Comic Kitchen is a series that creates a three-course meal around a comic character. It’s a segment that combines my love of food with my passion for pop culture. This edition is a special one because it’s the first time I’ve cooked my own dishes and that feels appropriate for Red Hood. Jason Todd is a guy who grew up on the streets, who learned to savour every morsel he could find. His appetite is something to behold, so I’ve created a menu that focuses on protein, big portions and zest.
Starter – Sloppy Joes
Jason’s time on the streets means he knows the value of enjoying every meal as if it was his last. He’d start off with an appetiser that’s easy to make and packs in a lot of flavour. Sloppy Joes are the answer. Not only is it a simple recipe, the amount of variation is limitless. Sloppy Joes are made up of ground meat, vegetables, sauce and seasoning. The ingredients are slapped between a burger bun to create a delectable meal.
I like the idea of Sloppy Joes being a traditional American comfort snack for kids. Jason would have likely eaten them when he was living with his mum. When he started living with Bruce, he may have been introduced to higher quality meals, but he’d have preferred eating the food he grew up around.
When cooking the Sloppy Joes, I added chopped carrots and a lot of tomato puree. I wanted the meat to be as runny as possible so it lived up to the Sloppy Joe name.
Main – Chilli Dogs
As Red Hood’s favourite food, I couldn’t help but add chilli dogs to the menu. Jason’s love for chilli dogs is so great that Bruce used the word as a passcode in the Bat Cave. For Jason, I see chilli dogs representing a simpler time. He would have eaten them when he was exploring Gotham, or when he was spending time with Bruce or Alfred out of costume. Chilli dogs are probably Jason’s comfort food as well, the kind he would enjoy after a long day of fighting crime.
The frankfurters topped with chilli provide a wonderful contrast of flavour. The recipe is easy to follow and doesn’t take long to make. To season the chilli, I used sriracha sauce, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, oregano and sugar. This resulted in a dish that had a good mix of spice and sweetness.
Dessert – Chocolate Oreo Waffles
With his appreciation for food, I’d see Red Hood having a major sweet tooth. He’d like eating desserts that he can take his time with and enjoy. The chocolate oreo waffles from Black Milk in Manchester are the kind of treat Jason would go for. This delicious dessert stacks molten chocolate, cream, oreos and brownie and white chocolate ice cream on top of waffles.
The waffles are fluffy and provide a soft base for the toppings to melt into. When all the flavours come together, it’s like an explosion of happiness inside your mouth.