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  1. Last Night's Dinner

    Posted 5 Feb 2005

    I have tried a variation of one of my favorite Cypriot dishes (Afelia) last night, and it was a great success, though I attribute much of it to the quality of the meat and a good, heavy, lidded, glazed ceramic baking dish. :)

    In any case, I definitely plan to make it more often after watching bf devour this like there was no tomorrow. As to the thread--well, it is a resurrection of an old idea here and elsewhere, readlly--so what are YOU cooking and eating lately?

    ___________________________________________

    Afelia
    (serves 2-3)

    1 lb medium-fat boneless pork (shoulder or chops will work), cut into 2-3cm cubes
    (if pork is lean, it helps to have some rendered pork fat on hand)

    1 large yellow onion or 4 shallots, peeled and sliced into thin half-moons

    half a head of garlic, cloves separated, inner skin left on, root parts chopped off

    good handful (I use around half a cup) coriander seeds, well-pounded in a mortar
    (till they are smashed and broken, they will not become pulpy or powdered)

    sea salt to taste (I use 1-2 teaspoons)

    half a teaspoon of granulated sugar

    ground pepper to taste

    olive oil

    1 cup red wine
    OR
    half a cup white wine+1/3 cup GOOD balsamic vinegar+1/3 cup water

    Pat meat dry and put into bowl. Add sugar, salt, ground pepper and all of pounded coriander seeds, and mix well to coat. Let stand at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight (not at all necessary but won't hurt the dish).

    If cooking immediately, while the meat marinates in coriander, preheat oven to 175C. Prepare (no greasing needed) a baking dish with lid. Heat a skillet (not nonstick) on medium heat with some olive oil.

    Fry sliced onions slowly until partially caramelized (they should not be all brown but should have brown edges). Transfer to baking dish. Turn heat up to medium-high under skillet.

    Brown pork cubes (with coriander on them) on all sides in batches, making sure not to crowd the pan so they do not leak juices, transferring them to a layer over the onions in the baking dish. Scatter unpeeled garlic cloves over the layer of pork in the baking dish. Turn heat to low (or medium if using gas range).

    Deglaze the skillet with red wine or the wine-vinegar mix, scraping up the brown bits, but do not let the wine evaporate too much. Pour over the pork in the baking dish. The liquid should nearly cover the meat (but not entirely).

    If using fattier pork, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top of the garlic or mush it a bit into the wine to moisten it. If using lean pork, do the same and add a couple of teaspoons of rendered pork fat on top of the meat.

    Cover with a lid and cook in preheated oven for 1 hour (meat should become rather tender). Take out and let stand about 15 minutes before serving.


    It's great over plain boiled potatoes, with some chopped flat parsley or fresh cilantro scattered on top.
  2. What Are You Up To?

    Posted 1 Feb 2005

    Having awakened at the nice hour of 8:40am, I now contemplate the day ahead.

    I plan to have a lunch (as breakfast was already taken care of), go out into the cold big wide world of Swedish February, shop at the university bookstore, and attend my first official class in Swedish language.

    Then I plan to come back home, probably do whatever homework I will get, and hopefully get some writing done on several projects that I have. I'll try to drop something off for frontpage here as well, Alex. :)

    So, what are you doing today? And the next today? And the today after?
  3. The Earth Is Flat!

    Posted 29 Nov 2004

    I found this link to a page of school textbook disclaimer stickers, and after looking at just a few, I couldn't decide if I should laugh or cry.

    I just feel really scared now.
  4. Favorite Season

    Posted 25 Oct 2004

    Nemz and I were out walking today--we went by the market, picked up a small pumpkin and some quinces for roasting, had apple strudel for dessert at a cafe, and bought some Absolut vodka (unflavored) to make New Year's blueberry cinnamon booze (takes several months) on the way home. Then we walked outside with the fallen leaves on the wet black ground in the slowly fading twilight. After that, we invited Nemz' sister over for curried pumpkin soup and garlic baguette in the evening, and talked for a long time over tea in our kitchen.

    All in all, I think the fall (wherever I may be) is my favorite season. I like the rich harvest of it, and the colors that are bright even in the low light of the long autumn evenings. I love the serene mood of it, devoid of the bustle of spring and the slow laziness of summer (though all have their merits, for sure)--but the quality of fall is that of a Gregorian chant compared to the Vivaldi's concertos of spring and Tchaikovsky's symphonies of summer--or the Pachelbel of winter for that matter. I even love the weather--though when it's blowing wind and rain, I like to appreciate that weather from a cozy sofa through a closed window.
    ____________________________

    What's your favorite season? And why?
  5. My New Acquisition

    Posted 24 Oct 2004

    Yesterday I was passing by a flower shop I like--mainly because they tend to carry rather esoteric varieties of plants, sometimes true rarities--and found a great deal on a plant that just got done blooming (dropped in price by over half). Now, what the store owners overlooked was the fact that it (it's an orchid) is growing a new flower spike--and so now I am a happy owner of a Paphiopedilum hybrid--I just hope that the information I found and my plant care ability are sufficient for pampering the pretty thing sufficiently for its liking. :)

    From the wilting flowers in the box of the plants, I have pinpointed (I hope) the variety of the plant--and Nemz promptly said that he is all for buying a plant with flowers that look like alien spaceships.

    My new beauty--hopefully soon-to-flower:

    Posted Image

    (Photo courtesy Orchidehuset)

    So, what do you think? :D

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