Posts Tagged With: Scotland

Bicycle Chicken

Burkina Faso

BICYCLE CHICKEN
(Poulet Bicyclette)

INGREDIENTS

1 MaggiTM chicken or vegetable bouillon cube*
2 tablespoons peanut oil or other oil
1 teaspoon vinegar
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 chicken breasts with bone and skin
2 chicken thighs with bone and skin
2 bay leaves
2 potatoes
2 red or green chile peppers
2 carrots
4 garlic cloves
2 medium onions
2 tablespoons butter

* = It’s way more authentic with a Maggi cube. Maggi rules western Africa.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

baking sheet.
kitchen thermometer

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 35 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add Maggi cube to large mixing bowl. Crush Maggi cube. Add peanut oil, vinegar, pepper, and salt. Mix thoroughly with whisk or fork. Add chicken pieces. Turn chicken pieces until they are completely coated. Add bay leaves. Let marinate for 40 minutes.

While chicken pieces marinate, preheat oven to 390 degrees. Peel potatoes. Add potatoes and enough water to cover to them to pot. Boil potatoes on high heat for 20 minutes or until tender. Place chicken pieces on grill in oven. Place baking sheet under chicken to catch drippings. Cook at 390 degrees for 55 minutes or until no longer pink inside or the chicken’s temperature reaches 165 degrees. Turn chicken pieces over once.

While chicken pieces cook, seed chile peppers Mince carrots, chile peppers, garlic cloves and onions. Add butter, carrot, chile pepper, garlic, and onion to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. Add a chicken piece to each plate. Top chicken with sautéed veggies. Surround chicken with potato slices.

TIDBITS

1) There are many reasons why this dish is called Bicycle Chicken.

2) The chickens running about the streets in Burkina Faso look like they’re riding a bicycle.

3) The chicken vendors in Ouagadougu, the capital city, bicycle around the town with chickens hanging upside down from their bike’s handle bars*.

* = Do not confuse handle bars with Handle bars, which the great musical composer used to organize his written music in small sections.

4) People know chickens derive enjoyment from looking a bicycles. So whenever a bicyclist pedals past a hen, people will say, “Look, a bicycle, chicken.”

5) Would-be chicken vendors who are afraid to ride a bicycle are known as “bicycle chicken.”

6) The 1st grade textbook used in Ouagadougu’s grammar school has a picture of a bicycle on page one and a bicycle on the next page. The words are shown below the corresponding picture. So, the first words the country’s young learners learn to spell are bicycle and chicken. Walk by any 1st grade classroom first thing in the morning and you will hear the words “bicycle, chicken” spoken over and over.

7) Some very small dictionaries have the words bicycle and chicken next to each other. Don’t buy these books. They’re not of much use.

8) “Bicycle chicken” is spy code for “my cover has been compromised.” Oh dear, I compromised that code now, haven’t I?”

9) However, culinary etymologists* tend to believe that the phrase “bicycle chicken” derives from the world-renowned Le Tour du Poulet Burkinabé (LTDPB).

10) The muscular thighs of Burkina Faso’s chickens make them naturals for bicycle races.

11) Indeed, chickens are quite athletic when properly motivated. The longest recorded flight by a chicken is 301 feet. The chicken’s motivation remains unknown. At least, no one is talking.

12) Anyway, every May sees the LTDPB sees the chickens pedal like mad from Banforo toward Ougadougu.

13) Every August sees the chickens cross the finish.

14) The great popularity of the LTDPB has naturally spawned imitations such as the ones in Greenland*, Oregon, and Scotland.

15) * I’m sad to say, that this year’s Chicken Race Across Greenland (CRAG)has been cancelled due to inclement conditions. It’s best, anyway, to wait for and watch LTDPB on ESPN9TM.

 

– 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.

Categories: cuisine, international, short story | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fun Festivals – Swamp Soccer World Cup

Love soccer? Lover a shorter game? Love mud?  Head on over to Finland and Scotland.* The last Swamp Soccer World Championship (SCWC)  I could find took place in Finland. It might have even been held in Hyrynsalmi, Finland  At any rate, the SCWC is usually held in Finland in the middle of June (Sorry, you missed it this year.) 200-to-300 teams from all over the world compete. The SCWC which has been organized by the so-called Swamp Barno Jyrki Väänänen** since 1998. There are five different ways to compete: men’s, women’s, mixed, men’s hobby, and Masters of Swamp.

The Soccer World Cup is usually held in Scotland on the last weekend of June, just after the World Championship in Finland.. There are rumors of it being held in China, India. and Turkey.

Six players are on each side. Each half lasts for 12 minutes. There are no offside penalties. This is fantastic for all those who never understood the rule in the first place. Other little rules abound. As of about 2018, no Polish team had ever competed.

For my Italian readers, these four sentences translate as Ami il calcio? Ami un gioco più breve? Ami il fango? Dirigiti verso Finlandia e Scozia.

For my English speaking readers, this translates as Swamp Baron Jyrki Väänänen who got the whole thing started. Yay Jyrki!

Swamp soccer arose from the practice of Finnish cross-country skiers to train in swamps.

Mud soccer is lots of fun. Be sure to register for the next Swamp Soccer madness, whether in Finland, Scotland, or whenever. Let me know how it turns out.

 

– 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.

 

Categories: fun festivals, things to see and do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

National Stereotypes on Google

Here is how Google completes your search question when you type in the words, “Why is (some country) . . .?” Presumably the first completed choice by Google mirrors peoples’ stereotypes about particular nation.

The following  stereotypes garnered more than one country:

Poor countries were: Indonesia, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Romania, Vietnam
Expensive countries were: Argentina, Brazil, Britain, Fiji
Happy countries were: Denmark, Sweden
Rich countries were: Germany, Norway, Switzerland
Dry countries were: Australia, Peru, Turkey
Big countries were: Greenland, Russia
Why so important countries? were: Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece
Violent and dangerous countries were: Colombia, Iraq, Pakistan, South Africa

And now, stereotypes for the first fifty countries that popped into my mind. Okay, many of the following countries were chosen because I love their cuisine. or I enjoyed traveling there. My favorite is, “Why is Greenland so big?”

Country      Stereotype
———      ————
Afghanistan – important
America – fat
Argentia – expensive
Australia – dry
Brazil – expensive

Britain – expensive
Canada – nice
China – polluted
Colombia – violent
Cuba – important

Denmark – happy
Egypt – important
Fiji – expensive
France – gay
Germany – rich

Greece – important
Greenland – big
Iceland – peaceful
India – poor
Indonesia – poor

Iraq – violent
Ireland – green
Israel – important to us
Italy – racist
Jamaica – violent

Japan – clean
Kenya – good at running
Mexico – poor
Mozambique – poor
Netherlands – liberal

Nicaragua – poor
New Zealand – free
Nigeria – poor
North Korea – bad
Norway – rich

Pakistan – dangerous
Peru  – dry
Poland – weak
Romania – poor
Russia – big

Saudi Arabia – stupid
Scotland – cold
South Africa – violent
Spain – empty
Switzerland – rich

Tibet – important to China
Turkey – dry
Sweden –  happy
Vatican City – small
Vietnam – poor

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

Jollof Rice From Liberia

Liberian Entree

JOLLOF RICE

INGREDIENTSJollofRice-

1 pound chicken breast
1 pound bacon
2 medium yellow onions
1 yellow bell pepper
4 Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup vegetable oil (1/4 cup more later)
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 6 ounces cans tomato paste
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 cups rice
4 cups chicken broth

Needs 2 pots and 1 skillet

PREPARATION

Cut chicken breast into 1″ cubes. Cut bacon strips into pieces 1″ wide. Mince onions, bell pepper, and tomatoes. Add chicken, bacon, and 1/4 vegetable oil into skillet. Sauté at medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until chicken begins to brown. Stir occasionally.

While chicken/bacon sautés, Add onion, bell pepper, tomato, ginger, and 1/4 cup vegetable oil or to large pot. Sauté for 5 minutes on medium-high heat or until onion softens. Stir occasionally.

Add chicken/bacon mix from skillet to veggie mix in pot. Add tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, thyme, and red pepper. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Cook rice according to instructions on bag, substituting chicken broth for water. If no instructions are available, put broth in pot. Cook with high heat until broth starts to boil. Turn heat down to low. Add rice. Simmer for 20-to-30 minutes or until all the broth is absorbed by the rice or the rice is tender.

Ladle meat/veggie/sauce over rice and serve.

This is an exciting meal to make for those who are making their first forays into cooking as this dish requires being active at all times. However, if you pass this rite of culinary passage with flying colors you’ll be able to do anything. Anything. Excelsior!

TIDBITS

1) Liberia has a low percentage of redheads. England has never warred with Liberia.

2) 4% of Europe’s population is redheaded. England has fought many times there. No part of that continent is owned by England save tiny Gibraltar.

2) England fought many wars with Scotland. That land is now joined with England. 13% of Scots have red hair. Coincidence?

4) Redheads require up to 20% more anesthesia to be knocked out. That is why gingers are twice as likely to skip going to the dentist.

5) The Karma Sutra says ginger is a potent aphrodisiac.

6) The FDA says ginger is generally recognized as safe.

7) So you can see why ginger is so expensive. At one point, a pound of ginger rated an entire sheep in barter. When the barter ratio of sheep to ginger rose higher than that, outlaw gangs switched from rustling sheep to rustling ginger. When the barter ratio rose even more, wars broke out.

9) Gingers never get gray hair.

9) The great film actress Ginger Rogers had red hair. But she never caused a war. She didn’t even drink alcohol. She preferred ice-cream sodas.

– 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

Chicken Satay

Thai Entree

CHICKEN SATAY WITH PEANUT SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts

MARINADE

3 garlic cloves
2/3 cup raspberry drinkable low-fat yogurt
1/3 cup ranch yogurt dressing
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon lemongrass
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

PEANUT SAUCE

1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup warm water

quarter head of iceberg lettuce

UTENSILS

grill

12 to 20 unicorn horns
12 to 20 wooden skewers (if your supermarkets don’t carry unicorn horns)

PREPARATION

Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes.

MARINADE

Peel and mince garlic cloves. Combine garlic, drinkable yogurt, yogurt dressing, turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, lemongrass, ginger, and soy sauce in shallow bowl.

Put chicken cubes in shallow mixing bowl. Turn over cubes in sauce until thoroughly coated with sauce. Cover and put chicken marinate in refrigerator for up to 2 hours.

(If your horde of youngin’s and spouse are ravenously hungry, it’s okay to skip putting the marinade in the fridge. It’ll still taste great, but the flavor won’t quite go all the way to the middle of the chicken cube. Then again, if they’re hungry to the point of chewing fruit cake, they probably won’t notice this shortcut.)

PREPARATION OF PEANUT SAUCE

Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, red chili pepper, mayonnaise, brown sugar, lime juice, and warm water in blender. Set blender to liquify and watch until, well, the mixture is liquified. Add a little extra water if needed.

FINAL PREPARATION

Carefully thread the coated chicken cubes onto the wooden skewers. (I do mean carefully. Those skewers can draw blood.) The skewer should be in the middle of the cube. Put cubes onto the first 3/4ths of the skewer. (You will need that last empty 1/4th to turn the chicken laden skewers over on the grill.)

Grills, especially indoor grills, vary greatly in heating ability, so vigilance is a must. On my little indoor grill I cooked on high for 5 minutes on a side for a total of 15 minutes. Again, your grill might cook much quicker, say in 8 minutes total.

Put lettuce leaves on each plate. Place chicken satays on top lettuce. Pour peanut sauce over both.

The person who agrees to clean up gets an extra skewer.

TIDBITS

1) The term “raspberry” or the sound of derision made with the tongue and mouth seems to have come from England.

2) England conquered and took over Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Canada, the eastern part of America, many islands in the Caribbean, parts of Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand, India, Burma, much of Africa, and little islands everywhere.

3) It is doubtful the English did all this land grabbing by giving natives everywhere the “raspberry.”

4) A likelier explanation comes from English superiority in naval and land tactics coupled with vast advantages in weaponry.

5) England today is a part of Britain with the British Empire being much diminished from its peak. Much of this decline came about when its armed forces lost their superiority on the battlefields and the high seas.

6) However, the food prepared by the chefs of Her Majesty’s armies are the envy of British restaurant goers everywhere. These chefs even won a prestigious national award.

6) Tidbit 6) has already been written.

 

– 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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