Ronald McDonald is an international hero and celebrity. In Japan, since the "R" sound is not part of the Japanese language, everyone knows the burger-peddling clown as "Donald McDonald." And in Hong Kong, where people place a high value on family relationships, he is called Uncle McDonald, or in their language, "McDonald Suk Suk."
These burgers were the original hallmark of the world's largest fast-food chain. In 1948, when brothers Dick and Mac McDonald opened their first drive-in restaurant in San Bernardino, California, it was this simple sandwich that had hundreds of people driving in from miles around to pick up a sackful for just 15 cents a burger.
Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.
- 1/8 pound groud beef
- 1 plain hamburger bun
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon finely minced onion
- 1 dill pickle slice
1. Roll the ground beef into a ball and then press it flat on wax paper until about 1/4 inch thick. You can also prepare the burger ahead of time and freeze it for easier cooking.
2. Brown the faces of the bun in a saute pan over medium heat.
3. Remove the bun and cook the burger in the same pan for 2 minutes per side. Salt both sides during the cooking.
4. On the top bun, spread the ketchup, mustard, and onion, in that order, and top with the pickle slice.
5. Put the beef patty on the bottom bun and slap the top and bottom together.
6. Microwave the burger on high for 10 to 15 seconds.
Makes 1 hamburger.
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The packet of Taco Bell spices you buy in grocery stores makes delicious spicy beef for tacos, but don't expect it to taste exactly the same as the beef at the giant Mexican food chain. For a better clone, use my Taco Bell Soft Taco recipe below. Once the meat is prepped, it's simple to build soft tacos the Taco Bell way using these steps. If you want crispy tacos, replace the soft flour tortillas with crunchy corn shells.
To copy the Taco Bell Burrito Supreme at home, you first must assemble the meaty foundation of many of the chain's top-selling products: the spiced ground beef. Toss it and seven other tasty ingredients into a large flour tortilla and fold using the same technique as taught to new recruits to the chain. Add your favorite hot sauce for a bit of heat, or clone Taco Bell Mild, Hot, Fire Border, Diablo, Baja, or Lava sauce with my recipes here.
This delicious crispy chicken in a citrusy sweet-and-sour sauce is the most popular dish at the huge Chinese take-out chain. Panda Express cooks all of its food in woks. For my Panda Express Orange Chicken recipe below, you can use a wok, a heavy skillet, or a large sauté pan.
Find more copycat recipes for your favorite Panda Express dishes here.
Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.
They're the world's most famous French fries, responsible for one-third of all U.S. French fry sales, and many say they're the best. These fried spud strips are so popular that Burger King even changed its own recipe to better compete with the secret formula from Mickey D's. One-quarter of all meals served today in American restaurants come with fries; a fact that thrills restaurateurs since fries are the most profitable menu item in the food industry.
Proper preparation steps were developed by McDonald's to minimize in-store preparation time, while producing a fry that is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. My McDonald's French Fries recipe requires a two-step frying process to replicate the same qualities: the fries are par-fried, frozen, then fried once more to crispy just before serving. Be sure to use a slicer to cut the fries for a consistent thickness (1/4-inch is perfect) and for a cooking result that will make them just like the real thing. As for the rumor that you must soak the fries in sugar water to help them turn golden brown, I also found that not to be necessary. If the potatoes have properly developed, they contain enough sugar on their own to make a good clone with great color.
What is the McDonald's sign referring to when it says "Over 100 billion served?" That's not the number of customers served, but the number of beef patties sold since McDonald's first opened its doors in the forties. A hamburger counts as one patty. A Big Mac counts as two.
McDonald's sold its 11 billionth hamburger in 1972, the same year that this sandwich, the Quarter Pounder, was added to the growing menu. That was also the year large fries were added and founder Ray Kroc was honored with the Horatio Alger Award (the two events are not related). In 1972, the 2,000th McDonald's opened its doors, and by the end of that year McDonald's had finally become a billion-dollar corporation.
Use my McDonald's Quarter Pounder recipe below and start your own count at home.
For over 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original copycat recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.