Posts Tagged With: Venice

Searching For Toilets: My Travels Through Europe

This book will be coming out on April 1st. Traveling around Europe is a lot like the cover. You can spend a lot of time looking for a public bathroom or even a restaurant with bathrooms for its customers. Yes, I’m looking at you Venice. But many Europeans cities are nearly as bad. And the restaurants and the cafes keeping wanting us to drink, yet they don’t let us pee there. And if you want water with your meal you have to pay for it. But be careful, where will you pee it out? Thank goodness for the U.S. of A. with toilets in every restaurant. USA! USA!

Paul De Lancey, Intrepid Traveler

 

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

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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.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

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

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

Kugelis, Potato Pudding Recipe

Lithuanian Entree

KUGELIS
(Potato Pudding Recipe)

INGREDIENTSkugelis-

5 pounds russet potatoes
12 ounces bacon
1 1/2 large white onions
1/4 cup butter
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup farina

SPECIAL UTENSILS

1 9″*13″ baking dish
or
2 8″*8″ baking dishes
or
127 1″*1″ baking dishes

Serves a lot of people. We’re talking about 7 pounds of rich food here.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel potatoes. Grate or shred potatoes. (This is some debate about the authenticity of shredding potatoes for Kugelis. After noting how long it took to merely peel the potatoes, I fired up the trusty food processor and shredded away. Yep, I’m a rebel. Born to be Wild.)

Dice bacon. Shred onions. Put bacon, onions, and butter in frying pan. Cook on medium-high heat until bacon is done to your desired level of crispness and the onions soften. Stir frequently. Hold the pan at an angle away from you while stirring. You really want bacon splatter to head away from you.

Put eggs in large mixing bowl and beat the heck out of them. Add potato, bacon/onion sauté, milk, evaporated milk, salt, pepper, and farina. Mix thoroughly with spoon.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove baking dish from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy the national dish of Lithuania.

TIDBITS

1) Pepper is used in this recipe. It is a happening spice. Pepper was first widely used in India over two millennia ago. India is one of the world’s oldest civilizations One of every seven people in the world is Indian. India has lots of trains, great food, nuclear weapons, and customer-service reps. Okay, the last one is bad.

2) Pepper traded westward to ancient Egypt. Black peppercorns were found stuffed up the nose of the mummified body of Pharaoh Ramses II. Snorting, perhaps? Egypt was the dominant power in that region for hundreds of years. It’s chariots raced all over the countryside. Perhaps they wouldn’t have had to race all over if they had bothered to ask for directions, but you know men.

3) Some think Rome conquered great swaths of North Africa, Europe, and the Near East because the Romans were really cranky from constantly sneezing snorted pepper. The Roman Empire lasted so long because its subject were so down with the taste explosion pepper brought that they really didn’t mind constant taxation and civil wars.

4) Then around the 5th century AD, barbarians invaded and destroyed the Roman Empire for no good culinary reason. Lutefisk crazed Vikings pillaged everywhere. People stashed their pepper. The Vikings killed the stashers. Knowledge of pepper disappeared. The Dark Ages descended.

5) Around 13th century or so the Venetians started trade routes with India. Indian pepper once again flowed westward to Europe. Venice became the richest and mightiest city in Europe. Then they started making blinds and their economy tanked.

6) Portugal started the Great Age of Exploration. It sent fleets around Africa and to the Americas and sooner than you can say heteroskedasticity pepper graced the tables of people around the world.

7) Life’s been pretty good since then. Even the occasional global war was made tolerable by proper amounts of peppers in soldiers’ meals.

– Chef Paul

4novels

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

As an e-book on Nook

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

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

Italiano Pigs In A Blanket

Italian Entree

ITALIANO PIGS IN A BLANKET

INGREDIENTS

1 16 ounce package jumbo biscuit dough
2 slices provolone cheese (12 slices in 8 ounce bag)
4 teaspoons pasta sauce
8 links pork sausage

UTENSIL

cookie sheet

PREPARATION

This is a treat on Italian camping trips.

Defrost sausage links. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate the dough into eight pieces. Elongate each dough piece with a rolling pin dusted with flour or simply roll a frozen sausage link along the dough if any are remaining.

Cut the two cheese slices into eight pieces. Put one piece onto each of the eight dough circles. Add a 1/2 teaspoon pasta sauce on each biscuit. Smooth the sauce with a spoon. Put a sausage link near one end of a dough piece and wrap the dough around the link. Put this masterpiece on a cookie sheet so that the dough overlaps on the bottom. Otherwise, the dough will brake apart and you will have Italiano Pigs As Ground Cover.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees until biscuits are golden brown or for about 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to monitor your Italiano Pigs in a Blanket to make sure they don’t burn or cook unevenly. It’s discouraging to have part of a baked dish be burnt on one side and doughy on the other. You might need to rotate the Pigs at least once. Heat escapes each time you open the oven, so in these cases you might need to cook the dish a minute longer.

Remember, vigilance when baking. It’s darn difficult to unburn something.

TIDBITS

1) The Italian Peninsula was fragmented into various states until 1494 and then, more or less, under the thumb of Spain, France, or Austria, until 1870, when Italy was completely united.

2) In 1983 I bicycled from The Hague, Netherlands to Nice, France. I put my bike on a train going to Genoa. I made it to Genoa. My bicycle never showed.

3) I’ve gone camping in France, but never in Italy.

4) I did the hokey pokey in Saint Mark’s Square in Venice. This occurred during the city’s big carnival. A lot of other people were putting their left foot in, so it was all right.

5) My gosh, there aren’t many free public toilets in Venice. And at many restaurants there is a fee to sit down at the dining table. Even Ryan Air, Spirit, and American Airlines have yet to do these things.

6) Napoleon, the emperor of France, was almost Italian. Genoa sold Corsica, his birthplace, to France only one year before his birthday.

– Chef Paul

4novels

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

As an e-book on Nook

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

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

Pasta With Spicy Peanut Sauce

Thai Entree

PASTA WITH SPICY PEANUT SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

1 pound pasta, not multicolored
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons peanut oil
5 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 tablespoon TabascoTM sauce
7 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

2 tablespoons butter
2 cups Asian vegetables: carrots, bell peppers, watercress, snow peas, etc. Try to get more than one color.

PREPARATION

Prepare pasta according to instructions on package or boil pasta for about 7 minutes

Note: put a thin coating of vegetable oil or some other plain-tasting oil on your measuring spoon before measuring something sticky like peanut butter or honey. This will make getting the peanut butter off the measuring spoon easier. (If you try to remove the p.b. by flinging it off the spoon it will go everywhere. And peanut butter can be so hard to remove from a stucco ceiling.)

Put vinegar, soy sauce, water, ginger, sugar, peanut oil, sesame oil, TabascoTM sauce, and peanut butter in blender. Blend using “liquefy” setting.

Cook pasta according to directions on box or bag. Spoon out pasta with pasta spoon–-curved with holes in it.

Dice or mince Asian veggies. Try to have multiple colors. Don’t puree them or you might end with an unappetizing yellow plop. Put butter, minced garlic, and Asian veggies in sauce pan. Saute for about 6 minutes on medium high heat. Stir frequently.

Top pasta with sauce and Asian vegetables. Yum.

TIDBITS

1) Years ago, my wife and I went to a future mom’s party. We brought this dish. Other parents-to-be arrived with fancy dishes or meals picked up at stores. No one touched our dish for a while. It was plain with a bit of diced bell peppers.

Later though, an especially astute man, in my opinion, tried our dish. He loved it and walked around telling everyone that it was great and must be tried. Well, this dish was the first one to be completely eaten. Bliss.

2) It wasn’t eaten at first because it looked boring and that I had used marginally more effort than pouring CheeriosTM into a bowl. Use more than one color with your Asian vegetables.

3) Ice cream was invented by the Chinese. Marco Polo brought this recipe back to Europe. The ice cream was entirely eaten before he got back to Venice.

4) Frozen vegetables are usually frozen right after picking and so might have had less time to lose their nutrients than fresh ones.

5) The Romans thought raw peas were poisonous and dried them before eating.

6) The 17th century French restored the pea to culinary favor.

7) This recipe can be dish intensive. Don’t try it if your dishwasher isn’t working. Just saying.

– Chef Paul

4novels

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

As an e-book on Nook

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

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

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