READ­ING NOOK

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE -

Shake Shack, the pop­u­lar, fast- grow­ing burger chain, has just re­leased a cook­book, and, yes, it in­cludes di­rec­tions for pre­par­ing its sig­na­ture burger.

Well, sort of.

In Shake Shack: Recipes & Sto­ries (Clark­son Pot­ter, $26), au­thors Randy Garutti and Mark Rosati (the com­pany’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and culi­nary di­rec­tor, re­spec­tively), in col­lab­o­ra­tion with James Beard award-win­ning ed­i­tor Dorothy Kalins, of­fer a rea­son­able home-cook fac­sim­ile of the fa­mous Shack­Burger, along with nearly 70 recipes that ap­prox­i­mate Shake Shack clas­sics, in­clud­ing crin­kle fries, corn dogs, the Chick’n Shack sand­wich and frozen cus­tard shakes.

The “sto­ries” side of the book tells tales of Shake Shack his­tory, pro­files key col­lab­o­ra­tors and sup­pli­ers, dis­cusses method­olo­gies, pro­vides recipe-re­lated com­men­tary and il­lu­mi­nates the com­pany’s key- to- suc­cess busi­ness prac­tices. Any­one

with an in­ter­est in all-Amer­i­can fare will find it help­ful and read­able.

When it comes to pre­par­ing the burger, here are a few notes: Shake Shack prefers potato rolls from Martin’s Fa­mous Pas­try Shoppe in Cham­bers­burg, Pa. Un­for­tu­nately, the mega- bak­ery

doesn’t sup­ply su­per­mar­kets na­tion­wide with its milk- and potato-en­riched buns. How­ever, any potato-based roll will work.

The Shake Shack’s ex­act beef for­mula — cre­ated by butcher Pat LaFrieda — isn’t re­vealed, but the book does say the for­mula fol­lows a mix of brisket, chuck and short rib (the per­cent­ages aren’t men­tioned). The beef is fresh, not frozen, and it’s all-nat­u­ral An-

gus, raised with­out hor­mones or an­tibi­otics.

For home cooks with a meat grinder (or a friendly butcher), here’s the rec­om­men­da­tion: Cut the meat into small pieces, and chill the beef; do not bring it to room tem­per­a­ture. On the first grind, use the coarse plate, and on the sec­ond grind, use a finer plate.

ShakeShack prefers Roma toma­toes be­cause “they are firm enough to hold their shape and color and add a sweet note to bal­ance the salty crust of the burger,” the au­thors say.

And why Amer­i­can cheese? “It is quite sim­ply the creami­est, meltingest cheese there is, bring­ing its spe­cial tang to a cheese­burger,” they say. “Buy it sliced; it’s eas­ier to drape on a hot burger.” — Rick Nel­son (Star Tri­bune/ TNS)-

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