Ever since I juiced sausage with a hand press for The Chicago Italian Beef Combo Bloody Mary, aka Coach Juice, I’ve been fascinated with the idea of juicing. The result for the Bloody Mary was excellent, and I got a nice beautiful sip of sausage juice out of an Italian sausage. Who knew I would love drinking sausage juice so much? You guys should really experiment with your preferences. You never know what you might find out about yourselves.
When I visit my friend Ryan and his girlfriend Kat to record music, Kat is very sweet and makes us vegetable and fruit juice to sip on while we’re writing tunes. She makes juice with fresh vegetables and fruit they have in the refrigerator and it is always very delicious. It’s a nice thing to offer a friend when they are over, and it makes me happy. I like fresh fruit and vegetables, mostly because my body is slowly withering away from malnutrition due to my diet of miserable Waukegan food and canned goods.
Here is one of our music videos. It’s a very good cover of Cher’s Believe. As you can see by my bloated puffy body and dark nipples, I am definitely in need of more fresh produce.
Juicers are interesting machines. They grind up fruit and vegetables and use centrifugal force to extract the liquid, giving you with the liquid essence of the plant matter, leaving all the nutritious fiber and pulp in the rear compartment. Then you throw away all the nutritious stuff and just drink the sweet juice. The fact that you’re consuming simple sugars from plants offsets your guilt from eating things like Taco Bell all day.
My local K-Mart is going out of business, so I wandered in like a lost little child, looking for things I could buy on clearance. During my journey, I just so happened to find a magical juicer called the Big Mouth by Hamilton Beach. Shopping at an entire K-Mart going out of business is the closest I’ve ever been to witnessing a mass looting. It was absolute chaos and I could smell death in the air. Death smells like stale Little Caesar’s pizza.
According to this label, this juicer is “Rated Best Buy by a leading consumer advocacy publication.” My favorite part about this label is that they don’t tell you what this “leading consumer advocacy publication” actually is. This is like Hamilton Beach whispering in your ear, all creepy, with coffee breath, “Trust us. This thing works.”
I’ll be the judge of that, you goddamn assclowns.
Here is the juicer, unpacked, in all its glory. It’s a hulking beast of a machine. If I was a robot, I would be sexually attracted to its industrial lines, its cheap plastic, and its glossy finish. If I were a robot I would have sex with it. Actually, come to think of it, I would have sex with anything. I haven’t touched another human being in so long I think my penis has actually fallen off due to extreme atrophy. Oh no, wait, there it is. It just went back into its cute little shell.
As you all can see, I’m a pretty cool guy.
The great thing about juicing is you can mix and match different ingredients to your personal preferences. I like to pretend I have class, so I thought about a classy thing to juice and suddenly it hit me: I could juice a three-course surf and turf meal. A surf and turf meal is what suburban people think of when they think of “a real night out on the town.”
I have a suspicion that I was dropped on my head multiple times as an infant. I mean, two lazy eyes going in different directions doesn’t just happen.
But think about it: In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, Willy Wonka invents a three-course meal gum, which starts with tomato soup, goes into roast beef and baked potato, and finishes with blueberry pie and ice cream. My meal would start with a classic steakhouse-style wedge salad, go into a juicy strip steak, rich lobster tail, and silky baked potato, and finish with a slice of good ol’ fashioned cheesecake.
Of course, in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Violet Beauregarde turns into a big blueberry and has to be medically drained. The worst that could happen is I could also be medically drained. With a stomach pump and a concerned emergency room full of doctors looking at my two lazy eyes.
I purchased a package of steak at the grocery store that had a big sticker that said “Manager’s Special.” That’s code for “almost expired.” Perfect. I mean, come on, a good deal is a good deal. There’s no better gamble in this world than discount meat.
I started sous-viding my strip steak at 135° F for a juicy medium rare.
A classic wedge salad is really easy to make and it has an old-school vibe to it. It’s a giant wedge of crisp, cold, iceberg lettuce, topped with blue cheese dressing, blue cheese crumbles, tomatoes, and crisp bacon pieces. Green onions are an option — what the fuck, why not? Balls to the wall, people, balls to the wall.
I roasted a regular russet potato and did that cool thing they do at restaurants where they split it down the middle lengthwise and fluff it. You fluff it by pushing both ends together, forcing the potato upwards a little to create a pocket for toppings like cheese, butter, and sour cream.
The technical name for it is “potato vagina.” Go ahead, ask your server next time you’re at a fancy restaurant and see what they say. But you have to shout it as loud as you can because sometimes steakhouses can be noisy.
Once the potato was ready and topped with a shitload of sour cream, I seared the steak in a cast-iron pan to give it some crust and some delicious flavor.
I miraculously found a pre-cooked whole lobster at the store for a measly five bucks. Like I said earlier, “there’s no better gamble in this world than discount meat.” It’s doubly true when it involves seafood. Also, I totally just quoted myself from this very post. That’s how a pimp operates. He quotes himself.
Before I cracked it open, I named it “Robert Downey Jr.” Naming your food is a good way to pay respect to the creature before you, uh, juice it.
And I just bought a piece of Eli’s Cheesecake, a popular brand of cheesecake that’s made right here in good ol’ Chicago. Represent, bitches.
And now, the juicing.
Nobody ever told me that a juicer was so loud. It was as loud as a band saw. Turns out juicing a wedge salad is pretty easy. Sorry about the wobbly video; it’s hard to hold a cell phone in one hand while getting your other hand covered in blue cheese dressing. I once dated a girl who smelled strongly of blue cheese. It was your mother. We’re still together.
Next, I juiced the lobster and baked potato. “Dannis,” you say, “Lobsters and potatoes don’t have juice.”
Good God, guys, I’m not a moron. Lobsters and potatoes might not have much moisture, but they do have essence. And that’s what a juicer captures, no matter how small that essence might be. The juicer almost spat the lobster tail back into my face (did you see it dancing around, trying to escape?) and it didn’t really like the baked potato very much. Also at the end of the video you get to see my foot and leg. I hope that glimpse didn’t turn you on too much.
This is the part I was most concerned about, the steak. At this point the juicer was absolutely disgusting, covered in blue cheese dressing, lettuce juice, lobster bits, and potato puree. But I pressed on. Too bad the juicer had different plans. I chopped the steak into four manageable pieces (or so I thought) and dropped them in one by one. The juicer got slower and slower until the last piece, where it nearly ground to a screeching halt.
I just ran steak through a juicer. Did it have juice? I’ll show you in a second.
You can’t forget dessert! There goes the cheesecake! That went as well as could be expected when dropping a cheesecake into a juicer.
Well, what you see here is what I believe to be essence of steak. It came out in a melted, emulsified, soft-serve style slop. It had a very pale pink color to it. I mean, this is kind of what hot dogs look like before they’re cooked. Plus…it’s not quite juice. At this point, the juicer was not in very good condition. But it survived.
Man, I almost destroyed a brand new juicer by running dense meat through it. There’s no warning in the instructions that says, “Don’t juice meat,” though. Come on, Hamilton Beach, your juicer was rated a “Best Buy by a leading consumer advocacy publication.” Get it together.
This mess is what came out of the pulp receptacle. This is essentially what your food looks like after you eat it, when it’s swimming in your stomach. I particularly like how the machine pulverized the steak but left big pieces of lettuce behind.
I let poor Harvey take a look at it. I offered him first crack at the beverage but he politely declined. Plus, he’s a stuffed animal. He can’t drink anything, silly.
I mixed the whole thing together a little better and took a big sip before I had the chance to lose my cookies. I immediately regretted it. The juice was foamy and thick and had the powerful flavor of blue cheese dressing. The potato starch, at least what little of it made it to the drink, gave the surf and turf essence a velvet-like texture. I got a few substantial squiggles of meat paste, which had an insanely smooth consistency, though it was hard to taste any actual meat in it. But the entire thing had a really distinct flavor. I couldn’t put my finger on it until my brain told me to stop drinking it.
It tasted like blended vomit.
That’s right — the vinegar from the blue cheese dressing, along with the supremely strong funk of the cheese itself, mixed with meat, potato, lobster, and cheesecake, made for an extremely accurate recreation of the taste of barf. I cheerfully drank about half of the juice until I decided to call it quits.
For science. Well…I’m not sure you could really call this science.
What I didn’t anticipate was the huge mess. The inner compartment of the juicer was in a horrifying condition. At this point all the fat had blended into everything else to create a thick coating over all the parts of the machine. There were unidentified pieces of food all over my counter, my glasses, and even my hair. I spent about 40 minutes cleaning off the counter and the inside of the juicer. I left the bits in my hair for your mother to nibble out later as a snack.
My conclusion is that if you’re going to attempt something like this, put it into a blender or a food processor instead with a decent amount of liquid. Then put everything into a cheesecloth and squeeze out the juice, kind of like a nut milk. You know, kind of like a reasonable person would do. Also, ha ha, “nut milk.” This entire paragraph is in bold letters. That’s how you know it’s important.
But come on, who would try to juice an entire surf and turf meal? I wouldn’t want to be friends with that idiot.
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