The Writers' Room

The Writers' Room
Geek Eats: Junk Food Edition

Elizabeth Grunewald | 28 Dec 2010 20:46
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Saturday is the first day of 2011, which means Friday is the last day we can eat badly without being scolded about it. Whether you set a resolution or not, you will soon be inundated with diet tips, and even if you're like me and ignore them all, it takes some of the fun out of eating terrible-for-you foods. This week is our last chance to get some guilt-free foods in under the radar, and these are my top six picks for geek-inspired junk food. Enjoy in good health.

BACON SANDWICHES

"Today a child is born unto us, and his name will be bacon." Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness

Scott Pilgrim has a thing or two to learn about life, and by "life," I mean "nutrition." Breakfast consists of a whole plate of bacon, and he hasn't yet grasped the correlation between carbohydrates and, well, weight. It seems only appropriate that he would enjoy this sandwich, a combination of two of his favorite things. Yes, the bread is not garlic bread. If you're really upset about the omission, try a garlicky aioli instead of mayonnaise. Otherwise, you know, deal with it.

I know this recipe seems so simple as to not be a recipe at all, but hear me out. This is my favorite sandwich. I tell people, and they say things like, "Ew," and "That sounds awful," and "Bread makes you fat." Ignore the Ramonas in your life and give this sandwich a chance. It may not keep you totally svelte, but it's worth every calorie.

  • 1/2 package (5-6 slices) thick-cut bacon
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • good-quality white, country, or sourdough bread, sliced thick (adjust thickness to your sandwich-eating preference)
  • butter

Fry the bacon, preferably in a cast-iron skillet, to your bacon-eating preference. Set aside on a paper-towel covered plate.

Allow the skillet to cool for a minute, then wipe out the bacon grease. Do not burn yourself on hot grease; this sandwich is good, but it's not worth being burned over.

Butter bread on both sides, toast lightly in skillet until golden brown.

Slather bread with mayonnaise. Fill with bacon. Sandwich it up, and enjoy.

ISOTOPE DOG SUPREME

"That's the kind of bold flavor they enjoy in ... Albuquerque!" The Simpsons, "Hungry Hungry Homer"

One of the few times we ever saw Homer Simpson not eating was his hunger strike against the Springfield Isotopes management. Accepting this hot dog from Duffman would have been the ultimate betrayal of all his principles, and his hunger strike would have been for naught. Luckily, the regional flavors of this ballpark treat served to prove his claims, and Homer was validated -- and fed -- by a thankful stadium of Isotopes fans.

Sure, the hot dog was the embodiment of lies and deceit. For an animated hot dog, though, it looked pretty tasty. A little busy, perhaps, with the mesquite-grilled onions, jalapeño relish, and mango-lime salsa, but an exciting departure from ketchup, mustard, and delicious but common pickle relish. If you live somewhere gripped by the icy fist of winter, this should bring a little sunshine to your belly.

  • Your favorite brand hot dog (I guess you can use turkey or tofu dogs, if you really want to)
  • hot dog buns
  • butter
  • 1 small mango, cut into small cubes
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 white onion, sliced (keep whole if you're cooking on an outdoor grill)
  • 1- 2 small jalapeño peppers, carefully seeded and chopped
  • 1 small lime
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • small bunch cilantro

If you're grilling, wrap the white onion in tinfoil and stick it on the grill. If you're indoors, toss your sliced onions in a skillet with a little butter and cook slowly, until brown and caramelized.

Cook hot dogs on the grill (outdoors) or griddle (indoors). Lightly butter hot dogs buns, and toast them similarly.
Toss mango, red onion, jalapeño to taste, and cilantro (also to taste; I find cilantro a little overwhelming, so I tend to cut back) in a bowl. Juice the lime, and add the juice and salt; toss gently.

If outdoor grilling, carefully retrieve your onion and slice it even more carefully.

Assemble your Isotope Dog Supreme: Bun, hot dog, onions, salsa. Feel free to sprinkle additional jalapeño on top, if you can handle it. You won't be saying "me so hung-y" anytime soon.

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