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Fancy Fast Food?

These photographs show extreme makeovers of actual fast food items purchased at popular fast food restaurants. No additional ingredients have been added except for an occasional simple garnish.

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*Remember the rules: no additional ingredients are allowed other than a simple garnish (which won't necessarily be eaten anyway, i.e. parsley), and no Photoshopping other than minor adjustments in sharpness or color correction. Please submit a "before shot" and photos of the makeover process as well.

Also, remember to wash your hands before you start preparing your dish! The signs in the fast food restaurant bathrooms might read, "Employees must wash hands before returning to work," but really, everyone should.







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Quiznoa Salad (Fancy Quiznos) by Erik of Fancy Fast Food (with support from Susannah Masur)
In our recent food obsessed culture, foodies strive to find new foods that they enjoy, mostly so that they can blog or tweet about it later.  One of these recently “discovered” foods is quinoa (pronounced KEE-noaah), a grain-like vegetable from the Andean countries of South America so great in flavor, texture, and above all nutrients, that vegans just won’t shut up about it.  And although it looks like a grain similar to couscous, it is technically not a grain — an ambiguity that even some rabbis exploit, deeming it an acceptable food to eat during the grain-abstaining days of Passover.  Truly, quinoa is one exceptional food, and you don’t even need to be a vegan, an observant Jew (or both) to partake in its goodness.However, according to a New York Times article, the problem with quinoa is that due to its increasing popularity in rich North American and European countries, the prices have driven up the cost in the poorer nations they come from, like Bolivia.  Richer nations’ hunger for quinoa is actually stripping away the nutritious food that Bolivians have been consuming for centuries.  So what is a socially-conscious person to do?  One suggestion: fake the quinoa using fast food.  Here’s how:

Ingredients (from Quiznos):
1 Veggie Sub without guacamole or cheese on Italian white bread 
1 cup of water
condiment cups of banana peppers and pickles
First, scoop off all the vegetables off the bread and put them in a mixing bowl.  We’ll deal with that later.  For now, we are going to transform the bread into our grain-like super vegetable.  We here in the Fancy Fast Food kitchen have tried doing this using a food processor with different blades, and even a hand grinder, but nothing quite gave the bread the proper round shape of quinoa.  The only method that works — as tedious as it is — is to roll each individual piece by hand.Because Quiznos prides itself on toasting their subs, we’ll have to moisten the bread.  Pour all the water into a skillet and bring it to a boil.  Place the pieces of bread — toastier side down — in a steam basket, and let them moisten and soften up before handling them.  Then, pinch off a little bit of the bread’s insides, and simply roll it around with your finger until it becomes a small ball.  Now repeat this process about a hundred times (or as long as you can stand it).Dice the sliced tomatoes and put them in the mixing bowl with the rest of the vegetables.  Add in the banana peppers and pickles.  Then fold in the faux quinoa, and toss it all together with a big fork or rubber spatula.Voilà! Quiznoa Salad! (pronounced KEEZ-noaah SA-lad)  Now try and substitute this for quinoa in either a rich or poor country, so that the food demands can be met!

If you are viewing this recipe in an aggregator (like tumblr’s Dashboard), or as a reblogged post, please check out the real website at FancyFastFood.com.
Recipe for the week of May 20, 2011:

Quiznoa Salad (Fancy Quiznos)
by Erik of Fancy Fast Food (with support from Susannah Masur)

In our recent food obsessed culture, foodies strive to find new foods that they enjoy, mostly so that they can blog or tweet about it later. One of these recently “discovered” foods is quinoa (pronounced KEE-noaah), a grain-like vegetable from the Andean countries of South America so great in flavor, texture, and above all nutrients, that vegans just won’t shut up about it. And although it looks like a grain similar to couscous, it is technically not a grain — an ambiguity that even some rabbis exploit, deeming it an acceptable food to eat during the grain-abstaining days of Passover. Truly, quinoa is one exceptional food, and you don’t even need to be a vegan, an observant Jew (or both) to partake in its goodness.

However, according to a New York Times article, the problem with quinoa is that due to its increasing popularity in rich North American and European countries, the prices have driven up the cost in the poorer nations they come from, like Bolivia. Richer nations’ hunger for quinoa is actually stripping away the nutritious food that Bolivians have been consuming for centuries. So what is a socially-conscious person to do? One suggestion: fake the quinoa using fast food. Here’s how:

Ingredients (from Quiznos):

  • 1 Veggie Sub without guacamole or cheese on Italian white bread
  • 1 cup of water
  • condiment cups of banana peppers and pickles

First, scoop off all the vegetables off the bread and put them in a mixing bowl. We’ll deal with that later. For now, we are going to transform the bread into our grain-like super vegetable. We here in the Fancy Fast Food kitchen have tried doing this using a food processor with different blades, and even a hand grinder, but nothing quite gave the bread the proper round shape of quinoa. The only method that works — as tedious as it is — is to roll each individual piece by hand.

Because Quiznos prides itself on toasting their subs, we’ll have to moisten the bread. Pour all the water into a skillet and bring it to a boil. Place the pieces of bread — toastier side down — in a steam basket, and let them moisten and soften up before handling them. Then, pinch off a little bit of the bread’s insides, and simply roll it around with your finger until it becomes a small ball. Now repeat this process about a hundred times (or as long as you can stand it).

Dice the sliced tomatoes and put them in the mixing bowl with the rest of the vegetables. Add in the banana peppers and pickles. Then fold in the faux quinoa, and toss it all together with a big fork or rubber spatula.

Voilà! Quiznoa Salad! (pronounced KEEZ-noaah SA-lad) Now try and substitute this for quinoa in either a rich or poor country, so that the food demands can be met!



If you are viewing this recipe in an aggregator (like tumblr’s Dashboard), or as a reblogged post, please check out the real website at FancyFastFood.com.

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Chicken Mock Pie (Fancy Raising Cane’s) by Erik of Fancy Fast Food (with support from Cheryl Triviño)
Raising Cane’s, a nationwide albeit lesser known fast food joint with locations from Vegas to Boston, doesn’t have a varied menu like McDonald’s or Wendy’s; they stick to the one thing they do best: chicken fingers.  While this may be common knowledge to those who live near a Raising Cane’s, what one may not know is that the establishment is named after the founder’s dog, “Raising Cane” (both words, not just Cane).With a dog having so much influence on this chicken finger chain, we here in the Fancy Fast Food kitchen left it up to our canine friends to help envision a fancy meal derived from Raising Canes — they barked at us in a very Lassie-like way.What’s that boy? Uh huh… You say we have enough ingredients to make a mock chicken pot pie?  But is that really that fancy? (more barking) What’s that boy? Uh huh… Yeah? Uh huh… You say chicken pot pie is in sophisticated food magazines and that the only people who would look down upon it are chichi elitist food snobs?  Okay, good boy… Thatzha got boy…”
Ingredients (from Raising Cane’s):
1 Box Combo with:
4 chicken fingers
1 order of crinkle cut fries
1 piece of Texas toast
1 side of coleslaw
1 cup of water
First, peel the breading off the chicken fingers to expose the meat inside.  Cube them with a knife and put them aside.  Do the same to half of the fries.  Combined with the coleslaw, you now have the basic ingredients for the mock pot pie filling — there may not be peas, but at least there’s some green in there for color, plus carrots.  The only thing we need to fake is the gravy that blends everything within the pie, so we’ll have to improvise as always.First, put the remaining uncut fries in a food processor and add some water.  Blend it to a pulp.  Next, strain the coleslaw over a skillet so that you extract all the watery mayonnaise.  Add the potato pulp and some more water, cover it, and simmer on a low heat until it all blends together to a starchy “gravy.”Put the cubed chicken, potatoes, and coleslaw into a mixing bowl.  Fold in the “gravy” with these ingredients until they are blended well, and then scoop it into a ramekin.As for the crust, we’ll also have to improvise.  Break apart the Texas toast and blend it down with a little bit of water in a food processor.  Knead the resulting “dough” and then roll it flat on a piece of wax paper with a rolling pin.  Cover the ramekin with his mock crust, pinching the edges to seal in the moisture.  Add textures to the edges with a fork.Bake this “chicken mock pie” in a pre-heated oven at 400°F for 10 minutes, then use a fork to break through the crust to get to the filling inside.  Be careful; it may not be a real chicken pot pie, but it sure steams up like one!  (Woof!)

If you are viewing this recipe in an aggregator (like tumblr’s Dashboard), or as a reblogged post, please check out the real website at FancyFastFood.com.
Recipe for the week of April 21, 2011:

Chicken Mock Pie (Fancy Raising Cane’s)
by Erik of Fancy Fast Food (with support from Cheryl Triviño)

Raising Cane’s, a nationwide albeit lesser known fast food joint with locations from Vegas to Boston, doesn’t have a varied menu like McDonald’s or Wendy’s; they stick to the one thing they do best: chicken fingers. While this may be common knowledge to those who live near a Raising Cane’s, what one may not know is that the establishment is named after the founder’s dog, “Raising Cane” (both words, not just Cane).

With a dog having so much influence on this chicken finger chain, we here in the Fancy Fast Food kitchen left it up to our canine friends to help envision a fancy meal derived from Raising Canes — they barked at us in a very Lassie-like way.

What’s that boy? Uh huh… You say we have enough ingredients to make a mock chicken pot pie? But is that really that fancy? (more barking) What’s that boy? Uh huh… Yeah? Uh huh… You say chicken pot pie is in sophisticated food magazines and that the only people who would look down upon it are chichi elitist food snobs? Okay, good boy… Thatzha got boy…”

Ingredients (from Raising Cane’s):

  • 1 Box Combo with:
  • 4 chicken fingers
  • 1 order of crinkle cut fries
  • 1 piece of Texas toast
  • 1 side of coleslaw
  • 1 cup of water

First, peel the breading off the chicken fingers to expose the meat inside. Cube them with a knife and put them aside. Do the same to half of the fries. Combined with the coleslaw, you now have the basic ingredients for the mock pot pie filling — there may not be peas, but at least there’s some green in there for color, plus carrots. The only thing we need to fake is the gravy that blends everything within the pie, so we’ll have to improvise as always.

First, put the remaining uncut fries in a food processor and add some water. Blend it to a pulp. Next, strain the coleslaw over a skillet so that you extract all the watery mayonnaise. Add the potato pulp and some more water, cover it, and simmer on a low heat until it all blends together to a starchy “gravy.”

Put the cubed chicken, potatoes, and coleslaw into a mixing bowl. Fold in the “gravy” with these ingredients until they are blended well, and then scoop it into a ramekin.

As for the crust, we’ll also have to improvise. Break apart the Texas toast and blend it down with a little bit of water in a food processor. Knead the resulting “dough” and then roll it flat on a piece of wax paper with a rolling pin. Cover the ramekin with his mock crust, pinching the edges to seal in the moisture. Add textures to the edges with a fork.

Bake this “chicken mock pie” in a pre-heated oven at 400°F for 10 minutes, then use a fork to break through the crust to get to the filling inside. Be careful; it may not be a real chicken pot pie, but it sure steams up like one! (Woof!)



If you are viewing this recipe in an aggregator (like tumblr’s Dashboard), or as a reblogged post, please check out the real website at FancyFastFood.com.

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Chinese Cheemai Cheemai (Fancy Cheeburger Cheeburger) by Erik of Fancy Fast Food (with support from Melissa Roach)
In Hong Kong and the Cantonese regions of southern China, food trolleys piled with steamy bamboo trays make their way around the tables at dim sum restaurants, serving everything from tripe to chicken feet.  However, unadventurous Westerners who’d rather not put feet in their mouths usually favor one particular delicacy: the little dumpling known as shumai, usually filled with a filling of ground pork, shrimp, mushrooms, and/or chives. You don’t have to travel halfway across the world to have shumai though; you only have to go as far as a selected airport, where the nationwide burger chain Cheeburger Cheeburger usually has a location.  (Alternatively, you could just go to your local Chinese restaurant, but where’s the fun in that?)  Just make sure you pack a good set of chopsticks, along with some creativity and culinary imagination — it’s going to take a little make-believe for this Fancy Fast Food mock recipe to seem passable for the real thing. 
Ingredients (from Cheeburger Cheeburger):
2 Semi-Serious Cheeburgers (with onions, bell peppers, chopped garlic, and sautéed mushrooms, plus the signature olives on top)
1 small order of onion rings
1 medium Sierra Mist
It’s fitting that Cheeburger Cheeburger, that burger joint with the repetitive silly name, has a mid-sized burger called “The Semi-Serious” because we’re only going to be semi-serious about this mock recipe.  Fancy Fast Food is all about styling food for looks over taste after all, and we’re going to make a couple of silly hamburgers look like shumai.First, disassemble the burgers, saving the insides for later, and rip apart the buns into pieces.  Put them in a food processor and add about 3 tablespoons of Sierra Mist so that it blends down to a semi-dry doughy mass that can be kneaded.  Knead the dough and divide it into three equal parts for the three dumplings we’ll make.  Using a rolling pin, roll one part of dough flat over a piece of wax paper.  It should be spread out enough to cut out a circle using a bowl five inches in diameter. Then use a sharp knife to cut the perfect circle into an imperfect decagon; make sure you slice through the wax paper as well.  Do this process two more times with the other two pieces of dough.For the filling, take the remaining burgers and all the toppings (minus the olives  a few pieces of green peppers) and put them in the food processor, along with some extra onions you extract out of the fried breading of the onion rings.  Push the button and grind it all together.Hold one of the faux, 10-sided shumai wrappings in your hand, and spoon in a small amount of the ground filling.  Bring your fingers in to wrap the filling, creating a dumpling shape — the wax paper should keep the outsides from clumping together so you can make a nice folded texture.  Peel away the wax paper when you have a decent looking “cheemai.”  Repeat this process for the other two wrappings.For garnish, mince the leftover green peppers to put on top of each of the “cheemai,” then serve them on a fancy white plate.  And since each Cheeburger comes with an olive in a toothpick, you might as well put that in a martini glass and pour in some Sierra Mist to complement your faux meal with a faux cocktail.  Now use your imagination, and find your inner Chee!

If you are viewing this recipe in an aggregator (like tumblr’s Dashboard), or as a reblogged post, please check out the real website at FancyFastFood.com.
Recipe for the week of March 10, 2011:

Chinese Cheemai Cheemai (Fancy Cheeburger Cheeburger)
by Erik of Fancy Fast Food (with support from Melissa Roach)

In Hong Kong and the Cantonese regions of southern China, food trolleys piled with steamy bamboo trays make their way around the tables at dim sum restaurants, serving everything from tripe to chicken feet. However, unadventurous Westerners who’d rather not put feet in their mouths usually favor one particular delicacy: the little dumpling known as shumai, usually filled with a filling of ground pork, shrimp, mushrooms, and/or chives.

You don’t have to travel halfway across the world to have shumai though; you only have to go as far as a selected airport, where the nationwide burger chain Cheeburger Cheeburger usually has a location. (Alternatively, you could just go to your local Chinese restaurant, but where’s the fun in that?) Just make sure you pack a good set of chopsticks, along with some creativity and culinary imagination — it’s going to take a little make-believe for this Fancy Fast Food mock recipe to seem passable for the real thing.

Ingredients (from Cheeburger Cheeburger):

  • 2 Semi-Serious Cheeburgers (with onions, bell peppers, chopped garlic, and sautéed mushrooms, plus the signature olives on top)
  • 1 small order of onion rings
  • 1 medium Sierra Mist

It’s fitting that Cheeburger Cheeburger, that burger joint with the repetitive silly name, has a mid-sized burger called “The Semi-Serious” because we’re only going to be semi-serious about this mock recipe. Fancy Fast Food is all about styling food for looks over taste after all, and we’re going to make a couple of silly hamburgers look like shumai.

First, disassemble the burgers, saving the insides for later, and rip apart the buns into pieces. Put them in a food processor and add about 3 tablespoons of Sierra Mist so that it blends down to a semi-dry doughy mass that can be kneaded. Knead the dough and divide it into three equal parts for the three dumplings we’ll make. Using a rolling pin, roll one part of dough flat over a piece of wax paper. It should be spread out enough to cut out a circle using a bowl five inches in diameter. Then use a sharp knife to cut the perfect circle into an imperfect decagon; make sure you slice through the wax paper as well. Do this process two more times with the other two pieces of dough.

For the filling, take the remaining burgers and all the toppings (minus the olives a few pieces of green peppers) and put them in the food processor, along with some extra onions you extract out of the fried breading of the onion rings. Push the button and grind it all together.

Hold one of the faux, 10-sided shumai wrappings in your hand, and spoon in a small amount of the ground filling. Bring your fingers in to wrap the filling, creating a dumpling shape — the wax paper should keep the outsides from clumping together so you can make a nice folded texture. Peel away the wax paper when you have a decent looking “cheemai.” Repeat this process for the other two wrappings.

For garnish, mince the leftover green peppers to put on top of each of the “cheemai,” then serve them on a fancy white plate. And since each Cheeburger comes with an olive in a toothpick, you might as well put that in a martini glass and pour in some Sierra Mist to complement your faux meal with a faux cocktail. Now use your imagination, and find your inner Chee!



If you are viewing this recipe in an aggregator (like tumblr’s Dashboard), or as a reblogged post, please check out the real website at FancyFastFood.com.

Comments (View)