Tag Archives: Cheddar

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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A Special, Secret Sandwich | “Dave”

By Blake Stilwell

Midnight snacking. We all do it. Or… we WANT to do it. Most of us are unfortunately limited to our meager refrigerators, woefully underprepared for any cravings we have in the middle of the night.

I disappoint myself constantly.

I disappoint myself constantly.

Can you imagine the unbelievable snacking capability and access to material the President of the United States must have? Obama could have anything he wants at any time. This is perhaps the most incredible power with which any head of state could be entrusted. I know I could not be trusted with this power.

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Neither could William Howard Taft.

If I had 24-7 access to free hot waffles, I would also be big enough to get stuck in the White House bathtub. In Ivan Reitman’s (remember him?) 1993 comedy Dave, Dave Kovic showed a little more restraint. Dave (Kevin Kline) had just been hired to be a stand-in for President Bill Mitchell (also Kevin Kline), who looks exactly like him. Unfortunately, the President had a stroke and the country needs Dave to sit in for a while in this charming, heartwarming story of pre-9/11 White House antics. It was almost as charming as President Clinton playing Battleship against Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Hugh Shelton in the White House Situation Room. Were the 1990’s great or what?

So he spends days at a time preparing for this new job (to put it lightly). Eventually, Dave takes a time out from learning how the American government works to make a late-night sandwich, sharing half with his Secret Service bodyguard, played by Ving Rhames, who would probably look nice in a sweater.

Dave later shares a sandwich with First Lady Ellen Mitchell (Sigourney Weaver) and tells her the sandwich is both very special and a secret.

The unanswered question here is why I assume the two sandwiches are the same, and thus important. I am of the opinion this must be the same sandwich because Dave is going through a very stressful situation at both points in the movie (no spoilers). In order to comfort himself late at night, I assume he makes this special sandwich. I think he has no problem making the sandwich in front of the Secret Service agent because Dave probably assumed the USSS could pretty much be trusted to take care of Presidential secrets. Luckily for us, we are privy to the secret by virtue of two distinct shots of the sandwich being made:

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There you have it, a very special, secret sandwich. And considering the size of the paper bag Dave carries out from the Deli and the comment Ellen makes about how much food he’s packing, I think it’s safe to assume he made her one of these guys. Based on what we see in the film…

Ingredients:
Lemon Wedges (for the juice)
Cucumber
Turkey
Tomato
Pickles
Shredded Carrot
Olives (stuffed with pimento)
Pickles
Mustard
Mayo
Leaf Lettuce
Provolone Cheese
Ham
Cheddar Cheese

Slap these on a Sub Roll and you’ve got yourself the President of Sandwiches. Perfect for any social situation: football games, parties, or chatting late night with the Secret Service agent assigned to you while you’re pretending to be the President of the United States while the real President recovers from a stroke he had while cheating on his wife with a White House secretary. The usual things.

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Hail to the Chief, he’s the one we all say hail to.

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Twinkie Wiener Sandwich | “UHF”

by Blake Stilwell

A blog about food in media should start out with one of the past masters of ridiculous. And who could possibly bring this to the apex of hilarity better than “Weird” Al Yankovic himself? The Twinkie Wiener Sandwich is a delicacy that first appeared in 1989’s UHF, a film that was poorly reviewed and didn’t do very well at the box office, but has since become a cult favorite because it is actually pretty funny. It also features a young Fran Drescher, a young Michael Richards, and my favorite appearance by comedian Emo Philips. But none of that really matters right now, because we’re talking about food here.

The Twinkie Wiener Sandwich is fairly self-explanatory. And the preparation is covered pretty well in the movie. Slice a Twinkie down the middle, place a hot dog in your new “bun,” then a little bit of spray cheese, and you’re all set (I couldn’t see what kind of cheese it was, so I used Cheddar here).

My Twinkie Wiener Sandwich was actually really delicious. The salty plays off the sweet in a way that shouldn’t be right but really is. The texture could use some work, but really, the cheddar takes care of that weird preservative film that gets in your mouth from eating a Twinkie… and its creepy aftertaste.

My TWS

This actually did cheer me up after a rough day.

The proper way to consume this delicacy would be to dip it in milk (fig. 1), but seeing as my years of lactose intolerance won’t let me enjoy regular milk (the hypocrisy of my eating cheese isn’t lost on me… Lactaid does nothing for the awful flavor of cow’s milk), I opted to forgo that part.

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

I know what you’re thinking… “Sure, during the sleek, dazzling veneer of the 1980’s, Twinkies probably rained from the sky. But in Obama’s America, they’re a luxury some of us just don’t have!”

To that, I ask how dedicated are you to this process anyway? Twinkies are still available. The market equilibrium is just slightly higher. Ok, a lot higher. But nothing is impossible. Go here: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=twinkies&_sacat=0&_from=R40

It’s not like Twinkies are going to go bad on you anytime soon.

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