Back to previous post: Fixing Light

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: In de gloria

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

June 12, 2009

Heart Attack Casserole
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 04:40 PM * 235 comments

Take a bag of frozen steak fries. Bake them in the bottom of a casserole pan until nearly done.

Take a mess of boiled ham, cut into ¼” cubes. A mess of green onions, finely sliced, stems and all. A red pepper, chopped, with seeds and stuff discarded. A pound of bacon, fried and crumbled (or cut up with kitchen shears, if that’s the way you roll).

Divide the ham, onion, pepper, and bacon into two equal piles. Sprinkle one pile over the potatoes. Pour on one bottle of Cheez Whiz, nuked enough to make it pourable. Spread the cheese-like material out over the potatoes and stuff.

Take the other pile of chopped stuff, and sprinkle on top of the Cheez Whiz.

Bake until it’s all hot and friendly (350°F for thirty minutes or so).

Serve with sour cream.

Listen to your arteries scream.

[Recipe Index]

Comments on Heart Attack Casserole:
#1 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 04:53 PM:

Third attempt at commenting without rudeness: Jim...CHEEZ WHIZ? How COULD you?

Never mind that the recipe is like backing a little cement mixer up to your heart. Since I (a vegetarian) will never eat this, I'll take your word, and the other commenters': is this actually tasty to a meat eater? It really doesn't sound all that good, especially with the...please don't make me type that again...stuff.

#2 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 04:55 PM:

Trolling for customers, Jim?

#3 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 05:01 PM:

Xopher, I tell you true: A genuine Philly Cheese Steak uses that stuff as a canonical ingredient. Really.

And, if what you want is a dose of cholesterol big enough to lift your LDL numbers into low-earth orbit, there's nothing like it.

And (again I tell you true) this is a Cub and/or Boy Scout Favorite.

#4 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 05:02 PM:

Hmm. Crumbled, browned and drained ground beef might work as a substitute for boiled ham (which retains too much water for my taste).

Oh, yum. I could never get away with serving it, but it has a certain appeal.

#5 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 05:02 PM:

In the context of this recipe, Cheese Whiz is good. Just like Cheese Whiz is good on Philly cheesesteaks.

But you wouldn't want to use some kind of off-brand Cheese Whiz clone, because That Would Be Wrong.

#6 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 05:08 PM:

To add to the Wrongness, use a cup of Mexican Velveeta (the kind with the jalapeno bits) rather than Cheez-Whiz.

#7 ::: Ken Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 05:14 PM:

You forgot the Duck Fat, Jim. How can you present a set of heart attack steak fries if there's no duck fat.

(Yes, I ate there last night. Yes, I am having chest pains. Why do you ask?)

#8 ::: Rob Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 05:15 PM:

Just because something is canonical does not automatically make it a good thing. I, for one, will not submit to the Cheez Whiz overlords....

#9 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 05:18 PM:

Xopher @ 1... How about Velveeta?

#10 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 05:20 PM:

Why don't people make a real cheese sauce?

1. Boil some heavy cream in a non-stick pan until it starts to thicken, stirring constantly.
2. Turn off the heat.
3. Mix in grated extra-sharp cheddar until it's the texture and/or color you want.

Even a boy scout (maybe not a cub scout) can do that. You could even use a non-non-stick pan ('stick pan' sounds like a really long thin pan, doesn't it?), if you stir faster. It's clearly much simpler than

1. Go to the store wearing a ski-mask so you can without being publicly shamed.
2. home and hide it somewhere where your family members or anyone who loves you even a skosh will be unable to find and kindly discard it.
3. Struggle to open the jar (harder after four or five heart attacks, I'm told).
4. Having opened the jar, hold breath to avoid gagging at the smell and avert eyes to avoid gagging at the sight of the gelatinous, translucent, yellowish...OK, gagging now. Ohhh. Bleah.
5. in the microwave. Try not to blow up the jar; you don't all over the kitchen. Hazmat teams are expensive.
6. Pour it on the weeds and pig bits.

You see, you list that as just one step, but you left out all the hard parts!

BX, V'z zbfgyl xvqqvat, ohg V ernyyl qvq npghnyyl tnt ng zl zrer qrfpevcgvba

#11 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 05:21 PM:

Jim, #3: this is a Cub and/or Boy Scout Favorite

Now that I'd believe. Especially after a long and vigorous hike, when everybody is starving of the hunger and the only thing they care about is replenishing lost calories.

I can visualize changes to this that would make it appealing for most meat-eaters of the gentile persuasion, without seriously impairing its cholesterolic properties. :-) Starting, of course, by using real cheese instead of That Stuff; and if I were doing it, I'd replace the steak fries with potatoes sliced about 1/4" thick and roasted in a bit of oil. The rest of it looks good to me as is.

Just out of curiosity, (1) how did you melt That Stuff prior to the advent of microwaves, and (2) isn't that a hazardous process with a pressurized can?

#12 ::: Sylvia ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 05:29 PM:

I can not believe how homesick this recipe has made me feel. I think there's something deeply wrong with me.

#13 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 05:34 PM:

In the pan
Bake the fries
Nearly done

Boiled ham
Cut in cubes
Bacon, greens
Chopped up fine

With my Cheez Whiz
I will stop your heart

With my Cheez Whiz
I will get the call to
Make the call to

Tell you how
How you make
Make yourself
What's the phrase?

Round the drain
Dead as dirt

With my Cheez Whiz
I will stop your heart
It's not a cheddar or a Wensleydale
That's all Xopher food.

I just think you need time to know
That I'm the guy make a treat
The foods that you don't dare to eat
I'll serve you till you've had your fill
And make your heart stand still

That's the plan
You and me

Bon appetite
No, Bono's really...uh...neat
Another time

With my Cheez Whiz I will stop—

#14 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 05:54 PM:

I think this sounds good but I'd only serve it if I was feeding a herd of people.

And I'd make the cheese sauce myself. I usually make a white sauce with a roux and milk, and add whatever cheese I want/have.

And Ken, that was cruel to post that menu. Yum. I wish I was able to go to the Montreal worldcon this year.

#15 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 05:56 PM:

Just out of curiosity, (1) how did you melt That Stuff prior to the advent of microwaves, and (2) isn't that a hazardous process with a pressurized can?

Prior to the advent of microwaves, this recipe probably could not have existed. It falls, in fact, into the category of "recipes than can be made using only a microwave and a toaster oven", which is to say, Dormitory and Break Room Cookery. By the time you've switched in scratchbuilt cheese sauce and sliced&roasted fresh potatoes, you've got a different kind of dish.

The easiest way to microwave the Cheese Whiz is to remove it from the jar and put it into a microwaveable container.

#16 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 05:56 PM:

#3: "this is a Cub and/or Boy Scout Favorite."

Ah. Well, Scouting is supposed to round a guy out.

* * *

I'm partial to some gloppy casseroles, but somehow this one doesn't appeal. The killer: Ham. I like ham, but mixing it with cheese and taters seems unappealing.

#17 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 05:57 PM:

Anyone know what would be a reasonable substitute for Cheese Whiz for us UK readers?

#18 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 06:00 PM:

What do you mean "reasonable"? Anything reasonable would be nothing whatsoever like Cheez Whiz, which is Not Food.

#19 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 06:17 PM:

Lee @ 11: Just out of curiosity, (1) how did you melt That Stuff prior to the advent of microwaves, and (2) isn't that a hazardous process with a pressurized can?

You'd probably use the kind that comes in a jar, not a pressurized can, and you'd probably do it on the stove.

Debra Doyle @ 15: It falls, in fact, into the category of "recipes than can be made using only a microwave and a toaster oven", which is to say, Dormitory and Break Room Cookery.

A microwave oven is not just for reheating things and making lower-quality food. It's perfectly possible to properly cook things like eggs, meats, vegetables, breads, and cakes in a microwave rather than a conventional oven.

Jules @ 17:

If you want to make a real cheese sauce, try Xopher's recipe. If you want to emulate Cheez Whiz, might I suggest orange food coloring and PVA glue?

All that said, this does look like a good, solid, basic food for boy scouts and college students.

(Please salt post with smileys to taste.)

#20 ::: Adelheid ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 06:23 PM:

Cheese Whiz is a seekrit ingredient in lots of tasty stuff. I have a blue cheese dip recipe that calls for 8 oz cream cheese, 8 oz cheez whiz, 1/4 cup blue cheese dressing and 1/4 cup beer whirled together in a food processor. It's so popular, I usually double the recipe. Occasionally, I'll add crumbled blue cheese. People, who don't normally like blue cheese, like this dip. I usually serve it in a round loaf of rye bread with the middle cut out and cubed for dipping.

#21 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 06:23 PM:

Er ... what are "steak fries" when they're at home? And what's "velveeta"?

(I can guess "cheeze whizz" from context, I think.)

#22 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 06:31 PM:

Charlie: Steak Fries are french fries/pommes frites/chips cut thick, usually at an angle so they are in long inch-wide parallelograms, about a quarter-inch thick.

Velveeta is a pasteurized processed cheese food product substance material. It is beloved of some children and used in some recipes, usually with strong spices to mask its claylike flavor.

#23 ::: Adelheid ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 06:34 PM:

Steak fries are large french fries (which come in smaller crinkle cut and shoe string sizes) but smaller than potato quarters. I could best describe them as a potato sliced lengthwise in quarter to half inch thickness and then sliced in half again lengthwise. Velveeta is the solid form of Cheez Whiz (In the continuum of states of processed cheese, I don't want to know what gaseous is like.) and a lower quality of what is called "American" Cheese here and comes in one solid block wrapped in foil and boxed.

#24 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 06:41 PM:

Velveeta. (Warning to the squeamish: you will squeam.)

Another good* thing to remember about Velveeta is that it's made in large part of whey, and whey is about 60% lactose. So if you're a little lactose intolerant, Velveeta will bother you more than real cheese.
*In the sense of "it's good to remember this," not in the sense that it's in any way a good thing. Oh no.

#25 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 06:42 PM:

Velveeta ("Deliciously cheesy!") and Cheez Whiz ("Cheezy and darned proud of it!") are both trademarked food-products from Kraft.

The reason it's called "Cheez Whiz" is that if they called it "Cheese Whiz" they'd have to put cheese in it.

#26 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 06:55 PM:

Charlie: steak fries are what you ask for in the US if you want something vaguely resembling proper chips from a fish-n-chip shop, rather than those skinny things you get in MacDonalds.

#27 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 07:00 PM:

Velveeta figured in lots of Kraft Foods recipes of the 1950s and 1960s. The easily melted stuff found its way into or onto virtually everything.

I have, somewhere in my closet shelf of little-used kitchen stuff, a plastic tray and cover specially used to store and present a loaf of Velveeta. It has the name of the product embossed on top. It probably has collectible value, but I'm saving it in case a chance turns up to use it ironically. Like smuggling it into a swank dinner party and putting it on the sideboard with a sweating orange loaf inside.

#28 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 07:13 PM:

Charlie Stross @ 21: "Process cheese food" is what cheese eats. Cheez Whiz is the biological end product afterwards.

#29 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 07:24 PM:

There is a reason why Velveeta is called "pasteurized processed cheese food" rather than "cheese". It is related to "CheezWhiz" being NotFood.

I just asked my best beloved to read the recipe. "Nothing wrong with this," she declared. Then she caught the key word: "CheezWhiz! That stuff!" And off she stomped. Saying things that I will not impose on the delicate eyes of this company, but with which I am certain that Xopher would wholeheartedly agree.

#30 ::: Sylvia ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 07:39 PM:

Jules @ 17: I can vouch for the fact that there is no real equivalent in England although you could, I suppose, take individually wrapped sandwich cheese slices and melt them together for a similar effect.

It's like trying to find real salad cream in California (it may exist on the east coast for all I know). Saying "it's kind of like mayonnaise but not" doesn't really do it justice.

As a child, I thought the Everly Brothers sang about Kraft:

I can make you mine
Taste your lips in wine
Any time, night or day
Only trouble is
Cheez Whiz!
I'm dreaming my life away...

I presumed that they were clarifying that wine and Cheez Whiz went together. This explains a lot, now that I come to think about it.

#31 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 07:52 PM:

FWIW, I can make a real cheese sauce in the microwave -- roux and cheese. You just have to be very careful about the time you zap it and stir between each time.

For me, that would be kidney failure casserole. Oh wait, my GFR just slagged down to stage 4, I don't need the casserole.

#32 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 07:55 PM:

Dim memories of camping trips past are coming back to me.

Spam and Velveeta sandwiches.


#30: HMMMM . . . I've seen a product called "salad dressing" that looks like and is sold in jars just like mayonnaise. Related?

#33 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 07:59 PM:

Velveeta is the Vegemite of the dairy world.

#34 ::: Larry ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 07:59 PM:

I've had cheeze whiz once in my life, as a kid. I got a cheeseburger where they put that on it. I did not realize what I was getting. Ugh is all I will say.

That casserole though, I think my Cholesterol went up 40 points by reading the recipe. Replace the "cheese" whiz w/ some real cheese and I am sold.

#35 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 08:04 PM:

Stefan @ #32, Miracle Whip calls itself salad dressing.

#36 ::: mary ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 08:21 PM:

Velveeta is great stuff for getting a dog to take a pill. Dogs love it. Cut a large cube (I have a big dog), and push the pill into it--the bizarre texture of Velveeta makes this possible. The dog will gobble it up and swallow it without chewing.

#37 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 09:02 PM:

As a Wild-Eyed Southern Boy, my li'l taste buds stood right on end when I read this recipe. The boiled ham sounds a bit Yankee-fied, but really any good (meaning tasty), cheap, cured pork would work fine in this, including Spam or even chorizo (cooked and drained, to reduce the fat content). I'll join Linkmeister and Serge in suggesting that, since you've got to microwave it anyway, just use cubes or slices of Velveeta(tm). And the "Mexican" form would be even "better."

Adelheid @ #23, you obviously have little experience with the real thing, or you'd know what the gaseous form is like.

And Sylvia @ #30, definitely check out Miracle Whip(tm), another tasty (if you like such things) Kraft product, for western hemisphere salad cream.

All that said, considering events of the past few years of my life, y'all try this and let me know how it was, in assorted iterations. I suspect this is another one of those Under 40 Only dishes, but I'll be waiting (with my veggies and bass) for a report.

BTW, we're having tornado watch tonight. The view out my west windows is astounding. And the dogs and I already know the bathtub-mattress drill.

#38 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 09:10 PM:

One other suggestion. Since you're using all pre-packaged foods, what about a small can/jar of pickled jalapeños, somewhat chopped, instead of that awfully-healthy-sounding produce-section red pepper?

#39 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 09:14 PM:

Spam and Velveeta sandwiches.

Been there, done that. ;-) I'd probably like this recipe, but it's worse than even my usual indulgences.

#40 ::: Leroy F. Berven ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 09:27 PM:

ObSF: "Cheddite", from Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers. (Not to be confused with this rather less dangerous substance.)

#41 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 09:32 PM:

Sylvia, I know that in CT, you can get imported Heinz Salad Cream in the four-foot section of the supermarket that also has things like Aero Bars and Barry's tea and chocolate Hobnobs. I've never tried it, so I can't speak to how close it is in flavor to the American product Miracle Whip, but they do appear to be the same family of product -- a mayonnaise-style condiment, somewhat thinned and sweetened.

I'm with Paula -- when I make cheese sauce, I use a roux; I don't usually keep heavy cream on hand, and milk and cheese melted together tend to separate and curdle. Xopher, does the reduced cream really keep the melted cheese sauce-like? I'd risk it with Monterey Jack, but sharp cheddar has this unhappy tendency to turn into oil and curds.

I guess this casserole isn't SO far from the scalloped potatoes / leftover ham / green peas one that I used to put together when I cooked meat at home. And I can certainly see how it'd appeal to Cub Scouts. But... oh dear lord, Cheez Whiz and fries AND bacon? I'm getting indigestion just thinking about it.

#42 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 09:37 PM:

Allan @ 33;

Them's fighting words. Vegemite is not only perfectly cromulent food, it ennobles any cheese into whose proximity it is brought.

It's not our fault if you unbelievers eat it like it's peanut butter, rather than like it's wasabi.

#43 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 09:53 PM:

I'll think about it, but if that ever comes to any actual doing will probably omit the red/hot peppers, use ham, and make a White Sauce with some interesting (& strong-tasting) Real Cheese (Stilton, or Gorgonzola, most likely).

Hope it freezes well, because it's definitely what my cardiologist would put in the category of "Perfectly okay -- for one month's Sinful Indulgence" (She's the kind of MD who actually understands Human Beings.)

#44 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 10:04 PM:

Jim @25: The reason it's called "Cheez Whiz" is that if they called it "Cheese Whiz" they'd have to put cheese in it.

So what you're saying is that they do put whiz in it?

(I dithered over whether to keep the "put".)

#45 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 10:06 PM:

KeithS, #19: Ah. You can tell how limited my exposure to Cheez Whiz has been by the fact that I wasn't aware that it came in any kind of container other than a spray can. And I must say, the combination of the name and the sound that it makes coming out of the can is... unfortunate.

Also, I think what Doyle meant was not that microwaves and toaster ovens are only good for that kind of food, but that they are the only heat sources likely to be available in dorms and break rooms. (And AFAIK, toaster ovens are rare even there; my dorm certainly didn't allow them due to the risk of fire.)

Xopher, #22: And for some of us, Velveeta is also the canonical easy-melting cheese, used in comfort foods like grilled-cheese sandwiches* or mixed with a can of Ro-Tel chilis in a crockpot to make quick-and-easy nacho sauce.

Rikibeth, #41: Thinned and sweetened? Miracle Whip advertises its "tangy flavor", and having once made the mistake of trying some egg salad made with it instead of mayonnaise, the LAST word I'd use to describe it is "sweetened". All I could taste was vinegar! I suspect that "salad cream" is something entirely different.

* Do not be fooled by claims that Kraft American Cheese is the same thing as Velveeta. They can be used for the same purposes, but the taste and texture are noticeably different -- at least to those who grew up eating one or the other exclusively.

#46 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 10:22 PM:

Lee @ 45:

Salad Cream is not quite like Miracle Whip. It's similar to mayonnaise, but is also slightly sweetened and has a bit of mustard and other stuff in it. It's often used on salads and sometimes, if I remember correctly, in sandwiches. I kind of like it.

Another commenter's opinion. The official website. Also, why does Miracle Whip have a Facebook page?

#47 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 10:40 PM:

Sylvia, Miracle Whip is pretty much like mayonnaise with the addition of both extra vinegar and sugar. The ingredients on the bottles look similar!

Don Fitch, that sounds like a bar appetizer I like, hot thick-cut potato chips with melted blue cheese and crumbled bacon!

#48 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 10:40 PM:

Allan@33: Velveeta is the Vegemite of the dairy world.

Nonsense. Vegemite is relatively concentrated; my recollection(*) Velveeta is made up largely of water and ingredients to keep the water solid, which is why it has to be called "cheese food" (as in, you can still call the pink stuff "ham" as long as you inject no more than X %-by-weight of water)

(*) from digging through the appropriate CFR, 34 years ago when somebody asked "What is 'cheese food', aside from something you feed your pet cheese?"

Anyone who really knows both: can salad cream and Miracle Whip really be compared? What I've seen labeled "salad cream" has been more liquid -- it would actually drip off a spoon, where Miracle Whip comes off in chunks only.

#49 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 10:44 PM:

Oops! Lee, I didn't notice that was you and not Sylvia! I'm flipping between tabs here. My apologies!

#50 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 10:55 PM:

CHip @ 48:

Salad Cream is about the texture and consistency of thick dressing. It's smooth. It will drip, thickly, but not quite pour.

Miracle Whip is the texture and consistency of whipped mayonnaise. It globs and glops.

I have not had either recently, so I can't give you a good taste comparison.

#51 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 11:19 PM:

Herb Caen famously wrote that Chico is where you can get Velveeta in the gourmet cheese section of the supermarket. Of course, Herb was a Sacramento boy, so there may have been a little rivalry in that statement.

#52 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 11:34 PM:

Rikibeth 41: Xopher, does the reduced cream really keep the melted cheese sauce-like? I'd risk it with Monterey Jack, but sharp cheddar has this unhappy tendency to turn into oil and curds.

You can boil the cream until it's as thick as you want, as long as you turn off the heat and let it stop boiling before you add the cheese. It will still separate if you add too much cheese, especially if you cook it afterwards (fat-in-water emulsion; it separates if there's too much fat).

So for something that's going to go in the oven (like this dish, so my simple cheese sauce is mostly a joke in this context) the rue/milk/cheese version is better.

#53 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2009, 11:59 PM:

If given the choice I'd probably use Cheez Whiz over Velveeta. We have a house appetizer recipe, Sausage Biscuit Balls. The one attempt using Velveeta made the texture really odd for whatever reason.

It's 1 pound of a breakfast-type sausage, 8 ounces of Cheez Whiz or real cheese, 3 cups of Bisquick and about 1/4 to 1/2 cup condiment sauce of your choice like Worcestershire, barbecue sauce, mustard, etc. or a combination, enough to make it bind together.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Make the mix into 1/2 inch or so balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until turning golden brown, at least on the bottom. And you can place them very close together because they do not rise much.

The wonderful thing is that they keep without refrigeration. Just wait until they are dead cold after baking and bag them in a Zip-Lok bag and they're good for a couple of weeks.

#54 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2009, 01:21 AM:

My grandfather was partial to something called Durkee Sauce that sounds like this salad cream.

* * *

#40: Oh, good. I was worried that I'd imagined that book.

#55 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2009, 02:50 AM:

Macdonald & Doyle @ 3 & 5

A genuine Philly Cheese Steak uses that stuff as a canonical ingredient

As a genuine Philly native son, I have to take exception to that remark. The canonical Philly Cheese Steak, as cooked in diners and greasy spoons in the area of Race Street in the mid-20th Century (which was also where the burlesque houses and the electronics surplus stores were) used Provolone (note the influence of the Italian neigborhoods of South Philly). They'd make it with American cheese slices if you insisted, but Cheez Whiz was Right Out.

As for Kraft Miracle Whip, well, I can understand why B&D enthusiasts would like it, but not otherwise.

#56 ::: Micah ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2009, 06:00 AM:

Xopher @18: Anything reasonable would be nothing whatsoever like Cheez Whiz, which is Not Food.

I have found the category of "Food, but not quite" useful for objects such as Cheez Whiz.

#57 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2009, 07:33 AM:

Micah @56:
It's food, Jim but not as we know it?

That was how I dealt with instant coffee in's coffee, but not quite. After two years away from the constant threat of it appearing in my mug, I still don't miss it.

#58 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2009, 07:55 AM:

Didn't San Francisco columnist Herb Caen use to make jokes about how, in the town of Chico, Velveeta was found in the grocery store's gourmet section?

#59 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2009, 09:15 AM:

Hmm. Now what to drink with this. Maybe Old Overholt....

#60 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2009, 10:11 AM:

Bruce@55: By the time I reached Philly in the mid to late 70's, it was Cheese Whiz (or similar bright orange stuff) and not provolone. The cheese steak variant known, at least in the neighborhoods where I bought them†, as the "cheese steak hoagie", may or may not have involved provolone; it wasn't my cheese steak of choice so I don't recall.

†I was an impecunious grad student at the time, and made most of my cheese steak purchases either in West Philly or Cheltenham.

#61 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2009, 11:52 AM:

Debra Doyle @ 60:

It sounds like the cheese steak was reduced to an ersatz in the mere 20 years between my leaving Philly and your getting there. Too bad, but then maybe it's a good thing I haven't been back there since. I wonder what Thomas Wolfe's novels would have been like if he'd been from Philly instead of North Carolina. Would his experience have so much more poignant that he would have titled his book "You Can't Go Home Again, Damnit"?

Whereabouts in Cheltenham were you? I lived there for a few years as a kid, in Elkins Park, not far from the Philadelphia city limit.

#62 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2009, 12:11 PM:

Doyle @ 60, I gotta go with Bruce on this one; I fear you and Macdonald were grievously misled and gastronomically abused. Perhaps it was merely a passing phase in that part of town in the '70s, the culinary Bee Gees if you will.

And Macdonald, how can you, as an allied health professional, promote this dish in good conscience? Are you bored? :-P

#63 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2009, 05:29 PM:

Re Cheese-Whiz. I don't care for it much, but I don't have the horror of it some seem to. Velveeta is actually pretty good. Much maligned, but not bad. It's the stuff I use when I want to make nacho dip for chips.

Debra: I am sure I can make it with a dutch oven.

Charlie: Steak Fries are chips. Velveeta, contra Xopher is a processed cheese, shelf stable. It's a blend of cheese, water and milk solids, with preservatives. Velveeta Info

Per the USDA:Pasteurized process cheese food is a variation of process cheese that may have dry milk, whey solids, or anhydrous milkfat added, which reduces the amount of cheese in the finished product. It must contain at least 51% of the cheese ingredient by weight, have a moisture content less than 44%, and have at least 23% milkfat..

It melts well, and is a staple in a number of regional dishes in the US.

Velveeta has been around since a swiss immigrant started making it in 1918. Kraft later bought it.

#64 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2009, 06:19 PM:

This recipe sounds like something perfect to eat while up late and drinking beer.

Is it bad that although I like real true cheese, I also like Velveeta in certain applications? My parents make tiny little sausage and cheese rolls sometimes to bring to potluck parties. They involve Velveeta and they are addictive. So bad for you and yet so good.

(Although last Easter, they varied this to ham and cheese rolls, with real Swiss cheese and mustard mixed with poppy seeds. Those were equally addictive, but differently so -- it was the poppyseed crunch that made it.)

Also trashy but sometimes delicious: queso dip from a jar, which involves something very like Velveeta.

#65 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2009, 06:32 PM:

The main difference between Miracle Whip and bottled mayo is the proportion of vinegar to the other ingredients: MW is more of a sweet-sour flavor.

I seem to recall in my high school days (mid-'70s) in Delaware that the cheesesteak cheese of choice was provolone. It's not precisely South Philly-- well, maybe way south-- but George's subs were highly regarded.

#66 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2009, 07:49 PM:

The unexplained odor of rancid mayonnaise is a sure and certain sign that there is a demon lurking about.

#67 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2009, 08:16 PM:

Well, by the time I arrived in Philly in 1999, I was told that American, provolone, and Whiz were the three generally accepted cheesesteak choices. I prefer provolone myself.

But if you order something, like, say, Swiss, you may get mocked mercilessly, as happened to John Kerry in a 2004 campaign stop.

#68 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2009, 08:16 PM:

Lee @ #45

I believe that Quick Queso dip recipe is given to each newcomer to Texas upon arrival in the state. We natives tend to use Pace's Picante instead of Rotel, but it's good either way, and certainly easier than making real chili con queso.

I have to confess to liking Velveeta too. Kraft American cheese has a bitter taste to me, but I'm not sure whether that's just been since the beginning of the Reagan administration or not.

#69 ::: Larry ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2009, 10:28 PM:

@65: I am in Jersey, went to Philly a lot as a kid though. Back then it was provolone always. I never heard of using Cheez Whiz on it.

#70 ::: B.Loppe ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2009, 11:51 PM:

Abi @13:
Thank you! I think I started humming the tune without recalling at first what it was originally - a really lovely surprise when my fore-brain caught up with my hind-brain. You inspired me to go and watch it again for the umpteenth time.

As for cheez whiz, I confess that although I do really love a beautiful grilled cheese sandwich made with old (or better yet, smoked) cheddar, there's something* about the oozy liquidity of one made with cheez whiz. And the 50's-era crudité of celery spears filled with cheez whiz may be an acquired taste, but I love 'em.

*like some kind of horrible wonderflonium.

#71 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2009, 12:12 AM:

Lee @45 said: "but the taste and texture are noticeably different -- at least to those who grew up eating one or the other exclusively."

Reads like the lead-up to a deathmatch between e.g. Vegemite vs. Marmite or (here in New Zealand) Heinz vs. Watties tomato sauce**.

Question from a non-USian: where do 'cheese slices' (a sort of cheese-like product sold in packets containing individually wrapped slices, perfect for the lunchbox) fit in the Cheez whiz/ Velveeta and related products continuum? Cheese slices looks shiny, like plastic, and has a slightly rubbery texture. I like them, but in my mind, they are not the same category of 'food' as real cheese.

**I grew up with Heinz and for many years, the Watties version tasted "wrong".

#72 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2009, 12:34 AM:

Soon Lee, cheese slices vary: Kraft Singles are, perhaps, slightly closer to cheese than Velveeta is, but they range all the way from real cheese marketed in a convenient wrapping to even less cheese-like than Velveeta. The fakey ones often melt better.

In the US, it makes a difference if the label says "cheese," "cheese food," or "cheese food product."

#73 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2009, 12:55 AM:

Caroline, #64: This is one of my comfort-food recipes:

Open and drain a can of Vienna sausages; split each one lengthwise. On each of 7 soda crackers, put the 2 halves of one Vienna sausage, flat sides down; top with a strip or two of Velveeta (don't let it hang over the edges of the cracker). From here, you can either arrange all 7 crackers on a baking sheet and put them under the oven broiler, or toast them a few at a time in a toaster oven; however, be sure that you can watch them cooking so as not to burn them! When the cheese is melted and starting to bubble, they're done; remove from heat and eat warm.

LMB MacAlister, #68: Oh, I'd learned that one long before I moved to Texas! It was a staple at Nashville Science Fiction Club parties.

#74 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2009, 01:56 AM:

Terry Karney @ 63: Velveeta has been around since a swiss immigrant started making it in 1918.

Do you suppose that he was deported from Switzerland for Offenses Against Cheese?

I confess to liking the occasional grilled cheese sandwich made with squishy white bread and Velveeta, but have never developed any affection Cheez Whiz.

#75 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2009, 11:12 AM:

Oh, man, government cheese tastes exactly like nostalgia. Too bad they don't hand that out any more.

#76 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2009, 11:34 AM:

Years'n'years ago, the Chateau Montebello -- one of the spiffier local resorts -- made an offer to our SCA group: in exchange for our providing entertainment for an evening, they'd put us up for a day or two. We'd have to sleep four to a room, but we'd get the usual food and full use of the facilities. We jumped at the chance.

But as we were negotiating the details, they kept disappearing: we'd no longer get the overnight stay, then the other use of the facilities, then the full dinner. What we ended up with was a tray of sandwiches and other munchies. And for me, the vegetarian... they provided sandwiches consisting of cheez slices on industrial white bread. I couldn't believe that the Montebello would even have such things in their kitchen. Though in retrospect I realized that even their usual well-off clientele might be bringing fussy children who wouldn't be satisfied with anything else.

#77 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2009, 11:58 AM:

Earl @ 75

Too bad they don't hand that out any more.

Come to Oregon, where government cheese is handed out in big blocks at the food bank. When they have it, that is; the Current Financial Unpleasantness has resulted in a run on the food bank, and they've run out of a lot of things.

#78 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2009, 12:42 PM:

Gov't cheese is pretty good stuff. It does have a whiff of nostalgia about it.

#79 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2009, 12:42 PM:

Joel @ 76: Did the entertainment they received disappear correspondingly? Oh, so sorry, Master Brigandine Brightplate turns out not to be available for the armouring demo, and the dancemistress, Mistress Laurel Twinkletoes, has just remembered a prior engagement. But they do both have apprentices....

True confessions, I have on occasion resorted to salsa con queso in a jar (which has come to be known here as armadillo sauce, a corruption of amarillo). But only for five-minute-or-less microwave nachos, and for no other purpose. One of the first things the 13 year old daughter learned to cook is a proper roux-based cheese sauce.

#80 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2009, 12:59 PM:

Speaking of Oregon, there are real Tillamook cheeses sold in wrapped slices; it's hellishing expensive, but I suppose worth the convenience for those who can afford it. Also,the sliced pepperjack has reliably more pepper flakes, which is very unfair.

#81 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2009, 01:47 PM:

Mark @ 79: The "entertainment" ended up being significantly scaled back from what they originally wanted, yes, partly because some people's sense of "commitment" to the project faded to the point where they weren't willing to help any longer. Those of us who stuck with it were willing to treat it as another demo, hoping to do a bit of recruitment.

Cheez Whiz, Cheez Whiz
Cheez Whiz, Cheez Whiz
It oozes through the kitchen, this parody of cheese
It makes your stomach twitch an' clogs your arteries
And when your pulse starts hitchin', you fall down to your knees
It's glowing orange, but you can see
It's virtually dairy-free

Cheez Whiz, Cheez Whiz
Cheez Whiz, non-cheese
The Conseil Gastronomique is watching so beware
They're full of _potage plomeek_ and in French they swear
You think Cheez Whiz is vomic, but they think it is merde
It's overprocessed cheese-food piss
It's biohazardous, Cheez Whiz

True story: When one of my colleagues was starting her preparation for her Ph.D. comprehensive exams, she made a pot of Kraft Dinner, ate half, and put the rest in a container in the fridge. And didn't discover it again until after her exams, six weeks later. And, apart from a bit of separation of oil, it hadn't changed. My theory is that such foodlike substances are effectively antibacterial and antifungal, in the sense that they can only be digested by creatures larger than the foodoid.

#82 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2009, 02:42 PM:

Joel Polowin #82:
That's a rather liberal interpretation of the word 'digested'.

#83 ::: Epacris suspects an infestation of polite spam ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2009, 02:58 PM:

Spam @81 supra. Others on other threads. Will attempt trackdown.

#84 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2009, 03:01 PM:

Cheez Whiz, Cheez Whiz, rolly polly Cheez Whiz....

#85 ::: Adelheid ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2009, 04:39 PM:

LMB MacAlister @37 This is true and I'm proud of it.

#86 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2009, 05:35 PM:

To my non-US ears, "Velveeta" sounds like a brand name for a type of synthetic fiber.

Out of the cheese-related products mentioned here, the only one I know well are cheese slices. I don't think there's much wrong with the ones I'm thinking of, though; sure, they aren't healthy or organic, but IMO for molten cheese recipes, they're often easier to use and with better-fitting taste than normal cheese.

Soon Lee @71, nice how one line on the Wattie's page you've linked to says that some of their sauces "have personality". Dear marketing copy writers, this is one of the terms you might want to think twice about using to describe a food product.

#87 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 02:55 AM:

Raphael #87:
Watties tomato sauce does have, if not exactly 'personality', then flavour. It's tarter & sweeter than Heinz. Not all New Zealand advertising is bad, some, like this one (Youtube link), are gems.

#88 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 03:34 AM:

Adelheid @ #86:

Not just proud, but still breathing.

#89 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 07:30 AM:

Xopher @52: So for something that's going to go in the oven (like this dish, so my simple cheese sauce is mostly a joke in this context) the rue/milk/cheese version is better.

"Here's roux for you and Velveeta for me-- o, you must cook your sauce with a difference!"

Not that this dish would be kosher anyway with the plethora of pork products, but does Velveeta count as milchig?

And I think I have found the perfect dessert to follow this casserole, in a cookbook at the library today: a version of tiramisu that replaces the ladyfingers with Twinkies.

#90 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 08:23 AM:

Julie @ 90, that's not to say deep fried Twinkies....

#91 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 09:45 AM:

I'm reminded of my Mom's recipe for WonderDogs...

Take big kosher beef hotdogs...split most of the way through, lengthwise. Stuff the split with chunks of cheddar. (Or velveeta, if you want to tick off Xopher). Wrap with a slice of bacon. Secure bacon with toothpicks. Broil or grill.

Instant death, but...yum.

(And yes, it is important that you use Kosher hotdogs for stuffing with cheese and wrapping with bacon. It's the heresy that tastes so good!)

#92 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 10:29 AM:

Sarah @92:

Kosher hotdog smothered in cheese and wrapped in bacon is also know as a Blasphemy (from the late (very late)lamented SuperDog in Harvard Square).

#93 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 10:42 AM:

John Houghton @#93


Mom went to Wellesley and Radcliffe. And she was a biblical history major. I believe you have filled in a nice little bit o' family history.

I can absolutely see her relishing (sorry...) a Blasphemy dog.

#94 ::: Alex ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 11:32 AM:

The horror...the horror. And moral terror.

It was something of a relief to learn that the steak fries element didn't actually include meat.

#95 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 12:32 PM:

Joel Polowin #82: My theory is that such foodlike substances are effectively antibacterial and antifungal, in the sense that they can only be digested by creatures larger than the foodoid.

That's at least half right -- one of the big tactics we humans use to stall spoilage is "separation of nutrients" -- e.g. white flour, with the oils and minerals separated out from the starch and protein. Not to mention no water, that's a whole tactic in itself, along with what I call "osmotic hell" (dry sausages, jellies/jams, etc).

Your friend's leftovers probably benefited from a combination of factors: (1) Made from strongly separated and individually sterilized components: pasteurized milk (from a container designed to keep it sterile), concentrated milkfat, white-flour pasta fresh from the boiling water, dry sauce mix from whatever godawful industrial process. (2) dumped promptly into a clean, sealed container (3) refrigerated, (4) the result is quite dry and salty by microbiological standards, and perhaps anoxic (depending what the fat does in the fridge).

As per #2, It helps a lot to keep pots and serving dishes covered unless you're actually putting stuff in or or taking it out of them. Cooking stuff generally sterilizes it -- after that, the first question is how much microlife it picks up from the air before it gets eaten, frozen, or whatever, and the second question is how much time that microlife has to multiply before its efforts get mooted (or recognized with a transfer to the garbage heap). Refrigeration just slows the clock on the multiplication.

Semi-digression: Of course, there are also items that aren't stable even without marauding microorganisms. The classic example there is fresh fruits and vegetables, because they eventually die without air/water/sunlight. Yep, when you eat salad, you're eating plants alive, bwa-haha! ;-)

#96 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 12:33 PM:

No, Alex, but there is such a thing as "chicken fried steak," which contains no chicken, but is steak prepared as if it were fried chicken: breaded and immersed in boiling oil.

I have never eaten this; as evidence I offer the fact that I am able to type this comment.

#97 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 12:46 PM:

Xopher @ 97: That's because it is "chicken-fried steak". The hyphen is all-important. The steak is fried like a chicken filet would be fried.

Yes, I have eaten them. At Shoney's, the epitome of Southern Cuisine.

(tongue only slightly in cheek)

#98 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 12:59 PM:

Ginger: quite. A typo, I assure you.

I just cannot count the number of ways I'd've failed to live to adulthood had I grown up (or attempted to) in the American South.

#99 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 01:05 PM:

Soon Lee, #88: In America, if they did an ad like that at all, it would feature a woman in a bikini. But I don't have to worry about that, because even mentioning underwear on American TV is taboo.

Sarah, #92: On a recent road trip, I stopped for dinner at a McD's (toll-road travel plaza, it was the only food available) and ordered a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. For some reason, they put bacon strips on it. I remember thinking that this was probably the most trayf thing (aside from actual pork main dishes) I'd ever put in my mouth.

Alex, #95: "Steak fries" is analogous to "baby oil" -- the name refers to what you use it with, not what it's made of.

#100 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 01:21 PM:

Lee 100: Other examples of this phenomenon include duck sauce and possibly oyster sauce (though I'm not sure of that one).

OTOH, have you read the Ambroce Bierce story "Oil of Dog"? Different kind of baby oil in that one.

And speaking of treyf, I once saw a TV chef prepare a Shaker dish called "Ham and Oyster Pie." Lest you think I've left out the milchig part, it was essentially a quiche (eggs/cream base) with the ham and oysters as inclusions. I'm led to understand that treyf is not a matter of degree, but the only additional "treyf modality" I could think of was "well, you could cut yourself and bleed into it."

#101 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 01:28 PM:

Xopher #101

As everyone who has made *proper* latkes knows (proper latkes are grated by hand, dammit)...the blood of Jewish cooks is kosher.

#102 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 01:37 PM:

But not, you see, the blood of Shaker cooks.

#103 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 01:59 PM:

I have eaten *many* chicken-fried steaks, and I'm still here to report on it. One place that sells them here also features what they call "chicken-fried chicken" on their menu. I take it as a sign that local culinary history is somewhat fraught. As if I didn't know that already.

#104 ::: Leigh Butler ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 02:10 PM:

Holy crap. I'm not sure Jim's recipe would have ever appealed to me, even in the unhealthiest depths of my college days, where I was sometimes known to order blueberry pancakes and chips with queso - at the same time.

Cheez Whiz is pure evil, but Velveeta is excellent for certain things. Queso, for example. My sister and I used to make what we referred to as Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese with it, and it was DELISH:

Make a box of elbow macaroni according to directions; drain. Add half a stick of butter and milk (enough to thoroughly coat the pasta, probably about a cup), and mix until butter is melted.

In a large deep casserole dish, put a layer of macaroni at the bottom, then cover with a layer of cheddar slices. Add another layer of macaroni, then a layer of Velveeta slices. Repeat, alternating the two cheeses, until you fill the dish/run out of pasta. Make sure the top layer is cheese (we would usually use both cheeses on the top layer).

Preheat oven to 375 and bake for 30 minutes or until top layer of cheese gets a nice browning effect going. The rest of the cheese layers will be all melty through the pasta layers. Yum.

Best comfort food EVAR.

#105 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 02:18 PM:

Xopher @#101: Well, there's Skipper's Linguine. There's bacon and baby clams*, served over (leavened) pasta with cheese. And I am not Jewish, so nothing I cook is kosher unless someone Jewish helps me (I believe the bare minimum is to light the pilot light on the stove), and also I doubt the pig was slaughtered in a kosher fashion.

I should learn to cook a few good vegetarian dishes. I have enough veggie friends, and it makes me sad that all my good dishes include meat.

*There's also black olives and tuna, but those are both kosher.

#106 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 02:18 PM:

There's a blog devoted to finding the best chicken-fried steaks in Texas.

Chicken Fried Texas

#107 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 02:21 PM:

Sarah 92: Take big kosher beef hotdogs...split most of the way through, lengthwise. Stuff the split with chunks of cheddar. (Or velveeta, if you want to tick off Xopher).

Not at all! Use Velveeta with your loathesome meat dishes, you disgusting carnivores! Leave the REAL CHEESE for those of us who appreciate it! :-)

#108 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 02:22 PM:

Carrie...I've never seen leavened pasta. Could you elaborate?

#109 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 02:42 PM:

Pasta counts as leavened for kosher-for-Passover purposes, or so I was informed by a Jewish friend of mine. He could have been wrong, though, since as far as I'm aware his favorite Chinese food was mu shu pork...

#110 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 02:51 PM:

David Harmon @96:
one of the big tactics we humans use to stall spoilage is "separation of nutrients" -- e.g. white flour, with the oils and minerals separated out from the starch and protein. Not to mention no water, that's a whole tactic in itself, along with what I call "osmotic hell" (dry sausages, jellies/jams, etc).

Hey, that explains why the trick one of my houseguests once taught me to keep mould out of my jam works! He said you only get mould if you put grease into the jam, for instance, by using the same knife as you used for butter.

Works a treat.

#111 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 03:16 PM:

Xopher @ 101:

I see you beat me to the "Oil of Dog" reference. Great story.

Carrie S. @ 110:

There is kosher for Passover pasta, but by default noodles are not considered kosher for Passover. As far as I recall, it's because they're made with flour that hasn't had the appropriate supervision and can therefore possibly be leavened.

Also, kosher for Passover Cheerios knock-offs taste strange.

#112 ::: Mags ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 03:18 PM:

Emerging from lurk to explain the current state of Philly cheesesteaks for those who have Been Away.

At the tourist-trap places like Pat's and Geno's, a "Cheese With" order will get you Cheez Wiz (and fried onions, which is the "with" part). However, I believe you can order provolone, but you have to ask for it. They're a bit cheesesteak-Nazi-ish, so you probably want to skip anyway. Also, Geno's proprietor has been in the news for displaying some xenophobic tendencies: he has a sign up that says "Speak English Only," really cute for what is basically a tourist attraction.

If you go to Jim's Steaks at 4th and South, which has better steaks anyway, the default is Cheez Wiz, applied from a giant can with a spatula, but you can definitely get provolone if you ask. Try to get a table near the front window upstairs and people-watch, though the people-watching on South Street isn't quite as much fun as it was back in the 80s. That's the place I take anyone who comes to Philly and expresses interest in a cheesesteak (and some who do not).

Any corner steak shop and many sandwich or pizza shops will give you whatever cheese you want (that they have on hand, mind you) on your steak sandwich. Some of them might not have the Wiz, though, and only offer real cheese, or at least something closer to it.

#113 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 04:09 PM:

Abi #111: I hadn't considered that particular combo, but yeah, that could work. There's also the matter that butter and most other fats are sticky, which (amending my comments at #96.1), can easily carry in dust, including those ubiquitous spores. (More reason to keep your butter in a covered container.)

Getting drops of water in jam/jelly is also trouble -- you can get spots that are watery enough to let spores germinate. On the other hand, I gather that the resulting mold-spots don't penetrate far into the jam, so you can just scrape them off. (And use up the rest of the jam ASAP, before the mold comes back.)

#114 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 05:37 PM:

"Yep, when you eat salad, you're eating plants alive, bwa-haha!"

Carrot juice is murder!

#115 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 06:25 PM:

Steve, #107: "Best chicken-fried steak" is an oxymoron. What a horrible thing to do to a perfectly good steak!

David, #114: You can also salvage hard cheeses which have developed a small moldy spot by just trimming it out (with a reasonably generous safety margin) and eating the remainder fairly quickly. Do not try this with soft cheeses!

Philly folx: My main issue with the Philly cheesesteak is that the canonical version appears to include green bell pepper. Is it possible to order one without the peppers in Philly, or are the cheese and peppers pre-mixed there the way they tend to be everywhere else?

Oh, and FTR, I have NEVER seen a Philly cheesesteak that used yellow cheese of any sort. I'd always thought of it as being like Mexican food in that regard -- if it's got yellow cheese instead of white, Something Ain't Right.

#116 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 06:27 PM:

Lee @ #100: I can remember a number of TV ads for underwear from the 70's-90's. "Just wait till we get our Hanes on you;" "Undawear [maybe made in NJ] that's funtawear" for Underoos; Jockey commercials that had a couple of baseball stars in briefs; and even Playtex bra commercials. I can't think of any current ones, but the amount of TV I've watched per year since 2001 is about equal to a few weeks' consumption in the 80's and 90's.

Ironic if underwear has been stripped from the airwaves, while we have ads for Viagra and Cialis (including the dire "four hour rule") and various drugs for urgent bladder complaints, and everything's kosher on network shows but "fuck" and some of the more descriptive terms for kink. And of course there are those ads on cable channels for Extenz, etc.

Xopher @ #103: Surely the blood of Shaker cooks has been purified of all that daring red color and anything else that might cause problems.

#117 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 07:29 PM:

"baseball stars in briefs"

Which caused Jim Palmer no end of grief from his teammates, I'm sure.

#118 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 07:43 PM:

Sarah S., passim: Blasphemy dogs? Mmmmmmm, sacrelicious!

But of course the blood of Jewish cooks is not just kosher but necessary - it's that little taste of suffering that makes it the authentic Jewish experience.

#119 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 09:44 PM:

Lee #116: "Best chicken-fried steak" is an oxymoron. What a horrible thing to do to a perfectly good steak!

That's the thing, you see: it's not something you do (except under the most pretentious of circumstances) to perfectly good steak at all. It helps lesser cuts of meat ascend to heights they might never otherwise achieve.

Some of the best chicken fried steak I've had was "hand did" at a company cafeteria; you could tell it was chicken fried steak day because even the executives would show up for lunch.

#120 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 09:51 PM:

Lee@100: As you probably know, there isn't really such a thing as degrees of tref -- something's either kosher or it isn't.

I do recall Alter Reiss once trying to invent "the maximally sinful sandwich". I have, alas, lost the original, but it went something like:

Meat from a tref animal
Meat from an animal that would have been kosher but was slaughtered incorrectly
Lettuce that had been grown in the jubilee year
Onion that had been dedicated to the Temple
Mayonnaise that had been dedicated as a sacrifice to an idol
A bun that had been stolen from an orphan, who would die without it

Also you should eat the sandwich after having taken an oath against sandwich-eating, having been forbidden by your parents to eat it, and on Yom Kippur.

#121 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 10:36 PM:

Earl Cooley III & Lee: "Ascend to heights" indeed! Frugal cooks with experience and creativity have managed, through confection of a breading that cooks up light, crunchy, and yet substantial, and fabrication of a gravy smooth and savory, but not overpowering, to make a piece of meat barely fit to eat into one of the delights of Southern cooking.

A perfectly good steak is to be cooked on a grill, or in a dry skillet.

#122 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 10:49 PM:

David Goldfarb @121: Maybe you could toast the image of a golden calf on the bun.

#123 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 11:05 PM:

TomB #123: toast the image of a golden calf

There are lots of that kind of thing available.

#124 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2009, 11:34 PM:

David Goldfarb, 121: There is no cheese or other dairy product on this sandwich. (This would be perfect for those kosher dairy hot dog buns I run into from time to time.)

Ooh, and the mayo could be made from a fertilized egg.

Jeez, maybe I am Jewish.

#125 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 01:08 AM:

Earl, #120: If it's not steak, then they shouldn't call it steak! "Chicken-fried stew meat" would be more honest. I still wouldn't eat it, but it would be for different reasons.

LMB MacAlister, #122: And don't call that awful white glop "gravy" -- gravy is NOT WHITE, and has actual meat flavors in it, not just black pepper. If they took the black pepper out of the white glop, they'd have a serviceable substitute for library paste.

I made the mistake of ordering alligator in a fairly fancy restaurant one time. What I got might indeed have been alligator, but you sure couldn't prove it by me; it turned out to be "chicken-fried" alligator (though it didn't say so on the menu), and all I could taste was the heavy breading and the over-peppered white glop. I still have no idea what alligator tastes like*, which was what I'd wanted to find out.

Also, I've yet to encounter "chicken-fried" anything for which the breading actually resembled what one normally finds on fried chicken made by a good cook. Actual fried chicken breading tends to be a much thinner coating because it's not such a thick, heavy batter, and is therefore far less greasy because you don't have to leave it in the hot oil nearly as long.

Whoa -- where'd that soapbox come from? :-)

* First person to say "like chicken" loses!

#126 ::: Leroy F. Berven ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 02:25 AM:

Lee @ 126:

Several years ago, my wife and I shared a lunch plate of alligator tail kabobs while visiting the Orlando (FL) Sea World theme park. In response to the obligatory question from one of the guys behind the counter, she answered "Rattlesnake."

Which also tastes remarkably like . . . well, you know.

#127 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 03:17 AM:

Lee, I'm sorry to hear of your unfortunate experience with cream gravy; the kind I've had that I like is made with bacon fat and lots of black pepper. As for steak orthodoxy, I won't try to convince you otherwise. It is my opinion, however, that meat which is made into chicken-fried steak is, at the very least, honorary steak. Brevet steak, if you will.

#128 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 03:29 AM:

I'm still astounded (and a tad frightened) by being offered 'white sauce or brown sauce' on food. It's always smacked of glue-like substances from cans.

#129 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 07:41 AM:

LMB MacAlister@117

Various brands run commercials for men's and/or women's underwear (e.g. Fruit of the Loom, Hanes, Victoria's Secret).

#130 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 07:59 AM:

I heard somewhere that the subsistence food of one generation becomes the soul food of the next -- so it is with the venerable chicken-fried steak.

I love 'em. Not haute cuisine, but hot. Round steak pounded thin, batter-dipped and fried golden-brown and crispy, cream gravy ladled generously over it and lumpy mashed potatoes.

Years ago, a friend told me the story about how they took a young woman out to a fancy steak house in Fort Worth for a birthday dinner.

She was a country girl, and hadn't been out too much. When she asked what would be good to order, my friend said, "Well, a filet mignon is very good steak."

So she ordered the filet. The waiter said, "How would you like that cooked?"

She thought for a minute, then smiled brightly. "Could I have it chicken-fried?"

And she did.

#131 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 09:25 AM:

Earl@128: Brevet steak, if you will.

I like that.

Alas, you're about as likely to convince a northerner of the virtues of chicken-fried steak as you are to convince a southerner that a classic New England boiled dinner is actually edible, instead of something very bad done to innocent corned beef and vegetables.

#132 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 09:44 AM:

I think round steak (one of the canonical "steaks" that is improved by chicken-frying--and you sort of need the breading to hold it together after your extreme tenderizing measures are taken) gets called steak because it's sliced into steak-like pieces, the same way ham steak gets called ham steak. However, unlike actual steak that you would pay good money for, you need to run one of these over it before you cook it, so that it can be chewed afterwards. Personally, I prefer to fix mine as grillades, although I usually serve them as an entreé with rice or even mashed potatoes*, rather than with grits for breakfast, since cutting hay and chopping cotton are not part of my regular routine**.

*Those of a certain age may remember a woman's magazine recipe from the 1950s or 1960s called Steak Creole; it's grillades for the rest of the US--I think Hunt's tomato sauce was involved instead of all those scary vegetables.

**Breakfasts like grillades and grits, and biscuits with [meat of choice] and gravy make perfect sense if you've already been up for an hour or two handling farm chores, with more of the same to look forward to, or if you're about to go forth and work on the wharves or do other heavy work in town. The thought of that much food so early in the day makes me a little queasy, but I move pieces of paper around while sitting most of the time.

#133 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 11:18 AM:

xeger @ 129...

Does that mean you have no interest in that Québec delicacy known as poutine?

#134 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 11:24 AM:

Singing "put in the poutine"

#135 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 11:25 AM:

Lee, around here what you and I call "gravy" is called "brown gravy," because tomato sauce (whether it has meat in it or not) is called "red gravy."

If you're going to have red gravy and brown gravy, why not white gravy? I've made a vegetarian version of "sausage gravy," which I bet you've tasted the very non-vegetarian model of.

Hmm. I've only heard a vodka sauce called a "pink sauce," never a "pink gravy." I wonder why? Nor is pesto called a "green gravy."

#136 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 11:39 AM:

fidelio #133:

When I was an impecunious student and then an even more poor just-graduate, my standard dinner on fencing nights was steak and salad--round steak, max a couple dollars/lb[0], cut into roughly six-oz pieces and broiled medium-rare in the bottom thingy of the gas stove. Tough but tasty, quick to cook, and didn't weigh a ton once eaten, which is kind of important when you're getting ready to waggle foils and epees about.

[0] This was back in a day so far gone from us that it preceded The Day that everything is always back in.

#137 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 11:44 AM:

TomB @ 135... With Vladimir?

#138 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 12:09 PM:

xeger @ 129, white sauce and brown sauce are perfectly respectable French mother sauces! The people offering them to you would probably feel as if they were putting on airs to offer you a choice of bechamel or espagnole, but it'd be no different.

Well. Maybe it would. White sauce (bechamel) is easy enough to do in its classic form (blond roux, add milk, cook to thicken, salt/pepper/nutmeg to taste) but to do brown sauce, you need beef or veal stock, and not a lot of people are roasting veal bones and aromatic vegetables to turn into stock for their sauces these days.

#139 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 12:59 PM:

Xopher, #136: There's a restaurant in Austin which offers "vegetarian mashed potatoes" as an option, by which they mean "without the nasty white glop". I wonder how many customers are amused to be ordering vegetarian mashed potatoes with steak, as I did?

I would never consider tomato sauce to be gravy, because meat flavoring is an essential gravy component. I'm used to thinking of gravy in terms of what kind of meat flavoring went into it -- chicken gravy, beef gravy, pork gravy -- and all of it is varying shades of brown, from light beige to deep chocolate-brown.

#140 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 01:27 PM:

Yep, Lee, that's my dialect's take on it too. Just not the universal usage of the term.

#141 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 02:15 PM:

#7 ::: Ken Houghton

(Yes, I ate there last night. Yes, I am having chest pains. Why do you ask?)

I was down the street from you, at La Colombe, where I had Maigret du Canard au griottes...mmmm...

No duck fat. And 'Foie Gras Poutine' may be some of the most terrifying words I've ever seen.

#142 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 02:31 PM:

Hmm. I never did get the hang of making white gravy from bacon fat. Maybe I'll try again one of these days.

#143 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 03:13 PM:

Cheryl @ 142... How about lard with brown sugar?

#144 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 05:14 PM:

Serge @ 134 ...
Does that mean you have no interest in that Québec delicacy known as poutine?

That would, indeed, be correct.

(nor in fact do I have any interest in a similar sounding thing one might also encounter in a bar, at a (somewhat) higher price)

#145 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 05:22 PM:

Rikibeth @ 139 ...
Well. Maybe it would. White sauce (bechamel) is easy enough to do in its classic form (blond roux, add milk, cook to thicken, salt/pepper/nutmeg to taste) but to do brown sauce, you need beef or veal stock, and not a lot of people are roasting veal bones and aromatic vegetables to turn into stock for their sauces these days.

It's not the fancy naming as much as the suggestion of nameless horrors of two types lurking in the depths of a pair of steaming cauldrons on the stove...

Hm. This might suggest that I should try a place where "white or brown sauce" sounds less like a challenge and more like options.

#146 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 06:19 PM:

xeger @ 145... In that case, I'll remind Kathryn from Sunnyvale not to include poutine in Making Lumière's menu at the worldcon. Curses!

#147 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 06:36 PM:

#144 ::: Serge :::

Cheryl @ 142... How about lard with brown sugar?

You know, mon oncle Ovila used to eat that, and even as a child I was frightened of it. He also used to pour some of his tea over a piece of white bread, sprinkle it with sugar, and call it dessert.

I also just realized how odd my phrasing was above: I praised my Maigret du Canard and then said 'No duck fat'. I guess that the duck had some fat on it. It really was very good, though!

#148 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 07:37 PM:

Cheryl @ 148... I take it that your uncle Ovila also was a French-Canadian. Some of the things we ate when I was a kid... I'm amazed that diet didn't kill me.

#149 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 07:52 PM:

I made a dessert item to bring to my Monday staff meeting. I made it from scratch, from a recipe in The Oregonian. Thinking back, it was rather in the heart attack category:

Two sticks of butter.
Small container of whipping cream.
8 oz. of bittersweet chocolate.
Two cans of sweetened condensed milk.
6 tablespoons brown sugar.
Two cups white flour.
White sugar, quantity forgotten.

#150 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 08:23 PM:

re Soon Lee @88: The line which would prevent it from being aired on US television was, "If we treat the budgie smuggle with respect".

Xopher: Oyster sauce has some oyster in it.

Leavened, in terms of questions of Kosher, is any cereal product (of the leavanable grains) which isn't done cooking within 18 minutes of the water being added to the mix.

re Chicken-fried steak: It's southern US schnitzle. I've had good ones, I've had horrid ones. Same is true of schnitzle (some of the nastiest jägerschitzle I've ever had was in Germany). Cream Gravy can be decent, but it's harder to not screw up in most restaurant settings. It's basically a white sauce with pepper, and the need to keep it hot can be devastating.

Rikibeth: I don't tend to think of brown stock as "beef stock", because it's just the bones (and one of the pleasures of making a good batch of stock is rendering out the marrow; which makes a wonderful finishing agent for sauces made from the brown stock).

Serge: Poutine is good stuff. xeger doesn't have to eat it (though one hopes it won't be Sudbury's for the gravy).

#151 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 08:48 PM:

Stefan 2 150
My sister gave me a recipe for 'coronary cake': it's a filled pastry ring, with a stick of butter in the pastry, a stick of melted butter spread on it before the filling goes on, and a stick of melted butter poured over it after it's cut (to show the filing) and before baking.

She also said the whole-wheat version wasn't quite as heart-stopping.

#152 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 08:50 PM:

Houghton@93: That's \Under/dog, not \Super/dog. (I lived close by for their entire existence, and (weird connection) ran lights for a show featuring their founder.) And the \real/ Blasphemy was served on a hot-dog roll made from challah dough; when the store took off the supplier couldn't keep up.

Xopher@97: well, I \have/ eaten chicken-fried steak, and IIRC I'm a bit older than you are. OTOH, it was in Minneapolis (in a place just down the street from elise -- TNH may still remember it 12 years later), so it may have been a bit less greasy. (Or it may not; Scandinavians appreciate the supportive powers of fat.)

Lee/Earl@116/120: CFS is similar to the Chinese way of doing beef (most of which would have come from elderly and well-worked animals): dip bite-size pieces in a thin cornstarch paste before frying, so it half-fries and half-steams. (approximation; IANAC.) Lee@126 (cf fidelio@133): steak is a method of cutting, not a quality. cf "chuck steak", which is pot roast in thin pieces.

Stefan@150: that's not \quite/ Coronary Crunchies, for which you also need butterscotch chips and grated coconut (source of one of the few unsaturated vegetable fats, IIRC).

#153 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 09:13 PM:

Terry Karney @ 151... Poutine is good stuff

Oh, I agree. In fact, I'm planning to have some when I go visit my mom, before the worldcon. It's just not something I'd want to ingest too frequently. Considering that I've been to Quebec City with an average interval of 7 years for the last 2 decades, that's not a problem. As for xeger... I've been thinking I should arrange an abduction to a restaurant that serves poutine AND lard-and-sugar sandwiches.

#154 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 09:28 PM:

CHip @ 153: Coronary Crunchies sound like my mother's seven-layer bars. Let's see, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, walnuts, condensed milk -- I forgot the seventh layer. Probably the butter over the graham cracker crumbs.

It's not Christmas without the seven-layer bars. You need a big glass of milk to wash them down.

#155 ::: David DeLaney ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 09:34 PM:

David @ 121 -
And now I'm wondering which pagan gods, exactly, accept sacrifices of mayonnaise.

Dave "French. They've got to be French." DeLaney

#156 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 09:34 PM:

DQ in Texas serves 'Dudes', which are chicken-fried steak. When hot, they're some of the best sandwiches you've met (no gravy involved). (Chicken-fried steak is only good when hot, IMO.)

#157 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 10:19 PM:

Xopher #101: oil of dog?

Is that like oil of ewe?

#158 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 10:30 PM:

Methinks meremembers mereading a recipe for "fried sugar balls" (deep fried in lard) in the New Yorker; (a funny-thing-we-found filler in the inch of space left after an article) which had you making balls of sugar and butter and deep frying them in lard, or something like that. The thing they were quoting said (to paraphrase) "even people who say they don't like lard will enjoy this tasty treat."

#159 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2009, 11:42 PM:

Something I made once, and will try again:

Lay squares of graham cracker out on a baking sheet. "Paint" with chocolate coating.

In a bowl, mix together shaved coconut, confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar), and sweetened condensed milk. I don't recall the proportions, but you want a very stiff paste. (Kind of like the insides of a Mounds or Almond Joy bar. In fact, the closer to those the better.)

Scoop a golf ball sized blob of the coconut paste onto each one of the graham crackers. Make into a nice symmetrical mount.

Top blob with an almond.

Paint blob with more chocolate coating.

Cool overnight.


#160 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 01:46 AM:

Chris Quinones@125: I forgot the dairy, but I'm sure Alter threw it in there somewhere.

#161 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 08:02 AM:

David DeLaney @ 156... French. They've got to be French.

Or the Pagan gods were fans of this lady.

#162 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 08:22 AM:

Serge @ 154 ...
As for xeger... I've been thinking I should arrange an abduction to a restaurant that serves poutine AND lard-and-sugar sandwiches.

Can't we just settle for bagels and smoked meat sammiches? Just thinking about lard-and-sugar sammiches in the summer heat is tiring... (and they're better fried, anyways)

#163 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 08:47 AM:

Erik Nelson @ #159

I am reminded of Akutaq

#164 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 09:15 AM:

xeger @ 163... You want deep-fried lard-and-sugar sammiches?

#165 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 11:41 AM:

Serge @ 165 ...
That's barely a step away from funnel cakes ...

#166 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 12:00 PM:

PJEvans #157:

A local bar used to (may still, but they've reorganized a time or two over the years) serve a "Reality Sandwich": chicken-fried steak with many jalapenos.

#167 ::: Mags ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 12:03 PM:

Lee @116: I've never heard of green bell peppers on a steak sandwich except by request. Cheese and fried onions aren't really even default: you have to order cheese with to get them. Just the meat on a roll is the true default.

#168 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 12:17 PM:

Erik Nelson @ 158: Oil of ewe too. Shall we dance?

Ah, here we go: fried butter balls. These scare me.

#169 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 01:31 PM:

Mags, #168: Maybe it's one of those things that mutates once it gets away from the source. I've never been to Philly, but the canonical "Philly cheesesteak sandwich" all across the southern US is thinly-sliced steak, sauteed onions and green peppers, and melted white cheese on a sub roll.

#170 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 02:06 PM:

#149 ::: Serge :::

Cheryl @ 148... I take it that your uncle Ovila also was a French-Canadian. Some of the things we ate when I was a kid... I'm amazed that diet didn't kill me.

Yep, pure laine. We also used to pick fresh shallots, fill a saucer with salt, and eat the shallots raw, dipping them in the salt for every bite.

You're right. I'm amazed any of us are alive.

#171 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 02:54 PM:

Cheryl @ 171... Shallot with salt doesn't sound so bad. One thing I used to do as a kid was to take a bite out of an apple, put some salt on the exposed part, eat that, repeat process until core has been reached. (I also used to eat butter by the spoonful, but that was abnormal even by my parents's ghastly eating habits.)

#172 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 05:09 PM:

At about age 10, my favorite sandwich was a nice grainy bread with spicy mustard and sliced white onions piled about an inch thick.

My mother always tried not to let me kiss her for the rest of the day after I ate one...

#173 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 05:21 PM:

Serge #172:

And I thought I was the only one who did the salted apple thing as a child. Had to be a green apple, though--red ones were just too horrid.

I also used to put salt in Fresca (lovely fizz-up).

#174 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 05:31 PM:

joann @ 174...

Salt in Fresca?
(Note to self: propose salt in Fresca to Kathryn for menu of Making Lumière soirée.)

#175 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 05:50 PM:

Serge (175): I assume that's also the reason why Southerners put peanuts in Coke.

#176 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 05:51 PM:

Serge #175:

Last time I did that was sometime in the 60s. I think you'd want to try a not-so-dry run before inflicting it on the rest of the party.

#177 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 05:57 PM:

Lee @ 126: Actually, alligator tastes like lawyer.

#178 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 06:19 PM:

As a kid, my favorite snack was the pickle sandwich, which is simply whatever bread was at hand, mayonaisse and sliced dill pickles. Kosher or Polish, or the one heavenly year we had home- grown and -canned pickles. Delicious.

For sweet applications, I'd go with the peanut butter and maple syrup (best on mom's dense wheat breads) and occasionally, peanut butter and homemade buttercream frosting. I survived childhood pretty much unscathed.

#179 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 06:32 PM:

Good white bread, butter, maybe a bit of onion, thinly sliced, and a lot of freshly grated horseradish.

#180 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 06:33 PM:

Serge #172, joann #174: Hmm, I'll have to try that. My whole family tends to be salt fiends (with low blood pressure -- I once got turned down for a blood donation for that), but somehow we never picked up on apples with salt.

One thing I made as a kid was peanut butter and jelly cheesebread, with "American cheese". (Elsewhere named as "cheese food" in "slice" form.) After I hit adulthood, it was too sweet for me.

Also, from around age 5 or 6 to what must have been 12 or 13, I made myself scrambled-egg-with ketchup sandwiches for school lunches, every school day. (I "remember remembering" that it was about eight years, but I know I'd stopped them before high school at 14.) Since the end of that period, I think I've had two of those sandwiches....

#181 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 06:38 PM:

nerdycellist (179): Peanut butter and pickle sandwiches are also good. At least, I thought so in my youth; I haven't tried one in at least 15-20 years.

#182 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 06:49 PM:

The peanut-butter-and-pickle sandwiches that Kinsey Millhone likes in the Sue Grafton alphabetical mysteries are actually pretty tasty.

#183 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 07:13 PM:

Open-face peanut-butter sandwiches with sliced-up marshmallows on top (marshmallow fluff somwhow never entered our house).

#184 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 07:14 PM:

Many years ago, when I thought there was still some hope of reconciliation with my father, I went to Christmas at their house. My stepmother doesn't know how to cook, so I roasted the turkey, but when I started the cream gravy, she had a fit. She insisted that turkey gravy was brown and I told her we always used a cream gravy. So she grabbed the Kitchen Bouquet and dumped most of the container in to turn it brown. It was still cream gravy.

The seven-layer bar I made came from my mother's cookbook where it was on the inside of a tipped-in Eagle Brand condensed milk label.

#185 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 07:22 PM:

I actually bought a tub of marshmallow creme at a Dollar Tree store a few years back, thinking I might use it to make a Fluffernutter.

It kind of migrated to the back of a cabinet and went unopened until I had to clean up a ground-coffee spill.

Since I had some sliced bread and smooth peanut butter on hand, I gave it a whack. Astoundingly, the marshmallow creme was still . . . viable? Not yellow or stiff or spotted with mold. Spread just fine.

The fluffernutter was OK. I could see packing them for a hiking trip, or as a high-sugar breakfast substitute.

#186 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 08:09 PM:

Caroline@155: "Seven-Layer Bar" is another name I've heard for such concoctions, although the ones whose contents I remember used pecans rather than walnuts (which I find a little shrill). Coffee shops seem to think "Coronary Crunchy" would intimidate customers.

#187 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 08:45 PM:

David, #181: My parents salted their fresh sliced tomatoes -- and until I was about 6 or 7 years old, so did I. Then I had a cracked lower lip that made salty tomatoes painful to eat, and discovered that they tasted much better unsalted! My only remaining vestige of that habit is that I'll put a little bit of salt in my tomato juice at a restaurant -- not enough to make it actually taste salty.

Marilee, #85: Turkey gravy is brown. It's very light brown (really more beige or tan), but it's definitely NOT WHITE. In this case, the brown color comes from the cooked juices in the bottom of the roasting pan when you deglaze it. Dumping artificial coloring into it is not at all the same thing!

I was a creature of habit in my junior-high and high-school days. I took the exact same lunch to school every day for 4 years: a pimiento-cheese sandwich (my mother's homemade recipe, which started with a block of Velveeta), some type of fresh fruit, and a couple of cookies. There was one period when I briefly switched to PBJ instead of pimiento-cheese, but that didn't last long.

#188 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 08:57 PM:

Lee #188:

A little kosher salt on sliced tomatoes definitely improves the flavor of any tomato whose flavor is, shall we say, lacking. Couldn't get through winter without it.

In junior high, I used a lot of my lunch money to augment an allowance that went almost solely to SF and spy stories. Instead, I'd make peanut butter sandwiches with saltines and make sure I had plenty of something to drink.

#189 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 09:17 PM:

I'm watching top chef masters... one of them just did, "chicken-fried strawberries".

The chefs are having fun. They are much less invested in their food, and more harsh with themselves, while having more fun. They don't have anything really on the line.

They Girl Scouts judging this are really sharp.

#190 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 09:27 PM:

And, as I spotted in the wide-shot from the lead-in, they are in LA. I am homesick. Not only LA, but my part of LA.

And, to be topical, it's "dorm room" cooking. Three course meal in a toaster oven and microwave.

#191 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 09:34 PM:

Pour lots of maple syrup in pot. Heat up. Crack eggs open and toss contents into churning syrup. Yum!

#192 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 09:37 PM:

Serge @ #192, have you looked at the price of authentic maple syrup lately? From $10 - $25 per pint!

For the use you suggest, I could see Mrs. Butterworth or Log Cabin, maybe.

#193 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 10:08 PM:

The BEST use I ever found for cheez whiz is crawdad bait. Things learned while camping as a child ...

#194 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 10:13 PM:

I've heard Velveeta makes good bait for both crawdads (yum! I met them as food in a one-week summer camp at Lake Tahoe) and catfish.

#195 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 10:21 PM:

Linkmeister@193: For the use you suggest, I could see Mrs. Butterworth or Log Cabin, maybe.

Dear lord, no. For a recipe like Serge's, only the real thing is worth it. Which is probably why recipes like that are restricted to places where maple syrup costs more like $5/pint.

(Like up here. There's a reason why one of our favorite wedding/housewarming gifts for friends is a gallon jug of maple syrup from one of the local sugarbushes.)

#196 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 10:22 PM:

Linkmeister: In LA it's running about $7 pint (12 for 750ml)

#197 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2009, 11:42 PM:

Kosher style salt is great for veggies; the nature of the crystals is such that they melt very quickly, making a small amount go very far.

Salt's a wonderful thing. Tom Coliccio, in his book, "Think Like a Chef" describes playing with salt, and absentmindly ate all of the steaks his father had gotten for dinner.

#198 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2009, 01:59 AM:

Many TV chefs have their own favorite kind of salt they stick to. I don't remember any of them actually rationalizing their choice, as it seems to be such a given with them.

#199 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2009, 02:02 AM:

$5/pint for maple syrup in New England, $7/pint in LA, $10/pint in Honolulu.

Yes, folks, there really is a Paradise tax.

#200 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2009, 04:41 PM:

It's interesting to see just how many people here have written about cheese in an aerosol can without ever having looked at the bloody can, er, um, without having checked their sources. There is no such thing as aerosol Cheeze Whiz: there is Kraft Easy Cheese and now Cheez-it Pasteurized Cheese Snack. I know this because I know divers: it's the favorite treat for getting stingrays close enough to pet (don't do this if you're likely to be freaked by stingrays nibbling at your hair to determine if it's oddly colored Easy Cheese).

Those who say nasty things about Chicken-Fried Steak have never had a good one. I am stupid enough to order one every time I find it listed on a menu. I say stupid because I live in Seattle, and since it's not salmon I keep getting served old shoe leather fried in huge amounts of batter and swimming in grease. I'm told there is a restaurant in Tacoma that can pull it off: I'll need to keep that in mind the next time I'm that far south.

I agree with those that argue that the reason Britain built an Empire was in a desperate attempt to capture a cuisine, or at least some spices, but the best dinner I ever had was at a little restaurant (now long dead) near the Space Needle noted for having a kitchen dedicated to showing that food from the UK could be good. Ever have two perfectly cooked pork chops--no grease, not dried out--over steel-cut oatmeal, with a little plum sauce lightly drizzled over the top? I gave Margaret a bite and she stopped, stared at the ostrich steaks she'd been enjoying (no, I don't know how it ended up on the menu. We both like ostrich but it's too damn expensive up here, so I'd decided to go with the chops) and said "I may have made a mistake. Give me another bite and I can be sure." Yeah, right.

On the other hand, whenever anyone brags about food from the UK I think of things like this, which spoils the effect. And then there's the story of when my wife made me a family taste treat. (Why am I posting this here instead of in my LiveJournal? Because I'd like someone somewhere to read it. Maybe if I mixed in a review of Underworld...)

My wife's family is from the U.K. "The Orange and the Green" sums her parents up, but the genders are wrong. Because of this, her clan's favorite foods have a U.K.-like spin to them. One day, when I was dating Margaret she suddenly popped her head up from the floor, where she was reading the paper and asked "Have you ever had a cheese salad sandwich?"

I thought about it. "Nooo..."

She jumped up. "I'll make you one! Just wait, I'll go down to the Albertson's on the corner and get the ingredients." She dashed over to the door, grabbing her coat on the way, came back in ten minutes with a paper bag and hustled me out of the kitchen. "Wait out there--I'll bring it right out as soon as I find the grater." Ten minutes later she brought in a tray with a sandwich on a plate.

It was on white bread (not Wonder Bread, I hasten to add), which was sort of a surprise since she normally bought wheat breads. I picked it up and she went back into the kitchen to clean up as I took my first bite.

Now, my dad was Jack Sleight's attorney so I'd had some damn strange things at his yearly cookouts, where people flew in from all over the world to cook and serve all kinds of smoked meat, so my food experiences were reasonably broad. (Octopus is good, Squid can be overly chewy, and I never had the Rocky Mountain Oysters, thank you very much.) I'd had Tillamook Cheddar before, of course, as well as pickle relish and mayonnaise. However, I had never before had Tillamook Cheddar grated up and mixed with mayonnaise to a consistency between marshmallow fluff and spackle, with pickle relish churned in as a flavor enhancer, then spread thickly over white bread.

I ate it. It seemed to be the thing to do. A day or two later I called Margaret from work during lunch and she said "I forgot to ask--how did you like the cheese salad sandwich?" Looking back over the meal I said "I'm not sure."

"You're not sure?"

"Well, I've never had a sandwich like it before. I have to think about it."

After we finished the call, she promptly went into the programmer's workroom and said "I need a quick translation from Guy. I made my fiancee a cheese salad sandwich..."

A chorus arose: "What's a cheese salad sandwich?" She explained the ingredients. "You fed him that!"

"That's not the question. When I just talked to him and asked him how he liked it he said he wasn't sure. What does that mean?"

There was a pause.

"That he loves you very much."

#201 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2009, 05:14 PM:

Bruce #201:

What's your take on pimento cheese?

#202 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2009, 05:48 PM:

Pimento? Never thought about it one way or the other...

#203 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2009, 06:33 PM:

Bruce, #201: I submit that "Cheez Whiz" has become a pseudo-generic (like "Kleenex") for any artificial imitation cheese food product that doesn't come in a block or a slice. Also, "good chicken-fried steak" is an oxymoron. :-)

The "cheese salad sandwich" sounds rather like an attempt at pimiento cheese, but missing several key ingredients (not least, the pimiento!). Hmmm... does that make it an off-key attempt?

#204 ::: Ab_Normal ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2009, 06:34 PM:

a very late to the game *SQUEE* for abi #13. (relurk)

#205 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2009, 07:14 PM:

Terry #151:

What on earth could be wrong with "budgie smugglers"? I've heard much worse on American network TV. Mind you, Australian humour is known for being in dubious taste (and some of it leaches across the Tasman Sea), like this ad (Youtube link. Caution: contains visual pun) that's currently being shown on Australian & New Zealand TV.

#206 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2009, 07:16 PM:

Bruce #203:

Because "cheese salad" sounds a lot like pimento cheese to me ... modulo the amount of mixing.

#207 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2009, 07:46 PM:

Bruce E. Durocher II #201: I agree with those that argue that the reason Britain built an Empire was in a desperate attempt to capture a cuisine, or at least some spices,

LOL, That explains a lot.... I like your sandwich story too.

#208 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2009, 08:28 PM:

Lee, #188, you keep insisting gravy is brown, but that's just where you live. In other places, it's other colors and types of gravy.

#209 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2009, 11:58 PM:

#207 ::: joann #207: modulo the amount of mixing

Ooh, cooking math! Nice.

#210 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2009, 12:05 AM:

Marilee.....I've never had cream gravy with roast turkey. How do you make it?

#211 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2009, 06:51 PM:

Rainflame, #211, just like regular -- take the turkey out of the pan and use a spoon to scuff up some of the roast bits stuck to the bottom. Put the pan on a burner (or decant to a skillet and put on a burner) and brown some flour in the fat. Add milk (and maybe water, depending on how much fat you have in the pan) and stir like crazy. Smash lumps of flour. This is where practice comes in handy, because it will suddenly start thickening and you want it off the burner right at that point. Season with salt & papper, then you serve it.

#212 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2009, 11:48 PM:

Bruce … (#201) My total knowledge of Cheez Whiz stems from: a) this discussion; b) a short reference¹ in The Blues Brothers involving an aerosol can.

(Why do USians say airplane instead of aeroplane, yet aerosol and not airsol or airspray or such?)

To me, gravy is based on pan juices from the meat it's used on (e.g. #212, supra, without milk), so tends to some shade of brown, even with poultry. Artificial ones — Gravox, etc. — imitate this. Would 'cream gravy' just describe the colour, or involve dairy products like #212? There are many other sauces, of many colours and different textures, with other names.

[1. Took ages to work out what "thoughs" was at that link.]

#213 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2009, 12:29 AM:

How about a Cheez Whiz commercial, and in French too?

#214 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2009, 12:40 AM:

Thanks Marilee, it sounds excellent. In my family we have giblet gravy...make a broth by simmering the neck and innards, strain, put the shredded neck meat back in, add corn starch and Kitchen Bouquet. Tradition is a big deal and I doubt I could ever convince them to try a cream gravy.

#215 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2009, 12:50 AM:

Anybody interested in another Québec delicacy known as "oreille du Christ"?

a traditional Quebec dish consisting of deep fried smoked pork jowls. It is generally served at cabanes à sucre (sugarshacks) in spring time, often, but not always, topped with a generous quantity of maple syrup.

Yes, the name does translate as "Christ's ear".

#216 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2009, 12:58 AM:

So, long after I'd left home, I came back to take care of my mother, recuperating from surgery. I asked her what she'd like for lunch and she said, "A sandwich spread sandwich."

I'd grown up with these - some sort of Miracle Whip with pickle relish, even more sweet and vinegary, sold as "Sandwich Spread". It might have had a bit of pimento.

I'd mercifully blocked them. It took a few stunned moments to remember what they were, and make a sandwich using it for her (on Wonder Bread).

With a little grated cheese, this could well be a clone of the "cheese salad sandwich".

#217 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2009, 03:11 AM:

Carol Kimball @217:
sort of Miracle Whip with pickle relish, even more sweet and vinegary

Thank you for that description, which saves me from feeling obligated to try it. It's ubiquitous at the communal lunch table at my office, and I am under a geas to try every unknown ingredient that my colleagues recommend to me*. That's led to the discovery of appelstroop, which is super-concentrated apple juice, basically (goes great with cheese). But no good can come of the sandwich spread. I am convinced of this.

* If they are in the habit of eating it themselves. This is not a game of "gross out the buitenlander".

#218 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2009, 07:46 AM:

Serge @ 216, is that a close relative of what Capt. Jack Aubrey was so often served, which I'm remembering called "soused pig's face?" (Definitely pig's face, not sure about the soused part, can't look it up as I lost the Aubrey-Maturin books in the divorce.)

#219 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2009, 08:21 AM:

Soused hog's face, and it was a fair trade because you got to keep the skzb books, after all.

Did you want me to look up the Lobscouse and Spotted Dog notes on soused hog's face after I get back from work?

#220 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2009, 08:41 AM:

Only if it amuses you to do so. Which I suspect it would. :)

#221 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2009, 10:20 AM:

Mark @ 219... I lost the Aubrey-Maturin books in the divorce

Speaking of Maturin, Paul Bettany plays Darwin in John Amiel's Creation, which comes out in late September.

As for soused porcines, yes, they do sound like that other let's-get-laden-with-cholesterol example of French-Canadian cuisine.

#222 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2009, 10:29 AM:

Mark: Soused hogs face was a pickeled meat. As I recall (being 2,500 miles from my Lobscouse and Spotted Dog), the trimmings from a pig's head, packed tight in vinegar and spices, after boiling.

It probably sets up a bit like head cheese.

#223 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2009, 12:04 AM:

Mez, #213, no, the cream describes both the milk (could be cream, but we used milk) and the lighter color.

Rainflame, #215, I always used the giblets and innards to make stock.

#224 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2009, 12:52 AM:

Mark #219: I lost the Aubrey-Maturin books in the divorce

Should you decide to replace the books, I find I cannot, in good conscience, recommend the "omnibus" edition of the collection, as it was apparently re-typeset without even the meanest modicum of proofreading one might expect of Shakespeare's Thousand Monkeys after a week-long banana liquor bender.

#225 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2009, 01:04 PM:

The cheese salad sandwich is not Irish; it's Cornish. I have been to Cornwall and had cheese salad in pubs.

The family history sources them to my Manx-Cornish grandmother.

#226 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2009, 02:58 PM:

Bruce@201 (re Seattle restaurant): If the shelves at the nearby convenience store are any guide, common Brits are nostalgic for what can be charitably called culinary horrors (mushy peas? \instant/ mushy peas?!?); a less-discreet writer would start with "SOS" and go on from there. But I haven't had much bad food in my last couple of trips; and an acquaintance who lived there in the 1970's wrote at the time that the food then was much improved from traditional, starting with the death of the "Kill it Monday, cut it up Tuesday, eat it Wednesday" philosophy. I never asked what she thought of English hotel breakfasts, which even in 1965 disappointed someone raised on tales thereof.

And you are doubly fortunate: in your wife's coworkers \and/ in not owing me a new keyboard (it's past lunch here).

#227 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2009, 03:38 PM:

That Sandwich Spread is a thicker imitation of Thousand Island dressing, with lumpy things like pimentos. It's not horrific if it's used as a condiment on toasted burger buns (not alone; add a hamburger).

#228 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2009, 07:46 PM:

Linkmeister, that Sandwich Spread sounds like the "special sauce" applied to Big Macs.

#229 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2009, 02:20 PM:

No, no! You're conflating two differently-colored spreads!

The Sandwich Spread of my childhood was pale greenish-yellow. Thousand Island Dressing and Special Sauce are a pale version of potted shrimp that's gone off.

In Nebraska, you made TID by mixing Sandwich Spread and ketchup.

Maybe I should check the mayonnaise aisle to see if the Original has morphed. And if it has, then I'll have to fire up my time machine to be sure I'm remembering correctly.


#230 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2009, 04:18 PM:

185/188; Turkey gravy, made from a properly roasted turkey, is a reasonably dark brown. At least it is when I make it.

#231 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2009, 04:22 PM:

C. Wingate: Same here, but when made with a blonde roux, and cream, it can be very pale brown.

Those are, IMO, too heavy for turkey, but I grew up on jus/deglazing, a small bit of butter/dripping roux and serve.

#232 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2009, 05:19 PM:

Rikibeth, it pretty much is, although my taste buds say the Big Mac sauce is sweeter than the jarred stuff.

#233 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2009, 05:15 AM:

Carol Kimball @230, do I get this right that your part of the world has a product officially named "Special Sauce"?

#234 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2009, 08:45 AM:

clearing my throat and stepping to the microphone to share an earworm I cannot escape

"Oh there's no single cheese like Velveeta*,
'Cuz Velveeta is more** than one single cheese.
It's Colby, Swiss, and Cheddar
Blended all togeddar
For a creamy taste*** that melts with ease.
Velveeta processed cheese food**** is so much fun.
It's lots of natural cheeses all rolled into one!
Velveeta really knows how to please,
And you just can't stop
'Till the very last drop.*****
There's no single cheese like Velveeta....
Extra thick.******

(Nabisco. bing)"

*yea, verily.
**or possibly less.
***texture, surely.
****my condolences to the jingle writer who had to fit that in.
*****Watch me.
******For some reason, this is the part that really turns my stomach.

#235 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2009, 11:12 AM:

Raphael (234): It's the "special sauce" served on Big Macs (as referenced in 229).

Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.

(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.