Sorry for the radio silence this week, friends. This tiny mini-post is just an homage to my most popular post about, what else, pancakes. If you need a nice, quick little recipe this long weekend for breakfast, this is it! Pancakes. Pure and simple. Have a fabulous weekend, friends, and I’ll see you next week!
This is the very last step in the process, and the reason for the whole week’s worth of posts: the sauce. Without the chili hot sauce, it’s just a mess of ingredients on the plate. With the hot sauce, it’s truly a Rochester Garbage Plate.
Rochester Plate Sauce, the product that tops my homemade plate in the picture above, is a strikingly close facsimile to the stuff you’ll get in Rochester on a traditional plate. The sauce comes in a packet that can be heated up by placing the pouch in boiling water for two minutes and then pouring over your finished plate (that’s the mac salad, the homefries, then the burger). The Plate Sauce is a little bit on the spicy side, but it makes the plate a PLATE. Die hard plate fans will notice that it lacks the finely ground beef that traditional plates in Rochester feature but again, it’s probably as close as you’ll get if you’re a Rochester ex-pat living in Nebraska or Texas. Well worth the $10 it’ll cost you for 3 pouches.
The last step to the plate is the chopped onions (standard raw white onion, chopped), yellow mustard, and ketchup. And it is extremely important to note that the ketchup design is unique to each person: some prefer the swirly, some go with the smiley face, I prefer the checkerboard. It’s really up to you. And yes… it makes a difference.
This is a relatively self-explanatory step in the Garbage Plate process but I thought I’d fill you in anyhow. Garbage Plates can be topped with a variety of stuff: red hots, white hots, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fried fish, even fried eggs (that’s a breakfast plate if you’re not from the Roch). But my personal favorite, and I would imagine the most popular choice, is cheeseburgers. And don’t go looking for some fancy-schmancy gourmet beef burger with artisan cheese to top it off. This is a good old fashioned ground beef, 1/2 inch thick hamburg with a slice of plain American cheese.
On the menu:
Serves 2 (makes 2 plates)
1/2 pound ground beef
Salt and pepper
2 slices of American cheese*
Mix ground beef in a bowl with salt and pepper. Pack ground beef down into the bottom of the bowl. Eye ball the diameter of the bowl and using the edge of your hand, make a line down the middle of the circle of ground beef. This ensures you have 2 patties of equal size.
Make a round ball with the beef and then flatten it out as thin as possible with your hands, or by pressing down on a cutting board. Grill the burgers on a grill, or in a skillet over medium/high heat on the stove top for 5 minutes on each side. Top the burger with cheese and close the grill cover or put tin foil tent over the skillet for 2 minutes so the cheese melts. Place burgers on top of mac salad and homefries.
*Confession: I had a bag of shredded cheddar that had to be used up so I topped the burgers with that. Don’t worry, still not gourmet. Just not as ghetto/authentic as American cheese.
This is a tried and true method for making crispy homefries, straight from someone who always mucks it up. Either they take forever, or they come out unevenly cooked, or they burn… but these are perfect. Delicious, crispy, soft on the inside, and evenly cooked.
These homefries will sit nicely next to your cold mac salad on the plate, serving as a lovely little bed and ready to hold your burgers. But that’s the next step, and you’ll have to wait til tomorrow for that gem.
On the menu:
Serves 4 (or makes enough for 2 plates)
4 large potatoes (Russet or Idaho will work fine), diced into 1/2 inch cubes
3 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
Salt and pepper
Place diced potatoes between two damp paper towels and microwave them for 2 minutes on high. Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed iron skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes in a single layer and do not touch them for four minutes! This step is so important to get the crispiest crust possible. After cooking for 4 minutes, toss the potatoes and let rest for cooking again for 4 minutes. Continue this process for around 20 – 30 minutes or until the potatoes are crisp and golden on all sides.
Remove potatoes from the skillet and put on a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Toss immediately with salt and pepper. Plate next to mac salad on a large plate.
Note: It should be noted that because these potatoes are the basis of your plate, they’re not overly flavored on purpose. If you’re making these for breakfast, I would add diced onions and finely chopped red and green peppers after the potatoes have cooked for around 15 minutes.
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to come in contact with Jim at Rochester Plate Sauce. That’s right, kids. There is a company that packages and sells the glorious (some might say, magical) hot sauce that tops Rochester Garbage Plates. If you’ve never had one, you’re probably thinking, “Whooooo cares? It’s just hot sauce, right?”
This sauce is finely ground beef with about a bajillion spices in it and although I’ve never attempted to make it at home, I can only imagine how labor intensive it is to make. Visions of me, 60 pounds heavier, sweating profusely, with O Sole Mio playing in the background, float around in my head.
Anyhow, Jim sent me a sample of this incredible sauce and finally forced me (FORCED me, I tell you!) to make a garbage plate at home. What else am I gonna do with this sauce?! Well… I’m gonna try a bunch of things. But first things first: the trash plate.
This week I’ll be providing you all the steps you need to take to make these divine plates yourself. And just know that obtaining the sauce is as easy as clicking the link here.
On the menu:
Step 1: Macaroni Salad
Serves 10 (but will make enough mac salad for 5 Garbage Plates)
1 lb elbow macaroni
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 white vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp yellow mustard
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 large white onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup carrot, chopped
Boil macaroni per instructions. Once it’s cooked, drain and run under cool water to stop the cooking.*
Stir together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in vegetables until combined. Once pasta is completely cooled add dressing to macaroni and stir to combine. Chill for at least one hour before serving for best results.
*Note: if you stir together warm pasta with the dressing, the liquid will get absorbed into the macaroni and you’ll have a less creamy mac salad. I know it’s tough, but wait it out and let it cool. It’ll be well worth it, I promise.