70’s Kitchen: The “Goblin” Sandwich

It started, as these things tend to do, on Twitter. Nearly every day, friends and family share food-related items on social media with me. Sometimes, these are great tips, like the best way to cook shrimp on the barbecue without drying them out. Other times, well-meaning family will send me ideas for possible items to sell from my food truck, like filling handmade rolled-up waffles with spicy buffalo chicken. And still other times, old friends will contact me with an idea that’s just super gross. This is one of those times.

Morgan sent me a screenshot of this recipe, published by the brilliant 70’s Dinner Party blog, of something ominously titled “Goblin Sandwiches.” The recipe speaks for itself, even if the details are kind of foggy:

Goblin Sandwich

A few questions jump right off the page: What are “quality tested donuts,” for example? My best guess was that a simple glazed donut from Wal-Mart would have to do, in part because I wasn’t willing to spend more than 59 cents on a donut, and in part because if there’s one thing you can’t criticize at Wal-Mart, it’s their donut game. The entire store may be a dimly-lit dungeon of low prices and besweatpanted, weepy-eyed shoppers, but by goodness, that bakery section is a shining beacon of cakes and cookies so perfect, they look like they were rendered in Photoshop, rather than baked. But I digress.

Deviled Ham
In this (possibly British?) recipe, “Deviled Ham” may refer to any kind of seasoned, spiced ham salad. But because this is America, I’m going with the red devil.

The phrase “avocado pear” also gave me pause, but I’m assuming that’s just how they referred to regular old “avocados” in the 70s. Look, this entire recipe is dripping with barbiturate residue, a relic of key-party swingers all gathering in one another’s suburban homes, so preoccupied with the evening’s planned sexual escapades that they’ve lost all sense of what constitutes acceptable human “party food.” Because these days, mashing meat into an avocado, sprinkling it with what is widely regarded as “the worst kind of nut,” and spreading it on a donut is not just frowned upon, it constitutes a hate crime in some municipalities.

So, with all this in mind, I can only say: Challenge accepted, Morgan. Let’s do this.

Goblin Sandwiches

As recipes go, this one is pretty simple: Mix all of these disparate ingredients together, see what happens, and then for some reason, spread it on a donut. The first step was already pretty gross; Jillian called it a crime against avocados, whereas I regard it more as a crime against ham. Adding the Brazil nuts did little to improve on what can only be described as a texturally questionable mixture. Maybe mashing it all together would help.

Goblin Sandwiches

Nope. Doesn’t. Doesn’t help. The cat food smell (and sound, for that matter) is something you can taste right through your eyeballs.

And finally, the finished product (with a warning that the following image may be considered too explicit for some readers):

Goblin Sandwiches

Weirdly, at this point, I was still laboring under some kind of basic hope that, though the ingredient list sounded disgusting, it would somehow combine using 1970s food science magic into something more delicious that the sum of its parts.

It didn’t.

Goblin Sandwich
“I wish I had a smaller plate. And a suicide note.”

The texture is the biggest issue here. The deviled ham gets almost doubled in volume (and creamy fattiness) by the “avocado pear,” and then there are these weird pops of crunch from the Brazil nuts and an overall saltiness from the Worcestershire. Choosing to serve this mixture on a sweet, glazed donut dials this up from “culinarily questionable” to “downright masochistic,” and the combination is not something I will ever prepare or serve again.

Damn, those Wal-Mart donuts, though.

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Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as the taco-centric blog "Eat More Tacos," and the junk food-centric "Spork & Barrel." His contributions include Serious Eats, Down East, L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post and his food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater. Finally, he finds it very silly to be trying to write this in the third person.

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