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Big Mac As Haute Cuisine

Monday, 13 Jul 2009 | 1:37 PM ET

Never have so many Americans been forced to confront champagne tastes with a beer budget. Now, like manna from virtual Heaven, there's a website to help you create gourmet meals (or gourmet-looking meals) from ingredients off the $1 menu. Fancy Fast Foodtransforms fast food into impressive feasts under the banner "Yeah, it's still bad for you, but see how good it can look!"

Recipes include : Spicy Sushi Chicken, made from Popeyes.

Popeye's Sushi
Popeye's Sushi

Learn to turn a spicy fried chicken dinner with biscuit and coleslaw, a chicken wrap, a large order of red beans and rice, and packets of hot sauce into a meal which LOOKS like a million bucks.

And you know it tastes good because, well, it's Popeyes!

The website also has recipes to make fancy tapas out of White Castle snack meals, a fabulous corn chowder from KFC, and my favorite for most creative, Dao Mi Noh Chow Mein made from one large Domino's American Legends Pacific Veggie Pizza.

Here's one of the more challenging recipes: the Tacobellini, using Yum Brands Taco Bell:

Taco Bell Bellini
Taco Bell Bellini

Ingredients:

2 Taco Bell Burrito Supremes (beef)

1 beef soft taco

1 large Sierra Mist

packets of mild, hot or Fire sauce (to your liking)

parsley (for garnish)

Directions:

"Carefully unwrap the Burrito Supremes and soft taco, and extract their stuffings in a bowl. Carefully rinse off each of the tortillas, and then briefly steam them in a steamer to soften and moisten them. Then lay each tortilla on a cutting board and cut circles in it using a small circular cookie cutter, or simply an empty tin can measuring around 2 1/2" in diameter. Take the filling and put a small amount in each small tortilla circle, then fold it in half and pinch it into a tortellini shape. The moisture should keep it sticky enough to stay put. Pile the tortellinis on a plate. Next, cut open and pour the contents of the sauce packets in a measuring cup, then generously drizzle the sauce over the tortellini. Garnish with parsley and serve with Sierra Mist in a wine glass."

One recipe that looks so easy even I could make it is "McSteak & Potatoes", using, yes, a McDonald's Big Mac Extra Value Meal with large fries and Coke.

My only concern is that I'll mess up the "extraction" of sesame seeds, and I'm not sure pureed French fries and buns will go down well.

But here are the directions:

McSteak
Source: fancyfastfood.com
McSteak

"First deconstruct the Big Mac into its parts...Dice the cheese, cube the middle and bottom buns, and extract the sesame seeds from the top bun. Take the French fries and some pieces of bun and purée them in a food processor with water (melted ice), then top it off with the diced cheese. Rinse the onions and lettuce in a colander and garnish it with "croutons" made from cubed bun pieces. Slice the beef patties, and then garnished it with sesame seeds and top it off with slices of pickles. Serve on a white rounded square plate with a dollop of Thousand Island dressing (the special sauce); serve the Coca-Cola in a wine glass."

Think of the possibilities! How about quiche made from Hot Dog on a Stick (with Cheese on a Stick)? Apple Tart using McDonalds Apple Pie mixed with a Hot Caramel Sundae? Where's the Food TV show on THAT? I propose the Iron Chefs become the Cheap Chefs and teach me something useful.

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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