A Troll in Central Park

Salad

I have no idea what I did to Gnorga, but I somehow ended up on her bad side. Not bad enough for me to be turned to stone, but for the last few months, I lived in a place of rock and steel where nothing grew. (And I wasn’t even in New York City.) Oh wait. I wasn’t feeling the wrath of the “Queen of Mean.” That was winter. But now spring is here and my little patch of green has returned. I could use some more flowers though. This wouldn’t be a problem if I had Stanley’s green thumb and I could grow some with a snap. Unfortunately, my thumb’s a little more like Gnorga’s black thumb. It won’t turn things to stone, but it’s still very dangerous. (I’m not too good with plants.) And even if I were to successfully grow a flower, it wouldn’t be a magical talking, dancing one. (Yes, I want magical dancing flowers. Did you see how happy they make Rosie?) Maybe I’m just not believing in myself enough. Or maybe I’m better off leaving the plant growing to the professionals and should just stick to eating them.

No, no, no, I don’t want to eat any of Stanley’s flowers! But I am talking about eating some greens. You see, things don’t go too well for Stanley at the beginning. He gets banished for growing flowers and is flung all the way to New York. Sure, he’s happy to see that there was some mistake and he isn’t in a land without grass, leaves, and flowers, but taking in this new world isn’t the easiest for the gentle, little troll. He gets chased by ferocious dogs and bumps into a really angry squirrel. Then he falls from a tree over a restaurant and lands straight in a large salad. He wanted green, he got it. But he finds himself in a tight spot when the salad gets dressed and served to a very hungry customer. And when the man digs in, it’s a pain in the butt for Stanley, literally. He screams and runs off and, after more trouble, finds himself a hole under a bridge. So his punishment is off to a rough start, but it’s not supposed to be nice. “It’s supposed to be punishing!”

Recipe makes one very large salad.

Ingredients

2 hearts romaine lettuce, rinsed and left in large pieces

1-2 large tomatoes, sliced into wedges

Black Olives

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Vinaigrette Or

Vinaigrette

¼ cup white wine vinegar

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of Sugar (Optional)

Salt

White Pepper

Directions

Vinaigrette:

Pour white wine vinegar and olive oil in a mason jar. Tightly secure the lid and shake it vigorously until fully combined, about 10 seconds. Season to taste. (This can also be done in a blender.)

Putting It All Together:

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, tomatoes, and black olives. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad. Add freshly ground pepper. Toss the salad and serve individual portions. Enjoy!

Variations:
Obviously, smaller sized pieces of lettuce are much easier to eat than the large leaves.
For a more stable and flavorful vinaigrette, add 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard. You can also opt for black pepper if that better suits your taste.

Troll ParkTroll Park Salad

Okay, I really like salads, but I’ve never gotten as excited over one as that guy in the restaurant. (He’s licks his lips and everything.) I kind of feel bad that he doesn’t get to enjoy it. I feel even worse for Stanley for being a part of it. But without all of his scary encounters, he wouldn’t have ended up in the right place to meet Rosie and Gus. Sure, they lead to even more trouble, but when everything’s said and done, Stanley manages to create a world that’s bright and shiny and absolutely green.

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Space Jam


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.

Ingredients

Meat:

1/2 cup panko

1/4 cup milk

1/4 onion, minced

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon butter

1 pound ground turkey

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon brown mustard

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 chicken or turkey drumsticks with the meat removed

 

For Breading:

1/2 cup flour

1 egg

1 cup panko

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Oil for Deep Frying

 

Potatoes

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

 

Green Beans

1 pound green beans

2 tablespoons butter

Salt

Pepper

 

Gelatin

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

 

Directions

Meat:

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.

Heat 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.

Potatoes:

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.

Green Beans:

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.

Gelatin:

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!

Space JamSpace Jam Food

 

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!