Unlocking the Big Mac

Before we start, I need to warn you of a few things:

  1. I hardly (i.e. next to never) eat “American food”
  2. I eat fast food (McDs / Burger King / KFC / etc…) probably once every two years, barring breakfast hash browns and ice cream. Why is the ice cream so good at these places??
  3. I’m not a burger connoisseur so don’t expect any knowledge of the so-called perfect burger
  4. I will be possibly one of the last people you can expect to find eating a burger, because I get bored halfway through
  5. I don’t even like meat that much except under special circumstances

But I have a dirty secret. I dream about eating Big Macs.

I really like the sauce. The last time I ate a Big Mac was sometime earlier this year (before that, it was probably 3-4 years ago). It was pretty disappointing, all except… the sauce. Yes, I felt kinda sick after finishing the burger. As anticipated. But I had my special Big Mac sauce fix, which I thought would tide me over maybe another 3 years?

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Until Bigfoot suggested we have home made burgers one night. Home made burgers? pshaw. Not interested. Never had a good one. Whatever, burgers. Boring.

He said home made burgers are the food of kings, and that it would be different. ***

I said whatever, burgers are boring and make me feel sick after I finish eating them.

He said just try come on pleaaasseee. And agreed that I could be in charge of the sauce.

I said hmm…. could that sauce be Big Mac sauce, you say?

A deal was struck. Lamb burgers with cheese, charred onions, rocket, and Big Mac sauce. Yes, I know it sounds trashy alongside all those nice fancy words like “lamb” and “charred” and “rocket”. Boo to you too. No sauce for you.

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As I rolled around my living room floor groaning at how the burger overstretched my poor stomach, I realised that the recipe for Big Mac sauce had to be posted. Not for anyone else, because there are enough so-called secret sauce recipes out there.But for me, so I won’t forget it, and so I can eat my sauce happily without visiting McDs, thereby bypassing the after-fastfood-I-am-going-to-throw-up-feeling. Yay me!

I’ve also included the burger recipe because it was rather good, if my meat-ambivalent tastebuds dare say so.

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Big Mac Sauce

Based on a survey of ‘secret sauce’ recipes around the web… and then I used different ingredients like wholegrain mustard. It isn’t a totally faithful reproduction, rather just a reproduction that tastes similar, that we enjoyed

2 tablesp Kewpie mayo
1 tablesp Branston pickle
2 teasp wholegrain mustard
1/4 onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
1 teasp paprika / chilli powder

  1. Mix all the ingredients. Taste and adjust. Leave to sit for at least 15 minutes so the onion softens

Lamb Burgers

Makes around 5 large burgers. Bigfoot’s own recipe.

500g minced lamb
1 1/2 onion
3-4 cloves garlic
2 teasp smoked paprika
2-3 teasp dried mint
1 teasp cumin
1 teasp dried oregano
A little Salt
Black pepper + salt to coat

  1. Chop the onion and garlic in a chopper. Fry them off until fragrant in a little oil.
  2. Mix everything into the lamb, without over handling it. Shape into patties. Leave patties in the fridge to firm up, for around half an hour.
  3. Heat up your grill pan until it is pretty scary-hot. Add a generous helping of black pepper and a bit of salt to the outside of each patty on both sides (amount is to your taste). Then cook them over the grill, flipping regularly.

*** yes I have taken poetic license but you get the gist.

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Colgate Cookies

I truly believe mint and chocolate are one of the best pairings in the universe. Naysayers don’t know what they are on about. Mint chocolate is the classy lady of chocolate, the one with the long silk arm gloves and the little cigarette on a stick sitting in the large leather armchair in the lounge. Drinking tea. I like tea.

However, it hurts me deeply to admit that in this instance the mint essence that we had chosen did taste like colgate. But well, who wouldn’t want to brush their teeth with chocolate? Add some fluoride and I can see a market for these at the chemist. Jokes aside, after a day the mint flavour evened out and they tasted like the mint cookies they were born to be. And I recommend that you buy a better quality mint extract than we did. A real proper fancy one (three cheers for Fairprice!)

Chocolate Colgate Cookies

Loosely based on Smitten Kitchen: Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Flour – 2 cups
Cocoa powder – a couple of table spoons
Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon
Salt –  1/2 teaspoon

Melted butter – 3/4 cup / 170g
Brown sugar – 1/2 cup / 100g
White sugar – 1/2 cup / 100g
Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
Peppermint extract – 1 teaspoon
Whole egg – 1
Egg yolk – 1

Chocolate chips – the more the merrier

Oven temperature – 165°C

  1. Preheat your oven. It is not appropriate to use a charcoal oven as one might confuse one’s cookies with the briquettes.
  2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. It’s best to use a sieve.
  3. Cream melted butter, and brown and white sugar until well mixed.
  4. Best in the vanilla, peppermint, egg and egg yolk. Mix into the sifted dry ingredients until just blended.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and stir by hand. More chocolate chips will result in more chocolate power.
  6. Plop cookie dough on to oven sheets a tablespoon at a time. They will look rather suspicious. Plops should be about 3 inches apart.
     
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, more or less depending on the size of your cookies. These were about teaspoon sized and  they came out fine.  Cool fully on a wire rack for a crunchy chewy minty fresh chocolate cookie.

A word of warning: when opening the oven to remove the cookies, CLOSE YOUR EYES! Else you will be blinded by the minty freshness that is the mint extract fumes. Unless you have fire-proof eyes, please close them, it’s painful!