Post #608 It’s A Mock Up

November 11, 2018 at 4:44 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Let’s face it.  Sometimes cooking is hard.  Sometimes, when time is short, cooking can be a spectacular hassle.  Sometimes, as a chef, you’re just not feeling it.  Sometimes, it would be nice to have a magic pill to put in the microwave that magically created whatever it was you’re craving (or creating) with minimal muss and fuss.  Sometimes, we just need to make something cheap and simple rather than go through the full steps.  So today’s post is about mocking up menu items that taste good but don’t take a huge amount of time or effort.

  1. Mock Egg Sandwiches – typically people think of eggs for breakfast and that’s a great way to start the day.  I like egg sandwiches.  One of my favorites was from a diner back in Rhode Island called Messy’s and it was a bacon, egg, and cheese on a croissant.  Grilled in butter, it was so good!  But the standard has been (for decades) the Egg McMuffin.  Total breakfast held in one hand.  I worked at Mickey D’s back in my teen years, and go to the point where I could crack four eggs in each hand without spilling a drop.  Egg McMuffins and I were on a first name basis.  One English muffin toasted to perfection.  While that was toasting, an egg ring was placed on a low temp grill and butter was slathered in it with a brush.  An egg was cracked into it and the yolk was broken so it would cook completely.  A piece of Canadian bacon was slapped down on the grill next to the egg ring.  After two minutes, the egg was release and flipped and the bacon was flipped next to it.  Two more minutes, the muffin was toasted and place in a container.  The egg was placed on top, still dripping butter, and the bacon was placed on top of that.  A piece of cheese was laid over the top of that of that and the top of the muffin was put in place.  Four minutes, start to finish, and breakfast was ready.  But that was assuming you had a hot grill and all the ingredients ready at hand.  So I came up with a mock up.  Toast two slices of whatever bread you have on hand.  While the bread is toasting, heat a small skillet to low heat and melt some butter.  If you’re using real bacon, cook that to crispy in a microwave.  However, it’s faster and easier to use deli ham, or sandwich lunch meat ham.  Heat it in the skillet while melting the butter.  If you have a round biscuit cutter or cookie cutter, cut the toast when it’s done.  Then put the cutter in the skillet and crack an egg into it.  Cook the egg for a couple of minutes on one side, then release it from the cutter and flip while flipping the meat.  When the egg is fully cooked, assemble the sandwich and eat hearty.  If you don’t have a cutter or don’t want to dirty it up for whatever reason, just use the bread and the egg as is.  Also, if you don’t have any bacon or ham to hand, but you do have bacon bits for a salad, sprinkle those on the eggs.  Or use a different kind of meat.  I had a friend who would use hamburgers.
  2. Mock Apple Fritters – This one is easy, but you do have to have the ingredients.  Obviously, you have to have an apple.  If you don’t, but you have some applesauce, use that.   Then, you need some kind of bread.  It can be sandwich bread, rolls, bagels, whatever is at hand.  Toast it lightly.  Heat a small skillet and melt two tablespoons of butter, then add two to three tablespoons of sugar and one teaspoon of cinnamon.  When the mixture is bubbling, add the chopped apples, or the applesauce, and toss to coat.  Turn off the heat and let the apples and sugar cool just a bit.  Place the toasted bread on a plate and divide the apple mix over the bread.  Place one pat of butter on top of each piece of bread letting it melt slightly, then eat with gusto.  Or juice.
  3. Mock Potato Pancake – okay so this one requires a waffle maker.  Sorry about that, but it does.  About a half hour before you’re going to make this, take out some tater tots and let them reach room temperature.  Heat your waffle maker then spray with vegetable oil.  Place as many tater tots on the plate of the waffle maker as you can, close it, and cook as though making waffles.  However, allow them to cook a minutes or so longer.  You will end up with a crisp potato pancake with pockets and ridges just like a waffle that you can fill with anything you like.  I just salt them lightly and eat them, but I would image sausage gravy would be tremendous.
  4. Mock Fried Donuts – have you ever made fried donuts for breakfast?  You have to start the day before because the batter has to rest overnight in the fridge.  This one takes only the time to heat the oil.  So, heat vegetable oil over medium heat until it shimmers but NOT smoking.  If it’s smoking it’s too hot.  You need enough oil for the donuts to float.  So what are we making donuts out of?  A regular tube of refrigerator biscuits.  Pop the container open and separate the dough.  Gently pull the dough moving it in a circle until it rips and a hole appears.  Make a fairly large hole because it will start to close as soon as it hits the oil.  Let it fry for about two minutes then flip it and let if fry for two more minutes.  Now comes the fun part, dressing the donuts.  I like to shake them in sugar.  Or sugar with cinnamon.  Or sugar with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Other times, I let them cool almost completely, but with enough residual heat to melt frosting and used canned frosting of any kind.  Or make a sugar glaze, or a lemon glaze .  You can also make a sugar syrup and coat the donuts with that.  You’re only limited by your imagination.
  5. Finally, Mock Flavored Muffins – This one is so easy.   It’s muffins made with yogurt and is basic simplicity.  The basic recipe is 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, a quarter teaspoon each of salt, baking soda, and baking powder, 1 large egg, 1/2 cup of yogurt, 3 tablespoons of oil, and 2 tablespoons of milk or water.  Blend everything gently and spoon evenly into six prepared muffin cups.  You can spoon into four muffin cups if you prefer larger muffins.  Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into one comes out clean.  Cool for a few minutes then remove from the muffin tin.  Easy peasy.  However, use a flavored yogurt and that flavor becomes the flavor of the muffin.  Add fruit or spices that complement the flavor of the yogurt.  You can top the muffins with seeds or nuts or granola for extra crunch.

Hope all this helps out.  I love mocking things up once in a while.

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