Tuesday, May 24, 2011


A couple of days ago I was thrilled to get a call from a good friend in Fort Greene. She requested that I cook some Filipino food for her and her friends. I love that kind of call! Within minutes I arrived at her apartment and we were off to Queens to find all the ingredients for some very typical Filipino fare.

On the menu, we decided on some
quick Filipino staples like Pancit Canton (CLICK HERE! to watch the video!) , Lumpia Shanghai, and Chicken Adobo.

Chicken Adobo is one of the best known Filipino dishes and a personal favorite. In a Filipino household, it is one of the first dishes one learns how to cook. It is a straightforward dish usually made with chicken or pork, slowly cooked in a mixture of a few core ingredients. In it's simplest form, Filipino Adobo is made with soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, and black pepper. Of course there are variants to the dish, each just as delicious as the next, but I decided to keep it simple for the first time when showing my friend.

The two main ingredients, besides your choice of prote
in, is the soy sauce and the vinegar. The ratio of soy sauce to vinegar I used was 1:1. I prefer using coconut vinegar because I like the how it taste and cooks in this dish. I never use white or cider vinegar. It's a waste of my time. For the soy sauce, you have to get the real stuff. Find a good brand that is brewed and with depth of flavor. It will make the final dish that much better.

Basic Chicken Adobo
Ingredients 6 drumsticks and 6 thighs
  • 1 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 cup Coconut Vinegar
  • 10 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 5 Bay Leaves
  • 30 Whole Black Peppercorns
Combine everything into a large zip bag. Massage passionately to get the party of flavors going. Marinade for 1 to 3 hours or overnight. To cook, you can do it one of two ways.

Simple, But Good.
Empty contents from zip bag into a heavy pot. Slowly bring up to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. Stir occasionally. The chicken will fall off the bone. The more time the chicken sits in the sauce, the more flavorful it becomes. I like to let it braise at a low temp for a long time to really get some flavor into the chicken. At this point, you can serve it with some rice and spoon the sauce on top. Enjoy!

The way I did it for the party included one extra step. Basically, when making a stew of any type, I like to brown the meat and give
it some color before its long braise. After spending some time marinating, I drained the chicken and patted it dry. I
saved the marinade and put it aside.

Then, in a heave pot over high heat, I seared the chicken, skin side down, with a couple teaspoons of grape seed oil. I cooked the chicken on high heat making sure the pieces had a nice brown color all over. Once a good brown has been achieved, introduce the saved marinade, lowered the heat, and let it braise for about 45 minutes to and hour. Serve over rice. ENJOY!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Jerking Your Chicken

Back in December, a friend of mine reminisced about the 25 cent Jamaican Jerk wings deals every Wednesday when we were in college, and as we talked, I decided that I had not really known what Jamaican Jerk was all about.
As the New Year approached, I decided to find, and perhaps develop a Jerk recipe. On January 2 I left my wintery palace in the mountains of New Hampshire for the Jamaican jungle in search for the truth.
In the Jungle, my guide Henry, told me one of the major keys to Jerk is the Allspice, the other Scotch Bonnets. He showed me the tree and other plants in the jungle that were included. He gathered garlic, wild ginger, nutmeg, and we even stumbled on to a pepper plant. Here is a recipe that I put together when I go back to the Shire.
It’s a lot of ingredients, but typically they’re all sitting in your pantry already.
The flavors will surprise you! Try it!

Prep Time: 15 min + marinating time 
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • ½ cup malt vinegar

  • 10 green onions, chopped

  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme

  • 2 Scotch bonnet chiles or habanero chiles with seeds, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 5 teaspoons ground allspice

  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • about 6 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts

  • ½ cup fresh lime juice

1. Boil rum and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan for 3 minutes.

2. Transfer the rum mixture to a blender or processor; add the vinegar, green onions, garlic, thyme, chilies, oil, spices, salt, pepper, and sugar; blend until almost smooth. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the jerk seasoning to a small bowl; mix in the ketchup and soy sauce to make the sauce. (Jerk seasoning and sauce can be made 1 day ahead; cover separately and refrigerate.)

3. Place chicken in large zip bags and pour the lime juice over the chicken; turn to coat. Spoon the jerk over the chicken and massage passionately it into the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning and exciting the bag occasionally. Personally, I like to leave it in the fridge to think about it’s flavors overnight, but that’s just me!

So now comes the cooking part. Here, I like to do it one of two ways. We can either cook it more authentically by grilling it on some allspice limbs over some coals, or we can bake it in the oven for a couple of hours. Whatever your mood is, I find either way very flavorful and satisfying.

Oven Method
4a. Place chicken covered with jerk into a baking dish covered with foil. Bake on 300F for 2-3 hours. Remove foil and put under broiler to and some color. Done. Serve with the reserved jerk sauce.


Grill Method
4b. Prepare a grill (more coals on one side than the other). Place some allspice branches that you have soaked in water on the grill. Place the chicken, skin side down, on the hot side of the grill; grill to develop some color. Move to the cooler side of the grill and continue to cook, turning occasionally, for about 20-25 minutes, until the breasts measure 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer and the legs and thighs read 165 degrees. Done.
Serve with the reserved jerk sauce.

Save Money. Live Better.

Ummm... back in the day we would go to Wal-mart for adventure supplies. Now I can even skip the whole NYC club scene with the $14 drinks and the annoying people from Jersey and pick up some ladies while I get a bag of mulch or update my fishing license.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Volume in the Ground

The new album from acclaimed hip-hop artist Adeem is ready to be consumed!

The Volume in the Ground is available digitally everywhere and it has even made the front page of the Itunes hip hop section! You can get the album HERE plus an exclusive digital booklet thingy.

If you didn't know already, I was so fortunate to collaborate with Adeem on this project. Tons of time and hard work went in to this project from sessions until 4am trying to get the right feel for a line, cold blizzardy nights braving racist backwoods folks, to shouting in complete darkness to simulate being buried alive and countless discussions over "tofu roll-your-owns" about the order of the songs.

I really have to congratulate Adeem and everyone that has had their hand in this project to make sure it is the best possible work we were able to produce. You are all amazing, talented, and patient!

Me and Adeem tearing it up at UNH back in 2009!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Watersports I'm really into ;-)

Okay, okay, if you really want to get me something this summer for my last birthday in my 20s, I'll let you buy what I was going to get myself to help put out boat fires, water river lilies, and do some off-shore fishing. Here it is!

After four prototypes and more than 200 flight tests, the Jetlev-Flyer is ready to hit the market this summer.That baby creates unmeasurable envy and about 500 pounds of thrust to propel normal sized fit individuals like myself 30 feet above the water and zip you along at a cool 35 mph. Jetlev still hasn't called me back about a product review for this amazing website.

Either way, it's lightweight carbon fiber backpack and 10-meter hose with an engine unit that floats in the water draws water through the hose and forces it through two nozzles on the backpack. With handgrip controls, Jetlev can provide up to two hours of continuous flight and hilarious wipeout and a possible comidic (and dramatic) death.

A decade in the making, the Jetlev is currently manufactured by German-based MS Watersports GmbH. At $136,000 per unit, I'll gladly hold off on my next Lambo purchase.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Indian Leg Wrestling

Indian leg wrestling is the competitive sport in which two opponents lie on their backs opposite each other, side by side. The objective is to force your opponent into a backward roll using your leg. On the count of three, the match begins as each player either hooks the other player's leg at the knee and or ankle. Gluteal muscle strength is the key to forcing your opponent into a backward roll. There is no major equipment or standard uniform wrestlers commonly use and as such, a match can take place with clothes being optional and almost anywhere there is enough ground space for each opponent.

I think the sound she makes could be the new Wilhelm Scream. lol