Special sauciness

21 Apr

Dear Diary Saucy Cherie,
We need to talk. While it is true that you enjoy all things saucy, your willingness to consider, nay, encourage, the use of thousand island-type dressing on hamburgers needs to be addressed.
Is it the nostalgia of McDonald’s Big Mac secret sauce?
The tang of Manhattan’s Shake Shack topper? In’n’Out’s legendary spread? Or your latest obsession, Pink bike sauce from Pink Bicycle?
Thousand Island (a variant of Russian dressing) is a lardy, artery hardening melange of mayonnaise, ketchup, Tabasco sauce and finely chopped vegetables; most often pickles, onions, bell peppers, and green olives. Hold the hard boiled egg, please.
Some have said McDonald’s secret sauce is simply tartar sauce with mustard and ketchup.
Here it is revealed in its horrible chemical state:
Big Mac® Sauce: Soybean oil, pickle relish [diced pickles, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, vinegar, corn syrup, salt, calcium chloride, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate (preservative), spice extractives, polysorbate 80], distilled vinegar, water, egg yolks, high fructose corn syrup, onion powder, mustard seed, salt, spices, propylene glycol alginate, sodium benzoate (preservative), mustard bran, sugar, garlic powder, vegetable protein (hydrolyzed corn, soy and wheat), caramel color, extractives of paprika, soy lecithin, turmeric (color), calcium disodium EDTA (protect flavor).

Makes sense. Tartar sauce is a thick white goop made from mayonnaise and finely chopped pickled cucumber, capers, onions (or chives), and fresh parsley. Chopped hard-boiled eggs, olives, and horseradish are sometimes added, and dijon mustard is often used as an emulsifier.
Vinegar adds bite.
We’d have to say the secret lies in the proportions.
Too much ketchup and it’s a sticky, cloying mess: 1/2 cup mayonaise-1/2 cup ketchup-1/2 cup yellow mustard-1/4 cup sweet pickle relish.
Too much mayo and you’ve got a bland goopy slop.

We vow to rev up our burger season sauce with some inspired mixology. First stop: chopped sirloin patties with dreamy melted cheese on toasted English muffins.
And of course, one of these delectable sauces:

AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN’s CLASSIC BURGER SAUCE
from Episode: Best Burgers and Fries
Makes about 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon sweet pickle relish
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in small bowl.

SHACK SAUCE
from Shake Shack– makes about 3/4 cup sauce –
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
4 slices kosher dill pickle
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika (We like the idea of adding smoked paprika.)
pinch cayenne pepper

Ingredients
Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth, scraping down sides of blender with rubber spatula as necessary.

Big Mac Special Sauce
• 1/3 cup mayonnaise
• 2 tsp pickle relish
• 2 tsp ketchup
• 2 tsp sugar
• 2 tsp yellow mustard
• 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of finely chopped onion
Stir all ingredients together and refrigerate.

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