Anger Burger


Posted by on Jul 6, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Goodness, it’s been a while since Great-Grandma Charlotte had a say here, eh?  She’s not normally such a wallflower.


Here’s a question every foodie should ask themselves: why not make a pizza quiche?  Can’t think of any reason why not to, can you?  Let’s ignore for a moment that the Feast-a-Pie isn’t a “new version” of pizza as much as a crass mockery and instead put our minds towards giving the thing a chance.  Quiche is delicious and rich.  Pizza is delicious and rich.  Quiche has cheese in it.  Pizza has cheese in it.  Uh.  Pepperoni is good.

I can’t say 100% no to the idea.  I can say that a mere 1/4 cup of milk to 4 eggs is going to make a very eggy, very solid product, which I can’t get behind.  I’d drop the eggs to maybe 2 at most, swap out the milk for some cream and increase the volume to about a full cup.  I even like the idea of serving it with tomato sauce — imagine a gravy boat of warm, herby tomato sauce passed around to pour over your heap of cheesy, creamy pepperoni bits.  Not horrific?  I honestly can’t tell if I’ve lost all sense of perspective here.


1 cup sifted flour
1/3 cup lard (or 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. water

4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup moist (!) diced salami
1/2 cup diced pepperoni
8oz grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 tsp. dry basil
1/2 tsp. dry oregano

  • To make the crust, cut the lard into the flour with a pastry cutter until there are pieces no larger than a lentil.  Add salt.  Sprinkle over the water, stir with a fork and press together into a patty.  On a floured work surface, roll out slightly larger than a pie pan, and place into pie.  Crimp edges so they’re fancy.
  • Heat oven to a screaming 425°.
  • For the filling, beat the eggs and milk together in a large bowl and then stir in everything else.  Pour into the pie shell.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, which will almost certainly result in a nearly carbonized pie.  Serve with tomato sauce if desired.
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Cheese and Corn Casserole

Posted by on May 11, 2010 at 10:09 pm

I can imagine this day.  Very few of us survive the attacks – at first, it’s exciting, like the movies.  The zombies aren’t the fast ones, but they don’t amble, either.  The only people getting eaten or turned are the lame and uneducated.  Anyone with the ability to nail boards over their windows and use a shotgun survives.  But after a couple of years when there’s still no way to stop them and hotspots flare up over and over and over again, and what starts out as a couple-year vacation from work involving zombies turns into a decade where sloppiness and exhaustion rule and one day you finally, really understand that the military isn’t coming to save you and the internet isn’t coming back and what is left on the shelves in the store is what you’re going to have to eat, at least until that too runs out.

You don’t say anything to your partner.  He’s not your partner from when the zombies first came – that one was turned years ago and can still be seen wandering the neighborhood sans an arm and a jaw – but he was available and had a large collection of shotguns and that was pretty appealing.  Anyway, you don’t say anything to your partner about how this is it, this is the end of humanity.  You’ll save it for later.  Some other day.  When you think of a nice way to word it.  You make the best dinner you possibly can from what you have available and when you put it in front of him he pauses.  Looks at you.  He knows.

This is the end.


Cheese and Corn Casserole

4oz. egg noodles
1 can Spam
2 Tbsp. oil
3 Tbsp. dried minced onion
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. mustard powder
1 can of corn (don’t discard liquid)
1 8oz jar Cheez Whiz
1 small can undiluted evaporated milk
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 small jar diced pimentos

  • Heat your outdoor oven pit to hot.
  • Cook the noodles and spread over bottom of a baking dish.
  • Cut the Spam into small pieces and fry in the oil until crispy and maybe a little burned.
  • In the saucepan, add the onion, garlic, mustard, corn (with liquid), Cheez Whiz, evaporated milk and tomato sauce and pimento.  Stir until combined.  Spread over the pan of noodles.
  • Place into oven pit until the afternoon hunting party returns.
  • Serve with cornbread made from a mix, of course, because where would you get fresh ingredients from.

Chicken ‘N Niffles!

Posted by on Apr 26, 2010 at 7:47 am

There’s nothing wrong with the recipe in today’s Respect Your Elders.  In fact, it’s pretty much 110% right.


Niffles!  Tell people you’re making Niffles and they’ll eat whatever you make.  But the real thing sounds pretty good too: a beautifully poached chicken coated with butter served with dumplings on the side and topped with gravy. In fact, I’m going to refrain from the grumpiness you all seem to enjoy seeing me get worked into and present you with a straightforward re-write of the recipe.  If this makes you sad, read yesterday’s post.  I stick my head into a hole in my mom’s deck.

Chicken ‘N Niffles
like I said, it’s just deconstructed chicken and dumplings and could conceivably be made on two separate days, the first where you cook the chicken and broth, and the second where you make the Niffles and gravy, but as long as you’re going to get your kitchen all filthy you might as well just make it in one day.

4 pounds of skinless chicken pieces with bones (I vote thighs, personally)
1 carrot, cut into several large pieces
1 celery stalk, cut into several large pieces
1 small yellow onion, cut into eighths
a handful of fresh parsley, stalks and all
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. whole peppercorns
2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. butter, melted

2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1/2 c. cold water

2 or more Tbsp. corn starch
more parsley to top final dish with

  • Don’t bother rinsing the chicken or anything, it just spreads the salmonella around.  Place the chicken in a large soup pot, just cover with water and add everything but the butter.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and allow the chicken to cook down until it falls off the bone, about 2 hours.
  • Remove chicken from the broth and allow to cool a little before picking the meat off the bone.  Discard the bones.  If eating soon, coat the chicken in melted butter, cover, and keep warm in oven  (about 250°).  If not eating right away, cover and refrigerate.
  • Drain the broth through a sieve and discard the chunks.  If you’re so inclined, you can spoon some of the liquid fat off the broth or even take it too far and chill the broth and then lift the solidified fat off, but if you do that then you probably should just eat some plain rice for dinner.  Return the broth to a smaller saucepan and bring to a very gentle, low simmer.
  • To make the Niffles, put the flour and salt in a medium bowl and make a well in the center.  Add the eggs and using a fork, mix it all together to make a thick dough.  Add water in small increments until you can drop soft but intact blobs of dough from the end of a spoon (you can use two spoons or your fingers to facilitate this process).  You may not need all the water.  Drop small blobs, like the size of mini Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups into the simmering chicken broth, about 10 at a time.   Let them cook for about five minutes and then scoop them out into a plate lined with a paper towel.  Continue until all the dough is used.
  • Thicken as much of the chicken broth as you’d like to make into gravy, using cornstarch by making a slurry of 1 tablespoon of starch with a few spoonfuls of cold water per 3/4 cup of broth.  Stir the slurry into the broth and simmer to thicken.  If not thick enough, add another tablespoon of slurry mix.
  • Serve chicken with a side of Niffles  and top the whole mess with gravy and a healthy handful of chopped fresh parsley.

That’s it.  This is literal good old-fashioned comfort food, the kind great-grandma used to make.  Even better is the quote at the end from Lucy, whom we neither know of nor really what the hell she’s talking about here:

“When we barbecue steaks I make the batter and drop the Niffles into boiling salted water instead of chicken broth.”

Okay, so far so good.

“I drain them quickly, toss them in brown butter and pop a couple of big spoonfuls on each steak plate.”

Sounds great!

“This way we get all the good steak juice without dunking.”

Wait, what?  Without dunking what?  The steak back into the steak juice?  Something else not yet mentioned?  Who knows, and Lucy’s long dead.  Long live Niffles!

Burger Loafer

Posted by on Mar 23, 2010 at 11:21 am

Well!  What have we here!  My college nickname, that’s what.  Just kidding, they called me Bitchface Von Poorhouse.


This episode of Respect Your Elders is a beaut.  I want to jump straight to the MSG and say: there’s nothing a little excitotoxin can’t fix!  Let’s look at this as a whole, though.

Burger Loafer

1 long loaf of French bread

1 14oz can evaporated milk
1 lb ground beef
1/3 C. minced onion
1/3 C. finely diced green pepper
1 egg
1/2 tsp. MSG
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. pepper

  • Cut a thin slice lengthwise from loaf of bread and hollow out the loaf.  Measure two cups of the bread guts from the loaf and in a large bowl, soak it in the can of evaporated milk for 10 minutes.
  • Add everything else to the bowl and mix.
  • Pack this raw meat (which is now what we’d refer to as “meatloaf”) into the bread, cover with the bread lid you removed and then wrap the whole thing in foil and bake for about an hour and fifteen minutes at 350°.
  • Remove from foil and serve slices with hot tomato sauce we failed to mention that you’d need in the ingredient list.

So, okay.  Wait.  Do I want to try this?  Maybe I do.  The thing is, I make meatloaf fairly regularly, and I use a mixture of beef, pork and lamb to build up the right ratios of fat and flavor.  I kind of have a thing against plain ground beef.  But ignoring that, I know how much fat comes off a meatloaf, and I’m not sure I want to be eating that soaked into a what is certainly now soggy loaf of French bread.  Or do I?  It has a strange appeal.  Like, what if you did a small quantity?  With a higher ratio of a tougher bread, like taking one of those sourdough boules and putting in less than half of this recipe?

Holy shit, I think I actually want to make this.

Baked Yams Tahiti & String Beans Smitane

Posted by on Mar 5, 2010 at 11:38 am

I’ll give you two for the price of one in today’s Respect Your Elders: Baked Yams Tahiti and String Beans Smitane.


I genuinely thought “Smitane” was jibberjabber until I looked it up and discovered it was a real thing, but more on that in a minute.

Let’s discuss this Baked Yams Tahiti, shall we?

2 lbs. cooked peeled yams or 2 (1 lb.) cans of yams
1 C. crushed pineapple
2 ripe bananas
1/4 C. dry sherry
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
dots of butter
miniature marshmallows

  • Drain yams and pineapple, mash together with bananas.
  • Add sherry, salt and pepper and whip together until smooth and paste-like.
  • Smear this caulk into a casserole dish.
  • Cover top with butter and marshmallows.
  • Bake uncovered at 350 for about 45 minutes or until golden.

First, an anecdote: I grew up living near my Grandpa “Warhero” Vern, an avid fisherman who used the multi-colored miniature marshmallows as trout bait.  I didn’t even understand until I was maybe 9 or 10 years old that it was actually intended that people ate those miniature marshmallows.

Anyway, the Baked Yams Tahiti doesn’t offend me, exactly, as much as make me wonder if there’s some way to salvage it.  I’m kind of into it, even though I don’t like the texture of smooth yams (or squash, for that matter).  If it weren’t “whipped smooth” would it really be bad?  Probably not.  Would I eat more than 3 ounces even if I fixed it?  No.  Still, it makes me want to have a vintage recipe potluck just so I can eat three spoonfuls of a bunch of these things.

Speaking of, how about String Beans Smitane?

2 lbs. fresh string beans (3 lbs. frozen)
1 C. finely cut onion
1/2 cube butter
4 tbsp. flour
1 C. mayonnaise
3/4 C. sour cream
1/4 C. dry white wine
salt and pepper

  • Cook beans in a small amount of salted, boiled water until just tender.  Drain.
  • Saute the “finely cut onion” (not sure specifically what that means) in “1/2 cube” (which I assume was 2 oz. then as well as now) butter until limp, which sounds surprisingly more dramatic than softened.
  • Stir in the flour.
  • Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, wine and salt and pepper and stir through to blend, just until combined, and remove from heat.  Add beans and serve.

Okay.  So, to start with, even though “Smitane” is a real thing, this isn’t actually it.  Smitane is a light brown sauce with onions, wine and sour cream added to make it a lightly creamy, oniony sauce.  Sounds good, but I know what you’re thinking:  LET’S ADD A CUP OF HOT MAYONNAISE.

Curried Meatballs and Noodles

Posted by on Mar 1, 2010 at 9:07 am

Okay, now this is getting interesting.  Superficially, this seems like a foul endeavor.  Upon closer examination, it’s maybe not so bad.  And then somehow we find ourselves back again at urpy stomach-churning offense.


1 lb. ground beef chuck
1 Tbsp. minced onion
3/4 C. packaged corn flake crumbs
salt & pepper
1 egg
2 C. undiluted evaporated milk
2 Tbsp. shortening
1 medium onion, sliced
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 140z. can chicken broth

8oz. medium egg noddles

  • Combine beef, minced onion, corn flakes, salt and pepper, and 1/3 C. of the evaporated milk.  Form into 12 balls and brown in shortening over medium heat.  Brown sliced onion at the same time.  I assume you take the meatballs out now, though no one really knows.
  • Add flour, curry powder and some salt and pepper at edge of pan and blend with the fat.  Gradually add the broth and the remaining 1 2/3 C. of evaporated milk, cooking over low heat until sauce thickens slightly.  Of course, with that little flour, the emphasis will be on “slightly”.  You’ll basically have curry broth.
  • Serve meatballs and the liquid over cooked noodles.

I find myself doing this with modern recipes too, wondering why part of the dish seems appealing to me despite obvious flaws.  In the case of curried meatballs and noodles, we have essentially boring meatballs with a thin gruel of milky curried gravy — made from tinned milk,  no less, which has its own peculiar flavor — and served over noodles.  This is not good.  Instead the devil on my shoulder keeps whispering “But Japanese curry over noodles is good!”  I am here to tell you: the devil is correct, but the implication is not.  Stick with the Japanese version and do not stray.

Party Mayonnaise

Posted by on Feb 26, 2010 at 10:02 pm

In our last episode of Respect Your Elders, there was a recommendation to serve a perfectly good Jello salad with mayonnaise, a gesture I can’t dismiss 100% — true! — because while my Anger Burger forebrain knows that sweets and mayonnaise should be enemies forever, I cannot deny that I love mayonnaise like hippies love patchouli.


Lemme break that down for you.

1 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. jam (you know, strawberry or pineapple)

  • Melt jam.
  • Mix warm jam into mayonnaise.
  • Serve with fruit salads, by which we mean Jello molds.

Of course, I haven’t tried it, and I like mayonnaise on things that would gag others (rice, burritos, etc.), but I just can’t convince myself that blending it with jam makes it a dessert topping.

Respect Your Elders

Posted by on Feb 21, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Until I run out of them, I’m going to share with you recipes from my Great-Grandma Charlotte, who clipped and pasted recipes with neurotic precision, keeping them in a small binder so that her great-granddaughter Sunday could make fun of her long after she’d passed.


I love this woman — even having never met — and not just because she spelled macaroni “maccaroni’s” (and meant pasta) and salad “sallade”.  To be fair, she was Scottish.

A caveat: most of the recipes in her book are perfectly normal.  But then there are the ones that aren’t.  Friends, I’d like to share with you New Wedding Ring Sallade Salad:



It’s worth noting that the recipe sounds really tasty, right up into the last sentence.