Monday, July 14, 2014

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5 Country Cooking Secrets from Cracker Barrel


Hashbrown Casserole

This is the restaurant's most popular sideand now it can be your family's favorite at home: Use colby cheese, instead of cheddar, in your hashbrown casserole, which one former Cracker Barrel employee says more closely mimics the actual recipe. Combine all of the ingredients the day before (taking the potatoes straight from the freezer, instead of letting them thaw), then cover and refrigerate the uncooked casserole over night. Finally, use a large spoon to place dollops of the mixture into a greased pan, rather than patting it down firmly with your hand. 

Want a recipe? The person who submitted this one claims her parents acquired it while working on a Cracker Barrel training video. Worth a try, right? 

One Cracker Barrel cook says the secret to the pillowy little biscuits is simplicity: White Lily self-rising flour (2 cups), buttermilk (2/3 cup), shortening (1/3 cup), and nothing more. Combine the flour and shortening, add the buttermilk, and mix for one minute; roll 'em out, cut 'em into circles, and bake for  8 minutes at 450° F. While they're hot, brush your biscuits with melted butter. An awesome quote from the Cracker Barrel employee who leaked this recipe: "That's how I do it, and cannot say if that's how I also do it at work." Sounds like a guilty conscience to me. 

Instead of using standard breadcrumbs in your meatloaf, crumble up homemade buttermilk biscuits, which employees say is the key to a Cracker Barrel-like loaf. 

Fried Apples
You'll find bacon drippings in most copycat recipes for Cracker Barrel's fried apples, but at least one employee says that addition isn't actually a part of the recipe. 

The pancake mix for sale in the country store is likely the same stuff used in the kitchen: One former worker says the chefs just use a mix (which has an unusual ingredient: rye flour), to which they add water, wait 10 minutes for the batter to rise, and then whisk until smooth. The ideal temperature for your griddle: 400° F


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