Posts Tagged With: French

How To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse

Zombies like brains, right? So always make sure that you have a supply of brains on hand. Where do you get these brains? In French restaurants. These places always serve cerveaux d’agneau, or lamb’s brains.

So when the zombie apocalypse begins, hop on the first plane to France and stampede  the nearest restaurant. Ask for steak au poivre vert for yourself,  it’s delicious!, Don’t forget, though, to  order lamb brains to go. When the zombies shuffle toward you, simply hand them your cerveaux d’agneau. Your undead attackers will appreciate avoiding the messy and tedious business of cracking open your skull to get to your brains. They will surely also savor the exquisite combination of spices that every French chef lovingly adds to his creations. An apocalypse is no reason to stop being a loving, giving person.

Bon appétit

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Nidi di Rondini

San Marinese

NIDI DI RONDINI

INGREDIENTS

1 12-ounce package lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup marinara sauce (⅓ cup more later)
1¼ cups grated mozzarella
½ pound prosciutto or deli-sliced ham
⅓ cup marinara sauce
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

SPECIAL UTENSILS

8″-x-8″ casserole dish
kitchen scissors or scissors
aluminum foil

Serves 5. Takes 1 hours 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions on package. (Do not let noodles stick together. You might need to cook them in batches.) Drain noodles. Spray flat surface. Place lasagna noodles flat on flat surface. (Do not let them touch each other.)

While noodles cook, add butter to pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Gradually add in flour. Stir frequently until well blended. Gradually add milk until the sauce thickens. Stir frequently. Add salt. Stir until blended. This is the bechamel sauce. Remove pan from heat.

Pour ⅔ cup marinara sauce into casserole dish. Smooth with spatula. Spread bechamel sauce evenly over all the noodles. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over the bechamel sauce. Place proscuitto strips over the bechamel-mozzarella lasagna noodles. (If necessary, trim or fold prosciutto strips so that they are narrower than the noodles.)

Roll up lasagna noodles so that they form a tight cylinder. Place lasagna cylinders upright and close together in casserole dish. (If necessary, place wadded-up balls of tin foil in casserole dish to keep lasagna cylinders from falling over.) Make four ½” cuts at the top of each lasagna cylinders. Pull the lasagna between the cuts down and out a bit. so that they look like rose petals.

Drizzle ⅓ cup marinara sauce over the lasagna cylinders. Sprinkle cylinders with Parmesan cheese. (Not so much that you can’t see the rose-petal design of the lasagna cylinders.) Bake for 35 minutes or until the tops of the cylinders turn crisp and golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) Nidi di rondini tastes great. Anyone making this entree will be immediately be hailed as an amazing chef and host.

2) If you are up for a Nobel Prize, you would do well to serve this dish to the judges.

3) As of press time, it is not illegal to do this.

4) So, what are you waiting for?

5) Nidi di rondini comes from the great, but tiny country of San Marino.

6) Despite being the size of a rather large postage stamp (24 square miles, 61 square kilometers), the San Marinese have preserved their independence for 1,816 years.

7) The above number is accurate as of the time of writing. Please increase the above number by one for every year after 2021.

8) Anyway, how did this tiny country maintain its independence from many other countries with much bigger armies such as: the Roman Empire, the Papal States, the French Empire under Napoleon, Italy, and Hitler’s Germany?

9) Simple. As culinary historians will tell you, soldiers with red hair make the fiercest warriors in the world. San Marino has always had fighting redheads. The chefs of this happy land commemorates their heroes with these rolled-up lasagna rolls topped with marinara sauce.

10) However, the most famous fighters in the world come from Scotland. Neighboring England failed for centuries to conquer the Scots, The English armies quailed, broke ranks and fled in terror whenever they caught sight of all that Scottish red hair.

11) The only success the English had came from their archers. But, of course, the archers were to far away to see the hair color of the Scottish pikemen.

12) One wonders why the English army never colored their hair red. Then the Scottish warriors would have fled whenever came in contact with the English.

13) What if? What if all the countries of the world made their soldiers die their hair?

14) All armies fear fighting fierce redheads. With all armies comprised of gingers, no army would dare attacking any other.

15) Peace would break out.

16) There you have it. Dye the hair of all combatants red.

17) I see a Nobel Peace Prize in my future, as long as I remember to serve nidi di rondini to the judges.

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Great Arctic Eats – Archangelsk, Russia

Great Arctic Eats – Archangelsk

Do you like to eat well, but you’re an introvert? Do you find social distancing difficult in your crowded, bustling metropolis? Well, I have the place for you. It’s Archangel in northern Russia. It’s perfect for those who can’t find authentic Russian cuisine near their home and absolutely have to turn the thermostat down whenever the office gets above 40 degrees.
As of press time, Archangelsk’s population was 351,000. The temperature was 12º F.
°
SPECIAL NEW FEATURE! Top rated restaurant that delivers: Presto/Presto Pizzeria. Click here for menu.
°
SPECIAL NEW FEATURE! Top rated restaurant with outdoor seating: Paratov Club & Restaurant
.
If you traveled to Russia to get an authentic Russian meal, by all means, make your way to Velvet. People love this restaurant; I can tell by its good ratings. However, what customers raved about is a mystery to me as all the comments are in Russian. Commenting in Russian for the Russian restaurants seems to be a thing for the inhabitants of Archangelsk. It’s quite likely this occurs from the nearly all Russian population of Archangelsk. By the way, the Russian language has a word for everything.
°
However, the best restaurant in Angelesk is El Fuego. It’s a Latin Steakhouse where they serve amazing food. No, Latin does not mean the menus are in Latin and that the waiters speak Latin. Rather, this establishment serves Latin American specialties.
°
Fine diners who meant to fly to the French Riviera, but accidentally boarded a plane to arctic Archangelsk, can at least feast on Mediterranean fare at restaurant Rika where they serve beautiful food at a great price. Although you may wish to sample Restaurant Pochtovaya Kontora 1786. It also serves Mediterranean cuisine. However this restaurant is known for good food AND comfy seats. With all that, I am at a loss to know why Poctovaya Kontora 1786 doesn’t score higher than Rika.
º
Hungry travelers who meant to fly to the French Riviera but ended up here can also drown their sorrows in alcohol at the gastropub Lock Stock Pub where they serve excellent beers and good food.
°
What whirlwind tour of frigid Archangelsk would be complete without dining on the fine Czech dining to be had at Stare Mesto? One customer summed his experience up by simply saying, “The Meat.” What more do you need to know?
º
Finally, don’t let your culinary adventure of the pizzeria capital of Arctic Russia end without visiting Dodo Pizza. Its customers can’t stop raving about it in Russian.
º
º

In my mind, the most exciting thing to see in Archangelsk is a British Tank Mark V from World War I. How it got here beats me. Did it break through German lines in France and simply through lack of orders keep going until it ran out of gas in northern Russia? How did it manage to go so far on one tank of gas? How did the German air force and army not even notice the tank plodding ever forward on its epic journey across nearly all of Europe? Disappointingly though, it’s enclosed in glass. You may not take it for a spin.

The Small Korela Wooden Architecture and Folk Art Museum comes highly rated. It’s unclear if: the museum is small in number of buildings, if it’s buildings are actually small as in three-feet tall, or if it’s named after Ms. Korela Wooden who was small. If you go, please let me know.

Visit Archangelsk Gastiry Dvory, This museum tells the story of the area through stone objects, bone carvings, Middle Ages’ stuff, church icons, and other stuff. This is a must-see stop for lovers of stuff.

People who love to ride horses should go on the Horse Lovers Tours. The name says it all, doesn’t it?

Jazz lovers will feel at home at Jazz Club JAZZ WORKSHOP. I don’t know why jazz workshop is completely capitalized. Perhaps their caps-lock button got stuck.

Similarly, lovers of puppet theater, must visit the Puppet Theater.

Many fine churches and monasteries adorn Archangelsk. Be sure to visit the Holy Trinity Antony of Siya.

Northern Tourist Company provides a multi-day historical-and-heritage tours.

As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.” See the city’s points of interest, the countryside, and snow.

– 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: Arctic eats, international, things to see and do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Cheese Souffle

French Dessert

CHEESE SOUFFLE

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon butter (3 tablespoons more later)
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese (¾ cup more later)
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup flour
1¼ cups milk
1 cup grated gruyère cheese
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 egg yolks
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
6 egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

SPECIAL UTENSILS

4 ramekins or 1 souffle dish
electric beater with whisk attachments, if available
baking sheet
flying monkeys, just in case

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter each ramekin with an equal part of 1 tablespoon butter. Coat each ramekin with an equal part of 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. (This is a good time to separate egg yolks and whites if you haven’t already done so.)

Add 3 tablespoons butter to pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Add flour. Stir flour constantly until you get a flour paste. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with whisk until mixture is smooth. Bring to boil using medium heat. Stir constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes or until you get a thick white sauce. Remove from heat.

Add gruyère and Parmesan to pan. Stir until well blended. Add eggs yolks, paprika, pepper, and salt. Stir gently until well blended. Transfer flour/egg/cheese mixture to 1st large mixing bowl and let cool.

Add egg whites and cream or tartar to 2nd large mixing bowl. Beat egg whites with electric beater set on low. Beat until egg whites become foamy and form peaks. Gently fold in ¼ of the egg whites into the flour/egg/mixture. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites until well blended. Pour this blended souffle equally into the ramekins. Gently smooth souffles with spoon. Place ramekins on baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until souffles puff up and turn golden brown.

Do not open the oven the door while baking the souffles. NO, NOT EVEN ONCE! OPENING THE OVEN DOOR WILL MAKE THE SOUFFLES COLLAPSE. YOU WILL FALL SOBBING TO THE FLOOR. NOT ONLY THAT, YOU WILL RELEASE VICIOUS FLYING MONKEYS ALL OVER THE WORLD.

Serve immediately to adoring guests. If they’re unappreciative or late to table, by all means, release the flying monkeys. Those critters need exercise.

TIDBITS

1) With the proper type of internal combustion engine, cars can run on cheese souffle.

2) This actually happened from 1937 to 1940.

3) For on July 14th, Bastille Day, 1937 a very inebriated Chef Auguste Oeuf accidentally staggered to his Renault, unscrewed its gas cap, staggered back to his restaurant, grabbed a tray of cheese souffles, staggered back to his car, and one by one threw the souffles into his gas tank.

4) What are the odds are doing all those things while drunk? And in that order?

5) Small.

6) Less than half.

7) Any way, Chef Oeuf needed to go to the market and buy some chickens for his plat du jour. He turned the ignition. The engine roared into action. He used the newly untamed fury of his Renault to make to the market in record time.

8) He would make trip after trip for ingredients. His customers loved the unparalleled freshness of his cuisine. Ouef’s restaurant, Le Chaton D’or became the most popular restaurant of all Paris. Other chefs of the city noticed this. They too would get rip-roaring drunk and whip up a batch of cheese souffles for their cars. The culinary reputation of Parisian food reigned supreme.

9) The secret of drunken chefs feeding souffles to their cars soon spread to every corner of France.

10) There was though a distressing period, though. when some chefs didn’t get sufficiently soused. Miles per souffle (MPS) suffered. And in consequence, so did the vital culinary/automotive industry.

11) As a result, an anagramist in French government required all cheese-souffle chefs to enter the Fuels Of Cheese (FOC) association.

12) Mais zut alors, in 1940, the Germans conquered France. The long horrors of the occupation permanently sobered up all the country’s chefs. The dried-up cooks retained no memory of how to make souffle fuel. This is why our cars now run of gas.

– 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

Wonton Soup

Chinese Soup

WONTON SOUP

INGREDIENTS

2 green onions (1 more later)
1″ ginger root
½ teaspoon brown sugar
½ pound ground pork
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce (2 teaspoons more later)
24 wonton wrappers
4½ cups chicken stock
1 green onion
2 teaspoons soy sauce

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Thinly slice 2 green onions. Grate ginger root. Add 2 sliced green onions, grated ginger, brown sugar, pork, rice wine, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce to large mixing bowl. Mix with fork until filling is well blended. Let marinate for 20 minutes.

Place 6 wonton wrappers at a time on flat surface. Keep remaining wrappers covered with wet towel to keep them from drying out. Place ½ tablespoon filling in center of wrapper. Use a finger to lightly wet the edges of the wrapper. Bring 2 opposite corners together to form a triangle. Firmly press edges together. Bring the 2 corners of the long edge together so that they overlap to get a round stuffed wonton with a flat triangle at the top. Repeat for remaining wrappers.

Thinly slice 1 green onion. Add chicken stock to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Add wontons to pot. Reduce heat to low-medium. Simmer for 5 minutes or until wontons start to float. Stir occasionally and gently. Garnish with 1 sliced green onion.

TIDBITS

1) French women, for the last thousand years, have gone for men who are handsome and give them flowers, chocolate, and wonton soup. This held especially true for French queens. Poor old King Phillip II Augustus (1165-1223) had great trouble getting his wife Isabelle of Hainault into a frisky mood. Phil got himself nipple rings. Izzy simply used his rings for coat hangers. Phillip II even gave her flowers, chocolates, and French onion soup. “Not now,” as she gazed at her soup. “Not now.”

2) At his wits end, King Phillip II told his chef to go wild making a new soup. His chef came up with this very same recipe. Isabelle loved it. Indeed, it made her so amorous that the royal couple made whoopee all night long. Nine months later, little Louis VIII was born. Ever since then all French kings who served their queens “Won ton” soup, the opposite of “Not Now” produced future kings; the clods who didn’t, produced no heirs. Something to think about when ordering soup.

– 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

The French Plan For World Domination

Gentle Readers,

France, having failed to take over world under Louis XIV and Napoleon I, is on the march again. Oh no, this time it’s quest for world domination will not occur by force of arms. Mais non, it’s trying to take over one kitchen at a time. Then one house at a time. Then one city at a time and finally one nation at a time.

“But how,” you say, “is this possible?”

I’m glad you asked. A piece of what looks to be dried or cooked meat looking like France will show up mysteriously by your kitchen burner. If this dried-meat France is left undisturbed for more than an hour, it will emit waves that will turn your brain into one that loves France, loves everything French, and will live, fight, and die for La Belle France. That’s okay, but you will find yourself loving mushrooms, lamb’s brain, raw hamburger meat, and buttered snails.

Don’t let this happen! Keep your kitchen immaculate. At all times. And if you happen to like mushrooms, then you were most likely briefly exposed to a dried-meat France. See your doctor immediately and ever year after that.

Remember if you don’t tell your kids about buttered snails, then who will?

– 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: food, humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Shrimp Bisque

French Soup

SHRIMP BISQUE

INGREDIENTS

1 pound medium shrimp, shells on*
1 medium carrot
1 stick celery
1 garlic clove
1 small onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ tablespoon tomato paste
6 cups water
1 small bay leaf
½ tablespoon dry parsley
½ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon dry thyme
1 tablespoon brandy or white wine
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1⅓ cups cream
croutons as desired
6 sprigs fresh parsley

* = To get the most authentic flavor, you need to buy shrimp with the heads on. This is difficult if you don’t live in a hopping culinary center. My Poway is like this. I feel your pain.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

colander with fine mesh

Makes 6 bowls. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Peel and devein shrimp. KEEP SHELLS. Dice carrot, celery, garlic, and onion. Add oil and shrimp shells and heads, if you could buy them, to 1st pot. Sauté at high heat for 5 minutes or until shells start to brown. Stir frequently. Add garlic and onion. Reduce heat to medium-high. Sauté for 5 minutes until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. Add carrot, celery, tomato paste, water, bay leaf, dry parsley, salt, and thyme. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer shrimp-shell stock for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Strain this stock through a colander and into a large bowl. Return clear stock and add brandy to 2nd pot.

While stock simmers, add butter to pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Add flour. Blend in flour. Stir frequently. Cook for 2 minutes or until flour turns golden brown.

Add golden-brown flour to 2nd pot. Blend with fork until golden-brown flour blends completely into stock. Strain stock again through colander into 2nd pot. Add cream to 2nd pot with stock. Stir in cream with spoon until well blended. Cook at medium heat. Add shrimp. Cook at medium heat or until shrimp turns orange. Garnish each bowl with croutons and fresh parsley sprigs.

TIDBITS

1) This recipe uses water.

2) Life uses water. Every organism needs water to live.

3) Unless, of course, you’re a bacterial endospore. Even then, you’d need water eventually.

4) I harbor doubts, though, that you are a bacterial endospore, BA.

5) For such endospores rely on a notoriously deficient system of public education. There’s no funding for it. None. So, BAs can’t read. But you can read. Therefore you are a human or possibly a very smart giraffe.

6) People are not allowed to take giraffes to sporting events, not even as a comfort animal. People behind would be forever yelling, “Down in front.”

7) Giraffes can be surly and are apt to smack your head with their strong, necks if you try to make them leave a ball game, particularly if you didn’t ask them nicely. Manners are always in fashion.

8) Yes, the best way to get a giraffe to leave a Cubs/Cardinals game is for the security guard to say, “Excuse me please, Mr. Giraffe, would join me in eating some popcorn just outside?” This will work nine times out of ten, for giraffes love popcorn. Yay!

9) But how does popcorn pop? There’s a little bit of water inside every corn kernel. Yes, staying hydrated is important for everyone whether you be a human being or a future corn plant.

10) When you heat the kernel sufficiently, pressure builds up as the water in the middle turns to steam. But the kernel’s solid shell prevents steam from seeping out. Eventually, there’s enough pressure to rip apart the shell. Et voilà, you have popcorn.

11) Admiral Halsey contemplated this very fact while munching on popcorn in early 1943. “If only we could have harnessed the explosive power of popcorn during the Battle of Midway. We could have launched our planes so much quicker.”

12) And what the Admiral wanted, the Admiral got. Plane after plane would be launched by exploding popcorn. American fighters got to the Japanese Zeros so fast that they could not respond in time. America would thrash Japan in every carrier battle. We would win the war.

13) At first, the carriers’ crews poured melted butter over the popcorn left behind by the launches. But although the sailors would eat every tasty popcorn kernel, the remaining melted butter would leave the flight deck extremely slick. The returning American planes skidded off the buttery carriers and into the sea. This is why the U.S. Navy has banned buttered popcorn.

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pumpkin Seed Meatballs (Kanda)

Central African Entree

PUMPKIN SEED MEATBALLS
(Kanda)

INGREDIENTS

3½ cups shelled, lightly toasted pumpkins or squash seeds
6 garlic cloves
1 medium onion (1 more later)
1¼ pounds ground beef
½ cup water (if needed)
1 medium onion
4 tomatoes
1 cayenne chile pepper or chile pepper
6 tablespoons palm oil or peanut oil
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 cup fresh parsley

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
mandoline (optional)

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add pumpkin seeds to food processor. Grind seeds until they become a powder. Mince garlic and 1 onion. Add pumpkin-seed powder, garlic, and onion to large mixing bowl. Blend with hands. (If needed to form a moist round meatball, gradually add up to ½ cup water, blending each time water is added.) Form mix into 1″ meatballs and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While meatballs chill, use mandoline to cut 1 onion into ¼” strips. Dice tomatoes. Seed and mince cayenne pepper. Add palm oil to large pan. Heat oil at medium-high heat or until a little bit of onion in oil starts to dance. Add onion slices, tomato, and cayenne chile pepper. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion slices soften. Stir frequently. Add pepper and salt. Stir.

Add 1 cup water. Bring water and sauce to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Gently add meatballs to pan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir gently and occasionally. Reduce heat to warm-low and simmer for another 30 minutes. Stir gently and occasionally. Dice parsley. Garnish meatballs with parsley. This entree goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) Pumpkins are round. Balloons are also round.

2) This similarity is no coincidence; Louis XVI loved pumpkin seeds.

3) What the king of France wanted, the king of France got.

4) So great merchant fleets set out from France to import pumpkins from the Spanish territory of Peru. These Peruvian pumpkins cost the royal treasury a million francs every year.

5) Disaster struck in 1777. Pirates based from British Jamaica captured the French fleet bound for Peru, along with its many chests of gold. This loss proved such a blow to French finances that its treasury wouldn’t recover until the next tidbit.

6) King Louis hired Jacques Necker to handle France’s money matter. For Monsieur Necker knew how to get the best price for everything, centuries before AmazonTM even. Many even said he’d able to count up to six billion if given enough time. And that is how many francs he borrowed.

7) The French navy could now buy enough ships to escort their pumpkin fleets to and from France. Then boom! The American Revolution started. France went to war with the British. The French fleet helped America gain its independence.

8) However, French naval expenditures trained the French treasury. Its navy wouldn’t put to sea for decades. This left King Louis’ annual pumpkin fleets unescorted, easy prey for British ships of the line.

9) What to do? Louis XVI having scooped out all the pumpkin seeds, looked down at the empty pumpkin and had an epiphany. Why not carry Peru’s pumpkins seeds back using giant, balloons made from empty pumpkins?

10) Well, of course, the Peruvian pumpkins of 1781 were not big enough to make balloons or even the baskets beneath them. So France bought up an enormous pumpkin farm in Peru dedicated to making enormous pumpkins. No franc was left unspent in pursuit of the venture.

11) By 1789, Louis XVI had no money. His finance minister asked the French nobility if it would accept new taxes. It said, “Na, na, na, poo, poo.” So Necker asked all of France for a gigantic weenie roast to discuss ways to raise revenue. Fine suggestions were made, then disaster struck. A nobleman cut in front of a long line of peasants waiting for weenies. Words were said. Knives with drawn. Before you could say François’s your uncle the French Revolution began.

12) King Louis would lose his head in the ensuing kerfuffle. Napoleon would seize power and discontinue the bigger-pumpkin experiment in Peru. So bummer.

13) However, so good came out of Louis’ misfortune. America borrowed the idea of France’s Great Weenie Roast of 1789 to celebrate every Fourth of July. And Peru’s big pumpkins are still 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, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Roast Beef Po’ Boys

Cajun Entree

ROAST BEEF PO’ BOYS

INGREDIENTS

8 garlic cloves
3½ pounds beef chuck
¼ cup flour
¾ teaspoon pepper
½ tablespoon salt
¼ cup vegetable oil
5 8″-po’ boy, French, or Italian loaves
1 large carrot
1 medium yellow onion
1 small pickle
1 tomato (beefsteak is best)
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 cups beef stock (additional stock or water may be necessary later)
¾ cup mayonnaise
1½ cup shredded lettuce
¼ cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon thyme

SPECIAL UTENSILS

no-stick pot
Dutch oven (If you don’t have a Dutch oven, use an oven-safe pot.)
cookie sheet

Serves 6. Takes 4 hours 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut garlic cloves in half. Make 16 1″-slits spaced evenly in roast beef. Insert a garlic half in each slit. Add beef, flour, pepper, and salt to large mixing bowl. Turn beef until it is well coated. Dice carrot and onion.

Add oil to no-stick pot. Heat oil at high heat. Add beef when a bit of onion starts to dance in the oil. Sear beef at high heat for 5 minutes on each side or until beef is well browned. Remove beef and place on plate. Add carrot and onion to no-stick pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion and carrot soften. Add bay leaf and Worcestershire sauce.

Add liquid with carrot and onion, beef, and beef stock to Dutch oven. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 3 hours or until beef is tender to the fork. Turn over beef chuck every 45 minutes and add additional stock or water as necessary to keep the level of liquid in Dutch oven to 1½”. Remove Dutch oven. Remove bay leaf.

Cut pickle into thin slices. Cut tomato into 10 slices. Shred beef using two forks. Slice bread loaves in half lengthwise. Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise over all bread-loaf halves. Add shredded beef equally over all bottom loaf-halves. Drizzle liquid from Dutch oven over shredded beef. Be sure to include in the liquid all the little bits or debris. Top beef-laden bread-loaf bottoms equally with lettuce, tomato slices, pickle slices, parsley, and thyme. Top with top halves of bread. Add sandwiches to cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 3 minutes to warm the bread and make it crispier. (This keeps the bread from getting soggy from the mayonnaise and the liquid from the Dutch oven.) Cut in half and serve immediately. Oh gosh, yes. And the liquid remaining in the Dutch oven makes a good soup base.

TIDBITS

1) This dish uses a bay leaf. Like every recipe I’ve come across, this one tells you to remove the bay leaf. Where do used bay leaves go? In the bin labeled “Bay Leaves,” of course. What? You mean you never wondered why bay leaves should be separated from trash and recyclables.

2) Well, in 2007 the great nations of the world, along with some very good ones, some okay ones, some dodgy lands but still attending, and even some teeny tiny countries such as San Marino and Nauru got together to solve the formidable problem of floating islands of plastic waste in our oceans. Oh, and stinky solid waste flowing unchecked into our harbors. They tackled that issue, too.

3) As might be expected from a meeting infested with international politicians, nothing happened. They all adjourned for lunch. Everyone ate roast beef po’ boys, except for vegetarians who ate kale po’ boys and the squidtarians who, of course, ate squid po’ boys.

4) As lunch started, the delegate from Russia bit into a bay leaf. “I’ve been insulted,” he cried. “This means thermonuclear war. Why should anyone live after this assault to my taste buds.” War clouds dissipated when all other conferees stated that they too had bay leaves in their sandwiches. “Throw the bay leaves out!” they all said. And they did.

5) A few minutes later, Carl LaFong, sitting near the trash can with all the discarded bay leaves stood up and addressed the meeting. “Zounds,” he said, “those bay leaves smell mighty good. Why not add tons of used bay leaves to our reeking harbors? That way our ports will smell wonderful without resorting to expensive sewage-treatment facilities.”

6) “Bonne idée,” shouted the slightly tipsy French delegate–slightly sloshed because listening to long winded speeches is thirsty work–“and let’s cover the plastic islands in our Earth’s oceans with bay leaves. This will hide the plastic while marinading all those fish while they’re still alive.”

7) “Hurrah for LaFong and that French guy,” said all the delegates, “let’s do what they proposed. Let’s dump all our bay leaves in the ocean.” And they did.

8) The delegates fired the caterer, but on the other hand, all the plastic islands in our oceans are hidden, our harbors smell nice, and we stepped back from the brink of nuclear war. So something good came out of the conference. And now we separate our bay leaves for pickup.

– 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: history, humor, politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: