Category Archives: Food and Drink

Puerco Pibil, so good

Better photo later.  This was a quick iphone shot.This weekend I got a hankering to make one of my favorite dishes, Puerco Pibil.  It’s a delicious slow roasted pork dish from the Yucatan Peninsula.  It features tangy flavors, and moderate heat from the habenero pepper.  My recipe is pretty much the one that Robert Rodriguez outlines in his entertaining 10 Minute Cooking School video.  This weekend, I made a big batch, about 15 lbs of it.  It did this because the meat vendor I use, Cash’n’Carry, sells the pork butt in ~15 lb bags.  $1.48/lb was a sweet deal.

I get all my spices from World Spice, located behind the Pike Place Market.  They’re inexpensive and delicious, and can be shipped.

My recipe, as made this weekend:

  • 15 lbs pork butt, cubed into ~2″ cubes (roughly, precision not important)
  • Banana leaves (asian grocery! cheap!)
  • 1/4 cup minced, de-veined, de-seeded habenero peppers (~16 habeneros)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 cups lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1.5 cups white vinegar
  • 3/8 cups delicious reposado tequila
  • 8 oz annatto seeds, ground finely (measured as whole annatto)
  • 1 oz cumin
  • 1.5 oz black peppercorns
  • 24 allspice berries
  • 1.5 tsp cloves

Set aside the banana leaves and cubed pork.

Take the rest of the ingredients.  Grind all the spices into dust, and combine with the garlic, habenero, juices, and vinegar.  This is your annatto paste, and is what the pork will marinate in.  In a large bowl, combine the pork with the annatto paste, mixing thoroughly.   I have a large (6 qt) food bucket that I use for marinating the pork.  Put the pork into a large container with a lid.  Put this into the refrigerator for at least four hours.  I try to marinate it overnight.

On cooking day, pre-heat the oven to 325F.  Line a large pan with banana leaves, leaving enough overhanging banana leaf to allow you to fold it over.  Fill the cavity with pork mix, making sure to put all the delicious marinade into the pan.  Fold the banana leaves over this, and cover with more banana leaves, tightly packing it.  Then cover with aluminum foil.  Or not, but I do viagra over the counter india.

Bake at 325F for four hours.  You will know it’s nearly done when your house smells delicious.

Enjoy on rice, or soft corn tortillas, or as tamale fill.  There are tons of ways to enjoy this versatile dish.

Of the Crafting of Brown Barbazu Ale

The color of the finished wort
The color of the finished wort

I use the name Studious Dwarf as my brewing name. And I do this because I feel like it does a fine job of capturing my thoughts and persona as it relates to brewing:  A brewer should be attentive to details, clean, organized, and precise.  I feel that this is well reflected in the modern mythology of dwarves.  So I use the name.  Today I made my 2nd ever batch of beer, which I am entitling Brown Barbazu Ale.  Barbazu is the name of a D&D monster, a bearded devil.  This is fun. :D  My previous beer (which came out really well) was called Red Kobold Hunting Ale, and is a red, light ale.  This current batch will be more bitter, with hoppy bites to it.

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On direct reflections in glass, and yummy beers

Glass Direct Reflection 03I’ve been doing a lot of self-study in Light: Science and Magic; a book about the use of light in photography. Some of that has been a study in the behavior of photographing glass on dark backgrounds. See, glass isn’t photographed by capturing what it looks like, but rather, the effect it has on the light passing through it. On a light background, the lack of brightness shows itself in dark portions. In a darkfield study, such as at the right, the glass is shown by the light reflected off of it.

The light bends through the glass, its path wrought in the camera’s sensor. The strobe shows where the glass bends the light.

A few nights ago, I set up the following still life to practice on. It’s composed of a Disk’s Working Man Brown Ale, a small wine glass full of the beer, and a martini glass full of mountain dew (for the color.)

On a semi-related note, Dick’s Variety pack of beers contains a lot of yummy stuff. They’re out of Centralia, so they’re local.

Go see the full-size image on flickr.