Posts Tagged With: Russian Revolution

Falafel (Tamiya) From Egypt

Egyptian Appetizer

FALAFEL
(Tamiya)

INGREDIENTS

2 cups dried fava beans* (aka broad beans)
1 small onion
8 green onions
2 garlic cloves
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2½ tablespoons fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
4 cups vegetable oil (Enough to cover falafel patties)

* = Look in Middle Eastern supermarkets, supermarkets selling mostly organic food, or online. Also see if you can get these dried beans with the skins already removed. If you can only find canned fava beans, be sure to rinse them thoroughly before using.)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
large no-stick pan

Serves 6. Takes overnight for soaking plus 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add fava beans to large pot. Cover with water. Cover with lid and let soak overnight.

Rinse fava beans. Rub skins off beans. Add onion, green onion, garlic, baking powder, coriander, cumin, salt, fresh cilantro, and fresh parsley to food processor. Blend until everything is blended and minced. Add beans, Blend only until beans form a paste. (If the beans are blended more, your falafel might fall apart later.) Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Shape bean paste in 1″ balls. Flatten balls until they are ½” thick patties. Add oil, enough to cover patties, to large no-stick pan. Heat oil at high heat until bubbles form on the bottom. Carefully add falafel patties to pan. Don’t let them touch each other. (You will need to cook in batches.) Fry patties until golden brown. (This happens quickly.) Remove patties and drain on paper towels. Goes quite well with warm pita bread, hummus, and tomato salad.

TIDBITS

1) This dish is an appetizer. Culinary cryptographers will tell you that “appetizer” comes from an anagram for “Zap Peter I.”

2) And culinary linguists know that “zap” comes from the Russian “zapkya.” This word means to assassinate, kill, plot against, and otherwise dethrone and overthrow by means of feeding appetizers to the hated tsar.”

3) So, zap Peter I means to overthrow Peter I, perhaps even kill. Tsar Peter I was not completely enamored of this concept. Particularly so when the streltsky, Russian musketeers, engineered coups against him by serving appetizers to the palace guard. “Have some appetizers,” they said to the guards, “They’re quite tasty.” And they were. So much so that the entire guard ate and ate until they all had to take lengthy naps.

4) While the palace guard napped, the musketeers rounded up Peter’s supporters and imprisoned them. The streltsky would then enthrone in a figurehead, one who could be counted on the double the daily vodka ration.

5) Doubling the vodka ration made the musketeers drunk and pass out. Peter then reclaimed power while the streltsky lolled around in drunken stupors. Eventually, the musketeers sobered up and fed appetizers to the palace guards again.

6) And so it went, appetizers put the musketeers’ figurehead in power again. Drunken binges enabled Peter I to get back in control.

7) Then on April 1, 1698, Peter I experienced a brainstorm. Why not try giving the musketeers rivers of vodka AND appetizers? The idea worked. The besotted musketeers became so logy from eating platter after platter of appetizers, they slept themselves into oblivion.

8) Peter I, tsar of all the Russias, took advantage of the streltsky’s lasting inertia to tie them up. When they came to, they found themselves on a giant iceberg in the Arctic Ocean. The musketeers had enough food to last 30 days, along with hundreds of ping pong battles and ping pong balls. Tsar Peter had thoughtfully provided them also with enough pencils and entry forms to the First Winter Ping Pong Arctic Ocean Tournament.

9) Culinary historians doubt that the musketeers ever finished the tournament. The strong winter gales prevalent would have simply blown one ping pong ball after another into oblivion. At any rate, the marooned men would have found hitting remaining white ping pong balls quite difficult in the ever present white blizzards.

10) But the constant appetizer-fed revolts burned a lesson into Tsar Peter I’s brain. Never let any Russian eat appetizers. In 1699, he ordered the destruction of all the restaurants making appetizers.
No one would ever “Zap Peter I.”

11) But in 1917, Tsar Nicholas II foolishly permitted the making of appetizers. Lenin and Trotsky fed appetizers to the palace guard who fell asleep. The communists seized power. We are still living with the consequences of the Russian Revolution. Now you know why.

– 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

Carrot Cake

American Dessert

CARROT CAKE

INGREDIENTS – MAINCarrotCake-

4 eggs
1⅓ cups sugar
⅔ cup light brown sugar
3 cups shredded carrots
1 cup vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups cake flour or flour
½ tablespoon baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans or combination
no-stick spray

INGREDIENTS – ICING

6 tablespoons butter (softened)
1 pound confectionery sugar
8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric mixer
9″ x 13″ casserole dish
3 mixing bowls (Or are you an outstanding chef like my Grandma Anna wished us all to be and clean bowls and utensils as you cook?)
sonic obliterator

PREPARATION – MAIN

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add eggs to first large mixing bowl. Beat eggs with electric mixer until frothy. (The eggs, not you.) Gradually add sugar and light brown sugar. Blend using electric mixer set on whip until well blended. Add carrots, vegetable oil, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Blend with mixer set on whip until well blended.

Add flour and baking soda to second large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk. Add flour/baking soda from second mixing bowl to first mixing bowl. Blend with electric mixer set on cake until blended. Add nuts and stir with spoon.

Spray casserole dish with no-stick spray. Pour eggs/sugar/spice/baking soda mixture into casserole dish. Smooth with spatula. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-to-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack for 1 hour.

(Okay, little secret here. You can cool the cake down considerably faster by putting the casserole dish in cold water in the sink. Be sure the water is only halfway to the top of the casserole dish. If your casserole dish is too big for the sink, simply put it in the bathtub. Again, let the water go no higher than halfway up the side of the casserole dish. If someone happens to see your cake cooling in the bathtub and makes a snarky comment, zap him with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need that negativity in your life.)

PREPARATION – ICING

While cake bakes, add butter, confectionery sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla extract to third mixing bowl (Note: this cookbook always employs the Oxford when providing a list of ingredients. Long live the Oxford comma! Vexation to its enemies!) Ahem, beat ingredients using electric beater set on cream until ingredients become a fluffy icing.

TIDBITS

1) The famous French Painter, Paul Cézanne believed, “A single carrot newly observed will cause a revolution.”

2) Eleven years after Cézanne died, the Russian Revolution began. People in the streets of St. Petersburg, the Russian capital, had been starving. They couldn’t afford the price of a loaf of bread.

4) Desperate to maintain order, the czar and his ministers bought up food from all over the world. They purchased cabbages from Germany, eggs from Sweden, and carrots from the gardens of Cezanne’s children. The authorities even bought beans, cotija cheese, and tortillas from Mexico. Surely, the rioters would be placated by burritos. I mean, who doesn’t like a burrito?

5) Unfortunately, as in the case of many governmental programs, well intentioned though they might be, something went wrong. The newly formed Russian Ministry of Burrito Assembly put a raw carrot in every burrito.

6) The Russian rabble rebel not appreciate the taste of the raw carrot, bean, and cheese burrito. They did not like its texture either. They did not like it in the city square. They did not like in their hair. They did not like it in the air. They did not like it anywhere.

7) So the Russians did not eat these burritos. And they grew hungrier and hungrier.

8) Then an artist named Ivan Popoff came across one of the burritos lying–Oh gosh, I hope I conjugated this evil verb correctly–split open on the street. Something about the burrito’s carrot struck him. “Oh ho,” he said, “I am observing this carrot in an entirely new way.” Lenin, a passerby, heard this and immediately started the Russian Revolution.

9) Millions died during the Russian Revolution and the ensuing decades.

10) We should all pay more attention to French post-impressionist painters.

– 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, food, history, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Castro Burger

Cuban Entree

CASTRO BURGER

INGREDIENTS

1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes
6  Swiss cheese slices
Dill Sandwich StackersTM Pickles
yellow mustard
6 French rolls (Use Cuban bread if you can find it.)
No mayonnaise (This is a Cuban no no.)
PREPARATION

Mince onion and garlic cloves. Mix pork, beef, onion, garlic, cumin, mustard, oregano, pepper, and salt by hand. Form six patties. Fry patties in pan until golden brown.

Add diced tomatoes and juice. Cook until tomatoes and juice are hot. Toast rolls. Put patty on roll, followed by a scooping of diced tomatoes, a few pickles, and a slice of Swiss Cheese. Spread mustard on the top half of the roll and put on top of the patty and fixings. Andale.

TIDBITS

1) Some decades ago, Fidel Castro decided communist Cuba could do as well as McDonald’sTM. To back up this bold assertion, they announced the construction of roadside stands selling burgers and orange drinks. The meat in the burgers was guaranteed to contain at least 60% pork. They didn’t identify the meat comprising the other 40%.

2) This dish is in homage to Fidel Castro. Thanks Fidel, without you this dish would never have been created.

3) Fidel Castro was a good baseball player in his youth and probably would made it at least to minor leagues if he hadn’t decided to throw it all away to make a revolution.

4) Lenin caused the Russian Revolution which caused millions of people to die. His successor Stalin is responsible for tens of millions more.

5) Neither Lenin nor Stalin showed any aptitude for baseball. Coincidence, perhaps?

6) One of the first professional baseball teams in Russia played next to a missile base.

7) During the 1990s, Moscow’s utility company shut down all electricity to Russia’s command center for its nuclear strike force. Until Russia paid its electric bill, it’s nuclear missiles were useless.

– 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, food, history, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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