Posts Tagged With: King Arthur

Chilli Taiyo (Spicy Tuna Casserole)

Solomon Islander Entree

CHILLI TAIYO
(Spicy Tuna Casserole)

INGREDIENTS

½ pound thin noodles (Chinese or Italian)
2 garlic cloves
1 onion
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 12-ounce can tuna*
4 ounces chili paste*
2 tablespoons lime juice.
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
8 fresh basil leaves

* = If you are willing to order from Australia, you can buy cans of chilli taiyo instead of getting the first two ingredients. You can also substitute the chili paste with 6 very small but quite spicy hot peppers. Do you feel lucky?

Serves 4. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook noodles according to instructions on package. Drain and reserve noodles.

Mince garlic cloves. Dice onion. Add garlic, onion, and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Add tuna and chili paste to pan. Stir with spoon until well blended. Flatten the tuna. Cook at medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir frequently enough to prevent burning. Add lime juice, pepper, and salt. Stir until blended. Cook for an additional 7 minutes or until tuna reaches your desired level of crispiness. Stir frequently enough to prevent burning.

Add noodles to tuna in pan. Simmer at low-medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir frequently enough to prevent burning. Garnish with basil leaves.

TIDBITS

1) This entree is served in a round bowl.

2) Have bowls always been round?

3) No, although culinary archeologists have found many round bowls in Cro-Magnon burial grounds, the evidence shows that Neanderthals used rectangular bowls.

4) Moreover, when experts say that Neanderthalic bowls were rectangular, they were being generous. Not a single bowl fashioned by a Neanderthal boasts of having a straight edge. It’s almost as if the neanderthals didn’t care if their bowls made a fashion statement. In fact, the Neanderthals often made bowls with more than four angles, with hardly any of them being 90 degrees.

5) Please refer to the definitive study on this matter: von Kartofflen, Otto, Ph.D., “Lack of Geometric Precision in Neanderthalic Bowls, Indifference or Straight-Edge and Right-Angle-Tool Technology Deprivation, Prehistoric Research, August, 1973.

6) Many culinary researchers believe possession of round bowls enabled the Cro Magnons to overcome their Neanderthal cousins. Perhaps the round bowls could be hurled farther, like a discus.

7) This discus-bowl theory is gaining more and more credence. One only has to look at Ancient Greek paintings on vases. The earliest depictions show the athletes flinging round bowls. As time went on, discuses supplanted the bowls.

8) In 1673 B.C., geometricians of Sumer-Akkad develop the first straight edges and right angles. People could now dine out and eat off tables! It was the first golden age of dining out.

9) But this golden age of eating, did not last for ever. For in the times of legend, knights all wanted to be seated nearest to the king while feasting. The closer you were to your liege lord’s chair, the more prestige you had. If you sat far away, the more prestigious knights would laugh at you and say “Na na na poo poo” to say and you would hang your head in shame.

10) But then the quite possibly fictitious ruler, King Arthur, thought why not make a round table? With such a table, there is no specific king’s chair, so no one will know how far, in advance, how much or little prestige they have when sitting down to sup. This idea worked marvelously well. Jockeying for position and status by the knights in the feasting hall disappeared.

11) Hundreds of years later, a knight noticed that you could count how many spots you sat away from the king. War, born out of rivalry, would have broken out but for the soothing round shapes of their soup bowls. It was a near run thing. This is why bowls, to this day, are always round.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round shape brings peace.                                                                       Rectangular shape brings war.

 

– 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

Pumpkin Porridge (Sidvudvu)

Swazi Entree

PUMPKIN PORRIDGE
(Sidvudvu)

INGREDIENTS

1 pound pumpkin or butternut pulp
4½ cups water
1 cup maize meal, mealie flour, polenta, grits, or corn flour
¼ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar (optional)

Serves 3. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Remove seeds from pumpkin and discard or use them for something else. Remove 1 pound pumpkin pulp from pumpkin. Cut pulp into ½” cubes. Add pumpkin cubes and water to pot. Bring water to boil using high heat. Boil at high heat for 10 minutes or until pumpkin cubes are soft. Stir occasionally. Add maize meal, nutmeg, salt, and sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until maize meal thickens and has the consistency of porridge. Add water if necessary. Mash with potato masher until there are no pumpkin cubes. Stir with spoon until well blended.

TIDBITS

1) Some 2,000 years ago the top warriors of Swaziland would gather around a truly long serving rectangle full of pumpkin porridge, the food of the warrior class.

2) Naturally, all assumed that the person sitting at the north end of the serving rectangle was the warrior with the most authority; the one with the authority over life and death over the rest. The warriors with the second-most authority sat next to the man at the northern end. As you went further south, prestige ebbed further until the poor man would get told mean knock-knock jokes, get sent out for snipe hunts, and drink milk from expired cartons.

3) Then in 914, Wickus, aligned the serving rectangle east-west instead of north-south. That way, no one man would be closest to the north. No single warrior could hold the power of life and death. Unfortunately, it also meant the whole northern half of the table could claim to have lethal authority and the southern side of the table would go on snipe hunts. Things simmered until 916, when Obed led the southern half in rebellion. They’d been saving expired milk cartons for two years. The food fight got stinky in a hurry. The gasping northen warriors gave in. Felix the Wise arranged the peace. He sat the warriors around a round rotating serving table. All would have an equal time sitting at the north. The northern eater would rule fairly and kindly knowing he’d soon be a southern eater. King Arthur stole the idea of the Table Round, but never gave credit to Felix the Wise. Meanie.

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

Boston Baked Beans

American Appetizer

BOSTON BAKED BEANS

INGREDIENTS

1 pound great Northern beans
8 cups water
1 medium onion
5 ounces salt pork
¼ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup molasses
2 teaspoons dry mustard
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt

Makes 9 bowls. Takes overnight to soak plus 6 hours to cook.

PREPARATION

Add beans and water to large pot. Soak overnight. Reserve liquid from pot. Mince onions. Cut salt pork into ½” cubes. Add all ingredients including reserved liquid to slow cooker.  (If you discarded the liquid, add 5 cups water.) Use low setting to Cook for 6 hours or until beans are tender. Stir before serving.

TIDBITS

1) Beans are fairly round. Bowls are completely round. The Britons of King Arthur’s time ate beans before battle. Beans gave them strength and courage.

2) Though not the element of surprise. The many toots that came of Arthur’s knights always gave them away, no matter how carefully they concealed themselves in ambush. But the armies of King Arthur’s day generally eschewed–not that the illiterate warriors of the day would have known a two-dollar word as eschewed–complicated tactics such as ambush. Generally they came together and bashed the heck out of each other until one side gave way.

3) Naturally, King Arthur’s knights wanted to eat strength-and-courage-giving beans before combat for the knights eating the most beans, bashed the most enemy knights. In turn, these knights got the most gold, land, and the best castles from a grateful and victorious Arthur.

4) All knights wanted this. This meant they had to get the biggest bowl of beans. Soon combat broke out among King Arthur’s fighters. His warriors began to die off before they even saw the enemy.

5) The only way to have equally large bean bowls was to have only one bowl for all the knights, one they ate from at the same time. Naturally, this bowl had to be enormous. An enormous round bean bowl requires an enormous round table to support it. This is how the Round Table came about.

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

Beer Pizza

Italian Entree

BEER PIZZA

INGREDIENTSBeerPizza-

1 beer pizza crust (See above recipe.)
1 small onion
1 Roma tomato
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ pound ground sausage
¼ cup beer (additional ¼ cup later)
½ cup pasta sauce
¼ cup beer
1¼ cups tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
no-stick spray

Takes 30 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

pizza pan

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray pizza pan to keep the pizza from sticking. (It’s not a good feeling to have your great looking, great smelling pizza fall apart because it sticks to pan when you try to serve it.) Put crust on pan.

Thinly slice onion and tomato. Add Italian seasoning and ground sausage. Mix with hands and form several small meatballs. Add meatballs and ¼ cup beer to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Stir a couple times to ensure even browning. Remove meatballs.

Add pasta sauce and ¼ cup beer to liquid already in pan. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Ladle beer/pasta sauce evenly over crust. Sprinkle onion slices, tomato slices, meatballs and Parmesan cheese over sauce. Put pizza in oven and bake at 400 degrees for 10-to-15 minutes or until cheese or crust in golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) Old King Arthur’s knights loved beer pizza. When the blessing of the food was over, all hands shot out to grab a big piece. However, the Knights of the Square Table who sat at the corners were at a severe disadvantage over the knights who sat at the sides. Hence the saying, “As hungry as a corner knight.” These hungry knights invariably challenged the pizza-chomping side-of-the table knights to mortal combat. King Arthur found his army of knights so depleted by pizza-fired duels, that his kingdom was wide open to foreign invasion. Then, he hit upon the happy idea of making a round table for pizza eating. All knights were equidistant from the pizza. All Knight of the Round Table were equally fed and content. It was a glorious time.

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

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