Posts Tagged With: war

Great Arctic Eats – Narvik, Norway

 

Do you love to eat? Are you like Goldilocks in that you don’t like too many or too few people around?  Do you like the cool, bracing outdoors? Do you like history, beautiful mountains, and skiing? Well, Narvik, Norway is the place for you.
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There are 24 restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm) for Narvik! Let’s dine at the top five eateries.
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The must-go-to restaurant is Linken Restaurant and Bar. Be sure to try their turbot and cod. Fiskehallen also serves great local game such as venison, reindeer, wild boar, and ptarmigan with berries. Ptarmigan with berries! Where else can you get that? And wild boar! You can’t get that in my home town of Poway, California. They also serve reindeer-and-roes soup. Go there, go there and have a meal for me. The rooftop view from Linken is fantastic. Take in the town of Narvik and the beautiful mountains. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. They also have reindeer tartar. Enough said. Go there.
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Second on our restaurant tour is Fiskehallen. As might be expected from a restaurant whose name means “Fish Hall,” it specializes in fish and seafood. But they do fish so well, perhaps even having the best fish in Norway.  The atmosphere is cozy, the portions are big, and everything is served by a friendly staff. Be sure to dine on their huge, fresh shrimp (OMG),  cod, Arctic char, and pan-fried halibut. Their side dishes are also tasty. Save room for their rich chocolate pudding and ice cream.
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Winning the bronze medal is Milano Restaurant Narvik. Scandavia’s Arctic Circle seems to favor Italian restaurants named Milano. Perhaps Milano is a chain and is winning over all the Northern diners. Milano of Narvik certainly serves great Italian food. They specialize in tasty pizzas. They also serve chicken meals and kabobs. Their large portions are served by a great, caring staff. The tea is great.  If I were to go there, I’d be tempted to sample a slice of their nacho pizza. Nacho pizza, north of the Arctic Circle, who would have guessed it? I am happy to relate that Milano Restaurant gave food during the Christmas season to locals hurting from the recent recession.
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We now visit Kafferiet Resurante og Bar.  Enjoy large portions in a cozy atmosphere. Be sure to try their reindeer shank, cod fillet, and leg of lamb.
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Special mention goes to Sushi Point.  A great staff serves tasty, fresh sushi at a good price. Sushi in the Arctic, this is a great town.
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The four best ways to reach Narvik are by: air, sea, car, and train. The fifth through seventh best ways will most likely take significantly longer and be less enjoyable
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Be sure to visit Narvik Krigmuseum.  This museum does a superb job of honoring the achievement and the courage of the Allied forces fighting the German invaders in 1940. Not only does it relate the fierce battles, but it also devotes a section to analyzing the big questions of war and human rights during conflict. It’s interesting and informative exhibits make it well worth a visit, particularly for history buffs. There’s also a nice little coffee shop and gift shop. Go there
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Then take the cable car to Narvikfjellet. This is resort is quite popular with the locals. It boasts of world class off-piste skiing. I don’t honestly know what off-piste skiing is, but it is world class. This skiing resort has some of the largest vertical drops in Scandinavia. Yikes for me, but fantastic for dedicated skiers. But don’t worry,  Narvikfjellet is also suitable for families and beginners. Admire the breathtaking view from the top and enjoy scenery from the cable car.
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You should probably visit Narvik Kjøretøyhistoriske Museum. Kjøretøyhistoriske translates as Vehicle History. That’s all I really know about the place. The museum earned a rare, perfect rating of 5.0. Yet no one left a review. Why? Why was that so hard? Perhaps the exhibits entranced the visitors so much that they were at a loss for words.
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Next on our museum tour is the Narvik Museum. It receives a still quite good rating of 4.0. However, its guests proved to be much more helpful than those went through the doors at Kjøretøyhistoriske. This museum tells the story of Narvik’s development. It emphasizes the stories of the iron-ore mines, the rail transport, the harbor, and the town’s tunnels and bridges. A section of the museum devotes itself to the great fire that destroyed the town’s old wooden center. Don’t forget to ride in an authentic iron-ore car.
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Finally, please visit the Polish War Memorial and pay your respects to the braves Polish sailors who died fighting the Nazis in 1940. They are especially worthy of our admiration for they sailed all the way here, despite losing their homeland to the Germans in 1939. To remember.
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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

– 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: Arctic eats, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saluting Our Nation’s Fallen on Memorial Day

I give a big salute to all of America’s servicemen and servicewomen who paid the ultimate sacrifice on battlefields and battle seas around the world. May they rest in peace. May we always remember them.

My father fought the evil Nazis in Germany in 1945. After the war ended there, his division, the 86th infantry, was transferred to the Pacific Ocean to fight the Japanese. It is likely he would have been in any invasion of Japan as his division had had amphibious training. He did not die in Germany and he did not die in Japan as the war ended before his division could have been sent into action.

The fact that he came to pick up his life again, to marry, and to have kids, my brother and I, makes me appreciate even more our men and women who never made it home.

I am proud of them.

(The bottom of the picture, I believe, is of his unit conducting invasion exercises.)

Paul De Lancey, proud citizen and 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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Chilli Taiyo (Spicy Tuna Casserole)

Solomon Islander Entree

CHILLI TAIYO
(Spicy Tuna Casserole)

INGREDIENTS

½ pound thin noodles (Chinese or Italian)
2 garlic cloves
1 onion
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 12-ounce can tuna*
4 ounces chili paste*
2 tablespoons lime juice.
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
8 fresh basil leaves

* = If you are willing to order from Australia, you can buy cans of chilli taiyo instead of getting the first two ingredients. You can also substitute the chili paste with 6 very small but quite spicy hot peppers. Do you feel lucky?

Serves 4. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook noodles according to instructions on package. Drain and reserve noodles.

Mince garlic cloves. Dice onion. Add garlic, onion, and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Add tuna and chili paste to pan. Stir with spoon until well blended. Flatten the tuna. Cook at medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir frequently enough to prevent burning. Add lime juice, pepper, and salt. Stir until blended. Cook for an additional 7 minutes or until tuna reaches your desired level of crispiness. Stir frequently enough to prevent burning.

Add noodles to tuna in pan. Simmer at low-medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir frequently enough to prevent burning. Garnish with basil leaves.

TIDBITS

1) This entree is served in a round bowl.

2) Have bowls always been round?

3) No, although culinary archeologists have found many round bowls in Cro-Magnon burial grounds, the evidence shows that Neanderthals used rectangular bowls.

4) Moreover, when experts say that Neanderthalic bowls were rectangular, they were being generous. Not a single bowl fashioned by a Neanderthal boasts of having a straight edge. It’s almost as if the neanderthals didn’t care if their bowls made a fashion statement. In fact, the Neanderthals often made bowls with more than four angles, with hardly any of them being 90 degrees.

5) Please refer to the definitive study on this matter: von Kartofflen, Otto, Ph.D., “Lack of Geometric Precision in Neanderthalic Bowls, Indifference or Straight-Edge and Right-Angle-Tool Technology Deprivation, Prehistoric Research, August, 1973.

6) Many culinary researchers believe possession of round bowls enabled the Cro Magnons to overcome their Neanderthal cousins. Perhaps the round bowls could be hurled farther, like a discus.

7) This discus-bowl theory is gaining more and more credence. One only has to look at Ancient Greek paintings on vases. The earliest depictions show the athletes flinging round bowls. As time went on, discuses supplanted the bowls.

8) In 1673 B.C., geometricians of Sumer-Akkad develop the first straight edges and right angles. People could now dine out and eat off tables! It was the first golden age of dining out.

9) But this golden age of eating, did not last for ever. For in the times of legend, knights all wanted to be seated nearest to the king while feasting. The closer you were to your liege lord’s chair, the more prestige you had. If you sat far away, the more prestigious knights would laugh at you and say “Na na na poo poo” to say and you would hang your head in shame.

10) But then the quite possibly fictitious ruler, King Arthur, thought why not make a round table? With such a table, there is no specific king’s chair, so no one will know how far, in advance, how much or little prestige they have when sitting down to sup. This idea worked marvelously well. Jockeying for position and status by the knights in the feasting hall disappeared.

11) Hundreds of years later, a knight noticed that you could count how many spots you sat away from the king. War, born out of rivalry, would have broken out but for the soothing round shapes of their soup bowls. It was a near run thing. This is why bowls, to this day, are always round.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round shape brings peace.                                                                       Rectangular shape brings war.

 

– 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

Hitler Hates His Printer

The war is going badly.
His printer won’t work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on the link below to hear video.

https://www.captiongenerator.com/2151827/Hitler-Hates-His-Printer?fbclid=IwAR14IgyONZnDyBZV0sAX2IPGJoTrC2OwzVCnXCNnUZ1os2stqVEnPTGFwYo#.YDhOGmAwZWk.facebook

 

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

French Fry Soup

American Soup

FRENCH FRY SOUP

INGREDIENTS

½ pound French fries (leftovers or cooked)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
2 green onions
½ cup milk
6 tablespoons sour cream
½ cup cheese, grated (your favorite type)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

food processor

Serves 4. Takes 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add French fries, broth, pepper, and salt to pot. Bring to boil at high heat. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 3 minutes or until fries become quite tender. Stir occasionally. Pour contents into food processor. Puree until smooth. Return contents back to pot.

Dice green onions. Add milk and sour cream to pot. Mix with fork until well blended. Simmer at low-medium heat. Gradually add cheese. Stir constantly until well blended. Simmer at low-medium heat until cheese melts. Stir enough to prevent sticking. Garnish with green onion.

TIDBITS

1) This is an excellent recipe for using up those mounds of French fries you get from eating out. If you go use the drive through at a McDonald’sTM or a Burger KingTM, each and every order of hamburger and chicken sandwich will be met by “Do you want fries with that?” I’ve ever been asked if I wanted fries with that after ordering fries. Being the kind soul that you are, you always say, “Yes.” Soon, you are bringing home enough French fries to catapult a NASATM capsule into orbit.

2) This mania for adding fries extends to formal sit-down restaurants. One has to be quite diligent to find a dish that doesn’t come with a side of fries. Ice cream is the only item that comes to mind.

3) People cannot possibly eat all the French fries they bring home. So they throw it in the trash. A lot of trash makes it to the oceans. Millions of tons of fries congregate to form huge floating islands, large enough for jet fighters. As of now, various countries,–I’m not a liberty to mention them–are eying these French-fry islands as floating air-force bases. Such an increase of air power, particularly in the western Pacific Ocean would certainly destabilize the balance of power over there. This would be dangerous. Prevent war! Use up all your left-over fries with this recipe.

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

Baked Potato Chips

American Appetizer

BAKED POTATO CHIPS

INGREDIENTSbakedpotatochips

1 medium russet potato
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon rosemary
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSILS

mandoline (This device helps a lot in making thin, consistent slices quickly.)
2 large cookie sheets.
Good oven mitt (Normally, this is a given, but you might be using it a lot in this recipe.)

Makes 60 potato chips. Takes 1 hour.                                Adult potato chips form circle to protect baby chip.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use mandoline to slice potatoes lengthwise and 1/16″ or ⅛” thick. Add potato slices, garlic powder, rosemary, salt, and olive oil to large mixing bowl. Toss potatoes slices until they are thoroughly coated.

Spray cookies sheets with no-stick spray. Add potato slices to cookie sheets. Do not stack slices or let them touch each other. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-to-30 minutes or until slices turn golden brown. Change the cookie sheet from the top rack to the bottom rack and vice versa after 10 minutes. (Vigilance is necessary as baking times vary with the thickness of the potato slices.) Remove individual chips from oven as they become done. Let potato slices, now heroically renamed as potato chips, cool on paper towels.

TIDBITS

1) The tenth Crowned Heads of European Poker Championship was held in late June, 1914. Kaiser Wilhelm II lost his temper after his full house was beaten by Czar Nicholas II’s straight flush. Wilhelm smashed the pile of potato chips–the poker chips of the time–in the middle with his fist. He instantly regretted his display of temper. However Tsar Nicholas, Nicky, to the other players, merely smiled. “No chips, no gambling. You know this means War.”

2) So, the heads of Europe settled down to the kid’s card game, War. Unfortunately, the ruler’s war ministers were to far away to hear Nicky’s “No chips, no gambling.” They only heard, “This means war.” They did see Willy’s fist smash the potato chips. Phone calls were made. Armies crossed borders. World War I started. This is why we play poker with plastic chips.

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

Bun Cha

Vietnamese Entree

BUN CHA

INGREDIENTSBunCha-

2 shallots
5 tablespoons fish sauce or oyster sauce or soy sauce (3 more tablespoons later)
¾ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons sugar (2 more tablespoons later)
1 pound thinly sliced pork belly or bacon (See note *)
1 pound ground pork

¼ cup cilantro (All the greens in this section must be fresh)
5 green onions
¼ cup lettuce
¼ cup perilla or lemon thyme or mint
¼ cup Thai basil or basil
¼ cup Vietnamese mint or mint
¼ cup kohlrabi or green papaya

3 garlic cloves
1 Thai chile or cayenne chile or serrano chile
3 tablespoons fish sauce or oyster sauce or soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1⅔ cups water
½ tablespoon lime juice

12 ounces dried vermicelli noodles
no-stick spray

I gave a lot of substitutes for this recipe as some of the ingredients are hard to find outside of an Asian grocery.

* = DO NOT get SALTED pork belly. It will make everything taste way too salty. Also, the pork belly should be sliced as thinly as bacon. If you cannot obtain thinly sliced, unsalted pork belly, you are better off using sliced bacon.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

grill, outdoor is preferable
grilling basket

Serves 6 people. Takes 1 hours 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince shallots. Add shallot, pepper, fish sauce, and sugar to first large mixing bowl. Stir with whisk until well blended. Pour half of this marinade into a second large mixing bowl. Put pork belly in first bowl. Thoroughly coat the pork-belly slices with this marinade. Add the ground pork into the second bowl. Use hands to thoroughly knead the marinade into the ground pork. Put mixing bowls in refrigerator for 1 hour.

While pork marinates, dice cilantro, green onions, lettuce, perilla, Thai basil, and Vietnamese mint. Cut the bulb of the kohlrabi into ¼” slices. Put herbs in a large bowl. Mix with fork until well blended.

Form marinated ground pork into patties 2″ across and ½” thick. Spray grilling basket with no-stick spray. Put patties in grilling basket and grill for 4 minutes on each side or until both sides become golden brown. Remove grilled patties. Spray grilling basket again. Put pork-belly strips in grilling basket and grill for 2 minutes on each side until strips turn golden brown.

Mince garlic cloves and Thai chile. Add fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and water to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Pour this dipping sauce into serving bowl. Add garlic, Thai chile, and lime juice. Stir until well blended.

Cook vermicelli noodles as instructed on package.

Place pork-belly strips, pork patties, greens, and noodles onto 4 communal serving bowls. Divide dipping sauce equally into a dipping bowl for each guest. Guests add as desired from the communal bowls.

TIDBITS

1) Bun Cha is short for Man Bun Cha Cha Cha, a Cuban dance from the 1950s. It’s associated with the island’s music scene and freedom of expression. Okay, there has been precious little freedom of expression in Cuba since Fidel Castro and his band of fitfully merry communists took over in 1959.

2) There was a reason for Castro’s oppression. The previous government under the dictator Bautista was decadent beyond belief. Government official thought nothing of double dipping tortillas chips into the communal sofrito bowl. Leaders and army officers grew their hair long, tied it up in man buns, and danced the Man Bun Cha Cha Cha. It was a parlous time.

3) Castro and his merry outcasts tried to humiliate Bautista’s regime by defeating its officials in Cha Cha contests. They didn’t. They couldn’t dance worth a lick. That is why they were outcasts. Frustrated, Fido–no it’s Fidel, Fido’s a dog’s name–turned to the United States for support. America ignored him; the White Sox were about to be in the World Series for the first time since. 1919.

4) So, Fidel seized power with support from the Soviet Union and outlawed the man bun. In return, the Soviets got permission to place nuclear missiles in Cuba. President Kennedy objected. We almost had a nuclear war, always a bad thing. So, the man bun is outlawed the world over and the dance is now known only as the Cha Cha. Call it the Man Bun Cha Cha Cha and you’ll get arrested. Wear a man bun as well and you’ll disappear. For good. And don’t name your dog, Fidel.

– 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

Rabbit Race Cars Dessert

American Dessert

RABBIT RACECARS

INGREDIENTSRabbitRacecars-

food dye vial
4 TwinkiesTM
4 PeepsTM
4 mini white fudge or yogurt covered pretzels
16 mini OreosTM

Makes 4 desserts. Take 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Carefully use the food-dye vial to make a number on the front and back of the Twinkie. Cut out a 1″ wide section from the middle of a Twinkie. The cut should go most of the way to the bottom. Put Peep in cut out. Put white fudge pretzel in front of Peep. Take 4 mini Oreos apart. Place the halves with the white frosting, frosting side inward, against the two lengths of the Twinkie. Repeat for the remaining Twinkies. Be sure to eat a rabbit car before the whirlwind of little ones descends.

TIDBITS

1) It is little known beyond the Culinary Art Critics Guild (CACG) that food-dye art (FDA) almost conquered the art world in 1647. FDA began when Kurt Vurgyiks of Prague painted Czech frat boys throwing pledged nobles from the Holy Roman Empire out a castle window. Chef Vurgyiks was making his new creation, Rabbit Coaches, for dinner when he saw two bodies hurtling down past his window. He grabbed his dyes and working super fast–he had to, bodies plummeting past a window last maybe one second, tops–painted the whole event on the kitchen wall.

2) Everybody loved the rabbit coaches which have remained stupendously popular ever since, changing name only to rabbit racecars in 1972 to honor Robert “The Rabbit” Olson winning the Indianapolis 500. But wait! There’s more. All the castle nobles loved Chef Vurgyik’s painting. Soon, all Europe went FDA mad. It was the best of food-dye art and dessert times.

3) It was the worst of food-dye art and dessert times. The Holy Roman Emperor took offence at the killing of his pledges; he was known to hold grudges. He ordered the execution of the Czech frat boys for their fatal prank; then as is now, fraternity hazing was frowned upon.

4) The Czech fraternities rallied around their condemned brothers and declared independence from the empire. The emperor didn’t like this either. His army of Italian frat brothers invaded the fledgling Czech nation. The bloody frat squabble spilled all over Europe when people realized that the Czech fraternities were protestant and the Italian fraternities were Catholic.

5) Perhaps a quarter of the people in the war-torn regions died in the thirty-years of unceasing fighting. As a further bummer, food-dye art was banned in the conflict-ending Treaty of Westphalia. I told you the emperor could hold a grudge.

– 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

Matambre, Argentinian Stuffed Flank Steak

Argentinian Entree

MATAMBRE
(stuffed flank steak)

INGREDIENTSMatambre-

2 pounds flank steak (or skirt steak)
2 eggs
2 carrots
1 celery stalk
2 garlic cloves
1 large onion
2 tablespoons olive oil (2 more tablespoons later)
¼ teaspoon pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon parsley
¼ teaspoon thyme
5 ounces spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups beef stock
1½ cup red wine

Makes 4 plates. Takes 2 hours.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

Dutch oven
kitchen mallet
kitchen twine

PREPARATION

Butterfly steak if more than 1″ thick by slicing it lengthwise from one side to ½” of the other side. Pound the steak to flatten to less than ½” thick and to even out the thickness. Add eggs to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Boil for 9 minutes. Remove eggs and let them cool. Peel eggs. Cut each into 4 slice along their lengths. While eggs boil, mince carrots, celery, garlic, and onion. Add carrot, celery, garlic, onion, and 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens.

Rub pepper and salt into butterflied flank steak. Sprinkle carrot/celery/onion mixture, parsley, and thyme over steak leaving a ½” border along the sides. Layer the spinach over the oniony mixture. Top with egg slices.

Tightly roll up steak into a long roll. Tie steak with kitchen twine. Tie at 1″ intervals. Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in second pan. Add steak roll to Dutch oven. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5-to-8 minutes or until steak is golden brown on all sides. Turn steak roll occasionally to ensure even browning. Add beef stock and red wine. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 1½ hours or until meat is quite tender. Cover Dutch oven if liquid doesn’t completely cover the steak roll. Turn occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Remove beef and place on cutting board. Cut steak roll crosswise into ½” slices. Add slices to plate. Top with beef stock/wine as desired. Goes well with small boiled potatoes such as Yukon gold. This dish is also quite tasty when served cold. Save the leftover beef stock/wine. It makes an excellent base for soup.

TIDBITS

1) Matambre is an anagram for Beam MartTM.

2) Beam Mart is your one-stop place for all sorts of beams.

3) High beams is quite a popular sport. All of the high beams used in the Olympics are manufactured and sold by Beam Mart.

4) All.

5) India and Pakistan once were the favorites to host the Olympics for a particular year. Both tried to outdo each other with building new, state-of-the-art athletic venues and with wining and dining the Olympic committee. The competition between the two countries grew fierce. Tensions escalated rapidly. The two nations rushed infantry and tanks to their common border. Fighter planes and bombers were armed. Military commands took their “Launching Nuclear Weapons For Idiots” off their bookshelves. Generals started to jaywalk. Things looked grim.

6) Beam Mart stepped in. The company, in no-uncertain terms, told India and Pakistan to back off. If they went to war, Beam Mart would stop supplying high beams. No high beams for practicing, no gold medals for the high beams. No gold medals for the high beams, no prestige at all in the international community. Other nations, Liechtenstein included, would laugh at them. Pooh pooh even.

7) The generals wavered.

8) And no high beams for your fancy automobiles, thundered Beam Mart, if you go to war. But we must have something to show our peoples for all our effects, whimpered the military leaders.

9) So, Beam Mart sold them their famous Beam SmilesTM with only a 10% markup. The leaders of Pakistan and India quickly agreed to a comprehensive peace. And the people of both lands smiled and smiled and beamed and beamed.

10) This happy state of affairs didn’t last forever, of course, but things never again got as tense between these two countries ever again. The leaders know firsthand the power of Beam Mart and make sure never ever again to rattle their sabers so vigorously.

11) Of course, the world still has hot spots. In these cases, at least one of the angry nations has no desire to win Olympic gold medals for the high beams. It seems incredible that countries could act that way, but it’s true. There is a limit to corporate diplomacy, even for Beam Mart.

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

Honduran Nacatamales

Honduran Entree

NACATAMALES

INGREDIENTS – DOUGHNacatamales-

6 cups masa harina or corn flour
1 cup lard, shortening, or butter
1 teaspoon salt (1 more teaspoon later)
3 tablespoons orange juice
5 tablespoons lime juice
4 cups chicken stock

INGREDIENTS – FILLING

⅔ cup rice
2½ pounds pork
3 large potatoes
3 garlic cloves
1 green bell pepper
1 large onion
1 sweet green chile pepper
1 medium tomato
3 tablespoons cilantro
1½ tablespoons cumin
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon achiote paste (or ½ teaspoon paprika plus ½ teaspoon vinegar)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Makes 18 nacatamales. Takes at least 3 hours.

INGREDIENTS – ASSEMBLY

12 10″-x-10″ banana-leaf squares*
A roll of aluminum foil
Multiple big pots (4½ or larger. Extra pots enables you to cook more nacatamales at once.)
Good restorative drink to keep you going.

* = Banana leaves can be found in Mexican or Asian grocery stores. If they can’t be found, just use the tin foil without them. Oh, banana leaves are curved, not square at all. Bastards.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
cooking twine or butcher’s twine

PREPARATION – INITIAL

Soak banana leaves in large pot. You really need to make the banana leaves flexible.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

Add masa harina, lard, and 1 teaspoon salt to first, large mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set on low. With electric still set on low, slowly add orange juice, lime juice, and chicken stock. Mix until it has the consistency of mashed potatoes. Rev up electric beater to high setting or until it starts to become fluffy. Cover dough and let sit for 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – FILLING

While dough is sitting, cook rice according to instructions on package. Cut pork into ½” cubes. Peel potatoes. Slice potatoes into ½” cubes. Dice garlic cloves, green bell pepper, onion, sweet green chile pepper, and tomato. Add pork cubes, cilantro, cumin, pepper, salt, and achiote paste to second, large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until pork cubes are well coated with spices.

Add vegetable oil, coated pork cubes, and potato cubes to pan. Sauté on medium heat for 20 minutes or until potatoes soften. Stir frequently. Add garlic cloves, green bell pepper, onion, sweet green chile pepper, and tomato. Sauté for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently.

PREPARATION – ASSEMBLY

Remove banana leaves soaking in pot. Heat water on high heat until it is scalding hot. Add banana-leaf square to pot. Keep leaf in pot until it becomes flexible. Remove banana leaf. Place ⅓ cup of dough in the middle of the banana leaf. Smooth dough with wet hands until it is about 2″ from the edges of the banana leaf.

Add equal amounts of pork cubes (about ⅓ cup), over the middle of the dough, followed by cooked rice (about 2 tablespoons) and potato cubes (about 1½ tablespoons). Add another ⅓ cup of dough over potato cubes. Smooth top layer of dough gently with wet hands. Fold bottom edge of banana leaf over filling until it reaches the top half of the leaf Gently fold in edges to make a square. Gently–Don’t break the banana leaf–tie kitchen twine around filled banana-leaf square.

Place the filled banana-leaf square over the center of an aluminum-foil square. (The aluminum-foil square large enough to wrap the banana square. Tightly fold bottom edge of foil over filled banana-leaf square. Tightly fold sides of aluminum foil over banana square, then the top side. Tie the aluminum-foil covered square like a parcel with kitchen twine. Repeat process for each banana leaf. There should be a banana leaf softening in the pot while constructing each nacatamale.

Put metal rack in bottom of each pot. Add water to each pot until level is ½” above the racks. (Aluminum cookie cutters work quite well as a substitute for wire racks.) Bring to boil using high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Add a single layer of nacatamales to rack. Simmer for 45 minutes. Add water as necessary to keep level ½” above the rack. Remove nacatamales from pots. Repeat for each batch of nacatamales. Remove all twine and tin foil and serve to adoring guests.

If your sweetheart makes this for you, propose marriage immediately.
TIDBITS

1) Nacatamales were invented by Señor Naca Tamale, chef to the royal governor in 1689. They were delicious, so much so that Governor Alfonso Bondigas knew he would win a million pieces of gold if he could send just one nacatamale to the Spanish king, Charles II.

2) So, in 1690, Governor Bondigas sent 100 nacatamales with the annual fleet carrying gold to Spain. They got eaten by the crews.

3) In 1691, Governor Bondigas sent 200 nacatamales with the fleet. 100 got eaten by the crews. The rest got eaten by gourmet rats.

4) In 1692, Governor Bondigas sent 400 nacatamales. The sailors devoured 100, the gourmet rats another 100, and the rest spontaneously combusted. No one saw that one coming.

5) Pirates captured the annual Nacatamale fleet in 1693, tamales having by that time become more valuable than gold.

6) In 1694, the Honduran governor sent 1,600 nacatamales with the nacatamale fleet. Unfortunately, First Mate Pedro Migas placed the nacatamales in the same room where he dried the crew’s socks. When half of the socks fled to a parallel dimension–a journey they continue to this day–they took all the nacatamales with them. By the way, culinary quantum physicists say trans-dimensional aliens took a great liking to nacatamales and can often be found at nacatamale stand through out Central America. You have to look closely for them; their disguises are excellent.

7) In 1695, Governor Bondigas tried catapulting the nacatamales to Spain. They only made it two miles out to sea where they utterly destroyed a pirate fleet. Karma, you bet.

8) In 1696, Señor Bondigas noticed a little boy skipping rocks all the way across a small stream. Could this work with nacatamales? No.

9) Spurred by the efforts of 1697, nacatamale skipping became the premier event of the Spanish-American games. All Honduras went sports mad. Every young man in that land spent every spare moment practicing to win the gold medal in nacatamale skipping. This naturally left no nacatamales left to be shipped to Spain.

10) The banana bug wiped out the banana crop in 1698. No banana leaves, no nacatamales.

11) In 1699, banana growers all used their leaves to make beer. Banana-leaf beer was enormously popular that year. You can only find this beer in a few Honduran villages. The brand is El Banano.

12) In 1700, the Nacatamale Fleet finally made it to Spain with fifty million nacatamales. But Charles II had died two weeks before. His successor, Philip of Anjou, grandsom of Louis XIV exported them all to Britain as a good-will gesture. The British loved the nacatamale. Lasting global peace seemed likely. But the British gobbled the nacatamales up in just one week, got sick of them, and in revenge declared war on France. Wars would rage across Europe for another 245 years. The new Spanish King blamed Governor Bondigas who died broken hearted. However, the legacy of the good man lives on in the millions upon millions of postal packages wrapped in the manner of the nacatamale.

– 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, history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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