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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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Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster | “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

by Blake Stilwell

The Drink of Drinks, the Drink of Presidents,  the “Alcoholic Equivalent to a Mugging; Expensive and Bad for the Head”… It could only be:

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According to the Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy, the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is an alcoholic beverage invented by ex-President of the Universe Zaphod Beeblebrox, and is largely considered to be the best in the Universe. The effects of drinking one will soon become apparent.

Luckily for us and the world of theatrical comedy, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has been given the  screen treatment twice in the past thirty-odd years.

The actual (fictional) recipe for a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster (don’t worry, like the Hitchiker’s Guide says: There are many voluntary organizations which will help to rehabilitate you after you’ve had one) is as follows:

  1. Take the juice from one bottle of Ol’ Janx Spirit
  2. Pour into it one measure of water from the seas of Santraginus V — Oh, that Santraginean seawater! Oh, those Santraginean fish!
  3. Allow three cubes of Arcturan Mega-gin to melt into the mixture (it must be properly iced or the benzine is lost).
  4. Allow four litres of Fallian marsh gas to bubble through it, in memory of all those happy hikers who have died of pleasure in the Marshes of Fallia.
  5. Over the back of a silver spoon float a measure of Qualactin Hypermint extract, redolent of all the heady odours of the dark Qualactin Zones, subtle, sweet and mystic.
  6. Drop in the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger. Watch it dissolve, spreading the fires of the Algolian Suns deep into the heart of the drink.
  7. Sprinkle Zamphuor.
  8. Add an olive.
  9. Drink… but… very carefully…

I’ve been drinking for a long time. And I’ve been drinking in a lot of places. I have a lot of experience. Interpreting a beverage that fits the description shouldn’t be too hard, so a liquor store run (or two) and a free Saturday night was all I was waiting for:

  1. The base of the drink. This has to be Absinthe… It’s not just the green (or ungreen) color. The Ol’ Janx Spirit Rhyme went: “Oh don’t give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit/ No, don’t you give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit/ For my head will fly, my tongue will lie, my eyes will fry and I may die/ Won’t you pour me one more of that sinful Old Janx Spirit”… Now, I don’t know what liquor makes my head fly faster, further, or longer than good ol’ Absinthe (Try doing shots of Absinthe for a night. The vivid dreams alone are worth the high price tag). Absinthe had a bout a hundred years of being banned in the US, but in 2007, it made a comeback. The market is a pretty good. Sadly, US absinthe doesn’t seem to be as potent as people in the good ol days used to describe. This is because of limits on distilling, specifically to the content of thujone, the special ingredient in the distilled wormwood that makes absinthe special… and mind bending. Personally, I recommend Turkish absinthe. But if you’re stuck in the New World, good ol’ Canada has the answer. There are no limits to thujone content in New Brunswick or British Columbia.
  2. Seawater must mean the drink has some kind of clam juice… I prefer to believe this means tonic water or selzer. I could not drink a beverage that mixed licorice with clam juice.
  3. If the drink has to contain Benzene, then your only choice is bottled Sprite. It surprised me too that the US government actually has limits on benzene formation, despite the unlimited amount of non-food big business can call food these days. But the Megagin angle tells me maybe this just means the best gin out there, which is of course, Hendricks. For the purposes of experimentation, I picked up both.
  4. The use of Marsh Gas must mean the drink is fizzy, which works with the Sprite or Tonic Water.
  5. There are many flavors that could create a hypermint flavor… Creme de Menth, Rumpleminz, Peppermint Schnapps, or ideally Marie Brizard Green Mint Liquor. I chose mint schnapps, because I went to a few stores and not a one carried Marie Brizard.
  6. Judging by the effects of the ingredient, I’d say the Suntiger’s teeth are best replaced by Angostura Bitters, which was originally used to mask the taste of quinine in the tonic water of gin and tonics, and is a great natural accompaniment to gin anyway. It could also be grenadine, judging by the description of its appearance, but I would rather it be benedictine, which sounds like a great foil to the absinthe. the color of all three will sure spread around the glass, creating that effect (note, when I did start mixing, adding the lemon extract would create the all-around fizzing effect throughout the drink, which, admittedly, was pretty cool).
  7. Zamphour could be sugar, which would make this sort of an absinthe frappe-mint julep (more on that later). Or it could be lemon extract, or lemon zest. I got all three.
  8. God I hate olives, I prefer lemon peel

Attempt 1: Absinthe, tonic water, Hendrick’s Gin, mint liquor, and Bitters – This does not taste like lemon. And it is super strong. I was right about the Absinthe, but this tastes more like licorice.

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Attempt 2: Lighter on the Absinthe, made up for it in tonic water, extra pull of gin, same mint, and a dash of benedictine. Added lemon extract… Much smoother. Much more lemony. It has a very nice, refreshing citrus-y mint aftertaste.

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Attempt 3:  2 parts absinthe, 2 parts tonic water, 1 part sprite, 1 part mint liquor, drops of lemon extract – Very cool, not as refreshing, but a nice aftertaste. Still has the arak-like flavor of the absinthe as most dominant feature.

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Attempt 4: 1 part absinthe, 2 parts tonic water, 1 parts sprite, mint liquor and full part of Benedictine, drops of lemon extract – This time it had the effect of the lemon drops fizzing a spreading throughout the drink, as described in the recipe. nifty. On the whole, it’s kind of weak but a decent lemony-licorice flavor. Not much mint, though.

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Attempt 5:  Everything, f**k it, just everything, which is more ingredients than what’s listed, but as I discovered…

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This was a lemony-mint dream that hit like a ton of bricks and evoked the proper response:

Seeing as how I am not a 30-ton mega elephant with bronchial pneumonia, there was a limit to the experimenting I could do. I feel confident this last drink had the appropriate effect and flavor. There are also many terrestrial places in the US and Canada who have come up with various versions of the PGGB, with varying degrees of similarity to Douglas Adams’ dream beverage.

But honestly, what sounds more and more like the intent of the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, the tried and true earthbound equivalent, has to be the Absinthe Julep:

Sunday morning update: I’m off to find that rehab. I’m pretty sure it’s a cup of coffee and greasy food.

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