Posts Tagged With: Greek

Mistakes That Hollywood Does Over and Over

Freeze Frame Photo Of Bad Man’s shot

Watching movies and television shows can be a pleasant way to pass the time. They can even be great fun. However, the logic and laws of physics are so often thrown out the window, leaving me the think, “Why even an amoeba could more realistic and better entertainment.” Here then, as they occur to me, recurring mistakes in movies and shoes,

  1. The bad guy never, ever, ever can shoot the good guy, even if they stand only one foot apart.
  2.  The good guy never misses, even if he is 100 feet away.
  3.  The good guy never misses even when he isn’t looking at someone.
  4.  Bad guys will step into open to shoot. Then they get shot.
  5.  When the good guy shoots with two machine guns he doesn’t have to aim. He also is invulnerable. (I know, some of these pickies are similar.)
  6.  One good guy will die so that the upright people can be shown to have affection and compassion. The surviving good guys are then justified in slaughtering boat loads of badies.
  7.  The bad guy will always leave a captured good guy alone and give him enough time to escape.
  8.  The teenage girl will always explore all the rooms in the house even though her friends were already slaughtered there.
  9.  Archers will shoot flaming arrow after flaming arrow at the enemy. How hundreds of archers manage to light thousands of arrows from three fiery cauldrons is a mystery to me. I also wonder how none of the archers get burned drawing and loosing the arrows.
  10.  The actors in action movies deliver there cliche-ridden lines with such intensity as to bring on hernias.
  11.  Police have the funds and time to pursue any murder, any major crime.
  12.  Detectives always throw away the rule book.
  13.  Sword fights look so staged. Yep, we’ll clash their swords up here. Then we meet by our feet.
  14.  Why would swordsmen strike for the ankles?
  15.  No matter how disciplined the ancient armies were, they always break formation to go into individual duels. Even if we know from tons of contemporaneous records that the Romans and the Greek hoplites trained for months to manuever as one.
  16. The driver can turn his head to talk to the passenger for up to a minute and never hit an oncoming car.
  17.  The murderer never, ever, ever, ever, ever goes very far from the scene of the crime.
  18.  The crime scene never get contaminated.
  19.  Suspects always sass the questioning detective.
  20.  Wives die off first, especially in Disney(tm) movies. The real world has the husband dying first.

Enough ranting for now. Carry on.

 

– 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.

Categories: observations, proof you cannot deny | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Elephants Graveyard – Part 1

“The Elephants’ Graveyard is right there in Biloxi.”

The cabby’s assertion startled me.

“Biloxi, Mississippi? Are you sure about that? It seems hard to believe.”

“It’s true all right. You have my word as a cabby.”

“Come now, I don’t see any elephants here.”

“We’re not in Biloxi, friend. We haven’t left the airport. We gotta go east to Biloxi to see any elephants. The FAA don’t let no elephants into Gulfport. Dangerous to landing planes, you know.”

The meter ran as he talked and I was anxious to make my meeting, but I couldn’t resist saying,

“But the government is shut down again. Who will keep the elephants out of Gulfport now?”

“Damn!” The cabby slammed on the brakes to stop the cab, which wasn’t hard to do as we weren’t moving. He jumped out of the car. “Ow!” Chastened and little more cautious he opened the door and then got out. He retrieved a massive weapon out of the trunk and made his way back to the cab.

“Here, take this,” he growled as he hurled the gun at me. Minutes later when the ringing in my ears subsided I replied,

“How is it that I never read about it, anywhere?”

“Oh, I don’t know. I guess the local reporters just got used to ’em, and just never wrote ’em up.”

“But surely, the migration of elephants to Mississippi would have made front-page news?”

“You’re wrong, friend. The elephants came here in 1862, right in the middle of the war. Folks round were just too preoccupied with the fighting to notice them right off. But soon enough, General Lee enrolled them into his army. The ‘phants, as some call them, were in Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg. We would have won the battle, but them Yankees let loose thousands of mice. Those mice scared the ‘phants, who turned around and stampeded the Rebel men. That’s how we lost the war.”

“Fascinating, but why did they choose here of all places?”

“For the peanuts.”

“But they don’t grow peanuts in Mississippi, they grow peanuts in Georgia as you well know.”

“Well, those ‘phants didn’t know nothing about that, did they? You’re not as smart as you looked, Mister. I’m fixing to take you there, right now.”

“But, I simply must be at a meeting in Long Beach, to the West!”

He ignored my feeble protests, gunned the engine, and soon we hurtled eastward at speeds up to 20 miles per hour. Soon the fair gulf regaled us with its shimmering beauty.

Thalassa! Thalassa!”, I shouted to the cabby, “That’s Greek for the ‘The Sea.’ The Sea.”

“Yea, whatever. Look, there’s Peanuts Pavilion. Right next to that is the Planter’s dock and peanut refinery.”

“Ooh, that looks quite interesting. May we stop and investigate?”

“No.” He stomped on the gas pedal as way of protest and soon we were pushing the edge of the envelope at 25. “We’re looking for ‘phants. You gotta problem with that?”

“No,” I meekly replied. Since I was at the cabby’s mercy, I resolved to endure the best I could and would resolutely scan the horizon for the noble beasts whenever I wasn’t following the soaring meter.

Soon we crossed the border into Biloxi and immediately the clouds parted to reveal glorious, golden shafts of sunlight. I could almost swear I could hear angels singing melodious hymns of joy. The cabby belched.

Soon, the traffic in our lane slowed and eventually stopped at Eisenhower Drive, while in the lane to the bookstore, traffic ground to a halt. All the while, the meter merrily climbed. We noticed state troopers inspecting the cars, talking to all, waving some on, and pulling over others. Soon, one made his way to the cabby’s Honda Accord.

“Transporting any illegal elephants with you?”

“No,” the cabby explained at length as he handed over his license.

The trooper examined the license and then carefully pointed his flashlight inside the cab. Eventually, he seemed satisfied by our serene demeanor and waved us on. Whoosh, aided by a tail wind, we again darted eastward, leaving even the most vigorous pedestrians far behind. I turned to watch the Miss-Elephant-Rider-of-the-Mississippi-Gulf-Coast contest taking place on the beach; so did the cabby.

Crash! After shaking off the shattered glass, I looked up to behold a most angry pachyderm. Instinctively, I knew the elephant’s name to be Felix.

“What ho, Felix! How’s it hanging?” I bantered cheerfully to the gray skinned beast breathing in my face. Evidently, this was not proper elephantine etiquette as Felix trumpeted loudly as he crushed the front of the cab with one mighty stamp.

“Damn,” gushed the rattled cabby and then moments later, “I’m ruined.”

“My goodness, it’s not as bad as all that,” I opined. “Aren’t you covered by AAA insurance? I have it and it explicitly states that they will replace any one car crushed by a rampaging elephant.”

“Yep, but that won’t do me no good. That ‘phant will just hunt me down and crush every car I drive.”

“Surely, you are blowing a little tiff by that elephant all out of proportion.”

“No, I’m not. An elephant never forgets.”

The cabby remained inconsolable, and so, I waited quietly for AAA to bring the new cab. I then spied the smashed meter, and so, waited contentedly for the new car.

– 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: humor, sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicken Kebabs from Lebanon

Lebanese Entree

CHICKEN KEBABS

INGREDIENTS

3 boneless chicken breasts
7 garlic cloves
1 green bell pepper
1 small onion
¼ cup lemon juice
6 tablespoon Greek or plain yogurt
3 tablespoons olive oil
¾ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon white pepper or pepper
2 tablespoons red vinegar or apple cider vinegar
¾ teaspoon tomato paste
6 pita loaves

SPECIAL UTENSILS

outdoor grill
6 skewers (If wooden, soak in water for 20 minutes.)

Serves 6. Takes 3 hours.

PREPARATION

Cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Crush garlic cloves. Seed and chop green bell pepper into 1″ squares. Chop onion into 1″ squares. Add all ingredients to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until chicken cubes are well coated. Cover and let marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Thread chicken cubes, bell pepper squares, and onion squares onto skewers. Turn heat on grill to medium. Add skewers to grill. Heat all sides for 3 minutes each. Place skewers in large pot and cover. Let rest for 10 minutes. (This step helps keep the chicken cubes moist.) Serve on skewers or if using pita loaves, remove all ingredients from skewers and place on pita loaves.

TIDBITS

1) Kebabs have been around since Ancient Greece. See Herodotus’s History of Greek Kebabs. You might think it should have been called History of Ancient Greek Kebabs. However, he lived in ancient times only to us. He thought he was being quite modern. Anyway, Herodotus noticed the shape of the pita bread would make a nifty shield and the skewer would make a spiffo spear. Ancient Greek warriors, hoplites, adopted both ideas and would become their era’s fiercest warriors. 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.

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

Beef Rendang

Indonesian Entree

BEEF RENDANG

INGREDIENTS

4 red chiles
1 inch galangal or ginger root
5 garlic cloves
¾ teaspoon peppercorns
6 shallots
1 inch turmeric root
1 stalk lemongrass
2 pounds beef tenderloin or top round
2 tablespoons oil
1 inch cinnamon stick
½ tablespoon salt
3 kaffir lime leaves or ½ teaspoon lime zest
1 salam leaf or bay leaf
3 13-ounce cans coconut milk

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Seed red chiles. Add red chile, galangal, garlic cloves, peppercorns, shallots, and turmeric to spice grinder. Grind until these spices become paste. Remove and discard upper ⅔rd of lemongrass stalk. Remove and discard the three outer layers. Dice remaining lemongrass. Cut beef into 1″ cubes.

Add spice paste and oil to work or large pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until paste becomes fragrant. Stir constantly. Add all remaining ingredients to wok. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 1 hour. Stir enough to prevent burning. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes or until the milky part of the liquid is gone, leaving a little bit of coconut oil. (Most of the liquid should be evaporated.) Stir enough to prevent burning. Simmer on low for another 15 minutes or until beef and sauce turn brown. Remove cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and kaffir lime leaves. Goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) The dish into the above picture is served on, well, a dish. The dish is round.

2) Why is it not square?

3 )Because you cannot roll something is square

4) Why does it matter if you can roll a dish? After all, if you rolled the above dish before you ate, you lost the food.

5) Clearly, the round shape was designed for something else in mind.

6) What was that?

7) One theory, advanced by culinary, archeologists, is that primitive caveman invented the stone FrisbeeTM.

8) They didn’t call it the Frisbee, of course. It’s named after the Frisbee Pie Company which sold its wares in round pie dishes.

9) Culinary historians believe most prehistoric companies were called Ogg, Inc. because nearly all cavemen were named Ogg. Cavewomen were called Ogg.

10) Therefore, these ancient humans probably named their invention the OggTM.

11) Isn’t surprising early humankind possessed the knowledge to incorporate and trademark things?

12) Alas though, the Ogg proved a dismal failure. If you didn’t catch it, it hit you in the head and that was that.

13) Indeed, culinary historians believe widespread Ogg playing extinguished the Neanderthals.

14) After a much briefer fling with the sport, the Cro Magnons abandoned Ogg tossing.

15) Tossing the Ogg around was supposed to be a fun leisure time activity. But making the circular Ogg took up all their free time. So, what was the point of making Oggs?

16) None, the Cro Magnons concluded. So, they went on to make spears, axes, animal skins, and the like. Humanity went on not quite a talc age, which is a bit below a golden age.

17) Throwing round things became a popular sport in Ancient Greek Olympics. Physically fit from throwing the much lighter and metallic Ogg–by then called the discus–Greeks explored the entire known world.

18) The Romans, inheritors of Greek civilization, conquered the entire Mediterranean and much of northwestern Europe. The Roman built roads to facilitate rapid deployment of legions from crisis point to another. And we all know, the Roman legionnaire loved to throw the discus.

19) The Roman army passed on discuss throwing to the natives wherever they went. The natives became buff as well. So, the Roman conquest proved to be quite the good thing for the locals once everybody got past the initial wholesale slaughter-and-enslavement phase. And ever since then we have lived in a round-thingy-throwing golden age.

20) But it’s sobering to think how the Cro Magnons, the last remaining branch of humankind, came to throwing themselves into extinction.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

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

Prawn Barbecue

Australian Entree

PRAWN BARBECUE

INGREDIENTS

2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine
¾ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt or salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1½ pounds shelled-and-deveined extra-large shrimp* (16-to-20 per pound)
1 lemon (optional)

* = The terms prawn and shrimp are often used interchangeably. However, they are technically different having some unmemorable difference in their shells.

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

outdoor grill
5 skewers

PREPARATION

Mince garlic and parsley. Add garlic, parsley, butter, olive oil, white wine, pepper, sea salt, lemon juice, and shrimp to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until shrimp are well coated. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.

10 minutes before marinating is done, heat outdoor grill to medium heat. Thread 6 shrimps onto each skewer. Cut lemon into 5 slices. 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. Garnish with lemon slices. Goes well with rice, spinach,  avocado salad, and beer.

TIDBITS

1) Alexander the Great of Macedon invaded the Persian Empire. in 336 BC. This was okay as the previous year was 337 BC, although the people of the time didn’t know this. Alex was a complete foodie. Unfortunately. the menu of his kingdom, Macedon, consisted of 1,223 almost indistinguishable varieties of wheat and olive oil. So when he heard of prawn barbecues to be had in the Persian empire, he invaded. It transpired that the idea of prawn barbecues was story concocted by long suffering Greek chefs to get the ever harping food critic Alexander far away.

2) Alexander’s army thrashed the Persians at the battle of Granicus. Being an relatively young army– about the age of frat boys albeit ones with twenty-foot spears and trained be an unparalleled fighting machine–they repaired to the local tavern to eat and drink. The tavern’s cook, Bessyrus, knowing a little something of Macedonian cuisine offered Alexander and his troops bread drizzled with olive oil. Alexander became enraged, shouted, “I’m sick of bread and olive oil. Where’s the prawn barbecues?” and ran a spear through the tavern’s chef.

3) This still seems a little unfair. The chef knew nothing of the mythical prawn barbecue. In fact, culinary historians remain absolutely amazed that a cook over 2,000 years ago could make enough bread in one hour to feed 50,000 ravenous soldiers. Alexander’s mob headed to the town’s other eatery and asked for prawn barbecues. Fortunately, the synapses in this restaurant’s cook were firing particularly well. He said that there were prawn barbecues in Egypt. And off Alexander’s mob went dispatching another Persian army along the way.

4) Alexander asked the first Egyptian priest/chef he saw for a prawn barbecue. The priest/chef offered bread drizzled with honey. Alexander drew his sword. The quick thinking priest/chef mollified Alexander by declaring him to be a god. Alexander really liked the idea of being a god and strutted around for days saying, “Look at me, I’m a god. Wow, it’s really cool to be a god.” Anyway, Alexander was so smitten by the idea of his divinity, that he plum forgot to behead the priest/chef. The holy Egyptian chef, however, couldn’t help but dwell on his close call. :Hey, Alex,” he said one day, “there’s plenty of prawn barbecues in Persia.” And off Alexander’s army went.

5) The Macedonians utterly crushed the Persian King’s army at Guagamela. The surviving Persian nobles didn’t want Alexander staying around. Alexander was losing his head beheading them. “Hey Alex,” they said, “there’s prawn barbecues aplenty in India.” And off Alexander’s soldiers went.

6) Alexander’s force kicked hiney in India. But the story remained the same. Alexander the Great One didn’t care for the rajahs’ curry bread and offed one baker after another. “Hey, Alex,” the noble bakers said, “there’s oodles of prawn barbecues in Australia.” And off went Alexander.

7) Except this time, the Macedonian spearmen didn’t follow. They were sick of endless marching. Besides, they had discovered pistachios in Persia and really, really liked them. Why massacre entire cities for an alleged gourmet meal when you could munch on delicious, almost addictive pistachios?Alexander gave in. The Macedonian army would conquer no more. But the mutiny by his beloved army broke his heart. He died soon after. Ironically, the noble Indian bakers were right. There were prawn barbecues in Australia.

8) The Australian aborigines of that time loved shrimp (Same as prawns, remember?)  like no one has ever since. They’d eat 100 shrimp at a time. Of course, no one could barbecue 100 shrimp on the tiny skewers of today. Those hardy people fashioned wooden skewers out of trees. Unfortunately, the millions upon millions of Native Australians made so many long skewers that they totally deforested most of Australia. Shrimp barbecues became impossible. The crestfallen aborigines left Australia in outriggers to settle Hawaii.  They left behind petroglyphs of their enormous shrimp skewers.

9) In 1895, Baron de Courbertin saw these shrimp-skewer pictures. You and I would shrug them off, but the young baron’s mind came up with pole vaulting. His active mind would not rest until he found a way to showcase his new athletic event and so the Olympics were born. There you go.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

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

Beef, Herb, and Yogurt Soup (Aashe Mast)

Iranian Soup

BEEF, HERB, AND YOGURT SOUP
(Aashe Mast)

INGREDIENTS

2 garlic cloves
1 large onion
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ pound ground beef
⅓ cup long grain rice
4½ cups water
3 cups Greek yogurt or plain yogurt
¼ cup fresh chives*
¼ cup fresh cilantro*
¼ cup fresh parsley*
1 15-ounce can chickpeas (aka garbanzos beans)
¼ cup fresh mint*

* = Substitute 4 teaspoons dried herbs for 4 tablespoons fresh herbs.

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic cloves and onion. Add onion, garlic, pepper, salt, turmeric, and ground beef to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until well blended. Use hands to make ½” -to-1″ meatballs. Add rice, water, yogurt, chives, cilantro, and parsley to large pot. Simmer on low heat for 30 or until rice softens. Stir frequently. Add meatballs and chickpeas. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally and gently. Garnish with mint.

TIDBITS

1) Earth, Wind, and Fire, a superb American band (1969 to present.) has excelled in many genres including : R&B, soul, funk, disco, Latin, and African. It’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and has played for President Obama.

2) Alas, not all bands succeed . The Iranian group Beef, Herb, and Yogurt (1977-1979) rocked the musical genres of cuisine and bubble-gum love. Their song, “I give you my saffron and my heart” was the number-two Iranian song of 1978 . The shah of Iran even invited them to play for him in early 1979. The Iranian Revolution broke out a scant two weeks later. The Shah was deposed. The police hunted all supporters of the previous regime. Beef, Herb, and Yogurt, tied to the Shah by their command performance, fled to the U.S.. Stigmatized unfairly by Americans who blamed them for the storming of the American embassy, they never played again. The band members eventually opened up an Iranian restaurant in Dubuque, Iowa, where they have been trying to blend in.

– 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

Rizogalo (Rice Pudding)

Greek Dessert

RIZOGALO
(Rice Pudding)

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup butter
4½ cups whole milk
½ cup short-grain white rice
½ cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon corn flour
¼ teaspoon cinnamon.

Makes 4 cups. Takes 3 hours.

PREPARATION

Add butter, milk, rice, and sugar to large pot. Bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes or until rice is soft. Remove from heat. Whisk egg yolk in small bowl. Add egg yolk, vanilla extract. and corn flour. Mix with whisk until well blended. Ladle rice pudding into cups. Let cool at room temperature for 15 minutes, then in refrigerator for another 45 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

TIDBITS

1) There is quite a bit of stirring in this recipe. Doesn’t that all that stirring get tiring? Yes, it does. Which is why the Greek Aeronautics and Space Agency (GASA) has developed an autonomous robot designed for voyages to the asteroid belt.

2) Greek astronauts can’t afford to take their eyes off their rocket’s window for even one minute as asteroids and space rocks could crack their window. Whoosh! The astronauts would be sucked out by the vacuum of space. That would be horrible. So, you can see why GASA puts a rizogalo-making robot (RMR) on all missions.

3) RMRs are expensive. It needs enough artificial intelligence (AI) to make rizogalo without human aid. I also needs to cook in zero-gravity. Have you ever tried preparing rizogalo in outer space? It isn’t easy. The last time a human tried this the International Space Station was closed while Greek cleaning women were shuttled in. Getting all those globules with mops proved frustrating. The women had be trained for six months. The clean up took seven months. The Greek government ran up such a debt paying for this that it had enormous difficulties meeting its international obligations. Massive infusions of cash from Germany and other governments saved off default. Even so, the Euro almost collapsed. This would have destroyed the world economy. No one would have had money to buy clothes and most food. We would have been running around naked and eating lutefisk! So again, you can see why RMRs are essential on lengthy space flights.

– 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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How to Say All Over the World, “No lutefisk, please, it makes me ill. Where is the nearest taco truck?”

lutefisktacotruck

“No lutefisk, please, it makes me ill. Where is the nearest taco truck?”

I used GoogleTM Translate to translate the above phrases into the following languages. You might never need to use these words in your global travels, but do you want to take that chance? Read and remember.

Afrikaans – Geen lutefisk, asseblief, dit maak my siek. Waar is die naaste taco vragmotor?
Albanian – No lutefisk, ju lutem, kjo më bën të sëmurë. Ku është më i afërt kamion taco?
Arabic – لا lutefisk، من فضلك، يجعلني سوء. أين هي أقرب شاحنة تاكو؟ (Apparently, this language doesn’t have a word for lutefisk. Who knew?)
Chichewa – palibe lutefisk, chonde, IT kupanga chilichonse choipa. uli yapafupi taco galimoto?
Chinese, traditional – 沒有lutefisk,請,這讓我生病。 最近的taco卡車在哪裡?(What? The Chinese don’t have a word for tacos and they have nuclear weapons. Oh, this doesn’t sound good.)
Dutch – Geen lutefisk, alsjeblieft, het enig ziek. Waar is de dichtstbijzijnde taco truck?
French – Pas lutefisk, s’il vous plaît, IT faire tout mauvais. Où est le camion taco le plus proche?
German – Kein lutefisk, bitte, IT jeder krank machen. Wo ist der nächste LKW Taco?
Greek – Δεν lutefisk, παρακαλώ, αυτό με κάνει να άρρωστος. Πού είναι το πλησιέστερο taco φορτηγό; (What? The Greeks don’t have a word for taco and they call their country the Cradle of Western Thought?)
Hindi – कोई lutefisk, कृपया, यह मुझे बीमार बना देता है। निकटतम टैको ट्रक कहां है? (See? You can order a taco in India. All you have to do is read Hindi and pronounce it correctly.)
Hungarian – Nem lutefisk, kérem, ez teszi beteggé. Hol van a legközelebbi taco teherautó?
Latin – Lutefisk non placet, si male me. Ubi est proxima taco dolor? (If by accident you end up in ancient Rome, you’ll be able to ask for a taco truck?)
Polish – Nie lutefisk, proszę, to sprawia, że chory. Gdzie jest najbliższy ciężarówka taco?
Russian – Нет лютефиск, пожалуйста, это не делает меня больным. Где находится ближайший тако грузовик? (The fact that the country is run by an opportunistic dictator must be balance with the fact that Russians have a word for taco.)
Scots Gaelic – Chan eil lutefisk, feuch, tha mi tinn. Càite bheil a ‘fhaisge taco làraidh?
Spanish – Sin lutefisk, por favor, TI tiene ningún enfermo. ¿dónde está el camión de tacos más cercano?
Swedish – Ingen lutefisk snälla, gör mig sjuk. Var finns närmaste taco lastbil?
Vietnamese – Không LUTEFISK, xin vui lòng, nó làm cho tôi bị bệnh. Trường hợp là xe tải taco gần nhất? (Vietnam has no word for lutefisk. Had France and America known this the Vietnam War might never been fought.)
Yiddish – ניט קיין לוטעפיסק, ביטע, עס מאכט מיר קראַנק. ווו איז די ניראַסט טאַקאָ טראָק?

My spell checker went nuts with this blog.

– 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, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Qurotob (Bread salad from Tajikistan)

Tajik Entree

QUROTOB
(Bread Salad)

INGREDIENTS – SALADquorotub

2 pita loaves
1½ tablespoons olive oil (1½ more tablespoons later)
1 onion
2 green onions
1½ tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Greek yogurt
½ cup hot water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
½ cucumber
4 tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
8 non breads (See above recipe) or other flatbreads such as fatir or pita

SPECIAL UTENSILS

cookie sheet
large serving plate

Serves 8. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Brush pita loaves with 1½ tablespoons olive oil. Break loaves into small bits. Place pita bits on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-to-20 minutes or until pita bits turn golden brown.

While pita bits bake, dice onion and green onions. Add 1½ tablespoons olive oil, onion, and green onion to pan. Sauté at medium high heat for 5 minutes or until onion and green onion soften. Add Greek yogurt, hot water, lemon juice, coriander, dill, salt, and sugar to large mixing bowl. Whisk until well blended. Seed cucumber. Dice cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro, and parsley.

Add toasted pita bits to large serving plate. Pour yogurt mixture over pita bits. Top with sautéd onion and green onion, cucumber, and tomato. Garnish with cilantro and parsley. Guests use their non bread to scoop up the yogurty, veggie, bread salad from the communal serving plate.

TIDBITS

1) How did this wonderful entree come about? Here is the time line.

2) 4,500 million years ago (mya): First single-celled organisms come into existence. So does the first spam e-mail involving Nigerian dictators and their money.

3) 4,000 mya: A woman named Sally shows up at the DMV without an appointment.

4) 3,500 mya: Earliest oxygen molecule. It’s name was Bob. There were no last names that long ago.

5) 2,500 mya: Oxygen crisis. Oxygen has mid-life jitters.

6) 1,200 mya: Earliest sexual reproduction. Single-cell dating sites occur. First pickup lines invented.

7) 800 mya: Multi-cellular organisms hit the world scene. Sally’s still in line.

8) 440 mya: 86% of all species are exterminated. First known appearance of DaleksTM.

9) 350 mya: Sharks with rows of nasty, pointy teeth show up. Dun-dun, dun-dun.

10) 275 mya: Theraspid synaspids branch off from pelycosaur synapsids; no idea what this means.

11) 225 mya: The world’s first dinosaurs come from out of nowhere. They aren’t met with thunderous applause;. no life forms have hands.

12) 220 mya: Gymosperm forests dominate land life. This is not as dirty as it sounds.

13) 219 mya: It takes life 1 millions years to spot the first typo. The correct spelling is gymnosperm.

14) 160 mya: Mammals show up. Life is great until …

15) 155 mya: Mosquitoes do also.

16) 65 mya: Dinosaurs get wiped out by gigantic meteor. Mammals begin their ascent to global supremacy. Did mammals engineer this event? Who knows? They leave no written record.

17) 63 mya: Creodonts, not to be confused with orthodontists, spontaneously appear.

18) 52 mya: First bats show up.

19) 51 mya: First balls appear.

20) 50 mya: Baseball becomes popular when organisms finally agree on rules.

21) 250 thousand years ago: Humans pop up in Eastern Africa.

22) 300 years ago. Human chefs create qurotob, bread salad. Sally gets her license. Life is good.

– 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

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