Monday, December 22, 2008

Where We Set Out For You The Traditional Monday Cajun Meal

In Cajun areas, Monday is wash day. And since way back, that did not mean throwing a few loads into the Whirlpool, rather it was back-breaking labor, that did not leave much time for food prep. So traditionally, the women (sorry: yes it was the women) would put out a easy to make and cook pot of red beans and rice. And since it's cold as hell out there, I give you my recipe.


6 cans red beans rinsed (yes, you saw that right - canned. It's easier and just as good - just rince the crap out of them to get the solution from the can off)
24 oz of andouille sausage cut into slices on the bias (really, do try to get real andouille. But if you can't, decent smoked sausage will do)
3 medium onions, diced
2 medium green bell peppers diced
3-4 sticks celery diced
2-3 cloves garlic, mashed and fine chopped
1 smoked ham hock
2 bay leaves
oz of thyme sprigs - tied together (This is certainly one time you can use dried - but use about teaspoon. And make sure it's not too old)
1 beer and 1 oz (a nice dark lager preferred, an Abita would be a nice nod to tradition )
1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper (more or less for your tastes - yes this means you have to TASTE while it's cooking)
salt and pepper

cooked white rice


A large dutch oven
a ladle
small bowl
slotted spoon

heat the oven to medium heat. toss the sausage in and stir it around so it browns and renders some fat out.

empty the sausage out with the slotted spoon. pour out all but about 2 tablespoons of the oil.

saute the onions, peppers, and celery until soft. add the garlic after about 5 minutes.

turn the heat up to high, and pour in one beer and an ounce of the other beer. using a wooden spoon scrape up the bits on the bottom, let the beer reduce to about a third of the volume.

pour in your beans, sausage and nestle down that pork hock.

pour boiling water to cover.

add rest of ingredients and stir well. bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. put the lid on and leave a little crack open.

let simmer for 2 hours minimum more if you have time, stirring and tasting occasionally. My rule of thumb is to let cook long enough to watch The Right Stuff in its entirety.

15 minutes before serving, take out about a cup of beans and mash them up. return to the pot and stir in - this will thicken up the dish. Also, take the ham hock out, and cut off the meat that's still on there - add back to the pot.

serve with cooked white rice and Louisiana Hot Sauce.

laissez les bon temps rouler!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Where We Continue to Defy the Wishes of Our Small but Loyal Readership by Showing the Most Exciting 29 Phases of Rugby You Will Ever See

Laettner vs Kentucky, Jordan against Cleveland, Reed vs Louisville*. Great Buzzer Beaters all. This is much, MUCH better. Even if you don't like Rugby, you will like this.

(and for those that do NOT know anything about Rugby, the matches are 80 minutes, so when you see the clock go red, the time is over. At that point the play would end on any stoppage in play.


*as a Louisville Basketball fan, an eternal "fuck you" US Reed

Where We Briefly Interupt This Period of Non-Posting

This is a great restaurant review, nuff said

J Sheekey Oyster Bar

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Where We Issue South Africa a Booking for It's Zimbabwe Policy

I'm not going to go into the details here regarding Zimbabwe. Suffice it to say the state has failed. And as African nations demand that this is an African problem and should be dealt with by the Africans ( a view I wholeheartedly endorse), we now have this from South African President Kgalema Motlanthke:

"Asked how bad things had to get before South Africa, the region's economic powerhouse, joined calls for the 84-year-old dictator to leave office, Mr Motlanthe told journalists: “It's really not for us. I mean I don't know if the British feel qualified to impose that on the people of Zimbabwe, but we feel that we should support and take our cue from what they [Zimbabweans] want.”

What they want? I've not Henry Kissinger here, but I’ve probably got a good idea what they want. How about the democratic and internationally certified elections where the Opposition won to count for something? How bout an end to the worst inflation since Kurt Weill was writing plays? How about their children not dying of Cholera? How about opposition journalists not abducted in the middle of the night. You think “They” might like that?

What is clear here is that South Africa, the only thing close to a power broker in South Africa is clearly in denial of the fact to their north, and has no interest in removing from kleptocratic power a fellow “liberator”. Well, why should we doubt them, after all they had the brilliant medical foresight to insist that AIDS is not caused by HIV and can be cured by pesto.

So fine, you don’t want to interfere? That is your prerogative. However the inevitable instability that is coming to Southern Africa means that you must lose your bid to host the 2010 World Cup. An idea whose time has come.

Where We Briefly Introduce You the Hardest.Person.Ever.

I want you to read this. And then NEVER.COMPLAIN.AGAIN.



[from KevinMD]

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Where We Introduce the Weekly Series: Things You Should Know, but May or May Not

Number 1: How to make a Vinaigrette.

I like to cook, and I like to cook correctly. And I'm lazy. This is why the vinaigrette is perfect. Yes it's primarily a salad dressing*, but what it really is, is a sauce** and in the right hands a grand tool in your repertoire, but in the wrong hands, or poorly made, a thing of great evil.

You can use this for fish, chicken, veg, forcemeat, anything. And it is quite easily the easiest thing to make, short of microwave popcorn.


1/3 cup vinegar. (hence the name. And you can use white wine, red wine, balsamic, rice wine - anything you want. But please, for the love of everything holy, use good stuff***)

1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil**** (see above, this is not the time for the cheap stuff - this is 80% of your sauce. Get some good, virgin oil. It doesn't need to be expensive Tuscan pressed by nun's tits stuff*****, it doesn't even need to be Italian - Greek is good, so is Turkish and Syrian, the Spanish are coming on, and even are the folks in California

salt (kosher) and pepper to taste******

1 tsp Dijion Mustard

optional: Finely chopped******* herbs, shallots, roasted garlic******** ( I like to leave a clove in for 20 minutes and then remove prior to serving)

Equipment: Medium Mixing bowl, whisk

Mix. (how fucking hard was that?) Actually, you should add all the ingredients but the oil, and then add the oil in a thin stream while you whisk- it will keep the emulsion together.

Then use it. Enjoy. You're welcome.

Next week: A Springsteen album you need to have.

*Three mistakes you probably make serving a salad. I know I did. 1) Dry your greens. If they have water on them, the oil will not adhere to the leaves. You know that deal about oil and water? Better cooking through science. 2) You add WAY-TOO-FUCKING-MUCH DRESSING. You want to taste the high quality greens, not the sauce. The sauce is a condiment. This applies to pasta as well. If you have a pool of sauce at the bottom of the bowl, you used too fucking much. 3) Dress the salad right before serving. The French call this a la minute, which means "right fucking now" if you do so, you will make your greens soggy.

**Most good cooks would rather eat their own fingers than present ANY course without a sauce. Learn this. Live this.

***We will return to this theme time and time again. Good ingredients= good dishes. Note: I did not say "expensive", just good.

**** I swear to everything that is holy and just, if I catch you saying "EVOO" I will rip out your heart and grill it. Same applies to using the word "Sammie" or using boxed broth. Be warned.

***** You didn't think I'd go this far without being in poor taste, did you?

******That means you taste stuff you're going to serve. Often. Why would you serve food you don't know what it tastes like? And don't wait till the last minute, what can you change then?

******Look up the word brunoise. This is a good time to do that.

******* Let's call this, optional, but just short of required. Fuck it, add the garlic. You'll thank me later. Even better, mince up a fresh crushed clove, and then add the roasted clove as well. Oh, and that jarred stuff? That's not fucking food.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Where we Crack a Tube for John Drake, former All Black.

New Zealand All Black Prop John Drake dies at 49.

Lift a glass, boys.

So long Drakey, we'll all miss you

[ Rugby Heaven]

Where we announce the next English rugby defeat

Oh, good. I was afraid that they wouldn't lose to EVERY Southern Hemisphere team.

England set for home Pumas Test

Friday, December 12, 2008

Where we Briefly Shout "WooHoo!"


London Irish 59 Dax 7

[Times of London]

Where we introduce the weekly feature: "ER Ass-hat of the Week"

One of the things I do when I'm not doing this is volunteer at the local Emergency Room. More on my I do this later

In my work there, I get to hang out with many interesting, facinating, life-affirmaing people.

I also see some first class ass-hats.

So dude, if you are gonna decide it's a good idea to put your hand through glass, come in wave your fingers around so that blood flies over the place - including my very good friends - don't excpect much sympathy from me. And don't mouth off when I don't drop everything to come wipe you up when there's a sink and a towel 2 inches from your face.


Where We Belatedly Salute The Chairman of the Board on his Birthday

Happy Birthday Frank. Celebrate by finding Mario Puzo and kicking the shit out of him.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Where We Get to the Root of the Gov Blagojevich Scandal

Any man with the poor sense to be a Cubs fan, is probably likely to get indicted for massive corruption as well.


Where We Discuss Sex Education

Half MD has some advice for those about to celebrate the end of finals with some wild monkey sex.

The Half-MD's guide to Breeding

Where We See The Benefits of Learning a New Skill in This Economy

That's what we want to see, the piggies out on the wing. Think Siragusa taking the option pitch.

From Blood and Mud