Bacon and Legs – The Dining (Shining-inspired recipe)
Halloween is upon us and I don’t give a flying witch’s ass.
I hate haunted houses. They are dark and I’m clumsy. I hate people and these people get all up in your face like it’s their job or something.
I hate carving pumpkins. Where is the fun in this? You think it’s going to be fun, but you end up making a mess, cutting yourself and coming up with a finished product that looks like an orange Marty Feldman without any of the humor.
I hate scarecrows. People put them in their yard and then when I’m driving at night, I see this figure in my peripheral vision and I think it’s a kid running into the road. I slam on my brakes and have a mild heart attack.
I hate the fucking leaves. They are so gorgeous when they are on the trees but I can’t even tell you how much yard work this bullshit season creates for me.
I DO like dressing up in slutty costumes and eating candy, but I DON’T have time for that this year, so I hate everyone else that gets to pull out one of their con cosplay outfits and eat mini-Snickers from of a sharp-ridged plastic pumpkin. I hope you all scrape your hands on that pumpkin and get whatever the plastic version of tetanus is.
I hate costumes that hide a person’s face. All these people roaming around in masks, concealing their identity and no one bats an eye? Yeah, I don’t trust that shit. People are kind of assholes and if they can get away with assholery without being held responsible, they are damn sure gonna jump on that shit.
I hate horror movies. Monster movies aren’t as bad because that shit ain’t real. Ghost movies are the same, I don’t believe in ghosts. Aliens freak me the fuck out. But the worst are the psychological thrillers and crazy murderer weirdos. Cause that shit can and does happen. There are a very small handful of scary movies that I have taken a liking to over the years, and I guarantee it’s because they are good films and not because they get my adrenaline pumping. I can probably name them all; this list won’t be long. Let’s see … in no particular order, I enjoyed Carrie, Saw, The Birds, Cabin in the Woods, Silence of the Lambs and The Shining. Yup, I think that’s it. That being said, I know you all love this holiday with your sluttly hot dog costume and your pumpkin pie martini … so far be it from me to rain on your parade. I have taken one of the few movies I can celebrate Halloween with and created a theme dish and accompanying cocktail.
The Shining was sad and terrifying at the same time. I think there’s nothing scarier than the idea of losing your mind. I never read the book, so you can tell me it wasn’t the same all you want, it won’t make a difference to me. I can watch this movie over and over again … so long as I’m already in a screwed up place. So here are your recipes for “The Dining.”
You have “All Fork and No Plate (Makes Jack a Full Boy).” The best meatballs I’ve ever thrown onto a plate are right here. They are a take on Anne Burrell’s recipe, which has a shit ton of cheese (the important part) and sauteed onions. I actually use oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs. It’s how I was raised doing it and I like the texture it lends to the meatballs a bit better. Then cover ‘dem balls in the bloodiest looking marinara you can find and stab ‘em with a fork. No plate required.
To wash down all of that meaty goodness, I have a cocktail called “Room 237.” I didn’t wanna take the cheap shot and give you “red rum” of some variety, so this cocktail is a carefully-crafted bourbon cocktail. Bourbon, being Jack’s drink of choice, goes in as your base and is mixed with lemon and raspberry and topped with prosecco … a cocktail fitting of a fancy July 4th ball, perhaps being held at the Overlook Hotel.
So there you have it. I participated … now let me move on to Thanksgiving, please.
1½ lbs of your favorite ball meat (i chose a blend of beef, pork and veal)
2 large eggs
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup quick oats
¼ - ½ cup lager
your favorite marinara sauce
Preheat a large skillet with olive oil. Add onions, season liberally with salt. Cook for about five minutes or until the onions are translucent and smell good. Stir in garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook for another two minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a big mixing bowl, dump your meat, eggs, parmesan and oatmeal. Mix it up with your hands (there is no other way). Add in the onion mixture and season well with salt. Finally, add in the lager, a tablespoon at the time until the meat is a wet, smooth texture.
Turn the heat on the skillet again and add more olive oil. Form a patty with mixture and cook it. Taste it to test. Add more salt if needed.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Form meat into balls and brown in the skillet. This may take a few batches. Remove to a baking dish. Cook for 15 minutes. Serve with sauce.
Fill a shaker with ice. Mix bourbon, Chambord and lemon juice.
Strain into two champagne saucers. Top with prosecco. Serve like a creepy bartender.
Fontina Turner, a food blogger and graphic designer from Philadelphia, makes classy-as-fuck comfort food and consumes an unhealthy amount of cheeses and craft beers. She can be found in the kitchen, at the bar, on Twitter or trying to make H. Jon Benjamin love her. Contact her at email@example.com.