Kitchen Confidential: Ray Forthuber, Boylan Heights veggie burger
The secret to creating the perfect menu... starts with having a very cohesive idea of what exactly you're trying to present to your customers. Once you have that, it's easier to let loose with your creativity and really make your menu pop. The menu at Boylan works so well because it isn't overly ambitious– we know that burgers are the star here, but then we kick it up with some creative side items that serve to complement the burgers. The secret to success in the restaurant biz is... to always have an open mind. With a living entity such as a restaurant, you've gotta realize that things are constantly changing and your success depends on your ability to adapt. They say the wise man knows nothing at all– who said that... was it Kanye? The secret to making Boylan Heights' Veggie Burger is... the almond flour coating. It adds a great nutty flavor and gives the patty a beautiful golden brown color when cooked. The great thing about this recipe is that if you're feeling creative, it's easy to sub out a few veggies for some of your favorites. Just don't mess with the quinoa!
Boylan Heights' Veggie Burger vegetable stock 3 cups uncooked quinoa 4 1/2 cups uncooked, cubed zucchini 4 cups uncooked spinach 2 cups sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped 1 1/2 cups corn 1 1/2 cups black beans 1/2 cup white bean puree (we blitz great northern beans in a food processor with a splash of water, salt, and pepper) 1 tsp onion powder 1 tsp granulated garlic 1 tsp paprika 2 tbsp hot sauce 1 1/2 sleeves Ritz crackers flour almond flour salt and pepper to taste
Add about 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable stock to a pot of water, and bring it to a boil. Add the quinoa and cook it off until all of the grains begin to "bloom;" they will expand in size and attain a cohesive texture. Drain thoroughly. Saute the zucchini and season it with a little salt and pepper, then do the same with the spinach, and set both aside to drain. Buzz the Ritz crackers in a food processor. Mix together the quinoa, spinach, zucchini, beans, corn, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Next, add all of your spices, the hot sauce, and the Ritz cracker crumbs and mix thoroughly. We do ours in 5 oz. patties and coat them in an even mixture of flour and almond flour.
3/5/2010 update: Corrects typographical errors in original story.