Posts Tagged With: Michelangelo

Prosciutto Arugula Pizza

Italian Entree

PROSCIUTTO ARUGULA PIZZA

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons flour
1 pizza crust
2 tablespoons olive oil
1¼ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
6 prosciutto slices
1 cup arugula leaves

SPECIAL UTENSIL

pizza pan

Serves 4. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION                                                                                        A 15th century map of the world

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Dust pizza pan with flour. Put pizza crust on pizza pan. Spread olive evenly over pizza crust. Sprinkle cheese over crust. Evenly arrange prosciutto slices over cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese melts and starts to turn golden brown. Remove pizza from oven. Evenly sprinkle arugula leaves over cheese and prosciutto. Slice and serve.

TIDBITS

1) Until 1492, a wide range of people, 0% to 100%, believed the world was flat. Anything that got too close to the edge of the Earth would fall off. This is why golf took so long to become popular. Enthusiasts could never be sure that wouldn’t drive their golf ball over the Earth’s edge.

2) Pizzas were also unpopular. Look at the above pizza. Look at a map of the Earth. Among other things, both are flat. A hardy few tried to eat pizzas, but a meatball or a prosciutto slice would always fall off the edge. “See?” people would say, “this proves the Earth is flat. Why would I want to eat something that reminds me why I can never play golf?” Golf-deprived populations grew surly. By the 1400s, angry mobs took to the streets, brandishing golf clubs. The aristocrats could see the writing on the wall. The people needed a diversion.

3) Then on 8 am, June 15th, 1399, the Renaissance began all over Europe. Art would pacify, even entrance the mobs. Kings, dukes, and princes everywhere combed the mobs for talented artists willing to trade their useless golf clubs for canvases and paint brushes, marble and chisels. This is how got Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Botticelli, and many others.

4) In 1522, a naval expedition circumnavigated the world. This proved the Earth to be round. People could play golf! Meatballs falling off a pizza, no longer provoked images of golf balls flying into space. However, with the advent of golf matches and pizza parties, the rulers of Europe no longer saw the need to fund the arts, so the Renaissance began to wind down. Oh well.

 

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 amazon.com.

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Picadillo

Cuban Entree

PICADILLO

INGREDIENTS

1 green bell pepper
3 garlic cloves
1 large onion
3 Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons dry white wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
12 pimiento (aka pimento) stuffed olives
¼ cup raisins
2 tablespoons fresh parsley

Serves 6. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Seed and mince bell pepper. Mince garlic cloves. Dice onion and tomato. Add bell pepper, garlic, onion, olive oil, cumin, oregano, pepper, and salt to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add ground beef, wine, tomatoes and tomato paste. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add olives and raisins. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or until raisins plump. Stir occasionally. Garnish with parsley.

TIDBITS

1) The first soup bowls didn’t have a bottom. Scalding-hot soup ladled into them went straight through to the would-be diner’s lap. This is why birth rates were so low until the Renaissance. Then in 1466 a young busboy, Leonardo Da Vinci, weary of cleaning up soup spills, invented soup bowls with bottoms. Suddenly, he had free time to invent and paint. Other busboys such as Michelangelo used this expanded off hours to paint and sculpt. The Renaissance was born.

2) Unfortunately, with creative energies diverted to the arts, bowl design stagnated. Soup-eating armies found little time for campaigning as they took forever to be served. Indeed, General Lee’s peanut-eating army consistently stole a march on their soup-slurping Northern counterparts. Then in 1863, busboy, George Meade discovered he could toss the soup bowls like a FrisbeeTM, if he made the bowls round. (Yes, it does take practice to this without spilling the soup.) President Lincoln, realized an army that could serve soup suddenly could keep up with the Rebels. He made Meade general. Three days, the round-bowl eating bluecoats defeated the gray coats at Gettysburg. The Union would be preserved, slavery would be abolished, and we are eating out of round bowls.

– 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 amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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