August 14, 2013

Killer Nu-Joe

We had a guest staying with us last week, so we were duty-bound to force Royals recipes on her.

Just who was this mystery guest?

I don't want to tell tales out of school, but it rhymes with "Hi Mister Fin Claw!"

Was that clear?


It was my sister-in-law, you idiot.


We made Royals recipes!

Two of them!

I'll just cover one today and save the other for next week when I'm flummoxed and don't know what the hell to write about.


That's the title page of the book. I don't think I've posted it before, but it's pretty sweet.

Anyway, we were looking for something with just the right mix of appealing and disgusting to share with our house guest, and we were pretty sure we'd found it when we came across Steve Busby's entry.

Busby, as you probably know, put together three strong seasons as a Royals starter before a torn rotator cuff effectively ended his playing career. He was the first pitcher to get surgery to repair the injury, but he was never the same and retired at the age of 30. In 1996, Busby served as the television play-by-play voice of the Royals, but he was fired at the end of the year. He wasn't the best announcer, but it's pretty upsetting that Steve Physioc has been given a longer leash than Buzz. If you're interested in hearing Busby call a game, he's now doing TV for the Texas Rangers.

Let's check out the favorite meal of the first great Royals pitcher:

That's right, Buzz was fond of something called Nu-Joe Special.

Say it out loud.


There's magic in those words.
Here are the ingredients:

Buzz's recipe calls for a #2 1/2 can of spinach, which is 27 to 29 ounces, so we used most of two 16-ounce bags (basically, a shitload).

You'll also notice we were planning to use something called Nu-Salt rather than real salt:

Then we tasted it and it made us want to kill ourselves.

Overbearingly bitter with a strongly bitter aftertaste, you'd probably be better off cooking with sidewalk de-icer.

Editor's Note: Please don't ingest sidewalk de-icer. Or Nu-Salt. Also real salt is bad for you, too. You probably should just avoid eating. Sorry.

Anyway, we tossed aside the Nu-Salt and got started with the Nu-Joe Special.

Here are some revolting pictures which document the process:


The house was filled with the smell of cooked spinach. Better than cabbage stank, but still a little off-putting.

We pulled our garlic toast out of the oven and piled on the Nu-Joe Special.

The three of us were a little apprehensive, but we didn't have anything else to eat so we dug in.

It was a little dry, and goddamn was there a ton of spinach, but it was actually good. Like, really, really good. The key was to get a good mix on your fork-- eggs, meat, spinach, and garlic bread-- and it was delicious. Sort of like a loose-meat sandwich combined with a spinach frittata. Tasty and filling.

The sister-in-law and I both loved it and ate large plates of the Nu-Joe.

My wife, however, wasn't a fan. She doesn't like large quantities of cooked spinach, I guess. She described it as "edible, but mildly unpleasant," though she did say it tasted "like something other people would like."

Of course, she also said it was "like a fucking Popeye breakfast," so who knows.

When I make this again, I'll probably use fresh spinach (and maybe a little less), more onions (and earlier in the process), and an additional egg or two.

In fact, I'm excited to make it again. I liked it that much.

Mmmmmm, Nu-Joe Special.

Time for ratings:

Sister-in-Law: 4/5

Wife: 3/5

Me: 4+/5 (potential to be 5/5 with some tweaks)

Any final thoughts, Royals Hall of Famer Steve Busby?

Well said, Buzz.

Go Nu-Joe Special! You're the Best!


  1. Wyzburro12:23 PM

    I moved from KC to the SF Bay Area when I was a kid, a few years before this Royals cookbook was published. Looking at this recipe, I recalled there was a restaurant that I thought was called Alameda Joe's that was famous for this dish. Alameda is very close to the Oakland Coliseum, so it's quite likely Buzz and the boys went there for a bite, or made it all the way over to Original Joe's (which I believe was the parent restaurant) in San Francisco. It's not exact to the Joe's recipe (thus why it's probably called "Nu-Joe". I can't find anything that verifies this as complete truth (working on memory here), but I did find this recipe, which might help you improve your Nu-Joe:

    1. Thanks for the info and link, Wyzburro! I know the item is very popular in San Francisco, with most places out there calling it just "Joe's Special." Of course, most of the restaurants out there claim they invented it. Buzz was born in Burbank and lived in Southern California even while he was a Royal, so that may be another reason why he was familiar with the dish from up the coast.

      It's cool to think that Alameda Joe's may have been sort of like Oklahama Joe's is now in KC for visiting teams to stop and get a bite. While I like the Nu-Joe Special, I'd probably take a Z-man over it.

  2. Jack Karwoski2:45 PM

    Fuck you, man! I love Nu-Salt!


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