What am I eating? I Try Pista Burfi

#954 on the List of 1001 Things to Eat Before You Die

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Burfis are a generalized term for popular Indian candies eaten at special occasions. There is a whole slew of recipes to make different types but they usually contain sweetened condensed milk, nuts, spices and are decorated with an edible silver leaf. I am not going to pretend I am any sort of expert on the subject of Indian food. Far from it. I have had a few different types of Burfis at restaurants and given to me by friends and I can tell you from my limited experience that every single type I have tried has been a win. I love the use of different spices in Indian cuisine. Instead of the typical American fare of chocolate, lemon, vanilla, or on occasion peanut butter; In Indian confectionary, you get cardamon, cinnamon, fresh ginger and pretty much anything else that is aromatic. They are a delight on the tongue and very complex. The recipe I used for this experiment is one I found on aromatic essence.

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Badam Pista Barfi (Almond & Pistachio Fudge)

Ingredients:

  • Almond Powder – 1/2 Cup

  • Pistachio Powder – 1/2 Cup

  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – 300 gms

  • Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp

  • Ghee – 1 tbsp

  • Green Food Colour – 5-6 drops

  • Chopped Almonds & Pistachios for garnish


Method:

 

  • Dry roast pistachios on low heat for 3-4 minutes and set aside to cool. Grind lightly for coarse consistency.

  • We used almond powder, in case you don’t have almond powder, then you soak them overnight, peel off skin and dry them under sun and then grind to coarse consistency.

  • In a bowl take half cup each of almond & pistachio powder. Also add cardamom powder and set aside. This is your powder mix

  • Heat ghee in a pan, add sweetened condensed milk and powder mix. Mix well all ingredients and cook on medium heat till it starts to separate sides. Switch off and take off from heat.

  • Spread the mix over a greased plate into a thickness of about 3/4 to 1 inch. Sprinkle chopped nuts and press gently into the mixture.

  • Let it cool and then cut into cubes or any other shape you like.

 

Eat up and enjoy. It is excellent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Try Ras el Hanout

#715 of 1001 Foods to Try Before You Die

 

 

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Image courtesy of genius kitchen

 

 

I have decided that I am going to tackle the aromatics section of the list. I figure aromatics ship easier and I can make recipes at home for the fam. Much easier than say trying to ship a weird type of fish only found in Iceland. Why don’t I ever make things easier for myself?

I found a little baggie of this spice at the local World Market for 2.99. Duuuuuuuude. I was absolutely shocked. I have been looking and looking to get my hands on any of this and was sadly resorting to ordering from Amazon and their prices for it. I love trying new things, but 12.99 a little steep for a spice I may never use again. This was a great find.

Let me tell you about the glory that is this spice. Close your eyes.. they closed? OK.

Imagine that you are walking around a long street made of cobbled stone. You are in a Morrocan spice market. People are hustling around you hawking their wares. You are being bombarded with foreign (to me a least) sights, sounds, and smells. Especially, the smells that permeate the air are a concoction of all things deeply spiced. Not hot spices with their peppery overtones, But things like cinnamon, and cardamon. Deeply comforting spices that you want to roll around in and sip in tea.  This is what this spice made me think of when I smelled it, and the glory of it when I tasted it. I don’t know if it is accurate. I have never been to Morroco. But man, this is one of the best things I have ever smelled. It tasted even better.

I made a recipe I found on Pinterest via genius kitchen that used Ras El Hanout with potatoes. I can see how this spice could lend itself to pretty much anything. It is very versatile. Make sure you boil the potatoes first. Good luck! Make it, your house will smell amazing.

READY IN:

30mins

SERVES:

4

UNITS:

US

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g white potatoes
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons ras el hanout spice mix
  • olive oil

 

DIRECTIONS

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F/220C/Gas mark 7.
  2. Peel and cut potatoes in half and boil until ‘al dente’. Make a dressing by mixing the juice of one lemon, garlic, and Ras El Hanout. In a hot oven, pre-heat oil in a baking tray.
  3. Once par-boiled, drain the potatoes in a colander and toss the potatoes to encourage a fluffy outer. Place the potatoes in a mixing bowl with the dressing and ensure that the potatoes are covered. Transfer the potatoes into the hot tray and roast for 25 minutes.

What am I eating? Pimenton de La Vera

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#680 on 1001 Foods to Try Before You Die

I finally found something I can get my hands on to try. Pimenton de La Vera is a smoked Spanish paprika. It is used in pretty much everything in Spanish cuisine. Which mean that I am sure I have had it before at some point. I love tapas. However, I wanted to single out the flavor profile so I could really try it.

I think in general I prefer Hungarian Paprika. I have no idea what the difference is, but I put paprika on my fried eggs constantly and the Hungarian stuff has a slightly different profile that accented the eggs better. That being said, this is good stuff. Smoky and spicy at the same time without being crazy overpowering where all you can taste is chilis. It was great! If you are interested you can get it at Amazon or any fancy grocery store. I got mine at New Seasons for 5 dollars a jar.

Graphic Novel Review of “Punk Rock Jesus” by Sean Gordon Murphy

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Awards

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About

From the pubisher, “A reality TV show starring a clone of Jesus Christ causes chaos across the U.S. of the near future in PUNK ROCK JESUS, a new graphic novel written and drawn by Sean Murphy, the acclaimed illustrator of JOE THE BARBARIAN and AMERICAN VAMPIRE.

J2 causes both outrage and adulation. Religious zealots either love or hate the show, angry politicians worry about its influence on the nation, and members of the scientific community fear the implications of cloning a human being at all, let alone the Son of God.

Thomas McKael is the clones’s bodyguard and former IRA operative, who despite his turbulent past is hired to protect the new Jesus—a baby who captivates the world, but grows up to become an angry teenager.

When falling ratings force the network to cut Jesus’s mother from the series the young star runs away, renounces his religious heritage and forms a punk rock band. And what starts off as babysitting for Thomas becomes an epic battle, as Jesus goes to war against the corporate media complex that created him.”

My Thoughts

I seriously can’t decide how I feel about this series. It is angry, defiant, thoughtful, and current. It reminds me of a manifesto written by a Catholic school teenager who wants to rise against his upbringing, It is really, really strange. Strange and a solid read.

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Chris is a typical 15-year-old Jesus clone. Angry at the establishment. The establishment being all of Christianity who have deified him as some supposed clone and destroyed and the chance he will ever have at a normal existence. Turned his life into the Truman Show, and killed his mother because she is weak for ratings. SO F#$% YOU, F#$% RELIGION, F#$% EVERYONE (cue guitar riff.) Somehow there is a scientist who has a pet Polar bear, a daughter who is really not her daughter, and the cure to save global warming.

As you can see, this is a book about extremes. Extremes in Christianity, extremes in religious fanaticism, all of America is brimming with fat, lazy and stupid people who don’t know their ass from their elbow. Everything is black and white. Life is not black and white at all, which is why this book reminds me of an angry teenager. The dialog, the plot, even the graphics and pen work are all done in this stark and contrasting style. Whether the illustrator/writer did that on purpose or that was just a stylistic choice remains to be seen, but it lends itself to the dialog. In a lot of ways, the pacing of this novel is a mess. It speeds and jumps around in gigantic leaps of time. The clone of Jesus is 1 years old, then 3, then 10, and then 15. Again, this might be a stylistic choice emulating the time jumps in the bible. If it is, that is a pretty nuanced plot addition.

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Hello, tame polar bear.

I feel like all these decisions the author made regarding the extremes in his storytelling where very specific and deliberate. He could have written a much better and more exciting book with the same plot and given it more heart and reality and less punk rockness.  But that’s just me. It is an entirely plausible thing for a Hollywood studio to do. Clone a famous person who is a deity to a billion people and watch the ratings soar.

My recommendation is, as usual, to read it. It isn’t great, it isn’t horrible. Just angsty enough for me to feel old and annoyed at the very same time. But kinda fun, and crazy. Again, what the hell is up with a polar bear. Make up your own mind, and drop me a note about it. I am curious about other takes.

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