Posts Tagged With: magic

Iranian Sholeh Zard (Saffron Rice Pudding)

Iranian Dessert

(Saffron Rice Pudding)


1 cup rice
6 cups water (2 teaspoons more later)
½ teaspoon saffron or turmeric
2 teaspoons water
¼ cup butter
¼ cup rosewater
1¾ cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons slivered almonds or pistachios


3 quart no-stick pot
8 ramekins or dessert cups

Serves 8. Takes 3 hours.


Wash rice thoroughly in colander. (This removes the starch.) Add 6 cups water to large no-stick pot. Bring water to boil using high heat. Add rice. Stir with spoon. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour or until rice become completely tender. Stir just enough to prevent burning.

Add saffron and 2 teaspoons water to small cup. Stir. Add saffron/water, butter, rosewater, and sugar to pot. Simmer at low heat for 40 minutes until mixture becomes a pudding. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Ladle pudding into ramekins. Garnish with cinnamon and slivered almonds or pistachios.


1) Life is hard, full or minor irritants. Life is very hard, filled with disasters.

2) If there were only same way or some phrase we could utter to make things magically better.

3) There is! It used to be “Abra cadabra” until it passed its Use By Date.

4) Now we must say, “Sholeh Zard.” Okay, I’ll go first. “I want a Mercedes(tm). Sholeh zard!” Wow, a Mercedes just appeared in my driveway. Now, it’s your turn to say the magic words.


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

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Getting Rich with Magic

I recently took the clothes out of the dryer and found $1.36. I didn’t put that financial windfall in there. My wife says she didn’t. The two boys don’t go near clothes dryers.coins

It must be magic or perhaps I went into the future and put the money in there. But I’m entertaining doubt about this theory. You see, I have no time machine. It must be magic. I’ll be doing a lot more laundry from now on. And I’ll find more and more money, enough to build a financial empire. You’ll be invited to visit me at my corporate offices in Paris and Tahiti.  Ho, ho, mais oui.

Now if you’ll excuse I need to make more money.
Heads to the clothes dryer.

“Abra cadabra
Iggy piggy poo,
“Give me money
“A hundred thousand dollars will do.”

– Paul R. De Lancey, Master Magician

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: finance, humor, international, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Chicken Jalfrezi

Pakistani Entree



2 green bell peppers
2 green chile peppers
2 garlic cloves
1 onion
2 tomatoes
1.5 pounds boneless chicken
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 chili powder
1 tablespoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
½ tablespoon cilantro
basmati rice (optional)
naan bread (optional)


deep skillet, Dutch oven, or wok
magic wand

PREPARATION – with magic wand

Wave magic wand and say, “Mumbo jumbo bumbo, make me chicken jalfrezi.” Poof! Your chicken jalfrezi will appear instantly.

PREPARATION – without magic wand

Seed bell peppers and green chile peppers. Dice bell peppers, chile peppers, garlic cloves, onion, and tomatoes. Cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Add oil, garlic, and onion to skillet. Sauté for 5 minutes at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add chicken, chili powder, ginger, salt, and turmeric. Cook on medium heat for 5-to-10 minutes or until chicken is golden brown. Stir frequently.

Add ghee, bell pepper, chile pepper, tomato, coriander, and cumin to skillet. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Uncover and let simmer for another 10 minutes or until bell pepper is tender. Garnish with cilantro.

This dish goes well with basmati rice and naan bread.


1) Magic wands are truly useful. You can make a million dollars, a new house or a fancy sports car appear with them.

2) Or you could use your wand to find your car keys.

3) Nervous people about to make a speech are often told to visually their audience dressed in their underwear. But what if the speaker is too shy to picture the audience so undressed. In this case, the best thing to do, the Good Samaritan thing to do, is to wave your crowd at the crowd and say, “Mumbo jumbo bumbo, let these people wear underwear only.” Poof, the audience will be in its undies. The speaker will gain courage from this and deliver a rip-roaring speech that brings the crowd to its feet and stirs it to action.

4) Since the speech is about recycling, everyone will soon be recycling. Land fills will no longer be needed. The land once set aside for landfills will now be used for farmland, new homes, and root-beer factories.

5) In fact, the audience from the speech will be filled with such fervor that it will make things just so they have more things to recycle.

6) This will be bad. Thank goodness for all those root-beer factories we built in tidbit 4). We will distribute its root beer to the teeming, frothing masses filled with recycling exuberance.

7) One sip of root beer, will calm the frenetic recycling masses. Serenity will be restored. A perfect balance between recycling and over recycling will be achieved. We will live in a new Paradise.

8) So, let these happenings be a cautionary tale to you. Use your magic wand wisely and be prepared for unforeseen consequences.

9) Well as much as you can be prepared for something that can’t be foreseen.

10) Indeed, the motto of the Boy Scouts is “Be Prepared” and they don’t even have magic wands.

11) Always buy new wands. You can never be sure how many spells are left in a used one.

12) After all, wouldn’t you be embarrassed if you tried to impress your dinner guests by summoning a tyrannosaurus rex and found you couldn’t wave it back into non-existence because you had no spells left on your wand.

13) Some of your guests would get eaten. Your surviving friends would leave your home in a huff and would most likely never speak to you again. Your dinner would be a disaster and your homeowner insurance rates would go up.

14) Of course you could have a two-ton bag of T-Rex ChowTM on hand in case this happens. But you’d only be kicking the can down the street. Eventually, the t-rex would just get hungry again. Yep, just stick to new wands or summoning only ice-cold mugs with your used magic stick, for goodness sake.

– 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

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Fajita Bowls Recipe

Mexican Entree



7 small flour tortillas
4 chicken breasts
3 garlic cloves
1 medium yellow onion
1 green bell pepper
2 orange bell peppers
1 red bell pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon TabascoTM sauce
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon Poultry MagicTM spice
2 cups lettuce
1/2 cup shredded Four Mexican cheeses
salsa (optional)


Muffin tin or 8″ casserole dish
A lazy Susan, about 24 inches across, if you can find one.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Turn muffin tin upside down. Gently push flour tortilla down between 3 upside-down cups. Do this 2 more times. Put muffin tin with tortillas in oven. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until tortilla bowls become crispy. Way cool, huh? See below picture.



Put a tortilla in each corner of the casserole dish. Fold up sides of all 4 tortillas so that they form 4 bowls. Put a toothpick in one tortilla and in another tortilla wherever they come together. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until tortilla bowls become crispy. Also cool. See below picture.



Make spice mix by whisking together in small bowl: chili powder, cumin, coriander, poultry spice and TabascoTM sauce. Cut chicken into strip 1/2″ wide and 2″ long. Add 1/3 of spice mix to chicken. Mix until chicken is coated with spice.
Use food processor to mince garlic cloves. Use knife to slice the onion into rings. Then cut rings into fourths. Combine 1/3 of spice mix with garlic and onion.

Use knife to slice the bell peppers into rings. Then cut rings into fourths. Combine 1/3 of spice mix with bell peppers.

Pour vegetable oil and lime juice into no-stick frying pan. Sauté on medium-high heat 3 times . Put each sautéed mix in its own bowl, leaving oil and lime juice in pan. 1) Sauté garlic and onion. 2) Sauté green bell pepper, orange bell pepper, and red bell pepper.. 3) Sauté chicken strips. Put bowls on lazy Susan, again if you have one. Add more vegetable oil and lime juice if you run out while sautéing all the ingredients.

Shred lettuce. Put lettuce and cheese in bowls on lazy Susan. Male a fajita bowl by filling tortilla bowl with: chicken, onion/garlic, bell pepper, lettuce, and cheese. Arriba. (Could you tell I italicized the period at the end of the last sentence?)


1) It is doubtful there ever was a real lazy Susan.

2) To clear the good name of Susan, here is a list of famous Susan singers: Susan from Iran, Susan from Japan–Is having a last name so hard?–Susan Boyle, Susan McFadden, Suzi Quatro–Okay a variation on Susan but I remember listening to her in college so there–

3) Famous Susan actresses: Susan Cookson, Susan Hampshire–I remember watching her watching her in a Masterpiece Theater series during college. You rocked, Ms. Hampshire–Susan Dey, Susan Littler, Susan Lucci, Susan Oliver, Susan Sarandon–star of the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show–and Susan St. James.

4) Famous Susan authors: Susan Cheever, Susan Isaacs, Susan Sontag–I have a book of hers sitting on my bookshelf–and Susan Fromberg Schaeffer.

5) Famous dog of the current British Queen: Susan.

6) Famous Susan mass murderers: None.

7) Famous Susan dictators: None.

8) See? Susans are nice. I can personally vouch for the niceness of every Susan I’ve met.

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

Crunchy Tuna Casserole

American Entree



8 total tablespoons or a stick of butter
(You will be using butter four times.)
8 ounces bow-tie pasta
1 stalk celery
1/2 medium onion
1 clove garlic
2 5 ounce cans solid white albacore tuna
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Seafood MagicTM spice
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
1 2 ounce bag barbecue potato chips
1 cup shredded Four Mexican cheeses
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a medium baking dish with 1/2 tablespoon butter. (First use of butter.) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add bow-tie pasta. Cook for 9 minutes or al dente-firm but not hard. Drain.

While waiting for the pasta to be ready, cut the leafy top and white bottom off the celery stalk. De-vein the celery. That is, remove the thin green threads, or veins, that run down the length of the outside. It is easy to get a start on these pesky threads if you first snap the stalk in half. The alternative to de-veining is living with thready celery or not having celery. (Both choices put the entire cosmos in its own alternative universe, perhaps resulting in Armageddon tomorrow. Choose wisely.)

Metaphorically destroy (mince) the garlic, celery, and onion. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in saucepan over low-medium heat. (Second use of butter.) Stir in the onion, celery, and garlic for seven minutes or until tender. The mix really should be tender. You have been warned.

Melt 3 1/2 tablespoons butter in another saucepan. (Third use of butter.) Add milk, mayonnaise, and flour. Stir with whisk. Cook for 5 minutes until sauce is smooth and thickened. Add tuna, onion-celery-garlic mixture, and bow-tie pasta. Mix. Pour all of this casserole into baking dish.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in yet another pan. (Last use of butter.) Mix in bread crumbs. Sprinkle mixture over the casserole. Top with grated four cheeses and Parmesan cheese.

Bake casserole 20 minutes in the oven at 375 degrees. Take casserole out of the oven and sprinkle potato chips on top. Bake casserole for another 10 minutes or until it is bubbly and lightly browned. This dish is crunchy and yummy.

You generated lots of dishes for your companion to wash. Be sure to say thank you.


1) My grandmother always said the outstanding chef would have everything cleaned and put away by the time the meal was ready to be eaten.

2) I actually did this for this meal. My grandmother would have been proud. My mother would have been astounded.

3) This is not a good meal to make if your dishwasher doesn’t work as happened to me. Grr!

4) 75 percent of all fish eaten comes from the ocean. Within a generation the percentage will drop to 50.

5) Only 1 percent of all tuna is sold fresh. The rest is canned.

6) “Tuna” spelled backwards is “a nut.” It is also an anagram for “aunt.”

7) Tuna can cruise up to 55 miles per hour and never stop moving. Cars in the heart of the world’s big cities move at an average of 8 miles per hour and are often stopped.

8) Most of the world’s oil supply comes from OPEC nations. Most of the world’s tuna is caught off California.

9) Tuna in France is canned in water, vegetable oil, tomato juice, and lemon juice.

– 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

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Powegian Tomato-Breakfast Soup

American Soup



1/2 white onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 8 ounce package pork links
2 10.75 ounce cans condensed tomato soup
2 10.75 ounce cans filled with water
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 4 ounce can diced green chiles
4 eggs
1 teaspoon Vegetable MagicTM spice
1 cup grated four Mexican cheeses


Dice onion and garlic cloves. Break pork links into pieces about 1/2-inch long. Melt butter in no-stick or saute pan. Put olive oil, onion, garlic, and pork links into saute pan. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes on medium-high heat or until links are no longer pink and onion starts to brown. Stir frequently.

In the meantime, add condensed tomato soup, the same amount of water, diced tomato, green chiles, eggs, and vegetable spice to a soup pot. Cook on medium-high heat for about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir frequently. (Stir clockwise. Stir counterclockwise. Stir clockwise. Stir counterclockwise. Take up martial arts. Become the next Karate Kid.) Lower temperature to medium. Transfer contents from saute pan and grated cheese to soup pot. Stir occasionally for about 3 minutes.

If you really like this soup, or any other dish in this cookbook, you are only obligated to give each guest one serving. You, the chef, are the only one who knows there is more tasty food still on the stove. Hee hee. Of course, if you are cooking this delight to pave the way to a marriage proposal, you really should consider giving your life long partner-to-be an extra helping.


1) As far as I know, there have been five versions of the movie, The Karate Kid.

2) The actor, Ralph Macchio, who played the Kid, was 27 years old in the third movie.

3) The Kid was a girl in the fourth movie.

4) The Kid switched back to being a boy in the fifth movie, which took place in China.

5) You cannot just join the Communist Party in China. You have to be invited. Just like to the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia.

6) I played my only 18-hole golf game the day after a rain storm. The golf balls didn’t roll at all. As soon as they landed after a long drive, they stopped.

7) No fair. If the weather had been fine, I probably could have shaved 75 strokes off my score of 225.

8) Why is it impossible to find a pen in your home?

– 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

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

Breakfast Sandwich

American Breakfast



6 sesame-seed hamburger buns

1 pound of sliced bacon

10 eggs
1 1/2 cups four Mexican cheeses
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon Beef MagicTM spice


Fry bacon in pan at medium-to-high temperatures. Stir with pan tilted away from you to avoid hot-grease splattering on you. Wear an apron. (Or a Naval Constellation Class defense shield if you can find and afford this item.)

After grease starts to form on sauce pan, add the cumin and beef allocated for the bacon. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Stop when bacon is done to the desired level of crispiness.

Remove the bacon, preferably using a spoon with holes in it. Place in a bowl with a paper towel already in it so as to absorb grease. Tamp down on top with another towel to absorb even more.


In my house, my nine-year-old sous chef does all the scrambled eggs. (Oh geez, now he’s ten. Hurry, Paul, get this cookbook out, it’s aging him.) Cook the eggs at no more than medium heat. Add in the cheese and the spices for the eggs while scrambling constantly. Cook eggs to desired level of doneness.


Put the buns in the pans. Cook only for a few seconds. This gives the buns warmth and taste while preserving their softness.

Cover the bottom bun with scrambled eggs. Add two slices of crispy bacon. Add the top bun. Pretend this tasty dish took a lot of effort when serving it to guests.


1) People have been preserving and salting pork bellies for over 3,000 years, but have only been freezing packaged White CastleTM hamburgers for a few decades.

2) Bacon was rediscovered by Lewis and Clark on their epic journey. I am grateful.

3) Canadians call Canadian bacon, “back bacon.”

4) There is an institute called The Canadian Institute For The Advancement Of Bacon Studies.

5) Bacon has been used as a cure for warts.

6) The actor, Kevin Bacon, starred in the movie, A Few Good Men. I like the movie and his acting.

7) Kevin Bacon doesn’t know me.

– 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

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

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