Tag Archives: pepper

The Juicy Lucy Burger

This Juicy Lucy Burger @CafeDelhiHeightsThis has got be a man’s doing. Naming a burger Juicy Lucy. I am yet to come across a menu where the woman chef has gotten back, full square. However, now I shall steer clear of any accusations of misogyny and focus on this burger that is a global favourite.

The Juicy Lucy or Jucy Lucy Burger is just another slightly pimped up version of the American cheeseburger. Any quick search will tell you that it came about in Minneapolis with a controversy on its true parent. With a history like that of a DC superhero and a name like that of a NSFW website, I would safely presume that the burger would blow my brains out with its taste.

I was in Cafe Delhi Heights in Mall of India with my wife and my radio guru. He recommended that I dig into the JLB. You don’t say ‘no’ to your teachers.

The positives first:

When the burger appeared on my table, I was instantly in love with its size. As big as my outstretched palm, with the sesame bun shining and well buttered on the inside. Sure I like my food well-endowed.

The burger sure was juicy. And this wasnt just the tomato squishing against the grating of the cutlery.

The patty was served at the exact temperature it should be consumed. Not too hot and dry, warm, moist and the melting cheese wasn’t as hot as lava.

The lamb was not gamey and smelled rather appetising.

The not-so-positives:

Have you seen its plating? The most insipid, boring and disinterested plating ever. Slapping on some lettuce on a plate will not earn you any star (presuming there is no hunger for the Bibendum star). And where is the dressing? How difficult is some balsamic or citric dressing?

The patty was under-seasoned. Stark would certainly not have approved of this one since one could not get a whiff of pepper for miles.

And the cheese. Well, if you are serving me a gigantic burger, please make the cheese serving ginormous. I should be able to taste the cheese in each bite. Maybe a pepperjack would have been a better idea since we were low on pepper to begin with.

Stop obsessing with mayonnaise! Never understood this new obsession of mayo in everything people want to eat. At this rate, there will be mayo in biryani too.

An excessive bed of red cabbage does nothing even though it is dunked in mayo. When one is crunching a mouthful of cabbage, it makes me feel like a wanton cow or having those roadside sandwiches that serve you cabbage in the name of a vegetable sandwich.

And the burger bread within was way too much than the burger. Serious munchers will get this concept of bread to meat ratio. I ate the burger without the top cap. I finished it later since I wanted a clean record of finishing up my entire Juicy Lucy Burger.

Wouldn’t want Lucy to feel offended, do we?
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#BurpAndBelch Meter: 2 burps and half a silent one

#5WordFoodReview: Sorry Lucy! Didn’t Work Out!

 

Carter’s – for English grub and King Tut

BurpAndBelch @ Carter's
BurpAndBelch @ Carter’s

When you have a mall in Dubai, in the shape of a pyramid, with walls adorned with hieroglyphs, Ramasses II greeting you at the gate along with Anubis, then little wonder that there will be a pub called Carter’s.

The Englishman who shot to unprecedented fame when he ‘stumbled’ upon the untouched tomb of boy-king Tutankhamen, was celebrated for opening up the preparatory after-life of the ancient Egyptians to the whole world. That was just the history appetiser. For those that want to know about more Howard Carter or King Tut, read up. If you want to know about the ‘meteoric’ iron used for King Tut’s dagger, read this: MeteoriteIronForKingTutsDagger

Carter’s is a lively, charming, colonial gastro pub (and sports bar), Carter’s features some English favourites and gourmet newness that one can enjoy without the starched formality.

The menu was rather square, something I would have personally designed if I was running the show here (with a few tweaks here and there). Luckily the staff was friendly enough for you to come back a second time. Well, I have seen this for the last 10 years, so this felt like old times.

When in an English pub, eat Stilton. This beautiful salad could be my best friend for a long, long time. Oven roasted beetroots, with a drizzle of Stilton blue cheese, baby gem lettuce and macadamia nuts for crunch was simply delish. It was too dark for me to behave like typical food bloggers and whip out my phone camera and shoot the food a zillion times before eating it! So, I just ate it in peace!

Right after this got over, the live rock music took over. That meant, the abrupt end of conversation as the drummer was within earshot and a careless flick of the Stilton could have soiled the guitarist’s shiny black leather waistcoat. I stuck to my crispy calamari for comfort.

Peppered steak - demonstrative picture
Peppered steak – demonstrative picture

For mains, I ordered the peppered filet with hash and buttered spinach. Do not miss the peppercorn sauce. Eating this sauce is like listening to your favourite tune on the radio. My dinner mate settled for Carter’s Cod and Chips. Now the thing about fish and chips is that there is nothing new that can be done to a classic. It’s like a vintage car. You can just rub the chrome 4 times extra for value add. There was mushy peas and tartar sauce. Home run. Although I am a little blah to the bland batter the fish gets coated in. So, instead of helping my friend out when he couldn’t finish it, I chose to relish on the perfectly done, medium well, steak with handsome grill marks et al. What the dish lacked was the crunch of steamed veggies which the wilted spinach could not perform.

We washed the food down with our beer. While on that, make sure to ask for the Summer Sale where you get pints and selected grapes for very cheap. Will certainly come in handy for the rock night.

All in all, Cater’s is a great place to unwind with family and friends. Use the terrace when the weather isn’t that muggy. Or else just sit indoors and crane your neck to see the inquisitive Carter bent over the sarcophagus of Tutankhamen. Should do the trick!

#BurpAndBelch meter: 3.5 out of 5 burps

#5WordRestaurantReview: Not What King Tut Ate!

Carter's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Can’t Go Wrong With PIZZA!

I confess liking pizza to a fault. I do not agree with the size markings of a restaurant, as my skills have helped me demolish large pizzas without any discomfort or seeking out digestive aids.

So, when the zucchinis in my fridge cried out that I had forgotten them, I decided to put them on a pizza. This is the first time I made pizza at home.

First Hand Experiment: Pizza
First Hand Experiment: Pizza

Careful not to dent my confidence, I picked up some pizza base and ladled out a spicy tomato mix. Home-made sauces work better, I feel, as one can spice them up the way you want. I added in some grated mozarella before loading up the veggies.

The zucchinis were happily laid out after a light dry grill on the skillet. A few slices of sweet potato, lightly grilled filled in empty spaces. A yellow bell pepper genially sat in on the base with them. I introduced some fresh brown mushrooms to them all. As one can see in the picture, there is a pile of veggies. Cracked on some black pepper and oregano. And then, I popped the three pizzas in the oven for about 15-17 minutes. I continually check on the food and estimate their readiness relying only on my eyes.

What came out was a crisp, biscuit-y pizza base with soft,  fragrant veggies. Threw on some chopped olives and parmesan cheese dust. I think I will have to introduce some red peppers and basil to make it more pleasing to the eye, to satisfy the photographer in me. But the pizzas certainly did the trick in making for a happy dinner. In case anybody is wondering, the wife had one and I gobbled the other two!

Before I sign off, here’s something to chew on:

“You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.”
Yogi Berra

It’s The SAUCE That Matters

Be it a story or food – it is the sauce that matters!

And finally, I found the courage and confidence to make mushroom pasta. I haven’t the courage to make pasta from dough-scratch but the sauce, I got! And the brilliant thing is that one needs just 4 ingredients to have this creamy, shining and delicious sauce.

So, here we go:

Button / white mushrooms        300 grams (usually boxed in supermarkets – can also use other varieties)

Onions (red)                             2 medium-sized

Rosemary                                   2 sprigs

Garlic                                            2 cloves

Cooking Cream                      150 ml

Salt and Pepper                      as you like ’em!

Prepping up for Mushroom Sauce!
Prepping up for Mushroom Sauce!

Sharpen up your knife and chop those red onions up finely. In case you are likely to cry a bucket, burn a candle before you start chopping. You will see the magic when you realise you are not welling up.

Slice up the mushrooms. Keep aside. For the rosemary, hold ’em from the top and pull down the leaves with your thumb and fore-finger like a smooth swipe. You get only the leaves. Chuck the stem. Finely chop them up.

Now, get your saucepan (the keyword is SAUCE) nice and hot with a drizzle of olive oil. Add in the onions and cook them till they are soft and pink. Add in the garlic then. This way, the garlic will not burn and the onions will not be undercooked.

When you see them sweating it out in the sauce pan, add in the rosemary, give it a good stir and stop a while to enjoy the aroma! Once you are suitably intoxicated, slide in the chopped mushrooms. Cook them through. The mushrooms will half-out in the heat and by then you would have coated them well. Time for the seasoning. That done, dunk in your cooking cream and mix well. In case you notice that the concoction is too thick, use some cooking stock or simply use the pasta-boiling-water to loosen it a bit.

It is now time for the pasta to take a dive into the delicious sauce. Drain them and put them straight in with the sauce. Mix well and ladle them on pasta plates. Top off with parmesan shavings!

Enjoy! And remember – the magic is in the sauce!

On my #Burp&Belch meter, I give it a shameless 5 burps (out of 5)! Modesty clearly doesn’t mix well with a good sauce!

Grilled Za’atar Chicken on Sweet Spud Mash

So, before I forget the password to my food blog, I decide to post the last 2 memorable meals that I rustled up. This one is “Zaatar Grilled Chicken on a bed of Sweet Potato Mash”.

Ever since I have started grilling, I realise that the meats remain the constant. The variable (read accompaniments) need to be varied timely to keep any recipe alive. This is just my rusted a-mathematical brain trying to postulate a theorem. If you want to skip this bit (and not know me) then scroll down to the recipe directly.

Grilled Zaatar Chicken on Sweet Spuds
Grilled Zaatar Chicken on Sweet Spuds

For the grilled chicken:

1 breast of chicken

2 teaspoons of za’atar

Salt to taste

Pepper to your liking

Olive oil to cover both sides of the chicken

 

For the mashed potatoes:

2 medium-sized sweet potato

1 small regular potato

100 ml of single cream

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 knob of butter

Salt and pepper

Peel the potatoes and set them to boil. I usually cut them up into quarters to ensure even and quicker cooking. While the spuds are bubbling away, prepare the chicken.

Zaatar robed chicken breast
Za’atar robed chicken breast

Beat it lightly with a mallet to get it to even thickness. Then apply salt and pepper to both sides. Then add about 1 to 2 teaspoons of fresh za’atar to one side. Add a small drizzle of olive oil and let the chicken rest.

Check on the potatoes. They should almost be done. Run a knife to see if they are softening up. Once they do, drain the water, transfer the spuds to a bowl and start mashing them up. Throw in a knob of butter and a hint of oregano. Mash them further. Use all the force you think you have when you watch The Dark Knight wrestling Bane. Add in the cream and mix it all together. Add salt and pepper. And now for the dreaded part of checking on your cooking prowess – taste a bit of the mash. Good? Great! Leave it for the time being.

Get your skillet out and have it nice and hot and carefully place in your chicken. Grill both sides. You’d notice that the za’atar side darkens up. Do not fume. It is only crusting up and becoming more flavourful.

Crunchy Grilled Zaatar Chicken
Crunchy Grilled Za’atar Chicken

Once done, rest the chicken. Slice them up and serve on a generous bed of creamy mashed sweet spuds.

What I loved most is how the za’atar revealed all its flavours while on the grill. You will love the prominent sesame crunch to the grilled chicken.

Enjoy!

On my #Burp&Belch meter, I’d give it 3 and 1/2 burps (out of 5)!