Posts Tagged ‘things that taste good’

New Adventures: 12 of 30 – Learn how to braise a huge delicious monster hunk of beef.

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

I love meat. I’m actually currently on a quest to eat my way through the animal kingdom. I particularly love red meat. Beef. The meat of kings, heros and champions. (Although, I don’t actually have any real proof to back that up…) Unfortunately I suck at cooking beef. I can grill a steak up pretty decently, but Devon doesn’t eat meat other than poultry and fish, so I really don’t have a ton of opportunities to cook up some fileted cow. But oh my christ do I love eating that rich juicy goodness. So it’s been a goal of mine to learn how to braise beef. I love how, if done correctly, it just melts in your mouth, and hell, if I feel so passionate about the deliciousness of braised beef, then learning how to recreate that myself is a very important life skill that I ought to learn.

Luckily my big bro, Seth is a super awesome chef, who is totally experienced at this sort of thing. I provide a kitchen and raw ingredients, and he teaches me how to make magic happen. First things first. You gotta have a huge fricking hunk of meat. We went with a cut of brisket. Brisket is perfect for this type of cooking. Generally pretty tough, but breaks down nicely when braised. Lots of fat (FLAVOR!!!) and one of the most reasonably priced cuts of meat out there (without getting into the freaky-deaky offals).

Season liberally with salt and pepper. Then sear the meat on a super hot nonstick pan until crisp and golden brown on the outsides.

You’ll know that you’re doing it right when you smoke out your kitchen and make the smoke detector in your kitchen start screaching. (FYI: its at this point when your kitchen will start smelling like “OMFG beefy-delicious get-in-my-face-now!!!”)

After the meat is done being seared on both sides, take them off the heat to let them rest. In the same cooking pan start sauteeing a mixture of mirepoix. Then throw in some fresh chopped herbs, like rosemary, parsley, bay leaves, etc…

Then add some red wine and a bunch of of beef stock, and add back in the seared brisket. Pour yourself a glass of wine (because not only is it crucial to the cooking process, but also -hey!- you deserve it!) and pose for a picture.

Bring meat to a low simmer and then throw it in the oven for an hour or 2. Drink more wine. When you take it out of the oven it should look like this:

Take out about half of the liquid, and boil it down in a sauce pan (as shown). Try to reduce it by about half. Let the meat rest, but always keep it in the cooking liquid and veggies, because the beef will get dry out and get tough if its not kept happy in liquid. While you’re boiling down the sauce, you can roast an assortment of root veggies in the oven, and whip up some blue cheese mashed potatoes. You know, easy peasy. And slice up the brisket, slicing against the grain, and of course returning the meat to the cooking liquid to keep it moist and happy.

Put a pile of mashed ‘taters on a plate, top with a few sliced of the braised beef, throw on some roasted root veggies, and sauce liberally with some of the reduced juices, sprinkle some fresh herbs on top and BAM!!! The delicious, delicious result!

I ate so much that night, it was just obscene. But oh man, was this one of the best meals of my life, and now I (and you!) know how to recreate this magical meal of beefy goodness!

You can tell from my hair color (that has changed about 4 times since these pictures), that this all took place a few months ago.  But it’s still winter, and a fantastic time to make a great warm filling meal like this. Thanks to my big bro for just being awesome in general, and also, for being a really super chef, and sharing a few tricks of the trade with me.

12 of 30 completed!

 

New Adventures: 6 of 30 – Drink out of a Fishbowl.

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Alright, so title standing alone, this entry already has a lot of WTF in it. I should state for the record that I’m talking about a touristy alcoholic beverage, not some sort of crazy ass stunt that you’d see on a CKY video, or an episode of Jackass. It’s pretty darn random, but it kind makes sense when you look at the big picture. It begins to balance out Adventure #3 of me not drinking for a month and the idea is something that I’ve been fascinated by for a while.

I have previously proclaimed my love of fro-fro technicolor concoctions. The more plastic do-dads attached to my adult beverage the better. A few years back I came across a super awesome party-fun-times picture of my friend Kay-Shee drinking some kind of booze out of a fish bowl at a place in Miami, and I knew that some day I needed to get all up in that. Unfortunately I had no idea that any place in Boston was awesome enough to serve drinks out of an aquarium. That was until the day that I received word from my Scorpion bowl drinking partner, Andrew, that there was a place along the Boston Harbor waterfront that was only open during the warmer months, but that actually served these mythical beverages. And so, this went on my list of things to do.

1st things 1st. Drinking fishbowl drinks require drinking partners. So I tracked down my friend with possibly the lowest alcohol tolerance out of all of my friends that drink (Brendan) and made plans. We decided to meet up at the Landing on a Thursday afternoon in August. Perfect. Mid-week, mid-day, so the bar wouldn’t be packed, but with enough tourists in the vicinity to make it hilarious for people watching. The Landing is pretty awesome. It’s an open air establishment with an awesome view of the harbor and all the boats arriving & departing. When we went it was pretty low key, with just your typical mid-day bar-going alcoholics & tourists looking for somewhere to cool their barking dogs.


We decide on an aqua-blue colored, vodka based drink called the The Blue Lagoon. When it arrived at our table it was totally color-coordinated to my sunglasses, so I knew that it was a sign that this was all meant to be. Since there were only 2 of us, we were limited to the “Guppy Bowl” size drink, for a minimum of 2 people. It mainly consisted of vodka, blue curacao, raspberry vodka, pineapple juice, more vodka, sprite, and of course more vodka. Once you get past the teeth rotting sweetness, the flavor actually wasn’t too bad. Totally a sugar fest, but I dig that sort of thing once in a while. And the drink actually tricks you because it’s so sweet which confuses you flavor-wise because although it has a boat load of vodka in it, all you can taste is sugar.

Luckily Brendan & I weren’t in any sort of rush. We had a bunch of catching up to do and creeping people watching to take part in & so the Blue Lagoon took us a while to pound. By the time we reached the bottom of the Guppy Bowl, although the bartender offered us a refill, the last thing we wanted to drink was another 32 ounces of sugary alcohol.  That would have been a very poor (pour?) decision, but that afternoon I decided to go the -somewhat- responsible adult route. So we called it a day and stumbled went on our merry way, and I was able to check this off of my list of random stuff to try.

6 of 30 completed.

What’s Dank or Not in Las Vegas, 2009.

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

So, in September, my mom took my aunt and I on a exciting “Girl’s Gone Wild” weekend in Las Vegas.  We packed a whole hell of alot into 2 and a half days, and I wanted to share what I thought was dank.

Our Hotel: Planet Hollywood. Dank, but crowded.

It was in the middle of the strip. Great if you’re into hoards of annoying/drunk uber-tourists, but not so awesome if you’re into a little more of a chill scene. We had a nice room on a high floor with a great view of the strip and a super gigantic bathroom, which was great since we had 3 ladies getting ready at the same time. The room’s decor was nice & modern with some vintage movie props. There is a gigantic mall built around the hotel which had some super amazing shopping and there were about 20 dining options to choose from. I think that if we had been bigger into the club scene & staying up late thing, we would have enjoyed it more, but in all honesty, I never got used to the swarms of people.

Activity: Stripper 101. Dank pole skills.

Every wondered how the girls on “Rock of Love” work the pole as well as they do? Take this class and have new appreciation for their skills. Learn the how-to’s of giving a sexy lapdance. Then learn the basics of working the pole. A week and a half later and I still have the bruises on my legs to prove how much of an earnest learner I was. :) Add in a free photo of you working the pole, and an alcoholic drink to get your inhibitions lowered…. How can you afford to NOT take this class? :) Although, It was awesome to have some bonding time with my mom and aunt, I would probably recommend others to not do  the same as I did. It’s kinda awkward to be straddling a chair while learning how to “get paid” next to your blood relatives. :)

Show: The Thunder From Down Under. Dinki-di Dank!

Hot guys with buff bods and Australian accents, who do choreographed dance routines with fireman themes? Please, and thank you! Maybe not the most polished dancing from males on the strip, but it was obviously clear from their moves that most of the guys were into chicks. Also, 3 jello shots for $5 was a saweet drink special. I enjoyed watching the show. I was really glad that I wasn’t at the table that one dancer climbed and then poured a drink all over himself (ala Flashdance), but it was totally awesome/hilarious to watch.  Also, it was totally worth the $20 to get my picture taken on a couch with 6 of the dancers. (who were all very friendly and chatty & totally dug my hair, bracelet and shoes…….. wait a sec… I may have to rethink my previous stance on how straight the majority of them were….) All in all, though, I totally dug the show, and would probably go again if I got the chance.

Show: Jubilee! 9 out of 10 show choir members would vote it Dank.

Picture this. Naked high school show choir on crack. That’s Jubilee!  Amazing outfits with tons of feathers and sequins. Gigantic 2 story props with smoke and fire, and they move! And nudity! What’s not to love (if you’re an ex-show choir member)? Book the show in advance to make sure that you get seats close to the stage, like we did, and you’ll be so close that you can read the names of the dancers off the bottoms of their shoes. Shout out to Colette! Nice moves :)

Restaurant: Koi - Dank Japanese food

Beautiful venue, beautifully presented food. The vibe was very hip and modern. I ordered the Seaweed Medley, which was amazing. I’m a big fan of seaweed salads, and this one went above and beyond. They usually contain one type of seaweed, and this one had 3 or 4, most of which I’d never tried. It was delicious, perfectly seasoned, and was artistically presented. I also had the yellow tail and scallion roll, which was also delicious and the fish tasted very fresh. I’m a huge fan of sushi, and this place did not disappoint.

Restaurant: MIX at Mandalay Bay - Dank food and view

This restaurant is located on top of THEhotel and has one of best views in the city, IMO. The food is pricey, but super fancy and well-thought-out.  I ordered a veggie terrine, which name alone, doesn’t really sound great, but in actuality was totally fan-f*cking-tastic! The crab salad was also delish. For dessert we split the MIX candy bar. OMG. It’s the candy bar of your wild-ist dreams.

In general, we had an amazing trip! Girl’s gone wild, whoo-hoo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

In honor of the holiday, I give you this margarita themed photo!

Lemur & Friends like margaritas!

Lemur & Friends like margaritas!