Posts Tagged With: tortillas

Indio Viejo From Nicaragua

Nicaraguan Entree

INDIO VIEJO

INGREDIENTS

1 green bell pepper (1 more later)
10 garlic cloves
2 pounds skirt steak, flank steak, chuck, or chicken breast
1 onion (2 more later)
1 green bell pepper
2 onions
5 tomatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2⅓ cups masa harina or 12 corn tortillas
3 tablespoons sour orange juice or lemon juice
1 teaspoon achiote powder or sweet paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons mint, spearmint, or cilantro

SPECIAL UTENSIL

sonic obliterator

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Seed 1 green bell peppers. Cut each garlic clove into four pieces. Add meat, garlic cloves, 1 green bell pepper, 1 onion, and enough water to cover to large pot. Bring to boil using high heat . Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes or until meat is tender to the fork. Strain and reserve meat/garlic/bell pepper/onion. Save broth.

30 minutes before meat should be tender, seed 1 green bell pepper. Dice 1 green bell pepper, 2 onions, and tomatoes. Add diced bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, and vegetable oil to large pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until bell pepper and onion soften. Add reserved meat/garlic/bell pepper mix, masa harina, sour orange juice, achiote, pepper, and salt. Stir constantly while adding enough reserved broth it obtains the consistency of a thick stew. Simmer on low for 10 minutes or until there are no flour lumps. Stir constantly. Dice mint. Garnish with mint. Use sonic obliterator on guests, who after you’ve cooked for three hours, complain that this dish would go well with rice or fried plantains.

TIDBITS

1) Your kitchen needs a sonic obliterator, like the one here. Buy one now.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., travel guru

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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Slow Cooker Tacos Barbacoa

Mexican Entree

SLOW COOKER TACOS BARBACOA

INGREDIENTS – MARINADE

2 ancho chiles, dried or fresh
1 chipotle chile from can. (Keep 2 tablespoons of the can’s liquid)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon coriander
2 teaspoons epazote or oregano
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt (1 teaspoon more later)
1¾ cups water
1 tablespoon vinegar

INGREDIENTS – LAMB

3 pounds boneless lamb parts*
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large bananas leaf or 3 avocado leaves**
2 cups bone broth, beef broth, or water

INGREDIENTS – GARNISH

1 medium onion
⅓ cup fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
12 8″-flour tortillas

* = Beef is the most popular meat for this in Mexico. Goat is also popular. Regions in Mexico usually have a strong preference. But NO ground meat.
** = Bananas leaves and avocado leaves are mighty hard to find outside of Mexican or Asian supermarkets. If you cannot find them, use cornhusks, parchment paper, or tin foil as a substitute. Leaf or leaves should be able to cover the width of the slow cooker.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor or blender
slow cooker
serving platter

Serves 6. Takes 9 hours 40 minutes.

PREPARATION – MARINADE

Remove stem and seeds from ancho and chipotle chile. Add all marinade ingredients to food processor. Puree in food processor.

PREPARATION – LAMB

Rub salt onto lamb. Cut lamb into as many pieces necessary to fit them in a slow cooker. Add oil to pan. Heat oil at high heat until it starts to ripple. Carefully, carefully add lamb pieces. Sauté lamb at high heat until all sides are well seared or you get a dark-brown crust on the lamb. Turn over to sear the other side of the meat.

Wrap lamb with banana leaf. Add wrapped lamb and marinade to slow cooker. Ladle broth over banana-leaf wrapped lamb. Set slow cooker and high and cook for 9 hours or until lamb becomes fall-apart tender. Shred lamb with forks. Keep liquid.

PREPARATION – FINAL

While lamb cooks, dice cilantro. Thinly slice onion. Cover serving platter with banana leaf. Place shredded lamb on banana leaf. Ladle juice from slow cooker over lamb. Sprinkle with lime juice. Warm tortillas by placing on pan with the heat set at medium. Remove as soon as they get warm. Or microwave tortillas for 10 seconds. Fill tortillas with lamb. Garnish with cilantro and onion. Goes well with with green salsa.

TIDBITS

1) The stars in our universe exhibit a red shift. That’s because they’re moving away from us. This observed red shift in our celestial orbs gave rise to the Big Bang Theory. The color red makes objects move things move from other things. For example, forest fires are red. Forest fires move away from their starting points.

2) Red picnic-table cloths, left unchecked, would move themselves away from the picnic table. This is why people have potlucks. The plates laden with potato salads, hot dogs, and corn on the cob provide enough weight to counteract the Moving Away Force (MAF) on the red table cloths.

3) The Germans experimented with red tablecloths in World War II. They hoped their table cloths would move away from the ground and into the path of Allied bombers. The red objects, however, moved away from the bombers as well. These Nazi tablecloths still continue outward trek. Look for them in the Asteroid Belt, if you have a powerful enough telescope.

4) Naturally, other red objects such as plates exhibit MAF. A totally red plate would leap off the kitchen table and crash through a window in a quest to join its brethren in the Asteroid Belt. Plates with only a tiny bit of red in them display a tiny MAF. (See above picture.) Such plates require only a little bit of food to keep them in place.

5) Of course, blue objects show Moving Toward Force (MTF.) This is why so many people end up wearing blue shirts. To be safe, you really should avoid blue and red altogether. If, however, you must use these colors, for Pete’s sake, you them in equal amounts. (See above picture again.)

 

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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Tacos Al Pastor

Mexican Entree

TACOS AL PASTOR

INGREDIENTS – MARINADE

1 ancho chile
4 guajillo chiles
4 garlic cloves
3 cloves
1 small onion (1 more onion later)
1 large tomato
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano or oregano
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
½ cup orange juice
⅔ cup pineapple juice*
2¼ pounds pork loin

INGREDIENTS – REST

1 can diced pineapple (*You can use the pineapple juice from the can)
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 small onion
5 limes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (½ teaspoon at a time)
12 -to-24 corn tortillas*
1 cup pico de gallo
1 cup guacamole

* = If you like to put a lot of food in your tacos or if your tortillas are a bit on the crumbly side, then use 2 tortillas for each taco.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
6 metal skewers
drip pan

Serves 6. Takes 5 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – MARINADE

Add ancho chile and guajillo chiles to pot. Cover with water. Bring to boil using high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Boil for 10 minutes or until chiles soften. Seed chiles. Add chiles and remaining marinade ingredients save pork loin to food processor. Blend until you get a smooth marinade. Add marinade and pork loin to large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

PREPARATION – REST

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut pork loin into ½” thick slices. Cut slices into 1″ squares. Alternate threading pork squares and pineapple pieces onto skewers. Place on oven rack. Place oven pan underneath to collect drippings. Cook for 12 minutes or until pork is no longer pink inside. Turn every 4 minutes.

Dice cilantro and 1 small onion. Cut limes into 4 wedges each. Add 1 tortilla and ½ teaspoon oil to pan. Sauté at medium heat just long enough to warm tortilla. Flip tortilla once. Repeat for remaining tortillas.

Make tacos by filling tortillas with pork squares and pineapple pieces. Garnish tacos with cilantro, diced onion, and lime wedges. Serve tacos immediately alongside bowls of pico de gallo and guacamole.

TIDBITS

1) Pastor Alfonso Hernandez was a itinerant preacher who wandered the Pacific Coast from Seattle to Acapulco. He preached the word of God to whomever would listen. Sometimes he enthralled large crowds. Other times just one person would hear him out. His sermons brought peace beyond understanding to all his listeners.

2) Random acts of kindness would brake out after he left. These people felt grateful for the love he showed them. “Please take some money, your words moved me,” they’d say. He’d always reply, “I can take no money for those aren’t my words. I only borrow them.”

3) The good people would then say, “But you look hungry. Have some food.” The good man accepted their offerings, for he was indeed hungry. Sometimes his listeners gave him ancho chiles. Sometimes he received guajillos chiles. He even accepted garlic cloves. After preaching to an assembly of eight, they might even offer him onion, tomatoes, and cumin.

4) An even larger gathering might present him with Mexican oregano, paprika, pepper, and pepper to spice up his tomatoes. After getting all these spices, the holy man was especially grateful for orange juice to drink. The good people of Ensenada gave him pineapple juice and pork butt. Sometimes, the religious throngs gave him too much to consume at any one time. Whenever this occurred, he’d put the surplus in his coat of many pockets.

5) After ministering to the faithful at Acapulco, the many wealthy Catholics showered him with: diced pineapple, fresh cilantro, small onions, limes, vegetable oil (½ teaspoon at a time), corn tortillas, pico de gallo, and guacamole. This was, too much for any one man to eat. So he shared all the bounty he’d received that day. He then brought forth from all his pockets all the food and spices he’d been accumulating on his travels. “Why,” Pastor Al said, we have enough for a feast of tacos.”

6) “Gracias,” shouted the happy people, “for the tacos from Pastor Al’s coat!” Since the inhabitants of Acapulco were incurable anagramists, this wonderful culinary creation would soon be known forever as Tacos al Pastor.

7) Olé.

 

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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Chilaquiles

Mexican Breakfast

CHILAQUILES

INGREDIENTS

3 serrano chiles
2 tomatoes
1 green bell pepper
1 small onion
18 corn tortillas
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 cup shredded Oaxaca or Monterrey Jack cheese
¼ cup sour cream

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
8″ casserole

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Seed chiles. (Or leave seeds in for a spicier entree. Add chiles and tomatoes to food processor. Blend until tomatoes are pureed. Dice bell pepper. Mince onion. Cut each tortillas into 8 pieces.

Add oil to pan. Heat oil using medium-high heat until a little piece of tortilla in the oil starts to dance. Add tortilla pieces. Sauté for 12 minutes or until tortilla become crispy, but not burnt. Stir frequently. Remove tortillas pieces and place them on plates covered with paper towels. Add bell pepper and onion to pan. Sauté for 5 minutes on medium-high heat or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Remove bell pepper/onion mix. Add eggs to pan. Reduce heat to medium and scramble eggs until they are done to your liking.

Add ⅓ of tortilla to casserole dish, then ⅓ bell pepper/onion, followed by ⅓ egg to casserole. Smooth after each layer. Repeat 2 more times. Pour serrano chile/tomato puree over everything. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from over and spoon sour cream evenly over everything.

TIDBITS

1) “Chilaquiles” is an anagram of “Ah, ice quills.” Unlike their American cousins, Greenlandic porcupines have quills made from ice. These northern critters are also stupendously tasty. This is why Eskimo porcupine-hunters exclaim, “Ah ice quills,” whenever they come across ice quill remnants. And of course, it was but a matter of time before vibrant Greenlandic/Mexican chef community transformed porcupine stew into chilaquiles. Ah ice quills, indeed.

– 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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Lahmajoon (Armenian Pizza)

Armenian Entree

LAHMAJOON
(Armenian Pizza)

INGREDIENTSlahmajoon

1 green bell pepper
1 garlic clove
1 medium onion
2 Roma tomatoes
1 pound ground lamb, beef, or combination
6 ounces tomato paste
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon cumin
¾ teaspoon mint
2 tablespoons parsley
⅛ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
8 6″-to-8″ flour tortillas
no-stick spray

Makes 8 small pizzas. Takes 40 minutes. In fine restaurants and art galleries everywhere.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

2 cookie sheets

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Seed bell pepper. Mince bell pepper, garlic, and onion. Dice tomatoes. Add all ingredients except tortillas to large mixing bowl. Mix ingredients by hand until well blended. Spread mix thinly over tortillas Spray cookie sheet with no-stick. Add tortillas to cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until lamb and the edges of the tortillas turn brown. (Don’t let tortillas hang over the edge of the cookie sheet or the juice from the meat will drip and your stove will get icky.)

TIDBITS

1) On July 4, 1962, aspiring artist, John A. Lmao ran to the Ferus Gallery, boxed lahmajoon in one hand and his painting of Washington crossing the Delaware in the other.

2) As Lmao scurried through the gallery to hang his conventional, patriotic painting, he tripped over the foot of Andy Warhol. Lmao’s lahmajoon soared across the room and hung meat-sauce side out on the nail meant for his patriotic painting. The gallery’s crowd oohed and aahed over Lmao’s lahmajoon. What a bold statement about the commercialization of American culture. Right there and then, the American pop-art scene was born. The entranced Andy Warhol gave up his career as a commercial artist to purse this new genre, rather more successfully than Lmao in fact.

– 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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Tacos de Rajas con Crema

Mexican Entree

TACOS DE RAJAS CON CREMA

INGREDIENTStacosderajas

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (2 tablespoons more later)
4 poblano or Anaheim chiles
1 garlic clove
1 medium onion
½ pound Oaxacan cheese or queso fresco
1½ cups crema Mexicana or sour cream
12 8″ corn tortillas

Makes 12 tacos. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add 2 tablespoons oil to pan. Heat oil
on high heat until a tiny bit of tortilla starts to (We once thought the Earth looked like this.)
dance. Add poblano chiles. Stir the chiles
occasionally until the chiles blister and blacken all over. (Be careful when frying or sautéing at high heat. When stirring, hold a lid between you and the hot oil when stirring or tilt the pan away from you.) Put poblanos in plastic bags and let steam for 20 minutes. Remove from bags and rub skin off chiles. Discard skins. Seed poblano chiles and cut them into ½” wide strips.

While chiles steam, mince garlic clove and onion. Shred cheese. Add 2 tablespoons oil to, garlic, and onion to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion and garlic soften. Stir frequently. Add poblano strips. Sauté for 2 minutes. Stir frequently. Add crema Mexicana. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 4 minutes or until crema thickens. Stir frequently. Add cheese, Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes or until cheese melts completely. Stir frequently.

Warm tortillas in pan on high for a few seconds or wrap them in a wet towel and microwave for 1 minute. Warming the tortillas makes them pliable enough to roll. Ladle 1/12th of the poblano/cheese sauce, about 2 tablespoons, onto each warmed tortilla. Roll up tortillas and serve.

TIDBITS

1) Before 1492, many believed the Earth was flat like a tortilla. Others, folks who ate oatmeal all day long, did not care. Then lost spice merchants from India accidentally showed up in Venice carrying peppercorns and basil. It was now possible to make the appetizer, caprese. Life was worth living.

2) Unfortunately, the land route to spice-laden India was blocked by meanies. Columbus, in the world’s first version of The Shark Tank, convinced Queen Isabella to sponsor his historic voyage of discovery. He and his brother Mercator had told her the Earth was round like a cylinder. Later Benedictine monks asserted our planet was rounded like the egg. Finally Peary, explorer and diner, after reaching the North Pole in 1909, concluded our planet is really shaped like a stuffed tomato.

– 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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Carnitas

Mexican Entree

CARNITAS

INGREDIENTScarnitas

4 pounds boneless pork shoulder or loin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lime juice

1 large onion
½ cup fresh cilantro
¼ cup orange juice

3 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
1 orange
¾ cup shortening or lard
8 9″ or 20 5″ flour tortillas

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Dutch oven

Makes 8 or 16 carnitas depending on size of tortillas. Takes 3 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Chop pork into 1″ cubes using cleaver. Add pork, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and lime juice to large mixing bowl. Turn pork cubes until they are well coated. Cover and let marinate for 30 minutes.

While pork marinates, dice small onion and fresh cilantro. Add diced onion, cilantro and orange juice to small mixing bowl. This is your salsa.

Mince garlic cloves. Cut medium onion into slices ¼” thick. Separate orange into sections. Add shortening to Dutch oven. Melt shortening using medium-high heat. Add marinated pork, garlic, sliced onion, and orange sections. Cook on medium-high heat for 15 minutes or until pork cubes brown on all sides. Stir frequently. Cover Dutch oven and reduce heat to low and simmer for 1½ hours or until pork cubes are tender to the fork. Stir every 5 minutes.

Uncover Dutch oven. Continue to simmer pork/veggies for another 30 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated or been absorbed. Microwave all tortillas for 30 seconds. Top each tortilla with an equal amount of pork/veggies and salsa.

TIDBITS

1) It seems hard to believe, but culinary historians assure us that cars were once made with carnitas. It’s true, carnitas is an anagram for satin car.

2) It all goes back to 1910 and Mexico. The tightly knit Mexican aristocracy monopolized the nation’s political power, wealth, and satin. Black satin dresses were all the rage among high society. No wealthy woman would think of appearing in public without one. That was fine. That left just satin for peasant women to wear on weddings, bar mitzvahs, and the such.

3) Then in early 1910, Doña Josefa Enero regarded her Allis Chalmers with disdain. Although her motorman kept the car purring and shiny, something was missing. Something that made her embarrassed to be riding in it in public.

4) “Cinco albondigas!” she shouted. The car was made of metal! A true lady with Spanish blood could not been seen wearing a metallic vehicle. Satin! Satin! She needed to be clothed in a satin car.

5) So, the Eneros ordered a satin car for everyone in their family. Their neighbors, the Tortas, the Flans, and the Ceviches did as well.

6) Naturally, with the whole Mexican elite making their cars out of satin, there was no material left for the peasantry.

7) No satin for the peasantry. No weddings. No bar mitzvahs. No docile peasantry.

8) One evening in early 1910, an angry Nita Menudo dipped six habañero peppers in Doña Febrero’s tea before serving. Her mistress’ mouth erupted in fire. She slapped Nita. Nita ran crying all the way home.

9) Her irate husband, Roberto, took to the hills. Realizing that was useless, he came back.

10) “I will avenge you!” he roared. He clutched a knife and headed to the Febrero estate. The Revolution of 1910 – 1930 had begun.

11) It was a long walk–Nita was always driven–and by the time he got there, he was too tired to attack anyone. He limped home in shame. “We need transportation,” said Roberto’s astute neighbor, Ernesto Flautas, “if we wish to launch raids against our greedy pig masters.”

12) “O drato,” said Roberto, “we have no money to buy metal to make a car. Ai, yi, yi.”

13) “Que frijoles you are,” said Nita. “We have vast herds of wild pigs destroying our crops. Slaughter the pigs and let the meat bake in the hot sun until it becomes tough as metal. Then you make your cars. Then you can attack the rich. Then we can be free.”

14) So, the Mexican peasants made car out of pork. The people called the car “Nitas” after the woman who hatched the idea. Hence, “carnitas.”

15) The Revolution would rage for twenty years. This dish was created to honor the car that won 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.

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Ugandan breakfast rolex

Ugandan Breakfast

ROLEX

INGREDIENTSRolex-

1 green bell pepper
½ red onion
2 Roma tomatoes
9 eggs
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
6 chapatis (See CHAPATI recipe) or flour tortillas
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (1 teaspoon per egg/veggie mixture)
6 tablespoons shredded cabbage (1 tablespoon per egg/veggie mixture)

PREPARATION

Mince green bell pepper and red onion. Cut each tomato into 6 slices. Add bell pepper, red onion, eggs, pepper, and salt to mixing bowl. Scramble egg/veggie mixture with whisk. Pour 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and 1/6th of egg/veggie mixture into pan. Fry egg/veggie mixture on low-medium for 2 minutes or until top begins to set. Flip over mixture and fry for another 1-to-2 minutes or until eggs are set on the new top.

Cover right third of chapati with fried egg/veggie mixture. Place 2 tomato slices and 1 tablespoon of shredded cabbage on top of egg/veggie mixture.. Roll chapati, as tightly as you can, starting from covered side. It should look somewhat like a burrito.

(Ideally, you have been making your chapati as you have been making the egg/veggie mixture. This is difficult to do. If the chapati has lost its flexibility., place egg/veggie mixture on top of chapati and microwave for 20 seconds before rolling the rolex.)

TIDBITS

1) This rolex is not named after the famed make of watches, Rolex. Nor is the reverse true.

2) In this case, rolex is short for “roll of eggs.”

3) Unscrupulous people sometimes trick visitors by offering to sell Rolexes for hundreds of dollars fewer than they go for in legitimate stores. The vendors then take the greedy tourists to an alley and sell them a fake watch or steal the buyer’s money.

4) Scammers can’t knock off hundreds of dollars off the cost of an Ugandan breakfast. So you won’t be tempted to buy an imitation burrito. So you won’t get beaten up in a dark alley. But this rolex is a tasty treat and besides, you can always tell time with your Mickey Mouse watch.

– 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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Carrot Cake

American Dessert

CARROT CAKE

INGREDIENTS – MAINCarrotCake-

4 eggs
1⅓ cups sugar
⅔ cup light brown sugar
3 cups shredded carrots
1 cup vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups cake flour or flour
½ tablespoon baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans or combination
no-stick spray

INGREDIENTS – ICING

6 tablespoons butter (softened)
1 pound confectionery sugar
8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric mixer
9″ x 13″ casserole dish
3 mixing bowls (Or are you an outstanding chef like my Grandma Anna wished us all to be and clean bowls and utensils as you cook?)
sonic obliterator

PREPARATION – MAIN

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add eggs to first large mixing bowl. Beat eggs with electric mixer until frothy. (The eggs, not you.) Gradually add sugar and light brown sugar. Blend using electric mixer set on whip until well blended. Add carrots, vegetable oil, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Blend with mixer set on whip until well blended.

Add flour and baking soda to second large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk. Add flour/baking soda from second mixing bowl to first mixing bowl. Blend with electric mixer set on cake until blended. Add nuts and stir with spoon.

Spray casserole dish with no-stick spray. Pour eggs/sugar/spice/baking soda mixture into casserole dish. Smooth with spatula. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-to-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack for 1 hour.

(Okay, little secret here. You can cool the cake down considerably faster by putting the casserole dish in cold water in the sink. Be sure the water is only halfway to the top of the casserole dish. If your casserole dish is too big for the sink, simply put it in the bathtub. Again, let the water go no higher than halfway up the side of the casserole dish. If someone happens to see your cake cooling in the bathtub and makes a snarky comment, zap him with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need that negativity in your life.)

PREPARATION – ICING

While cake bakes, add butter, confectionery sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla extract to third mixing bowl (Note: this cookbook always employs the Oxford when providing a list of ingredients. Long live the Oxford comma! Vexation to its enemies!) Ahem, beat ingredients using electric beater set on cream until ingredients become a fluffy icing.

TIDBITS

1) The famous French Painter, Paul Cézanne believed, “A single carrot newly observed will cause a revolution.”

2) Eleven years after Cézanne died, the Russian Revolution began. People in the streets of St. Petersburg, the Russian capital, had been starving. They couldn’t afford the price of a loaf of bread.

4) Desperate to maintain order, the czar and his ministers bought up food from all over the world. They purchased cabbages from Germany, eggs from Sweden, and carrots from the gardens of Cezanne’s children. The authorities even bought beans, cotija cheese, and tortillas from Mexico. Surely, the rioters would be placated by burritos. I mean, who doesn’t like a burrito?

5) Unfortunately, as in the case of many governmental programs, well intentioned though they might be, something went wrong. The newly formed Russian Ministry of Burrito Assembly put a raw carrot in every burrito.

6) The Russian rabble rebel not appreciate the taste of the raw carrot, bean, and cheese burrito. They did not like its texture either. They did not like it in the city square. They did not like in their hair. They did not like it in the air. They did not like it anywhere.

7) So the Russians did not eat these burritos. And they grew hungrier and hungrier.

8) Then an artist named Ivan Popoff came across one of the burritos lying–Oh gosh, I hope I conjugated this evil verb correctly–split open on the street. Something about the burrito’s carrot struck him. “Oh ho,” he said, “I am observing this carrot in an entirely new way.” Lenin, a passerby, heard this and immediately started the Russian Revolution.

9) Millions died during the Russian Revolution and the ensuing decades.

10) We should all pay more attention to French post-impressionist painters.

– 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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Crispy Shredded Beef Tacos

Mexican Entree

CRISPY SHREDDED BEEF TACOS

INGREDIENTSCrispyShreddedBeefTacos-

1 medium yellow onion
2 pounds rump roast
½ tablespoon chili powder
½ tablespoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves
4 ounces diced green chiles

5 green onion stalks
4 Roma tomatoes
¼ head lettuce
2 cups vegetable oil
12 corn tortillas
2 cups Four Mexican Cheeses
1 cup crema Mexicana
1 cup salsa

SPECIAL UTENSILS

crock pot or slow cooker
9″ loaf pan
electric skillet
Lazy Susan

takes about 7 hours

PREPARATION

Slice onion into thin rings. Rub rump roast with: chili powder, cumin, and salt. Dice garlic. Add ½ of onion slices to bottom of crock pot. Add rubbed rump roast, garlic, and green chiles. Top roast with remaining ½ onion slices. Add water to cover roast. Cover crock pot. Cook on low for about 7 hours or until roast is tender enough to be easily pulled apart by a pair of forks. Shred roast with forks. (Save liquid from crock pot, it makes a great broth.)

Dice green onion and tomatoes. Shred lettuce. Add vegetable oil to skillet. Heat oil to 375 degrees. The oil is hot enough if it sizzles when a tortilla is added. Add 1 tortilla at a time. Use tongs to sauté tortilla for 15 seconds on each side. The tortilla should be crispy but still flexible enough to be folded. Fold tortilla in half and place it upright in bread pan.. Put a paper towel on each side of tortilla to drain off grease. Repeat for 11 remaining tortillas.

Place tortillas, shredded beef, green onion, tomato, cheese, lettuce, cheese, crema Mexicana, and salsa in Lazy Susan. I love tacos. I always asked for it on my birthday. when I was a kid.

TIDBITS

1) Señor Pedro Lascuráin was president of Mexico for only fifteen minutes in 1913.

2) He did not accomplish much.

3) However, nearly all of Europe went to war in 1914. World War I lasted four years, involved many nations and resulted in millions of casualties. The unsettled conditions of World War I resulted in the Communist Revolution in Russia and the Nazi seizure of power in Germany. The communists shed much blood before and during World War II.

4) Makes Lascuráin’s administration look positively great in comparison.

5) I don’t think El Presidente Lascuráin shed much blood at all during his term in office, unless he gave himself a nasty paper cut while signing his acceptance or resignation papers.

6) Mexico has remained at peace ever since the end of the Mexican Revolution. I think it’s because of the peaceful example of President Lascuráin.

7) Poway, California, my fair town, has been at peace with all its neighbors even since I moved in.

8) My presidential term of office, zero minutes, is similar in length to President Lascuráin’s.

9) El Presidente Lascuráin probably had a paper cut. I’ve had paper cuts. Gentle reader, I’m guessing you’ve a paper cut as well. They hurt, don’t they?

10) Señor Lascuràin, the Great Man of Peace, often ate Mexican food. I love Mexican food. He had a Mexican grandmother. I had a Mexican grandmother. He was subject to the Laws of Physics. So am I.

11) It’s all uncanny. If Lascuràin had lived at the same time, people would have had trouble distinguishing between the two of us.

12) I wonder. I wonder.

13) I look at his picture on the internet. I run to the bathroom and look in the mirror.

14) Whew! Lascuràin and I are not the same person.

15) But Poway is at peace with all the neighboring towns. Can a Nobel Peace Prize for me be far behind?

16) I do hope I don’t get a paper cut while signing for my prize.

– 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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