Roosevelt Avenue Coconut Red Curry-Glazed Burgers with Crispy Watercress-Green Apple Salad, Peppery Bacon and Creamy Cashew-Mint Aioli
Having a reason to go to Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, New York is always a very dangerous proposition.Even if I am simply going for a community meeting, a wedding or to pick-up some alfajores or bacalao, I always end up eating at least two meals before rolling back home to Brooklyn. When a single road food-wise takes you from Nepal to Uruguay to Thailand over the course of a few blocks, what’s a girl to do? This is my tribute to some of my tried and true Roosevelt Avenue favorites, between two buns. Thanks!
Creamy Cashew-Mint Aioli
1 cup good-quality store-bought or homemade mayonnaise
1/4 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/3 cup coarsely-chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
3/4 cup finely chopped salted and roasted cashews
12 slices thick-cut pepper-coated bacon
Coconut Red Curry Glaze
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup good-quality store-bought or homemade beef stock
1/4 cup low-sodium fish sauce (nam pla)
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
Crispy Watercress-Green Apple Salad
3 1/4 cups Colavita All-Natural Canola Oil, divided
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger
1 medium green apple, peeled, cored and cut into matchsticks
1 trimmed and finely sliced scallion
1 cup tempura flour (available in Asian grocery stores and aisles)
1 cup chilled soda water
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground white pepper
3 cups washed and dried watercress leaves
1/2 cup crushed crispy rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)
2 pounds freshly ground chuck
1 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons freshly-ground black pepper
6 round French bread rolls, split
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the aioli, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, mint, cilantro and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, stir in the cashews, cover and chill to let the flavors blend.
When the grill has come to medium-high temperature, place a large, heavy-bottomed grill-proof skillet onto your grill rack. When heated, add the bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer the crisped bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside until ready to assemble the burgers. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of the bacon grease and return the skillet to your grill rack.
To make the coconut red curry glaze, add to the skillet the coconut milk, beef stock, fish sauce, lime juice, Thai red curry paste and dark brown sugar. Stir the mixture and bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture has emulsified and slightly thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the grill rack, cover and set aside.
To make the crispy watercress-green apple salad, pour 3 cups Colavita All Natural Canola Oil into a medium, grill-safe heavy-bottomed saucepan, reserving the remaining oil for later use in the recipe. Heat the oil until it is shimmering, about 10 to 12 minutes. While the oil is heating, in a large non-reactive bowl whisk together the rice wine vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce and grated ginger. Add the green apple matchsticks and sliced scallion to the dressing and set aside. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the tempura flour, soda water, Kosher salt and white pepper until no lumps exist. Working in batches, dip the watercress into the tempura batter and fry until golden brown and the watercress is crunchy, about 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer the crispy watercress to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining watercress. Sprinkle the top of the crispy watercress with the crushed rice cereal and set aside until ready to assemble the burgers.
In a large bowl, gently combine the ground chuck, toasted sesame oil and black pepper together until incorporated and form into 6 equally-sized patties. Generously brush your grill rack with the reserved Colavita All Natural Canola Oil and place your patties upon the grill rack. Grill the patties until juices start to emerge from the top, about 4 to 4 1/2 minutes. Baste the burgers liberally with the coconut red curry glaze, flip, and baste each patty evenly with the remaining glaze. Grill until your desired doneness, remove from the grill and set aside to rest for 2 to 3 minutes.
Place the rolls split side-down onto the rack and grill until lightly toasted, about 30 seconds. Remove the rolls from the grill and set them aside, grilled side up.
To assemble, spread the split sides of each roll with the creamy cashew-mint aioli. Top each bottom roll with a burger patty and top each burger patty with 2 slices of peppery bacon. Add the crispy watercress-crispy rice cereal mixture to the green apple dressing mixture and gently toss. Add a generous mound of the crispy watercress-green apple salad to each burger atop the bacon. Add the roll tops, cut each burger in half with a serrated knife, if desired, serve immediately and enjoy!
Makes 6 burgers.