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Howard Johnson's French Dip Sandwich

From: Kathy 
Sent: Friday, October 13, 2017 3:10 AM
Subject: Recipe request.

I would love to have the recipe for my most favorite Howard Johnson's French Dip Sandwich.

Thank you.



Hi Katherine,

Sorry, I had no success with a recipe or a copycat for Howard Johnsonís French Dip Sandwich. There are some other French Dip Sandwich recipes here: French Dip Sandwiches

I will post this for reader input.


From: Kathy 
Sent: Friday, October 13, 2017 11:07 AM
To: Phaedrus 
Subject: Re: HoJo's French Dip Sandwich

Thank you very much!  

I had a similar sandwich at Cracker Barrel last night but they wouldn't share their recipe with me.  :(


Hi Kathy,

What was it called at Cracker Barrel? Do you want me to search for that recipe?


From: Kathy 
Sent: Friday, October 13, 2017 12:02 PM
To: Phaedrus 
Subject: Re: HoJo's French Dip Sandwich

Hello Phaed!

At Cracker Barrel it was simply called a "French Dip Sandwich."  I believe it is new to their menu this fall.  
It contained sliced onions, slices of beef (supposedly prime rib) that was very tender and tasty, and Swiss 
cheese.  Not sure what else.  It was served with a cup of salty, but tasty beef broth to dip the sandwich in.  
Was on a soft hoagie bun.  Delicious!  


Hi Kathy,

I saw a photo of it on the Cracker Barrel website: Cracker Barrel French Dip Sandwich Platter

It looks and sounds tasty to me! They describe it as: Prime Rib thatís roasted slow and served with fresh grilled onions, beef au jus, Swiss Cheese, and Peppercorn Horseradish Sauce on a toasted hoagie bun.

I had no luck locating a recipe or copycat. It may be too new. I wouldnít be surprised to see a recipe on the web sometime soon, though. Cracker Barrel recipes are very popular. Iíll post this for reader input.

Meanwhile, hereís another one that looks good: Prime Rib French Dip Sandwich


Scotch 'n Sirloin Salad Dressing

From: Lisa
Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 8:40 AM
Subject: Scotch 'n' Sirloin Salad Dressing

Iíve been searching for the favorite salad dressing of my childhood from the Scotch Ďní Sirloin restaurant 
in Vestal, NY Ė basically an Italian style dressing (vinegar & oil based).  Anybody got the recipe?

Fingers crossed!


Hi Lisa,

I didnít have much luck with this. All I could find were a couple of mentions of the Scotch Ďní Sirloin restaurant in Vestal. I found other mentions of a Scotch Ďní Sirloin restaurant in the Vestal Plaza in Binghamton, NY, and mentions of Scotch Ďní Sirloin restaurants in Syracuse and DeWitt. I suppose they were all part of the same chain of restaurants. However, I could not find a recipe or any mention of the salad dressing you describe from any of them. Sorry.

Iíll post this for reader input.


My Bill of Fare

When greens were in season, we often had greens and cornbread instead of peas and cornbread. These were usually turnip greens or mustard greens or a mixture of the two. Occasionally we'd have collard greens, but not as frequently as the other two. Whichever type of greens we had, they'd be cooked with salt pork. I can't say that Mom added no sugar at all to her greens. Greens tend to have a slightly bitter taste, so Mom might have added a little sugar to balance that bitterness. Greens are great with Southern cornbread. The pot-likker from greens, like that of blackeyed peas, is delicious spooned over crumbled cornbread. In the North, we also have Swiss chard, beet greens, and fresh spinach. I don't recall Swiss chard or beet greens, but we had spinach(maybe canned) sometimes in the South.

For meat, we often had "pot roast." Our pot roast was a chuck roast or a "seven-bone" roast" cooked in aluminum foil in a cast iron skillet in the oven. It was so tender that it would fall apart when you tried to pick it up with a fork. This is what comes to my mind when I think of "roast beef", not those big roasts that they serve thin, rare, slices of at buffets and in delis. We also had "pork backbone roasts" that Mom cooked the same way, and they were delicious, too. Much more tender than pork shoulder roasts or Boston butt roasts or pork picnic roasts. I never see "pork backbone roasts" in the market these days, certainly not at supermarket chains, but maybe they're still available if you have an independent local grocery store with its own butcher, or if you have an actual butcher shop in your area. Of course, you can still get chuck roasts, and I saw a "seven-bone" roast in the market recently. We had an excellent chuck roast for dinner last night, so it's not something I have to go without. This kind of roast beef makes a great roast beef sandwich with real mayonnaise and dill pickles.

Is frying pork chops a lost art? I don't mean sauteed. I mean battered and fried like chicken and eaten with or without gravy. I haven't had a batter-fried pork chop in quite a while. Southern cafeterias like Morrison's served them, usually boneless ones. I suppose that cafeterias like Piccadilly still serve them. The Mississippi State University cafeteria had very good batter fried pork chops.

Lately I've been ordering duck quite often when I find it on a restaurant menu. It's tasty, usually served pan-seared and cooked medium rare. However, the best duck that I ever had was smoked. A friend of our family used used to go duck hunting every fall with a group of business friends at some sort of hunting club in Arkansas, and the club's chef would stuff the ducks they'd killed with wild rice and then barbecue or smoke them. He'd put the cooked ducks in foil bags and freeze them for the hunters to take home. Our friend didn't care for duck, he just liked to shoot them, so he would give them to us when he returned home. Heating instructions were on the bag. They were fully cooked, all you had to do was heat them up in the bag they were in. There was no rare duck here. The meat was fully cooked and falling off the bones. It had a great smoky flavor.

Hominy isn't something that I miss a lot, although I never see it served in the North. I never liked it much. It was too bland for my taste. I have memories, though, of my Dad making hominy in a black iron pot outside over a wood fire. I think he may have soaked it in lye so that it would become hominy instead of merely boiled corn. Hominy is actually more nourishing than corn. Due to the way it is made, a process using an alkali such as lye, nutrients such as niacin are changed into forms more usable by the human body. Hominy making is another trick that the colonists learned from Native Americans, who used certain kinds of alkaline wood ashes to make it.

Remember, if you want recipes for any of these things, just email me.

To be continued.

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