I love burgers. And cheese stuffed burgers were the signature dish at my second restaurant. We would make them with different meats and veggies always experimenting with the flavours and textures. Soon stuffed burgers were the only way these patties could be made! I wasn’t surprised when my parents requested for them for a celebratory meal to mark their 51st anniversary. Though the family had chicken burgers, my sis is following Lent and was a vegetarian! And she wanted mini veggie burgers!
This sandwich is inspired completed by Facebook and I wouldn’t be wrong if I said this, but even John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich would want to be born again to eat this one! If you remember since September last year, videos have started to come alive on our Facebook newsfeeds. Some of us hated it, others watched it without sound, and some actually lapped up every byte that flowed onto their screens. I was somewhere in between. I initially hated it, then started watching it and saving some too and last night used one of the videos my husband was watching for the first time ever to conceive something similar. And am I pleased!
Warning: This sandwich cannot be eaten without getting crumbs and sauces all over your face and beard if you sport one! And it’s definitely not for a sit-down dinner. It’s one of those messy meals that ends up with a tummy that’s ready to burst at the seams. But you will love it. This is also the longest post I’ve ever written.
There’s nothing like eating slow cooked food, especially if its meat and has been marinated over at least 24 hours. The flavours get nice and warm and the mutton simply melts away of falls of the bone like it should. This one is a speciality from my mom’s house. Some of her recipes are very “English” and I must say, this is one of them.
My love for cheese and potatoes at times takes over my life. And this recipe is just the perfect amalgamation of that love. It renders the potatoes crispy on the outside yet moist on the inside and the cheesy cover on top is nothing but sin…
Whilst surfing for things to do with my water buffalo meat–yeah beef is banned in my part of India–I came across gorgeous looking dish. I didn’t bother to read the recipe or to figure out how complex it would be, or how many hours of back-breaking labour it would involve before I’d set me mind and heart and stomach on it. The plans for a Sunday dinner were fixed, at least in my mind.
A steak definitely calls for sides of mashed potato, so the pots went into the oven, unsalted butter was called for and the stage was set. Wait…my favourite butcher had no meat That was surely not going to dampen my spirits..my entire weekend depends on the food I cook! A quick trip to Godrej’s Natures Basket and I managed to lay my hands on Prasuna’s steaks. That would have to do.
EGGS! As children my sis and me were travelling by train, going back home after a weary day of shopping with my parents. Mom asked us the quintessential questions. “What do you want for dinner.” While I rolled my eyes into space with a “not again” look on my face by three-year-old sis, who had just started to spell said “E-G”. “E-G,” asked mom, what is that? The conversation went back and forth a couple of times, before my little sis lost it and started to cry. It was a long day, she had bought herself a couple of awesome toys and was on top of the world, and how could her mom not know spellings, must have been the thought running through her mind. She poked me in the ribs, pulled me down and said, “Ma doesn’t know spellings. I want eggs. Will you make me some.” I smiled and hugged her. It was our secret, Ma doesn’t know spellings. Not once did I try to correct her to break her heart. Ever since EG has always been our joke after a weary day! Sure enough the protein loaded eggs, is the way to go after a weary day.
“Wow, that sounds cool. What’s that, something exotic you learnt from one of the chefs you follow.”
“Umm…not really, but if you promise to eat it, I’ll tell you what goes into it.”
“Put that way…I think skip the introductions. But don’t cook too much, I may not take a second helping. Also I have a late evening meeting, so I might just eat something there, make a real small portion of that Gol-whetver you’re making.”
And so ended the conversation between my husband and me on that eventful Monday evening. I say eventful because not just did we enjoy the delicious bake, but a couple of friends dropped by too and went home with a stomach full and a recipe! To add to that we had a 30 minute conversation on additions, substructions, permutations and combinations that cam be used to enhance the flavours. No meal at home is uneventful.:)
I’ve often had to entertain large groups of friends and family who don’t want me spending time in the kitchen when they are around. And yet they expect, yes I do spoil the ones I love, a three or four course meal.
The first time I was asked to stay out of the kitchen, I freaked! My meats and accompaniments were not done, the dessert was in the oven, the drinks were flowing but the starters were still being assembled. Disaster. There I was scooping out pies and spooning out fillings into little tartlets even as I guzzled my own ice filled glass of the poison of the day! Though the evening, or rather early morning, ended up with everyone being fabulously drunk on food and spirits, I ticked myself off mentally. No more last-minute cooking for this group of friends.
This is one of my favourite sauces. Add it to a grilled chicken salad, fry onions in it for a sandwich or top it on chips or stuffed tacos…it lends flavour to any entrée.
If you are looking to jazz up this sauce a wee bit more, feel free to add some whisky or rum to it, giving yourself enough time to burn the alcohol off during the cooking process.
If you use dark brown sugar, you will get a darker shade of sauce.
If you use whole grain mustard, the sauce will be denser, but you can use English Mustard too. The best way to make a sauce is to keep tasting it, and making your notes as you add ingredients. Once you find the right proportions to tickle your taste buds, your recipe and variations with help you achieve the same product, time after time.
Burgers have to be sloppy. There’s no other way to devour this gigantic piece of absolute delight. But that’s not where the expectations end! Every teeny-weeny morsel has to burst with a unique marriage of flavours that comes from its spicy, sour, tangy, meaty, creamy and fresh ingredients.
When I started creating these burgers, I knew little about flavours and textures and it was all about slamming a seasoned meat patty between 2 slices of a toasted bun. With French fries, tomato ketchup and mustard for an accompaniment, the meal was basic but filling and left me satiated.
However over time, I started to experiment with flavours and textures. Minced pork was added to minced beef, minced beef was mixed with minced chicken, pork and chicken were minced together with garlic and believe me each one of these different combinations, ticked different taste boxes.