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

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[FHCx364] National Pepper Pot Day

two… days…

IT’S NATIONAL PEPPER POT DAY!

As we drag ourselves towards the finish line of December 31st, we had one more major investment of a food holiday to go before easy street kicked in. This doozy of a day is actually dual in meaning, and we took it in a direction that others probably would not.

You see, pepper pot sounds harmless enough. However, a quick search on wikipedia reveals that there are TWO completely different foods both called pepper pot! There’s the Philadelphia Pepper Pot, invented during the American Revolutionary War to keep troops fed on hearty food through winter, and there’s Guyanese Pepperpot, a stewed meat dish traditionally served around Christmas that uses some very peculiar ingredients. Being adventurous, or rather having a SPad who likes challenges, we opted for the latter.

This meant first acquiring some casareep, a very appetizing-looking black sauce made from cassava root. Allow us to read this important passage, *ahem*: “Cassareep is made from the juice of the bitter cassava root, which is poisonous (it contains acetone cyanohydrin, a compound which decomposes to the highly toxic hydrogen cyanide on contact with water).” Glad we had this talk.

Another main component of Guyanese Pepperpot is the wiri wiri pepper. So many things that are basically unique to this one dish.

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Since SPad made the rest of this, we can’t speak much to the preparation. Just know that it required many pounds of meat including oxtail for its marrow. The final product was beautiful. It is best to make it a couple days ahead of time and let it sit for a while. But then this happens:

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Layer of congealed fat. YESSSSSSS.

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Ok so now that’s cleared up a bit…

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Beautiful beef and peppers with some couscous.

A well-met endeavor. Thanks, SPad!

Tomorrow is National Bicarbonate of Soda Day (Baking Soda) and National Bacon Day (the International version being one we already celebrated).

-SPAK

[FHCx360] National Pumpkin Pie Day

6 days to go.

IT’S NATIONAL PUMPKIN PIE DAY!

SP made a pumpkin pie with SPom’s help. We had fun.

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Festal pumpkin cans have this recipe… So we just had to follow it.

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We accidentally put in the whole 12 oz can of evaporated milk instead of just 8 oz. Made it really liquidy. We used some flour to thicken it back up. AK suggested we use non-evaporated milk to cancel it out.

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A very liquidy pie goes into the oven. Had to watch out for sloshing.

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This rose and fell quite poetically.

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Then we got to have it for breakfast today!

Tomorrow is National Candy Cane Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx357] National Date Nut Bread Day

9 days left!

TODAY IS NATIONAL DATE NUT BREAD DAY!

“Bread,” they call it. Because it rises in a loaf pan and has flour and water. But it’s much more like a banana bread. Basically, you love the taste of something, so why not turn it into a cake? Dates are naturally sweet and subtle, with a honey kind of flavor. Truly lovely.

AK went all over town today trying to buy some date nut bread somewhere, to no avail. Even Wuollet’s, Grand Ave’s terrific bakery, didn’t have any in today as they gear up for the holidays. So what do we do? Make it at home! Here’s our recipe.

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Chop up some dates.

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About a cup and a half’ll do.

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Pour them into a pot of boiling water with some baking soda.

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In the meantime, cream butter and sugar and all the other stuff.

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Chopped pecans!

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Add the flour in.

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Put in the dates with their water in the mixture to make a batter.

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Bake at 300F for a little over an hour.

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So tasty. We’d happily make this one again! Add it to the repertoire!

Tomorrow is National Pfefferneuse Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx346] National Noodle Ring Day

IT’S NATIONAL NOODLE RING DAY!

We didn’t know what a noodle ring was before this food holiday challenge. Apparently lots of cultures use the ring form to make baked noodles, ranging from Italian (timballo, if that counts) to Ashkenazi (kugel in ring form). We like noodles well enough, and have enjoyed them plenty throughout the year like Noodle Day, but today was a special challenge to try something new. We lifted this recipe and gave it a shot.

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You remember Bundt Day, right…?

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A whole bunch of stuff (go read the recipe!). Most of the flavor comes from a can of cream of mushroom soup, the cheese, and the broccoli…

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With some strong help from Lipton’s Onion Soup mix. This stuff is the business. We’d make anything with it.

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Cook a bunch of egg noodles and then pour them in. 

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Should we just eat it as is?

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Pack it into the pan. Set into 350F for almost an hour. We ended up doing about 55 minutes.

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Drumroll pleeeeease!

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Tada!

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What it looks like at a cross-section.

It tasted like cheesy onion-y cream of mushroom stuff. Best part was that SP worked with SPom and SPad to make it, and then got to serve it with AKma and AKpa. Family gathering for the win!

Tomorrow is National Ambrosia Day and National Gingerbread House Day.

-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

[FHCx320] National Spicy Hermit Cookie Day/National Bundt Day/National Raisin Bran Cereal Day

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IT’S NATIONAL SPICY HERMIT COOKIE DAY, NATIONAL BUNDT DAY, AND NATIONAL RAISIN BRAN CEREAL DAY!

Raisin Bran is a polarizing cereal, as we’ve found out from conversations with friends. SP tends to like raisins, and AK doesn’t. But even the bran part is something people don’t like. Weird.

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Two Scoops for extra poops

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Just look at how fun this cereal is!

Our next task was handling some Bundt. We are proud to present it as a regional creation with Jewish roots. Can you believe it? It’s based off of Gugelhupf, which was a Eastern European cake popular in Jewish communities. And then some dudes in St. Louis Park (which used to be referred to as “St. Jewish Park” – ya know, where SParents grew up) made this company called Nordic Ware and invented the Bundt pan based off this cake thing.

Everywhere you go in Minnesota, Bundt. Believe it. And Mrs. Wonderful’s are frequently available at Target. And they are wonderful.

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When picking out which flavor to use today, AK said “Obviously Cinnamon Swirl.” So I guess there you go.

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Super duper good.

The last part of today was something we’d never heard of: Spicy Hermit? What? Like, spicy hot? Hermit like a crab, or a person hiding out somewhere? Who came up with this crap?

New Englanders in the 1880s, like half of these dang food holiday foods.

Imagine an oatmeal raisin cookie. Take out the oatmeal, but still keep the cookie soft and chewy. Then throw on a whole bunch of spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, etc. That’s a spicy hermit. We nabbed this recipe from The Spice House to make our own.

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Dry ingredients with a bunch of spices.

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Cream butter with sugar.

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Add in some beaten eggs and mix it up. This looks super cool, doesn’t it?

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Combine with the dry stuff.

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Chewy. Could’ve had more spices in them, but likely the recipe was made “mild” so that people wouldn’t run screaming to the hills. An interesting cookie, but not our favorite.

Tomorrow is National Fast Food Day!

-SPAK