Food manufacturers want us to use their products exclusively. They don’t want us to forget a name. So, they create recipes that call for Progresso bread crumbs or Betty Crocker cake mix. They concoct all manner of ways for us to use them beyond their original intentions so we will keep them on our kitchen shelves.
Luckily, we are all wise enough to happily substitute other brands we prefer or use generics when we see them listed as ingredients.
I drop brand names all the time from recipes, saying, for example, “whipped topping” instead of Cool-Whip.
Part of my reasoning is so no one thinks I’m pushing one product over another (though, I do that sometimes when an excellent or unique item comes on the market). But I also do it so readers don’t feel like they have to use a particular brand or try to hunt up one that can’t be found in the supermarket.
So, this week I came across a variety of recipes put out by cereal makers. These two caught my eye. I also added substitutes you can try.
MINI MANDARIN ORANGE CHEESECAKES
1 cup crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal (about 2 cups whole) or 1 cup crushed graham crackers
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest (about 1 medium naval orange)
1 can mandarin oranges in syrup, drained
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine graham cracker crumbs in a bowl with the melted butter. Line a regular-sized muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Press a little less than 2 tablespoons of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth with no lumps remaining.
Add the sugar and continue to beat beat until combined and fluffy. Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract and orange zest and beat on low just until combined; do not over-beat.
Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the cheesecake mixture into each cupcake tin. Bake 12 minutes then turn off the oven and leave the cheesecakes in for another 10 minutes before removing them. Do not open the oven at any point before that.
Let the cheesecakes cool completely. Add some whipped cream to the top of each cheesecake and place a mandarin orange on top. Serve immediately.
No nutrition information available for this recipe.
RICE KRISPIE POTATOES
6 whole medium red potatoes
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, melted
Freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups crisped rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies, crushed
Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain, cool and peel.
Meanwhile, stir the garlic powder into the melted butter. Season the potatoes lightly with salt and pepper.
Spread the crushed cereal on a large plate. Coat the potatoes in the seasoned melted butter, then press them into the cereal so they are coated all over, transferring them to a baking dish as you work. Pour any leftover butter over the potatoes. Bake for 25 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve warm.
Make 4 to 6 servings, each (based on 6) with 310 calories, 5 grams protein, 47 grams carbohydrates, 12 grams fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 105 mg sodium, 1 g sugar.
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