Posts Tagged With: peppercorns

Caprese Burgers

Italian Entree

CAPRESE BURGER

INGREDIENTSCapreseBurgers-

1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
12 ounces pound mozzarella cheese
2 Roma tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon peppercorns (or black pepper)
6 hamburger buns
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

PREPARATION

Mince onion and garlic cloves. Mix onion, garlic, ground beef, and Italian seasoning. Form 6 patties.  Put patties in frying pan. Fry at medium-high heat with lid on for about 15 minutes or until the insides of the patties are done to the desired level of pinkness or brownness. Flip patties 2 times.

While patties are cooking, slice mozzarella into 24 slabs. Slice tomatoes 1/8″ thick. Grind peppercorns. Toast hamburger buns. Put a patty on each bun. Put 2 slabs on mozzarella on patty. Put 2 slices of tomato on mozzarella slabs. Put 2 slabs of mozzarella on bun top, then put 2 slices of tomato. Drizzle olive oil on and sprinkle the bottom half with ground pepper, and salt. Sprinkle top half with basil. Combine the bottom and top parts of the burger. Repeat for the next 5 burgers.

TIDBITS

1) In 408 A.D., Alaric besieged Rome with his Visigothic army. The Romans bought him off with 3,000 pounds of pepper. It is quite possible, though historians are by no means unanimous of this point, the Visigoths used this pepper to make caprese burgers.

2) In 410 A.D., their supply of pepper exhausted, the Visigoths were reduced to eating porridge. Clearly, this was not a stable situation. Alaric took his army once more to Rome. This time, the Romans refused to give the barbarians their pepper; Italian pork chops with pepper having become the latest culinary rage. The culinary-driven Visigoths stormed Rome, sacking it for 3 days while they searched for hidden stores of pepper.

3) Rome never recovered. The great chefs of Rome, deprived of pepper, gradually drifted off into banditry. The entire Roman Empire collapsed. The Dark Ages descended all over Europe not to be lifted for a thousand years.

4) This is why I always keep a lot of pepper in my kitchen.

– Chef Paul
cover

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World, is available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Hawaij, Spice Mix from Yemen

Yemeni Appetizer

HAWAIJ
(spice mix)

INGREDIENTSHawaij-

2 tablespoons black peppercorns
3/4 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon cardamom
2 teaspoons coriander
2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon turmeric

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder

PREPARATION

Grind peppercorns, cloves, and caraway seeds in spice grinder. Use fork to mix peppercorn, cloves, caraway, cardamom, coriander, cumin, and turmeric in small mixing bowl. Store mixture in airtight jar.

TIDBITS

1) According to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, cardamom is “the spice of Paradise.” It’s not clear how he knew that. Perhaps he had an Ouija board.

2) Since Ouija boards weren’t invented until the twentieth century, it’s clear Chaucer had a time machine. I would have read Canterbury Tales in High School with much more interest if I had known that.

3) According to some vague, unspecified, nebulous people, cardamom was the most popular spice in ancient Rome. Rome conquered Gaul. Gauls did not spice with cardamom. The frightening implication is clear.

4) Cardamom coffee is popular in the Arab world. The Arabs overran North Africa, the Fertile Crescent, the Spanish peninsula, Sicily, and Southern France in only 100 years. The conquering qualities of cardamom explains why it costs more than oil per ounce. Oil fuels countries’ economies, but cardamom is necessary for sheer national survival.

5) Cardamom is more popular in Sweden than any other spice. Sweden has never been conquered by a non-Nordic nation. Even nations with powerful armies respect countries with large cardamom stockpiles.

6) Cardamom is the world’s second most expensive spice. Only saffron cost more. I don’t even want to think what a global conflict over saffron would be like.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

Categories: cuisine, food, history, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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