Sunday, August 30, 2009

The New Gig

So, I alluded to something a few weeks back here on the blog , but never exactly cleared up the whole mystery of my new writing gig. There's no mystery about it at all, actually and I've already been at it for about two weeks.

As many of you know, Matt Parvis (formerly of Bluff Magazine) took over the reins as Editor-in-Chief over at PokerNews at the beginning of the month, and as part of what will be a dramatic re-structuing of the site, he brought me on as a full-time writer and editor along with Michael Friedman and Elaine Chaivarlis. The three of us are presently writing the bulk of the content on the front page, and since change100 isn't exacly a byline-worthy moniker, my pieces appear under the name Nicole Gordon.

Then, come September, PokerNews will get another all-star team member when Pauly starts his Sunday Op-Ed Series that will run through the end of the year. How's that for a score?

September will be busy under this roof. I'm also on the Otis-captained WCOOP coverage team for the fine folks at PokerStars Blog which will render me partially nocturnal, while Pauly is finishing up the final edits on Lost Vegas. It's turned out to be creatively thrilling to watch the book come together for him. It inspires me. It helps me to see the future, something I haven't been all that adept at lately.

In other news, it's hot as fucking balls outside and this apartment is a mini-oven with the exception of the one slice of couch I'm perched on at the moment, which happens to be in the direct path of the portable air conditioner, which is blasting on high. Oh, also the cable is broken and there is allegedly not a single technician in all of Los Angeles who can fix it today. Fuck you Time Warner.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cook with Change: Shrimp & Orzo

Good God. After two weeks on the road eating a combination of lot food, fast food and greasy spoon diner food, I was so utterly psyched to pick up some fresh ingredients and make myself a proper dinner. The result was so damned tasty I'm sharing it with you immediately. This dish was inspired by the Walla Walla sweet onions I tasted up in Washington State and the huge, succulent shrimp I saw on display at Pike Place Market in Seattle. If organic ingredients are available to you, use them whenever possible.

Sweet Onion and Cherry Tomato Orzo with Grilled Shrimp and Fresh Basil

(Serves 2)

1/2 lb. wild-caught shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/4 lb. orzo pasta
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 generous squeeze of lemon juice
olive oil
red pepper flakes
salt & pepper

While bringing a pot of lightly salted water to a boil (for the orzo), place the shrimp in a shallow bowl. Season with salt, pepper, 1 clove chopped garlic and the chopped thyme. Drizzle shrimp with 1 tbsp olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mix by hand, coating the shrimp and let sit about 10-15 mins.

Cook the orzo for 8-10 minutes, drain, and rinse with lukewarm water. Set aside. Heat a saute pan, (or a grill if you have one) and cook the shrimp for 2 minutes on each side. Remove shrimp from the heat and set aside. Add another dash of olive oil to the pan and add in the sweet onions, garlic, and as many red pepper flakes as you can handle (I used about 1/4 tsp). Sweat the onions for 2 minutes before adding the cherry tomatoes. Cook another 3 minutes.

Add the orzo, shrimp, chopped basil, and parmesan to the pan. Mix together and let everything heat through for about 1 minute. Serve immediately.