Tag Archives: Cheese

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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The Larry David | “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

by Blake Stilwell

I realize I’ve been making a lot of sandwiches lately. I wonder what it is about the sandwich that makes it so popular in television and film. Maybe sandwiches are inherently funny? I promise more substantial foods in the future, but for now… It has long been a secret dream of mine to be so famous (or rather, well-known) that a deli somewhere feels compelled to name a sandwich after me. If this ever happened, I of course would want it to be delicious… like some kind of fried catfish po’boy with cole slaw or a gruyère grilled cheese with caramelized onions or something like that. To have a sandwich named after you that tastes terrible would be aggravating. Of course it happened to Larry David in the first episode of season five of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. larry-david-sandwich This both is and is not a joke. It’s a joke in that it’s a hilarious thing that happened to Larry on the show, it’s not in that this is really the sandwich we are about to make right now.

Ingredients:
• Smoked Whitefish
• Sabel (or some other kind of smoked whitefish)
• Cream Cheese
• Onions
• Capers
• Rye Bread

The sandwich itself is pretty easy to make, as all sandwiches tend to be. The ingredients might be a little hard to find, though surprisingly, smoked whitefish is widely available. I didn’t know this because I have never had a desire to buy smoked whitefish for any reason ever. And apparently Sabel is just another kind of whitefish. I couldn’t really find something called sabel, but I was able to find another whitefish, which… I guess is good. LarryDavid Even this monstrosity would make your dad proud. Personally, I wouldn’t care if I like my own sandwich or not, I just want the sandwich. In the end, it became the Richard Lewis because two kinds of fish just wasn’t good enough for Larry.

F**k you, Larry.

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Cheesy Blasters | “30 Rock”

by Blake Stilwell

We’ve been getting down to some really great food lately, from some really great viewing. I think it’s time for two things: First, a return to some quality junk food. Second, an homage to one of the dearly departed shows from last season. A lot of TV left us last season, and they ranged in quality on a scale of “Whitney” to “The Office” (which should have been put out of its misery long ago, actually).

Though I’m not as heartbroken about most of them as I was when NBC cancelled “My Name Is Earl” (WELL before it’s time and the primary reason for my grudge against Ben Silverman), I do miss 30 Rock. I didn’t love the show at first, because the first season was just not that great, in my opinion. But it got better. So much better. Comedy, when used to point out flaws in a society, is the highest form of art. This is what 30 Rock became and deserves it’s inclusion with other comedic classics, like Archie Bunker, M*A*S*H and everything George Carlin ever said, did or wrote. It should also be part of our one-stop visit to junk food, because it’s the holiday season and we’re expected to gain a few pounds. We can’t disappoint.

Season four of 30 Rock begins with a jab at the trend of unhealthy food in America. This first scene actually takes a jab at so many things that 30 Rock would come to address throughout the season, such as the perception of the “Real America.” Below is just the appearances of the Cheesy Blasters, from two different episodes.

The recipe, as mentioned by Liz Lemon, is pretty straightforward. This is good for me because my cooking means are limited until next year. It’s good for you because this cheesy delight is also pretty easy to make. (And I have to admit… they’re pretty good.) So this recipe isn’t so much as what ingredients to use, but more so how to cook them into the best Cheesy Blaster one could muster.

For the jack cheese, I went with Monterey Jack, because it’s all I could find where I am. But it was a good choice. If I were in the States, I would have gone for Pepper Jack, because I’m spicy like that. Monterey, while a little less flavorful, is still a perfect accompaniment to the beef franks.

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And both are as American as Jack Donaghy.

I’m going to come right out and announce that I don’t like to boil hot dogs. I don’t eat them a lot, but when I do, I want them to at least have a little flavor (without knowing what went into them). As we all know, unless you’re adding something to the water, boiling sucks the flavor right out. This is probably why Liz Lemon uses cheese instead of water when making stew.

So I cut the (all-beef) dogs length-wise and stuffed the cheese in there, so as to cook them while melting the cheese.

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Next, I cooked up a pizza. It surprised me how popular as pizza is here in the Palestinian Territory, but it was still very difficult to find a hot dog-sized one. I recommend a smaller, personal pizza in retrospect, because cutting up awkward slices of pizza to wrap around a hot dog takes more time than you want to use on this. Also, cook the pizza first and then start the hot dogs when the pizza has about five minutes left. Doing it the other way around just allows the cheese to congeal. It’s important to remember that Time is not on your side.

Once the cheese is good and melty and the hot dogs are done, take those dogs and wrap it in the pizza. You got Cheesy Blasters.

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Thanks, Meat Cat.

Due to the awkward nature of the pizza, I had to go for a less burrito-style and more of a taco-style wrap. Burritos are a guaranteed disaster at certain times anyway.

These are like the McGangbang, they look revolting and are definitely not something you should eat regularly, but they taste surprisingly good, and even more surprising, the texture is good as well. Definitely high-grade junk food.

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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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Krabby Patty | “Spongebob Squarepants”

by Blake Stilwell

The first thing anyone wanted to know as I told people this would be my next post was: HOW? Actually, the cashier at the grocery store thought I was making sushi, then wouldn’t believe me when I said what I was really making. Why wouldn’t a 30-year-old be out to make the signature dish of one of television’s most beloved characters? I don’t know either because this TV trope secret is a very long time in the making, like the location of Springfield on The Simpsons or why people still watch CBS sitcoms that aren’t How I Met Your Mother.

No, this is solving the mystery of the Krabby Patty*.

Krabby Patty 2

This is deciphering a recipe that was either Mr. Krab’s since he was young or a combination of ingredients accidentally mixed together after Plankton and Krabs had a falling out when their original burger recipe failed, minus the one ingredient Plankton managed to take from the original formula.

Chum

And frankly, that’s a good thing.

Many have come up with their own recipes for the Krabby Patty. They range from the very high quality, gourmet style to the ” You didn’t even try” style. The actual secret recipe, is of course hidden where no one, not even Plankton, would ever think to look. So for me, this effort took a lot of intense time and exhaustive research.

The way I see it, the perfect Krabby Patty has two parts: The Bun & The Patty. Other condiments are whatever you like, of course. The customer is always right!

The Bun

This is  where I started my research for the perfect Krabby Patty. In photos, it looks as though it uses a standard sesame seed hamburger bun. But in all incarnations from the show and Nickelodeon, the Krabby Patty has a seaweed bun, such as in this photo floating around the Internet, supposedly downloaded from Nick. com:

Secret Recipe

I don’t know that a seaweed bun is absolutely necessary. This is for the media purist. I don’t think anyone is going to judge you for not being 100 percent completely authentic when serving Krabby Pattys and buying some sesame seed buns. This recipe does not have the golden brown look the Krabby Patty on the show has, as the seaweed gives it a green tint. So if you or your kids are more concerned with aesthetics, maybe a sesame bun is a better choice.

Making seaweed buns from scratch is not easy. There are no short cuts and prep time is roughly 2-2 1/2 hours. The bonus in making these rolls from scratch is not only the full Krabby Patty experience, but also the feeling of accomplishment that baking from scratch gives you. Professional bakers have life figured out. This is why people leave their jobs to open bakeries. I recommend giving it a try at least once! Now preheat your ovens to 375 degrees fahrenheit!

2 c Bread Flour
1/2 c Rice Flour
2 tbsp. Sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Yeast (Rapid Rise is OK)
Six Sheets of Seaweed
2 tbsp Melted Butter
1 1/2 c Warm Water

Step One: Crumble up the seaweed and add it to the water. Then let is sit until the mixture gets thick and pasty. Mix the flours, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. After the seaweed past is ready, add the wet (not the butter) to the dry and mix with your hand. It’s going to be very thick and difficult to work with, keep working and mixing. It’ll loosen up.

Step Two: Pour the dough onto a floured counter and knead for about 10-15 minutes. It should start to loosen up slightly. The slowly knead the butter in and work it until it becomes elastic. Place the dough in a bowl in a warm area and cover with a towel. Let it rise for 1 hour to 1 1/4 hour, until it’s twice its original size.

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Before rising, it will likely be a small, thick chunk.

Step Three: Pour the dough on the floured surface and deflate. Knead again for a few minutes until the dough is smooth and uniform. Cut into 6 pieces and form into balls.  Set the six pieces in the same warm area for another twenty minutes.

Step Four: Reform the balls one last time and put them in the oven. Put sesame seeds on top.

Bake them for 15-20 minutes then take them out. It smells slightly fishy (but in a delicious baked goods kind of way, so its still pleasant), but I promise it doesn’t taste that way. Let them cool, then cut them in half… you know, like a burger bun.

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The Patty

Advanced Patty Control Mechanisms at the ready! The most important and integral part of the Krabby Patty is the Patty itself. Like it says in the Krusty Krab Training Video, you cannot make the Krabby Patty without first understanding “POOP: People Order Our Patties.”

This is also the most complicated part, since no one really knows the entirety of the recipe. For example, we know it contains salt and turmeric. I wonder, is crab an ingredient or is it just named after Mr. Krab? And if they are crab, does Mr. Krab eat them? So many questions lead to other questions here.

One secret recipe for Krabby Pattys really was published on Nick.com, but this appears to be more of a crab cake and less of the burger-looking sandwich seen on the show. It is also questionable because turmeric is not on the list. But it does solve the moral dilemma of Mr. Krab eating a Krabby Patty, as it calls for imitation crab meat, which is usually full of just ground up, reformed fish and some dyes.

Which gives this image a whole "Soylent Green" kinda feeling now.

Which gives this image a whole “Soylent Green” kinda feeling now.

The recipe from Nickelodeon went like this:

2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 tbsp. finely chopped celery
4-6 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. thyme
1 lb. frozen imitation crabmeat, (defrosted and finely chopped in a food processor)
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. mayonnaise (plus 1 cup for dipping sauce)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper (to taste)
3 tbsp. ketchup (for dipping sauce)

I also added the requisite turmeric, another egg and about 1/2 cup more bread crumbs to keep the whole thing from squishing together when you take a bite. If using store bought buns, there is no need to do this. The turmeric is definitely a good addition, but if you use too much, it is going to stain your hands yellow! But when the patties are cooked, it will look closer to the brown of the patty seen on TV.

Cooking

Step 1 – Sauté the onions and celery in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the thyme, lower the heat, and cook until the onions are translucent.

Step 2 – In a large bowl combine the crabmeat, sautéed onions and celery, bread crumbs, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, egg, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

Step 3 – Shape into rounds by using a small ice cream scoop, then gently pat flat.

Step 4 – Heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet. Working in batches (2 to 3 crab cakes at a time) place the crab cakes in a skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. You may need to add more oil for the second and third batches.

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Step 5 – Preheat the oven to 400°F. Transfer the crab cakes to the baking pan and bake for 10 minutes. The crab cakes can be kept in a warm oven for approximately 30 minutes, or they may be reheated at serving time.

This recipe looks like its just a crab cake, admittedly a crab cake with imitation crab meat, but it still doesn’t look quite like the patty we see in the show. Another problem with this recipe is that Spongebob is the Ocean’s Best Fry Cook, good enough to be Fry Cook to King Neptune himself. Spongebob is always seen cooking the patties on a range, so baking them seems out of the question, but with this recipe, its a must to make sure the eggs are fully cooked and hold the whole thing together.

Be sure to assemble the Krabby Patty in the proper order: Bun, Patty, Ketchup, Mustard, Pickles, Onion, Lettuce, Cheese, Tomato, and then Top Bun. And don’t forget the real secret ingredient, which we all actually know: love.

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After that, the only thing left to do it taste it.

You like Krabby Pattys. Don't you, Reader?

You like Krabby Patties. Don’t you, Reader?

*Don’t tell Plankton.

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