Archive for August, 2007

Peter Callesen, Papercut Genius

I discovered this amazing artist through del.icio.us, finally something useful coming out of a social bookmarking: Peter Callesen. Wish his works were on display somewhere in US, but for the lack of better choice when you have time do yourself a favor and browse through what’s available on his web site. I especially like framed papercuts but everything is truly wonderful.



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Best Steak Ever

Got couple of nice dry aged rib-eyes. Used a rub of porcini powder, red pepper flakes, black pepper, garlic, sugar, salt and olive oil (as suggested by Mario Batali in Babbo cookbook to intensify a beefy flavor) to cure the meat further.

The rain made charcoal grilling impossible so i decided to give Bittman’s broiling technique a try: set a rack as close to broiler as possible, put a cast iron pan on it and heat the oven to 550F. Put steaks into the pan, switch on the broiler and cook the meat until it’s done to your liking (you might need to keep an oven door ajar to force broiler on for all the time) . For one inch plus steaks it’s probably around 7-8mins for a med-rare. Bittman’s recipe assumes unadorned dry steak that is seasoned with s&p just before cooking so i carefully wiped off all the cure before placing steaks in the pan and just sprinkled them lightly with salt).

Man, those steaks were so good! Nevermind side of fingerlings steamed, halved and butter roasted with thyme sprigs until well crusted, as well as wilted watercress leaves with green herb salsa… just gilding the lily.

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Quick but Flavorful

Just when i thought we exhausted all ideas for grilling i found this recipe for prosciutto wrapped chicken.


Each chicken breast half is sliced into 3 pieces (sort of on diagonal, along the grain), quickly marinated in lemon juice, minced garlic and olive oil. Then a piece of prosciutto is wrapped around chicken piece and a sage leaf. Skewered and grilled for about 7mins total, allowing the meat to get a good smoke.

We also marinated some shiitake in a similar mixture and grilled them. And then slices of ciabatta brushed with olive oil went on the grill too. Very nice. 

The chicken was especially good next day served cold.

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Bar Harbor, Just Came Back

Just came back from a motorcycle trip to Bar Harbor, ME – a dream vacation of riding, hiking, kayaking, beer drinking and overall life enjoying. More later…


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A Ride to Wachusetts

What makes a perfect weekend ride? As i see it from a back seat, three things are essential (using our recent ride as an example):

1. Destination – this particular ride was to Wachusett, a mountain that Thoreau called "the observatory of the state" in his essay A Walk to Wachusetts.


2. Route – curvy roads around the eponymous reservoir


and thickly settle new england country side


that brought us to the other side of the reservoir:


3. And last but not least Weather – it was relatively hot but cloudy and the wind was nice breathing out cool air from woods and lakes around…

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Elusive Bun, or Dreams Shattered

For quite a while (make it couple of years) i’ve been trying to find a recipe for some korean bun from my childhood. A haunting memory of a large white steamed bun filled with a mix of minced pork and cabbage, spicy and tasty. It was called "pyan-se" and sold by koreans on the streets of Yuzhno-Sakhalinks. I found several recipes on far eastern russian food sites but somehow i was convinced that no way the dough could be yeast or whatever leavened – i remembered it quite thin and though white not resembling dough in chinese buns…

Finally after failing to find a dough recipe that would match my mental image i decided to try one of those found on the web. Now imagine this: the resulting bun looked and tasted so familiar but oh well… so disappointing…


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Gingerbread House

Oh the post is not about baking: it’s about a real house – whimsical, made of concrete, every of its 40 plus rooms richly decorated with artistic tiles… Welcome to Fonthill and Henry Mercer great building.


Though it’s a great weekend destination within its own right, for those fortunate of us who choose motorcycle as their recreational means of transportation, hilly picturesque country roads of Bucks County, PA would bring an unforgettable thrill.


(you might notice the shadow of the main house: the lighting is much better at this part of the Fonthill estate in late afternoon).

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