Aucklanders are enviously watching the rest of the country dive into takeaways and proper cafe-made coffee while gloomily staring down the barrel of a couple more weeks cooking for ourselves during COVID-19 alert level 4.
So if social media has you craving a McDonald's burger and you just can't wait, one clever Kiwi has created her own version for you to try at home this weekend - it's actually ridiculously simple and packed with a lot more veggies than the fast-food outlet version.
Alex Haslop, known online as Alex's Kitchen Story, is based in London but has garnered a cult following of New Zealanders for her simple recipes, perfect if your kitchen creativity is beginning to wane at this point of lockdown.
Recipes like her Butter Chicken Pie and Spicy Steak Tacos look superb, but it's her take on a classic Big Mac - or in this case, a 'Big M-AKS' - that caught our eye.
This recipe serves two but you can easily double or triple it to feed your bubble and it's a great one to satisfy the flat this weekend.
Haslop noted in her caption she put beetroot in the mince which keeps it super moist, and capsicum in the burger sauce "which adds such a nice flavour".
"These are really quick and surprisingly easy, a great alternative to takeaways with the extra veg," she wrote. "Happy cooking everyone."
- 500g beef mince
- 1 beetroot
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp panko crumbs
- 2 sesame buns
- 2 tbsp American mustard
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp mayo
- 2 baby pickles
- 1 red capsicum
- 1/4 lettuce
- 1/4 brown onion
- 6 cucumber slices
- 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
- 4 slices pre-sliced cheese
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
- Place capsicum on a tray and place in the oven for 30 mins.
- While you're waiting, grate the beetroot and add to a bowl with the mince, egg and panko crumbs. Mix with your hands until well combined, then divide into 4 parts. Roll into balls and set aside.
- Dice the onion and slice the lettuce, set aside.
- Remove the capsicum from the oven, leave the oven on for the buns later, take out the stem and seeds and add to a blender with the Mayo, ketchup and mustard. Dice the pickles and add them in too, blitz until smooth then set aside.
- Turn a non-stick pan onto hot, place the meatballs in then using a jar or mug, flatten down until quite thin. Cook for about a minute or until browned, then flip and do the other side. Remove from the pan once cooked.
- While they're cooking, (or you can do it after if you're worried about time), slice the bun into 3 parts and place two slices of cheese on the base, place all parts in the oven to warm until the cheese melts. Will only take a couple of minutes. Remove the bun and begin the build.
- Spread sauce on top of the cheese, followed by lettuce, one of the burger patties, onion, then the middle burger bun, more sauce, the second burger patty, more lettuce, more onion, pickled cucumber slices, then finally add more sauce to the top of the bun and add it on top.