Think of the chef collaboration as the culinary equivalent of an “Avengers” movie. The latest high profile mix involves Curtis Stone, chef-owner of the Los Angeles restaurants Gwen and Maude; Ashley Abodeely, the chef on the NoMad truck; and the team behind that truck, Swiss-born chef Daniel Humm and business partner Will Guidara, who are also the guys behind the NoMad and Eleven Madison Park restaurants in New York City.
Since launching in L.A. in September, the truck has teamed up with chefs around the city to create special collaboration burgers, including Roy Choi (Pot, Kogi BBQ) and Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal, Son of a Gun, etc.).
For Stone’s burger, he used NoMad’s ground chicken and truffle patty with Gwen’s house-cured bacon, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, watercress and a caraway mustard and buttermilk dressing. There’s a lot going on here, including a total of three slices of cheese per burger and a tangy sauerkraut to help cut the richness.
“A Bavarian flavor profile was the inspiration behind the Gwen chicken burger,” Stone said in an email. “We fermented the sauerkraut for five days, used lots of Swiss cheese, and added lemon myrtle, an indigenous spice to Australia, in our dry-cured smoked bacon. The caraway in the mustard adds a little freshness. The only thing missing is the pretzel.”
The burger is available at the truck through the month of March, or you can make one at home, with the recipe below.
In a bowl, knead together the chicken, truffle pâté and oil, bread crumbs and salt. Divide the mixture and form it into four patties. Set aside.
Caraway dressing with dijon
In a dry skillet, toast the caraway seeds over medium heat, shaking or stirring frequently, until lightly browned and aromatic, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Grind the seeds to a powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
In a bowl, whisk together the caraway powder, creme fraiche, buttermilk, lemon juice, mustard and a pinch of salt, or to taste. This makes a scant ¾ cups dressing, which will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 5 days.
NoMad food truck collaboration burger
Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat until hot. Meanwhile, season each chicken patty lightly with salt and pepper on each side.
Lightly char the cooked bacon on the grill until warmed through. Remove and set aside.
Cook the patties until charred and cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the burgers. Place a spoonful of sauerkraut on top of each patty, followed by 3 slices of cheese and 3 strips of bacon. Set aside so the heat from the burgers can begin to melt the cheese. Toast each half of each bun.
To assemble the burgers, spread 1 tablespoon of the dressing on each half of each bun, or more if desired. Place about ½ cup watercress on the base of each bun. Top the watercress with a prepared burger, then season with a twist of freshly ground pepper. Top with the remaining bun half. Serve immediately.
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