Posts Tagged With: philosophers

Finnish Hot Dog Sauce (Nakkikastike)

Finnish Entree

HOT DOG SAUCE
(Nakkikastike)

INGREDIENTS

1 pound hot dogs or sausages
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons flour
1¾ cups beef broth
¾ cup cream
3 tablespoons ketchup
½ teaspoon pepper

Serves 4. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut hot dogs into circles ½” thick. Dice onion. Add onion and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add hot-dog circles. Stir until well blended. Sauté for 3 minutes or until hot-dog slices brown.

Lower heat to medium. Add flour. Fry until flour turns browns. Mix until well blended. Add beef broth. Stir with whisk until there are no lumps. Bring to boil using medium-high heat. Stir frequently. Add cream, ketchup, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Goes well with mashed potatoes.

TIDBITS

1) Culinary historians tell us this Finnish dish actually came from China some thousands of years ago and that it was originally called Yin Yang. Indeed, culinary philosophers maintain that Yin Yang is a Chinese philosophical concept that describes how apparently opposite forces may actually be complementary and interconnected in the culinary world. Later Chinese philosophers extended this concept to the entire natural world. Now everybody, not just chefs, can have big thinks about how things fit together.

2) Just so you know, it’s extremely windy outside my window.

3) For some 217 years, 9 months, and 26 days, Chinese debated on what were the grand universal twin powers from which flowed all opposite and complementary forces. Then Chef Tai Chi Pei piped up, “The twin universal powers are Hot Dog Sauce and Mashed Potatoes.” All the philosophers agreed at once. It’s just one of things that had been hard to see, but became incredibly obvious once presented. This revolutionary idea made its way to Finland via the Silk Road. Inner-truth seeking Finnish chefs gave culinary shape to this philosophy with this dish. Now you know.

 

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.

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

John Wallis and Infinity

Sure, Greek philosophers, and other smarty pants after them, talked up a storm now and then about the concept of infinity. But none of it wrote down a symbol for it. So they all got forgotten, except for Socrates. And as we all know, Socrates was forced to take hemlock for not coming up with a symbol for infinity. The ancient Athenians took their proto-calculus discussions seriously.

One day, British mathematician and doughnut lover, John Wallis, was sitting at his table looking at two alluring pink doughnuts. His next door neighbor, Carl La Fong sat across from John gazing longingly at the pink delights. The great British painter, John Hoskins, happened to be there. This is his painting, “Two Pink Doughnuts.” It hangs in the Tate Museum in London, England.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“May I have one of your pink doughnuts?” asked La Fong.

“No, you may not,” said Wallis, “I love pink doughnuts beyond all measure.”

“Would you, could you, give me one pink doughnut if you had three?” asked La Fong.

“No, I would not. I would eat all three. I would eat them just with me.”

“Would you, could you, give me one pink doughnut if you had four?”

Wallis shook is head. “No, I would not. I would eat all four. I would eat them by the door.”

“Would you, could you, give me one pink doughnut, if you had an infinite number of pink doughnuts?”

“No, I would not. I would eat an infinite number of doughnuts.” Wallis scratched his head. “Say, what would the symbol for infinity look like?”

“Like this, you greedy man.” La Fong squished the two doughnuts.

And, lo and behold, John Hoskins painted the squished doughnuts. The wildly popular painting is on display at the British Science Museum in London. It’s called, “Infinity.” Here it is:

 

 

 

 

 

 

And so due to Wallis, La Fong, and Hoskins, we now have the symbol for infinity. Sir Isaac Newton used it to develop calculus. Now you know.

 

– 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.

Categories: history, proof you cannot deny | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mozzarella En Carrozza

Italian Appetizer

MOZZARELLA EN CARROZZA

INGREDIENTS – SAUCE*MozzellaEnCarrozza-

½ cup butter
3 anchovy fillets or ½ tablespoon anchovy paste or .3 ounces nori (seaweed)
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons parsley

* = Use marinara sauce instead, if you find both anchovies and seaweed to be icky.

INGREDIENTS – SANDWICH

12 slices ¼”-thick white Italian bread
1 pound mozzarella cheese
1 cup flour
½ cup milk
¾ cup fine bread crumbs
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 eggs

SPECIAL UTENSIL

parchment paper

Makes 12 little sandwiches. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION – SAUCE

Add butter to small pot. Melt butter using medium heat. Do not let it bubble. Stir frequently. Add anchovies, capers, lemon juice, and parsley. Stir until well blended. Turn off heat and cover.

PREPARATION – SANDWICH

Trim edges off bread slices so that you 5″ squares. Cut mozzarella into 6 equally thick slices. Slices should be square with 3″ edges. Put mozzarella squares on half of the bread squares. Put remaining bread slices on top of mozzarella squares.

Add flour to mixing bowl. Thoroughly coat sandwiches with flour. Add bread crumbs to plate. Add milk to a bowl. Briefly dip both sides of sandwich in milk. Seal cheese in sandwich by pressing the bread edges together. Dredge sandwich through bread crumbs until well coated. Place sandwiches on parchment-lined plate. (This prevents sandwich from sticking to plate.) Repeat for the remaining 5 sandwiches. Chill sandwiches in refrigerator for 40 minutes.

Beat eggs in mixing bowl until well blended. Briefly dip sandwiches into blended eggs. Add oil to frying pan. Heat oil at medium heat until it sizzles when a few bread crumbs are put in it. Put as many sandwiches as will fit in the frying pan. Sauté sandwiches at medium heat for 2-to-3 minutes on each side or until coated bread turns golden brown. (Sauté times tend to shorter a bit for each successive batch of sandwiches.) Repeat until all sandwiches are sautéeed. Drain sandwiches on paper towels. Cut sandwiches in two along the diagonal. Why the diagonal? I don’t know.

Serve immediately with sauce on the side.

TIDBITS

1) Pythagoras, the ancient Greek chef, loved to make grilled cheese sandwiches.

2) As who does not?

3) But Pythagoras made really, really good grilled cheeses. Philosophers from all over the Hellenic world flocked to his restaurant, Το Ψητό Τυρί.

4) The philosophic debates were of the highest order. Concepts such as: democracy, equal rights, rule of law, and cheese making got bandied about. Indeed, these debates made Greece the envy of the ancient Mediterranean world.

5) So much so that in the 2nd century B.C. Rome subjugated Greece for its grilled cheese sandwiches and democratic principles. For a long time, culinary historians remained divided on this conquests. Some held subjugating a people for democratic principles is an oxymoron like customer service or a working printers. Others averred that conquest is always a good thing as it facilitates the movement of great appetizers, entrees, and desserts to the conquering nation. As we all know, the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 settled this debate forever.

5) In 1776, America’s founding fathers emulated the Greek philosophers when they framed The Declaration of Independence and baked the first apple pie.

6) In 1812, Zorba of Piraeus found a clay tablet will plowing his field. The tablet showed how to prove the Pythagorean Theorem, i.e., α^2 + β^2 = γ^2.

7) This theorem revolutionized the world by making more students more students hate mathematics than ever before.

8) In 1820, the Turkish Sultan Abim Bam Bu decreed that Pythagorean theorem would henceforth be written using the Arabic alphabet.

9) Instructing Greek students in Arabic and Turkish had been tolerated. So had the Pythagorean theorem. But teaching the young ones the Pythagorean theorem in Arabic pushed the Greek parents over the edge and in 1821 the Greek populace revolted against their Turkish overlords.

10) The Greeks finally gained their independence in 1833, permitting the free travel of Greek chefs all over the world. We live in a golden age.

– 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

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