Posts Tagged With: Italian

Italian Sub

American Entree

ITALIAN SUB

INGREDIENTS

1 Italian sub roll* or ⅓ baguette
2 tablespoons olive oil
1½ ounces sliced capicola
1½ ounces mortadella
1½ ounces Genoa salami
1½ ounces provolone
1 leaf iceberg lettuce, shredded (optional)
1 Roma tomato (optional)
¼ red onion (optional)

* Sub rolls can be made crunchy by putting them in a toaster oven. Use “toast” setting for 1 minute.

Serves 1. Takes 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut Italian roll in half lengthwise. Drizzle both halves with olive oil. Add capicola, mortadella, and Genoa salami to bottom half of the roll. Put provolone on top of meat. Sprinkle iceberg lettuce on provolone. Cut Roma tomato lengthwise into 4 slices. Place tomato slices on lettuce. Thinly slice the red onion. Place red-onion slices on tomato slices. Put top half of sub roll on tomato slices. And Bob’s your uncle.

TIDBITS

1) In 1794, Signor Fabio Grimaldi of Florence develops the world’s first USB port. Nothing happens. The invention comes way ahead of its time. There are no computers, absolutely no place to put a USB port. There are even no memory sticks to go into the USB port.

2) And anyway Napoleon’s invasion of Italy in 1796 signals the start of nearly non-stop fighting across the European continent. Scientific investigation ends except for Signor Gabelli’s single attempt to build a under water fighting vessel made from bread. This sub research ends in frustration.

3) In 1903 Giovanni Amati makes the first edible Italian sub. It’s too big for Grimaldi’s USB port which unfortunately was tied to a kite’s tail and was blown away, lost forever.

4) But this sub was roughly the right shape. In 1955, for reasons which have been lost, Sarah Marston baked a tiny stick like sub. The dyslexic Sarah called it a USB stick.. Her husband the wine drinker munched on the stick and declared, “It needs port.” Of course, he meant port, the wine, but he had once raised again the USB-port idea. This vision was bound to grow again in the mind of science geeks everywhere. And it did. Today, every computer comes with USB ports and memory sticks. Now you know.

 

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

Posole Rojo

Mexican Soup

POSOLE ROJO

INGREDIENTS – PORK

3 pounds pork shoulder or leg
60 ounces canned-garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas)
2 bay leaves
7 garlic cloves (4 more later)
3 quarts water

INGREDIENTS – RED SAUCE

6 guajillo chiles or ancho chiles
3 ancho chiles or guajillo chiles
3 cups water
½ small onion (½ more later)
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano or marjoram or oregano
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

INGREDIENTS – FINAL

2 avocados
¼ head cabbage
4 red radishes
½ small onion
1 cup tortilla chips

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric blender

Serves 16. Takes 2 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – PORK/GARBANZO BEANS

Cut pork into 1″ cubes. Drain garbanzo beans. Cut 7 garlic cloves in half. Add pork, garbanzo beans, bay leaves, 7 garlic cloves, and 3 quarts water to 1st, large pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour or until pork cubes can be pulled apart easily with a fork. Skim off foam with spoon. Stir enough to prevent burning. Remove and discard bay leaves. Remove pork and garlic. Keep water in pot. Shred pork completely using 2 forks. Smash garlic bits with fork. Return pork and garlic to pot.

PREPARATION – RED SAUCE

While pork simmers, add 3 cups water to 2nd pot. Bring to boil. Seed guajillo and ancho chiles to pan. Roast at medium heat for 8 minutes until they start to soften. Stir occasionally . Add chiles to 2nd pot. Cover and remove from heat. Let chiles sit in water for 15 minutes or until they have completely softened. Cut ½ small onion into 4 pieces. Add guajillo chiles, ancho chiles, 4 garlic cloves, 4 onion pieces, and water from 2nd pot to blender. Set blender to puree and blend until pureed. This is the red sauce. Add red sauce, Mexican oregano, pepper, and salt to the pot containing pork and garbanzo beans. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

PREPARATION – FINAL

Add red sauce/pork/garbanzo beans to bowls. Cut avocados into 16 pieces each. Shred cabbage. Mince ½ small onion. Slice radishes as thinly as possible. Spread avocado, cabbage, onion, radish, and tortilla chips evenly over bowls of red sauce/pork/garbanzo beans.

TIDBITS

1) The Italian peninsula in 1848. Peasants rioted against the nobles. The nobles suppressed the peasant uprising. Italians took up arms against their foreign masters. The foreign masters fought back. Bullets were positively whizzing everywhere.

2) Then the Second War for Italian Independence began in 1859. Armies marched all over the place. Bullets and cannonballs streaked against the sky. It was all too much for the simple chef, Fabio Marinara who determined to leave for America. His customers pleaded for him to stay. “No,” said Fabio at length.

3) So, the plucky Italian sold all his possessions and bought a ticket to New York on the SS Seaweed.

4) But he boarded instead the SS Flan to Veracruz, Mexico. But that was okay, for Mexican food was love at first sight for Fabio. “Tacos, where have you been all my life?” thought Chef Mariana.

5) Well, across the Atlantic Ocean. But anyway, Chef Fabio opened up a restaurant on the Gulf of Mexico. Within weeks, he perfected this soup, the posole rojo.

6) People loved his soup. They’d burst out singing, “Posole Rojo” everytime this food of the gods went by their tables.

7) A Italian lyricist, Giovanni Capurro heard these outbursts of ecstasy. He thought they were referring to Veracruz’s magnificent red sunsets. He interpreted them to say, “O sole rojo” or “O my red sun.”

8) But Capurro found that the song burgeoning within his heart flowed much easier when he tweaked the words to “O solo mio” or “O my sun.”

9) He took his song back to Naples. Capurro’s song has been an enduring global hit ever since. “O Sole Mio” has even been sung twice on Sesame Street. 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

Risotto

Italian Appetizer

RISOTTO

INGREDIENTS

5½ cups chicken broth
2 garlic cloves
1 onion
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, or oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Arborio* rice
½ cup dry white wine
¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons butter

* = The properties of Arborio are important to this dish. The best substitute for Arborio is Carnaroli, with regular short-grain rice to be used only in a pinch.

Serves 10 or 5 if served as an entree. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add chicken broth to pot. Simmer at warm heat. While broth simmers, mince garlic cloves and onion. Dice Italian parsley. Add garlic, onion, and olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently

Add rice. Reduce heat to medium. Sauté for 3 minutes or until rice smells toasty and turns translucent. Stir frequently, making sure rice is thoroughly coated with olive oil. Add wine. Sauté until rice absorbs all the liquid. Stir frequently. Add broth 1 cup at time. Stir gently after each addition until the rice absorbs the broth. This should take about 25 minutes with the rice being creamy and al dente, just a little bit firm. Remove from heat and gently stir in butter and Parmesan cheese. Garnish with Italian parsley. Serve immediately.

TIDBITS

1) Karl Marx visited lovely Florence in 1848. While waiting forever for an espresso, Crabby Karl listened as workers at the next table complained loudly and endlessly about the oppressive Austrian rule over their city. His patience exhausted, he yelled at the workers, “So, riot.” They did. Fortunately, the chef had been whipping up a new rice dish. He served the workers just as they were about to go and throw bricks at the constabulary. The workers loved their risotto. They completely lost their urge to run amuck. The anagramist among them said, “no ‘so, riot.’” He lifted up his bowl of rice. “Risoto.” A typo turned that into “Risotto. Oh, and Karl would go on to other things.

– 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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Tuna Stuffed Eggs (Uova Ripiene di Tonno)

Italian Appetizer

TUNA STUFFED EGGS

(Uova Ripiene di Tonno)

INGREDIENTS

4 eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 4-ounce can tuna, drained
1 teaspoon capers, drained
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 leaves lettuce
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley

SPECIAL UTENSIL

small food processor

Serves 4. Takes 35 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add enough water to cover eggs with 1″ extra. Bring water to boil. Use a large spoon to carefully add eggs. Boil for 12 minutes. Remove eggs and put in a bowl of cold water. Peel eggs. Cut eggs in half along their length. Remove yolks and set aside.

Add yolks, mayonnaise, tuna, capers, pepper, salt, and lemon juice to small food processor. Blend until creamy. Fill egg-white halves with equal amounts of creamy mixture. Tear lettuce leaves in half. Place filled egg-white haves on lettuce-leaf halves. Dice parsley. Garnish with parsley.

TIDBITS

1) One night Contessina de’ Bardi dreamed this entire recipe in modern Italian. Unfortunately, she and many others on the Italian peninsula still spoke Latin. She had no idea what she had imagined.

2) So asked her husband Cosimo de’ Medici (1389-1464), “We don’t we all learn Italian? That way we can all understand this recipe and make a yummy appetizer. “But,” said Cosimo, “there are sorts of proto-Italian dialects around. How will we get everyone to agree on just one version?”

3) “Well,” said Contessina, “We’ll make Florence the center of the art world. All Italy will come here to marvel at our artistic glory. The visitors will all pick up Florentine Italian. So will I. Then I’ll be able to make you Tuna Stuffed Eggs.” Cosimo said, “Sounds good.” And so began The Renaissance.

– 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, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Carpaccio

Italian Entree

CARPACCIO

INGREDIENTS

½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup mayonnaise, homemade if possible*
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2½ teaspoons whole milk
½ pound beef sirloin or beef tenderloin, no fat**
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon white pepper

* = This dish has few ingredients, so it relies heavily on using fresh ones.

** = Must be center-cut sirloin or tenderloin. Must be, must be, freshly cut and cut thinly as possible, like deli cut. For safety’s sake, prepare meat as soon as you get home.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

kitchen mallet, if sirloin is not deli cut (See Tidbit 1 below)
plastic wrap

Serves 2. Takes 20 minutes plus any time needed for homemade mayonnaise.

PREPARATION

Add lemon juice, mayonnaise, and Worcester – shire sauce to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add enough milk to thin the sauce to the point where it barely coats a spoon. Stir with whisk until sauce is well blended.

Add deli-thin slice of beef sirloin to plate. (If you can’t buy sirloin cut this thin, place your slices you have between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound them with a kitchen mallet until they are paper thin and about the width of a plate.) Drizzle sauce over tenderloin slice in a criss-cross pattern as shown in above photo. Repeat for remaining slices.

TIDBITS

1) You can flatten your sirloin even more with a road roller. (Shown to the right.)

– 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, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Chicken alla Valdostana

Italian Entree

CHICKEN ALLA VALDOSTANA

INGREDIENTS

4 chicken breasts
¼ cup flour
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1½ tablespoons butter
1½ tablespoons olive oil
½ cup dry white wine
4 proscuitto (aka Parma ham) slices
4 slices Fontina or Gruyère or Gouda slices

SPECIAL UTENSIL

kitchen mallet

Serves 4. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Pound chicken breasts with kitchen mallet until they are ½” thick. Add flour, pepper, and salt to mixing bowl. Add chicken breasts to bowl. Turn chicken breasts until they are thoroughly coated. Add butter and oil to large frying pan. Use high heat until butter melts and foams. Stir frequently to ensure even melting. Add chicken breasts. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes on each side on until both sides turn golden brown. Remove chicken and set aside. Keep butter and oil.

Add wine to pan. Heat for 3 minutes or until liquid bubbles. Stir frequently. Top each chicken breast with a slice of proscuitto and a slice of Fontina cheese. Return chicken to pan. Spoon liquid from pan over each chicken breast. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Pairs well with the expensive Italian white wine your guests should be bringing.

TIDBITS

1) One of the most successful series of booklets ever is “Where’s Waldo?” Here, a child needs to find the character WaldoTM hidden on a page with of hundreds of lookalikes. This challenge gives new mothers time to perform only distantly remembered pleasures such as taking naps or being undisturbed in the bathroom.

2) In Italy, however, they play “Where’s Valdo?” This title of this recipe is one example. “Valdo” is cleverly hidden in “Valdostana.” Yes, this is a word game in contrast to the pictorial “Waldo.” In this case, young Italian mothers invite their little ones to find “Valdostana” in the daily newspaper. Sometimes it takes all day to find that word in print. This gives mothers a golden chance to get things done. And all that reading does wonders for children’s vocabulary. Indeed, most six-year olds in Italy can read at the fifth-grade level.

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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Squid Ink Spaghetti

Italian Entree

SQUID INK SPAGHETTI

INGREDIENTS

10 ounces squid-ink spaghetti*
4 garlic cloves
3 Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh basil
½ cup fresh parsley
¼ cup olive oil
6 ounces nduja**
½ cup white wine
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

* = Sorry, you really need to get squid-ink pasta. You can make your own pasta, but then you’ll need to find squid ink. Squid-ink spaghetti may be found online or in specialty stores.

** = This is a spreadable Italian salami. It may be ordered online or found in specialty stores. In a pinch, puree pepperoni.

Serves 4. Takes 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook squid-ink spaghetti according to directions on package. While spaghetti cooks, mince garlic. Dice tomatoes, basil, and parsley. Add garlic and olive oil to pan. Sauté garlic at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic softens. Stir frequently.

Add tomato and nduja. Reduce heat to medium. Stir until nduja breaks into little bits and you get a meaty sauce. Add white wine and shrimp. Sauté at medium heat for 4 minutes or until shrimp turns pink or orange. Stir frequently. Garnish with basil and parsley.

TIDBITS

1) Squid ink is hard to locate. However, Milk is easy to find. I remember when milkmen used to deliver milk to our door. It was a golden age for milk drinkers.

2) When I was twelve, I lived in Holland. The milkman there delivered milk, butter, eggs, soup, and beer. It was a global, golden age.

3) Why can’t we have another golden age? Why can’t we have milk, eggs, and beer delivered to our door? Do we want to wake up without milk? Do we want the inebriated driving to the store to get their beer? And may we, pretty please, have the milkmen deliver squid-ink pasta so that all cooks around the world can make this entree at any time? That would truly be the greatest golden age ever.

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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Italian Panini

Italian Entree

ITALIAN PANINI

INGREDIENTS

1 ciabatta roll, Italian roll, or French roll
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 deli-thin slice Provolone cheese (2 more slices later)
¼ cup roasted red bell pepper strips
4 deli-thin slices capocollo
4 del-thin slices Genoa salami
3 deli-thin slices ham
3 deli-thin slices pepperoni
2 ounces pepperoncini peppers
⅛ teaspoon basil
2 deli-thin slices Provolone cheese

SPECIAL UTENSIL

panini press

Serves 4. Takes 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Open ciabatta roll. Brush outside of roll with olive oil. Brush inside of roll with mayonnaise. Add 2 slices Provolone to bottom half of roll. Then add in the following order: roasted red pepper strips, capocollo, salami, ham, pepperoni, basil, pepperoncini rings, basil. 2 slices Provolone. and top half of roll. Place completed sandwich in panini press. Toast according to panini press’ instructions or until cheese melts or until bread turns golden brown.. Cut panini sandwich into four smaller ones.

TIDBITS

1) Italian panini is best made with a ciabatta roll. The cia batta roll was originally called the CIA batta roll. Because it was invented by the CIA. Specifically, by Guido Panini, the inventor of the Italian shirt press.

2) Guido was recruited by accident, in 1949, by the CIA. Nevertheless, he continually rose in position because all other employees had made enemies, while everyone loved him for his panini sandwiches. Indeed, in 1961 became director.

3) Later that year, Mr. Panini, suffering from an upset stomach, tried to overthrow Cuba’s Fidel Castro by invading the Bay of Pigs. The whole operation was a fiasco. Guido was given his pink slip, while the CIA was discredited to the extent that the CIA batta roll was quietly renamed, the ciabatta. Chastened, the Agency picks it head nowadays by proficiency in intelligence gathering.

Leave a message. I’d like to hear from you.

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.

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

Garlic Bread

Italian Appetizer

GARLIC BREAD

INGREDIENTS

1 loaf Italian bread or French Bread or French rolls
3 garlic cloves
½ cup butter, completely softened
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor (optional)
tin foil

Serves 4. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice bread diagonally every 1″. DO NOT slice bread all the way to the bottom; keep the loaf together. Mince garlic quite finely, use a food processor if desired. Add finely minced garlic, softened butter, olive oil, and Italian seasoning to mixing bowl. Blend thoroughly with whisk or fork. Use spatula to spread garlic butter between bread slices.

Wrap loaf in foil and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until bread is slightly browned.

TIDBITS

1) Garlic bread is an anagram for Grab Da Rice. Grab Da Rice was a slogan for the hungry French rioters of 1781. It was not a particularly good slogan as incendiary slogans go. I mean, some firebrand would whip up the Parisian sans culottes to a fever pitch and then he’d say, “Grab da rice.”

2) But not many stores in the Paris of 1781 even carried rice. So many rioters dissipated their energy tramping all over looking for riceries. They developed blisters and leg cramps and never ever again heeded the call for revolution.

3) The happy few, well as happy as you can be when you’re in full riot mode, found rice stores had trouble grabbing much rice with their hands. The rice kept slipping between their fingers as they scurried all the way home. A more informative slogan would have been, “Scoop the da rice with a large spoon and but it in a sack.” But that’s too long for exciting people to riot.

4) The French revolution only really took off when its leaders targeted bread rioters with, “Liberté, égalité, fraternité.” Proper word choice matters, even in a revolution.

Leave a message. I’d like to hear from you.

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.

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

Affogato, Italian Ice Cream Coffee

Italian Dessert

AFFOGATO

INGREDIENTS

2 cups hot espresso or hot and very strong coffee*
2 scoops vanilla ice cream*

* = There’s only two ingredients here. Higher quality ingredients will show up more than in other recipes. Also, there’s a lot of leeway. The size of your glass or cup and ice-cream scoop can vary a lot. Frequent research will reveal your optimal amounts. Excelsior!

Serves 4. Takes 2 minutes (Plus any time to brew the espresso.)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

4 narrow juice glasses or other glasses you might have. I mean how easy is it to find espresso glasses near you? And if no one’s looking, a Minnie MouseTM coffee mug will do just fine. Of course, a Minnie Mouse espresso glass would be better. The culinary world is fraught with perilous decisions.

PREPARATION

Put a scoop of vanilla ice cream in each glass. Pour hot espresso over ice cream.

TIDBITS

1) “Affogato” is a condensed version of the phrase “(A fog, a to)mato.” Actually, it’s short for “(A f)rigging (fog, a to)mato”

2) Italy experienced tumultuous–There are four “u”s in that word. Remember that for ScrabbleTM- times in 1968. The oafish Soviet led Warsaw Pact invaded nearby Czechoslovakia. Communist provoked student riots erupted up and down the Italian peninsula. It seemed inevitable that Italy would go communist and fall under Russian domination.

3) Remember the fogs of 1968. Over and over, drivers racing high-performance cars through Italy’s mountain passes experienced massive car pileups when fogs descended with stunning quickness. When the fogs lifted, inspectors would wrecked cars along with a single red tomato, the symbol of Italy’s communist party.

4) Italy teetered. But once aroused, its leaders acted decisively. By law, all Italian tomatoes had to be made into pasta sauce. This decree left no tomatoes for Italy’s Communist party. Deprived of their symbolic flourish at car-crash sites, they lost all interest in the people’s revolution thing and went out to restaurants to sample all the new exciting pasta sauces. Italy has been at peace ever since.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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

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

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