What do you do when you have 6 chunks of fancy ass cheese leftovers sitting around in your fridge? Make fancy ass Mac and Cheese! This was actually the first time I’ve ever made Mac and cheese from scratch…I have to say it came out pretty good. I can’t even remember the cheeses I used. My sister and I hit up Formaggio in Huron village the other day and I just chopped up what was leftover. I also added some parsley, kale and leeks for greenery.
I’ve been really digging into the reggae box as the weather has begun to get a bit warmer. Nice up your Sunday with this Striker Lee produced joint from 1966.
2012 has been an eventful year. Yes, there were TONS of great records but 2012 has been particularly transformative for me in terms of life changes. It was one of those years where I somehow crammed several years worth events into 12 months. Sara and I got married, Sara finished graduate school, we moved into a new apartment (after months of searching in a shitty housing market) and we got pregnant. My year end list is really a soundtrack to this year. I based it purely on what I listened to the most at the house so it lacks alot of my favorite 12”s and 45s. Everything listed here was released in 2012 (although a few are reissues). There is no particular order….Just 25 of my personal favorites from 2012….
Tor Lundvall – The Shipyard LP (Dais)
Zelienople – The World is a House on Fire LP (Type)
Akos Rozmann – 12 Stationer VI LP (Ideologic Organ)
Lee Gamble – Diversions 1994-1996 LP (PAN)
Nelson Gastaldi - Symphony No. 3: Siddhartha Gautama O El Poder De La Nada LP (Roaratorio)
Flick Wilson – School Days LP (Jah Life/Digikiller)
Dariush Dolat-Shahi – Electronic Music, Tar and Sehtar LP (Dead Cert)
Delta Funktionen – Traces LP (Delsin)
Lego Feet – Lego Feet LP (Skam)
El G – Mil Pluton LP (Alter)
Josh Abrams – Represencing LP (Eremite)
V/A – Dabke: Sounds of Syrian Houran LP (Sham Palace)
Porter Ricks – Biokenetics LP (Type)
Domingo Cura - Tiempo De Percusion: An Anthology 1971-77 LP (Em)
Sun Araw/M. Geddes Gengras/The Congos - FRKWYS Vol. 9 (Freakways)
Robert Turman – Flux LP (Spectrum Spools)
Meridian Brothers – Desesperanza LP (Soundway)
V/A – Personal Space: Electronic Soul 1974-1984 LP (Chocolate Industries)
Laurie Spiegel – The Expanding Universe LP (Unseen Worlds)
General Strike – Danger in Paradise LP (Staubgold)
Kink Gong – Xinjiang LP (Discrepant)
Andy Stott – Luxury Problems LP (Modern Love)
Maggi Payne - Ahh-Ahh: Music For Ed Tannenbaum’s Technological Feets LP (Root Strata)
Francis Bebey – African Electronic Music 1975-1982 (Born Bad)
Actress – R.I.P LP (Honest Jons)
And here are my 5 most memorable meals at restaurants from the year…I highly recommend dining at any of these places if you live in the New England area. You won’t be disappointed:
dinner at Bondir in Cambridge, MA (http://www.bondircambridge.com/)
dinner at Primo in Rockland, ME (http://www.primorestaurant.com/)
lunch at The Market Restaurant in Gloucester, MA (http://www.themarketrestaurant.com/)
lunch at West Bridge in Cambridge, MA (http://www.westbridgerestaurant.com/)
dinner at Puritan and Company in Cambridge, MA (http://puritancambridge.com/)
My sister Chelsea and her boyfriend Ed had Sara and I up to their place in Portsmouth last Sunday for a afternoon long feast. The spread was unbelievable. Chelsea put together an impressive array of Mediterranean-style small plates including grilled stuffed squid, Grilled Haddock with a white bean puree and chicken and feta meatballs with tzatziki. Sara and I brought a couple cheeses, a country pate and Gin for the Negronis. It was a incredible introduction to Spring. Thanks Chels and Ed for hosting!
Here’s a recent mix I did of versions from some of my favorite digital and rub-a-dub dancehall 45s. Versions are the B side of a Reggae 7”….usually an instrumental or “dub” version of the A side. Sometimes they are kindof boring….straight instrumentals. Other times they are zonked, hazy studio experiments that yield some truly beautiful results. These are all big, hearty, bubblers….dig in and boom out ya jeep!
Napa Cabbage “Dumplings in dashi with Sauteed Chard and Enoki Mushrooms
This one just kinda popped into my head today. I knew I wanted to stuff cabbage with some kind of seasoned meat but needed it to be a lighter and more interesting affair than your traditional stuffed cabbage in tomato sauce. I LOVE Napa (or Savoy) cabbage and was hoping they had some at whole foods when I arrived. I was in luck…barely….there were 2 ratty looking heads left. Cabbage secured I made me way to the butcher section for the stuffing. I wanted to use shiitakes for the dashi base so I figured a sturdier red meat would go well. I ALMOST grabbed some nice looking ground veal but the grass-fed beef was lighter on the wallet as well as my conscience. In addition I picked up a few shishito peppers, some rainbow chard and a clump of enoki mushrooms. I’d use the peppers as part of the filling and the chard and enokis I’d sauté quickly for accompaniment.
When using cabbage as a “wonton” skin you need to quickly par-boil the leaves. You can do this early in the process and set them aside to cool. It takes a bit of time as you can really only do 2 at a time in a deep 12 inch skillet so I got the shitakes reconstituting and chard in a cold water bath. Once everything was prepped I got to work on the filling and dashi. I took the mushroom liqueur and started a simmer with the centers from the chard and a few chunks of ginger. As the dashi did it’s thing I sauteed the ground beef with some shallots, chopped up the shiitakes, shishito peppers and the tender white parts of a few green onions. At the end I added a light glug of Shoyu and a bit of salt and pepper. Set aside.
I have big, somewhat clumsy hands so I called in Sara for the dumpling making. It is a tedious process and she has the dexterity and attention to detail required for such delicate work….I typically do not. While she rolled, I finished the dashi and quickly sauteed the chard and enokis with a tiny bit of olive oil and white balsamic. The scallion ties proved the most difficult part of the process but Sara managed to make it work beautifully after a few over-stuffed bundles.
The dumplings were SO good and gave the dashi a nice richness. The chard-enoki combo had just the right amount of bitter acidity and worked really well along side the meaty cabbage bundles. I’ll definitely make these again….they sorta beg for some variation with filling and stock. All in all the meal took about an hour and 15 minutes to complete.
We listened to Roxy Music pretty much the entire time. It somehow just made sense.
March has been pretty busy but I’ve managed to pull off a few notable dishes. Here’s a few of the “hits”. I’ve also been photographing album covers side-by-side that seem to work well together both visually and musically. I see a theme coming together here….
Pan-fried Hake with Black Lentils, Mache and a Cilantro-Habanero Yogurt Sauce
Best little fried egg sandwich. Iggy’s roll with a fried egg, pancetta and baby greens.
Cast-iron pizza with Jamon, brussell sprout leaves and lemon slices
Coconut and red lentil “chowder” with fried tofu and kale
Saint Paddy’s Day Breakfast. Poached eggs on greens with pancetta and a couple Notch Session Pilsners.
I’ve been really digging this LP from the mysterious Kink Gong. It’s made up of a bunch of field recordings and soundscapes from Xinjiang province in China. The recordings are beautifully selected, edited, manipulated and mixed into a cohesive LP. I guess it’s limited to a few hundred copies. If you’re into sound collage stuff, field recordings and/or ethnic jangle I’d grab this right quick.