Posts Tagged With: lemons

Lemongrass and Five Spice Tofu

Vietnamese Appetizer



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


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.


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

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

Bad Artist #6, Lemons


Dear yellow lemon,

You so look like a grenade,

But make lemonade.

– Paul the Bad Artist


Check out my latest novel, the Christmas thriller, Beneficial Murders. My books are available in paperpack or Kindle on, As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at:



Categories: food, humor, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dutch Apple Pie

Dutch Dessert



¾ cup butter (another 6 tablespoons later)
1½ cups flour (another 1 cup later)
2 tablespoons brown sugar (another ¼ cup later)
¼ teaspoon salt


5 Granny Smith or green apples
3 tablespoons cornstarch
⅓ cup sugar (another ¼ cup later)
½ cup water
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup heavy cream


1 cup flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter


9″ pie plate


Melt ¾ cup butter. Add 1½ cups flour, brown sugar, ¾ cup melted butter, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until well blended and mixture becomes a big ball. Press mixture into pie plate.


Peel and dice apples. Add cornstarch, ⅓ cup sugar, water, cinnamon, and nutmeg to mixing bowl. Stir with whisk until smooth. Add mixture to saucepan. Bring to boil using medium-high heat. Cook for 2 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir constantly. Remove mixture from heat. Add apples and vanilla extract. Stir with whisk. Pour filling into crust. Preheat oven to 360 degrees.

Add 1 cup flour, ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, and 6 tablespoons butter to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Crumble topping mixture over filling. Bake at 360 degrees for 40-to-50 minutes or until topping turns golden brown.


1) The Spanish Inquisition sentenced the entire Dutch population to death in 1568. Tough love, you bet.

2) Or maybe the Spanish Inquisition was just really, really tough on scofflaws.

3) The Dutch give free heroin three time a day to addicts.

4) Contrast the Dutch government’s attitude to heroin addicts versus that of the Spanish Inquisition to the entire Dutch population. The Dutch policy actually resulted in lower rates of heroin addiction while the Spanish policy resulted in a bloody 80-year war with the Dutch

5) If life gives you heroin, make …

6) No, that slogan doesn’t work.

7) If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

8) If life gives you rotten lemons, make rotten lemonade.

9) If life gives you lemons, keep them, well, because they’re free.

10) If life gives your proctologist lemons, reschedule your appointment.

11) If life is dyslexic, it will give you melons.

12) If life gives you lemons, 4 chicken breasts, 1 teaspoon salt, 1¼ cups plain yogurt, ½ onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon cayenne, ½ teaspoon coriander, 1 teaspoon paprika, and 1 small tomato, make Chicken Tandoori.

13) If life give you Le Mans, go to the race there.

14) If life give you Lenin, emigrate.

15) If life gives you Lennon, “Let It Be.”

16) Bees like lemon blossoms.

17) So life gives us all critters lemons. It’s not just a humano, new word, centric thing.

– Chef Paul


My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at:

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lemonade Recipe

American Dessert



1 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water (6 more cups later)
2 cups lemon juice (might need 8 to 12 lemons if freshly squeezed)
6 cups water


Use juicer to extract lemon juice or open up bottle of lemon juice. Put sugar and 2 cups water in saucepan. Cook at medium heat until sugar dissolves. (This keeps sugar from settling to bottom.) Stir constantly.

Add sugar water, lemon juice, and 6 cups water to pitcher. Stir with long spoon. Cool in refrigerator for 30 minutes or more.


1) “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

2) “When life gives you loquats, make loquatade.

3) Lemon zest is chockfull of bioflavonoids called rutins. Sounds healthy, doesn’t it.

4) My spell checker didn’t recognize “chockfull” but was perfectly fine with bioflavonoids. Odd.

5) When I grew up we had not only a lemon tree and a loquat tree in the back, but a guava bush as well. I had a rich childhood.

6) Peter, Paul, and Mary had a hit song called, “Lemon Tree.” The guava bush, in my opinion, has many similarities to the lemon tree. They could have called their song, “Guava Bush.”

“Guava bush, very pretty, and the guava flower is sweet, but the fruit of the poor guava is impossible to eat.”

7) Would Peter, Paul, and Mary still have had a hit song if they had warbled about the humble guava instead? It’s hard to say without shifting into the correct parallel universe. And that seems risky.

– Chef Paul


My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at:

Categories: cuisine, humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: