NIBBLES: Libertarian Lunch

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One of the hotter cooking publications this year is not a tome on molecular gastronomy from Spain or a “Jersey Shore” breakfast-in-bed cookbook.

It’s the 2011 edition of “The Ron Paul Family Cookbook.”

More than 400,000 copies of the paperbound collection have been given away or sold by the Ron Paul for President campaign, according to wire reports. It’s the latest in an annual series of meal missives from the family.

The recipes for simple dishes such as King Ranch Chicken, Zippy Olive Beef Spread, and Easy Oreo Truffles are mainly from Paul’s wife, Carol Paul. In the book she calls the recipes “libertarian with a small l,” since they are aimed at freeing mothers (who presumably do all the cooking) to do other things. “The idea is to just use whatever’s already on the shelf,” she said. Apparently many of those ingredients come out of cans and envelopes.

The book also includes a healthy dose of Ron Paul’s Libertarian (with a big “L”) philosophy and even some diet advice from Carol Paul: “If you’re not hungry anymore, quit eating.”

While Congressman Paul recently suspended his campaign, he hasn’t officially quit his quixotic pursuit of the Republican nomination, so the cookbook remains a piece of hot campaign memorabilia. The absolutely pretense-free, 28-page booklet costs $8 on the Ron Paul website.

Here’s a recipe from Carol Paul to give you a taste of Libertarian fare:

 

Easy Linguine Casserole

8 ounces uncooked multigrain linguini

2 cups cubed ham or 2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast

1½ cups shredded Swiss cheese (save some to sprinkle on top)

1 small can reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup

8 ounces reduced-fat sour cream

1 box fresh sliced mushrooms

1 medium onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

 

Cook the linguini according to the package directions. Drain and set aside. Combine with meat, cheese, soup, sour cream, onion, green pepper and mushrooms in a greased 9- by 13-inch pan.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for about 10 to 15 more minutes to melt cheese.

 

ON THE MENU

“Is spicy okay?” the waitress asked. “Oh ya,” I said with a grin.

I slurped a bowl of mild onion-y egg drop soup and worried that I was about to torch my buds on the dan dan noodles I ordered recently at Chef Liu’s Authentic Chinese Cuisine, 562 S. Chambers Road in Aurora. My anxiety was unnecessary. I dug into a big white bowl of thin white noodles in a sesame-based sauce intersecting with tiny chunks of beef, lightly wok-ed baby bok choy, cool cucumber slivers and a sprinkling of peanuts. The sauce had an undeniable Szechuan kick, but mainly it was a rich and complexly layered flavor that lingered. It made me want another bowl. I’m looking forward to going back for “spicy fish filet with numbing chili oil.”

 

EATERY UPDATE

Masala Xpress opened recently in the Town Center at Aurora, 14200 E. Alameda Ave. … Be sure to vote in the debut Grade A Awards which honors the best things about life in metro Aurora, and restaurants in particular. Voting continues online through July 8 at aurorasentinel.com/grade-a-ballot. … Coming soon: Mexican Empanadas, 3140 S. Parker Road, Aurora… The top-notch, Boulder-born Snarf’s Sub Shop mini-chain has opened a location at the University of Denver that serves wines from Denver’s Infinite Monkey Theorem.

 

COME TO THE TABLE

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

“The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken. Bon appétit. ”

– Julia Child