Posts Tagged With: European

Great Arctic Eats, Tromsø, Norway

Tromsø, Norway

Do you love to eat in a town with just the right amount of people, that is 68,000? Do you crave an bustling town with an invigorating night life? Do you absolutely need art, history, and fantastic scenery? Do you want to take classes at the world’s northernmost university? Are you okay with learning Norwegian to get free tuition? Do you want it all by being above the Arctic, yet experiencing a sub-Arctic climate? Is it essential that you dine on tasty food? Then, oh my gosh, Tromsø, Norway, is the place for you.
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Let’s visit Tromsø’s five best restaurants as TripAdvisor(tm).
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The must-go-to restaurant is Restaurant Smak. I want to go there. I want to go there. If you dine at Smak, please enjoy a meal for me and do let me know how you liked it. True, it’s a bit pricy, but I have never, no not ever, seen an Arctic restaurant with more glowing reviews than this establishment. People rave about the attentive servers and the high quality of their fresh food. The restaurant ensures the freshness of their ingredients by buying only food from the neighboring farms. It’s not surprising then, that Restaurant Smak gets a perfect 5.0 rating. Do try their Jerusalem artichoke soup, white asparagus, wild lamb, cod cheek and hot dogs. And for dessert, try their dill and caramel sorbet. Meals run from three-to-five courses and can take two hours, but the time will fly because everything at Restaurant Smak is good as it can be. I really want to go here.
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Winning the silver medal on our restaurant tour is Raketten. It is a hot-dog kiosk, but what a hot-dog kiosk! This small building serves such good food and has been such a mainstay to the community over the decades that the powers that be designated it an Important Cultural Monument. Can your local fast-food joint boast of a distinction like that? No, I didn’t think so. Keep a sharp lookout on Raketten as the outside line of dedicated hot-dog lovers can be over a hour. Sit by the nice, cozy fire and enjoy some gløgg, a hot punch made with red wine, brandy, sherry, almonds, raisins, and orange peels. What more do you need?  Or perhaps you prefer a delicious hot chocolate topped with marshmallows? Be sure to try their reindeer sausage. Is this a great town or what?
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Third place on our dining tour is Svermeri Kafe Og Redesign. The atmosphere is cozy and the staff is friendly and attentive. It serves delicious fish cakes and desserts. They really, really make fantastic soup and cakes. The number of reviews praising their soups and cakes is legion. I think I’d order their wild-blueberry pie. They even make gluten-friendly cakes. Don’t miss this place.
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We now visit Art Cafe. This is an all around good restaurant with pleasant lunches and fine dining at night. Art Cafe possesses a super cozy atmosphere and a friendly staff. The restaurant is decorated with authentic artistic decor which you may purchase. The jazz bar sounds nice as do the reasonable prices. Many tantalizing dishes abound including: reindeer stew, king crab soup, shrimp, mussels, Norwegian cheese, beef bourguignon, and Greek salad.
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We finish our culinary adventure at Mathallen. It’s named after Allen, the local high-school math teacher. No, not really. It does serve great Scandanavian and European dishes. Mathallen’s uses fresh ingredients from local sources. The waitstaff is pleasant and knowledge. All the food is brilliantly presented. Mathallen gives good value. Restaurant goers praise the seafood especially the herring, cod, salmon, and whale. Fans of meat really should go for their deer and reindeer steaks. And who could resist trying their ice cream made from sour cream and hazel/plum sauce? Don’t forget their satisfying local beer.
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Tromsø’s restaurants
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By far, the best two way to reach Tromsø are by plane and by car. (Although motoring can get exciting when the fog rolls in.) You could visit the town by cruise ship as well. However, you’d have to be extremely patient if you wish to get to there by train. The Norwegian government has been debating extending the rail network to Tromsø for decades. You’d do much better riding reindeer and even then who knows if they know the way?
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Go on the Fjord Excursion by RIB. For how could you possibly travel all the way to northern Norway and not visit the nation’s fjords up close. The guides on the speed boats are quite knowledgeable and the fjords spectacular. If lucky, you can see orcas, sea eagles, reindeer, and seals come near your boat. Well, maybe not the reindeer, they tend to stay on land. Dress warm, it can get cold and rainy out there. You might even experience a blizzard. Astoundingly, many  people really want to experience a blizzard on the sea. At any rate, hot chocolate and cinnamon buns await you at the end trip. Mmm.
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Be sure to go on Night Reindeer Sledding with Camp Dinner and Chance of Northern Lights. Well, the name tells you what to expect, doesn’t it? So don’t think the tour guides can guarantee you the Aurora Borealis. Ahem. The trip is organized even to the point of having lasso tossing and other activities before the tour even starts. Or maybe just drink hot chocolate they serve. Until you go to where it’s really cold, you won’t appreciate how wonderful hot chocolate can be. But this excursion really is tailor made for reindeer lovers. Reindeer pull your sled! Your feed the reindeer! The reindeer feed you! Wow! Wow! Sure, the reindeer feed you from a limited menu, but they feed you! Okay, enough exclamation points. Dinner is a traditional reindeer stew served at major celebrations. Can you get that amazing dish at your local drive through? No, I didn’t think so. And learn about Swami history and culture from the pleasant Swami guides. I want to go on this one.
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People with not enough time to get out of town should make their way to the Polar Museum. There might be no better place in the world to learn about legendary polar leaders and expeditions. Learn about fishing and hunting expeditions to even farther north Svalbard. (Warning to animal right activists, this really isn’t a place you’d want to visit.) Others will want to see a trapper’s hut and the objects needed for Arctic survival. You can even learn the truth about polar bears wandering the streets of Tromsø. Egad, that sounds ominous. Probably isn’t though. Probably. At any rate, I want to head out to Tromsø even more
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Tourists with not much time, especially seal lovers, will want to visit Polaria. It’s a cozy place with the emphasis. See seals frolic up close. Try to get there for the seal feedings. Spend the money and feed the seals yourself. What fun! Polaria fills their aquariums with fishes and plants you won’t find anywhere else.
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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

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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Italian Sub

American Entree

ITALIAN SUB

INGREDIENTS

1 Italian sub roll* or ⅓ baguette
2 tablespoons olive oil
1½ ounces sliced capicola
1½ ounces mortadella
1½ ounces Genoa salami
1½ ounces provolone
1 leaf iceberg lettuce, shredded (optional)
1 Roma tomato (optional)
¼ red onion (optional)

* Sub rolls can be made crunchy by putting them in a toaster oven. Use “toast” setting for 1 minute.

Serves 1. Takes 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut Italian roll in half lengthwise. Drizzle both halves with olive oil. Add capicola, mortadella, and Genoa salami to bottom half of the roll. Put provolone on top of meat. Sprinkle iceberg lettuce on provolone. Cut Roma tomato lengthwise into 4 slices. Place tomato slices on lettuce. Thinly slice the red onion. Place red-onion slices on tomato slices. Put top half of sub roll on tomato slices. And Bob’s your uncle.

TIDBITS

1) In 1794, Signor Fabio Grimaldi of Florence develops the world’s first USB port. Nothing happens. The invention comes way ahead of its time. There are no computers, absolutely no place to put a USB port. There are even no memory sticks to go into the USB port.

2) And anyway Napoleon’s invasion of Italy in 1796 signals the start of nearly non-stop fighting across the European continent. Scientific investigation ends except for Signor Gabelli’s single attempt to build a under water fighting vessel made from bread. This sub research ends in frustration.

3) In 1903 Giovanni Amati makes the first edible Italian sub. It’s too big for Grimaldi’s USB port which unfortunately was tied to a kite’s tail and was blown away, lost forever.

4) But this sub was roughly the right shape. In 1955, for reasons which have been lost, Sarah Marston baked a tiny stick like sub. The dyslexic Sarah called it a USB stick.. Her husband the wine drinker munched on the stick and declared, “It needs port.” Of course, he meant port, the wine, but he had once raised again the USB-port idea. This vision was bound to grow again in the mind of science geeks everywhere. And it did. Today, every computer comes with USB ports and memory sticks. Now you know.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

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

Drunken Cheeseburgers

American Entree

DRUNKEN CHEESEBURGERS

INGREDIENTS

4 garlic cloves
1 pound ground beef (80%) or ground chuck
2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon, Marsala, or red wine
1 red onion or sweet onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 sesame hamburger buns
⅔ cup grated cheddar cheese
¼ cup fresh basil leaves

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Dice garlic cloves. Add garlic and ground beef to large mixing bowl. Mix by hand. Form 4 patties by hand. Pour wine over patties. Cover and marinate in refrigerate for 2 hours. While patties marinate, thinly slice onion. Add onion and olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until softens. Remove onion slices from pan and place on plate covered with paper towel. Keep olive oil in pan.

Add patties to large pan. Cover and fry patties at medium heat for 5 minutes. Flip patties, cover, and fry for 3 minutes or until patties are cooked nearly to your desired level of doneness. Sprinkle cheese over each patty and fry for another 2 minutes or until cheese melts. While patties fry, toast buns. Place patty on bottom hamburger bun. Add patty. Carefully ladle 1½ tablespoons marinade onto patty. Top with 1 tablespoon basil leaves. Add top hamburger bun.

TIDBITS

1) Brynne Chandler was born a peasant girl in Nevers, France on November 2, 1755. the same day as Marie Antoinette . Because of their great beauty, Brynne and Marie became European fashion models. Then Marie up and became queen of France. Bereft of her modeling companion, Brynne naturally pursued quantum physics. Brynne did well in her new career. She even discovered how to run faster than the speed of light. Indeed, she holds the world record for the mile, .0000056 seconds.

2) Things went differently for Marie Antoinette. Her lavish spending bankrupted the French monarchy. The impoverish monarchy fell. Marie found herself at a guillotine on October 16, 1793. Brynne protested. “No, no, no.” Our heroine rushed the guillotine intending the save the queen. Unfortunately, she ran at the speed of light. It was at this point that our plucky soul discovered that time halted for her while staying same for the French revolutionaries. When Brynne stopped running, she found herself in the year 2017. “Well, that won’t happen again,” said Brynne.. So she took up cooking with wine. All drunken dishes, including drunken chicken and drunken cheeseburgers are inspired by her trail blazing culinary spirit. Brynne says she’s no longer even tempted to run as fast of the speed of light. Olympic runners, aspiring to set records, are grateful.

Chef Paul

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

Tucuman Empanadas

Argentinian Entree

TUCUMAN EMPANADAS

INGREDIENTS – DOUGHEmpanada-

¾ cup lard or shortening (⅓ cup more later)
5 cups flour
3 teaspoons salt
⅔ cup water

INGREDIENTS – FILLING

¾ pound rump or tenderloin steak
⅔ cup chopped green onion
1 medium white onion
⅓ cup lard or shortening
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSIL

8″ x 13″ casserole dish

Makes 4 empanadas. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

Melt ¾ cup lard in skillet using low heat. Add flour and salt to large mixing bowl. Blend with large spoon. Use spoon to make hole in middle of dough. Slowly pour melted lard into hole. Gradually add water while mixing ingredients together by hand until you get a smooth and pliable dough. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes

PREPARATION – FILLING

While dough sits, cut steak into ½” cubes. Mince green onion and white onion. Melt ⅓ cup lard in large skillet using medium heat. Add white onion. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until white onion softens. Stir frequently. Add steak cubes, green onion, cumin, paprika, pepper, and salt. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes or until meat browns. Stir occasionally.

PREPARATION – FINAL

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Roll out dough until it is ½” thick. Cut dough into 6″ circles. (You should get about 4 dough circles after you formed the scraps from the initial cutting into more circles.) Add ½ cup filling to the middle of each dough circle. Brush edges of each circle with water. Fold one edge of each circle to the opposite edge. Seal the rounded edges by pressing down on them with a fork.

Spray casserole dish with no-stick spray. Bake empanadas at 475 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 400 degrees. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until empanadas turn golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) Tucuman empanadas is anagram for the ancient Mayan saying, “Map man, cut a sundae.”

2) Mayan sundaes are delicious. You must have excellent whipping cream to make a wonderful sundae. Most people put cow milk in a bowl to make whipping cream. The olden-day Mayans lifted cows onto their shoulders and hopped from one foot to another until whipped cream came out the cows’ udders.

3) The adventuresome conquistadors, however, were too weak to shake cows. The Spanish warriors needed the strong backs of the Mayan. Which is why they conquered the Mayan peninsula.

4) The conquered natives did not get any of the cow-shaken cream. They did not get the Mayan milk shakes. They did not get enough calories to wage war on their neighbors.

5) The Spanish soldiers, on the other hand, received enough calories to do anything, including growing big bellies. Cortés, physical fitness instructor for Governor Velázquez grimaced every time he saw the paunchy conquistadors wheezing their way back from the many sundae shops.

6) Something had to be done. Señor Cortés knew he had little job security. One word from Velázquez and faster than teenagers eat their family meal he’d be out of a job. And just try to get another physical-fitness job from the other fifteenth-century European monarchs. So Cortés seized power when Governor Velázquez went on a Club MedTM vacation.

7) Cortés ordered the Spanish soldiers to attack the Aztec Empire to the west. They refused.

8) “The Aztecs have chocolate.” The conquistadors sighed. “Ooh, chocolate.” Everyone knew that chocolate sundaes were even tastier than the plain vanilla ones. Cortés brandished his sword above his head. “Their streets are paved in chocolate. Will you follow me?” Well of course they did, I mean chocolate.

9) The long arduous trek to the Aztec capital burned off many calories. The incessant fighting made them even fitter. The Spanish soldiers developed washboard-flat stomachs and buns of steel. The buff Conquistadors made all the European señoritas swoon with delight.

10) Naturally, the soldiers of France, Spain, Portugal became jealous. They wanted honeys of their own. They pestered their monarchs until they too got sent over to the New World to engage in conquest and other forms of aerobic exercise.

11) Things are not so violent now that we have workout DVDs.

– 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, humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mumu From Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinean Entree

MUMU

INGREDIENTSMumu-

8 ounces carrots or 2 medium
8 ounces sweet potatoes or 1 large
8 ounces banana or 1½ medium
8 ounces papaya or ½ medium
4 ounces spinach
12 ounces pork
6 ounces peas or similar green vegetable
12 ounces chicken
1 or 2 banana leaves or cabbage leaves* (enough to cover pot)
20 ounces coconut cream total (5 times at ¼ cup) or 2 14-ounces cans coconut milk.

Makes 6 bowls. Takes 2 hours.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

outdoor grill
grill-safe pot and lid

PREPARATION – COCONUT CREAM (If you can’t find it in stores.)

Chill coconut milk cans in refrigerator for 24 hours. Open cans and scoop out the thick cream on the top. Keep 20 ounces, or 2½ cups, of coconut cream. Use the rest of the coconut cream and the liquid in the bottom of the cans to make coconut-based smoothies

PREPARATION – ONCE YOU HAVE COCONUT CREAM.

Wash and peel carrots, sweet potatoes, banana, and papaya. Remove papaya seeds. Chop carrots, sweet potatoes, pork, bananas, papaya, peas, and chicken into 1″ cubes.

This dish is made with 5 layers. Spread ingredients evenly for each layer. Top each layer with ¼ cup of coconut cream. Make the first layer by adding carrot and sweet potato to pot. Make the second layer by adding pork. Make the third layer by adding banana and papaya. Make the fourth layer by adding chicken. Make the fifth layer by adding peas and spinach. Top everything with banana leaves.

Cover pot and place on grill. Never stir ingredients. Grill on medium heat for 15 minutes or until you see juices bubble. Reduce heat on grill to low and simmer for 1-to-1½ hours or until everything is done to your liking. Okay, okay, you’ll to take a fork and peek and the doneness of the various layers, but no stirring.

TIDBITS

1) The stability of the entire world is threatened by an emerging superpower, Papua New Guinea. Hah, you say. Where is Papua New Guinea? North of Australia. What does it produce? Rain and mud, according to Allied soldiers fighting there in World II. What could such a country do? Buy a lot of SPAM or … conquer the Pacific Ocean.

How? I’m glad you asked. Culinary historians know the best mud for beauty care comes from Papua New Guinea, or PNG. The demand for this mud in American and European spas grows fantastically every year. Soon, PNG will be awash with the world’s money. PNG can then allocate its new billions to buy used aircraft carriers, fighter planes, bombers, tanks, and landing craft listed irresponsibly on eBay.

2) This is where the nightmare starts PNG has a population of 4,600,000. (I counted them twice last Tuesday.) Even if the country puts just 10% of its people in the military, it will have a striking force of 460,000. Who has the population, the might to stop them? Not neighboring Nauru with its tiny population of 11,000 and maybe soldiers.

3) Emboldened by this easy conquest, Tuvalu, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, and Tonga, with their combined population of 260,000 will fall like leaves in a Wisconsin autumn. This disaster will have worldwide ramifications. Does anyone doubt the Palauan contingent keeping the peace in The Land of Oz will remain under such dire circumstances? No, they will go home to fight a war of liberation. The whole idea of UN peace-keeping forces will unravel. Minor skirmishes will become full fledged regional wars. So it goes.

4) Soon, Micronesia and Vanuatu will topple. I don’t know much about them so let’s move onto the Solomon Islands and Fiji–biggish but still smaller than PNG. We cannot let these two nations fall. We cannot let PNG monopolize the best snorkeling sites in the world. Have you snorkeled at Key Largo? Well, let me tell you, the snorkeling at Fiji is much better. And by the way, conquest of these countries would enable PNG to block all airborne and seaborne trade across the Pacific. The snorkeling industry and the world economy would collapse.

5) What can Americans do? Simple. Use local mud! Cut off the funds for PNG’s drive for conquest. Insist on backyard mud whenever your toddler makes you a mud pie. Be sure to ask for good ol’ American mud when getting a mud treatment at your spa. It’s good for your face. It’s good for the world.

6) Use the blank space at the bottom of this page to make a mud drawing. Do other cookbooks let you do this? No, I don’t think so.

– 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

Powegian Breakfast Burrito

Fusion Entree

POWEGIAN BREAKFAST BURRITO

INGREDIENTSPowayBreakfastBurrito-

½ white onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 eggs (1 more egg later)
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles

½ pound sliced ham
1 tomato
1 pound Italian pork sausage
1 cup chipotle salsa
1 cup grated four Mexican cheeses
18 8″ flour tortillas
1 egg

SPECIAL UTENSIL

9″ x 12″ casserole dish

Makes 18 burritos or a saner 9 burritos with the amount of ingredients halved. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mince onion. Dice tomato. Cut ham slices into ½” squares. Add onion and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté onion on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add eggs and diced green chiles. Sauté on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until eggs reach your desired level of doneness. Stir constantly. Remove from heat.

Cut ham into 1″ squares. Dice tomato. Add ham squares, pork sausage, and chipotle salsa to large pot. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until thoroughly warm. Stir occasionally. Add tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add cheese. Stir until well blended.

Combine egg/chiles with sausage/cheese/tomatoes mix. Place ⅓ cup of combined mixture on middle, bottom third of tortillas. Fold bottom of tortilla over mixture. Fold in sides until they touch. Roll up tortillas from the bottom to make burrito.

Put egg in small dish. Whisk egg. Brush all burritos with whisked egg. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until egg on top of burritos is golden brown and burritos begin to brown.

TIDBITS

1) Eating sausages 5,000 years ago enabled the ancient Sumerians to establish the world’s first advanced civilization.

2) The mighty sausage was first mentioned in the play “The Sausage” written by Epimarchus a really, really long time ago. The play got lost, however, and culinary drama disappeared for a really long time. (Note: really, really long time is longer than a really long time.)

3) Aristophanes, the dude from 5th-century B.C., mentioned sausages in one of his plays. Of course, mentioning sausages is not as good or powerful as writing an entire play about this amazing, meaty delicacy.

4) Culinary tragedy struck in the fourth century A.D., when the Catholic Church banned the eating of sausages as being sinful.

5) Church leaders had noticed the barbarians hordes that were carving up the Roman Empire ate sausages at their festivals. Therefore, sausages were ungodlyl.

6) Historians, often wonder why such spirited warfare existed between the barbarians and the Roman Empire as both peoples possessed sausages. Why fight someone else for something you already have?

7) The Catholic Church, over the years, relaxed its stance on sausage eating, banning it only on Fridays.

8) Arabs burst out of the Arabian peninsula in 632 A.D.. Fired by strong religious belief and fortified with beef sausages, they conquered North Africa, Spain, Sicily, and the Middle East.

9) Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg. Normal historians take this to be the start of the Reformation which split Christian church into Catholic and Protestant ones. Culinary historians speculate that if Martin Luther had only been able to eat sausages without guilt, he would have been devouring this wonderful entree to his heart’s content. Full of sausage-induced good will, he couldn’t have possibly mustered up the rage to write even two theses, let alone ninety five. The Christian church would still be one and horrors of the Thirty Years War, 1618-1648, fought between Protestant and Catholic Europe would never have happened.

10) Sausage-eating Protestants and six-out-of-seven-days-a-week Catholics built vast colonial empires starting from the 1500s. These empires fell apart during the mid-twentieth century when the European nations switched from consuming vast amounts of sausages to more trendy things such as sushi, salmon quesadillas, and specialty coffees.

12) Vatican II led many Catholics to believe that eating meat on Fridays is okay. The world has not had a major war since then.

13) “To retain respect for sausages and laws, one must not watch them in the making.”
– German chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898).

14) “War without fire is like sausages without mustard.”
– King Henry V.

15) “The dog’s kennel is no place to keep a sausage.”
-Danish proverb

16) “Yum.”
-me

– 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 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The New Global Threat

The stability of the entire world is threatened by an emerging superpower, Papua New Guinea.PapuaNewGuinea1

Hah, you say. Where is Papua New Guinea? North of Australia. What does it produce? Rain, mud, and documentaries about newly discovered stone-age tribes within its borders.

What could such a country do? Buy a lot of SPAM or … conquer the Pacific Ocean.

How? I’m glad you asked. Everyone knows the best mud for beauty care comes from Papua New Guinea, or PNG. The demand for this mud in American and European spas grows fantastically every year. Soon, PNG will be awash with the world’s money. PNG can then allocate its new billions to buy used aircraft carriers, fighter planes, bombers, tanks, and landing craft listed irresponsibly on eBay.

This is where the nightmare starts PNG has a population of 4,600,000. (I counted them twice.) Even if it puts just 10% of its people in the military, it will have a striking force of 460,000. Who has the population, the might to stop them? Not neighboring Nauru with its tiny population of 11,000 and maybe soldiers.

Emboldened by this easy conquest, Tuvalu, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, and Tonga, with their combined population of 260,000 will fall like leaves in a Wisconsin autumn. This disaster will have worldwide ramifications. Does anyone doubt the Palauan contingent keeping the peace in South Ruritania will remain under such dire circumstances? No, they will go home to fight a war of liberation. The whole idea of UN peace-keeping forces will unravel. Minor skirmishes will become full fledged regional wars. So it goes.

Soon, Micronesia and Vanuatu will topple. I don’t know much about them so let’s move onto the Solomon Islands and Fiji–biggish but still smaller than PNG. We cannot let these two nations fall. We cannot let PNG monopolize the best snorkeling sites in the world. Have you snorkeled at Key Largo? Well, let me tell you, the snorkeling at Fiji is much better. And by the way, conquest of these countries would enable PNG to block all airborne and seaborne trade across the Pacific. The snorkeling industry and the world economy would collapse.

What can Americans do? Simple. Cut off the funds for PNG’s drive for conquest. Whenever getting a mud treatment at your local spa, be sure to ask for good ol’ American mud. It’s good for your face. It’s good for world peace.

– Correspondent Paul

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paella

Spanish Entree

PAELLA

INGREDIENTSpaella-

l pound large shrimp
4 chicken breasts
½ pound chorizo sausage links
5 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
1 red bell pepper
4 Roma tomatoes
½ teaspoon paprika
2 ½ tablespoons parsley
½ teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon lemon juice (additional 1/4 cup later)
1 tablespoon olive oil (additional 1 tablespoon later)

1 cup water
7 cups chicken stock
½ teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 lemon
2 ½ cups short rice

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Dutch oven
sonic obliterator

PREPARATION

Peel shrimp, leaving tails. Cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Cut chorizo sausage links into 1″ slices. Devein shrimp. Mince garlic cloves. Dice onion, red bell pepper, and tomatoes. Make spice blend by adding garlic, paprika, parsley, thyme, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon olive oil to mixing bowl. Blend with whisk. (There is a lot of prep work here. Be sure to strike a heroic pose while mentioning this to guests.)

Add water, chicken stock, and saffron threads to large Dutch oven. Blend with whisk. Bring to boil on high heat. Add rice. Stir occasionally. Cook on low-medium heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent rice on bottom from burning. Be sure to keep Dutch oven covered when not stirring. This helps cook the rice on top.

While rice cooks, add onion, bell pepper, chicken and second tablespoon of olive oil to large skillet. Sauté onion, bell pepper, and chicken for 2 minutes on medium-high heat. Stir occasionally. Remove chicken and set aside. Add chorizo to skillet. Sauté chorizo for 2 minutes or until chorizo browns. Remove chorizo and set aside.

When rice is done, add chicken, chorizo, sautéed onion, bell pepper, tomato, and spice blend from mixing bowl to Dutch oven. Reduce temperature to low and simmer for 8 minutes. Stir occasionally.

While chicken/chorizo/rice mix simmers, add shrimp to skillet. Sauté shrimp to 2 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove shrimp and set aside. Add shrimp tail-side up to Dutch oven. Simmer on low for 2 minutes or until shrimp has turned orange and is no longer translucent. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup lemon juice. Garnish with lemon wedges.

This is an expensive dish. Use sonic obliterator on anyone who doesn’t appreciate it.

TIDBITS

1) “Paella” is the Spanish word for “paella.”

2) More Spanish people live in Spain than in any other country. A good way to become Spanish is to have Spanish parents give birth to you there.

3) Sevenish means around seven o’clock. However, Spanish does not mean around Span o’ clock.

4) Rabbits like to frolic at seven o’clock. Indeed, the word Spain came from the word Ispania, which means the Land of the Rabbits.

5) Someone in Spain invented the mop. You will lose a tooth if an angry rabbit hits you with a mop. Be sure to put that tooth under your pillow at night, so Ratoncito Perez, the tooth mouse, will see it and give you money.

6) Mice do not play tennis, not even in Spain, but the Spaniard Rafael Nidal does. He has an asteroid belt named after him.

7) Spain is the only European country to produce bananas. It also has bullfighting. Coincidence? It would seem so as Iceland grows bananas but has no bullfighting.

8) In Barcelona, on St George’s Day , 23 April, sweethearts take a break from going to bullfights and exchange books and roses with each other instead.

9) On May 15th all the senoritas in Madrid head to the chapel called Ermita de San Isidro to prick their fingers with pins. They put the pin in a vessel. This will get them a husband. And if the husband misbehaves they can point to the bloody pin as a warning.

10) If pricking your finger is not your thing, consider going to the town of Buñol for La Tomatina. It’s the best food festival in the world and is held every last Wednesday in August. People descend on this Spanish village to eat tomatoes and throw them at each other. What more could you want?

– 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

Key-Lime Pie

American Dessert

KEY LIME PIE

INGREDIENTSKeyLimePie-

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice
4 egg yolks
1 8″ graham-cracker crust.
1 can whipped cream

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric blender

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Add condensed milk, key lime juice, and egg yolks to mixing bowl. Blend with electric blender set to “whip” or “cream” until well blended. Pour mixture into graham-cracker crust. Bake pie in oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the pie’s center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours.  Note, key lime pies made with real key lime juice are not green. Add whipped cream if desired. Or even lots and lots of whipped cream.

TIDBITS

1) Contrary to what I would have wished the Key Lime did not come from Key West nor even Key Largo. I researched this by going to Key West and by watching the 1948 movie, Key Largo. Key Largo starred Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Edward G. Robinson. None of these actors ate even a single Key Lime during the entire movie. After the movie? No one knows.

2) Key Limes were first grown in Southern Asia. Historians will tell you that Key Limes made their way to Spain, presumably by hitchhiking as these fruits don’t have legs. Actually, I doubt the whole hitchhiking theory as Key Limes do not have thumbs. You can tell they don’t just by looking at the tiny yellowish-green thingies.

3) Ship crews liked the take Key Limes as the fruit was high in vitamin C and prevented scurvy. Christopher Columbus took Key Limes on his voyages of discovery to the Americas. Indeed, culinary historians praise Spain for the bringing health-enhancing Key Lime to the New World.

4) Do other historians laud the European discoverers? Not so much, pointing to endless wars of conquest by the Spanish conquistadors, Old World diseases that decimated indigenous populations, and wholesale enslavement of the local tribes. Indeed, Europe didn’t balance things with the natives until they brought the hamburger to America in the 19th century. Kinda like a do-over.

– 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 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kenyan Coconut-Milk Plantain Recipe

Kenyan Entree

COCONUT-MILK PLANTAINS

INGREDIENTSCocoMilkPlan-

4 completely ripe plantains
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 3/4 cups coconut milk

PREPARATION

Peel plantains. Cut plantains in round slices no thicker than 1/4″ inch. Combine all ingredients (head ‘em up, move ‘em out) into soup pot. Simmer on low heat for 30-to-40 minutes or until the plantains are tender and have absorbed all the coconut milk. Stir occasionally to ensure that all the plantain slices get covered with liquid. Serve hot. If not, serve cold.

TIDBITS

1) Cinnamon is truly a happening spice.

2) True cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka. Powdered cinnamon sold in America is usually not true cinnamon. Instead is really cassia, a similar tasting spice. Fret not, the sky is not falling. You can buy cinnamon sticks and grind your own cinnamon. Take back cinnamon! Yeah!

3) Cinnamon smells great. Indeed, God told Moses (Exodus 30: 22-33). to make holy anointing oil out of cinnamon, cassia, olive oil, myrrh, and scented cane.

4) The ancient folks scurrying around the Mediterranean and points east believed in the Cinnamon Bird. The Cinnamon Bird lived in Arabia and built its nest with cinnamon which it got from parts unknown.

5) The Arabians left heavy chunks of meat on the ground. The Cinnamon Birds would take the meat back to their nest. The weight of the meat would cause the cinnamon nests to fall to the ground. Of course, they could have accomplished the same thing by throwing bowling balls in these birds’ nest, assuming the sons of the desert had bowling balls way back then.

6) The ancient Roman, Pliny the Elder, debunked the myth of the Cinnamon Bird. Nothing got past old Pliny.

7) Economist alert! One ounce of cinnamon could get you fifteen ounces of silver in Roman times. Kinda made having cinnamon toast a special occasion.

8) During the Middle Ages, your social level was determined by the number of spices you had. Hee, hee, I’m fabulously rich! Oh wait, I’m not living in the Middle Ages. Dang it, where’s my time machine?

9) For centuries, European nations fought wars over who would control Ceylon’s, Sri Lanka back then, supplies of cinnamon. A bit like Black Friday at WalmartTM.

10) For a long time I thought Marshall Crenshaw’s song, “Cynical Girl,” was really “Cinnamon Girl.” It changed the meaning somewhat.

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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