Posts Tagged With: World War II

Medfouna

Moroccan Entree

MEDFOUNA
(Marrakech Pizza)

INGREDIENTS – DOUGH

2¼ teaspoons yeast
¾ cup warm water
1¾ cups all-purpose flour (4 more tablespoons later)
½ cup wheat flour or semolina
¾ teaspoon salt

INGREDIENTS – FILLING
1 onion
1 red chile
⅓ cup fresh parsley
1 teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt or salt (¼ teaspoon more later)
1 pound steak or lamb (minced or ground)

INGREDIENTS – FINAL

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (2 more tablespoons later)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg
¼ teaspoon sea salt or salt

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
plastic wrap or kitchen towels
baking sheet
parchment paper

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 45 minutes.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

Add yeast and warm water to 1st large mixing bowl. Stir with fork until yeasts dissolves. Let sit for 10 minutes or until yeast becomes bubbly. Gradually add in 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, wheat flour, and salt. Stir with fork until well blended. Use medium setting for electric beater on flour/yeast mix until you get a smooth and elastic ball of dough.

Divide dough into two equal balls. Place in bowls and cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towels. Let rise for 45 minutes or until dough doubles in size.

PREPARATION – FILLING

While dough rises. mince onion. Seed and dice red chile. Dice parsley. Add all filling ingredients to 2nd large mixing bowl. Mix well with hands until well blended.

PREPARATION – FINAL

Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Roll out one dough ball until it’s a circle 11″ across. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Put 11″ dough circle on parchment paper. Poke the circle 10 times with a fork. Spread filing over 11″ circle, leaving 1″ uncovered around the edges.

Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Roll out remaining dough ball into an 11″ circle. Place this 11″ dough circle on top of filling. Dip fingers in water and press edges together to form a seal. Beat egg. Spread egg on top. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 360 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) In 1801, William Playfair ordered medfouna in a small cafe in while in Marrakech. He sliced his pizza into four pieces. He ate a slice. It was delicious. Playfair gazed at the three remaining pieces. The proportion of the slices equaled the ratios of the Ottoman Empire that were in Europe, Asia, and Africa! He called his startling idea the “pizza-pie chart,” shortened afterward to “pie chart.”

2) You might think his idea would have sparked little interest among Britain’s scientific community. But no, that’s all the island nation’s greatest minds could talk about. They’d gone pie-chart mad.

4) So much so that the British scientists abandoned all research on the not as sexy topic of time travel. That’s too bad for King George III’s redcoats. For if Britain had had time travel, they could have gone forward to the 20th century and bought back machine guns, howitzers, jet fighters, and all sorts of bombers. It’s difficult to see how the French army of the early 19th century could have stood up to all of that, even with the element of surprise.

5) But the pie-chart mania precluded the development of all modern weaponry. The Napoleonic Wars dragged on for fourteen more bloody years. The British public blamed the pie chart. Whereas, pie charts were once found on every street in London, by 1816 they were all gone.

7) Pie charts came back during the Crimean War when Nurse Florence Nightingale taught the idea to her bandaged patients. It was her way of helping them pass the time. Pie charts died out when the war ended and Britain closed all its pie-chart hospitals in Crimea.

8) Pie charts remained unloved when World War II rolled around. With no pie charts to distract them, British boffins created one dazzling breakthrough after another, such as radar and the Spitfire. Enabled by this technology, the British defeated the Nazi War machine. Now, of course, we have both spiffy weapons and pie charts, but only because today’s scientists have learned to specialize.

– 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

Chocolate Chip Cookies

American Dessert

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

¾ teaspoon baking soda
2¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1¼ teaspoons vanilla
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
2 cookie sheets

Makes 50 cookies. Takes 1 hour. (Varies with the number of batches.)

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add baking soda, flour, and salt to 1st, large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until thoroughly blended. Add butter, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, and vanilla to 2nd, larger mixing bowl. Blend with electric beater set on medium until mixture becomes fluffy.

Gradually add dry mixture from 1st mixing bowl to the butter/sugar mixture in 2nd mixing bowl. Mix with beater at medium setting until thoroughly mixed. Fold in chocolate chips. Mix with hands until well blended.

Roll dough into little balls about 1″ wide. Leave a 1″ gap between chocolate chip/dough balls. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes or until golden brown. (Baking times for successive batches may vary.) Let cookies cool for 2 minutes before transferring with a spatula to wire rack or cold plate. Cool for an additional 5-to-20 minutes or as long as you can stand waiting.

TIDBITS

1) In 2006 a company developed a microchip to be inserted into its employees. This was done prevent industrial espionage of its products and also deter the excuse, “But I was only going to the water cooler.” Management’s new enhanced employee monitoring resulted in a staggering 87% decrease in time spent away from work desks. “Na, na, na, poo, poo,” corporate security would say, “Our restrooms are in the other direction.”

2) All major businesses were posed to micro chip their workforce. But because of a typo, engendered by a poorly administered time-travel program, corporate America placed an order for one-trillion dollars of chocolate chips. This huge expenditure tore gaping holes in their budgets, forcing them to cancel their microchipping programs.

3) In a completely related event, production of chocolate-chip cookies output soared by billions and billions. So much so, that the Commerce Department started sending super tankers filled with such cookies to countries lacking chocolate-chip cookies.

4) This program, Chocolate Chip Cookies for People, or CCCP became permanent when, a scant year later, a chocolate chip congressman became head of the influential Ways and Means Committee.

5) International communist propaganda vanished when unstable countries confused CCCP with Soviet-style communism. Money that should have spent destabilizing their neighbors went to heretofore unimportant culinary budgets.

6) Dictators for life everywhere found their menus restricted to chocolate-chips for every meal of every day. Fortunately, chocolate-chip cookies are so yummy and delicious that tyrants all over couldn’t stop eating these delights. They became filled with the contentment that only chocolate-chip cookies can give.

7) It is time to ponder why Roget’s ThesaurusTM has no synonym for chocolate-chip cookies. Let’s just call them CCC, shall we?

9) Any way, it’s time to pick up the thread events that we left in tidbit 6.

10) World leaders became too contented to invade anyone.

11) Happy people everywhere even stopped saying, “And so’s your mother.”

12) In 2016, Gaston LaCroute, won the Nobel Peace Prize for his fortuitous typo,

13) In 2017, Monsieur LaCroute became president of France. He didn’t have a platform at all other than all entrees should be properly spiced.

14) French voters wrote him on their ballots by the tens of millions. “It’s about time our presidents concentrated on food,” they said.

15) America was happy too. Burgeoning employment in its CCC industry meant that the unemployment rate fell to -2.3%

17) Negative unemployment rates are possible when your government possesses a time-machine. In 2005 the United States was poised to prevent World War II by going back to 1938 and eliminating warmongering dictators. But typos, once entered into official documents take on a life of their own. All we ended up in doing was to cause Monsieur La Croute into making his famous typo.

5) And so, the world became peaceful and happy. Now you know why.

– 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, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bunny’s Feast

Bunny Entree

BUNNY’S FEAST

INGREDIENTS

1 large carrot
½ Roma tomato
3 tablespoons raisins.

Serves a bunny family. Takes 5 minutes.

PREPARATION

Break carrot into 2 or 3 pieces. Dice Roma tomato. Do nothing to raisins. Place carrot pieces, diced Roma tomato, and raisins on separate flat surfaces. The separation of ingredients allows the bunnies to create their own three-course meal.

The best time for the bunny feast is just before dusk when it’s dark enough for our furry friends to feel safe and light enough for us to see.

TIDBITS

1) The Chinese dedicate every twelveth year to the rabbit. The Aztecs held that the Centzon Totochtin (say that quickly) are 400 rabbit gods who party all the time. They are the gods of drunks. Ancient Asians believed a rabbit lived on the moon with its friend the moon goddess. Nanabhozo was a Native American creator god who liked to appear as the Great Rabbit.

2) Crusader Rabbit appeared on early television as a force for good. The kindly Velveteen Rabbit appeared in books. Peter Rabbit delighted kids for decades.

3) However, we spurned the good lapins of literature for less savory rabbits. Brer Rabbit and Bugs Bunny were tricksters. To be fair, Bugs Bunny did promote war bonds during World War II.

4) Bunnicula, of literature fame, sucked juice from carrots while the movie, Curse of the Were-Rabbit showed these furry creatures to be other worldly.

5) Rabbits turned deadly in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. “That’s no ordinary rabbit.” 1972’s horror flick, Night of the Lepus treated viewers to thousands of mutated rabbits killing and eating the inhabitants of small towns along their Chicago. Spoiler alert, Chicago survives.

6) See? Even the nicest of rabbits can go rather bad without attention. Go to the library with your kids. Check out Peter Rabbit books. Do it today. Civilization hangs in the balance.

– 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 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Wonder Dog

This story was based on two sources. First, my dad who served his country in World War II  did his basic training in Louisiana, He said soldiers would throw snowballs at the platoon ahead of them as they marched off to the mess hall. He must have told me this story when I was quite young as snowballs during a Louisianan summer didn’t bother me. Or perhaps I misremembered  the story. Second, someone, decades ago, told me how a resourceful officer came across some abandoned hot dogs in a shed food and in a moment of admirable economy served the dodgy franks to the men on the base. The rest of the story is my imagination.

* * * * * * * * * *

We won the war. We brought the Nazis to their knees, not some namby-pamby foot soldier who probably counted dodging Spam thrown in the mess halls as combat experience. Yes sir, it was me and the airmen of Okeechobee. Young man, I’m gonna tell you our story.

Okeechobee, Florida then was only known for its millions of bugs; huge bugs the size of baseballs. But it was there, in 1944, that the Army set up the 800th Bomber Group, captained by Henry Pizarro.

Well, we were out in the middle of nowhere in a state often forgotten by the rest of the Union. Supplies never did get to us in a regular manner. Sometimes we’d go weeks without any supplies. Sometimes, we got a lot of stuff we didn’t really need. One week they sent us one million scarves, and 22,187 bird feeders stamped “U.S. Army bird feeder, Red-Headed Woodpecker Only.” Antonio Cedeno, Army Head Scratcher First Class, scratched his head and said, “That’s army for you.” Oh, we also received eight hundred tons of papayas. It seemed that although our nation’s scientists were still failing with the general concept of refrigeration, they had miraculously found a way to refrigerate papayas several months ago.

Well, around August, we had run out of all food but papayas for two months, and no one wanted to eat bugs. Hell, the bugs had been biting us so much that some of us figured we’d be cannibals if we’d eat them. So, we approached Lieutenant Kelso, who was in charge of food supplies. Kelso said that he was mighty sick of papaya soup and papaya burgers. He said he’d raise heaven and earth to find some new food.

The next day we heard a terrible ruckus all around us. Every flea-bitten mutt in the flea-bitten state of Florida was barking, yelping, yipping, and scratching his balls. Sergeant Niekro went out to investigate. Apparently, Kelso planned to use these dogs to sniff up some food for us.

Well, I decided to follow the dogs. They headed away from the mess hall as even dogs get tired of papaya biscuits. Those mutts made a bee line toward the swamp where bugs felt particularly secure and ornery. Way in the distance I could make out that huge ominous, gray, metallic building so forbidding that even the chaplain called it “the Hut of Hell.” The Hut of Hell housed our chemical supplies, used oil drums, and various pleasant poisons.

Those dogs just ran to the Hut and barked something fierce. Kelso, opened the door and immediately the dogs keeled over in agony. Kelso doubled over and proceeded to vomit big yellow chunks of papaya loaf. Sure, it was up to me, Robert Carbo, the man with the big sniffer. I dodged a stream of papaya spew from Kelso and went inside.

As God is my witness, I have never seen so many hot dogs in my life. These hot dogs were arranged in huge columns. Each column was twelve feet long by ten feet wide and stretched at least fifty feet up to the ceiling. There were thousands of these majestic columns.

Well, perhaps not majestic, more like tons of decaying, larva infested, grayish-green beef shapes. How long had they been sitting in that metal building in Florida’s fine, humid, 120-degree weather? However, stench worse than Private Aparicio’s pits after a twenty-mile hike, prompted to me continue this thought outside. I wrenched my boots free from some hot-dog ooze and bolted outside.

I carried Kelso all the way back to the infirmary. Unfortunately, our doctor was away in Miami picking up popsicle sticks off the sidewalks as we had run through our last shipments of tongue depressors. Corporal Johnny Conigliaro, a quack in civilian life, prescribed a dose of deadly nightshade, a rather poisonous, purplish flower. Kelso nearly died from this treatment but did not complain, saying, “It’s worth risking death to eat something that’s not yellowish orange.”

A week later Captain Pizarro, arose from his desk and put on his papaya-woven flak jacket and walked to the mess tent. The cook had outdone himself with a gourmet feast. We started off with a snappy papaya fondue and a Waldorf salad where the apples, celery, walnuts, and mayonnaise were substituted with papaya, papaya, papaya, and papaya sauce. For the main course he regaled us with a choice of: barbecued papaya sandwiches on papaya bread with a papaya sauce or chicken cordon bleu, where instead of chicken, ham, gruyere cheese, breading, and butter, he substituted papaya, papaya, curdled papaya juice, papaya crumbs, and melted papaya. For dessert we could choose either the papaya balls or the papaya flavored ice cream made with creamed papaya instead of cream. We washed down this feast with good ol’ papaya juice.

Captain Pizarro surveyed the yellow-orange expanse and announced that we were going to eat those hot dogs or die. Pale-faced Lieutenant Kelso staggered to his feet to voice his support before pitching forward into a huge bowl of papaya-bisque soup. Corporal Conigliaro timidly suggested that eating rotting hot dogs might kill us, or worse, give us diarrhea. Sergeant Gagliano put both of his powerful hands on Conigliaro and volunteered the Corporal for the honor of tasting the hot dogs.

Conigliaro said that although he was aware of the immense honor, he was reasonably sure that army regs stated that a certified medical doctor had to test all suspect foods. He was only an unregistered quack and so, respectfully declined.

It appeared that some stupid health regulation written by some desk-bound, pencil pusher in the Pentagon was going to deny us this wondrous, alternate source of food. However, our Sarge immediately volunteered Private Romero, a veterinarian, to taste the frankfurters.

Bilko accepted the assignment but said that he was such a good vet that he could determine the quality of the franks just by looking at them. He headed straight to the Hut of Hell, stopping only at the infirmary to put on a gas mask. Moments later he returned, ashen and trembling, stating that they were safe to eat. Though I did hear him mumble as he headed back to his tent hot dogs should not display internal movement. The other airmen just heard our cook announce hot dogs for tomorrow’s lunch.

Around eleven o’clock cookie started boiling the franks. Fortunately, a strong wind from the south blew the fumes away from the camp toward the town of Lake Harbor. About that time in an unrelated incident, Bert Taylor, a tea tester from that town, suddenly pulled his own head off and died.

We all lined up at the mess tent to eat our hot dogs in shifts of one hundred which was also the number of gas masks on hand. Well, the first shift manfully ate their hot dogs and immediately fell to the floor suffering from violent convulsions. Then Private Owchinko’s stomach burst open flinging his guts all over the mess hall. Soon, everyone’s guts erupted just like cooking popcorn. Owchinko turned his hideously contorted face toward me and said, “Dang, at least it wasn’t papaya.” He then died with a look of complete serenity on his face; well, at least as serene as one could get with an exploded stomach.

We carried the men outside and buried them properly. We put on all their tombstones, “He wouldn’t eat papaya.” Since bullets were scarce at our base, we gave our departed comrades ten hot-dog salutes. Most of these franks exploded in air giving off the same noise as rifle shots. However, some didn’t explode until they hit the ground. One hot dog, in particular, landed on a latrine and exploded, scattering its contents for hundreds of yards. Private Franco noted that the smells of the latrine improved the smell of the hot dog. However, Captain Pizarro displayed true genius when he stated these franks could be terrible weapons of war.

We drifted along in papaya hell until we received orders to fly over to Europe. The Germans had just broken through our lines in a massive offensive now known as the Battle of the Bulge. Disaster loomed and every airman was needed. We armed our bombers with our hot dogs, which now had been rotting for an additional four months in the hot, humid Hut of Hell.

Our 800th Bomber Group arrived just as the Germans seemed poised to overrun the heroic defenders of Bastogne. None of our infantry or armored divisions could get to them in time. None of the other bomber groups could get off the ground due to bad weather. However, we could and we did.

We bombed the hell out of those Nazis. A Tiger tank can take a direct hit from a Sherman tank just twenty yards away and drive away only mildly annoyed, but just one hit from our franks just ripped those tanks to bits. Down they fell, ton after ton of freedom franks. The foul, poisonous vapors from the exploding dogs suffocated the supporting German infantry. Our hot dogs created a huge hole in the German lines into which poured General Patton’s troops. Patton, that glory hog, claimed full credit for the American victory at Bastogne.

However, we knew better and so did many others. In fact, Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain praised us saying, “This was their finest meat product.”

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

Durban Masala

South African Appetizer

DURBAN MASALA

durbanmasalaINGREDIENTS

½ teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1¼ teaspoons coriander
1¼ teaspoons cumin
¼ teaspoon fenugreek
¾ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon mace
⅛ teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons turmeric

Makes ¼ cup. Takes 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add all ingredients to mixing. Mix with whisk until well blended.

TIDBITS

1) Durban is a city in South Africa. Durban rhymes with Durban. This is useful when constructing rhyming poems. In much the same way, gnome rhymes with Nome, a city in Alaska. Over 20,000 gnomes live in Nome, admired for their strong work ethic. They’ll guard your garden for amazing lengths of time and everyone knows much polar bears fear gnomes.

4) Gnomes first came to Massachusetts on the Mayflower, fleeing persecution from waffle eaters. Later, they worked their way south, guarding spice gardens along the way. The little guys eventually settled in Chancellorsville, Virginia–Why not?–to lead a safe, if not totally accepted existence.

5) Tragedy struck in 1863. General Stonewall Jackson was shot after the battle of Chancellorsville. Enraged townsfolk held a gnome fired the fatal shot and drove the wee ones out of town.

6) The gnomes drifted ever northwestward, until they reached Nome on the Bering Sea. They could drift no longer. They wore parkas to keep warm. The parkas covered their faces, just like the natives. You couldn’t tell the gnomes and the people apart. Sure, gnomes are much shorter than people, but you always keep your face to the ground during a blizzard. And 19th-century Nome always had blizzards. The townsfolk didn’t even notice the little folk until 1941, when World War II broke out. People. after kneeling, worked shoulder to shoulder with the gnomes to defeat the common foe. The gnomes gained acceptance into one career after another. Today, Nome’s the gnome genome sequencing capital of the world.

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

Beef, Spinach, and Peanut Stew from South Sudan

South Sudanese Entree

BEEF, SPINACH, AND PEANUT STEW

INGREDIENTSSouthSudan-

1¼ pounds chuck steak or round steak
3 garlic cloves
2 medium onions
2½ tomatoes
2 bunches spinach (1 pound)
½ sweet potato
4 tablespoons unsalted, roasted peanuts (4 teaspoons more later)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 cups beef stock
½ tablespoon tomato paste
4 teaspoons unsalted, roasted peanuts
½ cup unsweetened peanut butter

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder
Dutch oven

Makes 6 bowls. Takes 1 hour 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut beef into 1″ cubes. Mince garlic. Dice onions and tomatoes. Remove stems from spinach, then shred. Cut sweet potato into ½” cubes. Use spice grinder to make a paste from 4 tablespoons peanuts.

Add peanut oil and beef cubes to Dutch oven. Cook at medium heat for 6 minutes or until beef browns. Stir occasionally. Add garlic and onion. Raise heat to medium-high and sauté for 5 minutes or until onion and garlic softens. Stir in beef stock and tomato paste. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 50 minutes or until beef becomes tender and stock is reduced by ½. Stir occasionally. Add sweet potato and 4 teaspoons peanuts. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add peanut paste, and peanut butter. Simmer for 5 minutes or until peanut paste and peanut butter blends completely in. Stir frequently. Add spinach and tomato. Raise heat to low-medium and simmer for 10 minutes or until the oil from the peanut paste and peanut butter makes the stew shiny. Goes well with rice and flatbread.

TIDBITS

1) This entree is a stew. Stew is an anagram for west.

2) The Sun sets in the west.

3) Peanuts hate the Sun, because it’s bad for their complexion.

4) So, they dig into the ground to avoid the piercing rays of light.

5) Peanuts never get very far into the soil, though.

6) They don’t have opposable thumbs. You need opposable thumbs to hold hoes and shovels.

7) Nor do peanuts have any hands to speak of, really.

8) Which is why farmers never hire peanuts during harvest time, only humans.

9) Still, the Sun burns the little ground nuts.

10) The Sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

11) So, the peanuts migrate to the west in the morning and back east in the afternoon. They end up in the same place, which is why no one ever notices them moving.

12) Things get ugly, though, when herds of peanuts cross the same interstate freeway. Traffic halts. The traffic jam grows to includes connecting freeways and highways. The economy halts.

14) That’s not all. Giant herds of peanuts moving back and forth along the ground dislodge the Earth’s plates. Earthquakes result as in San Francisco in 1906

15) Indeed, peanut migrations have caused the Earth’s plates to shift. Before peanuts came on the scene there was only one continent, Pangaea.

16) Something had to be done and in 1939 all the nations gathered in Poway, California to discuss the looming peanutian threat.

17) Then, on September 1, Hitler invaded Poland and World War II broke out. Country after country uprooted their peanut fields to feed their rampaging armies. Fewer migrating peanuts meant fewer earthquakes during the war years. You can look it up.

18) The leaders of the major victorious powers: Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin, knew it would be a matter of time before another Hitler would arise or peanuts would make their comeback. Perhaps, the next megalomanic dictator would even gather the peanuts of the world to his standard.

19) The United Nations was formed in 1945 to gather this very threat. An elite anti-peanut battalion was formed and peanut farming within 100 miles of fault lines was banned forever.

20) Something to think about when you have your next peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich.

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

Mumu From Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinean Entree

MUMU

INGREDIENTSMumu-

8 ounces carrots or 2 medium
8 ounces sweet potatoes or 1 large
8 ounces banana or 1½ medium
8 ounces papaya or ½ medium
4 ounces spinach
12 ounces pork
6 ounces peas or similar green vegetable
12 ounces chicken
1 or 2 banana leaves or cabbage leaves* (enough to cover pot)
20 ounces coconut cream total (5 times at ¼ cup) or 2 14-ounces cans coconut milk.

Makes 6 bowls. Takes 2 hours.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

outdoor grill
grill-safe pot and lid

PREPARATION – COCONUT CREAM (If you can’t find it in stores.)

Chill coconut milk cans in refrigerator for 24 hours. Open cans and scoop out the thick cream on the top. Keep 20 ounces, or 2½ cups, of coconut cream. Use the rest of the coconut cream and the liquid in the bottom of the cans to make coconut-based smoothies

PREPARATION – ONCE YOU HAVE COCONUT CREAM.

Wash and peel carrots, sweet potatoes, banana, and papaya. Remove papaya seeds. Chop carrots, sweet potatoes, pork, bananas, papaya, peas, and chicken into 1″ cubes.

This dish is made with 5 layers. Spread ingredients evenly for each layer. Top each layer with ¼ cup of coconut cream. Make the first layer by adding carrot and sweet potato to pot. Make the second layer by adding pork. Make the third layer by adding banana and papaya. Make the fourth layer by adding chicken. Make the fifth layer by adding peas and spinach. Top everything with banana leaves.

Cover pot and place on grill. Never stir ingredients. Grill on medium heat for 15 minutes or until you see juices bubble. Reduce heat on grill to low and simmer for 1-to-1½ hours or until everything is done to your liking. Okay, okay, you’ll to take a fork and peek and the doneness of the various layers, but no stirring.

TIDBITS

1) The stability of the entire world is threatened by an emerging superpower, Papua New Guinea. Hah, you say. Where is Papua New Guinea? North of Australia. What does it produce? Rain and mud, according to Allied soldiers fighting there in World II. What could such a country do? Buy a lot of SPAM or … conquer the Pacific Ocean.

How? I’m glad you asked. Culinary historians know the best mud for beauty care comes from Papua New Guinea, or PNG. The demand for this mud in American and European spas grows fantastically every year. Soon, PNG will be awash with the world’s money. PNG can then allocate its new billions to buy used aircraft carriers, fighter planes, bombers, tanks, and landing craft listed irresponsibly on eBay.

2) This is where the nightmare starts PNG has a population of 4,600,000. (I counted them twice last Tuesday.) Even if the country puts just 10% of its people in the military, it will have a striking force of 460,000. Who has the population, the might to stop them? Not neighboring Nauru with its tiny population of 11,000 and maybe soldiers.

3) Emboldened by this easy conquest, Tuvalu, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, and Tonga, with their combined population of 260,000 will fall like leaves in a Wisconsin autumn. This disaster will have worldwide ramifications. Does anyone doubt the Palauan contingent keeping the peace in The Land of Oz will remain under such dire circumstances? No, they will go home to fight a war of liberation. The whole idea of UN peace-keeping forces will unravel. Minor skirmishes will become full fledged regional wars. So it goes.

4) Soon, Micronesia and Vanuatu will topple. I don’t know much about them so let’s move onto the Solomon Islands and Fiji–biggish but still smaller than PNG. We cannot let these two nations fall. We cannot let PNG monopolize the best snorkeling sites in the world. Have you snorkeled at Key Largo? Well, let me tell you, the snorkeling at Fiji is much better. And by the way, conquest of these countries would enable PNG to block all airborne and seaborne trade across the Pacific. The snorkeling industry and the world economy would collapse.

5) What can Americans do? Simple. Use local mud! Cut off the funds for PNG’s drive for conquest. Insist on backyard mud whenever your toddler makes you a mud pie. Be sure to ask for good ol’ American mud when getting a mud treatment at your spa. It’s good for your face. It’s good for the world.

6) Use the blank space at the bottom of this page to make a mud drawing. Do other cookbooks let you do this? No, I don’t think so.

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

Hasselback Potatoes

Swedish Entree

HASSELBACK POTATOES

INGREDIENTSHasselbackPotatoes-

10 tablespoons butter (5 tablespoons for casserole dish. 5 tablespoons to spoon over potatoes.)
10 small potatoes
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons grated Våsterbotten or Parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons breadcrumbs

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT

9″ by 13″ casserole dish
baster

Makes, well, 10 potatoes. Takes about 1½ hours to make.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt all butter using medium heat. Peel potatoes Cut off a thin slice off the bottom of the potatoes so that they will lie flat in the casserole dish. Slice potatoes every 1/6″ along its width. Make the cut go ⅔ of the way through the potato. (One way to do this is to put the potato on a large spoon. The sides of the spoon will prevent cutting the potato apart.)

Pour 5 tablespoons butter into casserole dish. Add potatoes to casserole dish. Add 5 tablespoons butter, dill, and salt to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Drizzle potatoes with butter/dill mix. Bake potatoes at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes Baste two times with butter from casserole dish. Remove casserole dish from oven and sprinkle potatoes with grated cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for another 20-to-30 minutes or until golden brown. (The potatoes, not you, for goodness sake.)

TIDBITS

1) The Hasselback potato can be served with almost anything. Oh, don’t tempt me with what.

2) This entree was first made for the “Hasselbacken” restaurant in Sweden in 1940 after the start of World War II. This dish was responsible for keeping Sweden at peace when nearly every other nation got sucked into the conflict. The Germans were told that if they invaded Sweden, the Swedish chefs would stop making Hasselback potatoes. The German commanders knew their soldiers, weary from invading one country after another would stop fighting unless they were fed delicious Hasselback taters. So, Germany never invaded Sweden. To this day, Sweden has a small army. It doesn’t need a lot soldiers. It has a legion of Hasselback-potato chefs.

– 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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Fish and Chips

British Entree

FISH AND CHIPS

INGREDIENTSFishAndChips-

2½ pounds potatoes (King Edward or Maris if you can get them.)
1⅓ cups flour (3 additional tablespoons later)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt or salt
1¼ cups (10 ounces) beer
2 cups peanut oil
5 cups (or enough to cover fish) vegetable oil
4 7-ounce cod, pollock, or haddock fillets
3 tablespoons flour
malt vinegar (to be added by guest)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

deep fryer

Makes 4 servings. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes
Note:: Cooking times vary a lot between fryers or with the amount of food you put in them, so you’ll need to check the fryer periodically.

PREPARATION

Peel potatoes. Slice potatoes along their lengths into ½” by ½” strips. Add potato strips to first bowl filled with cold water. Let soak for 1 hour to remove starch. Pat the potato strips with paper towels until the strips are completely dry.

This is important. If you leave moisture on your potato strips, then your chips, if you are British, or your French fries, if you’re American, will not turn out well and the Earth will leave its orbit and spiral into the Sun. Enough said.

While potato strips are soaking, add 1⅓ cups flour, pepper, and salt to large, second mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with whisk. Add beer. Stir with whisk until there are no lumps and mixture has the consistency of whipping cream.

When the potato strips have only 15 minutes left to soak, pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. (You will be making this entree in batches. Put fried fish and completely done fries warm in oven until everything is ready.) Add peanut oil and vegetable oil to deep fryer. Heat oil to 275 degrees. Carefully add ¼ of potato strips to deep fryer. Fry potato strips for 5 minutes or until any of them start to brown. There are now officially French fries or chips. (Pauses for ceremony.) Remove chips from fryer, drain, and set aside. Repeat for each batch of potato strips.

Add 3 tablespoons flour to third bowl. Add fish fillets, one at a time to bowl. Turn fish fillets around until they are coated with flour. This flour keeps the batter from slipping off later. Add flour-covered fish fillets to mixing bowl with batter. Slowly turn fish fillets until they are thoroughly covered with batter.

Increase heat on deep fryer to 375 degrees. Carefully add fish fillets to deep fryer. Fry for 6-to-10 minutes or until batter is crisp and golden brown. Turn fillets two or three times with wooden spoon to ensure even frying. Remove fish fillets with slotted spoon and place on wire rack above plate and let drain.

Add partially cooked French fries to deep fryer for second time. Keep heat at 375 degrees. Fry French fries for 10-to-20 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove French fries with slotted spoon and dry with paper towels.

Serve fish and chips and malt vinegar to adoring, appreciative guests. Dredge unappreciative guests through any remaining batter. You were cooking with hot oil, for goodness sake.

TIDBITS

1) Gratuitous Capitalizing of Words has not been allowed in English speaking countries since 1945. Indeed, World War II was fought to preserve our minimalist capitalization approach.

2) You see, Germany capitalizes all nouns. Germany wants the whole world to capitalize nouns. Why does Germany want all this capitalization? Who would benefit from this?

3) The German ink makers. Capitalized letters take more ink than small letters. More capitalized letters means more ink. More ink means more income for the ink makers. No German government from 1814 to 1945 was strong enough to resist the dictates of the German Ink Makers’ League, GIML. So, when GIML told their leaders to invade one country after another to open up new market for ink, their governments obliged.

4) Things looked bad for the minimal-capitalizing countries in mid1940. The British Expeditionary Force was trapped against the beaches of Dunkirk. If this force had surrendered, Britain, the last hold out against German Capitalizing aggression, would have had to give up all resistance.

5) Fortunately in 1940, a young physicist named Peter Sakes, was in a London pub waiting for his fish and chips. Boom! A gigantic explosion blew apart the kitchen walls. Hot cod and hot potato strips flew into the eating and drinking areas. Patrons ran screaming from the establishment. A light clicked in Sakes’ head. Perhaps the same process used to explode fish and chips could be employed to make nuclear fission. A nuclear bomb would surely stop the invincible German armies.

7) Prime Minister Churchill agreed and gathered all British scientists to develop the atomic bomb. Well, the whole thing took longer than expected; the heat from cooking oil proved insufficient to trigger a nuclear chain reaction. So the Americans came on board with their Manhattan Project and by August, 1945, had an atomic bomb to use on Japan.

8) The atomic bomb came too late to use on Germany which had already surrendered. However, the mere hope the bomb had brought to Churchill had given him to will to resist. We owe our freedom and our small-lettered nouns to Mr. Sakes and his idea. Here’s to him and fish and 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, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Noodles With Poppy Seeds

Polish Dessert

NOODLES WITH POPPY SEEDS

INGREDIENTSPoppyPasta-

8-ounce bag egg noodles
¼ cup poppy seeds
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons honey

Takes 15 minutes. Makes 4 bowls.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder

PREPARATION

Cook egg noodles according to instructions on bag. While noodles cook, melt butter. Grind poppy seeds thoroughly with spice grinder. Drain noodles. Add ground poppy seeds, melted butter, and honey to noodles. Mix ingredients with fork until well blended.

TIDBITS

1) I was tempted to write, “Toss ingredients,” but I recently saw a football movie and I kept picturing someone tossing the poppy pasta down the length on the kitchen.

2) Pasta football almost caught on during World War II. Real football production had ceased in 1942 due to wartime restrictions. Real footballs became harder and harder to find.

3) Professional football merged to conserve the nation’s dwindling supply of real footballs.

4) But the fans in the cities that lost their teams still wanted to see professional football. Patriotic Polish-American chefs came up with the poppy pasta football. It was enough for the football starved fans. In 1944, the PPPFL, Polish Poppy Pasta Football League was formed.

5) The league was comprised of franchises from: St. Louis, Poway, California, Keokuk, Illinois, Madison, Wisconsin, Taos, New Mexico, and Biloxi, Mississippi. The league did not thrive. The poppy pasta football kept disintegrating in the rain.

6) Then on November 17, 1944 with Keokuk losing to Poway 44 to 13 and three minutes left, Keokuk quarterback, Chris Gashud ate the last football. No football, no more playing. There were no rules to cover this. The game was considered to be the same as a rainout. Losing teams took their cue from this incidents and ate the pasta ball in the final minutes of game after game. The league folded in late December.

7) Isn’t Gashud Swedish for “gooseflesh?” Yes, it is.

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

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