Posts Tagged With: extinction

Pudim de Coco (Coconut Pudding)

East Timorese

PUDIM DE COCO
(Coconut Pudding)

INGREDIENTS

1¾ cups sugar
5 eggs
2 cups coconut milk
2½ tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons coconut flakes (optional)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

6-to-8 cups baking dish or casserole dish
9″ x 13″ casserole dish* (Must be longer and wider than baking dish)
sonic obliterator

Serves 6. Takes 1 hours 20 minutes plus 6 hours in refrigerator.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add sugar to pan. Melt sugar using low-medium heat until it begin to melt. Stir enough to keep sugar from burning and clumping. Reduce heat to low and continue warming sugar until it melts completely and turns a caramel brown. Stir constantly. Remove immediately from heat. (Don’t let it solidify.) Pour this caramelized sugar right away into baking dish. Smooth it with spatula.

Add eggs to mixing bowl. Blend eggs thoroughly with whisk. Add coconut milk and cornstarch. Mix with whisk until this custard becomes smooth. Ladle mixture over caramelized sugar. Put baking dish into casserole dish. Add hot water until it is 1″ high in the casserole dish. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of pudding comes out clean.

Loosen pudding by sliding spatula around the edges and, as far as possible, the bottom. Put plate on top of casserole dish. Carefully turn casserole dish and plate upside down. Tap casserole dish with knife. Say a brief prayer. Lift casserole dish. Pudding should come out cleanly onto plate. Spoon liquid caramel on plate onto the caramel already on top of pudding.

Let sit in refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. If desired, garnish with coconut flakes. Serve to adoring guests. Use sonic obliterator on any guest who gives you guff in any way. You cannot afford to let any threat or insult to your authority as chef go unchallenged.

TIDBITS

1) Many of you would look at the picture for this recipe and declare, “Why someone has hungry. That person was too tempted by the dessert to wait for the chef to take a photo for the cookbook.” And you would be right.

2) Many others. gazing at the photo would say, “Why it looks like a tiny square was taken from a larger square. If only high school geometry had been as tasty.” And you too would be right.

3) But these reasons are not the reason this picture touches your soul so deeply, why it speaks so strongly to your innermost self, why you feel the spirits of generations after generations of primitive ancestors dating back to Olduvai George whispering in your inner ear.

4) Go back into the distant mists of time when Lucy of Olduvai Gorge, your great, great, great, great, . . ., really, really great grandmother saw dust sweeping down, down the gorge to her.

5) Then Lucy heard thundering getting ever closer.

6) She, of course, saw the dust before she heard the accompanying thunder. For light travels at 3 * 10^8 meters per second and sound at 3 * 10^3 meters per second.

7) It is doubtful that Lucy fully grasped the concept of relative velocities. Culinary scientists even discount the notion that Lucy even knew about scientific notion. It is certain, though, that either she never developed the Theory of Relativity or if she had, that she never published it.

8) Oh my gosh, while I speculated about Lucy’s scientific achievements, the dust-shrouded herd got really close. Run, Lucy, run!

9) But the soul of a lion beat in Lucy’s heart. She picked up a stone and hurled it at middle of the dusty cloud. (This is, by the way, the real genesis of the sport of baseball. Now you know.)

10) A creature in the herd shrieked in pain. The thundering stopped. The dust settled. Thousands upon thousands of panting coconut puddings became gradually clearer. “What are they?” wondered Lucy. She gazed at the dead coconut pudding. “Is it edible? I hope so. I’m ever so hungry. And all I ever get to eat are thistlewort berries. I shall eat this meat.”

12) She tore a remarkably square section out of the dead, square coco pudding and ate. She looked at what remained. The photo for this recipe bears an uncanny resemblance to what Lucy saw those millions of years ago.

13) “It tastes great,” shouted Lucy. Her tribe raced toward her. “Eat these squares, eat them. They’re ever so yummy.” And they did. They felt full for the first time ever. Even though they couldn’t articulate the concept, they just knew they had ingested sufficient caloric intake to leave the gorge, leave Africa, and spread humanity all over the Earth. It was the dawning of the Age of Humanity.

14) Unfortunately, the first humans fed themselves almost completely on herds of coco puddings, so much so that coco puddings became extinct. But the hankering for coco pudding never went away. It just went dormant for eons until the Age of Discovery started in the fourteenth century. Fueled by the need for a vegetarian version of coco pudding, European monarchs starting with Henry the Navigator dispatched fleet after fleet in search of sugar, coconut milk, and coconut flakes. They’d eventually find these ingredients. Humanity would once again live in a culinary golden age.

15) Oh, and in doing, we’d chart the entire world. And we owe it all to brave Little Lucy.

– 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

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.

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

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