September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. While I don’t have any actual pirate credentials myself, I do have stories of plunder from far-away places to share.
Food Products Posts
Packaged, prepared and ready to eat foods.
Mexican coke contains real sugar, not high fructose corn syrup. I tried it recently, and it tastes better than USA coke. The sugar tastes natural and sweet without being fake-sweet. Pick up a bottle and you will see. If you have a Hispanic population living nearby, try Costco. We found it for $9 cheaper ($18 vs $27 per case of 24) at Costco, compared to the supermarket. Don’t bother online, Amazon charges a fortune.
I picked up some of these “Lindt Excellence” chili flavor chocolate bars on sale at Wegmans. Man, this stuff is good. The dark chocolate is so smooth, it has no bitter taste at all. The chili gives it an amazing and addictive quality. I’m completely and totally in love.
Yes, it’s $2 for a chocolate bar instead of 89 cents or whatever a Hershey bar costs, but what the hell does that matter when this tastes 10 times better? I’ve been noticing more and more lately just how bad most of the cheaply produced stuff labeled as “chocolate” really is. I guess I blame Hershey’s.
OK, so I promised this blog would be about real cooking and real technique, but I do have a confession to make. I can’t seem to make good Thai curry from scratch. It’s not from lack of effort. I’ve bought the fresh lemongrass, thai peppers, authentic spices, etc and made it all from scratch. I even posted my first attempts here. What can I say? This stuff works quite well, to be honest.
I’ve discovered these Thai pastes at the local Asian market. Mae Ploy brand. Try them… they work. Follow the directions on the back of the label (you will need some coconut milk, fish sauce (replaces salt), sugar and some extra hot peppers, if desired). Simmer your sliced meat and vegetables in the resulting curry sauce and “viola”.
I don’t even think of it as cheating, too much, because the ingredient list is just the things you would normally put into a food processor and blend together. And some of them are hard to find. Things like lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, thai ginger, etc. I don’t see any chemicals or weird stuff on the list. I believe this paste forms the base of many restaurant curries, so it can’t be that bad.
Asian grocery stores carry this stuff, or have a look on Amazon.
Double Dead Guy
The shot above was taken with my relatively new D700 and 50mm lens. It looks much better if you click and view the large version – wordpress does funny things to JPEG images that have red colors. I’m trying out some new processing techniques and I love the tones I am getting compared to normal RAW images.
Anyway, occasionally I take a break from computers, photography, games and web design to drink copious amounts of quality beer with good friends. One of my favorite brewing companies is Rogue Ales.
Already a fan of just “Dead” Guy Ale from Rogue, I’m not sure if “Double Dead” Guy Ale is new or simply newly available where I shop, but I had not seen it before now. I picked it up immediately due to the bright red bottle and Rogue’s reputation for quality.
From the Rogue Ales web site: “Deep amber copper color. Buttery peanut brittle, orange blossom tea aromas follow through tot a rich chewy and fruity full body with nice notes of caramel drizzled dried apricot and roasted grains and spice. Finishes with a long, tangy grilled grapefruit and chocolate fade.”
To me, this certainly tasted good- though I might describe it as smooth and caramel-y with a just the slightest touch of bitter pine. Overall quite an experience and I recommend it if one has the chance to try it… go to.
I’m a big fan of “real” beer such as this. I hate that America has, just like with fast food and summer movies, contented itself with mediocrity (in this case, Budweiser, Miller, etc) We eat and drink out of convenience rather than respect for the culinary arts or ourselves. But that’s another topic…