Posts Tagged With: covert operations

Piragi

Latvian Entree

PIRAGI

INGREDIENTS – DOUGHpiragi

⅓ cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar (3½ more tablespoons later)
2 tablespoons yeast

¾ cup butter
1½ cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
3½ tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk (1 entire egg later)
1 tablespoon sour cream
5 cups flour (2 more tablespoons later)

INGREDIENTS – FILLING

1 pound bacon
1 small onion
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt

INGREDIENTS – ASSEMBLY

2 tablespoons flour
1 egg

SPECIAL UTENSILS

2 cookie sheets
pastry brush
parchment paper

Makes 30. Takes 3 hours.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

Add 1 teaspoon sugar and warm water to mixing bowl. Whisk until sugar dissolves. Sprinkle yeast over sugary water. Let sit for 10 minutes or yeast becomes foamy.

While yeast foams, add butter to small pot. Melt butter using medium-high heat. Add milk, salt, and sugar. Heat until milk is almost ready to boil. Stir constantly. Remove from heat.

Add milk mixture into mixing bowl with yeasty water. Add egg yolk and sour cream. Gradually add flour. Blend with electric beater set to low until dough forms. Cover bowl with thin towel and let sit for 1½ hours.

PREPARATION – FILLING

While dough rises, dice bacon and onion. Add vegetable oil, bacon, and onion to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add pepper and salt. Remove from heat and let cool in refrigerator for 10 minutes.

PREPARATION – ASSEMBLY

While dough rises and filling cools, knead dough by hand or by bread machine for 20 minutes or until dough is elastic. Dust roller and flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Add dough to flat surfarce. Roll out dough until it is ¼” thick.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Separate egg. Make 3″ circles in dough. A drinking glass works well for this. Add 1 teaspoon to center of dough circle. Brush a thin strip of egg white along edges of dough circle. Fold dough circle in half. Use tip of fork to seal edges together. Repeat until all dough and filling is used. These are the piragi.

Put parchment paper on cookie sheets. Place piragi on parchment paper. Beat egg yolk with fork or whisk. Brush egg yolk over piragi. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 12 minutes or until piragi turn golden brown

TIDBITS

1) “Piragi” is an anagram for “Air Pig.” It’s a hidden bit of history, but many of our commercial planes were once flown by pigs.

2) Oil prices soared during the Oil Embargo of 1973 So did the price of aviation fuel. Airlines became frantic in their search to reduce fuel costs. One way was to reduce of a fully-loaded plane. So, for a brief time, stewardesses threw passengers out the emergency door, starting with those who didn’t listen to the pre-flight safety instructions. The technique worked! Fuel costs plummeted.

3) So did ridership. A dead passenger is not a return passenger. Plus, people became skittish about booking a flight when it might mean being ejected over the Atlantic. Passengers became downright resentful toward stewardesses. Indeed, the very word “stewardess” became a curse word. This is the reason they are now called flight attendants. It’s kinda like calling used cars “pre-owned.”

4) The average feral pig weighs 125 pounds. (Only wild pigs can be trained to fly jets. Who knew?) The average man tips the scale at 170. A small difference to be sure, but enough over the course of millions of flights to cut fuel costs to the point of keeping air travel economically viable. Whew.

5) Unfortunately, the pig pilots buzzed workers at pork rendering plants. In 1974 alone, four crashes resulted from such behavior. This being the 70s, airlines listened to customer concerns and fired their pig aviators. There are persistent whispers, however, that shadowy governmental agencies still employ pig pilots in covert operations. These critters are tough. Don’t discuss bacon around them.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Brined Turkey Breast

American Entree

BRINED TURKEY BREAST

INGREDIENTS -BRINEBrinedTurkey-

1 gallon ice-cold water
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon rosemary
1½ cups coarse salt
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon thyme
8 pound thawed turkey breast (For love of God, Montressor, the turkey must be thawed)

INGREDIENTS – COOKING TURKEY

4 tablespoons butter
2 cups chicken broth
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt

SPECIAL UTENSILS

really big pot 8+ gallons or turkey bag
spice grinder
large oven-safe pan or casserole dish
wire rack.
meat thermometer

Serves 12
Takes 15-to-24 hours

PREPARATION – THAWING TURKEY

If not already done, thaw turkey breast. Keep turkey in packaging and add it to a large pot. Cover turkey with cold water. Let turkey sit in cold water for 30 minutes per pound. In this recipe, that would be 4 hours. Pour out water.

PREPARATION – BRINE

Crumble bay leaves. Mince garlic cloves. Grind peppercorns. Remove packaging from turkey and rinse in cold water. Add 1 gallon ice-cold water and all brine ingredients except turkey to pot. Stir until salt and sugar dissolves. Add turkey. Add ice-cold water as needed to cover turkey, Cover pot or close turkey bag and refrigerate for at least 12 hours but not more than 24

PREPARATION – COOKING TURKEY

Remove turkey from brine and pat dry. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put turkey in large pan Melt butter. Brush melted butter onto turkey. Sprinkle pepper and salt onto turkey. Place wire rack in pan. Put turkey on rack. Put meat thermometer in thickest part of turkey. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees. Bake for 2-to-3 hours or until meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Baste with ½ cup of chicken broth after every 30 minutes of baking at 325 degrees.

TIDBITS

1) Wild turkeys hide in trees at night. Just like human ninjas.

2) Wild turkeys can fly. That’s better than human ninjas.

3) All turkeys have periscopic vision. This means they can twist their heads around to see everything.
Can human ninjas do that? I think not.

4) Female turkeys do not gobble. This stealthiness makes them the perfect silent warriors.

5) Our founding father, Benjamin Franklin, wanted to make the turkey our national bird.

6) Why? Culinary historians suspect that turkey ninjas fought on the colonists’ side during the American Revolution.

7) How do they know this? The British soldiers were far better trained than the American militia. The British king had many more soldiers under his autocratic command than did our fractious Continental Congress. King George’s army possessed a lot more cannon and could boast of the biggest and best navy in the world.

8) America could only have won if it had ninja turkeys swooping down, dealing quick, silent death out of the pitch-black night. Historians think American units coordinated ambushes by using bird calls. Culinary historians know better. These were turkey calls, made by fierce turkey warriors.

9) Britain finally countered with the King’s Bear Battalion in 1782. These bears could climb up any tree and were paid in honey. America’s ninja turkeys wouldn’t have stood a chance against the bears’ great strength and massive, sharp claws.

10) Fortunately for America, Britain’s will to continue the war had already been shattered by the decisive battle of Yorktown during the previous year.

11) America disbanded its turkey ninjas in 1806. This is why it didn’t win the War of 1812.

12) America might be using turkey ninjas in covert operations. Why can say? Washington remains mute on the subject.

– 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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