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Atomic76

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The Burger Lab: Cheese Sauce for Burgers, Fries, and Chips

It turned out smooth for me, with no cheese separation at all, which was great. However, it still had the same issue as a similar recipe on the Youtube channel for Argo brand cornstarch - it's more like a cheese "gravy", sort of like a runny wallpaper paste. Also, the cheese flavor isn't concentrated like it is in the store bought cheese dips/sauces. The hot sauce helps a bit, but it still tastes like milk with hot sauce with a bit of a cheese flavor, rather than a rich cheese sauce. I wonder if some added mustard powder and garlic powder may help?

Healthier substitutions for potato recipes?

If you've got a mandolin slicer or a food processor that can slice them 1/8th of an inch thick, you could try scalloped potatoes. A super easy basic recipe is to put some cream and the slice potatoes in a pan on the stove and heat it till it bubbles, then reduce it to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste (and some garlic powder if you like). Let it simmer for a bit, then pour half into a greased baking dish, top with some grated Parmesan, then add the other half and top with some more Parm (and some paprika for color). Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes uncovered until the potatoes are tender and the top browned. There's no need for butter or a heavy bechamel/cheese sauce. You can lower the fat simply by swapping out the cream for a mixture of half&half and some low fat milk. I think you will need some fat in it, I've never tried it with just skim milk for example, but you can probably reduce the fat quite a bit before it adversely affects the quality of the dish.

How to recreate lemon caper sauce

You could certainly make a thick lemony sauce like what is shown in the picture with just some butter, flour, white wine, lemon juice and capers. The thickness will simply depend on how much flour you add, plus how long you let the sauce cook and reduce.

Also keep in mind the butter will take some of the acidic edge off of the lemon.

The sauce in the pic kind of looks more opaque which is why I am thinking it was flour rather than corn starch. It doesn't look like is has any egg in it from what I can tell.

What are some side dishes I can make in advance?

You may want to do a trial run of the Hasselback potatoes to see if you like them or not. I made them a couple of times and was really disappointed with them personally. They didn't cook evenly and were all dried out and chewy on the outside while still not cooked through on the inside.

Au Gratin potatoes reheat very well. So would some baked beans. Candied yams or some sort of bourbon glazed carrots would too.

Clueless at the drive-thru!

I would love to see a fast food joint have a strict no substitutions/special orders policy. Not only that, but ditch the human person taking your order. Just keep the menu simple and make it a push button ordering system, where you can only just punch in how many of each item you want, and that's it - no other options. Don't like it? Go somewhere else. Maybe even put a countdown timer for each customer as they pull up to it, to notify them they are taking too long.

Or perhaps make the drive through lanes require you to place your order via your smart phone before you get in line.

Clueless at the drive-thru!

This is why I actually kind of like how some fast food places are now making multiple drive through lanes, so if one person is pulling this crap, everyone else can pass them by using the other lane. McDonald's & Rally's are the only places I've seen this at so far though.

I got stuck behind some woman in a van full of kids. Not only did she spend nearly 10 minutes "special ordering" *every damn thing*, when they finally gave her the order, she proceeded to sit there at the window and unwrap each sandwich to double check them. Due to the layout of the drive in lane, none of us behind her could pull out to leave. People started laying on their horns until she finally left. I wanted so bad to walk up to her car and ask her what in the hell was wrong with her, but with my luck, I would probably get the cops called on me.

Some people are so insanely selfish and inconsiderate, it's like they get a kick out of doing stuff like this because they have control issues or something, not to mention they're neurotic.

Alternative Dippers for Guacamole

Fried Plantains are wonderful with guacamole, it's a nice combination of sweet, salty and creamy combined with the slight heat from the jalepeno.

Cliff Huxtable Sandwhich?

Strange, I grew up watching The Cosby Show, but somehow forgot about this, lol. I do remember the "Bacon Burger Dog" though...

Some kind of dish with fish and mashed potatoes?

For some reason, my family always called fried fish with tomato sauce ladled over it Bacala. May sound a bit weird, but it's actually really good.

Cheap lunch ideas?

Don't rule out the dollar menu at places like McDonalds or Burger King. I used to get the dollar Whopper Jr. without the mayo. It really isn't that bad for you if you get it without mayo or cheese, and it has fresh lettuce, tomato and onion on it. It cut down on my lunch spending big time, $5 a week for lunch? Can't beat that.

You could make a batch of turkey meatballs then freeze them. When you are packing a lunch, just throw some in a hard roll with a little sauce and wrap it up - then just microwave it at work. Or pre-cook some penne and add them to that in a reuseable container with some sauce. Similarly, meatloaf sandwiches are a great way to stretch meat (and sneak in some veggies), plus those are good room temp or cold.

Veggie sandwiches are good too, you can make copycat Jimmy John's veggie sandwiches for a fraction of the price. I use the multi-grain Ciabatta rolls at Wal-Mart, which are 50 cents a piece ($3 for a bag of 6). Load them up with guacamole, mayo, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, sliced cucumber, and some roasted hot peppers.

With no other options - Strip or Ribeye?

Ribeye in a heartbeat. Although I will usually order it at least medium, definitely not rare, since it's not enough time for the fat to start melting and getting that golden dark brown.

Salvage Sad Zucchini, HELP! :(

I hate to say this, but it almost seems like the lesser of two evils to just junk the zucchini and start with something new. Otherwise you could waste up a lot of other good ingredients trying to doctor up some relatively inexpensive squash.

Breakfast Sandwich Hacks?

I would suggest getting a really small nonstick frying pan. I got one that's like 5 inches in diameter, and it's perfect for making sandwich-size eggs without having the egg whites run all over the pan and get crusty.

I love to stir in some frozen spinach with the scrambled eggs, then melt some swiss over the eggs and add a slice of fresh tomato.

Diced salami, rendered down. Then cook the scrambled eggs in the fat from the salami. Great with provolone or smoked provolone.

Shredded zucchini lightly sauteed with some fresh garlic is great in eggs too. Bell peppers and eggs are a classic.

I know you mentioned hot sauces, but have you tried making your own hot sauce? I make it fresh from fresno peppers, cider vinegar, sea salt, and fresh garlic. Throw it in a pressure cooker for 3 min, then blend it in a blender, and strain it through a strainer. The color is intense and it has a fresher taste.

My range died and I need recipes

You can make pasta rather easily in the microwave. Just throw it in a bowl or container with enough water to cover it. Some shapes of pasta work better than others, and it will foam up a bit, but other than that it works.

A quick pomodoro sauce to go with it would be great. Just be careful to not use plastic containers when heating up olive oil in there, try to do it in a glass container so it doesn't melt the container.

Steamed asparagus with a blender holandaise sauce (julia child's method, just heat the butter in the microwave then stream it into a running blender with the remaining ingredients).

You could make some vegetarian burritos with black beans, spanish rice, cheese, etc...

Frozen Fries

The Alexia ones are good, but they are a bit pricey at our stores around here. I've always wanted to try and make a batch of these myself, since there are often 5lb bags of potatoes on sale for $1 at some of the places I shop. I suppose if you were to cut up the potatoes, then par-boil them a bit and lightly toss in oil then freeze them on a baking sheet that might work. I may give it a try soon.

You favorite easy dinner

I keep some packs of thinly shredded ribeye on hand to make steak tacos. It's easy to chop up a quick pico de gallo, and some shredded lettuce for toppings. I really like Lawry's Fire Roasted Chili & Garlic seasoning, or I will marinate the meat in some Chipotle In Adobo.

Spanish rice is an easy to make side. Just use half chicken stock and half spicy tomato sauce (such as Goya brand or El Pato brand) with some instant rice, along with some lime juice and olive oil. Microwave it all in a container with a lid. Then while it rests, briefly microwave some frozen peas and corn, them mix everything together. I do the veggies separately so they don't lose their color.

I also sometimes make a "grilled" chicken parmesan. I just throw some chicken and mushrooms on the grill, then make a quick pomodoro sauce, put it all together on an oven safe pan and top it with cheese then broil it for a couple minutes. Could probably skip the broiler and do it all on a grill just by putting the pan on the grill and topping it with a metal bowl until the cheese melts.

Carnitas help/tricks?

I prefer to slow roast the pork in my oven in a baking dish with a tight fitting lid. It seems to get more of a variety of texture - the outer parts of the meat get a bit chewy and the inside parts melt in your mouth. Whenever I would boil it or put it in a slow cooker, the meat was just soft all over.

Broiling it to crisp it up sounds like the way to go, but I would be careful about any flare ups.

Mac and Cheese..whats the secret?

I usually just make a creamy mac and cheese in a double boiler with some heavy cream and a blend of cheeses, along with a little mustard powder. I go easy on the cream though, because too much will dilute the cheese flavor too much.

Grate the cheese yourself, since the pre-grated ones are often coated with stuff to prevent sticking. I like a blend of meunster, colby and sharp cheddar. Meunster melts well, on the other hand, sharp cheddar has a tendency to separate.

I skip the bechemel, since it's easy to not get it right and it can add to the "graininess" of the mac and cheese. Plus, it can make a mac and cheese go from creamy to a "brick" pretty quickly.

Sometimes I will top it with some more shredded cheese and broil it for a few minutes just to get that baked taste. Just be careful, because if you overdo it, you can cause the sauce to separate.

What to do with peach BBQ sauce?

Perhaps you could mix it with some shredded chicken and stuff it into wontons, then deep fry them? Or maybe just prepare them like potstickers? You may also be able to thin the BBQ sauce out with some vinegar and some more peach preserves to make a dipping sauce.

Dump sauce ideas?

- A cajun pasta sauce, there's lots of recipes out there for this but it's basically green & red peppers, garlic, onion, mushrooms, olive oil & butter & cajun seasoning. Goes well with chicken and shrimp (or even crawfish) or on its own.

- Burgundy wine sauce. Almost like a deep gravy, goes well with veggies in the pasta such as broccoli, carrots, mushrooms and peppers.

- A classic alfredo sauce, easy to make and really rich.

Are Medium Rare Burgers Better?

Another food blog I follow brought up a good point regarding cooking flank steak to at least medium - basically that anything less than that doesn't give the fat in the meat a chance to melt down, and you wind up with rubbery meat. A filet I would eat medium rare, but cuts of meat with a lot of fat and marbling I prefer to be cooked a little more, including burgers. Plus when burgers aren't cooked through, they're a mess to eat.

Reservations Rant

Also, if a large party decides to hang around for a long time, as another commenter mentioned, it can really throw off all their other reservations if they have limited seating.

Reservations Rant

It could also have to do with their ability to accommodate large parties when they are busy. They may not be able to move tables and seating around to put them together for large groups when they are busy.

Perhaps they are trying out the policy, and don't want to get the word out about it too much right now in case they want to discontinue it down the road?

Wendy's Burgers

I don't think they doctor their beef patties up much at all with additives and flavorings like McD's and BK do. I just taste salt and pepper on their patties, not even garlic or anything else like that. Perhaps try cooking them in a well seasoned cast iron pan to replicate them being cooked on a heavily used griddle?

A Shortcut When Making Your Home Made Pizza

I used to buy this occasionally from a local Italian specialty store, it was only like 99 cents for a bag of dough - can't beat that.

Funny story though, I had some in my fridge for a couple weeks and never got around to using it. I figured it was old so I tossed it in the garbage can one evening. When I got up, it had risen out of the can and knocked the lid off, lol. It looked like The Blob.

Question About "Two Ingredient Pizza Dough" Recipe

I've seen several posts regarding a two ingredient pizza dough recipe that uses just Self Rising Flour and Plain Yogurt (or Plain Greek Yogurt).

What none of them seem to explain though is what exactly does the yogurt do in the recipe? Does it do something similar to yeast?

I'm only asking because the self rising flour already has baking powder, which reacts to heat and makes stuff rise.

Also, if anyone on here has tried it, was it any good?

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