Posts Tagged With: Prohibition

Stifado (Stew from Cyprus)

Cypriot Entree

STIFADO
(Stew)

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds stewing beef
2 pounds frozen pearl onions*
½ tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
3 cups beef stock
3″ cinnamon stick
2 cloves
¾ teaspoon pepper
1½ cups red wine
2½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
water, if liquid cooks away too soon

* = Fresh pearl onions will taste a bit better than frozen ones. But my gosh, the fresh ones have to be peeled. You can speed up the peeling process by boiling, plunging them into cold water, and squeezing the pearl onion out of its skin. This peeling took me 40 minutes the one and only time I tried. I’d rather join the French Foreign Legion than do it again. Buy the frozen ones.

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut stewing beef into 1″ cubes. Peel pearl onions, if necessary. Dice rosemary. Add olive oil and beef cubes to large pan. Sauté at medium-high heat until all sides brown. Stir occasionally. Add pearl onions. Sauté at medium heat until onions soften. Stir frequently.

Add remaining ingredients. Stir until completely blended. Put lid on pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour 40 minutes or meat becomes quite tender and the liquid reduces to a thick sauce. Stir occasionally. (Add water as necessary, if liquid evaporates completely before beef cubes become tender.) Remove bay leaves and cinnamon stick.

TIDBITS

1) America’s Prohibition banned the selling and consumption of alcohol. If you were a barkeep and sold a customer a large whiskey, you were liable to arrest by a lurking cop. And your bar would be shut down. So customers took to calling a large whiskey, a stiff one. Such subterfuge, fooled the police only for a bit. They were naturally suspicious that a liquid that looking like whiskey, and being sold in a speakeasy was, in fact, whiskey. So, whiskey dens took to injecting avocados with whiskey. They called the new concoction “stifado,” a combination of “stiff one” and “avocado”. A visiting chef from Cyprus so loved the stifado, that he named his signature stew, “Stifado.” 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.

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Paul’s Pizza

American Entree

PAUL’S PIZZA

INGREDIENTS – PIZZA CRUSTpaulspizza

2⅔ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup beer
⅔ cup water
2⅔ tablespoons vegetable oil
¾ teaspoon sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
2½ teaspoons active dry yeast

no-stick spray

INGREDIENTS- TOPPINGS*

10 mozzarella sticks
6 tablespoons pasta sauce
12 ounces ground pork sausage
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1½ cups grated mozzarella cheese

* = All of these toppings are divided equally between 2 pie tins.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

bread maker
2 8″-pie tins

Makes 2 8″ pies. Takes 1 hour 45 minutes.

PREPARATION – PIZZA CRUST

Add flour, beer, water, oil, sugar, salt, and yeast to the bread maker. Do not put the yeast directly on top of the salt. Salt is bad for yeast and yeast makes the dough rise. “Ask not what your yeast can do for you. Ask what you can do for your yeast.” Set the timer or the menu on the bread maker to “Dough.” Wait for the required time, about an hour. In the meantime preheat the oven to 400 degrees and liberally spray the pie tins with no-stick spray. This will prevent the crust from forming a glue-like bond with the pie tins.

Take the dough out of the bread maker and divide it into two lumps. Roll out one lump until its dough cover will cover the bottom and sides of the pie tin and still have 1″ of dough hanging over the edge of the pie tin. If you do not have a rolling pin, any canned food can will do as long as it is at least six inches tall. It is best to use no-stick spray on pie tin or coat it with a thin layer of flour before spreading the dough. Repeat for second dough lump. When 30 minutes are left on the bread maker, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

PREPARATION – TOPPINGS

Place 5 mozzarella sticks end-to-end and as close to the edge of the pie tin as possible. Fold the dough that’s hanging beyond the edge of the tin over the mozzarella sticks. The mozzarella sticks should be completely enclosed by dough.

Add 3 tablespoons pasta sauce to the pie tin. Spread with spatula. Flatten 6 ounces ground pork sausage until it is wide enough to cover the pasta sauce. Cover pasta sauce with ground pork sausage. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon minced garlic over pork sausage. Spread ¾ cup mozzarella cheese over ground pork sausage and minced garlic. Repeat for second pie tin.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese starts to brown.

TIDBITS

1) The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, prohibited the sale of alcohol. Beer has alcohol. Thus, the sale of beer was prohibited.

2) It didn’t take long for beer drinkers to realize if beer couldn’t be sold, it couldn’t be bought.

3) But what about if beer were combined with other legal things. Like anesthesia? Soon surgeries all over the nation were adding beer mist to the ether they administered to patients. Beer mist made drifting off into unconsciousness easier, pleasurable in fact.

4) So much so, that people in all the big cities, Chicago, in particular, took to shooting each other, so they could go to hospitals for their beer misted anesthesia. Aren’t you impressed I spelled unconsciousness and anesthesia correctly and on the first try?

5) Municipal governments started to look askance at all this violence.

6) Then in 1920, Bee R. Barley told her friend Al Capone, “Why don’t you sell beer illegally?” And her idea was good. With the Chicago police busy investigating emergency rooms, Al was free to open one speakeasy after another. Beer sales boomed. Al went big time into selling beer. So did other hoodlums. Everyone wanted a piece of the lucrative illegal beer trade.

7) Competition for the beer trade became fierce. Things were said. Bullets were fired. Soon gang wars raged all across Chicago. For a while, the underworld told city officials that all the shootings arose from people really, really wanting beer anesthesia. Then the Saint. Valentine’s Day massacre happened. Seven murdered men. Dead men want no beer anesthesia. The gig was up. Eliott Ness and his Untouchables closed all the breweries. Cleaned up the surgeries as well.

8) But people still needed their beer. And so pizzas with beer crusts came about. Peace broke out in Chicago. Fragile yes, but enough to keep the city going until Prohibition ended in 1933. I offer up this recipe in the cause of worldwide peace. Can a Nobel Prize be far behind?

– 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 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Gateau A La Fleur D’oranger And Sad Sack Comic

French Dessert

GÂTEAU À LA FLEUR D’ORANGER

INGREDIENTSgateau-

1/2 teaspoon flour (1/2 teaspoon more later)
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar (1/2 cup more later)

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup milk
1 1/4 teaspoons orange flower water

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

UTENSIL

9-inch cake pan
electric mixer
PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of flour along the sides and bottom of cake pan. Do the same with a teaspoon of butter. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon brown sugar over the flour.

Put 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt in first mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork.

In second mixing bowl, beat 2 eggs, but not so much they lose their dignity. Add sugar and brown sugar. Mix with whisk. Melt 1/2 cup butter. Combine contents of second mixing bowl into first mixing bowl. Add melted butter, milk, and orange flower water. Mix with whisk or electric mixer on “cake” setting. Pour entire contents into cake pan.

Put cake pan in preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Allow cake to cool before topping cake with whipping cream.

TIDBITS

1) Many American beers are 3% alcohol. A twelve-ounce can contains .36 ounces alcohol.

2) Orange extract, a fair substitute for orange flower water, is 79% alcohol. My two-ounce container contains 1.58 ounces alcohol, the same as nearly 4.4 cans of beer.

3) I’m breaking out the orange-extract. Woo hoo! Party at my place!

4) “Honestly, officer, I only had a one-ounce bottle of orange extract.”

5) The officer rolls his eyes. “Like, I never heard that before.”

6) My Mexican vanilla extract is only 1.9% alcohol. This is why it isn’t as popular at Mexican parties.

8) Consumption of cough syrup soared during the Prohibition Era. Perhaps the alcoholic content of 50% or more contributed to this surge.

9) Why didn’t Al Capone simply open orange-extract tasting centers? People would have gotten their alcohol and Chicago would have been spared a crime wave.

10) But I can’t picture him behind an apron.

– 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.

sadsack8

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