Posts Tagged With: prawn

Gado Gado

Indonesian Appetizer

GADO GADO
(Vegetable Salad)

INGREDIENTS

¾ pound Yukon gold or new potato
3 eggs
½ head Chinese cabbage or Napa cabbage
1¼ cups spinach
1¼ cups bean sprouts (aka mung beans)
½ pound tofu
2 tablespoons peanut oil or sesame oil
½ cucumber
8 prawn crackers*
1 cup peanut sauce or satay sauce

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

* = Some prawn crackers can be served as is. Others need to be deep fried. If so, please follow instructions on package.

PREPARATION

Add enough water to pot to cover potatoes. Bring to boil. Add potatoes. Boil potatoes for 20 minutes using medium-high heat. Remove potatoes and set aside. While potatoes boil, add enough water to 2nd pot to cover eggs. Bring water to boil using high heat. Carefully add eggs. Boil eggs for 6 minutes if soft-boiled eggs are desired or for 12 minutes if you want hard-boiled eggs. Remove eggs from heat and seat aside.

Add enough water to 3rd pot to cover cabbage, spinach, and bean sprouts. Bring to boil. While water comes to boil, dice or shred cabbage and spinach. Add spinach and bean sprouts to pot. Let boil for 30 seconds. Remove spinach and beansprouts with slotted spoon and transfer to large mixing bowl. Add cabbage to pot. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove cabbage with slotted spoon and transfer to mixing bowl with spinach and bean sprouts. Add ice cubes and cold water. Let sit for 2 minutes. Remove veggies with slotted spoon and pat dry with paper towel.

Cut tofu into 1″ cubes. Add tofu and oil to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 15 minutes or until all sides turn golden brown. Stir frequently to ensure even browning. Remove from heat. Cut cucumber into slices ½” thick. Cut potatoes into ½” cubes. Peel eggs and cut each one into 4 slices.

Add cabbage, spinach, and bean sprouts to large serving bowl. Toss veggies with forks. Arrange potato cubes evenly over veggies. Do the same, one ingredient at a time, for the tofu cubes, cucumber slices, egg slices, and prawn crackers. Divide the peanut sauce into 4 small bowls, 1 for each guest. Guests then add peanut sauce as desired to the top of their salad.

TIDBITS

1) Gado Gado is Indonesian.

2) Gado Gado is anagram for A dog, a dog. It’s also an anagram for A god, a god. And even one for O dga, o dga.

3) Dga is, of course, the plural form for dgum.

4) Only the Latin language changes um to a to make a noun plural. The Ancient Romans spoke Latin. These way-back Romans worshiped gods.

5) They only worshiped gods that looked like people. But they were aware of the gods worshiped in other lands. Such as the dga, the dog gods of what is now Olduvai Gorge.

6) This is a long train of thought, so feel free to have coffee and doughnuts.

7) Anyway, Lucy of Olduvai Gorge is the first known human. Dr. Mary Leakey discovered Lucy’s skull on July 17, 1959. Lucy had a pet dog. She called it Dgma. It’s skeleton was discovered 42 years later under a rusty lunch box left behind by the site’s original excavators.

8) Okay, we now have enough information to trace humanity’s history from then to now.

9) Lucy’s tribe, possessing a limited vocabulary, took to calling all dogs Dgma.

10) Over the millennia, Lucy’s and Dgum’s descendants traveled ever northward. Along the way, because there really nothing else to do but walk, these hardy trekkers decided to worship dogs. Prehistoric shrines to Dgma trace the great northward walk.

11) By 1786 BC, the dgma worshipers reached Egypt. Little Osibis, daughter of Ramses II, saw one of the dogs. “Father, would you buy me that dog?” asked Osibis, “I shall call it Annubis.”
“Well okay,” said the ruler of all Egypt, “ but don’t go asking me to make it a god.”
“Ooh, that’s a good idea.” Osibis clapped her hands. “Make it a god or I shall cry.”
And so softy Ramses added Annubis to Egypt’s horde of gods.

12) In 48 BC, Julius Caesar arrived in Egypt, fought a bit, and took the Queen Cleopatra back with him to Rome. Cleo wanted to take all her dogs with her. Caesar said just one.
“Very well,” said Cleopatra, “I shall bring this dgma.”
“No, said Julius, “The singular form of dgma is dgum. The Romans will kill me if I left you butcher their language.”

13) But Cleo never did change the dog’s name to Dgum. This incensed Brutus, an ardent grammarian, so much that he assassinated Caesar. Rome would become an empire and go on to conquer the world.

14) Dog worship did make it to long-ago Indonesia. Those ancient people, all hardy anagramists, changed the chant “O god, o god” to “Gado, gado.” Gado Gado became the name of the food eaten after morning devotions. Then other stuff happened over the centuries and here we are.

 

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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.

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

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