Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ethnically American

I had absolutely no intention of writing a blog entry tonight. Then it occurred to me: If you have a mediocre meal and don't take pictures of it, did it actually happen?

Well, I wasn't about to find out!

I decided that tonight I would try some ethnic cuisine. The ethnicity I was trying: American!

My first course was a poor attempt. While I did use ranch dressing (major points there) I lost some cred by making it from scratch and by pairing it up with kale. I did, however use croutons out of a bag, so I still had a net gain for this course.

Ranch Dressing: + 5 Points
Kale: -3 Points
Croutons From a Bag: +1 Point
Cumulative American Cuisine Points Total For Course: 3 Points
Total: 3 Points

For the main course I made nachos. I've been wanting to do this for a while since there has been a package of ground beef in the freezer for a while calling out to be used up. Jen has long been opposed to this idea since she feel strongly that nachos cannot be considered a meal. Tonight I was able to momentarily able to convince her that nachos could work as a meal long enough to get through dinner.

I sauteed some garlic, onion, and yellow bell pepper in some olive oil then tossed in the ground beef with a little cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. I laid out some tortilla chips, shredded some cheddar cheese on them, topped with the beef mixture, then a little more cheese and red onion before baking in the oven.

When they came out I topped them with chives, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole in that annoying way that restaurants do where you get most of the salsa or guacamole on one chip.

Authentic American (Wanting So Badly to be Mexican) Cuisine: +5 Points
Using non-GMO Corn Chips: -5 Points
Using Beef Not From Factory-Farmed Cattle: -8 Points
Annoying Placement of Condiments on Top of Nachos: +5 Points
Cumulative American Cuisine Points Total For Course: -3 Points
Total: 0 Points

It's right down to the wire! Will I be able to save this meal for American authenticity?

I didn't really have any authentic American beer in the fridge. I figured the best way to emulate an American meal would be to pick the beer that I was the least excited to drink. I did this by selecting the Irish Black Lager from McSorley's. It was actually pretty good except for the part where I remembered about how much I dislike McSorley's schtick as a drinking establishment. Their regular Irish lager brags on the label about how they didn't allow women to drink there until the 1980's. Aside from tasting better the black lager is also better in that they choose not to brag about being a bunch of old world chauvinists. Instead they tell some sort of story about how some doughboys in World War I hung wishbones in hopes that they'd return home from the war safely. They also talk about how they still hang at McSorley's to bring luck to the Irish.

I think it has more to do with McSorley's being a vile den of filth and disorder. Perhaps one day I'll start my own brewery where I can tell that story.

Not Having a Beer Brewed by Anheuser-Busch: -10 Points
Having a Beer Brewed in Latrobe, PA: +5 Points
Having a Beer With a Phony International Vibe: +6 Points
Cumulative American Cuisine Points Total For Course: +1 Point
Total: 1 Point:

I did it! I created an authentic American meal! I win!

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