Vegetarians and vegans have created some really delicious substitutes for meat and dairy products. With the right combination of chemicals and flavoring they’ve proven that soy and tempeh no longer have to taste like soy and tempeh! I think that’s great, but let’s not forget the little guy. Let’s not forget all those meat lovers out there who want to eat vegetarian dishes that taste more like meat. When I dip a carrot into hummus, I don’t want it to taste like hummus. I want it to taste like something that’s comforting, something that’s familiar, something that has both meat and the necessary sugar content to make me feel bad about myself later. That something is a Big Mac. Watch Kyle Martin and Brandon Wardell create Big Mac hummus.
I decided that the best way to write about the classic shitty St. Patrick's Day meal, corned beef and cabbage, would be to get black-out drunk. First I had some Irish Whisky and then some Irish coffee to keep me up. This is the second time I've written something while under the dark haze of alcohol. The first time was in college. I wrote a short journal entry for an English class when I got home from the bars one night. It sounded like it was written by a lunatic and I had to rewrite it when I woke up the next day. Ten years later and it turns out that lunatic is still in there.
After half a bottle of Jamison, apparently I got a little too handsy with my girlfriend, put her to bed and wrote this...
Want to cook not shitty food for you r friends? how about shitty corned beef and cabbage? That's a good one?
I feel very drunk. Which is which my should've friends should've said to me brfore I wrote this. But it's too late. I love writing and I lod writing about things food related with drinking. I can barelt set up right wihile drinking this article. I think corned beef and cabbage are a thing that should be celebrated thgouh tood.
"Whoa my goodness is that cabbage?!" HOLY SHIT BALLS I LOVE CABBAGE!!! I MEAN YOU KNOW I LOVE BACON IN THE FORM OF TURKEY, BUT I LOVE A GOOD HA, HAOCK!
I mean I parade around for it! I haven;t been this excited for bacon since I met ham haock!
You met ham hock!?
Well golly I bneed to meet you then!
You nee to bneed me?
I eel like a nobofy!
You not a nobody!, You're a somebody, who liuves in manhattan, who raisews a kid at 80 ham hawks an hour and an 80 who cars back i an alley way as well asll belueved!!
Yto cutr the hams into three pieces! It makes everything more susceptible.
That's as far as I made it drunk, proving just how unproductive it is to act like an alcoholic. I woke up on my couch thinking, "Oh no. I fell asleep without writing anything". Turns out I wrote about my love of marbling, my love of ham hock...again...and of course my love of Pete Holmes. The rest of this recipe will be written while very hung over. Don't be a push bagg; enjoy it.
Take a trip to the 90 Cent and Up Store
I found a dollar store near my house that sells busted dinnerware! Chances are kids in China were verbally abused for these mistakes, but this was very exciting for me! I'm finally able to use shitty dinnerware that has been made to look pretentious. It's not even a dollar store really, it's actually dubbed, 90 Cent and Up Store. Anyway you'll need a solid base for this meal; put a square of cabbage at the bottom which will buttress the rest of the food. Cabbage is one of the few vegetables that doesn't give a fuck. "What's that? It's winter time and I shouldn't be growing? Well how the hell else am I gonna get a leg up on lettuce?! EVERYONE LOOOOOVES LETTUCE. WHY?! Ohhhhh your name's Iceburg and you can't grow in the cold. Other than coleslaw people only eat me on St. Patrick's Day! Try dealing with that!"
Next lay two pieces of the corned beef on top of the cabbage. I feel like I explained the corned beef pretty eloquently at the beginning of this post, but for those who were lost I just went to the deli counter at the grocery store and asked for a big slab of corned beef. If you want to go shittier, you can get corned beef in a tin, but I don't have time to shop around for meat in a tin. Next, put the shitty boxed potatoes on top of the corned beef.
Typically corned beef and cabbage is a heaping mess. Keep it neat by adding some sliced carrots. Add some more cabbage and beef too. You want people to be well fed on St. Patrick's Day otherwise you'll just be scrubbing chunks out of your carpet.
After that, pour some Guinness into tiny jelly jars. If you don't have any tiny jam jars, ask the woman in your life for some. She either has some or has been thinking about getting some. Explain to your guests that this stout is brewed by monks in the hills of Ireland. For some reason people romanticize the idea of monks brewing beer, but Irish monks? That sounds ridiculous, which is why this beer is so rare. Pour the rest of the Guinness into a sauce pan and mix it with the potato gravy that you set aside earlier. You forgot to do that? What about my instructions of, "Oh yeah! I'm frojm nasty CA so I donj;t want it to go so I trhink Maybe it should be a nastro socitety. then?" did you not get?
Finally, top it off with the cabbage hearts and set it all on a block of wood. That's it. It's 1:20 in the afternoon and it's time for me to throw up now.
Enjoyed this article? Share it on Facebook or Twitter. Follow Kyle on Twitter @suckcessstory
Want to impress dinner guests but you’re not a top-notch chef? Knock their socks off by making your shitty food look pretentious! Tonight we’re dining on a chili dog!
Pennsylvania - A state that was built on the backs of strong willed men. To the east, in the mountains of Scranton and Wilkes Barre men plunged deep within the earth's crust in search of coal, shaking hands with the devil each day as they worked in the pits of hell. To the west in the steel mills of Pittsburgh, similar men of both faith and fortitude were enduring a hell of their own, fighting the fiery furnaces of the steel mills, their bodies soaked with sweat at the end of each tiresome day.
Chili dogs are now sold out of stands, shacks, street vendors, and vary from region to region. In Charm City they use a "gravy" chili to cover the dog. Connecticut dogs are topped with sauerkraut, onions and chili. Michigan uses an all meat chili, diced yellow onion, and yellow mustard, on their dogs. Regardless of regional variance, chili dogs are definitely shitty food. This is one of the few foods that I will make where it actually looks like someone took a dump on top of it.
Step 1 - Avoid Bar S at All Costs!
Start with your hot dog. If you really want a shitty hot dog go with Bar S brand. Their packaging is covered with the slogans, "Only the best is branded Bar S", "Quality, Taste, Value", "America's Favorite". It's clear they're trying to compensate for something. I'll go ahead and guess that it's their hot dogs. At seventeen cents per dog something must be up. When I was in college I bought some Bar S dogs at Wal Mart once. They were on sale for sixty-nine cents (for eight) and were the worst hot dogs I've ever had. For this meal I went ahead and spent a little extra on Ballpark Franks, a hot dog that doesn't need to brag about how good it is. Sometime you've got to treat yourself to a slightly less disgusting hot dog.
Step 2 - Stick your Dog in the Microwave
Food preparation is not absolutely crucial in this situation as hot dogs come pre-cooked, so unlike a lot of shitty foods that do better in the toaster oven, you can put them in the microwave for about forty seconds and they'll turn out just fine. Once the hot dog is finished cooking, dice it up evenly into cubes. Look at that! It doesn't even appear to be a hot dog anymore. Tell your guests it's weird parts of the pig and watch their eyes light up.
Step 3 - "You Sendin' The Wolf?"
The grocery store has a number of pre-made, canned chili. Take your pick. They're all shitty, so you can't go wrong. I went with Wolf Brand Chili which has no beans and is an "Authentic Texas Recipe", just like George Koufougeorgas used to make! I I have a feeling the FDA isn't double checking the authenticity of this "Texas recipe" so go ahead and tell your guests, "It's an old secret family recipe". That's what a lot of these cans say anyway. Who cares if it's not your family recipe. Say what you will about the south being backwards and stupid, but families down there have their priorities straight. GUARD THE FAMILY'S SECRET CHILI RECIPES AT ALL COST!
Step 4 - My anaconda don't want none unless you got buns hun!
Let's not call these buns; we don't want Sir Mix-A-Lot coming to dinner and dicking our food* and you're not a street vendor so step it up. Remove the top half of the bun, cut in half and toast it. Tell your guests this is an inverted crostini. I don't even know what that means and they won't either. I made it up. When they try to Google it, they'll realize they're trying something completely revolutionary. After that, smear ketchup and mustard down each side of the plate for an artistic flare.
*Dicking Food - To rub the male genitalia in, on, or around food. A practice so perverse it is illegal in the contiguous United States.
Step 5 - Add the Onions
Next chop up an onion and spread it across the center of the plate. Red onion is great for adding a little color to this masterpiece and distracting from that barf under the crostini.
Step 6 - Finish it off
Finally add the "ham hock" to the end of the plate opposite the crostini and sprinkle shredded cheese on top. At this point your guests mouths will be watering like Pavlov's dog. Just present it to them. Let them take it in before they eat it. Keep in mind, this is everything they could want in a meal:
Valentine's Day is right around the corner. If you're like me you'll try to avoid the typical night out at a restaurant. Go out on the 13th or the 15th when they haven't prepared a "special" menu for you. Why not impress your Valentine's date with a romantic dessert instead? Maybe you're not a top-notch chef. Maybe you don't have the budget to create amazing desserts. Not to worry, knock your date's socks (and pants) off by making your shitty food look pretentious! Tonight we’re making a trio of desserts!
Let's start with gathering the supplies by heading to an establishment known for selling a bunch of garbage that no one needs, 7-11. 7-11 has to be one of the most diverse establishments around. You can pick up beer, a bag of ice, fire wood, motor oil, Advil, condoms, lottery tickets, a migrant worker and any array of shitty foods that you can imagine. I'm pretty sure they just come with a homeless guy out front, so it's the ideal store to shop for this shitty dish. I also went to a Ralph's grocery store to pick some additional items that 7-11 didn't have.
The cheap products will do just fine. No need to go fancy. We're already making it pretentious. No need to be redundant.
Dessert Numero Uno - Chocolate Mousse
Step 1 - Fluff Your Pudding
We're going to start by fluffing up the pudding to make it more of a mousse consistency. Empty a couple of pudding cups into a bowl. If you're a terrible parent this is what you feed your kids to shut them up:
"Check out our pudding. It needs no refrigeration" What?! Pudding usually has milk in it right?! "Nah we took care of it. Feed it to your kids!" You don't even have branding on the cups? "We don't have that kind of budget, just feet it to you kids." My kids are dying. "Well have you considered feeding them our pudding?"
Add an equal amount of whipped topping. Then fold it into the pudding with a spatula. Don't stir it or it will lose it's fluff. In this Valentine's dessert situation the mousse is your fluffer, getting everything ready and the mood just right for the rest of the night.
Step 2 - Go to Marshalls
Marshall's slogan, "So much for so little" is right in line with the general credo of SFMP and happens to be a great place to pick up a martini glass for practically nothing. Empty the "mousse" into the martini glass. OHHHH LOOK WHOSE PUDDING JUST GOT CLASSED UP!!! Add some more whipped topping on top for contrast.
Step 3 - Not Everything has to be Shitty
Go to a farmers market and buy a single strawberry. Add it to the glass. It's red, it looks like a heart and women love them with chocolate for some reason. Cut a couple strips of the Hershey chocolate bar and add those too. I usually don't like using any quality products in my dishes, but it's Valentine's Day and we're trying to get you laid, so let's go all out and spend that extra $1.50! By the time she gets to the pudding she'll be on her way to assuming you're the most amazing man in the world. If you're a woman reading this you should know that none of this is necessary. The guy in your life at any moment will just sleep with you. No questions asked. You could call up a lot of guys that aren't in your life and they'll probably offer to sleep with you too. If you're a lesbian...well I really have no expertise there, but as sad as it is, I'm sure the last sentence still holds true even if you try to convince them otherwise.
Step 4 - Ashy Ass Cookies
Hey 7-11 have you ever thought about putting some lotion on your cookies? Cause they're ashy. They look like square elbows. I messed with the image in Photoshop and they still look awful. Mash that shit up for a 7-11 Select "Fudge mint" crumble and spread it evenly on top of the dish.
Step 5 - Finish it Off
Finally put the martini glass on top of a plate. Strain the cherry syrup into a small squeeze bottle and add some dabs to the plate. Add a line of cookie crumble and a small pile of chopped up cherries. Tell your date it's a cherry compote and watch her eyes light up with enthusiasm.
Dessert Numero Dos - A Tiny Cake
Step 1 - Cut out a Heart
No more time for fun and games. Get literal with this one. Cut out a heart from the pound cake. Lucky for me my girlfriend owns heart shaped cookie cutters. With proper care this can also be done with a knife too. You also want to make sure that this dessert is light and small; don't put your date into a food coma. Unless you're a real creep your night will be over.
Add a layer of whipped topping to the pound cake. Look at that! It already seems like we've improved it and it's just shitty pound cake and fake whipped cream.
Step 2 - Jackson Pollock This Thing
Women love it when guys are artsy, but not too artsy. They want you to be a man, but for one day a year it wouldn't hurt if you treated them like a muse. Use the squirt bottle full of cherry syrup to create a pattern on the plate. It doesn't have to be perfect, but make sure you don't make it look like it was done by a child. THIS IS NOT THE NIGHT TO BE THINKING OF CHILDREN! As far as plate selection goes, use something white and clean. I actually used a cake stand (also owned by my GF); that way it looks like you're putting your heart on a pedestal for her. Lets be honest though your heart is simply for pumping blood to other parts of your body.
Step 3 - Add Your Cake
Transfer your pound cake on top of your art work. Then add some of the cookie crumbs to the top for both texture and complexity.
Step 4 - Doll it Up
This is a little like women adding make up - time to fool everyone and hide the mistakes and blemishes. Add a bunch of other shit. Cut some cherries up and strategically place them. Cut up some of the chocolate and put that on there. Add a dab of whipped topping. Sprinkle more cookie crumbs. Sprinkle some confectioner sugar if you have some. You're going to have to use your best judgement here. Just bear in mind that there is about fifty cents worth of food on this plate. You want to disguise that fact while not overdoing it and creating suspicion.
This step should also remind you to give your lady a compliment on her make up. She worked hard on it; probably so you don't judge her and are also attracted to her at the same time. Let her know that it's appreciated.
Dessert Numero Trio - GET...IT...ON!
Step 1 - Buy a Condom
Like I have already stated above. THIS IS HER DAY. IT'S FOR HER. Why not make it for "Her pleasure"? Get a condom with some built in "Sensations armor". Ribs. That's going to give her some additional sexual pleasure by creating slightly more friction than normal and make you seem super human. The more important aspect of her pleasure is that she won't be getting pregnant - a process that is very pleasurable at the start but followed by 18-25 years of displeasure depending on your parenting skills.
Step 2 - Surprise Cake
Okay I may have left out a surprise aspect of the tiny cake. But you want this to be a surprise to her too. Prior to plating the pound cake cut a small, round divot in the bottom. Place a condom inside. By the time your date gets to it she will be so impressed with your "cooking" skills that she won't even be disgusted that she just ate a condom filled cake! You're probably thinking, "Is this the most amazing Valentine's Day dessert ever?" Nope, it's just shitty food made pretentious.
Want to impress dinner guests but you’re not a top-notch chef? Knock their socks off by making your shitty food look pretentious! Tonight we’re dining on a Hungry-Man dinner of Salisbury steak!
History and Background
My grandfather was born in the 1920’s and in traditional fashion he married an amazing woman who dutifully tended the home and cooked for him and the kids while he spent his days at work. When I was growing up I remember there were times when she went away to visit friends or family and he had to fend for himself which usually meant heating up a Hungry-Man Dinner dinner in the microwave.
It doesn't matter; the important part is that a Salisbury steak is the worst kind of steak. I hadn't realized what my grandfather went though. It's utterly amazing what a person will eat once they've lived through a Great Depression. "Salisbury steak? Yeah bring it here. I'll eat it. It's better than when I was a kid. You have to realize that we were sad as an entire country. Wrap your head around that for a minute. The ENTIRE country was depressed. For six months I ate dirt for two meals a day. The third meal was spent scavenging for wood to cook the next day's dirt."
Step 1 – Stick It in the Microwave
I normally recommend using the toaster oven to cook the shitty foods rather than the microwave - Guys and gals, just because we’re preparing and eating shitty food, doesn't mean we have to make ourselves feel bad about it at the same time! There's something sad about watching this crap rotate around as the microwave counts down to the completion of this pathetic accomplishment. For that reason I always try to avoid the microwave, but in this case the microwave is the only way to go. Follow the instructions. The brownie will be done first. Remove it and finish cooking the rest. How did they get this timing correct?
Step 2 – Plating
For this meal we’re going to create an amuse-bouche - two of them in fact. One for dinner and one for dessert. If you don’t know what "amuse-bouche" means then look it up. This is “Shitty Food Made Pretentious”, not “Explain Culinary Concepts to a Bunch of People Without Access to Google”! But just to sum it up for you, it’s one bite hors d’oeuvres. The irony of a Hungry Man as a one bite meal is the most crucial component to making this meal pretentious. There's no way your guests will be full after this which is what we want. We need them starving by the time they get to dessert for this plan to be properly executed.
This "thrill" will take their mind off of the "other ingredients" in the steak. WHAT ARE OTHER INGREDIENTS?! We'll also use large, one-bite spoons. Ironically these pretentious little gems cost less than a dollar each at Crate and Barrel, but people will assume much, much more! It's quite amazing what the Chinese can produce thanks to a little terror instilled into the lives of their citizens.
Step 3 - Apply the "Brown Sauce"
Start by smearing the brown sauce diagonally across the marble with the green beans arranged like the branch of a tree. The mere sight of this will immediately confuse your guests as they won’t know whether to look at it or try to eat it. "Do we all eat this? Do I use my fingers? Ooooo is that a play on brown sauce?" WHAT IS BROWN SAUCE?! When everyone is confused they'll have their mind off of the fact that they’re eating shit. You’ve got them right where you want them!
Step 4 – Layering of Crap
Finally, layer the food from the Hungry Man onto the one bite spoon. I went with the mashed potatoes on the bottom, followed by the Salisbury steak with a topping of brown sauce. If you've ever watched a really fat guy eat a meal, they tend to combine everything on their plate. This is essentially what we’re doing here. Instead of an amuse-bouche we should just Americanize it and call it “A bite for a fat man”. The great part about this first bite is that it’s pure torture for your saddest guests who have eaten plenty of Hungry Man meals and know there should be a brownie somewhere. l as they’ll be saying to themselves, “Green beans? Check. Salisbury steak? Check. Brown sauce? Check. Brownie? Brownie? Oh shit. Where’s the brownie?! There should’ve been a brownie?! DUDE, DID YOU JUST THROW AWAY THE BROWNIE?!"
Step 5 – Time for the Brownie!
Don't worry. We didn't throw out the brownie. If the fatties at your dinner party didn’t lick the marble clean, wash it off and start plating dessert. Cut the brownie into four pieces. If you want, purposely make sure they’re not equal and you can play a little psychological game with your guests called, Who’s the greediest person I know? Place the brownies on the one bite spoons. This would already be pretentious as is and guests won’t even be focused on taste since they're hungry, but we can do better. Add some whip cream on top! And by whip cream I mean shaving cream. And by shaving cream I mean shitty shaving cream! And by shitty shaving cream I mean Barbasol. I should say I use Barbosol and have beautiful skin, but there is no doubt that it’s shitty when applied to food.
Step 6 – Add Zest and Pzazz
I don’t know why, but people lose their shit for zest! I went with a Hershey Kiss and a lime, but you can pretty much zest anything you can run across a cheese grater. Seriously, pick anything in your kitchen or family room; it doesn't even have to be edible for all I care. You could zest some of your coffee table or maybe the corner of a lamp. Whatever you choose, zest it all over the brownies and people will straight up lose their shit.
Want to impress dinner guests but you’re not a top-notch chef? Knock their socks off by making your shitty food look pretentious! Tonight we’re dining on fish and chips.
Background and Story
Fish and chips is a traditional bar food that originally was consumed by the working class of England, Scotland and Ireland. Working class foods are perfect in pretentious forms and a working class food from the British Isles, a place known for terrible food, has to be shitty. As a result it is a perfect meal to make pretentious. For reasons unknown to this author, rich people seem to love the idea of eating the food of the lower class. It likely gives them a sense that they are, “of the people” while still eating in their mansion. You’re probably saying, “But Kyle with just a few ingredients how pretentious can fish and chips really get?” Lets find out.
Step 1 – Cook the fish
Fish comes in many forms. Stick. Pattie. Burger. For this meal we’re going to use "Fish wedges". What the fuck is a fish wedge?! I have no idea and for that reason I can only assume it is one of the shittiest forms of fish available. I've never been to a restaurant with fish wedges on special. Don’t worry your dinner guests will have no idea either! Just tell them that you, “…have a fish monger down at the docks” that you go to for all your seafood. They’ll immediately forget about whatever version of food they’re stuffing in their face. We’re going to bake our “Crunchy Fish Wedges” in the toaster oven. As with most shitty foods, you could microwave them, but then you’d have to call them “Soggy Fish Wedges” and that would be a disservice to the box they came in.
Step 2 – Cook the chips
It’s essential that the fries are equally shitty. You don’t want one ingredient out shining the other. In terms of shittiness, they should always compliment one another. Get something frozen and thick – you always hear restaurants brag about steak cut, hand cut, artisan made, or homestyle fries as if a big fat French fry is appetizing. Anytime a restaurant has, “Hand-cut artisan” on the menu, it means they’re paying an illegal immigrant to cut potatoes in the back all day. We’ll want to achieve that same immigrant-cut vibe with our fries. These too will be cooked in the toaster oven.
Step 3 – Cook the peas
Just when this meal couldn’t get any shittier we’ve decided to add peas! Easily one of the most overrated vegetables, peas always have to be cooked with an emphasis on distraction. If you just gave a person a bowl of peas they would rightfully say to you, “Dude, what the fuck do you want me to do with these?”, but if you make peas in a variety of ways people will not only eat them, but enjoy them. How crazy is that?! Call it a sexually playful, yet disgusting name like, "A three way of pea" and see which of your guests blush the most. The rest of them will act like it's the funniest thing they've ever heard. We’re actually going to cook our peas one way (boiled) and serve them three ways, (1) overcooked and mashed, (2) cooked and semi-mashed as well as (3) undercooked and whole. This variety will have your guests saying super interesting things like, “Oh are these peas? In my humble opinion peas are one of the most underrated vegetables” which is the most pretentious thing a person can say about peas. Peas aren't memorable; nobody remembers the best peas they've ever had and nobody asks you for, "That great pea recipe" because they're shitty.
Step 4 – Plating
Typically fish and chips are appropriately served in a shitty red basket lined with wax paper. Recently on cooking shows I’ve seen people serve it in newspaper. Nice try chefs that went to chef school, but let’s take it up a notch! First start with a brown paper bag; cut it up and fold it into a plate. Why a brown paper bag? This will give you a great opportunity to tell your guests about your concern for the environment. “Guys I used a paper bag because they are biodegradable and don’t pollute our waterways like plastic bags do. Furthermore seagulls can get stuck in them and die.” (WELL WOOPDEEDOO, WHAT WOULD WE DO WITH ONE LESS SEAGULL?!) You’re guests will nod in agreement.
Don’t stop there though. Get an issue of the New Yorker and create a bed of the pages for the fish and chips to lie on top of. Your guests will be so enamored with eating their way to the cartoon that you could pretty much feed them anything.
Step 5 - Lay me down in a bed of fries
Strategically create a bed of fries with the crunchy fish wedges leaning across them. Then spread the peas across the front of the “plate” in order from mush to under-cooked. Next you’re going to want to add dipping sauces of both ketchup for the fries and tater sauce for the fish. The sauces are crucial for making this food edible since you can pretty much put ketchup on anything and have it taste exactly like ketchup. I choose a “premium tarter sauce” which doesn’t sound shitty at all, but if you look at the picture on the bottle, it looks like a cat threw up directly on a fish wedge, so this will be perfect.
For the ketchup, I don’t think I could have gone any shittier. I live in a group house and found some ketchup from the “Rite Aid” pantry which has to be some of the shittiest ketchup in the world. If you have a roommate eating Rite Aid ketchup take a little time to ask them what's happening in their lives.
I put the sauces in "Pinch pots" I'm not really sure what they are, but my girlfriend had some and they look Asian. People will assume they were well designed and that their overall condiment experience has been improved.
Step 6 – The Finishing Touches
We’re almost there guys. Slice up a little lemon and lime and pile it on top of the wedges. Be sure to provide your guests with slices rather than quarters or halves so it’s difficult for them to squeeze which punches up the pretentiousness of the meal. Add some hot sauce to the tarter sauce for color but mostly to burn the hell out of your guests’ mouths. If they can even taste the fish or chips the sea salt and malt vinegar should finish the job and completely destroy their tounge. To top it all off add a beverage; it can be any beverage so long as it’s LOCAL. A local beverage will result in an annoying, yet pretentious conversation about supporting local businesses and the greater need for sustainability which your guests will also be able to read about on their plates.
Want to impress dinner guests but you’re not a top-notch chef? Knock their socks off by making your shitty food look pretentious! Tonight we’re dining on chicken and waffles!
Step 1 - Choose and Cook Your Fried Chicken
When deciding on a shitty fried chicken look no further than your grocer's freezer. That means it's time for a Banquet! According to Wiki Banquet was founded in 1953 with the introduction of frozen meat pies. WHAT?! BANQUET CAME STRAIGHT OUT OF THE GATES WITH A MEAT PIE?! Wow a company with absolutely hope to be something special right from the start! I kind of respect them for that. You probably have a couple questions:
"So good for so little" is a telltale sign that there's no way this chicken could get any worse. "So much for so little" would have worked too. On top of that they trademarked their tagline. "WE MUST USE THIS ON ALL OF OUR PRODUCTS! THIS IS OUR CREDO"
I have to admit that the fried chicken doesn't actually look that bad! It appears both crispy and golden brown. Unfortunately it's still frozen. This is one of the reasons Banquet will last forever. You could put this chicken in a time capsule, open it 50 years later and it would be exactly the same. It really doesn't even have to be frozen; the preservatives will keep this chicken "Fresh" for eternity. The dudes from American Pickers would lose their shit if they found some dusty old chicken in the back of a barn in Tennessee. Especially if it's still in the box.
For safety purposes we'll still cook this. Use an oven. If you're poor like most of the people eating this, use your toaster oven. If you're really poor, you're probably reading this on a computer at the library. Maybe you can sneak into their break room and use their microwave.
Step 2 - Choose and Cook Your Waffles
Lucky for you, you won't have to go far to find shitty waffles. What do you know, they're also in the frozen food section. I went with some Essential Everyday homestyle waffles. Homestyle. Just like mom used to make. I have fond memories of the lazy Saturday mornings of my childhood. My mom used to take out the waffle maker and let it heat until it was simmering, she'd use the egg beaters given to her by her great grandmother to blend the homemade batter smooth. She'd take care pouring the batter in, letting it seep into each empty square with tender care and she'd cook the waffles to perfection. Then she'd wrap them in plastic and freeze the shit out of them allowing us to enjoy them 2-4 months later. Homestyle baby!
The waffles can be cooked in a similar fashion to the chicken. Oven, toaster oven, toaster or library microwave. You could also just let them sit out until they thaw.
Step 3 - Collect Additional Ingredients
Because this is such a shitty meal, we're going to need to dress it up with some additional shitty accouterments. You'll need the following:
Step 4 - Season the Gravy
The gravy is pretty nasty on it's own and costs less than $1. How could gravy possibly be something that should go in your body? Ever see gravy after it's cooled? It's just a layer of fat. Now imagine that coating your insides. We're at least going to add a bunch of green spices to it. It really doesn't matter what kind, as long as you tell your guests that you picked them right out of your herb garden. I don't care if you don't have a yard or a garden growing within your non-existent yard. Your guests will just start talking about their aspirations to start a garden on the roof of their apartment building or in the back of an old pickup truck. "Let me tell you. I know I've said this in the past, but this is the summer. I am starting a garden. I mean there's a house down the street that has three pickup trucks parked in front of it. One of the trucks...well the cab is just filled with newspapers! Newspapers! Can you believe that? They don't even drive it! I just think to myself well if you're not going to drive the truck why not plant a nice herb garden in the back bed. So I was looking up how to convert a truck into a garden. It's not EVEN that hard. Poeple do it in Scandanavia all the time. Ya know the Europeans, well they're just better at things. OK...I can see on your face that you're skeptical, but you wait. I am going to have so much kale for you this summer! You're going to be saying, "DID THIS COME FROM YOUR GARDEN?! You wait. I'll do it. You wait." This is the verbal equivalent of gravy, so it's pretty entertaining.
Step 5 - Plating
Start with the waffle. This is the most difficult component of the meal to disguise. Putting it at the bottom allows all the other nasty juices to soak into it. You're creating a waffle-sponge that will be mostly butter, syrup, gravy, and chicken grease. By the time they get to the waffle it's just a sponge full of fat. Add a side dish of syrup. You can't have chicken and waffles without syrup, but put it in a pretentious little container. That "everyday essential" already looks better!
Step 6 - Prilosec
White people LOVE pretentious food. Almost as much as white people love cocaine. Oddly enough, it’s the same people that say, “I won’t eat anything that’s processed. I won’t buy anything that isn’t fair trade. I ONLY buy local.” But when cocaine starts getting passed around you never hear them say, “Wait a minute, this isn’t processed right? It’s also fair trade? Ummm was this smuggled here in the butt of a free range drug mule?” I’m interested in good health, so we’re going to exploit that love of cocaine and turn it into a healthy alternative. This meal is full of fried food and fat which is a gastroesophageal challenge for anybody. Crush up some Priloec and spread a line out across the plate. You don't have to use Prilosec. That's the pure stuff. You could get the generic brand. It doesn't matter too much, tell your guests it's coke. You're doing them a favor. They'll trick themselves into thinking it will keep them ready to party after a big meal. How are you going to explain the fact that it doesn't look like coke at all? I don't know. Why not just lie? It's something new. The pink pieces are actually Himalayan seat salt. That will get them talking about their favorite kinds of salt. WHAT? YOU DON'T HAVE A FAVORITE KIND OF SALT?
Provide an old school $100 bill for their instrument of consumption. "Oh what?! Is this an old school hundred?!" No it's a 2006 hundred. That should almost be "vintage" enough for your guests to really enjoy it. It'll take them back to the days when they could crush chicken and waffles without consequence. Well it's been seven years of eating garbage and their stomach acid is finally betraying them. Time to get things right. Maybe you don't have a hundred dollar bill to just snort Priloec with. Use a $1 bill. Don't have a $1 bill? Rip a page out of your library book and roll that up.
Step 7 - Powder Your Chicken
We're almost there! Let's add the finishing touches to the meal. Add some little droplets of Frank's Red Hot to the plate and. If you have some confectioner sugar sprinkle it sparingly over both the chicken and waffles. I'm a 30 year old dude, so I don't have confectioner sugar. I do however have sweaty balls from time to time, so I went ahead and used Gold Bond body powder. Thanks to the pretentiousness of the meal and due to the fact that they'll be snorting Prilosec for the first time, your guests will probably be out of their mind, won't even question what they're eating and tell you it's delicious! It's not delicious. It's shitty food made pretentious.
Want to impress dinner guests but you’re not a top-notch chef? Knock their socks off by making your shitty food look pretentious! Tonight we’re dining on macaroni and cheese. Mac and cheese should be easy, as it has been popping up all over the Food Network the past few years. It’s the same thing every time – a fat white guy with man tits has a hankerin’ for some “Down home cookin’” and travels to some old black woman’s kitchen to try her “World famous mac n’ cheese”. I saw them do it so often that I began to think that maybe mac n’ cheese was a black thing. Growing up my mom used to make my brother and I mac n’ cheese and at no point was she black. I conferred with Adrianne (my black roommate/ liaison) just to make sure. She confirmed my suspicions..mac n’ cheese is not actually a black thing, but some people may disagree…
So maybe mac n’ cheese is a black thing, but making it look pretentious is certainly a white thing, so let’s get started.
We’re going to start with a standard box of mac n’ cheese. The shittiest kind available is the generic store brand, but I decided to go with Kraft mac n’ cheese for a few reasons. First, sometimes you just have the blue box blues. It’s kind of like blue balls for the ladies. No ladies want blue box at the end of the night. Am I right?! Eh? Eh? Second, if you look closely at the box that I chose, Kraft has gone ahead and taken steps to make it more pretentious! Instead of using the traditional macaroni they’ve replaced it with “mini-shell pasta”. You’re probably saying, “Wait isn’t mac n’ cheese named for the noodle macaroni?!”. IS THIS EVEN MAC N’ CHEESE ANYMORE?! Once you’re asking those questions you know you’re on the track to being a totally pretentious asshole, which is the exact track you want to be on. Now you can tell your guests, “This is really more of a creative play on mac n’ cheese.” Third, they made it a three cheesy blend! Three different cheeses?! Holy shit! Luckily I have a very refined palate for shitty food and can detect the nuances in cheese flavor when they come in a dried powder form. Pretentious people will rave about the three cheeses which is really the main goal here.
Now that you’ve got the correct mac n’ cheese picked out boil the shit out of that pasta! When you’re done strain the shit out of it too. And by shit I mean water. IMPORTANT: DO NOT BOIL YOUR PASTA IN SHIT. IT IS ONLY AN EXPRESSION.
Typically when preparing mac n’ cheese from a box you’ll return it to the pot, mix in butter, milk and the powdered cheese. Don’t do that; you’re better than that..or at least act like you’re better than that. While the pasta is boiling, mix the butter, milk and powdered cheese in a separate bowl. I went with reduced fat milk, because, as I’ve stressed before, "What're you a fat kid?" No you’re not.
Once you have all of that prepared, it’s time to get straight up pretentious with this mini-shell pasta n’ cheese. You’ll need a white plate, as we’d like the cheese to be as bright and obnoxious as possible. Your cheese should be the color of the Lakers uniforms. If it’s not you’re doing something wrong. Now it’s time to plate the pasta.
Based on the picture, you may be wondering, “Kyle, is the pasta so far away that it’s blurry?” No, there’s just so little of it on the plate that the camera was totally confused on what to focus on. That’s the perfect amount! If your camera is confused just think how confused your dinner guests will be. “How am I supposed to eat this without looking like a fat kid?!” How perfect is that? Their subconscious will force them to take tiny pretentious bites. “Oh you eat more than one noodle at a tiiiime? I’ve heard about people like you.”
A Little Side Note on Serving Size
Serving tiny portions is also a great pretentious move for any dinner party as it will allow you to impress your guests with your knowledge of the obesity problem in this country and the hunger issues around the world. Be sure to look up some stats beforehand so you seem educated, but make sure that you only reference stats from pretentious sources like Mother Jones or The New Yorker. If you can mention world hunger stats and Mother Jones in the same sentence your guests will be so impressed they’ll probably shit themselves on the spot. They’ll totally forget that you’re feeding them nothing!
Now for the cheese; we’re going to use two blends of cheeses. The shitty, ‘Three cheese” blend that came in the box as well as some shitty Parmesan cheese. FOUR CHEESES!!! Get a couple of shot glasses and fill them up with the cheeses
This is going to be way more cheese than they need which goes against everything I just said, but another part of making shitty food pretentious is distraction and confusion. The amount of cheese will keep them confused while the presentation of the cheese will also keep them distracted as they have to pour the cheese on themselves. Treat your guests like idiots too – smear some of the cheese across the plate as if to say, “See dummies…this is where the cheese goes.” Oh so pretentious.
Finally, don’t forget to hide the taste. Be sure to hit your guests with a blend of shitty spices. It really doesn’t matter what kind of spices so long as they’re colorful.
Tell them you procured the spices from your Ethiopian neighbor who had them imported from Africa on a ship that only comes in once every 3 years. You don’t have an Ethiopian neighbor?…for this meal you do and he’s the only person you get your spices from! After all his family back in Africa also happens to eat the same portion of noodles over the course of a month that you’re now serving to your guests, so at least now you can talk about it…
Want to impress dinner guests but you’re not a top notch chef? Knock their socks off by making your shitty food look pretentious! Tonight we’re eating $1 microwaveable pizzas!
First you’re going to want to make sure you select the shittiest type of pizzas possible; you can’t find that at a Safeway or Giant. You’re going to want to make a special trip to a Shoppers Food Warehouse.
Shoppers has some traditional frozen pizzas like Red Baron and DiGiorno, but you’re going to want to go to the end of the freezer case where the pizzas are only $1 a piece. If you’re paying more than a dollar then you’re in the wrong store. If they’re having a sale that is 4 for a dollar then you’re in the right place! Shoppers if full of deals on shitty food!
I decided to go balls out for this meal, so I went ahead and spent $3! How could I not? They had a combination flavor pizza! That’s my favorite! Be sure to take note of the packaging. If it say’s “Pizza for one” on there than you know it’s shitty. They’re basically saying, “Don’t worry loser, no one will be around to judge you while you eat this sad meal.” The package also say’s, “Enjoy and save!“. When the tastiest element of the food is the savings you know it’s pure shit, so why not treat yourself to all three? I’m not poor; lets cook this shit up!
You’re probably saying to yourself, “Kyle I thought you were making microwaveable pizza. Why is this being cooked in a toaster oven?” There are two reasons for the toaster oven, (1) it gives the pizza a little burned look which by the end of this will make your guests think it was made in a brick oven right there in your kitchen and (2) why rush to the saddest part of your day? A microwave only gets you there faster.
Once all three of your amazing pizza flavors are cooked, you’ll want to start plating. I don’t have any plates that are pretentious enough, but I do have married friends. My friends Scott and Megan were just married so they have all kinds of new pretentious cook and dinner ware!
I walked into their kitchen and when I saw this plate I immediately exclaimed, “What the fuck is that plate for?”. If you don’t know what the plate is for thean you do know that it’s perfectly pretentious! More of their dishware will be making future appearances, but now we’re ready to add our pizza!
An essential theme that you’ll see on this blog is that you have to cut the main course into small, nearly unrecognizable pieces. This will help mask the fact that what your guests are eating is pure crap. It also pretty pretentious to serve tiny portions. You want people to leave your dinner feeling hungry. Arrange the pieces in interesting ways and in odd numbers (I went with a set of 5). Having pizza pointing in all different directions will keep people’s eyes moving so they’ll barely notice that what they’re eating is pure crap! That brings me to another important theme for this meal: Distract, distract, distract; add enough additional things to the plate to divert the attention from the pizza itself. Your dinner guests will never realize that what they were eating cost a total of 30 cents until the next day when it’s waaaaaaaay too late.
Start by adding cracked pepper. If you don’t have cracked pepper, just use regular pepper. Get this it doesn’t really matter! Pepper tastes like pepper unless you’re an asshole. That is kind of the goal here though, so tell everyone that it’s 7 different types of cracked pepper. Regardless of the kind of pepper you have always apply at least 18 inches above the plate. Let me be clear, this does absolutely nothing except get pepper all over the place, but I’ve seen chef’s do it on T.V. and it seems to be the most pretentious way to apply pepper.
Next add some Parmesan cheese. Shitty Parmesan cheese in one of those big green plastic bottles is preferred. Sort out a few of the big chunks and drop them from 12 inches above the plate. They’ll explode all over the plate and which will make it look like the ingredients were just spilling right off the pizza! Spreading out the ingredients will force people to smear everything together. I’ve found that giving people a task while eating helps take their mind off the food. By that point you’ll be having them ask themselves, “Where am I Olive Garden?!“
We’re well on our way now, but we need to make this pizza feel like it was made in the home country by an old Italian chef. Lets add the rest of the colors from the Italian flag. Thinly slice some Roma tomatoes and stratergically place them on the plate. “Kyle are Roma tomoatoes all the way from Rome?” Of course not. They’re from a greenhouse and they’re the cheapest and shittiest version of tomato that the store has to offer. We’ll slice them so thin no one will know the difference.
Next add some basil for the green in the Italian flag. DO NOT USE FRESH BASIL!!!!! I don’t care if you have some, it will taste far too good and people will know something is up. Dried basil is best.
At this point I think this plate would go for about $20 at Ristorante de Giovanni Garibaldi. Oh you’ve never heard of that restaurant or that chef? No one has. I made them up, but when people ask who I learned to cook such amazing pizza from I always tell them it was Chef Garibaldi. Just went up to $25. Now add some olive oil – extra virgin…not that sloppy seconds olive oil. The oil will allow people to smear all this together which I mentioned before.
How can this $3 meal possibly get more pretentious? Sprinkle some cheddar cheese on that shit and put it back in the over to really bring it on home! Even though we only used two cheeses, tell them it’s a three cheese blend. I don’t know why, but people like three cheese blends. Also when you put it on the counter for serving, remind people that you’ve traveled to Italy by putting out pictures of Italy and some wine. No one likes to get one upped by travel stories and your guests will start telling their travel stories which is to important to the taste.
“When we were in Florence we found this little cafe owned by an old Italian couple that we went to everyday for a slice of pizza. It had been in their family for 250 generation and they had the freshest ingrediants right from the hills of Tuscany. I think we were the only ones that knew about it“
Ha it was all a ploy! Little do they know that the pleasant memories will just trigger the release of endorphins; before they know it they’ll be licking their plate by the end of the meal and begging for more.
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Want to impress dinner guests but you’re not a top notch chef? Knock their socks off by making your shitty food look pretentious! Tonight we’re eating Ramen!
First start with any flavor of Ramen. It all pretty much takes like salty broth, so this part really doesn’t matter, but please take note of the picture on the Ramen. They already went ahead and tried to make their ten cent soup look more pretentious! Nice try guys, but you can do better. Keep reading!
Cook that shitty food up! Feel free to overcook it. It’s going to look so pretentious by the end of this you’re guests are going to be asking you if you’re Asian! A boy can dream right?
These noodles are good and overcooked, but you’ll want to eat them soon enough. Put the bowl on something that is made of wood or stone. I only had a nice wooden cake tray, but if you can get some sort of slab of an oak tree with the bark still on it you’ll really win over your guests! I always say, when trying to be snobby, the more blue collary the better. People lap up the juxtaposition of it all.
Now you can address how your guests are going to eat this shit. This is where you utilize the remnants of Chinese delivery. I found some chopsticks and a fortune cookie. Don’t just set the chopsticks down! Prop them on the shitty fortune cookie. Soup and a cookie? This is almost a real meal! The beauty of the chopsticks is that at no point will any of your guests ask you, “Dude how the fuck am I supposed to eat soup with chopsticks?”. They’ll likely instead mention how they’re embarrassed when they go to an Asian restaurant with co-workers and Pete from HR always asks for a fork.
Next we need to add a little color to take everyone’s mind off of what they’re actually eating. Lets add Sriracha in an interesting pattern. Isn’t that just hot sauce with Asian lettering? OF COURSE IT IS! THAT’S WHAT MAKES IT SO PRETENTIOUS!!!! People will be saying things like, “Oh my god is this Sriracha?” and “I loooooooooove Sriracha. I put it on everything!” Of course you put it on everything because it makes the shitty food you’re eating taste like hot sauce. Pho places have been doing this for years.
Now let’s get a couple more colors in there to really, Bring it on Home! Add in any type of leaf that you want. I used spinach because I was eating this, but seriously go outside and take some grass clippings maybe a few Maple leaves just make sure you arrange it like an asshole would. Your guests won’t know whether to eat it or if it’s just for show, but won’t want to ask when presented with a meal that looks this obnoxious. Instead they’ll be saying, “I love how you arranged the leaves like a lotus flower to really bring out the Asian influences. How whimsical.” Oh thank you, now please figure out a way to slit your wrists with those chopsticks I gave you. Throw some apples in there for no reason at all and your guests will just about crap their pants on the spot! They’ll leave thinking they had an amazing meal and isn’t that what a dinner party is all about anyway? Tricking people into thinking you’re a better person than you really are?
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