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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pub Grub & Homemade Onion Rings

Following a busy canning weekend that continued into Monday meant simpler meals. A 16.4 lb pork shoulder roast is in the oven and will be ready for canning shortly. I've had the house to myself all day So I thought I would make a post on pub grub most often eaten when we are boating but we also have two favourite haunts we frequent by car after the boating season. But first let me answer a few questions from some of my readers:

  1. How big is a hamper of tomatoes? A. A hamper is 5/8 Imp. bushels.
  2. How many jars are in a bushel of tomatoes? A. The number of jars will vary depending on what you make with the tomatoes. In general, I get 7 L (quarts) of whole tomatoes from 1/2 of a hamper or 5/16 of a bushel.
  3. Can freshly cooked tomato sauce be stored in mason jars? A. Yes providing you process using a boiling water bath canner for plain sauce (no meat) or use a pressure canner for sauce with meat.
  4. Can I use white vinegar to pickle beets? A. Most certainly and at least two recipes for pickling beets using white vinegar are already posted on this blog.
Ok, back to talking about pub grub. Pub grub generally consists of hamburgers, finger foods, appetizers, chicken wings and anything else normally washed down with cold beer while watching football on some type of tv in the setting of a pub, tavern or bar. The food is usually unpretentious, inexpensive and deep frying is often involved. It is served in paper lined baskets or on simple plates.

Pub Grub

The neat thing about pub grub is it is a treat for us. On our last overnight boat trip the weekend of September 8, we ate at one of our favourite pubs. Of course, the football game being on was a bit of an incentive. We had to walk from the marina to the pub and back again somewhat justifying adding a couple of "appetizers" to the meal. Seriously, I don't do much in the way of breaded foods so these are things I don't make at home other than the occasional breaded fish.

For appetizers we had deep fried mushrooms (1) and onion rings (2). This pub know how to make both of these just right! They were fried to a golden brown then served in paper lined baskets. I had the bacon cheese burger (3). Now anytime you order anything with cheese on it at a pub it is almost always processed cheese slices. That means if you are lactose intolerant dose up on Lactaid before hand! The burger was average but the atmosphere made it a bit better. My husband had the Philly cheese steak sandwich (4). Again it had the processed cheese, not the best but the sauteed onions made up for it somewhat.

Homemade Onion Rings

I don't do a lot of breading or coating for any foods so the real challenge was to be able to make homemade onion rings that duplicated what we had on the pub grub. It was more of the challenge since this is one thing I do not cook well. But a home based pub night especially for poker nights would go over good providing I can duplicate at least the deep fried foods.

Method:
I used thick sliced Spanish onion then dipped them in flour seasoned with Old Bay Seasoning. Then I dipped the slices into Bisquick mixed with water. I figured if this method worked for fish except using beer for the water, it should work for onion rings. I set the deep fryer to hot then deep fried the onion rings until golden brown. The end result wasn't bad. The onion rings were tender and sweet while enclosed in a nice crispy coating. It was a bit more coating than the pub grub version but pretty close.

What I think might work a bit better is complete pancake mix but being the cooking musser that I am, I want to come up with a nice home made version not using mixes. So I'm going to say this version was good and would definitely fit the needs for most. I'm thinking a bit thinner coating so stay tuned for an updated version as I get to it.


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