misshepeshu: (NOM)
Several minutes ago:

Candy: That was a nice little dinner. Thanks for cooking with me, Ben.

Ben: You're welcome.


Ben: You know, I like how for us, "little dinner" involves four courses.

Candy: And two and a half hours of cooking.

Ben has been sick for the last week, and I caught le crud from him. I've been exhausted, sleepy and full of coughing and phlegming for the past three days. I was going to have chicken soup and bread for dinner tonight, but Ben started talking about making dal, and then I started craving lamb curry, and before we knew it, we were in the kitchen, wantonly chopping vegetables and throwing spices around with wild abandon.

This happens more often than you'd think.

Or maybe about as often as you'd think, depending on how well you know the both of us and what freaks we are about food. I was a bit shaky on my feet and headachey by the time we were done, but it was absolutely worth it.

Ben made dal and chard with potatoes and Indian spices, while I made lamb curry. I threw it together out of nowhere, putting the flavors together in my head and adjusting the spices as I went. I'm good at impromptu French and impromptu Italian, but I've never tried my hand at impromptu Indian before--not from scratch, anyway. I'm inordinately proud of how well it turned, and I'm recording it here before I forget everything I've put in it.

So, here it is: Candy's Awesome Lamb That Tastes Like Some Kind of Indian Thing, Almost As If She Knew What She Was Doing

Please note that all quantities for spices are approximate. Start conservative, and taste as you go.

2 lbs. boneless lamb meat (we used leg meat), cut into hearty chunks
1 large sweet onion, sliced into 1/4" wide strips
8 (or more) cloves of garlic, finely diced
1 large shallot, finely diced
1 stick cinnamon, bashed briefly so it's in large pieces
1/2 teaspoon whole mace, finely chopped
5.6 oz. can coconut milk (it's the itty-bitty single serving size one)
1/4 cup curry powder (I get the brand with the rooster on the package, the all-purpose type for "meat"--if you get the kind specifically for red meat, it'd probably taste darker, so you might not need to add as much cumin)
2-3 tablespoons cumin powder
1-2 tablespoons turmeric powder
2-3 pinches coriander powder (fresh cilantro would be great for this dish, so use that instead or in addition to if you have it)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 serrano pepper, finely diced, more if you like more heat
1/4 cup canned diced tomatoes with juice
2-3 tablespoons peanut oil
Salt to taste (you'll need a surprisingly large amount of it)

1. Heat large cast iron skillet on medium-high. Add peanut oil, then throw in the garlic, shallot, cinnamon and mace. Fry until mixture is very fragrant and garlic is barely starting to brown.

2. Throw in the lamb and brown. Add coconut milk, half the curry powder and half of all of the different spices, including the serrano pepper.

3. Allow to simmer for a while, then taste. Add more spices and curry powder as necessary.

4. Add onion. Cook until onions are just starting to wilt.

5. Add tomatoes and salt.

6. Taste again and adjust spices as necessary. Allow everything to simmer for a few minutes more
(basically, until you can't stand the smell and temptation any more).

Dinner was awesome, and the best part? We have leftovers. Aw yeah.
misshepeshu: (Behold the Kitty!)
The concert tonight at the Crystal Ballroom was brilliant. I'm not sure if it's the best show I've ever been to (the Beck/Flaming Lips double-bill is right up there, as is Blur at the Roseland, Weezer at the Pine Street Theater, Pearl Jam in Singapore and Radiohead at the Gorge), but it's definitely in the top 5. The band sounded great, the banter with the audience was fun and funny, and though there were a few flubs, they were accepted good-naturedly by the audience.

However, many, many songs were missing from the show that in my opinion should've been included, like "The Infanta," "Billy Liar" (best song about masturbation EVER), "A Cautionary Song," "On the Bus Mall," "The Legionnaire," "The Apology Song," "The Sporting Life" and "The Mariner's Revenge Song." I have hopes that at least two or three of these will make the setlist tomorrow.

Also, this memorably hilarious exchange took place halfway during the concert:

Colin Meloy: ...what?
Colin Meloy: Well, looks like quite the turf war is erupting between the Reedies and the Lewis and Clarkies.
Drummer: I demand a dance-off.
Colin Meloy: Who do you think will win in a street fight? The Reedies, or the Lewis and Clarkies?
Guitarist: Jefferson High School.
*general hilarity*
Colin Meloy: I don't know. I think maybe the Reedies. I think they'll fight dirtier.

Hanyway. Can't wait for the show tomorrow. It's going to be, like, a bucket of awesome with awesome sauce on top.


misshepeshu: (Default)

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