Posts Tagged With: Roman empire

Costa Rican Chifrijo

Costa Rican Entree

CHIFRIJO

INGREDIENTS – PICO DE GALLO

4 Roma tomatoes
1 medium white onion
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper (or ½ if you like it milder)
4 teaspoons lime juice
½ teaspoon salt (½ teaspoon more later)

INGREDIENTS – MAIN

1⅓ cups rice
1 pound pork belly*
2 garlic cloves
1 medium yellow or white onion
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil (2 tablespoons more later)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 15-oz can red kidney beans, drained
2 tablespoons salsa Lizano* or Worcestershire sauce

INGREDIENTS – FINAL

2 avocados
1 cup tortilla chips

* = Pork belly can be found at CostcoTM. They tend to sell in 5-to-6 pound packages. However, what you don’t use, can be sliced to make bacon.
* = Salsa Lizano can be found online and in ethnic supermarkets.

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION – PICO DE GALLO

Dice tomatoes, white onion, and cilantro. Seed and dice jalapeno. (Wash hands afterward. If you touch your face before washing, it will burn.) Put tomato, white onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, and ½ teaspoon salt in bowl. Mix with spoon until well blended.

PREPARATION – MAIN

Cook rice according to instructions on package. Cut pork belly into ½” cubes. Dice garlic cloves and yellow onion.

Add pork-belly cubes, garlic, cumin, pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt to small mixing bowl. Mix by hand until pork-belly cubes are well coated. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan. Heat olive oil using high heat until a tiny bit of garlic starts to dance in the oil. Add coated pork belly cubes. Sauté cubes for 10 minutes or until cubes turn golden brown and become mostly crispy. Stir frequently, especially so when they start to brown.

While pork belly sautés, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and yellow onion to pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until yellow onion softens. Stir frequently. Add red kidney beans and salsa Lizon. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until beans are warm. Stir occasionally

PREPARATION – FINAL

Peel avocados and cut them in half lengthwise. Remove pits. Cut avocado halves into 4 slices each. Add equal amounts of cooked rice to 4 serving bowls. Top rice with red kidney beans and yellow onion,. Top red kidney beans with pork belly cubes (chicharrone). Finally, top chicharrone with pico de gallo. Garnish with avocado slices and tortilla chips.

TIDBITS

1) This dish uses Roma tomatoes.

2) Roma is Latin for Rome. The Romans had a word for everything.

3) The Roman legionnaires carried Roma tomatoes into battle.

4) When the Roman soldiers got close to the enemy’s forces, they’d hurl Roma tomatoes.

5) The tomatoes splattered on the faces of the opposing infantry. Tomato juice got into the eyes of the foe.

6) Clear-sighted Romans charged into the ranks of the blinded enemy. The professional Roman army would gain a decisive victory within minutes.

7) “LycopersiciSusceptibility et gladii,” “Tomatoes and Swords.” was the slogan of the Roman soldiers.

8) Indeed, early Roman emperors wore a purple robe with vivid red Roma tomatoes on it.

9) But in late 405, extreme frost conditions totally destroyed the entire Roman Empire’s crop of tomatoes. Barbarian hordes crossed the frozen Rhine River and plunged into the heart of the empire.

10) It had been quite a long time since the legionnaires had fought without tomatoes. They didn’t know how to fight without them. The confused Roman army could no longer hold the barbarian forces at bay.

12) So Rome lost battle after battle. The barbarian conquered everything. Mighty Rome was no more. This is why you should stock your pantry with tomatoes.

 

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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Fragrant Beef Stew From Vietnam

Vietnamese Entree

FRAGRANT BEEF STEW

INGREDIENTS – MARINADE

2¼ pounds beef, chuck, top round
3 garlic cloves
3 lemongrass stalks or 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste
¼ teaspoon annatto powder
2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
½ tablespoon minced ginger
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar or brown sugar

INGREDIENTS – STEW

3 carrots
3 shallots
1 tomato
1 green chile or Thai chile
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
3 kaffir, curry, or bay leaves
3 star anise pods
2⅓ cups coconut water, beef stock, or beer
¼ cup fresh* Thai basil or basil
⅓ cup fresh** mint leaves

* = or 4 teaspoons dried Thai basil
** = 5¼ teaspoons dried mint

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 10 minutes.

PREPARATION – MARINADE

Cut beef into 1″ cubes. Mince garlic cloves. Remove white outer leaves from lemongrass stalks. Mince remaining green part of lemongrass. Add all marinade ingredients to mixing. Mix with hands until well blended and beef cubes are well coated. Marinate for 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – STEW

Dice carrots, shallots, and tomato. Seed and mince chile. Dice Thai basil and mint. Add vegetable oil to large pot. Heat oil using medium-high heat. Oil is hot enough when a little bit of shallot starts to dance in the oil. Add marinated beef cubes. Sauté at medium-high heat until beef cubes turn completely brown. Stir enough to ensure even browning. Add shallot. Sauté at medium-high heat until shallot softens.

Add tomato, chile, cinnamon stick, kaffir leaves, and star anise. Stir until well blended. Add coconut water. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Stir until well blended. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add carrot. Simmer for 30 minutes more or until beef cubes and carrot become tender. Remove cinnamon stick, kaffir lime leaves, and star anise pods. Garnish with Thai basil and mint.

1) The Western Roman Empire fell in 476.

2) Too many barbarian armies attacked Rome for its vast supply of eggs.

3) The barbarians loved to eat Pionono.

4) For every single meal.

5) This meant they needed Rome’s eggs.

6) Rome had lots of eggs and chickens. All civilizations have them.

7) So, the invading hordes destroyed Rome. The lands descended into anarchy.

8) With the collapse of Western Civilization, came the disappearance of the poultry industry.

9) Hardly anyone had eggs.

10) If word got out that you had a chicken ranch, cutthroat gangs would raid your lands and carry you off to lead a hard existence in some faraway land.

11) And you’d never eat another egg.

12) Not ever. And without eggs, you could never eat Pionono again. Who’d want to go through life knowing that?

13) Clearly, this was an untenable existence.

14) But would could be done?

15) As we all know, the gene that directs some people to chicken ranching, also makes them extremely poor fighters. These ranchers needed brave, sturdy fighters to protect them.

16) Indeed in the sixth century, strongmen emerged all over Western Europe to protect the chicken ranchers in return for eggs. This arrangement soon extended to all aspects of agriculture. This system became known as feudalism.

17) Now, no inventions occurred under feudalism as thinking stagnated. But hey, eggs.

 

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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Mason Jar Strawberry Ice Cream

American Dessert

MASON JAR STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM

INGREDIENTS

2 cups heavy whipping cream
5½ tablespoons sugar
2¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 cups whole strawberries, fresh or frozen

Makes 3 cups. Takes 15 minutes to make and 3 hours to firm in freezer.).

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor or blender
3 cup Mason jar or other airtight container

PREPARATION

Puree strawberries. Add all ingredients to Mason jar. Make sure that the lid to Mason jar is screwed on tightly. Shake jar for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens to the consistency of batter. Put jar in freezer. Let sit for 3 hours or until firm.

TIDBITS

1) Mason Jar Strawberry is fantastic. It’s so yummy. Only people who hate: whipping cream, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and strawberries will dislike this dessert. That means billions and billions of people love it. People have adored this dessert for millennia. Lands without strawberries conquered surrounding peoples in a never ending quest to find wild strawberries. This is how the Roman Empire and the Mongol Empire, among others, grew to be so big.

2) Alas, the Romans and the Mongols despite their mighty armies never did manage to find, much less conquer, a land with strawberries. Their subjects grew sullen and defiant. Finally, their peoples rose up and overthrew their non-strawberry-providing rulers. (Okay, with a little help from invading foreign armies.)

3) Rulers then sent expeditions to find strawberries. This is really how Columbus sold Queen Isabella on finding the Americas. The idea that the Spanish went exploring to find gold was just a cover. The conquistadors wanted the real wealth, strawberries, just to themselves. Seeing the Spaniards’ success, other nations sent our their explorers to find their own La Fresado, The Land of Strawberries. Pretty darn quick, the entire globe got explored. International trade boomed between the old countries and the new strawberry-growing lands. We owe it all to the yummy strawberry.

 

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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Nidi di Rondini

San Marinese

NIDI DI RONDINI

INGREDIENTS

1 12-ounce package lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup marinara sauce (⅓ cup more later)
1¼ cups grated mozzarella
½ pound prosciutto or deli-sliced ham
⅓ cup marinara sauce
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

SPECIAL UTENSILS

8″-x-8″ casserole dish
kitchen scissors or scissors
aluminum foil

Serves 5. Takes 1 hours 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions on package. (Do not let noodles stick together. You might need to cook them in batches.) Drain noodles. Spray flat surface. Place lasagna noodles flat on flat surface. (Do not let them touch each other.)

While noodles cook, add butter to pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Gradually add in flour. Stir frequently until well blended. Gradually add milk until the sauce thickens. Stir frequently. Add salt. Stir until blended. This is the bechamel sauce. Remove pan from heat.

Pour ⅔ cup marinara sauce into casserole dish. Smooth with spatula. Spread bechamel sauce evenly over all the noodles. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over the bechamel sauce. Place proscuitto strips over the bechamel-mozzarella lasagna noodles. (If necessary, trim or fold prosciutto strips so that they are narrower than the noodles.)

Roll up lasagna noodles so that they form a tight cylinder. Place lasagna cylinders upright and close together in casserole dish. (If necessary, place wadded-up balls of tin foil in casserole dish to keep lasagna cylinders from falling over.) Make four ½” cuts at the top of each lasagna cylinders. Pull the lasagna between the cuts down and out a bit. so that they look like rose petals.

Drizzle ⅓ cup marinara sauce over the lasagna cylinders. Sprinkle cylinders with Parmesan cheese. (Not so much that you can’t see the rose-petal design of the lasagna cylinders.) Bake for 35 minutes or until the tops of the cylinders turn crisp and golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) Nidi di rondini tastes great. Anyone making this entree will be immediately be hailed as an amazing chef and host.

2) If you are up for a Nobel Prize, you would do well to serve this dish to the judges.

3) As of press time, it is not illegal to do this.

4) So, what are you waiting for?

5) Nidi di rondini comes from the great, but tiny country of San Marino.

6) Despite being the size of a rather large postage stamp (24 square miles, 61 square kilometers), the San Marinese have preserved their independence for 1,816 years.

7) The above number is accurate as of the time of writing. Please increase the above number by one for every year after 2021.

8) Anyway, how did this tiny country maintain its independence from many other countries with much bigger armies such as: the Roman Empire, the Papal States, the French Empire under Napoleon, Italy, and Hitler’s Germany?

9) Simple. As culinary historians will tell you, soldiers with red hair make the fiercest warriors in the world. San Marino has always had fighting redheads. The chefs of this happy land commemorates their heroes with these rolled-up lasagna rolls topped with marinara sauce.

10) However, the most famous fighters in the world come from Scotland. Neighboring England failed for centuries to conquer the Scots, The English armies quailed, broke ranks and fled in terror whenever they caught sight of all that Scottish red hair.

11) The only success the English had came from their archers. But, of course, the archers were to far away to see the hair color of the Scottish pikemen.

12) One wonders why the English army never colored their hair red. Then the Scottish warriors would have fled whenever came in contact with the English.

13) What if? What if all the countries of the world made their soldiers die their hair?

14) All armies fear fighting fierce redheads. With all armies comprised of gingers, no army would dare attacking any other.

15) Peace would break out.

16) There you have it. Dye the hair of all combatants red.

17) I see a Nobel Peace Prize in my future, as long as I remember to serve nidi di rondini to the judges.

– 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.

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Ancient Roman Honey Cake

Ancient Roman Dessert

HONEY CAKE

INGREDIENTS

1½ cups spelt flour or regular flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon coriander
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
¾ cup liquid honey (2 tablespoons later)
¾ cup milk
⅓ cup sweet wine
¼ cup slivered almonds or hazelnuts
2 tablespoons liquid honey
no-stick spray

NOTE: Spelt flour is the closest you can get to what the ancient Romans used. The Romans used the herb “rue” instead of coriander. However, some people are extremely allergic to it; feeling queasy smelling it or getting blisters just by touching. The Romans used pine nuts instead of other nuts. However, many people have allergic reactions to it. Clearly, the Romans were dare-devil eaters. Dare-devil eaters became all-conquering soldiers. This is how the Roman Empire became so big.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

9″ cake pan
wire rack

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, coriander, and pepper to medium mixing bowl. Mix with whisk. Add eggs, ¾ cup honey, milk, and wine to large mixing bowl. Whisk ingredients until well blended.

Gradually add dry ingredients from medium bowl to large bowl. Whisk until well blended. Use spatula to fold in nuts. Spray cake pan with no stick spray. Pour mixture from large bowl into cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons honey. Let cool on wire rack for 20 minutes before serving

NO TIDBITS! I ran out of space with the above rather tidbitty NOTE.

– 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: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Zanzibar Pizza

Tanzanian Appetizer

ZANZIBAR PIZZA

INGREDIENTS – DOUGH

3 cups flour (2 tablespoons more later)
½ teaspoon salt (¼ teaspoon more later)
1 cup water
⅔ cup vegetable oil (2½ tablespoons more later)

INGREDIENTS – FILLING & ASSEMBLY

2 green or red chiles
2 garlic cloves
1 red onion
1½ tablespoons vegetable oil (1 tablespoon more later)
¾ pound ground beef
½ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
¾ cup shredded cabbage
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
chutney or tomato sauce as desired

SPECIAL UTENSILS

bread maker (optional)
no-stick pan

Serves 8. Takes 2 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

If USING BREAD MAKER, add 3 cups flour, water, and ½ teaspoon salt to bread maker. Set bread maker to “dough” setting for 10 minutes. (IF KNEADING BY HAND, add 3 cups flour and ½ teaspoon salt to mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Add water and knead by hand for 10 minutes or until dough is smooth.) Divide dough into 6 balls. Add dough balls to shallow bowl. Drizzle ⅔ cup oil over dough balls. Turn dough balls until they are thoroughly coated with oil. Cover and let sit for 1½ hours.

PREPARATION – FILLING AND ASSEMBLY.

While dough sits, mince chiles, garlic cloves, and red onion. Add chile, garlic, red onion, and 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until red onion softens. Stir frequently. Add beef, curry powder, pepper, and salt. Fry at medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until beef browns. Remove from heat.

Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Add dough ball to flat surface. Flatten dough ball until you have 8 8″-dough circles. Push in edges of dough circles to make a wall high enough to prevent egg from running out. Add beef mixture equally to center of dough circles. Top beef mixtures equally with shredded cabbage. Add raw eggs equally over shredded cabbage.

Fold top and bottom of dough circles to the center. Then fold left and right sides to the center. These are the pizzas. Pinch sides as necessary to keep egg from seeping out. Add 1 tablespoon oil to large no-stick pan. Add as many pizzas as possible without having them touch each other. Cook on medium for 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Flip once. You might need to cook in batches. (Cooking times tend to go down with successive batches.)

Serve with chutney or tomato sauce.

TIDBITS

1) IEC, Intertemporal Enforcement Commission, is powerful. Frighteningly so. Consider the following salutary tale.

2) Around 260 AD, a Roman expeditionary discovered the island of Flutoj off the east coast of Africa. The merchants in the force waxed rapturously–I spelled it correctly on the first try; beams with pride–over the abundance of spices found on the island. Why not conquer it for Rome? It’ll be easy they said. And it was. Centurion Pomodoro won the island in a game of rock, paper, scissors.

3) The Romans named it Zanzibar after their Emperor Zanzi who loved to frequent wine bars. Within two days of the renaming of the island to Zanzibar, the British company, MarsTM, filed a trademark infringement complaint with the Intertemporal Enforcement Commission. Mars–the candy maker, not the Roman god–claimed Zanzibar was a rip off of Mars BarTM. Mars asseted that the Romans, renowned engineers, had clearly used a time machine, visited a twentieth-century candy store, saw Mars Bars on sale, made minimal changes to the name when coming up with Zanzibar.

4) How did the news of the renaming of the island to Zanzibar get back to Rome so quickly at a time of communication was limited to the speed of horses and oar-driven ships? Time machines, as well know the Intertemporal Enforcement Commission has time machines.

5) IEC ruled against Emperor Zanzibar and held a contest, So You Want to Be an Emperor? General Courgette did well on this and won the right to overthow the Emperor. And indeed, the plucky Courgette prevailed after a brief civil war marked with great slaughter.

6) This civil war proved so popular with the Roman armies that these conflicts became a weekly event. Courgette’s reign, in fact, was so brief that only culinary historians remember hir.

7)Anyway, these wars so depopulated the Roman Empire that it so fell to barbarian armies. The Dark Ages descended on Europe. People became so poor that they would have no money to spend on candy bars. People wouldn’t buy candy bars until 1932 when the Mars company made it. IEC realized it’s overreach and disbanded in 1998. We’ve fought no wars over candy ever since. Yay.

– 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.

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Natilla

Colombian Dessert

NATILLA

INGREDIENTS

1 cup whole milk* (4 more cups later)
1¼ cups cornstarch
4 cups whole milk
2 cinnamon sticks
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
1 panella (Mexican brown sugar) or 2 cups brown sugar
½ cup condensed milk
1 tablespoon butter, softened
½ cup grated coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

* = Whole milk really is needed. Without it, the cornstarch can’t make this dessert set.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

8″ * 8″ baking dish

Serves 9. Takes 2 hours 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add 1 cup whole milk and cornstarch to mixing bowl. Blend with whisk until cornstarch dissolves completely. Set aside. Add 4 cups whole milk, cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, and panella to pot. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or until panella melts. Stir often. When mixture starts to boil, add condensed milk. Stir enough to keep mixture from burning.. Remove cinnamon sticks.

Add cornstarch/milk mixture to pot. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-to-25 minutes or until liquid is very thick, is hard to stir, and you can see the bottom of the pot when you stir. Stir this natilla mixture constantly. Gently fold in butter and coconut. Pour natilla mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.

TIDBITS

1) Attila the Hun was originally named Wholemilk the Hun because he loved whole milk. He’d never drank sissy skim milk. In 434, a Byzantine diplomat, seeking to widen Wholemilk’s taste range, gave WTH–Wholemilk the Hun, not What The Heck–100 jars of skim milk. This enraged WTH so much that he invaded the Byzantine Empire. He also invaded Persia, the Western Roman Empire, and various Germanic kingdoms floating around the west; moderation not being one of his strong points. In desperation, Pope Leo I, in 452, offered him the wonderful dish shown here if he’d just go home. WTH liked it so much that he overate and died. Pope Leo became Pope Leo the Great and Wholemilk became Attila, a near anagram of natilla, the saving dessert of Europe.

Chef Paul

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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Powegian Breakfast Burrito

Fusion Entree

POWEGIAN BREAKFAST BURRITO

INGREDIENTSPowayBreakfastBurrito-

½ white onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 eggs (1 more egg later)
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles

½ pound sliced ham
1 tomato
1 pound Italian pork sausage
1 cup chipotle salsa
1 cup grated four Mexican cheeses
18 8″ flour tortillas
1 egg

SPECIAL UTENSIL

9″ x 12″ casserole dish

Makes 18 burritos or a saner 9 burritos with the amount of ingredients halved. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mince onion. Dice tomato. Cut ham slices into ½” squares. Add onion and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté onion on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add eggs and diced green chiles. Sauté on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until eggs reach your desired level of doneness. Stir constantly. Remove from heat.

Cut ham into 1″ squares. Dice tomato. Add ham squares, pork sausage, and chipotle salsa to large pot. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until thoroughly warm. Stir occasionally. Add tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add cheese. Stir until well blended.

Combine egg/chiles with sausage/cheese/tomatoes mix. Place ⅓ cup of combined mixture on middle, bottom third of tortillas. Fold bottom of tortilla over mixture. Fold in sides until they touch. Roll up tortillas from the bottom to make burrito.

Put egg in small dish. Whisk egg. Brush all burritos with whisked egg. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until egg on top of burritos is golden brown and burritos begin to brown.

TIDBITS

1) Eating sausages 5,000 years ago enabled the ancient Sumerians to establish the world’s first advanced civilization.

2) The mighty sausage was first mentioned in the play “The Sausage” written by Epimarchus a really, really long time ago. The play got lost, however, and culinary drama disappeared for a really long time. (Note: really, really long time is longer than a really long time.)

3) Aristophanes, the dude from 5th-century B.C., mentioned sausages in one of his plays. Of course, mentioning sausages is not as good or powerful as writing an entire play about this amazing, meaty delicacy.

4) Culinary tragedy struck in the fourth century A.D., when the Catholic Church banned the eating of sausages as being sinful.

5) Church leaders had noticed the barbarians hordes that were carving up the Roman Empire ate sausages at their festivals. Therefore, sausages were ungodlyl.

6) Historians, often wonder why such spirited warfare existed between the barbarians and the Roman Empire as both peoples possessed sausages. Why fight someone else for something you already have?

7) The Catholic Church, over the years, relaxed its stance on sausage eating, banning it only on Fridays.

8) Arabs burst out of the Arabian peninsula in 632 A.D.. Fired by strong religious belief and fortified with beef sausages, they conquered North Africa, Spain, Sicily, and the Middle East.

9) Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg. Normal historians take this to be the start of the Reformation which split Christian church into Catholic and Protestant ones. Culinary historians speculate that if Martin Luther had only been able to eat sausages without guilt, he would have been devouring this wonderful entree to his heart’s content. Full of sausage-induced good will, he couldn’t have possibly mustered up the rage to write even two theses, let alone ninety five. The Christian church would still be one and horrors of the Thirty Years War, 1618-1648, fought between Protestant and Catholic Europe would never have happened.

10) Sausage-eating Protestants and six-out-of-seven-days-a-week Catholics built vast colonial empires starting from the 1500s. These empires fell apart during the mid-twentieth century when the European nations switched from consuming vast amounts of sausages to more trendy things such as sushi, salmon quesadillas, and specialty coffees.

12) Vatican II led many Catholics to believe that eating meat on Fridays is okay. The world has not had a major war since then.

13) “To retain respect for sausages and laws, one must not watch them in the making.”
– German chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898).

14) “War without fire is like sausages without mustard.”
– King Henry V.

15) “The dog’s kennel is no place to keep a sausage.”
-Danish proverb

16) “Yum.”
-me

– 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.

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Danish Meatballs in Curry (boller i karry)

Danish Entree

MEATBALLS IN CURRY
(boller i karry)

INGREDIENTS – MEATBALLSMeatballsCurry-

4 garlic cloves
2 small onions
½ pound ground beef
½ pound ground pork
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups beef stock

INGREDIENTS – CURRY SAUCE

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 leek
1 medium onion
4 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon chives
1 teaspoon parsley

Serves 6, particularly if everyone eats 1/6th of this.

PREPARATION – MEATBALLS

Mince garlic cloves and 2 small onions. Mix ground beef, ground pork, bread crumbs, garlic, onion, egg, pepper, and salt with hands in mixing bowl. Make 1″ meatballs.

Add beef stock to large pot. Bring beef stock to boil on high heat. Carefully add meatballs to pot. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until meatballs begin to float. Remove meatballs from pot and set aside. Save the beef broth in pot.

PREPARATION – CURRY SAUCE

While meatballs simmer, dice leek, and medium onion. Add butter, curry powder, leek, and diced medium onion. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until diced medium onion softens. Stir frequently. Add flour. Mix well with spoon. Gradually mix in 2 1/2 cups of broth taken from pot or until sauce thickens. Add cream and meatballs. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Sprinkle chives and parsley on top. This dish goes well over rice.

TIDBITS

1) The meatball is really a smaller version of meatloaf. Some people have meatballs as a topping for their pizzas.

2) Wouldn’t a meatloaf pizza be exciting? Imagine getting a 16″ pizza topped with three 9″ by 6″ meatloaves. It would feed an army.

3) The Roman Empire is known for its all conquering armies. It’s less known for its culinary achievements. That’s a shame as Rome is the birthplace of the meatball. Rome rocks.

4) Okay, ancient Rome didn’t rock for everyone, the slaves, for example, come to mind as do the people of the many conquered nations.

5) One might wonder how the Roman Empire kept all its conquered peoples from continually revolting. After all, the legions marched everywhere and took longer than waiting in lines at Disneyland to get from their barracks to disaffected regions.

6) The answer is in the massive stockpiles of meatballs kept at all the crossroads of the Empire. As long as the Roman authorities could rush meatballs to its conquered peoples, no riot ever grew so large the slowly arriving legionnaires couldn’t handle it.

7) Rome almost fell to barbarians, in the third century A.D., when they lost the province of Dacia with its rich cattle lands. Fewer cattle, fewer meatballs. Fewer meatballs, more riots. More riots not stopped with meatballs, more revolts. And that meant legions got withdrawn from the frontiers to put the revolts. Barbarians poured across the sparsely defended border.

8) It really appeared as Rome was going to fall. Fortunately the cattlemen of Dacia organized cattle drives to still safe provinces such as Cisalpine Gaul and Thracia. “Head ‘em up, move ‘em out.” Meatball production bounced back within a few decades and the Empire recovered.

9) In 405, however, the health sage, Atticus Bananicus, convinced the legionnaires to go vegetarian. As a result, many of Rome’s cattlemen switched to raising free-range chickens.

10) But in 406, Bananicus was seen by legionnaires eating a meatball pizza. The dormant meatball tastes of the Roman soldiers came out of hibernation. All at once, every soldier demanded meatballs. But there were no longer enough meatballs for the army and the peoples of Rome. The army garnered all the meatballs, leaving none for the restive populace. Unquenchable revolts erupted everywhere. The entire Roman army abandoned the frontier, getting decimated putting down the ferocious uprisings.

12) Alaric and the Visigoths–that sounds like a 60s rock band doesn’t it?–sacked Rome in 410 A.D.. The Roman Empire never rebounded from this disaster and soon collapsed. Always keep meatballs in your refrigerator. It’s frightening to contemplate what would happen if our supermarkets ran out of that peace-ensuring food.

13) Food connoisseurs are invited to read book II of Marcus Gavius Apicus’ “De re coquinaria libri decem (Cuisine in Ten Books)” to see the world’s first recipe for meatballs. And feel at peace.

– 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.

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Chocolate Cream Pie

American Dessert

CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE

INGREDIENTSChocolateCreamPie-

2/3 cup semisweet chocolate bits
8 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 9″ graham-cracker pie crust

whipped cream

SPECIAL UTENSIL

blender

PREPARATION

Use medium heat to melt chocolate bits in pot. Stir constantly. Add chocolate, cream cheese, milk, and sugar to blender Using “mix” setting on blender until thoroughly blended. Pour mixture into pie crust. Add whipped cream as desired.

TIDBITS

1) “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?” – Charles De Gaulle (French president) From the mid 1600s to the mid 1900s, France suffered from repeated uprisings, rebellions, and riots. The country also had a global empire for well over 200 years.

2) Ancient Romans so loved cheese that they had special kitchens, caerale, just for making cheese. Recurring civil wars convulsed the Empire for over 500 years. Rome also conquered all the lands around the Mediterranean and bit more.

3) The Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476 under the crushing weight of one barbarian invasions, barbarians who wanted Rome’s cheese. The Eastern Roman Empire fell almost a millennium later in 1453. Barbarian cheese lovers just couldn’t work up enough enthusiasm for the Eastern Empire’s limited cheese selection to make a really dedicated invasion.

4) Remembering the unbridled horrors of World War One and World War Two, world leaders got together in Paris, France, June 15, 1947, to form the World Cheese Organization (WCO.) The WCO has worked tirelessly ever since to ensure adequate cheese production and selection in all the nations. They know a country with good and plentiful cheese has no reason to invade its neighbors.

5) Robert Louis Stevenson (crackerjack writer) sums up humanity’s love for cheese when he said,”Many’s the long night I’ve dreamed of cheese – toasted, mostly.” Note, just in case, the WCO is also distributing cheese toasters to the all the people of this globe.

– 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.

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