Posts Tagged With: Paul De Lancey

Sweet and Sour Shrimp

Thai Entree

SWEET AND SOUR SHRIMP

INGREDIENTS – SAUCE

3 garlic cloves
1 small onion
2 tomatoes
1 tablespoon corn starch
2½ tablespoons water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (1 cup more later)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce or ¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 cup vegetable oil or enough to cover shrimp

INGREDIENTS – SHRIMP

1 egg
⅔ cup fine bread crumbs
1 pound shrimp (24-to-32 count), peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Serves 4. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION – SAUCE

Mince garlic cloves, onions, and tomatoes. Add corn starch and water to cup. Mix with fork until well blended. Add garlic, onion, and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to pain. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add tomato, sugar, fish sauce, and white wine vinegar. Bring to boil. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce reduces by one-fourth. Add corn starch/water and Sriracha sauce. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Remove sauce and set aside.

PREPARATION – SHRIMP

Add egg to small bowl. Beat egg with whisk or fork. Add bread crumbs to medium bowl. Dip shrimp in egg. Dredge shrimp through breadcrumbs. Repeat for all shrimp. Add 1 cup oil to pan. Heat oil using medium heat. Oil is ready, when a bread crumb will dance in the oil. Add shrimp. Deep fry at medium heat for 4 minutes or until shrimps are golden brown.

Add sesame seeds to pan. Toast sesame seeds on medium heat for 4 minutes or until they start to brown. Ladle sauce over shrimp. Garnish with sesame seeds. Goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) Sweet and sour shrimp is one of the world’s tastiest dishes.

2) If you are served this in America, you are a valued guest indeed. If your boss invites over and cooks sweet and sour shrimp for you.

3) However, If you’re served this in Thailand, you might or might not be asked to formally unite your family and their family in a marriage alliance. That’s how tasty this entree is.

4) Of course, people and nations change their outlooks all the time. Nowadays, a repast featuring this shrimp might just mean, “Wow, you are the best folks we’ve ever met. We’ll buy the neighboring house for you so we can all play bridge on Fridays and race elephants on Sunday.”

5) Then again, it might mean that marriage pact. In this case, your family and theirs will naturally try forming a new ruling dynasty.

6) Are you ready to rule Thailand?

7) Think it over carefully. Thailand already has a king and a military that is tied in closely with the monarchy. You will have to defeat them.

8) This means overcoming the King’s hundreds of thousands of supporters.

9) You and your Thai family allies will number ten to hundreds, depending whether on not you count all those in-laws that you don’t really like.

10) You will have to count heavily on the element of surprise.

11) All in all, it seems a rather risky endeavor just for the sake of one meal, no matter how tasty.

12) This is why I’ve written this recipe for you.

13) For serving sweet and sour shrimp in America simply means, “You seem nice. Enjoy my hospitality.”

14) In Britain, it means, “What ho, you’re a splendid sort.”

15) This is why a million Thai tourists travel the US and the UK. It’s just so relaxing to eat your food without the worry of fomenting revolution or making your host thinking you’re gauche in some other way.

16) As Sigmund Freud once said, “Sometimes sweet and sour shrimp is just sweet and sour shrimp.”

17) I know, I know, many people thought he said a “banana” instead of “sweet and sour shrimp,” but that is just a typo. An extraordinary typo, yes, but still a typo.

18) It’s a lot to take in. May I suggest reading What to Serve If You Don’t Want to Start Wars by Raymond Burr Ito.

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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Cinnamon Rolls (Kanelbullar)

Swedish Dessert

CINNAMON ROLLS
(Kanelbullar)

INGREDIENTS – DOUGH

⅔ cup butter (⅓ cup more later)
1½ cups milk
1 egg (1 egg more later)
2 teaspoons cardamom
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar (⅓ cup more later)
2½ teaspoons yeast
5 cups bread flour or flour (2 tablespoons more later)

INGREDIENTS – FILLING

2½ tablespoons cinnamon
⅓ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup butter, softened

INGREDIENT – ASSEMBLY

2 tablespoons flour
1 egg
1½ tablespoons water
3 tablespoons pearl sugar*, sparkling sugar, or sugar

* = Pearl sugar is remarkably hard to find in supermarkets. Try Whole FoodsTM, the food department of IKEATM, or the cake decoration sections of JoannTM, Michael’sTM. and other hobby stores. Alternatively, smash sugar cubes with a kitchen mallet.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

bread maker
parchment paper
2 cookie sheets

Makes 16 rolls. Takes 2 hours 45 minutes.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

Add ⅓ cup butter and milk to pan. Cook using low-medium heat until butter melts. Stir often. Add butter/milk and 1 egg to small mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add cardamom, salt, ½ cup sugar, yeast, and 5 cups flour to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add butter/milk from small mixing bowl to large mixing bowl. Whisk until well blended.

Add flour/butter/milk/sugar/yeast mix to bread maker. Run bread maker using dough setting for 10 minutes. Add dough to large mixing bowl. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

PREPARATION – FILLING

While dough doubles in size, add cinnamon, ⅓ cup sugar, brown sugar, and ⅓ cup softened butter to small mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended.

PREPARATION – ASSEMBLY

Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Add dough to center of dusted flat surface. Roll out dough until is a 12″ x 16″ rectangle. Spread filling evenly over rolled-out dough. Tightly roll dough along 16″ side until you get a 12″ long log. Cut log into 16 round discs or rolls. Cover with kitchen towel for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

While dough rises, add 1 egg and water to cup. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place rolls on parchment paper. Brush rolls with egg/water. Sprinkle pearl sugar on rolls. Bake at 425 degrees for 7 minutes or until golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) October 4 is Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden. Sweden is a wonderful country.

2) So is Britain. Even during hard times when its RAF was on the ropes fighting the Luftwaffe, which could turn the sky black with its fighter planes.

3) British pilots were superb. But no matter how many dogfights the British aces won, they still lost planes. No one could get around the fact that the RAF was running out of metal to build new Spitfires and Hurricanes.

4) Britain needed a miracle. It occurred when Chef Ollie Erickson of London’s Royal Swedish Bakery mentioned the dual nature of cinnamon rolls to Prime Minister Winston Churchill. “They’re tasty as Heaven when fresh, but absolutely impenetrable when dry.”

5) The boffins at Churchill’s Toy Shop learned how to make Spitfire-shaped cinnamon molds. One only needed to pour cinnamon-roll batter into these molds, remove the molds, and let the shaped dough dry. These cinnamon-roll Spitfire proved to be impervious to the Luftwaffe’s machine-gun and cannon fire. Not only that, bakeries turned out cinnamon-roll fighters by the baker’s dozens. The RAF rapidly established supremacy in the skies and soon won the Battle of Britain.

6) Britain also mass produced thousands of cinnamon-roll tanks. America with its preference of bacon and eggs over cinnamon rolls, had many more steel-rolling mills than bakeries. So, it mass produced tanks and planes the old-school way, with steel. Germany simply could not compete against both dough and steel. Germany lost. The world was once again made safe for breakfast.

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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Peanut Butter French Toast

Hong Kong Breakfast

PEANUT BUTTER FRENCH TOAST

INGREDIENTS

4 slices thick white bread*
6 tablespoons condensed milk
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
3 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup golden syrup or maple syrup

* = Really should be milk bread, but it’s powerful hard to find outside an Asian bakery.

Serves 2 or 4, depending if you want to skip the next meal. These really are calorie bombs. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Spread 1st bread slice with 3 tablespoons condensed milk. Spread a 2nd bread slice with 2 tablespoons peanut butter. Place 2nd bread slice, peanut butter side down, on 1st bread slice. Gently press the bread slice together to make a sealed sandwich. Repeat for 2nd sandwich..

Add eggs to mixing bowl. Whisk eggs until well blended. Dredge the sandwiches through the eggs until they are well coated, but not soggy. Add vegetable oil to pan. Fry at medium-high heat for 1-to-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. (The 2nd sandwich is likely to take less than the 1st.) Remove sandwich. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the middle of the top slice. Drizzle ¼ cup golden syrup over sandwich. Cut in half, if desired. Repeat for remaining sandwich.

TIDBITS

1) Asphalt roads are built with asphalt.

2) The Yellow Brick Road was built with yellow bricks.

3) The Silk Road was built with silk. Silk is strong. This is why construction crews prize silkworms so highly. Look up how many silkworms were employed building the Empire State Building.

4) The recently completed Peanut Butter French Toast Road (PBFTR) was built with peanut butter French toast. Of course, Of course, newly cooked peanut French toast while tasty is completely unable to support the weigh of a big-rig truck or even a bicycle. You have to let the toast dry out. In the meantime, workers can be fed using the same peanut butter French toast. Name one other road-building material that’s edible. Not concrete, let me tell you. The closest thing America has to China’s culinary engineering is its famed Tobacco Road.

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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Tripleta

Puerto Rican Entree

TRIPLETA

INGREDIENTS

 

 

1 garlic clove
1 medium onion
¼ cup ketchup
3 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons adobo seasoning
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1¼ pounds sirloin steaks
1¼ pounds pork loins
2 chicken breasts
1 Roma tomato
¼ pound cabbage
4 French rolls
8 slices Swiss cheese
3 ounces crispy French fries (or follow instructions on French fry package)

Makes 4 big sandwiches. Serves 4 to 8. Takes 1 hour 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic clove and onion. Add garlic, onion, ketchup, lemon juice, mayonnaise, adobo seasoning, pepper, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Cut sirloin steaks, pork loins, and chicken breasts along their heights until you have 4 pieces of each. (Otherwise, you’ll might have a sandwich so tall, you won’t be able to eat it.) Add sirloin, pork, and chicken to mixing bowl. Toss with hands until meat is well coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour. While meat marinates, cut tomato into 8 slices. Shred cabbage.

Set grill to medium setting. Remove meat from marinade and add to grill. Save marinade. Grill meat for 10 minutes or until done or done to your liking. Turn meat once. Toast roll halves on grill for 3 minutes or until they begin to brown.

Spread equal amounts of marinade on all French-roll halves. Add equal amounts of shredded cabbage, sirloin, pork, chicken, Swiss cheese, tomato, and crispy French fries to French-roll bottoms. Add French-roll tops. Cut sandwiches in half, if desired.

TIDBITS

1) This is a big meal. But we can’t stay in shape if we eat this sandwich and right after take a nap.

2) This sandwich is delicious. We can’t give it up for any reason. But we want to stay in shape.

3) Clearly, we need to exercise after eating this.

4) What exercise?

5) Cartwheels. Cartwheels? Egad. They’re hard. I’ll fall. I’ll hurt myself.

6) Ok then, how about lifting weights? Oh my gosh, no! I don’t have weights. I’ll have to go to the gym. The gym is far. It’s expensive. It’s crowd. It smells like a gym.

7) Ok then, how about running? Heck no! Running shoes are expensive. I’ll twist my ankles. I’ll get lost. I’ll get blisters. I’ll get completely tired and won’t be able to make it back home without calling an expensive taxi.

8) Ok then, how about walking? Boring. It’s too slow.

9) How about letting the Tripleta do the cartwheels? Yes, I like that. Let’s do that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Chispi Mayai (French Fry Omelette)

Tanzanian Entree

CHIPSI MAYAI
(French Fry Omelette)

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon fresh coriander*
1 small onion*
3 eggs
⅛ teaspoon pepper*
¼ teaspoon salt*
½ cup vegetable oil (½ tablespoon later)
2 pounds potatoes

SPECIAL UTENSIL

no-stick pan or spray pan or no-stick spray before adding egg mixture.
x-ray vision

* = These ingredients are all optional. You have an unparalleled opportunity to create you own unique chipsi mayai. Go for it. Go for gold.

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Dice coriander and onion. Add eggs to mixing bowl. Beat with whisk or fork until well blended. Add coriander, onion, pepper, and salt. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended.

Cut potatoes into French fries. Add ½ cup vegetable oil to pan. Heat oil at high heat until a tiny piece of French fry in the oil starts to dance. Carefully add French fries. (Hot oil is nasty when it splatters.) Fry French fries for 10 minutes until they start to brown. Stir occasionally. Remove fries. Drain oil from pan. Add fries and ½ tablespoon oil to a second, unused pan.

Ladle coriander/onion/egg mixture evenly over fries. Sauté for 5 minutes at medium heat or until bottom side is golden brown. (X-ray vision is helpful here.) Spray plate with no-stick spray. Then place plate over pan. Hold plate on pan while flipping pan upside down. The half-cooked omelette will now be upside down. Slide omelette back into pan to cook the other side. Cook for another 3 minutes or until this side too is golden brown.

Goes well with kachumbari (an East African salad), ketchup, tomato sauce, or chili sauce.

TIDBITS

1) You wake up at 3 a.m. to whispering in the kitchen. You sit up in bed. As you do so, the bed frame creaks. The little voices fall quiet. Silence, there is silence. You lie down or perhaps lay down; this is a miserable verb to conjugate. Nervous little laughter emanates from the kitchen. Then more whispering. This time it’s a little more rapid. Does it have a nasty tone? Yes, yes, it does.

2) Post traumatic stress from watching all Friday 13th(TM) makes your heart race. You get out of bed, oh so carefully. Don’t make any noise. Tiptoe to the closet. Get that baseball bat. Go the kitchen. Turn on the light.

3) Dozens of russet potatoes shriek. Their eyes are on you. It’s uncanny how they don’t blink. Is it because of an evolutionary dead end or because they’re tough?

4) They’re wearing potato panty house over themselves. Oh my gosh, your potatoes are going bad. You raise the baseball bat.

5) A potato rolls with amazing speed and strikes your shin. Ow. Another spud rolls on top of that. And then another and another until one has shoved itself into your mouth. You can’t breathe. You drop your bat.

6) In your panic, your stagger to the kitchen-utensil drawer. Your hand flails as you grab for anything to fight off your rogue, murderous tubers.

7) As contrived luck would have it, you latch onto a potato peeler.

8) The potatoes gasp in horror, drop off you and roll to a corner. You julienne the whimpering spuds one by one into majestic, harmless French fries.

9) What to do with all those fries? Why, make this entree, Chipsi Mayai.

10) Indeed, culinary historians believe Chipsi Mayai came about, in Tanzania, because of repeated potato uprisings.

11) Indeed, it is for this very reason that it is illegal to have more than two pounds of potatoes in Tanzanian homes.

12) Don’t try to cheat and say you have two pounds of taters when you actually have three. The phrase “The Tanzanian Potato Police” is a byword for terror.

13) Look at the potatoes below. Are they about to go bad? Don’t take chances. Cook them now.

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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Thai Fish Cakes (Tod Mun Pla)

Thai Entree

THAI FISH CAKES
(Tod Mun Pla)

INGREDIENTS

10 Chinese long beans or 10 green beans
6 kaffir lime leaves (Fresh is best, then frozen, then dried)
¾ pound boneless fish fillets*
1 egg
2½ tablespoons red curry paste
1 teaspoon sugar
⅓ cup vegetable oil

* = First choice is clown knifefish which is popular in Thailand. Should you not live there, your favorite fish will do nicely.

Makes 20 2″-fish cakes. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Thinly slice Chinese long beans. Finely slice kaffir lime leaves. Add fish to blender. Blend at medium setting until fish becomes a paste. Add fish paste, egg, red curry paste, and sugar to mixing bowl. Mix by hand until thoroughly blended. Add Chinese long beans and kaffir lime leaves. Mix again by hand until fish mix is completely blended.

Form fish into 1″ balls. Flatten them until they become 2″ pancakes. Add oil to pan. Heat oil with medium heat until a tiny bit of paste will dance in the oil. Carefully add pancakes, perhaps with spatula, to hot oil. Sauté at medium heat for 2 minutes or until the bottoms of the fish pancakes turn golden brown. Flip pancakes over and sauté for another 2 minutes or until the pancakes are golden brown all over. You might need to cook in batches. Goes well with cucumber relish or sweet Thai chili sauce and sliced cucumbers.

TIDBITS

1) Thai fish cakes look a lot like bean bags. This is no accident. The shape of the modern beanbag is based on Thai fish cakes.

2) During the Vietnam War, Todd Pla, a pilot, was based in Thailand. Between bombing raids, he’d relax by watching locals play Toss Fish Cakes Into Holes In The Ground. Unfortunately, tossing perfectly good food away like that meant the Thais wouldn’t eat. The Thais grew ever thinner. What to do? A light bulb went on in Todd “The Man” Pla’s head. Why not put dry beans in a cloth sack and sow it up? The beanbag could be reused game after game. The beans in the bags would never go bad and the fish that would have gone in it could now be eaten. The grateful Thais renamed their fish cakes, Tod Mun Pla, which is close to Todd “The Man” Pla. Todd feels quite honored.

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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Hainanese Chicken Rice

Singaporean Entree

HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE

INGREDIENTS – CHICKEN

2″ ginger root
4 cups chicken stock (4 cups more later)
4 cups water
2½ pounds boneless chicken
1 tablespoon sesame oil

INGREDIENTS – RICE

4 cups chicken broth
3 pandan leaves*
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups long-grain rice
4 garlic cloves
3″ ginger root
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

INGREDIENTS – FINAL

¼ cup fresh cilantro
1 cucumber
1 green onion
¼ cup chili garlic sauce
¼ cup soy sauce

* = This is quite hard to find outside of Asian supermarkets. You can also order dried pandan leaves online. Or substitute part of a banana leaves for the pandan leaves. But banana leaves are just as hard to find as pandan leaves. Or omit the pandan leaves altogether; this is a simplified recipe after all. If guests complain that your Chicken Hainanese Rice isn’t authentic without pandan leaves, biff ‘em good with your fists of fury.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

rice cooker
fists of fury (See above note.)
x-ray vision (It helps to be a super hero.)
up to 12 dipping bowls, bowls, or small cups

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes.

PREPARATION – CHICKEN

Cut 2″ ginger root into ¼” slices. Add ginger root slices, 4 cups chicken broth, water, and water to large pot. Bring water to boil in large pot at high heat. (The recipe gets harder after this.) While water comes to boil, cut chicken into 1½” pieces. Coat chicken with sesame oil. Add chicken to pot. Cover, reduce heat to warm and simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. (You can check this with x-ray vision or by slicing open one piece of chicken.) Remove chicken from pot and add to mixing bowl. Save chicken stock.

PREPARATION – RICE

While the water for the chicken comes to boil, tie pandan leaves into a knot just like you would with a string. Add 4 cups chicken broth, pandan leaves, and rice to rice cooker. Cook according to instructions for rice cooker. (Probably, just push the “cook” button until it stops cooking.) While chicken simmers, mince garlic and dice 3″ ginger root. Add garlic, ginger, and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium for 5 minutes or until garlic and ginger browns and becomes fragrant. Stir frequently. Add rice and stir fry at low-medium for 3 minutes. Stir enough to prevent burning.

PREPARATION – FINAL

While water for the chicken comes to boil and rice cooks, dice cilantro and green onion. Cut cucumber into thin slices. Add diced green onion and chicken stock from large pot to a small dipping bowl for each guest. Each guest also gets a dipping bowl for the chili-garlic sauce and the soy sauce. Add chicken to plates. Garnish chicken with cilantro. Add rice to plates and shape into dome. Place cucumber on plate beside chicken and rice.

TIDBITS

1) “Hainanese” is an anagram for “I, a sane hen.”

2) Sane hens are safer than insane hens.

3) You don’t have to lock your doors if you’re raising sane hens.

4) However, if you’re raising insane hens, oh boy! Insane hens naturally form gangs and terrorize the countryside. Indeed, a particular brutal gang of Rhode Island reds went on a car-jacking spree in Hicken County, Colorado back in 1969. You can imagine the difficulty the Colorado Tourism Board had in hushing that up.

5) By 2006, intelligent, insane hens had penetrated all the major American banks and brokerage houses. Their coop smarts and the fact they could lay fresh eggs without even taking time off from work gave them an irresistible leg up on all other applicants. I mean omelettes need fresh eggs.

6) In turn, the hens wanted worms. As they climbed the corporate ladders, they wanted ever more costly worms and ever fancier worm meals. By late 2008, the demand for pricy worms and gourmet-worm chefs had far outstripped the supply. More and more, the large financial firms were forced to feed ordinary mash to their top-revenue-generating hens.

7) Mash ticked off the executive layers, so much so that they engineered the Great Recession of 2008. Now prospective chicken hires must assert their mental stability with the oath, “I, a sane chicken . . .”

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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Turkish Salad

Turkish Appetizer

TURKISH SALAD

INGREDIENTS

1 cucumber
1 green bell pepper
1 red onion
3 tomatoes
1 garlic clove
6 ounces feta cheese
2 tablespoons fresh mint
⅔ cup fresh parsley
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt

Serves 8. Takes 25 minutes.

PREPARATION

Peel cucumber. Seed green bell pepper. Dice cucumber, green bell pepper, red onion, and tomatoes. Mince garlic clove. Crumble feta cheese. Add cucumber, green bell pepper, red onion, and tomato to large serving bowl. Toss ingredients in bowl. Sprinkle feta cheese on top. Toss ingredients lightly.

Mince mint and parsley. Add mint, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, and salt to small mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Pour this dressing over salad in serving bowl. Toss lightly.

TIDBITS

1) It is both enjoyable to eat well. It also necessary to be clean. Clean people needn’t worry about repelling loved ones and friends whenever the wind wafts your scent toward them. But why not have it all? Why not dine well and be squeaky clean? May I suggest a Turkish bath? They’re great fun. You and your 123 closest friends relax in room filled with hot air. This warmth causes healthy perspiring and gives you time to order your meal and sup.* Then cool yourself down with nice, refreshing, cold water.

2) * – But oh my gosh, be sure to tailor you menu choices to the type of Turkish bath. The Islamic hamman variety uses steamy air. This experience lends itself to eating steamed vegetables and steamed hot dogs and buns. When there, do not, do not, order the Turkish salad shown in this recipe. The steamy atmosphere wilts the lettuce something fierce. No if you wish this dish, without having to bolt down, you’d be much better off in a Victorian Turkish bath where the air is dry. Indeed, the well-known British love of salad and bathing, explains why there are only Victorian Turkish baths in that country. Now you know.

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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Pabellón Criollo

Venezuelan Entree

PABELLÓN CRIOLLO

INGREDIENTS – PULLED MEAT

3 garlic cloves (2 more cloves later)
1 medium onion
1 tomato
2 pounds flank steak
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon cumin (¼ teaspoon more later)
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon pepper (¼ teaspoon more later)
3 quarts water (or enough to cover ingredients)

INGREDIENTS – BLACK BEANS

2 garlic cloves
1 small onion
¼ cup olive oil or oil (¼ cup more later)
1 green bell pepper
1 15-ounce-can black beans
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt

INGREDIENTS – RICE & PLANTAINS

1⅓ cups rice
2 plantains or bananas
½ cup olive oil or oil

SPECIAL UTENSILS

3-quart pot
4 plates with 3 sections. These are mighty hard to find if you’re looking for them at the last moment.
sonic obliterator

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 50 minutes.

PREPARATION – PULLED MEAT

Dice 3 garlic cloves, medium onion, and tomato. Add diced garlic, onion, tomato, flank steak, bay leaf, ¼ teaspoon cumin, oregano, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and enough water to cover ingredients. Bring to boil using high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours 30 minutes or until meat is tender to the fork. Remove and discard bay leaf. Remove meat and place on plate. Pull flank seat apart with forks. Save stock for future soups.

PREPARATION – BLACK BEANS

While flank steak simmers, mince 2 garlic cloves and small onion. Seed and dice green bell pepper. Add garlic, onion, green bell pepper, and ¼ cup olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add black beans, ¼ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

PREPARATION – RICE & PLANTAINS

About 30 minutes before flank steak should be ready to be pulled apart, cook rice according to instructions on package. Peel plantains. Cut plantains into slices 1″ wide diagonally along the length of the plantain. Add plantain and ½ cup oil to pan. Sauté slices for 3 minutes on each at medium heat or until plantain softens and browns.

PREPARATION – FINAL STEP

This step is much easier if you have a plate that is divided into 3 sections. Carefully add enough pulled flank steak to make a pie wedge that takes up ⅓ of the plate. Carefully add enough beans next to the flank steak to make a pie wedge taking up ⅓ of the plate. Carefully add (Yes, you are doing things carefully here.) enough rice to take up the remaining ⅓ of the plate. Add ¼ of the plantain slices to the outside of the rice pie-wedge.

Zap, with your sonic obliterator, any guests who fail to appreciate just how much heart and soul went into the preparation of this dish.

TIDBITS

1) This dish, pabellón criollo, is enormously popular, among Venezuelans. So much so, that Venezuelans will bring the ingredients for this dish wherever they travel or migrate.

2) And boy, they sure have migrated. On May 1, 16,870 BC priests revealed to the proto-Venezuelans that their gods would be having a millennium-long jamboree in a land beyond the Great Mother Sea. Of course, everyone knows the best time to petition gods is when they’ve been drinking, eating pulled beef, and dancing and singing up a storm.

3) So, all the proto-Venezuelans took to their rafts and floated and paddled their way down the east coast of South America, suffered ice storms in the Straights of Magellan, endured fresh-water deprivation, and got eaten by gigantic sharks and whales.

4) All of which sucked, especially when compared to jamboreeing with the gods. So once there, the proto-Venezuelans stayed and planted rice. This is how rice came to India, Vietnam, China, and Japan.

5) The proto-Venezuelans were pretty happy. Then the gods’ beer ran out. The deities became surly and hurled thunderbolts and really hard bread rolls at the humans.

6) Life sucked again. Enough to brave the perils of an ocean voyage back home. This is how peoples from Asia settled the Americas, not by the headline hunters who crossed the land bridge from Siberia to Alaska.

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.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gambian Domoda (Peanut Stew)

Gambian Entree

DOMODA
(Peanut Stew)

INGREDIENTS

1 cup rice
1½ pounds chicken breasts or beef
2 green chiles
1 large onion
¾ pound pumpkin, sweet potato, or butternut squash
3 Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups vegetable stock*
1¼ cups smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ teaspoon pepper

* = To be authentic, try to use MaggiTM bouillon cubes. Maggi is ubiquitous in Africa.

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook rice according to instructions on package. Cut chicken into ½” cubes. Seed chiles. (Or leave them in if you wish a spicier stew.) Dice chiles, onion, pumpkin, and tomatoes.

Add chile, onion, and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add chicken cubes. Cook at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir frequently. Add diced tomato and vegetable stock. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add peanut butter, pumpkin, tomato paste and pepper. Stir occasionally. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Stir just enough to prevent burning. Serve over rice.

TIDBITS

1) Baby cows say, “moo.” They also have dads. So, you might imagine that little cows would also say, “Moo, Dad.” And you would be right.

2) But only for the cows being raised in Roswell, New Mexico. These are super-intelligent, alien cows. Their spaceship crashed there in 1947. As the US military always takes a keen interest in brilliant bovines, a deal was soon made. In return for regular milking–Cows cannot milk themselves no matter how intelligent they might be–the alien cows showed us how to completely and forever thwart nuclear attack. Something to be grateful for when you pour milk on your morning cereal.

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.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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