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Porky's Onion Rings

-----Original Message----- 
From: kay
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2015 11:45 PM
Subject: magic pan recipes

I can't believe my luck I running across your website! Our family has been 
mourning the loss of one our favorites from the old Magic Pan.....the deep 
fried ham crepes with the mustard sauce....and there the recipe was on your 
site. Thank you soooooooo much! I'm going to make them for an Oscars party 
on Sunday.

Now there is another one that would be great to have.  Porkys Drive inn in 
Minneapolis, Minnesota used to serve a deep fried onion ring that was second 
to none. There was a thick batter. Any chance this might be out there? The 
Traulson family sold the drive inn a couple of years ago, but they operate a 
full service restaurant called Triggs in Minneapolis. Any help would be 
greatly appreciated.
Thanks again,

Hello Kay,

There's a photo of Porky's onion rings here: Porky's Onion Rings

There is an article about the closing of Porky's here: Twin Cities

In that article, Tryg Truelson, son of the owner of Porky's, was asked if he'd reveal the secret onion ring recipe.
"'Not a chance', he said. He's using it to make onion rings in his other restaurant, Tryg's, in Minneapolis."

He does offer "Porky's onion rings" on the menu at his restaurant in Minneapolis, which is called "Tryg's".

However, there's some question about what is actually "secret" about the recipe. In the book, "Minnesota Eats out: An Illustrated History" by Kathryn Strand Koutsky and Linda Koutsky(available at, the authors reveal a recipe for Porky's onion rings. From the statements accompanying the recipe, they appear to be saying that the recipe in their book is the original Porky's onion rings recipe from the 1950s, and if you use Lawry's seasoned salt in the batter, then you will have the original recipe. It appears that the Traulsons later developed their own seasoning salt recipe and began using that instead, and the seasoning salt recipe is the secret recipe, not the onion rings recipe. The recipe is below. Use Lawry's seasoned salt where it calls for seasoning salt;go easy on the regular salt, if you use any. Remember, these will taste like the Porky's onion rings from the 1950s, not the later ones, which use the secret seasoning salt. The secret seasoning salt remains a secret, but if you go to Tryg's Restaurant in Minneapolis, you can get Porky's onion rings there.


Recipe link: "Minnesota Eats out: An Illustrated History" by Kathryn Strand Koutsky and Linda Koutsky

Porky's Onion Rings

1 extra large egg

2 cups whole milk (important to use whole milk)

2 tablespoons (or less, to taste) seasoning salt (use Lawry's - Phaed)

4 cups plus 1 tablespoon Gold Medal flour

Extra Large yellow onions

(Note: the original recipe also calls for regular salt, about 5 teaspoons 
for a recipe of these proportions;use if you like a lot of salt.)

Combine the first 4 ingredients and beat with a wire whip for several 
minutes, until very smooth. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Slice extra-large yellow onions into rounds; break apart into individual 
rings. Dip rings into batter using a long-handled fork. Drop
rings into hot oil, at least 360 degrees. Cook rings until medium golden 
brown. If desired, sprinkle with more seasoning salt before
serving. Serves 6 to 8. 
You are truly amazing...what a very thorough approach. 
Thank you again for solving these recipe mysteries!
Re: Porky's Onion Rings
From: Misty
Date: 6/2/2022, 4:58 PM

On 6/2/2022 4:18 PM, Misty wrote:

I know you are busy and sorry to bother you but I think the recipe 
(not yours but posted) is a bit off with Porky's onion rings. I am 
thinking what is missing is corn starch. that was mixed with the flour. 
I think that just by memory and looking at the photo of the girl posted 
on your site frying the porky's onion rings that they were almost tempura 
like but had flour on them too. So they were crispy, crunchy, thin batter 
on them, really salty, and yes I think its spot on about the seasoned salt. 
They probably switched over to some generic seasoned salt as time went on. 
I just wanted to know your thoughts on this? Could I possibly be right? 
(I seldom am lol) 
When I have time, which will be long after the summer fun, I might 
experiment and see what I come up with. I just think their secret was 
they put corn starch in it and the batter was not as thick as the authors 
of the book who claim its the recipe.
Have a wonderful summer,

Hi Misty,

So you tried the posted recipe?  Other than that it was published in that cookbook - "Minnesota Eats out: An Illustrated History" - I know little of its provenance. It's entirely possible that, rather than having been provided to the authors of that book by the restaurant, it may be a copycat. Even if it did come from Porky's, it may not be the exact recipe that Porky's themselves used. I've seen such before. A restaurant will sometimes provide a "home version" of the restaurant recipe that is not quite the same as what they actually use.

I've never had Porky's onion rings, nor have I tried to use that recipe, so I can't make a comment from experience. You may very well be correct. Adding cornstarch to a batter is supposed to make the result more crispy - crunchy. If you do experiment with the batter, let me know the results. I'll post this with the recipe for the benefit of those who decide to try the posted recipe.

Thank you for writing.


Subject: Porky's
From: Wayne
Date: 1/10/2023, 8:17 AM

On 1/9/2023 10:00 PM, wayne wrote:
On the comments about porkys onion ring batter, I have a old lifetime friend 
who worked there for 2 year's in high school and laughs at all the posted 
recipes  and states he mixed and made 1,000s of pounds of onion rings and 
besides the lawerys seasoned salt all they used was FRY KRISP BATTER AND 
WATER..TRUE STORY..I still use fry krisp for all deep frying thou hard to 
find , my  source is 5lb. Bag's at Sysco food wholesale on hwy 10 about a 
mile before the Big question is the oil used. I don't know causes 
back in the 50s/60s lots of deep frying was done, unlike today,  with lard, 
and all sorts of shortnings not recommended today for health reasons,  but 
yes I was brought up on lard and still use it sparingly..does  make a difference.. 

Hello Wayne,

Thanks for writing. I will update my info. Fry Krisp has an online store here: Fry Krisp Batter Mix.

Amazon also sells their batter mix.


Chili's Chicken Mushroom Soup

From: Marilyn
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2015 10:33 AM
Subject: Request

Hi, hoping you can help.
When a Chili's Restaurant opened in our area I fell in love with a soup 
they served then. After they took it off the menu, I finally figured out 
how to clone it;  recipe below.  As you can see there, I found what worked 
for  a "secret ingredient". But then that product has been taken off the 
market.  So what I hope you can find is either the original recipe from 
Chili's, or another product to substitute for the missing chicken product.  
Clear as mud?  It was on the original menu quite a long time, but now that's 
about 10 years ago. I can send a description of the canned chicken item if 
that helps or is needed.  Am pretty sure it was a Swanson product;  
did email them but they said they were no longer making it.  

Thanks.  Marilyn

Chili Chicken Mushroom Soup

4 c. chicken broth, divided
2 tsp. chicken bullion granules, divided
1/2 c. minced yellow onion
8 - 10 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
5 T. butter or margarine
1/3 c. flour
1 c. light cream
1 4.5 oz. can Mixin' Chicken & it's liquid (don't substitute, this was the secret ingredient !)
Salt & white pepper
1 4.5 oz. can chopped green chilies, divided
Shredded sharp cheddar*
Pico de Gallo:* minced onion, diced tomato, slivered fresh jalapeno, snipped parsley & cilantro
In a medium skillet, simmer onion & mushrooms in half of broth with half of bullion till tender, about 25
minutes, halving most of the 'shroom slices as you cook. Meantime, mix enough pico de gallo to top
the number of servings you'll need, & chill it.
In a 4 qt. soup pot, melt butter on Medium heat, blend in flour slowly & smoothly. Slowly add rest of
broth, bouillon, cream, & the onions & mushrooms with their liquid. Cook, stirring, on Medium heat
till soup thickens and tries to boil, 15 to 22 minutes. Take off heat. Stir in chicken and all but 2 tsp. of
the diced chilies; season to taste; should not be too highly seasoned. Toss the reserved chilies with
the pico de gallo. Serve the soup topped with cheese plus the pico de gallo, with crackers on the side.
Makes 4 - 6 bowls, about 8 cups.
This can be frozen, but add more chilies when you re-heat it, as they lose some of their flavor. 
And an *alternate topping that's good too: Sour cream, topped with chopped nacho slices & sliced ripe olives.

Hi Marilyn,

You were using Swanson’s canned chicken (Mixin’ Chicken) in your soup, and that product has been discontinued. Chili’s probably used a pre-cooked, prepackaged chicken & broth in their original recipe, but I have no idea of a brand name. It might be a commercial brand that’s only available via Food Service companies. There are several things you can try, and I’ll list them:

1) Try the copycat recipe for Chili's Chicken Mushroom Soup that’s posted in dozens of places on the Internet. It uses chicken + chicken broth. It’s claimed to have been developed by a former Chili’s employee and is said to be very good. See the recipe below.

2) Find another brand of canned chicken and use that. The biggest problem here is that Swanson’s Mixin’ Chicken was canned in broth, and all of the other brands of canned chicken that I can find are canned in water. Chicken canned in water is probably not going to have enough flavor by itself. If you can’t find another brand that’s canned in broth (I didn't find one.), then you’ll have to add extra chicken broth separately to build up the flavor. The other brands of canned chicken that I saw were: “Brookdale”, Walmart’s “Great Value”, Tyson, Bumblebee, Kirkland, Sweet Sue, Hormel, Valley Fresh, and Trader Joe’s. One site rated “Brookdale” and “Great Value” highly and “Trader Joe’s” as not being as satisfactory.

3) Unable to find a product that is canned, precooked chicken & broth, you’re going to have to add the chicken meat and extra chicken broth separately. For a really tasty soup, you could get a rotisserie chicken at your supermarket and pick off the meat, using it with canned broth. Of course, you could also cook your own chicken and make your own broth. If these are too much, then my best suggestion is #2. You may have to try several brands of canned chicken and broth before you get a taste that’s close to what you had with the Swanson’s. You might combine elements of your own recipe and the one below to reach an acceptable compromise recipe. The below recipe makes a much larger quantity of soup.


Former Chili's employee’s copycat: Chili's Chicken and Mushroom Soup Copycat

Chili's Chicken and Mushroom Soup Copycat


1/2 stick margarine
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup carrots, diced
1/4 cup yellow onions, diced
3 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup flour
5 1/2 cups chicken broth
pinch of dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
3 cups half and half
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
3/4 pound chicken, cooked and diced


Melt the butter on a large soup pot.
Add the vegetables and sauté until tender over medium heat.
Add the flour and stir constantly.
Slowly add the chicken broth.
Add herbs, pepper sauce and parsley to the pot and stir well. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the half and half, lemon juice and chicken. Bring to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.
From: Marilyn 
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2015 2:23 PM
Subject: Re: Chili's Chicken Mushroom Soup

Phaed....thanks for your speedy reply.........wish my son was as on the ball as you are !
I'll try the clone you sent, but, honestly, can't think it's the same as the version our local restaurant 
served because there are no chilies in it & no topping, & those 2 things were major to the yummyness of 
the local product.
I've been wondering if using Swanson's Flavor Boost product & canned chicken meat might be an answer;  
I don't really know what Flavor Boost is, a strong bouillon granule???? a condensed broth???? & I hate 
to buy it not knowing if I'll ever use the rest of the box.   I know I SHOULD try to do it with home or 
deli cooked chicken, more healthy no doubt.   
Anyway you've given me some ideas & something to try, so thanks very much, once again.  Marilyn

Hi Marilyn,

According to Swanson, their “Flavor Boost - chicken” is a concentrated chicken broth. It might be worth trying. Let me know how it turns out if you do try it.


From: Marilyn  
Sent: Friday, February 20, 2015 11:27 AM
Subject: Re: Chili's Chicken Mushroom Soup

Phaed, thanks so much. How did you determine that? No matter, I'm sure I can make use of leftovers in that case.  
Will let you know results.    Still colder than we like it in north central Florida, so still "soup weather".  
Thanks again.  Marilyn 

Hi Marilyn,

See: KitchenCraftandHome


Mallow Meringue Frosting

From: Mike  
Sent: Friday, February 20, 2015 3:45 PM
Subject: WW II era frosting recipe

Hi, I'm looking for a frosting recipe for my 80 year old father. It was his favorite in childhood. 
It is called "Melody Meringue", "Mellow  Meringue", or "Mallow Meringue". He was born in 1935 so it 
would probably be a WW II era recipe. He remembers it as a cooked frosting, not too sweet and very 
creamy. I suspect it is a variant of the roux based "Gravy Frosting" or "Boiled Frosting ", common 
in that era. I have had no luck with Google or any of my old cookbooks. Thank you in advance for any 
help you can offer.


Hello Mike,

Well, duplicating your efforts, I had no success finding any frosting recipe called "Melody Meringue", "Mellow Meringue", or "Mallow Meringue". I checked several cookbooks from before 1950 as well, with no success. What I get from the recipes that I did find is that “meringue frostings” and a type of frosting called “marshmallow frosting” are pretty much the same thing. They are both fluffy white frostings usually made with egg whites. There may have been one of these called “marshmallow meringue frosting”, and perhaps that’s what your father recalls.

There’s a recipe and a photo of a marshmallow frosting here. If you show it to him, maybe it will look familiar to him: Cake Duchess

There are also a couple of recipes below. The first one is a meringue frosting that does not have the egg whites. The second is a typical marshmallow or meringue cooked frosting.


Meringue Frosting

1 c. white or brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 c. water
1 tbsp. light corn syrup

Bring to a boil and add to 1 unbeaten egg whites and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Beat until stiff.  
This makes about 2 cups frosting and will not crust over. 
Marshmallow Frosting

8 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1 Fill a medium saucepan with 1 inch of water and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.

2 Place the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in the clean bowl of a stand mixer and 
whisk by hand to combine. Nest the bowl over the saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl is 
not touching the water. Heat the egg white mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has 
dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch (about 120°F on an instant-read thermometer), 
about 6 minutes.

3 Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn the mixer to medium 
and whisk for 1 minute. Increase the speed to high and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 
5 minutes more. Add the vanilla and whisk until just incorporated, about 1 minute. Use immediately 
or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 hours. 

Gwen sent these:

Marshmallow Meringue 

1/2 pound marshmallows 
1 tablespoon milk 
2 egg whites 
1/4 cup sugar 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

Heat marshmallows and milk together, folding over until marshmallows are half melted. Remove from heat 
and continue folding until mixture is smooth and fluffy. Beat egg whites, add sugar gradually and 
continue beating until stiff and smooth. Add salt and vanilla. Blend into marshmallow mixture.
Marshmallow Meringue Icing 

2 egg whites, beaten
1 cup granulated sugar 
1/4 cup chopped nut meats 
8 marshmallows, cut in quarters. 

Beat egg whites until they Just begin to hold their shape in peaks. Then gradually add the granulated sugar, 
beating constantly while adding the sugar. Fold in the nut meats and the marshmallows, cut in quarters.
Marshmallow Meringue Icing

3 egg whites
one cup marshmallow cream
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt

Beat 3 egg whites with a dash of salt until stiff. Beat in one cup marshmallow cream, a heaping tablespoonfull 
at a time, continuing to beat until mixture forms peaks that curve over slightly. Fold in one teaspoon vanilla.
Angel Mallow Icing  

1/2 c. sugar
2 egg whites, room temperature
2 c. marshmallow cream 
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. water

A hand beater works best for this recipe. Combine sugar, egg whites and water in top of double boiler, 
and beat over boiling water until soft peaks form. Add marshmallow cream beat until stiff peaks form. 
Remove from heat add vanilla. 
Meringue-Marshmallow Frosting

1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 regular marshmallows

Place water, sugar, and cream of tartar in a small saucepan with candy thermometer. Turn heat on medium and 
bring ingredients to soft ball stage. Beat egg whites until stiff. When syrup reaches soft ball stage, 
drop in quartered marshmallows. Immediately turn on mixer and pour the sugar and marshmallows slowly into 
egg whites. Marshmallows will melt in bowl during the beating. Add vanilla and beat until icing holds its shape.
Meringue/Marshmallow Frosting

1 3/4 c. sugar
3/8 c. water
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 lb. marshmallows
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 or 4 drops food coloring if desired

Place sugar, water, unbeaten egg whites, salt and cream of tartar in top of double boiler over boiling water. 
Beat until soft peaks form, using an electric beater if possible. Remove from heat and stir in marshmallows. 
Beat until marshmallows are dissolved, then add vanilla and beat until of spreading consistency.
Marshmallow Meringue Filling
1 3/4 cups sugar
? teaspoon salt (1/4 tsp is a good guess)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup marshmallows
Whites of 3 eggs, whipped
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Mix sugar, salt and water, add marshmallows and boil without stirring until syrup spins a thread. 
Add slowly to beaten egg whites. Add baking powder and beat until firm enough to spread

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