Showing posts with label T.G.I. Friday's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label T.G.I. Friday's. Show all posts

Oct 8, 2012

T.G.I. Friday's make over

T.G.I. Friday's is, you guessed it, another casual dining experience, which offers up a bunch of animal-based menu items, with not a vegan meal in sight. Last time I gussied up Friday's, I covered Potato Skins, fried Mac and Cheese, and Jack Daniel's Sesame Chicken. It went well. Now I decided to make over their Dragonfire Chicken. I'm a sucker for cool-sounding menu names, and this one had me all fired up. 

This chicken dish is Friday's low-calorie item, although it still comes in at around 750 calories. I'm not here to fix calorie content, however, so that is not the issue. It's the dead animal on the plate that I'm gearing to replace. Back to the dish. It is marinated in a sweet, parsley-jalapeno sauce, grilled, topped with their spicy kung pao sauce and served with pineapple pico de gallo, mandarin oranges and rice. What? No cheese? Don't all casual dinning restaurants smother everything in cheese? Not this one; which probably accounts for the lower calorie content.

Since the chicken is marinated, I looked to tofu as the replacement. I pressed the tofu (with a Tofu Xpress) for a little amount of time before marinating it in the first of two sauces. The tofu soaked up enough of the marinade to make it matter. I grilled the tofu, spread some of the second sauce over the top and served it up with the pico de gallo

This sounds like a simple dish, and it is, but it is packed with flavor. From the marinade all the way to the pico de gallo, this dish packs a punch. The marinade is sweet, the sauce is deliciously spicy and the tartness of the pico makes for one harmonious plate. This is a great dish. The rice is an appropriate choice to balance all the loud flavors, and it is even served with some broccoli.

Cost Breakdown

tofu: $2
rice: $1
pineapple, tomato, lime, cilantro, onion: $3
oranges, parsley, jalapeno: $.75
oil, sugar, vinegar, tamari, garlic, ginger: $2
broccoli: $3
Total for 4 servings:

Their cost per serving: $7.99
Make Over cost per serving: $2.95

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