Posts Tagged With: ginger

Indian Spicy Shrimp

Indian Entree

SPICY SHRIMP

INGREDIENTS

1 green chile
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 onion
2 tomatoes
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons peanut, sesame, or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 pound shrimp, peeled deveined

Serves 4. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Seed and mince green chile. Dice cilantro, onion and tomatoes. Add fennel seed and peanut oil and onion to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add green chile, tomato, chili powder, cumin, garam masala, garlic, ginger, salt, and turmeric. Cover and reduce heat to low-medium. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add shrimp. Keep covered and simmer at medium heat for 3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Garnish with cilantro. Goes well with naan, some other flatbread, or rice.

TIDBITS

1) Carl La Fong loved three things: algebra, geometry, and aquatic life. He hated people because so many of them despised geometry. Strike one. So many of them detested algebra. Strike Two. So many diners ate seafood. Strike three. People were out.

2) Then, La Fong won $823 million from the lottery. He decided to teach the oceans’ denizens algebra and geometry. So he set up La Fong’s Underwater Institute. The first year’s class began with shrimp. But there were plans to expand to include cod next year and after that who knew?

3) The shrimp liked algebra and loved how geometry could tell them how high that rock shelf in the distance would be without having to measure it. But the shrimp detested the endless geometric proofs. They became surly and boycotted classes in droves. The school collapsed for lack of students. La Fong grew bitter and made and ate Spicy Shrimp. “That’ll teach them,” said he.

 

– 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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Fun Festivals – Redhead Days

They’re going to Redhead Days

The Redhead Days Festival will be held this year in Tilburg, Netherlands during August 26 to 28. Be there to strut your awesome redheadness or if you’re not redheaded yourself, to absorb the sunshine emanating from so much redheads assembled in one place.

The whole thing started when painter from Asten, Bart Rouwenhorst, asked for 15 redheads to sit for portraits for an exhibition he planned to hold. However, 150 showed up. The artist took a group photo of all the gingers. So began the first Redhead Day. A humble beginning surely, but the event has grown ever since.

Oh, before I forget, January 12 is Kiss a Ginger Day. Don’t you forget, too.

40,000 people, including 6,000 redheads, attended the 2019 event. This year’s event promises to have just as many gingers and redheadophiles (well, it could a word).  People come from all over the world, from here, there, and Micronesia. Be sure to check the event’s website before you bring your clothes. Attendees all dress in the same color, which will have been decided by voting.
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The planned highlights of the three-day event include: are a dress-up contest, pub crawl, kids playground, hot tubs (not in the kids playground), food stands, cocktail workshop, BBQ, art exhibition with a red-haired theme , open stage, singing, salsa dancing, lectures, photoshoots, poetry, and cycling tours.
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Spend your days at the festival, then head to the exciting after-festival parties. There’s even a late night, redhead party at Netherland’s best known gay bar, The Lollipop. All are welcome. Book your flights and lodgings now. Go red!

 

– 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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Eggs Padang In Spicy Coconut Milk

Indonesian Entree

EGGS PADANG IN SPICY COCONUT MILK

 

INGREDIENTS – GARNISH

6 shallots (6 more later)
½ cup – vegetable oil (2 more tablespoons later)

INGREDIENTS – SPICE PASTE

1″ galangal root* or ginger root
1″ ginger root or 2 teaspoons ginger powder
½” turmeric root* or ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
6 shallots
5 Thai chiles (also known as bird’s eye chiles) or Fresno chiles
5 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon coconut milk (2 more cups later)

INGREDIENTS – REST

10 hard-boiled eggs
1 stalk lemongrass or 1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 kaffir lime leaves* or bay leaves, or 1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cups coconut milk
1 tablespoon tamarind juice*, tamarind paste*, white wine, or rice vinegar

* = You can get these items at Asian or world supermarkets, or use the substitutes listed above.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

mandoline
spice grinder
food processor
wok or pan with tall sides
sonic obliterator (No modern kitchen should be without one)

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 5 minutes.

PREPARATION – GARNISH

Peel shallots. Use mandoline or knife to thinly slice 6 shallots. Add shallot slices and ½ cup vegetable oil to pan. Sauté for 5 minutes at medium-high heat or until shallot becomes crispy and turns golden brown. Remove crispy shallot from pan. Drain and reserve.

PREPARATION – SPICE PASTE

Use spice grinder to make paste of galangal root, ginger root, and turmeric root. Peel 6 shallots. Add all spice-paste ingredients to food processor. Blend until you get a paste.

PREPARATION – REST

Add enough water to cover 10 eggs to large pot. Bring water to boil using high heat. Carefully add eggs. Boil from 6 minutes (for soft-boiled eggs) to 12 minutes (for hard-boiled eggs.) Remove shells.

While eggs boil, remove white, hard part of lemongrass. Dice the green, inside part.. Add 2 tablespoons oil, diced lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves to pan. Sauté for 5 minutes at medium-high heat or until the sautéed ingredients becomes fragrant. Stir frequently.

Add 2 cups coconut milk to wok. Bring to boil using medium heat. Stir frequently. Add spice paste and sautéed kaffir leaves and lemongrass. Cook for two minutes. Stir frequently. Carefully add eggs. Bring to boil again using medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 12 minutes or sauce. Stir enough to prevent burning. Add tamarind juice. Stir gently until well blended. Remove kaffir lime leaves. Garnish with crispy shallot slices. Use sonic obliterator to zap guests who complain your substituted ingredients or anything else. You don’t need their negativity in your kitchen.

TIDBITS

1) It almost goes without saying that eggs are egg shaped. That’s because they are eggs. Elephants, however, are not egg shaped. Indonesia has both elephants and eggs. Indonesia has the Sumatran elephant. This elephant is the smallest Asian elephant. Indonesia also has small eggs.

2) So, we can conclude that the existence of eggs is a necessary requirement for elephants to live. It’s doubtful that elephants eat chicken eggs or any other egg type for that matter. So why do elephants only flourish around eggs? No consensus among the world’s culinary scientists. However, we can answer the age-old riddle, “Which came first, the elephant or the egg?”

3) It’s the egg.

4) Eggs are shaped like the bottom of bowling pins. Indeed eggs bowling was popular in Indonesia in May, 927. But its appeal waned rapidly as the egg pins always fell over and rolled into the gutters. Egg bowlers took to bowling one gutter ball after another. The easy success of knocking down an egg pin that was already down led to constant, lengthy disputes about scoring. Also striking an egg with a bowling ball inevitably shattered the egg. Indonesian bowling leagues used up eggs at a prodigious rate. Only the nation’s leaders could afford to eat eggs. This egg shortage made the common people restless. Indeed, egg anger rose to such a fever pitch, that the elite banned egg bowling. Serenity returned to Indonesia’s beautiful islands but, it had been a near run thing.

5) Then in 1299, Oswaldo Wooden came up with the happy idea of making bowling pins out of wood. The sport of bowling has thrived ever since.

 

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

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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Koftay – Pakistani Meatballs

Pakistani Entree

KOFTAY
(Meatballs)

INGREDIENTS – MEATBALLS

½ inch ginger root (½ inch more later)
1 onion (1 onion more later)
1 egg
1¼ pounds ground beef (80% is best)
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt (¼ teaspoon more later)
¼ cup chickpea (garbanzo) flour

INGREDIENTS – SAUCE

1 garlic clove
½ inch ginger root
1 onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup full fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon coriander
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric
2 cups water
½ cup fresh (3 tablespoons if dry) tarragon, cilantro, or parsley

SPECIAL UTENSIL

food processor or blender

Serves 6. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION – MEATBALLS

Add ½” ginger root and 1 medium onion to food processor or blender. Blend until you get paste. Beat egg in small bowl. Add ginger root/onion paste, egg, and all other meatball ingredients to large mixing bowl. Mix ingredients with hands until well blended. Form mix into 1″ meatballs.

PREPARATION – SAUCE

Mince garlic clove, ½” ginger root, and 1 onion. Add garlic, ginger, onion, and oil to pan. Sauté for 5 minutes at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add coriander, red pepper flakes, salt, turmeric, water, and yogurt. Reduce heat to low. Blend with fork.

Add meatballs. Simmer at warm-low heat for 30 minutes. Stir gently and occasionally. While meatballs simmer in sauce, mince tarragon. Garnish meatballs and sauce with tarragon.

TIDBITS

1) Koftay is an Ancient Urartian word meaning meatball.

2 Urartu was an ancient kingdom with lands in what is now eastern Turkey.

3) Urarti civilization thrived under King Sarduri I (832 BC – 820).

4) He formed the fierce Urartian Guard. These proud horsemen swept everything before them.

5) Indeed, the floors of Sarduri’s palace were as clean as anything. Hence, the well-know saying, “As tidy as Sarduri.”

6) Yeah, you could have a safe operation on his tiled floors.

7) And people did. Especially since the Urartian Guard’s practice of riding into battle with brooms meant they incurred quite a few casualties.

8) But it was okay, they were sewn up and were as good as new.

9) Ordinary Urartians noticed the medical success of Sarduri’s palace. They clamored for equal treatment. In 827 the king granted universal health care to his grateful subjects. He could afford this as his other band of horsemen, Urartian Band, armed with lances, sacked one city after another. The gold coins they looted all flowed into the king’s coffers while the meatballs they carried off went to the people

10) Sarduri assessed his people a 10% copay for health care. The coinage starved inhabitants paid in koftay. Our modern word “copay” derives from this concept.

11) However, the Urartian empire declined soon after the king’s death, and eventually disappeared. So did the concept of koftay health care.

12) Universal health care system resurfaced briefly in the late Roman Republic when the reforming Gracchi brothers proposed reinstating koftay. However, the patrician nobility refused. Indeed, they killed the reformers. The Republic soon fell, then did the Empire, followed by barbarian invasions. The Dark Ages of Europe would stretch on for a millennium.

13) However, universal health care would come back to Europe in the late twentieth century. Not so much in America.

14) That’s because Italy loves meatballs so much more than the United States. However, we do have the concept of copay for our private health-care system. We owe this idea to the innovative Urartians and their scrumptious meatballs.

15) Now you know.

– 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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Ginger Millet Porridge

Equatorial Guinean Breakfast

GINGER MILLET PORRIDGE

INGREDIENTS

1 cup millet flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon grated ginger (or ¼ teaspoon ginger powder)
1⅓ cups water
1⅓ cups milk
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Makes 3 bowls. Takes 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add millet flour, sugar, and ginger to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Gradually add water. Stir with fork until well blended. Pour mixture into pot. Cook at medium heat. Gradually add in milk. Stir constantly to avoid lumps and to keep the porridge from sticking to sides of the pot. Cook for 10 minutes or until bubbles form and porridge thickens. Stir constantly with whisk.. Garnish with cinnamon.

TIDBITS

1) Ginger millet porridge is enormously popular wherever gravity exists, present-day Earth, for example.

2) Ginger millet porridge is not popular in space. Without gravity the porridge will simply not stay in the bowl. The authorities at the International Space Station fired their traditionally trained waters. They spent $1.3 billion dollars retraining waiters to carry bowls in weightless conditions without spilling porridge. There is, of course, gravity on Earth. So to simulate conditions of outer space, the waiters had to carry bowls of porridge while a transport plane nose dived. This was a frustrating experience for all involved. But after several thousand nose dives a staff of four waiters emerged who could serve porridge in weightless conditions.

3) Needless to say.

4) It was needless to say, so I didn’t say it.

5) Anyway, the waiters served porridge to the people on the space station. Without spilling! Hurrah!
But when the diners stirred their meal or raised their spoon to their mouth, ginger millet porridge went everywhere.

6) Some point to the $1.3 billion spent on the waiters as an example of government waste. Perhaps so, but that’s just water under the bridge or in this case, ginger millet in the ventilating system.

– 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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Durban Masala

South African Appetizer

DURBAN MASALA

durbanmasalaINGREDIENTS

½ teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1¼ teaspoons coriander
1¼ teaspoons cumin
¼ teaspoon fenugreek
¾ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon mace
⅛ teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons turmeric

Makes ¼ cup. Takes 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add all ingredients to mixing. Mix with whisk until well blended.

TIDBITS

1) Durban is a city in South Africa. Durban rhymes with Durban. This is useful when constructing rhyming poems. In much the same way, gnome rhymes with Nome, a city in Alaska. Over 20,000 gnomes live in Nome, admired for their strong work ethic. They’ll guard your garden for amazing lengths of time and everyone knows much polar bears fear gnomes.

4) Gnomes first came to Massachusetts on the Mayflower, fleeing persecution from waffle eaters. Later, they worked their way south, guarding spice gardens along the way. The little guys eventually settled in Chancellorsville, Virginia–Why not?–to lead a safe, if not totally accepted existence.

5) Tragedy struck in 1863. General Stonewall Jackson was shot after the battle of Chancellorsville. Enraged townsfolk held a gnome fired the fatal shot and drove the wee ones out of town.

6) The gnomes drifted ever northwestward, until they reached Nome on the Bering Sea. They could drift no longer. They wore parkas to keep warm. The parkas covered their faces, just like the natives. You couldn’t tell the gnomes and the people apart. Sure, gnomes are much shorter than people, but you always keep your face to the ground during a blizzard. And 19th-century Nome always had blizzards. The townsfolk didn’t even notice the little folk until 1941, when World War II broke out. People. after kneeling, worked shoulder to shoulder with the gnomes to defeat the common foe. The gnomes gained acceptance into one career after another. Today, Nome’s the gnome genome sequencing capital of the world.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Omelette Curry

Sri Lankan Breakfast

OMELETTE CURRY

INGREDIENTS – OMELETTECurryOmelette-

3 green chiles
1 large onion (1 medium onion later)
3 fresh curry leaves or 3 teaspoons dried leaf fragments or 3 teaspoons dried basil (10 leaves more later)
1½ tablespoons sesame oil (1 tablespoon more later)
6 eggs
1 tomato
½ teaspoon pepper 1/8 teaspoon more later)
1 teaspoon salt (¼ teaspoon more later)

INGREDIENTS – CURRY

½” cinnamon stick
¾ teaspoon grated ginger (½” whole ginger)
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 garlic clove
1 medium onion
10 fresh curry leaves or 10 teaspoons dried leaf fragments or 10 teaspoons dried basil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons curry powder (not the same thing as curry leaves)
2 teaspoons chili powder
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ cup water
1 cup coconut milk

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder

Makes 4 bowls. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION – OMELETTE

Mince green chiles and onions. Add green chile, onion, 3 curry leaves, and sesame oil to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Remove green chile, onion, and curry leaves from heat. Add eggs to large mixing bowl. Whisk eggs. Dice tomato. Add green chile, onion, tomato, pepper, and salt. Mix with whisk until well blended.

Reduce heat to low. Add all ingredients in mixing bowl to pan. Fry on low heat for 10-to-15 minutes or until omelette is cooked to your desired level of doneness. Remove omelette. Cut omelette into squares. You get quite a bit of latitude in the size of your squares. 1″ perhaps?

(However, there is unanimity on the geometric shape. It has to be a square. What would happen if you cut the omelette into triangles? Would the Omelette Police come after you? Would the Earth’s surface convulse in earthquakes? I don’t know. Play it safe, make squares.)

PREPARATION – CURRY

While omelette cooks, grind cinnamon and ginger. Grind fenugreek seeds just long enough to crack them. Dice garlic clove and onion. Add cinnamon, ginger, onion, 10 curry leaves, curry powder, fenugreek seeds, and sesame oil. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add chili powder, ⅛ teaspoon pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt, turmeric, and water. Stir with spoon until well blended. Simmer on low heat for 3 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add coconut milk. Simmer for 5 minutes or until curry starts to thicken. Stir occasionally.

Add omelette squares back into curry. Simmer on low heat for 2 minutes. Stir occasionally. Goes well with naan bread or rice.

TIDBITS

1) Omelette Curry is an an anagram for the illustrious Portguese navigator and explorer, Telemeo T. Crucy. Senhor Crucy rounded the Cape of Good Hope in 1486 and discovered the Indian Ocean by way of the Atlantic. Bartolomeo Diaz did the same in 1488. Telemeo also discovered India via this sea route in 1487. Vasco de Gama duplicated this feat twelve years later.

2) But Crucy the Explorer–the inspiration for Dora the ExplorerTM by the way–got no credit at all, no monuments, no cities, no holidays, not even candy bars named after him. What the heck? Why?

3) Because he was the first one to bring the spicy curry leaves back to Portugal. Of course, the King of Portugal, whose name is lost to us as I am typing in WordPerfect and I’d have to get out of WordPerfect and into my internet browser, by which time I would have lost my train of thought here and degenerated into writing long, rambling sentences.

4) It was João II. The king’s name was João II! I looked it up. Who knew?

5) Anyway, Big Joe, as the king was often by his adoring subjects, was the first to be served the curry leaves. Portuguese monarchs, by established right, got to taste every new spice first.

6) Which was a mistake in this case. No chef in the king’s kitchen knew how much curry to put in the king’s chicken noodle soup. So they guessed.

7) One cup was a bad guess. Big Joe fled the banquet hall. He wasn’t seen for days. But his moans were heard all over the castle. They still can. Even his ghost has yet to get over this tummy ache.

8) Things deteriorated rapidly. Big Joe started hating the world. He tripled taxes on the peasantry. The despising people called him João the Moaner. The Moaner stripped Telemeo of his titles and erased all vestiges of his name. Proper spicing is a must. May this cookbook help.

– 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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Ajam Roedjak (Sweet and Spicy Chicken)

Indonesian Entree

AJAM ROEDJAK
(Sweet and Spicy Chicken)

INGREDIENTS*AjamRoedjak-

2 pounds chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves
7 kemirie or macadamian nuts
3½ tablespoons peanut oil
½ tablespoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons grated galangal or grated ginger
½ teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can coconut milk
1 bay leaf (Indian bay leaf, if you can find it.)
1 teaspoon sambal badjak, sambal oelek, or sriracha sauce
1½ tablespoons ketjap manis or soy sauce
1teaspoon palm sugar or sugar

* = I’m not being indecisive. Some of these ingredients can be hard to find.

Makes 4 bowls. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Add garlic cloves and kemirie nuts to food processor. Blend the cloves and nuts into a paste. Add oil and chicken cubes to pan. Sauté for 5 minutes at medium heat or until chicken is no longer pink.. Stir occasionally. Remove chicken.

Add garlic/kemirie paste, galangal, ginger, salt to pan. Sauté for 2 minutes at medium heat or until paste begins to dry. Stir constantly. Add sautéed chicken cubes, coconut milk, bay leaf, sambal badjak, ketjap manis, and sugar. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir frequently. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 35 minutes or until sauce thickens. Stir occasionally. Goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) Ajam roedjak is served in the U.S. Senate’s cafeteria and is, of course, an anagram for Jajk* Adam – redo. Jack Adam works for the federal government and is the one person who types the recently enacted laws onto the official form which is then transmitted throughout the land.

3) Unfortunately, Mr. Adam is often tipsy when typing in the new laws. This results in many mistakes, such as “Thou shall commit adultery.” Digusted lawmakers sent back the typo-riddled law form with the note, “Jack Adam – redo.” If Jack is still drunk, the laws get mistyped again and he gets another note. This continues until he is sober. This is why it takes congress so long to pass laws.

* = Jajk is a deliberate typo for Jack. Who says senators don’t have a sense of humor?

– 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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Speculaas (Dutch cookie)

Dutch Dessert

SPECULAAS
(Dutch cookie)

INGREDIENTSSpeculaas-

1¼ cups butter (2½) sticks
1⅓ cups brown sugar
1 medium egg
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups flour plus some to dust cookie mold

SPECIAL UTENSILS

speculaas mold, other cookie mold, or cookie cutters
electric beater
sewing thread
1-to-2 cookie sheets
1-to-4 glasses of mulled red wine
wine bottle for bopping oafs

Makes 18 cookies. Takes 15 minutes to make dough, to sit overnight in refrigerator, and maybe 1 hour to make the cookies, plus 15-to-20 minutes each time you put cookie sheets in the oven. You will get better and faster at putting the dough in the speculaas mold, trimming the dough with the sewing thread, and getting the dough out of the mold and onto the cookie sheet in one piece. While getting the hang of things, I say chill out and have some wine to calm yourself down. Note, the upper limit of drinks is for those who use speculaas or other embossed cookie molds. If you just plop down some dough, you only get one glass. There you go.

PREPARATION

Add butter and sugar to first, large mixing bowl. Mix using electric beater set on CREAM until butter/sugar mix becomes creamy. Add egg. Mix with electric beater set on CAKE until well blended. Add baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg to second, small mixing bowl. Mix together with whisk. Add spice mix from second, small mixing bowl and flour to first, large mixing bowl. Knead mixture until it forms a firm dough ball. Refrigerate dough ball overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dust speculaas mold for each cookie. Press dough into mold. Gently trim all dough above the line of mold with sewing thread. The top of the dough should be flush with the top of the mold.

Turn mold over and rap it against the cookie sheet. The dough should come out easily and intact if the mold was sufficiently dusted with flour. If not, gently, slowly pull dough out of the mold. If it the shaped dough comes apart in only one or two spots, gently smoosh the pieces together with your fingertip. If someone happens to see this and makes a snarky remark, hit the oaf on its head with the wine bottle. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 15-to-25 minutes or until cookies turn golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) The first weekend of September is the Redhead Festival in Breda, Netherlands. It started as a local photographer’s quest to find a redhead model. It soon got out of hand. Well, sort of. Redheads walk around seeing other redheads. They even celebrate the color red.

2) It could have so exciting. Why not really celebrate the color red by having tomato fights?

3) Or have ketchup wrestling. That would draw a big crowd.

4) Or have professional drivers race around Breda in red fire trucks instead of race cars.

5) Or let tourists do high diving into a pool of tomato soup.

6) Or hold a contest to build the highest pyramid out of red bell peppers.

7) Or have a contest to eat the most habañero peppers.

8) Or even celebrate ginger. Redheads are often called gingers.

9) Who wouldn’t want to enter a contest to see who could eat the most buttered ginger toast?

10) Go bowling with tomatoes. Professional tomato bowlers recommend a perfectly round. The flattish, not entirely round ones do not go as straight as the perfectly round ones. You’ll never knock down any pins with your tomato if it heads straight for the gutter. Oh, it must be said that the typical tomato has no finger holes as opposed to the standard three-hole bowling ball. This makes tomato bowling even more challenging.

11) Play golf with ginger root! Be careful not to hit your ginger in the woods. It blends in with the leaves. You’ll never find it.

12) Even better, play basketball with tomatoes! Given that tomatoes would make a big splat the first time the ball handler batted the tomato to the ground, fears of players getting away with uncalled double dribbles would be thing of the past.

12) Play football with tomatoes! Since tomatoes are so fragile, soft hands for the quarterback and receivers would be a must.

13) Stage your own bullfights. All you need is a red tablecloth and fast feet.

14) What about ten tons of tomatoes and a bulldozer? Revelers get five minutes on the machine, or fewer if they miss the tomatoes and run into a building.

– 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

Laotian Ginger Chicken

Laotian Entree

GINGER CHICKEN

INGREDIENTSGingerChicken-

3 garlic cloves
2 shallots
2½” fresh ginger
5 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1½ tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons oyster sauce*
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro

* = There is some debate about allergies and oyster sauce. There is also much discussion over substitutes for oyster sauce. The best substitute seems to be hoisin sauce. Some say to just omit the oyster sauce. The culinary community is a fractious one.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Dutch oven or wok

Takes about 30 minutes. Makes 4 bowls.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic and shallots. Grate ginger. Slice chicken breasts into ½” strips. Add oil, garlic, ginger, and shallots to Dutch oven. Sauté at medium-high for 5 minutes or until garlic softens. Stir frequently. Add chicken strips. Sauté for 5-to-10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir occasionally. Add honey, oyster sauce, and soy sauce. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. While chicken simmers, remove stems from cilantro. Garnish chicken with cilantro. This dish goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) Laos is the world’s most bombed country. There are entire spots in Laos that are off limits due to numerous unexploded bombs. Laos is also home to the King Cobra, one of the world’s most venomous snakes. Don’t wander off the beaten path!

2) Head instead in May for Laos’ Bun Bang Fai Festival, where villages vie for the best looking and highest soaring bamboo rockets. Can bamboo rockets be dangerous? Well yes, but not as much as King Cobras or 500-pound bombs. Besides the slight chance of bodily harm, the festival also features plenty of wonderful music, dancing, and parades You will have fun. You will come back.

– 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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