meal thirty-seven: fieri-thon part 1

Note: This post was so long and contained so many dishes that we decided to divide it into two posts.

Chris: Like waking up on Christmas morning and finding Santa Claus dead on the floor or forgetting a tuna sandwich in your minivan that you parked at the airport in the August heat before flying away for a week-long vacation, there are some horrors that are essentially limitless and cannot be prepared for, no matter what steps you take. Going into this blog over a year ago, I did not prepare myself for the constant indignities I would face week to week. The pain has evolved from funny “haha,” to so sad it’s funny, to not funny just sad, to just about everyone we know just asking “Are you ok? You look terrible.” And it was with this sentiment on our minds that we hosted our first ever Telethon to raise money for OURSELVES because we have suffered more than anyone on this planet. Even the Chilean miners got a book deal and all they had to do was sit in a hole for like a week. I have been slowly poisoned for the last year and all I’ve gotten is this weird rash.

Among the many parts of this book that should be against the terms of the Geneva Convention, a solid 1/3 of the recipes in this cookbook take over EIGHT HOURS to make. Several recipes take 24 hours+ to make, and one little number takes A WEEK. This again begs the question of who is this cookbook for? I cannot imagine the venn diagram of people who love Guy Fieri enough to buy his book and the people who love pate so much they want to make it from scratch, cook it for four hours, and then refrigerate it for 24 hours has much overlap. Maybe I’m being a snob, but sadly, I think I can confidently say, without exaggeration, that Allie and I have likely cooked more Guy Fieri recipes than anyone else on the planet other than Guy himself. That’s sobering, huh? And based on that, I’m probably one of the world’s foremost experts on his food. And based on that, I can say NO ONE WANTS TO SPEND 30 HOURS OF THEIR LIFE MAKING HOME MADE GUY FIERI PATE THAT IS MOSTLY GROUND PORK AND BACON.

Because there are so many recipes that take ALL DAY to make, Allie and I decided we needed a day where we just cooked for hours on end to knock them out, because there was no way we were going to have time to do them after work. We livestreamed the whole thing, but you don’t really need to watch it. Allie mostly just stands there looking into the camera and talking about a dog she imagined that is made out of recycled cans, while I SLAVED away. We had 4-5 things cooking at any given time, so the whole thing is pretty much a blur. They say after childbirth your body releases hormones that makes you forget how painful the whole thing was, so you’ll want to have more kids. I think my body saw how much stress I was under and released that same hormone, because I can barely remember anything that happened and now I want to have like six kids.

 raw pate

raw pate

First up, we made the Petaluma pate. As I’ve referenced above, this was a harrowing journey unto itself. To start, the recipe made enough to serve 56 (!!) people. Allie and I decided the most we could reduce the recipe--without losing our minds doing like quantum calculus to measure minuscule portions--was to quarter it. Basically, we laid raw bacon down in a bread pan. Then, I had to take chicken livers and put them in a food processor, which kind of sounded like a frog getting run over by a car, or all my hopes and dreams being crushed in a food processor. Next, since like all of the recipes called for pork, we bought one giant piece of pork to save money, and so we cut off chunks and used the meat grinder to make ground pork. We combined all of that with spices, eggs, and breadcrumbs and cooked it for several hours. Then, we had to weigh it down with heavy cans and eat it 24 hours later. Honestly, this was a ton of work, and it didn’t particularly taste like pate. It wasn’t as awful as it looked, but the nicest thing I can say about it is that it tasted like old meatloaf. Chris’s rating: 2 out of 5 chicken livers I had to pull apart with my hands and they made this weird ripping sound

Allie: I don't eat a lot of pate because I'm not a fucking Rockefeller but I have spent a fair amount of time in Petaluma and that makes me qualified to deem this pate a hate crime to the good people of Petaluma, who, without exception, are all rosy-cheeked dairy farmers and sun-dappled beer wizards. This pate was wet and its mere PRESENCE in my kitchen made my kitchen smell like wet bacon for three days, despite the fact that I spend more time cleaning my kitchen after Guy Fieri food has been in it than those dudes on Breaking Bad spend dissolving human bodies. I also find it pretty appalling that Guy Fieri thinks eggs are too gross to eat but he is fine whipping up a three-meat pate in a blender? And like who is making pate outside of Wayne Manor in 2018? Didn't Occupy Wall Street shut that shit down? Fuck Guy Fieri. Allie's rating: 1 out of 5 occupy wall street jokes that are seven years overdue

 cooked (?!) pate

cooked (?!) pate

Chris: I should mention briefly that we also knocked out a second recipe here, the herbs de Sonoma. It had its own separate entry in the back of the book, but it is only called for in this disgusting pate. It was just a mix of spices. The dumbest part was that the recipe made an ENTIRE JAR of seasoning, while the pate only needed a tablespoon. I’m not gonna even rate this one. It was just some spices. It’d be like if I started rating AIR or MARVEL MOVIES. They’re all the same, man.

Allie: This is my kind of Guy Fieri cooking: throwing a bunch of loose spices in a bowl while yell-singing CAN DOG/HE'S A DOG MADE OF CANS/HE WALKS AROUND/HE SOLVES SOME CRIMES. Poor Can Dog. He can (CAN) travel through time and space but he couldn't stop Enron from happening because he was just a dog made of cans. This herb mixture was terrible because the only thing I tasted in the pate was wet meat and salt. If I were a dog made out of dog, as opposed to a dog made of cans, I'm sure I would have loved it, but alas, I am a human made of tears and spite and thus I did not care for it. Allie's rating: 3 (?)... out of... 5 (?) ... herbs...

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Chris: Here’s a fun fact: Guy Fieri has a Bahn Mi Sandwich recipe in this cookbook called the “Saigon Sub.” I bet the Vietnamese wish they could go back to the Paris Peace Accords and prevent this atrocity from ever happening. Basically, we seasoned a giant hunk of pork, let it marinate in the fridge for several hours, and then slowly cooked it on the stove until it was nice and dry. Then we slapped that on a sub roll and added some fresh mint and mayonnaise and BOOM, you have a sandwich that tastes like you’re brushing your teeth with an old belt you found at Denny’s.

I should also mention that in the middle of all this cooking, Allie ABANDONED me for four hours to go to a class. So, I stood alone in my apartment all afternoon cooking the slowest, blandest food you can imagine, until I began to hallucinate that all the cookware was coming to life and we all sang a song about how friendship can get you through anything, even this blog. Maybe it was the exhaustion. Maybe it was the fact I was in a poorly ventilated room with a stove and an oven running for 12 hours. But I was broken from this trance when I got 30 text messages from Allie saying she was starving and couldn’t wait to get back and eat and asking if everything was fine and I had to play it cool and pretend there wasn’t a ton of tension between me and the Cuisinart for missing his cue in the third verse of You’ve Gotta Blend in Me. Chris’s rating: 2 out of 5 dentists recommend this sandwich

Allie: Look, we all have our ways of coping with this disaster of a blog. Chris talks to cutlery; I pretended to go to a class but actually I just sat next to the lake and stole bread from ducks for four hours. Then I had to go back to Chris's apartment and pretend that I wasn't bloated from eating all that duck bread and sleepy from fighting all those ducks. This sandwich was pretty average for something that took 85 years to cook. I can (CAN) barely remember what it tasted like but I remember thinking "this is not really a banh mi sandwich" and then I remember thinking "what am I doing with my life" and THEN I remember thinking "THEY NEVER FOUND D.B. COOPER" and by that time the sandwich was gone and I was miles away. Allie's rating: 2 out of 5 ALSO WHO IS THE ZODIAC KILLERs

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Chris: We also made Guy Fieri’s duck confit and DLT44, which was a BLT but with duck. I tried googling this recipe, to refresh myself on the process, and suspiciously, there appears to be NO RECORD of this dish ever existing. Did I imagine it? Was it all a hallucination? I feel like that’s the most likely scenario. No one would possibly follow a recipe that takes 4.5 hours to make slowly rendered duck following a Guy Fieri recipe, would they? That’d be insane. And lo, if you were to imagine such a recipe, it would probably taste pretty good, right? And this tasted pretty good. So, what I’m trying to say is that the line between reality and fiction have been so thoroughly blurred that I truly don’t know what is real anymore. It’s like that movie, Shrek 3. Chris’s rating: 3.5 out of 5

Allie: Apparently, duck confit is French for "salty duck", because that's what this was. Chris and I had to go to a weird grocery store to buy duck at like ten am on a Saturday morning. It wasn't at all what I imagined my first time buying duck would be like. I thought maybe a little parade of foxes would escort me to a duck and we'd all dance around and sing little ditties about the forest and then I'd rip the duck apart with my sharp and gleaming teeth. Instead, I walked to a deli case and bought two duck breasts for like $17, which is more money than I routinely spend on prescription medication. Anyway, this sandwich was good because it was salty duck on buttery bread with tomato and lettuce. It's basically perfect for whenever you want a nice, refreshing BLT but you're furious that a normal BLT takes ten minutes to make because you're immortal and need some way to fill up six lonely hours in one of your empty days. So I heartily recommend this sandwich if you're in some sort of Benjamin Button situation and you're looking to have yourself a nice lunch. Allie's rating: 4 out of 5 little foxes eating ducks

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Tune in next week for the thrilling conclusion of: FIERI-THON