Posts Tagged With: gold

Honduran Nacatamales

Honduran Entree

NACATAMALES

INGREDIENTS – DOUGHNacatamales-

6 cups masa harina or corn flour
1 cup lard, shortening, or butter
1 teaspoon salt (1 more teaspoon later)
3 tablespoons orange juice
5 tablespoons lime juice
4 cups chicken stock

INGREDIENTS – FILLING

⅔ cup rice
2½ pounds pork
3 large potatoes
3 garlic cloves
1 green bell pepper
1 large onion
1 sweet green chile pepper
1 medium tomato
3 tablespoons cilantro
1½ tablespoons cumin
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon achiote paste (or ½ teaspoon paprika plus ½ teaspoon vinegar)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Makes 18 nacatamales. Takes at least 3 hours.

INGREDIENTS – ASSEMBLY

12 10″-x-10″ banana-leaf squares*
A roll of aluminum foil
Multiple big pots (4½ or larger. Extra pots enables you to cook more nacatamales at once.)
Good restorative drink to keep you going.

* = Banana leaves can be found in Mexican or Asian grocery stores. If they can’t be found, just use the tin foil without them. Oh, banana leaves are curved, not square at all. Bastards.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
cooking twine or butcher’s twine

PREPARATION – INITIAL

Soak banana leaves in large pot. You really need to make the banana leaves flexible.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

Add masa harina, lard, and 1 teaspoon salt to first, large mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set on low. With electric still set on low, slowly add orange juice, lime juice, and chicken stock. Mix until it has the consistency of mashed potatoes. Rev up electric beater to high setting or until it starts to become fluffy. Cover dough and let sit for 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – FILLING

While dough is sitting, cook rice according to instructions on package. Cut pork into ½” cubes. Peel potatoes. Slice potatoes into ½” cubes. Dice garlic cloves, green bell pepper, onion, sweet green chile pepper, and tomato. Add pork cubes, cilantro, cumin, pepper, salt, and achiote paste to second, large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until pork cubes are well coated with spices.

Add vegetable oil, coated pork cubes, and potato cubes to pan. Sauté on medium heat for 20 minutes or until potatoes soften. Stir frequently. Add garlic cloves, green bell pepper, onion, sweet green chile pepper, and tomato. Sauté for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently.

PREPARATION – ASSEMBLY

Remove banana leaves soaking in pot. Heat water on high heat until it is scalding hot. Add banana-leaf square to pot. Keep leaf in pot until it becomes flexible. Remove banana leaf. Place ⅓ cup of dough in the middle of the banana leaf. Smooth dough with wet hands until it is about 2″ from the edges of the banana leaf.

Add equal amounts of pork cubes (about ⅓ cup), over the middle of the dough, followed by cooked rice (about 2 tablespoons) and potato cubes (about 1½ tablespoons). Add another ⅓ cup of dough over potato cubes. Smooth top layer of dough gently with wet hands. Fold bottom edge of banana leaf over filling until it reaches the top half of the leaf Gently fold in edges to make a square. Gently–Don’t break the banana leaf–tie kitchen twine around filled banana-leaf square.

Place the filled banana-leaf square over the center of an aluminum-foil square. (The aluminum-foil square large enough to wrap the banana square. Tightly fold bottom edge of foil over filled banana-leaf square. Tightly fold sides of aluminum foil over banana square, then the top side. Tie the aluminum-foil covered square like a parcel with kitchen twine. Repeat process for each banana leaf. There should be a banana leaf softening in the pot while constructing each nacatamale.

Put metal rack in bottom of each pot. Add water to each pot until level is ½” above the racks. (Aluminum cookie cutters work quite well as a substitute for wire racks.) Bring to boil using high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Add a single layer of nacatamales to rack. Simmer for 45 minutes. Add water as necessary to keep level ½” above the rack. Remove nacatamales from pots. Repeat for each batch of nacatamales. Remove all twine and tin foil and serve to adoring guests.

If your sweetheart makes this for you, propose marriage immediately.
TIDBITS

1) Nacatamales were invented by Señor Naca Tamale, chef to the royal governor in 1689. They were delicious, so much so that Governor Alfonso Bondigas knew he would win a million pieces of gold if he could send just one nacatamale to the Spanish king, Charles II.

2) So, in 1690, Governor Bondigas sent 100 nacatamales with the annual fleet carrying gold to Spain. They got eaten by the crews.

3) In 1691, Governor Bondigas sent 200 nacatamales with the fleet. 100 got eaten by the crews. The rest got eaten by gourmet rats.

4) In 1692, Governor Bondigas sent 400 nacatamales. The sailors devoured 100, the gourmet rats another 100, and the rest spontaneously combusted. No one saw that one coming.

5) Pirates captured the annual Nacatamale fleet in 1693, tamales having by that time become more valuable than gold.

6) In 1694, the Honduran governor sent 1,600 nacatamales with the nacatamale fleet. Unfortunately, First Mate Pedro Migas placed the nacatamales in the same room where he dried the crew’s socks. When half of the socks fled to a parallel dimension–a journey they continue to this day–they took all the nacatamales with them. By the way, culinary quantum physicists say trans-dimensional aliens took a great liking to nacatamales and can often be found at nacatamale stand through out Central America. You have to look closely for them; their disguises are excellent.

7) In 1695, Governor Bondigas tried catapulting the nacatamales to Spain. They only made it two miles out to sea where they utterly destroyed a pirate fleet. Karma, you bet.

8) In 1696, Señor Bondigas noticed a little boy skipping rocks all the way across a small stream. Could this work with nacatamales? No.

9) Spurred by the efforts of 1697, nacatamale skipping became the premier event of the Spanish-American games. All Honduras went sports mad. Every young man in that land spent every spare moment practicing to win the gold medal in nacatamale skipping. This naturally left no nacatamales left to be shipped to Spain.

10) The banana bug wiped out the banana crop in 1698. No banana leaves, no nacatamales.

11) In 1699, banana growers all used their leaves to make beer. Banana-leaf beer was enormously popular that year. You can only find this beer in a few Honduran villages. The brand is El Banano.

12) In 1700, the Nacatamale Fleet finally made it to Spain with fifty million nacatamales. But Charles II had died two weeks before. His successor, Philip of Anjou, grandsom of Louis XIV exported them all to Britain as a good-will gesture. The British loved the nacatamale. Lasting global peace seemed likely. But the British gobbled the nacatamales up in just one week, got sick of them, and in revenge declared war on France. Wars would rage across Europe for another 245 years. The new Spanish King blamed Governor Bondigas who died broken hearted. However, the legacy of the good man lives on in the millions upon millions of postal packages wrapped in the manner of the nacatamale.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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

Potato Ham Soup

American Soup

POTATO HAM SOUP

INGREDIENTSPotatoHamSoup-

6 Russet potatoes
1 pound ham
1 onion
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream

PREPARATION

Cut potatoes and ham into 1/2″ cubes. Dice onion. Put potato, ham, and onion into large pot. Add just enough water to pot to cover potato, ham, and onion. Add mustard, paprika, pepper, and salt. Cook on high heat until water boils. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes or until potato is tender. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to warm. Add butter, milk, and sour cream. Cook for 2 minutes or until soup is heated through. Stir frequently.

TIDBITS

1) Dom DeLuise starred in a movie called Silence of the Hams. It parodied the movie Silence of the Lambs. Silence of the Hams did not do well at the box office. So I’ll discuss potatoes instead..

2) The Inca Indians of Peru were the first known cultivators of potatoes. They harvested the first spud somewhere between 8,000 BC and 5,000 BC. That’s quite a wide range of years. It’s the same thing as saying your federal-income-tax check will be in the mail sometime from now until the year 5014. See how well the folks at the IRS accept that statement.

3) In 1536, the Spanish conquered the Incan Empire for its potatoes and gold. There are thousands of varieties of potato. There is only type of gold. Gold is an element. The potato is not; it is a tuber. Sure there are such things as white gold but that comes from mixing gold from something, well um, whitish. But just think of the dozens of herbs and spices that can be added to potatoes. Moreover, the mighty tuber is truly tasty, gold not so much. Potatoes beat gold by a technical knockout.

4) Many people believe the first real French fries were actually made in Belgium. If Belgium had thought of patenting French fries, it could have ruled the world and become fabulously wealthy. However, it’s doubtful Belgium’s powerful and envious neighbors: Germany, Britain, and France would have let tiny Belgium continue with this monopoly. It’s certain a long and bloody European war would have erupted. Thank good Belgians shared the recipe. The Great Global French Fry Peace broke out, marred only the interruptions of World War I and World War II. Yay, spuds.

– Chef Paul

cover

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World, is available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

 

As an e-book on Nook

 

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

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La Mitraillette (Belgian Sandwich)

Belgian Entree

LA MITRAILLETTE

INGREDIENTSLaMitraillette-

1 yellow onion
1 tablespoon butter (2 more tablespoons later)
2 pounds ground beef
5 Yukon gold potatoes or medium potatoes (if you wish to make your own French fries)
1 cup French fries (if you don’t wish to make your own French fries)
2 baguettes
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup mayonnaise

PREPARATION OF FRENCH FRIES (or used already made French Fries)

Cut potatoes into strips 1/4″ to 1/2″ wide. Soak potato strips in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain. Pat strips dry. Put oil in deep fryer. Heat oil to 340 degrees. Put potato strips in fryer. Fry strips at 340 degrees for 5-to-10 minutes or until they become crisp and turn golden brown. You will most likely need to cook in batches. Remove fries. Put fries on paper towels to remove grease. If you are using already-made fries, put fries in pan and fry on medium heat for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir occasionally.

PREPARATION OF SANDWICH

Dice onion. Put onion and 1 tablespoon butter in frying pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir frequently. Remove onion. Make 8 small beef patties. Fry patties on medium high-heat for 5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Flip patties occasionally.

While beef is cooking, cut baguettes in two along their width. Cut open demi-baguettes. Spread 2 tablespoons butter on the inside of the baguette pieces. Toast the baguettes pieces butter side down in frying pan on medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Assemble sandwiches with bottom halves of baguettes, onion, ground beef, French fries, ketchup, mustard, and top halves of baguettes .
TIDBITS

1) “La mitraillette” means “the machine gun” in French. Machine Gun Kelly was a famous gangster. Gene Kelly was a renowned dancer. Gene Krupa was a great band leader from the Big Band Era.

2) E.R.A. stands for Earned Run Average and equals (earned runs/innings pitched) * 9. Yay!

3) You should make sure your ground beef turns brown in this recipe. The ground is beneath your feet. Most people and tyrannosaurus rexes have two feet. And so it goes.

– Chef Paul
cover

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World, is available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chocolate-Bacon Muffin Recipe

American Dessert

Chocolate-Bacon Muffins Recipe

INGREDIENTSBacChoM-

6 slices bacon

1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (1/4 cup more later)
Makes 12 muffins.

PREPARATION

This recipe is a good test of your adventuresome culinary spirit.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put 12 paper cups in muffin tray. Fry bacon until almost crispy. Drain and set aside until no longer hot. Ooh, ow, ow, hot!

Mix together in large bowl: white sugar, brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Melt butter. Blend together: water, butter, vanilla extract, egg, and ½ cup chocolate chips and pour into bowl. Dice bacon and add to bowl. Mix again. Pour mixture equally into the twelve papers cups. Push ¼ cup chocolate chips equally into tops of muffins. Put muffin tray into oven and cook for about 15 minutes. Muffins are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (If the toothpick only has melted chocolate on it, you’ve hit paydirt by finding a melted chocolate chip. Try the toothpick again.)

TIDBITS

1) Bacon!

2) Bacon!

3) Settlers crossing America’s Great Plains during the mid nineteenth century carried lots of: flour, coffee, beans, and bacon. Bacon!

4) Not enough ingredients to make these muffins even if they had been so inclined.

5) Merchants made more money selling supplies such as bacon to gold prospectors than the prospectors got by mining gold.

6) There are supposedly only three degrees of separation between you and Kevin Bacon.

 

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World is available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Berbere Stew

Ethiopian Entree

BERBERE STEW

INGREDIENTS

1/2 medium yellow onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 russet potato
3 baby carrots
1 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup orange lentils
2 1/4 teaspoons Berbere spice mix (See recipe for BERBERE SPICE MIX INGREDIENTS, if you can’t find the     mix)
1 14.5 can diced tomatoes

PREPARATION

You will make your culinary life easy for yourself and everyone else within cussing distance if you soak your lentil beans before starting to cook. (It is a little known fiction that 37% of all aggressive dictators since 1738 ate unsoaked beans at one time or another.)

Anyway, there are two ways to soak your beans. The first way is the “quick soak” method. Soak lentils in 6-to-8 cups of water. Heat on high until water boils. Boil for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and cover for 1 hour. Drain and rinse. The second way is the “slow method.” Soak lentils in 6-to-8 cups of water for at least 6 hours. (This give you time to run marathons in record times with about an hour break in between.) Drain and rinse.

Peel and dice onion, garlic cloves, and potato. Dice baby carrots. Put water, lentils, onion, garlic, potatoes, baby carrots, bebere spice mix in soup pot. Cook over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes or until lentils soften. Stir periodically with increasing frequency as you reach the 20-minute mark.

Let me stress that the time necessary to soften lentils varies with the time it soaked beforehand and the temperature at which they are cooked. So it is quite a good idea and periodically monitor the softness of the lentils. (Too many business mergers have been stopped because one CEO made another CEO wait too long for unsoaked lentils to soften.)

Add diced tomatoes and heat at low-medium heat for another 15 minutes.

Serve in a bowl or over rice on a plate.

1) Cardamom, used to make the Berbere spice mix, costs about $60 a pound.

2) Many of today’s cars weigh about a ton and cost about $25,000.

3) The same car made from cardamom would run you about $120,000.

4) That’s before labor costs. Who knows how much it would cost to hire workers skilled enough to fashion cardamom into an internal combustion engine, tires, windows, steering wheels and all the fixin’s.

5) Saffron costs about $170 an ounce or about one-tenth the price of gold or four times the cost of silver.

6) Thank goodness, keeping up with the Joneses doesn’t mean owning a $5,600,000 saffron car.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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