Posts Tagged With: Cuba

Camarones Enchilados

Cuban Entree

CAMARONES ENCHILADOS

INGREDIENTSCamaronesEnchilados-

2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons lime juice
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup fresh cilantro
4 garlic cloves
1 large onion
¼ cup fresh parsley
1 cubanelle, Anaheim pepper or yellow bell pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon TabascoTM sauce
¾ cup tomato sauce
½ cup white wine

Makes 4 bowls. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add shrimp, lime juice, pepper, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix together with hand or fork until shrimp is thoroughly coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour. While shrimp marinates, mince cilantro, garlic cloves, onion and , parsley. Seed and dice cubanelle. Remove shrimp and keep marinade from mixing bowl.

Add olive oil, cubanelle, garlic, and onion to frying pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add cilantro, parsley, marinade, bay leaf, Tabasco sauce, tomato sauce, and white wine. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add shrimp and simmer for 5 or until shrimp turns pink or orange and is no longer translucent. Remove bay leaf. Goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) Nes Enchila sold shrimp on a stick from the back of his Chevy Camaro in the Little Miami section of Havana during the 1950s. His food was so good that the Spanish speaking people, of which there were many in Havana, would ask for two or “dos.”

2) In 1959, hungry Cuban revolutionaries hailed Nes as he drove by. Nes remembered how Dictator Bautista had just stiffed him on a big catering order and fed them all. Their energy restored, Castro and his men ousted Bautista in two days. Later, Castro invited the Russians over for Nes’s shrimp. They brought missiles with them and the world almost had a nuclear war. Nes’s food was that good.

Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available 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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One Day Injera – Ethiopian Flatbread

Ethiopian Entree

ONE DAY INJERA
(flatbread)

INGREDIENTSOneDayInjera-

1½ cups teff flour
2 cups water

½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil

Makes 4 injeras. Takes 24 hours to ferment and 20 minutes to cook.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

no-stick pan
cheesecloth or thin towel

PREPARATION

Add teff flour and water to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Cover batter with cheesecloth, or thin kitchen towel, and let sit in the open air for about 24 hours. This ferments the batter. Batter is fermented when surface cracks and bubbles appear. You can cook with the batter sooner if you wish, but you will get less of the customary sourness of injera.

Add baking powder and salt to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until batter is well blended. Add ½ tablespoon ghee to pan. Use low heat to melt ghee. Add ¼ of the batter, about ⅔ cup, from mixing bowl to pan. Shake pan so that batter completely covers the surface of the pan. Batter should be somewhat thicker than a crepe. Cover and cook batter for 3-to-5 minutes or until bubbles appear on the top and the edges of the batter begin to curl. Do not flip the injera flatbread. Be careful not to brown the bottom of the batter. (Use your x-ray vision to check. If you fell asleep when your teacher taught how to do this, lift up an edge of the injera with a spatula and take a peek.) Repeat for remaining injeras.

Remove injera flatbread carefully with spatula. Serve with doro wat (chicken stew), siga wat (beef stew), sega wat (lamb stew), mesir wat (red lentil puree), or whatever you wish. Simply tear off pieces of injera and eat by hand. Alternatively. roll up injera and then eat by hand.

TIDBITS

1) Injera is the national bread of Ethiopia.

2) One-day injera sounds a lot like “guantanamera” a famous song from Cuba.

3) A guantamera is woman from Gunatanamo, Cuba. So “Guantanamera, guajira, Guantanamera” means “Guantamo, Cuban woman, peasant girl, Guantanamo, Cuban woman.” It sounds a lot better in Spanish, doesn’t it?”

4) Guajira sounds a lot like “tequila.”

5) Guantanamera sounds a lot like “one-ton tomato.”

6) So the whole phrase seems to be “One-ton tomato, tequila, one ton tomato.”

7) Perhaps that is part of the original lyrics and the musically awkward refrain of “Guantamo, Cuban woman, peasant girl, Guantanamo, Cuban woman” is the misheard version.

8) It has to be. I mean if you’re a peasant farmer from Guantanamo, or any place for that matter, wouldn’t you want to grow a one-ton tomato? I know I would.

9) This desire to grow a huge, money-making tomato would naturally manifest in peasant song as any culinary psychologist would tell you.

10) This need to produce the world’s biggest tomato would find voice while drinking hard, native liquour. Hence, the inclusion of the word tequila.

11) Tequila is the muse of many of the world’s greatest songwriters.

12) Tequila is the muse of many horrible neighborhood singers. These cauterwaulers sometimes get shot. Hence the phrase, a shot of tequila.

13) So how did “One-ton tomato, tequila, one ton tomato” get corrupted into “Guantanamera, guajira, guantanamera?”

14) Simple, on Valentine’s Day, 1958, the beguiling, Juanita Albondigas sashayed by the handsome Pablo Desayuno. “Hola, Señor.” She batted her eyes. “Are you singing about me?”

Pablo, plastered enough to sing about a humongous fruit often miscalled a vegetable was sober enough to realize that a hot chiquita was hitting on him. “Ho, ho, I am indeed singing about you. You are the Guanatanamoan peasant girl of this song.”

Juanita’s peasant garb fell to the ground. The besotted Pablo fell to the ground as well. Choruses of “Ai, ai, ai” filled the air. A month later, they got married and set immediately to growing the first one-ton tomato. In early 1959, they produced the world’s first nineteen pound tomato. This incredible feat garnered them the cover story of the prestigious, “Tomato World.”

15) Juanita and Pedro became so involved in their efforts, they scarcely noticed the Cuban Revolution of 1959, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, and the Justin Bieber phenomenon of 2009.

16) Tomato enthusiasts report that the Desayunos are currently growing 983-pound tomatoes. The worthy farmers are growing old. They will very soon be turning over their quest to their many children and grandchildren. I wish them well.

– Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available 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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Bun Cha

Vietnamese Entree

BUN CHA

INGREDIENTSBunCha-

2 shallots
5 tablespoons fish sauce or oyster sauce or soy sauce (3 more tablespoons later)
¾ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons sugar (2 more tablespoons later)
1 pound thinly sliced pork belly or bacon (See note *)
1 pound ground pork

¼ cup cilantro (All the greens in this section must be fresh)
5 green onions
¼ cup lettuce
¼ cup perilla or lemon thyme or mint
¼ cup Thai basil or basil
¼ cup Vietnamese mint or mint
¼ cup kohlrabi or green papaya

3 garlic cloves
1 Thai chile or cayenne chile or serrano chile
3 tablespoons fish sauce or oyster sauce or soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1⅔ cups water
½ tablespoon lime juice

12 ounces dried vermicelli noodles
no-stick spray

I gave a lot of substitutes for this recipe as some of the ingredients are hard to find outside of an Asian grocery.

* = DO NOT get SALTED pork belly. It will make everything taste way too salty. Also, the pork belly should be sliced as thinly as bacon. If you cannot obtain thinly sliced, unsalted pork belly, you are better off using sliced bacon.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

grill, outdoor is preferable
grilling basket

Serves 6 people. Takes 1 hours 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince shallots. Add shallot, pepper, fish sauce, and sugar to first large mixing bowl. Stir with whisk until well blended. Pour half of this marinade into a second large mixing bowl. Put pork belly in first bowl. Thoroughly coat the pork-belly slices with this marinade. Add the ground pork into the second bowl. Use hands to thoroughly knead the marinade into the ground pork. Put mixing bowls in refrigerator for 1 hour.

While pork marinates, dice cilantro, green onions, lettuce, perilla, Thai basil, and Vietnamese mint. Cut the bulb of the kohlrabi into ¼” slices. Put herbs in a large bowl. Mix with fork until well blended.

Form marinated ground pork into patties 2″ across and ½” thick. Spray grilling basket with no-stick spray. Put patties in grilling basket and grill for 4 minutes on each side or until both sides become golden brown. Remove grilled patties. Spray grilling basket again. Put pork-belly strips in grilling basket and grill for 2 minutes on each side until strips turn golden brown.

Mince garlic cloves and Thai chile. Add fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and water to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Pour this dipping sauce into serving bowl. Add garlic, Thai chile, and lime juice. Stir until well blended.

Cook vermicelli noodles as instructed on package.

Place pork-belly strips, pork patties, greens, and noodles onto 4 communal serving bowls. Divide dipping sauce equally into a dipping bowl for each guest. Guests add as desired from the communal bowls.

TIDBITS

1) Bun Cha is short for Man Bun Cha Cha Cha, a Cuban dance from the 1950s. It’s associated with the island’s music scene and freedom of expression. Okay, there has been precious little freedom of expression in Cuba since Fidel Castro and his band of fitfully merry communists took over in 1959.

2) There was a reason for Castro’s oppression. The previous government under the dictator Bautista was decadent beyond belief. Government official thought nothing of double dipping tortillas chips into the communal sofrito bowl. Leaders and army officers grew their hair long, tied it up in man buns, and danced the Man Bun Cha Cha Cha. It was a parlous time.

3) Castro and his merry outcasts tried to humiliate Bautista’s regime by defeating its officials in Cha Cha contests. They didn’t. They couldn’t dance worth a lick. That is why they were outcasts. Frustrated, Fido–no it’s Fidel, Fido’s a dog’s name–turned to the United States for support. America ignored him; the White Sox were about to be in the World Series for the first time since. 1919.

4) So, Fidel seized power with support from the Soviet Union and outlawed the man bun. In return, the Soviets got permission to place nuclear missiles in Cuba. President Kennedy objected. We almost had a nuclear war, always a bad thing. So, the man bun is outlawed the world over and the dance is now known only as the Cha Cha. Call it the Man Bun Cha Cha Cha and you’ll get arrested. Wear a man bun as well and you’ll disappear. For good. And don’t name your dog, Fidel.

– Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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

The Horrible Cost of Communism

Much has been made of the communist nations horrific repression of their own peoples. Ne’er do wells such as Stalin and Mao come to mind. However, there is another evil side to communism that the mainstream media is afraid to report, the lack of golfing opportunities. Why just in our own hemisphere,  we have Cuba with its two golf courses. Two. That sun-swept land would have had hundreds of golf courses if  the country had only been a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, a telemarketer junta. Anything.

I blame communism completely for this lamentable lack of golf courses. Year after year, Cuba embarrasses itself with its non-existent production of world class golfers.

The United States, a democracy, is fertile ground for golfers. So are the countries of western Europe. Not many top golfers come from eastern Europe. However, eastern Europe is still coming out from the effects of Soviet communism. Producing golfers will take time.

I watched a South Korean golfer on T.V.–what’s his name?–win a major tournament. South Korea is a democracy. Sure, it was a dictatorship for decades before that. The point remains, though, South Korea was never communist and so is a credible global golfing power.

Sure, Thailand gets hit with tsunamis and suffers periodic military coups and frequent prolonged bouts with  widespread civil unrest. However, this country too was never communist. Indeed, at least for a while, it mandated that all officers in its military become proficient in golfing.

So, if you value your golfing freedom, and I hope you do, in which country would you prefer to live and golf, South Korea or Cuba?

Fortunately, a new day dawns. A few years ago, Cuba announced it would let foreign investors take 99-year leases on Cuban lands. Right away, at least one foreign company  announced plans to build up to 10, or was it 100 golf courses; I forget which. But either way, Cuba will be free to golf. The world has gotten brighter. Bluebirds sing.

But the horror of communism continues elsewhere, witness the hair style of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un. Be afraid, very afraid.

– Paul R. De Lancey – political commentator

4novels

Check out my latest novel, the Christmas thriller, Beneficial Murders. My books 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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Macarena Macaroni

Mexican Entree

MACARENA MACARONI

INGREDIENTSMacarMa-

12 ounces uncooked three-colored macaroni
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white onion
1 red bell pepper
2 stalks green onion
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon tarragon
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon Vegetable MagicTM spice
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 ounce ground beef
8 ounces grated Four Mexican Cheeses
3 ounces Cotija cheese

PREPARATION

Follow instructions shown on bag to cook multicolored macaroni. (Wouldn’t it be neat if your clothes washer had a setting for boil? Then you could use it to make quite a lot of macaroni.) Look for macaroni with the Mexican colors of: red, white or plain, and green. Drain water when done. Keep macaroni in pot. (Because once it gets out, the macaroni will never return. Wanderlust and all that.)

While macaroni is cooking, dice white onion, bell pepper, and green onion. Crumble Cotija cheese. Add olive oil, white onion, green onion, bell pepper, cumin, tarragon, chili powder, vegetable spice, garlic salt, onion salt, and salt to pan. Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Mix in ground beef. Cook on medium heat until meat changes color. Stir occasionally.

Blend beef mixture in pot with macaroni. Crumble Cotija cheese. Sprinkle with Cotija cheese and Four Mexican Cheeses.

TIDBITS

1) Beef is a major ingredient of this dish. Beef comes from cattle. There is no singular form for cattle.

2) Pig is the singular form of pigs.

3) American foreign policy suffered a reverse at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba.

4) Cubans like pork. Why didn’t we send them pork instead?

5) But beef was preferred in the Old West.

6) That is why they had cattle drives back then.

7) As depicted in the television show Rawhide.

8) In Rawhide, Clint Eastwood referred to their cattle as beeves.

9) The singular form of beeves is beef.

10) Apparently, the English language was much stronger back then.

-Chef Paul
cover

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World, is 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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Cuban Arroz Con Pollo Recipe

Cuban Entree

ARROZ CON POLLO

INGREDIENTSArrozCP-

2 cups rice
3 chicken breasts or 2 pounds chicken parts
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
1 bay leaf
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
1/medium tomato
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup white wine
2 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon cilantro.

PREPARATION

Cook rice according to instructions on package.

While rice is cooking, cut chicken breasts into 1″ cubes. (If you are using parts such as chicken legs, leave them as they are.) Mince garlic and onion, Dice green and red bell peppers. Coat chicken with black pepper, cumin, oregano, and paprika. Puree tomato.

Add olive oil, garlic, and onion to frying pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion turns soft. Add spice-coated chicken, bay leaf, green and red bell pepper, tomato, lemon juice, wine, and chicken broth. Bring to boil at high heat then reduce to low and simmer for 20-to-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. (You might have to cut off a bit and taste. Maybe taste a second piece, a third…)

Serve with rice in a bowl. Garnish with cilantro.

TIDBITS

1) Sugar was first made into cubes in Cuba. That’s why we call sugar “cubes.” Before cubes, sugar had always been scooped.

2) People would always ask, “One or two spoons?” when serving sugar with coffee.

3) Indeed, specialized spoons were made for sugar. The first major producer of sugar spoons was Krupp of Essen, Germany.

4) Krupp made a fortune off their sugar spoons. So much so they were able to enter the burgeoning armaments industry.

5) Germany bought so much artillery from Krupp in the 1900s that it started an arms race in Europe. The heavily armed nations of Europe inevitably went to war in 1914.

6) A scarred Germany resentful of the peace terms imposed by the victorious powers in 1918 seethed for revenge.

7) And so, World War II erupted in 1939. The years from 1939 to 1945 were a bummer.

8) The war alliance between The United States and the Soviet Union proved ephemeral. (Cool word, huh?) They soon constructed vast arsenals to intimidate each other.

9) Tensions between America and Russia lessened considerably in the 1990s when the countries’ presidents took the first step toward peace, The Lutefisk Ban treaty.

10) Or so I’ve heard.
cover

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World, is 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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Kung Pao Recipe From Forthcoming Cookbook

This is what the inside of my soon-to-be published cookbook looks like.

kungpao

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Recipe Pictures From Forthcoming Cookbook

From my cookbook.

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I Again Invite Fidel Castro Over For Dinner

A year ago, I offered Fidel Castro a retirement dinner to celebrate stepping down  as the ruler of Cuba after about only 52 years. I, the Powegian Chef, offered it to him at my humble home. Did he RSVP? Heck no? So, I’m offering one last time. What about it Fidel? I offered President Obama a dinner at my home. He didn’t bother to reply either. What happened? I’m running against him on the Bacon & Chocolate Party. All polls that I follow show B&C’s popularity surging, carrying me into the White House in November. So I suggest your RSVP “yes.” After all biting into a sandwich with hidden lutefisk in it fills the eater with severe depression. Just saying.

So, Fidel, do you like Swedish cuisine? My grandmother was from Sweden and passed on a great, authentic recipe. Or would you prefer a fine Cuban sandwich, Cuban stuffed peppers? I’ll leave the menu to you. Just let me know.

We could watch reruns of Gunsmoke after dinner. Sorry, no post-prandial cigars at this home, but wouldn’t you really rather have a peanut-butter milkshake?

We have a fold-out sofa bed if you’d care to stay the night. For the first ten minutes of the next day we could visit the cultural sites of Poway, twenty if we’re lucky enough to see street repair.

And my wife could shave off your unruly beard. She’s really good.

C’mon over Fidel, we’ll treat you right.

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Cuban Stuffed Peppers From Forthcoming Cookbook

Cuban Entree

CUBAN STUFFED PEPPERS

INGREDIENTS

4 garlic cloves
1/3 medium onion
1 cup cooked rice
2 cups water

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground turkey
2 teaspoons olive oil

1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 7 ounce can diced green chiles
1/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 tablespoons oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 green bell peppers (3 total green peppers, 2 here and 1 below)
2 yellow bell pepper
2 red bell pepper (3 total green peppers, 1 here and 2 above)

1 green bell pepper

GUEST APPLIANCE APPEARANCES

microwave
microwavable dishes
sonic obliterator

PREPARATION

Mince onion and garlic cloves. Cook rice according to instructions on package.

Combine garlic, onion, cooked rice, beef, turkey, and oil in frying pan. Cook on medium-high heat until beef is no longer pink. Stir occasionally. Add in diced tomatoes, green chiles, chicken broth, tomato sauce, oregano, salt, coriander, and pepper. Bring to boil while stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile back at chopping board, cut the tops off 2 green peppers, 2 yellow bell peppers, and 2 red bell peppers. Scoop out seeds and white soft part of peppers. (Get rid of these seeds and all with your sonic obliterator.) Put as many bell-pepper halves in a microwave-safe baking dish. (You might need more than one such dish.) Add water to baking dish until water is level with tops of bell peppers. Fill the insides of the bell-pepper halves with water as well. Microwave for about 8 minutes or until bell-peppers are crisp-tender.

Remove peppers from baking dish and drain the water from them. Put equal amounts of meat mixture into and on top of each pepper half.

If desired, chop remaining green bell pepper into small strips for garnishing the filled bell peppers.

TIDBITS

1) Christopher Columbus brought cattle with him on his epic voyage of discovery in 1492. Cuba probably had cattle by 1493.

2) However, Hernando Cortez was the first to bring cattle to North America in 1519.

3) So, Cuba had a twenty-six year head start over North America in the race to develop the first hamburger.

4) The hamburger patty was developed in the German town of Hamburg in the early 1800s. The culinary world was indeed standing on a mountain gazing into the promised land of the hamburger.

5) German immigrants brought the hamburger patty to America. American can-do spirit applied itself and the first complete was first served at Delmonico’s in New York in 1826 or 1834 or perhaps even 1871 in San Francisco, depending on which historical research you trust. Culinary greatness had been achieved.

6) Oh sure, America has done bad things as well. Slavery, fill-in-the bubble tests, and long lines at the DMV come to mind.

7) Cuba has had its problems as well with slavery and dictatorship and although it didn’t discover the hamburger it can hold its culinary head high with its Cuban sandwich and this recipe’s dish, the Cuban stuffed peppers.

– 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

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

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