Saturday, April 30, 2011

HYR: Experiment in Pork

I decided to try something a little different with my slow-cooked pork this last batch.  Made a batch of green - not my standard red.  It's not "green" per se but then again neither is this recipe - which is a good one and similar to how I made mine.  The primary difference between onestopcook's, other traditional puerco verde recipes and mine is the amount of citrus I used.  I might have used too much citrus actually or too many differeent kinds.  I also didn't have some ingredients I thought I had and wished I had and also cooked it twice in order to get the flavour I wanted.  My primary mistake in the first cooking was over-salting and over-estimating the chiles I had purchased.  I fixed those two problems by re-cooking it with half a can of pineapple juice and adding a couple of diced serranos.

Step One:  The Porkening
  • If you guys have followed my slow cooked pork recipe or others in the past the prep time is all the same.  Carve up a couple lbs of pork loin or butt into chunks.  Throw chunks into container suited for marinading.  I've started using a six quart stock pot.  Add salt, apple cider vinegar, a can of pineapple or mango juice.  Normally I'd add Abuelita's but this is not going to be a red dish so none this time.
  • Leave in fridge.  Go to step two.
Step Two:  Roasted stuff
  • An assortment of green chiles - fresh.  Whatever you want.  I used serranos, cubanelles, and green finger chiles.
  • About a dozen tomatillos
  • Two bulbs of garlic - cloved
  • Two onions - chopped
  • Prep all these - throw in pan, throw in 350 oven, (I usually add a little water to the bottom of the pan so the stuff doesn't get too burnt), watch first disc of Fellowship of the Ring.
Now here came the experimental part.  I've made verde salsa before but never in conjunction with cooking something.  My theory was too make the verde salsa like I normally do but then I realized I don't own a food processer large enough for the amount of veggies I roasted.  So I said fuck it, tranferred all the roasted veggies to my large Le Cruset, and set a low boil.  I added the juice of a grapefruit, a lemon, lemon zest, a touch of white vinegar, and some salt (this is where the oversalting came into play I think).  I then rendered the veggies into a mush that wasn't pretty but was pretty aromatic and tasty.  Then, using a slotted spoon, I added the pork into the mush.  The pork to mush ratio was almost 2:1 so I said fuck it again and just added the marinade to the pot until there seemed like enough liquid.  Then I cooked it.  Exciting right?

When it was "done" it just didn't taste right.  It wasn't gross but it was as salty as an appetizer at Chili's.  I left it overnight and then next day added the half can juice and serranos.  I'm pretty happy with it now though once I get the recipe down I post it here.  I also think I might start considering making a spice mix that can be used for non-red dishes.  Hmmm...

Movie Reviews from the last two weeks:

Holy batshit fatman HYR is actually going to have some reviews on it?!?  Fuck you Robin, I hope the Joker hits you with a crowbar.

  • TRON: Legacy directed by that dude who did that one thing...who the fuck cares?  The Daft Punk score made this movie even before I ever saw the movie.  The only way this score could be better is if it was a co-creation with Jesper Kyd.  In all honesty TRON: Legacy  gave me exactly what I wanted, lots of pretty colours, action that made my gamer reflexes kick in (during the grid race I caught my hands telegraphing the lightcycle paths), and a hot chick with short black hair.  Compared with Galaxy 9999 I don't think TRON: Legacy is as good but I'm still gonna buy it as a Saturday afternoon throw in.
  • Easy A (2010).  I enjoyed it.  Basically one of those teen dramedies that is too smart for it's own good but for some reason I had a fun time watching it.  Emma Stone is a cute lead, the supporting cast is excellent (and really makes the movie in my opinion), and for a movie self-referentially cut from the John Hughes cloth it works.  
  • Doghouse (2009).  This is one of those movies that I found at random, said fuck it and started watching it.  A crew of blokes go on holiday to a shite village that is taken over by Zombie women ("zombirds" lol), mayhem ensues.  Sexist humor, lots of gore, an absurd plot, Danny Dyer, Stephen Graham, gallow's humor, more gore, tits, one scene which actually kind of made me want to barf and laugh at the same time, and a mummified penis.  I have to admit I loved this movie.  The cast was having a blast, the effects are solid, and I found it very funny even when sober.
  • Mutants (2009) A small French horror film, well shot and well acted based around a couple facing a virus that turns humans into flesh eating monsters.  Not a top notch film, the last act kind of falls apart, but the dynamic between the couple really works throughout the first 2/3 of the movie.  Worth watching as an educational piece about not to act as a couple under crisis.
  • 2010: Moby Dick (2010)  Whew.  Actually it was better than some of the Sci-Fi Channel crap I have seen.  Hell it was better than some "films" I've seen.  Barry Bostwick plays Captain Ahab in this modern "retelling" of Moby Dick.  In a fucked up crappy way it worked - primarily because Bostwick just goes hell bent for leather.  If you're a "fan" of giant animals attacking big boats and stuff grade-Z movies then I definitely recommend this.  Don't expect much but it was better than Megashark Vs Giant Octopus.
  • Salt (2010) was fucking dumb.  Granted it took a standard sleeper/mole 80s film and tried to bring into the modern era but it just didn't work.  It's strange because all the elements were there, especially Chiwetel Ejiofor who is one of my modern top 5 favorite actors, but I think truth be told Angelina and Liev Schreiber dropped the ball.  I just couldn't get into the movie.  Everytime one or both of them was on screen I just got annoyed and waited to Chiwetel to show up.  Skip this clunker and just look up the images of Angelina with a boy-cut on the web.
  • Zombie Women of Satan (2009).  Why, oh why God did I watch this from start to finish?  I don't like Troma movies and am not even a huge fan of camp!  I feel dirty for watching this movie...and worse for enjoying it.  Basic premise, a travelling freak/burlesque show goes to a remote location for a web-interview.  Zombirds (yes another British Zombie-Chick movie) appear, mayhem ensues, and it's one of those movies you watch that draws you in because you can't believe it's actually kind of good and funny and it knows it's total shite so it just goes for it.  Seriously, this one is bad but intentionally funny.  A clown teaching a burlesque dancer how to use a baseball bat to smash in the head of a Zombird?  Fucking funny.  Just skip the "rock song" in the first section of the movie. 
  • Master of Martial Hearts (2008) aka Zettai shôgeki: Puratonikku hâto - Hashiridasu shukumeiWell, huh.  I watched this with my horror/bizarro movie buddy Agent M for funzies at first.  OK, we watched the entire 5 episode season because there were big bouncy anime titties in the first fight of the movie and not just fanservice - I'm talking full on titty action!  We cheered!  It's a good thing there wasn't a titty drinking game we would have died.  The basic premise is these anime chicks have to fight one another in order to win this doo-dad that fulfills their deepest heart's wish.  Blah blah blah!  Fight!  Titties!  Awesome!  And then something happened in episode 4 & 5...a plot materialized out of thin air and the show got thematically dark and twisted.  We were kind of blown away.  Episode 5 goes waaaaaaaaay sideways.  Master of Martial Hearts is fanservice junk but that unicorn rare really good fanservice junk.
  • Santa's Slay (2005)  Oh yeah?  You wanna fuckin judge me?  Watch the first part of the movie.  Beats the shit out of The Santa Clause, Jingle All the Way, or the modern botched-abortion of The Grinch.  Is it bad? it awesome?  Fuck yeah.  Seriously, some of the kills in this movie are kick ass.  The movie falters when somekind of plot gets cobbled together.  The opening segment is priceless though and would make for a great mash-up with Elf.
  • Sam's Lake (2006)  Meh.  Skip.
  • The Possession of David O'Reilly (2010) A British shaky cam shocker that was literally shot in the dark.  Disappointing because the movie had a lot of potential.
  • The Horde (2009)  A French Zompocalypse movie.  Cop and robbers vs Zombies.  Satisfyingly gory, violent, kind of bizarre, kick ass Frenchies, and quite enjoyable (even though I am zombied out).  Well worth watching and frankly it was better than the last few Romero dumps.
There are a few movies worth full review coming up that I want to watch/review including Miike's 13 Assassins which looks to be pretty paint by numbers Seven Samurai/47 Ronin knock off but hey there's a reason those films work.

Hope all of you are well and in good spirits.


Monday, April 25, 2011

A household tip for making your house/apt smell kind of nice.

I noticed my apartment was smelling...not so good.  Since the weather has gotten warm here in Texas I haven't been able to have my windows open the way I did over the winter.  Plus I spent the last couple of days in my underpants, unshowered, eating pizza on the floor, and playing video games.  I'm out of Frebreeze (which does not double as cologne or anti-persperant) and I had one of those afternoons where I realized I'm teetering on the precipice of squalor.

I took out the trash, cleaned the kitchen, and came up with a brilliant idea.  I changed my AC filter and taped a couple of dryer sheets to the filter.  Now my place smells like Bounce dryer sheets.  It's an easy trick and dryer sheets are cheaper than sprays or those stupid plug in air fresheners (both of which make me kind of ill with the chemical smell).  I suppose if I had some Florida water or something like that I could just spray it on the filter but since I don't this is a pretty good option.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

No news is good news and good news travels fast...

Apologies for falling off the grid lately folks. It's getting to be that time of the semester when I have a paper a week.  I have some reviews in the pipe.  Yup.  Hope all of you are well and safe and happy.  xoxoxo Joshua

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Defamation (2008) Dir. Yoav Shamir

I love a documentary that makes me confused in an intellectual way.  Yoav Shamir's Defamation is one such documentary.  Mr. Shamir is an Israeli man who made a documentary about global anti-Semitism and it gets a lot more complicated than that.  A lot more complicated.  A lot more fucking complicated.  Crown Heights complicated.  American Jewish way vs Israeli Jewish way complicated.  Varying opinions of Judaism, left and right Israeli views...complicated.  "Self-hating" (?) Jewish academics who are pro-Palestine.

What I love(?) about this documentary is Shamir talks to people from Abe Foxman (head of the ADL) to Rabbi Hecht to talking about Anti-Zionism vs Anti-Semitism.  Granted, Shamir might be an Israeli Michael Moore, but as an leftie-American I seem to trust foreign views of America more than I trust American views of America and I trust non-American views of history a little more than Ken Burns specials.

Defamation is a difficult documentary to process.  I wholeheartedly recommend this docu.

Now I'm gonna watch Dan Akroyd's docu about UFOs.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Experiments in beef.

In case you didn't get my FB update, I went to the local grocery store today and picked up about ten pounds of beef for a similar cost.  I just finished prepping/slicing the meat and have two experiments marinading as I write.  I'll try to keep posting as the dishes progress but here is the current status:

  1. I'm going to attempt to make my version of slow-cooked pork with beef.  I was thinking of making carne guisada but I've had a couple of beers and already prepped the beef the same way I do my pork.  I believe that the dish will turn out well though I'm not sure if the beef will have the same texture as my pork.  The only difference is I used pineapple/guava juice instead of pear juice in the marinade.
  2. The other bucket of meat is currently in one block with more stab wounds than Trotsky in it.  I'm going to make first attempt at brining/corning beef.  There's about a cup of ground sea salt, a cup of mixed peppercorns, two cups of cider vinegar, and a beer thrown in the mixture.  After my brief blog break I'll probably add a bulb of garlic, just for fun.
Next step (aside from garlic peeling) is going to be prepping my rack of pork ribs.

I hope all of you, and yours are well and safe and fixin to eat something tasty.

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