Posts Tagged With: spaghetti

Squid Ink Spaghetti

Italian Entree

SQUID INK SPAGHETTI

INGREDIENTS

10 ounces squid-ink spaghetti*
4 garlic cloves
3 Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh basil
½ cup fresh parsley
¼ cup olive oil
6 ounces nduja**
½ cup white wine
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

* = Sorry, you really need to get squid-ink pasta. You can make your own pasta, but then you’ll need to find squid ink. Squid-ink spaghetti may be found online or in specialty stores.

** = This is a spreadable Italian salami. It may be ordered online or found in specialty stores. In a pinch, puree pepperoni.

Serves 4. Takes 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook squid-ink spaghetti according to directions on package. While spaghetti cooks, mince garlic. Dice tomatoes, basil, and parsley. Add garlic and olive oil to pan. Sauté garlic at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic softens. Stir frequently.

Add tomato and nduja. Reduce heat to medium. Stir until nduja breaks into little bits and you get a meaty sauce. Add white wine and shrimp. Sauté at medium heat for 4 minutes or until shrimp turns pink or orange. Stir frequently. Garnish with basil and parsley.

TIDBITS

1) Squid ink is hard to locate. However, Milk is easy to find. I remember when milkmen used to deliver milk to our door. It was a golden age for milk drinkers.

2) When I was twelve, I lived in Holland. The milkman there delivered milk, butter, eggs, soup, and beer. It was a global, golden age.

3) Why can’t we have another golden age? Why can’t we have milk, eggs, and beer delivered to our door? Do we want to wake up without milk? Do we want the inebriated driving to the store to get their beer? And may we, pretty please, have the milkmen deliver squid-ink pasta so that all cooks around the world can make this entree at any time? That would truly be the greatest golden age ever.

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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Spaghetti Omelette From Cameroon

Cameroonian Breakfast

SPAGHETTI OMELETTE

INGREDIENTSspaghettiomelette

2 eggs
½ cup cooked spaghetti
1 stalk green onion
¼ small onion
1 small tomato
⅛ teaspoon white pepper or black pepper
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Makes 1 omelette. Takes 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add eggs to mixing bowl. Beat eggs with whisk until blended. Cut green onion into ¼” slices. Dice onion and tomato. Add spaghetti, green onion, onion, tomato, white pepper, salt, and oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until veggies soften and spaghetti starts getting crispy. Stir occasionally.

Pour beaten eggs over veggies. Cook at medium for 3 minutes or until eggs become hard enough to flip over. Flip egg mixture. Cook at medium heat for 2 minutes or until omelette is done to your desired level of doneness. Goes well inside ½ baguette as a sandwich filler.

Isn’t the very idea of a spaghetti omelette way cool?

TIDBITS

1) China invented spaghetti. They built Great Spaghetti Wall of China in 1155 to keep out the Mongol barbarians. It worked. The wall was too high to scale, too thick to batter through.

2) However, in the summer of 1213, Mongols under Genghis Khan approached the wall. Khan’s engineers studied and studied their obstacle. No use. The frustrated warriors threw tomatoes, one of their more non-lethal weapons, at the wall before turning away to head home. Suddenly hot rain, it was summer, deluged and penetrated the Great Spaghetti Wall for ten minutes. The pasta softened. So did the tomatoes. The Mongol horde, tired of endless yogurt meals, attacked the wall with two-tined forks. The cooked spaghetti was great. and so they ate their way through the wall. The Mongols poured into China and devastated the land.

3) The French built the Maginot Line in the 1930s to keep out the spaghetti-hating German army. Unfortunately, the French didn’t have enough pasta to build a wall along their entire northern border. The Germans, in 1940, simply sent their forces around the wall and defeated France. No nation has tried building a spaghetti wall since.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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

Fried Green Tomatoes

American Appetizer

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES
With Dipping Sauce

INGREDIENTS – DIPPING SAUCEFriedGreenTomatoesCornmeal-

2 stalks green onions
⅔ cup Dijon mustard
½ cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon white pepper

INGREDIENTS – TOMATOES

4 large or 2 pounds green tomatoes*
½ tablespoon salt (1 teaspoon more later)
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
¾ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
up to 2 cups vegetable oil

* = WARNING. This really is a lot of work if you’re using many tiny green tomatoes. If it takes more than 8 green tomatoes to make 2 pounds, consider cutting the amount of ingredients in half. Certainly, you’ll only get to eat only 1 pound of tomatoes this way, while people living in the land of big tomatoes get 2 pounds. However, you won’t be muttering to yourself and looking in the garage for an axe. Alternatively, move to the land of the big tomatoes. Oh, and leave your axe behind.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric skillet
3 mixing bowls

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 20 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes depending on the size of the tomatoes. Bigger tomatoes take less time. They really do.

PREPARATION – DIPPING SAUCE

Mince green onions. Add dipping sauce ingredients to mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Cover and chill until tomatoes are deep fried.

PREPARATION – TOMATOES

Cut tomatoes into ¼” slices. Pat tomato slices dry with paper towel. Put slices on wire racks over plates. Sprinkle slices evenly with ½ tablespoon salt. Let sit for 30 minutes to draw out water.

While tomato slices sit, add cornmeal, flour, pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt to large, second mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Divide this cornmeal/flour mixture onto 3 plates. (This will keep the cornmeal/from clumping up from the moisture of buttermilk laden tomato slice.) Add buttermilk to third mixing bowl. Dip tomatoes slices in buttermilk. Dredge buttermilk-covered slices one at time through cornmeal/flour mixture until they are well coated.

Set skillet to 375 degrees. Add enough oil to coat tomato slices to skillet. Oil will be hot enough when a tiny bit of flour added to skillet will dance in the oil. Add as many tomato slices as possible to skillet without them touching each other. Fry 3 minutes on each side or until they turn golden brown. (Cooking time tends to go down a little with each successive batch.) Additional batches might be necessary. Drain on paper towels. Serve with dipping sauce.

TIDBITS

1) Tomatoes can be cut with a regular knife. But not with any uniformity. Sure, you’ll get the occasional .25″ thick slice, but more often than not you’ll get slices with widths of .28″ or even .35″. However if your neighbors know that your make half-inch wide slices, you will be shunned.

2) In cases like these, it’s best to bolt all the doors and pull down all the shades until you have gotten rid of your deformed tomato slabs. Thieves know that houses with drawn shades and bolted doors mean that desperate knife-wielding, tomato-disposing folks are at a home and leave them at home. So when you leave the homestead, bolt your doors and draw their shades. Thieves won’t know if you’ve stepped out or are destroying culinary crimes. They won’t take the chance.

3) So don’t slice tomatoes with a knife. Then with what? A mandoline. This kitchen device makes uniform tomato slices. Now you can raise your shades and go out into your anal retentive, tomato-loving neighborhood. Be accepted, even.

4) How did the mandoline get started? Renaissance mandolin players loved sliced tomatoes. But the knives way back were even less precise than the ones we use today. Thick-tomato-slice shame ran rampant. Frustrated mandoliners took to smashing their tomatoes with their mandolins. This is how pasta sauce got invented. This is how spaghetti with marinara sauce came about. This is how Italy became the culinary capital in the world.

5) Folk music became popular in America during the 19th century. Folk guitarists took over the role of pasta-sauce makers. However, wooden acoustic guitars were amazing fragile. Just a few tomato smashings would break them. So, the pasta-sauce industry invented the sturdy electric guitar. Those things could smash tomatoes forever.

6) In 1968, a word-changing event occurred. The band Iron Butterfly released the song “In a Gadda Da Vida.” It was great. It was immensely popular. Rock bands started earning big bucks playing music of all things.

7) Rich electric guitarists gave up making pasta sauce. Italian restaurants all over the world were in danger on closing. But they didn’t, Mandy Linne, lead singer for Beefsteak had a drug-induced vision. “Why not insert a blade into a fixed surface, couple that with an adjustable upper surface, slide the tomato along the adjustable surface until it meets the blade resulting in uniform slices?” Mandy L. passed out. Her idea did not. We are living in a golden age of uniformly sliced tomatoes.

Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, history | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Spaghetti And Meatballs

Italian Entree

SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey meat
2 big garlic cloves
1 cup of sourdough bread crumbs
2 jars of spaghetti sauce
12 ounces of spaghetti

COOKING THE SPAGHETTI

Follow the instructions on your bag of spaghetti. Different sizes and types of spaghetti have different cooking instructions.

PREPARING THE MEATBALLS

This dish is relatively forgiving. If it’s too spicy, add some water or tomato sauce. If it isn’t spicy enough add some more. If it’s too “liquidy”–-“liquidy” is a legitimate cooking term–-cook the sauce a little longer. If there isn’t enough sauce add more.

Begin defrosting the turkey meat overnight. This way saves electricity and is better for the environment than defrosting by microwave. Sometimes, however, you just don’t have the time. It’s a good idea to take the meat out of the microwave and remove the defrosted outer meat. If you don’t, you will end up cooking the outer part of your block of turkey meat, making it extremely difficult to make meatballs.

Mince the garlic cloves. Take a slice of sourdough bread and make crumbs out of it. I suggest a food processor as it can make smaller crumbs than you can and it won’t get bored doing it either. Sourdough is the chosen bread in this recipe as it goes well with the garlic and spaghetti sauces.

Mix the meat, cloves, and crumbs together. Make meatballs that are at least 1 inch in diameter and less than two. Meatballs that are more than 2 inches across stand a good chance of resembling a model of the Earth–-a hard crust on the outside, gray in the middle with a reddish core.

Put the meatballs in the pan. Actually, this recipe will make two pans worth, giving a huge, delicious meal or wonderful leftovers that your kids will eat the next day before you get up.

Cook on medium heat. Gradually add spaghetti sauce until the medium balls are covered. Reduce heat to low and cover. You won’t have to turn over the meatballs more than a few times as the sauce atop will keep the moisture in.

You’re ready with your sauce at this point. However, if your noodles are not, if you can’t get your kids to log off Wizard 101 or if your sweetheart is in the middle of a Wii Fit session, it is an extremely good idea to set the heat to warm at most or even shut it off. Stir occasionally and gnash your teeth. Your anger will evaporate with the compliments your hungry brood or guests will give you for this meal.

TIDBITS

1) Pasta was eaten by the Chinese seven-thousand years ago.

2) Cortez brought tomatoes back to Spain from Mexico in 1519. So his conquest of Mexico, while bad for the Aztecs, was a positive boon for the culinary world. No tomato sauces for spaghetti noodles for 5,500 years! Ugh.

3)Pasta was not brought back from China by Marco Polo. Ancient Romans ate this food as well. Dang, yet another example of how boring history can be.

4) Pasta was considered to be peasant food by Italian nobility until around the 19th century.

5) Pasta is an anagram for “pa sat.”

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

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

Hard-Boiled Eggs: Extreme Cookbook Basics

Fusion Breakfast

HARD-BOILED EGGS

Take a deep breath. Today you’ll make your first heated meal. Don’t give that excuse of going to the dentist. I’ve heard it too many times.

INGREDIENTSboilegg-

eggs
water

Find a big pot. Gently put eggs, maybe four, into the pot. Be careful not to crack the eggs or they will ooze albumen, that white stuff, during the boiling. You will not have nice round eggs.

(Instead, you will be serving something that looks like a tentacled Jabba the Hut. Your dinner guests will laugh at you, first behind your back and then to your face. You’ll take up drinking. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself look down into the foamy abyss from the cliffs of Niagra falls, reliving that horrible moment one last time.)

So be careful when you place those eggs in the pot. Alternatively, consider putting more than the desired number of eggs in the pot. Try, for example, putting six eggs instead of the required four. This way, you can break the shells of up to two eggs and still pridefully serve the four remaining to your three dining companions and you.

Warning! Don’t place the eggs on the bottom of the pot by hand if the water is boiling or has even begun to heat. You’ll scald your hands. Ouch. Use a spaghetti spoon, one that cradles the egg, to gently deposit it on the bottom.

If somehow boiling water splatters onto your hands, immediately put your hands under the kitchen faucet and pour cold water on them. You have only a few seconds to do this to avoid searing pain.

And oh, I’m glad I didn’t forget this. Fill the pot with water until it covers the eggs and not to the top. Air bubbles form as the water boils, pushing the water upward. The water can then boil over onto the stove, making a big mess. It can also splatter onto your hands.

Anyway, turn the heat to high. For some minutes, nothing will happen. Nothing. Experienced chefs have a sixth sense of how long the water will take to boil and will retire to the library to knock off a few pages more of Moby Dick.

Once the water truly starts to boil–and you mastered spotting this in the previous chapter–-set the timer to how long you want to cook the egg. I prefer twelve minutes.

Green yolks come from the reaction of iron in the egg yolk and sulfur in the egg and occurs if the eggs are heated too long. Don’t let it happen.

Remove the eggs from the pot when the timer goes off. Use a spoon with holes in it or carefully pour the hot water out of the pot (Here’s a helpful tip! Pour the boiling water onto those dirty dishes in your sink. The boiling water works wonders in loosening the encrusted food from your dishes.)

Put the hot eggs into another pot or large bowl full of cold water. The cold water stops the cooking of the eggs. When the eggs stop cooking, you stop green yolk in its tracks.

Don’t peel off the shell until it is fairly cool. (Your fingers will thank and your neighbors won’t have to hear you cussing.) Examine the egg. Find the rounder, less pointy end of the egg. The empty pocket of well, nothingness, existing at this end makes cracking open the egg easier. Tap the rounder part of the egg to a hard surface–-don’t use your skull, a counter top will do. Carefully peel off the large eggshell bits and there you have it, a NICE HARD-BOILED EGG. Woo hoo.

TIDBITS

1) A raw egg will wobble when spun. A hard-boiled one spins smoothly.

2) Poke a small hole in the bottom of the egg before cooking to make sure your hard-boiled egg will have a round bottom. Be careful, a large hole or crack lets much of the egg seep out and be boiled outside the shell.

3) Eggs age more in one day outside the refrigerator than inside. Use this to your advantage when considering the likability of your guests.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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