Today’s Chef Feature comes from Rangoli’s Executive Chef and Owner, Kumar Iyer. I recently visited this hidden gem in South Riding and had the best Indian meal I’ve ever eaten. The Bombay Burger is straight from the streets of Bombay – it’s a delicious potato/garlic/cilantro patty lightly fried with a gentle crunchy crust served on a slightly sweet, but super light roll. And don’t miss the Gulab Jamun – the hot/cold Indian classic of warm milk-based dough balls in a honey syrup with ice cream – it’s unbelievable!
What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
Favorite tool would be the knife, as we use them the most, our restaurant is not very advanced to use modern gadgets. But I’ll say the ‘Wet Grinder’. Wet grinder because it’s unique to Indian kitchens; we use them to grind pre-soaked rice and lentils to make crepes (dosa) and steamed savory cakes (Idly).
What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Small plates and foam dishes.
If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
Deli sandwich/subs, soups and frozen yogurt.
What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
Fruits like watermelon, mango and strawberries when in season. I like ‘restaurant depot’ a lot more for prices than the product; the reality is – staying in business is as important as dishing quality food.
What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
Service level expectations, especially Asian customers. I’ve had a guest tell me just yesterday, I didn’t spend as much time on his table as I spent with few others.
What do you drink/eat after work?
A chilled beer and home cooked food.
What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
Dal Tadka and Roti.
5. – The Chicago Tribune Sliders Slip Easily into Party Mode“And fuss-free. In 45 minutes, Irr made two variations: tuna and black bean. Pan-fried, the sliders were served on mini-dinner rolls she found at the supermarket deli.”
4. – The Boston Globe Take Your Pick “A few varieties are particularly popular for baking and especially plentiful in October. Many area orchards have already started storing apples so local fruit will be available for Thanksgiving’s pie baking time.”
3. – The LA Times Stop and Smell the Ragu “And there are few dishes that are more pleasurable to make than ragù. Make no mistake: As wonderful as ragù is to eat, it’s just as much fun to fix.”
2. – The NY Times Matches Surge As Restaurant Giveaways “The objects of her specific adoration are blue-and-silver boxes, shaped like a lipstick (also known in the trade as an ascot), each of which contains 22 blue-tipped wooden strikes. Bearing Flora’s Art Deco logo, the matchboxes are the finishing touch on an ambience calculated to dislocate the present tense.”
1. – The Washington Post Eggs that Deserve Coddling “Most chefs I know refer to brunch disdainfully as the b-word. Aside from the fact that they generally are not morning people, their aversion comes down to this: Eggs can mean trouble.”
photo from The LA Times
My husband and I spent last weekend eating our way around Vegas while visiting friends and I have so much to share! A good vacation always takes off with a plethora of plane reading (aka restaurant research) and touches down with friends who live in the city as a guide – both of which were A+ for this trip.
It all started Friday afternoon with lunch at the much written about Burger Bar in Mandalay Bay. We ordered the Veggie Burger (I know, but I had to try it!), Kobe Beef Burger and the Black Jack Burger. The tastiest bite was a toss up between their skinny fries and the zucchini fries. Even my non-veggie eating husband thought the zucchini fries were incredible.
Friday dinner was at Brand Steakhouse in the Monte Carlo. We had too much to eat to list it all, but let me just tell you – it included every bit of edible indulgence you can imagine. Favorite bite was the lobster mashed potatoes. Favorite drink, their classic martini (seen below).
Saturday breakfast was at Bouchon Bakery in The Venetian. Have I told you how much I love really good doughnuts? (Want to make your own? Here’s my how to.)
Based on 101 Cookbooks‘ Ultimate Veggie Burger Recipe, my version of a garbanzo bean burger sandwich is the perfect lunch when in need of a light and nourishing lunch. I’ve made a couple of different versions and the recipe below always seems to be the best!
The Meatless/Bunless Healthy Burger!
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp minced garlic
3 tbsp basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
Zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
1/2 cup bread crumbs (preferably fresh)
1 tbsp olive oil for “frying”
For the toppings:
1 very ripe tomato, sliced
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sprouts
Combine the garbanzo beans, eggs, garlic and salt in a food processor. Blend just a few seconds. You want the garbanzo beans to still be quite chunky. Pour into a medium-sized mixing bowl and add red onion, basil leaves, lemon zest and alfalfa sprouts. Use your hands to combine. Add bread crumbs and let mixture sit for about 5-10 minutes (the bread crumbs will sop up a bit of the moisture).
Form the mixture into 4 patties (about 1.5″ thick). Heat a non-stick griddle or frying pan and olive oil over medium heat. Place patties on griddle and cover. Cook for about 6-8 minutes on each side or until perfectly crisp.
Slice in half to create the “bun” then fill with sliced tomatoes, ricotta and sprouts.
Filed under Food, Recipes