Posts Tagged With: entree

Chilli Taiyo (Spicy Tuna Casserole)

Solomon Islander Entree

CHILLI TAIYO
(Spicy Tuna Casserole)

INGREDIENTS

½ pound thin noodles (Chinese or Italian)
2 garlic cloves
1 onion
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 12-ounce can tuna*
4 ounces chili paste*
2 tablespoons lime juice.
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
8 fresh basil leaves

* = If you are willing to order from Australia, you can buy cans of chilli taiyo instead of getting the first two ingredients. You can also substitute the chili paste with 6 very small but quite spicy hot peppers. Do you feel lucky?

Serves 4. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook noodles according to instructions on package. Drain and reserve noodles.

Mince garlic cloves. Dice onion. Add garlic, onion, and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Add tuna and chili paste to pan. Stir with spoon until well blended. Flatten the tuna. Cook at medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir frequently enough to prevent burning. Add lime juice, pepper, and salt. Stir until blended. Cook for an additional 7 minutes or until tuna reaches your desired level of crispiness. Stir frequently enough to prevent burning.

Add noodles to tuna in pan. Simmer at low-medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir frequently enough to prevent burning. Garnish with basil leaves.

TIDBITS

1) This entree is served in a round bowl.

2) Have bowls always been round?

3) No, although culinary archeologists have found many round bowls in Cro-Magnon burial grounds, the evidence shows that Neanderthals used rectangular bowls.

4) Moreover, when experts say that Neanderthalic bowls were rectangular, they were being generous. Not a single bowl fashioned by a Neanderthal boasts of having a straight edge. It’s almost as if the neanderthals didn’t care if their bowls made a fashion statement. In fact, the Neanderthals often made bowls with more than four angles, with hardly any of them being 90 degrees.

5) Please refer to the definitive study on this matter: von Kartofflen, Otto, Ph.D., “Lack of Geometric Precision in Neanderthalic Bowls, Indifference or Straight-Edge and Right-Angle-Tool Technology Deprivation, Prehistoric Research, August, 1973.

6) Many culinary researchers believe possession of round bowls enabled the Cro Magnons to overcome their Neanderthal cousins. Perhaps the round bowls could be hurled farther, like a discus.

7) This discus-bowl theory is gaining more and more credence. One only has to look at Ancient Greek paintings on vases. The earliest depictions show the athletes flinging round bowls. As time went on, discuses supplanted the bowls.

8) In 1673 B.C., geometricians of Sumer-Akkad develop the first straight edges and right angles. People could now dine out and eat off tables! It was the first golden age of dining out.

9) But this golden age of eating, did not last for ever. For in the times of legend, knights all wanted to be seated nearest to the king while feasting. The closer you were to your liege lord’s chair, the more prestige you had. If you sat far away, the more prestigious knights would laugh at you and say “Na na na poo poo” to say and you would hang your head in shame.

10) But then the quite possibly fictitious ruler, King Arthur, thought why not make a round table? With such a table, there is no specific king’s chair, so no one will know how far, in advance, how much or little prestige they have when sitting down to sup. This idea worked marvelously well. Jockeying for position and status by the knights in the feasting hall disappeared.

11) Hundreds of years later, a knight noticed that you could count how many spots you sat away from the king. War, born out of rivalry, would have broken out but for the soothing round shapes of their soup bowls. It was a near run thing. This is why bowls, to this day, are always round.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round shape brings peace.                                                                       Rectangular shape brings war.

 

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Beef Smore From Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Entree

BEEF SMORE

INGREDIENTS

2 pound piece of sirloin or beef chuck
2 tablespoons vinegar
½ teaspoon pepper
3 garlic cloves
1″ ginger root
1 large onion
1 small green chile
1 stalk lemongrass (tender inner bottom part only)
2½ tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
2″ cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
10 fresh curry leaves or ½ teaspoon dry curry leaves or curry powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1¼ cups coconut milk
1 tablespoon lemon or tamarind juice

Serves 6. Takes 2 hour 30 minutes

PREPARATION

Make holes in beef with fork. (This will aid in marinating.) Add beef, vinegar, and pepper to bowl. Marinate for 1 hour.

While beef marinates. Mince garlic cloves, ginger root, green chile, and onion. Seed and mince green chile. Thinly slice lemongrass. Add ghee to pan. Heat ghee at high heat until is hot enough to make a fenugreek seed dance. Carefully add beef to pan. Sauté for 2 minutes on each side or until browned all over. Remove meat to plate. Leave beef juices in pan.

Add garlic, ginger, green chile, onion, cinnamon stick, fenugreek seeds, fresh curry leaves. and lemongrass. Sauté for 3 minutes on medium heat. Stir frequently. Add beef back to pan. Add beef, red pepper flakes, coconut milk, and lemon juice. Lower heat to low and simmer 40 minutes or until the beef reaches your desired level of doneness and coconut milk reduces to a gravy. Turn beef over every 10 minutes. Slice beef to your desired thickness. Spoon onion gravy over beef slices.

TIDBITS

1) At first, Sri Lankan Beef Smores were cooked on a handy twig over an open flame.

2) But the weight of the meat made the twig snap

3) The sirloin would fall into the ashy fire pit.

4) Chefs then shouted, “I need more sirloin.”

5) So many sirloins landed on ashes that this requested shortened to, “I need smore sirloin.”

6) Then eventually to “Smore” by the Monosyllabic Chef Association (MCA).

7) And so it went. Sirloin after sirloin fell into one campfire pit after another.

8) This food wastage bankrupted one restaurant after another.

9) Clearly, the food-service industry needed a new idea.

10) And in 1619, Chef Kasun Perera revolutionized everything when he said, “Why not move this meal indoors? We won’t get rained on.”

11) “Or even stampeded by elephants.”

12) Sure, moving the meal to avoid getting crushed by wild beasts seems obvious now.

13) But isn’t the way with all new ideas?

14) No, not all new ideas arise from Stampeding Elephant Fear Syndrome (SEFS). Rather, all new ideas will eventually seem obvious.

15) You could have skipped to this tidbit from tidbit 11, but it wasn’t obvious then. It is now. See?

16) Or even have skipped to here. Any way, moving fire pits inside dramatically lessened the number of deaths due to elephants.

17)However, way too many restaurants burned to the ground from the flames in the open pits.

18) Customers look askance at fleeing a burning restaurant.

19) The restaurant industry needed another fertile mind.

20) It got with Tharindi Bandari, when in 1878, he said, “How about cooking things on a pan on a metal stove?” They will be no fires when we cook our beef smores this way.”

21) It’s impossible to overstate how this brainstorm transformed cooking.

22) Now, the entire world enjoys fire-storm free dining.

23) America came up with a different solution to the ashy sirloin problem. In 1958 little Timmy Perkins replaced the ingredients of the Sri Lankan Beef Smore with marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate saying, “The weight of melting marshmallow will never break our twig.” It worked! It tasted great. “I’ll have smore,” said Timmy’s dad. And in 1997, Timmy’s brilliance would win him the Noble Price for Culinary Achievement.

– 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

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Sri Lankan Entree

COCONUT SHRIMP CURRY

INGREDIENTS

3 garlic cloves
1½” ginger root
2 small green chiles
1 medium onion
1 small tomato
12 fresh curry leaves
1 teaspoon dry curry leaves, or curry powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
4 teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
1½ tablespoons lime juice
1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
1¼ pounds shrimp (about 24 count)

Serves 4. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic cloves, ginger root, green chiles, and onion. Dice tomato. Add garlic, ginger, chiles, curry leaves, onion, and oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add tomato, cinnamon stick, curry powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and turmeric. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add lime juice and coconut milk. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or until coconut milk thickens. Stir frequently. Add shrimp. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 4 minutes or until shrimp turns orange or pink.

TIDBITS

1) The grass that cows eat affects the taste of butter that is made from their milk. Indeed, butter from Isigny Sainte Mère is the best tasting in the world. Why? The area’s rich pastures are chock full of mineral salts and just the right traces for buttery excellence.

2) Shrimp cooked in coconut milk tastes great. So, of course, shrimp vendors tried feeding coconut milk to these little crustaceans. But expecting shrimp to climb up trees and crack open the coconuts resulted in disappointment. Nothing happened even when they put the shrimp in trees. Of course! Shrimp can’t breathe out of water. The shrimpers tried planting coconut trees in water. It turned out that coconuts trees don’t grow in water. The once plucky entrepreneurs gave up the whole idea. Now we’ll never know if shrimp could have been trained to extract milk from coconuts.

– 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

Haitian Griots

Haitian Entree

GRIOTS

INGREDIENTS

3 pounds pork shoulder
1 green bell pepper
1 medium onion
1 shallot
1 Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
½ tablespoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon thyme
3 tablespoons lime juice
⅓ cup orange juice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup fresh parsley

SPECIAL UTENSIL

large oven-safe pot The entree, not a safe riot.

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour, then 8 hours to marinate, and 2 hours more.

PREPARATION

Cut pork into 1″ cubes. Dice bell pepper, onions, Scotch bonnet pepper, and shallot. (Scotch bonnet is a truly spicy pepper. Wash your hands after handling it and for goodness sake, do not wipe your forehead after touching it.) Add all ingredients except oil and parsley to large oven safe pot. Mix with hands until well blended and pork cubes are thoroughly coated. (Wash your hands!) Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover oven-safe pot and put in oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 30 minutes or until pork is tender. Remove pot from heat. Use slotted spoon to remove pork cubes from oven-safe pot. Pour liquid from oven-safe pot into regular pot. Return pork cubes to oven-safe pot. Add oil. Stir until pork cubes are well coated with oil.

Return oven-safe pot to oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. While pork in oven-safe pot bakes, add liquid to second, regular pot. Cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until liquid has been reduced by half. Stir occasionally. Drizzle liquid over pork cubes. Dice parsley. Garnish pork with parsley. Goes well with rice or fried plantain.

TIDBITS

1) Governments rate riots for the maturity of their audiences. A Griot rating, that is a G-Riot, means that families can safely let their children go see the disturbance. However, deadly riots such as the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution, usually get an R, or restricted, rating.

– 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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Shrimp in Chocolate Sauce

Spanish Entree

SHRIMP IN CHOCOLATE SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

2 garlic cloves
1 small onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup beef, fish or vegetable stock
1 pound jumbo shrimp (16 count), peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons sherry or red wine
½ teaspoon (2 squares) bittersweet chocolate
⅛ teaspoon pepper
⅛ teaspoon salt

Serves 2. Takes 35 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic and onion. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, and onion to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. While onion sautées, add beef stock to pot. Cook stock on medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add stock to sautéed onion. Heat sautéed onion/stock at medium heat for 5 minutes or until liquid reduces by half. Reduce heat to lowest level and simmer.

Add enough water to cover shrimp to pot. Boil water at high heat. Add shrimp. Boil for 3 minutes or until shrimp turns pink or orange. Remove shrimp with slotted spoon. While shrimp boils, add sherry and chocolate to tiny pot. Simmer on low-medium heat for 3 minutes or until chocolate melts. Stir frequently.

Add shrimp to plate. Sprinkle with pepper and salt. Ladle sautéed onion/beef stock over shrimp. Ladle chocolate sauce over all.

TIDBITS

1) Some dishes evolve over time. Pies are an example of this, Their ingredients change over time. Spelt flour would become wheat before finally settling on the often used white flour.

2) Other culinary creations, such as this one, are born in an instant. Culinary historians note that a food fight broke out at the main cafeteria at Revelle College, UCSD, on April 1, 1977. Tired of an never ending succession of shrimp dishes, the students took to tossing the crustaceans. Shrimp went everywhere. Some landed in the chocolate sauce.

3) Shrimp in chocolate sauce tasted great. Pedro Martinez, a bystander, tasted the chocolate coated shrimp. He brought the idea back with him to Spain and opened a restaurant, El Camaron Loco. Just recently, it obtained its third MichelinTM star. Now, Spanish cuisine is 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, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Couscous

Algerian Entree

COUSCOUS

INGREDIENTS – STEW

1½ pounds boneless chicken or lamb
½ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon clove powder
½ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt (⅛ teaspoon more later)
1 medium onion
2 cups chicken or lamb stock stock*
1½ tablespoons tomato paste
1 large carrot
1 zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil (9 total teaspoons later)
2 tablespoons olive oil (7 total teaspoons later)

INGREDIENTS – COUSCOUS

1 cup couscous**
⅛ teaspoon salt
7 total teaspoons olive oil (3 times with 2 teaspoons and 1 time with 1 tablespoon)
about 1 cup water
1 cup cooked chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)

* = This is an approximation. There should be 1″-to-2″ of liquid of space from the top of the liquid in the base pot to its lid. The couscous will get mushy if they come in contact with the water below.
** = This is couscous, the grain. Confusingly enough, the whole entree is also called couscous.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

double boiler (Similar to the more authentic couscousiere, but much easier to find.)
sonic obliterator

Serves 6. Takes 2 hours 15 minutes.

PREPARATION – STEW

Cut meat into 1″ cubes. Add meat, cinnamon, clove powder, coriander, pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until lamb cubes are well coated. Dice onion. Trim and cut carrot into and zucchini into 4 pieces each. Add meat cubes and 2 tablespoons olive oil to base pot, bottom part of double boiler. Sauté at medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until meat cubes are browned on all sides. Turn enough to ensure even browning. Remove meat cubes and set aside. Leave oil in base pot.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and onion to base pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Return set-aside meat to base pot. Add chicken stock and tomato paste to base pot. (Again there should be 1″-to-2″ of space from the top of the liquid in the base pot to the bottom of the steamer basket.) Stir until well blended. Bring to boil at high heat.. Stir occasionally. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add carrot and zucchini. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

PREPARATION – COUSCOUS (the grain)

While stew simmers, add couscous and ⅛ teaspoon salt to medium mixing bowl. Mix by hand. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Mix by hand until couscous are well coated. Add water to bowl, about 1 cup, until couscous are just covered. Gently fluff couscous and let sit for 10 minutes.

Coat steamer basket, the top part of the double boiler, with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Put steamer basket on base pot. (It should fit snugly.) When steam comes into basket, add couscous. Cover and let entire double boiler steam for 10 minutes. (This is the 1st time the couscous will be steamed.)

Remove steamer basket. Let stew simmer uncovered while you perform the following steps. Remove couscous. Add couscous and 2 teaspoons olive to medium mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well coated. Add ½ cup water. Mix with fork until well blended.

Add couscous to steamer basket. Gently fluff couscous. Put steamer basket back on base pot. Do not cover. Continue to simmer at low heat for 10 minutes. Remove steamer basket. Add chickpeas. Stir once. (This is the 2nd time the couscous will be steamed.)

Remove steamer basket. Let stew simmer uncovered while you perform the following steps. Remove couscous. Add couscous and 2 teaspoons olive to medium mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well coated. Add ½ cup water. Mix with fork until well blended.

Add couscous to steamer basket. Gently fluff couscous. Put steamer basket back on base pot. Do not cover. Continue to simmer at low heat for 10 minutes. Remove steamer basket. Add chickpeas. Stir once. (This is the 3rd time the couscous will be steamed.)

Add couscous to large serving bowl. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Add meat cubes to center of couscous. Use slotted spoon to ladle chickpeas and veggies over meat and couscous. Serve to appreciative, adoring guests. If any person at the dining table gives you any guff at all, zap him with your sonic obliterator on him. You don’t need that sort of negativity in your kitchen. And you won’t be convicted, either. (See Courgette v Rhode Island, 1973)

TIDBITS

1) You really need a sonic obliterator in your kitchen. Sure, you could off a sassy guest with a kitchen mallet. But there would be a mess everywhere. You certainly don’t need a disorderly kitchen when you’re upset. With a sonic obliterator, the unappreciative oaf disappears completely, leaving your kitchen nice and tidy. And isn’t what all chefs want at the end of the day?

2) I also recommend strongly, Culinary Law and Precedents, 1973. It really is a must-have resource for the high-strung chef.

– 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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Piri Piri Shrimp

Mozambican Entree

PIRI PIRI SHRIMP

INGREDIENTS

5 garlic cloves
6 piri piri chiles of 6 Thai chiles or 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 bay leaf
10 tablespoons peanut oil
2¼ pounds shrimp (16-to-20 per pound, shelled and deveined)
1 lemon (optional)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

blender
outdoor grill
6 skewers

Serves 6. Takes 10 minutes, then 6 hours marinating, and 10 minutes more.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic cloves and chiles. Add all ingredients except shrimp to large mixing bowl. Stir with whisk or fork until well blended. Add shrimp. Mix with fork until shrimp is well coated. Cover and let marinate in fridge for 6 hours. Keep marinade.

10 minutes before marinating is done, heat outdoor grill to medium heat. Thread 6 shrimps onto each skewer. Grill shrimp for 2 minutes or until it turns pink. Flip skewers over and grill the other side for 2 minutes or until it to is pink. Cut lemon into 6 slices. Serve with lemon slices.

TIDBITS

1) Everyone dueled everyone else in Early Renaissance Italy. These scheduled acts of violence, of course, don’t include impromptu acts of deadly sword fighting that lurked outside your door, in the town plaza, and all points in between.

2) Seafood restaurants suffered the most. They were the farthest businesses from people’s homes. No diner ever got there and back alive. Then in 1493, Giuseppe Carpaccio of Venice, came up with the idea of putting the shrimp he sold on his diner’s swords. His customers couldn’t finish his large portions and staggered home, their sabers still covered in shrimp. You, of course, can’t stab anyone with shrimp. You don’t even feel like killing anyone when your tummy’s filled with yummy shrimp. A golden age of peace descended upon Italy, or until the French invaded a year later. Oh well.

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lomo Saltado

Peruvian Entree

LOMO SALTADO

INGREDIENTS

½ pound French fries
1 aji amarillo chile or jalapeno
½ red onion
1 large tomato
¼ cup fresh cilantro
1 pound sirloin or ribeye
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons vinegar

SPECIAL UTENSILS

mandoline
wok or large pan.

Serves 4. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook French fries according to instructions on package. While French fries cook, use mandoline or knife to cut aji amarillo into ¼” rings and red onion and and tomato into ½” slices. Dice cilantro. Slice sirloin into ¼”-thick strips. Rub pepper and salt onto sirloin strips.

Add oil to wok. Heat oil using high heat until a tiny bit of onion in the oil starts to dance. Add sirloin strips. (Don’t let the strips touch each other. You might have to cook in batches.) Sauté each batch at high heat for 2 minutes or until meat browns. Stir occasionally. Add browned batches of sirloin strips, aji amarillo, red onion, and tomato. Reduce heat to medium and sauté for 3 minutes or until tomato starts to soften. Stir frequently. Add soy sauce, vinegar, and French fries. Sauté for 3 minutes or until sirloin is done to your liking. Garnish with cilantro.

TIDBITS

1) This recipe is from Peru. Peru is a country on the planet Earth. The outer part of Earth is its crust. The crust covers oceans of hot magma. Volcanoes occasionally spew out magma. The magma that flows along the ground, lava. incinerates all its path. The magma that flies into the air blocks the Sun and kills crops. When that happens, we get a winter that lasts for years. Mass extinctions occur. Peru is part of the Earth’s crust. Thus, when we wish for Peru to disappear because our luggage has disappeared when we flew out of the country, we are indirectly wishing for a large section of our planet’s crust to disappear. Then all of the horrible things in the above tidbit would happen. We’d all die! That’s bad. Be careful what you wish for!

– 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

Beef Rendang

Indonesian Entree

BEEF RENDANG

INGREDIENTS

4 red chiles
1 inch galangal or ginger root
5 garlic cloves
¾ teaspoon peppercorns
6 shallots
1 inch turmeric root
1 stalk lemongrass
2 pounds beef tenderloin or top round
2 tablespoons oil
1 inch cinnamon stick
½ tablespoon salt
3 kaffir lime leaves or ½ teaspoon lime zest
1 salam leaf or bay leaf
3 13-ounce cans coconut milk

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Seed red chiles. Add red chile, galangal, garlic cloves, peppercorns, shallots, and turmeric to spice grinder. Grind until these spices become paste. Remove and discard upper ⅔rd of lemongrass stalk. Remove and discard the three outer layers. Dice remaining lemongrass. Cut beef into 1″ cubes.

Add spice paste and oil to work or large pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until paste becomes fragrant. Stir constantly. Add all remaining ingredients to wok. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 1 hour. Stir enough to prevent burning. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes or until the milky part of the liquid is gone, leaving a little bit of coconut oil. (Most of the liquid should be evaporated.) Stir enough to prevent burning. Simmer on low for another 15 minutes or until beef and sauce turn brown. Remove cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and kaffir lime leaves. Goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) The dish into the above picture is served on, well, a dish. The dish is round.

2) Why is it not square?

3 )Because you cannot roll something is square

4) Why does it matter if you can roll a dish? After all, if you rolled the above dish before you ate, you lost the food.

5) Clearly, the round shape was designed for something else in mind.

6) What was that?

7) One theory, advanced by culinary, archeologists, is that primitive caveman invented the stone FrisbeeTM.

8) They didn’t call it the Frisbee, of course. It’s named after the Frisbee Pie Company which sold its wares in round pie dishes.

9) Culinary historians believe most prehistoric companies were called Ogg, Inc. because nearly all cavemen were named Ogg. Cavewomen were called Ogg.

10) Therefore, these ancient humans probably named their invention the OggTM.

11) Isn’t surprising early humankind possessed the knowledge to incorporate and trademark things?

12) Alas though, the Ogg proved a dismal failure. If you didn’t catch it, it hit you in the head and that was that.

13) Indeed, culinary historians believe widespread Ogg playing extinguished the Neanderthals.

14) After a much briefer fling with the sport, the Cro Magnons abandoned Ogg tossing.

15) Tossing the Ogg around was supposed to be a fun leisure time activity. But making the circular Ogg took up all their free time. So, what was the point of making Oggs?

16) None, the Cro Magnons concluded. So, they went on to make spears, axes, animal skins, and the like. Humanity went on not quite a talc age, which is a bit below a golden age.

17) Throwing round things became a popular sport in Ancient Greek Olympics. Physically fit from throwing the much lighter and metallic Ogg–by then called the discus–Greeks explored the entire known world.

18) The Romans, inheritors of Greek civilization, conquered the entire Mediterranean and much of northwestern Europe. The Roman built roads to facilitate rapid deployment of legions from crisis point to another. And we all know, the Roman legionnaire loved to throw the discus.

19) The Roman army passed on discuss throwing to the natives wherever they went. The natives became buff as well. So, the Roman conquest proved to be quite the good thing for the locals once everybody got past the initial wholesale slaughter-and-enslavement phase. And ever since then we have lived in a round-thingy-throwing golden age.

20) But it’s sobering to think how the Cro Magnons, the last remaining branch of humankind, came to throwing themselves into extinction.

– 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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Medfouna

Moroccan Entree

MEDFOUNA
(Marrakech Pizza)

INGREDIENTS – DOUGH

2¼ teaspoons yeast
¾ cup warm water
1¾ cups all-purpose flour (4 more tablespoons later)
½ cup wheat flour or semolina
¾ teaspoon salt

INGREDIENTS – FILLING
1 onion
1 red chile
⅓ cup fresh parsley
1 teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt or salt (¼ teaspoon more later)
1 pound steak or lamb (minced or ground)

INGREDIENTS – FINAL

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (2 more tablespoons later)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg
¼ teaspoon sea salt or salt

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
plastic wrap or kitchen towels
baking sheet
parchment paper

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 45 minutes.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

Add yeast and warm water to 1st large mixing bowl. Stir with fork until yeasts dissolves. Let sit for 10 minutes or until yeast becomes bubbly. Gradually add in 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, wheat flour, and salt. Stir with fork until well blended. Use medium setting for electric beater on flour/yeast mix until you get a smooth and elastic ball of dough.

Divide dough into two equal balls. Place in bowls and cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towels. Let rise for 45 minutes or until dough doubles in size.

PREPARATION – FILLING

While dough rises. mince onion. Seed and dice red chile. Dice parsley. Add all filling ingredients to 2nd large mixing bowl. Mix well with hands until well blended.

PREPARATION – FINAL

Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Roll out one dough ball until it’s a circle 11″ across. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Put 11″ dough circle on parchment paper. Poke the circle 10 times with a fork. Spread filing over 11″ circle, leaving 1″ uncovered around the edges.

Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Roll out remaining dough ball into an 11″ circle. Place this 11″ dough circle on top of filling. Dip fingers in water and press edges together to form a seal. Beat egg. Spread egg on top. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 360 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) In 1801, William Playfair ordered medfouna in a small cafe in while in Marrakech. He sliced his pizza into four pieces. He ate a slice. It was delicious. Playfair gazed at the three remaining pieces. The proportion of the slices equaled the ratios of the Ottoman Empire that were in Europe, Asia, and Africa! He called his startling idea the “pizza-pie chart,” shortened afterward to “pie chart.”

2) You might think his idea would have sparked little interest among Britain’s scientific community. But no, that’s all the island nation’s greatest minds could talk about. They’d gone pie-chart mad.

4) So much so that the British scientists abandoned all research on the not as sexy topic of time travel. That’s too bad for King George III’s redcoats. For if Britain had had time travel, they could have gone forward to the 20th century and bought back machine guns, howitzers, jet fighters, and all sorts of bombers. It’s difficult to see how the French army of the early 19th century could have stood up to all of that, even with the element of surprise.

5) But the pie-chart mania precluded the development of all modern weaponry. The Napoleonic Wars dragged on for fourteen more bloody years. The British public blamed the pie chart. Whereas, pie charts were once found on every street in London, by 1816 they were all gone.

7) Pie charts came back during the Crimean War when Nurse Florence Nightingale taught the idea to her bandaged patients. It was her way of helping them pass the time. Pie charts died out when the war ended and Britain closed all its pie-chart hospitals in Crimea.

8) Pie charts remained unloved when World War II rolled around. With no pie charts to distract them, British boffins created one dazzling breakthrough after another, such as radar and the Spitfire. Enabled by this technology, the British defeated the Nazi War machine. Now, of course, we have both spiffy weapons and pie charts, but only because today’s scientists have learned to specialize.

– 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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