Saturday, March 26, 2011

“More Cooking With Gusto”

c. 2011 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

Cooking freely is a liberty most Americans take completely for granted. Yet the encroachment of dietary correctness has begun to erase old traditions from the national routine. With each generation, our country is moving further away from meaty, cheesy, carbohydrate-intense, high-sodium dishes, in favor of healthier alternatives. The justification for such a change in our eating habits is the need to promote good health among citizens. Yet some still resist this move toward gastronomical discipline.

In kitchens from New York to California, as in Washington, D.C., there are different views of how the country should proceed into the 21st-Century.

What follows here is a short selection of recipes that express the creativity and rowdiness of those who will not go quietly into the culinary future:


4 (4 oz.) cans Vienna sausage
1 3/4 c. American cheese (grated)
1 c. onion (chopped)
1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
1 (8 oz.) pkg. elbow macaroni (cooked)
1 1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. dry mustard

Spit 14 sausages lengthwise, stuff with 3/4 cup cheese (like sandwiches). Cut remaining sausages in 1/2 inch pieces. Warm milk, add remaining cheese, onion, mustard and caraway seeds. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until thickened. In greased 2 quart casserole, place alternate layers of macaroni, Vienna sausage and cheese sauce. Top, in circular fashion with the stuffed sausages. Cover, bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 35 minutes. Serves 6.


2 packages Beef Flavor Top Ramen
3 cups water
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 jar spaghetti sauce (15-1/2oz.)
3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
1 pizza pan
aluminum foil

Cover pizza pan with aluminum foil. Build up foil edges to form about 1/2" tall rim around the pan. Lightly grease the aluminum surface. Cook both packages of Top Ramen noodles in water with pinch of salt. Do not use flavor packets. Drain noodles and set aside. Brown beef, onions and mushrooms together. Drain excess fat. Stir both flavor packets into meat mixture. Set aside. Beat together egg, milk and parmesan cheese. Stir this mixture into Top Ramen noodles. Evenly spread noodle/egg mixture onto pizza pan. Pour spaghetti sauce over noodles. Sprinkle meat mixture over sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until golden, bubbly brown. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.


1 can Spam
1 lb. sauerkraut, well drained
1 can prepared apple pie filling

Tear off 4 generous squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Cut the Spam into 4 equal slices and place in the center of foil squares. Top each with a fourth of the kraut, then the pie filling. Bring up sides of foil to form well-sealed packages. Place bombs on grill, Spam side down, over hot coals. Grill until Spam is browned and heated through. Can be eaten right from the foil. Adapts to oven cooking as well. Bake in oven about 30 minutes or heated through. Makes 4 servings. (Note - works well baked in an oven and can be placed in a casserole dish without the aluminum foil. Grease the casserole dish, make stacks of Spam, sauerkraut and apple pie filling into serving size.)


2 ounces shaved steak (Philly meat)
1/2 ounce red and green peppers
1/2 ounce yellow onions
1 slice American cheese
1 tablespoon mashed potatoes
1 large burrito wrapper (flour tortilla)

Cook the shaved steak then add the peppers and onions and sweat until soft. Put mashed potatoes in center of burrito wrapper then put shaved steak/pepper/onion mix on top of that. Add cheese. Fold in all four sides and secure with wooden picks. Deep fry until golden brown. Gravy is the best type of dip for this.


1 (28 ounce) can baked beans
6 -8 hot dogs
4 cups tater tots
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Set your oven to 450. Dump your can of baked beans into a casserole dish. Set the dish aside. Cut up your hotdogs into bite sized pieces and throw those into your casserole dish and mix until dogs are well coated with baked bean sauce. Cover the bean and dog mixture with tater tots. We usually use a couple handfuls. Use as many as you'd like. Just make sure to cover the mixture completely. Place the casserole dish in the oven for 1/2 an hour or until tater tots are golden brown. When Redneck Casserole is all cooked up, turn off the oven and sprinkle the top with cheese. Casserole is completely done when cheese is melted.

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