Saturday, December 10, 2011

Redneck Sushi

What is redneck sushi you ask? It's a phrase I came up with some time ago and then thought, "what would that actually be?" The answer: an outside wrapper of bacon filled with mashed potato and a center of chicken and maybe a bit of collard green or some such. This was dreamed up months and months ago and never realized... until last night.

Luci enjoys inviting her deviant and sometimes boisterous coworkers over to her palatial manse for roll your own sushi nights and general frivolity. She was also one of the people aware of the plan for making redneck sushi and was kind enough to open her kitchen and guidance last night to this mad experiment. We decided to take two approaches. Both start with laying down a bed of bacon, then coating the surface with the mashed taters, and then laying down a strip of chicken across the bottom of it. Starting at the chicken end, we roll it up just like sushi.

On the first run we decided to bake / broil the entire roll prior to slicing.

The biggest concern was the cooking of the chicken. We started broiling it and once the bacon had constricted down switched over to baking for about 30 minutes or so rolling the whole thing over once or twice. Once finished, we removed it from the oven and sliced it, which caused some smushing and loss of that nice circular, bull's-eye pattern sushi has. That said, it's overall appearance was still plenty appetizing. The flavor was good and they were insanely hot. If you decide to try this allow for cooling time. Seriously. The bacon grease infused potatoes are not to be trifled with.

The second approach was to slice the roll first and then pan fry the slices. I also decided to add some asparagus and carrot to the center. We used toothpicks to try and hold the rolls together.

Once in the pan this plan fell apart a bit. They did not do well with being flipped, the bacon wasn't really cooking, and the potatoes were just burning onto the bottom of the pan. So we transferred them onto a baking sheet and into the oven to be baked for about twenty minutes or so, followed by five minutes of broiling, flipping and another 5 minutes of broiling.

Some take-aways from the evening. The baking then broiling combo is the correct cooking approach. The asparagus was a great addition both in terms of flavor and health value. Cooking them as slices resulted in a much better result than when we did the roll. Toothpicks became a bit of a semi-hazardous treasure hunt. Either mode of preparation resulted in volcanically hot food that needs cooling time.

Plans and modifications to the recipe and process are already being made but this maiden voyage was a big hit. I am clearly a culinary genius. Yeehaw!

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