the lady in the next cubicle talk about her digestion problems
a roasted yellow bell pepper
it needs to be done
flotsam & jetsam
Now that Hell’s Kitchen has concluded, I anxiously await the start of Project Runway. In the meantime, there are several other excellent shows to help grout the cracks between the tile. One of my recent favorites is Ace of Cakes from the Food Network. Who knew baking could be so badass?
Aralia and I have also begun watching Deep Blue, an 83-minute long program featuring highlights culled from the much longer The Blue Planet nature documentary series. The Blue Planet is narrated by David Attenborough, while Deep Blue is narrated by Pierce Brosnan. We find the many watery shades of blue combined with the soothing voice of Mr. Brosnan to be quite pleasant. Even when he narrates the gory death of a baby whale.
We also found another way to tell if you’re Asian.
You might be Asian if you’re watching a long documentary about ocean life and every time an animal (giant manta ray, starfish, cuttlefish, weird shrimp, odd jellyfish, etc.) crosses the screen you think of how you might cook it.
On the subject of which patent-leather shoes you liked, you voted…
Q & A with OMGWTF
Oscar of Southern California asks…
Q. Okay, if you were on Death Row and you had your choice of ANY meal as your last, what would it be (price not an issue)??? Let me guess, Lawry’s steakhouse in Beverly Hills?
Oscar, I’d order one of everything edible on this planet, and then hope I wouldn’t get executed until I was done eating. However, that would be in a perfect world, and since we know it doesn’t exist, I’d have to go with (1.) a New York steak, cooked in butter with salt and pepper on the side, (2.) hamachi and toro sashimi, (3.) at least a dozen pieces of Popeye’s (dark-meat) fried chicken with plenty of honey, and (4.) ice-cold Coke.
Today’s recipe comes courtesy of Alton Brown, host of the show Good Eats on the Food Network. Good Eats is easily my favorite cooking show, and if you watch it, you’ll know why. Alton Brown combines science, food, and easy (and easy-to-tweak) recipes into the most informative and entertaining cooking show ever.
Good Eats : Skirt Steak
The skirt steak is a long, flat cut that is flavorful, but tougher than most other steak cuts. Because of its toughness, skirt steak should be sliced across the grain for serving.
We stay fairly true to Alton Brown’s recipe in terms of ingredients, but we tweak it slightly in terms of length of marination and cooking technique. Alton Brown cooks the meat DIRECTLY on hot coals, but since we’re short on time (weekday evening), and we wouldn’t be eating anything that has charcoal grit on it, we’ll be doing it the old-fashioned style–in a pan. This is a great recipe because, if you have all the ingredients, it’s INCREDIBLY easy and takes almost no time at all.
For Alton Brown’s original recipe, click here.
(Why do I always have an “!” at the end? Because you should be excited! You’re going to cook! Which means you’re going to eat! If you don’t f— things up!)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 scallions, washed and cut in half (a.k.a. green onions)
2 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 large limes)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (we opted to omit these)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar or Mexican brown sugar
2 pounds inside skirt steak, cut into 3 equal pieces
In a blender, put in oil, soy sauce, scallions, garlic, lime juice, red pepper, cumin, and sugar and puree. Yep, it really is that easy. Basically, throw in everything but the meat and hit “puree”!
I realize that the marinade has the look and consistency of cat puke, but, be assured, it is several notches above cat puke in deliciousness. And it doesn’t have hairballs.
In a large heavy duty, zip top bag, put pieces of skirt steak and pour in marinade. Press out as much air as possible and seal. Marinate overnight, turning bag over once, in the morning.
If possible, bring steak to room temperature before cooking. Remove steak from bag.
Pat dry with paper towels.
Heat your skillet over high heat until hot. Whew! Say that three times fast! We threw in a pat of butter, and followed that with the steak. Cook the steak, 1-2 minutes per side , turning once, until desired doneness. One minute per side will get you rare to medium-rare, and two minutes will get you medium to medium-well. More than that and I’d have to kick you. Oh, yes. I KNOW where you live…
Place steaks on warm plate and keep warm. Because the skirt steak is a tougher cut, it is IMPERATIVE that you wait the 15 to 20 minutes to properly allow the meat to rest and have its juices redistributed.
When the holy moment has come, slice the steak thinly ACROSS the grain. That means perpendicular to the muscle striations of the meat. The meat will be much more tender and easier to chew this way.
We didn’t have rice made or any side dishes ready so we tore apart a loaf of King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread and shoved the steak in the chunks. Made an awesome sandwich. So awesome I didn’t care whether or not the photo of it came out well.
So, in conclusion, this is one BADASS recipe. Why? Let’s review.
1. All but one of the ingredients goes in a blender. And then everything goes into a ziploc bag.
2. Sleep. Wake up. Turn steak. Waste your day however way you like. Take steak out.
3. STEAK IS COOKED IN UNDER FIVE MINUTES! Instant gratification! (Although you really should let it rest before cutting.)
In fact Aralia and I had so much time on our hands, she decided to take Mr. Ramsey out for a whirl. Mr. Ramsey, or Gordon, if you’re friends with him, as we are, is Aralia’s newest kitchen appliance. He is a pedigreed KitchenAid stand-mixer. And he is badass.
Aralia decided to make Double Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies. This required the melting of many innocent semi-sweet chocolate chips. Aralia did all the work and all I ate the excess chocolate while I worked on this blog post… Ain’t it a hard-knock life?
After I did my duty making sure the chocolate resources didn’t go to waste, I got to… eat… more… chocolate… This time, in cookie form.
Left. A raw cookie.
Right.Cookie perfection! The interior of the cookie was soft, like a brownie while the outside was delicately crisp.
Aralia ran out of mugs, so we drank milk the traditional way–out of bowls.
100 days of pool : 20 days left
Woohoo! Just 20 days left and I’m going on vacation. I know, I know. I’ll play pool on my vacation and give you a report.
 : Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Yep, it was league night. You know what that means. More entertainment.
My match was like a tragedy of comic errors tonight. I lost a contact lens, miscued a few zillion times, and generally just played like absolute crap. I was not amused. When I was down 4-1 watching my opponent run out enroute to the final game, an Innocent Bystander and I had this exchange:
“You look unhappy.”
“I’m playing substandard pool.”
“Aren’t you, like, the best girl shooter in the league?”
“Am I? I don’t know.”
“I think you are.”
“So why are you unhappy? What more could you want?”
“F— that. I want to be at least the best shooter in the goddam league.”
“Oh, but that’s never going to happen.”
“Really. Why is that.”
“Well, you’d have to beat me first.”
“With a baseball bat or a crowbar? I have both.”
There were MORE shenanigans after this, if you can believe it, but I’ll save it for another time. I ended up losing hill-hill. Mad suckage.
I need a f—ing vacation.
 : Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I played more three-cushion today, for a change of pace, and because pool is wearing on my nerves. I can more fully appreciate three-cushion these days because my game has gone up since the last time I played it intensively.
Back then, I could see the shot, and even how it should be played, but I didn’t have the skill to execute it. Now, I have more skilz, so it’s very rewarding to watch the balls follow the paths I intended.
 : Thursday, August 16, 2007
I did more ball-control drills at lunch. Pool is becoming more like a job rather than a hobby, but a bad day of pool still beats a good day of work.
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