Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Cornucopia of Condiments

CondimentsWe had here what I affectionately call a White Trash Cook Off and it was delicious.

I went to the fountain of all knowledge: Google and found recipes for my favorite fast food sauces which we lovingly recreated in our kitchen this past week and you, my friends, are the beneficiaries of our taste test.

I selected the best condiments of the fast food world--those little foil packets that I hoard in my utensil drawer, wishing they sold them in bottles because I love them so much. I am speaking about (in order of delight) Taco Bell's mild sauce, Arby's Arby-Q Sauce, A-1 Steak Sauce (and yes, this one is sold in bottles, I'm aware of that) and McDonald's Big Mac "Special" Sauce.

Taco Bell (pictured on left) was a full-on winner, the delicate flavors of cayenne and garlic beautiful and authentically woven throughout the tomato base but with a slightly stronger kick than the mild sauce typically sold in the packets. Arby's Arby-Q Sauce (smallest jar) was also thrillingly true to the original, with sweet and savory deliciously blended into that sauce I love so much on roast beef sandwiches.

However, the A-1 Steak Sauce (pictured in front) was a disappointment. The final recipe didn't look anything like the bottled original as you can plainly see and the process of simmering raisins then pureeing them into oblivion didn't produce the hoped-for results. Sigh. At least I can buy that one in the store. I'm still giving you the recipe because it wasn't too bad, it was just not like I'd expected. You be the judge.

Finally, the Big Mac "Special" Sauce was good though the recipe I found called for Miracle Whip salad dressing rather than real mayonnaise. After testing the sauce I concluded that real mayonnaise should have been used and is the only way to produce the authentic tang of the original.

And here they are:

Taco Bell Taco Sauce
1 14-ounce can of tomato sauce
2/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or white if you have it)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients in small saucepan and heat on medium heat until simmering. Continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes, remove from heat and cool.

Arby's Arby-Q Sauce
1 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons water
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon minced onion (or 1/4 teaspoon onion powder)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

Mix and heat, simmering for five minutes.

A-1 Steak Sauce
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup soy
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon orange peel
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons chili sauce

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and heat until a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat, cool slightly and puree.

Big Mac Special Sauce
1/2 cup real mayonaise
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons French dressing
2 tablespoons Worcesteshire sauce
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and let sit overnight for best results.

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Jackie@Lilolu said...

Awesome recipes! Thanks for sharing.

Ashley F. said...

They do sell Taco Bell mild sauce in stores! I found some at my local grocery store (Meijer). Here is the Amazon link:

Patricia L said...

How fun! My 6 year old loves the Big Mac special sauce-- glad to have the recipe.

Tammy said...

Now the Taco Bell sauce I think I will try!

Whenver we go through the Taco Bell drive-through we ask for "lots of sauce". However much they give us is at their discretion. (Once we got 6 items and they gave us 30 sauce packets! LOL) We keep the leftover sauce packets in a kitchen drawer and use it for burritos. Mmmmm, yummy! They do sell a Taco Bell taco sauce at the grocery store, but it is NOT the same as the packets.

Tammy said...

You missed one! Burger King's Zesty Onion Ring sauce! ;0)

Daisy said...

These look delicious! Our favorite steak sauce is Lea and Perrins' steak sauce. It's hard to get around here; we usually stock up when we visit my brother in Chicago.

mumple said...

Big Mac sauce? Seriously, it's Thousand Island salad dressing. Really.

Kristen M. said...

Fantastic. The taco bell & arby's sauces are my favorites of the four.

Anonymous said...

Not to be picky, but can you clarify about the hot sauce in the Arby's recipe? Is that tabasco, or some other kind of sauce?

I remember my Mom stirring up some Miracle Whip & ketchup to make Thousand Island when we ran out. Always seemed much better than the real stuff... :-)

Scribbit said...

I think my recipe called for Tabasco sauce but I used Cholula brand.