Posts Tagged With: prisoners

Caramelized Banana Cake

Cape Verdean Dessert

CARAMELIZED BANANA CAKE

INGREDIENTS

4 eggs
½ cup butter, softened
1½ cups sugar (1¼ cups more later)
½ cup milk
⅛ teaspoon salt
2⅓ cups wheat flour or flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
no-stick spray
4 ripe bananas
⅓ cup water
1¼ cups sugar
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
8″ * 12″ cake pan
9″ * 13″ cookie tray
sonic obliterator

Serves 10. Takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Separate eggs into yolks and whites. Add butter and 1½ cups sugar to large mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set on medium until well blended. Add egg yolks, milk, and salt. Mix with electric beater set on medium until well blended. Gradually add wheat flour. Mix with electric beater set on medium until well blended. Add baking powder and egg whites. Mix with electric beater set on medium until this dough is well blended and fluffy. Spray cake pan with no-stick spray.

Cut each banana into 6 circles. Add water and 1¼ cups sugar to pan. Warm sugar using low-medium heat until it begin to melt. Stir enough to keep sugar from burning and clumping. Reduce heat to low and continue warming sugar until it melts completely and turns a caramel brown. Stir constantly. Pour this caramel immediately into cake pan. (Don’t let it set.) dish. Smooth with spatula.

Place banana circles evenly over caramel. (Be careful if caramel is hot.) Spoon dough over bananas. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick stuck in middle of cake comes out clean. Loosen cake by sliding spatula around the edges and, as far as possible, under the bottom. Put cookie tray on top of cake pan. Carefully turn cake pan and cookie tray upside down. Tap cake pan with knife. Say a brief prayer. Lift cake pan. Cake should come out cleanly onto cookie tray. Let sit until cool. Serve to adoring guests. Zap unappreciative ones with sonic obliterator.

TIDBITS

1) One of the most beloved form of communal games of gambling is craps. Just go to any casino. Any time you hear a loud roar of happiness, it is quite likely it came from the craps table. Of course, as with all gambling choices in a casino, you will likely go home a loser. But you have more fun losing than people playing slot machines. And that’s the main thing.

2) There are two games that come to mind for people to play face to face. They are chess and dominoes.

3) However, chess is mostly a silent game. It’s bad form to disturb, in any way, the player about to make a move. People can take the longest time pondering whether to move their bishop or not. Or where. How long can some players take to move?

4) Eons.

5) Culinary sociologists have determined that chess is the game of choice for prison wardens. The wardens deal with violent and otherwise troublesome prisoners by placing them in solitary confinement.

6) There is always a chess game going in solitary confinement. The guard tells the ingoing inmate whether he is playing for white black. The player looks at the game. His mind goes a mile a minute thinking over the 172,329 possible moves. This takes a while, and lo and behold. just as he moves his chess piece, his time in solitary is over.

7) The head guard then picks the current troublemaker in the chess-game cell and informs this inmate that his is playing the opposite color from that of the previous cell mate.

8) Solitary Prison Cell has become all the rage. Inmates have begun to commit offenses just to play chess in solitary. Prisoners have begun to form chess gangs. The most popular gang names are the White Knights and the Black Bishops. For a while, wardens tried segregating these groups.

9) However, as this policy is proving insufficient in decreasing prison violent, the guards are starting to take away solitary-chess privileges for frequent rule offenders. These men can only play dominoes, a much less violent game. It’s still addicting, though.

10) When prisoners are released, the dominoes players need a good fix of the game. This is why you see people playing dominoes outside a remote, rural general store. But there aren’t many such establishments any more. So dominoes junkies naturally flock to anything that has the big dots on them that dominoes has. What do they do? They can’t play chess anymore. That games doesn’t have dots. Beside, the ex-cons have been conditioned against playing that game? So what do they do?

11) They play craps. The dice in craps have plenty of dots on them, enough for any dominoes junkie. However, as we established in the first tidbit, people who plays craps lose all their money.

12) Then what do these one-time felons due for their dot fix? They eat food with dots on them. Like caramelized banana cake. The bananas in ths dessert look like the dots on a domino tile. (See the above photo.) This is why this dessert is so enormously popular around the world. 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, international, obsevations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Xin Xim (chicken and shrimp stew)

Brazilian Entree

XIN XIM
(chicken and shrimp stew)

xinximINGREDIENTS

3 garlic cloves
⅓ cup lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil (2 more tablespoons later)
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1½ pounds boneless chicken breasts
1½ pounds boneless chicken thighs
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon palm oil (aka dende), annatto oil, or olive oil (2½ tablespoons more later)
1 large onion
1 green bell pepper
3 plum tomatoes
1½ cups chicken stock
1 ounce dried shrimp or ground dried shrimp
1½ ounces gingerroot
¾ cup cashews
⅓ cup peanuts, roasted and unsalted
2½ tablespoons palm oil (aka dende), annatto oil, or olive oil
1¼ cups coconut milk
⅓ cup fresh cilantro
2 fresh malagueta peppers (These are really hot. Serrano and jalapeno peppers are milder and easier to find)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

food processor
Dutch oven
sonic obliterator

Makes 6 bowls. Takes 2 hours.

PREPARATION

Add garlic cloves to food processor. Blend until you get garlic paste. Add garlic paste, lime juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, pepper, salt, chicken breasts, chicken thighs, and shrimp to large mixing bowl. Turn the chicken and the shrimp until they are well coated. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Remove chicken pieces from marinade and pat dry with paper towel. (Keep marinade.) Add chicken pieces and 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes on each side (10 minutes total) or until chicken turns golden brown. Remove and set aside.

Remove shrimp from marinade. Add shrimp and 1 tablespoon palm oil to Dutch oven. Sauté shrimp using high heat for 2 minutes or until shrimp starts to turn pink. Stir frequently. Remove shrimp with its marinade and set aside.

Mince onion. Seed and dice green bell pepper and plum tomatoes. Add onion and bell pepper to Dutch oven. Sauté for 5 minutes using medium-high heat or until onion softens. Add tomato, chicken pieces, and chicken stock. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer stew for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

While stew simmers, add dried shrimp, gingerroot, cashews, and peanuts to food processor. Grind using low setting until you get little bits. Stop before they become paste. Add bits to Dutch oven. Stir until bits blend into the chicken stock. Simmer stew for 5 minutes on low heat.

While stews simmers, dice cilantro. (If at this time guests ask when will the meal be ready, zap them with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need that negativity in your kitchen.) Add cilantro, marinated shrimp, 2½ tablespoons palm oil, coconut milk, and malagueta peppers. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes and shrimp are pink and the chicken is tender. Serve with golden farofa (a Brazilian dish made from cassava flour) or rice.

TIDBITS

1) Xin xim is an anagram for Xi minx. My 1941 dictionary says a minx is a hussy or a wanton. Xi is something inconsequential and boring. Qi is a word that no one ever speaks because no one knows what it means. It’s worth a lot in ScrabbleTM, though.

2) However, the anagram for “Chicken and Shrimp Stew” is “Mr. Ken’s pecan witch dish.” Mr. Ken Appleby was an Englishman working in Madrid in 1587 for the Spanish Inquisition. He never learned Spanish. Didn’t make interrogating his prisoners difficult?

3) Yes, it did. While his fellow Spanish-speaking inquisitors we’re putting prisoners on racks and extorting confessions with assembly-line efficiency, Ken lagged behind something considerable. Because he couldn’t understand the anguished admissions of his heretics, he had to resort to charades to communicate.

4) Except a person tied down and stretched out to pro-basketball lengths made a poor charade partner. So, Ken never tied down his prisoners. He fed them his pecan pie. Ken’s pies were delicious. People would confess to anything to eat one and they did. His pies were to die for and they did. Especially witches, who as everyone knows, break out in hives when they eat pecans. Ken was able to find one witch after another. He began a rapid ascent up the inquisitor ladder.

5) Then Spain and England went to war in 1588. A death warrant was put out for Ken. His happy days over, Ken fled to Brazil. However, his fame as with pecan pies preceded him. His life was still in danger. Fortunately an anagramist said his dish was anagram for chicken and shrimp stew. The Brazilians called his new culinary creation, xin xim, because they have words for everything. There.

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

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