Currying favor: Curried Broccoli Pesto over Creamy Polenta

I have been watching a disturbing amount of Chopped lately on Food Network (thanks, U-Verse!). Watching trained chefs being tortured into producing edible dishes from scratch around oddball ingredients in 15 or 30 minutes (depending on the course) is oddly compelling, as well as occasionally inspiring.

Today's post was dinner earlier this week, and it is inspired by Chopped, as well as a big bag o' broccoli that the Mrs. had purchased from Costco: Curried broccoli pesto over creamy polenta.

For the pesto: bring a pot of water to boil and add about 4 cups of broccoli florets (cut into bite-sized pieces). Boil for about 2 1/2 minutes until just tender. Remove from the pot (reserving about 4 cups of boiling liquid for the polenta), shock in icewater to preserve the color, and drain.

To your food processor, add 1 tablespoon green curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen), 1-2 tablespoons chopped ginger, 3-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped, a half-cup or so of fresh basil leaves (I had around 10-12 leaves fresh from my back yard), 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce (I was making a vegan version; for better flavor, substitute fish sauce), the juice of one lime, a teaspoon of sambal and/or a tablespoon of Sriracha for some heat, two cups of the cooked broccoli florets, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley for a lighter flavor -- the Mrs. abhors cilantro, so I used parsley), and about 1/2 cup coconut milk. Process until smooth. Adjust seasonings. Reserve the remaining florets for topping the dish.

For the polenta: bring about 3 1/2 cups of the boiling liquid back to a boil in a saucepan. Stirring, pour in one cup of polenta (coarse corn meal) with a big pinch of salt. Continue to stir, lowering heat to simmer. This will quickly thicken to a heavy porridge (4-5 minutes). At this stage, gradually stir in about one cup of coconut milk. This should take another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand, covered for a couple minutes, stirring occasionally so that no crust develops. You want the polenta to be creamy -- thick enough so that it will spread only a little on the plate, but not gooey.

To serve, spoon polenta into the centers of pasta plates, top with about a half cup of pesto plus 4-5 floret pieces and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro. Makes about 5 servings.

Goes great with a Victory Prima Pils.

Balloon Guy Day: Sept 23, 2011

First and unrelated, I had a backlog of the past few weeks' City Pages and Onions that I hadn't read. Before throwing them out on Tuesday morning, I quickly scanned through them and saw that on Monday night, Mad Professor played the 7th Street with Twilight Circus Dub Soundsystem opening. I'm quite bummed that I missed that. Twilight Circus (the Dutchman Ryan Moore, formerly of the Legendary Pink Dots) is responsible for what is probably my favorite Dub album, Horsie. If that's not my favorite dub album, then it must be Mad Professor's No Protection remix of Massive Attack. Dang, how often does a bill like that come around? How often does Twilight Circus come around at all?

OK, now my rambling thoughts on Balloon Guy.
Continue reading Balloon Guy Day: Sept 23, 2011

Nirvana – Lithium

get ready to feel old: nevermind came out 20 years ago tomorrow. oy. anyway, here's one of the great moments in rock n' roll, and certainly one of the last great moments on the MTV. from said network's music video awards, rape me lithium.

7 votes, average: 8.29 out of 107 votes, average: 8.29 out of 107 votes, average: 8.29 out of 107 votes, average: 8.29 out of 107 votes, average: 8.29 out of 107 votes, average: 8.29 out of 107 votes, average: 8.29 out of 107 votes, average: 8.29 out of 107 votes, average: 8.29 out of 107 votes, average: 8.29 out of 10 (7 votes, average: 8.29 out of 10)
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Game 155 Recap: Twins 3, Mariners 2

A win, an honest-to-God win.  I haven't seen on of these on my recap day since....

(goes to check the archives) ....

(scrolls further back in the archives) ....

Ah, here it is - July 14 was the last time the Twins won on a Thursday (they moved to 6 games under .500 on that day, 6 games out of first).  Which reminds me, let's check out the day-of-the-week standings with 6 days and 7 games (double-header on Saturday, get excited!) remaining.

Sunday 10 14 .417
Monday 4 15 .211
Tuesday 10 12 .455
Wednesday 12 11 .522
Thursday 8 10 .444
Friday 8 16 .333
Saturday 8 17 .320

I would have bet and lost a large sum of money that there wasn't a day of the week over .500 this season.  I will note that Tuesday now has the longest losing streak at 8 games (going back to July 26).


Game 154 Recap: Twins 14 hits, not enough runs.

Twins 4, M's 5
WP: Jimenez (1-0)
LP: K-slow Who improved his record to 0-7 on the year. Yay!
Scotty Baker pitched a scoreless ninth earning an honorary save.
Save: S. League (36)
Twins record 59-95 (holy balls this team is bad)

36 saves, eh? Not enough to crack the top 5 on the leader board. Dancie McDoucheface is still in the lead with a perfect 47 for 47 saves converted. Kimbrel is hot on his heels with 45. I'm fully expecting Mr. McDoucheface to blow up in the postseason.

Yeah, I didn't watch this one. I'm in the process of working out the details of leaving the country, and I had to wash my hair. The Twins have a firm grasp on last place in the Al central, so, there's that.

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.