Tuesday, January 29, 2013

******...Hobo Chef Wins 3rd Place in Chicken Wing Contest!!! (good thing too, the winner has to cook during the Super Bowl, and the Hobo Chef is from Baltimore, GO RAVENS!!!!!

Hobo Wings

A dozen or do so wings, tips cut off and wings split
8 packets of Heinz ketchup
2 to 4 packets each of the following:
duck sauce
soy sauce
Chinese hot mustard
cayenne sauce
Taco Bell’s Fire sauce
Texas Pete hot sauce
3 -4 packets of butter melted(take the butter out of the packets first!)

Mix the sauce up starting with all the Heinz ketchup then adding and tasting as you go. Add the melted butter about halfway through and then adjust packet amounts accordingly.  Any other hot sauce that you have around is fair game too . As for the wings, all the other "chefs" went on about how they brined their chicken(guess that’s why they’re “real” chefs). My wings spent the night marinating in Rogue’s Voodoo Doughnuts beer, a bit pricey but it had maple, bacon and smoke flavors and it pairs well with hobo chefs and their friends. I fried up a package of Dollar Tree turkey bacon( 2 packages might have worked better though.   The winning chef wrapped his wings in bacon, I swear, you could wrap a turd in bacon and people would eat it and like it!) and used the bacon grease to coat the wings and seasoned them with purloined salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne.  Baked them for 30 min. at 425°, and that got ‘em crispy.  Then I  turned them over and gave them about another 15 or so min. Your oven is probably more like, uh, a real oven than mine so just keep checking them. Then I just sauced them and watched as people hesitantly tried them and then liked them!  I think calling them Hobo Wings followed by the words, ”save those condiment packets” probably worked against me…

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Lucky New Year Hobo Skillet Mess
Everybody knows Hoppin John is a good luck New Years Day meal, just try to find any black eyed peas to cook with on New Year's Eve...ain't gonna happen.  But here's a little known New Year's Day luck food I got from my Aunt Jo and Uncle John; lentils!  Supposedly every lentil you eat on New Year's Day equals a dollar you'll make in the New Year.  Must have been a depression era thing or something from the Old Country because these days you could eat triple your body weight in lentils and still be poor, maybe even as poor as the hobo chef!  Hopefully there was an inflation factor or cost of living allowance applied to lentils somewhere along the way...

Anyhow,  this recipe is cheap, simple and uses both lentils and black eyed peas to up the luck ante.   Feel free to throw in some old lottery tickets if you think it'll help...


2 tbs vegetable oil
1 small onion chopped
2 small/regular carrots cut into coins
1 small green pepper chopped
1/2 cup lentils
1/2 cup rice
1 15 oz can of broth (whatever is on sale) or water (you're the the one that's gotta eat it!)
A generous pinch, palmful, fistful of cayenne powder
A generous pinch, palmful, fistful of garlic powder
1 15 oz can (drained) of black eyed peas

Making the Mess:

Heat oil in a regulation sized skillet.  Dump in everything but the broth and beans.  Cook/sweat over medium high heat until veggies start to soften, somewhere in the 5 minute neighborhood.  Stir it around now and then so the rice and lentils don't stick, means more work and less food if they do.  Toss in the broth and magic beans (black eyed peas, dummy; pay attention!).  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a rice cookin' simmer for about 25 minutes.  

Put this stuff in bowls and add hot sauce.  I like Tabasco.  Eat like it's a free meal and/or your future depends on it 

Here's hopin' ya get lucky!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Southwestern Stuffed Chicken with Mexican Rice Fakeout
*read all directions first, unless you're a guy...

Two of the most beautiful words in the grocery store language are "manager's special". When I see that boneless, skinless chicken cutlets half-price, day of or we'll throw it out manager special, you better believe I grab it!  It's like Chicken Marsala made easy. But let's just say your Marsala "evaporatored" since the last time you used it, and you got no 'shrooms, now what? Confusion cuisine!

 Let's face it, those tenders, breasts, cutlets, whatever, are pretty skinny. Real easy to pound paper thin and roll up like a tortilla. So what to put in it? That's easy. Let's journey back to my vegetarian days. Way before Rachael Ray I found a great 30 min. meal in an issue of Vegetarian Times for black bean burritos. They're quick, cheap, and easy; real easy! All you'll need is a tomato, half an onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, a can of black beans and some chili powder. Dice the onion and tomato the way you would cut a blooming onion (so you get a fine dice)and chop up the garlic. Sauté the onion for a couple of minutes, medium-high heat, open your beans( any basic, on sale 15 ounce can), add the garlic then dump in your beans and tomatoes. Add a couple of teaspoons of chili powder and let this mess cook down. Now let's get fancy. 

You'll need a jar of medium salsa. No matter what salsa you pick your always wrong so go with medium. Kind of like Goldilocks and the porridge except none of them are just right...hot's too hot for most people, medium's too hot for some people and mild, uh, that's called ketchup. You'll also need to cook half a cup of rice, make or get some shredder cheese and pound out those chicken breasts; holy crap, this is turning into work! I recommend putting your chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap before pounding. In the old days we used waxed paper but that was 20th century analog cooking. The plastic wrap keeps the salmonella/splatter factor down considerably.You see where this is going?

Okay, let your black bean mess thicken and cool down some.Cook your rice and lay out your chicken breasts. Put a very generous tablespoon or two of bean mess near the end of each breast. Top with some shredder cheese and roll them up. Seam side up, seam side down, it doesn't seem to matter. Now grease a casserole dish and put a little salsa in the bottom. Lay the roll ups in the dish and top with salsa and some more cheese. Put your oven at about 350(preheated of course), cover your dish with foil and give it a good 25 min. Your rice should be at least 5 min. or 10 min.done by now, so at this point check your chicken. Give the chicken another good 5 or 10 min. in the oven with the foil off.*Remember, stick a fork or a meat thermometer or your finger in the chicken to make sure it's done! When it's just about done go back to that sauté pan toss in some rice and salsa. Heat the rice and salsa through and serve with the chicken roll ups. It looks classy, sort of, and people might even thing you can cook, except for that fussy, assed bitch, Goldilocks!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hobo Bi Bim Bop

Bi Bim Bop ( or bibimbbap) is a Korean dish, messy and needlessly complicated. Feel free to look up the real deal but the hobo version would be something like, Ramen noodles, hobo marinated(MD 20/20 Orange Jubelilee or Electric Melon, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and onion powder and of course our old friend, Old Bay...feel free to add more or less) strips of your favorite protein, which of course you would fry up... thawed and nuked frozen veggies and greens(I'd go with spinach), 'shrooms, lotsa hotsa sauce, topped off with a fried egg or two. Send pix of the crime scene when yer done!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fish Story

There'a alot of do’s and don’ts in cooking and here’s a major DON’T!  A lot of you may know this already, in which case you’re wasting your time reading this, but you won’t  know that until you’ve read it.  This either ironic or moronic, I’m  not sure…  Anyhow, there’s a saying that goes something like,”Fish and houseguests start to stink after 3 days”.   Well, thanks  to modern(?) technology fish can stink a whole lot faster.   I had some leftover fried fish chunks from the night before's catfish Po Boys so I turned them into fish tacos, using my microwave, which is fine, IN THE PRIVACY OF MY OWN APARTMENT!!!!!, oh yeah, and I had the fan in the window on exhaust.  Now I don’t have the greatest sense of smell which is how this whole thing started in the first place. 

Coupla weeks earlier I took some leftovers to the guitar store where I hang out and and am occasionally productive.  I made a curry that called for way too much rice, so I had all this extra curried rice in desperate need of something.  The only other leftovers I had were some fried fish chunks from the night before so I tossed ‘em in with the rice …those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat themselves, or their lunch.  I was in a hurry the next morning, so I grabbed my leftover concoction that I had planned to eat at home, alone that night and headed off to the guitar store.  Good thing I waited ‘til near closing time to nuke this stink bomb.  Now , mind you, I did not smell this. And I swear on my grandmom’s grave (wait  ‘til we get to her recipes and cooking secrets, they’re actually really, really good!)  that microwaving leftover fish was like setting off a neutron bomb.  Needless to say, there was what is known in the retail business as a BD, or business decline.  When I left at closing time[O1] , I’m sure the store’s proprietor was glad to see the back of my head getting smaller and smaller. 

Morale of the story, don’t nuke the whales or fish, unless they come in box with Mrs’ Pauls on the front!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rockstar inspired recipes:

I think it was Homer Simpson that said, "Rock stars, is there anything they can't teach us?".  It's always good to know a rockstar. Two words from Kenn Kweder,  Dinty Moore inspired these three dishes! The first two are simple variations on a theme. All you need is a casserole dish, something to grease it with, a couple of cans of Dinty Moore beef stew (or one really big one) and either instant mashed potatoes or Stovetop stuffing (a cheap storebrand version will do). Grease your casserole dish, dump in enough Dinty Moore (fill the dish to about halfway to a little less than two thirds full). Now, make up your instant mashed potatoes or stuffing according to package directions.  If you choose to use instant mashed potatoes to top Dinty Moore casserole you would be making a hobo Shepherd’s pie. If however you go stuffing route, you would be making a hobo beef potpie, either way it goes in the oven at about 350° for 20-25 min. Check it after 20 min. to see if it's set up, ie: knife test it.
Now the third dish. This one is based on a regional favorite in the Minnesota Iron Range(Dylan) and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (The Stooges, Alice Cooper, Nugent, the White Stripes, etc.). It's a little more complicated and no less hobo. Once again you'll need Dinty Moore. This time though you're going to be using it to fill meat pies known as pasties, no, there are no sweaty dollar bills involved! .  You’ll need, a box of storebrand rollout piecrust, some flour, a six-inch or so inch diameter bowl, an empty 40 bottle and a knife. Do not get pie shells they won't work for this! You will also need something to thicken up the Dinty Moore, either 2 tablespoons each of butter and flour or small glass of cold water and cornstarch.
Get out a pot for the Dinty Moore. If you want to go the flour and butter route (a roux) start by melting 2 tablespoons of butter in the pot.  Then slowly add new flour as you whisk it into the butter. Keep whisking until it reaches a light brown color then add your Dinty Moore. Keep stirring, you don't want Lumpy Gravy (again, is there anything rock stars can't teach us?). Cook this uncovered until it thickens up and can be spooned out without being runny. If you want to go the cornstarch and water method just start out by pouring the Dinty Moore right into the pot. Mix up a teaspoon of cornstarch in a small glass of cold water (a slurry) and slowly stir into the Dinty Moore, again leaving it uncovered to thicken.

Meanwhile, unroll the rollout piecrust onto a floured surface. Place your bowl over the piecrust and cut out as many rounds as you can. Flour your hands and take the leftover pieces of piecrust and mash them all together. Spread some flour and rollout your mashed piecrust dough mess with empty 40 bottle(rolling pin).  Use your bowl and knife and cut out as many rounds as you can. I think you know where this is going. Spoon some Dinty Moore into the center of each round. Be generous but not over generous. At this point fold the rounds in half and crimp the seams were edges. Take your knife and cut some cool looking vent slits in the top of each meat pie. If you're in a Martha Stewart kind of mood, feel free to bust open an egg, beat it and give the pasties an egg wash.  Put some aluminum foil on a baking dish or anything that won't melt in the oven, grease the foil and bake your pasties at 350°. Check them at about 15 min. then maybe 20 min. or until they look like something from a restaurant.  Hobo pasties!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Peasant Food/Hobo Food

My friend, Rich, got back from Italy a few weeks ago. He raved about the food in Venice. He said, few ingredients, not a lot of preparation, delicious! This reminds me of the time that my artist friend, Irene Woodbury stayed over at my place when she was going up the East Coast selling her art books, they are amazing!. She spent a lot of time in Italy, and now lives there. She made a pasta dish for me one night.  Now I was never a big mushroom fan, the thought of eating fungus always kind of creeped me out. She said, “ trust me”. The dish consisted of one simple tomato, finely chopped mushrooms, olive oil, and a clove or two of garlic. She chopped the shrooms, put them in the heated oil in the pan and cooked them down to a meat like consistency. While this was going on she boiled the pasta and chopped up the tomato. Somewhere along the line I'm sure garlic was involved. The tomatoes went in after the shrooms and cooked into a sauce. She put the sauce on the pasta. Simple right? Not much going on ,right? Two words,” mouth magic”! Absolutely, one of the best meals I've ever eaten in my entire life!
Now I have a ton of cookbooks, subscriptions to two cooking magazines, lots of recipes, nice pictures, but none of them can touch this dish. The lesson here is that fancy doesn't equal better, expensive doesn't equal better,… How many snobs does it take to screw in a lightbulb, make you an overpriced meal and then browbeat you into thinking it's really great, when it really isn't? Don't believe the hype!