I was reading Louis’ blog. By the way, he is running a half-marathon about now. His last post was two days ago. Cheers!
On his blog, in which he writes amazingly. On his blog he was commenting about coffee and its effects. I found his remarks motivating and now I want to share a coffee story.
I like audio books and I listen to them before sleep. One night I was listening to an audio book and was about to fall asleep when she, in the story, picked up a cup of Starbucks coffee. With a rush, her coffee and its aroma filled my mind. I turned off the book. I realized I’d rather daydream about drinking coffee, than sleep.
Blackening is a cooking technique used in the preparation of fish and other foods. Often associated with Cajun cuisine, this technique was popularized by chef Paul Prudhomme. The food is dipped in melted butter and then dredged in a mixture of herbs and spices, usually some combination of thyme, oregano, chili pepper, peppercorns, salt, garlic powder and onion powder. It is then cooked in a very hot cast-iron skillet. The characteristic brown-black color of the crust results from a combination of browned milk solids from the butter and charred spices.
- 1tablespoon sweet paprika
- 2 1⁄2teaspoons salt
- 1teaspoon onion powder
- 1teaspoon garlic powder
- 1teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
- 3⁄4teaspoon freshly-ground white pepper
- 3⁄4teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄2teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1⁄2teaspoon dried oregano leaves
“Book of Life is very different to my other songs. It was about humans, whereas the other songs are all about animals and nature. And it was improvised initially, whereas normally my songs are composed and planned. This one was free. I scratched the vibraphone bar as if I was writing something. An image connected in my mind: these two people meeting and sharing their lives. This image was the book of life.”
— Masayoshi Fujita
Following on from his acclaimed works Stories and Apologues, Berlin-based composer and vibraphonist Masayoshi Fujita will release his new album Book of Life, the third instalment in a trilogy of solo vibraphone recordings, on July 27th via Erased Tapes. Stories, the first in the series and Masayoshi’s debut under his own name, will be re-issued by Erased Tapes at the same time.
With Book of Life Masayoshi continues his mission in bringing the vibraphone — a relatively new invention in the history of instruments often kept in the background in orchestras and jazz outfits — into the spotlight. Having trained as a drummer, Masayoshi began experimenting with the vibraphone, preparing its bars with kitchen foil or beads, playing it with the cello bow such as in Fog or using the other end of the mallets to create a more ambient texture of sound, as with the title track. Focussing on the vibraphone in this way sets Masayoshi apart, dedicating his artistic life to celebrating this fascinating and often under appreciated instrument and making his take on ambient and modern compositional styles a unique one.
“I think the vibraphone is capable of more interesting and beautiful sounds that haven’t been heard before. It’s quite a new instrument but it’s often played in a similar way. I feel that there is a lot more to explore with this exciting instrument.”
— Masayoshi Fujita
Boneless chicken breasts are a staple for any time-pressed cook’s kitchen because they’re quicker to cook than bone-in chicken breasts.
Chicken breasts are susceptible to drying out, so they’re best cooked quickly using high heat. That means skillet-cooking, stir-frying, roasting, or grilling chicken breasts are the best routes. Skillet-cooking is particularly easy because you can make a sauce in the same pan.
How to Saute (Skillet-Cook) Chicken Breasts
It’s best to choose a quick method that won’t dry them out. We fried this chicken with asparagus and bacon in a skillet.
When it comes to cooking boneless chicken breasts, the terms “saute,” “pan-fry,” and “skillet-cook” all refer to the same basic preparation: Cooking chicken breasts in a skillet in a small amount of fat (such as cooking oil, olive oil, or butter) or in a skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Select a heavy skillet that can accommodate the chicken breasts in one layer. If the skillet is too large, pan juices can burn; if the skillet is too small, the overcrowded chicken will steam instead of brown.
- If a chicken breast is significantly thicker in some parts than others, consider pounding it with a meat mallet to even it out.
- Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- If the skillet is not nonstick, lightly coat it with nonstick cooking spray or 2 to 3 teaspoons cooking oil.
- Preheat the skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
- Place the chicken in the skillet. Do not add any liquid and do not cover the skillet.
- Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear. This should take 8 to 12 minutes. As the chicken cooks, turn it occasionally so it browns evenly. If the poultry browns too quickly, reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Chicken breasts are done when the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear (170 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). Try not to overcook chicken breasts, as the meat can become stringy and dry.
How to Broil Chicken Breasts
- Brush your chicken with oil or seasoning, or try out a chicken breast marinade before broiling. Marinating prevents the chicken breasts from drying out. You can also remove the pan before the last few minutes of broiling, brush with a sauce, and continue cooking. For broiled BBQ chicken breasts, brush with barbecue sauce.
- Preheat the broiler, then insert the pan so the chicken breasts are 4 to 5 inches from the heat.
- Broil 4- to 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts 12 to 15 minutes, turning over about halfway through the cooking time and brushing with sauce or seasoning if desired.
- Remove chicken when it reaches 170 degrees F and is no longer pink
- YIELD 4 servings
- TIME 20 minutes
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts(about 2 1/4 pounds)
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon, or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
- 8 ripe plum tomatoes cut into small cubes (or one 28-ounce can of tomatoes, drained and chopped)
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup drained capers
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy-bottom skillet. Add the chicken breasts and saute over medium-high heat, turning the pieces often until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add the shallots and garlic around the chicken. Cook briefly; add the tarragon, tomatoes, vinegar, capers, wine and tomato paste. Stir to dissolve the brown particles adhering to the bottom of the skillet.
- Blend well, bring to a boil, and then cover and simmer for 9 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Jim Wilson/The New York Times