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|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Saturday Afternoon Dinner Blogging
**Big thanks to Joaquin, who let me bounce some ideas for this meal off of him earlier this week.**
Oh my god, is that two-and-a-half pounds of pork on my cutting board?!?!
Indeed it is. On the left is a pork shoulder roast, on the right? Pork belly.
Although I don't think pork is big in North Africa, I'm still going to try to turn this stuff into a Moroccan feast tonight.
Using the spice mixture I used from my lamb shanks just after Xmas:
Two parts cinnamon
Two parts coriander
One part salt
One part cumin
One part white pepper
Half part nutmeg
I chopped up the half-pound of pork belly and tossed it liberally with the spices. Note that I've broken out the tagine, for its inaugural run on my stove top.
From there, I'm really only using the belly to render out the fat, infusing it with the spices for my next step. I'm not even sure I'm going to use the meat, in all honesty. We'll see where this goes.
Alright, so I let the pork belly release some fat, and ended up brushing the pork fat on these:
Those are bosc pears, wedged into eighths, then brushed with pork fat and Moroccan spice rub. I roasted them in the oven, and will get back to them later.
After that, I got back to the pork shoulder, which I had cubed up. In a small bowl I mixed 1/4 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of the above spice mix with garlic powder, ginger, salt and red pepper added. I tossed the pork with this stuff, coating it well. I also chopped two medium/large shallots, and got some olive oil heating up in my large French oven.
I browned the pork, letting the spice/flour mix stick well to the bottom. After that:
Here's what it looks like all together:
The tagine was one of those bug-up-my-ass purchases that came around after getting a gift of argan oil from the Doc for Xmas. It's a Moroccan vessel with a conical top that allows for steaming and condensation to recirculate inside, enabling stewing at a low heat point.
Now, theoretically, is this anything I couldn't have done with what I had on hand before buying this thing?
I'll buy a tagine if I want to.
We're about 90 minutes in to cooking this thing, and the only mistake I've made so far is in not stirring it often enough. The sugars in the raisins and apricots released and caused some burn down on the bottom of the tagine, despite the low heat. No biggie though, what's on top still tastes pretty damn good.
(Sorry yo, neighbor came upstairs for dinner.)
The Israeli couscous is made with lemon juice and saffron with chopped pork belly, and the pork turned out really fucking tasty, especially with the roasted pears underneath.
Making this meal was a really good experience, mostly because I challenged myself to do a variety of things that I hadn't before. I mean, yes, at a minimum this is still just fatty meat slow cooked in liquid, and that's my wheelhouse, but there was some new stuff in there too.
Obviously, the tagine itself was new ground for me, but cooking with aromatics (as opposed to oregano/basil), dried fruit and saffron gave me some exposure doing some things I hadn't really done to a large extent before.
I've got to admit, since I didn't use recipes for any of this stuff, I really had to use my imagination to piece this whole thing together. This isn't to say that what I did was particularly inventive, but I worked the spice mix out myself, I came up with the pears-in-pork-fat thing (again, I'm sure I'm not the first), and planned the couscous all on my own - mostly using spice combinations I hadn't ever goofed with before.
So how did it taste?
Well, the couscous was just okay. The lemon flavor didn't pop, the saffron was really subtle, and the pork belly was more like cracklins than it was like bacon by the time I got it added. I like the Israeli couscous particularly because it ends up releasing its starches much like a risotto, so a little additional flavor to make the couscous "sauce" (just the light glue that this stuff swims in) deeper would have been nice.
The main dish though... wow. The apricots and raisins melted into the liquid (mostly), thickening it up and creating a real velvety texture to the sauce. The pork was really soft (obviously, after three hours stewing), and the cinnamon/nutmeg flavors were really brought out by the fruit. The pears turned out really nice too. The tastes and textures worked together nicely.
I really couldn't have been more pleased. So, while the couscous was a D-Plus effort, I'm giving myself a solid A for the pork and pears. Not to be egotistical or anything, but I'm damned proud of how all this worked out.
More Serious Questions On "Barry" Obama
You know who else does this stuff? America haters, fags and the French.
Why hasn't he repudiated fellow-Muslim Abdul-Rauf? Is he hiding an Amaechian secret? I hear he's eaten frites. Why won't he address this?
(Also note, he was likely the only black guy on his Hawaiian high school team, yet couldn't make it to the varsity until his senior year. Naturally, this puts him as less-black-than-Tiger but more-black-than-Bryant-Gumbel on the scale. Also, he passes too much. Socialist.)
Friday, April 18, 2008
I Don't Know What To Do With This, So HERE:
What would the studio pitch for the movie version of the Ziggy comic strip sound like? Clear nine minutes or so. Enjoy.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Osama, I mean B. Hussein Obama is a secret Muslim one-man sleeper cell who attended a madrassa, and is a radical black Christian nationalist with a Marxist pedigree that informs his elitist Socialist worldview.
Except when he's just a n****r.
Obama + Osama = 327,000 hits
Obama + Hussein = 574,000 hits
Obama + "secret muslim" = 26,800 results
Obama + muslim = 740,000 hits
Obama + madrassa = 177,000 hits
Obama + "sleeper cell" = 79,600 hits
Obama + "radical christian" = 19,100 hits
Obama + nationalist = 253,000 hits
Obama + father + marxist = 314,000 hits
Obama + elitist = 1,030,000 hits
Obama + marxist = 1,090,000 hits
Obama + n****r = 433,000 hits
Disclaimer: Our method of discussing our potential leaders - from the media to the average man on the street - is profoundly fucked up and stupid, especially considering how many people could concurrently believe any number of the smears that if true, would alone exclude the possibility of most of the others above. We're all idiots for watching the sideshow as it rolls through town. Idiots.
Additionally, I feel dirty and a little freaked out that all these searches are going to lead to the Secret Service knocking on my door. Clearly, I think these smears are collectively full of motherfucking shit.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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