Posts Tagged With: lemongrass

Lemongrass and Five Spice Tofu

Vietnamese Appetizer

LEMONGRASS AND FIVE SPICE TOFU

INGREDIENTS

2 stalks lemongrass
3 garlic cloves
1¼ pounds firm tofu
1 cup vegetable oil (2 tablespoons more later)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon red chile flakes
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
¼ teaspoon white pepper or pepper
½ tablespoon soy sauce

PREPARATION

Discard all but the tender, inner and lower, green part of the lemongrass stalks. Mince garlic cloves and remaining lemongrass. Slice tofu into 8 long rectangles. Pat dry with paper towel. Add 1 cup vegetable oil to pan. Heat oil at high heat until a tiny bit of tofu in the oil will start to dance. Carefully add tofu rectangles to pan. Fry tofu rectangles for 8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the bottom. Turn over once. Fry for 4 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the new bottom. (Monitor the tofu carefully as the time between golden brown and crispy can be short.) Remove tofu and drain on paper towels.

Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to 2nd pan. Add garlic, lemongrass, and red chile flakes. Sauté at medium heat for 2 minutes or until lemongrass is tender and fragrant. Stir frequently. Add Chinese five spice, white pepper, and soy sauce. Mix until well blended. Add tofu rectangles. Sauté at low-medium heat for 2 minutes. Turn over once. Place 2 tofu rectangles on each plate. Carefully spoon sautéed lemongrass/garlic from pan over tofu rectangles.

Serves 4. Takes 45 minutes.

TIDBITS

1) It’s startling to hear this now, but for centuries, perhaps even millennia, lemons grew on grass rather than on trees. The reason for this change and other  ensuing culinary changes was war.

2) The British navy had been losing thousands and thousands of sailors to scurvy. In 1753, the British conducted controlled experiments to find a cure for this dread scourge. They strongly concluded that lemon juice would keep scurvy at bay. A scant forty-two years later, the British Admiralty began issuing daily rations of lemon juice. Scurvy disappeared! The navy could indefinitely blockade Napoleon’s ships and keep him from invading England. It was all so neat. Unfortunately, the Admiralty’s lemon mowers cut so much lemon grass that ground lemons were on the brink of extinction. Botanists stepped in and grafted lemons onto trees. This process worked well that the lemons developed seeds that would sprout into full-blown lemon bearing trees. History is such fun.

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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Malaysian Curry Noodles

Malaysian Soup

CURRY NOODLES

(laska)

INGREDIENTS – PASTECurrryNoodles-

1 large shrimp (1 pound more later in SOUP)
5 garlic cloves
4 macadamian nuts
6 fresh red chiles (remove seeds to make less spicy)
5 shallots
2 teaspoons coriander
½ teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 lemongrass stalks
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar

INGREDIENTS – SOUP

1 pound shrimp
6 ounces boneless chicken
8 ounces hard tofu
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (¼ cup more later)
¼ cup vegetable oil
6 ounces yellow egg noodles
8 ounces rice sticks or vermicelli
4 cups chicken stock
1 15 ounce can coconut milk
1 tablespoon lime juice

INGREDIENTS – TOPPINGS

3 ounces bean sprouts
2 hard-boiled eggs
1 lime

SPECIAL UTENSILS

1 pan
3 pots

makes 6 bowls

PREPARATION – PASTE

Peel and devein1 large shrimp. Let dry. Add 1 large shrimp, garlic cloves, macadamian nuts, red chiles, shallots, coriander, cumin, curry powder, lemongrass, salt, and sugar to food processor. Grind ingredients until paste is smooth.

PREPARATION – SOUP

Peel and devein 1 pound shrimp. Cut chicken and tofu into ½” cubes. Put tofu and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in pan. Sauté tofu at medium-high heat until tofu turns golden brown.

Add ¼ cup vegetable oil to pot. Warm oil using medium heat. Add paste. Cook for 3 minutes or until paste darkens and become fragrant. Add chicken stock, coconut milk, and lime juice to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add chicken, shrimp and tofu cubes. Continue simmering on low heat for another 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

While chicken stock/coconut milk mix simmers, cook egg noodles and rice stick according to instructions on packages. (Will you need extra pots? Will you be cleaning pots after this meal? Yes, you will!) Drain noodles after they are done.

Place an equal amount of noodles into serving bowls. Add an equal amount of chicken stock/coconut oil/shrimp/tofu mix into bowls. Peel hard-boiled eggs and cut them into halves. Cut lime into 6 slices. Top bowls with hard-boiled egg halves, lime slices, and bean sprouts.

TIDBITS

1) Curry noodles is an anagram for cloudy snorer, uncool dryers, and nosy cod ruler.

2) Dryers are uncool because they steal our socks.

3) Dryers are actually alive. They are all aliens from the planet Rohoho.

4) Rohohans love socks, any planet’s socks.

5) But they love socks from Earth most of all.

6) That’s why the Rohohans come in the middle of the night, zap your clothes dryer into another dimension, and take its place. So, that clothes dryer in your home is actually an alien.

8) But it’s no big deal. Rohohans really don’t mind drying your clothes. In fact, they are rather good at it. They just eat one of your socks occasionally.

9) Why do they eat only one sock from a pair? No one knows for sure. The best guess is that they crave variety, just like we hate to eat 1,722 hot dogs in a row.

10) If you fill your socks with lutefisk, the Rohohans won’t touch them.

11) Of course, you won’t want to touch any of your lutefisk-scented clothes either. Life is hard.

– 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

 

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Peanut Sauce (pinda saus)

Dutch appetizer

PEANUT SAUCE
(pinda saus)

INGREDIENTSPeanutSauce-

1 garlic clove
½ teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon lemongrass
¾ cup milk
¾ cup smooth peanut butter
4 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon sambal oelek (omit if you can’t find it or desire a less spicy sauce)

PREPARATION

Mince garlic clove. Add garlic, lemon juice, and lemongrass to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for about 3 minutes or until garlic softens. Stir frequently. Add milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, and sambal oelek. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until it just starts to boil. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes until mixture thickens. Stir frequently.

Goes well with: sticky rice, satays, bami goreng, egg rolls, and loempias.

TIDBITS

1) The Netherlands supplies 70% of the world’s bacon. Yay!

2) The Spanish Inquistion sentenced everyone in the Netherlands to death in 1568 . Tough love, you bet.

3) The Netherlands supplies 70% of the world’s bacon. Woot!

4) Amsterdam is home to the greatest number of museums in any one city, including ones dedicated to sex museums. Honey, I’m just going to the museum to improve my mind.

5) The Netherlands supplies 70% of the world’s bacon. Thank you, Netherlands.

7) Amsterdam’s coffee shops can sell you up to 5 grams of cannabis. And then you’ll be hungry for … bacon!

8) The Netherlands supplies 70% of the world’s bacon. Satisfy your bacon munchies here.

9) When not producing bacon, the Dutch are known to indulge in engineering marvels and the arts.

– 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

Yam Neua (Thai Beef Salad)

Thai Entree

YAM NEUA
(Thai Beef Salad)

INGREDIENTSThaiBeefSal-

6 cups napa or Chinese cabbage or cabbage
1/2 cup carrots
1 cucumber
1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin steak
3 cloves garlic
2 shallots
1 tablespoon lime juice (1 tablespoon more later)
5 tablespoons Thai fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon palm sugar or sugar
1/2 teaspoon cilantro
1/2 teaspoon lemongrass
1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil

PREPARATION

Shred napa and carrots. Mince garlic and shallots. Peel, seed, and slice cucumber. Cut sirloin into thin strips.

Add 1 tablespoon lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, cilantro, lemongrass, and red pepper flakes to large serving bowl. Mix ingredients with fork. Add cabbage, carrots, and cucumber. Mix again

Add sirloin, garlic, shallots, basil, coriander, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and olive oil to skillet. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until sirloin is no longer pink. Spoon sirloin strips and juice from skillet on top of salad in serving bowl.

A perfect salad for meat lovers.

TIDBITS

1) Cabbage is the new sexy. According to recent research in England, cabbage is the best natural aphrodisiac.

2. Many dishes are aphrodisiacs as well. They include: grilled oyster, grilled asparagus, grilled bananas, honey grilled shrimp, grilled Parmesan potatoes, and grilled carrots.

3) Whoa, look what grilling does.

4) Watch out if your date asks you over for grilled cabbage.

5) What if grilled beans were an aphrodisiac? How would you grill them? They’d keep falling through the spaces in the grill?

6) Chocolates make people more romantic. Would grilling chocolate cause overwhelming passion? Who would know? The chocolate would probably melt on the grill and drip on the hot coals below. Or, the chocolate would burst into flames. Either way you’d scorch your fingers trying to give that chocolate to your sweetheart and then you wouldn’t feel romantic at all.

7) Or you could profess you love, if you want to try a non-culinary approach.
cover

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World, is 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

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Lemongrass Chicken

Cambodian Entree

LEMONGRASS CHICKEN

INGREDIENTSLemGrCh-

2 boneless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce (2 more tablespoons)

2 stalks fresh lemongrass (or 2 teaspoons dried or 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest or 1 teaspoon lemon juice.)
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 tablespoon onion salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 cup rice
2 cups water

PREPARATION

Cut the chicken breasts into strips 1/2-inch wide and 2-inches long. Mince garlic cloves. Cut off the root end of the lemongrass stalk and strip off outside leaves. Mince inside core. (Or use dried lemongrass, or grated lemon zest, or lemon juice. Sometimes fresh lemongrass is as easy to get as Icelandic habañero peppers. Just do your best. I feel your spicing pain.)

Combine honey and soy sauce in mixing bowl. Thoroughly coat the chicken strips in this mixture.

Heat vegetable oil in wok or no-stick frying pan. Add chicken strips, garlic, lemongrass, onion salt, lime juice, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Cook on medium high until chicken turns white. Stir frequently. Add more soy sauce if too sweet and more honey if not sweet enough.

You really should have a supply of fresh onions around the kitchen. At the time of writing this recipe my onions had gone bad, surly even, and my wife rightfully pointed out I was crazy to think she’d be going to the store when she had the kids’ baseball uniforms to clean. Hence, the onion salt. Life is like that.

Cook rice according to instructions shown on bag.

Serve on lovingly cooked rice. (Your guests will sense the love that went into the rice and the whole dish and gaze upon you with undisguised affection. And if they complain about the freshness of the lemongrass or its absence, send them to Iceland. If you can place them in the path of a lava flow, even better.)

TIDBITS

1) Yes, Iceland has volcanoes.

2) It also produces bananas.

3) Icelandic farmers have burned bananas on at least one occasion to drive up prices.

4) Cambodia produces bananas as well.

5) I first had this dish in Nantes, France, the hometown of the great novelist Jules Verne.

6) Iceland and Cambodia have never gone to war with each other.

7) Probably because they both grow bananas and understand each other on a deep level.

8) Germany and France have been pretty much free of banana plantations. But they fought each other three times from 1870 to 1945. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

9) Bananas were also a favored prop during the heyday of the silent-film era. The world was at peace then. When bananas disappeared from cinema the world went to war.

10) Besides ending war, the banana’s potassium helps boost bone mass.

11) So, write your Congressman and ask him to sponsor banana plantations all across America and indeed the world.

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

Chicken Satay From Cookbook

Thai Entree

CHICKEN SATAY WITH PEANUT SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts

MARINADE

3 garlic cloves
2/3 cup raspberry drinkable low-fat yogurt
1/3 cup ranch yogurt dressing
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon lemongrass
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

PEANUT SAUCE

1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup warm water

quarter head of iceberg lettuce

UTENSILS

grill

12 to 20 unicorn horns
12 to 20 wooden skewers (if your supermarkets don’t carry unicorn horns)

PREPARATION

Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes.

MARINADE

Peel and mince garlic cloves. Combine garlic, drinkable yogurt, yogurt dressing, turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, lemongrass, ginger, and soy sauce in shallow bowl.

Put chicken cubes in shallow mixing bowl. Turn over cubes in sauce until thoroughly coated with sauce. Cover and put chicken marinate in refrigerator for up to 2 hours.

(If your horde of youngin’s and spouse are ravenously hungry, it’s okay to skip putting the marinade in the fridge. It’ll still taste great, but the flavor won’t quite go all the way to the middle of the chicken cube. Then again, if they’re hungry to the point of chewing fruit cake, they probably won’t notice this shortcut.)

PREPARATION OF PEANUT SAUCE

Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, red chili pepper, mayonnaise, brown sugar, lime juice, and warm water in blender. Set blender to liquify and watch until, well, the mixture is liquified. Add a little extra water if needed.

FINAL PREPARATION

Carefully thread the coated chicken cubes onto the wooden skewers. (I do mean carefully. Those skewers can draw blood.) The skewer should be in the middle of the cube. Put cubes onto the first 3/4ths of the skewer. (You will need that last empty 1/4th to turn the chicken laden skewers over on the grill.)

Grills, especially indoor grills, vary greatly in heating ability, so vigilance is a must. On my little indoor grill I cooked on high for 5 minutes on a side for a total of 15 minutes. Again, your grill might cook much quicker, say in 8 minutes total.

Put lettuce leaves on each plate. Place chicken satays on top lettuce. Pour peanut sauce over both.

The person who agrees to clean up gets an extra skewer.

TIDBITS

1) The term “raspberry” or the sound of derision made with the tongue and mouth seems to have come from England.

2) England conquered and took over Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Canada, the eastern part of America, many islands in the Caribbean, parts of Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand, India, Burma, much of Africa, and little islands everywhere.

3) It is doubtful the English did all this land grabbing by giving natives everywhere the “raspberry.”

4) A likelier explanation comes from English superiority in naval and land tactics coupled with vast advantages in weaponry.

5) England today is a part of Britain with the British Empire being much diminished from its peak. Much of this decline came about when its armed forces lost their superiority on the battlefields and the high seas.

6) However, the food prepared by the chefs of Her Majesty’s armies are the envy of British restaurant goers everywhere. These chefs even won a prestigious national award.

6) Tidbit 6) has already been written.

 

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

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