Monday, 28 March 2011

This weeks sketches

Mark from Heathentown
Red Power Ranger Ghostbuster
Character designs
Steve Ditko
Life drawing study: Tony Harris picture
MORE GODZILLA PICS: Godzilla re-enacts your favourite movie scenes
Office Space

Sunday, 27 March 2011

My new coffee mug

My new Radu's cafe coffee mugs arrived today
What's Radu's? Radu's is the name of the cafe in the DC universe frequented by Kyle Rayner
Perfect for you to sit and sip

Slow roasted lamb with Rosemary Porter Beer Jus served with Potato rosti mint puree stacks

Like last weeks cooking challenge I'm cooking with beer. Here is a slow roasted leg of lamb that will end up being extremely sweet and succulent thanks to slow roasting for 6 hours.
  • 1.5 Kg leg on lamb (bone in)
  • Rosemary
  • 2 lemons (the juice from 2, rind from 1)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • mirin
  • fennel seeds
  • Olive oil
Potato Rosti:
  • 2 Desiree Potatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 brown onion
  • Vegetable oil to shallow fry
Rosemary Jus:
  • 250 mls litre of stock
  • 1 bottle of James Squire Porter beer
  • 1 brown onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 20g butter
  • 2 springs of Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Balsamic Vinegar 
Mint Pea puree:
  • 200g peas
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 10 watercress sprig
Roast lamb:

1. Create the marinate for the leg of lamb. 

Crush fennel seeds in a mortal and pestle with sea salt and pepper add to the  olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary and mirin with lamb in a freezer bag. marinade for at least 1-2 hours.

    • Mirin is a japanese rice wine. I used Mirin because I wanted the marinade to have a little sweetness to it without overpowering the lemon and rosemary, due to Mirins high sugar content.
    • As the marinade is only going to be on the lamb for 1-2 hours resist the urge to put the lamb back into the fridge. You really do want the leg of lamb to be at room temperature when you start to roast.
2. Preheat oven to 120 Degrees Celsius. Season leg of lamb with lots of salt and pepper prior to going into the oven. 

3. Now the Roast is ready to go into the oven. Cover roasting tray with Aluminium Foil. Cook at 120 degrees for 4 hours. Uncover and cook for a further 1-2 hours.
      • For this recipe I used two disposable aluminium roasting tins. Becaus ethey are the same size they cover each other perfectly.
    4. Remove from oven. Cover and rest for 30 min.

    Potato Rosti:
    1. While oven is preheating, peel and coarsely grate potatoes. 

    Use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as possible, use absorbent paper to remove the last of the liquid from the potatoes. Place in a bowl Add finely cut onion. Season. Cover with absorbent paper. Place in the refrigerator until required.
      • The fridge will help take out the last of the liquid.
      • Add one egg if the mixture doesn’t bind
    2. Place about a 1/3 of a cup of potato into 10 cm ring. flatten.

     I flattened mine using a press from my old coffee maker. Its the perfect size tool for the job.
    3. in a small frypan heat oil and duck fat over a medium heat. Place rostis in the pan. cook for 2 minutes each side.

        • Cooked the first set 2 at a time but this was too difficult to flip.
        • The second set was cooked individually and worked pretty well. 
        • Do not be alarmed if it falls apart slightly.
      4. PLace on greaseproof paper. Once the lamb is cooked and rested place in warmed oven to reheat.

      Rosemary Jus:
      1. Place a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add oil and butter. Once butter has turned brown add onion and garlic, stirring until browned. 

      2. Add herbs.
      3. Add beer. Reduce by half. 

        • For this recipe I am using a Porter beer from James Squire. Porter is a dark beer that gives a malt and chocolate flavour to the jus.

        4. Add stock. Reduce by three quarters or until it reaches a sauce consistency.

          • The stock that I am using is a stock I made up from the unused Rabbit bones from last week boiled down with a garlic, herbs and onion.
        5. Season. Add Balsamic to taste
        6. Pass through a sieve.
          Mint Pea puree
          1. PLace a small saucepan full of water on to boil. Add peas and mint leaves to the water. Boil for 5 minutes or until it goes green.

          2. While the water is boiling roughly chop watercress.
              • I’m using watercress because it will give a much needed bitterness and mustard flavour to the peas
            3. Strain peas add to watercress. Reserve half a dozen for garnish. Blend remaining until smooth with a stab blender. blend until a smooth paste.

            Once the Lamb has rested place on plate with rosti and jus. Now when I plate I think about what I want the final dish to look like. Sometimes, like this week, I sketch out how I want to "plate up" the final dish.
            Here is my sketch:
            Here's the final dish

            A glass of the same Porter beer to wash it down. 6 hours cook time, devoured in 15 minutes. YUM

            Thursday, 24 March 2011

            This weeks sketches

            Sorry guys! Work has been really busy this week so I haven't had too much time to sketch but here are a few I've done this week
            Lego Red POwer Ranger

            Calvin and Hobbes
            Dr.Strange (in the black turtle neck he's sporting these days)
            Dr.Strange at the bar (just like my twitter profile pic)
            More to come next week. 

            Sunday, 20 March 2011

            The Great Comic Book Room Reshuffle.

            There comes a time in every comic book fans life where they have to look at how they have their books set out. To bag and board or not to bag and board that is the question? (I don't bag and board by the by). Today I decided that I wasn't entirely happy with how I had my comic room and shelves set out. I have a room for books and a shelving unit in my lounge room for my favourite books.
            Here is how it looked before I started

            As you can see there are trades mixed with issues as an easier way, at the time, to find titles.

            This meant that my books  were shelved autobiographically, like the movie High Fidelity, I went from Starman to Lazarus 5 to Ex Machina (All Tony Harris books) but not the best way to have my books.
            I have also got a lot of Hardcovers and Absolutes (And Hellboy Library Editions) so I thought I should split not only trades from issues but hard covers to softcovers (except when there was a sequence- e.g. NOVA -thanks Marvel for stopping the Hardcovers...)
            I then worked out all of my issues, not in alphabetical order yet but I needed to see the order before I started.
            More and more and short box after short box
            And to work out how to shuffle the books alphabetically I got some dividers from my LCS Impact Comicss, the best comic shop I've been to in Australia.
            I had to then alphabetise the trades. I then realised that I have some trades in titles like JLA that are based in continuity and Elseworlds trades. I decided to split Elseworlds from in continuity and have each in order.
            Trades then placed on the shelf (NOTE: I have changed this so that Hardcovers have their own shelf and the trades that are horizontal denote trades that are on my to read list)
            Issues then placed on shelves. I did change the alphabetical order slightly (I can't break my autobiographical order entirely- Librarians would hate me) Amazing Spider-man and Web of Spider-man listed as Spider-man: Amazing and Spider-man: Web of so that Spider-man issues are together.
            This was a fair bit of work but it will be so much easier to maintain.

            Saturday, 19 March 2011

            Recipe: Lapin Braise a la biere (braised rabbit cooked in beer)

            Prep time: 45 min
            Cook time: 1 1/2 - 2 hours
            Serves: 4-6
            1x 1kg White Rabbit (if possible with liver and kidneys still attached)
            170g Bacon
            1/4 cup plain flour
            6x Shallots or small pickling onions
            2x Garlic Cloves
            20g butter to cook with (substituted with duck fat)
            2 carrots
            2 tablespoons rouge vermouth
            375mL Coopers Original Pale Ale
            1 cup of stock (This one I am using duck stock as I do not have chicken stock)
            1 bay leaf
            2 sprigs thyme
            200g muchrooms quartered
            125mL cooking cream
            Salt and pepper to taste
            1. In this recipe I have had to use a frozen rabbit. So as I am waiting for the rabbit to defrost I work on the prep work. 
            2. Forequarter rabbit. Coat in seasoned flour, shake off excess. Cook in a large frypan in duck fat. 
            Usually you would cook this in butter but I recently cooked a duck and had the duck fat to spare. Cook rabbit in batches. You want it to seal and brown but not stew. 

            Remove from pan. When cooking the liver and kidneys please remove pan from direct heat. There should be enough heat in the pan to cook the kidneys and liver. You don’t want these to overcooked
            3. Add bacon to frypan and brown. Add to saucepan. 
            4. While bacon is cooking. 

            Cook shallots and garlic in a large saucepan. Cook for 5 mins. Add carrots. Cook for 5 minutes.
            5. Deglaze frypan with vermouth. 

            I use vermouth to deglaze instead of brandy because I think the spices of the Peter Van Gent vermouth really add a cinnamon flavour to the dish.
            6. Add rabbit, ale, stock, herbs to the saucepan.

            In this recipe I am using Coopers Pale Ale, which is brewed in bottle so you have to remember to turn the bottle upside down and turn 360 degrees to mix the sediment into the beer before use. I am also using some stock that I have made from the roast duck I made a few weeks ago. Add herbs to pan.
            7. Bring saucepan to boil. reduce heat. move to a different burner on the stovetop. Simmer, uncovered on low-medium heat for 1 and a half hours. (moving it to a different burner means that the heat need to get to that low heat rather than the temperature having to drop to low and risk burning). 

            Add salt and pepper to taste. I find that the broth doesn’t need too much salt, mainly due to the bacon.
            8. Melt butter in a small frypan, add mushrooms. Cook until JUUUUUST tender. Add to the saucepan with cream. Simmer for 15 minutes.
            9. Add some extra fresh parsley to the dish. Taste, season if necessary. Seasoning is important as the tast e of the dish will change slightly due to the addition of the cream.  
            10. Serve. Usually I would serve this with mash potatoes, but today at the market there was some rye sourdough bread that was just too good to pass up so I’m serving this with a few slices of the rye sourdough, lightly toasted, which is perfect to sop up the sauce.