Posts Tagged With: mandoline

Hatch Chile Onion Pie

American Entree

HATCH CHILE ONION PIE

INGREDIENTS

3 medium onions
4 tablespoons butter
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons flour
¼ cup milk
1 cup sour cream
4 Hatch chiles or 1 can Hatch chiles
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
2 9-inch pie shells
6 ounces white Mexican cheeses or any desired white cheeses

SPECIAL UTENSIL

mandoline

Makes 2 pies. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Use mandoline or knife to slice onions ⅛” thick. Add butter and onion slices to pan. Sauté on medium-heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add onion and its drippings, eggs, flour, milk, sour cream, pepper, and salt to large mixing bowl. Blend well with whisk. Pour into pie shell. Grate cheese. Sprinkle pie with cheese. Bake in oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower temperature to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 20-to-40 minutes or until center of pie is firm.

TIDBITS

1) Cro Magnon chefs felt unfulfilled serving the same old berries year after year. One day a caveman chef pointed to a mastodon. “Why not eat that?” he asked. “Yes, let’s,” said his tribe. So, the Twofoot Tribe organized mastodon hunts which became more successful when they attacked with rocks instead of berries. And the tribe would dine on raw mastodon chunks.

2) A century later, an enfant terrible chef pointed to some chickens. “Why not eat those?” “Yes, let’s,” said the Hatch Valley clan. And the cavemen started to herd chickens.  A decade later, through a series of fortuitous accidents, the H.V. Clan invented pie crusts. It was a natural step to get their chickens to lay eggs into the pie crusts, add a few Hatch chiles, onions, and sour cream from sour cows. Then cook the pie over an open flame, thank goodness for the invention of fire. And so Hatch Chile Onion Pies were first made. You can see finger paintings of them in the famous Lascaux Caves. Oh, we’ve made improvements since then. We pick the egg shells out of the pies.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Carne Asada Tortas

Mexican Entree

CARNE ASADA TORTAS

INGREDIENTS – MARINADE

¼ cup fresh cilantro
3 garlic cloves
1½ pounds flank or skirt steak
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup olive oil (2 tablespoons more later)

INGREDIENTS – OTHER

1 medium onion
1 Roma tomato
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 bolillo, telera, or French rolls
grilling or cooking spray
½ cup refried beans
1 avocado
¼ cup crema Mexicana or mayonnaise

Makes 4 tortas. Takes 2 hours 40 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

mandoline (optional)
outdoor grill

PREPARATION – MARINADE

Dice cilantro. Mince garlic cloves. Add all marinade ingredients to mixing bowl. Mix by hand until steak is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Let excess marinade drip off steak. (If not, you will have some rather exciting flames coming from the outdoor grill.)

PREPARATION – OTHER

Preheat outdoor grill to high. Use mandoline or knife to cut onion and tomato into ¼” thick slices. Add onion and 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan. Sauté onion at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add steak to grill. Grill steak on high heat for 5-to-10 minutes on each side, depending on your desired level of doneness. Remove steak. Spray the cut side of roll halves with grilling spray. Put roll halves spray side down on grill. Grill on high heat for 1 minute or until grilled side of roll halves turn golden brown. Watch carefully. Remove from heat. Cut steak against grain into 4 pieces.

Add refried beans to pan. Cook on medium-high heat until beans are warm. Remove from heat. Peel and cut avocado into 4 slices. Spread crema Mexicana on all roll halves. Add steak strips to bottom halves of rolls. Add onion, tomato, and avocado slices to bottom halves. Make an indentation in top halves of rolls. Place refried beans in indentations. Carefully turn over top halves with refried beans onto the bottom halves with the meat and veggies. Olé.

TIDBITS

1) The Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920 revolved around exceedingly complex issues such as: democracy versus oligarchy, large landed owners* versus impoverished peasantry, the authority of the Catholic church versus secular governments, and the ambitions of powerful generals and local strongmen.

2) * = This is not to imply the land owners were large, perhaps from the eating of too many too many burritos stuffed with shredded beef, lettuce, queso fresco, guacamole, and crema Mexicana. No, they had large estates, haciendas, that ran** for many miles in many directions.

3) ** = Land cannot run. A really big earthquake, 9.0 on the Richter Scale for example, can send shock waves through the ground that look like an ocean wave to any bystander***.

4) *** = Not that you’ll be able to stand up during a 9.0 earthquake. Most likely you’ll be toast.

5) I’ve used my daily allocation of asterisks – *. Life moves on.

6) Anyway, toast in Spanish is tostada. Tostadas are made mostly with beans and corn tortillas, which are cheap. This is revolutionary bands in Mexico ate quite a bit of tostadas.

7) The factions uniting, however briefly, behind successive central governments always had much more money than the rebelling peasants. The authorities could afford steak. Their armies ate well, often dining on carne asada tortas, the dish featured here.

8) The Mexican civil war was a lengthy, bloody affair. Armed bands and their leaders, jefes, shifted allegiances like the wind. Sometimes they fought for the rights of the peasants and sometimes they deserted to the government, the desire to devour a juicy, scrumptious carne asada torta proving too strong the resist.

9) Of course, the Mexican vegetarians stayed true to the cause of the bean tostada. Sometimes, even the most carnivorous soldiers in the Federal army felt the need to cleanse the palate with the delightfully simple bean tostada. When this happened, they deserted back the rebels.

10) And so it went. Battles went this way. Battles went that way. It all came down to which side would strike the decisive blow, to which side appeared the fiercest.

11) Both the Federales and the rebels used people. That was kind of a tie. The forces searched for something else. Then in an accident of fate, Pancho Villa and El Presidente Carranza both hit on the idea of using giant inflatable balloons made from MylarTM. Villa’s soldiers brought huge inflatable squirrels to the battlefield of Celaya. Carranza’s men, however, carried enormous inflatable snakes with them. Snakes are much fiercer than squirrels. Villa’s army broke and ran. The Mexican Revolution was effectively over. This is also why there’s a snake on the Mexican flag. There you go.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Fried Green Tomatoes

American Appetizer

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES
With Dipping Sauce

INGREDIENTS – DIPPING SAUCEFriedGreenTomatoesCornmeal-

2 stalks green onions
⅔ cup Dijon mustard
½ cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon white pepper

INGREDIENTS – TOMATOES

4 large or 2 pounds green tomatoes*
½ tablespoon salt (1 teaspoon more later)
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
¾ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
up to 2 cups vegetable oil

* = WARNING. This really is a lot of work if you’re using many tiny green tomatoes. If it takes more than 8 green tomatoes to make 2 pounds, consider cutting the amount of ingredients in half. Certainly, you’ll only get to eat only 1 pound of tomatoes this way, while people living in the land of big tomatoes get 2 pounds. However, you won’t be muttering to yourself and looking in the garage for an axe. Alternatively, move to the land of the big tomatoes. Oh, and leave your axe behind.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric skillet
3 mixing bowls

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 20 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes depending on the size of the tomatoes. Bigger tomatoes take less time. They really do.

PREPARATION – DIPPING SAUCE

Mince green onions. Add dipping sauce ingredients to mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Cover and chill until tomatoes are deep fried.

PREPARATION – TOMATOES

Cut tomatoes into ¼” slices. Pat tomato slices dry with paper towel. Put slices on wire racks over plates. Sprinkle slices evenly with ½ tablespoon salt. Let sit for 30 minutes to draw out water.

While tomato slices sit, add cornmeal, flour, pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt to large, second mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Divide this cornmeal/flour mixture onto 3 plates. (This will keep the cornmeal/from clumping up from the moisture of buttermilk laden tomato slice.) Add buttermilk to third mixing bowl. Dip tomatoes slices in buttermilk. Dredge buttermilk-covered slices one at time through cornmeal/flour mixture until they are well coated.

Set skillet to 375 degrees. Add enough oil to coat tomato slices to skillet. Oil will be hot enough when a tiny bit of flour added to skillet will dance in the oil. Add as many tomato slices as possible to skillet without them touching each other. Fry 3 minutes on each side or until they turn golden brown. (Cooking time tends to go down a little with each successive batch.) Additional batches might be necessary. Drain on paper towels. Serve with dipping sauce.

TIDBITS

1) Tomatoes can be cut with a regular knife. But not with any uniformity. Sure, you’ll get the occasional .25″ thick slice, but more often than not you’ll get slices with widths of .28″ or even .35″. However if your neighbors know that your make half-inch wide slices, you will be shunned.

2) In cases like these, it’s best to bolt all the doors and pull down all the shades until you have gotten rid of your deformed tomato slabs. Thieves know that houses with drawn shades and bolted doors mean that desperate knife-wielding, tomato-disposing folks are at a home and leave them at home. So when you leave the homestead, bolt your doors and draw their shades. Thieves won’t know if you’ve stepped out or are destroying culinary crimes. They won’t take the chance.

3) So don’t slice tomatoes with a knife. Then with what? A mandoline. This kitchen device makes uniform tomato slices. Now you can raise your shades and go out into your anal retentive, tomato-loving neighborhood. Be accepted, even.

4) How did the mandoline get started? Renaissance mandolin players loved sliced tomatoes. But the knives way back were even less precise than the ones we use today. Thick-tomato-slice shame ran rampant. Frustrated mandoliners took to smashing their tomatoes with their mandolins. This is how pasta sauce got invented. This is how spaghetti with marinara sauce came about. This is how Italy became the culinary capital in the world.

5) Folk music became popular in America during the 19th century. Folk guitarists took over the role of pasta-sauce makers. However, wooden acoustic guitars were amazing fragile. Just a few tomato smashings would break them. So, the pasta-sauce industry invented the sturdy electric guitar. Those things could smash tomatoes forever.

6) In 1968, a word-changing event occurred. The band Iron Butterfly released the song “In a Gadda Da Vida.” It was great. It was immensely popular. Rock bands started earning big bucks playing music of all things.

7) Rich electric guitarists gave up making pasta sauce. Italian restaurants all over the world were in danger on closing. But they didn’t, Mandy Linne, lead singer for Beefsteak had a drug-induced vision. “Why not insert a blade into a fixed surface, couple that with an adjustable upper surface, slide the tomato along the adjustable surface until it meets the blade resulting in uniform slices?” Mandy L. passed out. Her idea did not. We are living in a golden age of uniformly sliced tomatoes.

Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, history | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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