Posts Tagged With: scientists

Medfouna

Moroccan Entree

MEDFOUNA
(Marrakech Pizza)

INGREDIENTS – DOUGH

2¼ teaspoons yeast
¾ cup warm water
1¾ cups all-purpose flour (4 more tablespoons later)
½ cup wheat flour or semolina
¾ teaspoon salt

INGREDIENTS – FILLING
1 onion
1 red chile
⅓ cup fresh parsley
1 teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt or salt (¼ teaspoon more later)
1 pound steak or lamb (minced or ground)

INGREDIENTS – FINAL

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (2 more tablespoons later)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg
¼ teaspoon sea salt or salt

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
plastic wrap or kitchen towels
baking sheet
parchment paper

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 45 minutes.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

Add yeast and warm water to 1st large mixing bowl. Stir with fork until yeasts dissolves. Let sit for 10 minutes or until yeast becomes bubbly. Gradually add in 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, wheat flour, and salt. Stir with fork until well blended. Use medium setting for electric beater on flour/yeast mix until you get a smooth and elastic ball of dough.

Divide dough into two equal balls. Place in bowls and cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towels. Let rise for 45 minutes or until dough doubles in size.

PREPARATION – FILLING

While dough rises. mince onion. Seed and dice red chile. Dice parsley. Add all filling ingredients to 2nd large mixing bowl. Mix well with hands until well blended.

PREPARATION – FINAL

Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Roll out one dough ball until it’s a circle 11″ across. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Put 11″ dough circle on parchment paper. Poke the circle 10 times with a fork. Spread filing over 11″ circle, leaving 1″ uncovered around the edges.

Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Roll out remaining dough ball into an 11″ circle. Place this 11″ dough circle on top of filling. Dip fingers in water and press edges together to form a seal. Beat egg. Spread egg on top. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 360 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) In 1801, William Playfair ordered medfouna in a small cafe in while in Marrakech. He sliced his pizza into four pieces. He ate a slice. It was delicious. Playfair gazed at the three remaining pieces. The proportion of the slices equaled the ratios of the Ottoman Empire that were in Europe, Asia, and Africa! He called his startling idea the “pizza-pie chart,” shortened afterward to “pie chart.”

2) You might think his idea would have sparked little interest among Britain’s scientific community. But no, that’s all the island nation’s greatest minds could talk about. They’d gone pie-chart mad.

4) So much so that the British scientists abandoned all research on the not as sexy topic of time travel. That’s too bad for King George III’s redcoats. For if Britain had had time travel, they could have gone forward to the 20th century and bought back machine guns, howitzers, jet fighters, and all sorts of bombers. It’s difficult to see how the French army of the early 19th century could have stood up to all of that, even with the element of surprise.

5) But the pie-chart mania precluded the development of all modern weaponry. The Napoleonic Wars dragged on for fourteen more bloody years. The British public blamed the pie chart. Whereas, pie charts were once found on every street in London, by 1816 they were all gone.

7) Pie charts came back during the Crimean War when Nurse Florence Nightingale taught the idea to her bandaged patients. It was her way of helping them pass the time. Pie charts died out when the war ended and Britain closed all its pie-chart hospitals in Crimea.

8) Pie charts remained unloved when World War II rolled around. With no pie charts to distract them, British boffins created one dazzling breakthrough after another, such as radar and the Spitfire. Enabled by this technology, the British defeated the Nazi War machine. Now, of course, we have both spiffy weapons and pie charts, but only because today’s scientists have learned to specialize.

– 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

Fish and Chips

British Entree

FISH AND CHIPS

INGREDIENTSFishAndChips-

2½ pounds potatoes (King Edward or Maris if you can get them.)
1⅓ cups flour (3 additional tablespoons later)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt or salt
1¼ cups (10 ounces) beer
2 cups peanut oil
5 cups (or enough to cover fish) vegetable oil
4 7-ounce cod, pollock, or haddock fillets
3 tablespoons flour
malt vinegar (to be added by guest)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

deep fryer

Makes 4 servings. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes
Note:: Cooking times vary a lot between fryers or with the amount of food you put in them, so you’ll need to check the fryer periodically.

PREPARATION

Peel potatoes. Slice potatoes along their lengths into ½” by ½” strips. Add potato strips to first bowl filled with cold water. Let soak for 1 hour to remove starch. Pat the potato strips with paper towels until the strips are completely dry.

This is important. If you leave moisture on your potato strips, then your chips, if you are British, or your French fries, if you’re American, will not turn out well and the Earth will leave its orbit and spiral into the Sun. Enough said.

While potato strips are soaking, add 1⅓ cups flour, pepper, and salt to large, second mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with whisk. Add beer. Stir with whisk until there are no lumps and mixture has the consistency of whipping cream.

When the potato strips have only 15 minutes left to soak, pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. (You will be making this entree in batches. Put fried fish and completely done fries warm in oven until everything is ready.) Add peanut oil and vegetable oil to deep fryer. Heat oil to 275 degrees. Carefully add ¼ of potato strips to deep fryer. Fry potato strips for 5 minutes or until any of them start to brown. There are now officially French fries or chips. (Pauses for ceremony.) Remove chips from fryer, drain, and set aside. Repeat for each batch of potato strips.

Add 3 tablespoons flour to third bowl. Add fish fillets, one at a time to bowl. Turn fish fillets around until they are coated with flour. This flour keeps the batter from slipping off later. Add flour-covered fish fillets to mixing bowl with batter. Slowly turn fish fillets until they are thoroughly covered with batter.

Increase heat on deep fryer to 375 degrees. Carefully add fish fillets to deep fryer. Fry for 6-to-10 minutes or until batter is crisp and golden brown. Turn fillets two or three times with wooden spoon to ensure even frying. Remove fish fillets with slotted spoon and place on wire rack above plate and let drain.

Add partially cooked French fries to deep fryer for second time. Keep heat at 375 degrees. Fry French fries for 10-to-20 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove French fries with slotted spoon and dry with paper towels.

Serve fish and chips and malt vinegar to adoring, appreciative guests. Dredge unappreciative guests through any remaining batter. You were cooking with hot oil, for goodness sake.

TIDBITS

1) Gratuitous Capitalizing of Words has not been allowed in English speaking countries since 1945. Indeed, World War II was fought to preserve our minimalist capitalization approach.

2) You see, Germany capitalizes all nouns. Germany wants the whole world to capitalize nouns. Why does Germany want all this capitalization? Who would benefit from this?

3) The German ink makers. Capitalized letters take more ink than small letters. More capitalized letters means more ink. More ink means more income for the ink makers. No German government from 1814 to 1945 was strong enough to resist the dictates of the German Ink Makers’ League, GIML. So, when GIML told their leaders to invade one country after another to open up new market for ink, their governments obliged.

4) Things looked bad for the minimal-capitalizing countries in mid1940. The British Expeditionary Force was trapped against the beaches of Dunkirk. If this force had surrendered, Britain, the last hold out against German Capitalizing aggression, would have had to give up all resistance.

5) Fortunately in 1940, a young physicist named Peter Sakes, was in a London pub waiting for his fish and chips. Boom! A gigantic explosion blew apart the kitchen walls. Hot cod and hot potato strips flew into the eating and drinking areas. Patrons ran screaming from the establishment. A light clicked in Sakes’ head. Perhaps the same process used to explode fish and chips could be employed to make nuclear fission. A nuclear bomb would surely stop the invincible German armies.

7) Prime Minister Churchill agreed and gathered all British scientists to develop the atomic bomb. Well, the whole thing took longer than expected; the heat from cooking oil proved insufficient to trigger a nuclear chain reaction. So the Americans came on board with their Manhattan Project and by August, 1945, had an atomic bomb to use on Japan.

8) The atomic bomb came too late to use on Germany which had already surrendered. However, the mere hope the bomb had brought to Churchill had given him to will to resist. We owe our freedom and our small-lettered nouns to Mr. Sakes and his idea. Here’s to him and fish and chips!

– 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, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peanut Soup

Cameroonian Soup

PEANUT SOUP

INGREDIENTSPeanutSoup-

1 red chile pepper
1 yellow onion
2 tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1 green bell pepper
⅓ cup unsalted peanuts
2 tablespoons peanut oil
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup baby spinach

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder

PREPARATION

Remove seeds from red chile pepper. Dice onion and tomatoes. Mince garlic cloves, green bell pepper, and red chile pepper. Grind peanuts in spice grinder.

Add peanut oil, garlic, onion, green bell pepper, and red chile pepper to pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add vegetable broth, peanut butter, tomato, pepper, and salt. Stir until peanut butter dissolves into soup. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spinach. Simmer on low for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Ladle soup into bowls. Top soup with ground peanuts.

TIDBITS

1) In 1472, Portuguese explorers named one of Cameroon’s rivers Rio dos Camarões after all the shrimp in it. This is how the country, Cameroon, gets it name. Way cool. I wish where I lived could be renamed Taco. I love tacos.

2)In 1931, Cameroon sent $3.77 to America’s starving. Or they could have sent shrimp.

3) The world’s biggest specie of frog lives in Cameroon. One of them is called Jeremiah.

4)The yellow stripe in Cameroon’s flag represents sunshine. Antarctica, if it ever becomes a country, should have a white stripe representing snow and a beaker in honor of all the scientists living 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, food, humor, international, recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Omani Mezroota

Omani Entree

MEZROOTA

INGREDIENTSMezroota-

1 medium onion
2 tablespoons salt
2 5 ounce cans white tuna
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup lemon juice (or lime juice)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 gram saffron (let me know if you can afford a lot of saffron and I’ll come over and cook for you. Saffron’s expensive.)
1/2 cup rice
1 cup water

PREPARATION

Peel and thinly slice onion. Put onion and salt in mixing bowl. Mix with spoon. Place bowl in direct sunlight for 1-to-2 hours.

30 minutes prior to retrieving the bowl of onion slices, starting cooking rice according to instructions on bag. Bring in bowl and wash onions. Drain bowl. Repeat two more times. Melt butter. Drain tuna and separate the pieces. Add tuna, butter, lemon juice, cayenne, cumin, oregano, and saffron. Serve tuna/onion/lemon mixture over hot rice.

This dish has a strong flavor and is an acquired taste. Make it for yourself first before serving it to your boss when you’re due for a raise.

TIDBITS

1) Oman is home to around twenty percent of the world’s recent meteorite finds.

2) Many scientists believe a giant meteorite caused the demise of the dinosaurs. Some believe a severe global warming killed them. It’s quite possible the dinosaurs weren’t physically able to adapt.

3) So far as I know, none of the dinosaurs had opposable thumbs and even if they did, they possessed sharp claws and talons. All surfers know you can’t apply even the lowest SPF sun-block lotions with claws. You can’t hold a tube of sun screen without opposable thumbs. I mean, have you ever seen a dinosaur surf? Enough said. No sun screen, no protection from the relentless Cretacean sun. The dinosaurs died. Bummer.

“All over Laurasia, and the blue Tethys Sea, every dino’s gone surfing, surfing Gondwanaland.”

– 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, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicken Tamale Pie

Mexican Entree

CHICKEN TAMALE PIE

INGREDIENTS

1 pound chicken breasts
2 16 ounce cans of chili with beef
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 large jalapeno pepper
1/2 cup grated Four Mexican cheeses (1 1/2 cups total, 1 cup below)
3/4 cup yellow corn meal
2 cups water
1 cup grated Four Mexican cheeses (1 1/2 cups total, 1/2 cup above)

no-stick spray
PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dice the chicken in a food processor. (If you are using a knife for the chicken, the chicken is most easily diced when partially thawed.) Add chili with beef, diced tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, and 1/ 2 cup of Four Mexican cheeses. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes.

Mix the corn meal and water until well blended. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low. Stir constantly for 12 minutes. Remove from heat.

Lightly coat baking pan with no-stick spray. (You might need two if your baking pans are small.) Pour chicken mix into baking pan. Spoon-corn meal mix on top of chicken mix. Smooth corn meal mix with spoon. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of Four Mexican cheeses on the top.

Bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees.

TIDBITS

1) You’ll have to be satisfied with chicken breasts that weigh close to one pound. Scientists have yet to come up with chickens that have breasts weighing exactly one pound.

2) And if scientists could alter the size of chicken breasts at will, don’t you think they’d work on human ones first?

3) My wife cleaned up the huge mess after this meal. Thanks, honey.

4) I’ve seen “corn meal” spelled “cornmeal” as well.

5) It used to be that cans were always 16 ounces. Now they’re 15 ounces or 14.5 or some stupid nonsense like that. The sneaky supermarkets do that instead of raising prices which is more noticeable. It sure makes cooking a little more adventuresome. So now you’re not only a chef, but a trail blazing one as well.

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

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