The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

On The Table

August 14, 2007

Fool's Gold Loaf: A sandwich fit for The King

— Lord almighty, you can feel your caloric intake rising.

At more than 9,000 calories, the Fool’s Gold Loaf is a legendary sandwich that is truly fit for a king.

Well, The King, at least.

As fans from around the world flock to Memphis to mark the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, you can celebrate without leaving the kitchen by whipping up a hunk, a hunk of gooey, greasy goodness that was one of the performer’s favorites.

Legend has it (or at least several Elvis-centric Web sites do, anyway) that Presley became enamored of the peanut butter, jelly and bacon sandwich served at the Colorado Mine Company restaurant in Denver.

One night in 1976, a hankering for the sandwich led Elvis, some members of his entourage and other guests to board his private jet, the Lisa Marie, and take off from Memphis to go pick some up.

They were reportedly met on the tarmac in Denver by the restaurant’s owner, who brought them 22 sandwiches, which were washed down with Perrier and champagne. After eating, they flew back to Memphis without ever having left the plane.

The details as to who exactly made the trip with Elvis and how much the round-trip flight and meal cost (though some estimate the price tag at close to $16,000) vary among the retellings, as do some versions of the Fool’s Gold Loaf recipes.

For instance, some call for as few as 2 tablespoons of butter, while others call for a more generous amount, enough to really “slather” the bread. The flavor of the jelly is also left open, so you can go with the traditional grape or whatever kind suits your fancy.


Fool’s Gold Loaf

1 loaf of bread

1 jar of peanut butter

1 jar of jelly

1 pound of bacon

1 stick of butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the loaf lengthwise and slather it with butter, and brown it in the oven. While it is browning, fry the bacon and then drain it. Remove the loaf from the oven and hollow out the interior a bit to make room for the other ingredients. Fill the inside of the loaf with the peanut butter and jelly. Layer the bacon on the loaf as desired. Close the loaf and enjoy.

Note that while the sandwich will serve up to 10 people, an Elvis-sized serving was 1 loaf.

If the combination of peanut butter and pork doesn’t cry out to you to “Love Me Tender,” try out the following recipes from the “Are You Hungry Tonight?” cookbook, which were also among Elvis’ favorite dishes.

Bratwurst sandwiches

4 fully cooked bratwurst

1 teaspoon corn oil

1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1 (8-ounce) can sauerkraut, drained

1/2 cup Rhine wine or sweet white wine

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

4 French rolls, split

Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the bratwurst and brown, turning occasionally. Push the bratwurst to one side of the pan. Add the oil and red pepper. Cook, stirring, for one minute. Stir in the sauerkraut and continue cooking one minute. Add the wine and caraway seeds. Cover the pan tightly, reduce heat, and cook over low heat for nine minutes.

Toast the French rolls, if desired. Place a bratwurst in each French roll and top each with an equal portion of the sauerkraut mixture.

Sausage spoon bread

1 pound sausage links

4 cups milk

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

4 eggs, well beaten

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Generously butter a 1 1/4-quart ovenproof baking dish.

In a frying pan, over high heat, brown the sausage. Drain the sausage on paper towels.

In the top of a double boiler, heat the milk over boiling water. Gradually stir in the cornmeal and cook, stirring often, until the mixture is the consistency of mush. Add the butter and salt to the cornmeal mixture and mix well.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the onion, mustard and cheese to the beaten eggs. Gradually stir the cornmeal mixture into the egg mixture. Pour it into the prepared baking dish. Top with the sausage and bake for 45 minutes. Serve with greens and sliced tomatoes.

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