Posts Tagged With: fruit

Mincemeat Pie

British Dessert

MINCEMEAT PIE

INGREDIENTS – DOUGH

3¼ cups flour (2 tablespoons more later)
1¾ cups confectioners’ sugar (1 tablespoon more later)
1¼ cups butter, cubed
1 egg
ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time, as necessary
2 tablespoons flour

INGREDIENTS – FINAL

1 28-ounce jar mincemeat
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

SPECIAL UTENSILS

round pastry cutter, glass cup, or muffin tray
sonic obliterator

Makes 12 small pies. Takes 2 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

Add 3¼ cups flour and confectioners’ sugar to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Use cold hands to fold butter and egg into flour. Add ice water 1 teaspoon at a time, if necessary, until dough starts to form a ball without being sticky. (Don’t over do it.) Cover pastry and let chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes. (You might to re-roll the dough so you can make more circles.)

Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Place about ¼ of the dough at a time on flat surface.. Leave the rest in the refrigerator until needed. (You really do want to work with cold dough.) Roll out dough until it is 1/6″ thick. Use round pastry cutter to make a large circle sufficiently wide to fill the bottom and side of muffin cups, about 5″ wide. Re-roll the dough as needed to make more circles.

Line muffin cups with 5″ dough circles. Now make 12 small circles wide enough to cover the top of the muffin, about 3″ wide. Use ¼ of the remaining dough, left over from making the 5″ circles, Leaving the rest in the refrigerator until needed.

PREPARATION – FINAL

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill the pastry-lined muffin cups ¾ full with mincemeat. Cover with 3″ dough circles. These lids should overlap the mincemeat-filled pastry cups. (But not go over onto the rest of the muffin tin.) Gently push down on lid edges to form seals. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on wire racks then sprinkle mincemeat pies with 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar. Or serve right away. Zap any guest who doesn’t fully appreciate the care you took in making this dish.

TIDBITS

1) Mincemeat pies don’t have mincemeat in them.

2) But way back in the 16th century, in Tudor times, they did.

3) Because meat was cheaper than fruit in those days. The meats of choice were: beef, venison, and lamb. There was even a Tudor poem about this.

Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep.
But where did they go?
Into a neighbor’s pie they weeped.
Ho, ho. Ho, ho. Ho, ho.

In real life, the next-door neighbor was usually a rapacious, unfettered lord, who supported King Henry VIII. So many sheep were stolen by the greedy nobility that the peasantry became increasingly disgruntled.  It didn’t help that space aliens kidnaped the remaining sheep in 1535. Since the extraterrestrial sheep abductions occurred at night, no one saw them happen. The poor people naturally blamed the barons, lords, and earls.

A surly mob of peasants gathered at the Duke of York’s castle demanding the return of all their sheep. We are lucky to have the following exchange in writing as the historian John Haggis was just happened to be present. Here it is:

Surly Peasant Leader: We want our sheep back!
Duke of York: There are no sheep. I have no sheep. No one has sheep.
Surly Peasant 1: We don’t believe you.
Duke of York: I don’t care.
Surly Peasant 2: But how can we make mincemeat pies without sheep?
Duke of York: Eat mincemeat pie made from giraffes.
Surly Peasant Leader: C’mon lads, lets throw Duke Greedypants from off the castle walls.

They stormed the castle and they him down into the moat. This act precipitated a rather serious revolt with the rather mild title of The Pilgrimage of Grace. Eventually, King Henry VIII had this revolt put down.

But the king had seen the writing on the wall. King Henry proclaimed in The Great Ingredient Decree of 1538 that no matter the prevailing conditions of the realm, every peasant would had a right to find all she needed to make a proper mincemeat pie. Since, the sheep were all gone, pie makers switched to beef. Centuries later, the price of fruit began to fall compared to that of beef. So the beef in the pies began to be phased out in favor of dried fruits. Nowadays, mincemeat pies have no meat in them at all. Now you know. Oh, the sheep found their way back to Earth and England in 1567,

 

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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Paul’s Banana Strawberry Nut Bread

American Breakfast

PAUL’S BANANA STRAWBERRY NUT BREAD

INGREDIENTS

3 bananas (overripe ones are better)
5 ripe strawberries
½ cup pecans
½ cup butter (softened or melted)
½ cup raisins
2 eggs
½ cup sugar
2¾ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
2¼ cups flour
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSILS

spice grinder
electric beater
9″ x 5″ loaf pan

Makes 1 loaf. Takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel bananas. Put bananas and strawberrues in large mixing bowl. Mash or smoosh with potato masher or fork. Chop pecans or grind with spice grinder until all the pecan bits are quite small. Add butter, pecan bits, raisins, eggs, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla extract to mixing bowl. Blend with electric beater set on medium or “cake.” With electric beater running, gradually add all the flour. Blend until the batter is smooth. Spray loaf pan with no-stick spray. Pour batter into pan. Put pan in oven. Cook for 45 minutes or until a toothpick or fork inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes. Turn loaf pan over onto a plate.

TIDBITS

1) This is a moist and tasty bread. However, it would surely harden like a brick if left out under a hot, summer Sun and forgotten. Indeed, the Great Wall of China, built to keep out northern invaders, was constructed with banana-strawberry-bread bricks. These ingredients arrived via caravan along the great Banana Strawberry Road, stretching from Bananistan to Peking. The fruit bricks of Great Wall did their job until the advent of the Mongols, fierce fruit lovers who ate their way through. No country has a built a culinary wall ever since.

– 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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Algerian Fruit Salad (chlada fakya)

Algerian Dessert

FRUIT SALAD
(chlada fakya)

INGREDIENTSFruitSalad-

½ honeydew or cantaloupe
2 apples
2 bananas
5 oranges
6 strawberries
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
⅓ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons orange blossom water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

PREPARATION

Peel and seed honeydew. Cut honeydew and apples into ½” cubes. Peel bananas and cut into ½” slices. Peel and seed oranges. Separate orange wedges. Cut orange wedges in half. Remove stems from strawberries. Cut each strawberry into 6 pieces.

Add honeydew, apple, banana, strawberry, and orange to large mixing bowl. Gently toss fruit. Add cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, orange blossom water, and vanilla extract to small mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until sugar dissolves. Sprinkle liquid over fruit in large mixing bowl. Toss gently. Serve immediately or chill for up to 2 hours. Toss again after chilling.

TIDBITS

1) Albert Camus was born in Algeria. He won a Nobel Prize.

2) Claude Cohen-Tannoudji was born in Algeria. He won a Nobel Prize.

3) I was not born in Algeria. I have not won a Nobel Prize.

4) Monsieur Camus played goalie for the University of Algiers soccer team.

5) I played goalie a few time in Australian league play.

6) So, playing soccer doesn’t help you win a Nobel Prize. And Monsieur Cohen-Tannoudji got his prize without any known soccer playing. And calling the game football doesn’t help either.

7) The main thing is to be born in Algeria.

– 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, food, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baked Garlic Squash From Forthcoming Cookbook

American Entree

BAKED GARLIC SQUASH

INGREDIENTS

1 big butternut squash
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Vegetable MagicTM
1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut off skin of squash. Remove pulpy bottom of squash and discard. (Put in recycling bin if your community recycles squash pulp.) Cut remaining squash into one-inch cubes. Melt butter. Mince garlic cloves.

Mix butter, olive oil, parsley, garlic, salt, vegetable spice, herbes de Provence, and Parmesan cheese in 2-quart baking dish. Add squash cubes. Stir and turn cubes until they are well coated with the mix.

Bake dish at 425 degrees for about 50 minutes or until squash is tender.

TIDBITS

1) Don’t waste this tasty dish on kids who might look at it and say, “Ew, squash. I don’t like squash. I won’t eat it.” Good. More for you.

2) The USDA said that a 3/4 bushel of small, Georgian yellow crookneck squash costs from $8.00 to $10.35.

3) Some raw squashes can make men jealous. They’re probably the ones that cost $10.35.

4) Squash is a fruit and was never reclassified by the Reagan administration to become a vegetable.

5) George Washington enjoyed growing butternut squash. It is doubtful that our Revolutionary War against England would have been won without him.

5) The Confederate soldiers in the Army of the Tennessee were called “butternuts” because used dye from the butternut walnut to color their uniforms. The South lost the Civil War.

6) The popularity of the butternut walnut declined forever in the post-war South.

7) Well, it could have happened.

– 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, food, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pasta Salad

Italian Entree

PASTA SALAD

INGREDIENTS

6 ounces tri-colored Rotelle pasta
1/2 head iceberg lettuce
1 green bell pepper
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise

PREPARATION

Cook pasta according to instructions, or boil pasta for about 7 minutes. Shred lettuce. Dice bell pepper. Do not drain diced tomatoes. Drain pasta. Let it cool. Add all ingredients to large salad bowl. Mix ingredients.

(Almost as simple as cooking a Pop TartTM but with the virtuous feeling that can only come from eating fruits and vegetables.)

TIDBITS

1) Apparently a Roman general saw a goat eating lettuce. He said, “Like lips, like lettuce” and burst out laughing for the only time in his life.

2) My Roman History professor in college laughed for the only time over this one as well.

3 My friend and I tried to get a t-shirt made for the professor, with the apparently hilarious joke written in Latin.

4) But it cost too much money, so he didn’t get the shirt.

5) I had a superstition about tests.

6) If I studied enough, I would get an “A.”

– 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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