What the Raguseas REALLY Eat
“Hi, I’m Adam Ragusea. This is Lauren. We
just dropped the kids off at school, and because
I cook on the internet, people seem to be
under the impression that the Raguseas eat
a made-from-scratch masterpiece three-nights-a-week,
seven-days-a-week — there’s no three nights
in a week. No, in a day.”
“Three meals in a day!”
“We really rely on prepared foods to make
it through most of the week, which is why
we are headed to Target.”
“My favorite place.”
“She’s not kidding.”
And thanks to Target for sponsoring this video.
Fun fact: Lauren worked at her hometown Target.
Then she went away to college, and whenever
she felt homesick she’d go to the Target near
campus. So now any Target is basically her
“It is, truly.”
“Ooo, they have dried cranberries. I love
“I know it.”
These are all part of Target’s flagship grocery
brand that’s launching this fall. It’s called
Good & Gather, new and only at Target. Lot’s
of fresh ingredients, but uh, key for us,
is many the prepared and semi-prepared goodies.
“The green beans are, like, ready to go.”
“Oh, it comes with the dressing and everything
“See, this is the stuff that really helps
you on a weeknight.”
“And baby carrots for the humus.”
“Why does drying out fruit make children more
likely to eat it?”
“Ooo, grapefruit sparkling water. I love grapefruit.”
“You don’t like grapefruit?”
“I don’t like sparkling water, it never — like
— what I want is soda.”
OK, well, here in voiceover I’m gonna say
that I like flavored sparkling water. It’s
“I’m getting these fruit and veggie pouches
for Leo, ’cause they go in his lunchbox. I
like that they have hidden vegetables.”
“Crinkle-cut sweet potato chips.”
“Sweet potato — that’s a vegetable we can
get in him.”
“That’s right. Because it tastes like sugar.”
“He used to eat pears. You remember that?”
“He might eat these. They’re kid pears.”
“They’re kid pears?”
“They are! They have a smiling pear on them!”
“Should we get some ‘monster’ cheese?”
Alright, now check out this tri-color slaw.
That is my secret to fractionally homemade
meals all through the work week. I’ll show
you. I put bagged slaw into the easiest sweet
pickling solution in the world.
Grab a red onion, cut it and half, and I say
don’t waste your life trying to peel the skin.
Just sacrifice the outermost edible layer.
It you look closely it often has leathery
You could use shallots instead, but something
oniony and red, because it’ll make the pickles
purple and purple food is awesome.
A whole 12-ounce bottle of rice vinegar goes
in a stainless steel or glass bowl. No aluminum
— it would leach. Rice vinegar is great
for people who think they don’t like vinegar.
Really smooth and mild. Half a cup of sugar
and a pinch of salt. And when you mix that
up, you’re gonna think, “This is never gonna
dissolve. This is why you’re supposed to boil
pickling solutions then cool them back down
again.” Rubbish, I say. It’ll dissolve, just
not right now.
Onions go in, followed by our 8-ounce bag
of slaw mix. And when you mix that up, you’re
gonna think, “These things aren’t fully submerged.
Don’t pickles have to be fully submerged?”
Ha ha, these are related rubbishes, because
after you cover that up and throw it in the
fridge for at least a day, check it out. Slaw
is mostly cabbage, cabbage and onion are full
of water, and the solution draws the water
out — giving you enough liquid to fully
dissolve and submerge everything. Those’ll
just get better and better for a week, and
let me show you two things that you can do
with them over that time. One pickle give
you at least two dinners.
I’ll get those ready-to-eat fajita strips
they had at Target and the shredded cheese.
The box just says to open the meat slightly
and microwave it for a couple minutes.
Smells like something I spent a lot of time
making! Great spice mixture on those.
This is a plate. This is a wet paper towel.
Put it on the plate, put some tortillas in
there, cover them up and microwave for 30
seconds max. This will get you that steamed
tortilla texture that so many of us have come
to love at Mission-style burrito restaurants.
Taco on the plate. Hot chicken on the taco
— cheese on the chicken so it melts a little
bit, and then the cold pickled slaw. Maybe
a few cilantro leaves, and I like to spoon
over some of that jewel-like sweet pickle
That is a quality taco, friends. Even people
who think they don’t like pickled vegetables
like those, and here’s another dinner you
can make with them.
Get a big sheet pan, and if you line it with
aluminum foil there will be literally no dishes
to clean. Grease it up a little. Get these
beautiful blue corn chips and spread some
around. Whenever food can be purple, it shall
be in my house, though maybe some yellow ones
too for color contrast, if you’re feeling
Then I do a primer coat of shredded cheese.
Just a little. When it melts, it’ll help the
next layer of ingredients to adhere. This
is that pre-shredded rotisserie chicken we
got. No need to even warm it up for this.
This is saving me so much time. But I am tearing
up the bigger chunks as I put them down. Everything
on nachos has to be bite-sized or they’re
just too hard to eat.
Here are four frozen cubes of my Cuban-style
black beans. Devotees know that I’m a fan
of freezing leftover sauces and stews and
such in ice cube trays, for easy thawing.
But you could totally just use some canned
black beans for this, that’d be fine.
Some of this sweet onion salsa, or any salsa
that you like. Just little dabs here and there;
nobody likes soggy nachos. A little bit goes
along way. And then the top coat of cheese.
Lots of cheese this time. Whole thing goes
under a hot broiler for like five minutes
max. When you broil stuff, watch it the entire
time, ’cause it can burn in flash, like that.
This is much better. Cheese is just bubbling.
Now you can scatter on some of your pickled
slaw, and I’m pulling it out with a fork so
that I can drain off the juice before it goes
on the tray. Wet tacos are good, wet nachos
are bad. A few cilantro leaves, and there
you go. Don’t get precious about it and make
dirty plates for yourself to clean. Everybody
just gather around the tray and go to town.
“I grew up making nachos in the microwave,
and I didn’t know how terrible that was until
you taught me how to use the broiler. I feel
like people are afraid of their broilers,
but they shouldn’t be.”
This is true. And that cool, bright slaw is
an amazing contrast with the toasty broiled
Oh, and, uh, let’s throw together a kids plate.
New Good & Gather stuff is gonna be showing
up at target through 2020. These are taste-first
products with quality ingredients — no artificial
flavors or sweeteners, no synthetic colors,
no high fructose corn syrup. This video is
an ad for Target and I appreciate their patronage.
You can find this stuff at your local Target,
or shop online using my link in the description.
That looks pretty good, and they’ll actually
eat it. Eventually they’ll try the pickles.
One day at a time.