Solomon Islander Entree
(Spicy Tuna Casserole)
½ pound thin noodles (Chinese or Italian)
2 garlic cloves
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.
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.
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.