Posts Tagged With: Valentine’s Day

Spanakopita

Greek Appetizer

SPANAKOPITA

INGREDIENTSSpanakopita-

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

SPECIAL UTENSILS

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

Makes 24 triangular spanakopitas. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

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

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

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

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

TIDBITS

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

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

3) But how?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12) Be kind. Be careful. Stay alive.

– 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

 

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Saudi Al Kabsa – chicken and rice

Saudi Entree

AL KABSA
(Chicken and rice)

INGREDIENTSAlKabsa-

3 pounds chicken breasts (or other parts)
2 carrots
5 garlic cloves
2 medium onions
3 Roma tomatoes
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup tomato puree
2 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups chicken stock
2 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons kabsa spice mix (See Kabsa Spice Mix recipe if you can’t find the mix.)
2 cups basmati rice (Do not precook.)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Serves 6

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Dutch oven

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop chicken into 12 pieces. Grate or dice carrots. Mince garlic cloves and onions. Dice Roma tomatoes. Add garlic, onion, and butter to Dutch oven. Sauté garlic and onion on medium-high heat or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add chicken, tomato puree, and chopped tomatoes, Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add water, chicken stock, carrot, cloves, nutmeg, salt and kabsa spice mix. Bring to boil using high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove chicken and bake for 25-to-30 minutes at 350 degrees or until it starts to brown.

Bring to boil. Stir in rice. Simmer for 30 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally. Add raisins. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Place rice on plate and top with 2 chicken pieces. Garnish with an equal amount of almonds.
TIDBITS

1) The Temple of Eve is supposedly located in the Saudi city of Jeddah. Cool.

2) Saudi Arabia is one of the driest countries in the world.

3) British humor is one of the driest in the world.

4) These tidbits are getting shorter, aren’t they?

5) Yes, they are. You can measure them.

6) Soon nothingness.

7)

8) And rebirth.

9) And so new, longer, vibrant tidbits come into being.

10) I feel like writing a haiku to tidbits.

11) Tidbits, o, tidbits.
Life was so sad when you were gone.
I’m glad you are back

12) Haikus are composed of three lines of five, seven, and five syllables respectively. They can evoke complex imagery within this restrictive space or they can display the elegant simplicity of the following effort:

Word, word, word, word, word
Word, word, word, word, word, word, word
Word, word, word, word, word

13) Speaking of using words to communicate information; all shops in Saudi Arabia are forbidden on Valentine’s day from selling anything red or with hearts on it. You may not wear anything red.

14) Movie theaters and beer are banned in Saudi Arabia. You must drive to Bahrain for these things, which depending on where you live could be anywhere from twenty minutes to twenty hours away. That movie had better be good.

15) And what if the beer you had made you sleepy and you fell asleep during the movie? That movie that took you twenty hours to get to? And twenty hours to get back?

16) If had to drive forty total hours for a beer, I would get the best, most expensive beer I could buy and really, really, really savor it.

17) And I would get gourmet popcorn for the movie. A giant tub of it.

– 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

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