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food & recipes
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recreating the Big Mac  Actions...
Posted: by Sarah__Chatelaine on Mon. 16 Jul., 2012 at 9:34:10 PM
Do you have some restaurant/fast foot favourites that you have successfully recreated at home? Or some that you would like to try? If I could make the KFC secret recipe it would make me very popular with my DH, lol!

Sarah, Chatelaine

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Interesting  Actions...
Posted: by catsknit on Mon. 16 Jul., 2012 at 11:04:56 PM
In reply to: Sarah__Chatelaine "recreating the Big Mac"

I always thought the 'special sauce' was simply mayonnaise.  I can remember adding mayo to a burger with friends, to replicate the Big Mac experience in the back yard  Laugh.  I never cared whether it tasted like the real thing or not--home grilled burgers are tasty no matter what you add to them!  Now I only put cheese and a perfect slice of a perfect tomato on my burgers. 

Now, about that recipe I would like to recreate at home:  Marks and Spencer used to have a shredded carrot salad with raisins in it.  It was totally gorgeous!  Might even have had peanuts in it--it has been too long for me to remember for sure.  My home version is shredded carrots, raisins and chopped parsley, topped with President's Choice Lemon /Poppyseed dressing.  Not the same, but very good.

Rule Britannia!  Britannia Rules the Waves . . . . .

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carrot salad  Actions...
Posted: by Artemis on Tue. 17 Jul., 2012 at 12:09:22 PM
In reply to: catsknit "Interesting"

Catsknit, I can't remember ever having the M&S carrot salad on this side of the pond ... but I know I had it the last 2 times I was in the UK. And I'm pretty sure it had cumin in it. I haven't been able to recreate it exactly, but this one is a very nice alternative. It's a little more spiced than the M&S one, but I really like it.

Savoury Carrot Salad

Juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 to 1 cup raisins (depending on your taste)
1/2 to 1 cup toasted and chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine the lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, red pepper flakes, and salt in a bowl. Mix well to combine. Add the honey, parsley, olive oil, and carrots. Mix well and refrigerate until serving. Add the raisins and walnuts just before serving.

Note: depending on how "juicy" your carrots are, you might want to let them sit for a bit after you've grated them, and drain the excess moisture.

“I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. It's impossible to put down.”

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Thank you, Artemis!!  Actions...
Posted: by catsknit on Tue. 17 Jul., 2012 at 2:09:05 PM
In reply to: Artemis "carrot salad"

I have looked up carrot raisin salad recipes but most of them have yoghurt /creamy dressing, which I don't really want to get involved in.    Yours looks wonderful and might *almost* work for my vegan friend--when I go to BBQs etc at her place I try to take a vegan dish so she can eat it too.  I would have to check if she eats honey in small amounts (bet she would to be able to try this, lol). I am sure you are right that the M&S version had cumin. 

Sounds like it makes a lot.  Does it keep well? 

Did the UK version have peanuts in it?  Or am I thinking of another salad?

Thanks again!!


Rule Britannia!  Britannia Rules the Waves . . . . .

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...  Actions...
Posted: by Artemis on Tue. 17 Jul., 2012 at 2:30:32 PM
In reply to: catsknit "Thank you, Artemis!!"

For vegans you could always use agave syrup instead of the honey, or just omit it altogether. I like the flavour of the honey, it seems to go well with the spices, but the sweetness isn't really necessary, esp. with nice fresh carrots and the raisins.

It does keep fairly well for a few days, particularly if you drain/dry the carrots well. If you do see a little liquid separation after a couple of days, just drain it off. The key though is to keep the raisins & walnuts separate.

I'm pretty sure the M&S one didn't have peanuts ... but possibly sunflower seeds?

“I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. It's impossible to put down.”

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Good idea to omit the honey  Actions...
Posted: by catsknit on Tue. 17 Jul., 2012 at 8:59:21 PM
In reply to: Artemis "..."

Thanks for your thoughts on the keeping abilities.  If I make something like that at home, I often give a small container away to anyone who darkens my doorstep, lol.  DH doesn't like all 'grainy' salads--tonight's couscous salad (Sobeys /Foodland) was too garlicky for him.  Good thing I bought a small container!

Funny you should mention the sunflower seeds.  I was thinking that they would be a nice addition to the mix that I make.  One of the reasons I like it is that I can mix it up in a flash (grate carrots while carrots soak, drain and dry raisins, mix and top with bottled dressing!!) and I can make up enough for just me, two of us etc.  and sunflower seeds are the obvious addition!  I will try yours the next time I am taking a 'dish' somewhere!  Much nicer than my basic one. 

Rule Britannia!  Britannia Rules the Waves . . . . .

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...........  Actions...
Posted: by green_sleeves on Tue. 17 Jul., 2012 at 12:43:11 AM
In reply to: Sarah__Chatelaine "recreating the Big Mac"
there is the copycat site that has a search for popular recipes from restaurants. I've tried the Cinnabon bun recipe that was very close to the original. A lot of the recipes are from USA restaurants but have many from our side of the border.
Here is their take on KFC. And one for a shake and bake chicken with similar spices. I like the latter since it isn't fried and I take the skin off since that is the part that turns me off KFC. Sick 
It is great for get together's or picnics because it is good hot or cold.


No need to explain: your friends don't require it and your enemies won't believe you anyway.Grin

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I will  Actions...
Posted: by Sarah__Chatelaine on Tue. 17 Jul., 2012 at 3:08:46 PM
In reply to: green_sleeves "..........."
I will have to try that out...maybe I can make a healthier alternative that he will love almost as much :)
Sarah, Chatelaine

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my special  Actions...
Posted: by Koda on Tue. 17 Jul., 2012 at 11:51:20 AM
In reply to: Sarah__Chatelaine "recreating the Big Mac"
sauce for burgers, mayo & chili sauce mixed together title, nom, nom.

As a rule I'd much rather eat at home than out, the only fast food I will eat is Subway on occasion. If I'm on vacation of course it's hard to make healthier choices but I try. 

I probably haven't eaten KFC in over 20 years & McD's is usually just an ice cream cone occasionally. 

Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity. — Simone Weil

edited Tue. 17 Jul., 2012 @ 2:50:41 PM by Koda
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interesting!  Actions...
Posted: by ABmom99 on Tue. 17 Jul., 2012 at 1:23:39 PM
In reply to: Sarah__Chatelaine "recreating the Big Mac"
Not sure I really want to duplicate a restaurant's menu items - that's part of the fun of eating out - I CAN'T make it at home - going out is a treat, so if I could make it myself I would enjoy it less I think.  Actually I have a variety of recipes I prefer over the 'same' in restaurants. - ie my baklava, lasagne, and others. I prefer a homemade pie over a restaurant of same as well - especially apple - as so many restaurant pies I find use a canned filling.  Actually I quite like McD's 1/4 lb (not big Macs) burgers, but at home I prefer them bbq'd which McD doesn't do.   I also quite enjoy Chinese food in restaurants - and I'm happy to have 'their' food - all those deep fried yummy foods - some I think are pretty fussy to make - and I don't have/want a deep fryer - so I'm glad to let them cook it all for me!

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About 20 years ago  Actions...
Posted: by Nanny G on Tue. 17 Jul., 2012 at 1:28:41 PM
In reply to: ABmom99 "interesting!"
people were using Thousand Island sauce to reproduce McD.

Nanny G
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Special Sauce  Actions...
Posted: by Dyzee_ on Tue. 17 Jul., 2012 at 1:36:02 PM
In reply to: Nanny G "About 20 years ago"
Kraft Sandwich spread works too!

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ABmom  Actions...
Posted: by catsknit on Tue. 17 Jul., 2012 at 2:03:43 PM
In reply to: ABmom99 "interesting!"

I completely agree with you on two points:

1.   Why would I want to duplicate a restaurant's food at home when they do it so well?   (Unless I can't get out, can't get to the restaurant, or need to do gluten-free, allergy-free etc).

After visiting Thailand and discovering their wonderful foods, I decided I needed to be able to duplicate those tastes.  Just finding lemon grass was near-impossible at the time and I never did master anything Thai--much nicer to go to a Thai restaurant (and that has been awhile, lol).

2.  Quarter pounders with cheese are MUCH better than a Big Mac, lol.  High in fat, high in salt and totally delicious as a rare treat ;-)  But I like my food to taste like food, and the mixture in the Big Mac was too much for me.  The simpler taste of the 1/4 lber is much nicer, IMO. 

Rule Britannia!  Britannia Rules the Waves . . . . .

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Anytime  Actions...
Posted: by Freebird2 on Tue. 17 Jul., 2012 at 2:12:52 PM
In reply to: catsknit "ABmom"

I've eaten a Big Mac I would get a stomach ache after it. It has entirely too much fat in it. I haven’t had one in years and I wouldn't want to replicate it.

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