Saturday, January 24, 2009


Hebrew National beef hot dog with homemade chili on a potato roll.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Shopping: none

The dog and the chili are leftover from our inaugural catering event. Oh, I am hearing the howls out there, the cries of "Foul!" Because there is nothing very sustainable here. In fact, I think it's a pretty safe bet that the meat on this bun came from a feedlot somewhere. In fact, the parent company is the evil ConAgra that we all love to hate so much.

But this is a perfect illustration of how far the rest of the world has to go to catch up with the ethicureans. Tens of thousands of people were fed at events all over the District of Columbia beginning over the weekend. How many of the ingredients do you suppose were local or organic or sustainably raised? Believe me, even the most liberal people we know don't bother to ask where the food comes from at a party--even when they're the ones throwing the party. We are just starting to see the beginnings of food conscious hosts out there asking for politically correct menus. Most people would choke on the additional cost.

So as professionals we consider ourselves to have feet in both worlds. We eat out of our garden, pastured eggs, grass-fed meats and dairy. But when we're cooking for others, we feel compelled to give them what they want, though for small affairs we can often sneak our home-grown products onto the menu.

From a health standpoint also this dog has nothing to bark home about. These are the jumbo Hebrew Nationals--quarter-pounders with 30 grams of fat in each. I cut one-third off mine, which still leaves a considerable portion of soy- and corn-based fat. (I am apologizing to my arteries as we speak). What we'll probably do is freeze the rest and save them for another party another day. Meanwhile, close your eyes and enjoy this rare and sinful treat....


Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener said...

How true in regards to cooking for others! Many people are not willing to pay the extra costs of local organic ingredients. Although, for me being 30 miles away from a supermarket, I am able to offer more local foods to clients: the client either pays for my time to travel to the closest city to get supermarket fare, or for the (sometime) added cost of the local organic ingredients. It works for smaller parties, not necessarily larger ones. And like you, I can offer things from the garden. Always a big hit!

and yes, not throwing food away - no matter its provenance - is certainty green in my book!


JGH said...

Very creative. Anything made with leftovers is sustainable, I'd say!

David Hall said...

Get them leftover used up Ed! Nice one, could munch one of these right now. Hope you are well.


Ed Bruske said...

JGH, I like your take on sustainable leftovers. We don't let food go to waste if we can help it. After a party like this, we may have food in the fridge for the next month.

David, these dogs are awfully good, especially with the homemade chili. And I have a particular weakness for potato rolls. I wonder if you have anything like that where you come from?