Thursday, July 20, 2017

Big Pacific, Bowling,

Just saw the last episode of Big Pacific which showed how the camermen managed to get their shots. One section they were on an island littered - literally - with vipers. I wouldn't have been on that island for any money at all. Sorry to see the series end, it was very good.

Not a lot to talk about today. Although we none of us bowled that well today, our team is now in second place much to our surprise. Be nice if we could get to first place and stay there. Only got a few more games before the end of the summer season. Keeping our fingers crossed. I have certainly never been on a team that came in first so it would be a real thrill for me and for the rest of our team. So please keep your fingers crossed for us.

I always like rice dishes and this one looks good. It may be a lot of work but the spice mix can be made well ahead. I don't keep fenugreek and only ground versions of some of the pods mentioned but such things are all available these days..

Bariis Iskukaris (Somali-Style Rice)

Somali-style rice, when prepared for festive occasions, can be a satisfying meal on its own: The rice is cooked in a rich stock and often jeweled with pieces of meat and vegetables. This version of the dish comes from Ayaan and Idyl Mohallim, twin sisters who make their own xawaash, an aromatic spice mixture that is layered with fenugreek and turmeric. The finished rice is also generously seasoned with saffron, as well as softened peppers and raisins. At Thanksgiving, the rice is a versatile side with roast turkey and vegetables, and the day after, it's a great base for leftovers. You could easily use a vegetable stock in place of a meat stock for a vegetarian version, and add more
vegetables to the topping. The Mohallim sisters, on occasion, add blanched green beans to the mix.

4 cups Basmati rice
½ cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole green cardamom pods
10 whole cloves
2 tsp xawaash spice mix (see below)
8 cups chicken stock
1 tsp saffron threads, finely chopped
1 cup raisins

1 Tbs cumin seeds
1 Tbs coriander seeds
2 tsp dried whole sage
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 ¼ tsp ground ginger
8 green cardamom pods
10 whole cloves
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cinnamon stick

2 Tbs olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
¼ cup raisins
1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced

1. Soak rice in cold water 30 to 45 minutes, then drain.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the xawaash: Combine all the spices in a spice grinder and finely grind. Set aside.

3. Prepare the topping: Heat olive oil in a wide, deep pot over medium-high heat and add the onions, stirring occasionally until translucent. Add raisins and allow to soften, about 2 minutes, then add red bell pepper and cook until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and set aside on a paper towel.

4. In the same pot, make the rice: Heat 1/2 cup oil. Add onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, cloves and xawaash and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

5. Stir in stock and rice. Bring to boil, then cover and cook on low heat 20 minutes. Stir in saffron and raisins and season to taste with salt. Cover, turn off heat and steam for 5 more minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, using a large spoon to pile rice in a heap onto a platter. Sprinkle topping over rice and serve.

Servings: 16

Source: The New York Times

Have a great day

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Artificial Intelligence, Speech Habits, The Photo Ark,

Elon Musk, a man for whom I have enormous respect, is warning us all about the dangers of Artificial Intelligence saying it'sthe biggest risk we face as a civilization. Although novels, Isaac Asimov issued similar warnings with his stories. Look at 2001 with the AI there. Just because they are fiction does not mean it couldn't happen. Through AI people would lose jobs and in the end it would be the AIs which make critical decisions for the human race. If any were left that is. If Elon Musk thinks we are running into problems, the world should listen.

As I told you, last night we went for supper at the Red Lobster. One of the waitresses was chatting to a couple behind me and her conversation was littered with the word 'like" There are so many people who cannot talk without constantly using that word. For others it is the constant use of "you know". Why oh why doesn't someone tell them about what they are doing? It is dreadful to listen to, particularly when it happens on the media.

Creatures of the Photo Ark - photographer Joel Satore: this was a programme we watched on PBS on Tuesday night. Joel Sartore travels the world photographing rare animals which are on the brink of extinction and the collection is retained at his local zoo. This particular programme was a visit to Florida Keys and Madagascar. in Florida he particularly 'visited' the key deer which are a rare animal and only live in the Keys. 120 of them are killed on the roads every year. In Madagascar he photographed the most amazing chameleons some quite tiny and one as small as his thumbnail. Also lots of different lemurs.

It always annoys me when recipes call shrimp scampi. Scampi is a different type of shellfish albeit very similar but tasting different.

Grilled Shrimp Scampi

Best shrimp on the grill I have ever made! I served with lemon spaghetti and had grilled asparagus on the side. The intense garlic flavor really complimented the lemony flavor of the pasta

1/4 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup minced garlic
ground black pepper
1/4 tsp  crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 lbs shrimp

1. In a medium, non-reactive bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, black pepper and crushed red pepper.

2. Set aside.

3. Thread thawed shrimp onto skewers and cover with marinade for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat grill for high heat.

5. Grill, brushing occasionally with extra marinade, for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until done.

Servings: 4

Author: Chippie1
Source: Food

Have a great day