Posts Tagged With: mushrooms

My Spices and Herbs

Hi! I love to make cuisines from all over the world. Actually, I need to discover new appetiziers, soups, entrees, side dishes, and desserts, Cooking is therapeutic for me. Well, mostly.  Making dishes from everywhere requires all the spices and a good selection of the world’s myriad herbs. So, I’ve accumulated quite a few spices and herbs as you can see in the pictures below. Many thanks to all the wonderful people who have given me spices, herbs, and blends.

And as always, “Good cooking. Good Eating.”

 

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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I Am a Fashion Model – Spring Wear

 

The very latest fashions from France!

On the left, we have trend-setting dinner pajamas. This delightful, matching ensemble comes from Chez Ours and sports bear silhouettes on an avant-garde white background. Your date won’t be able to take her eyes off you whether you’re stepping out at an after-Oscars(tm) party or planning a candlelit conquest at home. Ooh, la, la.

What will you be wearing to celebrate Cinco  de Mayo? Why the bold affirmation of Mexican cuisine seen on the right. It’s straight from the renowned designers at La Maison de Taco. This bright-yellow shirt shouts, “Look at me! Look at me!”  People will indeed see you, whether you’re crossing an unlit street at night or simply acting as a part-time strobe light at a Tex-Mex disco. And you won’t even need to know Spanish when dining in Mexico. When the waiter comes by to take your order, simply point to the desired food on your shirt. Olé.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., fashionisto

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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Emperor Paul I

The picture to the right shows what I would look like were I to become emperor. And why not? I’m a nice guy. Also, according to long standing family belief, I am the fifth generation, direct descendant of Emperor Napoleon I. So you can see I have a valid claim to be the ruler of France. And I’m quite up on French history as well as being aware of French politics. Also, I have spent time in France on multiple occasions, I’ve bicycled from one end of France to another, love French cuisine, am adept at cooking French dishes. At my peak, I could speak fluent French at a third-grade level. What more do you want? Anyway, the country is a total mess, I am less so. Time to make me leader of France. My slogan is, “Take naps. Do no harm.” Aux armes, citoyens.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., Paul I

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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Simple Black Bean Soup

Brazilian Soup

SIMPLE BLACK BEAN SOUP

INGREDIENTS

1 green or red bell pepper
1 medium carrot
3 garlic cloves
1 medium yellow or white onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon black pepper
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 15-ounce cans black beans
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
¼ cup diced tomatoes
2½ cups vegetable broth
4 green onions

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Seed and dice bell pepper. Dice carrot, garlic cloves, and onion. Add carrot, garlic, onion, and oil to pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until yellow onion softens. Stir frequently. Add bell pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes or until bell pepper softens. Stir frequently.

While bell pepper softens, drain and rinse black beans. Add bay leaf, black beans, orange juice, orange zest, tomato, and vegetable broth. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer at low heat for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. While soup simmers, dice green onions. Remove bay leaf. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with green onions and tomato.

TIDBITS

1) The notorious pirate, Blackbeard, terrorized merchant shipping in the Caribbean during the 1710s while the universally loved Black bean soup hails from Brazil.

2) Black Beard’s true name was Edward Teach. But he wanted a name whose his very mention would paralyze merchant ship captains, a nom du piratage if you will. He so loved this recipe that he, at first, went by Black Bean Soup. His crew demurred, asserting that this moniker would never strike terror in anyone. Indeed, his fellow pirates said scaring the bejeebus out of their prey was very much a good thing. After much discussion, the pirates voted for Blackbeard as Teach’s new name.

– 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.

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How To Use #3, Coffee Grinder

Dear readers,

Today, you’ll learn how to use your electric coffee grinder. You may have an electric one that looks like this.

Here are the two things you must know if you wish to master the art of grinding coffee.

1) Plug it in. Pretty much every electric gizmo from the coffee grinder to biggest super computers need electricity. There’s really no way around this step.

2)  If your coffee grinder requires two lids, “For the love of God, Montressor,” use both lids. The poor soul who used the grinder in the picture used only one of the lids. You can see the result. He now wanders Skid Row periodically flinging his arms to the sky and muttering, “Why? Why? Why?”

Try these steps and before you know it you’ll be grinding coffee with the best of us. And as always, bon appétit.

– 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.

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Bariis Iskukaris – Spicy Rice and Meat From Somalia

Somali Entree

BARIIS ISKUKARIS
(Spicy Rice and Meat)

INGREDIENTS

1 cup basmati rice
½” ginger root
2 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
1 large tomato
3 cardamom seeds
3 cloves
¾ pound lamb, beef, goat, or chicken
2½ tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon vegetable seasoning
1½ cups water
½ teaspoon saffron threads

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook rice according to instructions on package. While rice cooks, grate ginger root. Mince garlic cloves and onion. Dice tomato. Grind cardamom seeds and cloves into powder. Cut meat into ½” cubes. Add ghee, garlic, onion, cardamom, cinnamon stick, and cloves to pan. Sauté for 5 minutes at medium-high heat or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently.

Add meat cubes, coriander, cumin, ginger, salt, and vegetable seasoning. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes or until meat browns. Stir frequently. Add tomato. Cover and cook at medium heat for 10 minutes or until a sauce is obtained. Stir occasionally.

Add 1½ cups water. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir enough to prevent burning. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until meat is tender and most of the water has been absorbed. Stir occasionally. Add saffron. Cover, and simmer at low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick. Add rice to plate. Ladle spicy meat mix onto rice.

TIDBITS

1) Food left on a burner can burn within minutes or at the most, within a day. Bears take two weeks to three months to hibernate. It’s a certainty that any food bears left on the stove at the start of their Big Sleep will have turned into ashes by the time they stirred. There’s no evolutionary future for a species that habitually burns its food. That’s why we descended from apes.

– 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.

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The Wonder Dog – Part 1

We won the war. We brought the Nazis to their knees, not some namby-pamby foot soldier who probably counted dodging Spam thrown in the mess halls as combat experience. Yes sir, it was me and the airmen of Okeechobee. Young man, I’m gonna tell you our story.

Okeechobee, Florida then was only known for its millions of bugs; huge bugs the size of baseballs. But it was there, in 1944, that the Army set up the 800th Bomber Group, captained by Henry Pizarro.

Well, we were out in the middle of nowhere in a state often forgotten by the rest of the Union. Supplies never did get to us in a regular manner. Sometimes we’d go weeks without any supplies. Sometimes, we got a lot of stuff we didn’t really need. One week they sent us one million scarves, and 22,187 bird feeders stamped “U.S. Army bird feeder, Red-Headed Woodpecker Only.” Antonio Cedeno, Army Head Scratcher First Class, scratched his head and said, “That’s army for you.” Oh, we also received eight hundred tons of papayas. It seemed that although our nation’s scientists were still failing with the general concept of refrigeration, they had miraculously found a way to refrigerate papayas several months ago.

Well, around August, we had run out of all food but papayas for two months, and no one wanted to eat bugs. Hell, the bugs had been biting us so much that some of us figured we’d be cannibals if we’d eat them. So, we approached Lieutenant Kelso, who was in charge of food supplies. Kelso said that he was mighty sick of papaya soup and papaya burgers. He said he’d raise heaven and earth to find some new food.

The next day we heard a terrible ruckus all around us. Every flea-bitten mutt in the flea-bitten state of Florida was barking, yelping, yipping, and scratching his balls. Sergeant Niekro went out to investigate. Apparently, Kelso planned to use these dogs to sniff up some food for us.

Well, I decided to follow the dogs. They headed away from the mess hall as even dogs get tired of papaya biscuits. Those mutts made a bee line toward the swamp where bugs felt particularly secure and ornery. Way in the distance I could make out that huge ominous, gray, metallic building so forbidding that even the chaplain called it “the Hut of Hell.” The Hut of Hell housed our chemical supplies, used oil drums, and various pleasant poisons.

Those dogs just ran to the Hut and barked something fierce. Kelso, opened the door and immediately the dogs keeled over in agony. Kelso doubled over and proceeded to vomit big yellow chunks of papaya loaf. Sure, it was up to me, Robert Carbo, the man with the big sniffer. I dodged a stream of papaya spew from Kelso and went inside.

As God is my witness, I have never seen so many hot dogs in my life. These hot dogs were arranged in huge columns. Each column was twelve feet long by ten feet wide and stretched at least fifty feet up to the ceiling. There were thousands of these majestic columns.

Well, perhaps not majestic, more like tons of decaying, larva infested, grayish-green beef shapes. How long had they been sitting in that metal building in Florida’s fine, humid, 120-degree weather? However, stench worse than Private Aparicio’s pits after a twenty-mile hike, prompted to me continue this thought outside. I wrenched my boots free from some hot-dog ooze and bolted outside.

I carried Kelso all the way back to the infirmary. Unfortunately, our doctor was away in Miami picking up popsicle sticks off the sidewalks as we had run through our last shipments of tongue depressors. Corporal Johnny Conigliaro, a quack in civilian life, prescribed a dose of deadly nightshade, a rather poisonous, purplish flower. Kelso nearly died from this treatment but did not complain, saying, “It’s worth risking death to eat something that’s not yellowish orange.”

A week later Captain Pizarro, arose from his desk and put on his papaya-woven flak jacket and walked to the mess tent. The cook had outdone himself with a gourmet feast. We started off with a snappy papaya fondue and a Waldorf salad where the apples, celery, walnuts, and mayonnaise were substituted with papaya, papaya, papaya, and papaya sauce. For the main course he regaled us with a choice of: barbecued papaya sandwiches on papaya bread with a papaya sauce or chicken cordon bleu, where instead of chicken, ham, gruyere cheese, breading, and butter, he substituted papaya, papaya, curdled papaya juice, papaya crumbs, and melted papaya. For dessert we could choose either the papaya balls or the papaya flavored ice cream made with creamed papaya instead of cream. We washed down this feast with good ol’ papaya 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 amazon.com.

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Nidi di Rondini

San Marinese

NIDI DI RONDINI

INGREDIENTS

1 12-ounce package lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup marinara sauce (⅓ cup more later)
1¼ cups grated mozzarella
½ pound prosciutto or deli-sliced ham
⅓ cup marinara sauce
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

SPECIAL UTENSILS

8″-x-8″ casserole dish
kitchen scissors or scissors
aluminum foil

Serves 5. Takes 1 hours 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions on package. (Do not let noodles stick together. You might need to cook them in batches.) Drain noodles. Spray flat surface. Place lasagna noodles flat on flat surface. (Do not let them touch each other.)

While noodles cook, add butter to pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Gradually add in flour. Stir frequently until well blended. Gradually add milk until the sauce thickens. Stir frequently. Add salt. Stir until blended. This is the bechamel sauce. Remove pan from heat.

Pour ⅔ cup marinara sauce into casserole dish. Smooth with spatula. Spread bechamel sauce evenly over all the noodles. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over the bechamel sauce. Place proscuitto strips over the bechamel-mozzarella lasagna noodles. (If necessary, trim or fold prosciutto strips so that they are narrower than the noodles.)

Roll up lasagna noodles so that they form a tight cylinder. Place lasagna cylinders upright and close together in casserole dish. (If necessary, place wadded-up balls of tin foil in casserole dish to keep lasagna cylinders from falling over.) Make four ½” cuts at the top of each lasagna cylinders. Pull the lasagna between the cuts down and out a bit. so that they look like rose petals.

Drizzle ⅓ cup marinara sauce over the lasagna cylinders. Sprinkle cylinders with Parmesan cheese. (Not so much that you can’t see the rose-petal design of the lasagna cylinders.) Bake for 35 minutes or until the tops of the cylinders turn crisp and golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) Nidi di rondini tastes great. Anyone making this entree will be immediately be hailed as an amazing chef and host.

2) If you are up for a Nobel Prize, you would do well to serve this dish to the judges.

3) As of press time, it is not illegal to do this.

4) So, what are you waiting for?

5) Nidi di rondini comes from the great, but tiny country of San Marino.

6) Despite being the size of a rather large postage stamp (24 square miles, 61 square kilometers), the San Marinese have preserved their independence for 1,816 years.

7) The above number is accurate as of the time of writing. Please increase the above number by one for every year after 2021.

8) Anyway, how did this tiny country maintain its independence from many other countries with much bigger armies such as: the Roman Empire, the Papal States, the French Empire under Napoleon, Italy, and Hitler’s Germany?

9) Simple. As culinary historians will tell you, soldiers with red hair make the fiercest warriors in the world. San Marino has always had fighting redheads. The chefs of this happy land commemorates their heroes with these rolled-up lasagna rolls topped with marinara sauce.

10) However, the most famous fighters in the world come from Scotland. Neighboring England failed for centuries to conquer the Scots, The English armies quailed, broke ranks and fled in terror whenever they caught sight of all that Scottish red hair.

11) The only success the English had came from their archers. But, of course, the archers were to far away to see the hair color of the Scottish pikemen.

12) One wonders why the English army never colored their hair red. Then the Scottish warriors would have fled whenever came in contact with the English.

13) What if? What if all the countries of the world made their soldiers die their hair?

14) All armies fear fighting fierce redheads. With all armies comprised of gingers, no army would dare attacking any other.

15) Peace would break out.

16) There you have it. Dye the hair of all combatants red.

17) I see a Nobel Peace Prize in my future, as long as I remember to serve nidi di rondini to the judges.

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Beef Smore From Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Entree

BEEF SMORE

INGREDIENTS

2 pound piece of sirloin or beef chuck
2 tablespoons vinegar
½ teaspoon pepper
3 garlic cloves
1″ ginger root
1 large onion
1 small green chile
1 stalk lemongrass (tender inner bottom part only)
2½ tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
2″ cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
10 fresh curry leaves or ½ teaspoon dry curry leaves or curry powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1¼ cups coconut milk
1 tablespoon lemon or tamarind juice

Serves 6. Takes 2 hour 30 minutes

PREPARATION

Make holes in beef with fork. (This will aid in marinating.) Add beef, vinegar, and pepper to bowl. Marinate for 1 hour.

While beef marinates. Mince garlic cloves, ginger root, green chile, and onion. Seed and mince green chile. Thinly slice lemongrass. Add ghee to pan. Heat ghee at high heat until is hot enough to make a fenugreek seed dance. Carefully add beef to pan. Sauté for 2 minutes on each side or until browned all over. Remove meat to plate. Leave beef juices in pan.

Add garlic, ginger, green chile, onion, cinnamon stick, fenugreek seeds, fresh curry leaves. and lemongrass. Sauté for 3 minutes on medium heat. Stir frequently. Add beef back to pan. Add beef, red pepper flakes, coconut milk, and lemon juice. Lower heat to low and simmer 40 minutes or until the beef reaches your desired level of doneness and coconut milk reduces to a gravy. Turn beef over every 10 minutes. Slice beef to your desired thickness. Spoon onion gravy over beef slices.

TIDBITS

1) At first, Sri Lankan Beef Smores were cooked on a handy twig over an open flame.

2) But the weight of the meat made the twig snap

3) The sirloin would fall into the ashy fire pit.

4) Chefs then shouted, “I need more sirloin.”

5) So many sirloins landed on ashes that this requested shortened to, “I need smore sirloin.”

6) Then eventually to “Smore” by the Monosyllabic Chef Association (MCA).

7) And so it went. Sirloin after sirloin fell into one campfire pit after another.

8) This food wastage bankrupted one restaurant after another.

9) Clearly, the food-service industry needed a new idea.

10) And in 1619, Chef Kasun Perera revolutionized everything when he said, “Why not move this meal indoors? We won’t get rained on.”

11) “Or even stampeded by elephants.”

12) Sure, moving the meal to avoid getting crushed by wild beasts seems obvious now.

13) But isn’t the way with all new ideas?

14) No, not all new ideas arise from Stampeding Elephant Fear Syndrome (SEFS). Rather, all new ideas will eventually seem obvious.

15) You could have skipped to this tidbit from tidbit 11, but it wasn’t obvious then. It is now. See?

16) Or even have skipped to here. Any way, moving fire pits inside dramatically lessened the number of deaths due to elephants.

17)However, way too many restaurants burned to the ground from the flames in the open pits.

18) Customers look askance at fleeing a burning restaurant.

19) The restaurant industry needed another fertile mind.

20) It got with Tharindi Bandari, when in 1878, he said, “How about cooking things on a pan on a metal stove?” They will be no fires when we cook our beef smores this way.”

21) It’s impossible to overstate how this brainstorm transformed cooking.

22) Now, the entire world enjoys fire-storm free dining.

23) America came up with a different solution to the ashy sirloin problem. In 1958 little Timmy Perkins replaced the ingredients of the Sri Lankan Beef Smore with marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate saying, “The weight of melting marshmallow will never break our twig.” It worked! It tasted great. “I’ll have smore,” said Timmy’s dad. And in 1997, Timmy’s brilliance would win him the Noble Price for Culinary Achievement.

– 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

How To Use, #1, The Kitchen Timer

Dear readers,

Today we learn to use the kitchen timer. You may have one that looks like this.

Here are the two things you must know if you wish to master the art of cooking with a kitchen timer. Or so a friend has told me.

1) Get a loud one. You won’t hear a quiet timer if you’re in a room far, far away from the kitchen looking a pictures of cats on FacebookTM. The alarm will go off unnoticed. The oven will continue baking, eventually turning your once magnificent creation into charcoal.

2)  After setting the timer, it’s absolutely essential to start it going. Having the timer remain at 20:00 will not help you at all.

Try this! And as always, bon appetit.

– 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, humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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