Friday, May 15, 2009

Is “Ghetto Mash” an Offensive Term?

Ghetto Mash (n) – ge-tō-mash, Any dish prepared using disparate, on-hand ingredients from your pantry or refrigerator in an improvisational manner. Dishes are typically prepared in one pot/pan/bowl/skillet and most likely consumed directly from that pot/pan/bowl/skillet.

Back in the day (you know, the day) as a single guy, I’d often find myself in a tough spot when dinner time rolled around. My hunger would sometimes conflict with my desire to leave the house, so I’d be left with making do with whatever I had on hand. I’ve never been someone who kept a well-stocked pantry. If I’m going to make something for dinner and I know it ahead of time, I buy what I need to prepare that meal that day and make it, the end. This behavior leaves me with a lot of random food, surplus from meal-specific purchases.

Enter ghetto mash.

Ok…I’ve got flour tortillas…..and salsa…(promising!)…string cheese (shaky)….but no beef, or beans. “Mexican Pizza” is born.

Pasta, instant mashed potatos…these are great starting points for ghetto mash. If you’ve got either of these, you’re on to something (a heart attack, maybe?)

They’re not always winners, and I’d never server these dishes to guests, but in a pinch they’ll do. Probably the ultimate expample of ghetto mash is this so-bad-for-you thing I’ve been making for years involving rice and tuna. If the ridiculous amount of sodium involved doesn’t eventually kill me, the mercury will.

Rice’n’Tuna Ghetto Mash

2 cups rice. I usually use calrose.
3 cans solid white albacore (I’ve tried standard chunk light tuna…prefer the albacore)
Way too much soy sauce
Some hot sauce, amount depending on mood

  1. Prepare the rice using your favorite method. I always bust out my trusty rice cooker that needs to be replaced because it’s so old but I don’t have the heart to replace because I’m dumb and sentimental like that.
  2. In a large-ish bowl, empty out the 3 cans of tu-…albacore.
  3. Add the cooked rice.
  4. Dump in a bunch of soy sauce.
  5. More.
  6. A little more.
  7. Ok, that should be enough.
  8. Wait, a bit more.
  9. Add some hot sauce to preference. Might I suggest the king of all hot sauces, Tabasco®? Mix thouroughly.
  10. Grab a spoon.
  11. Enjoy.

Anyone else have any “ghetto mash” recipes? Don't leave me hangin'.


Cory Curtis said...

I got nothing...I'm far too uncreative in the kitchen.

But KUOW used to (do they still?) do a great segment with Thierry Rautureau of Rover's on how to use up leftovers in your fridge! Listeners could call in with what was sitting in their fridge and he'd come up with gourmet recipes. Don't think it was called ghetto mash--but I like it!

Rob McMurtrie said...

My mother was the queen of ghetto mash. We even had names for some of the dishes. My favorite was Hamburger Mush Push (pronounced as a rhyming couplet).

Brown some hamburger and onion, add gravy and dump over a plate of mashed potatos.

My wife has banned this dish from our house. :)