Monday, January 31, 2011

Try This Recipe At Home: Grandma’s Chicken Curry

Besides Wolfgang Puck’s Pizza we also tried this recipe over the weekend and the result was excellent.

Grandma's chicken offers an original curry flavor because of the poppy seeds that add a unique taste. The coconut  is very aromatic and almost smells like roses. The chicken skin is very delicious. The dish comes from the Andhra region of India and there are several variations around the internet but these videos are fun to watch.

You can find a written copy of the recipe here.
Tips: For the poppy seed and coconut paste we noticed that white seeds were used in the video. We could not find these so we used the black ones instead. We warmed up the coconut powder in the pan and then added the black poppy seeds at the final moment just before blending. 

How to make poppy seed and coconut paste:


And the garlic and ginger paste:

You can find bottles of pre-made ginger garlic paste and this is what we used in our chicken. We also used 4 chicken breasts, bone in, instead of a whole chicken. For the open flame on the bird we used a blow torch, a small kitchen model for making crème brulée . It was a bit time consuming but did the job.


Chicken with turmeric à la blow torch

As a side we made a quick Gobi (cauliflower) courtesy of Madhur Jaffrey.


Good gobi Miss Jaffrey




If you like basmati rice with your curry we recommend Tilda




THREE-MICHELIN star chef Marc Veyrat says ideal Fench meal is "a simple working-class meal"

So how much can you charge for this simple meal? I have seen $50 niçoise salads already.

Just like fashion, put a t-shirt it in an expensive shop (Michelin star restaurant) and charge a fortune.

With the predicted increase in food costs, the working class will not be able to afford this meal. Big Macs for all!

Link to story

Marc Veyrat’s dream meal

Aperitif
Vin d’Ayze
A sparkling "ice wine" (made from grapes that have frozen on the vine with the first frosts), made in one of the highest vineyards in the world, in the Alps in Haute-Savoie.

Starter
Salade niçoise
"A good salad with absolutely all the ingredients is festive and life-enhancing."

Main course
A river fish, with white butter.
“A large fish of about 7-800g like a lake trout from Savoy cooked en papillotte [wrapped in greaseproof paper], with neglected vegetables such as Jerusalem artichoke, parsnip and swede, would be marvellous.” Accompanied with chignin-bergeron, a fruity white from Savoy.

Cheese
“We are proud of our exceptional cheeses, so I would have a cheese board from Savoie and Haute-Savoie.”

Dessert
“Oeufs à la neige (snow eggs) is pure French tradition, and where I’m from we eat it with a bilberry tart.”

Digestif
Génépi (a liqueur made with Alpine herbs) or gentiane (made from the roots of the wild flower gentian).

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hubert Keller and the bargain $5,000 burger

From the Daily Mail, Burgers are the new Las Vegas status symbol. 

P.S. it comes with a bottle of '95 Chateau Petrus perhaps as a way of drowning your sorrows.

Telly chef Gordon Ramsay may face Channel 4 axe after controversial shark fishing incident

From the Mirror...


I am sure the shark said something to Gordon to piss him off and provoke this reaction and Ramsay has to maintain his macho image. Maybe he was mad at the shark because while making the Channel 4 doc. Costa Rican gangsters poured gasoline on Ramsay' golden locks.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ongoing Discussions About Food Icons: Pizza


As promised, we said we would show you pictures of our crack at  Wolfgang Puck’s Spicy Chicken Pizza
Spicy Chicken Pizza







We decided to make this pie because we tried a Puck Pizza at The MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas. To be honest we were expecting hype and no substance from a Wolfgang Puck signature restaurant but we really surprised at how good the pizza was. In fact, it was one of the best pizzas we ever tasted. Our homemade Puck pizza was also really good, a great combination of ingredients and flavors so try this recipe. Next time we wlll cut our toppings a little thicker.
Puck at home
Following Puck’s recipe we a learned a new trick so we decided to share with you some of our pizza making tips. 

Our favorite cookbook is Gennaro Contaldo’s, Passione. We follow his recipe for pizza dough but skimp on the flower and add some semolina to the dry mixture instead. We sometimes add some butter to the dry mixture, cubes that we work into the flour, a bit like making pastry dough. Use rapid rise yeast, it saves time and does not seem to make a difference with-regards to the flavor. We also add a bit of brown sugar to our dry mixt because it makes the yeast happy. We have also read that if you let your dough sit in your refrigerator for 24 hours the results and flavor will be better and we have found this to be true. 










Secrets to making a crisp pizza crust are with your sauce and the use of a pizza stone. We drain the liquid from our can of tomatoes. Squash the tomatoes with your hands in a colander, to get rid of all the liquid and use the solid tomatoes on your pizza. The liquid can be used for another dish and makes a great braising liquid. If you use too much  liquid your crust will be soggy, you need to use something thick. The Wolfgang Puck Pizza does not use a sauce but thin slices from plum tomatoes. This technique worked really well and we will use it again. 
When choosing your can of tomatoes check the sodium content. You would not believe how much salt are in some cans of tomatoes.
The second tip to crispy crust is to use a pizza stone in your oven. You can usually find pizza stones in kitchen liquidation stores and sale racks, I guess people do not make that much pizza at home or have not discovered how well they work. You preheat the stone in your oven and when we first started using a stone we realized there was a problem. How do you get the pizza onto the stone? Think about it, a floppy piece of dough covered in toppings. How do you lift  this onto your stone? I did see one of our Italian friends, who was making pizza for the first time, flip her pizzas like a Frisbee onto a piece of marble into her oven. She was using leftover marble tiles from her kitchen floor and technique must have been genetic and we have come up with a less dangerous solution. Make your pizza on parchment paper. Use enough paper so you can lift your pizza, a bit like a hammock. on the sides. You can then just place the paper and pizza on your stone. If you have one of those metal pizza pans (see photo below) you can put the paper and pizza in that to carry your pizza to the oven. You can use the parchment paper to slide your pizza off the metal pan and onto your stone.  The parchment paper also makes a great way to slide your pizza off of the pizza stone when it has finished cooking.

 Homemade masterpiece: Pizza with pork belly, prosciutto and arugula.
This pizza was inspired by one of the pies from Geppetto Pizza in Montreal.

Send us or post pictures of of your favorite pizzas whether homemade or from a restaurant and be sure to include some of your pizza cooking tips.

Chef Gordon Ramsay branded a hypocrite after going on a shark-fishing trip

Ramsay in hot water after shark fishing expedition after filming anti-shark hunt documentary. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Ongoing Discussions About Food Icons: The Bacon Cheeseburger: Burger King review


Burger King
I have to admit that I am pleased with this experience not because of the food but rather what their bacon cheeseburger says about the King. I almost ordered something else that resembled a bacon cheeseburger because I could not find it in the menu but when I asked for a cheeseburger with bacon it was not a problem. The Burger King Bacon Cheeseburger cost $2.79.
Note: If you would like to experience this review in virtual reality it can be replicated at home with ease and comfort. First take a couple slices of wonder bread and pop it in the microwave for a few seconds so it gets steamy. Slather said bread with ketchup and mustard et voila the Burger King cheeseburger experience. Sit back, relax and enjoy. Really it is that bad.
Construction: 
Sesame seed bun, meat patty, bacon, mustard, ketchup, pickles and a slice of American cheese. 
Knock Knock: Is anything inside?
The verdict:
Bun, fluffy and soggy and sticks to the roof of your mouth. Patty, it was there but I could not taste it because it was lost in the condiments. The quantities applied might do justice to such big boys as the Whopper and BK Stacker but in this case it was overkill. I assume the BK brigade use a device that ensures the same amount of ketchup and mustard for each burger but in this case it was too much. The bacon, 1 slice, was so thin that it was transparent. I cold taste it in one bite but the overall experience was condiments and soggy bun. What I do not get is where are is the lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. These ingredients are used on the other sandwiches so why neglect this classic burger? 

Look Ma condiments
What was interesting about this experience is that it really but into context the Burger King formula by reducing it to its basics. The buns are soggy, the meat flavorless, the bacon thin. You can disguise the lack of quality ingredients with your condiments. 

I told you there was something inside
Recommendation: Do not order this burger or anything from the King. The basic building blocks of a Burger King burger offers no foundation for their other sandwiches. Hey King, a little respect to the classics, even a clown like McDonalds recognizes their roots.

Ongoing Discussions About Food Icons: The Bacon Cheeseburger: Buns Hamburger House review


Buns 
Hamburger House 

Buns has a lot to  boast about even though their concept is built  simplicity. Buns Hamburger Houses are small closets, take out counters with few seats, if any, and perhaps a small counter where you can stand and eat. 
A home grown operation, boasting various locations in Montreal, Buns won best burger in the Montreal Mirror’s Annual (2010) Best of Montreal survey. Buns also took silver medal for Best New Restaurant and placed 5th in the Cheap Eats category. A small sign in the window boasts that since opening in September 2008 Buns has served over 300,000 burgers.
Construction: 
Note: Buns Hamburger House does not serve bacon on their burgers. The young man who was alone, manning cash and grill, informed me that bacon was scheduled to arrive sometime in February. This guy impressed me because from the time I ordered my burger to when it was served I saw him wash his hands twice. He also wore plastic gloves when handling the condiments and food. This is impressive because he was also touching money but he seemed to be keeping his hands surgically clean. I am not sure if all Buns employees are this conscientious but this guy definitely gets points in the corporal hygiene food-service department.
Bun, a sign in the window brags that their buns are vegan and on the sweet side with 5 secret ingredients. Why if you are a running a burger joint, you specialize in meat, do you serve vegan buns?  I assume this is because they also serve a grilled portobello burger but I think this is funny. Is this a niche market? My dreams have come true, beef on a vegan bun. Meat patty, Buns claims a lean patty (92% beef) that is ground daily. Condiments include a slice of tomato, iceberg lettuce, onion, pickle, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and mozzarella cheese. This burger clocks in at exactly 5 bucks. I love the perfect numbers concept. 
The Verdict: 
As the sign claims the bun is sweet. This seemed enhanced with the pickle as the word sweetness popped into my head with the first bite. The burger has a-lot-of mustard, so much so that eating the burger was a bit messy. No fear because my man behind the grill had given me a stack of napkins as thick as a McDonald’s burger. The patty, very thin, grilled, slightly charred, giving a pleasant crispy crunch and a bit pink on the inside. The meat did have a nice flavor and I noticed that it is seasoned when put on the grill. The patty was a little dry, so was the toasted bun but this worked with the wet condiments. 
My only real criticisms are with some of the condiments.  My piece of lettuce looked slightly brown and kind of pathetic. The taste of iceberg lettuce on a burger with the condiments gave me Whopper visions. This was only for one bite but not great. The slice of cheese was a bit tiny, a little square in the centre of the patty. 
Overall, a good burger, the dry bun and patty are a contrast to the condiments creating a perfect marriage. Rather brilliant-actually. Nice-homemade taste and good meat. A simple burger but this is good. Is this the best burger in Montreal? Even though the Buns burger has nicer meat the juicy burger at La Belle Province burger was slightly better just because of the condiments. We are not saying that Belle-Pro is the best just that there are better burgers in town.
Recommendation: Buns has balls to open a location (Ste-Catherine Street and City-Councillors) across the street from Burger King. Skip the King and have a luck Bun-day, if you know what I mean because Buns delivers the goods.

Happening Gourmand: Only 3 days left!!!!

For additional info click here
January is the “Happening Gourmand” month in Montreal! Happening Gourmand, Montreal’s popular version of the famous “New York Restaurant Week” is back for its 4th edition this year. On the menu: Montreal’s finest restaurants at a fraction of the price. 8 restaurants await you having a fixed price menu which includes a choice of 2 entrées, 3 choices of main meals and a choice of 2 desserts.

Customers are eating up Eat Canadian food-branding pilot project

In the news: Customers are eating up Eat Canadian food-branding pilot project 

While we are on the subject, and thanks to food activist Anita Stewart, July 31st is Canada food Day.

  

Kitchen Nightmares Tonight on Fox

Why we are staying home tonight.

Also we are trying Wolfgang Puck's recipe for Spicy Chicken Pizza - stay tuned, photos to come.

Equal Employment opportunities? Luxury hotel became infested with flies because dyslexic chef couldn't read use-by dates on food

From the Daily Mail:

Luxury hotel became infested with flies because dyslexic chef couldn't read use-by dates on food

I had no idea dyslexia also affects the other senses like vision and smell.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ongoing Discussions About Food Icons… The Bacon Cheeseburger


Buns 

Hamburger House 

Buns has a lot to  boast about even though their concept is built  simplicity. Buns Hamburger Houses are small closets, take out counters with few seats, if any, and perhaps a small counter where you can stand and eat. 
A home grown operation, boasting various locations in Montreal, Buns won best burger in the Montreal Mirror’s Annual (2010) Best of Montreal survey. Buns also took silver medal for Best New Restaurant and placed 5th in the Cheap Eats category. A small sign in the window boasts that since opening in September 2008 Buns has served over 300,000 burgers.
Construction: 
Note: Buns Hamburger House does not serve bacon on their burgers. The young man who was alone, manning cash and grill, informed me that bacon was scheduled to arrive sometime in February. This guy impressed me because from the time I ordered my burger to when it was served I saw him wash his hands twice. He also wore plastic gloves when handling the condiments and food. This is impressive because he was also touching money but he seemed to be keeping his hands surgically clean. I am not sure if all Buns employees are this conscientious but this guy definitely gets points in the corporal hygiene food-service department.


A sign in the window brags that their buns are vegan and on the sweet side with 5 secret ingredients. Why if you are a running a burger joint, you specialize in meat, do you serve vegan buns?  I assume this is because they also serve a grilled portobello burger but I think this is funny. Is this a niche market? My dreams have come true, beef on a vegan bun. Meat patty, Buns claims a lean patty (92% beef) that is ground daily. Condiments include a slice of tomato, iceberg lettuce, onion, pickle, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and mozzarella cheese. This burger clocks in at exactly 5 bucks. I love the perfect numbers concept. 


The Verdict: 
As the sign claims the bun is sweet. This seemed enhanced with the pickle as the word sweetness popped into my head with the first bite. The burger has a-lot-of mustard, so much so that eating the burger was a bit messy. No fear because my man behind the grill had given me a stack of napkins as thick as a McDonald’s burger. The patty, very thin, grilled, slightly charred, giving a pleasant crispy crunch and a bit pink on the inside. The meat did have a nice flavor and I noticed that it is seasoned when put on the grill. The patty was a little dry, so was the toasted bun but this worked with the wet condiments. 
My only real criticisms are with some of the condiments.  My piece of lettuce looked slightly brown and kind of pathetic. The taste of iceberg lettuce on a burger with the condiments gave me Whopper visions. This was only for one bite but not great. The slice of cheese was a bit tiny, a little square in the centre of the patty. 
Overall, a good burger, the dry bun and patty are a contrast to the condiments creating a perfect marriage. Rather brilliant-actually. Nice-homemade taste and good meat. A simple burger but this is good. Is this the best burger in Montreal? Even though the Buns burger has nicer meat the juicy burger at La Belle Province burger was slightly better just because of the condiments. We are not saying that Belle-Pro is the best just that there are better burgers in town.
Recommendation: Buns has balls to open a location (Ste-Catherine Street and City-Councillors) across the street from Burger King. Skip the King and have a lucky Bun-day, if you know what I mean, because Buns delivers the goods.

Heston Blumenthal Pays Tribute to the Past with Dinner

Heston Blumenthal is opening a new restaurant.

This is an outstanding in depth article but we really appreciate the links at the bottom on how to research Britain's gastronomic past.

In Canada, the McCord Museum of Canadian History houses some great books on Canadian cooking and food history.

You can also order copies of  rare books from McGill University (about $10 bucks). Several books have to do with Canadian food history.

Find ready to read books at McGill here

1,2,3, Look it's Susur Lee

NOW Magazine // Food & Drink // Lee’s Palace

Susur Lee Opening Lee's Lounge in Toronto.

This almost makes us want to go to Toronto.

Link to Susur Lee's site

It's Official: Top Chef Stars Achieve Celebrity Status - sort of

You know you have arrived on the red carpet of gossip when you make headlines in Perez Hilton and E!Online

Way to go guys!

"Padma Speaks Out On Custody Battle"

Not to be outdone in the kitchen or the news...
"Is Top Chef's Marcel Really an A-hole"
Next stop for our new favorite band of misfits? Dancing With the Stars? Celebrity Rehab? Sober House?

We can't wait.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hopping into the spotlight: Rabbit!

Hopping into the spotlight: Rabbit!
Rabbit recipes from local Chefs in the Montreal Gazette.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Please do not eat your bloggers


Ongoing Discussions About Food Icons… The Bacon Cheeseburger

From the archives: 
Zut alors! Ils sont fous ces mecs.
Le Burger Brasserie a.k.a 
Le Debacle Burger 
de Las Vegas (Sept. 2009)
One of the worst eating experiences ever. In thinking about how to describe this experience the word stereotype comes to mind. If the Paris Casino is supposed to recreate a visit to the city of lights then perhaps this was achieved in some sort of twisted logic.
The stereotype, American tourists are ripped off by snooty waiters in France serving bad food disguised as fine dining. If this is true then we truly had  a truly Parisian experience, as the restaurant boasts, "a French interpretation of an American classic." In other words serve a crappy American food icon under the guise that it is a gourmet French experience. Putting the word "Le" in front of your food does not make it better or French. It is just the same old crappy food found at bad stadium food concessions. Do not make the claim that your are something you are not. This is what was so disappointing.
The next stereotype, jocks will eat anything provided they can watch simultaneous sporting events and that the portions are huge. Why are we bringing this up? Le Burger Brasserie is a sports bar masquerading as something else at least judging by the food and the customers wearing football jerseys. Are there any sports bars with good food? True, the place calls itself a "sport grille" but our complaint is that they use words like "gourmet" in the descriptions of their food.
Crime scene: le fromage horrible
We started with the cheese sticks or rather the "Fromage Frites."  Deep fried breaded cheese is a pub classic that is simple provided you have cheese, bread crumbs and a deep fryer. This dish was so bad it made us laugh. Imagine one of those plastic orange cheese slices rolled up and deep fried. The pepperjack and mozzarella were also just plain bad showcasing cheap ingredients and better living through chemicals. This cuisine also applied to the burgers but what they lacked in quality and taste they certainly made up for in size. The burgers were so large they were unmanageable and you are supposed to fit this in your mouth? The names of the burgers were ordered are not important because they were just bad. Poor ingredients and bad taste.
Le Paris: Brie, caramelized onion, smoked bacon
At least afterwards we were able to get one of those drinks (almost to scale) shaped like the Eiffel Tower. Trust me we needed it to forget this horrible experience. 
Le Cocktail French Fantasy Martini: "A marriage of Absolut Vodka, DeKuyper Watermelon Liqueur and a whisper of fresh sour mix, topped with a splash of Sierra Mist and graced with a tropical orchid" 
Le site web: Le Burger Brasserie et le menu

Wanted: Canadian Health Care Food Reform

The latest issue of Maisonneuve magazine features a great article from Monica Kidd stating:
"Hospitals should be on the front lines of the food revolution. Instead, they’re still churning out the same processed, unappetizing fare."
We agree with this 100% there is no way you can get better with the garbage they feed people in our hospitals.

Teach people about good food and nutrition and give them a chance to get better.

Please purchase a copy of the magazine or purchase a subscription online.

This article is from an upcoming book. We will keep you posted.

Canadian chef Ryan Stone finishes 12th at the Bocuse d’Or Competition

And the winners are...

Rasmus Kofoed of Denmark - Gold.
Tommy Myllymaki of Sweden - Silver.
Gunnar Hvarnes of Norway - Bronze.

Link to article here

Additional coverage

Chefs for Vegas Uncork'd 2011 - Revealed

The Vegas Uncork'd chefs, held Mother's Day weekend (May 5-8), have been revealed.


They are: Rick Moonen, Jason Arbusto, Tina Wilson, Claude Le-Tohic, Stephane Chevet, Frank Pellegrino Jr., Bradley Ogden, François Payard, Randy Sebastian, Jet Tila, Theo Schoenegger, Edmund Wong, Sylvain Bortolini, Robert Smith, Julian Serrano, Front Row: Steve Benjamin, Carlos Salazar, Flora Aghababyan and David Walzog.

Link to Vegas Uncork'd 

Thanks to Norm! of Las Vegas Confidential for the scoop.

Even more details from Eating Las Vegas

75 days and counting - Top Chef Canada

Toronto Life gives us an amuse bouche for Top Chef Canada and reveals that contests will be shopping Chez Loblaws

We can't wait.

Eating LasVegas

One of our favorite places to eat and one of our favorite food blogs

Eating Las Vegas.

Get your copy here...

'Top Chef' Star's Baby Daddy: I Want Custody!

'Top Chef' Star's Baby Daddy: I Want Custody!

Sexy time with sex writing cupcake maker .

Child custody battles... The Top Chef crew are becoming gossip sensations.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ongoing Discussions About Food Icons… The Bacon Cheeseburger Chez La Belle Pro


La Belle Province
Not all Belle Pro's are created equal. Price, portion and quality seem to vary from place to place. I assume this has something to do with ownership but in general this is reliable greasy diner food. At the better locations you get the feeling that the whole family is working behind the counter. 
The burger sampled today was at the Peel street location and the Bell Pro bacon cheese burger clocked in at just under $4.
All Belle Pro's seem to follow the same ordering procedure. Go to the cash order, usually the matriarch of the family is behind the cash, get your receipt (ticket) place it on your tray and follow the counter while your food is prepared in front of you.

Construction: 
Bun, seems to be prepared using a similar device as the bun caramelizer at McDonald's. Meat patty, cooked on a flat top grill. Bacon (2 slices), pre-cooked and warmed on the grill. Condiments, a real slice of tomato, mustard, relish, ketchup, onions, coleslaw and a slice of American cheese. There is the option of mayo that is added upon request.

The Verdict:
The Bell Pro burger seems twice the size of the McDonald's sandwich with a slightly thinner but larger patty. The bun is fluffy, the patty juicy and the bacon has a chewy smokey flavor. The coleslaw and condiments add an oniony, vinegar flavor. The condiments almost overwhelm the thin patty. The burger drips and oozes and is a messy experience when consumed. A satisfying experience, you actually feel like you have eaten meat or even real food. Very close to a homemade burger.

Recommendation: A good bet. If the meat was a little higher end it would be perfect. Nice homemade taste.

Ferran Adria announces gastronomic research centre

Let the foam begin...
From the AFP article:
The "elBullifoundation" will be launched on July 31 under the slogan "Freedom to Create", the day after elBulli closes, the guru of avant-garde cuisine Ferran Adria said at the Madrid Fusion gastronomy fair.
The foundation will combine "meals, research, landscape and architecture" in a research centre, a documentation centre and a restaurant in a eco-friendly complex that is to open in 2014, Adria said.
The new documentation centre will "reveal to the world" over the Internet in real time the techniques and concepts developed at the foundation, Adria said.  
Link to story 

Ramsay sports new face after not having a hair transplant

"It's amazing what a horse allergy can do! Gordon Ramsay looks years younger as he shows off his new face" From the Daily Mail

Princess Diana's Chef Predicts the Royal Wedding Menu

I know what you are thinking Lady Di ate food? Seriously who doesn't love a royal wedding?

We care more about the food than the dress and People magazine is on the case.

Immediately following the 11 a.m. ceremony, guests will be invited back to Buckingham Palace for a wedding breakfast of champagne, canapés and heavy h'ors d'oeuvres, such as smoked salmon, paté and mini sausage rolls which were, "always popular at the Palace – one of the first to go," notes McGrady.

He also expects a somewhat simpler spread than those featured at royal weddings past, like Charles and Di's. "The royal family will not want to be seen as going backwards and actually having a big, seven-course meal with a soup course and a fish course," he says. "They will want to make it more modern."
At the evening dinner and dancing reception, a smaller group of family, close friends and visiting heads of state will be treated to a more substantial buffet, McGrady predicts. "They like to showcase British food, so there might be Gaelic steaks with braised rice. But I wouldn't be surprised if cottage pie is somewhere on the menu."

That dish, made of ground beef in a brown sauce and topped with creamy mashed potatoes and melted cheese, "was William's all-time favorite," he says. 

What are you going to eat while watching this grand affair? We recommend beet root sandwiches with a dark english ale?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ongoing Discussions About Food Icons: The Bacon Cheeseburger: McDonald's review

The Bacon Cheeseburger experience

As American as apple pie this piece of Americana takes many shape sizes and forms. From the gourmet to the grotesque we offer a forum for discussion.

Burger Tips: Our favorite burgers are of course the ones we make at home. Respect to Bobby Flay, try potato chips on your burger. It’s amazing how many times burgers have been served with a pile of chips on the side and after trying this one wonders why did it take so long to figure this out?  The chips stick to the top of your bun with the help of condiments, think of ketchup as glue. The combination of salty crispiness adds a whole new dimension to your burger. Lately we have been using small onion challah buns, a bit bigger than sliders, from the Snowdon bakery with delicious results.  


“The great American hamburger is a thing of beauty, its simple charm noble, pristine. The basic recipe – ground beef, salt, and pepper, formed into a patty, grilled or seared on a griddle, then nestled between two halves of a bun, usually but not necessarily accompanied by lettuce, a tomato slice, and some ketchup – is, to my mind, unimprovable by man or God.”
-Anthony Bourdain in his book Medium Raw

 
McDonald's
How original a Mcdonald’s burger review. Yes, just to prove that we are not snobs that we will sacrifice ourselves and our bodies for you our dear reader.  
It amazes me that this burger comes in at just under $1.60. What do you expect for that kind of money, Kobe beef? This is not the benchmark but you all know what it is. When we look at other burgers and say bigger, better and juicier you know what we mean.

Construction: 
Bun, McDonald's does not toast their buns they are caramelized, heated so that the sugar browns. Meat patty, slice of American cheese, slice of bacon, ketchup, mustard, onions (dehydrated and then reconstituted on site) and pickles.
With all the talk of molecular gastronomy the golden arches research team has certainly put a lot of thought into their burger production. Dehydrated onions? Who came up with that and thought it was a good idea. I am assuming it has something to do with cost and consistency across the world.


The Verdict:

The burger is lathered with ketchup providing a sugary blast to the taste buds that overwhelms the burger. Can you even taste the mustard or is it just a color? The onions punch out a bit but are more of a texture. The overall saltiness found within the burger combined with the sugary ketchup and cheese is not totally unpleasant and provides the opiates for masses. The pickles offer a contrasting flavor to the ketchup. The meat seems to act as filler, the best description I can think of  is rubbery, but overall it just sits there. It might be the cheese that makes the meat seem more rubbery but the bacon does add some crispiness to the experience. A small burger so if you eat one you are almost left with the feeling that you want another. The McDonald's burger tastes like something mass produced and is never changing. A sugary rubbery experience. 



Recommendation:
Eat at this burger when you are broke and/or traveling abroad and facing a crippling case of homesickness. 


We believe the best burgers are the ones that you make at home and this is a fun book on the subject. The book was worth it alone for the tip on potato chips and we have tried a few of the burgers, shakes and the B.B.Q. sauce with good results.