Swackhammer’s Courtside Feast
Easter is just days away, so I know that poor Easter Bunny is working overtime. Although I appreciate his efforts, he’s not the only Bunny on my mind this time of year. Sorry, Mr. Cottontail, but in my house, you have to share your day with Bugs. And it’s not just because I run around yelling, “I wanna Easter Egg,” every year. The real reason is Easter Morning, 1997. I ran to see what goodies the Easter Bunny had brought and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw a pristine Space Jam VHS waiting for us kids. Our Easter Baskets were full of candy, but we ignored the sugary goodness completely. We loved Space Jam so much and weren’t expecting it to be there, so we super freaked out. You would’ve thought it was Christmas.
Since that day, I’ve seen this movie hundreds of times. Looney Tunes teaming up with Michael Jordan to win a basketball game against aliens sounds like the silliest idea ever, (because it is) but it works beyond well. I’ve always found movies that pair live action and animation to be enchanting and Bugs Bunny has always been one of my heroes. Plus having the Nerdlucks steal the talent of NBA powerhouses was the coolest thing I had ever seen. The Monstars are so tough and cool, but they’ve got just the right amount of stupid sprinkled in. And there wouldn’t be any Monstars without the greedy Mr. Swackhammer. He’s such a fun villain and seeing him being pampered during the Big Game is just too funny.
His table is full of food and he’s got more bread and wine coming. (And pie, a pork chop, or sorbet, perhaps.) I assumed he’s got potatoes and green beans and I can tell that’s a jello mold from a mile away. Now what meat is he eating? Sure, it’s probably just a roasted turkey leg, but since I have absolutely no idea what it is, (and I couldn’t find any turkey legs for the life of me) I thought I’d sort of treat it like manga meat and make my own. And by that, I’m basically talking about making a meatloaf on a stick.
Recipe makes 2 large servings.
1/2 cup panko
1/4 cup milk
1/4 onion, minced
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon brown mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 chicken or turkey drumsticks with the meat removed
1/2 cup flour
1 cup panko
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Oil for Deep Frying
1 pound new potatoes, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 pound green beans
2 tablespoons butter
1 box strawberry or raspberry flavored Jello Or
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoon sugar
2 cups fruit juice: Raspberry or White Cran-Strawberry or something along the same color
In a small bowl, combine panko and milk and set aside.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pan. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions are soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine panko-milk mixture, turkey, egg, onion and garlic, salt, pepper, brown mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix until just combined. Divide in half and place meat mounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape the meat mounds into ovals so they resemble the leg-type shape. Stick the bones into the shapes. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Remove from oven and cool completely.
In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper. In a second shallow bowl, beat the egg. Place the panko in a third shallow bowl. Dredge one “leg” in the flour. Shake off the excess and dredge in the egg. Then coat it with the panko. You may have to dredge and coat a couple of times to get an even coating. Repeat the dredging process with the other “leg.” Don’t use the bones as handles just yet or they might come apart. Save that for when you’re trying to eat it. Chill the “legs” for 15 minutes.
Preheat oil in a large pot/deep skillet or in a deep fryer to 370 degrees F.
Fry the “legs,” one at a time, until golden on all sides, 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat. Add salt and potatoes and lower the heat. Simmer the potatoes until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Drain off the potatoes and add them back to the pan. Melt butter and coat the potatoes. Season with pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder and remove from heat.
Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat. Add salt and green beans and cook until green beans are slightly tender, 6 minutes. Drain off the green beans and add them back to the pan. Melt butter and coat green beans. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
Pour gelatin and ¼ cup of juice in a small bowl. While the gelatin is blooming, combine the sugar and remaining fruit juice in a medium saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium high heat and bring the juice to a boil. Remove from heat and add the bloomed gelatin. Mix until the gelatin has completely dissolved. Pour the gelatin mixture into a small mold or bowl and allow it to come to room temperature. Chill the mold for 4 hours or until the gelatin has set. Remove the gelatin from the mold and onto a small plate.
Putting It All Together:
Place some green beans on a plate. Place a “leg” on top and scoop out some potatoes. Serve alongside the gelatin, a cup of coffee, and a glass of your favorite red, fancy drink. Enjoy!
I can totally see these “legs” being sold at Moron Mountain! They are pretty looney looking. Now I have something a little more fun to eat while watching Space Jam besides cereal or junk food. Hey, any excuse to watch this movie is fine with me. It still makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And yes, the scene near the end where Michael Jordan steps onto the baseball field still moves me to tears.
Have a Happy Easter, Everybody!
Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!