Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's the Holiday Edition of MST3K Twitterfest

And it's about time! So, mark your calendars, Sunday, December 4th at 2:00 PM Eastern we will once more get together for some good clean Mystery Science Theater fun. This time around, due to the time of year we'll be watching Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

We're on! That's 2:00 PM EST and 11:00 AM PST and 9:00PM Israel
If this will be your first MST3K Twitterfest, we get together at the appointed time to watch the movie. I'll have it embedded here for easy viewing. If your YouTube streaming isn't always so smooth then drop me a note, I'll set you up with a pre-cached copy. The hashtag we'll be using is #MST3KSantaClaus, so you should set up a column for that in your Twitter client. I'll also have a feed embedded here, but it's not quite as good. Looking forward to seeing you there!
You can also join up at the Facebook event and get updates and reminders.

Unfortunately the High Definition videos I found can't be embedded, but you can watch it all here. I've defaulted to 360p, but you can move to 720p depending on your bandwidth.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hey! Those burgers are stuffed!

Well, it's been a heck of a long time since I last blogged and even longer since I last blogged food. I hope to change that. Meanwhile I'm on a new diet based on Tim Ferris's book the 4-Hour Body. If you don't know Ferris and his books, you're missing out. He is all about hacking everything, from lifestyles to bodies to sleeping patterns. In any event, the short summary of the diet is that there are no carbohydrates, milk or fruit allowed during the week, but all the protein and fat your can stomach. I've been on it for close to 3 weeks and I'm losing an average of more than 3 lbs. a week. The only issue is coming up with what to eat. So, I hope to bring a few easy, and tasty, recipes for you to add to your repertoire. Unlike most of my other recipes these are generally for one or two people and not scaled up to my usual family sized, so keep that in mind if you're going to be cooking for a crowd. I'll also be doing whole meals, not just single dishes. As a side note all of the recipes will be sugar, dairy and gluten free, so if you're into that stuff you'll rock these recipes.

The first meal is Burgers stuffed with onion jam, grilled tomatoes and cabbage and almond slaw.
You'll need:
8 oz. ground beef
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup stock (or water if stock isn't available)
1/4 cup red wine
Kosher Salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
1 medium tomato
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
1/8 cup almond slivers
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Toss the shredded cabbage and vinegar in a bowl and set aside.
Dice the onion and drop it in a frying pan with a bit of oil and start sauteing them, chop the garlic and toss that in too. When they become translucent add half the stock and keep cooking them until all the liquid is gone, then add the rest of it. Cook until it's gone then add the wine, letting that reduce down. This should all take about half an hour. The truth is, it would probably be good to quadruple the amount of onions and double the liquid measures, setting 3/4 of it aside for later use. What you'll have left is a dark onion-y sludge with the consistency close to marmalade or jam. 

Next, add a teaspoon of salt, pepper and garlic powder to your ground beef, mixing it through. Then you'll want to separate it into two equal sized portion and pat them down to form two, well, patties. Make them about 1/4 of an inch thick because we're going to fold them up on themselves.

Place a heaping spoon of the onion jam in the middle of each patty and bring up the sides to engulf the filing, mush closed. Don't worry if it doesn't close all the way, close is good enough.

Now comes cooking time. I have a grill pan, but you can do all this in a regular frying pan without a problem. If you're using a flat bottomed pan add a touch of oil or non-stick spray when the pan is hot and then add the burgers. Make sure you put the top side down, that is the side you attempted to close. This will seal it so the onions don't all leak out. I'd say cook 5 minutes on each side, twice. For a total of 20 minutes in the pan.
Right after the first flip, cut your tomato into three even rounds, so two slices, one on either side of the stem. Add them to the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. When you flip your burgers, flip the tomatoes.

Almost done! Put the burgers on your plate, then the sprinkle the extra onions over both. Get your cabbage slaw that was set aside and mix in the almond slivers. Add that to the plate. Pour yourself tall glass of ice water and maybe add a lemon twist. Eat!