Thursday, September 29

Moneyball @ Cinebistro

Growing up in Tampa home of RAY’s baseball I can understand the frustration of having a really good baseball team that gets really far in the season but never quite wins the World Series. It'll happen- maybe even this year since we just got a spot as a Wild Card- just hasn't happened yet. The idea that some teams have so much money to buy a W makes me grit my teeth which is why I wanted to see this movie. 

Moneyball is not your typical sports movie. It doesn't follow the familiar formula: team sucks- someone does something to inspire confidence in the players- they overcome all odds/win a lot of games- small set back- overcome odds again and win the Mack Daddy Game. It doesn't follow that formula. 

It has great acting. The story of Billy Beane is really good- I think it shows youngsters that no matter how much promise you have, how talented you are, sometimes it’s best to go to college. It’s a good lesson to be taught that no matter how much you believe in yourself and your cause you might not win. Most movies don't show that. There also isn't what I would call the quintessential happy ending; to be honest I was not completely sure that the movie was over until the credits started rolling. Overall I give MONEYBALL a -B because of its baseball history and general message but it didn't WOW me.

If you have never seen a movie at a Cinebistro I must say you need to give it a try. First off 21+ which means no annoying teenagers and they serve food/alcohol. Plus the seats are very comfortable. Caution: you may never go back to a regular movie theater. 

Monday, September 12

Anyone Craving Old Clothes?

I was craving something more than a Cuban sandwich so I decided it was time to make my very own Ropa Vieja. My mother made this for us when I was a child but I remember not liking it (because it was too “different” from what my friends’ families ate). I had it at a local restaurant last year and it was delicious! What was my 8 year old self thinking?

Ropa Vieja “Old Clothes”
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2.5 hrs

2.5 lb Flank steak, cut into large chunks
½ c Adobe Seasoning
¼ c Worchester sauce
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil
½ thin sliced onion
2 cloves of garlic , minced

Combine the Adobe seasoning and Worchester sauce to form a paste, rub over meat and marinate for at least 15 minutes at room temperature. Heat oil in a Dutch oven on med-high. In batches, coat marinated meat in flour mixture and brown each side. Once each side is browned- beef won’t be cooked through- set aside and brown the next batch. It is very important to not crowd the pot and remember to add more oil if necessary. Add sliced onion, minced garlic and return all beef to pot, fill with water until it completely covers the meat. Simmer for 2 hrs or until the beef is fork tender.  Drain pot into a colander and on a cutting board take each piece of meat and shred beef using two forks (this can take a while and is quite boring- but totally worth it!)  Set Aside.

1 green pepper
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
4 oz tomato paste
1 tsp cumin
1 can diced tomatoes
1 Bay leaf
½ c red wine

Sauté peppers, onion and garlic until translucent. Add 4oz. of tomato paste and cumin, let darken for a few minutes. Add shredded meat and bay leaf. Deglaze pot with red wine and make sure to scrape the bits off the bottom. Once most of the red wine has evaporated add the diced tomatoes and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Serving options:
*with black beans and yellow rice.
*in-between a slice of Cuban bread (like a sloppy joe)

Now that I have embraced different food cultures, I thank my parents for making me eat these “weird” foods.