29 July 2007

Simply Ridículoso

The Food Network has a new show featuring a latina cook, Ingrid Hoffman. I had high hopes for the show, but it's a complete disappointment. She has the requisite Food Network large breasts (she seems to favor the right one: she's bursting out of her shirt, but oddly, no cleavage), but the cooking, skillful as it is, is as far from latino as I can imagine. Bottled lime juice? Que lastima.

"Surfing up a wave to some tunes, hang ten?" Por favor.

I suppose the requisite Food Network large breasts are history now that Amy won the Next Food Network Star: seeing her in a bikini put me off my feed.

26 July 2007

PETA: You're Dead, Save the Fish

You killed a policeman, and now they're going to kill you.

But can't we save the fish?

Showing remarkable sensitivity, PETA is urging Troy Davis, currently on death row, to set an example by "going vegetarian."

They want him to "...empathize with the innocent chickens, pigs, fish, and cows who are currently on death row for nothing more than people's fleeting taste for their flesh...."

Here is the press release with the letter they sent him. It brought tears to my eyes, and I'm sure to Troy's.

I suppose "going vegetarian" for three months won't kill him, and after that, he'll be dead anyway.

23 July 2007

Hugo-Size Me

McDonald's got rid of supersized sodas in 2004. Now, they proudly introduce the Hugo size: 42 ozs, 410 calories, and under $1.

As reported in the New York Times, it's for the customers: customers want choice claims Dayna Proud (no, really, that's her name); she does not want the Hugo compared to the identical Supersize sodas:

“That’s not what this is about,” she said. “You have to put it in context with the rest of our menu.”

Also from the article:

"Making matters worse, Hugo ads are available in several languages, making sure that minorities — who are disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic — are aware of the budget beverage."

Fast food is very popular in Puerto Rico, and the fast food giants are all too eager to tap into this largely-uninformed market.

21 July 2007

Serious Pork

I read the Serious Eats blog every day. It's mostly silly, but occasionally, a good post shows up.

My problem with the site is their love of the the National Pork Board. Not only do they kiss up to this sponsor, they also have three or more huge and obnoxious ads on the Serious Eats front page. Distracting to say the least. This in not a problem for me; the best browsers (Firefox and Opera) make it very easy to block these ads.

When they do these kiss-up posts, they turn comments off. Why? Well, how likely is it that someone will comment "Yes! I love the National Pork Board!" And how likely is it that the comments would tend more towards "I hate these ads, please discontinue them with all possible haste?"

How can I enjoy a thought provoking post like "Crunchy or Soggy Cereal?" with all that pork?

I get it. I love pork. I eat it all the time. I don't need to be told how to cook it. Do we even need a National Pork Board? Until they start sponsoring my site, the answer is no.

20 July 2007


I make pizza every couple of weeks these days. When I started, I always did the dough completely by hand, under the misguided belief that what I was making was somehow more authentic. Now that I'm making pizza and bread more often, I've switched to my KitchenAid Ultra Power, which I haven't used in years.

What a fool I've been. Using the stand mixer makes the whole process much easier, and clean-up is the same. I doubt I'll be making dough by hand any timde soon.

These were done on a 23" baking sheet: the funny shape is so I can do 3 at a time. (Since I posted this, I was told by a chef friend that these are misshapen. Now I make one big pizza to fit the biggest baking pan I have.)

I also get much more consistent results since I started weighing the flour as opposed to measuring it by volume.

I usually cook pizza on a baking stone for best results, but if I'm in a hurry and want to make a lot of pizza, I cook it on a lightly oiled baking sheet dusted with corn meal.

To make pizza, you'll need:

  • pizza dough: buy it or use your favorite. Here's mine:
    • 750 grams bread flour
    • 3 grams yeast
    • 12 grams salt
    • 500 grams water
    • 48 grams olive oil
  • simple tomato sauce
  • toppings
The toppings I usually use include mozzarella and any combination of salume (Italian cured meat, almost always pork), mushrooms, sausage, peppers, and anchovies. I never use pineapple, chicken, bacon, goat cheese, or any other California affectation, because I'm going to hell as it is.
  1. Turn on your oven to as high as it goes. For me, that's 500F.
  2. Form the dough by hand into a rough round. If it springs back too much, let it rest for 10 more minutes and try again.
  3. If you're using a pizza peel to get the pizza onto a baking stone, dust the peel with coarse corn meal, and place the dough on the peel. If you're using a baking sheet, either lightly oil it and dust it with coarse corn meal, or cover it with parchment paper.
  4. Brush the dough with a little olive oil, avoiding the rim.
  5. Add enough tomato sauce to cover, but don't over do it.
  6. Add the toppings.
  7. Bake the pizza for 10 - 12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.

Chelada Estupida

The Miller Brewing Company makes a lot of crappy products, but this time they've outdone themselves. Introducing Miller Chill, a "chelada-style" beer with lime and salt mixed in.

Finally! A solution for those of you too stupid or too lazy to add lime to real Mexican beer!

Here's the Pacific Brew News Blog take on this fine new beer.

11 July 2007

Where Pork Comes From

Lechón asado is the national meat of Puerto Rico, and Guavate is the capital.

But, of course, we have pork all over the island. These pigs belong to my wife's cousin Jose about half a mile up the mountain from us. When it's time, he butchers them and sells them to the local lechoneras. I'm invited to the next slaughter, and yes, I'm going.

I'm happy to report that these pigs lead very happy lives (at least until that last day).

Cock Law

Yes, cockfighting is still legal here, but broadcasting it may not be. Even if it were illegal, how do you stop it? Roosters fight: it's what they do. This was my favorite rooster, a naked-neck. He won the fight. When it became clear that he wasn't going to survive our construction guy cooked and ate him.

Update: Lest people get the impression that I fight roosters, I most assuredly do not. This rooster was in a territorial fight with a neighbor's rooster.

07 July 2007

Demon Rum

This is Flaco, our neighbor from across the street (the picture was taken from our balcon). Apparently, he had a tough night, since it's now 8 AM. A reliable witness tells me that someone dropped him off, he took two steps, and collapsed. He's about 3 feet from the street. I hope he doesn't roll over.

I don't guess that concrete makes a very good mattress, but when I suggested to my wife that she get him a cinder block for a pillow, she declined.

Update: Flaco got up an hour later, and entered the house, apparently no worse for wear. I'm guessing he'll sleep most of the day.