Since its release in 1986, I probably have watched the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off over a thousand times. At least I lost count after a thousand and that was some time in the ’90s. I pretty much watch it alone because I’m *that* guy who talks word-for-word through the entire movie, quoting every line, adding every sound effect, pantomiming every action.
Upon a recent viewing, I was thinking that there’s a lot of food and drink references either directly or indirectly throughout the film. I decided that they would incorporate nicely into a tasty burger!
Firstly, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was one of the first movies to have pervasive product placement throughout. The predominant brand was Pepsi. One of the more prominent scenes was where a deluded, but well-meaning teen was collecting money for an ill Ferris to fund a kidney transplant.
It was nice of the teen to think of Ferris, even though the illness became massively exaggerated. It got me thinking, Pepsi and kidney…Since most people’s appetite for kidneys are rather low on a burger, I decided on a refried kidney bean spread flavoured with elements that make up the popular cola.
Instead of using the cola itself, I looked around for a recipe for the cola. Finding that the natural flavours in the cola are a collection of spices and citrus, I thought that these would be a great flavour base.
Next, Ferris’s sidekick, Cameron Frye, says a food name right in his surname! And during the baseball game they attended, Frye was heckling the batter and I thought “Batter, batter, batter.” Make a fry out of a batter.
Ben Stein’s monotonous teacher character gave further credence to the name of the fry treat “Frye, Frye, Frye”….so the Hey Batter Batter Frye Frye Fries were born
To drizzle over the fries, a sauce was needed. The movie was based in Chicago, but Cameron wore a Detroit Red Wings jersey throughout much of the film. A spicy, yet underlying sweet sauce with roasted red chillis and honey caramelized onions became the base for Red Wing Sauce.
Finally the burger itself needs to be made from sausage meat to match Abe Froman, The Sausage King of Chicago! The poor gentleman whose lunch reservation was absconded by the truant teens out for a day of adventure and “eating pancreas.”
Enjoy this silly little culinary sojourn! Be sure to pair this burger with a big glass of ice water, happily crunching the ice with delight! And finish with a….
Ferris Burger’s Day Off:
For the Hey Batter Batter Frye…Fry…Fries:
1 cup einkorn flour (or whole wheat all purpose flour)
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
For the Red Wing Sauce:
4-6 red finger chillis
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp cold pressed camelina oil
3/4 cup onions, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup vinegar
1 Tbsp cold pressed canola oil
For the Cola-Spiced Kidney Bean Refritos:
2 tsp cold pressed camelina oil
3/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 tsp, each, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander seeds and dried mint.
Lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
1 cup cooked kidney beans
Lime juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 cup maple syrup
Abe Froman Sausage King of Chicago Patty:
4 tsp cold pressed camelina oil
600g/21 oz Italian sausage meat
1 whole wheat baguette, cut into 15cm/6″ lengths
To prepare the fries, whisk together the flour and egg with a fork in a medium bowl until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Gradually whisk in the milk until a smooth batter is formed. Allow the batter to rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to thicken slightly.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Ladle 1/4 cup of batter on a small cutting board. Using a knife, cut strips of the batter and push it into the gently boiling water. Once the “batter fries” float, remove them with a slotted spoon to a baking sheet to dry. Repeat with all of the batter.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot and smouldering but not smoking, add the batter fries in a single layer. Allow them to toast in the pan for 1-2 minutes per side or until deeply golden. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels, seasoning with celery seeds (a common topping for the famous Chicago Dog 😉 ). Set aside and keep warm.
For the Red Wing Sauce, place the red finger chillis in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in the oven while it is set to Broil. Broil for 3-4 minutes per side until the skin is charred and bubbled from the flesh. Transfer the broiled chillis to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
In a small pot over medium high heat, add 1 tsp oil, the onions and salt. Stir and sauté for 7-10 minutes until it’s starting to go darker in colour. Add a tablespoon or two of water to scrape the bottom of the pot of any onions that stick. After another 7-10 minutes add the honey and sauté for a few minutes more to full cover the onions and make them a softened, deep caramel colour. Transfer these honey caramelized onions to a blender with the ginger, vinegar and 1 Tbsp oil.
Peel the cooled chillis and remove the stem and most of the seeds. Transfer the roasted flesh with the other ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
For the Cola-Spiced Kidney Bean Refritos, add the oil and onions to a medium pot over medium high heat. Stir and sauté the onions for 3-4 minutes to soften them. Add the spices and lemon zest, stirring to coat the onions and make the spices more fragrant with a brief toasting. Add half of the kidney beans and maple syrup. Simmer the mixture for a further 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to harmonize the flavours. Transfer this mixture to a blender and purée until almost smooth. Return to the pot with the remaining beans and 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer, stirring constantly for a further 3-4 minutes. Take off the heat, add the lime juice, stir to bring the mixture together and set aside, keeping it warm.
For the burger, divide the sausage meat into four equal portions. Form each portion into an oblong patty to fit your baguette portions. Preheat a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add a couple of teaspoons of oil and griddle the sausage patties for 3-4 minutes per side until deeply golden on each side and cooked through.
To serve, spread 1/3 cup of Cola-Spiced Kidney Bean Refritos on the bottom of each split baguette portion. Top the refritos with a griddled sausage burger. Scatter a few batter fries on the burger and drizzle with Red Wing Sauce, spreading more of the sauce on the cut side of the top of the baguette portions. Serves 4 burgers befitting the Sausage King of Chicago himself!!