joanbits 2008.03

As the snow finally melts away, I start to get busier and busier. Here’s what I’ve been up to the past week:

  • Work: supporting new projects as usual, writing position papers, working on newsletters, technical enablement, beta testing.
  • House: cooking every night (pasta from scratch, ramen from scratch, gourmet hamburgers…will try and post some pics soon), planning garden, staring at wall that needs repairing and trying to motivate to fix it, regular cleaning, indoor gardening…
  • School: Developing axiology, epistemology, methodology for design research approach. Gave guest lecture on internal Wikipedia politics.
  • Other: Dealing with horrendous migraine. Developing novel database application. Attended One Of A Kind show with friends and got fabulous clothing, jewelry, housewares. Reverse engineering synth. Looking at motorcycle today. Petting cat to deal with stress from everything else i listed.

satay-spackled roast chicken

Tonight’s meal is decidedly anti-Irish. Nothing against St. Patrick’s day, but I really felt like something savoury and spicy. Behold: the satay-spackled roast chicken! (Inspired by a recipe in Solomon’s The Complete Asian Cookbook, 1976.)

  • one 1½ kg chicken, washed and dried, dressed
  • one medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • one garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 2 chili peppers (your choice of heat levels)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp sunflower or canola oil
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp whole fenugreek
  • ½ tsp finely grated lemon rind (fresh or dried)
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Combine onion, garlic, chili peppers and 2 tbsp coconut milk in blender; puree. Grind all whole spices in a spice mill or mortar and pestle. Heat oil in heavy skillet. When hot, add onions and spices, mixing rapidly and frequently. Remove from heat when puree pulls away from the pan.

Use spatula and puree to spackle the chicken. Place breast up in a baking pan, filled with the rest of the coconut milk. Place pan in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over, basting with the milk. Return to oven for an additional 60 minutes, basting every 15-20 minutes wiht the coconut milk. For the last 20 minutes, increase temperature to 400°F, turn chicken over again, and brown the breast meat. Remove when done (a meat thermometer helps).

(It was so good, I couldn’t help but start eating before taking a photograph…)

Serve with basmati rice and an arugula-and-tomato salad.

yummy faggots in my broth

“To make a faggot, cut a stalk of celery in 2 pieces 3 or 4 inches long. In the curve of one piece, tuck a few sprigs of parsley, folding in the end, lay this on a bay leaf, and sprinkle with a little thyme. If the recipe does not include carrots, a small piece of carrot is sometimes tucked in with the parsley. Place the other piece of celery on top very firmly and secure the faggot by winding a long piece of string closely around it. Unless you assemble a faggot firmly and bind it tightly with plenty of string, it is apt to roll apart during the cooking. Always discard the faggot before serving the dish it flavors” -Louis Diat

Essentially a mirepoix that’s not got onions in it. Perfect for those I love who are allergic to onions, if the name is a bit…unusual. From an antique cookbook (1945, published 1961) through my irc bud gyoza.

thing-a-day 2008 over

Here’s a photo collage of the most photogenic things I made for this year’s thing-a-day. Edit: If you can’t view the video below, the original is here.

I’d recommend thing-a-day to anyone who is looking to push their comfort zone and prove to themselves that they can be creative, and can produce something a day. It was eye-opening for me.