Musings from Munkimatt

A flow of whatever tickles my fancy

Cooking with the Munki

Over the last few days I’ve been asking for recipes on Twitter so I could cook an impressive meal. In typical Matt style I decided to go my own way (although I must thank @suryasnair for linking me to some gorgeous sounding food that looked like it wouldn’t break the bank, I’ll link it up later) and cook a recession ignoring paella and a chorizo and scallop starter.

Until sourcing the ingredients for this I always though paella was a fairly cheap dish to throw together. I was so wrong. In all fairness, I did buy the best I could get my hands on and I expect it’d be cheaper if I had chance to shop about which I didn’t. I would class this as a meal for a treat, or if you’ve got someone to impress. Someone to impress who likes seafood. You may want to check that.

In tribute to @Whatleydudes fantastic post where he blogged his recipe for Chocolate Chilli (which is so good I insist you cook it some time in the next week or I’ll be round your house with a handcuffs and a feather duster) I decided to blog the recipes  that I used last night.

Apologies for the lack of pictures, I didn’t think about doing this till this morning and only took one last night!

Bear in mind I’m cooking for two here, feel free to tweak things as you see fit.

Scallop and Choizo salad

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 100g good quality chorizo
  • 6 big scallops
  • 1/2 teaspoon of caster sugar
  • Mixed salad leaves (I used mixed baby leaves)
  • Couple of knobs of butter
  • Sesame oil
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  1. Heat a frying pan with some olive oil in and gently cook the choizo. Don’t overcook it because it goes hard and crsipy when overdone. When golden brown transfer to a heated plate.
  2. Season your scallops with salt and pepper and thrown into the pan with a couple of knobs of butter. These probably need 1 and 1/2 to 2 minutes either side. Remove to the heated plate with the chorizo.
  3. Mix the lime juice, sugar and a dash of sesame oil together. Give it taste before you doing anything else, you may find the lime too sharp. If that’s the case add a little more sugar. Pour into the hot pan you’ve already been using and use your spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pan, mixing all those lovely juices in with your dressing. Take off the heat.
  4. Place the salad leave onto plates, arrange the scallops and chorizo over it and drizzle over the dressing you’ve just made.

And there is one professional looking starter!

Lets Ignore The Recession and Eat Like Kings Paella

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 100g good chorizo
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 250g paella rice
  • 100ml of dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
  • a good pinch of saffron threads
  • 500ml hot vegetable stock
  • 6 large mussels, still in shells, de-bearded and scrubbed
  • 6 large prawns (shells on or off, up to you)
  • 4 prepared squid, cut into rings
  • 140g of cod (or another meaty white fish) roughly chopped
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon, wedged
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  1. Heat your olive oil in a decent sized frying pan (or paella pan if you would have such a thing). Chuck in your onions and cook briefly
  2. Thrown in the chorizo and cook slowly. Let those oils run out and colour the onion. Mmmm…oils…
  3. Now it’s time to add you pepper and crush the garlic and put that in to. Season with the salt and pepper and cook till the peppers have softened.
  4. Sprinkle in the smoked paprika and saffron threads and give the whole thing a big stir.
  5. You now need to pour in the paella rice. The trick here is to make sure every grain has a good covering of the oils and flavours that have been released so far during the cooking. If your pan is looking a little dry before this step, put a couple more lugs of olive oil in and give it a good stir so it takes on the flavours.
  6. Pour in your wine, allow the rice to soak it up and then follow on with the stock.
  7. Cover the pan with a lid and relax for a bit. Seriously. You’ve got 20 minutes or so now to wait. Check it every now and again though to make sure the rice isn’t starting to stick to the pan. If so, quick stir and you’ll be fine.
  8. Throw in your fish, squid, mussels and prawns now and give it a stir so they’re covered (as best you can) by the rice. Cover again. They’ll take about 5 minutes to cook.
  9. Just before you serve stir through the chopped parsley.
  10. Plate it up, garnish with some lemon wedges and that’s it, you’re all done!
Paella

Paella

Hope you enjoyed this. If you do try it and you like it, let me know!

April 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

How much is ‘nicer’ worth to you?

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£7.

Not a lot of money you may think.

But my word it caused an almighty storm this morning.

Recently there has been a lot of buzz on Twitter regarding Gravity, which is being billed as the first fully featured Twitter app for S60 devices. Beta testers have been giving glowing reports, and when news came out last week saying that it was to launch this today there were a lot of people looking forward to finally using it.

This morning I saw a tweet from Gerrymoth (writer on the excellent Nokia Addict blog) announcing that it was now available for download. I instantly headed over to the site, eager to get Twittering from my 5800 XpressMusic. But then I was stopped in my tracks by something I didn’t really expect.

Two button. One saying ‘Buy’ and the other ‘Download trial version’.

I have to pay? This I didn’t expect.

Now, I’m 26 and a salesman by trade. I know that very rarely anything in life is free. However over the 7 years of using S60 devices I honestly can’t remember ever paying for an application.

Why?

Because there’s nearly always a free alternative.

For Twitter, there’s Dabr, an excellent mobile friendly site that offers everything I need. I can upload pictures, direct message, reply, retweet, everything.

I clicked the buy link out of interest to see the price. I was thinking £5 at the most. Up it popped, to buy Gravity it would set me back £7.27. Cheap, but why pay when I can do the same for free?

So I posted this to Twitter, asking if it was worth the money. Gerrymoth fired back instantly with his response but it was one word that caught my attention.

Nicer.

So I loaded up the app and yes, it’s a lovely, gorgeous, clean interface. It’s quick, the scrolling on the touchscreen 5800 is fantastic and it does exactly what it says on the tin, it’s fully featured just as they advertised. But did I really want to open my dusty wallet and spend £7 on what effectively is just a prettier way to post to Twitter from my phone?

Turned out I wasn’t the only one asking this question. James Whatley seemed shocked at the price and at one point ended up having a fairly forthright discussion   regarding its value and later echoed my thoughts of a £5 price. Later we realised that the beta testers, who at this point were strongly defending the application, received the officially released version free of charge, therefore they paid nothing to use it.

Without wanting to sound terribly aggressive here,  how can you place a value on something when you’ve paid nothing to use it, especially when it offers nothing over the free alternative than it being ‘nicer’?

I’m not a particularly tight-fisted guy, in fact I’d go as far as to say I’m positively liberal with my money. Despite that though I can’t see the point of paying extra for something that will not contribute extra to my overall user experience.

So my question to you Tweeters is this; Are you happy to pay extra for nicer? Are you moving to Gravity (or another paid for client) or are you happy using free alternatives?

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Why the iPhone caused a global recession

Bare with me…

The iPhone begins its global launch on 27th June 2007. Over the next few month city bankers and high fliers clamour to get hold of the latest piece of hyped kit from the guys from Cupertino and in the process forget the deep love they once held for their Blackberrys.

Fast forward a bit and we’re now smack in the middle of a global recession.

life_in_times_of_recession

“Why?” I hear you cry.

Because they’re all now too busy dicking around on iFart to do what they would normally be doing, i.e. earning enough money to buy Papua New Guinea and have pocket change for a few Ferraris.

Just a thought. Cheers Apple.

Matt’s recession fix? Bring back the Blackberry.

March 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Something new, really soon!

For many mobile enthusiasts it was a sad day earlier this month when Ewan Macleod recently announced that his site Mobile Industry Review, formally known as SMS Text News, announced that from the 27th of March his site would move to subscription only.  While this caused a lot of discussion and occasionally polarized opinion, this post isn’t designed to start (another) discussion and I wish him the best of luck with his future.

One of the things that disappointed me was that I would no longer be able to see the always humorous and informative videos starring Ben Smith, Dan Lane and James Whatley and read there ever insightful posts. Thankfully I hear the the videos will remain available to view even after the site moves to the subscription based model. I urge you to watch them. Now. Well, after you finish this, don’t forget.

Earlier today I stumbled across a link on Twitter (you can follow me here by the way)  that instantly raised a smile across my tired Monday morning face. It’s a simple teaser site but with an image that dropped big hints as to the future of the three mentioned above.

On the face of it, just a picture of some phones with items of clothing on the screens.  However the pieces of apparel give away the clues to the people behind this teaser. Dan Lane is an iPhone user and has a fondness for sizable boots. Ben Smith is the type of chap you always image to be clad in  sharp suit and tie and is known to have a G1 so there’s another explained. James Whatley is only really known for his deep love of the Nokia N95 8gb and for being a pioneer of awesome sunglasses (oh ok, he’s the Social Media Strategist for Spinvox and you can read his personal blog here). The E71 is more of a tough one, it features a set of awesome heels. Unless one of the boys has a slightly more feminine side to them (and I vote Ben if so) it seems certain they’ll have a female correspondent joining too.

Keep an eye on the link below, because it looks like we’re going to have something good…really soon!

http://thereallymobileproject.com/

March 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

This is a test

This is a test.

No, not to see if this works.

It’s a test for me to see if I can regain some focus writing about what interests me.

Some of you may remember me from a while back when I was once known as Nokia Geek. I loved my little site. It rocked my little world. But for a variety of factors (some bad luck, some self inflicted idiocy) I started to lose interest.

Posting became less regular. And then it faded…gradually…

…to nothing.

Looking back, I think it was because I limited myself. There were other things I wanted to talk about, stuff that I wanted to get other people to read about but being Nokia Geek I was limited. Not having time to run a ‘vanity blog’ added to my frustration.

Musings from Munkimatt will hopefully re-ignite the spark that made me love blogging. I won’t just be talking about mobile related topics, it could be anything. Anything that makes me want to talk about it.

So, here’s to a hopefully bright future…

…and maybe we’ll see the Geek back too one day.

March 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 1 Comment