Posts Tagged With: Marco Polo

Chocolate and Vanilla Sundae

American Dessert

CHOCOLATE AND VANILLA SUNDAE

INGREDIENTSSundae-

3/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup unsalted peanuts (or already ground)
2 pints chocolate ice cream
2 pints vanilla ice cream
nonpareils (optional)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder or other grinder or quick hands with a knife

PREPARATION

Make chocolate sauce by adding whipping cream, chocolate chips, and vanilla extract to pot. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted or liquid becomes uniformly dark. Stir constantly.

Grind peanuts. Add large scoop (is there any other kind?) of chocolate ice cream and a large scoop of vanilla ice cream for each bowl you make. Drizzle chocolate sauce over each bowl, top with ground peanuts and nonpareils, if desired.

TIDBITS

1) Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) enjoyed snow flavored with nectar and honey. He was just a few steps away from inventing ice cream. But no, Alexander invaded the Persian Empire instead. His armies conquered land after land. However, these conquests never brought him the satisfaction that only a scope of ice cream could have given. Alexander came to realize how he had wasted his life by not coming up with ice cream and he drank himself to death.

2) The Roman Emperor Nero (54-68 A.D.) enjoyed ice and snow topped with fruit. He committed suicide rather than share this dessert with a jealous Roman mob

3) Marco Polo (1254-1324) is most famous for bringing the idea of ice cream from China to Italy. The Renaissance followed shortly.

4) Ice cream became readily available in seventeenth-century France. French literature flourished.

5) Ice cream came to America in the 1700s. and caused the birth of the American Republic in 1776.

– Chef Paul
3novelsPlease check out Paul De Lancey’s books on Amazon.com.
or visit his website www.lordsoffun.com for signed copies.

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Pasta With Spicy Peanut Sauce

Thai Entree

PASTA WITH SPICY PEANUT SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

1 pound pasta, not multicolored
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons peanut oil
5 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 tablespoon TabascoTM sauce
7 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

2 tablespoons butter
2 cups Asian vegetables: carrots, bell peppers, watercress, snow peas, etc. Try to get more than one color.

PREPARATION

Prepare pasta according to instructions on package or boil pasta for about 7 minutes

Note: put a thin coating of vegetable oil or some other plain-tasting oil on your measuring spoon before measuring something sticky like peanut butter or honey. This will make getting the peanut butter off the measuring spoon easier. (If you try to remove the p.b. by flinging it off the spoon it will go everywhere. And peanut butter can be so hard to remove from a stucco ceiling.)

Put vinegar, soy sauce, water, ginger, sugar, peanut oil, sesame oil, TabascoTM sauce, and peanut butter in blender. Blend using “liquefy” setting.

Cook pasta according to directions on box or bag. Spoon out pasta with pasta spoon–-curved with holes in it.

Dice or mince Asian veggies. Try to have multiple colors. Don’t puree them or you might end with an unappetizing yellow plop. Put butter, minced garlic, and Asian veggies in sauce pan. Saute for about 6 minutes on medium high heat. Stir frequently.

Top pasta with sauce and Asian vegetables. Yum.

TIDBITS

1) Years ago, my wife and I went to a future mom’s party. We brought this dish. Other parents-to-be arrived with fancy dishes or meals picked up at stores. No one touched our dish for a while. It was plain with a bit of diced bell peppers.

Later though, an especially astute man, in my opinion, tried our dish. He loved it and walked around telling everyone that it was great and must be tried. Well, this dish was the first one to be completely eaten. Bliss.

2) It wasn’t eaten at first because it looked boring and that I had used marginally more effort than pouring CheeriosTM into a bowl. Use more than one color with your Asian vegetables.

3) Ice cream was invented by the Chinese. Marco Polo brought this recipe back to Europe. The ice cream was entirely eaten before he got back to Venice.

4) Frozen vegetables are usually frozen right after picking and so might have had less time to lose their nutrients than fresh ones.

5) The Romans thought raw peas were poisonous and dried them before eating.

6) The 17th century French restored the pea to culinary favor.

7) This recipe can be dish intensive. Don’t try it if your dishwasher isn’t working. Just saying.

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

Super Burritos

Mexican Entree

SUPER BURRITOS

INGREDIENTS

1 medium onion
2 tablespoons cumin
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup salsa
2 cans kidney beans, drained of water
1 1/2 cups grated four Mexican cheeses
10 large flour tortillas

PREPARATION OF THE BURRITO’S INNARDS

Mince the onion. Mix it and the cumin into the ground meat by hand. Cook the meat until browned. Note, browned turkey meat is whiter than browned beef.

(You can substitute other meat for turkey. You can even use ground up vegetarian chicken. I don’t recall what went into this meat substitute, but it did taste vaguely like chicken and turned out well in this recipe.)

Add the mayonnaise and mix. (Why are there two “n”s in “mayonnaise?”) Stir in the salsa. It is essential to taste now. If your taste buds tell you it needs more spice, add more cumin or salsa. If you want your creation to be smoother, add more mayonnaise. If your mixture isn’t thick enough, you can lose liquid to evaporation by letting the mix simmer longer. Or as I prefer, use any liquidy mix as a sauce or a fantastic soup.

Remember to constantly stir, especially after adding the cheese. It takes forever to scrub off burnt cheese from the bottom of the pan.

Add kidney beans and cheese. Cook at medium heat until all the beans are hot enough and the cheese melted.

ASSEMBLING THE BURRITO

The tortilla should be big. A big tortilla is much more likely to hang together during rolling than a small one, especially given most people’s tendency to put too much meat mix onto the burrito. Size matters.

The tortilla must be pliable or easy to fold. Tortillas that have been sitting in the refrigerator for a while get brittle. Microwave them in the microwave for about ten seconds or so, until they become soft.

Never, but never, make burritos with corn tortillas. They will break apart. The burrito’s innards will ooze out the sides. You’ll panic and try to keep everything together with toothpicks. Maybe these burritos will hold together until served. (However, they will surely fall apart when the millionaire parents of your fiancé pick them up. A bad first impression of you? You bet. So, use flour tortillas, okay?)

Anyway, scoop about two tablespoons burrito mix onto the center bottom of the burrito. Fold the bottom over the mix. Fold the sides in until they almost touch. Roll the bottom of the tortilla over and over until your burrito is formed.

It takes some practice to do this right. It is easier than it might seem to burst the tortilla with too much mix or have the mix escape out the sides. But you will get it right after one or two tries.

Your family will smile beatifically at you. Your kids, who have been grunting monosyllabic words at you for months, will favor you with, “Awesome food” and “Parental figure, may I enjoy an additional helping?.” Cooking doesn’t get much better than this.

TIDBITS

1) “Burrito” is Spanish for “little burro.” Why Spanish-speaking people think a burrito looks like a little donkey is beyond me.

2) Not many people believe Marco Polo brought back burritos from China in the 1200s.

3) Probably because it is not true.

4) Many do believe, however, the burrito was first made by Juan Mendez during the Mexican Revolution.

5) So, revolutions have their upsides.

6) Bad for the part of my family that lost its ranch in the Mexican revolution.

7) But Mexico also gave us the crispy corn taco with shredded beef. How can I not forgive and forget?

– 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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Spaghetti And Meatballs

Italian Entree

SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey meat
2 big garlic cloves
1 cup of sourdough bread crumbs
2 jars of spaghetti sauce
12 ounces of spaghetti

COOKING THE SPAGHETTI

Follow the instructions on your bag of spaghetti. Different sizes and types of spaghetti have different cooking instructions.

PREPARING THE MEATBALLS

This dish is relatively forgiving. If it’s too spicy, add some water or tomato sauce. If it isn’t spicy enough add some more. If it’s too “liquidy”–-“liquidy” is a legitimate cooking term–-cook the sauce a little longer. If there isn’t enough sauce add more.

Begin defrosting the turkey meat overnight. This way saves electricity and is better for the environment than defrosting by microwave. Sometimes, however, you just don’t have the time. It’s a good idea to take the meat out of the microwave and remove the defrosted outer meat. If you don’t, you will end up cooking the outer part of your block of turkey meat, making it extremely difficult to make meatballs.

Mince the garlic cloves. Take a slice of sourdough bread and make crumbs out of it. I suggest a food processor as it can make smaller crumbs than you can and it won’t get bored doing it either. Sourdough is the chosen bread in this recipe as it goes well with the garlic and spaghetti sauces.

Mix the meat, cloves, and crumbs together. Make meatballs that are at least 1 inch in diameter and less than two. Meatballs that are more than 2 inches across stand a good chance of resembling a model of the Earth–-a hard crust on the outside, gray in the middle with a reddish core.

Put the meatballs in the pan. Actually, this recipe will make two pans worth, giving a huge, delicious meal or wonderful leftovers that your kids will eat the next day before you get up.

Cook on medium heat. Gradually add spaghetti sauce until the medium balls are covered. Reduce heat to low and cover. You won’t have to turn over the meatballs more than a few times as the sauce atop will keep the moisture in.

You’re ready with your sauce at this point. However, if your noodles are not, if you can’t get your kids to log off Wizard 101 or if your sweetheart is in the middle of a Wii Fit session, it is an extremely good idea to set the heat to warm at most or even shut it off. Stir occasionally and gnash your teeth. Your anger will evaporate with the compliments your hungry brood or guests will give you for this meal.

TIDBITS

1) Pasta was eaten by the Chinese seven-thousand years ago.

2) Cortez brought tomatoes back to Spain from Mexico in 1519. So his conquest of Mexico, while bad for the Aztecs, was a positive boon for the culinary world. No tomato sauces for spaghetti noodles for 5,500 years! Ugh.

3)Pasta was not brought back from China by Marco Polo. Ancient Romans ate this food as well. Dang, yet another example of how boring history can be.

4) Pasta was considered to be peasant food by Italian nobility until around the 19th century.

5) Pasta is an anagram for “pa sat.”

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

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