Posts Tagged With: cookbook

Montenegrin Burger

Montenegrin Entree

MONTENEGRIN BURGER
(Pljeskavica)

INGREDIENTS

4 garlic cloves
1 small onion (1 more small onion later)
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground lamb
2 teaspoons paprika
¾ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup sparkling or fizzy water
6 pita* halves (optional)
1 small onion
1 Roma tomato

* = It’s most authentic with lepinja, a Montenegrin flatbread. It can be powerful hard to find.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

outdoor grill

Makes 6 burgers. Takes 2 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic and onion. Add garlic, onion, beef, lamb, paprika, pepper, salt, and sparkling water to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Make 6 patties from meat. Add patties to grill. Grill at medium heat for 6 minutes. Flip patties and grill for another 6 minutes or until meat is done to your liking. Cut onion into 6 slices. Cut tomato into 6 slices. Insert patty and onion and tomato slices into each pita half.

TIDBITS

1) The Montenegrin Burger is eerily similar to the famed Pac-ManTM . Is this a case of parallel development or was one of the two inspired by the other? You decide.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

Categories: cuisine, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Chilaquiles

Mexican Breakfast

CHILAQUILES

INGREDIENTS

3 serrano chiles
2 tomatoes
1 green bell pepper
1 small onion
18 corn tortillas
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 cup shredded Oaxaca or Monterrey Jack cheese
¼ cup sour cream

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
8″ casserole

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Seed chiles. (Or leave seeds in for a spicier entree. Add chiles and tomatoes to food processor. Blend until tomatoes are pureed. Dice bell pepper. Mince onion. Cut each tortillas into 8 pieces.

Add oil to pan. Heat oil using medium-high heat until a little piece of tortilla in the oil starts to dance. Add tortilla pieces. Sauté for 12 minutes or until tortilla become crispy, but not burnt. Stir frequently. Remove tortillas pieces and place them on plates covered with paper towels. Add bell pepper and onion to pan. Sauté for 5 minutes on medium-high heat or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Remove bell pepper/onion mix. Add eggs to pan. Reduce heat to medium and scramble eggs until they are done to your liking.

Add ⅓ of tortilla to casserole dish, then ⅓ bell pepper/onion, followed by ⅓ egg to casserole. Smooth after each layer. Repeat 2 more times. Pour serrano chile/tomato puree over everything. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from over and spoon sour cream evenly over everything.

TIDBITS

1) “Chilaquiles” is an anagram of “Ah, ice quills.” Unlike their American cousins, Greenlandic porcupines have quills made from ice. These northern critters are also stupendously tasty. This is why Eskimo porcupine-hunters exclaim, “Ah ice quills,” whenever they come across ice quill remnants. And of course, it was but a matter of time before vibrant Greenlandic/Mexican chef community transformed porcupine stew into chilaquiles. Ah ice quills, indeed.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

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

Mustard Chicken

Gabonese Entree

MUSTARD CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS

3 garlic cloves
2 onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 boneless chicken breasts or thighs
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup Dijon mustard

Serves 6. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic cloves. Dice onions. Add oil to large pan. Heat oil using high heat until a tiny bit of onion will dance in the oil. Carefully add chicken breasts to pan. (You might need to cook in batches.) Sear chicken for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove chicken and set aside. Keep oil.

Add garlic and onion to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. Add garlic, onion, chicken, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard to pot. Mix with fork until well blended. Cover and simmer at low/medium heat for 25 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink inside. Stir occasionally. Put chicken breast on each plate. Ladle mustard/onion sauce over chicken breasts. Goes quite well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) “Mustard” is an anagram for “Drums rat.” And it almost goes without saying that “chicken” is an anagram for “chicken.” So, “Mustard chicken” by an extension of logic, an anagram for “Chicken drums rat.” Indeed, “Chickens drum rat” is the first complete sentence in English. In fact, a newly discovered fresco at St. Camembert’s church, dating before 1000 AD, shows chicken pounding drums with their wings. Beneath the painting are the words, “Chickens drum ‘rats’.” And whenever farmers heard “rat” being drummed out, they rushed back and shooed off the ravenous vermin.

2) Unfortunately, English farmers never taught their chickens to drum out “Normans.” So when in 1066 Duke William of Normandy landed his army, a perplexed chicken sentry didn’t know what to do. Eventually, she drummed out “rat” to England’s king. King Harold Godwinson didn’t give a fig about rats and instead scurried north to defeat Harold Hardrada. Meanwhile, back on the southern English beaches, the Norman forces assembled unmolested into a coherent, compact army. The two forces met as Hastings. The tired English lost to the fresh Normans. Duke William became the new English king. However, William knew what a near-run thing his invasion had been. His barons went through the realm slaying every single chicken-drumming teacher. Now, no chicken knows how to drum. It’s a pity as the Chicken Drumming Festival at St. Albans was something to behold.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

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

Risotto

Italian Appetizer

RISOTTO

INGREDIENTS

5½ cups chicken broth
2 garlic cloves
1 onion
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, or oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Arborio* rice
½ cup dry white wine
¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons butter

* = The properties of Arborio are important to this dish. The best substitute for Arborio is Carnaroli, with regular short-grain rice to be used only in a pinch.

Serves 10 or 5 if served as an entree. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add chicken broth to pot. Simmer at warm heat. While broth simmers, mince garlic cloves and onion. Dice Italian parsley. Add garlic, onion, and olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently

Add rice. Reduce heat to medium. Sauté for 3 minutes or until rice smells toasty and turns translucent. Stir frequently, making sure rice is thoroughly coated with olive oil. Add wine. Sauté until rice absorbs all the liquid. Stir frequently. Add broth 1 cup at time. Stir gently after each addition until the rice absorbs the broth. This should take about 25 minutes with the rice being creamy and al dente, just a little bit firm. Remove from heat and gently stir in butter and Parmesan cheese. Garnish with Italian parsley. Serve immediately.

TIDBITS

1) Karl Marx visited lovely Florence in 1848. While waiting forever for an espresso, Crabby Karl listened as workers at the next table complained loudly and endlessly about the oppressive Austrian rule over their city. His patience exhausted, he yelled at the workers, “So, riot.” They did. Fortunately, the chef had been whipping up a new rice dish. He served the workers just as they were about to go and throw bricks at the constabulary. The workers loved their risotto. They completely lost their urge to run amuck. The anagramist among them said, “no ‘so, riot.’” He lifted up his bowl of rice. “Risoto.” A typo turned that into “Risotto. Oh, and Karl would go on to other things.

– 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

Tibet Yak Butter Tea

Tibetan Appetizer

YAK BUTTER TEA

INGREDIENTS

3½ cups water
2 tablespoons loose-leaf black tea or 6 black-tea bags
2 tablespoons yak ghee, yak butter*, or cow butter
½ cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon salt

* = Yak butter can be found in Tibet and nowhere else apparently, not even online. Yak ghee, however, can be purchased on line. I really tried to find yak butter. There are yaks farm in Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming. You can order yak meat from them or even an entire yak. Simply drive to a yak farm and buy the animal.. Somehow put the yak in your van or pickup truck. (I recommend against using the tiny Honda FitTM for this purpose.) Drive the yak back to your humble abode. Milk the yak. (You did buy a female yak, didn’t you?) Put the yak milk in your food processor. Blend until the yak milk separates into yak butter and yak buttermilk. Easy peasy. Drink the yak buttermilk as is or use it to make yak-buttermilk pancakes.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

stool (If you’re milking a yak.)
colander (If you’re using loose tea.)
blender
sonic obliterator

Serves 5. Takes 15 minutes.
.
PREPARATION

Add water to 1st pot. Bring water to boil using high heat. Add black tea. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 3 minutes. Stir enough times to prevent burning. While tea simmers, build a financial empire. Remove tea leaves or tea bags from tea. Add tea, yak butter or ghee, milk, and salt to blender. Blend on low speed for 3 minutes. Serve the tea right away. Zap un-appreciative guests with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

TIDBITS

1) This dish is truly difficult to assemble and make. How difficult, you ask?

2) You have to go to a yak farm in west-central America to even find yaks.

3) Suppose you don’t want to buy a yak and take it home. (As suggested earlier in the recipe.)

4) You could ask the yak ranchers if you could milk the yaks right there.

5) They might refuse. They might charge you a lot for milking privileges. They might let you do it for free if they’re in the mood for a laugh and it has been a plumb stressful week of yak ranching.

6) Suppose you get some yak milk. Good. Now you have to transport it back home and that’s likely to be a long drive. And you’ll need to keep that milk cold all the way back or it’ll go bad.

7) The distance from my home to the Colorado yak ranch is 1,155 miles. That would take me 16.5 hours.

8) I wouldn’t risk using a cooler for such a lengthy venture. I think it’s likely the milk would still get warm and go bad in a cooler.

9) I’d be ticked off beyond measure if I drove 16.5 hours to get to the ranch, got laughed at the ranch hands while I milked the yaks, and took the same time to get back home only to find the yak milk went bad.

10) Nothing’s worse than spoiled yak milk

11) Best to put a refrigerator in your care. Plug the fridge into the cigarette lighter. Could you get enough electricity from the cigarette lighter to power the refrigerator? Even if you could, how many miles to the gallon would your get? Two?

12) You could try taking a portable electric generator with you. Could such a generator power your fridge all the way back from Colorado, where you were laughed at while milking yak cows? Doubtful.

13) It’s simpler to fly to Lhasa, Tibet, then buy some yak butter there. As of today, I can fly round trip from near my home to Lhasa, Tibet for $867 with each flight taking 50 hours, a scant 27 hours each way for a scant $1,344.

14) Then buy a really, really tight container, one that doesn’t let heat in at all. Pack the container with ice. Mail it from Lhasa. Pick package up at home. Is this at possible?

15) Don’t know. That’s why I ordered some yak ghee.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

Categories: cuisine, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Carpaccio

Italian Entree

CARPACCIO

INGREDIENTS

½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup mayonnaise, homemade if possible*
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2½ teaspoons whole milk
½ pound beef sirloin or beef tenderloin, no fat**
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon white pepper

* = This dish has few ingredients, so it relies heavily on using fresh ones.

** = Must be center-cut sirloin or tenderloin. Must be, must be, freshly cut and cut thinly as possible, like deli cut. For safety’s sake, prepare meat as soon as you get home.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

kitchen mallet, if sirloin is not deli cut (See Tidbit 1 below)
plastic wrap

Serves 2. Takes 20 minutes plus any time needed for homemade mayonnaise.

PREPARATION

Add lemon juice, mayonnaise, and Worcester – shire sauce to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add enough milk to thin the sauce to the point where it barely coats a spoon. Stir with whisk until sauce is well blended.

Add deli-thin slice of beef sirloin to plate. (If you can’t buy sirloin cut this thin, place your slices you have between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound them with a kitchen mallet until they are paper thin and about the width of a plate.) Drizzle sauce over tenderloin slice in a criss-cross pattern as shown in above photo. Repeat for remaining slices.

TIDBITS

1) You can flatten your sirloin even more with a road roller. (Shown to the right.)

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

 

Categories: cuisine, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The French Plan For World Domination

Gentle Readers,

France, having failed to take over world under Louis XIV and Napoleon I, is on the march again. Oh no, this time it’s quest for world domination will not occur by force of arms. Mais non, it’s trying to take over one kitchen at a time. Then one house at a time. Then one city at a time and finally one nation at a time.

“But how,” you say, “is this possible?”

I’m glad you asked. A piece of what looks to be dried or cooked meat looking like France will show up mysteriously by your kitchen burner. If this dried-meat France is left undisturbed for more than an hour, it will emit waves that will turn your brain into one that loves France, loves everything French, and will live, fight, and die for La Belle France. That’s okay, but you will find yourself loving mushrooms, lamb’s brain, raw hamburger meat, and buttered snails.

Don’t let this happen! Keep your kitchen immaculate. At all times. And if you happen to like mushrooms, then you were most likely briefly exposed to a dried-meat France. See your doctor immediately and ever year after that.

Remember if you don’t tell your kids about buttered snails, then who will?

– 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: food, humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 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

Shrimp Bisque

French Soup

SHRIMP BISQUE

INGREDIENTS

1 pound medium shrimp, shells on*
1 medium carrot
1 stick celery
1 garlic clove
1 small onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ tablespoon tomato paste
6 cups water
1 small bay leaf
½ tablespoon dry parsley
½ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon dry thyme
1 tablespoon brandy or white wine
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1⅓ cups cream
croutons as desired
6 sprigs fresh parsley

* = To get the most authentic flavor, you need to buy shrimp with the heads on. This is difficult if you don’t live in a hopping culinary center. My Poway is like this. I feel your pain.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

colander with fine mesh

Makes 6 bowls. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Peel and devein shrimp. KEEP SHELLS. Dice carrot, celery, garlic, and onion. Add oil and shrimp shells and heads, if you could buy them, to 1st pot. Sauté at high heat for 5 minutes or until shells start to brown. Stir frequently. Add garlic and onion. Reduce heat to medium-high. Sauté for 5 minutes until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. Add carrot, celery, tomato paste, water, bay leaf, dry parsley, salt, and thyme. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer shrimp-shell stock for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Strain this stock through a colander and into a large bowl. Return clear stock and add brandy to 2nd pot.

While stock simmers, add butter to pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Add flour. Blend in flour. Stir frequently. Cook for 2 minutes or until flour turns golden brown.

Add golden-brown flour to 2nd pot. Blend with fork until golden-brown flour blends completely into stock. Strain stock again through colander into 2nd pot. Add cream to 2nd pot with stock. Stir in cream with spoon until well blended. Cook at medium heat. Add shrimp. Cook at medium heat or until shrimp turns orange. Garnish each bowl with croutons and fresh parsley sprigs.

TIDBITS

1) This recipe uses water.

2) Life uses water. Every organism needs water to live.

3) Unless, of course, you’re a bacterial endospore. Even then, you’d need water eventually.

4) I harbor doubts, though, that you are a bacterial endospore, BA.

5) For such endospores rely on a notoriously deficient system of public education. There’s no funding for it. None. So, BAs can’t read. But you can read. Therefore you are a human or possibly a very smart giraffe.

6) People are not allowed to take giraffes to sporting events, not even as a comfort animal. People behind would be forever yelling, “Down in front.”

7) Giraffes can be surly and are apt to smack your head with their strong, necks if you try to make them leave a ball game, particularly if you didn’t ask them nicely. Manners are always in fashion.

8) Yes, the best way to get a giraffe to leave a Cubs/Cardinals game is for the security guard to say, “Excuse me please, Mr. Giraffe, would join me in eating some popcorn just outside?” This will work nine times out of ten, for giraffes love popcorn. Yay!

9) But how does popcorn pop? There’s a little bit of water inside every corn kernel. Yes, staying hydrated is important for everyone whether you be a human being or a future corn plant.

10) When you heat the kernel sufficiently, pressure builds up as the water in the middle turns to steam. But the kernel’s solid shell prevents steam from seeping out. Eventually, there’s enough pressure to rip apart the shell. Et voilà, you have popcorn.

11) Admiral Halsey contemplated this very fact while munching on popcorn in early 1943. “If only we could have harnessed the explosive power of popcorn during the Battle of Midway. We could have launched our planes so much quicker.”

12) And what the Admiral wanted, the Admiral got. Plane after plane would be launched by exploding popcorn. American fighters got to the Japanese Zeros so fast that they could not respond in time. America would thrash Japan in every carrier battle. We would win the war.

13) At first, the carriers’ crews poured melted butter over the popcorn left behind by the launches. But although the sailors would eat every tasty popcorn kernel, the remaining melted butter would leave the flight deck extremely slick. The returning American planes skidded off the buttery carriers and into the sea. This is why the U.S. Navy has banned buttered popcorn.

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

Pumpkin Seed Meatballs (Kanda)

Central African Entree

PUMPKIN SEED MEATBALLS
(Kanda)

INGREDIENTS

3½ cups shelled, lightly toasted pumpkins or squash seeds
6 garlic cloves
1 medium onion (1 more later)
1¼ pounds ground beef
½ cup water (if needed)
1 medium onion
4 tomatoes
1 cayenne chile pepper or chile pepper
6 tablespoons palm oil or peanut oil
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 cup fresh parsley

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
mandoline (optional)

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add pumpkin seeds to food processor. Grind seeds until they become a powder. Mince garlic and 1 onion. Add pumpkin-seed powder, garlic, and onion to large mixing bowl. Blend with hands. (If needed to form a moist round meatball, gradually add up to ½ cup water, blending each time water is added.) Form mix into 1″ meatballs and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While meatballs chill, use mandoline to cut 1 onion into ¼” strips. Dice tomatoes. Seed and mince cayenne pepper. Add palm oil to large pan. Heat oil at medium-high heat or until a little bit of onion in oil starts to dance. Add onion slices, tomato, and cayenne chile pepper. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion slices soften. Stir frequently. Add pepper and salt. Stir.

Add 1 cup water. Bring water and sauce to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Gently add meatballs to pan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir gently and occasionally. Reduce heat to warm-low and simmer for another 30 minutes. Stir gently and occasionally. Dice parsley. Garnish meatballs with parsley. This entree goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) Pumpkins are round. Balloons are also round.

2) This similarity is no coincidence; Louis XVI loved pumpkin seeds.

3) What the king of France wanted, the king of France got.

4) So great merchant fleets set out from France to import pumpkins from the Spanish territory of Peru. These Peruvian pumpkins cost the royal treasury a million francs every year.

5) Disaster struck in 1777. Pirates based from British Jamaica captured the French fleet bound for Peru, along with its many chests of gold. This loss proved such a blow to French finances that its treasury wouldn’t recover until the next tidbit.

6) King Louis hired Jacques Necker to handle France’s money matter. For Monsieur Necker knew how to get the best price for everything, centuries before AmazonTM even. Many even said he’d able to count up to six billion if given enough time. And that is how many francs he borrowed.

7) The French navy could now buy enough ships to escort their pumpkin fleets to and from France. Then boom! The American Revolution started. France went to war with the British. The French fleet helped America gain its independence.

8) However, French naval expenditures trained the French treasury. Its navy wouldn’t put to sea for decades. This left King Louis’ annual pumpkin fleets unescorted, easy prey for British ships of the line.

9) What to do? Louis XVI having scooped out all the pumpkin seeds, looked down at the empty pumpkin and had an epiphany. Why not carry Peru’s pumpkins seeds back using giant, balloons made from empty pumpkins?

10) Well, of course, the Peruvian pumpkins of 1781 were not big enough to make balloons or even the baskets beneath them. So France bought up an enormous pumpkin farm in Peru dedicated to making enormous pumpkins. No franc was left unspent in pursuit of the venture.

11) By 1789, Louis XVI had no money. His finance minister asked the French nobility if it would accept new taxes. It said, “Na, na, na, poo, poo.” So Necker asked all of France for a gigantic weenie roast to discuss ways to raise revenue. Fine suggestions were made, then disaster struck. A nobleman cut in front of a long line of peasants waiting for weenies. Words were said. Knives with drawn. Before you could say François’s your uncle the French Revolution began.

12) King Louis would lose his head in the ensuing kerfuffle. Napoleon would seize power and discontinue the bigger-pumpkin experiment in Peru. So bummer.

13) However, so good came out of Louis’ misfortune. America borrowed the idea of France’s Great Weenie Roast of 1789 to celebrate every Fourth of July. And Peru’s big pumpkins are still the envy of the world.

– 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

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: