Nov 25, 2010

t.g.i. friday's (MoFo 16) + "american vegan kitchen" book contest

Fried Mac and Cheese

T.G.I. Friday's has been in existence since the 1960's. I hadn't realized this business has been around so long. The place was started by a perfume salesman who thought it would be a nifty way to pick up women. He called it T.G.I.F. to attract the business crowd. It became a hit and other places started copying the concept.
 I also hadn't realized that the Loaded Potato Skins was invented by them. Another surprising thing is that the Potato Skins are not deep fried, unlike their competitors' versions which are. Whew! At least one thing on this tasting menu isn't deep fried :}
The Skins come with bacon bits, and you are more than welcome to add that, seitan bacon or tofu bacon, but you can probably get a nicer flavor using crushed smoked almonds. And if I had any, that's what mine would sport. I have Daiya cheddar on mine and Cashew sour cream, and again, sub what you like or have. The potatoes are first baked, then the center is scooped out, then they are brushed with olive oil and broiled for a few minutes. Top them with cheese, broil until the cheese melts and serve with the vegan sour cream and chives. These didn't last long.
Sometime in the past decade, people decided that even Twinkies should be battered and fried (is it any wonder the U.S. leads the obesity epidemic?) and Macaroni and Cheese did not escape the transformation. Cat requested this one - Fried Macaroni and Cheese. It was either this or the green beans. If you'd like to make the green beans instead, just use the same batter and technique and you will have T.G.I.F.'s Fried Green Beans.
I made a simple macaroni and cheese recipe (use a creamy version). My favorite is Road's End Organics, following their directions except adding enough milk to make them creamy (at least doubling the recommended amount). You can also use one from the Uncheese Cookbook. The stuff is then put into a square baking pan and frozen until hardened. Remove it then and cut it into small cubes. Batter and deep fry. That's it!
Lastly, I had to make something with the Jack Daniel's Glaze Friday's has come up with. It is way too popular for them to omit it from my Tasting Menu. I made the Sesame Jack Chicken Strips using Tender Seitan. The strips are battered, fried and then tossed in the Jack Daniel's Glaze. This is on the sweet side but very tasty. I bet this would even taste great with pan seared seitan strips - as long as they were caramelized enough to have a crispy surface.
Now for my last MoFo Contest.
Tami Noyes of Vegan Appetite and the author of this killer cookbook, is giving away her American Vegan Kitchen for moi. I am very honored to have the privilege to run this contest for this really cool prize!
I mused on purchasing this book for a few months, thinking I do NOT need another cookbook and then Mr. Marcus was giving a few away at and me, not having been one of the winners, thought it must be a sign, and I really DID need it. Long story short, I have been very enthusiastically cooking form it since it arrived. The reason why it is so good to have it is because it contains a bunch of recipes that are featured in diners across the U.S. I had eaten most of the dishes at restaurants before I became veg. It was wonderful to have those flavors again. The recipes are easy and they taste wonderful. I can absolutely say that this book gets plenty of use in my kitchen.
So, leave a comment on this post and I'll pick a winner on the last day of MoFo. Contest is for domestic U.S. residents only and ends Monday night, Nov. 29. Good luck!
Cost Breakdown:
potatoes: $3
Daiya: $1.50
sour cream, chives: $1
Total for apps for 4:

Road's End: $2.50
breadcrumbs: $1
milk, flour, cashews: $2
Total for apps for 4:
glaze: $2
seitan: $3
breadcrumbs, flour, cashews: $3
Total for 3 servings:

Potato Skins

Jack Sesame Chick'n


  1. The fried mac and cheese looks amazing!!!! I have to try this soon. I would love to win the cookbook since I love veganizing American food.

  2. Oh my, that fried mac and cheese! You are brilliant!

  3. Holy fried mac n' cheese! And those potato skins... I'm drooling!

  4. Ok, I know everyone is talking about the fried mac and cheese, but seriously, that is craaazy!

  5. That fried mac'n cheese looks pretty amazing. And the chick'n wings too!! You should open a vegan Americen diner.

  6. Whenever I think of T.G.I.Friday's I think of their fried green beans because that was the first place I had seen them. They were incredible! The potato skins and fried mac n cheese looks delicious!

  7. You totally blew my mind with that mac 'n cheese!

  8. Those fried mac 'n cheese looks so cool. I have never had fried mac 'n cheese before but I certainly will try it soon. Thank you for this awesome recipe.

  9. Fried Mac and Cheese??? I need a recipe ASAP. I JUST bought a deep fryer too. :D Thanks for the giveaway. I enjoy your recipes! :D

  10. Thanks for the fun post! Who knew all this until now?! Love your blog. Oh! I'm having a cookbook giveaway too....come check.

  11. I can't believe you made fried mac n cheese! Awesome.

  12. I think that sesame chicken looks incredible. I really need a midnight snack!

  13. The fried Mac and Cheese looks great!

  14. I definitely need to expand my cookbook collection. I enjoyed this post - I picked up several bits of knowledge here. :)

  15. Do you have a recipe for the sour cream?

  16. I had no clue they made vegan mac and cheeses in boxes like that!

    I've always been reluctant to deep fry things (why my falafels are always relatively awful), but I might have to try this out... :)

  17. Oh WOW. I think I'm going to do the fried macaroni and cheese with the Amy's frozen Daiya brand. I like Road's End, just not as much and if I'm going all out I'm totally doing this! Valentine's Day dinner! This all looks awesome! UGH.

  18. Virtual.Jess, Please go to the Recipe Page at the top. I have added a "Sour Cream" recipe to the list, which is in alphabetical order.

    MarmaladeMonster, I have a no-fry falafel recipe that is gauranteed to work. It is on the Recipe Page under "Falafel" in alphabetical order.

    Thanks you, thank you for all the comments and visiting!


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