Friday, July 24, 2009

Driftwood-Grilled Lobster Tails

Prep time: 15 minutes
Grilling time: 7 to 11 minutes
Special equipment: 8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
4 Maine lobster tails, about 10 ounces each
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 lemons, cut into eighths

1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat or, if you happen to be at the shore, light dried driftwood or charcoal in a hole dug in the sand. Push the driftwood or charcoal to one side of the hole and place a cooking grate on top.

2. In a small saucepan, off to the side of the charcoal, heat the butter until just melted. Add the chives.

3. Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut each lobster tail in half lengthwise through the hard top shell and the meat, keeping the shell attached to the meat. Skewer each split tail with a soaked bamboo skewer to keep it from curling as it cooks. Brush the lobster meat with some of the chive butter and season with the salt.

4. Brush the cooking grate clean. Grill the lobsters, flesh sides down, over direct high heat (450° to 550°F), with the lid off, for about 3 minutes. Turn the lobsters over, brush with more chive butter and continue grilling for 4 to 8 minutes, basting with butter occasionally. Swap their positions as needed for even cooking. When the lobster is done, the shells will be a rich reddish-brown and the meat will be firm, juicy, and coral-white. Squeeze the lemons over the lobster and serve immediately with the remaining butter.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

James Taylor at the Fillmore East 1/25/71


01. A Little Help From My Friends
02. Long Ago And Far Away
03. Something In The Way She Moves
04. Blossom
05. Tubros Snuff
06. Greensleeves
07. Sunny Skies
08. Diamond Joe
09. Things Go Better With Coca-Cola
10. Carolina On My Mind
11. Riding On A Railroad
12. Fire And Rain
13. Highway Song
14. Lo And Behold
15. Machine Gun Kelly
16. Hey Mister, That’s Me Up On The Jukebox
17. Steamroller Blues
18. Night Owl
19. You Can Close Your Eyes
20. Sweet Baby James


Monday, July 20, 2009

I have to admit that every drama that comes along on television, I compare to "The West Wing". I don't think I'm alone out there. If you haven’t watched the show, I can only say spend the pretty penny and get into the series now, or at the very least, fill up your Blockbuster / Netflix queue.

As far as the debate goes about which direction the show headed after Aaron Sorkin left following the 4th season, yeah a lot of the humor was traded for heavy drama, but don’t tell me you weren’t loving following the Santos campaign.

Of course, the one thing that kind of stunk following Sorkin’s departure was the flair for really good music to back comedic and dramatic moments. Sorkin’s always seemed to boast a good ear for a tune — it was “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” that introduced me to Corinne Bailey Rae and has forever implanted “Trouble Sleeping” deep in my mind.

With “The West Wing,” Sorkin had a good go-to guy in “Snuffy” Walden (who wrote the show’s majestic theme song) to provide proper musical accompaniment to tense or funny moments. But that didn’t mean he shied away from dipping into his own CD collection to make things just a bit more salient, either.

Usually I hate the use of pop music in television and movies (particularly the way people like Adam Sandler use's it in rehashing old 80's tunes in every one of his "romantic?comedies". Maybe that’s the same thing that Sorkin does, really… but I love Aaron Sorkin, so there.

Here I've compiled the best musical moments from “The West Wing.”

Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms
Song can be heard on: Season 2, Episode 22: “Two Cathedrals”
Song can be found on: Brothers in Arms

Poignant as all hell. Bartlet has just lost his faithful friend and secretary Delores Landingham in a car accident. He also just disclosed to the country that he’s suffered from multiple sclerosis for years, but never let the American people know while on campaign or in the White House. Staff is trying to perform damage control, but all the press wants to know is if he’s going to have the stones to try running for re-election. C.J. plants a doctor in the audience to try to get the first question to be a medical one and try to control the press conference. Bartlet brushes off the plant and takes the re-election question instead. And the second season ends. What you don’t get from this clip is a flashback from earlier in Bartlet’s life — where Landingham points out that whenever he puts his hands in his pockets and smirks, it means he’s made up his mind to do something. Mark Knopfler’s poor man Bob Dylan impression blends in perfectly.

Best exchange:
Bartlet: “I’m sorry, Sandy, there was a bit of noise there. Could you repeat the question?”
Reporter: “Can you tell us right now if you’ll be seeking a second term?”
Leo: “Watch this.”

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah
Song can be heard on: Season 3, Episode 22: “Posse Comitatus”
Song can be found on: Grace

Yes, I know, Buckley’s reading of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” has become a staple for almost every quasi-emotional season finale out there, and maybe it’s my preference for both Jeff and “The West Wing” that led me to include it in this list, but it’s hard to argue with the emotional weight the song adds to the scene. After learning that her stalker has been apprehended, C.J. realizes she can finally start seeing the special agent assigned to her, Simon Donovan, socially. C.J. has to join the President and staff to see a performance of the “The War of Roses,” and Donovan patiently waits outside, then drops buy a convenience store to buy her flowers. What he thinks is an unlucky twist of fate for a mugger ends up being an unlucky twist of fate for him as the mugger’s partner jumps out from hiding. C.J. is told the news, Shakespearean dialogue reverberates, Josh costs Amy her job and Bartlet is pressed to make a decision on whether or not to covertly kill a known terrorist. “Hallelujah” somehow makes beautiful sense.

Best exchange:
Josh: “You can’t win the White House while the middle class thinks you disdain work and responsibility!”
Amy: “I would hope not. And I congratulate you for punishing poor women as a symbol of the strength of mainstream values!”

Ronny Jordan (feat. Dana Bryant) – The Jackal
Song can be heard on: Season 1, Episode 18: “Six Meetings Before Lunch”
Song can be found on: The Quiet Revolution

Perhaps one of the show’s most defining moments — to celebrate the confirmation of Mendoza as the Bartlet administration’s first appointment to the Supreme Court, C.J. breaks out an old lip-synching act she used to do on the campaign trail, much to the delight of the rest of the West Wing — particularly her male counterparts. The cut was originally pulled from Ronny Jordan’s 1993 album The Quiet Revolution, and apparently both Allison Janney and Richard Schiff used to lip-synch and air-guitar (respectively) to this song in Janney’s trailer. Sorkin popped in on them once during a performance and got such a kick out of it, he wrote it into the show. Millions were gratified.
Best exchange:
Josh: “There’s a little speed bump with Jeff Breckenridge. Leo gave it to me ’cause he thinks you’re burned out on Mendoza. I told him I thought that was ridiculous. What do you think?”
Toby: “You’re talking to me during ‘The Jackal’?”
Josh: ”I was just –”
Toby: “Never talk to me during ‘The Jackal’!”

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Morning View - The Fray

The Clash - London Calling Limited Edition Japanese Import

The British punkers' third album gets the royal treatment with a 2-CD limited edition Japanese pressing. Booklet scans. 320kbps.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Just give it a shot -

Boots in the Oven

Sweet, sweet, sweet corn. So delicious, so in season.

But you can only eat so much of it on the cob. Even if it’s grilled, spritzed with lime juice and served with chile and salt. At some point, it just calls out to be cooked up into something awesome.

The most recent recipe to catch my attention was this batch of fresh corn pancakes from Gourmet magazine.

Anyway, check out this recipe. Not only does it rock for dinner, but you can have the leftovers for breakfast with thick drizzles of maple syrup and fat pats of butter. What? Not sayin’ you have to- just throwing it out there.

This is supposed to make 12 but I halved it and it worked quite nicely.

Fresh Corn Pancakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
4 ears corn
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cut enough kernels from cobs to measure 2 cups. Using back of a knife, scrape pulp from cobs and transfer to a blender with milk and 1/2 cup corn.

Purée until smooth, then strain through a sieve into another medium bowl, pressing on and then discarding solids. Whisk in eggs, oil, and butter.

Add to flour mixture with remaining 1 1/2 cups corn and whisk until just combined. Heat a griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat until hot, then lightly brush with oil.

Working in batches, pour 1/3 cup batter per pancake onto griddle and cook until bubbles appear on surface and undersides are golden-brown, about 2 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook until undersides are golden-brown, about 1 minute more. (Reduce heat if pancakes brown too quickly.) Lightly oil griddle between batches if necessary.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Beatles - White Bookends

01 - Hey Bulldog
02 - Hey Bulldog
03 - Cry Baby Cry
04 - Cry Baby Cry
05 - Across The Universe
06 - Cry Baby Cry
07 - Across The Universe
08 - Cry Baby Cry
09 - The Inner Light (Take 5 Monitor Mix)
10 - Lady Madonna (Edit Of Takes 3 & 5) Rs95
11 - Across The Universe (Take 2 Monitor Mix)
12 - Across The Universe (Take 2) Rs95
13 - Lady Madonna (Take 5) Rs82 (A)
14 - Lady Madonna (Take 5 Stereo Mixing Session)
15 - Lady Madonna (Take 5 Monitor Mix (A) )
16 - Lady Madonna (Take 5 Monitor Mix (B) )
17 - Lady Madonna (Take 5 Monitor Mix (C) )
18 - Lady Madonna (Take 5 Monitor Mix (D) )
19 - Lady Madonna (Take 5) Rs82 (B)
20 - Across The Universe (Take 8) Rs 68
21 - Across The Universe (Take 8) Rs 82
22 - How Do You Do (Paul & Donovan)
23 - Blackbird (Paul & Donovan)
24 - The Unicorn (Paul & Donovan)
25 - Lalena (Paul & Donovan)
26 - Heather (Paul & Donovan)
27 - Mr Wind (Paul & Donovan
28 - The Walrus And The Carpenter (Paul & Donovan)
29 - Land Of Gish (Paul & Donovan)

HERE Part 2

BBQ Ingredients: Lea & Perrins - Thick

I usually hate it when a classic food reinvents itself. Anybody else out there remember New Coke or Coke 2? We all know how well that turned out. If it ain't broke why fix it huh?

So you can understand that I was a bit skeptical when I heard about the new Lea & Perrins - Thick. Why would they want to play with the classic and best Worcestershire sauce on the market? What the hell did they do to it to make it thick? Did they fill it with thickeners and other unnatural glop?

I checked with their marketing folks and was told that "The new Lea & Perrins Thick Classic was inspired by the original Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, which is made using a 170-year old recipe. By blending the original Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce with ingredients such as tomato puree made from tomatoes grown from Heinz Seeds, roasted garlic and onion, we’ve achieved the thick texture and bold, yet balanced flavor, which makes the new Lea & Perrins Thick Classic perfect for dipping and topping."

So with some apprehension, I gave it a try. And I was glad I did. The new Thick Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, tastes exactly the same as the original, but is thick like ketchup. No more thinning out your sauces!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Paul McCartney & Wings - 1979 - Last Flight (The Complete 1979 Glasgow Concert)

McCartney fans everywhere rejoiced when Paul announced plans for his 1989 - 90 World Tour. McCartney fever overtook the media who announced that this would be Paul's first series of live gigs since Wings celebrated 1975 - 76 World Tour.
The pundits seemed to forget that Wings undertook a nineteen date tour of the United Kingdom in the Winter of 1979.
After the Christmas holidays, the group reconvened for a charity performance, The Concerts For The People Of Kampuchea.
Last Flight is a 2CD set of the complete performance the final incarnation of Wings played at the Apollo Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland on December 17, 1979. These are the very tapes McCartney himself recorded for a possible live album of which only "Coming Up" has appeared. As a bonus are also included the Wings' tracks from the Concerts For The People Of Kampuchea LP.
The 1979 UK dates undoubtedly featured the most interesting and eclectic set list since Wings' 1972 European Tour. It offered a different perspective of McCartney's talents, by not relying heavily on the hits of yore. It proved to be his last attempt to distance himself and emphasize his merits as a solo performer, quite the opposite of the McCartney of today, ever anxious to reinforce his place in Beatle history.

Cd 1 tracks (Glasgow):

Got To Get You Into My Life (Lennon-McCartney) / Getting Closer (Paul McCartney) / Every Night (Paul McCartney) / Again And Again And Again [Lead Vocal: Denny Laine] (Denny Laine) / I've Had Enough (Paul McCartney) / No Words (McCartney-Lain) / Cook Of The House [Lead Vocal: Linda McCartney] (Paul McCartney) / Old Siam, Sir (Paul McCartney) / Maybe I'm Amazed (Paul McCartney) / The Fool On The Hill (Lennon-McCartney) / Let It Be (Lennon-McCartney) / Hot As Sun (Paul McCartney / Spin It On (Paul McCartney) / Twenty Flight Rock (Fairfield) / Go Now [Lead Vocal: Denny Laine] (Banks-Bennett) / Arrow Through Me (Paul McCartney) / Wonderful Christmastime (Paul McCartney)

Cd 2 tracks:

Coming Up (Paul McCartney) / Goodnight Tonight (Paul McCartney) / Yesterday (Lennon-McCartney) / Mull Of Kintyre (McCartney-Laine) / Band On The Run (Paul McCartney)
(Concert For The People Of Kampuchea at the Odeon Hammersmith on December 31st, 1979):
Got To Get You Into My Life (Lennon-McCartney) / Every Night (Paul McCartney) / Coming Up (Paul McCartney) / Lucille (Penniman-Collins) / Let It Be (Lennon-McCartney) / Rockestra Theme (Paul McCartney)

Rapidshare: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

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