First, let’s address the obvious question. Why would I want to make a recipe at home when I can buy it in the store or go eat it at a restaurant?
While I would generally agree with that sentiment, there are some favorite brand recipes that are not sold in grocery stores. Also, it can get expensive to go out and eat every time you are craving one of your favorites.
I have eaten in many restaurants and wondered how they made whatever I was eating because as you know, whether it is something as simple as a hamburger or anything really, it always tastes better than when you make it at home.
Honestly, some of that is probably a mental thing going on in our heads but restaurants and other food companies put a lot of research into perfecting their recipes. Some would argue they put a lot of junk in them to get us hooked.
Making these recipes at home at least give you the option of controlling some of the ingredients that go into them. I have read other people say that no matter how accurate the recipe is, it never tastes the same when you make it at home because you have not added additional preservatives and the high fructose corn syrup that is in just about every product sold.
However, many of the ingredients below contain normal products like ketchup, and they may or may not contain high fructose corn syrup. I was surprised to find it in a jar of dill pickles once.
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of KetchupCredit: Opensource
- 2 tbsp. of brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar
- 3/4 tsp. of onion powder
- 3/4 tsp. of garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. of paprika
- 1/8 tsp. of salt
- 1/8 tsp. of cayenne pepper
- Corns starch mixture
- 1 tbsp. of corn starch
- 2 tbsp. of water
- 3 tbsp. of worcestershire sauce
Put everything in a blender and mix on high speed for 20 seconds. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and place on the stove on low heat. Continue to simmer for twenty minutes. Make sure you stir it constantly or it will become too thick.
After 20 minutes have passed, slowly stir in the corn starch mixture which will thicken everything up. Let it simmer on low for ten more minutes. Remove from heat and pour it into a covered glass container and serve immediately or store it in the refrigerator for up to a month.
I should mention that you can buy a bottle of the regular sauce in Arby's restaurants but I don't know how much it costs.
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(price as of May 11, 2016)
Cracker Barrel's Hashbrown Casserole
This is my favorite thing at Cracker Barrel. Some of the ingredients may surprise you.
- 2 lbs. of hashbrowns
- 1/2 cup of butter
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 pt. of sour cream
- 1/2 cup of chopped onion
- 2 cups of grated cheddar
- 1 tsp. of salt
- 1/4 tsp. of pepper
- 2 cups of crushed cornflakes
- 1/4 cup of melted butter
This one is pretty simple to make. First, if you bought frozen has browns, let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Combine that hashbrowns with ½ cup of melted butter, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, chopped onions, grated cheddar, salt and pepper (if desired) in a large bowl and mix together.
Next, put the mixture in at least a three quart casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Before you place it in the oven, sauté the cornflakes in ¼ of a cup of butter, then sprinkle them on top of the casserole dish. Place in the oven and bake for about 35 – 40 minutes.
Outback Steakhouse Blooming Onion
The next time you have steaks at your home, try cooking up one of these blooming onions to go along with it. At least it will be a conversation piece and you just might impress your guests.
For the Batter:
- 1/3 cup of cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cup of flour
- 2 tsp. of garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. of paprika
- 1 tsp. of salt
- 1 tsp. of pepper
- 24 oz. of beer
- 2 cup of flour
- 4 tsp. of paprika
- 2 tsp. of garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. of pepper
- 1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper
In a large bowl, blend the cornstarch, flour, and seasonings thoroughly. Add 24 ounces of beer and continue to blend.
Cut about 3/4" off the top of the onion and peel it. Then cut the onion into 12 to 16 vertical wedges, but do not cut through bottom root end. If you have seen a Blooming Onion at Outback, you know what this means. The onion wedges are still joined to the base of the onion. Next, remove about 1" of the petals from center of onion.
Now dip the onion in the seasoned flour and shake it to remove the excess. Separate the petals and dip into the batter to completely coat them. Gently place the entire onion in a deep fryer and fry at around 400 degrees for two minutes. Turn it over and fry an additional 90 seconds.
Remove the onion from the deep fryer and place it on a plate with paper towels to drain some of the excess oil.
Place the onion upright in shallow bowl and remove the center core with circular cutter. Serve while it is hot with the dressing of your choice. It is great with a ranch or hot dressing mix.
After you eat that, go work out because this monster has well over a thousand calories not to mention all of the fat and salt.
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(price as of May 11, 2016)