Hair of the Dog Noodles

A Meaty, Sweet & Savory, Guilty Pleasure Recovery Meal

Phew.  All this drinkin’ catches up with a man.  Unless you’re incredibly lucky (or unlucky, depending on your view of things), we all have had to deal with the after-effects of a hardcore party.  Queeziness, headaches, slow reflexes, etc.  And it’s times like those that you want food that tastes good, is easy to eat, will fill your stomach, and give you back some shred of dignity.  What I’ve made will help you with those first three; you have no chance with the fourth because someone took pictures of you trying to make out with that floor lamp and we’ve all seen them.

You see that pack of walnuts? Fuck those walnuts, they snuck in there.

Hair of the Dog Noodles

– 8 oz of Wide Ride Noodles
– Pack of Bacon
– 4 oz of Sausage/Ground Pork
– 4 Eggs
– 1-2 Bulbs of Shallots (Sliced)
– 1-2 Garlic (Minced)
– Handful of Chives (Chopped)
– 5-6 Large Mushrooms (Sliced)
– Butter
– Soy Sauce
– Maple Syrup
– Salt
– Pepper
– Shot of Jack Daniels

This is essentially a Drunken Noodle recipe, but some ingredients have been changed to make it more breakfasty and American.  It’s also not going to be as spicy as your run of the mill Drunken Noodles since I’ve taken out the Thai Chilis; a hot pepper is just enough to push that hangover nausea to a full-blown “Can I make it to the toilet before I BLAAARRRGGGG?!!” moment.

  • Preheat oven to 400°.  When ready, bake the pack of bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet for 20-25 minutes, or until crispy.  Yes, I said to bake your bacon, and yes, I said to use an entire pack of it.  This is a hangover recovery meal, not an example of health.  Set aside when finished.
  • Soak and soften noodles in boiling water.  When done, drain, rinse, and set aside.

A note on the noodles – The kind of noodles I use are wide rice noodles (also sometimes labeled as rice sticks), an Asian noodle available in any Asian market, or online, if those kinds of markets aren’t in your area.  In the end, any Asian noodle will do; just don’t use normal pasta.

Yes, it does matter; stop arguing with me.  Never argue with a chef, especially if he’s drunk.

“It’s up to you whether I beat JUST the eggs!”

  • Beat eggs in a large bowl.
  • Melt some butter in a large skillet.  When hot, pour in eggs, and create a large, thin omelet – this can be made by constantly shaking the pan until egg mixture is mostly solid, and then flip.  Set aside.
  • In a large pan/wok, cook the sausage/pork.  Set aside.
  • Crumble bacon, cut omelet into 1” x 2” sections, and pour sausage into a large bowl.
  • In the same pan/wok, heat some oil.  When hot, throw in garlic, shallots and mushrooms.  Fry until soft.
  • Throw in drained noodles.  Mix well.
  • Pour and mix in 2 – 4 tablespoons of soy sauce.
  • Toss in 2 tablespoons of butter.  Mix until completely incorporated.
  • Salt and pepper noodles to taste.
  • Pour in bacon, sausage, and eggs.  You must mix it.
  • Pour in ¼ cup of maple syrup.  You must mix it.
  • Pour in a shot of Jack Daniels (this is called ‘Hair of the Dog’ Noodles, after all, and the whiskey compliments the syrup). You must mix it.
  • Now mix it into shape; shape it up; get straight; go forward; move ahead; try to detect it; it’s not too late; to mix it . . . mix it good (WHIPCRACK).

    Hold on, let me turn down my stereo; it’s starting to affect my writing.

  • Add in chives.
  • Serve.

Now, I know this seems like some reject from Epic Meal Time, but once the dish is made, it’s not all that; the amount of noodles helps spread out all the protein, syrup and liquor.  What you end up with is something that is equally sweet and savory, crispy and soft, simply delicious and ‘who gives a crap as long as it helps with the hangover?’  My roommate, who ate much of the finished dish, stated that it was the perfect hangover meal because it was easy to eat.  I think he meant that you didn’t have to do any hard work to consume it, like peel any fruit . . . or, like, chew it.  Every single bite will taste like glorious mix of every breakfast you’ve ever had.  Not for the vegetarian, nor the health-conscious, but perfect for a household full of drunks after a wild and crazy house party.

Enjoy!

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“Aren’t You Going To Write Your Blog Post For Today,” . . .

. . . my girlfriend asked me as I dished out a small serving of Singapore Noodles onto my plate.  I broke the chopsticks and rubbed away the remaining splinters away with my thumbs and dug into the thin, curry flavored noodles.  I choked slightly as I attempted to chuckle while chewing with my mouth closed.  “Do you not have a topic?”

“You don’t know how blogging works, do you,” I asked as I finally swallowed the noodles in my mouth and then washed it down with some expensive looking cheap beer.

“What do you mean?  I have a blog, too.”

“Topics are for beginners.  A person doesn’t need to worry about theme or topics or plot.  As long as you strike the right tone, readers will think that you’re writing about something even if they don’t know what.”

“What?”

“Why, I could even write this conversation, word for word, and as long as I did it in the right manner, people would enjoy it.  In fact, I’ll do that tonight.”

“But we’re just eating cheap Chinese food.  Nothing’s happening.  There’s nothing interesting about this.”

“I agree,” I said, louder than I had intended, “but the fact remains that an experienced writer, or one who is more lucky than talented, can make the mundane seem important.  And by the time you’re making something seem like something it might as well be something, at least on paper.”

My girlfriend stopped chewing and stared at me.  “That doesn’t make any sense,” she said.

“That is because your mind is too literal to comprehend the basic tenets of deception.  It takes guile to fool someone.”

I was startled, but I can’t say I was surprised, when she threw the noodles that were on her plate on to my head.  A piece of chicken toppled off my nose and I was able to catch it in my mouth before it dropped to the floor.  She poured more noodles on her place and began to eat again.  She wasn’t angry.  I figured she got it all out when she upended her dinner over my hair.  I was happy that was the end of it and there would be no ensuing fight that I would have to work against the rest of the evening, but she had ruined the experiment I had set for myself – to write about nothing and make it seem like it was about something.  My offensive comments and her rash actions had forced a plot into the evening, and now the entire story had a purpose.

But there was still some room for breathing; would it be about my girlfriend’s inability to grasp the bare bones of art as a whole, making something from nothing and fooling the audience?  Or would it be my insensitivity to her view and abilities?  Or would it be how, through all the dumb, careless and petty things we say, the bonds between people will always survive?  I don’t know . . . that will be up for the readers to decide. 

EconoChef: $3 Top Ramen

I'm trying to get a new camera, okay?

It’s not that I’m cheap (which I surely am), it’s that I prefer to save my money to buy certain things I enjoy and go without other amenities that may befit someone in this day and age.  For example: I will spend a pretty dollar on high quality food for my culinary adventures, but I will not throw away my black dress shoes that I found near a dumpster in 2001 and that has many holes in it for a new pair.  Or I will spend a lot of money on my drinking hobbies (dependencies? Who invited you, Freud?), but I won’t buy a new bed so that my feet aren’t current dangling off the mattress. It’s a give and take situation.  But with the current state of the economy we all must find ways to cut corners and food is usually one of the first places to cut from.   But you would be surprised at all the good food you can make with what you already have in your kitchen.  So in a series that I am calling EconoChef, I will take something that is cheap and unfulfilling and just by changing/adding an ingredient or two will change that 98¢ bargain bin rice cake into a meal that will have your friends offering to pay you money to cook for them.  If that does happen, I would ask you give me a cut.  I’m trying to start a racket here.

The only thing in the picture that matter are the Ramen and the Beef Stock. Everything else I already had.

After a summer where I ate nothing else (seriously, breakfast, lunch, dinner) I could not even smell Top Ramen and keep from gagging.  And after revisiting it so many years later, I can still understand why.  It is a thin, measly meal, one that offers no nutrition and will fill up your stomach but never really satisfy you.  This is because they have taken out half of the equation that can make authentic ramen so yummy: the broth.  Instead of a broth that has been cared for and cooked for hours, we get this:

Satan.

BEGONE, FOUL DEMON!  Instead, go out and get yourself some chicken, beef, or vegetable broth and use that instead.  You could also use stock instead (broth is made from boiling meat and is clear and clean, stock is made from boiling bones and it is hearty and rich).  Suddenly you will have the beginnings of a culinary delight!  I say beginnings because now you have to go and make your broth/stock taste good.  This leads me to the first hint at cooking on a budget: Spend all your of money on condiments, and know what they all taste like.  Make sure you’re up to your elbows with herbs and spices, keep all the shelves on your fridge door stocked with goodies from all over the store.  Study and see how each of them is used and what tastes they bring to the party.  In this case salt and pepper can work, of course, but so can soy sauce, hoison sauce, chili sauce, sesame seed oil, chili oil, wasabi, red pepper flakes, etc.  Crushed garlic and ginger always do the trick in Asian dishes, and they come pre-crushed in jars if you want to save yourself the time.  Hell, you could even use the packet that you took out of the Tap Ramen package, just don’t use too much as the broth/stock is already salty.  Instead of ending up with saltsoup, you’ll have a broth that is deep, rich and enjoyable.  And cook your noodles in the broth, too, goddammit!  We’re banging on all cylinders over here, get with the program.

And it doesn’t have to stop there!  After it’s all finished, additions like corn, eggs, seaweed (if you already got it) and actual meat will put the dish over the top.  I used thin (and cheap) beef strips cut for stir-fries, and some cut up green onions as a garnish.  I also used a more expensive beef broth to start with, but there are some that cost less than a dollar. Not counting the meat and my hoity-toity food preferences, the meal would cost me less than $3.  With three dollars, you don’t have shitty, pre-packaged Top Ramen anymore, you have a meal that will fool your friends and yourself.

Enjoy!