Posts Tagged With: Spanish

Almond Sherry Soup from Spain

Spanish Soup

ALMOND SHERRY SOUP

INGREDIENTS

1 onion
2½ tablespoons butter
15 saffron threads
¼ pound blanched almonds
2 eggs yolks
3 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons sherry
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon Spanish paprika or paprika
½ cup cream
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 teaspoons slivered almonds

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder or food processor

Serves 5. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Mince onion. Melt butter in pan using low-medium heat. Add onion. Simmer at low-medium heat for 8 minutes or until onion softens and turns yellow. Stir frequently. Add saffron. Simmer at low-medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add blanched almonds to pan. Toast by using medium-high heat until almonds start to brown. Grind toasted almonds until they become a paste. Add almond paste, egg yolks, and minced onion to mixing bowl. Mix with fork until you a well blended almond/egg/onion paste.

Add chicken stock, sherry, nutmeg, pepper, salt, and Spanish paprika to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low-medium and add cream. Gradually add almond/egg/onion paste. Stir until well blended. Simmer at low-medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. While soup simmers, mince parsley. Garnish soup with parsley and slivered almonds.

TIDBITS

1) Last year, culinary archeologists found this painting in the Rohoño cave near Valencia, Spain. They believe it depicts a caveman giving thanks to the gods for raining down tasty almond sherry soup. (See the soup bowls at the bottom.) Conventional archeologists disagree. Prehistorians are a fractious lot. But you know, this soup is from Spain. So maybe.

 

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

Shrimp in Chocolate Sauce

Spanish Entree

SHRIMP IN CHOCOLATE SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

2 garlic cloves
1 small onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup beef, fish or vegetable stock
1 pound jumbo shrimp (16 count), peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons sherry or red wine
½ teaspoon (2 squares) bittersweet chocolate
⅛ teaspoon pepper
⅛ teaspoon salt

Serves 2. Takes 35 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic and onion. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, and onion to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. While onion sautées, add beef stock to pot. Cook stock on medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add stock to sautéed onion. Heat sautéed onion/stock at medium heat for 5 minutes or until liquid reduces by half. Reduce heat to lowest level and simmer.

Add enough water to cover shrimp to pot. Boil water at high heat. Add shrimp. Boil for 3 minutes or until shrimp turns pink or orange. Remove shrimp with slotted spoon. While shrimp boils, add sherry and chocolate to tiny pot. Simmer on low-medium heat for 3 minutes or until chocolate melts. Stir frequently.

Add shrimp to plate. Sprinkle with pepper and salt. Ladle sautéed onion/beef stock over shrimp. Ladle chocolate sauce over all.

TIDBITS

1) Some dishes evolve over time. Pies are an example of this, Their ingredients change over time. Spelt flour would become wheat before finally settling on the often used white flour.

2) Other culinary creations, such as this one, are born in an instant. Culinary historians note that a food fight broke out at the main cafeteria at Revelle College, UCSD, on April 1, 1977. Tired of an never ending succession of shrimp dishes, the students took to tossing the crustaceans. Shrimp went everywhere. Some landed in the chocolate sauce.

3) Shrimp in chocolate sauce tasted great. Pedro Martinez, a bystander, tasted the chocolate coated shrimp. He brought the idea back with him to Spain and opened a restaurant, El Camaron Loco. Just recently, it obtained its third MichelinTM star. Now, Spanish cuisine is the envy of the world.

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

Spotlight on Concha Alborg, Author of “My Mother, That Stranger. Letters from the Spanish Civil War”

About the book

 

Over eight-hundred letters were written between the author’s newly-engaged parents during the time that her father was on the Republican war front fighting against Franco’s forces, and her mother awaiting the end of the war. Her father, Professor Juan Luis Alborg, would live to become a well-known literary historian and critic. Her mother’s life, on the other hand, was overshadowed by her husband’s academic celebrity. The letters were discovered whilst preparing for a symposium marking the centenary of her father’s birth, celebrated at the University of Malaga in 2014

This unique memoir is a microhistory of the Spanish Civil War at an individual level; it illuminates the ‘official story’ as told in history books at multiple levels. Her mother’s personal narrative adds to the understanding of this significant time because she shows how a family lived in the midst of war. A primary relevance is that she lived in Valencia, which in November 1936 become the official capital of the Republican government. Working in a government co-op gave her an insider’s view of the ongoing political and military situation. She describes the contrasting burdens between family life in Valencia, and the life of her fiancé soldier on the southern frontlines. The author’s mother is exemplary of the women who were formed under the liberal Second Spanish Republic (1931–39) only to be silenced during Franco’s repressive dictatorship (1939–75). The long-lost letters made Concha Alborg realize how little she understood her mother’s passion to set down complex feelings in the most difficult of circumstances. My Mother, That Stranger will be of interest to Hispanists, historians and literary critics for its uniqueness on the epistolary genre and gender studies, and to the general public as a heartfelt family memoir.

 

Excerpt From My Mother, That Stranger. Letters from the Spanish Civil War

 

In this memoir My Mother, That Stranger. Letters from the Spanish Civil War, Concha Alborg included recipes from her family in Spain. Today, we would like to share one with you.

“Rollitos;” Christmas Anisette Cookies:

All the entries in my mother’s recipe notebook are of desserts; there is not a single one of her savory dishes. The recipes are written neatly, underlined with red ink and they encompass a life trajectory of sorts. There are several from the old Alborg aunts, Isabel and Vicenta, some from her Spanish friends, all the way to my recipe for sherry cake and another for chocolate chip cookies, written in English! My mother never ceases to surprise me. It is interesting that she would take the time to write down these recipes, but not any of the meals she was best known for. It is as if she believed that cooking is an art and baking a science. She did not need to record her masterpieces, but needed the exact ingredients of the sweet treats, although she wrote “as much flour as needed” for the “rollitos.”

Growing up we seldom had sweet desserts. Fruit was served at the end of each meal, but cakes and cookies were reserved for holidays, such as the Saints’ Days and birthdays. Only at Christmas time did we have special treats of almond nougat and marzipan. “Meriendas” (a late afternoon or early evening snack) were usually made up of a sweet roll or a croissant, but those were store-bought. As children we usually had plain bread with some chocolate and a glass of milk, nothing more.

She made “rollitos” in early December for our Saint’s Day on the 8th and the leftovers were reserved for Christmas. They were and still are my favorite cookies ever! Their liqueur smell permeated the house and when I was a little girl, I could smell them the minute I stepped out of the elevator. The recipe I have in my mother’s handwriting with red ink on a 3 X 5 card is yellowed and stained, but I would never think of copying it anew.

I started making them as a young bride and continued doing so religiously after my daughters were born. I was glad that most of my friends and in-laws found them strong and strange and preferred the traditional American sugar cookies for Christmas, the more for me to savor. I know that making “rollitos” is a tedious job. They take a minimum of two hours and they are all rolled by hand in small donut-like circles the size of a ring. They are dipped in sugar, which makes one’s hands sticky and you need to wash them often. When I was little, I liked them best eaten warm and I was supposed to wait until they cooled down or I would get a stomach ache. But I found out that it was not true, because once I ate at least a baker’s dozen (an expression in English I love and we do not have in Spanish) when the “rollitos” had just come out of the oven and absolutely nothing happened to my stomach.

Diana, my oldest, learned to make them early and I thought she was a fan until the day that she took the dough and made one huge “rollitón” announcing: “Here, I’m done.” Luckily, her sister was old enough to take over and, again, I thought she enjoyed the family tradition, only to find out that she hated making them too and did not like eating them, even if they were warm. When my daughters grew up and left the nest, I found friends and neighbors to join me making them. I soon got the feeling as soon as the first Christmas songs were heard, that no one wanted to see me, and they would disappear from my kitchen with the excuse of being really busy. My late husband Peter, despite his serious character faults, was very helpful in the kitchen and a fellow “rollito” lover and made them with me for years. In desperation, during my years as a widow, I have recruited unsuspecting boyfriends to bake with me with the expectation of perhaps winning my heart, which has not happened yet.

As we know, life can have very sweet surprises and now I have two lovely twin granddaughters who enjoy making “rollitos” with me, I think. At least they humor me as long as I make them a “tortilla de patatas” in return, a potato omelet, which they love. Having two helpers instead of one makes it more efficient. Actually, I have doubled the recipe since now the three grandchildren expect their own tin of “rollitos” to take home. The twins are amazing. They have figured out that one rolls out the dough and the other dips “rollitos” in sugar, which saves with the hand washing. They know how to charm me and speak Spanish during our baking day. One year, when they were in the “fighting-with-each-other phase,” I allowed them to insult each other as much as they wanted as long as they used the affirmative and negative commands in Spanish, which are so tricky to learn. There is nothing like being a retired professor and a grandmother to come up with this trick!

Here is the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

1 cup virgin olive oil
1 cup anisette
1 cup sugar and more for dipping
2 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons baking powder
Flour, as much as needed (about six cups)

METHOD

In a large bowl, combine the oil, anisette, eggs and sugar. Add the lemon zest and the baking powder. Add the flour little by little until it becomes manageable and it can be kneaded on the counter.

Form rings of half an inch-size wide dough. Dip them in sugar before baking. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 20 minutes. The bottom should be golden brown.

Makes about five dozen.

 

Bio

 

Dr. Concha Alborg was born in Valencia and grew up in Madrid. She has lived in the United States since the 1960s. She received a Masters from Emory University and a Ph.D. from Temple University. She was a professor of contemporary Spanish literature at Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia. Some of her academic publications include: Cinco figuras en torno a la novela de posguerra, a critical edition of Caza menor, and Temas y técnicas en la narrativa de Jesús Fernández Santos. Her fiction and creative non-fiction publications are detailed on the press website.

*********************************

Paul De Lancey

http://www.pauldelancey.com

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Make Me The Replacement for Bill O’Reilly

Bill O’Reilly, the hugely popular and controversial host for Fox, was recently fired by Fox TV. They need a new host. I need a new platform beyond this blog for my views. So, I humbly ask my readers request Fox TV to hire me to fill Bill’s time slot. Here’s why you should do so.

  1. Bill O’Reilly was fired for multiple allegations of sexual harassment. I was raised to hold doors open for women.
  2. Bill was not funny. I am funny. Q: Why did the chicken cross the Mobius strip? A: To get to the same side. See what I mean.
  3. I would be an invaluable political analyst having run for the presidency in 2012 and 2016. In the last election, I won all but 50 states.
  4. I’ve written two cookbooks.
  5. Funny cookbooks.
  6. In certain demographics, my books have outsold Bill’s.
  7. My show on Fox, will include a Bad Advice Friday where I give bad advice to all callers.
  8. One show a week will be on cooking. With really good food. Mmmm.
  9. My show will have bunnies.
  10. And dogs.
  11. And cats.
  12. I have over 150 spices and herbs.
  13. I command Paul’s Flying Squirrel Squadron.
  14. I bicycled from the North Sea to the Mediterranean.
  15. My vase was in the prestigious Gemeentemuseum in Den Haag.
  16. I have been to Slovakia.
  17. I know how to say “Where are the bunions?” in Spanish. “Donde estan los juantes?” See.
  18. I can spell Cincinnati.
  19. I have a recipe for a North Korean hamburger, so I can speak on developments in that country.
  20. I’m caught up on my laundry.
  21. My favorite food is the taco.
  22. My office faces south.
  23. I can count to 23.
  24. And more!
  25. I can ties my shoes and hold my booze.
  26. Mainly because I only occasionally have a near beer.
  27. I look both ways before crossing a road.
  28. I clean dishes while cooking fancy meals.
  29. I make hospital corners while making beds.
  30. I never ever block the aisle with shopping cart.
  31. I don’t tailgate.
  32. I can name every country that isn’t an island.
  33. I know that soup backward is puos. Puos is the plural form of puo.
  34. I’ve never been bitten by a mosquito.
  35.  And I played Snoopy in a 5th grade production of “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

See? I am qualified. Please call Fox TV and put in a good word for me. Thank you very much.

– 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.

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Carne Asada Tortas

Mexican Entree

CARNE ASADA TORTAS

INGREDIENTS – MARINADE

¼ cup fresh cilantro
3 garlic cloves
1½ pounds flank or skirt steak
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup olive oil (2 tablespoons more later)

INGREDIENTS – OTHER

1 medium onion
1 Roma tomato
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 bolillo, telera, or French rolls
grilling or cooking spray
½ cup refried beans
1 avocado
¼ cup crema Mexicana or mayonnaise

Makes 4 tortas. Takes 2 hours 40 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

mandoline (optional)
outdoor grill

PREPARATION – MARINADE

Dice cilantro. Mince garlic cloves. Add all marinade ingredients to mixing bowl. Mix by hand until steak is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Let excess marinade drip off steak. (If not, you will have some rather exciting flames coming from the outdoor grill.)

PREPARATION – OTHER

Preheat outdoor grill to high. Use mandoline or knife to cut onion and tomato into ¼” thick slices. Add onion and 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan. Sauté onion at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add steak to grill. Grill steak on high heat for 5-to-10 minutes on each side, depending on your desired level of doneness. Remove steak. Spray the cut side of roll halves with grilling spray. Put roll halves spray side down on grill. Grill on high heat for 1 minute or until grilled side of roll halves turn golden brown. Watch carefully. Remove from heat. Cut steak against grain into 4 pieces.

Add refried beans to pan. Cook on medium-high heat until beans are warm. Remove from heat. Peel and cut avocado into 4 slices. Spread crema Mexicana on all roll halves. Add steak strips to bottom halves of rolls. Add onion, tomato, and avocado slices to bottom halves. Make an indentation in top halves of rolls. Place refried beans in indentations. Carefully turn over top halves with refried beans onto the bottom halves with the meat and veggies. Olé.

TIDBITS

1) The Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920 revolved around exceedingly complex issues such as: democracy versus oligarchy, large landed owners* versus impoverished peasantry, the authority of the Catholic church versus secular governments, and the ambitions of powerful generals and local strongmen.

2) * = This is not to imply the land owners were large, perhaps from the eating of too many too many burritos stuffed with shredded beef, lettuce, queso fresco, guacamole, and crema Mexicana. No, they had large estates, haciendas, that ran** for many miles in many directions.

3) ** = Land cannot run. A really big earthquake, 9.0 on the Richter Scale for example, can send shock waves through the ground that look like an ocean wave to any bystander***.

4) *** = Not that you’ll be able to stand up during a 9.0 earthquake. Most likely you’ll be toast.

5) I’ve used my daily allocation of asterisks – *. Life moves on.

6) Anyway, toast in Spanish is tostada. Tostadas are made mostly with beans and corn tortillas, which are cheap. This is revolutionary bands in Mexico ate quite a bit of tostadas.

7) The factions uniting, however briefly, behind successive central governments always had much more money than the rebelling peasants. The authorities could afford steak. Their armies ate well, often dining on carne asada tortas, the dish featured here.

8) The Mexican civil war was a lengthy, bloody affair. Armed bands and their leaders, jefes, shifted allegiances like the wind. Sometimes they fought for the rights of the peasants and sometimes they deserted to the government, the desire to devour a juicy, scrumptious carne asada torta proving too strong the resist.

9) Of course, the Mexican vegetarians stayed true to the cause of the bean tostada. Sometimes, even the most carnivorous soldiers in the Federal army felt the need to cleanse the palate with the delightfully simple bean tostada. When this happened, they deserted back the rebels.

10) And so it went. Battles went this way. Battles went that way. It all came down to which side would strike the decisive blow, to which side appeared the fiercest.

11) Both the Federales and the rebels used people. That was kind of a tie. The forces searched for something else. Then in an accident of fate, Pancho Villa and El Presidente Carranza both hit on the idea of using giant inflatable balloons made from MylarTM. Villa’s soldiers brought huge inflatable squirrels to the battlefield of Celaya. Carranza’s men, however, carried enormous inflatable snakes with them. Snakes are much fiercer than squirrels. Villa’s army broke and ran. The Mexican Revolution was effectively over. This is also why there’s a snake on the Mexican flag. There you go.

– 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

Cuban Hamburger (Frita Cubana)

Cuban Entree

CUBAN HAMBURGER
(Frita Cubana)

INGREDIENTS

4 garlic cloves
1 onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ teaspoon cumin
½ tablespoon Spanish paprika or paprika
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons ketchup
¼ chorizo (no casings)
1 pound ground beef
¾ pound ground pork
½ cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1½ pounds shoestring potatoes (And cooking oil as well if deep frying or pan frying.)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
12 hamburger rolls

Serves 8. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic cloves and onion. Add garlic, onion, and olive to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion and garlic soften. Add sautéed onions and garlic, cumin, paprika, pepper, salt, ketchup, chorizo, ground beef, ground pork, and bread crumbs. Mix with hands until well blend. Shape meat mix into 12 patties.

Cook shoestring potatoes according to directions on package. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan and as many meat patties that will fit. Cover. Sauté meat patties at medium-high heat for 5 minutes on each side or until meat is cooked to your desired level of doneness. You might need to cook the patties in batches. Top patties with Worcestershire sauce. Warm or lightly toast buns. Add patties to bun bottoms. Top patties with shoestring potatoes. Place bun tops on shoestring potatoes.

TIDBITS

1) The most common geometric shapes drawn by the cavemen was the triangle. So, it’s no surprise cavemen engineers chiseled stone into triangular wheels. This shape proved to be quite useless for transportation. The PorscheTM line of high performance cars would have to wait. But then the Cubanhamburgerpithicus tribe invented the Cuban hamburger. Little prehistoric diners thrilled hunter-gatherers with this avant-garde culinary creation. Soon, an engineer, Ogg Edsel Yugo, had himself a Cuban hamburger. It was tasty. It was round. It inspired him to make a wheel, to make a car. Edsel Yugo’s car flopped. Humanity would wait several millennia for Porsches. Bummer.

– 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

How to Say All Over the World, “No lutefisk, please, it makes me ill. Where is the nearest taco truck?”

lutefisktacotruck

“No lutefisk, please, it makes me ill. Where is the nearest taco truck?”

I used GoogleTM Translate to translate the above phrases into the following languages. You might never need to use these words in your global travels, but do you want to take that chance? Read and remember.

Afrikaans – Geen lutefisk, asseblief, dit maak my siek. Waar is die naaste taco vragmotor?
Albanian – No lutefisk, ju lutem, kjo më bën të sëmurë. Ku është më i afërt kamion taco?
Arabic – لا lutefisk، من فضلك، يجعلني سوء. أين هي أقرب شاحنة تاكو؟ (Apparently, this language doesn’t have a word for lutefisk. Who knew?)
Chichewa – palibe lutefisk, chonde, IT kupanga chilichonse choipa. uli yapafupi taco galimoto?
Chinese, traditional – 沒有lutefisk,請,這讓我生病。 最近的taco卡車在哪裡?(What? The Chinese don’t have a word for tacos and they have nuclear weapons. Oh, this doesn’t sound good.)
Dutch – Geen lutefisk, alsjeblieft, het enig ziek. Waar is de dichtstbijzijnde taco truck?
French – Pas lutefisk, s’il vous plaît, IT faire tout mauvais. Où est le camion taco le plus proche?
German – Kein lutefisk, bitte, IT jeder krank machen. Wo ist der nächste LKW Taco?
Greek – Δεν lutefisk, παρακαλώ, αυτό με κάνει να άρρωστος. Πού είναι το πλησιέστερο taco φορτηγό; (What? The Greeks don’t have a word for taco and they call their country the Cradle of Western Thought?)
Hindi – कोई lutefisk, कृपया, यह मुझे बीमार बना देता है। निकटतम टैको ट्रक कहां है? (See? You can order a taco in India. All you have to do is read Hindi and pronounce it correctly.)
Hungarian – Nem lutefisk, kérem, ez teszi beteggé. Hol van a legközelebbi taco teherautó?
Latin – Lutefisk non placet, si male me. Ubi est proxima taco dolor? (If by accident you end up in ancient Rome, you’ll be able to ask for a taco truck?)
Polish – Nie lutefisk, proszę, to sprawia, że chory. Gdzie jest najbliższy ciężarówka taco?
Russian – Нет лютефиск, пожалуйста, это не делает меня больным. Где находится ближайший тако грузовик? (The fact that the country is run by an opportunistic dictator must be balance with the fact that Russians have a word for taco.)
Scots Gaelic – Chan eil lutefisk, feuch, tha mi tinn. Càite bheil a ‘fhaisge taco làraidh?
Spanish – Sin lutefisk, por favor, TI tiene ningún enfermo. ¿dónde está el camión de tacos más cercano?
Swedish – Ingen lutefisk snälla, gör mig sjuk. Var finns närmaste taco lastbil?
Vietnamese – Không LUTEFISK, xin vui lòng, nó làm cho tôi bị bệnh. Trường hợp là xe tải taco gần nhất? (Vietnam has no word for lutefisk. Had France and America known this the Vietnam War might never been fought.)
Yiddish – ניט קיין לוטעפיסק, ביטע, עס מאכט מיר קראַנק. ווו איז די ניראַסט טאַקאָ טראָק?

My spell checker went nuts with this blog.

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

Bunny Chow

South African Entree

BUNNY CHOW

INGREDIENTSbunnychow

1 medium onion
3 medium potatoes
4 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tomatoes
2 pounds chicken breasts or lamb
3 fresh curry leaves
3 tablespoons Durban masala (See recipe)
⅓ cup chicken stock
2 1-lb whole white loaves
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Dutch oven

PREPARATION

Dice onion. Peel potatoes. Cut potatoes into 1″ cubes. Add onion, potato, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, and vegetable oil to Dutch oven. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir constantly. Remove from heat.

Dice tomatoes. Cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Add Durban masala, Add tomato, chicken, curry leaves, and Durban masala to Dutch oven. Cook using medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir frequently. Add chicken stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until potato is tender and chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove Dutch oven from heat. Discard cinnamon stick.

Slice bread loaf in half along its length. Use sharp knife to cut off most of the soft white bread from each half. Leave ½”-to-1″ of bread crust along the edges and bottoms. (The scooped out bread can be made into bread crumbs.) Ladle potato/tomato/chicken mixture into each hollowed-out loaf half. Garnish with coriander. Repeat for second bread loaf.

TIDBITS

1) Bunnies are naturally fierce fighters. Armies everywhere had them. Napoleon wouldn’t have dreamed of conquering Europe without his corps of bunny irregulars.

2) But you say, “Aha, Napoleon didn’t conquer Europe. See, you’re wrong. Bunnies aren’t so fierce.” Ho, ho, they are. Napoleon won victory after victory up until 1808 with his beserker bunnies.

3) Then, Napoleon invaded Spain. Spain had guerrilla fighters. More importantly, it had battle hardened bunnies. Conquistador bunnies. Bunnies that pushed Moors out of the Iberian positions during the centuries of La Reconquista. Bunnies that had accompanied Cortes to Mexico, Pizarro to Peru, and Albondigas to Greenland. Bunnies that terrified conquered peoples into quiet submission for centuries.

4) The French army never had been on the receiving end of a bunny charge. Never had seen those twitching noses and the unreasoning terror that engendered. Never had to see a sea of bunny tails popping up and down as they stamped toward them . . .

5) where they nibbled your shoes and your shoelaces and so you tripped and your comrades laughed and laughed at you and felt so ashamed that you deserted the army and ran home where you sold sprigs of cilantro which tastes like soap to some people which was okay because all life tasted like soap to you and you spent the rest of your life thinking in run-on sentences.

6) And even if you managed to man up and stand your ground after all that, the bunnies would bite your ankles repeatedly which often hurt, particularly so when their teeth actually broke your skin.

7) Suppose you were a stalwart sort, a man among and you were still fighting bunnies crazed beyond belief by sangria, you’d still have to deal with the bunnies’ powerful rear legs, legs that could kick a potato twenty feet.

8) Imagine. You’ve seen their twitching noses, their bobbing cottontails, had your shoelaces nibbled in two, had your ankles bitten, and now they’re hurting your shins and they won’t stop. And then, and then, they keep your potatoes twenty feet away where they get smooshed in the heat of battle.

9) You have no food. So, you confiscate some local food, some paella perhaps, but your body hasn’t faced Spanish food bacteria. So, now you’re a French soldier in Spain fighting for an emperor who only cares about himself and you have the mother of all stomach aches. You throw thrown your musket and flee.

10) The rest of your comrades see that you, a man among men, are fleeing. They realize the fight is lost. They flee as well. Your army is routed. Bunny-fear demoralizes the other French armies. French forces reel back to France. Allied hordes attack Paris and storm the Montmarte. France capitulates. Your flight from the Spanish battlefield brought all this about.

11) The French Emperor Napoleon gets exiled to Elba. The long-time leader gives a farewell to his Old Guard, “Adieu mes amis, nous sommes battus vaillamment et aurions gagné mais pour ce lecteur de recette et sa peur des lapins.”*

* = “Good buy my friends, we fought valiantly and would have won but for this read reader of recipes and his fear of bunnies. (Sorry, apparently Napoleon’s French is only as good as mine. Weird.)

12) So you’ve changed history. Awesome responsibility, isn’t it?

– 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

Xin Xim (chicken and shrimp stew)

Brazilian Entree

XIN XIM
(chicken and shrimp stew)

xinximINGREDIENTS

3 garlic cloves
⅓ cup lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil (2 more tablespoons later)
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1½ pounds boneless chicken breasts
1½ pounds boneless chicken thighs
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon palm oil (aka dende), annatto oil, or olive oil (2½ tablespoons more later)
1 large onion
1 green bell pepper
3 plum tomatoes
1½ cups chicken stock
1 ounce dried shrimp or ground dried shrimp
1½ ounces gingerroot
¾ cup cashews
⅓ cup peanuts, roasted and unsalted
2½ tablespoons palm oil (aka dende), annatto oil, or olive oil
1¼ cups coconut milk
⅓ cup fresh cilantro
2 fresh malagueta peppers (These are really hot. Serrano and jalapeno peppers are milder and easier to find)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

food processor
Dutch oven
sonic obliterator

Makes 6 bowls. Takes 2 hours.

PREPARATION

Add garlic cloves to food processor. Blend until you get garlic paste. Add garlic paste, lime juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, pepper, salt, chicken breasts, chicken thighs, and shrimp to large mixing bowl. Turn the chicken and the shrimp until they are well coated. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Remove chicken pieces from marinade and pat dry with paper towel. (Keep marinade.) Add chicken pieces and 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes on each side (10 minutes total) or until chicken turns golden brown. Remove and set aside.

Remove shrimp from marinade. Add shrimp and 1 tablespoon palm oil to Dutch oven. Sauté shrimp using high heat for 2 minutes or until shrimp starts to turn pink. Stir frequently. Remove shrimp with its marinade and set aside.

Mince onion. Seed and dice green bell pepper and plum tomatoes. Add onion and bell pepper to Dutch oven. Sauté for 5 minutes using medium-high heat or until onion softens. Add tomato, chicken pieces, and chicken stock. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer stew for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

While stew simmers, add dried shrimp, gingerroot, cashews, and peanuts to food processor. Grind using low setting until you get little bits. Stop before they become paste. Add bits to Dutch oven. Stir until bits blend into the chicken stock. Simmer stew for 5 minutes on low heat.

While stews simmers, dice cilantro. (If at this time guests ask when will the meal be ready, zap them with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need that negativity in your kitchen.) Add cilantro, marinated shrimp, 2½ tablespoons palm oil, coconut milk, and malagueta peppers. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes and shrimp are pink and the chicken is tender. Serve with golden farofa (a Brazilian dish made from cassava flour) or rice.

TIDBITS

1) Xin xim is an anagram for Xi minx. My 1941 dictionary says a minx is a hussy or a wanton. Xi is something inconsequential and boring. Qi is a word that no one ever speaks because no one knows what it means. It’s worth a lot in ScrabbleTM, though.

2) However, the anagram for “Chicken and Shrimp Stew” is “Mr. Ken’s pecan witch dish.” Mr. Ken Appleby was an Englishman working in Madrid in 1587 for the Spanish Inquisition. He never learned Spanish. Didn’t make interrogating his prisoners difficult?

3) Yes, it did. While his fellow Spanish-speaking inquisitors we’re putting prisoners on racks and extorting confessions with assembly-line efficiency, Ken lagged behind something considerable. Because he couldn’t understand the anguished admissions of his heretics, he had to resort to charades to communicate.

4) Except a person tied down and stretched out to pro-basketball lengths made a poor charade partner. So, Ken never tied down his prisoners. He fed them his pecan pie. Ken’s pies were delicious. People would confess to anything to eat one and they did. His pies were to die for and they did. Especially witches, who as everyone knows, break out in hives when they eat pecans. Ken was able to find one witch after another. He began a rapid ascent up the inquisitor ladder.

5) Then Spain and England went to war in 1588. A death warrant was put out for Ken. His happy days over, Ken fled to Brazil. However, his fame as with pecan pies preceded him. His life was still in danger. Fortunately an anagramist said his dish was anagram for chicken and shrimp stew. The Brazilians called his new culinary creation, xin xim, because they have words for everything. 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, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tucuman Empanadas

Argentinian Entree

TUCUMAN EMPANADAS

INGREDIENTS – DOUGHEmpanada-

¾ cup lard or shortening (⅓ cup more later)
5 cups flour
3 teaspoons salt
⅔ cup water

INGREDIENTS – FILLING

¾ pound rump or tenderloin steak
⅔ cup chopped green onion
1 medium white onion
⅓ cup lard or shortening
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSIL

8″ x 13″ casserole dish

Makes 4 empanadas. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

Melt ¾ cup lard in skillet using low heat. Add flour and salt to large mixing bowl. Blend with large spoon. Use spoon to make hole in middle of dough. Slowly pour melted lard into hole. Gradually add water while mixing ingredients together by hand until you get a smooth and pliable dough. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes

PREPARATION – FILLING

While dough sits, cut steak into ½” cubes. Mince green onion and white onion. Melt ⅓ cup lard in large skillet using medium heat. Add white onion. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until white onion softens. Stir frequently. Add steak cubes, green onion, cumin, paprika, pepper, and salt. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes or until meat browns. Stir occasionally.

PREPARATION – FINAL

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Roll out dough until it is ½” thick. Cut dough into 6″ circles. (You should get about 4 dough circles after you formed the scraps from the initial cutting into more circles.) Add ½ cup filling to the middle of each dough circle. Brush edges of each circle with water. Fold one edge of each circle to the opposite edge. Seal the rounded edges by pressing down on them with a fork.

Spray casserole dish with no-stick spray. Bake empanadas at 475 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 400 degrees. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until empanadas turn golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) Tucuman empanadas is anagram for the ancient Mayan saying, “Map man, cut a sundae.”

2) Mayan sundaes are delicious. You must have excellent whipping cream to make a wonderful sundae. Most people put cow milk in a bowl to make whipping cream. The olden-day Mayans lifted cows onto their shoulders and hopped from one foot to another until whipped cream came out the cows’ udders.

3) The adventuresome conquistadors, however, were too weak to shake cows. The Spanish warriors needed the strong backs of the Mayan. Which is why they conquered the Mayan peninsula.

4) The conquered natives did not get any of the cow-shaken cream. They did not get the Mayan milk shakes. They did not get enough calories to wage war on their neighbors.

5) The Spanish soldiers, on the other hand, received enough calories to do anything, including growing big bellies. Cortés, physical fitness instructor for Governor Velázquez grimaced every time he saw the paunchy conquistadors wheezing their way back from the many sundae shops.

6) Something had to be done. Señor Cortés knew he had little job security. One word from Velázquez and faster than teenagers eat their family meal he’d be out of a job. And just try to get another physical-fitness job from the other fifteenth-century European monarchs. So Cortés seized power when Governor Velázquez went on a Club MedTM vacation.

7) Cortés ordered the Spanish soldiers to attack the Aztec Empire to the west. They refused.

8) “The Aztecs have chocolate.” The conquistadors sighed. “Ooh, chocolate.” Everyone knew that chocolate sundaes were even tastier than the plain vanilla ones. Cortés brandished his sword above his head. “Their streets are paved in chocolate. Will you follow me?” Well of course they did, I mean chocolate.

9) The long arduous trek to the Aztec capital burned off many calories. The incessant fighting made them even fitter. The Spanish soldiers developed washboard-flat stomachs and buns of steel. The buff Conquistadors made all the European señoritas swoon with delight.

10) Naturally, the soldiers of France, Spain, Portugal became jealous. They wanted honeys of their own. They pestered their monarchs until they too got sent over to the New World to engage in conquest and other forms of aerobic exercise.

11) Things are not so violent now that we have workout DVDs.

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

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