Posts Tagged With: Nobel Prize

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

Betty Ponterio

Antarctic Appetizer

BETTY PONTERIO

INGREDIENTS

ice cubes
beverage

Serves 1. Takes 1 minute

PREPARATION

Add ice cubes to glass. Add beverage.

TIDBITS

1) The Shirley Temple beverage is named after the famous child actress. The Roy Rogers is named after the famous singing-cowboy actor.

2) So it was, the Betty Ponterio was named after the great woman who created this remarkable, versatile beverage.

3) For it was on an unseasonably warm October day that Betty the Antarctic Explorer uttered the fateful words, “Maybe drinks recipes with all that ice.”

4) It was all so blindingly obvious after she said it, but up until then no one in Antarctica had come up with a good use for all its ice.

5) Savvy British polar explorers brought back ice to the mother country. Soon all the British wanted ice in their drinks. No host or hostess would even consider throwing a party without plenty of ice.

6) Ice became more valuable than oil No government could hope to stay in power without an adequate ice stock pile. Nation after nation build up its navy to guard its ice transports. Land-locked countries, such as Austria, Paraguay, and Chad were screwed.

7) International tensions soared. We were on the precipice of a third world war.

8) Then Ms. Ponterio spoke up again, “Why not use the ice from your refrigerator’s ice makers? Why not buy bags of ice at your stores?”

9) The solution to world peace was that simple..Ice makers had been in fridges for years for no apparent reason. Same thing with ice sold at local supermarkets. People had never used that ice, so they never even saw it anymore. Thanks to Betty, we noticed the ice in our midst.. Easy ice at hand, we reduced our navies. We embraced peace. I expect a Noble Prize very soon for Ms. Ponterio.

Chef Paul

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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Paul’s Pizza

American Entree

PAUL’S PIZZA

INGREDIENTS – PIZZA CRUSTpaulspizza

2⅔ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup beer
⅔ cup water
2⅔ tablespoons vegetable oil
¾ teaspoon sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
2½ teaspoons active dry yeast

no-stick spray

INGREDIENTS- TOPPINGS*

10 mozzarella sticks
6 tablespoons pasta sauce
12 ounces ground pork sausage
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1½ cups grated mozzarella cheese

* = All of these toppings are divided equally between 2 pie tins.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

bread maker
2 8″-pie tins

Makes 2 8″ pies. Takes 1 hour 45 minutes.

PREPARATION – PIZZA CRUST

Add flour, beer, water, oil, sugar, salt, and yeast to the bread maker. Do not put the yeast directly on top of the salt. Salt is bad for yeast and yeast makes the dough rise. “Ask not what your yeast can do for you. Ask what you can do for your yeast.” Set the timer or the menu on the bread maker to “Dough.” Wait for the required time, about an hour. In the meantime preheat the oven to 400 degrees and liberally spray the pie tins with no-stick spray. This will prevent the crust from forming a glue-like bond with the pie tins.

Take the dough out of the bread maker and divide it into two lumps. Roll out one lump until its dough cover will cover the bottom and sides of the pie tin and still have 1″ of dough hanging over the edge of the pie tin. If you do not have a rolling pin, any canned food can will do as long as it is at least six inches tall. It is best to use no-stick spray on pie tin or coat it with a thin layer of flour before spreading the dough. Repeat for second dough lump. When 30 minutes are left on the bread maker, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

PREPARATION – TOPPINGS

Place 5 mozzarella sticks end-to-end and as close to the edge of the pie tin as possible. Fold the dough that’s hanging beyond the edge of the tin over the mozzarella sticks. The mozzarella sticks should be completely enclosed by dough.

Add 3 tablespoons pasta sauce to the pie tin. Spread with spatula. Flatten 6 ounces ground pork sausage until it is wide enough to cover the pasta sauce. Cover pasta sauce with ground pork sausage. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon minced garlic over pork sausage. Spread ¾ cup mozzarella cheese over ground pork sausage and minced garlic. Repeat for second pie tin.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese starts to brown.

TIDBITS

1) The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, prohibited the sale of alcohol. Beer has alcohol. Thus, the sale of beer was prohibited.

2) It didn’t take long for beer drinkers to realize if beer couldn’t be sold, it couldn’t be bought.

3) But what about if beer were combined with other legal things. Like anesthesia? Soon surgeries all over the nation were adding beer mist to the ether they administered to patients. Beer mist made drifting off into unconsciousness easier, pleasurable in fact.

4) So much so, that people in all the big cities, Chicago, in particular, took to shooting each other, so they could go to hospitals for their beer misted anesthesia. Aren’t you impressed I spelled unconsciousness and anesthesia correctly and on the first try?

5) Municipal governments started to look askance at all this violence.

6) Then in 1920, Bee R. Barley told her friend Al Capone, “Why don’t you sell beer illegally?” And her idea was good. With the Chicago police busy investigating emergency rooms, Al was free to open one speakeasy after another. Beer sales boomed. Al went big time into selling beer. So did other hoodlums. Everyone wanted a piece of the lucrative illegal beer trade.

7) Competition for the beer trade became fierce. Things were said. Bullets were fired. Soon gang wars raged all across Chicago. For a while, the underworld told city officials that all the shootings arose from people really, really wanting beer anesthesia. Then the Saint. Valentine’s Day massacre happened. Seven murdered men. Dead men want no beer anesthesia. The gig was up. Eliott Ness and his Untouchables closed all the breweries. Cleaned up the surgeries as well.

8) But people still needed their beer. And so pizzas with beer crusts came about. Peace broke out in Chicago. Fragile yes, but enough to keep the city going until Prohibition ended in 1933. I offer up this recipe in the cause of worldwide peace. Can a Nobel Prize be far behind?

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

How I Will Save The World From Bigass Comets And War

Trampoline

If you’re like me, the thought of three-mile-wide comet striking the Earth terrifies you. I mean the last time we got hit by one, woowee, things were bad! We’re talking mass extinction with exclamation points everywhere!!!! And if you’re thinking I’m making all this up, go ask a dinosaur how things went down. Couldn’t find a dinosaur, could you? See? I was right.

Oh sure, there are some good things that would come with the obliteration of humanity. Some that occur to me: are eating English toffee ice cream and not caring a bit about the calories, no waiting in line at the DMV, no more filing of estimated taxes, never ever hearing again the theme song to Barney the Dinosaur, no more election ads, AND no more spring cleaning.

But no matter how much you try to put a happy face on this, mass extinctions are a bummer. You’ll miss things like: hot-and-heavy sex, breathing, shredded beef tacos in a crispy shell, root beer, and crossword puzzles*

So overall, I think it’s best if we deal with the incoming comets that everyone talks about. Here is my plan. It is devastating in its utter simplicity.

Have the comets bounce back into space off a three-mile wide trampoline.  Tada! The world is saved.

Of course, we’ll need helicopters to fly the trampoline to wherever it will be needed, but that should be easy to arrange. And in the meantime, it’ll  be a fantastic release for millions of energetic kids the world over who love to bounce, bounce, bounce. Face it, most people start wars because they’ve spent too much time with shrieking, whining, bored kids and just plain flipped out.

So, there you go, I’m saving the world at least two times. You’re welcome. I expect to Nobel Prize any moment now.

* = If you can find someone who lets you do crossword puzzles during hot and heavy sex, propose marriage immediately.

– Paul R. De Lancey, Ph.D. and future Nobel Prize winner

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 Outdraw Marshal Dillon

I love the old western series Gunsmoke. I enjoy testing my gun slinging skills with Matt Dillon at the start of  the show. The result is bad for the marshal of Dodge City. I’ve won everyone showdown except three. My secret?

Don’t try to draw first, even when standing your ground. You’ll waste precious moments deciding when to draw and when you do that you’ll find a lead bullet burrowing through your chest. And that’s a bummer. However, when you wait for the other fella to draw your reflexes will take over and you’ll clear leather first.

I got the idea the idea from scientist Niels Bohr and fellow Ph.D.* He loved westerns and enjoyed fake gunfights with his grad students. He won everytime using the above method.

There you have it. There’s no downside to this. The annoying stranger is dead, you’re alive, and he made for his gun first so the killing is in self defense.

And as always, have a nice day.

* = Unfortunately, we are not fellow Nobel Prize winners.

– Paul R. De Lancey,  gunslinger

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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Crispy Shredded Beef Tacos

Mexican Entree

CRISPY SHREDDED BEEF TACOS

INGREDIENTSCrispyShreddedBeefTacos-

1 medium yellow onion
2 pounds rump roast
½ tablespoon chili powder
½ tablespoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves
4 ounces diced green chiles

5 green onion stalks
4 Roma tomatoes
¼ head lettuce
2 cups vegetable oil
12 corn tortillas
2 cups Four Mexican Cheeses
1 cup crema Mexicana
1 cup salsa

SPECIAL UTENSILS

crock pot or slow cooker
9″ loaf pan
electric skillet
Lazy Susan

takes about 7 hours

PREPARATION

Slice onion into thin rings. Rub rump roast with: chili powder, cumin, and salt. Dice garlic. Add ½ of onion slices to bottom of crock pot. Add rubbed rump roast, garlic, and green chiles. Top roast with remaining ½ onion slices. Add water to cover roast. Cover crock pot. Cook on low for about 7 hours or until roast is tender enough to be easily pulled apart by a pair of forks. Shred roast with forks. (Save liquid from crock pot, it makes a great broth.)

Dice green onion and tomatoes. Shred lettuce. Add vegetable oil to skillet. Heat oil to 375 degrees. The oil is hot enough if it sizzles when a tortilla is added. Add 1 tortilla at a time. Use tongs to sauté tortilla for 15 seconds on each side. The tortilla should be crispy but still flexible enough to be folded. Fold tortilla in half and place it upright in bread pan.. Put a paper towel on each side of tortilla to drain off grease. Repeat for 11 remaining tortillas.

Place tortillas, shredded beef, green onion, tomato, cheese, lettuce, cheese, crema Mexicana, and salsa in Lazy Susan. I love tacos. I always asked for it on my birthday. when I was a kid.

TIDBITS

1) Señor Pedro Lascuráin was president of Mexico for only fifteen minutes in 1913.

2) He did not accomplish much.

3) However, nearly all of Europe went to war in 1914. World War I lasted four years, involved many nations and resulted in millions of casualties. The unsettled conditions of World War I resulted in the Communist Revolution in Russia and the Nazi seizure of power in Germany. The communists shed much blood before and during World War II.

4) Makes Lascuráin’s administration look positively great in comparison.

5) I don’t think El Presidente Lascuráin shed much blood at all during his term in office, unless he gave himself a nasty paper cut while signing his acceptance or resignation papers.

6) Mexico has remained at peace ever since the end of the Mexican Revolution. I think it’s because of the peaceful example of President Lascuráin.

7) Poway, California, my fair town, has been at peace with all its neighbors even since I moved in.

8) My presidential term of office, zero minutes, is similar in length to President Lascuráin’s.

9) El Presidente Lascuráin probably had a paper cut. I’ve had paper cuts. Gentle reader, I’m guessing you’ve a paper cut as well. They hurt, don’t they?

10) Señor Lascuràin, the Great Man of Peace, often ate Mexican food. I love Mexican food. He had a Mexican grandmother. I had a Mexican grandmother. He was subject to the Laws of Physics. So am I.

11) It’s all uncanny. If Lascuràin had lived at the same time, people would have had trouble distinguishing between the two of us.

12) I wonder. I wonder.

13) I look at his picture on the internet. I run to the bathroom and look in the mirror.

14) Whew! Lascuràin and I are not the same person.

15) But Poway is at peace with all the neighboring towns. Can a Nobel Peace Prize for me be far behind?

16) I do hope I don’t get a paper cut while signing for my prize.

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

Algerian Fruit Salad (chlada fakya)

Algerian Dessert

FRUIT SALAD
(chlada fakya)

INGREDIENTSFruitSalad-

½ honeydew or cantaloupe
2 apples
2 bananas
5 oranges
6 strawberries
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
⅓ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons orange blossom water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

PREPARATION

Peel and seed honeydew. Cut honeydew and apples into ½” cubes. Peel bananas and cut into ½” slices. Peel and seed oranges. Separate orange wedges. Cut orange wedges in half. Remove stems from strawberries. Cut each strawberry into 6 pieces.

Add honeydew, apple, banana, strawberry, and orange to large mixing bowl. Gently toss fruit. Add cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, orange blossom water, and vanilla extract to small mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until sugar dissolves. Sprinkle liquid over fruit in large mixing bowl. Toss gently. Serve immediately or chill for up to 2 hours. Toss again after chilling.

TIDBITS

1) Albert Camus was born in Algeria. He won a Nobel Prize.

2) Claude Cohen-Tannoudji was born in Algeria. He won a Nobel Prize.

3) I was not born in Algeria. I have not won a Nobel Prize.

4) Monsieur Camus played goalie for the University of Algiers soccer team.

5) I played goalie a few time in Australian league play.

6) So, playing soccer doesn’t help you win a Nobel Prize. And Monsieur Cohen-Tannoudji got his prize without any known soccer playing. And calling the game football doesn’t help either.

7) The main thing is to be born in Algeria.

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

Angolan Chicken Stew

Angolan Entree

CHICKEN STEW
(muamba de galinha)

INGREDIENTSChickenStew-

3 pounds boneless chicken (Probably separate parts. If you can find a farm that raises organic boneless chickens, go for it.)
1 Scotch bonnet, habañero, or red chili pepper
3 garlic cloves
3 onions
3 tomatoes
1 pound pumpkin or butternut squash
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup red palm oil or olive oil
½ pound okra (See note below for substitutes)
1 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons cornstarch (only if you don’t use okra)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Dutch oven
sonic obliterator

OKRAPHOBIA

A lot of people just can’t stand okra or will only eat fresh food, but can only find okra in cans. What to do? Relax, have an ice-cold root beer. Now that you’re refreshed, consider substitutes for okra. The top contenders are: asparagus, eggplant, green beans, and spinach. These don’t taste quite the same as okra. This might be a plus for you. However, if you want the okra taste, try adding a tablespoon of gumbo file (Oh gosh, gumbo file is another one of those hard herb/spice mixes that are just plain hard to find in supermarkets. In this case, bluff your guests. How many will know if you don’t have gumbo file in your chicken muamba? However, if they do know and they complain loudly, zap them with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need that kind of stress in your life.)

Anyway, okra thickens stews. So if you don’t use okra, you should add cornstarch as a thickening agent. However, cornstarch alters the taste somewhat from the authentic Angolan chicken muamba. (See above paragraph for resolving this problem.)

PREPARATION

Cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Seed and mince chili pepper. Mince garlic cloves. Dice onions. Cut each tomato into eight pieces. Seed and peel pumpkin. Cut pumpkin into 1/2″ cubes.

Add chicken, lemon juice, chili pepper, garlic, pepper, salt to large mixing bowl. Mix by hand until chicken cubes are well coated. Marinate for 1 hour.

Add coated chicken, onion, and red palm oil to Dutch oven. Sauté using medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until chicken cubes are browned on all sides and onion softens. Stir frequently. Add pumpkin, tomatoes, okra (or its substitute and cornstarch), and chicken broth. Bring stew to boil. Cover Dutch oven, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 25 minutes or until chicken and pumpkin are tender. Stir occasionally.

Goes well with rice or cassava. Whew.

TIDBITS

1) Do not worry about your fresh-okra finding problems as life is about to get a whole lot better as you can see in the following tidbits.

2) In 2023, Amos Keeto, will invent the Sonic Obliterator. This invention will be a godsend to be who hate being disturbed by door-to-door salesmen. People who hate plowing their way through the crowds surrounding the free-sample stations at CostcoTM or are too shy to ask people to move will also appreciate this device.

3) I mean can’t you see the shopper’s face as she pushes her cart through a suddenly vacant path on her way to pick up a large package of ribs for her family. Her family loves ribs and isn’t making families happy what’s it all about?

4) In 2019, Sarah Bellum, will invent the time machine. This will be invaluable for people with overdue library books and for those who can never file their taxes on time. Be sure to buy one, well, whenever.

5) In 2021, Barry Sax will invent the Orphan Socks Reuniter. No longer will your dryer be able to present you with orphan socks. The Reuniter will find the missing sock whether it will be sticking to the top of the dryer, vacationing in Poway, California, rafting down the Amazon River, performing against its will in a shocking sock-puppet show, or simply transported to a parallel universe. Barry Sax will win a Nobel Prize in 2023 for his service to humanity.

6) In 2017, just around the corner, Hal E. Kahn, will invent the organic TwizzlerTM by being the first to successfully graft the tasty snack onto strawberry plants.

7) In 2031, Ms. Terri Good, will markedly improve mornings for all people for all time by inventing the Coffee Humidifier. The CF, as it will soon be called, will emit coffee molecules all through the night. You will be inhaling 100% pure arabica bean while you sleep. You will not wake up tired and wanting to kill the first person who talks to you. No! You will be so awake, so full of energy that you will paint the house and make school lunches for your kids for the entire year.

8) In 2019, Mel Ifluous will invent UTeleport. This nifty invention will be able to teleport any item of any size over any distance. The Uteleport will be a life saver to all those still half-asleep souls who pour a bowl of cereal in the morning only to find they are out of milk. Life will be good.

– 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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Spring Rolls (Cha Gio)

Vietnamese Entree

SPRING ROLLS
(cha gio)

SpringRoll-

INGREDIENTS – SAUCE

1/4 teaspoon Thai chili or red pepper flakes or minced serrano
1/4 cup fish sauce or Hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
½ cup water

INGREDIENTS – ROLL

1 ½ ounces cellophane noodles or rice vermicelli
½ pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ pound pork
1 carrot
4 green onion stalks
2 garlic cloves
1 egg
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons Hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon ginger
20 rice wrappers or egg roll wrappers
1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil
2 cups peanut oil as necessary
2 lettuce leaves

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric skillet

PREPARATION

Combine Thai chili, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and water in mixing bowl. Stir with fork until sugar dissolves. Set aside. This is the dipping sauce.

Put noodles in mixing bowl. Add enough water to cover. Let sit for 10 minutes or until noodles become soft and bendable. While noodles are sitting, cut shrimp into eighths and mince pork. Shred or grate carrot. Mince green onion and garlic cloves. Drain water from noodles. Beat egg in small bowl.

Add sesame oil, carrot, garlic, pork, shrimp, fish sauce, and Hoisin sauce to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until shrimp turns orangish-pink and is no longer translucent. Stir frequently. Add noodles, green onion, and ginger. Cook at medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir frequently. Let cool.

If rice wrapper is hard, quickly run warm water over until it is pliable. (IMPORTANT! Run water over only ONE WRAPPER at a time. If you run water over multiple wrappers at a time or leave the wrappers for any length over time you will get a gelatinous mass that can’t be separated for love or money.) Place rice wrapper on board. Brush edges of rice wrapper with egg. Add 1/4 cup of pork/shrimp/veggie/noodle mix to center, bottom third of rice wrapper. Fold in sides to form 3″ long roll. Roll up rice wrapper from bottom. Brush remaining corner with egg. Repeat until you run out of rice wrappers or pork/shrimp/veggie/noodle mix.

Set electric skillet to 375 degrees. Put a drop of water in skillet. When drop starts to bubble or move around, add up to 2 cups of peanut oil as necessary. Carefully add 8 egg rolls to skillet at a time using tongs. Fry egg rolls for 2-to-3 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Turn egg rolls. Once. Remove and place on paper towels to drain grease. Repeat until all egg rolls are fried.

TIDBITS

1) Vietnam is an anagram for Mite Van.

2) Most mites are way too small to drive a van safely.

3) Or even pedal a bicycle.

4) Vietnamese policemen are banned from wearing dark sunglasses while on duty. This is because you really need to see well to see a mite driving a van illegally. A drunken mite would make for a particularly poor driver.

5) If you are a mite and you want to hit the hard stuff, consider drinking ruou ran (snake wine.) This wine comes with a pickled snake inside the bottle. It is supposed to be able to cure any illness.

6) Giving snake wine to all the sick people of the nation would be a unique national health program. The National Health Care Dispensaries, formerly known as bars and liquor stores, would sell the wine direct to the public.

7) This plan would require no tax dollars from the government. Households would be freed from spending 14% of their income on health care.

8) The Federal Government could use all the money it saves to pay down the debt, invest in infrastructure, and conduct energy research. People would spend their windfall on college education for their kids, provide for their retirement, and buy bacon.

9) With people’s retirement completely assured, we wouldn’t need to contribute to social security. Indeed, the government could then distribute all the money we having coming to us. We’d buy cars, homes, and doughnuts. The surging demand would force businesses to hire every worker they could find and at a high wage. Higher take home pay would mean more spending. To meet this spiraling demand, businesses would want to investment massively for the future. Massive future investment means full employment forever. I see a Nobel Prize in Economics coming for me very soon.

– 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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