Friday, April 20, 2012

Fat people running past it

There was a Bob's Big Boy restaurant located less than a mile from the home I grew up in.  We didn't dine out very often, but we did go to Bob's sometimes for special occasions like end-of-the-year promotion to the next elementary school grade, or as bribery for me to get all my homework done on a Friday night instead of procrastinating until Sunday night.  My mom, who is an RN, liked to comment on the statue of BBB and his, ahem, plumpness.  Her favorite saying regarding BBB was that there were more fat people walking into the restaurant than running past it.  Probably true.  But I still love it.
The original
My favorite foods there were Pappy Parker's Fried chicken, and the hot fudge cake.  I always ate too much food there and ended up with a wicked case of the hiccups because of it.  Soooo, in honor of my hometown BBB, which closed down in the early 90s, here are some recipes that are ALMOST as good as Bob's, but not quite.


Bob's Big Boy Copycat Hot Fudge Cake

Cake - Make one boxed chocolate cake mix, any kind, but use a 10 x 13 pan to bake it in.  Then cut off a 3 x 3 inch piece.  Then cut that in half HORIZONTALLY.  The ice cream will go in the middle.

Ice Cream - Use your favorite brand of store-bought vanilla.  Cut it with a sharp knife to make a one and a half  inch thick slab that is 3 x 3 inches square.  Place on top of the bottom part of the cake.  Then put the top half back on, but flip it upside down.

Hot fudge - I use the following recipe because it tastes and looks pretty darn similar to BBB's, plus it's super easy to make.  I adapted it from the recipe here.

1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine evaporated milk, sugar, butter and corn syrup in medium, heavy-duty saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in morsels and vanilla extract until thickened and smooth. Strain to remove any small lumps.  Store leftover sauce in tightly sealed container in refrigerator.  Reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes before serving again. If needed, add water to thin to desired consistency. Recipe makes approximately 3 cups.

Spoon the hot fudge over top of the cake, letting it run down the four corners and puddle on the plate generously.

Toppings - Use a can of your favorite whipped cream to make a round dollop on top of the hot fudge, then add a long stemmed Marachino cherry from the jar.

Here's my easy version of BBB hot fudge cake. (I didn't have any whipped cream or cherries in the house, so it's a little naked on top, but nevertheless super delicious! And I got a little messy with the hot fudge.  Oh well! ) 
Yummy Fried Chicken
(not sure where I got this recipe!)

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces and the back piece removed (or about 4 pounds of assorted chicken pieces)

1/2 cup kosher (course) salt
1 gallon of water

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper (or white pepper)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp paprika
optional additions: 1 teaspoon each of crushed oregano and thyme.  Smell them to see if you want that flavor in your chicken.  I tend to leave them out.

2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk (if you don't have any, just use milk!)

1. Mix the water and kosher salt in a large bowl.  Add the chicken pieces, cover, and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours. Give it a stir once in a while if you think of it.
2.  Rinse and drain the chicken and discard the brine.  Dry pieces off with paper towels.
3. Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, baking powder, and paprika
4. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and buttermilk.
5. Dip each piece of chicken into the wet mix then into the dry mix.  Refrigerate for 2 hours to set the coating (I never have time to do this step!)
6. Fry in 3/4 inch vegetable oil or Crisco shortening, skin side down, in a cast iron pan or in an electric skillet, for 18-20 minutes.  Keep the temperature at about 365 degrees.
7. Drain on a metal rack with paper towels.  Serve hot.

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