Thursday, February 01, 2018

tonight, the garbage-ing begins

I did a Costco run this morning: you have to hit Costco in the morning if you want to get ground beef. Arrive in the afternoon or evening, and you're fucked. Costco is no longer selling anything approaching a Weißwurst—no more Brats, and no more of those faux chipolatas (definitely faux, but I liked them on their own terms). The store did have Regensburger Wurst, though, which is kinda-sorta pale...ish. There was another sausage on sale there, and it looked interesting enough to buy, so I might be adding that to the garbage plate on Saturday. In the end, I got three meats, a tub of sour cream for the pasta salad, and some shredded cheese (optional on a garbage plate, but I personally can't imagine eating that sort of food without cheese; I'll offer it as an option to the guys).

During my lunch break, I walked over to the local, overpriced Star Super grocery to buy some other Western ingredients like rosemary (surprisingly, the store carries both the dried and the fresh varieties), Italian parsley, passata di pomodoro (tomato purée), and pasta for the pasta salad. In that Binging With Babish video about the garbage plate, the guy uses orecchiette, but I couldn't find that at Star Super, so I went with something vaguely similar: tofette, a type of mini-shell pasta with the same—if not better—sauce-grabbing powers as orecchiette.

My friends Tom and Charles will be coming over. The problem with Tom is that he refuses to eat vegetables, so I have to prep him a completely different pasta salad from the one I'll be making for Charles and me. (Tom's salad will likely incorporate bacon crumbles instead of veggies.) The meat sauce won't be a problem: I'll prep only one version of the meat sauce. The home-fried potatoes shouldn't be a big issue for Tom, either: there'll be herbs on the taters' surfaces, but I think Tom is okay with herbs.

The idea is to get a lot of the prep done tonight and tomorrow night so that I won't need to wake up at 5AM on Saturday morning to do everything. I'd like to get the meat sauce done tonight so that it's just a matter of reheating it on Saturday. Same goes for the pasta salad: I'd like to get it done tonight, if possible. On Friday night, I'll work on the potatoes, but I might prep them, say, two-thirds of the way so that they'll taste fresh when I finish them up on Saturday and serve them right away.

The garbage plate is a strangely jumbled dish that seems to combine tropes from an American picnic, Tex-Mex food, Southern-fried cuisine, and the best of a New York hot-dog kiosk.* I honestly don't know whether this is a recipe for heartburn, and I'm pretty sure that, if I serve it the way it's supposed to be served—i.e., as a giant tumulus of carbs and fat—the only person who'll be able to clean his plate will be yours truly—the glutton. Jabba himself.

Expect pictures. Especially if someone vomits.

*And because I'm already thinking of ways to improve this dish, I'm wondering whether it might be better to forgo the Weißwurst concept entirely in favor of using those No Brand franks that I love so much. Those franks are deliciously fatty, flavorful, and rib-sticking, and given that one garbage-plate component is a chili-like meat sauce, I think the No Brand franks would work well with such a sauce.

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