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Captain's Steak Joynt Cheese Fondue

-----Original Message----- 
From: lynn 
Sent: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 11:49 PM
Subject: Captains steak joint cheese fondue recipe

Hi my name is Lynn. I have tried for a very long time to get the 
recipe for cheese fondue that this restaurant served with the best buttery 
chips ever. Any help would be greatly appreciated. The restaurant was on 
Brown deer road in Milwaukee and has since closed.

Hello Lynn,

There are a couple of dozen requests for this recipe on the web, going back several years. There's even one that was in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Jul 14, 1998. No one has been able to locate this recipe. For example, see:Taste Of Home Community Forums

There are matchbooks and menus and even t-shirts from the place for sale on the web, but no fondue recipe. I don't see much hope of locating this recipe unless you can locate someone who worked at Captain's Steak Joynt or someone from Marc's Big Boy Corporation during that era. Marc's Big Boy owned & operated the Captain's Steak Joynt chain.

I tried to find contact information for any former employees, but had no success.

I saw a remark on a message board that the fondue was brought in from outside in large containers. If so, it was made at a central location and then distributed to the local restaurants. With that being the case, even someone who worked at one of the local restaurants would be unlikely to know the recipe. Only those who made it and Marc's Big Boy personnel would have known the recipe.


LBJ Chocolate Cake

-----Original Message----- 
From: Elaine
Sent: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 7:13 PM
Subject: Lost cake recipe.

What a wonderful site.  I have found several authentic Italian cookie 
recipes.  Here is a the sixties there was a recipe called 
"LBJ" Chocolate Cake.  It used brownulated sugar and booming water.  
(named after President Lyndon Baines Johnson) 
My husband is salivating at the memory of it.



Hello Elaine,

Sorry, I can't find a recipe like that. LBJ's favorite cake was a German Chocolate Pound Cake - that's all I can find that's associated with him. Domino Sugar made & sold a "brownulated sugar", but I cannot find any mention of "booming water."


Don't forget that there was two L.B Johnsons and only one baked.
Here is the recipe you are looking for.                            
Timm in Oregon

Lady Byrd Johnson's German Chocolate Cake


1 package sweet chocolate (4 one ounce squares)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups Domino’s white granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks, unbeaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
4 large egg whites, stiffly beaten

For the Coconut Pecan Filling and Frosting:

1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup Domino’s white granulated sugar
3 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup pecans, chopped


Melt the chocolate in 1/2 cup of boiling water; let cool.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each. 
Add the vanilla and melted chocolate and mix until blended. 
Sift the flour with baking soda and salt. 
Add the sifted dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture alternately 
with buttermilk, beating after each addition until batter is smooth. 

Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour the batter into three 
8 or 9 inch round layer pans, lined on bottoms with paper. 
Bake in moderate 350F degrees oven for 35 to 40 minutes for 
8 inch layers or 30 to 35 minutes for 9 inch layers or until 
cake springs back when lightly pressed; let cool.

This delicate cake will have a flat contour and a slightly sugary top 
crust which tends to crack. 
Frost the cake top and between layers with coconut pecan filling 
and frosting for 3 layer cake.

Note: the cake may also be baked in two 8x8x2 inch square pans 
lined on bottoms with paper, for 45 to 50 minutes or two 9x9x2 inch 
square pans, lined on bottoms with paper for 40 to 45 minutes. 

For the Coconut Pecan Filling and Frosting: Combine the evaporated 
milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla in a saucepan. Cook over 
medium heat for 12 minutes while stirring constantly until the mixture 
thickens. Remove from the heat and add the flaked coconut and pecans; 
beat until cool and spreading consistency. Yield: 2-2/3 cups.

Hot Shoppes Smothered Chicken

From: Michelle 
Sent: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 3:50 PM
Subject: Recipe Request


Thank you for your page I was so happy to see some of those recipes! 
I noticed you have recipes from the Hot Shoppe's chain from the 
DC area, where I grew up!

I have been looking for years, seriously, for their recipe for 
"Smothered Chicken". I was gifted a "Hot Shoppe's" cook- 
book a few years ago that offered a recipe, however it was 
not the same that was served in the actual restaurant. 
I begged as they were closing for anyone to pass along a 
recipe from the Landover Mall location with no luck.

This chicken was so southern and amazingly yummy, a true 
comfort food. It was served as bone in, skin on pieces of 
Chicken literally smothered in a creamy sauce that had onions, 
carrots and celery. I have tried many a time to recreate the dish 
with no luck.

I am hoping that maybe you might have better luck than I did 
tracking it down.

Thank you in advance for any help!


Hi Michelle,

All of the Hot Shoppes recipes that I have are from that cookbook. It sounds to me as if that particular Hot Shoppes location made their smothered chicken by a different recipe from the others. If so, only someone from that location would have that recipe.

I’ll post this on my site in case a reader can help.


I saw the post for the Hot Shoppes "smothered chicken" recipe. While I don't have the exact recipe, I can tell you what it appears to be: Chicken Fricasse, although a knockoff version. Let me explain. Restaurants that sell fried, grilled or rosted chicken have a problem with leftovers, or stale product. After a time under the warmer it loses its fried chicken appeal and becomes something you don't want to sell, or a customer will want to eat. The solution is to put it in a pan and keep it in the refrigerator until you accumulate enough to make "smothered chicken." Saute celery, onions and carrots and blend into a cream sauce seasoned with salt and pepper. Place chicken into deep pan and top with sauce, cover with foil and heat through. It is often served over rice. I think you were right that this is a house-made product and there probably is no exact recipe. I have made a ton of this in my career. It's a great way to keep food costs under control. and it is good. Another version is to use a brown gravy mix. Note the cream sauce was probably a commercial mix, also. JAMES --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Subject: Hot Shoppes Smothered Chicken From: Gilbert Date: 3/22/2021, 8:29 PM To: "" Hi Phaedrus, I just found your site, great ideas! I was a lead cook at Hot Shoppes cafeterias for three years in the early 70’s, before I transferred to hotel division. The missing Smothered Chicken recipe was the easiest thing we made. It was our way to use up last night’s leftover fried chicken. The recipe is as follows; Place 8 quarters of cold fried chickens in a full size shallow steamtable pan. Cover with hot chicken gravy (there should be about 1 inch on the bottom of the pan after covering the chicken), cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven until hot throughout. We served ¼ chicken (white or dark meat) with pan gravy. BETTER THAN BOULLION makes a chicken base that is very close to the chicken base we used. Seasoned salt is just salt and white pepper. We used 1 TB of pepper to 1 cup of salt, but varied (unofficially) it by region. The father south or west the higher the pepper ratio. Hope this helps Gilbert

Hough Catering House Dressing

From: Betty 
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 5:57 PM
Subject: please advise from.. Elizabeth B.'s daughter n law who 
retired from Hough


I my mother n law Liz B. worked for Hough catering for many years and 
I loved their house salad dressing.. it was kind of sweet but oh so good....

Id appreciate the recipe so much.

God bless,

Hi Betty,

I had no success locating this recipe. I’ll post this on the site – maybe a reader can help.


From: Betty 
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 8:28 PM
Subject: Re: Hough Catering House Dressing

thank you,, i know it was in one of the cook books t
hey put out..but i don't have one..


The book that I have is ”Menu Planning for Every Occasion” by Robert S. Pile. It does have a few salad dressing recipes, but none called “house dressing”. Could it be one of these?

Dill Watercress Remoulade Dressing
Paprika Dressing
Rose Toth Dressing (tarragon vinegar & garlic, mustard, onion)
Poppy Seed Dressing
Ruth Just’s Roman Dressing (cider vinegar, garlic, mustard, onion juice)


From: Betty
Sent: Friday, December 28, 2012 9:47 AM
Subject: Re: Hough Catering House Dressing

Dear Phaed, 

Bless your heart for trying to locate this for me.. I wish i could be 
of more help to you... :(   What is the Poppy Seed recipe??  
The best I can remember about it is it had definitely lemon juice in it, 
salad oil,, sugar.  Maybe vinegar..not sure but it was delicious... 
it was on the sweeter side but not gag sweet.. just right... and mom 
called it his house dressing though it might have had another name.. 
she also said it was in her cook book.. I'm thinking it was one of his 
first books out. However, I'm wondering if the book was a limited 
edition.. did he ever have a "signature" dressing? From what I 
remember she told me, they used it all the time for catering jobs. 
made it by the gallons for bigger jobs and sent it along with the food.
I would be also interested to know if you knew her and worked in 
catering or at the bakery?
I didn't know there was any stores still open making there bakery.
Is there any one the west side? Also is there any way I can get 
any of his cookbooks? 

God bless you,

Hello Betty,

No, there is no lemon juice in any of those five dressing recipes. I cannot find any mention of a Hough Catering “house dressing” or “signature dressing”.

I never worked at Hough, either in the bakery or catering. I’m just an Internet Recipe Detective from Mississippi and Maine. My information about Hough is here:
Hough bakery

“Archie’s Bakery” at 14906 Lakeshore Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio, phone: 216-481-4188 makes some of the Hough Bakery recipes.

Betty, as best I can determine, Hough Bakery never published a cookbook, and Robert S. Pile of Hough Catering only published one – “Menu Planning for Every Occasion”. You can find copies of that one for sale at the used bookstore sites on the Internet. There was another booklet of Robert Pile’s recipes called “Recipes – by Robert S. Pile”. This booklet consisted of recipes that were collected and published by residents of the Holly Hill Nursing Home in Newbury, Ohio. It was not an official Hough publication. It is very rare. I don’t know of any copies that are available to buy.


From: Betty
Sent: Friday, December 28, 2012 3:40 PM
Subject: Re: Hough Catering House Dressing

ok.. well, thank you for the information,, meanwhile can you 
send me the recipe for the poppy seed dressing then..
I'd appreciate that too.. 
thank you much

Hello Betty,

Here it is:


Robert S. Pile's Poppy Seed Dressing from "Menu Planning for Every Occasion"

3/4 Cup Sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/3 cup vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp  poppy seeds
1 cup salad oil

Place all ingredients in electric mixer (or blender) and beat until thick.
Store in 1 pint glass jar. Refrigerate
Serves 16 to 18, especially as a dressing for fruit salad

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