Friday, August 14, 2015

How to buy Shrimp for Every Purpose

Serious Eats: We recommend buying individually frozen (IQF), head-off, peel-on shrimp for most preparations. But here is the advice for fresh first.
 First off, you don't want any shrimp that smell like ammonia—this is a telltale sign of spoilage, and it's worth asking your fishmonger if you can take a sniff before buying. You'll also want to avoid shrimp that are limp, slimy, or falling apart, all of which are signs of decay.

A more advanced sign if you're buying head-on fresh shrimp: look for black spots on the head first, then the body. "That's a pretty good indicator that it's not at peak freshness," says Davis Herron, the retail director at The Lobster Place, one of New York's best seafood markets. The black spots are called melanosis; it's the result of the same oxidation process that turns your apples and avocados brown.

That display of "fresh" shrimp you see at the counter? Those are the same bags of frozen shrimp you find in the freezer that have simply been allowed to thaw out in the store before going on display. There's no way to know how long they've been there defrosted, so you're better off buying the frozen shrimp and defrosting them yourself at home where you have more control over the process and can guarantee that your shrimp don't spend too long out of the freezer before being cooked.

The one exception to the always-buy-frozen rule is when you have access to live shrimp, either fresh from the ocean, or stored in tanks at the shop. In those cases, cook the shrimp as soon as possible after purchasing for best flavor and texture.

Frozen shrimp should always be thawed before cooking. To thaw frozen shrimp take them out of their bag and place them in a bowl under cold (not warm) running water. They'll be good to go in just a few minutes. 

Unless you can get your shrimp live you're better off going with the headless version.

Shell-on shrimp are what we recommend. Shelled shrimp are often mangled and unappetizing. Shell-on shrimp also tend to be much cheaper. Finally, those shells pack a sweet, flavorful punch, whether you grill the shrimp directly in the shell, or use the shells to add flavor to the final dish like in this Spanish-style shrimp.

"Pre-cooked" shrimp should almost universally be labeled "overcooked" shrimp. They're usually rubbery and bland, and since they're already cooked, offer no room for flavor improvement and will end up dry when added to dishes. Leave them be.

Pink and white shrimp are a bit tastier than Gulf brown shrimp but fresher is better if you go down to the docks on Galveston Bay. Large Tiger Shrimp escaped from growers are now also caught off the United States coast.  Rock Shrimp are deep cold water variety more like lobster. 

At the end of the day, stick with labels stating that an independent organization has examined and approved of the shrimp if you want its provenance, sustainability, and authenticity assured if you buy from a market or grocery store. 

The Food Lab: 5 Steps to the Best Grilled Shrimp

Friday, July 31, 2015

My Hugo ballot 2015 for Sasquan WorldCon

Copy of my ballot.

Best Novel

Rank ----------------------------
2 Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie (Orbit US, Orbit UK)
6 The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books)
1 The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Tor Books)
4 Skin Game by Jim Butcher (Roc Books)
3 Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Tor Books)
5 No Award
Best Novella

Rank ----------------------------
No Vote Big Boys Don't Cry by Tom Kratman (Castalia House)
2 Flow by Arlan Andrews, Sr (Analog, November 2014)
No Vote One Bright Star to Guide Them by John C. Wright (Castalia House)
No Vote Pale Realms of Shade by John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)
No Vote The Plural of Helen of Troy by John C. Wright (City Beyond Time: Tales of the Fall of Metachronopolis, Castalia House)
1 No Award
Best Novelette

Rank ----------------------------
No Vote Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium by Gray Rinehart (Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show, May 2014)
No Vote Championship B'tok by Edward M Lerner (Analog, Sept 2014)
No Vote The Day the World Turned Upside Down by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Lightspeed, April 2014)
No Vote The Journeyman: In the Stone House by Michael F. Flynn (Analog, June 2014)
2 The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale by Rajnar Vajra (Analog, Jul/Aug 2014)
1 No Award
Best Short Story

Rank ----------------------------
3 On A Spiritual Plain by Lou Antonelli (Sci Phi Journal #2, Nov 2014)
6 The Parliament of Beasts and Birds by John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)
4 A Single Samurai by Steven Diamond (The Baen Big Book of Monsters, Baen)
1 Totaled by Kary English (Galaxy's Edge magazine, July 2014)
5 Turncoat by Steve Rzasa (Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House)
2 No Award
Best Related Work

Rank ----------------------------
3 The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF Ken Burnside (Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House)
2 Letters from Gardner Lou Antonelli (The Merry Blacksmith Press)
5 Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth John C. Wright (Castalia House)
4 Why Science is Never Settled Tedd Roberts (
6 Wisdom from My Internet Michael Z. Williamson (Patriarchy Press)
1 No Award
Best Graphic Story

Rank ----------------------------
2 Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt  (Marvel Comics)
4 Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery written by Kurtis J. Weibe, art by Roc Upchurch (Image Comics)
1 Saga Volume 3 written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics)
3 Sex Criminals Volume 1: One Weird Trick written by Matt Fraction, art by Chip Zdarsky (Image Comics)
6 The Zombie Nation Book #2: Reduce Reuse Reanimate by Carter Reid (The Zombie Nation)
5 No Award
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)

Rank ----------------------------
3 Captain America: The Winter Soldier screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, concept and story by Ed Brubaker, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Marvel Entertainment, Perception, Sony Pictures Imageworks)
1 Edge of Tomorrow screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth, directed by Doug Liman (Village Roadshow, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, 3 Arts Entertainment; Viz Productions)
2 Guardians of the Galaxy written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, directed by James Gunn (Marvel Studios, Moving Picture Company)
4 Interstellar screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, directed by Christopher Nolan (Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Lynda Obst Productions, Syncopy)
5 The Lego Movie written by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, story by Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, LEGO Systems A/S Vertigo Entertainment, Lin Pictures, Warner Animation Group)
No Vote No Award
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

Rank ----------------------------
2 Doctor Who: Listen written by Steven Moffat, directed by Douglas Mackinnon (BBC Television)
1 The Flash: Pilot teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, story by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, directed by David Nutter (Berlanti Productions, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television; The CW)
3 Game of Thrones: The Mountain and the Viper written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, directed by Alex Graves (HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions)
5 Grimm: Once We Were Gods written by Alan DiFiore, directed by Steven DePaul (GK Productions, Hazy Mills Productions, Universal TV; NBC)
4 Orphan Black: By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried written by Graham Manson, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions; Space/BBC America)
No Vote No Award
Best Professional Editor (Short Form)

Rank ----------------------------
3 Jennifer Brozek
6 Vox Day
1 Mike Resnick
5 Bryan Thomas Schmidt
No Vote Edmund R. Schubert
2 No Award
Best Professional Editor (Long Form)

Rank ----------------------------
6 Vox Day
4 Sheila Gilbert
2 Jim Minz
1 Anne Sowards
5 Toni Weisskopf
3 No Award
Best Professional Artist

Rank ----------------------------
1 Julie Dillon
No Vote Kirk DouPonce
No Vote Nick Greenwood
No Vote Alan Pollack
No Vote Carter Reid
2 No Award
Best Semiprozine

Rank ----------------------------
No Vote Abyss & Apex Wendy Delmater editor and publisher
No Vote Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine David Kernot and Sue Bursztynski
2 Beneath Ceaseless Skies Scott H. Andrews
1 Lightspeed Magazine John Joseph Adams, Stefan Rudnicki, Rich Horton, Wendy N. Wagner, and Christie Yant
4 Strange Horizons Niall Harrison
3 No Award
Best Fanzine

Rank ----------------------------
No Vote Black Gate John O'Neill
No Vote Elitist Book Reviews Steve Diamond
1 Journey Planet James Bacon, Chris Garcia, Alissa McKersie, Colin Harris and Helen Montgomery
No Vote The Revenge of Hump Day Tim Bolgeo
2 Tangent Online Dave Truesdale
3 No Award
Best Fancast

Rank ----------------------------
No Vote Adventures in SciFi Publishing Brent Bower (Executive Producer), Kristi Charish, Timothy C. Ward & Moses Siregar III (Co-Hosts, Interviewers and Producers)
No Vote Dungeon Crawlers Radio Daniel Swenson (Producer/Host), Travis Alexander & Scott Tomlin (Hosts), Dale Newton (Host/Tech), Damien Swenson (Audio/Video Tech)
1 Galactic Suburbia Podcast Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Presenters) and Andrew Finch (Producer)
No Vote The Sci Phi Show Jason Rennie
2 Tea and Jeopardy Emma Newman & Peter Newman
3 No Award
Best Fan Writer

Rank ----------------------------
No Vote Dave Freer
No Vote Amanda S. Green
No Vote Jeffro Johnson
1 Laura J. Mixon
No Vote Cedar Sanderson
2 No Award
Best Fan Artist

Rank ----------------------------
3 Ninni Aalto
No Vote Brad Foster
1 Elizabeth Leggett
2 Spring Schoenhuth
No Vote Steve Stiles
4 No Award
The John W. Campbell Award (not a Hugo)

Rank ----------------------------
1 Wesley Chu
No Vote Jason Cordova
2 Kary English
No Vote Rolf Nelson
No Vote Eric S. Raymond
3 No Award

Friday, July 03, 2015

Glenda Boozer's General Purpose Hummus

"Here's how I made that hummus: I drained a can of chickpeas and buzzed them in the blender with a teaspoon of chopped garlic, a tablespoon of paprika, 1/4 cup of tahini, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, a heaping teaspoon of Italian seasoning, and enough of the liquid from the kalamata olives to give it a good texture."

More ingredients, like a can of beets or pumpkin, and more or different spices can also be added.

A collection of other hummus recipes.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hugo Awards nominating just ended

My nominees for long form dramatic presentation were:

Guardians of the Galaxy
Legend of Korra

For short form:

Orphan Black: By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried
Dr Who: Listen
Game of Thrones: Mockingbird
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Turn, Turn, Turn
Legend of Korra:The Last Stand

For Novel:

The Goblin Emperor
Ancillary Sword
The Three Body Problem
My Real Children
World of Trouble

I had more nominations but left a lot blank this year. Too busy.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Boozer Seasoning

1/2 cup garlic powder
1/2 cup onion powder
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup thyme
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup white pepper
1/4 cup sweet basil
1/4 cup dry mustard
1/4 cup all apice
1/8 cup oregano
1/8 cup chili powder
1/2 T. cayenne
1 T. coriander
1/2 T. cumin
1/4 Cup celery seed
1/4 Cup MSG (optional)

Chales Boozer's Seasoned Salt

11 oz. lite salt
4 T. onion salt or powder
2 T. celery salt or powder
4 T. garlic salt or powder
1 T. paprika
2 T. black pepper
2 T cayenne
1 T. tumeric
1 T. mustard
4 T. MSG (optional)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Chef Tess Bakeresse: Lisa's No Knead White Chocolate Pecan Artisan Bread

Chef Tess Bakeresse: Lisa's No Knead White Chocolate Pecan Artisan Bread

2 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1  3/4 cup water, preferably purified
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup diced toasted pecans
1/4-1/2 cup dried cherries

Directions: Mix flours, salt, yeast, and water in a large bowl. Add cherries, chocolate chips, and pecans. Stir well to make a very soft dough, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
 Let rest at room temperature overnight, or for at least 12 hours; the dough will be bubbly and puffy.
 Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and fold it onto itself a few times. Let it rest 15 minutes, then form it into a ball. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, smooth side down. Cover and let rise at room temperature about 2 hours, until a slight indentation remains when poked with a finger.

During the last 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 450°F and place a bread crock (or a heavy, 4- to 4 1/2-quart oven­safe pot *chef Tess note: I use a 12 inch porcelain dutch oven with a lid) in the oven while it heats. When the dough is risen, remove the crock from the oven, and turn the dough out of the bowl and into the crock; the smooth side will be facing up. Shake the crock gently to settle the dough, then cover with the lid and return to the oven.

Bake the bread for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and continue to bake another 30 to 40 minutes, until the bread is deep brown in color and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers about 205°F. Remove the crock from the oven, turn the bread onto a rack, and cool before slicing.

Bread Machine recipe:

2 1/2 cups bread or all purpose flour
1 cup white wheat or whole wheat flour

2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp. yeast
1 1/2 cup water

1/2 cup chocolate chips (preferably dark or white)
1 1/4 cup diced toasted pecans
1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries