poorly made

In a former life, this blog was named Extracurricular Laboratory Notebook. The name is a throwback to my former life in an organic chemistry lab, where I diligently recorded my experimental procedures in my lab notebook. My lab notebook was where I would make note of the chemicals I was using and their source, calculate the amounts and ratios of each ingredient, and write out a step-by-step procedure of what I did with said ingredients. I like to imagine that most people who work in a culinary environment do the same thing with their ingredients and recipes.

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I recall seeing this recipe for chicken with kale and lentil-freekeh pilaf in Bon Appetit last year. But I had yet to see freekeh at the grocery store, so I moved on. 

Fast forward to this summer, when I found freekeh at Wegmans. It takes 40 minutes to cook, but like many grains, it’s low maintenance. I now cook it in my rice cooker. For this dish, I cooked the lentils separately, since I was worried that they would become mushy if cooked with the freekeh. You can then spend those 40 minutes prepping the rest of the dish. 

The vinaigrette is lovely, and really makes the dish since the rest of the pieces are minimally spiced. As the recipe states, you will have leftover vinaigrette, which you can toss with mixed greens the next day. That said… since the vinaigrette is really the star of this dish, you could easily forgo the lentil-freekeh pilaf for another pilaf of your choice, since the freekeh isn’t critical. We are particularly fond of Kashi’s 7 Grain Pilaf.

Pork adobado with roasted sweet potatoes

I find myself turning to Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday quite frequently. As the name suggests, the recipes are suitable for every day cooking, and are great options for cooking at home after a long day at work. Bayless does an excellent job of proving information on where to obtain supplies, and provides substitutes that may be easier to find in your local grocery store. 

I made a few modifications to his grilled pork adobado recipe.
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Who’s the bad guy here?

I was reading Peter Gammons’ PEDs’ Lasting Impact on the MLB Postseason this morning. It’s a quick blurb, and the issue is worth acknowledging. I give him credit for mentioning Manny Ramirez’s PED use, and how it helped his beloved Red Sox. No mention of Big Papi, of course. But what really caught my attention:

we don’t know if, indeed, the chemists have figured out how to mask whatever they’ve concocted

a) You don’t need to “mask” something if people aren’t looking for it. 

b) I find the idea of a “concoction” amusing. Chances are, whatever the PED du jour is, it’s probably a marketed drug which has some unexpected, beneficial side effects. You don’t really think people were specifically looking for ED treatments when they created Viagra, do you?

Spicy pork stew with hominy and collard greens

Like so many others, I have a package or two of Rancho Gordo dried hominy in my cupboards. I’m happy to pay a premium for their products, which are superior to the dried beans you’ll find at most markets, both in taste and in heritage. That said, I found myself throwing a bag or two of hominy into my shopping cart every time I placed an order… so that when we moved from DC to Baltimore, I found four bags of hominy in the cupboard.

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pardon the dust

I used to blog, but no one will ever accuse me of being a blogger, since I didn’t update said blog terribly frequently. But it was a convenient way to track my CSA acquisitions and their fate. Then we moved, and I found myself in a new career which had a steep learning curve. And my new career became a convenient excuse to let the blog┬álie dormant. I told myself that Twitter, with the help of sites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine, was sufficient for recording ideas and interesting bits I ran across. But having fragmented thoughts strewn about on the interwebs seems to be aggravating my scatterbrainedness, and so I find myself here again…