28 February 2006


Associated Press
Updated 5:50 p.m. ET Feb. 28, 2006

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Boondocks, the black comic-strip family living in white suburbia, are going on vacation.

Aaron McGruder, the cartoonist behind the strip syndicated in about 350 American newspapers, said Tuesday he would take about six months off beginning in March.

wtF? he's going on vacation?!?

26 February 2006

forever roasted pork...

... courtesy of michael chiarello and mario batali.

the lasagna pan on the left is the part courtesy of mario batali, and you can find it @

the recipe is the part courtesy of michael chiarello. don't it look too scrumptious for words? my husband cooked it. i only dealt with the sides tonight. i just wanted to share because pork shoulder is a very economical piece of meat, and if it's cooked properly, it is the most succulent, delicious thing you'll ever eat.

anyone from the south who's had pulled pork knows what i'm talking about.

anyhow, you could serve this with any sort of green veg and just about any kind of starchy side dish... polenta, gnocchi, roasted potatoes... you name it, it would probably work well with this pork.

so, without further ado, here's the recipe:

4 pounds pork shoulder, butt end, boneless (have your butcher bone it for you if you're not sure of your butchering skills)
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1½ t finely chopped fresh sage leaves
gray salt and freshly ground black pepper
about ¼ c fennel spice, recipe follows

bring pork to room temperature by removing it from refrigerator 1 to 2 hours before cooking.
preheat the oven to 275°F.

heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. add the onions, cover pan, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until light brown. be patient, and don't turn up the heat. add the sage and season with salt and pepper. cook until the onions cease throwing off water, about 3 minutes. remove from heat, allow to cool on plate.

open up the pork roast and spread a good amount of the fennel spice and add the onions directly to the middle of the roast. fold the roast back over the onions and tie closed with kitchen string. season well all over with the remaining fennel spice.

arrange the meat in the lasagna pan, drizzle with more olive oil and cook until the meat is very tender, about 8 hours. it is ready when it pulls away easily if picked at with a pair of tongs. it is often easiest to cook the meat overnight, or put it in the oven in the morning and let it cook all day. it does not need to be attended. you'll want to, because it will smell so good you won't be able to keep your face out of it, but it really requires no more work at this point.

fennel spice rub:

1 c fennel seeds
3 T coriander seeds
2 T white peppercorns
3 T kosher salt

put the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns in a heavy pan over medium heat. watch carefully, tossing frequently so the seeds toast evenly. when light brown and fragrant, pour the seeds onto a plate to cool. they must be cool before grinding, or they will gum up the blades if you use a coffee grinder. if you're truly patient though, you could use a mortar and pestle.
pour the seeds into the coffee grinder and add the salt. grind to a fine powder, shaking the grinder occasionally to redistribute the seeds. store in a tightly sealed glass jar in a cool, dry place, or freeze.
yield: about 1¼ cups

22 February 2006

i suck, yo!

4 slices bacon, cut into ¾" pieces
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 T unsalted butter
2 t ground cumin
3 T all-purpose flour
4 c chicken stock
1 large potato, peeled and cut into ¼" dice
½ c heavy cream
10 oz package frozen corn kernels
½ lb sharp cheddar, grated
pepper and salt (if necessary)

cook bacon in a 3 quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

add onion and butter to fat in pan and cook, stirring, until onion is softened. add cumin and cook, stirring, 1 minute. add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. whisk in broth and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. add potato and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 8 minutes. stir in cream and corn and return to a simmer. add cheddar, stirring just until cheese is melted (do not let boil), and season generously with pepper.

serve topped with bacon.

i'm serving with grilled cheese sandwiches... extra sharp cheddar on english muffin bread from trader joe's.
should be yummy. :)

14 February 2006

happy valentine's day kids!

so... tom cruise, of jump the couch infamy, and katie holmes have allegedly bitten the dust.

she remembered which louis vuitton or kooba bag she stashed her brain in, i say.

anyhoo, i sit here @ 3:14 pm with lunch for my husband's entire office in the oven. well, the entire office minus the owner, who had back surgery last week. asian-style braised short ribs (recipe to follow), jasmine rice, and assorted asian-style veggies in a soy sauce-based glaze.

i have to do the short ribs in shifts.

here's the recipe:

5 pounds beef short ribs, cut into 4-ounce portions
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
6+ cloves garlic, peeled and smashed (i usually put in about 9)
1 (5-inch) stalk lemongrass, halved and smashed (be careful and use a very sharp knife)
1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 quart water
1/2 cup sliced green onion bottoms, white part only
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup fresh blood orange juice
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated blood orange zest, for serving (you DO have a microplane, no?)
sliced green onion tops, optional for garnish

preheat the oven to 350°. in a wide stockpot or dutch oven, combine the short ribs, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, brown sugar, water, green onion bottoms, crushed red pepper, and ¼ c of the orange juice. make sure that the stockpot is deep enough so that the short ribs are submerged in the liquid. bake the short ribs, covered, for about 3 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bones.

remove the short ribs from the braising liquid and cover to keep warm. increase the oven temperature to 425°. drain the fat off of the cooking liquid and discard. place the remaining braising juices in a medium saucepan with ¼ cup of the hoisin sauce and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. reduce the liquid until only about 1¼ cups remain. strain through a fine-meshed strainer, discarding the solids.

stir in the remaining 2 T of orange juice and the lemon juice. return the short ribs and the reduced sauce to the stockpot or dutch oven, coating the short ribs well with the sauce. bake for 15 minutes, until the short ribs are heated through and slightly glazed.

serve hot over jasmine rice. season each portion with the orange zest and garnish with the green onions if desired.

and remember... guns don't shoot people... vice presidents shoot people!

10 February 2006

*cranking a blaster*

i ganked this pic and the title of this post from http://swilltopower.blogspot.com/, but the pic was
also on the front page of the los angeles times...

look closely at the shrub...

"goddammit george, you can't fart at her funeral!"