Saturday, May 24, 2008

Indiana Jones

Pretty good movie. Saw it Wednesday night, and I was pretty impressed. Very old school. Not absolutely amazing, but very enjoyable.

I also started playing the Penny Arcade game, beautifully named "On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One", which I have already finished and found IMMENSELY wonderful, so much so that I am VERY eagerly awaiting Episode Two. The characters were beautifully done, the transitions between animation and 3d were excellently performed, the combat well balanced, and the pacing of the entire experience very precisely executed for a very superbly paced experience.

Also, the cooking classes at Chefs 2b are getting much better, today I was on time, well paced, the only mistake I made was not filling up the cupcake papers high enough and wasting a little batter, but next time I will do better. When I talk to Robert, now that he's back from his honeymoon, I'm going to ask him if Jeannette, who has been wonderful.

My free HD DVDs from Toshiba arrived in the mail. Only got one of the ones I asked for, Aeon Flux. They sent me a copy of The Departed, which I already own, The Order of the Phoenix, which I'm not interested in owning, Casino, which, admittedly, I've never seen before, Mission Impossible 2, which I disliked entirely. So.. I got one good movie and one that may be good. Pretty lame deal.

I really shouldn't try to catch up three or four weeks of not blogging regularly with one post. I'm barely scratching the last few weeks surface, because even being swamped at work I've managed to completely fill my spare time.

Oh well. It's good that I'm busy.

I have another kids party for Chefs 2b tomorrow.

Monday, May 12, 2008



Insanely popular in Lima and in Peruvian communities in the U.S. For
maximum crispness and to speed up the cooking process, the chicken is
spatchcocked (butterflied). Note: in Peru, you'd use a fiery yellow
chili called aji amarillo (use 1 to 2). This recipe approximates the
flavor by mixing yellow bell pepper and habanero.

Method: Direct grilling
Serves: 2 to 4
Advance Preparation: 2 to 12 hours for marinating the chicken

For the marinade and sauce:
1 yellow or orange bell pepper
1 habanero pepper, or 2 jalapeno peppers, or more to taste
One small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea), or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup mayonnaise (Hellmann's preferred)

For the chicken:
1 whole chicken (about 3-1/2 to 4 pounds)

Stem, seed, and devein the bell pepper and the habanero and chop
roughly. Combine in a blender container with the onion, cilantro, lime
juice, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, and vegetable oil. Blend
until fairly smooth. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of the
marinade mixture (reserve the remainder) with the mayonnaise and stir
to combine. Cover and refrigerate the mayonnaise mixture until ready
to serve.

Place the chicken, breast side down, on a cutting board. Using poultry
shears or a sharp knife, cut through the flesh and bone along both
sides of the backbone. Cut from the tail end to the head end and
completely remove the backbone.

Open out the chicken (like opening a book) by gently pulling the
halves apart. Using a sharp paring knife, lightly score the top of the
breastbone. Run your thumbs along and under the sides of the
breastbone and attached cartilage and pop them out. Spread the bird
out flat.

Turn the bird over. Using a sharp knife, make a slit in the skin
between the lower end of the breastbone and the leg, on each side,
approximately 1/2 inch long (you're trying to accommodate the end of
the drumstick). Stick the end of the drumstick on that side through
the slit.

Put the spatchcocked chicken into a nonreactive baking dish and pour
the marinade over it, turning to coat completely. Cover with plastic
wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or as long as overnight.

Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium. When ready
to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the chicken on the
grate, skin-side down. Grill for 12 to 15 minutes per side, turning
once with tongs and a spatula. The chickens can be a little awkward to
turn; you'll need to use both utensils. If the skin browns too much,
lower the heat or move the chicken to a cooler section of the grill.
The chicken is done when an instant-read meat thermometer inserted
into the thickest part of a thigh (but not touching the bone)
registers 170 degrees F. Or to play it safe, you can indirect grill
the bird—in which case, place it skin side up on the grill and
indirect grill for about 40 minutes.

Let the bird rest for 3 to 5 minutes, then carve and serve with the
mayonnaise sauce.


These spicy flat burgers turn up throughout the Balkans, especially in
Bosnia-Herzegovina. Flatten the burger to the thickness and size of a
pita bread. The easiest way to do this is to flatten it on a metal or
stone work surface, then pry it off with a slender metal spatula.

Method: Direct grilling
Serves: Serves 4
Advance Preparation: 1/2 to 1 hour for letting the meat rest

12 ounces ground beef, preferably ground chuck
12 ounces ground veal (or substitute more ground beef)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 to 2 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced (see Note)
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea), or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
Grilled pita bread for serving
Tomato slices and lemon wedges for serving (optional)

Combine the beef, veal, garlic, onion, serrano pepper(s), parsley,
salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Knead the mixture gently with
your hands until thoroughly blended. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap
and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Divide the meat in four equal portions. Mold each into a large flat
disk, like a pita bread, on the back of a metal baking sheet or stone
countertop. Each burger should be about 6 inches across and 1/4-inch

Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush and
grill the grill grate.

Loosen the burger from the baking sheet, sliding a slender metal
spatula under it. Transfer it to the grill. Grill until cooked
through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. The internal temperature on an
instant read meat thermometer inserted through the side will be at
least 160 degrees.

Transfer to a large plate or platter and serve at once with pita,
tomato slices, and lemon wedges for squeezing.

Note: For a hotter pljeskavica, leave the seeds in.

Strange Dream

I dreamed that my grandma, grandpa, sister, and a stranger showed up
at work, and I thought they were bringing work for me, but instead
they wanted me to bring rock band and wario ware to my dad's house to
play later. My sister never said anything.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


My troubled mind engaged in midnight pondering,
focused on a distant shore.
A sleepless night of troubled and thoughtful wandering,
dreaming of the night before.

Carnal visions mark my soul,
marks and scrapes adorn my skin.
From a room as dark as velvet and coal,
my new obsession did begin.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Beer and Cooking

I don't really have a lot of time to go into all the details.. but
this weekend.. was rough...

I didn't sleep at all on friday night, and I didn't get much sleep on saturday.

Saw my dad in misery in the hospital.

I witnessed Zac's mom get the most horrible wound I've ever seen on
her shin... I feel so bad for her.

The cooking class that I taught on sunday was a disaster, a real
disaster, filled with all kinds of smaller disasters. I really don't
want to go into it, but I wish I had done much better since it was my
first time. They still want me to teach again, though.

There were 3 good things... The concert was pretty good. I got to
spend a good amount of time hanging out with friends among whom were
Mike and Newman, both of whom I have missed a great deal. And finally,
the beer we brewed on sunday was the most flawlessly executed beer day
we've ever had. We cooled down the wort at a record speed, we mixed it
right, we did the boil perfectly and quickly, with less than a quarter
of a gallon of evaporation loss. We have never so smoothly and
skillfully brewed and fermented a wort, I can only hope that the beer
is good.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Long Stretch of Road

I'm turning the corner for the long weekend. And I don't mean the type
of long weekend where I get extra days off. My weekend plans started
at 5:45 this morning, and included working early so I'd have time for
everything. On top of my obligations to visit Zac and my dad, and
trying to visit Mike, then the foodites on saturday morning, and
cooking class on saturday evening, I could end up spending sunday
brewing, which, since Mike has never been a part of it, should be fun
for him. Can't wait to see what he has to say about our beers. I think
that they have turned out to be tremendously superb.

I am going to need a VERY good night's sleep come monday night after I
do this whole routine of coming to work early to acomodate plans for
monday evening. I really hope that I'm qualified to teach these
classes, since I've never done it before, I'm quite nervous. How much
do I let the kids do? How much do I trust them not to cut themselves
with the knives? How old are they? Will I remember exactly how to make
the strawberry shortcake dough right? I get nervous like this, it's
amazing that I don't get too paralyzed to do things like this when the
time comes. It's terrifying.

Oh, yeah, and... on a last minute whim I saw the midnight pre-release
showing of Iron Man last night.. at like 9:30, the showing after the
8:00 showing.. before the 11:00.. none of which were actually AT
midnight. They're really getting slack on their definitions.

I'm not going to complain about that, though, I had to wake up at
5:45, so... fine by me.. get out, get home, get to sleep asap was my
motto for the movie last night.

Commentary on the times of midnight releases aside, it was a brilliant
and fun movie, Robert Downey Jr is just fun to watch, he's like a
sarcastic Tom Hanks. As great as the story, the graphics, the fights,
and the other characters are, his one liners are what really separated
this gem from the crowd of action flicks this year... and this is only
the beginning.. Indiana Jones, Batman, Wall-E, Chronicles of Narnia,
and I know there are others that I can't remember off the top of my
head.. going to be a big summer. Biggest ever, I think, as far as
movies that I like go...

My girl is the best. She writes beautiful poetry that expresses an amazing soul.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Something New

Well, it's early to bed tonight, and early to rise tomorrow. I hope
that the next two days goes well. Concert tomorrow night, and then
Lasagna party at Chefs 2b saturday night.

It's been a long slow day that I've spent doing some thinking. I
really need a new job. Pretty badly. I need to have my resume turned
into Continental by sunday night.

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