Homemade In-n-Out Animal Fries

We haven’t been to Southern California in a little over 3 months now. That means that the In-n-Out withdrawal, the so-called “out-n-out,” has finally set in. Luckily for us, with AK‘s creativity and SP‘s methodicalness, we have a temporary solution until our next visit West. Or South. Wherever there’s burgers.

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We’ve tried a few different ways of making what we miss most: animal style fries. People like the burgers and all, but for us, it’s all about that extremely saucy, super oniony fry mixture that gets our motors running. There are some serious bummer recipes out there that basically say that Thousand Island dressing is the same thing. They’re wrong. Here’s the closest we’ve come:

THE RECIPE FOR THE SOUSE:

  • 1 cup Hellmann’s Light Mayo
  • 1/2 cup (or a little extra) Ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar

Basically you mix all of it and set it in the fridge for a couple hours for maximum impact. But making it looks a little funny.

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Heinz for the appropriate taste.

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Maaaayo. Maaaaaaaaaaaayo. Daylight come and me wanna make fries.

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SOMEONE BLED ALL OVER OUR MAYO!

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We relish making this sauce.

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You can also add a bit of garlic powder if you want.

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If you went to Kindergarten, you may remember that you get different colors when you mix stuff together.

Ok, so the sauce is made. The next important part is the umyum. This part is even more tricky than mixing the sauce because it requires patience, varying temperatures, and a keen eye. We’ll leave the eyeball part to AK.

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White onion outperforms yellow onion in this mixture.

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Dice. (Yes there’s yellow onion back there that we were going to use for our Sloppy Joes.)

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A tbsp and a half of vegetable oil, and throw in the onions.

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Leave it on super low heat, covered, for 30 minutes. For serious. Just leave it alone. SP STOP OPENING IT TO CHECK ON THEM!

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After that 30 minutes, bring the heat up and stir for about 6-8 minutes. Then throw in 1/4-1/2 cup of water, leaving it on hot, and let the water cook out. This will help loosen any stubborn bits of umyum and help the flavor get a bit smoky.

Ok. Now it’s time to build our animal fries. We may be a bit sacrilegious because we aren’t using cheese, but then again, we can’t source In-n-Out fries either. So this can only be a temporary fix.

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We used some Ore Ida “zesties.” They’re great seasoned fries to make in the oven and really good quality fries no matter the style you get. 

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Get some of the umyums on there.

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DOUSE IN SOUSE!!

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Served tonight alongside some homemade Untidy Josephs.

Please feel free to try the recipe and give us your feedback!

Man it feels good to type up some stuff again. Catch you on the flip-flop?

-SPAK

[FHCx323] National Vichyssoise Day

IT’S NATIONAL VICHYSSOISE DAY!

Cold. Soup. Yay.

Vichyssoise is controversial because the French say the Americans invented it, and the Americans say the French invented it. It’s like neither wants to take credit (or blame) for the creation of this soup. Maybe because it’s not really all that good?

In theory, pureed potatoes and leeks with some cream and stock sounds like it could be great. Potatoes and onion-y flavor is not exactly the gross end of any spectrum anywhere. SPom and SPad were up to the challenge of making this one.

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It was better when heated up. Overall, we’re glad we got to have it. AK suggested that it tasted like a liquid pringle. Just imagine that for a bit.

Tomorrow is National Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx260] National Guacamole Day/National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day

Holy guacamole!

TODAY IS NATIONAL GUACAMOLE DAY AND NATIONAL CINNAMON RAISIN BREAD DAY!

It’s Friday night, and so we made cinnamon raisin bread a special moment. Thanks to Lund’s & Byerly’s, we got ourselves a cinnamon raisin challah! Challah is the traditional Shabbat (Friday night/Saturday) food: a braided bread. And theirs is very tasty.

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Dinner itself had to involve some guacamole. Both SP and AK are fans of getting guac on their Chipotle bowls, and we like recreating that at home. We’ve shown you a whole bunch of SP‘s steak bowls over the last year. Tonight was no different.

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Steak in a pan, cooked a la AK (rare, with lots of garlic, onion, and pepper)

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Steak on rice is step one.

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Next up is to take one of these amazing guacamole pouches…

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And plop it on!

We really like Wholly Guacamole‘s minis. Their spicy guacamole is the real deal. Since avocados are running out of season in September, it’s hard to find good ones. And we are certainly happy to have these pre-portioned minis around to help us out.

Tomorrow is National Apple Dumpling Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx259] National Linguine Day/National Creme de Menthe Day/National Double Cheeseburger Day

IT’S NATIONAL LINGUINE DAY, NATIONAL CREME DE MENTHE DAY, AND NATIONAL DOUBLE CHEESEBURGER DAY!

It’s hard to place which of these we would enjoy most. AK definitely would go for the pasta, and SP would certainly like the double serving of meat… We love both.

Linguine is the pasta that you have when you want spaghetti, but slightly flatter. These little tongues are good at carrying sauce which, let’s face it, is the real reason we’re eating pasta to begin with. Well thanks to Buca, which supplied SP with beautiful birthday coupons, we had some linguine on Tuesday and had some leftovers today.

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We built our own with linguine, marinara, mushrooms, artichokes, onions, and poached garlic. With meatballs of course.

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And look at this cute cake they made for SP! (Those aren’t actually noodles)

Alright, palette cleanser time. Let’s have a mint. A menthe.

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Lastly, we took a trip down to SParents (since we haven’t been there in a while) to have some burgers. SPom’s hamburgers are awesome. She has some kind of magic she makes them with, because she uses a 95% lean beef – not traditionally what you’d use for a juicy hamburger – and mixes in pureed… MUSHROOMS! It thickens out the patty and they are super tender. But then she gives SP all the credit because of his grilling skills. Let’s just say that SP is so badass at grilling that he did the whole thing in the rain tonight!

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Rainy burgers!

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Some cheese.

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SP‘s.

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AK made this with some sauteed onions and mushrooms.

Tomorrow is National Guacamole Day and National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx245] National Gyros Day/National Cherry Popover Day

2/3 of the way through the year!

IT’S NATIONAL GYROS DAY AND NATIONAL CHERRY POPOVER DAY!

Alright, let’s get this out of the way. We made cherry popovers with the same recipe that we used for blueberry popovers and raspberry popovers. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a great recipe.

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3 eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour, 1 tsp vanilla

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Drop in cherries and cinnamon sugar.

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3-dimensional!

Delightful! But we know what we’re really here for. It would be foolish to say that SPAK has a favorite restaurant. However… Holy Land is one of those places that we could never get enough of. Ever. Yes, the place that was just on Triple D. Yes, the place that used to print this on their hummus.

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This Mediterranean restaurant nails everything they do, from Gyros to Schawarma to Falafel. Just awesome stuff.

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One of the few forms of shaving that SP deems reasonable.

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SP likes to get the Gyro Lovers’ Combo, which has beef/lamb gyro and the chicken gyro.

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AK loves the chicken gyro, with its delicious spices and onions.

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Stuff it in a pita and boom. You’re good to go.

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They even gave us these cakes for free this time because they love us at Holy Land!

Seriously, if you’re in the Twin Cities, go to Holy Land as soon as you can. It’s a pilgrimage worth making.

Tomorrow is National Blueberry Popsicle Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx211] National Lasagna Day/National Chicken Wing Day

It is so hard to pick which of these we liked better today…

IT’S NATIONAL CHICKEN WING DAY AND NATIONAL LASAGNA DAY!

For our lunch today, we headed out to Oakdale for the undisputed king of chicken wings in the Twin Cities: D-Spot. In the past year, they moved out of their former tiny space into a really amazing new lot about a quarter mile away. These wings are capital G Good. They clock in at 85 different flavors in multiple categories, including Savory, Sweet, and Spicy (ranging from “spicy” to “death row”).

Do yourself a favor and go read their menu for a bit. It’s very difficult to make choices. Do I want something really extravagant? Maybe the “Snackers” – peanut butter, caramel, crushed nuts, chocolate, and sea salt? (Yes, it’s amazing.) Or maybe I want to burn my tongue off? Well we picked three:

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Frenchy: Caramelized onion with a sweet balsamic reduction

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SP‘s favorite, Tarantula: Soy glaze, roasted garlic, chili, dry rub, fried garlic

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Bathala’s Bliss: Ginger, honey, chili, peanut butter, lime, cilantro

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It’s hard to characterize these fries but they are SO good. Seasoned and served with a “special yellow sauce.”

We could barely walk after eating these delicious wings. SP had wing glaze all over his moustache. However, we did manage to get ourselves up enough to go bowling and push some of the calories out. That was before we got home to make Lasagna.

Picture time!

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2 cups part-skim cheese

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Mix with 1 container of part-skim Ricotta

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93% lean ground beef and some hot italian sausage

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Lay down about a cup of sauce first

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A few lasagna sheets

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Spread on more sauce

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3/4 cup of the cheese mixture, and then spread it!

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Some meat…

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Repeat, repeat, repeat, and then top off with some more sauce and cheese.

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Bake at 375. Boom.

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Garfield would have a fit.

We love pasta as it is, and making stuff like this at home is a lot of fun! Next time we could lighten it up even more, but it was really tasty as is. The hot italian sausage kept things interestingly spicy, and the ricotta was smooth and creamy. Mmmm.

Tomorrow is National Cheesecake Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx210] National Chili Dog Day/National Milk Chocolate Day

Chocolate chili, anybody?

IT’S NATIONAL MILK CHOCOLATE DAY AND NATIONAL CHILI DOG DAY!

Chocolate is chocolate. Purists will dismiss things like milk chocolate and white chocolate. But in reality, milk chocolate isn’t all that bad! We got some chocolate from Choco Love. Pretty good stuff!

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Today is also Chili Dog Day. There are a few restaurants in the Twin Cities that do amazing dogs: Chris and Rob’s, The Wienery, and Prairie Dogs. Prairie Dogs, especially, is known for making some badass chili – you can tell they’re good on it because they serve chili cheese fries. So we made the trip down to uptown (which is south of downtown) to get our dog on. And it was absolutely amazing. You need to go to Prairie Dogs immediately.

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The “Split Open and Melt” – Chili, Hook’s cheddar spread, mustard, and raw onions. Chili Cheese Fries on the side. Messy. Delicious.

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Not a chili dog. The “Pliny the Elder” – Duck fat fried hot dog, foie gras torchon, and currant apple relish. Also messy. Also delicious.

The chili is just what you need for a dog. Super meaty. No beans. A little kick and very, very, very saucy. Gets everywhere. We will dream of these dogs tonight.

Tomorrow is National Chicken Wing Day and National Lasagna Day!

-SPAK