Posts Tagged With: pistachios

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

Syrian Chicken Casserole (fatti dejaj)

Syrian Entree

FATTI DEJAJ
(chicken casserole)

INGREDIENTS – MAINFattiDejaj-

1 cup rice
2 cups chicken stock (additional ⅔ cup later)
3 chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup chicken stock
3 pita loaves or rounds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup tahini
2 cups plain yogurt
1½ tablespoon ghee or butter
1 cup almonds, cashews, pistachios, or combination (slivered or halves)
½ tablespoon parsley

SPECIAL UTENSIL

2 casserole dishes

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add rice and 2 cups chicken stock to rice cooker or pot. Cook rice according to instructions on package. While rice cooks, cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Mince garlic cloves. Add chicken cubes, garlic, bay leaf, pepper, salt, and ⅔ cup chicken stock to first casserole dish. Coat chicken cubes thoroughly. Bake at 450 degrees for 45minutes. Stir every 15 minutes to keep chicken from drying out. Remove bay leaf.

While chicken bakes, cut pita rounds into 1″ squares. Add pita squares and oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until pita squares turn golden brown. Place pita squares on paper towels.

Add lemon juice, tahini, and yogurt to mixing bowl. Mix gently with spoon. Add ghee and nuts to pan. Toast them on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until they start turning golden brown. Stir constantly.

Add sautéed pitas squares to second casserole dish. Smooth with fork. Add rice. Smooth with fork. Add lemon juice/tahini/yogurt sauce. Smooth gently with fork. Add chicken cubes. Smooth with, oh what the heck, spoon. Sprinkle sautéed nuts and parsley over chicken cubes.

Serve to guests who darn well better appreciate all the effort you made preparing this wonderful dish.

TIDBITS

1) Syrian has many people.

2) People have bones in them.

3) There are enough bones in the human body to enable a person to stand up with enough bones leftover for arms and hands.

4) Arms and hands are used to drink root beer from glass mugs.

5) Root beer tastes like good childhood memories.

6) There is a man in Syria called Ryan.

7) Ryan drank root beer. He had a good childhood.

8) He’s old now, but as a child was very well liked.

9) People used to greet each other with, “Is Ryan healthy?” or “Is Ryan happy?” or “Is Ryan drinking root beer?” or even, “Is Ryan doing his econometrics homework?”

10) This happened so often that when the region became independent of France in 1946 people naturally wanted to call their country “Isryan.”

11) However, Ryan, a perpetually modest man, demurred.

12) But the people persisted. Isryan. Stamps with Isryan were printed.

13) Ryan demurred.

14) Fortunately, the World Anagramist Society met in Damascus a scant two weeks after independence.

15) They suggested Syrian for the name of the country. The people were contented. “As long as ‘Is Ryan’ in their somehow. Ryan was happy as well. He could pretend the country wasn’t named after him.

16) Remarkably, it took until 2002, the year the Angels finally won the World Series, for people to realize than Syrian sounds more like someone from Syria than a country. So after consulting Ryan and getting his permission, the people held a referendum and changed the country’s name to Syria.

17) If ever come across a stamp bearing the word “Isryan” save it, for goodness sake. It’s quite valuable.

– 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 paperpack
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

Turkish Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe

Turkish Entree

TURKISH STUFFED BELL PEPPERS

INGREDIENTSTurkSBP-

1 cup brown rice
2 cups water (1/2 cup more later)

1 1/2 tomatoes
8 red or green bell peppers
2 tablespoons pine nuts (see note below for substitutions)
2 medium onions
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dill
2 teaspoons mint
2 teaspoons parsley
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil

Many people are more allergic to pine nuts than other types. Substitutes for pine nuts are: walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, and peanuts.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder
casserole dish

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook rice according to instructions shown on bag. Mince tomatoes. Cut off tops from bell peppers. Keep tops for later. Remove seeds. Grind nuts. Mince onions.

Put olive oil and onion in frying pan. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until onions soften. Stir frequently.

Add 1/2 cup water, tomatoes, pine nuts, onion, allspice, cinnamon, dill, mint, parsley, black pepper, salt, lemon juice, and cooked rice. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Put bell pepper bottoms, open-end up, in casserole dish. Fill bell peppers with rice/tomato/spice mix. Put bell-pepper caps on top of bell-pepper bottoms. Add 1″ water to casserole dish. Put casserole dish in oven. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until bell peppers are soft.

Discard bell-pepper tops before serving this entree to adoring family or guests.

TIDBITS

1) I looked up “fun facts about Turkey” and found the country is a member of the Council of Europe (1949), NATO (1952), OECD (1961), OSCE (1973) and the G20 industrial nations (1999).

2) I guess some people have different ideas about fun.

3) The Turks introduced coffee to Europe during some three-hundred years of invasion. Bad for the Europeans of that time, but really good for us now when we need to wake up.

4) The mighty croissant was invented in Vienna in 1683. Viennese bakers preparing breads and pastries in the wee hours in the morning heard the Turks tunneling under the city. The bakers sounded the alarm. The alerted Viennese defenders defeated the tunnelers and the city was saved. The bakers celebrated the event with pastries shaped like the crescent on the Turkish flags, hence the name croissant.

5) Isn’t tidbit 4) much more fun than tidbit 1)?

6) The Turks haven’t invaded anyone for about three centuries bringing that mode of culinary enlightenment to an end.

7) We now discover Turkish culinary recipes at bookstores and from the internet.

8) There is no more need for war.

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

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