Posts Tagged With: land bridge

Great Arctic Eats – Nome, Alaska

Great Arctic Eats – Nome, Alaska

Are you a diner who loves to eat, but is skittish around people? Do you feel naked going outside without a parka or, at the very least, a good sweater? Do you want to see huskies race across a finish line? If you answered yes to these questions, then you owe it to yourself to fly to Nome, Alaska where the beaches are never crowded and the seafood is oh so fresh.
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There are 15 restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm)! Let’s dine at the top five eateries.
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The most exciting establishment is Pingo Bakery – Seafood House. This eatery really is the place to go to if you only have time for one meal in Nome. (Although why you’d travel all the way to Nome for just one meal is beyond me. However, to each his own.) It has charming service, quaint atmosphere, fresh items in their outstanding bakery, and homemade ice cream. However, their seafood remains the star of this establishment. They serve seafood omelettes, for goodness sake.  (You can even order a half-size omelette.) You get a choice of roasted halibut or red king crabmeat. And there’s three seafood pizzas: salmon and artichoke heats, roasted halibut, and crab with roasted garlic and mushrooms. Can you get these culinary wonders at your local pizzerias? No, I didn’t think so. They also serve Belgian waffles and if you’re adventurous, the Chef’s Surprise Breakfast. Go there!

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Second on our restaurant tour is Bering Tea Co. They earned a perfect 5.0 rating. Congratulations, Bering Tea! They are known for their great coffee and tea. Especially their coffee. People love their coffee. They will make coffees to your specifications and with your choice of toppings and other ingredients. They offer wonderful handmade snacks. Go there early for tasty omelettes as they sell out quickly. Bering Tea has a reputation for being the friendliest eatery/cafe in town. And it’s next to Pingo Bakery. Is this a great town or what?
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Winning the bronze medal is Milano’s Pizzeria. This restaurant serves the best pizza in all of Nome. The atmosphere is rustic and local. Milano’s serves up many other cuisines beside pizza including sushi, Korean, and lobster. If you want to tour the world without ever leaving your table, this is the restaurant to visit. And it’s all served up by a friendly staff.

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Next on our Arctic food-lovers tour is the wonderfully named Polar Bear Cafe, a favorite with the locals. You can’t beat its view. It’s only a few feet away from the turbulent Bering Sea. It’s known for its large servings of crab legs and breakfasts all served  by a friendly and efficient staff.
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Special mention goes to Board of Trade Saloon.  Apparently, you haven’t had the full Nome experience unless you drink beer here and then go outside to pee in the frigid Bering Sea. Honest.
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The best way to reach Nome is by air, probably Alaska Air.

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Be sure to visit Carrie M, McLain Memorial Museum. Don’t let the lack of official, accessible websites fool you, visitors love it. It’s charming, informative, and multi-sensory. Well, visual and audial. You’re on own about touching the exhibits. Find out about the fascinating traditional and Gold Rush times of Nome.

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Then hop, skip, and jump or even take an all-terrain vehicle to the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve (BLBNP). But the most popular way to get there is by bush plane. There’s also trekking or sledding if you’re really resourceful. It sports great, informative displays. The staff is friendly and helpful. And there is no better place to learn about mammoths and mastodons. You can see a remnant of the great land bridge connecting Asia and North America. Our Asian ancestors used this land bridge to settle the Americas. But why, I keep asking myself, what possessed these worthy humans to go so far north? It had to be double-dang cold even back then. It’s a mystery, but one you can investigate at the BLBNP.

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Then get a friend in an ATV to take you to the White Alice Site. You can even hike there if you’re hardy enough. I have no idea why it’s called White Alice. Were they talking about Alice’s ethnicity? And why Alice’s heritage? Why not someone else’s? Did Alice see a ghost? Did Alice run naked here after taking an oatmeal-milk bath? It would have been cold for poor, mad Alice. And no one would have been brave enough to brave the frigid air to see her, just like Lady Godiva. Anyway, the site boasts of beautiful scenery and a panoramic view of Nome and the Bering Sea. Be sure to investigate the Cold War early warning communication site.

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Visit Katirvik Cultural Center. It’s in the same building as the McLain Memorial Museum. Hit two must-see places at once, Learn about native ways from the past millennia. The center has great interactive exhibits. The staff is friendly and helpful

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Finally, shop at Maruskiya’s. Buy amazing Alaska Native bead work and walrus-ivory carvings for your loved ones and dear friends. Buy the inevitable touristy t-shirts for everyone else.

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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

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– 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: Arctic eats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pabellón Criollo

Venezuelan Entree

PABELLÓN CRIOLLO

INGREDIENTS – PULLED MEAT

3 garlic cloves (2 more cloves later)
1 medium onion
1 tomato
2 pounds flank steak
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon cumin (¼ teaspoon more later)
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon pepper (¼ teaspoon more later)
3 quarts water (or enough to cover ingredients)

INGREDIENTS – BLACK BEANS

2 garlic cloves
1 small onion
¼ cup olive oil or oil (¼ cup more later)
1 green bell pepper
1 15-ounce-can black beans
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt

INGREDIENTS – RICE & PLANTAINS

1⅓ cups rice
2 plantains or bananas
½ cup olive oil or oil

SPECIAL UTENSILS

3-quart pot
4 plates with 3 sections. These are mighty hard to find if you’re looking for them at the last moment.
sonic obliterator

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 50 minutes.

PREPARATION – PULLED MEAT

Dice 3 garlic cloves, medium onion, and tomato. Add diced garlic, onion, tomato, flank steak, bay leaf, ¼ teaspoon cumin, oregano, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and enough water to cover ingredients. Bring to boil using high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours 30 minutes or until meat is tender to the fork. Remove and discard bay leaf. Remove meat and place on plate. Pull flank seat apart with forks. Save stock for future soups.

PREPARATION – BLACK BEANS

While flank steak simmers, mince 2 garlic cloves and small onion. Seed and dice green bell pepper. Add garlic, onion, green bell pepper, and ¼ cup olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add black beans, ¼ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

PREPARATION – RICE & PLANTAINS

About 30 minutes before flank steak should be ready to be pulled apart, cook rice according to instructions on package. Peel plantains. Cut plantains into slices 1″ wide diagonally along the length of the plantain. Add plantain and ½ cup oil to pan. Sauté slices for 3 minutes on each at medium heat or until plantain softens and browns.

PREPARATION – FINAL STEP

This step is much easier if you have a plate that is divided into 3 sections. Carefully add enough pulled flank steak to make a pie wedge that takes up ⅓ of the plate. Carefully add enough beans next to the flank steak to make a pie wedge taking up ⅓ of the plate. Carefully add (Yes, you are doing things carefully here.) enough rice to take up the remaining ⅓ of the plate. Add ¼ of the plantain slices to the outside of the rice pie-wedge.

Zap, with your sonic obliterator, any guests who fail to appreciate just how much heart and soul went into the preparation of this dish.

TIDBITS

1) This dish, pabellón criollo, is enormously popular, among Venezuelans. So much so, that Venezuelans will bring the ingredients for this dish wherever they travel or migrate.

2) And boy, they sure have migrated. On May 1, 16,870 BC priests revealed to the proto-Venezuelans that their gods would be having a millennium-long jamboree in a land beyond the Great Mother Sea. Of course, everyone knows the best time to petition gods is when they’ve been drinking, eating pulled beef, and dancing and singing up a storm.

3) So, all the proto-Venezuelans took to their rafts and floated and paddled their way down the east coast of South America, suffered ice storms in the Straights of Magellan, endured fresh-water deprivation, and got eaten by gigantic sharks and whales.

4) All of which sucked, especially when compared to jamboreeing with the gods. So once there, the proto-Venezuelans stayed and planted rice. This is how rice came to India, Vietnam, China, and Japan.

5) The proto-Venezuelans were pretty happy. Then the gods’ beer ran out. The deities became surly and hurled thunderbolts and really hard bread rolls at the humans.

6) Life sucked again. Enough to brave the perils of an ocean voyage back home. This is how peoples from Asia settled the Americas, not by the headline hunters who crossed the land bridge from Siberia to Alaska.

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Orange Beef

Chinese Entree

ORANGE BEEF

INGREDIENTSOrangeBeef-

1 orange (Keep peel)

12 ounces flank steak
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 egg white
1 tablespoon rice wine (sometimes called mirin) or pale sherry

1⅓ cups white rice

1″ fresh ginger (or 2 teaspoons fresh)
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons beef broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
⅛ teaspoon pepper
½ tablespoon sugar

5 dried red chiles
1½ cups peanut oil
Fresh zest from 1 orange or 2 teaspoon dry zest

SPECIAL UTENSIL

wok or Dutch oven
zest peeler or potato peeler

Makes 4 bowls. Takes 1½ hours.

PREPARATION

Remove peel orange. Save orange slices. Remove zest, the orange part of the peel, with zest peeler. Dice zest. (If you want to have a more authentic taste and can afford to plan ahead, spread the zest evenly over wax paper and let sit for 1-to-2 days until it is dry and brittle. Or just buy orange zest.)

Cut flank steak into strips 2″ long and ¼” wide. Add cornstarch, egg white, and rice wine to mixing bowl. Toss strips until they are well coated. Add steak strips. Put in refrigerator and marinate for 1 hour.

While beef marinates cook rice according to instructions on package. Mince ginger and garlic clove. Add sesame oil, ginger, and garlic to skillet. Sauté at medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until garlic turns color. Stir frequently. Remove sautéed ginger and garlic to mixing bowl. Add beef broth, soy sauce, pepper, and sugar to mixing bowl. Blend with whisk.

Dice red chiles. Add peanut oil and steak strips to wok. Sauté on medium-high for 2 minutes or until steak strips start to turn brown. Remove steak and drain on paper towels. Reserve 1½ tablespoons of peanut oil Add 1½ tablespoons reserved peanut oil, orange zest, and red chiles to wok. Stir frequently. Sauté on medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until chiles darken and oil smells fragrant. Stir frequently.

Add ginger/garlic/broth/soy sauce from mixing bowl to middle of wok. Return steak strips back to wok. Sauté at medium-high heat for 1 minute or until the steak strips become crispy, shiny, and have absorbed most of the sauce. Serve on top of rice. Garnish with orange slices.

TIDBITS

1) Orange beef originally came from orange cattle roaming the Painted Dessert in Arizona. Their orange hide helped the beeves, or cattle, blend in with the Dessert’s orange rocks. This camouflage technique helped the beeves escape voracious giant carnivorous beavers.

2) Things looked bad when the vicious beavers began Beaver Dam, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient Animal World. The water level in the Painted Dessert began to rise. Then rose even more. The beeves moved higher and higher up the canyon walls. Soon they would reach the green rocks where their orange hides would stand out starkly against the green rocks. The toothy beavers began salivating.

3) Then in a fortuitous stroke of fiction, humans, the Rohohoe tribe, in fact, arrived in the Painted Dessert, bringing commas for run-on sentences and arrows for hunting.

4) And hunt they did. Giant beavers tasted great when sauteéd in a lemon-basil sauce. Life was good for the Rohohoe. It was even better for the beeves. Their feared predator gone, their numbers rebounded or soared, whichever metaphor works best for you.

5) The ancient Chinese loved orange beef, having acquired a taste for it years before. Unfortunately, the abominable snowman, yeti, hunted their own orange beeves to extinction. Orange hides really made hunting in the snow-covered mountains of Tibet overly easy.

6) Fortunately, the ancient Rohohoe loved Chinese jewelry. Trade talks, smoothed by a mutual love of ScrabbleTM proceeded rapidly. And so began the great orange beef cattle drives.

7) Until global warming caused sea levels to rise to such an extent that the land bridge between North America and Asia disappeared. Snap. Just like that.

8) Deprived of Chinese jewelry, the Rohohoe economy dissolved into anarchy. Traces of this once proud people show up only in the finest cookbooks. Bereft of fresh orange beeves, Chinese founded culinary schools. They would rely on their own ingredients. No longer would Chinese caravans ply the world’s continents. No longer would their tradesmen paint, “Cho was here,” on stones all over America’s Southwest. Oh, I guess I should tell also those archeologists, sweltering in the hot Arizonan sun, what those petroglyphs mean.

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grilled Ham and Dill Havarti Cheese Sandwiches and the Discovery of America

Fusion Entree

GRILLED HAM AND DILL HAVARTI CHEESE SANDWICH

INGREDIENTSHamAndDill-

6 tablespoons butter
8 slices of your favorite bread
1 pound slice deli ham
6 ounces dill Havarti cheese

PREPARATION

Cut butter into 4 equal pieces or pats. Cut havarti cheese into 8 equal slices. Add 1 pat of butter to skillet. Melt butter using medium heat. Add 2 bread slices to skillet. Quickly Add 1/4 of the ham slices and 2 havarti slices to one the bread slices. Put the other slice butter-side up on top of the ham and cheese.

Grill for 2 minutes on medium heat or until bottom slice is browned on bottom. (Unless you have a skillet made of transparent aluminum, you will have to use your spatula to take a peek.) Carefully flip sandwich over and grill other side for 2 minutes or until the new bread on the bottom is golden brown and cheese has melted. (Note: cooking times for this sandwich will tend to become shorter with each new sandwich as the skillet absorbs more and more heat.)

TIDBITS

1) On April 1, 1491, Chef Bjorn Havarti sailed west from Copenhagen, Denmark, to discover a shorter route to the empire of the Great Khan. His voyage lasted just two minutes Remarkably, Mr. Havarti had not succeeded in hiring and keeping a crew. To this day, in Denmark, attempting a great task with woefully insufficient resources is called, “pulling a Chef Bjorn.”

3) Apparently, the Danish chef had prepared a bon voyage dinner of lutefisk. Four of their senses damaged beyond repair by contact with lutefisk, the entire crew elected to stay ashore. Before Bjorn could raise funds for another voyage, Christopher Columbus would discover America*. Bjorn was destined to be forgotten for two tidbits.

4) * = Columbus was not the first to discover America. Arriving before him were the First Americans who crossed over the land bridge from Asia, possible voyagers from China, and Vikings. Apparently, America can be discovered many times. You just need a new starting point.

5) Okay, I look out my window and see America. I hereby state that I am the first one to discover America from my home in Poway, California. April 24th will now be known as Chef Paul Day.

5) Chef Bjorn learned his lesson and devoted his life to discovering a truly tasty food. On April 1, 1920, just 429 years later, he succeeded with his pièce de resistance, Havarti cheese. He died just one day later, exhausted but triumphant.

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

Shakshuka, Israeli Breakfast Soup

Israeli Breakfast Soup

Shakshuka

IINGREDIENTSshakshu-

1 sweet red pepper
2 hot green chiles
1 white onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
24 ounces tomato sauce
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs

PREPARATION

Mince red pepper, green chiles, onion, and garlic. Put in skillet along with olive oil. Sauté on medium high heat for about 5 minutes or until onion is tender.

Add tomato sauce, oregano, and salt. Heat on high until sauce begins to boil, stirring frequently. Turn heat down to low. Add eggs. Cook until eggs are done to your satisfaction. Stir occasionally. This soup is often eaten directly from skillet.

Simple and quick with an impressive sounding name.

TIDBITS

1) People made soup as early as 6,000 BC.

2) Even then kids said, “Is it ready, yet?”

3) In 1772 BC Hammurabi of Babylon set down his famous set of 282 laws. Most of them dealt with business contracts and the family. None of them dealt with soup.

4) Current Nebraska law states a bar owner must be making soup at the same time beer is being sold.

5) So we’ve addressed the glaring soup admission in Hammurabi’s Code.

6) It took humanity over 3,700 years to do this.

7) In the meantime we’ve: discovered America via the land bridge from Asia, invented the printing press, and witnessed the creation and demise of the Twinkie.

– 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, food, history, humor, international, recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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