this is super black.

Had an important educational moment at dinner Tuesday night. We were having dinner with a certain disk jockey mentioned in the previous post whose name I'm not mentioning again for reasons which will become clear in a moment, I asked him if he'd enjoyed the music the other night, and he said: oh yeah, I read your blog about it. And I was like what? No one knows about this blog. How is that possible (this last sentence I screamed clench-fisted into the heavens)?

And he said: Google Alerts. He gets an email any time Google finds a new mention of his name on the public internets. Blimey (I screamed this into the heavens as well)!


(hours later)

Man, I just emerged slack-jawed from one of those Googholes where you really have no idea how you've ended up where you have, and need to consult your history to detangle the thread. The last thing I remember is "none more black", then the blackest manufacturable color pictured above, then...then...45 minutes of absence.


Made something excellent last night: tempeh rendang. Based on a RecipeZaar recipe, but tweaked for nutrition. It's basically a simple, quickish vegetarian Malaysian-ish curry. I feel OK calling it a rendang now (vs. the original version) because the sauce is actually being reduced for a while.


tempeh rendang.

1 stalk lemongrass
3 shallots, quartered
3 garlic cloves
2 long fresh red chiles

1/4 cup dried unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons peanut oil
200g tempeh, cubed
1 teaspoon ground star anise
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 white sweet potato, cut into cubes
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup water
salt 'n' pepa
2 scallions, greens chopped

1 tbsp ketjap manis (optional)
1 tbsp sambal trassi (optional)

Cut off bulbous bottom third of lemongrass. Remove and discard the tough outer leaves and chop remainder into thin rounds. Transfer to blender and process. Add the rest of the paste ingredients and puree to thick consistency, adding a tablespoon of water or two if you need to.

Elsewhere: In large skillet, toast coconut over medium heat, shaking pan and stirring constantly until uniformly golden brown, then remove from skillet a reserve. In the same skillet add oil and fry tempeh until dark golden brown, salting as you flip the tempeh over. Add the ingredients from the star anise to the cloves and the paste and cook for 2 minutes more.

Add the potato, coconut milk and water. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer for 10-20 min or until potato is tender and sauce is reduced. Remove from heat and add toasted coconut. Salt and pepper to taste (this will probably require quite a bit of salt. I used 1 tbsp each of ketjap manis and sambal trassi instead). Add the scallions just before serving with something like rice.

Serves 4.

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