Posts Tagged With: petroglyphs

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.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Orange Beef

Chinese Entree

ORANGE BEEF

INGREDIENTSOrangeBeef-

1 orange (Keep peel)

12 ounces flank steak
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 egg white
1 tablespoon rice wine (sometimes called mirin) or pale sherry

1⅓ cups white rice

1″ fresh ginger (or 2 teaspoons fresh)
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons beef broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
⅛ teaspoon pepper
½ tablespoon sugar

5 dried red chiles
1½ cups peanut oil
Fresh zest from 1 orange or 2 teaspoon dry zest

SPECIAL UTENSIL

wok or Dutch oven
zest peeler or potato peeler

Makes 4 bowls. Takes 1½ hours.

PREPARATION

Remove peel orange. Save orange slices. Remove zest, the orange part of the peel, with zest peeler. Dice zest. (If you want to have a more authentic taste and can afford to plan ahead, spread the zest evenly over wax paper and let sit for 1-to-2 days until it is dry and brittle. Or just buy orange zest.)

Cut flank steak into strips 2″ long and ¼” wide. Add cornstarch, egg white, and rice wine to mixing bowl. Toss strips until they are well coated. Add steak strips. Put in refrigerator and marinate for 1 hour.

While beef marinates cook rice according to instructions on package. Mince ginger and garlic clove. Add sesame oil, ginger, and garlic to skillet. Sauté at medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until garlic turns color. Stir frequently. Remove sautéed ginger and garlic to mixing bowl. Add beef broth, soy sauce, pepper, and sugar to mixing bowl. Blend with whisk.

Dice red chiles. Add peanut oil and steak strips to wok. Sauté on medium-high for 2 minutes or until steak strips start to turn brown. Remove steak and drain on paper towels. Reserve 1½ tablespoons of peanut oil Add 1½ tablespoons reserved peanut oil, orange zest, and red chiles to wok. Stir frequently. Sauté on medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until chiles darken and oil smells fragrant. Stir frequently.

Add ginger/garlic/broth/soy sauce from mixing bowl to middle of wok. Return steak strips back to wok. Sauté at medium-high heat for 1 minute or until the steak strips become crispy, shiny, and have absorbed most of the sauce. Serve on top of rice. Garnish with orange slices.

TIDBITS

1) Orange beef originally came from orange cattle roaming the Painted Dessert in Arizona. Their orange hide helped the beeves, or cattle, blend in with the Dessert’s orange rocks. This camouflage technique helped the beeves escape voracious giant carnivorous beavers.

2) Things looked bad when the vicious beavers began Beaver Dam, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient Animal World. The water level in the Painted Dessert began to rise. Then rose even more. The beeves moved higher and higher up the canyon walls. Soon they would reach the green rocks where their orange hides would stand out starkly against the green rocks. The toothy beavers began salivating.

3) Then in a fortuitous stroke of fiction, humans, the Rohohoe tribe, in fact, arrived in the Painted Dessert, bringing commas for run-on sentences and arrows for hunting.

4) And hunt they did. Giant beavers tasted great when sauteéd in a lemon-basil sauce. Life was good for the Rohohoe. It was even better for the beeves. Their feared predator gone, their numbers rebounded or soared, whichever metaphor works best for you.

5) The ancient Chinese loved orange beef, having acquired a taste for it years before. Unfortunately, the abominable snowman, yeti, hunted their own orange beeves to extinction. Orange hides really made hunting in the snow-covered mountains of Tibet overly easy.

6) Fortunately, the ancient Rohohoe loved Chinese jewelry. Trade talks, smoothed by a mutual love of ScrabbleTM proceeded rapidly. And so began the great orange beef cattle drives.

7) Until global warming caused sea levels to rise to such an extent that the land bridge between North America and Asia disappeared. Snap. Just like that.

8) Deprived of Chinese jewelry, the Rohohoe economy dissolved into anarchy. Traces of this once proud people show up only in the finest cookbooks. Bereft of fresh orange beeves, Chinese founded culinary schools. They would rely on their own ingredients. No longer would Chinese caravans ply the world’s continents. No longer would their tradesmen paint, “Cho was here,” on stones all over America’s Southwest. Oh, I guess I should tell also those archeologists, sweltering in the hot Arizonan sun, what those petroglyphs mean.

– Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

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

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

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