Tag Archives: fancy fast food

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Building a better better Big Mac

Serious Eats may have shown us how to build a better Big Mac at home. But what would happen if a string of fancy pants restaurants had the opportunity to turn the iconic burger into something, well, a little bit fancy (a la Fancy Fast Food).

The Challenge

“We asked four chefs to turn a Big Mac combo (burger, fries and a Coke, plus lots of condiments) into a five-star dish. To our surprise, they agreed. The only rule: other than oil and water, no extra ingredients allowed. The result is four meals that won’t be seen on a specials board anytime soon.”

The Results


Local Kitchen’s McLumi Platter

“It took chef/co-owner Fabio Bondi three tries to get this dish right. He made mortadella (an Italian cold cut) out of emulsified patties, lettuce, onions and sweet-and-sour sauce. But when he poached the sausage, it exploded. The same thing happened when he put it in a hot pan. In the end, he prepared it in the restaurant’s backyard smoker. The buns were toasted and made into crostini (the sesame seeds were mixed with ketchup to resemble mostarda, a fruit and mustard condiment). The nodini (bread knots) were made from fries.”


Aravind’s Open-Faced Samosas

“Father-and-son team Raj and Aravind Kozhikott wanted their creation to reflect their restaurant’s Indian cuisine. To make the samosa filling, they diced the meat, mixed it with the onion and used barbecue sauce as a binding agent before wrapping it in two rolled-out-and-fried burger buns. The fries were bundled up using strips of a cut-up fry box. The cheese from the burger was scraped off the patty and used as a sauce.”

There are a couple more here at The Grid, and some behind the scenes info about the project here.

Gourmet “fast food”

It’s not exactly “Fancy Fast Food” – because it’s not taking the food and repurposing it into something a little bit fancy. But this DIY McRib looks pretty tasty.

“After a quick trip to McD’s, I broke the sandwich down. A very standard-issue six-inch white-flour roll with a dusting of cornmeal on top, lightly toasted. A scattering of raw white onion slivers, which add flavor and crunch. Exactly two dill pickle slices — not three, not five, just two. A slathering of sweet, tangy, tomato-based barbecue sauce with hints of smoke, almost St. Louis style. And the heart of the sandwich, a boneless, flavorless pork patty preformed to look sort of rib-ish, with ridges implying a rack of baby backs. (I have to admit that, to its credit, the meat was terrifically moist, which is probably due to the amount of fat in there.)

Starting with that fatty cut of pork, I decided to reinterpret the McRib using pork belly, which, over the course of a three-hour braise, turns from a three-pound cut into something like the preformed pork patty’s blindingly spectacular cousin. While it cooked, I made a quick pickle and a simple barbecue sauce from scratch, and sliced some red onions — sweeter than the white — to add even more crunch. I stuck with store-bought rolls, but you could easily up the homemade factor and make your own basic white sandwich roll or go really indulgent with a brioche. Sure, it might take a little more time than simply popping down to your local McDonald’s for a McRib, but you’ll never have to worry about whether it’s been taken off the menu.”

There’s a step-by-step guide, and recipe, here.

Broadening your culinary horizons

I haven’t had fast food from a major chain for more than three months. I stopped on July 1. It’s a pretty big effort because I love fast food. Especially KFC.

I was just reading an article about “secret menu items” that I’d kept in the blogging queue for a couple of months. I just hadn’t got around to posting it yet.

But the point of this post is to share with you my infinite fast food wisdom… some of you may know this already, but other people I’ve spoken to don’t…

You can literally create whatever you want at Maccas from the available menu items – and they’ll make it for you.

Some of my favourites included the Chicken Patty Big Mac, the Flake Shake with chocolate sundae sauce, double bacon cheeseburgers (before they were put back on the menu), and the legendary “pounder”… used in Christian bucks parties around the country.

If you really want to broaden your fast food horizons though – check out the Fancy Fast Food website I posted about a while back.

Move over MasterChef

This my friends is a McDonalds meal. But not an ordinary McDonalds meal. If you’ve ever marvelled at the difference between the picturesque presentation of a burger on the menu and the burger in hand then this site takes things to a new level.

If I hadn’t sworn off fast food for a year I would try this. It’s a post from this is why you’re fat.

Here are the instructions for converting a Big Mac into what is known as a McSteak.

Ingredients:

  • 1 McDonald’s Big Mac Extra Value Meal (#1) with a large fries and large Coca-Cola

First deconstruct the Big mac into its parts(sing along now) two all beef pattiesspecial saucelettucecheese,picklesonions, and a sesame seed bun… plus the french friesice, and Coca-Cola. Dice the cheese, cube the middle and bottom buns, and extract the sesame seeds from the top bun. Take the french fries and some pieces of bun and purée them in a food processor with water (melted ice), then top it off with the diced cheese. Rinse the onions and lettuce in a colander and garnish it with “croutons” made from cubed bun pieces. Slice the beef patties, and then garnished it with sesame seeds and top it off with slices of pickles. Serve on a white rounded square plate with a dollop of Thousand Island dressing (the special sauce)serve the Coca-Cola in a wine glass.