published Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Side Orders: Krystal wants cookbook recipes

I’m so excited about a new cookbook due out next year that I want to make a Krystal run and bring home a sackful of burgers, a couple of cups of chili and some waffle fries to see what I can come up with to be included in Krystal’s “Cookbook of Southern Goodness.”

Maybe some savory bread pudding made with Krystal burgers? Or some nachos with a chili cheese sauce? Or what about something creative using waffle fries as the crust for some kind of meat pie?

It’s recipes such as these that Krystal is looking to include in its upcoming cookbook, due out in the summer of 2014. And if you can come up with a great recipe, it may be included.

The square-shaped cookbook is made to mirror Krystal’s little square burgers. It has five sections: Family Gatherings, Holiday Fare, Breakfast & Brunch, Tailgating and Desserts. The only stipulation is the recipes must use one of the items found on Krystal’s menu. All recipes will be tested in the Krystal kitchen by a panel of home cooks as well as officials from the company.

“We thought it was a fabulous idea,” says Heather Schlesinger, director of brand marketing and research for the Krystal Co. “It’s a celebration of Krystal’s history, and it will have wonderful photos of memorabilia, the old Krystal china, newspaper articles and other things that date back to the 1930s.”

The first Krystal opened at the corner of Chattanooga’s Cherry and Seventh streets in October 1932, and the company was headquartered here until it was purchased in March 2012 by investors in Atlanta and subsequently moved there.

One of Schlesinger’s favorite recipes is an ice cream pie using chocolate and vanilla Milk Quakes thawed, swirled together and poured into a graham cracker pie crust, then refrozen. There’s also a banana pudding Milk Quake that’s softened and poured into a graham cracker crust, refrozen and topped with whipped cream. For a twist, add peanut butter and chocolate.

“Or what about burger soup using the meat in the soup and toasting the buns for croutons? And one of our manager’s wife came up with an egg casserole,” she says. “She lined a dish with Krystal burgers, then made an egg mixture and poured it over the burgers and topped it with cheese and crumbled bacon.

“Our executive chef even came up with stuffed peppers using Krystals. There are just so many fun things you can make.”

Recipe submissions will be accepted through Feb. 1, 2014. Send them to rderryberry@krystalco.com with “cookbook recipe” in the subject line. If your recipe is chosen, you’ll receive a Krystal gift pack filled with goodies.

Proceeds from book sales will support Krystal charities, such as deploying the Krystal Crave Cruiser to disaster areas. The Cruiser is a self-contained restaurant that goes out to areas such as the Gulf of Mexico during last year’s hurricanes or to Adairsville, Ga., when tornadoes came through.

For inspiration in creating an original recipe, take a look at the following recipe for Krystal Stuffing. It’s one sent in by a Krystal patron and then tweaked. And yes, when it’s in the oven, your kitchen will smell like the iconic Krystal. Nothing wrong with that.

Krystal Stuffing

20 Krystals with no mustard or pickle

2 cups diced celery

1 onion diced

2 1/2 teaspoons ground thyme

2 1/2 teaspoons ground sage

2 teaspoons pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 cup chicken broth

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Tear Krystals into small pieces and add all the seasonings along with the celery and onions. Mix well. Add chicken broth and stir. Place in large, greased casserole dish and place in oven. Cover with foil for the first 40 minutes. Uncover for the last 10 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Serves 12.

Contact Anne Braly at abraly@timesfreepress.com.

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