Recipe - Spicy chicken in a pepper sauce

by Mads
December 29, 2006 at 22:41 | categories: food, cooking

Spicy chicken in a pepper sauce

I've written about this before in A birthday dinner. I also promised a recipe, but never got around to it.
The recipe is from The Elements of Taste by Gray Kunz and Peter Kaminsky.
The recipe originally calls for scallops, but I can't find any of reasonable size around here, so I chose chicken instead. The chicken works pretty well from a taste perspective and does have the advantage that you can cook it in two stages, first browning it with the breading and later finishing it off in the oven.

Pink lentil, turmeric and green peppercorn breading (pg. 190)

  • 1 cup pink lentils, ground reasonably fine (about like cornmeal)
  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons green peppercorns, finely chopped
Mix the lentils, turmeric, and salt together. Just before applying the breading, mix in the peppercorns.
My note: I've used dried green peppercorns as well, which has the advantage that you can store the breading for a long time.

Sauce (pg. 36)

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped red peppers
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Pinch sugar
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup celery leaves, roughly chopped

NOTE: It is one of the crimes of many supermarkets that they trim the celery leaves off the stalk before they put it out in the cooler. We find celery leaf to be a fresh, lively herb and we use it often. Warm the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and toss in the onion, garlic, and thyme. Mix to coat with the oil, then add the peppers. Season with a little salt, pepper, cayenne, and sugar (you start seasoning now because you will render out water quickly), then add more stock or water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook gently until the peppers are very tender, about 10 minutes. Puree the pepper mixture and strain through a fine sieve. Return the puree to the stove and reduce until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (or watch the bubbles - when they start to make slow blurps, you're getting there). Swirl in the butter and bring to a froth with an immersion blender (or by whisking vigorously). Correct the seasoning with salt, cayenne, pepper, and sugar and keep the sauce warm over very low heat.

My note: Ideally, you'd want to be able to feel a little bit of heat, but be careful that it does not become overpowering (and even more so if you choose scallops rather than chicken).

Putting it all together

My notes: If you choose boneless chicken breast like I did, then you cover the round side in the breading (there is no need for additional moisture) and fry the chicken in plenty of olive oil until the breading has a nice golden brown color. Either set aside for finishing later in the oven or turn over and fry until done.
Plating it should be simple enough and can be done a lot more elegantly than I did above. If you want something on the side to provide a bit more substance to the dish, I suggest either small new potatoes, herbed couscous as I used or perhaps a slice of bread.

Final notes

So far, this is the first and only recipe I've used from the book, but I very much doubt that it will be the last. The taste combinations in this recipe are so very interesting and well described, that I'll be willing to try some of the other more exotic recipes next time I feel like experimenting in the kitchen.

ordb is shutting down

by Mads
December 19, 2006 at 00:24 | categories: security

Today the Open Relay DataBase announced that they are shutting down, have already removed all the listings from the zone and will be removing their website at the end of the month.
For some people it happened very suddenly, but I know the guys and they've been talking about shutting down for more than a year. That it happened now, was just a result of some external factors, forcing them to either do a fair amount of work now or just finalise the long awaited shutdown. A look at their New and fixed relays statistics show that there really hasn't been much change in a very long time. That might hint towards there not being enough open relays to care, but the graph below shows that there still is a fair number of open relays out there. As an ordb user, I've not seen many spams originating from open relays in the last couple of years, but it will be very interesting to see if the more than 200k open relays won't tempt spammers...
Slashdot coverage. As always, slashdot seems to attract some "interesting" comments like these.
Heise writes: Anti-Spam-Datenbank ORDB streicht die Segel.
UPDATE: The story makes it to AP.

ordb relaycount

The Venice project is "live"

by Mads
December 12, 2006 at 15:23 | categories: misc

According to Fredrik, the first real beta is done. (I suppose that means the other betas were "unreal" ;).
With the current client only running on windows so far, and me not having a windows box, I don't often try the client. So instead of commenting on how the client will fix much of what annoys me about tv, I'll just show a few screenshots:

01_navigation.jpg 02_navigation_info.jpg 03_channel_list.jpg

04_program_list_info.jpg 05_program_list_info.jpg 06_my_venice.jpg


Update: I'm all out of beta invites now.

Solaris 11/06 has been released

by Mads
December 12, 2006 at 00:40 | categories: sun, solaris

The latest Solaris has just been released. I've had the pleasure of testing the beta for a few months, but now it is available for general download.
The release notes detail plenty of exciting new features. For me, the interesting bits are all the Zones and ZFS improvements, finally having "Secure by default" and I'm starting to think that Trusted Extensions would be well worth a look as well.
So, that's the first "christmas wish" come through - now if we could just get Cluster 3.2, that should be enough toys to keep me busy well into the new year ;)

2 troublesome patches

by Mads
December 04, 2006 at 21:02 | categories: solaris

Lately I've run into two Solaris patches that broke things for me:

122663-06 libzonecfg patch
Breaks zone related utilities and can't be easily uninstalled if you already have zones on the system because patchrm wants to check the patch in all zones even if passing -G (having another unpatched machine handy made it easy to replace the 3 files).
120051-04 usermod patch
Breaks tools like user/group/role add/del/mod - simple patchrm is enough to fix: useradd: fatal: version `SUNW_1.22.2' not found
(required by file /usr/sbin/useradd) useradd: fatal: open failed: No such file or directory

At least 120051-04 has a sparc counterpart (120050-04) that leads to the same problem, but I'd not be surprised if the same was the case for 122663-06.
UPDATE: there's a Sun Alert for the issue with 120051-04.

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