Tag Archives: Recipes

Recipe: Senate Gruel

A little over a decade ago, I was a fresh-out-of-college kid working the front desk in a Senate office and someone new to “the South.”

Having been used to staying up late at the bar where I had previously worked, coming into the office for an 8:00 a.m. shift was a drastic lifestyle change for me. So, making breakfast was a bit of an afterthought, as I had just hoped to get into the office by at least 7:45 so I could get the office up and running.

Luckily, the U.S. Senate has a cafeteria that’s open early. Before it was privatized, it had a decent buffet for breakfast but with a largely southern flair. Which is where I began my appreciation of grits.

One morning I decided to add some corned beef hash (a favorite of my grandpa’s) to the mix. Then I started adding hot sauce… lots of Texas Pete.

After a few breakfasts I started mixing it all together and calling it the “Senate Gruel.”

It looks disgusting. It’s terrible for you. It is delicious.

Periodically, I make it at home and wanted to share the recipe with you.

Serving Size: One

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 can of corned beef hash
  • 1 serving of grits (usually 3 tbsp of the instant grits)
  • 1 slice American cheese (can use cheddar but it gets stringy)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of butter or margarine
  • 4 tbsp of Texas Pete hot sauce

Prep:

  1. In cast iron skillet, fry the hash until crispy. (The Senate baked theirs in a tray… which is more time consuming but good for large amounts.)
  2. In a pot, cook the instant grits.
  3. On a plate, place the slice of American cheese on the plate.
  4. Place the grits over the cheese and add butter, salt, and pepper.
  5. Add the corned beef hash, hot sauce, more salt and pepper.
  6. Mix thoroughly.

Recipe: Red Hot Riplets Chicken

During our first married Christmas, Mary and I brought back a bag of Saint Louis’s famous Red Hot Riplets chips back home to enjoy. As far as chips go, these are some of the best in the country, so we always bring some back. Unfortunately, we thought the bag was partially crushed on the last leg — the drive from Cleveland to Washington.

Mary was sad that the chips might have been destroyed. So, I suggested we use it to coat some chicken breasts and bake them in the oven. Tonight we opened the bag to find them unharmed (the air saved them) but went forward anyway.

Here was the delicious result:

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Ingredients

* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1/2 big bag of Old Vienna LLC’s Red Hot Riplets (Order online)
* 2 large chicken breasts, halved into four pieces.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven.
2. Beat eggs in mixing bowl.
3. Crush to desired texture 1/2 bag of Riplets.
4. Toss individually with care and place on Pam’d, tinfoil-covered tray.
5. Bake at 375ยบ for about 40 minutes, or until fully cooked and serve.