Friday, February 28, 2014

Chicken with a 'crunch.'

No, I haven't gone out and picked a chicken off the road after it had tried to cross-over, in every sense of the words! I mean---I feel like chicken tonight and I think it should be at lest a bit healthy. I can roast it, maybe bathed in some herbs and oil. That's nice, but I want something different. I could smear it with a spicy Indian mixture or one from South East Asia. NO, I don't feel like that tonight. I know---over the last week, I have been playing around with grated potatoes and onion, mixed with oil and butter and miso mix. I bake that and the result is more than pleasing, but once gain, I don't specifically feel like going with that. So---what to do?
And into the oven--please don't burn.

I smothered the butterflied chicken (the guys from New World--yeah---leave that other crowed alone until they change their anti-NZ producer policies!)with American old-style mustard sauce mixed with a little hoisin. The placed the grated potato mixed with olive oil, slat, pepper and mixed dried herbs on top. My aim is to bake it slowly, hoping that 'crust doesn't burn before the chicken cooked through. I shall let you know how it goes.
It worked---crunchy and tasty

Putin is exibiting naked agression--pure and simple!

First it was Georgia, now it is the Crimea and Ukraine. We have seen it before when Germany invaded the Sudetenland, prior to WW2 and what we are witnessing now is the 21stCentury expansion of the Russian Empire. The USA has stated that their will be consequences but no doubt the UN, USA and the rest of the world will allow Putin to increase his influence and it goes without saying, his corrupt personal wealth. Let's face it, the Putin was never going to let Ukraine escape from his clutches. He will claim that Ukraine has been historically part of Russia, just like China makes similar claims about Tibet.
We are in for unstable times as the  violation of Ukraine's sovereignty plays out. Who's next?---I think---the Baltic states and maybe even Georgia. It matters not whether it is under he Soviet flag or that of the new Russia. Just like the past, one man, Putin, rather than Stalin is the leader of the new 'gang,' on the block, one that has just changes its name! Make no mistake---Putin's Russia is invading Ukraine.

AeroPress coffee---yes, I brought another machine!

'Oh no!' you say. 'Surely he hasn't been sucked in again.' Well, yes. Yes I was influenced by the 'good words' of another, this time  not from 'As Seen On TV.' No, a colleague told me about some reports done about cheaper version of coffee makers and getting a good quality coffee without breaking the bank. The one that met that goal---the AeroPress machine, retailing with extra filters and postage for about $NZ75. You can go to local cafes and get one for $59. Mine came from Ozone Coffee Roasters and it was on my doorstep within 24 hours. pretty damned good in my books.
For a change I read the instructions and watched the online video. That is very different from my usual 'rip-shit-and-bust' approach! The verdict?
If you are looking for a crema-rich espresso-style coffee, then maybe the maker's claims could be a tad exaggerated. BUT---it produces a really good tasting coffee; smooth to the gates with a lovely after-taste that I associate with a good cafĂ©-brewed cup of coffee and it is really easy to use and clean up. I can still taste the warm glow of the coffee, minutes after the final drop. I make mine with frothed milk. I use my La Favona machine to make that but I think that a cheap frother would be fine. Not for me the so-called American coffee that is little better than the nasty filtered stuff that has been sitting around for ages.
OK, I am not going to throw away my nice Italian machine, but for ease of use and consistent good coffee, I am sold. Yes, I love my crema, but you know what---there is little difference in taste. And---once the silky milk is added, you still get that thick brown ooze that hangs around the edges, making it quite similar to my flash coffee from the big machine. Well done Alan Alder---the inventor! I can see myself getting one for work. Finally, I have purchased something from online, for which I have no regrets. This one ranks right up there and beyond---- my 'solar oven.'