I’ve been mentally battling with one question the last few weeks: Is Guy Fieri a moron or a freakin’ genius?
I started thinking about this when I read the recent Pete Wells review of his new New York Times restaurant which was, to put it lightly, an atom bomb of a review.
What amazed me wasn’t the review, but Guy’s response to it. I watched it on the Today show and he turned off the neon hair dye Raditude for a few minutes and you got a glimpse into the real Guy who I’m now fully convinced is different than the character Guy.
He was completely level-headed, well-spoken, and basically shut down almost every part of the bad review.
Example number two that he might be a genius: He takes a normal sauce that is delicious and gives it a silly name like DONKEY SAUCE. While on the surface this may seem stupid, it’s actually genius.
All of the sudden everybody in the food world is like: Whoa. What the hell is donkey sauce? Sounds gross. But… I want to try it.
So people order it, talk about it, and Guy Fieri’s stock goes UP UP UP.
1) Cut the top off of two heads of garlic, revealing the cloves. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Wrap loosely in foil.
2) Bake garlic at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes until cloves are very tender.
3) Let cool and then squeeze or scoop garlic flesh out of cloves. Mash it lightly in a bowl.
4) Stir garlic into mayo (homemade is best) and add other flavors.
Serve on a burger or with fries.
Adapted from a Guy Fieri recipe.
If you ordered a burger with “Donkey sauce” from one of Guy’s many restaurants, it might be hard to tell what exactly it is through all the other sauces and cheeses. At its essence though, the sauce is almost like a garlic aioli. He starts with a mayonnaise base and then adds in way more roasted garlic than you would think to add along with a few other simple ingredients.
It is definitely a one way ticket to flavor town.
If you’ve never roasted garlic before, it’s not hard. Just cut off the tips of the bulbs and drizzle the open cloves with olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt. Then wrap up the bulbs in foil.
Roast these suckers at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes and then let them cool.
Once the garlic is cool you should be able to use your fingers to pop out the cloves. Then just mash up all that delicious garlic flavor.
Keep in mind that as the garlic roasts it loses almost all of its astringent flavor. It turns into this almost sweet, buttery thing that’s completely delicious. While you would never eat a whole raw garlic clove, it is no problem at all popping a roasted one directly in your mouth.
This is a mayo-based sauce which makes it great for burgers. While you can definitely use store-bought mayo, I think it’s best if you take the time to make your own. It really only takes a few minutes and you have to wait for your garlic to roast anyway.
Check out my tutorial on homemade mayo for step-by-step photos on how to make it. Yes, it includes a raw egg. Yes, it is worth it.
Once your mayo is done, just stir in your mashed garlic along with a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and a big pinch of salt and pepper.
I took the sauce a step further and gave it a hit of chile sauce also.
I call it bloody donkey sauce.
Whatever you call it, this stuff is addictive and wonderful on whatever you can dream up to put it on.
For my taste test I grilled up some nice thick burgers and slathered the buns with the sauce.
I’ve never eaten at a Guy Fieri restaurant, but the homemade version of this sauce is one of the better burger condiments I’ve had.
The next time you see Guy “rollin’ out” in his convertible just know that under that spiked and lacquered hair is a business man who knows how to get people talking about his food. That trick seems to be giving simple, but good, food stupid crazy names.
Point taken Guy. Point taken.
Be sure to check back tomorrow on Macheesmo for my Bangin’ Wicked Cross-eyed Cauliflower with my secret Dirty Goose Seasoning mix.