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Bernard Rieux

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December 6th, 2007

11:49 pm: Rainbow Sofrito Black Beans

Beans are a staple Chez Rieux, but these are possibly the best black beans I've made.

  • 1 lb. dried black beans (substitute 6 c cooked beans)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 oz. tomato paste
  • 3 small, sweet peppers (red, yellow, orange!), finely chopped (substitute 1 bell pepper)
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 t cumin seed
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T cider vinegar
  • cracked black pepper
  • salt

This recipe needs to be started 10 to 15 hours before you want to eat it. First, soak the dried beans in plenty of water for six to 10 hours before you begin cooking. Before boiling, dump out the water and replace with enough fresh water to more than cover them. Add about 1/2 t salt, a dash of black pepper, and the tomato paste. Cover and bring to boil; then simmer over low flame for 3 hours. (If starting with cooked beans from a can, 2 hours should be enough.) You'll need to add water occasionally to prevent it from drying out and burning.

While the beans are cooking, start the sofrito. Add half the oil to a saute pan over low heat. Add the onions and some salt, and sweat for maybe 20 minutes, until the onions are very soft and yellow. Add the rest of the oil, the minced peppers, and the garlic, and let them simmer 10 more minutes. Then add the cumin seed and cilantro, and simmer for a while longer, maybe 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the vinegar, and stir.

When the beans are very soft and starting to render, mix in the sofrito and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.

November 14th, 2007

08:17 pm: Mâche-avocado salad / pomegranate vinaigrette / garlic soup

Mâche-avocado salad

  • 2 oz. Mâche (lamb's lettuce)
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1 oz. sharp cheddar, diced
  • 8-10 tortilla chips, crushed
  • pomegranate vinaigrette (see below)

Tossing the avocado with lime juice immediately upon dicing will prevent it turning brown for a while. Serves 2.

Pomegranate vinaigrette

  • 1/4 pomegranate, squeezed
  • 1 lime, squeezed
  • 1 T olive oil
  • a dash of black pepper
  • sugar to taste

Whisk together the juices and pepper, and add sugar until reaching a favorable level of tartness. (I used about a tablespoon.) Then, slowly add the oil while still whisking. A traditional vinaigrette has a much higher oil-acid ratio than this, but for this salad the lighter feel seems nice.

Garlic soup

There are plenty of recipes for garlic soup around. Mine seems to work.

  • 1 qt. broth
  • 1 head garlic, finely minced
  • 2 slices whole wheat toast, diced
  • a small sprig of basil (4–5 leaves)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T white wine
  • 4–6 cremini (brown) mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • salt, black pepper, paprika

Bring the broth to a steady simmer in a 2 qt. or larger saucepan. I used prepared vegetable broth this time, but you can make your own with a little more time.

Heat the oil in a medium sized sautee pan over a low flame. Add the bread and toss until it reaches a deep brown. (Croutons!) Add the garlic, basil, and sliced mushrooms, and toss until the garlic becomes golden (but not brown); then add the splash of white wine, and simmer for about 30 seconds. Add the entire mixture to the broth. Drop the broth to a lower simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Add spices to taste.

Poach the eggs in the soup. For this to work, the soup should be at steady simmer, but definitely not a full boil. Since this is soup, a perfect poach isn't necessary. Just crack the eggs, drop them gently into the broth, and let them cook for three minutes.

Serves 2.

June 20th, 2007

12:44 am: Char Kway Teow

For almost three years, it's been the one dish I've really wanted to make but couldn't get right: char kway teow. Some of my previous half dozen attempts were edible, but none were good and none were recognizable. This one is credible, but I'd like to do better.

For char kway teow in the Boston area, Aneka Rasa (Allston) or Penang (Harvard Square and Chinatown) are both great; I wouldn't recommend Tiger Lily (The Fenway). In the bay area, Banana Leaf (Milpitas) is very good, or there's my kitchen (Monterey).

recipe and larger photosCollapse )

Current Music: "Bigmouth Strikes Again"

June 15th, 2006

10:26 am: Knock, knock

Actually, don't bother knocking. We're now one step closer to the police state that the so-called conservatives have been jonesing for.

November 30th, 2005

10:44 pm: It's Been a While, But


"If you're going to code the message, which is the way horror movies have always done it, that's fine, but it's not going to reach an audience like a movie that's overt, and this is not exactly subtle," says Dante. "Somebody has to start making this kind of movie, this kind of statement. But everybody's afraid--it's uncommercial, people are going to be upset. Good, let them be upset. Why aren't people upset? Every minute, somebody's dying in this war, and for nothing. To establish a religious theocracy in Iraq? It doesn't seem to me quite worth it."

Interesting. Props to Showtime.

Current Music: R.E.M., New Adventures in Hi-Fi

August 27th, 2005

03:51 pm: My New PDA

This may seems mundane to some of you, but it's very exciting to me. Today I went to CVS and bought a tiny notepad and a pen, which I plan to use as a to-do list. (I haven't owned a pen in a few years.) I then dumped out everything I could think of that I have to do:

  • buy notepad and pen
  • mail premium for renter's insurance (check to: _____, ask Ethel R., 671-XXX-XXXX)
  • change address w/rmv
  • get parking permit
  • edit erin's essays
  • call ryder 617 269 8000 v#978593 $_____
  • get essex st deposit back
  • post to lj about startup
  • email will
  • ycomb chez henri (mon 8/28 8pm @ pg)
  • ycomb dinner (tue 8/30 7pm)
  • payroll docs rm 202
  • scheme exam? health report? addr change for school?
  • orientation (tue 9/6 11am-12:30 rm 462)
  • open house (tue 9/6 5pm-6:30 rm 202)

Ooooh. What's next?

July 15th, 2005

04:50 am: Please Identify Three Main Lessons from the Last Couple Days
  • Seek the high ground.
  • Don't be afraid to scrap what you have and start over.
  • Do not get wasabi in your eye.

Current Music: air conditioning

June 24th, 2005

08:33 pm: If I Were Stuck on a Desert Island, I'd Take All My Stuff

Gentle LJ readers, I need your help. Two nights ago, my roommates/coworkers and I came up with an idea for a website, and today, we launch. Check it out: stuffguppy.

So go there, rate some stuff, upload some stuff, and then send it to your friends. LJ it. Send me suggestions.

stuffguppy logo

June 14th, 2005

02:45 am: Noho

I'm going to see the New Pornographers in Northampton on the 26th. My car has four seats of which two are currently spoken for. That leaves two seats for you, should you like to come along. Let me know.

Current Music: Sweet, sweet air conditioning

May 22nd, 2005

01:27 pm: Where the Brave Dare Not Go

I'm nearing the end of my two-week-long quest to obtain a Cambridge resident parking permit, and just in time, since I'm moving next weekend. The process has several steps and dependencies:

  • Ask token_fail and my mom to mail envelopes to me at my new address, as proof of residence.
  • Drop by my insurance agent to get an RMV-3 form, documenting my change of address for the registry.
  • Pick up the envelopes from token_fail and my mom (thanks!) at the new place.
  • Take the RMV-3 form to the RMV Watertown branch and trade it for an amended registration.
  • Race to the Cambridge City Hall Annex, arriving at 4:50 PM to discover that it closes at noon on Fridays.
  • To do: Return to the City Hall Annex, registration, postmarked envelopes, and cash in hand, to hopefully get a parking sticker.

It drives me crazy when people use the word "cliché" as an adjective. It's not hard to imagine how it might have come about, since the final "d" in "clichéd" is easy not to hear. I'm not usually a linguistic conservative—note my double (mis)use of "hopefully" above, the second time splitting an infinitive with it—but this really grates. I've been hearing it a lot more lately, and I'm guessing the battle is already lost.

Current Music: Ari's shower
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