Tag Archives: Butter

Sausage and Waffle and Fried Chicken Breakfast Lasagna | “The Boondocks”

by Blake Stilwell

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’ve always come short of writing direct Thanksgiving recipes. As Eaten has a recipe for a nice holiday dessert. We have a recipe to tell you what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers. I’m not one to tell you what to do with your Thanksgiving food, no matter how bad it might be. Today we have a Thanksgiving-related post, not in terms of the kind of food or celebration of the holiday, but today we celebrate what comes after. This post is a celebration of The ‘Itis.

Itis: /ī-təs/ n. – The general feeling of lethargy and well-being experienced after eating a large, usually high calorie meal. This phenomena is particularly triggered by foods high in carbohydrates and red meat.

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In season 1, episode 10 of the critically acclaimed and often controversial animated series the Boondocks, Robert “Granddad” Freeman (John Witherspoon) cooks up Huey’s (Regina King) broccoli with pork, to which Huey says “vegetables cooked with pork counts as pork!” The meal he makes for entrepreneur Ed Wuncler (Ed Asner) and a local couple, the Dubois, inspires the creation of The Itis, a restaurant with beds instead of tables and a menu that, according to Huey, “will cause death.”

The signature menu item is the “Luther,” a one-pound burger, soaked in butter and cheese, served with five strips of bacon on a grilled Krispy Kreme doughnut.

So why opt to make the breakfast lasagna, instead of the Luther, featured so heavily in the episode? The Luther is pretty common by now, you can even order one for Sunday brunch at Churchkey in Washington, DC. Also, Krispy Kremes are hard to come by in Upstate Central New York. Also, if you watch the rest of the episode, you know the terrible effects the Luther can have on a community, and I wouldn’t want to inflict something like that on you, dear reader. I also promised to make a real dish this time, instead of another sandwich.

Also, the irony of writing a blog post, creating a recipe from an episode of a show that is not only a scathing indictment of the movie Soul Food, but also of soul food itself, is not lost on me.

Ingredients:

This is a six-part miniseries. You’ll need waffles instead of lasagna noodles, made for multiple layers, as well as layers of eggs, a sausage layer, a fried chicken layer, and enough sausage gravy and cheese for other layers.

Maple Syrup
Pepper Bacon
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Pepper to Taste

Sausage Layer:
4 fresh sausage links
maple syrup

Fried Chicken Layer:
6-8 boneless fried chicken thighs
large bottle of vegetable, peanut, or canola oil
4 cups flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp salt

Sausage Gravy:
3 tbsp butter
2 fresh sausage links, casings removed
1/4 c flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Waffle Layer(s):
You could always buy Eggos, which is waffle blasphemy, or make an instant waffle mix, which is less horrifying.

1 3/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Scrambled Egg Layer:
6 Eggs
3/4 c Ricotta Cheese
1/2 lb Shredded Cheddar
Salt/Pepper

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  1. For the scrambled eggs, whisk eggs and salt together in a large bowl. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When foam subsides, add eggs and stir until eggs are almost cooked but still runny in parts, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in ricotta until incorporated but clumps of cheese are still visible.
  2. To make fried chicken, mix the dry ingredients with the flour, then place seasoned flour in a paper bag. Add 4 to 5 pieces of chicken to the bag and shake, coating thoroughly in seasoned flour. Fill a large skillet 3/4 full with good, clean oil. (I used canola, but granddad probably used peanut or vegetable). Heat the oil to 325° F and put chicken one at a time into the oil. Don’t let the chicken pieces touch. Cook until juices start to flow out of the chicken. Turn with tongs, cook another five minutes. Place chicken onto paper towel-lined plate. When in doubt, use a meat thermometer. Chicken should be cooked to 158°.
  3. To cook the sausage gravy, heat butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until foaming. Add sausage and cook, breaking it up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until the meat starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Gradually stir in milk, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
  4. To cook the sausage, fry the sausages until the fat and juices start to fill the pan. Once there’s a layer of  fat in the pan, add a tablespoon of maple syrup to each link and cook thoroughly. Slice the sausage at an angle.
  5. For the waffles, separate the yolks and the whites. Set the whites aside and mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a crater in the middle and mix the wet ingredients (except the egg whites) there. Then mix the whole batter.Whip the egg whites until stiff, then fold the whites into the batter bowl. Cook in a waffle iron.
  6. Fry bacon until crispy, keep in long strips and dry on a paper towel.
  7. To assemble lasagna, butter a 8×8-inch casserole dish. Place waffles side by side in the bottom of the dish. Spread 1/4 cup of maple syrup evenly over the waffles. Top with half the scrambled eggs. Layer sausage slices on top of the eggs. Sprinkle half the cheddar evenly over the eggs. Top with half the sausage gravy. Repeat these layers once more. Finish by arranging bacon strips in an even layer on top. Add extra pepper, liberally at any level, because black pepper is awesome.

Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Lasagna can be assembled the day before, covered, and refrigerated until ready to serve. Remove lasagna from oven and let sit for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

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You really can’t (shouldn’t) eat too much of this at any one time and the resulting Itis is immediate, especially when eaten in the morning.

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Sloppy Jessica | “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”

by Blake Stilwell

I have never been more excited about carbohydrates as I am at this moment. While watching my favorite new show of the 2013 Fall season, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I came across the Sloppy Jessica, something I had never before heard of but completely support.

This bit of sandwich glory appeared after Sergeant Jeffords (Terry Crews), Detective Santiago (Melissa Fumero), and office secretary Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti), start a horrible crash diet – whose lunches include a single carrot and a snack of a razor-thin slice of cantaloupe – and Gina caves immediately. As the other two sit down to lunch, Gina brings in the Sloppy Jessica, described as “mac-and-cheese-chili pizza on a bun.”

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The important thing for this younger sister of the Sloppy Joe is to determine how to best interpret “mac-and-cheese-chili pizza on a bun.” Should we make a whole pizza and stuff it onto a bun? Or make a pizza of the bun and cover it with Mac n’ Cheese and then Chili? Or just Chili Mac? The possibilities are endless! But, based on how the sandwich itself looks onscreen (I know it’s just a sitcom, but whatever) it looks like the Mozzarella is on the bottom and the rest of the bun is filled with delicious chili and Mac n’ Cheese. So it’s a sandwich in three parts! Being from Southern Ohio, I have a distinct kind of Chili preference, so I don’t often make Chili from scratch (I do have a recipe, but that’s a secret), but there are a number of awesome Chili recipes out there. While they wouldn’t be using Cincinnati Chili in Brooklyn (that’s found in Manhattan), I used it here because I want this to be as awesome as possible.

I think it would be better to make the two separately and mix them, as I often find chili mac to be really dry and half the fun of the two dishes when cooked separately. Feel free to make Chili Mac  from another recipe if that’s your preference!

Ingredients:
• Kraft Cheese and Macaroni
• Chili
• Mozzarella Cheese
• Hoagie Buns

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Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Open the bun and remove some of the interior. Then add a layer of mozzarella cheese thick enough to create a thick melted layer.

Cook Kraft Macaroni and Cheese as per instructions on the box (don’t mess with a classic).

Prepare chili as instructed by your personal tastes and/or laboriously developed chili recipe)

Toast sub roll and melt the cheese into the bun

Mix Chili and Mac n’ Cheese (if necessary)

Add Chili & Mac Mixture to Melted Cheese Bun

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My Sloppy J.

 

Enjoy for Hours, Lament for Days

 

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My Sloppy J.

 

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Beef and Bacon Pie with Onions In Gravy | “Game of Thrones”

by Blake Stilwell of (according to numerous online Game of Thrones-based personality tests) House Baratheon.

"Our Favorite Food"

“Ours is Our Favorite Food”

I actually believe if House Stilwell had a place in Westeros, our sigil would likely be a fat bear, wearing a bib and drinking  two fingers of scotch. I also think this is probably Robert Baratheon’s personal sigil, one he just never talked about.  But this isn’t about me, this is a celebration!

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This month, HBO dropped the latest season of Game of Thrones on Blu-Ray, a gift for which I have already pre-ordered for my mother (it was her Christmas gift. Don’t judge me. I got schmaltzy gifts for her for the past five years and I think she actually liked this much better). Of course I didn’t wait for this to watch. Who possibly could? To celebrate this momentous occasion (and maybe have it available for this year’s premiere of Season Four), As Eaten brings you something as epic as the Game of Thrones theme song: a hearty dish from the North!

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Not that far North.

No, not Ygritte. It’s a Beef and Bacon Pie, from the lands around Winterfell! The recipe comes from A Feast of Ice and Fire: the Official Game of Thrones Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer, based on their blog Inn At The Crossroads. This book is more than a recipe book. Its an exhaustively-researched history of food and medieval cookery. It’s a fascinating mix of narrative and historical context. I highly recommend this. It’s so much more than a cookbook. And if you’re throwing a Game of Thrones-themed party, you will not find a better companion!

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Well.. maybe one better companion…

The North of Westeros is a vast, cold place. As such, the food tends to toward what we in the US call “comfort food.” They are heavy, hearty plates, full of meats, gravies, breads, and such. This recipe is no different. The difference is where the comfort food in the US can be bland at times, save the use of salt and pepper, the use of fruits and spices in this  meat mixture brings a unique, exotic flavor.

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It’ll taste better than you think it will.

But you’ll need to start with the medieval pastry dough. There is a special recipe, and the first ingredient should be an indicator of the uniqueness of flavors I’m talking about. If it sounds weird that the North of Westeros uses Saffron in its baking doughs, there is a very interesting explanation, based in both the lore of the Game of Thrones universe as well as Medieval History, thoroughly researched and presented to the reader. It’s really a good read. And it’s delicious.

Pinch of Saffron
1/2 C Water
1/2 C Unsalted Butter
3 C Flour 2 Egg Yolks, beaten

Dissolve the saffron in the water. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until there are only crumb-sized pieces. Add the egg yolks and saffron water until the mixture is sticky. To pre-bake a shell, line a pan with thin-rolled dough.use a fork to poke holes all over the bottom of the pastry shells. Bake for 10 minutes at 350° F.

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Beef and Bacon Pie

The book offers two recipes, a modern version and a medieval version. The recipe I used from this book is more of the medieval sort, which I think more appropriate, given the setting of the show and books.

1/2 c thick-cut bacon, diced
1 1/2 lbs stew beef, diced
1/2 tsp black pepper 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/3 c prunes
1/3 c raisins
1/3 c dates pitted and chopped
1 c beef broth
2-3 tbsp flour
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 375° F.  Cook the bacon in a saucepan until the fat runs from it, then drain off the fat. To the bacon pan, add the beef, spices, vinegar, and fruits. Add enough broth to wet the mixture until its runny. Mix in the flour and cook until the juices form a gravy. Cool the mixture. Line a 9-inch pie pan with a pastry dough and fill it with the meat mixture.

The book calls for a pastry lid. But the book has a great photo of a pie with a bacon lattice lid, so we decided to go with this because it was so much more epic. We used the remaining chewy bacon that wasn’t quite crispy to form the lattice so it would crips in the oven. The fruit will melt as the pie bakes and form a sweet, salty, savory mix of flavors that is absolutely fantastic.

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Onions in Gravy

10 oz boiler or pearl onions
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 sprig of freshly chopped savory herb, such as rosemary or thyme
1/3 c apple cider
1 tbsp flour
3 c beef stock
Splash of Brandy

Clean and peel the onions. Quarter seven of them and put the rest aside. In a deep frying pan, add the honey, herbs, and quartered onions.make sure the onions get covered with the honey-butter mixture, cook for 8 minutes, browning the onions. Add the cider to the pan in three distinct splashes. let the cider heat between splashes. Sprinkle flour into the pan and form a gravy. Add the stock and the rest of the onions and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes and reduce until it has a thicker, more gravy-like consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. We garnished with rosemary because it looked nice and we had some left over.

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This one-two punch combination of sweet and savory is a filling, hearty meal fit for you or any Stark. Any Stark that may still be alive, that is.

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Taco’s Truck’s Chicken Wings | “The League”

by Blake Stilwell

The regular NFL season is almost over, and most fantasy leagues now have their champion. For the uninitiated, fantasy football is a game where a group of people can gather (a league) and choose different real-life football players (to form teams) whose scores are based on specific stats the player acquires as he plays in a real NFL football game each week. Fantasy football season usually lasts right until the end of the regular NFL season, sometimes with a prize for the league winner.  This causes bizarre reactions from lifelong fans, who suddenly start praying for unusual and/or very specific situations to occur during games and start cheering for teams with which they formerly had no feelings about whatsoever.

Denver Broncos v Jacksonville Jaguars

“Colin Kaepernick, I love you!”

The fantasy league on FXX’s “The League” would have a champion by now as well. Their 8-deep fantasy football league and how they allow it to affect their everyday lives is what the show is all about. Actually, getting overcome by NFL football season and becoming obsessed with Sundays and our fantasy leagues is what being an American is all about. The rise of fantasy football is the best thing to happen in football since Drew Brees led the Saints to a Super Bowl after Hurricane Katrina. The League is the best thing to happen to football since fantasy football.

Thank You.

Thank You.

While their season is over, the NFL football is far from finished. There are still a few rounds of playoffs and, of course, the Super Bowl to come. If your team is still in the game, you probably have a few parties (at least one?)  left to host. What would a football playoff party be without chicken wings?

There is always Tapenade.

There is always Tapenade.

This season on the show, Taco (Jonathan Lajoie), the underachieving stoner brother of Kevin MacArthur (Stephen Rannazzisi), started a food truck called Taco’s Truck, which served American food. Kevin, the good guy he is, probably ate there to support his brother but ended up with more than he (and his wife Jenny) bargained for, (as sitcom characters usually do).

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So the recipe I decided to use for these delicious wings would be more spicy than average, but I wanted them to have an air of authenticity to them, because we at As Eaten don’t want to lead anyone astray, or toward darkness, unpopularity, or Steelers fandom. This recipe comes from a postcard I recently picked up while driving through Buffalo.

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With one caveat: I don’t like bleu cheese. I’m a fan of ranch dressing with my wings, but as always, it’s okay to be a traditionalist. I also had to settle for actual chicken wings to make this recipe, considering the entire grocery store was completely sold out Buffalo Wings pieces. But that’s okay, any chicken will do. I have to say I was a little disappointed to find out the magic secret to the deliciousness of Buffalo wing sauce.

Hardly Magical.

Hardly Magical.

So, yeah, there’s not much to the famous buffalo wings except the fact that butter is an awesomely delicious secret ingredient… but it’s really an easy way to make anything delicious (pro tip) when you cram a stick of butter into it. The novelty is only that Buffalo thought of it first. Not to take anything away from Buffalo, of course.

jets-v-bills

That’s the Bills’ job.

My NFL team did make the playoff this year and I fully intend on using this recipe again, because despite not being impressed at WHY its delicious, the fact remains that it really is delicious. I think the only changes I would make to the recipe is to lightly bread the wing pieces before frying.

Always serve with celery, sometimes carrots and bleu cheese or ranch dressing. And wash your hands after eating.

I JUST DON'T LIKE BLEU CHEESE, OK?

I JUST DON’T LIKE BLEU CHEESE, OK?

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Triple-Fried Monte Cristo Sandwich | “Community”

By Blake Stilwell

Let me preface this post by saying I will not be able to be as clever or get as many pop culture references into it as the writers of this show could. As Eaten is a shadow what this show can do.

Community on NBC: Watch it. Please?

Community on NBC: Watch it. Please?

It’s holiday break, but school will soon be back in (for some of you) and I was thinking that we could slip in one last fattening holiday treat. If I were going to create the signature dish from Community, I know it would have to be Abed’s Buttered Noodles, as they’re mentioned in many an episode… but that’s not very difficult.

Ta-Da.

Ta-Da.

The dish of choice comes from the tag of Community’s “Alternative History of the German Invasion,” episode four of season four, and is an offering at Shirley’s Sandwiches in the cafeteria.

This episode is packed with more references than I could ever hope to fit in an As Eaten post: Hogan’s Heroes, Die Hard, Die Hard III, Actual World History, Community itself, and another appearance of Michael Haggins’ Daybreak, a running gag through out the series (I love running gags).

This sandwich is a lot more filling (and heavy) than most of what we’ve eaten from TV thus far. And if you’re at risk of coronary issues, it’s probably one to be avoided, but if you’re not, prepare your taste buds for the fried confection/lunch that even the Great New York State Fair didn’t offer: a Triple-Fried Monte Cristo Sandwich.


The Fried Chicken Skin Wrap also might be worth an As Eaten Entry.

Even though you never actually see the Monte Cristo, just the fact that it’s offered at a Community College Cafeteria Sandwich Shop was intriguing to me. Could this possibly be made in short order? Would it be something that any student could pay for? Is this something any one wants to eat?

The Monte Cristo itself is a twist on the French croque monsieur, a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with a bechamel sauce, which is just a white sauce made with butter, flour and milk (if you try this separately, add pepper. Trust me.) Butthis goes beyond just a grilled ham and cheese. We upgrade the cheese, the meats, and fry it in a egg batter, and served with powdered sugar and jam. It’s the love child of French Toast and Grilled Cheese. It’s the meal for when you miss breakfast, but are too early for lunch… and also aren’t at brunch.

Ingredients
1 quart oil for frying, or as needed
2/3 cup water
1 egg
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 slices white bread
4 slices gruyere cheese (because swiss is for losers)
4 slices turkey
4 slices ham
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large pan to 365 degrees. I don’t have a deep fryer, but when I’m at home, I use a wok. Sue me, it’s big and it works. While oil is heating, make the batter. Some fry cooks covet a single batter, with egg and water mixed in with your dry ingredients. I usually opt for a separate wet/dry batter. Here, there is no choice. Using a wet batter will only result in sloppy bread. Suck it up, and follow the directions.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper; whisk into the egg mixture until smooth. Put it in the refrigerator.
  3. Assemble sandwiches by placing  turkey on one slice of bread, ham on another, then the gruyere cheese in the middle (much easier than a Grilled Charlie). Cut sandwiches into quarters (to fit in the fryer… don’t be a hero), and secure with toothpicks (this is important).
  4. Dip each sandwich quarter in the batter so that all sides are coated. Deep fry until golden brown on all sides. Then do it again. And Again.
  5. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving (It will likely get soggy if you don’t). Garnish with jam (I like strawberry) and a sprig of mint if you like the color.

The sandwiches will be very hot. As tempting as they look… please give them time to cool. Cool cool cool.

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Enjoy this triple fried sweet delight with the delightfully sweet sounds of Daybreak.

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Fresh-Baked Kringlors with a Honey Pecan Dipping Sauce | “The Ref”

by Blake Stilwell

There are many wonderful, renowned holiday movies out there. Everyone has their favorite. Some people grew up watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” every Christmas season. There are those who love the later classics, such as “A Christmas Story.” And a new generation is growing up loving more recent Christmas takes, like Will Ferrell’s “Elf.” For me, whenever someone talks about the perennial Christmas movie, “Die Hard” always comes to mind first. Not just because it is, in fact, a great Christmas movie (which is a post for another pop-culture themed blog), but my love for Reginald VelJohnson is well-documented.

Urkel killed this buddy cop dream team.

Urkel killed this buddy cop dream team.

Today, I’m taking a recipe from none of those, though I could really go for some Chinese food right now. No, this holiday, we’re taking a page from Judy Davis’ character Caroline Chasseur in the underrated 1994 Christmas comedy “The Ref,” with Denis Leary, Kevin Spacey and I was surprised to see John Scurti when I went back and watched it again for this post.

"Yeah, I know... It's weird to see me dressed as a cop."

“Yeah, I know… It’s weird to see me dressed as a cop.”

… some of you may better remember Scurti from his role as the beloved Lt. Shea on “Rescue Me.” Some others of you have seven seasons of great television to watch. Good thing binge watching on a snowy day is what the holiday season is all about nowadays. Go, loyal readers, and enjoy the butterscotch pudding that comes with it.

Doooooooo it.

Doooooooo it.

Denis Leary plays Gus, a burglar who has to lay low while he’s waiting for his partner to fix up an escape route away from the small New England town he just terrorized with break-ins. In order to dodge the road blocks and the local curfew, Gus takes the aforementioned Caroline and her husband Lloyd (Kevin Spacey) hostage in their home, but forces the family to play it cool while Caroline’s in-laws come over for Christmas dinner. The problem with the plan is that Gus has hijacked the most dysfunctional family in New England and is forced to rely on the discretion of his hostages and compliance of their a-hole relatives (including the mother-in-law, played beautifully by Glynis Johns), who find a lot of fault with Caroline’s flaws.

Everything almost reaches a breaking point at the Christmas dinner, which has a very Scandinavian theme (one of Caroline’s flaws is that she never finished anything she ever started, including a Scandinavian cooking class). The meal includes roast suckling pig, fresh baked Kringlors in a honey-pecan dipping sauce, seven-day old lutefisk, and lamb gookins.

The reason we’re making Kringlors today, despite the fact they sound more like an intergalactic space lord who is coming to enslave humanity than a baked treat, is because the holidays are the season of baked treats. Everyone has a different opinion on the main course at dinner, be it a ham, turkey or a giant fish stuffed with poison and left out for a week. Lamb Coozins Gookins seem to be so extremely rare, that even the Internet has never heard of them. What I think everyone can agree on, however, is that baked goods of all kinds are welcome at any holiday party anywhere and the more, the merrier. We know you’ll make room for the Kringlors in your pop culture buffet line.

Or you can jump a little forward in “The Ref” and see the Orange Marzipan Cake with Creme de Menthe and Lime Zest.

Kringlors are dessert in three parts. This recipe comes from “The Superbly Swedish Cookbook.”

Part I:
½ cup butter
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon water

Mix together (like pie crust) cutting the butter in with 2 butter knives.  Then finish mixing with your hands.  Pat out very thick (1/4”) on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Set aside.

Part II:
½ cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup flour
3 eggs beaten (see note on this)
1 teaspoon almond extract

In a saucepan heat butter and water to the boiling point.  Remove from heat, add flour and add 1 beaten egg at a time, stirring after each (The texture will be unique). Add almond extract and stir well.  Spread the mixture on the dough on cookie sheet, fairly close to the edges.  Bake at 400° for 45 minutes.

Part III:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Mix together all ingredients until smooth, and spread on pastry as icing.  Serve warm or cold, cutting in half the long way and then diagonally to make pretty strips. In the film, Caroline made them into pretzel shapes, which is my personal specialty, having worked two summers at Auntie Anne’s Pretzels as a teenager.

Pictured: Expertise

Pictured: Expertise

The Honey-Pecan Sauce is much easier to make, and where better to get the recipe than the American National Honey Board?

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups – vanilla flavored Greek style yogurt
  • 1/4 cup – chopped pecans, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup – Sage honey
  • 1 teaspoon – ground cinnamon

Directions:

Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender or processor and blend until smooth. Reserve chilled. Also, I recommend real honey, and maybe throw in some of the almond extract for a nuttier flavor.

And now you can have something to talk about at the family holiday party, where most of us end up looking somewhat frazzled if we don’t.

Kringlors - The Ref_1

“Everybody… just… stop talking. STOP. TALKING. TO ME.”

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Grilled Charlie | “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”

by Blake Stilwell

April is closing fast. This means we have the May flowers to look forward to, but it also means we have to say goodbye to a celebration that foodies around the country know very well: Grilled Cheese Month. GCM is a celebration of a simple staple, the original fast food. It sticks to your ribs and “warms your inners” (as my mama used to say) on a cold day’s lunchtime. Personally, one of my favorite meals is a grilled cheese with tomato soup. Though I am a professed classicist, preferring American on white to Katrina‘s throw anything on a cheese sandwich mentality (not to mention being lactose intolerant), I will throw down on a Gruyère and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese from time to time… It’s just that good.

In recognition of the glory of the sandwich that won the war, the As Eaten recipe this week is a snack sammy from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the Grilled Charlie. In episode two of season two, The Gang Goes Jihad, Charlie (Charlie Day) has to correct Frank (Danny DeVito) as he tries to make a Grilled Charlie on their apartment’s hotplate. I wanted to upload  a clip here, but FOX is very stingy with its content on YouTube, so instead of my 25 second clip, you can watch the entire episode online for free here.

It's very specific.

Protect what’s yours.

In the episode, Charlie says the ingredients, the order, and the recipe: Peanut butter outside. Chocolate inside. Butter inside. Cheese outside. Which is simple enough, but putting it together into a cohesive sandwich is the trickier part.

Ingredients:

– 2 slices of store-bought white bread
– 1 slice of american cheese
– chocolate syrup
– peanut butter
– actual butter… considering Charlie’s socio-economic status, it’s much more likely his “butter” is actually margarine.

It sounds awkward to put together. It kinda is. The order of operations takes patience and finesse. Especially patience, which, if you can’t make a grilled cheese without burning it, is the number one reason you can’t: you have no patience (No grilled cheese was ever successfully made with the fire up all the way.  I don’t care what you tell yourself, salvageable is not successful).

The first step is to set yourself up for success. Set the fire to medium, prep your breads. Remember the order. Peanut butter goes on the outside, so save it for last.

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Chocolate Inside, Butter Inside

To preserve the integrity of the sandwich and the bread, I’m telling you to grill the butter side out first, but only until its a nice golden brown, with the cheese on the bread. This will get the cheese ready for its turn on the outside (and add a little butter to the pan) and help the bread hold the soggy chocolate. Once its flipped, add the bread with the chocolate sauce. Don’t add the peanut butter til last! And not for a minute or so, either. Give the cheese time to get grilled, otherwise it’ll stick to the pan even with the butter.

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The cheese can be toasty too. A quick flip will give this effect.

Once everything else is in place add the peanut butter. It might be good to grill… toasted peanut butter is tasty, but Charlie probably meant the peanut butter to be more of a topping. Warning: this sandwich is more than the store-bought bread can handle. It falls apart very easily.

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It also probably contains a thousand calories per bite.

This wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. It was a flavor explosion, that’s for sure. With a little reworking, no chocolate syrup, all ingredients inside, it might have potential… but it just wouldn’t be a Grilled Charlie, would it? This meal, however, is an excellent preparatory meal for a rousing game of Chardee MacDennis.

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Lisa’s Pizza | “The Room”

Ingredients Purchased by Blake Stilwell

Pizza Cooked by Blake Stilwell

Eaten by Blake Stilwell

Blog Post Written by Blake Stilwell

No movie has enjoyed cult status quite so hard or fast as Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room.” It is exceptional to the world of cult film for a number of reasons, the main being because it is arguably one of the worst movies ever made, yet still draws a considerable crowd at every screening. Another reason is that the Writer, Director, Producer, and Star (but not caterer) will appear in person at many of them. He even took it on a world tour that saw screenings in Europe, Australia and India, among other places. There is even a communal ritual to watching “The Room” in a theater and this involves a lot of yelling, drinking and throwing of cutlery.

Spoon

Spoons play a large part in the scenery of The Room. For some reason.

The cult status of “The Room” eclipses “the Toxic Avenger” in its campiness, “Troll 2” in its difficulty to watch or take seriously, the Rocky Horror Picture Show in audience engagement and “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” in unintentional hilarity. And that movie has Nic Cage. Yes, the Room is a very powerful movie.

Also unrivaled in “The Room” is the absolute worst idea for a pizza ever. In the movie, Lisa (Juliette Danielle) orders a pizza as a way to make Johnny (the aforementioned and ubiquitous Wiseau) either feel better about not getting promoted or celebrate his promotion, I’m never quite sure (he doesn’t get promoted, but she didn’t know that, though she makes it sound like she does… whatever). Maybe Johnny is just easy to please and a pizza would cover both outcomes. I guess Lisa would know.

Her pizza order, to me, is one of the most incredulous things about this movie. I was not surprised to find that what she ordered is not the pizza Johnny and Lisa end up eating in the movie, either. Some believe this is what we in the industry call a “continuity error.” I don’t think so.  The guys at Rifftrax perfectly sum up this situation:

That’s right. Lisa’s pizza is half pesto and artichoke, half pineapple and Canadian bacon: the Domino’s WTF Special. This is a terrible idea, not just because pineapple on pizza is an abomination and God will surely punish humanity for it, but because it is the mortal sin of going halfsies on a pizza: you can’t mix two sauces. White pizza, Alfredo, Tomato, or Garlic Butter just don’t mix. The sauce is the one thing you have to agree on.

Maybe this is Wiseau’s purpose. Maybe this pizza is a metaphor for Lisa and Johnny’s torrid love affair. Maybe the symbolism is deeper here than we know. Today, I make the pizza slices that were the first wedges in the cracks of Johnny and Lisa’s perfect romance.

Its ingredients are pretty simple, with not much work or costs involved. It is really easy to make pizza crust from scratch (bread flour, yeast, sugar and a little salt). It’s also easy to make pizza sauce from scratch (tomato paste, water, olive oil, spices). The only issue with this is that the crust is time intensive and the sauce will be hit or miss. Buying pre-made crust and sauce is really inexpensive and there are a lot of delicious kinds out there, so you get the good feeling of scratch cooking without the time or cleanup costs. And after watching the Room, you’re going to want to feel like the night wasn’t a total wash.

My ingredients:

– Instant pizza crust mix

– Pesto

– Artichokes

– Garlic butter

– Pizza sauce (I bought Furmano’s Original… not spicy, but good. I also added garlic, because garlic is the bacon of spices and seasonings)

– Pineapple tidbits

– Canadian bacon

Make the crust as directed. It will instruct you to bake it a bit before adding toppings. Please don’t ignore this step, your pizza will be come a muddled mess… I mean… more so. On the pesto-artichoke half, use a thin layer of garlic butter before spreading the pesto. It makes the pesto spread smoother and distribute more equally. Not that it’s terribly difficult to spread pesto in the first place, a little garlic butter will also make that side of the pizza more saucy and prevent the crust from getting too dry.

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And you know what to use to use to spread the pesto around, don’t you?

Then arrange your artichokes. Looks pretty good right? Now comes the heart-wrenching part (that was not an artichoke pun)… Adding tomato sauce to the other side. Also, pineapple.

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You’re tearing me apart, pizza!

If you’re going to be true to this recipe, like Johnny was to Lisa, go light on the cheese. Some of us can’t have cheese anyway. I had to be true to the recipe like Lisa was to Johny and use a cheese substitute. Veggie Shreds’ Mozzarella is actually a really good one. Pop it in the oven for about ten minutes at 375, and it comes out a nice golden brown.

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I honestly thought the combination of sauces was going to be a terrible, terrible mix… like they would mix together as the pizza dough rose and create some ungodly mix of pesto, garlic, tomato, pineapple juice, hot ham water, and whatever the artichokes were soaked in (brine?). The two sides actually were able to stay distinct (for the most part) and left me with two impressions:

1) Pesto-Artichoke is a great combination that I am definitely coming back to.

2) Only nondescript Franco-Belgian Creole-Cajuns would like pineapple on pizza.

It would probably be best for you and your on-again, off-again lover to settle on a cheese pizza, just like the cast did in the movie. Cheese pizza is something everyone can get behind.

Friends

Cheese pizza for all your friends!

Also, do not wash this pizza down with Lisa’s  “Scotchka.”

Do not drink “Scotchka” at all.

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Homer Simpson’s Patented Space Age Out of This World Moon Waffle | “The Simpsons”

I am a huge fan of liquid smoke now. I never tasted it before making these waffles, but I really am now. I know, I know, I’m getting ahead of myself, I just don’t want anyone to be turned off when they read the ingredients list. We at As Eaten are aware that not every food idea on television is a good idea.

Homer Isn’t Wrong About This One.

This is from the fourth season of The Simpsons, where homer decides to skip church one cold winter Sunday. The waffle becomes an integral part of that day (and Homer’s subsequent decision to leave the church). I don’t know that these are so good they’ll make people give up religion and become hedonists, but it might make hedonists want to add this recipe to their own Sunday morning ritual.

The ingredients are easy enough to find, though the liquid smoke may require a trip to a larger supermarket. For waffle batter, I used “Jiffy” Mix, which is a “just add water batter,” but if you find yourself without the instant batter, you can make waffle batter with:

– 2 cups Jiffy Mix
– 1 1/4 cups of 2% milk
– 2 med eggs
– 2 tbsp melted margarine

Blend well. If you have the instant kind, follow the recipe on the package.

For Homer’s Patented Space Age Out of This World Moon Waffles, you will also need:

– 5-6 Caramel Squares, easily obtainable around Halloween, but Kraft makes and sells them year round. This is if you’re a traditionalist. If you just want the caramel flavor, you can use caramel syrup, with negligible loss of flavor.
– 2 Tbsp Liquid Smoke

I am aware this is a lot of liquid smoke in proportion to the two cups (or so) of batter. But I do try to stay as true to the recipe as possible and if you watch the clip below, you’ll see Homer uses a LOT of liquid smoke. It is a lot. But they’re Homer’s waffles, after all, so… when in Springfield…

While I made a point to identify myself as a traditionalist, for the most part I stand by that. But the caramel squares are a bit of a wild card here. If you opted for the caramel sauce, your life just got a lot easier. If you got the candy, you can crack open the squares and throw them on the batter as homer did, but I didn’t do that because I borrowed Katrina’s waffle iron (and that would play hell during cleanup).  They can also be arranged evenly through out the batter, though I warn you the insides of the candies will not even get warm before the waffle burns. Alternatively, you could slice the caramels thinner and then arrange them (a much better plan). Or you can do what I did and melt the caramels first in a double boiler and then add them to the batter.

If you go this route, be sure to add it to the batter that is already on the waffle iron, as the caramel congeals quickly and will not mix into the batter.

No matter what, unless you use caramel sauce, you’re going to have pockets or clumps of sweet caramel. No one is going to complain about that.

Don't forget to get some of that waffle runoff.

Don’t forget to get some of that waffle runoff.

At the end of the clip, Homer wraps it in a whole stick of butter and eats it like that. That is just a bridge too far, even for me. I can’t do that. I physically can’t do that. The thought of biting into a stick of butter or margarine makes me queasy. I opted instead to use a normal, tolerable amount of butter. I don’t recommend syrup because the waffle itself is pretty sweet and tiptoes my sickly-sweet threshold.  You may have a higher tolerance than I do. My brother always did (he is the inventor of the Ice Cream Sundae Eclair Doughnut), so I might be kind of a sugar wuss. So try it how you like it. You might even like an entire stick of butter with it.

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Don’t take MY word for it.

One final caveat: With cheaper waffle irons, there is going to be uneven heat distribution. With normal waffles, this is no big deal. When dealing with the caramels, you may want to avoid that spot as the caramel will burn long before your batter is crispy if the hotspots are too high. My waffles were noticeably darker in the middle rim, as is usually the case with the smaller Cuisinart brand irons.

They even look pretty good.

They even look pretty good.

This recipe makes three to four normal size waffles, give or take the amount of butter you need to accompany them. Above is an undoctored photo… they can turn out very well: crispy and golden brown, sweet and smokey.

And don’t throw away that liquid smoke. It’s also great in everything. Ever.

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