Posts Tagged With: synapses

Shaiyah, Pan Fried Meat From South Sudan

South Sudanese Entree

SHAIYAH
(Pan fried meat)

INGREDIENTS

2½ pounds lamb, beef, or goat
2 cups water.
¾ red onion (¼ red onion more later)
2 stalks celery
4 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno pepper or red chile pepper
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ tablespoon coriander
½ tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ red onion
1 tablespoon lime juice
¼ cup arugula (aka rocket leaves)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

mandoline (optional)

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut meat into 1″ cubes. Add to large pot, enough water to cover meat with 1″ to spare. Bring water to boil at high heat. While water comes to boil, cut ¾ red onion into ¼”-thick slices. (A mandoline helps.) Cut each celery into 4 pieces along its length. Dice garlic cloves. Dice jalapeno pepper. (Seed it first, if you want this dish to be milder.)

Add all but the last 4 ingredients to pot. Cover and cook at medium-high heat for 35 minutes or until water has evaporated, but meat is not yet falling apart. (Stir enough to prevent burning.) Remove bay leaf.

Add oil and ingredients from pot to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 15 minutes or until meat browns all over and becomes crispy. Stir frequently enough to prevent meat from burning and sticking to pan.

Add meat to serving plate. Cut ¼ red onion into ¼”-thick slices. Drizzle lime juice over meat. Garnish with red-onion slices and arugula.

TIDBITS

1) I suspect that many readers of this recipe buy their lamb, beef, or goat at the supermarket. This meat comes in nice, little plastic wrapped packages.

2) All we have to do to hunt the meat for our Shaiyah is to sally forth in our little FitTM, BMWTM, or F-150, armed only with a credit card or cash.

3) There’s no danger in that at all. Especially we if remain properly vigilant for stupid oafs running red lights at busy intersections.

4) Hunting safaris are one step closer to getting our own food than moving our carts to the butchers or to the frozen meet section at our supermarket.

5) But not by much, is it? Such hunters arm themselves with high-velocity rifles, equipped with telescopic lenses.

6) It would be something if these safaris had our prey armed with heat-seeking missiles that fired at us whenever we came with 100 yards, or even meters, of them.

7) I mean fair is fair. It’d make hunting safaris unambiguously more exciting as well.

8) But as of press time, this adrenaline-pumping idea remains unlikely to be occur anytime soon.

9) So we don’t know what is was like to say, hunt a mastodon for our meal. How did cavemen bring down their meals on feet or hooves? Sad to say, I don’t know if mastodons have toes or hooves. There aren’t any mastodons in my fair city of Poway.

10) Anyway, Ogg, tried to eat a mastodon by the simple expedient of gnawing on its leg. The mastodon took offense at Ogg’s faux pas and removed him from the human gene pool.

11) Ogg Junior, played a lethal game of rock, stick, stomp with his mastodon. He lost as well.

12) Ogg III, his synapses firing, grabbed a mastodon’s tail. He had hoped to hurl the critter at a fatal speed into a rock cliff. Ogg III did not.

13) Ogg IV tried to frighten a mastodon to death by making scary faces. Another frustrating failure.

14) Indeed Ogg IV to Ogg XIII all met their ends from the mastodon’s tremendously sharp and long tusks or from their massive feet.

15) “What if we turned ourselves into massive feet by letting mud dry on ourselves?” asked the nearly clever Ogg XIV. Many agreed with him. And so Ogg XIV to Ogg XIX would have passed into history had history had only existed back then.

16) Finally Ogg XX postulated making spears out of sticks and sharp flints. OMG, the idea worked! We could have any meat we wanted, including lamb, beef, or goat for our Shaiyah. We all owe a debt of thanks to Ogg XX. Well done, sir.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D. (but not with cell phones)

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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Chicken Basquaise

French Entree

CHICKEN BASQUAISE

INGREDIENTS

1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
3 tomatoes
2 pounds chicken pieces, bone in or boneless
1 teaspoon salt or fleur de sel*
¼ cup olive oil
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto or Bayonne ham*
¾ cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoon Spanish paprika, paprika, or espelette*
1 tablespoon fresh parsley

* = You can find fleur de sel, Bayonne ham, and espelette online, but they can be expensive.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

mandoline
8″ * 12″ casserole dish

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Seed bell peppers. Cut bell peppers and onion into ¼” slices with mandoline or knife. Cut slices in half. Dice garlic and thyme. Cut tomatoes into ½” wedges. If you are using chicken breasts, cut them in two. Rub chicken pieces with salt.

Add olive oil and prosciutto to large pan. Sauté for 2 minutes at high heat or until prosciutto becomes crispy. Stir frequently. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add chicken pieces to large pan. Sauté for 10 minutes at medium heat or until chicken turns golden brown. Flip chicken pieces every 2 minutes. Remove chicken and drain on paper towels. Add bell pepper, garlic, and onion. Sauté for 2 minutes at medium-high heat. Stir frequently. Add white wine and bay leaf. Simmer at low heat for 2 minutes. Stir frequently.

Add contents of pan, thyme, chicken stock, and chicken pieces to casserole dish. Sprinkle chicken pieces with Spanish paprika. Place tomato wedges between chicken pieces. Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees or until sauces thickens. While chicken bakes, dice parsley. Remove casserole dish from oven. Remove bay leaf. Place crispy prosciutto slice over chicken. Garnish with parsley.

TIDBITS

1) It is well known fact that the Basque word for basket is saskia

2) The Franks who overran Gaul, modern day France, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire loved peaches.

3) Indeed, they invaded purposefully to pick prized perfect peaches produced by the innumerable peaches orchards to be found there.

4) At first, frenetic fresh Franks gathered peaches with their hands.

5) But one can only carry off two peaches that way.

6) The ravenous ravagers ranged right to the Rhone valley. The Rhone Valley had for reasons unclear to current culinary historians had a surplus of over a million peach baskets.

7) An advance party of Franks plundered the valley and carried off all the peach baskets. Indeed, everyone of the frightening Franks walked away with maybe twelve baskets; we don’t know the exact number.

8) The First Franks never went anywhere without their baskets. The enraged basketless Second Franks chased them to southwest France.

9) The locals called them Saskia after the First Franks word for basket.

10) In time the Saskia lost their original language. A new language required a new name. The medieval French dubbed these people, Basques.

11) The Basques loved sports. In particular, they loved to play Basquaise Boule. The object of this game was to pass a ball around and try to toss it into a peach basket. Sometimes the players fashioned the ball out of chicken breasts, hence the name Chicken Basquaise. Chef Jean Paul La Grange created this dish to honor the new sport.

12) But wait! There’s more! In 1890, YMCA director James Naismith toured the land of the Basques. His synapses fired and he determined bring this sport back home. It’d be just the thing to tire out restless school kids. The game proved popular, at first, in his town of Springfield. But the kids eventually grew bored of having to climb up a ladder to retrieve the ball from the peach basket. Late one night, a gang of hoodlums calling themselves The Epic of Gilgamesh Haters cut the bottom off all the baskets.

13) But far from ruining the game, this vandalism, made the game much faster. Indeed the tempo of pass, shoot, score, pass, shoot, score now prevailed. The kids loved the game now. So did their parents. A year later, a senior taking Basque studies opined that as we’re living in America, why not call the name something American like basketball.

14) America embraced basketball and soon became a superpower. Now you know how.

 

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

Vietnamese Shredded Chicken Salad

Vietnamese Entree

SHREDDED CHICKEN SALAD
(Gơi Gà)

INGREDIENTS – CHICKEN

2 chicken breasts
¾ teaspoon salt

INGREDIENTS – SALAD

½ red onion
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
⅔ head Napa cabbage or ½ head green cabbage
1 large carrot
½ cup fresh cilantro
½ cup fresh mint
2 green onions
⅓ cup roasted peanuts
¼ teaspoon black pepper

INGREDIENTS – DRESSING

2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoons chili garlic sauce or sriracha
2 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar

SPECIAL UTENSIL

mandoline

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION – CHICKEN

Add chicken and salt to pot. Add enough water to cover chicken. Bring to boil using medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low-medium. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and tender to the fork. Remove chicken and shred with two forks.

PREPARATION -SALAD

While chicken simmers, use mandoline or knife to cut red onion into slices ¼” thick. Add red-onion slices and rice wine vinegar to large mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Let sit for 15 minutes.

While chicken simmers and sliced red onion sits, shred Napa cabbage. Julienne carrot. Dice cilantro, mint, and green onion. Add shredded chicken and all remaining salad ingredients to mixing bowl with red onion..

PREPARATION – DRESSING

Mince garlic cloves. Add all dressing ingredients to small mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended.

Add dressing ingredients to bowl with chicken and salad. Toss salad and dressing with two forks until well blended.

TIDBITS

1) Shredded Chicken Salad uses shredded chicken.

2) You can tell my synapses are really firing today.

3) Shredding is also a surfing term. It means to surf a wave in a flamboyant and adept manner.

4) Shredding and shredding means to shred a wave then shred chicken for a meal or eat shredded chicken for a meal. The following conversation illustrates the two meanings of shredding.

Surfer 1: “Whoa dude, you really shredded the gnarly waves out there.”
Surfer 2: “Thanks man, primo waves. Primo waves.”
Surfer 1: “Ya hungry for Ho Chi’s chicken shack?”
Surfer 2: “Cowabunga dude, he really shreds the chicken.”

5) Wouldn’t The Two Meanings of Shredding be a great title for a book on Eastern philosophy?

6) Potato chip is a derisive term for a ridiculously small surf board.

7) Note that a small surf board is relative to the size of a surf. What is a potato chip for a 6′ 7″ man would be an okay board for a petite woman.

8) Surf boards for chicken are never called potato chips.

9) Because chickens are so small to start with.

10) Most chickens never master the art of surfing. Turkeys never do. Roosters could shred the waves if they would only concentrate. But after every successful maneuver, they’ll crow to the heavens, lose sight of the waves, and wipeout. And let me tell you, there’s nothing surlier than a rooster that’s bailed.

11) However, a small number hens can really surf. If you’re lucky you can see hens shooting the curls at your local beach. But if you want to be guaranteed world-class hens shredding the waves, you really must attend the Hilo Chicken Surfing Invitational every May. Be sure to book right away. Tickets and rooms disappear months in advance.

 

– 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.

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Khao Poon Soup From Laos

Laotian Soup

KHAO POON

INGREDIENTS

3 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1¼ pounds chicken breasts*
1 large carrot
½” galangal root
¼ head red or Chinese cabbage
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
½ tablespoon fresh mint
12 ounces rice vermicelli noodles
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon lemongrass paste**
1 red chile
2 tablespoons red curry paste**
1 shallot
½ tablespoon sesame or vegetable oil
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce
¼ pound bean sprouts
6 kaffir leaves
½ teaspoon salt

* = Can be made with ground pork or cooked fish fillet. If using these choices, add them to pot after you add the coconut milk.
** = Can be found in Asian supermarkets or online.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

food processor

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add chicken to large pot. Add chicken broth and water. Bring to boil using high heat. Lower heat to medium. Simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken breasts can be pulled apart with 2 forks. Stir enough to prevent burning, Remove chicken breasts to large bowl. (Keep liquid in pot.) Shred chicken with forks.

Grate carrot and galangal root. Shred red cabbage. Dice cilantro and mint. Cook rice vermicelli noodles according to instructions on package. Drain, fluff, and set aside.

While rice vermicelli cooks, add garlic, lemongrass, red chile, red curry paste, and shallot to food processor. Grind until you get a uniform paste. Add vegetable oil to pan. Heat oil at medium-high heat. Oil is hot enough when a bit of uniform paste will start to dance. Add uniform paste to pan. Heat for 3 minutes or until it turns dark red. Stir constantly. Add coconut milk and fish sauce. Bring to boil. Add shredded chicken, bean sprouts, carrot, galangal root, kaffir leaves, red cabbage, salt, and uniform paste to pot. Simmer soup at low-medium heat for 10 minutes.

Add cooked rice vermicelli to serving bowls. Ladle soup over rice vermicelli. Garnish with cilantro and mint.

TIDBITS

1) The name of this dish sounds a lot like “Ka Boom.” This is not accident.

2) In 1352, Laos was divided and weak.

3) Neighboring countries took turns invading and annexing parts of Laos. Indeed, the rulers of Siam, and what is now Vietnam and Cambodia sometimes invaded simultaneously.

4) This created confusion on the battlefield. When Siamese, Vietnamese, and Laotian armies met, they didn’t know whom to fight. And no one likes a chaotic clash of arms.

5) So, Laos’ neighbors signed the Treaty of Bangkok. Each of the abutting lands was assigned four months each year for invasion.

6) This made life better for attacking countries.

7) Not so much for the the Laotians who still got overrun.

8) This, almost needless to say, depressed the Laotians who survived these vicious incursions.

9) Then, in 1353, Carl La Fong, a humble chef, invented the pressure cooker.

10) La Fong’s pressure cooker drastically reduced the time needed to prepare the thousands of Khao Poon servings he needed for his daily guests.

11) Unfortunately, Carl’s pressure cooker didn’t possess all the safety features of the invention’s modern version. Indeed, the darned thing proved quite prone to exploding an entire restaurant.

12) It was after he lost his fourth restaurant that the synapses finally fired in La Fong’s brain. “Why,” he said, “my exploding pressure cooker could annihilate entire armies. Khao poon! Or Ka boom, in English.”

13) In 1354, the plucky La Fong presented his device to King Fa Ngum. Ngum routed army after invading army with his pressure-cooker battalions.

14) Then in 1893, the French invaded Laos. Alas, the baguette eaters employed artillery which far out ranged the Laotian khao poons. The French soon won. Whereupon they settled down to eating Khao Poon every day. That and baguettes, they were French after all.

 

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

The Hottest New Sport – Rabbit Chess (Kanin Schack)

Chess has always been a laudable exercise for the brain. But is it cute? Bunnies are cute. Cuter than people. Certainly bunnies playing chess are way cuter than two competing humans. What do the humans do between moves? Nothing. Certainly their synapses are firing something fierce, but they move nary a muscle.

However, bunnies hop around while the other rabbit is pondering its next move and this is okay. Movement, oh my gosh. And the bunnies’ cute pink noses twitch nonstop. How is adorable is that?

Mega adorable. Which is why Kanin Schack or Rabbit Chess has taken Sweden by storm. No good Swedes go out on Tuesday after dark anymore as that is Rabbit Chess Night on television. Rumor has it that Rabbit Chess will soon be premiering on ESPN8. I can’t wait. My nose twitches in anticipation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– 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.

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