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Jailhouse Cooking

W. Scott Cole

Posted on August 20, 2019 23:37

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Prison food is as bad as you have heard, if not worse. Food cooked by the inmates in the housing units is another matter. As I have said before and will again, inmate ingenuity is amazing.

Jailhouse chefs take some of the simplest foods and combine them in ways people on the streets would never think of. Making a “spread” for several inmates can create good feelings and raise morale enormously. The ingredients come from canteen purchases and from foods bought by inmate families (in Colorado, families can buy “care packages” every quarter). Ramen noodles are a staple, so they find their way into most things.

Here are a couple of recipes from jailhouse chefs you can try if you want to find out what prison food that is not served in the mess hall can taste like. You might be surprised.




1 bag Tostitos and 1 bag Fritos          

1 jar of Garlic Hot Sauce

1 seasoning packet from chili Ramen Noodle package

1 seasoning packet from beef Ramen Noodle package

1 package roast beef (or other meat); 2 packages for meatier tamales

Smash both bags of chips to a fine powder. Pour them into a large container. Pour the two seasoning packets into a bowl and fill with water. Bring to a boil and immediately pour into the crushed chips slowly while stirring with a sturdy spoon. Refill the bowl and bring to a boil again. Add to the mixture.


As you add the water, the mixture will thicken. You want it to be the consistency of clay. Knead the mixture with your hands as a spoon will not mix it well enough. After it is well mixed, set it to the side and cover it. Put the meat into a bowl. Pour in half to all of the Garlic Hot Sauce, depending on how spicy you like your food. If you use half, add an equal amount of water. Stir well and bring to a boil. After it is boiling, use the spoon to shred the meat. Cut the sides of empty Ramen Noodle packages and lay them flat (not being in prison, you can substitute anything that will work). Roll a small handful of the dough into a ball and place it on the Ramen Noodle package. Flatten and shape into a circle. Pour a spoonful of meat in a line across the dough. Fold the bottom end of the Ramen package over halfway and bring back. Fold over the top of the Ramen package and wrap, Makes 25-30.

After you have eaten dinner, you can try dessert. How about this?

Spice Cake

1 bag Ginger Snap Cookies                                                              

1 can orange soda

Crush ginger snaps to powder. Mix in the entire can of orange soda. Cook in microwave 6-8 minutes or until no longer wet in the middle. Let cool and remove from cooking dish.

Yes, the cake will rise. It really is a cake. I would add the recipe for icing, but that would go over 500 words.

All cooking in prison is done in a microwave using plastic dishes and utensils. If you try these, let me know what you think.

W. Scott Cole

Posted on August 20, 2019 23:37


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Source: WBRZ

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