Posts Tagged With: independence

Yakitori

Japanese Entree

YAKITORI

INGREDIENTS

½ cup mirin
1⅓ cups sake or dry white wine
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup sugar
1 pound boneless chicken thighs
4 green onions

SPECIAL UTENSILS

grill
8 10″-bamboo skewers

Makes 6 skewers. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Soak skewers in water. Add mirin, sake, soy sauce, and sugar to pan. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to low-medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens and is reduced by half. Stir frequently. Remove sauce from heat and let cool.

Slice chicken thighs into 1″ squares. Slice green onions into 1″ long pieces. Alternate threading chicken squares and green-onion slices onto skewers. Warm grill to medium heat. Add as many skewers as possible without them touching each other. Grill chicken/green onion skewers on each side for 2 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink on outside. Generally skewers with sauce. Grill each side for 2 minute. Repeat 2 more times or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve with unused sauce.

TIDBITS

1) Not all Americans in 1776 favored independence from Great Britain. The Tories remained loyal to their mother country. Tories, in general, were far more talkative than their revolutionary counterparts. The patriots derided the loyalists as “Yaky tories,” or in its shortened form, “Yakitori.”

2) On August 27, 1776, the British under General Howe routed the Continental Army, To celebrate, Tory chef, Abner Davis, made the victorious commander this tasty dish. General Howe loved his dinner and asked repeatedly for more helpings. The well-fed commander soon became sleepy and didn’t wake until noon. These hours of inactivity gave General Washington the time he needed to retreat his battered army. The Americans regrouped and trained until they could stand up to any British army. The chance to crush the Revolution was lost. America would become independent.

3) In 1856, Commodore Matthew Perry lead a U.S.. squadron to Japan. He gave the Japanese many gifts, including the recipe to Yakitori. This is how Japanese cuisine came to Japan.

Chef Paul

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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Banana Fritters From Djibouti

Djiboutian Breakfast

BANANA FRITTERS

INGREDIENTSbananafritters

3 ripe bananas
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup flour
¼ cup butter
2½ teaspoons honey (½ teaspoon per fritter)

Makes 5 fritters. Takes 25 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add bananas to mixing bowl. Mash bananas with fork. or squoosh with hands. Add cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla to mixing bowl. Mix with fork until batter is well blended. Add flour. Mix with fork until well blended. Add oil to pan. Heat butter on medium heat until it starts to bubble. Ladle ¼ cup of batter at a time to pan. Flatten with spatula. Do not let fritters touch each other. You might need to cook in batches. Cook one side for 3 minutes on medium-high heat and then for 2 minutes on the other side or till fritters are golden brown all over. Drizzle each fritter with 1 teaspoon honey.

Note: cooking times tend to go down with each batch. This is true even with the batch. Watch the fritters carefully and adjust cooking times and even temperatures accordingly. Remember golden brown, always golden brown. These fritters are crumbly, so be sure to get the spatula completely under the fritter when flipping them. Flip carefully.

TIDBITS

1) “Shipoopi” is also a rousing song from the great musical The Music Man. Shipoopi rhymes with Djibouti. This is no accident. Artists and song writers in particular need solitude to create works of genius. Life in American cities is rife with telemarketers, neighbors blasting music, car horns blaring, television commercials, and door-to-door lutefisk vendors knocking at your door. The Djibouti of 1943 to 1966 had none of those distractions.

2) The Golden Age of Musicals was also 1943 to 1966. This is no coincidence. The great song writers all stayed in quiet, quiet Djibouti where they never had an idea driven out of their head.

3) But in 1967, Djiboutians began agitating for independence. The demonstrations were mainly non-violent and orderly. However, they were too loud and cacophonous for the sensitive ears and minds of the song writers. The writers left the country. But they had no place to go. Djibouti had been the world’s last haven of quiet. The Golden Age of musicals ended. “Shipoopi” remains an homage to this once tranquil land. “Djibouti, Djibouti, but you can eat there yet.”

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mozzarella En Carrozza

Italian Appetizer

MOZZARELLA EN CARROZZA

INGREDIENTS – SAUCE*MozzellaEnCarrozza-

½ cup butter
3 anchovy fillets or ½ tablespoon anchovy paste or .3 ounces nori (seaweed)
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons parsley

* = Use marinara sauce instead, if you find both anchovies and seaweed to be icky.

INGREDIENTS – SANDWICH

12 slices ¼”-thick white Italian bread
1 pound mozzarella cheese
1 cup flour
½ cup milk
¾ cup fine bread crumbs
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 eggs

SPECIAL UTENSIL

parchment paper

Makes 12 little sandwiches. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION – SAUCE

Add butter to small pot. Melt butter using medium heat. Do not let it bubble. Stir frequently. Add anchovies, capers, lemon juice, and parsley. Stir until well blended. Turn off heat and cover.

PREPARATION – SANDWICH

Trim edges off bread slices so that you 5″ squares. Cut mozzarella into 6 equally thick slices. Slices should be square with 3″ edges. Put mozzarella squares on half of the bread squares. Put remaining bread slices on top of mozzarella squares.

Add flour to mixing bowl. Thoroughly coat sandwiches with flour. Add bread crumbs to plate. Add milk to a bowl. Briefly dip both sides of sandwich in milk. Seal cheese in sandwich by pressing the bread edges together. Dredge sandwich through bread crumbs until well coated. Place sandwiches on parchment-lined plate. (This prevents sandwich from sticking to plate.) Repeat for the remaining 5 sandwiches. Chill sandwiches in refrigerator for 40 minutes.

Beat eggs in mixing bowl until well blended. Briefly dip sandwiches into blended eggs. Add oil to frying pan. Heat oil at medium heat until it sizzles when a few bread crumbs are put in it. Put as many sandwiches as will fit in the frying pan. Sauté sandwiches at medium heat for 2-to-3 minutes on each side or until coated bread turns golden brown. (Sauté times tend to shorter a bit for each successive batch of sandwiches.) Repeat until all sandwiches are sautéeed. Drain sandwiches on paper towels. Cut sandwiches in two along the diagonal. Why the diagonal? I don’t know.

Serve immediately with sauce on the side.

TIDBITS

1) Pythagoras, the ancient Greek chef, loved to make grilled cheese sandwiches.

2) As who does not?

3) But Pythagoras made really, really good grilled cheeses. Philosophers from all over the Hellenic world flocked to his restaurant, Το Ψητό Τυρί.

4) The philosophic debates were of the highest order. Concepts such as: democracy, equal rights, rule of law, and cheese making got bandied about. Indeed, these debates made Greece the envy of the ancient Mediterranean world.

5) So much so that in the 2nd century B.C. Rome subjugated Greece for its grilled cheese sandwiches and democratic principles. For a long time, culinary historians remained divided on this conquests. Some held subjugating a people for democratic principles is an oxymoron like customer service or a working printers. Others averred that conquest is always a good thing as it facilitates the movement of great appetizers, entrees, and desserts to the conquering nation. As we all know, the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 settled this debate forever.

5) In 1776, America’s founding fathers emulated the Greek philosophers when they framed The Declaration of Independence and baked the first apple pie.

6) In 1812, Zorba of Piraeus found a clay tablet will plowing his field. The tablet showed how to prove the Pythagorean Theorem, i.e., α^2 + β^2 = γ^2.

7) This theorem revolutionized the world by making more students more students hate mathematics than ever before.

8) In 1820, the Turkish Sultan Abim Bam Bu decreed that Pythagorean theorem would henceforth be written using the Arabic alphabet.

9) Instructing Greek students in Arabic and Turkish had been tolerated. So had the Pythagorean theorem. But teaching the young ones the Pythagorean theorem in Arabic pushed the Greek parents over the edge and in 1821 the Greek populace revolted against their Turkish overlords.

10) The Greeks finally gained their independence in 1833, permitting the free travel of Greek chefs all over the world. We live in a golden age.

– Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

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

Categories: cuisine, history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Syrian Chicken Casserole (fatti dejaj)

Syrian Entree

FATTI DEJAJ
(chicken casserole)

INGREDIENTS – MAINFattiDejaj-

1 cup rice
2 cups chicken stock (additional ⅔ cup later)
3 chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup chicken stock
3 pita loaves or rounds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup tahini
2 cups plain yogurt
1½ tablespoon ghee or butter
1 cup almonds, cashews, pistachios, or combination (slivered or halves)
½ tablespoon parsley

SPECIAL UTENSIL

2 casserole dishes

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add rice and 2 cups chicken stock to rice cooker or pot. Cook rice according to instructions on package. While rice cooks, cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Mince garlic cloves. Add chicken cubes, garlic, bay leaf, pepper, salt, and ⅔ cup chicken stock to first casserole dish. Coat chicken cubes thoroughly. Bake at 450 degrees for 45minutes. Stir every 15 minutes to keep chicken from drying out. Remove bay leaf.

While chicken bakes, cut pita rounds into 1″ squares. Add pita squares and oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until pita squares turn golden brown. Place pita squares on paper towels.

Add lemon juice, tahini, and yogurt to mixing bowl. Mix gently with spoon. Add ghee and nuts to pan. Toast them on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until they start turning golden brown. Stir constantly.

Add sautéed pitas squares to second casserole dish. Smooth with fork. Add rice. Smooth with fork. Add lemon juice/tahini/yogurt sauce. Smooth gently with fork. Add chicken cubes. Smooth with, oh what the heck, spoon. Sprinkle sautéed nuts and parsley over chicken cubes.

Serve to guests who darn well better appreciate all the effort you made preparing this wonderful dish.

TIDBITS

1) Syrian has many people.

2) People have bones in them.

3) There are enough bones in the human body to enable a person to stand up with enough bones leftover for arms and hands.

4) Arms and hands are used to drink root beer from glass mugs.

5) Root beer tastes like good childhood memories.

6) There is a man in Syria called Ryan.

7) Ryan drank root beer. He had a good childhood.

8) He’s old now, but as a child was very well liked.

9) People used to greet each other with, “Is Ryan healthy?” or “Is Ryan happy?” or “Is Ryan drinking root beer?” or even, “Is Ryan doing his econometrics homework?”

10) This happened so often that when the region became independent of France in 1946 people naturally wanted to call their country “Isryan.”

11) However, Ryan, a perpetually modest man, demurred.

12) But the people persisted. Isryan. Stamps with Isryan were printed.

13) Ryan demurred.

14) Fortunately, the World Anagramist Society met in Damascus a scant two weeks after independence.

15) They suggested Syrian for the name of the country. The people were contented. “As long as ‘Is Ryan’ in their somehow. Ryan was happy as well. He could pretend the country wasn’t named after him.

16) Remarkably, it took until 2002, the year the Angels finally won the World Series, for people to realize than Syrian sounds more like someone from Syria than a country. So after consulting Ryan and getting his permission, the people held a referendum and changed the country’s name to Syria.

17) If ever come across a stamp bearing the word “Isryan” save it, for goodness sake. It’s quite valuable.

– Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperpack
or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

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

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

Peanut Butter

American Appetizer

PEANUT BUTTER

INGREDIENTSPeanutButter-

4 cups roasted peanuts (1 cup then 3 cups)*
2 tablespoons peanut oil (½ tablespoon at a time)
½ tablespoon honey
¾ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon sugar

* = 4 cups peanuts weigh about 1 pound. Purchase peanuts with the skins still on for added flavor and fiber. Buy skinned peanuts if you prefer a smoother peanut butter. And, oh gosh, buy shelled roasted peanuts. It takes forever to shell enough peanuts to make this recipe; just as long as a lecture in theoretical economics lasts..

SPECIAL UTENSILS

blender
mason jar

Makes 1½ cups. Takes 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add 1 cup peanuts in blender. Blend on lowest for about a minute or until the peanut bits are the size you desire. (People’s preference for the chunkiness of their peanut butter and the power of their blender vary considerably, so you’ll need to keep a close eye on the blending.) Remove and set aside.

Add remaining 3 cups peanuts, ½ tablespoon oil, and honey to blender. Set blender to lowest setting that works. (A weak blender will just make plaintive whirring noises and do nothing if it’s on too low a setting. Gradually decrease the speed of the blender to low as it becomes more and more to blend. (I think I can. I think I can. ) Blend on low setting until mixture becomes quite smooth. (The oil should be coming out of the peanuts.) If mixture is too dry to spread, add another ½ tablespoon oil and puree again. Repeat as needed with oil until mixture is easy to spread. Add salt and sugar. Fold in salt and sugar with wooden spoon.

Store in refrigerator. It should be good for 2 weeks to 2 months, depending on the seal of the jar used for storage. I prefer mason jars. Oil might rise to the top over time. Simply mix the oil back into the peanut butter with a wooden spoon.

TIDBITS

1) Each American eats seven pounds of peanut butter a year. It’s a federal law dating back to the drafting of the Constitution. Georgia simply would not sign the great document unless its mighty peanut industry was protected. After much negotiation, the states agreed on seven pounds per person per annum. Georgia signed and America had a basis for strong government

2) Some people spread out their required peanut-butter consumption evenly over the entire year. This comes out to .3068 ounces per day. To achieve such precision, people need sophisticated scales. This need explains why American kitchen scales are the envy of the world. Indeed, NASA uses these scales in its space programs.

3) Other people eat all their peanut butter in one day. Pause and reflect.

4) Americans could fill the Grand Canyon with all the peanut butter that eat in one year. This actually happened on April 1, 2000. It was a glorious occasion with millions of loaves of bread being flown and trucked in. Thousands and thousands of trucks that normally hauled crude oil were converted to dispense grape and strawberry jelly. And the toasters! Oh, they were everywhere. People said nice things to each other except, of course, for those with peanut butter stuck to the roof of their mouths.

5) Unfortunately, this happening could not become an annual event. Many tourists, especially those from countries with low peanut-butter consumption, insisted of seeing the Grand Canyon in its peanut-butter free glory.

6) We also cannot forget the frenzied riot that took place between the smooth-peanut-butter fanatics and the chunky-peanut-fanatics. Culinary historians still shake their heads when they contemplate how close America came to civil war. It certainly affected the presidential election.

7) Speaking of presidents, Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter grew peanuts. Mr. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. Two peanuts growers, one Independence writer. We can conclude from this that every other peanut grower in America would write a Declaration of Independence.

8) Or can we conclude this? Thomas Jefferson declared independence from Great Britain. Jimmy Carter couldn’t do the same; we had already severed connections from the mother country.

9) So, who could have Mr. Carter declared independence from?

10) From America. Jimmy Carter could have penned a declaration of independence for Georgia from the United States. He didn’t, of course, but it was a near run thing.

11) In 1980, American lawmakers mindful of the horrifying carnage of the War Between the States in 1861-1865, passed a law requiring all peanut farmers to sign an annual pledge not to make their state secede from the Union.

12) Or at least to grow onions as well. No onion farmer has ever written anything advocating independence. Onion farmers are a rather down to earth sort of folks. Thank goodness.

– Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperpack
or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

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

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

Egg Coffee

Norwegian Appetizer

EGG COFFEE

INGREDIENTS??????????

9 cups water (1⅓ cups more later)
½ cup freshly ground coffee
⅓ cup water (1 cup more later)
egg
1 cup water.

PREPARATION

Add 9 cups water to large coffee pot or pan. Bring water to boil. While water comes to boil in coffee pot, add coffee, ⅓ cup water and egg to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork. (This mixture looks like potting soil.)

Add coffee/water/egg mix to boiling water. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove coffee pot from heat. Add 1 cup water. Let coffee settle for 10 minutes. Pour coffee through strainer or coffee filters.

This coffee is a lot less bitter than the regular brews and should require less than the normal amount of cream and sugar or none at all.

TIDBITS

1) Historians claim coffee was discovered about a thousand years ago by an Ethiopian goatherd whose goats were bounding with caffeinated energy. How do we know this when we don’t even know how single socks keep disappearing in our clothes dryers?

2). It’s frightening to think that if the goats had only a few more weeks of caffeinated existence, the highly energetic critters could have done their grazing chores in no time at all. They would then have had time to ponder the infinite. Sure, their brains are tiny compared to ours, but hyped up on caffeine they would have to figure that a goat’s life is to give milk and goat meat.

3) To give goat meat means to die. Fast thinking goats wouldn’t have liked that. No, not one bit. And back then goats far outnumbered humans. They would have learned goat karate, attacked us, and gained their independence in regions where human warriors didn’t wear armor. Not long after that the coffee-drinking goats would have developed their own armor, their own spears, and their own catapults. We humans would have been overwhelmed by vast, well-equipped goat armies. We would have had to become vegetarians and the goat’s servants. It nearly happened.

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

Maschi (Stuffed tomato) from Sudan

Sudanese Entree

MASCHI
(Stuffed Tomato)

INGREDIENTSMaschi-

1/2 cup rice
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic (2 more cloves later)
1 medium onion
1 1/2 pounds beef (round, steak, or ground beef)
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon dill
1/2 teaspoon salt (1/4 more teaspoon later)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (2 more tablespoons later)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 large tomatoes

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup water
2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cloves garlic

Makes 8 stuffed tomatoes. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook rice and water according to instructions on package or rice cooker. While rice cooks, mince 2 garlic cloves and onion. Shred beef, if not using ground beef.

Add cooked rice, minced garlic from two cloves , onion, beef, allspice, dill, salt, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until beef browns and onion becomes soft.

Cut off the middle top part of a tomato. Scoop out the insides of the tomato with a spoon or your finger. (If you’re wondering if you should marry, ask your sweetheart to use the finger methods to help you hollow out these tomatoes. If this exercise goes well, by all means, propose.) Fill tomato with sautéed beef mixture. Close the tomato with a middle-tomato top. Repeat for the other tomatoes.

Put tomatoes in large skillet. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Roll the tomatoes gently in the oil.  Add butter. Sauté at medium-high heat until tomatoes turn dark red on the outside. Remove pan from burner.

Mince 2 garlic cloves. Combine 2 tablespoons lemon juice, water, tomato paste, salt, cinnamon,  and minced garlic from two cloves in mixing bowl. Pour this sauce over tomatoes. Put skillet back on burner. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce is done.

TIDBITS

1) Colonel John Garang led South Sudan’s long struggle for independence. Sudanese forces looked for Garang’s headquarters every day, hoping to decapitate the independence movement. Garang maintained radio silence unless he need to transmit critical information to his platoons.

2) Except when he radioed his congratulations to the Minnesota Twins for winning the World Series. Colonel Garang was a lifelong Twins fan.

3) Bombo Rivera was a mediocre but popular outfielder for the Twins. His popularity derived mainly from his cool sounding name. A song was even written about him. Here is a link to the lyrics, http://coffeyvillewhirlwind.wordpress.com/2007/07/05/the-ballad-of-bombo-rivera/

4) The movie, La Bamba, was made in 1987. It was not about the life of Bombo Rivera and didn’t star Bombo Rivera. Indeed, as far as I can tell Bombo Rivera did not even have a bit role in the movie.

5) The movie, La Bamba, is in English. There is no Spanish version of it, not even one in Esperanto.

6) The only movie made in Esperanto is Incubus. It starred William Shatner.

7) Within a year of that, he landed the role of Captain James T. Kirk in the television series, Star Trek.

8) So knowing Esperanto is useful.

– 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, international, recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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