Posts Tagged With: Oxford

Vietnamese Sugar Cane Shrimp (Chao Tom)

Vietnamese Appetizer

SUGAR CANE SHRIMP
(Chao Tom)

INGREDIENTS

1 pound medium shrimp, frozen, peeled and deveined (41-to-50 count)
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 garlic clove
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon white pepper or pepper
1 egg white
2 teaspoons corn starch
½ teaspoon vegetable oil
8 4″-sugar cane sticks (fresh or canned) *

* = I suggest using canned sugar as fresh sugar cane needs to be peeled and cut into 4″ sticks. Canned sugar cane can be found in Asian supermarkets. Fresh sugar cane can be found there as well or online.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
electric grill pan
no-stick spray

Serves 4. Takes 40 minutes. Allow for up to an extra hour if using fresh sugar cane. In this case, cut the sugar cane apart around the joints. Then use knives and cleavers to remove the hard outer shell of the can.

PREPARATION

Add shrimp, fish sauce, garlic, salt, sugar, and white pepper to food processor. Blend until ingredients form a shrimp paste. Add egg white to mixing bowl. Whip egg white with whisk until frothy. Add shrimp paste and corn starch to egg white. Mix with whisk until shrimp is again well blended.

Preheat grill to medium high. Dip hands in vegetable oil. Take 1½ tablespoons shrimp paste and press it evenly around the middle of a sugar-cane stick. Leave ¾” sugar-cane stick exposed at both ends. Brush shrimp paste on sticks lightly with oil to prevent sticking. Add shrimp-covered sticks to grill. Grill for 8 minutes or until shrimp paste is golden brown on all sides. Turn gently, at least every 2 minutes, Bite into the sugar cane a bit as you eat the shrimp. This will add sugar juice to your bite.

TIDBITS

1) Wherever the well loved Chef Tomasso went, everyone said, “Ciao, Tomasso.” Then one day he left his hometown of Padua in search of some squid ink for his next meal. He should have gone to Venice. Instead ended up in Hanoi as he was way too proud to ask for directions. Fortunately, the locals took him in. In gratitude, Tom, as he is now called, created this dish. Now, the Vietnamese greet him with “Chao, Tom” in honor of his cooking style .

2) Then, alas, tragedy struck.

3) Chef Tomasso fell off the edge of the edge of the Earth on July 1, 2018.

4) Apparently, he walked farther than normal and got lost.

5) He again refused to asked for directions and so, fell off the edge of the Earth.

6) Let this be a cautionary tale for all men.

7) This demise demised dumbfound all the physicists, who thought the Earth’s gravitational field would surely keep the good chef securely on terra firma.

8) Okay, the previous tidbit contained some ambiguity. It would be perfectly logical to wonder if, at some point, the physicists lost their dumfoundedness after Tomasso’s plunge into the interstellar abyss.

9) Let me clear up this confusion. These learned scientists remain perplexed by Tomasso’s misfortune.

10) It is amusing thought to think that Chef Tomasso truly lived life on the edge.

11) And if the word “dumfoundedness” from tidbit 8) is not a word, it ought to be.

12) Write your Miriam Webster and Oxford English Dictionary editors and ask them to include “dumbfoundedness” in their next editions. Thank you.

13) Tomasso’s great fall, shown on the 10 o’clock news, also flummoxed cartographers who, pretty much unanimously, agreed that our Earth is round like the globe in your fifth-grade classroom.

14) Meanwhile, maritime insurance rates have soared. If Tomasso, through no fault of his own, happened upon a spot that was the edge of the Earth, who’s to say that a freighter carrying wheat or a tanker bringing oil couldn’t fall off the edge of the Earth as well?

15) Can you imagine the following conversation?
Shipping CEO: Sorry, but your wheat will be a little late. Our freighter went over the Earth’s edge.
Food Importer CEO: Yeah sure, like I haven’t heard that one before.

16) As of yet, Chef Tomasso has not returned. His fate is still unlearned. I hope he will and that he’ll have a rattling good yarn to spin. In the meantime, watch your step.

 

– 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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Carrot Cake

American Dessert

CARROT CAKE

INGREDIENTS – MAINCarrotCake-

4 eggs
1⅓ cups sugar
⅔ cup light brown sugar
3 cups shredded carrots
1 cup vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups cake flour or flour
½ tablespoon baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans or combination
no-stick spray

INGREDIENTS – ICING

6 tablespoons butter (softened)
1 pound confectionery sugar
8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric mixer
9″ x 13″ casserole dish
3 mixing bowls (Or are you an outstanding chef like my Grandma Anna wished us all to be and clean bowls and utensils as you cook?)
sonic obliterator

PREPARATION – MAIN

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add eggs to first large mixing bowl. Beat eggs with electric mixer until frothy. (The eggs, not you.) Gradually add sugar and light brown sugar. Blend using electric mixer set on whip until well blended. Add carrots, vegetable oil, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Blend with mixer set on whip until well blended.

Add flour and baking soda to second large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk. Add flour/baking soda from second mixing bowl to first mixing bowl. Blend with electric mixer set on cake until blended. Add nuts and stir with spoon.

Spray casserole dish with no-stick spray. Pour eggs/sugar/spice/baking soda mixture into casserole dish. Smooth with spatula. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-to-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack for 1 hour.

(Okay, little secret here. You can cool the cake down considerably faster by putting the casserole dish in cold water in the sink. Be sure the water is only halfway to the top of the casserole dish. If your casserole dish is too big for the sink, simply put it in the bathtub. Again, let the water go no higher than halfway up the side of the casserole dish. If someone happens to see your cake cooling in the bathtub and makes a snarky comment, zap him with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need that negativity in your life.)

PREPARATION – ICING

While cake bakes, add butter, confectionery sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla extract to third mixing bowl (Note: this cookbook always employs the Oxford when providing a list of ingredients. Long live the Oxford comma! Vexation to its enemies!) Ahem, beat ingredients using electric beater set on cream until ingredients become a fluffy icing.

TIDBITS

1) The famous French Painter, Paul Cézanne believed, “A single carrot newly observed will cause a revolution.”

2) Eleven years after Cézanne died, the Russian Revolution began. People in the streets of St. Petersburg, the Russian capital, had been starving. They couldn’t afford the price of a loaf of bread.

4) Desperate to maintain order, the czar and his ministers bought up food from all over the world. They purchased cabbages from Germany, eggs from Sweden, and carrots from the gardens of Cezanne’s children. The authorities even bought beans, cotija cheese, and tortillas from Mexico. Surely, the rioters would be placated by burritos. I mean, who doesn’t like a burrito?

5) Unfortunately, as in the case of many governmental programs, well intentioned though they might be, something went wrong. The newly formed Russian Ministry of Burrito Assembly put a raw carrot in every burrito.

6) The Russian rabble rebel not appreciate the taste of the raw carrot, bean, and cheese burrito. They did not like its texture either. They did not like it in the city square. They did not like in their hair. They did not like it in the air. They did not like it anywhere.

7) So the Russians did not eat these burritos. And they grew hungrier and hungrier.

8) Then an artist named Ivan Popoff came across one of the burritos lying–Oh gosh, I hope I conjugated this evil verb correctly–split open on the street. Something about the burrito’s carrot struck him. “Oh ho,” he said, “I am observing this carrot in an entirely new way.” Lenin, a passerby, heard this and immediately started the Russian Revolution.

9) Millions died during the Russian Revolution and the ensuing decades.

10) We should all pay more attention to French post-impressionist painters.

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

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