Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Small potatoes!

Last weekend my global cooking club (so named because we do different cuisines, not because we are farflung, normally) did Cajun in Madison Square Park and here was my contribution:

Cajun Spiced Roasted Potatoes in two steps:

Step one, make the spice mix in a mortar and pestle, so it should be quite fine:
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
Of note here, I took out the ground red pepper and replaced it with equal amounts of tabasco. This actually makes it marginally (really small amounts) less spicy, but adds more flavour, according to a Cajun I once knew, because Tabasco has things in it. Alternatively you can keep the red pepper and add in a little vinegar. Also the wetness helps a bit with sticking it to the potatoes.

Step two: Potatoes and garlic

Chops lots of potatoes quite small
Chop some garlic quite small
Put some tin foil in a baking pan or on a cookie sheet
Roll the potatoes and garlic in the spice mix.
Put on the pan/sheet.

(Note: Most recipes say to peel. I actually prefer unpeeled; much more flavour, crispier and tasty. YMMV)

Preheat to about 450. Cook until brown and crispy. (30-40 minutes, but check after as little as twenty.)

I halved the amount of spice mix for what I made and it was fine - and still had extra. Just make sure each potato piece gets a little reddish/brownish looking, rather than using all of it. Obviously can add more spice mix when cooked if it's not sufficiently spicy for your taste, but be careful because this is a slow burn rather than an upfront one.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Two posts, one day!

In more personal news, I have an appreciation/review of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets up at Tordotcom today. Here's a sneak peek and then you can follow the link to the rest of the article and COMMENT over there:

After you’ve defeated a Dark Lord, come home and found life goes on as normal, how do you return to faerieland? How do you get back to Narnia? How do you make something feel even more magical and wondrous than when it was brand new?

Well, a flying car and a murderous tree is a pretty good way to start.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was one of the very first “what happens after” books I’d read. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was a great adventure book in which the boy turns out to be a wizard, a celebrity, a hero, and then defeats the Dark Lord all over again. But Chamber of Secrets shows what happens next and that fascinated me.

And then there was the psychology of a budding Dark Lord, an ambiguous, strange elf-creature, a truly fabulous dueling club, the history and redemption of Harry’s first friend and, of course, Lockhart.

Marriage Equality

Seem like very big, melodramatic words, but er, today they are ENTIRELY the point. I've been calling, emailing and tweeting at undecided NY Senators to get them to support Marriage Equality. This is a bill that could go to vote any time in the next couple days and currently, it looks as though we're only one vote short.

One Republican senator was swayed by as little as 4,000 calls apparently. Now we need just one more senator.

Here are the undecideds; please please please contact them:

Greg Ball., (845) 279 3773
Andrew Lanza, Staten Island. (718) 984-4073
Stephen M. Saland of Poughkeepsie. (845) 463-0840,
J. Kemp Hannon, Nassau County. (516) 739-1700,
Mark Grisanti of Erie County, not answering the phone. May be in hiding. (518) 455-3240

When you call, just say "I'm calling about the gay marriage vote. I'm not a constituent but I am a resident of NY. I'm entirely in favour of gay marriage and I really hope that Senator X will be too." They may ask you where you're from or your name, but chances are good they won't. They'll say thank you and hang up. The end.

And you might have done a small part in a civil rights movement. You might have helped families.

You can also tweet and email at them, though no texting.

I think, by the way, it's also important to find your Senator and Assemblyperson and thank them (provided, of course they voted Aye) for supporting Marriage Equality. We want to let them know that their constituents stand behind them on this issue and we'll support them when they support us.

Also my Senator and my Assemblyman both tweeted back at me and my senator follows me now. <3<3 Local politics are THE BEST you guys.

Go, help make history today. Please.

Plus, as I offered on twitter; if you contact them and ask them to support gay marriage and then tell me you did so? I'll make you cookies.

ETA: At [info]lowellboyslash 's request, I include the text of the bill: