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Old 02-12-2021, 01:13 PM   #1
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Fond Instants

While I love to cook, there are some instant supermarket creations I confess I am rather fond of. Of course there are no freeze dried shortcuts for some things (like falafel for instance), there are some offerings including various Stovetop Stuffing variants, Betty Crocker scalloped and au gratin potatoes, and just recently I was turned on to these by Chef John's Food Wishes channel…



I have whipped these up several times now and they may just be the best of the best of boxed instant food.

So what instant-boxed preps do you find "almost" as good as homemade?
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Old 02-13-2021, 01:17 PM   #2
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Rotisserie chicken. OK- good. Not as good as home roasted whole chix. Too easy to just grab and go. A major quibble I have is it is sold in a plastic domed container, then placed in a card board box with poorly designed slots for handles, then you still want to put the bird in a plastic bag to catch drips and leaks. Too much packaging.

Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix. Pretty good flavor. Just add water and voila' -- they almost flip themselves. I usually add an egg and some melted butter. Grandkid approved and you can dredge fresh caught fish in the dry mix on fishing and camping trips.
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Old 02-13-2021, 02:31 PM   #3
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I use potato flakes to make potato breads, and other things that call for mashed potatoes - I just fill a glass measuring cup to 2/3 c with the dried flakes, then add water to the 1 c mark, and set aside. Much faster than even microwaving a potato, and all that, plus totally smooth - not a lump in it!

I've never been a fan of instant pancake, waffle, or biscuit mixes, once I started making them myself. However, something that I discovered way back, when I started making a recipe in one of Craig Claiborne's books - Sausage Biscuits - which called for Buttermilk Powder, which is used in a lot of those instant mixes, to get that flavor. It wasn't easy to find around here, back then (more of a southern thing), but I found it, and still add it to certain things, for that unusual flavor. I had a jar of it in my freezer, when I emptied it out - the label fell off, and I thought if it was one of the egg items I had in there, but I knew what it was as soon as I tasted it.
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Old 02-13-2021, 05:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ScottinPollock View Post
While I love to cook, there are some instant supermarket creations I confess I am rather fond of. Of course there are no freeze dried shortcuts for some things (like falafel for instance), there are some offerings including various Stovetop Stuffing variants, Betty Crocker scalloped and au gratin potatoes, and just recently I was turned on to these by Chef John's Food Wishes channel…



I have whipped these up several times now and they may just be the best of the best of boxed instant food.

So what instant-boxed preps do you find "almost" as good as homemade?
We use these, a lot.
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Old 02-13-2021, 05:31 PM   #5
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This falafel mix is quite good. We also use Stovetop Stuffing sometimes; I doctor it up with sautéed fresh onion and celery.
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Old 02-13-2021, 05:32 PM   #6
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This falafel mix is quite good. We also use Stovetop Stuffing sometimes; I doctor it up with sautéed fresh onion and celery.
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Old 02-13-2021, 05:57 PM   #7
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I use two types of dry/powdered Milk.
Sasco Cultured Buttermilk and Store brand Non-fat Dry Milk.
I use both in cooking/baking.
I also have two containers of Instant Ramen that we discovered
while on our last Cross-Country Road Trip.
These make for a good quick meal when all else fails.
We can share one bowl, it's that big.

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Neither of us had ever had Instant Ramen before believe it or not.
It wasn't all that bad either.
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Old 02-13-2021, 06:20 PM   #8
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We use boxed Bell's Stuffing Mix (similar to Stove Top) because it tastes like the stuffing I make at Thanksgiving, which tastes like the stuffing my mom used to make.

We also occasionally use Goya rice mixes, Tomato rice, red beans and rice, etc.

Suddenly Salad pasta salad mix. The Ranch Bacon is my favorite with a chopped tomato added.

25¢ ramen noodle packets (they used to be 10¢ each) make a quick lunch.
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Old 02-13-2021, 09:07 PM   #9
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I just thought of something we use. Tasty Bites, Indian ready meals. They are delicious and made only from food. They aren't as good as making it oneself, but they can be heated in boiling water or in the microwave and they are shelf stable. Two kinds and some rice makes a meal for two people. One makes a side dish.

Of the ones in this picture, we have tried all but the one with spinach and the one with eggplant. We enjoy them. They also sell brown rice this way.

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Old 02-13-2021, 11:22 PM   #10
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I just thought of something we use. Tasty Bites, Indian ready meals. They are delicious and made only from food. They aren't as good as making it oneself, but they can be heated in boiling water or in the microwave and they are shelf stable. Two kinds and some rice makes a meal for two people. One makes a side dish.

Of the ones in this picture, we have tried all but the one with spinach and the one with eggplant. We enjoy them. They also sell brown rice this way.

I really dig the lentils. I put Cholula Chipotle hot sauce in em, it goes wonderfully.
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Old 02-13-2021, 11:55 PM   #11
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I really dig the lentils. I put Cholula Chipotle hot sauce in em, it goes wonderfully.
I have never tried that hot sauce, but from the description, it sounds like it would go well with it.
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Old 02-13-2021, 11:57 PM   #12
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I have never tried that hot sauce, but from the description, it sounds like it would go well with it.
Oh it is soooooo good. Cholula is good, the Chipotle one is better.
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Old 02-14-2021, 07:21 AM   #13
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I agree on Cholula.

As to quick/instant items, I find that I use many more than when I was younger and devoted much more time and effort to cooking.

I also find that I'm not as picky as I once was.

Ross
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Old 02-14-2021, 01:09 PM   #14
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We use boxed Bell's Stuffing Mix (similar to Stove Top) because it tastes like the stuffing I make at Thanksgiving, which tastes like the stuffing my mom used to make.

We also occasionally use Goya rice mixes, Tomato rice, red beans and rice, etc.

Suddenly Salad pasta salad mix. The Ranch Bacon is my favorite with a chopped tomato added.

25¢ ramen noodle packets (they used to be 10¢ each) make a quick lunch.
Bell's is what my grandmother used to make a ground pork stuffing and that flavor is Thanksgiving to me. We can get the little box of seasoning here, but not the stuffing mix, so I use it.
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