The Turducken of Meat: Meatloafenstein

Maybe it’s because of Halloween, or maybe it’s because of the alcohol, but whatever the reason, like my old buddy Dr. Frankenstein, I’VE CREATED A MONSTER! You might think me mad but it came to me while I was enjoying a bottle of scotch and wrestling with the concept of a ‘Turducken.’ You know, the bird stuffed inside a bird stuffed inside a bird. Although I could appreciate the premise, I’m not that much into eating fowl. But wait, I thought! What if I could take my favorite meats—chopped steak, veal, sausage, prosciutto and bacon— and combine them together in a similar fashion? What if I took a pork kielbasa, wrapped it in bacon, and stuffed that inside my favorite meatloaf? What if………

MMWOOHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!! (That’s supposed to be crazy, maniacal laughter). Igor! Ready the kites! There’s a storm approaching and I’ve assembled the parts! Lock the doors! Shield your eyes! Throw the switch – NOWWWWWWW!!

Katt’s ‘Meatloafenstein Monster’ with Igor’s ‘Hell-Fire Hot Sauce’

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Corn Dogs Gone Gourmet

State fair season may still be several months away, but at ES we think about corn dogs 24/7/365. Now, here’s a corn dog even ya’ll uppity foodies won’t be ashamed to embrace.

Chef Kyle Rourke of Red Star Tavern in Portland has been giving corn dogs all kinds of gourmet upgrades, serving rabbit corn dogs with carrot-habanero dip, lobster corn dogs with mango relish, and venison corn dog with fig preserve. We asked him to share a recipe for one from his menu that’s just slightly more acceptable for home cooks.

Chicken Kielbasa Corn Dogs

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Pickled Loafs and Teriyaki Smokes: Cleveland’s West Side Market

There are two things people think they must do in Cleveland. One is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. But instead of spending 4 hours inside, I quickly trolled around the lobby and gift shop and then explored the waterfront around the gorgeous, Louvre-like building. Outside of the museum there were some food vendors, a food truck and some rouge fisherman (check out the album) catching walleye and perch. (There are “no fishing” signs all over the place!)

But I did fully visit another landmark, Cleveland’s historic West Side Market, a large building housing produce, meats, meats, meats, pierogies and Italian specialty items.

10 Finds from Cleveland’s West Side Market

1. Question the produce.

With avocados sitting next to Brussels sprouts, apples and tomatoes, at first glance this market seemed to get its produce from all over the place. But my guide Heather told me that if you start asking vendors, and as the summer offers more local vegetables, you’ll be able to find true Ohian fare.

2. Love your loafs.

I don’t know what’s in a Pickle Loaf. And I’m afraid to ask.

3.Try a new meat.

This just screamed Midwest to me. Plus I’m just picturing that SNL skit with the Super Fans from Chicago and all they keep repeating in their heads are: Ditka, sausage, Kielbasa, Jordan, Ditka, sausage, Da Bears, Ditka… (go to minute 4)

4. Don’t leave Cleveland without a pierogi tasting.

My one regret is leaving Cleveland without trying a pierogi. Heather and I ate a late lunch (gravity-defying apple!) and we didn’t arrive to the market until about an hour to close. Heather’s favorite pierogi comes from Pierogi Palace, but it closed shop before we got there and she didn’t want to subject me to less than awesome potato nuggets. But when you go, Heather suggests the jalepeno/potato/cheese pierogies. (Check her other top picks for West Side Market.) I guess that means another trip to the “Mistake by the Lake.”

5. Smoke something.

I don’t know why, but the word “smokies” really cracks me up.

Next: 5 More Finds from Cleveland’s West Side Market