Posts Tagged With: Olympics

Beef Rendang

Indonesian Entree

BEEF RENDANG

INGREDIENTS

4 red chiles
1 inch galangal or ginger root
5 garlic cloves
¾ teaspoon peppercorns
6 shallots
1 inch turmeric root
1 stalk lemongrass
2 pounds beef tenderloin or top round
2 tablespoons oil
1 inch cinnamon stick
½ tablespoon salt
3 kaffir lime leaves or ½ teaspoon lime zest
1 salam leaf or bay leaf
3 13-ounce cans coconut milk

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Seed red chiles. Add red chile, galangal, garlic cloves, peppercorns, shallots, and turmeric to spice grinder. Grind until these spices become paste. Remove and discard upper ⅔rd of lemongrass stalk. Remove and discard the three outer layers. Dice remaining lemongrass. Cut beef into 1″ cubes.

Add spice paste and oil to work or large pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until paste becomes fragrant. Stir constantly. Add all remaining ingredients to wok. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 1 hour. Stir enough to prevent burning. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes or until the milky part of the liquid is gone, leaving a little bit of coconut oil. (Most of the liquid should be evaporated.) Stir enough to prevent burning. Simmer on low for another 15 minutes or until beef and sauce turn brown. Remove cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and kaffir lime leaves. Goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) The dish into the above picture is served on, well, a dish. The dish is round.

2) Why is it not square?

3 )Because you cannot roll something is square

4) Why does it matter if you can roll a dish? After all, if you rolled the above dish before you ate, you lost the food.

5) Clearly, the round shape was designed for something else in mind.

6) What was that?

7) One theory, advanced by culinary, archeologists, is that primitive caveman invented the stone FrisbeeTM.

8) They didn’t call it the Frisbee, of course. It’s named after the Frisbee Pie Company which sold its wares in round pie dishes.

9) Culinary historians believe most prehistoric companies were called Ogg, Inc. because nearly all cavemen were named Ogg. Cavewomen were called Ogg.

10) Therefore, these ancient humans probably named their invention the OggTM.

11) Isn’t surprising early humankind possessed the knowledge to incorporate and trademark things?

12) Alas though, the Ogg proved a dismal failure. If you didn’t catch it, it hit you in the head and that was that.

13) Indeed, culinary historians believe widespread Ogg playing extinguished the Neanderthals.

14) After a much briefer fling with the sport, the Cro Magnons abandoned Ogg tossing.

15) Tossing the Ogg around was supposed to be a fun leisure time activity. But making the circular Ogg took up all their free time. So, what was the point of making Oggs?

16) None, the Cro Magnons concluded. So, they went on to make spears, axes, animal skins, and the like. Humanity went on not quite a talc age, which is a bit below a golden age.

17) Throwing round things became a popular sport in Ancient Greek Olympics. Physically fit from throwing the much lighter and metallic Ogg–by then called the discus–Greeks explored the entire known world.

18) The Romans, inheritors of Greek civilization, conquered the entire Mediterranean and much of northwestern Europe. The Roman built roads to facilitate rapid deployment of legions from crisis point to another. And we all know, the Roman legionnaire loved to throw the discus.

19) The Roman army passed on discuss throwing to the natives wherever they went. The natives became buff as well. So, the Roman conquest proved to be quite the good thing for the locals once everybody got past the initial wholesale slaughter-and-enslavement phase. And ever since then we have lived in a round-thingy-throwing golden age.

20) But it’s sobering to think how the Cro Magnons, the last remaining branch of humankind, came to throwing themselves into extinction.

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prawn Barbecue

Australian Entree

PRAWN BARBECUE

INGREDIENTS

2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine
¾ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt or salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1½ pounds shelled-and-deveined extra-large shrimp* (16-to-20 per pound)
1 lemon (optional)

* = The terms prawn and shrimp are often used interchangeably. However, they are technically different having some unmemorable difference in their shells.

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

outdoor grill
5 skewers

PREPARATION

Mince garlic and parsley. Add garlic, parsley, butter, olive oil, white wine, pepper, sea salt, lemon juice, and shrimp to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until shrimp are well coated. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.

10 minutes before marinating is done, heat outdoor grill to medium heat. Thread 6 shrimps onto each skewer. Cut lemon into 5 slices. Grill shrimp for 2 minutes or until it turns pink. Flip skewers over and grill the other side for 2 minutes or until it to is pink. Garnish with lemon slices. Goes well with rice, spinach,  avocado salad, and beer.

TIDBITS

1) Alexander the Great of Macedon invaded the Persian Empire. in 336 BC. This was okay as the previous year was 337 BC, although the people of the time didn’t know this. Alex was a complete foodie. Unfortunately. the menu of his kingdom, Macedon, consisted of 1,223 almost indistinguishable varieties of wheat and olive oil. So when he heard of prawn barbecues to be had in the Persian empire, he invaded. It transpired that the idea of prawn barbecues was story concocted by long suffering Greek chefs to get the ever harping food critic Alexander far away.

2) Alexander’s army thrashed the Persians at the battle of Granicus. Being an relatively young army– about the age of frat boys albeit ones with twenty-foot spears and trained be an unparalleled fighting machine–they repaired to the local tavern to eat and drink. The tavern’s cook, Bessyrus, knowing a little something of Macedonian cuisine offered Alexander and his troops bread drizzled with olive oil. Alexander became enraged, shouted, “I’m sick of bread and olive oil. Where’s the prawn barbecues?” and ran a spear through the tavern’s chef.

3) This still seems a little unfair. The chef knew nothing of the mythical prawn barbecue. In fact, culinary historians remain absolutely amazed that a cook over 2,000 years ago could make enough bread in one hour to feed 50,000 ravenous soldiers. Alexander’s mob headed to the town’s other eatery and asked for prawn barbecues. Fortunately, the synapses in this restaurant’s cook were firing particularly well. He said that there were prawn barbecues in Egypt. And off Alexander’s mob went dispatching another Persian army along the way.

4) Alexander asked the first Egyptian priest/chef he saw for a prawn barbecue. The priest/chef offered bread drizzled with honey. Alexander drew his sword. The quick thinking priest/chef mollified Alexander by declaring him to be a god. Alexander really liked the idea of being a god and strutted around for days saying, “Look at me, I’m a god. Wow, it’s really cool to be a god.” Anyway, Alexander was so smitten by the idea of his divinity, that he plum forgot to behead the priest/chef. The holy Egyptian chef, however, couldn’t help but dwell on his close call. :Hey, Alex,” he said one day, “there’s plenty of prawn barbecues in Persia.” And off Alexander’s army went.

5) The Macedonians utterly crushed the Persian King’s army at Guagamela. The surviving Persian nobles didn’t want Alexander staying around. Alexander was losing his head beheading them. “Hey Alex,” they said, “there’s prawn barbecues aplenty in India.” And off Alexander’s soldiers went.

6) Alexander’s force kicked hiney in India. But the story remained the same. Alexander the Great One didn’t care for the rajahs’ curry bread and offed one baker after another. “Hey, Alex,” the noble bakers said, “there’s oodles of prawn barbecues in Australia.” And off went Alexander.

7) Except this time, the Macedonian spearmen didn’t follow. They were sick of endless marching. Besides, they had discovered pistachios in Persia and really, really liked them. Why massacre entire cities for an alleged gourmet meal when you could munch on delicious, almost addictive pistachios?Alexander gave in. The Macedonian army would conquer no more. But the mutiny by his beloved army broke his heart. He died soon after. Ironically, the noble Indian bakers were right. There were prawn barbecues in Australia.

8) The Australian aborigines of that time loved shrimp (Same as prawns, remember?)  like no one has ever since. They’d eat 100 shrimp at a time. Of course, no one could barbecue 100 shrimp on the tiny skewers of today. Those hardy people fashioned wooden skewers out of trees. Unfortunately, the millions upon millions of Native Australians made so many long skewers that they totally deforested most of Australia. Shrimp barbecues became impossible. The crestfallen aborigines left Australia in outriggers to settle Hawaii.  They left behind petroglyphs of their enormous shrimp skewers.

9) In 1895, Baron de Courbertin saw these shrimp-skewer pictures. You and I would shrug them off, but the young baron’s mind came up with pole vaulting. His active mind would not rest until he found a way to showcase his new athletic event and so the Olympics were born. There you go.

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Matambre, Argentinian Stuffed Flank Steak

Argentinian Entree

MATAMBRE
(stuffed flank steak)

INGREDIENTSMatambre-

2 pounds flank steak (or skirt steak)
2 eggs
2 carrots
1 celery stalk
2 garlic cloves
1 large onion
2 tablespoons olive oil (2 more tablespoons later)
¼ teaspoon pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon parsley
¼ teaspoon thyme
5 ounces spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups beef stock
1½ cup red wine

Makes 4 plates. Takes 2 hours.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

Dutch oven
kitchen mallet
kitchen twine

PREPARATION

Butterfly steak if more than 1″ thick by slicing it lengthwise from one side to ½” of the other side. Pound the steak to flatten to less than ½” thick and to even out the thickness. Add eggs to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Boil for 9 minutes. Remove eggs and let them cool. Peel eggs. Cut each into 4 slice along their lengths. While eggs boil, mince carrots, celery, garlic, and onion. Add carrot, celery, garlic, onion, and 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens.

Rub pepper and salt into butterflied flank steak. Sprinkle carrot/celery/onion mixture, parsley, and thyme over steak leaving a ½” border along the sides. Layer the spinach over the oniony mixture. Top with egg slices.

Tightly roll up steak into a long roll. Tie steak with kitchen twine. Tie at 1″ intervals. Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in second pan. Add steak roll to Dutch oven. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5-to-8 minutes or until steak is golden brown on all sides. Turn steak roll occasionally to ensure even browning. Add beef stock and red wine. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 1½ hours or until meat is quite tender. Cover Dutch oven if liquid doesn’t completely cover the steak roll. Turn occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Remove beef and place on cutting board. Cut steak roll crosswise into ½” slices. Add slices to plate. Top with beef stock/wine as desired. Goes well with small boiled potatoes such as Yukon gold. This dish is also quite tasty when served cold. Save the leftover beef stock/wine. It makes an excellent base for soup.

TIDBITS

1) Matambre is an anagram for Beam MartTM.

2) Beam Mart is your one-stop place for all sorts of beams.

3) High beams is quite a popular sport. All of the high beams used in the Olympics are manufactured and sold by Beam Mart.

4) All.

5) India and Pakistan once were the favorites to host the Olympics for a particular year. Both tried to outdo each other with building new, state-of-the-art athletic venues and with wining and dining the Olympic committee. The competition between the two countries grew fierce. Tensions escalated rapidly. The two nations rushed infantry and tanks to their common border. Fighter planes and bombers were armed. Military commands took their “Launching Nuclear Weapons For Idiots” off their bookshelves. Generals started to jaywalk. Things looked grim.

6) Beam Mart stepped in. The company, in no-uncertain terms, told India and Pakistan to back off. If they went to war, Beam Mart would stop supplying high beams. No high beams for practicing, no gold medals for the high beams. No gold medals for the high beams, no prestige at all in the international community. Other nations, Liechtenstein included, would laugh at them. Pooh pooh even.

7) The generals wavered.

8) And no high beams for your fancy automobiles, thundered Beam Mart, if you go to war. But we must have something to show our peoples for all our effects, whimpered the military leaders.

9) So, Beam Mart sold them their famous Beam SmilesTM with only a 10% markup. The leaders of Pakistan and India quickly agreed to a comprehensive peace. And the people of both lands smiled and smiled and beamed and beamed.

10) This happy state of affairs didn’t last forever, of course, but things never again got as tense between these two countries ever again. The leaders know firsthand the power of Beam Mart and make sure never ever again to rattle their sabers so vigorously.

11) Of course, the world still has hot spots. In these cases, at least one of the angry nations has no desire to win Olympic gold medals for the high beams. It seems incredible that countries could act that way, but it’s true. There is a limit to corporate diplomacy, even for Beam Mart.

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

Chicken Provencale Recipe

French Entree

CHICKEN PROVENÇALE

INGREDIENTSChicPro-

2 chicken breasts
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon mignonette pepper (Tellicherry black pepper, Muntok white pepper, coriander)
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 red bell peppers
1 green bell pepper
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup white wine

SPECIALTY UTENSIL

kitchen mallet

Serves one wrestler in training for the Olympics, two people with regular appetites, and four guests who got into your private stash of Belgian truffles before even trying this lovingly prepared meal and are never getting invited again.

PREPARATION

Pound chicken breasts to a half-inch thickness. (Remembering the day’s swarm of rude drivers on your ride home helps immeasurably.) Cut chicken breasts into fourths. Coat chicken pieces with herbes de Provence and mignonette pepper. Cut bell peppers into strips about 1/2″ inch wide and 2″ long. Mince garlic cloves.

Put olive oil in frying pan. Add bell-pepper and garlic. Sauté on high heat for a minute or until olive oil boils. Stir frequently. Add white wine and chicken pieces.

Cover and reduce heat to low-medium for about 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. You can cut a piece in half. If the chicken is still pink inside, sauté everything a few minutes more. If both halves are all white, eat one half. It’s your kitchen.

TIDBITS

1) The Olympics first occurred in Ellis, Greece in 776 BC as a way to honor Zeus. Wrestling was perhaps the most popular event.

2) Contestants and trainers appeared nude partly to prevent women from surreptitiously participating.

3) The Olympics started to die out around 260 AD what with barbarians invading the Roman Empire and civil wars erupting every few weeks. In 391 Emperor Theodosius outlawed the games because they were pagan.

4) No summer Olympics, no chance for winter Olympics. No winter Olympics, no bobsledding. No bobsledding, no thriving winter tourist industry. No thriving winter tourist industry, no taxes for the government. No taxes, no money to fund an army for the Empire.

5) Indeed, quite soon after Theodosius’ decision, massive waves of barbarians assaulted the poorly defended Roman Empire, defeating it quite easily.

6) The death of the Roman Empire plunged Europe into the Dark Ages for about a thousand years. Way to go, Theodosius.

7) Today the Olympic Committee is considering dropping wrestling from the games claiming lack of interest.

8) Perhaps there would be more interest if we brought back nude wrestling.

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

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