Shameless Chef

The Shameless Chef: Starch Cassidy and the Hamdance Kid

What do the Shameless Chef and a lonely college freshman girl with a hot roommate have in common? When we get bored and curious, we tend to experiment. So it came to be while I was rooting through my pantry this morning for some kind of unique breakfast experience, something special was born. Knowing firsthand the thrill of discovering this casserole, I am so excited for you.

You will need:

  • 1 box of potatoes au gratin. I guess you can do scalloped potatoes if you're one of those people who thinks the peels are good for you
  • 1 container macaroni and cheese. Yes. Country Crock is what we call "the good shit"
  • 1 package of Lit'l Smokies or some other kind of diminutive sausage
  • Milk and butter / margarine
  • Shredded cheese

The most difficult part of preparing this dish is fixing the potatoes au gratin, and if that's the most difficult part of any dish, you're in good shape. Get a fairly big pot (you shouldn't need your big-ass pot for this) and throw in 2 cups of hot water and 1/2 cup of milk, plus two tablespoons of butter or margarine. Then toss in the sauce powder and dehydrated potato slices.

Heat it to a boil. While the potatoes are cooking, you'll probably start to receive phone calls from many well-known chefs and restaurant owners, sobbing and begging you to stop what you're doing. I suppose you can try to talk them down if you want to; I simply laughed and hung up.

Once the potatoes have been brought to a boil, lower the heat and simmer them for about 8 minutes. After they've simmered, they should be at the proper consistency to form the bedrock of your casserole. Pour them into your casserole dish. Dr. Frankenstein-style cackling is optional, but fun.

Next, spread the macaroni and cheese over the potatoes, then throw some Lit'l Smokies on top. I used about half a package, but you are of course free to use however many you wish. We're already spitting in the face of nature here, so let's not pretend the little details are gonna matter too much.

Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top, then bake it in the oven for about 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees, or long enough to melt the cheese. Remove, allow to cool, and experience the heresy.

You may be wondering: how did the experiment turn out? It's awesome. This is, like, my new favorite thing. It's so yellow. I'm sorry, I'm getting sentimental, but it truly is blasphemously delicious. Add some scrambled eggs, and this would make a damn good breakfast taco, with only a very slight chance that it would kill you immediately.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
John Seaborn Gray