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Entries in Pork (6)

Monday
Mar042013

Episode 31: Fleet Street Pies

Back again for more punishment! Let's get started.

Notes:

This is the part where I admit I was wrong. 

You see, this recipe had very specific measurements of both top and bottom dough-pieces to make up the pies. I slavishly kept to those sizes, even after buying ramekins that were a little bit bigger than said measurements. So when my pies came out of the ramekins, they were, well, they were little frisbees. But they were delicious little frisbees. This recipe might have started life as a minced pie recipe, but the switched to roast pork as the main ingredient made it from school tuckshop fare to proper gourmet stuff. Seriously. They are very very good. I think part of the secret is the lack of vents in the dough, which keeps the juices in and keeps your pie from getting dry. So anyhow, do yourself a favour. Measure the dough to your ramekins. Fill them up completely. The second time I made the recipe, I used the same ramekins, and still made 4 biggish pies and a dozen small ones easily.

I also realise that I've now made two recipes on here for dealing with roast pork leftovers. Maybe I need to do an episode of basic roast pork so you guys can see the before as well as the after.

As for the name, pork --> long pig --> cannbalism --> Sweeney Todd -->pies. That worked out well.

Music Notes, by Joel AKA @Gingerexplosion

Möbius Band - "Subterranean Homesick Alien"

Vampire Weekend - "Exit Music (For A Film)"

both from "Stereogum presents OKX: A Tribute To Ok Computer", 2007

Radiohead's OK Computer might be the last of a dying breed, the last of the Classic Albums. For an album of claustrophobic art-rock, it was a staggering success, selling over 1.8 million copies in the UK, and going triple-platinum in the famously insular US. Heavy on the diminished chords and weird progressions, it's hard for a 21st century audience to imagine it on the radio, but songs like Karma Police charted in the UK, and were amongst the most-played on American radio in 1997. The band's name became a by-word for 'miserable' (see this Father Ted scene for proof - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnZDI1slxMI). Though that might have been a bit of a generalisation to begin with, it certainly became more and more accurate as the strain of being rockstars began to take its toll; Thom Yorke, in particular, struggled with the burden of being a frontman, like a nerdier Kurt Cobain.

That level of success complicates matters for the audience, too. For a new listener, there’s the weight of history, the baggage they bring with them to the record; we’ve all been let down by an album (or book, or movie) that has been crushed by expectation before it had a chance. For long-time fans, it’s more difficult again ‒ how can you see OK Computer as merely an album, without bringing all your memories and associations along for the ride? That’s the problem with Classic Albums (apart from the rockist insistence on them): perspective. It can be difficult to see them as anything other than culturally-enforced monoliths, untouchable and immune to critical challenge. OK Computer is a terrific album, one that the years have done little to dull; its (yes) paranoid air and constant, buzzing grey anxiety feels as relevant now as it did then. Most people over 20 have lived with this album for 15-odd years (the anniversary is May 21st this year for those playing at home); how can you honestly evaluate something so close to you?

Stereogum had a great solution. In 2007, they rounded up a diverse bunch of indie acts and had them cover OK Computer track by track. This kind of tribute album has its flaws, usually in the form of too-reverent covers that offer no insight on the source material. OKX isn’t immune to that (Cold War Kids’ tuneless and achingly dull cover of Electioneering; David Bazan’s nice but largely identical version of Let Down), but there’s enough inventiveness on hand to make this an interesting listen.

Mixing in a healthy dose of Kraftwerk and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Möbius Band’s cover of Subterranean Homesick Alien replaces the original’s eerie-U2 vibe with pneumatic krautrock rhythms and dissonant synths, pushing Thom Yorke’s sci-fi metaphor to the front. It feels genuinely unsettling, though it sheds subtlety for impact; when it shifts into Dungen-ish psych-rock, it loses its way altogether, but manages to stay compelling. 

Vampire Weekend make for a counter-intuitive choice to cover Exit Music (For a Film). The original, heavy with slow-burning dread, seems at odds with the peppy, preppy stylings of a band known for Afrobeat rhythms and wearing really nice vests. And it is a very strange cover, melding the two distinct styles into something deeply unsettling. Ezra Koening tends to sing in staccato syllables, spitting and popping sharply observed social commentary at high speed, so it’s disconcerting to hear him drawing out his vowels in imitation of Thom. Chris Tomson’s percussion sounds more familiar, skittering along with more familiar energy; that is, until the climax, when the rhythm becomes erratic and confusing.

That none of the versions on OKX approach the majesty of the originals is, well, OK. By taking a smaller element and drawing it out, both Vampire Weekend and Möbius Band have given us a chance to approach these capital-C Classic songs, and appreciate them from a different perspective. For that reason alone, these versions are well worth a listen (make sure you check out My Brightest Diamond’s cover of Lucky, too).

You can find the OKX album here: http://stereogum.com/okx

Recipe:

Fleet Street Pork & Braised Cabbage Pies
a heavily adapted recipe by CoverVersions.tv

makes 4 individual dinner-sized pies, and about a dozen little ones.

ingredients:

500g roast pork
2 cloves garlic
1 onion
200g red cabbage
2 Granny Smith apples
1 egg
1 tbsp flour
1 small bunch fresh sage
1 packet shortcrust pastry (5 sheets)
verjuice (optional)

 

  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
  • Take the dough out of the freezer to thaw.
  • Crush, peel & mince the garlic.
  • Peel & dice the onion. Use the technique in the video to ensure the pieces are all the same size & cook evenly.
  • Core the apples, leaving the peel on.
  • Slice the apples into matchsticks, using a v-slicer, mandolin, grater or julienne peeler.
  • Shred 200g of red cabbage, using a similar method.
  • Cut the roast pork into bite-sized pieces. Don't be too dainty, it'll come apart as it cooks.
  • Get a big deep pan on medium heat with some oil.
  • When it's hot, throw in the onion & garlic & cook for 5 minutes.
  • Once the veg is softened, add the pork to the pan and let cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the meat's cooking, pick the leaves off the sage & finely slice 2 tbsp's worth.
  • Add the flour to the meat-onion-garlic mix, stir & let cook for another 5 minutes. 
  • Once that's done, add the sage, apples, and cabbage, and stir it all together, cooking for yet another 5 minutes, then take the pan off the heat & allow to cool.
  • Take out 4 big ramekins & spray them with olive oil or other non-stick spray.
  • Take your thawed dough, and cut out sheets that will cover the bottom and sides of your ramekins. Do NOT believe any arbitrary measurements.
  • Line the ramekins with the dough, then load them up with the pork mixture.
  • Cap each pie with more dough, then seal the edges with your fingers.
  • Crack an egg into a bowl, beat it, then brush it onto the pie tops.
  • The pies go in the oven for 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before taking them out of the ramekins.
  • You'll have plenty left over, so I made mini pies in a muffin tin using the same method & random leftover scraps of dough. These little ones are great for lunchboxes!
  • Serve with red wine, seize, and consume!

Monday
Oct012012

Episode 28: Buzzsaw Pork Ragu

After a month-long hiatus (that totally wasn't a hiatus, more of an inability to focus and get anything done until I realised "Oh crap, it's been like a month, I better do something!"), we are back! 

 

Notes:

Phew, it's been a while! Look, not much to say on this recipe, apart from the fact that it came from a popular weight loss cookbook before I changed a few things. Pork neck is not the fattiest of cuts (certainly not when compared to pork belly, for instance) but it benefits greatly from a slow cook like it gets here. The actual pulling of the pulled pork was a bit tricky - I probably should have used a bigger bowl.

 

Also, I had trouble coming up with a synonym for "shred" to use at I tore up the pork with forks. I put out the word on Twitter, and received much help, but the suggestion that got my attention prompted this exchange:

 

And thus I got a name for this episode.

 

Music Notes:

Le Tigre - I'm So Excited, from "This Island", 2004

Franz Ferdinand - What You Waiting For?, from "Best of 86/06", which came with Q Magazine May 2006 

The xx - Teardrops, from "The xx [Bonus Disc Edition]", 2008

Alright guys, I will admit: musically, I hit a wall this episode. I cycled through the usual suspects, but none of them felt right. So I threw the question out to Joel (@gingerexplosion), a friend and resident fellow music nerd. He suggested a whole bunch of absolutely beautiful, moving, and haunting covers by Mark Kozelek of Modest Mouse & AC/DC songs, and M. Ward's cover of Bowie's Let's Dance. I couldn't use Let's Dance, as I used the Futureheads' version before. The other went directly into my playlists of choice, but didn't fit with the fast-paced nature of the video. It was Joel's feline companion & all-around cool person Anni (@annisugar) who suddenly suggested El Tigre's cover of the unsinkable Pointer Sisters track, which fit nicely with all the fast motion. I threw in Franz Ferdiand's utterly silly Gwen Stefani cover (complete with break-into-White-Wedding moment), and tacked on another of Joel's suggestions, The xx's version of Womack & Womack's "Teardrops" and voila! Crowdsourced creativity.

 

Recipe:

Buzzsaw Pork Ragu
serves 6, or 4 hungry folk

ingredients:

900g of pork neck, in 1 piece

2 capsicums

1 brown onion

2 carrots (I used purple, but orange is okay)

2 cloves garlic

1 400g tin diced tomatoes

1 chicken stock cube

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp ground coriander seed

1 tsp cumin

rice, to serve

fresh coriander, to serve

lime wedges, to serve

 

  1. Get a great big pan (that has a lid) on medium heat with some oil. When the oil is hot, drop in your bit of pork. make sure every side gets a turn over 5 minutes or so.
  2. Lobotomise and chop your capsicum, peel and chop your onion, crush, peel and chop your garlic, and peel and chop your carrots. No need to be fiddly about it, either.
  3. When the pork is seared on all sides, take it out of the pan and immediately drop in the vegetables. Don't you dare clean the pan, either. Let the veg cook in the pork oil for 5 minutes.
  4. Add all your spices and mix it all together.
  5. Put the pork back on top of the veg, and pour over the tomatoes.
  6. Add the stock cube, and 500mL of water.
  7. Bring the whole mess to a boil, then reduce the heat down to medium low and cover for an hour.
  8. After that hour, take off the lid and let it keep doing its thing for another 45 minutes.
  9. Use tongs to fish out the pork onto a cutting board. Get two forks and shred that sucker into little bits. Use a knife for any stubborn pieces.
  10. Taste the sauce, and add salt & pepper (it'll need it).
  11. Return the pork shreds to the pan, mix it all together.
  12. Serve on a bed of rice, with fresh coriander sprinkled over & lime wedges on the side.
  13. Seize, and consume!

Tuesday
Jun122012

Episode 22: Coconut Pork Skewers

And just like that , my week-and-a-half of holidays is over. I mostly abstained from editing & shooting throughout, but happily I have some stuff back-burnered for you guys. I knew you'd be worried.

 

Notes:

Yeah, so I thought it'd be a great idea to take the recipe at its word and used the mortar & pestle to reduce everything to a paste. Yeah. So that was difficult. I compressed it in the video, but it took 20 minutes of bashing away at the onion to get something even vaguely resembling a paste. If I had to do it again, I'd use my blender (though if you have a food processor, you could use that too, and also pat yourself on the back for being prepared). Also, you've got to be sure to layer on the marinade as thickly as you can, as all the lovely flavour & colour comes from there. The recipe comes from Kylie Kwong, who's rather a Sydney institution (we've been to Billy Kwong three times & have never been disappointed, and always see her at the Eveleigh Markets).

Oh, right, and the giveaway! Well, technically we have 2 more hours to go to be eligible, so I'll leave the winner's reveal until tomorrow. Remember, any comment on any post counts! Also, thanks to everyone for the kind words and encouragement on the Q&A video. If I get some more questions, I'm happy to make anotherone later.

Music Notes:

Wanda Jackson - "You Know That I'm No Good", "Rip It Up", "Rum & Coca-Cola", from "The Party Ain't Over", 2010. 

Wanda freaking Jackson. Was singing rockabilly and making hits before Queen Elizabeth II was crowned. Dated Elvis Presley. Compared herself to an atom bomb and became Big In Japan. Look, Wikipedia will lay it down for you. I'd only be repeating. She's a juggernaut. And she and Jack White have produced a cracker of an album, despite her being a youthful 74. Her vocal buzzsaw is as limber as ever, overriding Amy Winehouse's Naughties ennui in "You Know That I'm No Good" and turning it into a Take That. The rest of the album is equally good , with Jack White and a variety of Raconteur & My Morning Jacket alumni providing both a classic sound that still has White's signature skronk. I have it on vinyl and it sounds great.

Footnote on the last song, Rum & Coca Cola? Well, it was originally penned by a chap named Lord Invader, who wrote it as a response to American GIs in Trinidad debauching local women and encouraging prostitution. A chap named Morey Amsterdam (he of the Dick Van Dyke Show) copyrighted the song in the States, and it was a huge hit for the Andrews sisters in 1945. They, however, were completely unaware of the context of the lyrics about "mother and daughter working for the Yankee dollar", and just thought it was a fun calypso tune about sun and booze. Hoo boy. So the Wanda Jackson version is a cover of a cover of a cover of a tune whose original meaning was lost. 

Recipe:

Coconut Pork Skewers
(makes 5 skewers)

ingredients:

 

  • 500g pork fillet
  • 2 tbsp lemongrass paste or 2 stalks fresh lemongrass
  • 1 onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 125 mL extra-virgin olive oil
  • 25g dessicated coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt flakes

 

 

  1. Get your mortar and pestle out. It'll get some use.
  2. Chop the onion, zest the lime, and peel the garlic. 
  3. Throw all of it into the M&P and bash the ever-loving crap out of it. This might take a while. 
  4. Once you get it looking a bit paste-like, add the lemongrass & bash again. Bash, bash, bash.
  5. Add olive oil and tumeric, mix, and put aside.
  6. Cut your pork fillet into 3cm pieces, and put them into a container for marinating.
  7. Slather over the marinade, seal the container and toss it about.
  8. Leave for at least 24 hours in the fridge.
  9. Soak your skewers in cold water for 30 minutes.
  10. Take the pork out of the fridge and thread the bits onto the skewers.
  11. Get a grill pan on the stove and turn the heat up high.
  12. Lay out your kabobs in the pan, breaking off any punk skewers that are too long.
  13. Cook for 1 minute each side on high (4 minutes total), then lower heat and cook for 3-4 minutes per side (12-16 minutes, or until done).
  14. Pluck from the skewer, serve with rice and veg, seize, and consume!

 

Tuesday
Apr102012

Episode 17 - Heavenly Bahn Mi

Hi folks! This little message in a bottle goes out the day before I head off for a lovely Byron Bay vacation. So let's have a sammich!

Notes:

This episode goes out to my friend Gonzi, who is the true connoisseur of the pork roll in the Inner West (seriously, he has a map).

This is truly an international Bahn Mi, as the pork was from a very German pork roast the night before, the chilli was Mexican Habanero, the mayo was Thomy (German), the pate was Tasmanian, and the ham was Black Forest. So all over the place, but it all came together in the flavour. But then again, Bahn Mi itself is a melting pot, with the pate, baguette and mayo coming from France, the char sui pork comnig from China, and the herbs and seasoning very Southeast Asian.

Speaking of the chilli, I forgot the most important rule about habanero: don't let it touch your skin. The flavour on the tongue is lovely and spicy... while your lips and fingers burn with numbness. Should've worn gloves and used a different cutting board. Oh well. Lesson learned.

I was in a real rush, so did the carrot pickle in 40 minutes total, but I have it on good authority that things really get amazing if you allow the full hour each.

The recipe makes 3 rolls, two big ones, and one medium. Feel free to expand the dimensions, it should scale nicely.

Edit: Oh! Nearly forgot! This is the first episode I've ever shot with only one camera (even the first episode used two at the end), and using my new Sony Fisheye extension lens. It turned out really well, I think, though the super wide angle means you need to get really close for your closeups.

Music Notes:

Crooked Fingers - "Under Pressure", from "Reservoir Songs", 2002

Crooked Fingers came into my life when I was working at The Pita Pit, part of a chain of pita restaurants in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada during downtime from my short-lived university career. I worked the late shift, so I started at 9pm, and finished up at 5am. It was rather hellish, as I would often have too much energy after work to sleep, so I would wander to an internet cafe and chat with my future wife on the other side of the world. One of the guys at work whose name escapes me put on a cd during one of these shifts. We usually picked music to keep the energy up, but this was different.

This was beautiful, it was slow, it had deft wordplay, like poetry.

And it was really really sad.

Like REALLY sad.

But I was hooked. Eric Bachman (formerly of nondescript-but-beloved-by-hipsters outfit Archers of Loaf) and his band have a way of getting to the heart of things. I recommend "She Spread Her Legs & Flew Away", "Juliette", "New Drink For The Old Drunk", "You Threw A Spark", and "Wrecking Ball", and all of the EP this track comes from.

Incidently, "Under Pressure" is the single most powerful earworm I have ever known. Even someone saying "He's under pressure at work." will have me humming it. I'm humming it now.

Automatic - Pump It Up, from "Occasional Coarse Language: Soundtrack From The Motion Picture", 1998

Hey kids, did you know that mellow elder statesman of adult contemporary Elvis Costello was once an angry young punk like you, and he made brilliant pop music that could get your feet moving, and other tracks that could break your heart? Well, you do now. My Aim Is True and This Year's Model are brilliant records and you should go and get them now. I have no idea what the movie this soundtrack is for is about. I found it with a pile of CDs someone left outside their gate.

Also requiring applause, I'd like to note, is Elvis' stance on overpriced reissues of his work. Upon seeing the £212.99, Elvis made comment that the set was rather lovely and contained nice songs and scribblings from the author but "unfortunately, we at www.elviscostello.com find ourselves unable to recommend this lovely item to you as the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire. All our attempts to have this number revised have been fruitless but rather than detain you with tedious arguments about morality, panache and book-keeping - when there are really bigger fish to filet these days - we are taking the following unusual step." and recommended spend the money on a very nice Louis Armstrong Ambassador of Jazz set instead. "If on the other hand you should still want to hear and view the component parts of the above mentioned elaborate hoax, then those items will be available separately at a more affordable price in the New Year, assuming that you have not already obtained them by more unconventional means."

Ha. Haaaaaaaaa. Good on you, sir.

Recipe:

Heavenly Bahn Me Sammiches

Ingredients:

3 Bread Rolls, or a baguette cut in half (get something crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside)
Whole egg mayo (I used Thomy, but if you can get some Viet stuff, go for it)
Pate or tinned liver spread
4-6 slices cooked pork belly
4 slices ham (I used Black Forest deli ham, but if you can find cha lua, use that. Or, you know, mortadella)
1 cucumber
1 red chilli
1 bunch corainder
Soy sauce to taste

for the pickle:

1 carrot
1 daikon (optional)
105g sugar, plus 2 tsp extra
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup water



  • Grate or julienne your carrot (and daikon if using) with a peeler, zester or dread apparatus.

  • Scatter a tsp of salt & 2 tsp of sugar and let the mix rest for 20 minutes to an hour.

  • Squeeze as much of the liquid as you can out of the carrot, then rinse in cold water and squeeze again. Put it back in the bowl.

  • Heat the wihite wine vinegar, water, and the rest of the sugar on medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved, then pour over the carrot. Let sit 20-60 minutes more, then drain.

  • Chop up your coriander, and deseed the chilli. Using a peeler, cut the cucumber into ribbons.

  • Slice the pork belly lengthwise into thin slices.

  • When you're ready, put a grill-pan on medium-high heat, and grill the pork on both sides, to warm it through and give it nice grill-marks. Once it's done, very briefly grill the ham slices too.

  • Cut your rolls in half. On top half, smear mayo. Bottom half: pate.

  • Layer your ingredients on the rolls in this order: pork-ham-cucumber-carrot-coriander-chilli.

  • Add a dash of soy sauce if you want, then top with the bun, seize, and consume!


Monday
Mar262012

Episode 16 - Masarap Pork Adobo

Episode 16? Let’s call it Season 2. New intro! New music! Better camera work! Faster editing! Everything’s coming up Milhouse! 

Notes:

So earlier this year, as I was poring through cookbooks looking at things like slow roasted pork shoulder, Tanja pleaded with me.

"You know, not every meal has to be a huge deal. I often don't want that when it's just us two. Big recipes like that are for when we have people over."

Alright then.

So Australia day comes and we're planning to have Adrian & Tommy over. I plan roast pork, but chicken out the morning of, as the recipe seems to take a lot of guesswork and being able to tell when it's cooked (two things I'm bad at). So I look through books again, finding a great Pork Adobo recipe. 

I show it to Tanja and she says "Argh, so many heavy flavours! I can't take it in this humidity! Also, it looks like Goulash, and my mother stuffed me with horrid goulash when I was younger and I hate it now!" 

I intelligently retort with BUT WE HAVE PEOPLE AND YOU SAID I COULD FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS 

So she responded "I said that, but I still don't wanna!" 

I throw up my hands and say FINE I WON'T MAKE ANYFING ZOMG. 

(that’s a lie, I made Not Quite Nigella cheese & onion bread.)

But I stuck that recipe in the back of my mind for a bit, and when Tanja went to Melbourne to visit her sister, Adrian & Tommy were invited back over and I made Pork Adobo and HOLY CRAP is this a great recipe. 

Also, Tanja had some of the leftovers and needless to say, it’s been made again since.

Hah. 

Recipe Notes:

This recipe calls for a pretty serious chunk of pork with proper fat on it. Get pork belly, skin on, no bones. Your butcher will know what to do (he will also think you cool and attractive).

This dish is also great for folks who love Asian flavours (Adobo is considered the national dish of the Phillipines) but can’t handle the heat of fiery chillies.

The video was surprisingly short due to the simplicity of the recipe. Toast garlic, cook pork, chop veggies, add liquids, simmer, serve. Seriously. 

The book it came from was a Christmas gift, and this is the first thing I’ve made from it. It’s an incredibly interesting read, though. Go and see. 

Music Notes:

Ah, the music for this episode. Well, I had a clear idea. I had downloaded “Rave On Buddy Holly”, a tribute album, featuring a cavalcade of incredible bands. Upon my first listen, I frantically grabbed for paper and scribbled down my first impressions, which went kind of like this (copied as faithfully as I can):

“Paul McCartney holy fuck he sounds like Teddy Prendergast kickin’ ass and taking names, have not connected to a McCartney song this much since Oh Darlin’! She & Him give the Raveonettes treatment to Oh Boy. Ceelo Green turns You’re So Square into a Hawaiian Elvis tune. Many artist take the simple teachest bass sound of Holly & turn it into SRS INDIE INTONATIONS (Florence & The Machine, Fiona Apple, Nick Lowe, others), while Karen Elson rocks a Johnny Cash horns-and-strings progression. Julian Casanova’s Rave On is laid back garage punk, all sneer & fuzz, Jenny O channels Dolly Parton, Patti Smith turns Words of Love into a ballad of gentle strings and resonant voice, Modest Mouse start off indie, then turn into a bassline stomper, then lose their place & start over. Kid Rock, horns, and handclaps? Echoing Sam Cooke vocals? Bendy steel guitar? Really? Okay then. Lou Reed takes on Peggy Sue with distorted guitar waves, soundscapes & flat, flat vocals. It’s like 80s Iggy Pop & it doesn’t fit. Graham Nash thinks he’s covering Dear Prudence. and THE DETROIT COBRAS KICK THE DOOR DOWN AND BUY YOU A DRANK FOO’ as usual”

So yes. I liked it. So much so that I picked the 3rd track, Paul McCartney’s stomping, howling, cackling “It’s So Easy” as my leadoff song, followed by Julian Casanova’s “Rave On”. Then I rendered the video, posted it to Youtube and said I’d write the post that night.

Cue an email saying that my video contained copyrighted material. I’m used to that. It usually links to iTunes, or occasionally restricts my video from being shown on mobile devices. 

Not this time. This time I got muted. And I got my first YouTube strike. I should have known the most whimsical Beatle would be the most litigious (I know, I know it’s not him, it’s Universal Music, but still bitter.)

So I had to re-edit. And re-render. And re-upload. My mood was very different from the first time. So I chose two champions of the Creative Commons license, who just so happen to be incredibly talented & creative musicians I have enormous respect for: Jonathon Coulton & Amanda Palmer.

Jonathan Coulton - “Baby Got Back”, from “Thing A Week One”, 2006

Unlike most of my friends, who learned about Jonathan Coulton from Portal, I found a backhanded recommend in an interview in The Word Magazine, and look Jonathan Coulton up. Apart from the nerd-heartstring-pulling (“Code Monkey”), and the darkly hilarious (“The Future Soon”, “Re: Your Brains”, “Chiron Beta Prime”, “Betty & Me”), I realized that Mr Coulton was the real deal. Oh, and the title of his album? Isn’t a joke. He wrote a song a week for a whole year. And he did. And then he released them all for free. I have 6 of his songs from that period, and I purchased them all. Go get things of his.

Amanda Palmer - “High & Dry”, from “Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukulele”, 2010

Yep. Amanda Palmer. She of the Dresden Dolls, of the Ninja Gig, of the Good Day and the Coin Operated Boy and the Ampersand. She of the Ukelele, of the clashes with record labels, of the madly painted eyebrows, of the ReBellyOn, of #LOFNOTC, and of the crashing sound of a million billion fangirl hearts when she married Neil Gaiman. She should be played over far more than the credits of an internet cooking show. Go and get many of her things. 

Recipe:

Masarap* Pork Adobo

Ingredients:

60mL groundnut oil (I used vegetable)

10 cloves garlic, sliced (NOT crushed. You’ll see why)

700-900g pork belly, skin on, no bones

2 onions

2 capsicums, different colours

a thumb of ginger

1/2 tsp of paprika

250mL White Wine vinegar

125 soy sauce

6 bay leaves

1 tbsp peppercorns

  • Cut your pork belly into bars, about 5 cm wide, then crosswise into cubes. Leave the fat on. It’s good for you.
  • Peel and slice all of the garlic. Leave the pieces fairly big.
  • Put a pan on full-top-end-heat with the oil in it.
  • When the oil’s hot, toss in half the garlic, stir, let ‘em turn golden, then scoop them out and set aside BEFORE THEY BURN AND GO HORRIBLE.
  • Put the pork cubes into the pan with the garlicky oil. Let them cook for about 10 minutes, stirring now and then. The less you stir, the more golden the pork goes, but don’t let things burn.
  • Meanwhile, peel and rough-chop your onions, and dice your capsicum.
  • Peel the ginger with a spoon, and grate it, or just chop it into matchsticks.
  • When the 10 minutes is up, throw the onion, capsicum ginger, and the leftover garlic into the pan, stir it up, turn the heat to medium and let it cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring once in a bit.
  • Throw in the paprika and mix about, then add the vinegar and soy, along with 500mL water for good measure.
  • Pile in the bay leaves, peppercorns, and a pinch of salt.
  • Crank the heat again, until the mix boils, then simmer on medium-low for 55 minutes. The recipe says the end product should have a “think, coating consistency”, but mine was a bit runnier, but still tasted amazing.
  • Serve on a bed of plain rice, seize, and consume.

 

* Masarap: Tagalog, “delicious”