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Bon Ton Fried Chicken

----- Original Message ----- 
From: jay 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 11:29 AM
Subject: Re: Fried Chicken

> Hello Phaedrus,
> Can you please help with this request?
> I've looked on your search links for this recipe and couldn't find 
> anything so perhaps you can help further.
> The recipe is for Fried Chicken from a restaurant named:
> Bon Ton Mini Mart
> In Henderson Kentuky.
> The restaurant is closing in June and they have been cooking world class 
> Fried Chichen for years....
> Can you help?
> Jay

Hello Jay,

See below, and also see here:



Bon-ton Style Fried Chicken

1 qt water
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons cayenne
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
4 chicken breast halves
4 thighs
4 drumsticks (all with skin and bones; 4 to 4 1/2 lb total)
For frying:
About 12 cups vegetable oil
For dredging:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon white pepper
Marinate chicken: Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a large bowl.

Add chicken, making sure it is covered with marinade. Chill, covered, 
stirring twice, about 24 hours.

Dredge and fry chicken: Heat 2 inches oil in a wide 8- to 9 1/2-quart pot 
over moderately high heat until a deep-fat thermometer registers 365 to 
375°F. (Our pot was 12 inches wide and 5 inches deep; if you don't have that 
wide a pot, you can fry the chicken in two batches.)

Meanwhile, whisk together all dredging ingredients in a large bowl. Drain 
chicken, discarding marinade. Dredge each piece of chicken in seasoned flour 
and put on a large baking sheet. Let stand about 10 minutes.

Fry chicken, turning a few times, 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown, 
then drain on a rack.

Makes 4 servings.

Bacon Burger Dogs

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Mike 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2008 6:32 AM

  On the old Bill Cosby TV show, he mentioned a family dish called a "bacon burger dog".
  Just curious, what the heck is that? 



Hello Michael,

It's a frankfurter, rolled up in a hamburger patty, then wound with a couple of strips of bacon. The whole thing is then grilled. Cheese is optional. See here for pictures:

Bacon Burger Dog

And below for a recipe.

Two of them contains a full week's allotment of fat, cholesterol, and sodium.


  Bacon Burger Dogs

  1 pound of hamburger
  1 pound of thin sliced bacon
  8 hot dogs (the real deal, no cheap ones!)
  4 slices of cheese(split the slices of cheese in half)
  1 egg
  16 toothpicks
  Tin Foil Wrap

  Combined hamburger, egg and your spices/seasonings to taste and form 8 hamburger patties.

  Spread out your bacon with every two slices being about 2 " apart.

  Slice each hot dog from end to end, NOT completely through, maybe half through the thickness
  of the dog and insert one half slice of the cheese into each dog.

  Place the dog on one end of the hamburger patty and carefully roll the dog while wrapping it
  with the patty.

  Place this carefully at the ends of your bacon, which should be spaced 2 " apart..(2 slices
  of bacon per burger-dog), carefully roll and wrap the bacon. Secure bacon to each burger-dog
  with two toothpicks. NOTE: Leave each toothpick exposed on one side or the other in order to 
  remove them after cooking.

  Wrap your burger-dogs with tin foil and place on grill over medium heat, but do not place 
  directly over flame. Cook for half-hour and then CAREFULLY remove foil from burger-dogs 
  (HOT JUICE-Be Careful!)

  Place burger dogs back onto grill for browning.

  Serve with any condiments by itself or on a large Hoagie Roll.

Tomato Florentine Soup

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Norma 
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 1:41 PM
  Subject: Help?

  Hi Phaed...  It's Norma again.  

  I was wondering if you could come up with the recipe for "Shoney's Restaurant's
  Tomato Florentine Soup".  I've been craving it lately but they have removed it
  from their menu.

  Thanks sooo much!!  

Hello Norma,

See below.


  Tomato Florentine Soup Shoney's Style Recipe 

  2 cans Clear chicken broth -- 14 oz ea 
  14 ounces Can sliced stewed tomatoes 
  12 ounces V-8 juice 
  10 ounces Cream of tomato soup 
  1 tablespoon Sugar (Sugar Twin) 
  10 ounces Frozen chopped spinach 
  1 dash Nutmeg 
  Salt and pepper to taste 

  Combine broth, tomatoes, juice and soup in a saucepan with a wire whisk over medium heat. 
  Add remaining ingredients, without even thawing spinach. Allow to heat gently 30 minutes 
  on medium-low until spinach is tender. Keep hot without letting it boil. Freeze leftovers. 
  Serves 6.  

Stuffed Pepper Stew

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Don 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2008 2:40 PM
  Subject: Recipe search


  My name is Don and I wonder if you can find a recipe for stuffed pepper stew.  As a child my 
grandmother made it and I still remember the taste but I don't know how it was made.

  Hope you can help

  Thank you

Hello Don,

See below for a couple of recipes.


  Stuffed pepper stew

  1 1/2 lbs ground beef browned and drained. 
  3 cups diced green peppers,
   28 oz can tomato sauce, 
  3/4 cup brown sugar, 
  2 cups rice 
  seasonings to taste 
  (garlic, seasoned salt, pepper, italian seasoning)

  Mix all ingredients except cooked rice in large pan. bring to boil and simmer
  30 minutes or until peppers are softened. add cooked rice. 
  Stuffed Pepper Stew


  2 lbs ground beef 
  2 green bell pepper, diced 
  1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes 
  2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce 
  1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomato 
  2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans beef broth 
  1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce 
  1 tablespoon italian seasoning 
  1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  2 cups cooked brown rice 
  finely shredded mozzarella cheese (optional) 


  1. In a Dutch oven brown beef and drain off fat. 
  2. Add the peppers to the browned meat and sauté for 3-5 minutes. 
  3. Cook rice following instructions on box. 
  4. Stir in the rest of the ingredients accept the rice. Reduce heat to low,
  cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. 
  Stir in rice and heat through. 
  5. Pour into bowls and top with mozzarella cheese if desired. 

Catfish & Hushpuppies

These days, it sometimes takes a little digging to understand that native cuisine of a place isn't "Big Macs" or "McRibs". You have to strip away the fast- and semi-fast- food chains and see what's left, what was there before the golden arches.

The town we live in now is fast-food saturated. It's covered up with McDonald's, Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel, Red Lobster, Chili's, Applebee's, Ruby Tuesday, Chick-fila, IHOP, O'Charlie's, Burger King, Taco Bell, Hardee's, Domino's, Pizza Hut, Wendy's, KFC, Bonanza, Logan's, Outback, and more.

Before all the franchises invaded the area, there were two kinds of fare that people went to restaurants especially for: catfish and barbecue. "Catfish and steak houses" used to be prolific in this area. Their specialties were just that: fried catfish and steaks. They might have a few other items on the menu, but catfish and steak were their main business, with catfish being even more important than steak. The standard meal was two fried catfish with French fries, hushpuppies, and coleslaw. Most of these fish and steakhouses are gone. There are only a couple of them left, and those aren't in town, they're located out in the rural areas of the county.

The restaurants in town that do serve catfish don't specialize in them, they have them as just another menu item. You can get fried catfish at Logan's or Cracker Barrel or even Red Lobster, but they're just thin frozen filets, not the big cornmeal coated deep-fried catfish that we used to get at fish houses or "fish-camps" as they called them years ago. "Fish-Camps" were catfish restaurants that were usually out in the rural areas of the country, and often were on a river or lake.

Below are recipes for catfish, hushpuppies, and coleslaw as I ate them growing up.


Southern  Fried  Catfish

1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. yellow cornmeal
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
4 catfish fillets or whole dressed catfish
Vegetable oil

Combine flour, cornmeal, garlic powder and salt.  Coat catfish with mixture, shaking off excess. 
Fill deep fryer with oil or large iron skillet half full with oil.  Heat to 350 degrees. Add 
catfish in a single layer, and fry until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes, depending on size. Remove 
and drain on paper towels. 
Comments: Use white cornmeal if you prefer. The garlic powder can be omitted. Some people dip the 
fish in milk or buttermilk or in milk or buttermilk with an egg added before coating with the meal 
& flour mixture. I've eaten them all these ways. A cast iron skillet browns the fish much better. 
Deep frying is okay, too. Don't overcook.
Pan  Fried  Catfish 

4 catfish fillets (4-5 oz. each)
1 c. buttermilk
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 c. white cornmeal
vegetable oil

Place catfish fillets in buttermilk in shallow dish.  Refrigerate 30 minutes. Remove catfish 
from milk; sprinkle with salt.  Dip in cornmeal to coat both sides.  Heat oil in large iron 
skillet over moderately high heat.  Add catfish.  Reduce heat to moderate; cook until browned, 
about 3 minutes.  Turn fish over carefully; cook 3 minutes or until browned and cooked through. 
Carefully transfer to serving plates. Serve.  Makes 4 servings.  
For battering and frying something, things that taste good using milk always taste even better 
if you use buttermilk. If you want to add a little flour to the cornmeal, go for it.
Hush  Puppies

1 1/2 c. cornmeal
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. onion, chopped

Sift flour, baking soda and salt; stir in cornmeal and set aside.  Beat eggs until fluffy; add milk, 
onion and mix well.  Gradually add dry ingredients, blending after each addition.  Drop batter by level 
tablespoons into hot cooking oil in a skillet or deep fryer.  Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes; 
turn once.  Drain on paper towel.  Serve warm.  Makes approximately 24.  
People use all sorts of additional ingredients in their hushpuppies. I like them simple. Some people 
like a lot of onion. I like some, but not a lot. Many people like to use yellow cornmeal to make 
hushpuppies. I like the finer ground white cornmeal better. I like hushpuppies to be small to medium 
and crispy but not too dry. The big ones tend to be either doughy in the center or else too hard on 
the outside.
Old  Fashioned  Coleslaw

1 head cabbage 
2 carrots
1 1/4 c. mayonnaise - Kraft or Hellman's is best
1 tbsp. vinegar

Shred cabbage and grate carrots. Combine rest of ingredients and toss with cabbage and carrots. 
If you use a brand of mayonnaise other than Kraft or Cain's, double the vinegar to retain the slight 
tartness that coleslaw is supposed to have. 
People have lots of preferences when it comes to coleslaw. Some folks add onions or other vegetables 
and spices than this recipe has. As far as I'm concerned, the best coleslaw is just shredded cabbage, 
Kraft or Hellman's mayo, and salt & pepper, but the above recipe is more like what the fish camps 
used to serve. 
I prefer the lemony tartness of Kraft or Hellman's mayonnaise. Some people like to add a tablespoon 
of sugar to the above recipe. I think that wanting to add sugar to things like coleslaw or cornbread 
is an aberration, but add it if you must. If you're one of those people who think Miracle Whip is 
mayonnaise, and you insist on using it in this coleslaw, then you certainly don't need to add any 
additional sugar. 


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