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Sunday Night Cooking Roundup: 11 July, 2011

(Gosh, I haven't done this in a while.)

Today's Sunday Cooking Roundup is a litlte disappointing. There's nothing vegetarian here, but I do have pescaterian and poultry friendly dishes.  What we do have, however, reflects what was on sale at the grocery store. In addition to the standard salad vegetables and herbs that I normally buy, this weekend they had chicken breasts, shrimp and mixed shellfish on sale.  There was no way I was going to miss out on buying these, so this week's menu is heavy on all of them. Apologies to my veggie friends, and I'll try again for next week.

Here's what we have on the menu:

  1. Dheeraj's Modified Shrimp Scampi,
  2. Garlic Chicken and
  3. Mixed Shellfish Soup.

Recipes and pictures after the jump.

Slow Roasted Beef With Pomegranate Molasses Sauce

This is another accidental recipe that turned out to be quite delicious. I don't know how it is that I'm so lucky all the time with my experiments - as far as I remember, I've only had four experiments go utterly awry in the last seven years. 

This recipe came together out of a random set of circumstances. As I mentioned before, the Safeway near my old place had fantastic sales on roasts, and I wanted to play with one. I'd recently been to the Middle Eastern grocery store to get some bulk spices, and I had been thinking about how pomegranate molasses would serve as the basis for an Indian-ish barbecue sauce.

I adapted some of this from a bouef bourguignonne recipe, some from what my parents used to prepare for cookouts and some from what I know of Texas barbecue techniques. I would love to see some feedback on this recipe.

Once again, I didn't take any pictures. Sue me.

Ingredients

1 4-5 lbs London  Broil

2 serrano chillies

5 medium yellow onions

5 Tbsp minced garlic

5 Tbsp minced ginger

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar vinegar

1 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses

2 tsp brown sugar

4 potatoes, peeled and chopped

6 rashers of bacon

1/2 cup finely chopped basil

6 Tbsp garam masala

1 Tbsp Freshly ground cinnamon (Do not use the powdered stuff - do it yourself)

3 Tbs Indian dried red chillies

Salt and Pepper to taste

Preparation

The first thing to do is boil the bacon a bit to get rid of the excess salt. So, take a large Dutch oven and fill it with water, bring to boil, and then stick your bacon strips in for about four minutes.  While this is going, dice one onion and your chillies as finely as you can, and slowly sautee in 1 tsp vegetable oil. When that's done, drain the water and carefully pat down your bacon strips.  Cut the bacon into small strips, probably the size of a normal lardon, and add to the onions and chillies.  Let this go for a bit, till the lardons start to stiffen up a bit.

At this point, add the vinegar and the pomegranate molasses, and keep cooking on medium heat, stirring occasionally. While this is happening, finely dice two more onions and add them in.

Set your oven to preheat to 325.

Searing Your London Broil

Sear it as you would any other meat that you're going to stick in the oven, and set aside.

Back to The Sauce

You should be getting quite a pungent smell by now, and it's only going to get stronger.  Mix in the garam masala, ginger and garlic. You want this to form a somewhat thick paste for now. (Don't worry, you're going to add water into the mix later.) Keep cooking. If it looks like the paste is getting too think for your comfort, add just enough of the lemon juice to dilute it, but hold off on adding all of it for now.

Once you get a good paste, mix in the brown sugar, cinnamon, basil and remaining spices and the lemon juice.  Put in the chopped potatoes, and add your beef to the Dutch Oven.  If you're like me, your Dutch oven isn't big enough to handle a gigantic London Broil, and you'll have to cut it into pieces to get it in there. That's fine - don't sweat it.

After you've tossed in the beef, add the final two onions, finely diced. Now, for the final step, add enough water to make sure that the beef is well covered, and stick it in the oven.

Checking On It

Normally, roasts like this will take hours to cook, but the pomegranate and balsamic vinegar will tear that beef to shreds. It's probably good to go after two hours in the oven, but I let mine go to three because I love how soft it can get.

Serving


The Houston in me compels me to eat slow cooked meats with tortillas, at the very least, but I'd imagine that this would go well with a strong bread, maybe a sourdough.

Suggested Modifications

I think that this has the potential to turn out very sour, depending on your taste, so you may want to add more sugar to take some of the edge off.

You may also want to add more chillies. I like serranos, but that's just me.

Pimm's Marinated Grilled Swordfish With Lemongrass, Dill, Mint, Cucumber Sauce

A few people have asked me for this, so I'm sharing. Enjoy!

There are two parts to this: the marinade and the garnish.

Garnish

1. 1 Cucumber, peeled and finely diced
2. 2-3 diced bulbs of green onion
3. 1 diced green chilly (I use serrano)
4. 2 tsp freshly ground ginger
5. 2 Tsp fresh mint
6. 2 Tsp fresh dill
7. 2 Tsp fresh lemongrass
8. 3/4 cup white dry wine (I use Pinot Grigio)
9. 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
10. 1/2 cup lemon juice
11. Freshly ground pepper to taste
12. Salt to taste

Mix 8,9,10 together strongly.  This is the base of the garnish.  Add in 11 and 12.

At this point, you should add in everything else and mix thoroughly. You want to let the flavours steep in and mix with each other.

Let sit for at least an hour - I suggest that you make this an hour before you intend to plate your grilled swordfish.


Marinade

1. 3/4 cup Pimm's No. 2
2. Salt and pepper to taste
3. 1/2 cup white dry wine
4. 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
5.  2 tsp fresh mint
6. 2 tsp fresh dill
7. 2 tsp fresh lemongrass

Mix all ingredients together, and add swordfish to the bowl. Let it sit for at least three hours, turning every half hour.

This gives you enough for six to eight generously sized steaks, eight to ten ounces each.  Grill the steaks and brush with marinade, say, twelve minutes each side.

When plating, pour a generous portion of the garnish on top.

Two word response

In re: this piece of stupid generalisations about Jewish people, here is my two word response: Neil Gaiman.

-dx

Jazz guitar resources

Here are some jazz guitar resources that have come my way.  I'm going to keep adding to this. Enjoy.

1. Herb Ellis Swing Blues Jazz Guitar Method

2. Wes Montgomery Style Method

3. Jody Fisher Vol. 1

4. Jody Fisher Vol. 2

5. Jody Fisher Vol 3.

6. Jody Fisher Vol. 4.

-dx

This is the logo

 

Nick, you can see how this file renders now on the site. I'm going to keep this site structure, but the proportions may change.

Now, if you want to see how it looks on its own, outside the Drupal system, here's a link to the file itself.

-dx

Take The Boy Out Of Linux,...

So, yesterday, I bought a 15" MacBook Pro. It's gorgeous. I'm switching from Linux Mint, Helena.

To give you an indication of how deeply ingrained Ubuntu has become in my mind, this is the first thing that I issued in my new term:

Last login: Wed Dec 16 10:09:38 on console

Dheeraj-Chands-MacBook-Pro:~ dheerajchand$ sudo apt-get install electricsheep

Password:
sudo: apt-get: command not found
Dheeraj-Chands-MacBook-Pro:~ dheerajchand$

Wow, this is going to take some adjustment.  Just thought you'd be amused.

-dx

Using PHP to Explain The Kinds of Republican

Imagine that you've found a Republican. You know what they're called, but you don't know what that the definition of that kind of Republican is.  Here's a PHP script to help you decipher it. Enjoy!

-dx

 

<?php

function gop_type_determine($observed_case) {

$definition = "Let's face it: this person is a Republican, and therefore an asshole. ";

switch ($observed_case) {

case "fundagelical":

$definition .= " This is a member of the Taleban, RSS/BJP, etc.who speaks English instead of Pashtu or Hindi and imputes mystical powers to Jesus instead of Mohammed. You can recognise this one because he selectively chooses verses from the Old Testament/Torah that explain the bigotries that his lizard brain produce. This Republican aspires to nothing higher than being able to tell Jesus that his daughter got a Home Ec degree from Liberty University when he's raptured. The only thing that would please him more would be if every non-white person were to somehow die at once.";

break ;

case "wingnut_catholic" :

$definition .= " This is a particularly screwy case, as unlike most other Republicans, the Wingnut Catholic has most likely read at least one book not sold at Walmart. Similar to the fundagelical, this Republican is terrified that somewhere, someone may be gay, and that this gay person is going about life enjoying himself at least as much as any other heterosexual person is. The thought of a gay person being happy is anathema to the wingnut Catholic. The thought of a gay person who isn't shrouded in years of psychic pain brings them psychic pain. To get to their goal of oppressing gays (and women,too, because they remind them of gays.) and make it sound like something other than the bigotry that it is, the Wingnut Catholic will usually invoke the history of anti-Catholicism in this country as proof that his bigotry should be socially acceptable. He will argue that because of bigotry against Catholics, they should be allowed to be bigoted against gays and women (See, 'Donohue, Bill'). Failing that, they will pull out the big gun: Aristotelian Natural Law. This will sound confusing and persuasive, and you'll frequently hear terms like 'objectively disordered'. There will also be references to 'three-legged squirrels'. This may sound persuasive till you remember that 1) From Aristotle's own mouth, we have it that all of this is dependent on his biology. Aristotle's biology has been empirically demonstrated to not work. 2) This is doctrine of the Catholic Church, and not by any means a philosophical consensus. 3) Therefore, you have to willingly buy into their flawed theory that is doctrine for their religion to be persuaded of it.";

break ;

case "corporatist" :

$definition .= " This is the classic case of the Republican. This person is the sort of person who believes that our democracy is imperfect, not because of millions of Americans who are shut out of voting, a legacy of federalism being used to oppress people, the hundreds of thousands who live in third world conditions, etc. No, this person's steely heart and resolve are only broken by the tragedy that ExxonMobil and Comcast are unable to govern freely, as these vicious proles keep using their government to pass laws. To the Corporatist, governments are only legitimate so long as they wage war on behalf of corporate interests. Anything that they do to protect citizens is Communism.";

break ;

case "teabagger" :

$definition .= " This is a new name for a classic Republican. In his most current incarnation as a Teabagger, this Republican genuinely believes that the greatest threat to America is the horde of homosexual illegal immigrants from Mexico crossing our borders to unplug our braindead ladies and adopt their children, and they know because Fox told them so. Moreover, these Mexicans will form a fifth column for our Kenyan born so-called President. The Teabagger also worries about spending if and only if it is not going to white people or corporations, and is completely incapable of recognising that every spending problem we have to day is because of Reagan and Bush.";

break ;

case "laffer_tard" :

$definition .= " This one is very similar to the Corporatist, but with a twist. The Laffer Tard believes in what you could call trickle down economics. What that means is that if you cut tax rates and give the rich welfare, as they walk up the hills to their mansions, some money may fall out of their pockets and trickle down the hills to where the poor live." ;

break;

}

return $definition;

}

?>

<html>

<body style="padding: 2em; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif">

<?

if ($_REQUEST["republican_type"] != "") {

echo ("<p style='padding-bottom: 2em'>".gop_type_determine($_REQUEST["republican_type"])."</p>");

}

?>

<form>

<select onchange="this.form.submit()" name="republican_type">

<option value="-1">which type of republican?</option>

<option value="laffer_tard">laffer tard</option>

<option value="teabagger">teabagger</option>

<option value="corporatist">corporatist</option>

<option value="wingnut_catholic">wingnut_catholic</option>

<option value="fundagelical">fundagelical</option>

</select>

</form>

</body>

</html>

</html>

Conservative Democrats have a lot in common with their Republican counterparts

I wonder how long it will take to discover statements from Baucus condemning Bill Clinton's adultery

I also propose that from now on, whenever some high horse conservative in the Senate gets caught up in a sex scandal, we call it pulling a Vitter.

-dx

London Broil Braised in Garam Masala and Ginger Adobo Sauce

The Safeway over by my place has fantastic sales on roasts, London Broils, etc., so I'm always playing around.   Here's a recipe for one that I came up with not too long ago, and it really pleased me.  The recipe came about by accident, as I had defrosted a roast, forgotten about it and found myself in a position in which I had to cook it that night. The whole thing took me less than three and a half hours, and most of that was spent watching a baseball game while the thing cooked in the oven.

I adapted some of this from a bouef bourguignonne recipe, some from what Lisa tells me about Hawaiian Adobo and some from my own inspiration. I would love to see some feedback on this recipe.

Once again, I didn't take any pictures. Sue me.

Ingredients

1 2-4 lbs London  Broil

2 serrano chillies

5 medium yellow onions

5 Tbsp minced garlic

5 Tbsp minced ginger

1 cup white wine vinegar

1 cup lemon juice

1 cup soy sauce

2 tsp brown sugar

4 potatoes, peeled and chopped

6 rashers of bacon

1 cup finely chopped coriander

4 Tbsp garam masala

Salt and Pepper to taste

Preparation

The first thing to do is boil the bacon a bit to get rid of the excess salt. So, take a large Dutch oven and fill it with water, bring to boil, and then stick your bacon strips in for about four minutes.  While this is going, dice one onion and your chillies as finely as you can, and slowly sautee in 1 tsp vegetable oil. When that's done, drain the water and carefully pat down your bacon strips.  Cut the bacon into small strips, probably the size of a normal lardon, and add to the onions and chillies.  Let this go for a bit, till the lardons start to stiffen up a bit.

At this point, add the vinegar and the soy, and keep cooking on medium heat, stirring occasionally. While this is happening, finely dice two more onions and add them in.

Set your oven to preheat to 325.

Searing Your London Broil

I know lots of people who are of differnet minds on how to do this. In summer, I'd prefer a grill.  This time of year, though, I just did it in a frying pan with a bit of vegetable oil and salt and pepper.  Sear it as you would any other meat that you're going to stick in the oven, and set aside.

Back to The Adobo

You should be getting quite a pungent smell by now, and it's only going to get stronger.  Mix in the garam masala, ginger and garlic. You want this to form a somewhat thick paste for now. (Don't worry, you're going to add water into the mix later.) Keep cooking. If it looks like the paste is getting too think for your comfort, add just enough of the lemon juice to dilute it, but hold off on adding all of it for now.

Once you get a good paste, mix in the brown sugar, coriander and the lemon juice.  Put in the chopped potatoes, and add your beef to the Dutch Oven.  If you're like me, your Dutch oven isn't big enough to handle a gigantic London Broil, and you'll have to cut it into pieces to get it in there. That's fine - don't sweat it.

After you've tossed in the beef, add the final two onions, finely diced. Now, for the final step, add enough water to make sure that the beef is well covered, and stick it in the oven.

Checking On It

Normally, roasts like this will take hours to cook, but this modified Adobo will tear that beef to shreds. It's probably good to go after two hours in the oven, but I let mine go to three because I love how soft it can get.

Serving

The Houston in me compels me to eat slow cooked meats with tortillas, at the very least, but I'd imagine that this would go well with a strong bread, maybe a sourdough.

Suggested Modifications

I think that this has the potential to turn out very sour, depending on your taste, so you may want to add more sugar to take some of the edge off.

You may also want to add more chillies. I like serranos, but that's just me.