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More Beef on Do “Nothing” Saturday

April 18, 2010

For the first time in awhile, The Boy and I had a pretty open weekend to do nothing. We didn’t quite do nothing yesterday though. The Boy was nice enough to change the brakes on my car, which I didn’t realize needed to be changed. Obviously they did, as I now realize that the car shook every time I hit the brakes (um, for the past 2 years). While he was replacing them, I was inside organizing some video footage from our Mediterranean cruise last September that I owe to Tripfilms. As you can guess, I’m a little late on this. Later in the afternoon, as The Boy was still working on the brakes, I took his car and headed over to the local animal shelter. I’ve been helping Heartland Animal Shelter for the past couple of weeks with video pieces on their adorable, adoptable dogs. In order to help their dogs find their forever homes, Heartland uses these video pieces as promotional tools for their website, petfinder.com and AdoptaPet.com.

Tempo is one of the dogs current available for adoption at Heartland. You can see more pictures and his video on Heartland's website (www.heartlandanimalshelter.net).

It’s too soon to figure out how well it’s working, but it seems that the dogs I’ve filmed have been adopted within 2 weeks of the video popping up on the website. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but I would like to believe that I have a small, tiny part in helping the dogs get adopted. Regardless, the whole process is fun and allows me to build on my video skills and portfolio. On the flip side, it’s hard to leave without bringing a dog back home with me. Yesterday, I didn’t have to worry about that since I was helping the the office staff put together an orientation video for new volunteers. A lot of the shelter’s operations are dependent on their volunteers, so if you live in the area they could use your help! But that’s probably the case with a lot of animal shelters. Going back to yesterday though, I had a lot of fun with the group but man, was I hungry after the shoot. And as the case has been all week, I had beef on the mind.

And a few other things as well.

I think I spent an hour prepping this meal (that’s pretty fast!), but time flies when you’re drinking while cooking. I had intended to enjoy a glass of wine while cooking, maybe another glass with dinner and then get back to editing. One glass turned into three, so I didn’t do anything except eat and watch some reality shows before heading to bed.

So Sunday will be my day for video editing. And eating leftovers.

But back to yesterday . . .

The Boy’s Reaction: “Oh wow. This is amazing!”

Mango Salsa

2 ripe mangoes, dice the meat
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup of red onion, chopped
juice of 3 limes (feel free to use more)
salt & pepper to taste
1 or 2 Jalapenos, diced (optional)

Combine first five ingredients (and if desired, Jalapenos) into a large bowl. Mix with spoon. Finish off by flavoring with salt and pepper.

Skirt Steak

Right out of the package - it was hard to contain myself

1 lb of skirt steak
creole seasoning (if you haven’t, learn to make your own)
salt & pepper

Sprinkle both sides of steak generously with creole seasoning and pepper. Go light on the salt. Throw it on a hot grill – about 5 minutes on each side.

Skirt steak, I found, is not terribly tender. I would tenderize this next time by beating the crap out of it before throwing it on the grill.

Chimichurri

Mmmmm . . . this is the best complement to red meat.

3 cloves of garlic
1 cilantro bunch (probably about 2 cups if you tried stuffing it in a measuring cup), leaves and stems
1/4 cup of olive oil
juice of 1 lime
salt & pepper

Throw garlic in food processor. Let it get chopped up before adding cilantro. Process together. Take off the lid and run a rubber spatula along the sides, so that the garlic and cilantro are sitting at the base of the food processor. Add olive oil and lime juice. Put the cover back on and run the processor until everything is combined, chopped up and blended. Add salt & pepper to taste.

This is not the greatest thing to eat before a heavy make-out session.

Grilled Zucchini

Quick prep before hitting the grill

2 zucchinis, cut in half and then halve both of those pieces (each zucchini should yield 4 parts)
olive oil
salt & pepper

Drizzle zucchini pieces with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Add to the part of the grill with medium heat (you don’t want to burn this!). I say about 5 minutes on each side (these got grilled alongside the steaks).

Plantains

I could easily eat these every day

1/4 cup of vegetable oil
2 plantains, cut into 1/4″ thick pieces
kosher salt

Place oil in small frying pan. When the oil is hot, add enough plantains to cover surface of the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side – should get a little bit of a light golden color. Take the plantain pieces out and put them on a plate. Smash them using the back of a spoon or tongs (I know some people will place them between plastic wrap and smash that way – that’s too much work for me). Put the plantains back into the pan. Fry until sides are brown. After removing from the oil, sprinkle with salt.

There will be no leftover plantains.

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