Saturday, September 24, 2005

Recipe Blogging I

Today I thought I'd try a bit of recipe blogging. I've found quite a few good recipes on other blogs so I thought I'd contribute a few of my favorites to the blogospheric collection. Both of the recipes below are ones that I adapted from other recipes I've found in cookbooks.

I will generally follow the book recipe once, just to give myself a baseline, then start adding/changing things to suit my taste. I suspect that's how most of us do it. Anyway, both recipes require fairly little prep time but will need a while to either marinate or simmer. They're both worth the wait though. I hope you enjoy them.
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Recipe Blogging II

Tuna Steaks in Sesame-Lime-Soy Marinade (for 8)

4 pounds of Tuna (or other firm flesh fish e.g., swordfish), cut into 8 steaks.

1/3 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons grated lime peel
¼ cup fresh-squeezed lime juice (Try to find ripe, i.e., yellow limes. Those dark green things are probably two weeks away from ripe)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup sesame oil
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
¼ cup finely chopped scallion
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 scallion and 1 strip of lime peel, cut into julienne strips (for garnish)

Arrange the fish in a 9 x 13 glass dish with sides high enough to hold the marinade.

To make the marinade, combine the soy sauce, grated lime peel, lime juice, garlic, ginger, mustard, oil and chopped scallion and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well ( a blender works well here). Pour over the fish. Cover the dish and place in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.

When ready to cook, preheat the broiler (or grill) until hot. Place the fish on a broiler pan (or on the grill) and broil or grill for 4 to 5 minutes each side. The fish should still have a hint of pink in the middle. Try not to overcook. If using a grill, keep some of the marinade aside and brush on the fish before turning. Transfer to a platter and pour the pan juices over the fish. Garnish with the scallion and lime strips.

Optional: you can also marinate some jumbo tiger prawns, shells on, with the fish and grill them too.

This recipe goes well with a nice dry sauvignon or chenin blanc, or chardonnay if you prefer a sweeter wine.
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Recipe Blogging III - Brother J's Three Bean Chili

This is a recipe I adapted from something I found in a book. It is tasty and fairly quick and easy to put together. It will serve 6-8 people.

1 15 oz. can pinto beans
1 15 oz. can red kidney beans
1 15 oz. can black beans
1/3 cup olive oil
3 medium yellow onions, chopped
3-6 fresh serrano or jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (depending on tolerance/bravery)
6 cloves of garlic
1 ½ pounds lean ground beef, sirloin works best.
3 - 6 tbsp (1 oz) chili powder (see above re tolerance/bravery)
1 ½ tbsp ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¾ teaspoon dried oregano
1 cans (28 oz) crushed plum (Roma) tomatoes
2 large bottles (20 oz.) pale ale such as Bass Ale (any beer works in a pinch though)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Drain and rinse the beans. Set aside.

In a large (4 qt), heavy saucepan or (stockpot) over low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and chili peppers and sauté, stirring, until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes. When the onions are almost done, use a garlic press to add the garlic then add the chili powder, cumin, cayenne and oregano and sauté, stirring for 2 more minutes. While the onions are cooking, brown the meat separately in a skillet. I like to leave it in fairly large chunks, not fine mince. Drain and rinse the meat then add to the onions and spices, mixing together.

Add the beans, tomatoes, 1 bottle of the ale and enough water to just cover plus 1/4th of an inch. Drink the other bottle of ale (chilled glass optional). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about an hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve in bowls. Top with some sour cream and/or grated sharp cheddar cheese and some chopped green onions.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Why Meetings Are No Fun

I was reminded today of the Abilene Paradox. In short, four people end up doing something none of them really wanted to do, each because they think everyone else does want to. In the corporate setting, I call it the "Team Player" disease. It is particularly pernicious when some parties in the meeting are on speaker phone (pitching the idea) and can't see the body language of the other participants. The people in the room are looking at each other and shaking their heads but trying to make positive noises about the item under discussion. The people on the other end of the phone think everything is going swimmingly if only a few minor details are dealt with when in reality, the whole thing needs a fundamental rethink. I wonder how much time we all waste in meetings like this because nobody wants to be the first to say "it won't fly?"
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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Greetings all.

I've been lurking in the blogosphere since 2001, ever since about 9/11 in fact, when I first went and looked up this Instapundit thing I'd heard about somewhere. Since then, I have come to increasingly rely on blogs for my news. With a very few exceptions I've come to deeply distrust and even detest the mainstream media (henceforward the MSM).

I am starting this blog today not knowing quite where I want to go or what I want to do with it. I don't know how often I'll post or about what, save that whatever I post about will be what interests me/grabs my attention. I'll be adding to my blogroll (that thingy over to the left) in the next few days. It will mostly consist of what I consider my minimal daily reads or blog patrol, as I like to call it.

So, here it is, my first post. Let's see were this goes.
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