Cooking for Comics: Scarlet Witch Red Flannel Hash and Matt Fraction's Avengers VS X-Men Round 7 Review

July 4, 2012 3:18 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Red Flannel Hash
This Scarlet Witch-inspired Red Flannel Hash will make you say "No More Eating Out for Brunch!" (Photo: Creative Commons)

This week, Matt Fraction's Avengers VS X-Men Round 7 leaves you holding the bag, if not your heart; and we're serving up some all-powerful Scarlet Witch Red Flannel Hash to make up for the empty space.

Scarlet Witch Red Flannel Hash

There was a time two years ago when I thought red flannel hash was going to be making a comeback, or at least announce itself for the first time to the unfortunate few that had never tasted it before. It was a perfect storm that all but correctly forecasted the hash's success: beets were hip-and-trendy, and elsewhere in city, brunch attendance felt like they were at an all-time high. What better way, then, to marry the root veggie and the weekend than with a delicious morning hash that uses the sweet earthiness of the beet to bring out the oozy, gooey savoriness of a sunny-side up egg?

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We're calling this one the Scarlet Witch Red Flannel Hash, inspired by one of our favorite superheroes who had a great week this week. We hope she'll succeed at breaking the scene where this dish undeservedly failed.

1. Buy cooked food stuffs and farm fresh eggs.

This is the kind of food where finding the perfect egg will more than make up for cutting corners elsewhere, so focus on buying one that's as fresh as possible. If you have access to a farm or a farmer's market, that's ideal. If not, just make sure you use one that's brown and cage-free.

It'll free you up to buy cooked beets (Trader Joe's has terrific ones in their salad section) and a big can of Hormel corned beef.

When it comes to building the starchy body of the hash, go with Fingerling potatoes and steam them for twenty minutes. Chop em up when done.

2. Start your cooking.

Heat butter in a frying pan and cook half an onion, chopped, until it's translucent. Add the beets, corned beef, and potatoes. Add a handful of chopped fresh parsley and a half-a-handful of mint

Mix it up. Your pan's gonna be looking nice and red! 

3. Plate it.

This is easy. Just put the stuff on a nice, big serving platter. Fry one egg per person eating. The taste of this stuff is enough to make you feel all powerful!


Review: Avengers VS X-Men 7

by Matt Fraction and Olivier Coipel

Full disclosure: when it comes to an opinion on Matt Fraction, you should really ask someone else. His interview segments were the worst part of the Warren Ellis documentary. The best you can say about his run on Uncanny X-Men is that it wasn't as bad as Chuck Austen's. Marvel promotes him to their readers with a strange and misplaced desperation-- one that has appropriately subsided in favor of better writers like the godly Remender and the demi-godly Hickman.

Nothing Fraction has written for Marvel deserves any portion of his colleagues' praise. While he was the company's flag, it was safe to assume their ship was sinking. I'm told to reserve final judgment on him till I read his non-superhero comics, which I'm told by a respected source are "redemptive."

But his writing in this week's Avengers VS X-Men 7 undercut any and all recommendations, ensuring that any task related to actively seeking out Fraction's work should be chiseled into the bottom of my to-do list. Reading Fraction's dialogue in this issue is like overhearing a child play with action figures. The underused (for now) Scarlet Witch challenges her opponent with quips like "Do you not know who I am?!" The issue ends with Namor declaring war by screaming "WAR!"

It's too bad that Fraction's hand reeks so strongly of ham, because there are moments that do work or would have worked that get lost in all his infantile noise. The strongest among them is when Scarlet Witch teleports Namor out of battle, telling him, simply, to go away.

It's truly jarring to see Phoenix Namor crumble effortlessly crumble into a pile of pieces. It's also one of the sharpest, clearest moments in an issue where good art is the only thing holding incoherent visual storytelling together. I'm three re-reads in and I still have no idea what Hawkeye shot with his arrow.

That confusion aside, Wanda and Namor's "Go Away" fight is emblematic of what Fraction, and perhaps this underwhelming blockbuster crossover do best. Amongst all the low-brow high-mindedness of the pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-compelling Pax Utopia (everyone else has done this; this isn't the most interesting iteration of it or even an interesting iteration of it) Wanda shows us that power is power. It needn't be in the service of anything lofty. All it has to do is impress.

Grade: C+/B-


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