The food thread

I got a British Columbian to use french.

Sacre Bleu!


Yeah, I make my chili in High Fashion. Except that I chop the onions in country style.... and I use Costco beans.... pinto or black....

( Double Sacre Bleu... et un Zut Alors! )

Now, in regards to España in the 60s.... seems like Black Stuart decided to insult my forebears.... Ay Caramba! To claim that Paella is from Andalucia is to call of us gypsies... gitanos... no less. I have sent your name to the Generalitat in Barcelona and your name has been entered into the list of Persona Non Grata... you will not be allowed in our ancestral lands: From the Rousillon to Mallorca, Murcia and Aragon.

But seriously, yes the Falangistas were a PITA nationwide but somehow their existence was muted in Catalunya, by then Franco was loosing up the controls because he needed the tax moneys generated in the region. Food wise... I always remembered that there would be differences out in the country side if you drove to the village "right over that ridge". It was really fun... even though I was a kid, my family is a bunch of foodies, so we'd roam the country side in search of a good Sunday dinner during the late spring and summer months. Nothing like stopping the 2CV on a country road, tell the kid ( me ) to jump the stone wall, dodge the wall of sunflowers and grab a bunch of grapes, so we could happily drive to the next meal while munching on summer ripe garnachas, or the like, grapes. It brings back great memories... of sausages, veal, beans and wine.... Yep... Yours Truly, often had to have a siesta on the way back... nothing like feeding the 8 year old a couple of glasses of good red wine with dinner. ;-)

We seldom saw falangistas, but there'd be Guardia Civil, but they were usually pretty courteous... in Catalunya and Aragon.

In general, people in Catalunya were well off, I don't recall people being poor even in the remote villages up in the Pyrenees. Only the gypsies in Barcelona "looked" poor, but according to my family they were actually quite well off, they just wanted to live in their little villages. Nowadays, the place has grown, everyone has a color TV, cell phones, a couple of cars and an attitude.

Food wise.... story... so there was this great restaurant at the Plaça de Catalunya in Barcelona, right where Les Rambles start.. they'd been there for over 100 years. Their Pam Amb Tomaquet was famous. We'd go there on late summer Saturday evenings, sit on the outside tables and have a bit of bread and tapas... it was simply glorious. In due time, Pizza Hut bought them out. :oops: So, everytime Barça played, after the game, les cules would come down from El Camp Nou and throw bricks at the windows of the Pizza Hut.

Now, you would think the Yankee Imperialists would realize their mistake... but noooooo... they doubled down and put metal shutters and shut down the place whenever Barça played. :devilish: My late cousin always thought that perhaps fire bombing might solve the solution (*) but he didn't want to get involved as that would be ultimately bad for business.... then they opened a Hard Rock Cafe across the street and MacDonalds bought out another restaurant just half a block into Les Rambles.

Needless to say, Les Cules were busy.. they'd throw rocks at the metal shutters of Pizza Hut and Mc Donalds and then went to the Hard Rock Cafe to have a few drinks. LOL... who said only the English know how to throw a football related party? :)

So, if you go to Barcelona today....

Yep, my "family restaurant"... still there....

(*) There's a very deep streak of Catalan Anarchism in my family.
One of my old favorites when I lived in Bangalore...

The 'Pathiri' is a rice flour roti, and crisp in texture when home made.
It is the traditional breakfast of fishermen in Kerala, with chicken or fish curry.

Recipe in link seems authentic, has pictures in sequence, no ties to them.

Indian food is truly fascinating and delicious... it is also very hard to understand for a Westerner - OK, very easy to eat and enjoy. :)

Middle Eastern and Arabic food, with its mixtures of cardamon, cinnamon, dates, honey, etc... is quite exotic but simpler.... but the Indian subcontinent is an incredible smorgasbord of raucous flavors.... we have some good Indian restaurants in town and we love going there... but cooking at home is actually difficult because of the complexity of the recipes.
We have about 300 counties, each with its own cuisine, spread out over 30 odd states.

Western people do not realize that the UK is about the size of one of our medium sized states.
Now consider the variety in UK cooking, North to South and East to West. (Or lack of it, according to some).

Multiply that by 30....or see what happens if I tell an Icelander that his cooking is not Greek in taste....that is a little political, perhaps, but you get the idea.

Now, with travel and easily available ingredients, people do realize that there is more to Indian cuisine than the Tandoori stuff, originally Punjabi cuisine, which somehow became equated to Indian cuisine.

North Eastern Indian cooking, I will post such recipes for those later.
At least ten different cuisines in that area alone, and home to the strongest red peppers in the world.
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That is a new one for me. Something I will have to try. Thank you. The recipes are abound on the net.

It's actually a very simple dish to make... very traditional style of ingredients and cooking methods. Paella, and fideua, have versions with no fish.. usually called "paella de cazador" meaning hunter's paella. La Mancha, being in the center of Spain would historically have little access to seafood and rice, so the selection of ingredients of bread, meats, potatoes, pimento, bread and wine ( look at the pictures....) makes a lot of sense.

The main difference I see is that the sofrito is made with the potatoes in the pan... traditionally sofrito is made by itself.. a base for many, MANY Iberian dishes. Normally, I'd expect the potatoes to be pulled out, while the sofrito is being made and then meats and potatoes get returned.

Rabbit and quail are very common ingredients in Spain. However, I have seldom seen chicken mixed with rabbit. Very different flavors. I'd add some chopped chorizo with rabbit perhaps. Good pork will work with rabbit too, specially pork rib meat.

Any self respecting kitchen will have to include Sweet, Smoked and Spicy Spanish Paprika... good Spanish Saffron, oregano, thyme and a good collection of wines and you're in my Pantheon of Cooks... ;-)

I think I'll make it this weekend.

Today, it's corned beef... St. Patrick's.

Speaking of potatoes.... have you tried this? I dare say it is the ONE unifier to all people of Spain... and Portugal.

Con pan y vino se anda el camino... true... but a nice slice of cold tortilla de patatas sure makes the going better.

Dang... I'm getting hungry!!!
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Naresh, I am a little surprised. You have been in this thread long enough to know better.

Scroll down?
I find it time consuming, cumbersome and unnecessary to include as many ingredients. I learned that many years ago. Although I stock most all of that recipe, I choose not to waste my spices in a traffic jam. Spicing should be effective, not overbearing nor lost in the crowd.

Too spicy?
Not sure why you would even ask me that question. I am the only person I know that adds heat as I do.

The pictures tell the sequence,
Yes, we've been through this before. Something about an exercise machine if memory serves me.

making it easy for unfamiliar cooks.
Only cooks with a high level of experience and ingredients on hand would make a recipe like that. The average person in a good chunk of the world might have half those things at home.
That is the reason really we prefer to buy haleem in season, it is cooked overnight with beef or mutton...
It is a tedious dish to make.
In Canada, you could try getting a canned or restaurant version, a small quantity to taste first.
You may appreciate it...or see below.

An odd thing happened to me, a brother in law took me to 'Karim's' in old Delhi, and I found the spices masked the meat taste, and was not impressed.
Too strong, spices should enhance the basic taste of the meat, it was like eating spicy textured some thing.
The 'raan' (whole leg of lamb) was, however, outstanding.

Thing is that the place is more than a century old, and was started by the cooks of the last Moghul ruler, and is considered the most authentic restaurant serving that cuisine.

Tastes do matter.
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Now consider the variety in UK cooking...

to make it more like your chili.

Ugh... I'd rather not...

If it weren't for the Normans, the English would have no cuisine.

Make it more like chili? Dude, Chili Con Carne is a very easy thing to make.

We buy our chile's already in powdered form... if not, we have a couple of very fancy, powerful blenders... they can be cleaned in the dishwasher... but even that is a hassle.

Open a can of good IPA, take a swig. Costco has a great selection BTW.
Chop onions..
open cans of beans ( * ), chopped tomatoes and corn. I use Costco stuff.
open the tube of DEFROSTED Costco ground beef,
open lids of assorted chiles, herbs and spices...
heat the pan,
drink some beer,,
pour the oil - Canola from Costco.
throw onions...
drink some beer,
throw meat,
drink some beer
throw chili powders and cumin and dried aromatics
drink more beer
throw in the can of chopped tomatoes,
drink beer
throw in the beans, corn, whatever...
open another car of IPA, pour it into pot,
add chocolate/coffee if desired
stir well... while drinking beer.
bring to a boil
finish the beer
bring to a simmer and cover
open another beer,
ask daughter/wife to make corn bread, rice, salad, steamed veggies, and prepare the grated cheese and sour cream
grab a cigar
go outside, ponder the meaning of life
come back in two hours
dinner is ready.

See? that's a pretty good recipe... it combines family cooking, good food, beer and cigars. That's why Chili Con Carne is so American... it's an EFFICIENT way of cooking Good Eats. Even a busy guy can do it.

(*) Yes, I know... but using cans give us more time to drink IPA.
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It's actually a very simple dish to make...
Tony, I am confused. You are speaking of rice and paella but then mention rabbit and chicken from the gazpacho. Not sure what dish you are referring to. They're both rather straightforward dishes. Hence the reason I am interested.

Also, let's steer away from mentioning certain things in this thread. Pride of heritage is a good thing. Airing past political inconsistencies or irregularities is not. Let's keep the Mods away from this thread.
'Boiled in mint sauce! Poor thing!'

From an Asterix comic book, about a boar, commenting on English cooking, Obelix liked them roasted over an open fire.

But you will agree about the point I was trying to make, India is a large country.
And your examples of different cuisines in Iberia alone, buttress my point....

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Tony, I am confused. You are speaking of rice and paella but then mention rabbit and chicken from the gazpacho. Not sure what dish you are referring to. They're both rather straightforward dishes. Hence the reason I am interested.

Also, let's steer away from mentioning certain things in this thread. Pride of heritage is a good thing. Airing past political inconsistencies or irregularities is not. Let's keep the Mods away from this thread.

Ay... touchy, touchy... food and culture and humor go together... when my cousins were telling me those stories we were laughing our heads off. It's all in good jest, we really don't hate each other, something Europeans seem to be able to handle easily..... Somehow most Europeans get along with each other just fine. Bring out some food and beer and wine and cigarettes and the World is at Peace. If only the politicians could understand that.

And I ought to note that my comments were in response to Black Stuart... Ay!

Anyhow, there an unifying thread (pun) of the cooking traditions in the Iberian Peninsula... the Gazpacho from La Mancha has little to do with the cold Gazpacho from Andalucia... but lots in common with Paella.

You see, paella is a style of cooking, it combines a "what you got" set of ingredients. So is the Gazpacho from La Mancha. Notice they both start by cooking the meats, then they assemble the ingredients in order.... they both use paprika and broth. If you have a fairly common set of ingredients, you can make both, and variations. It really is easy... all you need is... beer! I find wine is too strong and if I drank wine while cooking the paella I'll be drunk by the time I serve it.

Once you "understand" the method of cooking these dishes, it becomes so second nature... I mean, it's really EASY.

Beef, pork, chicken, rabbit and quail are common in all of Spain. Seafood is common along the coasts. Potatoes, bread and rice too. Pimento, saffron, onions, garlic, tomatoes, eggs and olives. Everybody cooks the rice by browning first. The main difference thus will be in the sausages, use of almonds, cheese, etc... but all in all, 80% of the Iberian Cooking is fairly common. Milk and corn are generally not used in main dishes, milk only for desserts.

I mean, I could teach you Spanish cooking in two hours flat.
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'Boiled in mint sauce! Poor thing!'

From an Asterix comic book, about a boar, commenting on English cooking, Obelix liked them roasted over an open fire.

But you will agree about the point I was trying to make, India is a large country.
And your examples of different cuisines in Iberia alone, buttress my point....


My uncles used to hunt wild boar up in their Coto De Caza in the Pyrenees North of Aragon. They'd only hunt the big old males because it cleaned up the herds and made truly astounding trophy heads when mounted.... those glass eyes were darn scary in the dark, I tell you.

My aunts tried to cook them.. they were waay too tough. Not even braising them for 24 hours was enough.

India is a far larger country than Spain.... I mean, the cuisines in Spain/Portugal are rather unified, much more alike than different. India.... by itself it's more complex than all of Western Europe.

The English never saw a piece of meat they didn't boil ( Come to think about it, I got to put that big corned beef into the pot soon...).

Asterix and Obelix.... Awesome!!!! How about Tintin? I grew up with those... I still have some of the books that I grew up with, right 12 feet behind me on the shelf. Yes, the Gauls always roasted their game over fires.

I loved the one storyline where Asterix and Obelix meet Julius Caesar.
OK, it was a travelogue.... but, do you understand the strong culinary connections between La Mancha and Valencia?

They are more similar than different.

Both are delicious and quite easy to make.

I don't think anyone has written a book about that topic... it's something you figure out over time when exposed to them...

Oh.. btw... veal chops over a wood fire.... just salt and pepper for ten minutes, grilled quickly over a HOT wood fire ( or a gas grill...), dipped on aioli. Served with a simple plate of tomatoes and olives, good french bread and a good pinot wine.

Easy aioli. Get real mayo, no sugar. Two cups, twelve cloves of crushed garlic, juice of half a lemon. Mix. Let it rest in the fridge for a few hours... best overnight. It should have a kick of a garlic mule.
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Try Zinc in tablet form, for loss of taste, or as possibly part of a vitamins / mineral combination tablet...5 to 50 mg is the common adult dose.

Tony, if you can, try some Indian pickles, 'Priya' is a famous brand, there are many others. Some companies here do not sell in the domestic market, only exports, ask an Indian friend to guide you.
My sister is lost without tomato pickle, I prefer the mango - ginger flavored pickle.
You may just find prawn, fish and chicken pickles.
Mango, lime, green pepper pickles are common.
A half teaspoon is enough, so get the smallest pack, you can always buy a bigger pack of the one you liked.

I also have near complete sets of the Asterix and Tintin series.
Some of the Calvin and Hobbes collection series as well.

In one of the Asterix books, a snack was served containing 'cockroach lips from Mongolia', which were simply described as 'salty' by Obelix...Gladiator, I think was part of the title.
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Amazing how potatos are in so many dishes. They were American in origin and are just into other places for a few hundred years.

Now if you want to talk about regional differences, in just local corned beef there is a significant difference between Pittsburgh and Cleveland. (Slymans V Pamelas!)

I leave out New York City as even their Carnegie Deli at one time got corned beef from Pittsburgh!
My wife doesn't like chutneys.... My daughter and I decisively love them...

Corned beef... yeah... I once ordered a "half a corned beef" sandwich at a Western New Jersey deli.

I figure the full sandwich must have fed a whole family... the thing was like six inches tall.

New Jersey has fantastic food.... whatever you may say about Hoboken, Hackensack, whatever, it has really, REALLY good food. I've spent two week long trips out there in business... and our lunches and dinners were absolutely marvelous. And, I take my food most seriously. Out here West, our best food is Asian, California BBQ and traditional Mexican and Central/Pacific Rim South American... out in NJ, you got some of the best Western Euro food: Jewish, Portuguese, Galician, Spanish, French, Sicilian, North Italian, Argentine, Brazilian, Cuban and surprisingly even German...

Yeah, as I get older the acuity of my taste and smell is diminishing... but veal... milk fed baby veal.... and baby lamb... those don't go away... all you need to do is to compensate by putting more garlic in the aioli.

I was never in the joke about Captain Haddock's name until I learned English. Sometimes I call our dog "Milou"...
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