Posts Tagged With: sonic obliterator

Brown Sugar Honey Mustard Smoked Ham

American Entree

BROWN SUGAR HONEY MUSTARD SMOKED HAM

INGREDIENTS

10 pounds ham
⅓ cup barbecue rub
no-stick spray
1⅓ cup brown sugar
1 cup honey mustard
2 cups orange juice

SPECIAL UTENSILS

smoker
apple or cherry wood chunks
meat thermometer
disposal aluminum pan
sonic obliterator

Takes 7 hours 30 minutes. (Times vary with smoker.) Serves 15.

PREPARATION

Preheat smoker to 250 degrees. Add wood chunks to smoker. Rub barbecue rub onto ham. Score ham in a diamond patter ½” deep. Spray disposal aluminum pan with no-stick spray. Let ham sit out at room temperature for 1 hour. Add ham to aluminum pan. Cook for 1 hour

While ham cooks for 1 hour, add brown sugar, honey mustard, and orange juice to mixing bowl. Mix with fork or whisk until well blended. This is the glaze. Cook until temperature registered by meat thermometer reaches145 degrees. Baste ham with glaze every 45 minutes until done. Remove ham and let sit for 20 minutes

TIDBITS

1) Sometimes, ingredients can be hard to find. Once I looked for a specific herb for a Mongolian dish. However, this herb could only be found in a remote part of northwestern China. You need to get permission from the Chinese authorities to go there. Chinese police will probably start to tail you when you start looking all over the land for this rare herb. And even then, it’s seasonal. I opted for a substitute herb.

2) Then there are instances, like for this recipe. I wanted a 7-pound ham. My local supermarket did not have a ham in the refrigerated aisles. They did not have one on display at the butcher. They did not have one there. They did not have one anywhere. I asked the butcher if there might be one at the back. He said no. He added there were no hams in all of Poway, my fair city. I eventually found a ten-pounder 30 miles away. So if your guests give you any guff about the meal you created, zap them with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your kitchen.

 

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

Meatball in Pasta Nest

Italian Appetizer

MEATBALL IN PASTA NEST

INGREDIENTS

6 Italian pasta nests*
6 premade meatballs
9 tablespoons Alfredo sauce
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
1½ cups mozzarella cheese
2 teaspoons parsley

* = Found in supermarkets with a large pasta section or online.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

sonic obliterator, how have you gone so long without one

Serves 6. Takes 20-to-40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook pasta nests according to instructions on package. Cook meatballs according to instruction on package Place nests on plate. The nests might need some gentle reshaping to look like a nest again.
.
Spoon an equal amount of Alfredo sauce into the middle of each nest. Place a meatball in center of each pasta nest. Sprinkle an equal amount of Italian seasoning over each meatball.

Add mozzarella to pan. Heat at medium heat until it becomes gooey. Spoon 1/6th of the mozzarella over each meatball. You might need to reshape the mozzarella so that it totally covers the meatball and not much else.

Sprinkle an equal amount of parsley over each egg. The whole thing should look like a speckled, white egg in a nest. Use sonic obliterator to zap any oafish guest who says your cheese-covered meatball doesn’t really look like an egg. You don’t need negativity in your kitchen.

TIDBITS

1) The photo for this recipe is a Rorschach test.

2) Do you see a bird’s egg or only a meatball covered with Alfredo sauce?

3) Or did you see a space alien with two small eyes, one large pointy ear, a big nose, a slightly open mouth, a shoulder, part of a chest, and a glorious mass of tangled blond hair? Me neither.

 

– 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 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Motivational Poster #2, You Can Do Anything

Me, during my grad school days at the University of Wisconsin.

 

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: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pudim de Coco (Coconut Pudding)

East Timorese

PUDIM DE COCO
(Coconut Pudding)

INGREDIENTS

1¾ cups sugar
5 eggs
2 cups coconut milk
2½ tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons coconut flakes (optional)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

6-to-8 cups baking dish or casserole dish
9″ x 13″ casserole dish* (Must be longer and wider than baking dish)
sonic obliterator

Serves 6. Takes 1 hours 20 minutes plus 6 hours in refrigerator.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add sugar to pan. Melt sugar using low-medium heat until it begin to melt. Stir enough to keep sugar from burning and clumping. Reduce heat to low and continue warming sugar until it melts completely and turns a caramel brown. Stir constantly. Remove immediately from heat. (Don’t let it solidify.) Pour this caramelized sugar right away into baking dish. Smooth it with spatula.

Add eggs to mixing bowl. Blend eggs thoroughly with whisk. Add coconut milk and cornstarch. Mix with whisk until this custard becomes smooth. Ladle mixture over caramelized sugar. Put baking dish into casserole dish. Add hot water until it is 1″ high in the casserole dish. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of pudding comes out clean.

Loosen pudding by sliding spatula around the edges and, as far as possible, the bottom. Put plate on top of casserole dish. Carefully turn casserole dish and plate upside down. Tap casserole dish with knife. Say a brief prayer. Lift casserole dish. Pudding should come out cleanly onto plate. Spoon liquid caramel on plate onto the caramel already on top of pudding.

Let sit in refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. If desired, garnish with coconut flakes. Serve to adoring guests. Use sonic obliterator on any guest who gives you guff in any way. You cannot afford to let any threat or insult to your authority as chef go unchallenged.

TIDBITS

1) Many of you would look at the picture for this recipe and declare, “Why someone has hungry. That person was too tempted by the dessert to wait for the chef to take a photo for the cookbook.” And you would be right.

2) Many others. gazing at the photo would say, “Why it looks like a tiny square was taken from a larger square. If only high school geometry had been as tasty.” And you too would be right.

3) But these reasons are not the reason this picture touches your soul so deeply, why it speaks so strongly to your innermost self, why you feel the spirits of generations after generations of primitive ancestors dating back to Olduvai George whispering in your inner ear.

4) Go back into the distant mists of time when Lucy of Olduvai Gorge, your great, great, great, great, . . ., really, really great grandmother saw dust sweeping down, down the gorge to her.

5) Then Lucy heard thundering getting ever closer.

6) She, of course, saw the dust before she heard the accompanying thunder. For light travels at 3 * 10^8 meters per second and sound at 3 * 10^3 meters per second.

7) It is doubtful that Lucy fully grasped the concept of relative velocities. Culinary scientists even discount the notion that Lucy even knew about scientific notion. It is certain, though, that either she never developed the Theory of Relativity or if she had, that she never published it.

8) Oh my gosh, while I speculated about Lucy’s scientific achievements, the dust-shrouded herd got really close. Run, Lucy, run!

9) But the soul of a lion beat in Lucy’s heart. She picked up a stone and hurled it at middle of the dusty cloud. (This is, by the way, the real genesis of the sport of baseball. Now you know.)

10) A creature in the herd shrieked in pain. The thundering stopped. The dust settled. Thousands upon thousands of panting coconut puddings became gradually clearer. “What are they?” wondered Lucy. She gazed at the dead coconut pudding. “Is it edible? I hope so. I’m ever so hungry. And all I ever get to eat are thistlewort berries. I shall eat this meat.”

12) She tore a remarkably square section out of the dead, square coco pudding and ate. She looked at what remained. The photo for this recipe bears an uncanny resemblance to what Lucy saw those millions of years ago.

13) “It tastes great,” shouted Lucy. Her tribe raced toward her. “Eat these squares, eat them. They’re ever so yummy.” And they did. They felt full for the first time ever. Even though they couldn’t articulate the concept, they just knew they had ingested sufficient caloric intake to leave the gorge, leave Africa, and spread humanity all over the Earth. It was the dawning of the Age of Humanity.

14) Unfortunately, the first humans fed themselves almost completely on herds of coco puddings, so much so that coco puddings became extinct. But the hankering for coco pudding never went away. It just went dormant for eons until the Age of Discovery started in the fourteenth century. Fueled by the need for a vegetarian version of coco pudding, European monarchs starting with Henry the Navigator dispatched fleet after fleet in search of sugar, coconut milk, and coconut flakes. They’d eventually find these ingredients. Humanity would once again live in a culinary golden age.

15) Oh, and in doing, we’d chart the entire world. And we owe it all to brave Little Lucy.

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Biryani From Pakistan

Pakistani Entree

BIRYANI

INGREDIENTS

2 medium onions
1 pound lamb or chicken
2 green chiles
1 garlic clove
¾” ginger root
1 large tomato
3 cardamom seeds
3 cloves
1½” cinnamon stick
¾ teaspoon garam masala
3 peppercorns
1 teaspoon red chile flakes or ½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
6 tablespoons ghee or butter
1¼ cups basmati rice
2½ cups water
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon saffron or  ¾ teaspoon safflower
¼ cup warm water
½ cup fresh mint leaves

SPECIAL UTENSILS

blender or food processor
mandoline
sonic obliterator

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Slice onions ⅛” thick using mandoline or knife. Cut lamb into 2″ cubes. Seed and dice green chiles. Use food processor to turn garlic cloves and ginger root into a paste. Puree tomato in blender.

Add green chile, onion, cloves, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, garam masala, peppercorns, red chile flakes, salt, turmeric, and ghee to large pan. Sauté at medium-high heat or until onion softens and browns. Stir frequently. Add garlic/ginger paste. Sauté at medium heat for 5 minutes or until garlic/onion paste becomes fragrant. Stir frequently. Add tomato. Cook at medium heat for 3 minutes. Add lamb. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes or until lamb starts to brown. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir enough to prevent burning.

While lamb simmers, add rice, 2½ cups water, and bay leaf to pot. Bring to boil using high heat for 15 minutes or until rice is al dente. Stir occasionally and add water as necessary to avoid burning the rice. Remove bay leaf. Drain and set aside. Add saffron and ¼ cup warm water to small mixing bowl. Stir, Add rice and saffron/water mixture. Cover and simmer at low-medium heat for 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick.

While lamb/rice/saffron simmers, dice mint leaves. Garnish dish with mint leaves. Use sonic obliterator on any guest who crosses you in any way at anytime during preparation or serving.

TIDBITS

1) Pakistan is home to the ATM at the highest elevation in the world, 15,397.

2) The highest polo stadium on Earth is also in Pakistan. at 12,140 feet.

3) This means you can leave the stadium after a particularly exciting match and still have to climb up over a half mile to withdraw some cash. So, It really is best to come prepared with enough money for post-game activities.

4) Over half of the world’s hand-sewn soccer balls come from Pakistan. The British rulers of Pakistan, during the time of the Raj, loved to play soccer. But it took forever to ship soccer balls from Britain to Pakistan. The rest of the trip was by train. By the time, the soccer balls got to the soccer pitches, everybody would have gone home months ago. So, the British soccer officials asked the local businesses to make soccer balls. They produced fantastic leather spheres. Now, the British could play soccer whenever they wanted. The local businesses burgeoned. Now Pakistan dominates the hand-sewn market.

5) This is just one consequence of global imperialism.

6) Pakistan’s national anthem has been rated as one the best in the world. Well done, Pakistan.

7) On the other hand, two Pakistani brothers created the world’s first computer virus. Boo.

8) In 2011, Pakistani officials arrested a monkey crossing its border with India. I don’t know the charges. I’d really like to know the charges. No passport?

9) The national fruit is the mango.

9) One of the two national languages of Pakistan is Urdu. Only 7% of the population speak it. The most used non-English language is Punjabi.

10) Okay, suppose you’ve just withdrawn some rupees from the word’s highest-up ATM and you wish to buy some mangos at the local market. How would you say it? You would tell the merchant, “Iha aba kina hai?”

11) There, you have one fewer thing to worry about should you ever travel to Pakistan.

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Bean Chicken

Chinese Entree

BLACK BEAN CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS

1 pound chicken breasts
½ tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon grated ginger
4 teaspoons rice wine or sake
2 garlic cloves
2 shallots
2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
½ teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons black bean sauce (aka black bean paste)*
¼ cup chicken stock
¾ teaspoon sugar
1 green onion
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds or sesame seeds

* = If you can’t find black bean sauce, you can substitute with hoisin sauce or miso. Alternatively, use your sonic obliterator on any guest complaining about your lack of authenticity. You don’t need that negativity in your life.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

sonic obliterator

Serves 3. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Slice chicken breast crosswise into ¼” thin strips. Add corn starch, ginger, and rice wine to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add chicken strips. Mix with hands until chicken strips are thoroughly coated. Marinate for 15 minutes.

While chicken strips marinate, mince garlic cloves and shallots. Add peanut oil, sesame oil, garlic, and shallot to pan. Heat peanut oil using high heat. (Peanut oil is ready when a bit of shallot starts to dance in the oil.) Sauté at medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Stir constantly. Add black bean sauce. Sauté for another 30 seconds. Stir constantly.

Add chicken strips, chicken stock, and sugar. Bring to boil using high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Stir occasionally. While chicken simmers, chop green onion into thin slices. Garnish with green onion and toasted sesame seeds.

TIDBITS

1) Chickens are usually calm creatures. “Live and let live is their motto.”

2) Unless, they don’t get black beans to eat. Then things get ugly.

3) In 1848, farms all around Scotland ran out of black beans. It all came to a head in the great Paisley Chicken Riots.

4) In retrospect, Paisley’s authorities should have seen it coming. The local chickens had forsaken their usual, “Poc, poc, poc, poc” for “POC, POC, POC, POC!!” Since then, chickens speaking in all capital letters and exclamation points have become a byword for terror. But back then, the town’s constabulary was caught flat footed. Enraged Scottish hens broke into seed barrels everywhere.

5) Fortunately, it rains a lot in Scotland and rain seeped into barrel upon barrel filled with corn seed, or maize seeds as the local chickens would have said. These soaked seeds became fermented from the rain. The chicken got drunk, wobbled around with outstretched wings, and finally passed out in the streets.

6) “They need intervention,” said the bonnie Franchesca. Paisley’s mayor agreed. Just one week later work started on the World’s First* Chicken Alcohol Treatment cent or as WFCAT as it is more commonly goes by. * = As far as we know.

7) The Chicken Rebellion of 1848 fizzled out. Unrest in Great Britain died down. Isn’t amazing how many people take their lead from chickens?

8) But other European leaders learned nothing from this. Their poor people starved. Middle class people protested for more and more say in government. Chickens demanded the black beans their brethren in England got. European fowl ransacked seed stores in all major cites.

9) Orators everywhere exhorted the mobs. “Citizens, are we cowards? Are we going just sit at our tables eating mushroom mush while our fowl friends lead the charge towards liberty and equality?” “No!” shouted the seething masses. And so, Europe erupted into the Year of Revolution.

10) Finally governments responded to the crisis engulfing their lands. First, no succeeding year would ever be known as 1848 for, as we all know, there is lots of symbolism in numbers. Second, generous subsidies to farmers would ensure bumper crops of black beans for centuries to come. In fact, in1927 seed growers planted so many black-beans that its future market crashed. Economic depression loomed. Alert government chefs suggested a dish made of chicken and black beans to gobble up the seed surplus.

11) You might think the chickens would have objected to being eaten. But they never have, remaining docile as long as they got their black beans to eat, “Thank you very much.”

12) Then, in 1993, the Chinese Bikini Team visited Great Britain and later brought the dish back with them. Black bean chicken became enormously popular. It still is. This is why this entree is known as coming from China.

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Pabellón Criollo

Venezuelan Entree

PABELLÓN CRIOLLO

INGREDIENTS – PULLED MEAT

3 garlic cloves (2 more cloves later)
1 medium onion
1 tomato
2 pounds flank steak
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon cumin (¼ teaspoon more later)
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon pepper (¼ teaspoon more later)
3 quarts water (or enough to cover ingredients)

INGREDIENTS – BLACK BEANS

2 garlic cloves
1 small onion
¼ cup olive oil or oil (¼ cup more later)
1 green bell pepper
1 15-ounce-can black beans
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt

INGREDIENTS – RICE & PLANTAINS

1⅓ cups rice
2 plantains or bananas
½ cup olive oil or oil

SPECIAL UTENSILS

3-quart pot
4 plates with 3 sections. These are mighty hard to find if you’re looking for them at the last moment.
sonic obliterator

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 50 minutes.

PREPARATION – PULLED MEAT

Dice 3 garlic cloves, medium onion, and tomato. Add diced garlic, onion, tomato, flank steak, bay leaf, ¼ teaspoon cumin, oregano, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and enough water to cover ingredients. Bring to boil using high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours 30 minutes or until meat is tender to the fork. Remove and discard bay leaf. Remove meat and place on plate. Pull flank seat apart with forks. Save stock for future soups.

PREPARATION – BLACK BEANS

While flank steak simmers, mince 2 garlic cloves and small onion. Seed and dice green bell pepper. Add garlic, onion, green bell pepper, and ¼ cup olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add black beans, ¼ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

PREPARATION – RICE & PLANTAINS

About 30 minutes before flank steak should be ready to be pulled apart, cook rice according to instructions on package. Peel plantains. Cut plantains into slices 1″ wide diagonally along the length of the plantain. Add plantain and ½ cup oil to pan. Sauté slices for 3 minutes on each at medium heat or until plantain softens and browns.

PREPARATION – FINAL STEP

This step is much easier if you have a plate that is divided into 3 sections. Carefully add enough pulled flank steak to make a pie wedge that takes up ⅓ of the plate. Carefully add enough beans next to the flank steak to make a pie wedge taking up ⅓ of the plate. Carefully add (Yes, you are doing things carefully here.) enough rice to take up the remaining ⅓ of the plate. Add ¼ of the plantain slices to the outside of the rice pie-wedge.

Zap, with your sonic obliterator, any guests who fail to appreciate just how much heart and soul went into the preparation of this dish.

TIDBITS

1) This dish, pabellón criollo, is enormously popular, among Venezuelans. So much so, that Venezuelans will bring the ingredients for this dish wherever they travel or migrate.

2) And boy, they sure have migrated. On May 1, 16,870 BC priests revealed to the proto-Venezuelans that their gods would be having a millennium-long jamboree in a land beyond the Great Mother Sea. Of course, everyone knows the best time to petition gods is when they’ve been drinking, eating pulled beef, and dancing and singing up a storm.

3) So, all the proto-Venezuelans took to their rafts and floated and paddled their way down the east coast of South America, suffered ice storms in the Straights of Magellan, endured fresh-water deprivation, and got eaten by gigantic sharks and whales.

4) All of which sucked, especially when compared to jamboreeing with the gods. So once there, the proto-Venezuelans stayed and planted rice. This is how rice came to India, Vietnam, China, and Japan.

5) The proto-Venezuelans were pretty happy. Then the gods’ beer ran out. The deities became surly and hurled thunderbolts and really hard bread rolls at the humans.

6) Life sucked again. Enough to brave the perils of an ocean voyage back home. This is how peoples from Asia settled the Americas, not by the headline hunters who crossed the land bridge from Siberia to Alaska.

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.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Potica (Nut Roll)

Slovenian Dessert

POTICA
(Nut Roll)

INGREDIENTS – YEAST

¼ cup warm milk (1 more cup later)
2 tablespoons yeast
4 teaspoons sugar (¾ more cup later)

INGREDIENTS – DOUGH

½ cup butter (6 more tablespoons later)
6 tablespoons sugar (6 more tablespoons later)
3 egg yolks (reserve 3 egg whites)
1 cup warm milk
¾ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons vanilla extract (½ more tablespoon later)
4 cups flour (3 additional tablespoons later)
1 tablespoon butter (5 additional tablespoons later)

INGREDIENTS – NUT FILLING

1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
5 tablespoons butter
½ cup honey
5 tablespoons milk
6 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 cups minced walnuts
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup heavy cream
3 egg whites

INGREDIENT – FINAL

3 tablespoons flour

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
3 9″-x-5″ loaf pans
about 4  mixing bowls depending how much cleaning you do along the way
sonic obliterator

Serves 8. Takes 3 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – YEAST

Add ¼ cup warm milk and yeast to a small mixing bowl. Stir until yeast dissolves. Add 4 teaspoons sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Lit sit for 15 minutes or until mixture doubles in size.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

While yeast rises, add ½ cup butter, 6 tablespoons sugar, and egg yolks to a large, mixing bowl. Use high setting on electric beater until butter becomes creamy. Add 1 cup warm milk to small pot. Cook on medium-high heat until milk is almost ready to boil. Stir constantly. Add yeast mix, hot milk, salt, and 4 teaspoons vanilla extract to bowl with creamy butter. Mix with whisk or fork until thoroughly blended. Add 4 cups flour, ½ cup at a time, mixing with wooden spoon, or until dough is a ball and no longer sticky.

Grease another mixing bowl with 1 tablespoon butter. Add dough ball to this mixing bowl. Turn dough until it is well coated. Cover and let rise for 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – NUT FILLING

While dough rises, cinnamon, ground cloves, 5 tablespoons butter, honey, 5 tablespoons milk, and 6 tablespoons sugar to small pot. Cook on medium heat until butter melts and ingredients blend. Stir constantly. Add lemon zest, and walnuts to another mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Add walnuts to mixing bowl. Pour butter/honey/milk mixture and ½ tablespoon vanilla extract over minced walnuts. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Fold in heavy cream with spoon. Add egg whites to cup. Beat with whisk. Fold in egg whites into butter/honey/milk/walnut /heavy cream mixture. Let cool until dough has finished rising.

PREPARATION – FINAL

Dust large flat surface with 3 tablespoons flour. Roll out dough onto dustedt surface until it is 24″ long, 18″ wide, and ¼” thick. Ladle cooled nut filing evenly over dough. Start with 18″ side and gently roll up the dough to form a 24″ long dough long. Cut 24″-long loaf into 3 8″-long loves. Put loaves in loaf pans. Cover pans and let rise for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or loaves turn golden brown and toothpick stuck in center comes out clean. Use sonic obliterator on impatient guests

TIDBITS

1) The Sonic obliterator is an essential item for the serious home chef. It gets rid of door-to-door salesmen who interrupt you right when you take the chicken Florentine dish out of the oven, causing you to drop the casserole dish which shatters into a million pieces. Also, zap oafs who complain that dinner is taking too long. You don’t need that negativity in your kitchen.

2) Be advised that although owning a sonic obliterator is not illegal as of press time., obliterating someone might be. One never knows with law enforcement. So to be safe, please ask your local police officers in advance.

– 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, international, politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spanakopita

Greek Appetizer

SPANAKOPITA

INGREDIENTSSpanakopita-

8 green onions
2 medium brown onions
2 pounds fresh spinach
½ cup butter (½ cup more later)
½ cup olive oil
3 eggs
1 pound feta cheese
2½ tablespoons dill
¼ teaspoon salt
2½ tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup butter
1 pound phyllo pastry sheets

SPECIAL UTENSILS

9″ x 12″ casserole dish (You’ll need to trim the phyllo sheets if they’re larger than the casserole dish.)
sonic obliterator.

Makes 24 triangular spanakopitas. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dice green onions and brown onions. Remove stems from spinach. Add ½ cup butter, olive oil, green onions, and brown onions to pan. Sauté at medium-high for 5 minutes or until onions soften. Stir occasionally. Add spinach. Sauté at medium heat for 10 minutes or until spinach is completely soft and liquid is nearly gone. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and let cool

While spinach mixture cools, add eggs to mixing bowl. Beat eggs until well blended. Add eggs, feta cheese, dill, salt, and lemon juice. Whisk thoroughly. Add sautéed spinach to bowl. Blend thoroughly with fork. Add ½ cup butter to small pot. Melt butter using low-medium heat. Stir frequently. Remove from heat.

Carefully lay out a phyllo sheet in casserole dish . Gently brush melted butter onto phyllo sheet. Repeat until half of the phyllo sheets are in the casserole dish. Gently spread spinach mixture onto top phyllo sheet. Carefully–yes carefully and gently are definitely les mots juste for this dish–lay on phyllo sheet onto spinach mixture. Gently brush phyllo with butter. Place another phyllo sheet in the casserole dish. Gently brush sheet with butter. Repeat until all the phyllo sheets are gone.

Bake at 350 for 30-to-40 minutes or until top layer of casserole is golden brown. Cut casserole into 12 3″-wide squares. Cut each square along a diagonal to make two triangles. Serve to appreciative, remaining guests.

TIDBITS

1) It takes a lot of care to make spanakopita. Those phyllo sheets can tear apart faster than a politician’s campaign promises. Or you rip the sheets while brushing them with melted butter. You’re already fit to explode faster than a land mine. Then some oaf makes a comment like, “I don’t like these thingies. They taste too spinachy.” What is the proper response for the gauchery?

2) Eliminate the miscreant. You don’t need that negativity.

3) But how?

4) My favorite weapon of choice is the sonic obliterator. The serious home chef simply cannot afford to be without this implement. Not only does it dispatch crabby diners to the nether world, but as the name suggests, it obliterates all evidence of the evil eater. Law enforcement rarely pursues murder charges when it cannot find the body.

5) Sadly, most supermarkets and department stores do not carry sonic obliterators. You have to buy them on-line. The best sale prices tend to occur on Black Friday, the week before Christmas, and just before Valentine’s Day.

6) Culinary statisticians have also found a high correlation between forgotten birthdays and anniversaries; so remember your sweatheart’s important days.

7) May I suggest a personalized plate? If your loved’s birthday is June 12 and you got married on November 19 get a license plate with, “J12N19″ on it.

8) You could also tattoo the same sequence of letters and numbers on your forearm. However, you really should make sure your wedding is rock solid. Because your next sweatheart will surely want you to remove the old flame’s important days from your arm. This is painful, more painful than the original tattoo. Then you’ll need to re-ink your skin with your new boo’s dates. Which is painful.

9) Heavens to Betsy, if your subsequent relationships goes south and your find a third, fourth, or fifth love, you will be in a world of constant pain. Loves hurts, but tattoo removals hurt even more. Monogamy does have its advantages.

10) Don’t write sweatheart in a love note.. The correct spelling is sweetheart. Calling your soul mates “sweatheart” might get in trouble, especially if they are stay-at-home chefs and possess a sonic obliterator. Having multiple soul mates can also get you zapped into nothingness.

11) As you can see, life is fraught with perils. You might get obliterated for dissing someone’s spanakopitas You could get annihilated for misspelling a term of endearment. This is why it is so important to follow proper etiquette. This is why your grammar-school teachers drilled your constantly in correct spelling.

12) Be kind. Be careful. Stay alive.

– 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

The Travel Grouch’s Guide To Not Sucky Vacationing

Dear Travel Grouch,SelfieGrandCanyon2-

Vacationing is getting less and less pleasant every year. While I used to be able to peacefully admire the scenery, now I can’t even get to the scenic point because of hordes of people taking one selfie after another. They don’t even look at scenery until they get home and look at it on their iPad thingy. And They never leave. Never. What can I do? I want to see nature. Please help me with this. Other tips will be appreciated. Thank you.

– Amos Keeto

Dear Mr. Keeto,

I feel your pain. Why just last summer I had to . . . Whoops, way too public a forum. Deep breath. Ahh. I’m okay now. Here, dear friend, are some helpful hints.

1) Contact Paul’s Flying Squirrel Squadron before going on vacation. They will visit you on your trip and say many kind, encouraging words to you. If asked, they will also serenade you at night. Listen carefully, they have tiny voices. They will even have “chats” with the offending tourists. Best to stay inside until the “chats” are over.

2) Do you have a sonic obliterator? If not, you really should get one. They get rid of the selfie takers quite nicely. You’ll be able to walk up to the scenic outlook. You’ll be happy. You might even find yourselves smiling and isn’t that what vacations are all about?

3) Does the offensive line of a top-ten football team owe you a favor? If so, get it to run a flying wedge in front of you all the way to the railing. Sure, this will knock the selfie takers into the canyon far below, but their screams will be heard only for a moment.

4) The overriding virtue of tips 3) and 4) is that the bodies will be impossible to find or nearly so.

5) Don’t be so busy offing selfie takers that you forget to throw away your litter. No one likes a scofflaw.

6) For some reason, people think that if you can’t understand their language, you can’t hear them. It’s okay to place a glass dome over them and suck out all the air with a giant pump until they stop talking. Just make sure you do this when others aren’t looking.

7) It’s not okay, however, to assume that only foreigners talk so loud that they need the glass dome treat. Your fellow countrymen often shout when they travel abroad. And let me tell you, people of every nation have glass domes and giant pumps.

8) Employees in American visitor centers and toll booths do not carry sonic obliterators. This means drivers can safely engage them in conversations that make a reading of War and Peace go by quickly. I blame budget cutbacks for this. You’ll have to buy your own sonic obliterator. I cannot stress enough the need for proper planning.

Happy traveling.

– Paul R, De Lancey, The Travel Grouch

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 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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