn over to sear the other side of the meat.

Wrap lamb with banana leaf. Add wrapped lamb and marinade to slow cooker. Ladle broth over banana-leaf wrapped lamb. Set slow cooker and high and cook for 9 hours or until lamb becomes fall-apart tender. Shred lamb with forks. Keep liquid.

PREPARATION – FINAL

While lamb cooks, dice cilantro. Thinly slice onion. Cover serving platter with banana leaf. Place shredded lamb on banana leaf. Ladle juice from slow cooker over lamb. Sprinkle with lime juice. Warm tortillas by placing on pan with the heat set at medium. Remove as soon as they get warm. Or microwave tortillas for 10 seconds. Fill tortillas with lamb. Garnish with cilantro and onion. Goes well with with green salsa.

TIDBITS

1) The stars in our universe exhibit a red shift. That’s because they’re moving away from us. This observed red shift in our celestial orbs gave rise to the Big Bang Theory. The color red makes objects move things move from other things. For example, forest fires are red. Forest fires move away from their starting points.

2) Red picnic-table cloths, left unchecked, would move themselves away from the picnic table. This is why people have potlucks. The plates laden with potato salads, hot dogs, and corn on the cob provide enough weight to counteract the Moving Away Force (MAF) on the red table cloths.

3) The Germans experimented with red tablecloths in World War II. They hoped their table cloths would move away from the ground and into the path of Allied bombers. The red objects, however, moved away from the bombers as well. These Nazi tablecloths still continue outward trek. Look for them in the Asteroid Belt, if you have a powerful enough telescope.

4) Naturally, other red objects such as plates exhibit MAF. A totally red plate would leap off the kitchen table and crash through a window in a quest to join its brethren in the Asteroid Belt. Plates with only a tiny bit of red in them display a tiny MAF. (See above picture.) Such plates require only a little bit of food to keep them in place.

5) Of course, blue objects show Moving Toward Force (MTF.) This is why so many people end up wearing blue shirts. To be safe, you really should avoid blue and red altogether. If, however, you must use these colors, for Pete’s sake, you them in equal amounts. (See above picture again.)

 

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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Tacos Al Pastor

Mexican Entree

TACOS AL PASTOR

INGREDIENTS – MARINADE

1 ancho chile
4 guajillo chiles
4 garlic cloves
3 cloves
1 small onion (1 more onion later)
1 large tomato
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano or oregano
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
½ cup orange juice
⅔ cup pineapple juice*
2¼ pounds pork loin

INGREDIENTS – REST

1 can diced pineapple (*You can use the pineapple juice from the can)
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 small onion
5 limes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (½ teaspoon at a time)
12 -to-24 corn tortillas*
1 cup pico de gallo
1 cup guacamole

* = If you like to put a lot of food in your tacos or if your tortillas are a bit on the crumbly side, then use 2 tortillas for each taco.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
6 metal skewers
drip pan

Serves 6. Takes 5 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – MARINADE

Add ancho chile and guajillo chiles to pot. Cover with water. Bring to boil using high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Boil for 10 minutes or until chiles soften. Seed chiles. Add chiles and remaining marinade ingredients save pork loin to food processor. Blend until you get a smooth marinade. Add marinade and pork loin to large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

PREPARATION – REST

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut pork loin into ½” thick slices. Cut slices into 1″ squares. Alternate threading pork squares and pineapple pieces onto skewers. Place on oven rack. Place oven pan underneath to collect drippings. Cook for 12 minutes or until pork is no longer pink inside. Turn every 4 minutes.

Dice cilantro and 1 small onion. Cut limes into 4 wedges each. Add 1 tortilla and ½ teaspoon oil to pan. Sauté at medium heat just long enough to warm tortilla. Flip tortilla once. Repeat for remaining tortillas.

Make tacos by filling tortillas with pork squares and pineapple pieces. Garnish tacos with cilantro, diced onion, and lime wedges. Serve tacos immediately alongside bowls of pico de gallo and guacamole.

TIDBITS

1) Pastor Alfonso Hernandez was a itinerant preacher who wandered the Pacific Coast from Seattle to Acapulco. He preached the word of God to whomever would listen. Sometimes he enthralled large crowds. Other times just one person would hear him out. His sermons brought peace beyond understanding to all his listeners.

2) Random acts of kindness would brake out after he left. These people felt grateful for the love he showed them. “Please take some money, your words moved me,” they’d say. He’d always reply, “I can take no money for those aren’t my words. I only borrow them.”

3) The good people would then say, “But you look hungry. Have some food.” The good man accepted their offerings, for he was indeed hungry. Sometimes his listeners gave him ancho chiles. Sometimes he received guajillos chiles. He even accepted garlic cloves. After preaching to an assembly of eight, they might even offer him onion, tomatoes, and cumin.

4) An even larger gathering might present him with Mexican oregano, paprika, pepper, and pepper to spice up his tomatoes. After getting all these spices, the holy man was especially grateful for orange juice to drink. The good people of Ensenada gave him pineapple juice and pork butt. Sometimes, the religious throngs gave him too much to consume at any one time. Whenever this occurred, he’d put the surplus in his coat of many pockets.

5) After ministering to the faithful at Acapulco, the many wealthy Catholics showered him with: diced pineapple, fresh cilantro, small onions, limes, vegetable oil (½ teaspoon at a time), corn tortillas, pico de gallo, and guacamole. This was, too much for any one man to eat. So he shared all the bounty he’d received that day. He then brought forth from all his pockets all the food and spices he’d been accumulating on his travels. “Why,” Pastor Al said, we have enough for a feast of tacos.”

6) “Gracias,” shouted the happy people, “for the tacos from Pastor Al’s coat!” Since the inhabitants of Acapulco were incurable anagramists, this wonderful culinary creation would soon be known forever as Tacos al Pastor.

7) Olé.

 

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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Falafel (Tamiya) From Egypt

Egyptian Appetizer

FALAFEL
(Tamiya)

INGREDIENTS

2 cups dried fava beans* (aka broad beans)
1 small onion
8 green onions
2 garlic cloves
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2½ tablespoons fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
4 cups vegetable oil (Enough to cover falafel patties)

* = Look in Middle Eastern supermarkets, supermarkets selling mostly organic food, or online. Also see if you can get these dried beans with the skins already removed. If you can only find canned fava beans, be sure to rinse them thoroughly before using.)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
large no-stick pan

Serves 6. Takes overnight for soaking plus 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add fava beans to large pot. Cover with water. Cover with lid and let soak overnight.

Rinse fava beans. Rub skins off beans. Add onion, green onion, garlic, baking powder, coriander, cumin, salt, fresh cilantro, and fresh parsley to food processor. Blend until everything is blended and minced. Add beans, Blend only until beans form a paste. (If the beans are blended more, your falafel might fall apart later.) Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Shape bean paste in 1″ balls. Flatten balls until they are ½” thick patties. Add oil, enough to cover patties, to large no-stick pan. Heat oil at high heat until bubbles form on the bottom. Carefully add falafel patties to pan. Don’t let them touch each other. (You will need to cook in batches.) Fry patties until golden brown. (This happens quickly.) Remove patties and drain on paper towels. Goes quite well with warm pita bread, hummus, and tomato salad.

TIDBITS

1) This dish is an appetizer. Culinary cryptographers will tell you that “appetizer” comes from an anagram for “Zap Peter I.”

2) And culinary linguists know that “zap” comes from the Russian “zapkya.” This word means to assassinate, kill, plot against, and otherwise dethrone and overthrow by means of feeding appetizers to the hated tsar.”

3) So, zap Peter I means to overthrow Peter I, perhaps even kill. Tsar Peter I was not completely enamored of this concept. Particularly so when the streltsky, Russian musketeers, engineered coups against him by serving appetizers to the palace guard. “Have some appetizers,” they said to the guards, “They’re quite tasty.” And they were. So much so that the entire guard ate and ate until they all had to take lengthy naps.

4) While the palace guard napped, the musketeers rounded up Peter’s supporters and imprisoned them. The streltsky would then enthrone in a figurehead, one who could be counted on the double the daily vodka ration.

5) Doubling the vodka ration made the musketeers drunk and pass out. Peter then reclaimed power while the streltsky lolled around in drunken stupors. Eventually, the musketeers sobered up and fed appetizers to the palace guards again.

6) And so it went, appetizers put the musketeers’ figurehead in power again. Drunken binges enabled Peter I to get back in control.

7) Then on April 1, 1698, Peter I experienced a brainstorm. Why not try giving the musketeers rivers of vodka AND appetizers? The idea worked. The besotted musketeers became so logy from eating platter after platter of appetizers, they slept themselves into oblivion.

8) Peter I, tsar of all the Russias, took advantage of the streltsky’s lasting inertia to tie them up. When they came to, they found themselves on a giant iceberg in the Arctic Ocean. The musketeers had enough food to last 30 days, along with hundreds of ping pong battles and ping pong balls. Tsar Peter had thoughtfully provided them also with enough pencils and entry forms to the First Winter Ping Pong Arctic Ocean Tournament.

9) Culinary historians doubt that the musketeers ever finished the tournament. The strong winter gales prevalent would have simply blown one ping pong ball after another into oblivion. At any rate, the marooned men would have found hitting remaining white ping pong balls quite difficult in the ever present white blizzards.

10) But the constant appetizer-fed revolts burned a lesson into Tsar Peter I’s brain. Never let any Russian eat appetizers. In 1699, he ordered the destruction of all the restaurants making appetizers.
No one would ever “Zap Peter I.”

11) But in 1917, Tsar Nicholas II foolishly permitted the making of appetizers. Lenin and Trotsky fed appetizers to the palace guard who fell asleep. The communists seized power. We are still living with the consequences of the Russian Revolution. Now you know why.

– 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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Bunny Chow

South African Entree

BUNNY CHOW

INGREDIENTSbunnychow

1 medium onion
3 medium potatoes
4 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tomatoes
2 pounds chicken breasts or lamb
3 fresh curry leaves
3 tablespoons Durban masala (See recipe)
⅓ cup chicken stock
2 1-lb whole white loaves
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Dutch oven

PREPARATION

Dice onion. Peel potatoes. Cut potatoes into 1″ cubes. Add onion, potato, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, and vegetable oil to Dutch oven. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir constantly. Remove from heat.

Dice tomatoes. Cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Add Durban masala, Add tomato, chicken, curry leaves, and Durban masala to Dutch oven. Cook using medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir frequently. Add chicken stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until potato is tender and chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove Dutch oven from heat. Discard cinnamon stick.

Slice bread loaf in half along its length. Use sharp knife to cut off most of the soft white bread from each half. Leave ½”-to-1″ of bread crust along the edges and bottoms. (The scooped out bread can be made into bread crumbs.) Ladle potato/tomato/chicken mixture into each hollowed-out loaf half. Garnish with coriander. Repeat for second bread loaf.

TIDBITS

1) Bunnies are naturally fierce fighters. Armies everywhere had them. Napoleon wouldn’t have dreamed of conquering Europe without his corps of bunny irregulars.

2) But you say, “Aha, Napoleon didn’t conquer Europe. See, you’re wrong. Bunnies aren’t so fierce.” Ho, ho, they are. Napoleon won victory after victory up until 1808 with his beserker bunnies.

3) Then, Napoleon invaded Spain. Spain had guerrilla fighters. More importantly, it had battle hardened bunnies. Conquistador bunnies. Bunnies that pushed Moors out of the Iberian positions during the centuries of La Reconquista. Bunnies that had accompanied Cortes to Mexico, Pizarro to Peru, and Albondigas to Greenland. Bunnies that terrified conquered peoples into quiet submission for centuries.

4) The French army never had been on the receiving end of a bunny charge. Never had seen those twitching noses and the unreasoning terror that engendered. Never had to see a sea of bunny tails popping up and down as they stamped toward them . . .

5) where they nibbled your shoes and your shoelaces and so you tripped and your comrades laughed and laughed at you and felt so ashamed that you deserted the army and ran home where you sold sprigs of cilantro which tastes like soap to some people which was okay because all life tasted like soap to you and you spent the rest of your life thinking in run-on sentences.

6) And even if you managed to man up and stand your ground after all that, the bunnies would bite your ankles repeatedly which often hurt, particularly so when their teeth actually broke your skin.

7) Suppose you were a stalwart sort, a man among and you were still fighting bunnies crazed beyond belief by sangria, you’d still have to deal with the bunnies’ powerful rear legs, legs that could kick a potato twenty feet.

8) Imagine. You’ve seen their twitching noses, their bobbing cottontails, had your shoelaces nibbled in two, had your ankles bitten, and now they’re hurting your shins and they won’t stop. And then, and then, they keep your potatoes twenty feet away where they get smooshed in the heat of battle.

9) You have no food. So, you confiscate some local food, some paella perhaps, but your body hasn’t faced Spanish food bacteria. So, now you’re a French soldier in Spain fighting for an emperor who only cares about himself and you have the mother of all stomach aches. You throw thrown your musket and flee.

10) The rest of your comrades see that you, a man among men, are fleeing. They realize the fight is lost. They flee as well. Your army is routed. Bunny-fear demoralizes the other French armies. French forces reel back to France. Allied hordes attack Paris and storm the Montmarte. France capitulates. Your flight from the Spanish battlefield brought all this about.

11) The French Emperor Napoleon gets exiled to Elba. The long-time leader gives a farewell to his Old Guard, “Adieu mes amis, nous sommes battus vaillamment et aurions gagné mais pour ce lecteur de recette et sa peur des lapins.”*

* = “Good buy my friends, we fought valiantly and would have won but for this read reader of recipes and his fear of bunnies. (Sorry, apparently Napoleon’s French is only as good as mine. Weird.)

12) So you’ve changed history. Awesome responsibility, isn’t it?

– 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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Shawarma

Emirati Entree

SHAWARMA

INGREDIENTS – CHICKEN AND MARINADEShawarma-

2 pounds chicken breasts
½ teaspoon ginger
3 garlic cloves
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt
4 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 egg
3½ tablespoons lemon juice
no-stick spray

INGREDIENTS – SALAD

1 cucumber
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 tomato
1 cup lettuce, shredded
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (It’s cheaper to buy a pomegranate and scoop out the seeds.)

INGREDIENTS – DRESSING

1½ tablespoons fresh cilantro
1½ tablespoons fresh mint
3 tablespoons lemon juice
⅓ cup tahini sauce
1 cup plain yogurt

INGREDIENTS – ASSEMBLY

6 pita loves

Makes 6 pita sandwiches. Takes 40 minutes for preparation and 2-to-3 hours to marinate.

PREPARATION – CHICKEN AND MARINADE

Cut chicken into strips ¼” thick. Mince garlic. Add all chicken-and-marinade ingredients to large mixing bowl. Mix by hand until ingredients are well blended and chicken strips are thoroughly coated. Marinate in refrigerator for 2-to-3 hours.

Add marinated chicken to skillet. Cook at medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside and marinade is nearly dried out. Stir occasionally.

PREPARATION – SALAD

Peel and dice cucumber. Dice cilantro and tomato. Shred lettuce. Use fork to combine all salad ingredients in mixing bowl.

PREPARATION – DRESSING

Mince cilantro and mint. Add all dressing ingredients to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended.

PREPARATION – ASSEMBLY

Add pita loves to second skillet. Use medium heat for 1 minute or until pita loaves are warm. Turn over at least once. Divide salad equally among pita loaves. Top loaves amount of chicken and marinade. Ladle dressing over chicken and marinade. Shoot anyone who says you left out an ingredient. Be sure to revert to your role as a gracious host before serving. Manners matter.

TIDBITS

1) Shawarma is in an anagram for “Has a warm.”

2) Has a warm what?

3) This is the poser that has bedeviled humanity ever since it started painting millennia ago. This might be our ultimate question, followed only by, “What happens to all those socks that disappear while in my clothes dryer?”

4) Lest you doubt, the phrase, “Has a warm” can clearly be seen in the prehistoric paintings in the famous Lascaux Caves of France.

5) However, a few decades ago, archeologists–whoa, I spelled that correctly on the first try–gave up trying to figure out what word or words would complete the sentence started by “Has a warm.”

6) The French government closed those caves to all but a few people so as to spare their archeologists further embarrassment.

7) If you take out the “r” in “archeologist” you get “acheologist.” An acheologist studies pains. Similarly, a painologist studies pains. What is the difference between an acheologist and a painologist? Two years of graduate stiudy? Kinda like the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist.

8) An ologist studies olos.

– 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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Honduran Nacatamales

Honduran Entree

NACATAMALES

INGREDIENTS – DOUGHNacatamales-

6 cups masa harina or corn flour
1 cup lard, shortening, or butter
1 teaspoon salt (1 more teaspoon later)
3 tablespoons orange juice
5 tablespoons lime juice
4 cups chicken stock

INGREDIENTS – FILLING

⅔ cup rice
2½ pounds pork
3 large potatoes
3 garlic cloves
1 green bell pepper
1 large onion
1 sweet green chile pepper
1 medium tomato
3 tablespoons cilantro
1½ tablespoons cumin
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon achiote paste (or ½ teaspoon paprika plus ½ teaspoon vinegar)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Makes 18 nacatamales. Takes at least 3 hours.

INGREDIENTS – ASSEMBLY

12 10″-x-10″ banana-leaf squares*
A roll of aluminum foil
Multiple big pots (4½ or larger. Extra pots enables you to cook more nacatamales at once.)
Good restorative drink to keep you going.

* = Banana leaves can be found in Mexican or Asian grocery stores. If they can’t be found, just use the tin foil without them. Oh, banana leaves are curved, not square at all. Bastards.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
cooking twine or butcher’s twine

PREPARATION – INITIAL

Soak banana leaves in large pot. You really need to make the banana leaves flexible.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

Add masa harina, lard, and 1 teaspoon salt to first, large mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set on low. With electric still set on low, slowly add orange juice, lime juice, and chicken stock. Mix until it has the consistency of mashed potatoes. Rev up electric beater to high setting or until it starts to become fluffy. Cover dough and let sit for 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – FILLING

While dough is sitting, cook rice according to instructions on package. Cut pork into ½” cubes. Peel potatoes. Slice potatoes into ½” cubes. Dice garlic cloves, green bell pepper, onion, sweet green chile pepper, and tomato. Add pork cubes, cilantro, cumin, pepper, salt, and achiote paste to second, large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until pork cubes are well coated with spices.

Add vegetable oil, coated pork cubes, and potato cubes to pan. Sauté on medium heat for 20 minutes or until potatoes soften. Stir frequently. Add garlic cloves, green bell pepper, onion, sweet green chile pepper, and tomato. Sauté for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently.

PREPARATION – ASSEMBLY

Remove banana leaves soaking in pot. Heat water on high heat until it is scalding hot. Add banana-leaf square to pot. Keep leaf in pot until it becomes flexible. Remove banana leaf. Place ⅓ cup of dough in the middle of the banana leaf. Smooth dough with wet hands until it is about 2″ from the edges of the banana leaf.

Add equal amounts of pork cubes (about ⅓ cup), over the middle of the dough, followed by cooked rice (about 2 tablespoons) and potato cubes (about 1½ tablespoons). Add another ⅓ cup of dough over potato cubes. Smooth top layer of dough gently with wet hands. Fold bottom edge of banana leaf over filling until it reaches the top half of the leaf Gently fold in edges to make a square. Gently–Don’t break the banana leaf–tie kitchen twine around filled banana-leaf square.

Place the filled banana-leaf square over the center of an aluminum-foil square. (The aluminum-foil square large enough to wrap the banana square. Tightly fold bottom edge of foil over filled banana-leaf square. Tightly fold sides of aluminum foil over banana square, then the top side. Tie the aluminum-foil covered square like a parcel with kitchen twine. Repeat process for each banana leaf. There should be a banana leaf softening in the pot while constructing each nacatamale.

Put metal rack in bottom of each pot. Add water to each pot until level is ½” above the racks. (Aluminum cookie cutters work quite well as a substitute for wire racks.) Bring to boil using high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Add a single layer of nacatamales to rack. Simmer for 45 minutes. Add water as necessary to keep level ½” above the rack. Remove nacatamales from pots. Repeat for each batch of nacatamales. Remove all twine and tin foil and serve to adoring guests.

If your sweetheart makes this for you, propose marriage immediately.
TIDBITS

1) Nacatamales were invented by Señor Naca Tamale, chef to the royal governor in 1689. They were delicious, so much so that Governor Alfonso Bondigas knew he would win a million pieces of gold if he could send just one nacatamale to the Spanish king, Charles II.

2) So, in 1690, Governor Bondigas sent 100 nacatamales with the annual fleet carrying gold to Spain. They got eaten by the crews.

3) In 1691, Governor Bondigas sent 200 nacatamales with the fleet. 100 got eaten by the crews. The rest got eaten by gourmet rats.

4) In 1692, Governor Bondigas sent 400 nacatamales. The sailors devoured 100, the gourmet rats another 100, and the rest spontaneously combusted. No one saw that one coming.

5) Pirates captured the annual Nacatamale fleet in 1693, tamales having by that time become more valuable than gold.

6) In 1694, the Honduran governor sent 1,600 nacatamales with the nacatamale fleet. Unfortunately, First Mate Pedro Migas placed the nacatamales in the same room where he dried the crew’s socks. When half of the socks fled to a parallel dimension–a journey they continue to this day–they took all the nacatamales with them. By the way, culinary quantum physicists say trans-dimensional aliens took a great liking to nacatamales and can often be found at nacatamale stand through out Central America. You have to look closely for them; their disguises are excellent.

7) In 1695, Governor Bondigas tried catapulting the nacatamales to Spain. They only made it two miles out to sea where they utterly destroyed a pirate fleet. Karma, you bet.

8) In 1696, Señor Bondigas noticed a little boy skipping rocks all the way across a small stream. Could this work with nacatamales? No.

9) Spurred by the efforts of 1697, nacatamale skipping became the premier event of the Spanish-American games. All Honduras went sports mad. Every young man in that land spent every spare moment practicing to win the gold medal in nacatamale skipping. This naturally left no nacatamales left to be shipped to Spain.

10) The banana bug wiped out the banana crop in 1698. No banana leaves, no nacatamales.

11) In 1699, banana growers all used their leaves to make beer. Banana-leaf beer was enormously popular that year. You can only find this beer in a few Honduran villages. The brand is El Banano.

12) In 1700, the Nacatamale Fleet finally made it to Spain with fifty million nacatamales. But Charles II had died two weeks before. His successor, Philip of Anjou, grandsom of Louis XIV exported them all to Britain as a good-will gesture. The British loved the nacatamale. Lasting global peace seemed likely. But the British gobbled the nacatamales up in just one week, got sick of them, and in revenge declared war on France. Wars would rage across Europe for another 245 years. The new Spanish King blamed Governor Bondigas who died broken hearted. However, the legacy of the good man lives on in the millions upon millions of postal packages wrapped in the manner of the nacatamale.

– 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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Achiote Sauce

Mexican Appetizer

ACHIOTE SAUCE

INGREDIENTSAchioteSauce-

4 ounce achiote brick or dry paste
1 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup water
3 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
5 jalapeno peppers
2 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons white vinegar

makes 4 cups

PREPARATION

Add achiote brick, lemon juice, orange juice, and water to mixing bowl. Stir with whisk until achiote dissolves. Remove seeds from jalapenos. (Be sure to wash your hands immediately afterward or touching your face will make it sting like the dickens.) Dice garlic, onion and jalapenos. Melt butter. Add onion, jalapeno, butter, chili powder, cilantro, olive oil, and vinegar to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Goes well with Mayan tacos and nearly everything Mexican. Well, maybe not flan.

TIDBITS

1) And now a crossword puzzle for people who don’t like to be confused.CrosswordSquare-

ACROSS 1 ) The first letter in the alphabet.

DOWN 1) The word “apple” starts with this letter.

 

 

 

– 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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Guacamole

Mexican Appetizer

GUACAMOLE

 INGREDIENTSGuacamo-

2 avocados
1 jalapeno
1/2 onion
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup diced tomatoes

PREPARATION

Make sure avocados are ripe. They should be feel a bit squishy. (That is not the same feeling you get when you all in love. That is squooshy.) Remove stem and seeds from jalapeno. Then mince it, the onion, and the cilantro.

Put avocado in mixing bowl. Mash the avocado thoroughly with a fork. Add jalapeno, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, pepper, and diced tomatoes. Mix ingredients completely with fork or whisk. Add water if it gets too thick for your liking.

Assume a look of radiant virtue as you serve this to your guests who may or may not deserve it.

TIDBITS

1) Doesn’t “guacamole” look as if it should be pronounced “whack a mole?”

2) Where I grew up, our neighbors had a guacamole tree, bush, cactus, or whatever its called, that dropped its fruit onto our side.

3) We had a lemon tree that dropped its fruit onto their side. Fair is fair.

4) Authentic guacamole and salsa are always fresh.

5) Salsa, the movie, was made in 1988 and directed by Boaz Davidson.

6) The Old Testament’s Book of Ruth has Boaz marrying Ruth. The movie, Story of Ruth, was made in 1960 and starred Stuart Whitman.

7) Stuart Whitman was more well known for his movie roles as a cowboy such as in the 1961 movie, The Comancheros.

8) It’s unclear even after on-line search if Stuart Whitman liked salsa. Or even guacamole.

– 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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Salsa

Mexican Appetizer

SALSA

INGREDIENTSSalsa-

3 serrano chiles
9 cloves garlic
1 white onion
8 Roma tomatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cilantro
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove seeds from serrano chiles if you desire a milder salsa. Put chiles, garlic, onion, tomatoes, and oil in baking dish. Stir until garlic, onion, and tomatoes are well coated with oil. Roast in oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Dice roasted veggies. Add veggies, cilantro, lime juice and salt to mixing bowl. Blend with whisk or fork. Goes great with everything except lutefisk.

TIDBITS

1) May, 1997, was National Salsa Month. Our officials have too much time on their hands.

2) In 2003, Texas declared tortilla chips and salsa to be the Official State Snack. The Texas government has too much time on its hands.

3) Pace Foods uses over 20 million pounds of hot peppers every year. That’s a lot of peppers or maybe just one huge pepper. Can you imagine a pepper that big? If you managed to eat it you’d need a really huge glass of milk to coat the pain receptors in your throat.

4) It would take a really big cow to give enough milk to fill that glass in tidbit 3).

5) Tomatoes and serrano chiles are not vegetables. They are fruits. So is a banana.

6) “Sometimes a banana is just a banana.” – Sigmund Freud. Freud would have been greatly interested in a dream about a twenty-million-pound serrano chile.

7) Oh, and some historians think Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic Ocean to get away from lutefisk.

– 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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Chicken Tikka

Indian entree

CHICKEN TIKKA

INGREDIENTSChickenTikka-

4 chicken breasts
2 cups whole-milk yogurt
2 tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup chicken tikka masala
2 limes
1 teaspoon cilantro

SPECIAL ITEMS

skewers
grill

Serves 4. Takes 10 minutes preparation, overnight to marinate, and 30 minutes to cook.

PREPARATION

Slice chicken into 2″ squares. Put yogurt, lime juice, and chicken tikka masala in mixing bowl. Mix with fork. Add chicken squares to bowl. Thoroughly coat chicken squares with yogurt. Cover bowl and marinate in refrigerator overnight.

Preheat grill to 400 degrees. Cut limes into wedges.

Put coated chicken squares on skewers. Grill for 20 minutes or until chicken is tender and browned on all sides. Turn frequently. Remove chicken squares from skewers and place on plate. Sprinkle chicken squares with cilantro and garnish with lime wedges.

TIDBITS

1) Most jokes that are both popular and long lasting employ simple and universal themes. Such is the case with the ever popular “Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side,” which involves the humble chicken and the surprise ending.

2) Well, it was a surprise ending when printed in The Knickerbocker in 1847.

3) The Chicken Crossing the Road joke became a staple of vaudeville shows during the late nineteenth century.

4) Potter’s American Monthly printed the first known, at least to me, variation of this joke. Here it is. “Why should not a chicken cross the road?” “It would be a fowl proceeding.” Yes, it took apparently a half century before someone altered the joke. But the comedic floodgates had been opened. Variations of this amusing jest appeared with greater and greater rapidity. Here are some of them:

5) Why did the punk rocker cross the road?ChickenCrossRoad-
He had a chicken stapled to his forehead.

6) Why did the chicken cross the Mobius strip?
To get to the same side.

7) Why did the dinosaur cross the road?
Because chickens weren’t around yet.

8) Why did the duck cross the road?
To prove it’s no chicken.

9) Why did the chicken simultaneously cross and not cross the road?
It was Schrodinger’s chicken.

10) Why did the Roman chicken cross the road?
It was afraid someone would Caesar!

11) Why did the chicken cross the road, roll in the mud and cross the road again?
Because it was a dirty double-crosser.

12) Why did George’s W. Bush think about the chicken crossing the road?
We don’t care why the chicken crossed the road. We just need to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us.

13) Why Barack Obama’s chicken cross the road?
It wanted CHANGE!

14) Why did Captain Kirk’s chicken cross the road?
To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

15) Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get away from Colonel Sanders.

16) Why did the chicken only cross the road halfway?
To lay it on the line.

17) Why did Ancient Egyptians mummify chickens when they died?
To help them get to the other side.

18) Why did the turtle cross the road?
To get to the shell station.

19) Why did the chicken cross the road?
It was a part of a chicken conga line.

 

– 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: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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