Posts Tagged With: Renaissance

Picadillo

Cuban Entree

PICADILLO

INGREDIENTS

1 green bell pepper
3 garlic cloves
1 large onion
3 Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons dry white wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
12 pimiento (aka pimento) stuffed olives
¼ cup raisins
2 tablespoons fresh parsley

Serves 6. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Seed and mince bell pepper. Mince garlic cloves. Dice onion and tomato. Add bell pepper, garlic, onion, olive oil, cumin, oregano, pepper, and salt to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add ground beef, wine, tomatoes and tomato paste. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add olives and raisins. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or until raisins plump. Stir occasionally. Garnish with parsley.

TIDBITS

1) The first soup bowls didn’t have a bottom. Scalding-hot soup ladled into them went straight through to the would-be diner’s lap. This is why birth rates were so low until the Renaissance. Then in 1466 a young busboy, Leonardo Da Vinci, weary of cleaning up soup spills, invented soup bowls with bottoms. Suddenly, he had free time to invent and paint. Other busboys such as Michelangelo used this expanded off hours to paint and sculpt. The Renaissance was born.

2) Unfortunately, with creative energies diverted to the arts, bowl design stagnated. Soup-eating armies found little time for campaigning as they took forever to be served. Indeed, General Lee’s peanut-eating army consistently stole a march on their soup-slurping Northern counterparts. Then in 1863, busboy, George Meade discovered he could toss the soup bowls like a FrisbeeTM, if he made the bowls round. (Yes, it does take practice to this without spilling the soup.) President Lincoln, realized an army that could serve soup suddenly could keep up with the Rebels. He made Meade general. Three days, the round-bowl eating bluecoats defeated the gray coats at Gettysburg. The Union would be preserved, slavery would be abolished, and we are eating out of round bowls.

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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Fried Green Tomatoes

American Appetizer

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES
With Dipping Sauce

INGREDIENTS – DIPPING SAUCEFriedGreenTomatoesCornmeal-

2 stalks green onions
⅔ cup Dijon mustard
½ cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon white pepper

INGREDIENTS – TOMATOES

4 large or 2 pounds green tomatoes*
½ tablespoon salt (1 teaspoon more later)
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
¾ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
up to 2 cups vegetable oil

* = WARNING. This really is a lot of work if you’re using many tiny green tomatoes. If it takes more than 8 green tomatoes to make 2 pounds, consider cutting the amount of ingredients in half. Certainly, you’ll only get to eat only 1 pound of tomatoes this way, while people living in the land of big tomatoes get 2 pounds. However, you won’t be muttering to yourself and looking in the garage for an axe. Alternatively, move to the land of the big tomatoes. Oh, and leave your axe behind.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric skillet
3 mixing bowls

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 20 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes depending on the size of the tomatoes. Bigger tomatoes take less time. They really do.

PREPARATION – DIPPING SAUCE

Mince green onions. Add dipping sauce ingredients to mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Cover and chill until tomatoes are deep fried.

PREPARATION – TOMATOES

Cut tomatoes into ¼” slices. Pat tomato slices dry with paper towel. Put slices on wire racks over plates. Sprinkle slices evenly with ½ tablespoon salt. Let sit for 30 minutes to draw out water.

While tomato slices sit, add cornmeal, flour, pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt to large, second mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Divide this cornmeal/flour mixture onto 3 plates. (This will keep the cornmeal/from clumping up from the moisture of buttermilk laden tomato slice.) Add buttermilk to third mixing bowl. Dip tomatoes slices in buttermilk. Dredge buttermilk-covered slices one at time through cornmeal/flour mixture until they are well coated.

Set skillet to 375 degrees. Add enough oil to coat tomato slices to skillet. Oil will be hot enough when a tiny bit of flour added to skillet will dance in the oil. Add as many tomato slices as possible to skillet without them touching each other. Fry 3 minutes on each side or until they turn golden brown. (Cooking time tends to go down a little with each successive batch.) Additional batches might be necessary. Drain on paper towels. Serve with dipping sauce.

TIDBITS

1) Tomatoes can be cut with a regular knife. But not with any uniformity. Sure, you’ll get the occasional .25″ thick slice, but more often than not you’ll get slices with widths of .28″ or even .35″. However if your neighbors know that your make half-inch wide slices, you will be shunned.

2) In cases like these, it’s best to bolt all the doors and pull down all the shades until you have gotten rid of your deformed tomato slabs. Thieves know that houses with drawn shades and bolted doors mean that desperate knife-wielding, tomato-disposing folks are at a home and leave them at home. So when you leave the homestead, bolt your doors and draw their shades. Thieves won’t know if you’ve stepped out or are destroying culinary crimes. They won’t take the chance.

3) So don’t slice tomatoes with a knife. Then with what? A mandoline. This kitchen device makes uniform tomato slices. Now you can raise your shades and go out into your anal retentive, tomato-loving neighborhood. Be accepted, even.

4) How did the mandoline get started? Renaissance mandolin players loved sliced tomatoes. But the knives way back were even less precise than the ones we use today. Thick-tomato-slice shame ran rampant. Frustrated mandoliners took to smashing their tomatoes with their mandolins. This is how pasta sauce got invented. This is how spaghetti with marinara sauce came about. This is how Italy became the culinary capital in the world.

5) Folk music became popular in America during the 19th century. Folk guitarists took over the role of pasta-sauce makers. However, wooden acoustic guitars were amazing fragile. Just a few tomato smashings would break them. So, the pasta-sauce industry invented the sturdy electric guitar. Those things could smash tomatoes forever.

6) In 1968, a word-changing event occurred. The band Iron Butterfly released the song “In a Gadda Da Vida.” It was great. It was immensely popular. Rock bands started earning big bucks playing music of all things.

7) Rich electric guitarists gave up making pasta sauce. Italian restaurants all over the world were in danger on closing. But they didn’t, Mandy Linne, lead singer for Beefsteak had a drug-induced vision. “Why not insert a blade into a fixed surface, couple that with an adjustable upper surface, slide the tomato along the adjustable surface until it meets the blade resulting in uniform slices?” Mandy L. passed out. Her idea did not. We are living in a golden age of uniformly sliced tomatoes.

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 paperback 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 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Shrimp Ceviche

Ecuadorian Appetizer

SHRIMP CEVICHE

INGREDIENTSCeviche-

8 limes or ¼ cup fresh lime juice
3 oranges or 1 cup fresh orange juice
1 large red onion
3 tomatoes
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup fresh cilantro
⅓ cup ketchup
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Squeeze limes and oranges to get juices. Cut red onion into long, thin strips. Dice cilantro and tomato. Add enough water to cover shrimp to pot. Bring water to boil using high heat. Add shrimp to pot. Boil until shrimp turns slightly pink, about 2-to-3 minutes. Do not overcook, letting it turn completely red, as it will make the shrimp mushy. Remove shrimp with slotted spoon and let cool. Add lime juice, orange juice, red onion, cilantro, tomato, ketchup, pepper, salt, and vegetable oil to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add shrimp once it has cooled. Mix with hands until shrimp is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

TIDBITS

1) Shrimp ceviche is reddish-pink and tasty. Many Vikings had reddish hair and loved good tasting food. However, Vikings ate oatmeal all the time, bowl after bowl. This drove the Norsemen crazy. They started cheating at checkers and saying, “Sez you” to everyone they met.

3) The Viking women took to cooking lutefisk. the foulest smelling, most evil dish ever rather than cook another yet bowl of oatmeal. Some wives had even thrown themselves into fjords instead of doing that. Fortunately, lutefisk’s horrible smell drove the menfolk to raid foreign lands for tasty food and even gold, sometimes. The women stayed at home and played Runeble, basically ScrabbleTM with runes, and ordered Chinese takeaway.

4) In 1284, Bjorni Thorvald, discovered Ecuador, while looking for a Pokemon GoTM character. This news electrified all Scandinavia. Whole clans of blood-thirsty Vikings moved to Ecuador. This is why there are so many blue-eyed redheads there.

5) Thus, the Viking raids stopped. Relieved Europeans came out of hiding to build the Renaissance.

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 paperback 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, food, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chocolate and Vanilla Sundae

American Dessert

CHOCOLATE AND VANILLA SUNDAE

INGREDIENTSSundae-

3/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup unsalted peanuts (or already ground)
2 pints chocolate ice cream
2 pints vanilla ice cream
nonpareils (optional)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder or other grinder or quick hands with a knife

PREPARATION

Make chocolate sauce by adding whipping cream, chocolate chips, and vanilla extract to pot. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted or liquid becomes uniformly dark. Stir constantly.

Grind peanuts. Add large scoop (is there any other kind?) of chocolate ice cream and a large scoop of vanilla ice cream for each bowl you make. Drizzle chocolate sauce over each bowl, top with ground peanuts and nonpareils, if desired.

TIDBITS

1) Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) enjoyed snow flavored with nectar and honey. He was just a few steps away from inventing ice cream. But no, Alexander invaded the Persian Empire instead. His armies conquered land after land. However, these conquests never brought him the satisfaction that only a scope of ice cream could have given. Alexander came to realize how he had wasted his life by not coming up with ice cream and he drank himself to death.

2) The Roman Emperor Nero (54-68 A.D.) enjoyed ice and snow topped with fruit. He committed suicide rather than share this dessert with a jealous Roman mob

3) Marco Polo (1254-1324) is most famous for bringing the idea of ice cream from China to Italy. The Renaissance followed shortly.

4) Ice cream became readily available in seventeenth-century France. French literature flourished.

5) Ice cream came to America in the 1700s. and caused the birth of the American Republic in 1776.

– Chef Paul
3novelsPlease check out Paul De Lancey’s books on Amazon.com.
or visit his website www.lordsoffun.com for signed copies.

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