Posts Tagged With: emperor

Bunny Chow

South African Entree



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.


Dutch oven


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.


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?

Chef Paul


My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available on

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

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at:

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Flatbread From Somalia (Sabaayad)

Somali Appetizer



2⅓ cups flour
⅔ cup wheat flour (another ⅓ cup later)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
1 to 1½ cups water
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (another 4 teaspoons later)
⅓ cup flour
4 teaspoons vegetable oil


electric skillet


Add flour, wheat flour, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk. Add ghee. Mix again with whisk. Gradually add water to bowl. Knead flour and water by hand each time. Add water until dough becomes smooth and flexible. Let dough sit for 45 minutes.

Make 8 equal dough balls. Dust hard surface with ⅓ cup flour. Roll out dough ball into a circle 8″ wide. Spread ½ tablespoon oil evenly over dough circle. Fold edges of dough circle in so that four parts meat in the square. You should now have a square.FlatbreadDough-

Roll out square until it is again 8″ wide. (This gives the bread layers and makes it flakier.) Repeat for 7 remaining dough circles.

Set skillet to 325 degrees or medium. Place 8″ dough square in skillet. Let dough square cook for 1 minute or until dough square starts to puff. Flip the dough square and add ½ teaspoon oil evenly to the top. Cook for 1 minute. Continue to cook 1 minute per side until each side turns golden brown Repeat for the remaining 7 dough squares. Drain the golden brown flat breads of paper towels.

Serve warm with: fried eggs, honey, curries, or other stews


1) The top picture on the previous page looks like a sock. The bottom picture on that page appears to be a sock puppet. These similarities are not an accident. There are an homage to the great Rome-to-Somalia olive-oil-for-socks trade.

2) This trade started in 31 BC after Caesar Augustus secured his position as emperor with his victory over Mark Anthony in the battle of Actium.

3) Rome desperately needed a new source of socks for its vaunted army. Without good socks, the legionnaires developed foot blisters. No soldier can march far with blistered feet. If the Roman legionnaires couldn’t march, they couldn’t catch the invading barbarian hordes before they looted and fired the Roman towns. Unfortunately, the long series of Roman civil wars, 83 BC – 31 BC had completely destroyed the once vibrant sock industry. Things looked grim. The Roman Empire was readt to collapse. The plays of Plautus, Terrance, and Maccius would have been replaced by barbarian reality plays.

6) Fortunately, in 18 BC, Primus Secundus Tertius, a goat herder set out from the tiny village of Perdiem in the southern Egypt to find a missing goat. He headed south, because all good goat herders know that goat only go missing in the south.

7) He walked for years looking for that goat. He was no quitter. Finally, he came across some villagers in Somalia. They were cooking lamb stew. The villagers didn’t give their real names upon meeting Primus for the first time. After all, Somalia is an anagram for Mo’ Alias.

8) While enjoying a delicious meal, Sam and the villagers engaged in pleasant conversation and swapped witty and urbane anagrams. Eventually, Sam handed his empty bowl to the villagers; his mother had raised him to always bring his dirty dishes to the sink. As he did so, he noticed a goat tag at the bottom of his bowl. It read, “Daphne, owned by Primus Secundus Tertius.” The villagers had killed his own goat. The fact that Daphne tasted great after being marinated in lemon juice and pepper only eased his rage a tiny bit.

9) With all the wonderful books deliberately burned in Alexandria’s magnificent library in 395 AD, it’s amazing and perhaps ironic that we have amazing that we have a partial, written record of the following conversation:

Primus: You killed my Daphne?
Villager #1: Who is this Daphne? No woman around here is called Daphne.
Villager #2: I think he means his goat. Roman goat herders like to name their goats Daphne.
Villager #3, Good Primus, are referring to the goat that was in this stew?
Primus: (Shows the goat tag.) I am.

10) The villagers, as was their custom, agreed to compensate Primus with ten pairs of socks. Primus was ecstatic. Emperor Augustus had promised to give a million denarii to any one securing a sock source for the empire. So Primus became fabulously wealthy, the legionnaires got their socks, and the empire became well defended again. It was only when the olive-oil-for-socks trade route got permanently disrupted in 476 AD, that Rome fell. Today, the production of socks is protected everywhere by an international treaty.

– Chef Paul


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

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

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at:

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

Chocolate and Vanilla Sundae

American Dessert



3/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup unsalted peanuts (or already ground)
2 pints chocolate ice cream
2 pints vanilla ice cream
nonpareils (optional)


spice grinder or other grinder or quick hands with a knife


Make chocolate sauce by adding whipping cream, chocolate chips, and vanilla extract to pot. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted or liquid becomes uniformly dark. Stir constantly.

Grind peanuts. Add large scoop (is there any other kind?) of chocolate ice cream and a large scoop of vanilla ice cream for each bowl you make. Drizzle chocolate sauce over each bowl, top with ground peanuts and nonpareils, if desired.


1) Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) enjoyed snow flavored with nectar and honey. He was just a few steps away from inventing ice cream. But no, Alexander invaded the Persian Empire instead. His armies conquered land after land. However, these conquests never brought him the satisfaction that only a scope of ice cream could have given. Alexander came to realize how he had wasted his life by not coming up with ice cream and he drank himself to death.

2) The Roman Emperor Nero (54-68 A.D.) enjoyed ice and snow topped with fruit. He committed suicide rather than share this dessert with a jealous Roman mob

3) Marco Polo (1254-1324) is most famous for bringing the idea of ice cream from China to Italy. The Renaissance followed shortly.

4) Ice cream became readily available in seventeenth-century France. French literature flourished.

5) Ice cream came to America in the 1700s. and caused the birth of the American Republic in 1776.

– Chef Paul
3novelsPlease check out Paul De Lancey’s books on
or visit his website for signed copies.

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Banane Celeste From Martinique

Martiniquai Dessert



1 pound cream cheese (1/2 pound at a time)
3 tablespoons butter
6 ripe bananas
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (1/4 teaspoon more later)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

serves 6


baking dish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Let cream cheese and butter soften. Peel bananas and cut them in half along their lengths.

Add cream cheese, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Use fork or blender on lowest setting until mixture is light and fluffy.

Light and fluffy sounds so peaceful doesn’t it? Next time you’re at a peace conference say, “Light and fluffy” to the warring sides and see if the mood of the room doesn’t improve dramatically.

Meanwhile back at the stove, use medium heat to melt the butter in a pan. Add banana halves to pan. Sauté bananas on medium heat until they turn light brown on both sides. Turn bananas carefully over with spatula to ensure even browning.

Evenly arrange 6 banana halves in bottom of baking dish. Spoon 1/2 pound cream cheese evenly over bananas. Place 6 more banana halves on top of the the cream cheese. Spoon another 1/2 pound of cream cheese atop the second banana layer.

Smooth heavy cream over the second layer of cream cheese. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon over heavy cream.

Put baking dish in oven and bake in over for 15-to-20 minutes at 350 degrees or until cream-cheese sauce is bubbly and golden brown.

1) Josephine Bonaparte, wife of the Emperor Napoleon, was born in Martinique in 1763 with the name of Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie. This name was way too long so most people just called her “Ma.” Josephine possessed a lively sense of humor.

2) People loved her jokes. She had them in stitches. Agents from Vau de Ville frequently came to her mansion to sign her up for large engagements but she always demurred, saying she was but a simple banana plantation monopolist.

3) Still the island’s elite kept coming to her comedy soirées to hear her jokes. They never wanted to leave even when she got tired and wanted to retire. They’d say, “Yo, Ma, Ma, tell us another joke.”

4) Her funnies became known as “Ma Ma jests,” then “Mama jests,” and finally by 1779 as “Yo, Mama jokes.”

5) In 1779, Ma Pagerie married the owner of the Folies Bergère, Monsieur de Beauharnais, and moved to Paris.

6) Nothing much of note happened in the lives of the de Beauharnaises until monsieur ended their marriage by getting guillotined in 1794. Saved the unpleasantness of a bitter divorce, Ma commenced a series of mirthful affairs with the handsome leaders of the French Revolution.

7) In 1796 she attracted the eye of a young artillery officer named Napoleon Bonaparte. “She made me laugh,” said Napoleon.

8) Napoleon had suffered from chronic depression and often stayed in bed neglecting to fight the smallest battle until Ma bucked him up with one of the world’s first chicken-crossing the road jokes. “Pourquoi le poulet a traversé la rue? Pour obtenir à l’autre côté.”

9) Ma’s mirth gave Napoleon the energy to follow his dream. In 1799, he and two other hombres overthrew the constitutional government. In 1804, he reached the top of the government ladder when he made himself emperor.

10) Life was good for France with Napoleon conquering one country after another. People no longer had to get visas to visit the Italian Riviera. Napoleon had made it part of France. What a guy!

11) But things went sour in 1810. Napoleon wanted an heir for his Empire. Ma, although always able to conceive a knee-slapping joke without a moment’s notice, could not do the same with a child. So Napoleon divorced her and married Marie Louise of Austria.

12) Marie Louise lived in a permanent humor-free zone. She never made Napoleon laugh, not once. Napoleon grew moody, his judgment became impaired. In 1812, he invaded Russia, a disaster. By 1814, his enemies were at the French border. They offered Napoleon a peace treaty, but without Ma’s jokes to relieve the tension caused by his tactless outbursts, negotiations went downhill.

13) Napoleon was forever defeated in 1815 and exiled to St. Helena. It would decades before vaudeville revived.


My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World, is available in paperpack or Kindle on

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at:

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

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