meal twenty-four: buffalo balls, yakitori chicken, green papaya salad and lemongrass chicken, chili sauce

Wife: While perusing the many posts of this blog and chuckling to yourself at the misery Chris and Allie are in, you may have said to yourself “Who is this wife that we keep hearing about? Who lets Chris and Allie get into crazy antics such as this? I wonder what her life is like”. Well, dear readers, I am that wife. And I’m ready to tell my story. 

Many moons ago, Allie lived very far away in a land called California. To stay connected, Chris and Allie would come up with crazy ideas that they could churn into a blog, a podcast, whatever. One of these ideas was creating a Guy Fieri blog in the likes of Julie & Julia. At the time I thought it was a really funny idea, but it was mostly in theory since I knew Allie lived far away and it probably wouldn’t pan out. Little did I know, Allie would decide to move to Chicago a few months later. I was so excited for her to live in Chicago! We would hang out all the time! Little did I know what I would be in for. 

The fear started to set in when Allie came over one day after she was all settled into her new apartment and they started counting how many recipes they would need to cook in 1 year to complete the book. And it got worse when I saw how complicated the recipes were. When I let my concerns be known, Chris said to me “You should have known when you married me that you would have to watch me create a blog where I cook terrible Guy Fieri food each week for a year.” I sighed, and ceded that he was right. After 10 years of dating even before we tied the knot, I knew what I had signed up for. 

As with marriage, my job in this blog has mostly become the role of supporter and encourager. And not just for Chris. It’s like when I got married I started playing a game of Jumanji, but when I opened the box my kitchen turned into a weird crazy jungle full of dirty dishes and bats and then a feral bearded person came running at me and it turned out to be Allie and she never left my apartment and now we are married. I’m the one who says to them, “Hey, it’s 7:30pm and you guys haven’t started cooking. I’m going to eat my hand soon, so can you please get this going?” Or when they lie on the couch defeated, I’m the one who picks up the recipe book and says “this recipe doesn’t look too bad, why don’t you try this one next?” Allie has told me repeatedly that this blog would have died long ago if it hadn’t been for my pestering, I mean, encouragement.

Even though I complain and joke about how terrible my life has become from this blog, I really have had a lot of fun. It’s very entertaining getting to watch them both slowly go insane firsthand. And when a recipe comes out better than we expected, it feels like a true victory. It’s also an excuse to hang out with the 3 of us every week which is a lot of fun and usually leaves one of us in tears, sometimes even from laughing. 

IMG_1949.JPG

Wife: Oh yea, so I guess I was supposed to talk about the food we ate for this meal. We ate buffalo chicken meatballs which were actually pretty good. They were a little mushy and soft on the inside because they were chicken and not pork or beef. It almost tasted as if they weren’t cooked, even though Chris insisted they were, so I trust him. The flavor was pretty good, especially when you doused them in blue cheese. I would give them 3.5/5 bad CGI monkeys. 

Chris: See, guys I told you I had a wife. I was talking to my Dad about the blog, and he said I should be careful that people "don't get the wrong idea" about Allie's and my relationship. I don't think anyone who's a regular reader of this blog (all six of you!) could possibly get the wrong idea. It's just impossible to see someone who you've seen eat cabbage out of the garbage can as a possible romantic partner. We have the opposite of sexual tension--we have a Guy Fieri blog. Also, Allie is gay. Yup, that pretty much seals the deal. 

Anyway, now on to the balls. Allie and I decided to make a variety of ball meals, for some reason. We had a ball doing it. Just kidding. We did not. First we made these buffalo balls*. They were ground chicken + bleu cheese crumbles + ground up ritz crackers. We then rolled them in more ground up ritz crackers, deep fried them, and then baked them. They were pretty good, but they were a ton of work for what they were. They needed to sit in the fridge congealing for 4 hours, plus they needed to be deep fried AND baked. The best part was the awesome/beautiful song I had been singing to Allie: "BUFFALO BALLS WON'T YOU COME OUT TONIGHT, COME OUT TONIGHT, COME OUT TONIGHT..." Chris's rating: 4 out of 5 beautiful buffalo ball lullabies

*NOTE: These were surprisingly not buffalo testicles

Allie: Holy wow were these a lot of work for a casual game-day snack. I mean, I'm not a big sports person, but I know a thing or two about sitting on a couch during a football game, eating lots of chips and dip and yelling "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! KISS! KISS! KISS!" at sweaty men, and then going to watch Tori Amos music videos on my phone in the kitchen while mainlining handfuls of Doritos. These tasted fine, but they literally took FIVE HOURS to make, and they kind of tasted like bland, mushy crackers. The sauce was good because it was hot sauce mixed with butter, and I'm always looking for new ways to get my recommended 8 servings of hot sauce mixed with butter a day. But I don't think that these are going to be replacing my signature Superbowl party snacks (a bag of Doritos and half a bottle of red wine) any time soon!!! Allie's rating: 3 out of 5 times I yelled at Chris for singing that dumb buffalo ball song

IMG_1957.JPG

Wife: Next we had Yakitori chicken. I literally have nothing to say about it. This isn’t my blog, I shouldn’t have to explain to you in 5 different ways how this wasn’t good. I would give it a 1/5 Jumanji sequels nobody asked for. 

Chris: Yup these weren't good. They were dry and crumbly and sort of tasted like meatloaf, if meatloaf was used as a low-cost packing material to safely ship electronics coast to coast. Basically I had to put chicken breast and bunch of other crap in a food processor to make chicken mush. Then I made little meatballs and put them in ginger-infused boiling water. THEN, I grilled them. It can never be easy, Guy, can it? Just once I want him to be like: here is a recipe. Put a thing in another thing and you're done. I didn't really know what to expect when I started this project, but I'm consistently surprised how laborious all of Guy's recipes are. I guess I thought he was lazy. It's probably the frosted tips. Anyway, like I said, these were terrible. Chris's rating: 1 out of 5 lil' balls of disappointment

Allie: I mean, these weren't TERRIBLE, but they weren't great. They were no grilled ketchup, but they were certainly pretty bland and dry. The other day I was eating hot stew and then I sneezed and a bunch of stew came out of my face and I can say with a reasonable degree of confidence that I'd rather sneeze stew all over myself again than have to eat more of these balls. I think that sentence just destroyed any sexual tension I could have ever had with any living creature. YOU'RE WELCOME, AMERICA/CHRIS'S DAD Allie's rating: 1.5 out of 5 stew sneezes

IMG_1956.JPG

Wife: Then we had lemongrass chicken with mango salad. I enjoyed how light and fresh this tasted compared to the rest of the dishes we ate that day. I think the mango was actually supposed to be papaya, and Allie and Chris will probably tell you a whole story about why they couldn’t get the correct fruit. It still worked for me though. The chicken was pretty bland, per usual with GF, so I stuck mostly to the salad. This one gets a 3/5 Judy and Peter Shepards. 

Chris: Oh, yea it was supposed to be papaya! First, I forgot that papaya and pomegranate were two different things. So I was looking everywhere at the store for pomegranate. Finally, I asked someone who worked there, and a very nice gentleman named Martin directed me over to the salad bar where they had it by the pound! After I scooped it into my little container, I realized, "ah crap, I was supposed to get papaya." Discreetly, I slipped the pomegranate back into the salad bar without Martin seeing. Then, I had to find papaya, but I couldn't ask Martin, because he would see I didn't have pomegranate! So I had to find another, non-Martin, employee and ask for papaya. Finally, I found someone who literally laughed and said "You know this is Chicago in October, right?" No, man I didn't! Your store was so luxurious and lush with fresh fruit that I thought I was in a tropical fruit bazaar in the Caribbean! Just kidding, of course I know I'M IN A JEWEL OSCO IN A STRIP MALL. Anyway, I subbed mango in. Also, last week I went back to that same Jewel and they had papaya! So, that other guy can suck an egg. 

Oh, this food was fine. Chris's rating: 3 out of 5 mean Jewel dudes.

Allie: I don't have any wacky stories about the food store. Sometimes I go to the food store and a lady in front of me is only buying wine and lunch meat and then I think "is that me in the future?" and then I have to check the picture of myself I keep in my wallet to see if I've started to fade away. This tasted OK, but using mango instead of papaya wasn't ideal, since mango doesn't really have any crunch to it, and it was a little too sweet for my taste. I also thought that the dressing for the salad was a little overpowering. However, I would rather eat this again than sneeze stew out of my face, so I think that's a win for Guy. I would also like a Nobel Prize for Kindness for not endlessly mocking Chris for confusing pomegranate and papaya. They have literally nothing in common except for the letter p. That would be like if I tried to buy pasta and instead I bought the Pope. Whoooo I know that joke was terrible let me have this please Allie's rating: 3 out of 5 papa-ya taking these puns for pomegranate?

IMG_1944.JPG

Chris: Haha, I almost forgot that this recipe called for chili sauce in the salad dressing! And that is unfortunate because that is a separate recipe! If you remember our grilled ketchup fiasco from 2 weeks ago, you will know how disappointed we were to learn that Guy started off this recipe by saying "Introducing Grilled Ketchup's wild cousin." I was so mad to find this out that I deliberately hid this from Allie, and then filmed her reaction. It was mostly screaming and crying. I will say, unlike the grilled ketchup, this actually worked. It wasn't delicious or anything but it did taste like food that was supposed to be consumed by humans. Maddeningly, the recipe makes 1.5 cups of chili sauce and you only need 1 teaspoon (!!) for this recipe. Even more maddeningly, the yakitori chicken ALSO calls for chili sauce, but Guy recommends using store-bought sauce for that recipe! I am going to find a street to lie down in. Chris's rating: 1 out of 5 pointless teaspoons of homemade chili sauce.

Allie: Most importantly: this sauce had to be COOKED DOWN for 25 minutes, which meant that it achieved the consistency of actual sauce. This was great news, because, lest you forget, I have cried literal tears that were thicker than the ketchup that we made. This sauce had tomatoes and chili flakes in it and it tasted... fine. I just really don't want to gloss over the fact that Guy Fieri made two sauces and claimed that they are cousins. What is this, Game of Thrones? Do we need ketchup to have a wild cousin? What am I doing with my life? Allie's rating: 2 out of 5 tomato family reunions ending in disaster

IMG_1946.JPG

Final Summary

Total dishes made: 68/157

Worst sentence in one of these recipes: "Shoulda been called smack-itori"

Total number of balls made: 39

Chris: I'm getting kind of worried there's some secret third mutation of the grilled ketchup we don't know about yet.

Allie: Not calling your wife by her actual name has given this post a real Handmaid's Tale vibe. For the record, her name is Ofchris

Like us on Facebook and Instagram