You gotta love food from a truck, there’s a reason that we have whole businesses based solely around building, following, helping, and even just plain talking about them! It’s not even about the simple pleasures; chefs far and wide have taken their modern, quality-focused techniques, fresh ingredients, and hardcore work ethics and applied it towards a small-housed operation for amazing prices. Thus was the movement started in cities like Miami and LA about a decade ago, transforming one’s thoughts of an industry filled with nameless white vans touting tacos, burritos, and simple sandwiches to one of creative and exciting intrigue.
There’s a lot of work and complex details to making one of these businesses survive and succeed, but at the end of the day it’s always about the food start to finish. In celebration of that, we’ve found some sweet kickin’ recipes from some of these fantastic businesses that anyone can try making at home! Enjoy and have fun!
It’s a Food Truck game, you gotta start off with something excessive, which Bernie’s Burger Bus in Texas has definitely got going with their ‘Detention,’ a gravity-defying tower of double-stacked burger, bacon, cheese, and roasted toppinged heaven.
Two 6-ounce hand-ground chuck and brisket blend burger patties
Salt and pepper
2 challah buns
3 to 4 ounces melted butter
4 slices applewood-smoked bacon, cooked and cut in half
6 slices aged Cheddar
2 ounces tipsy onions (slowly caramelized onions deglazed in whiskey, such as Jack Daniels)
1/2 ounce mayonnaise
1 ounce shredded romaine lettuce
2 ounces slow-roasted garlic tomatoes (tomatoes roasted in olive oil with thyme and garlic at 350 degrees F for 2 hours)
1/2 ounce ketchup
1/2 ounces mustard
1/2 ounces bread and butter pickles
- Heat a flattop grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Season both sides of the patties with salt and pepper and put them directly on the hot part of the grill, not moving at all for at least 3 minutes to create a crust.
- Cut a little bit off the top and bottom of both buns, just removing the crust and exposing the inside. Then cut in half like a normal hamburger bun.Butter all sides of the bread and begin toasting on the medium-low side of the grill (or in a second skillet over medium-low heat). Toast for 1 to 2 minutes and then flip. Place 1 slice of Cheddar on each half (4 slices total) and then top the two bottom buns with all the bacon. Take the top buns with the Cheddar on them and place on the bottom buns. Press together firmly and cook to make delicious bacon-grilled cheese sandwiches. These will make up the top and bottom of your burger bun.
- By this time you will need to flip the patties. Turn, and then top one of them with the tipsy onions. Once the grilled cheese sandwiches are toasty and melted, place them on a plate and begin to dress them with the condiments. Spread the mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato on the bottom grilled cheese. Put the ketchup, mustard and pickles on the top sandwich.
- Top each patty with a slice of Cheddar (covering the tipsy onions) and place a lid on top of the patties to melt the cheese (you might also add a little water to help melt faster but be careful). Stack the patties, with the one with the tipsy onions on top. Place the stack on the bottom grilled cheese sandwich and top with the top sandwich. Stretch, pray and enjoy.
Dolma Mahshi (Iraqui Stuffed Onions)
Though it’s not all burgers and cupcakes and twisted tacos, as proved by Portland’s Aladdin’s Castle Cafe Cart, which doles out these small balls of stewed and stuffed deliciousness to be easily popped into your mouth with an explosion of savory flavor. Like a good cabbage roll, but smaller.
2 cups jasmine rice
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄3 finely chopped cilantro
1⁄4 cup pomegranate molasses
1⁄4 cup tomato paste
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. curry powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 large white onions
1 cup chicken stock
1 14-oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes in juice, pureed
2 tsp. ground sumac, plus more to garnish
Greek-style yogurt, to serve
- Make the stuffing: Combine rice, parsley, oil, cilantro, pomegranate molasses, tomato paste, cumin, coriander, curry powder, salt and pepper, and 11⁄2 cups water in a bowl; let sit until the rice begins to soak up some of the liquid, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, trim the tops and bottoms from onions and peel outer layer; place in a 6-qt. saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until onions are tender to the core, about 30 minutes; drain and let cool.
- Cut each onion halfway around the side and peel off each whole layer to get about 4 to 5 large layers each. Stuff each layer with 2 tbsp. stuffing and roll up into a football-shaped roll; place rolls in a single layer in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Pour stock and tomatoes over rolls and sprinkle with sumac; season with salt and pepper.
- Heat oven to 375°. Bake until filling is cooked through and sauce is reduced around rolls, about 1 hour. Divide rolls among serving plates and sprinkle with more sumac; serve with the yogurt.
Ham, Cheese, Egg, and Lemon Sandwiches
Lemon curd and goat cheese lends this breakfast sandwich from Portland chef Elizabeth Morehead at The Big Egg a pleasing tanginess. And one can’t leave out a big breakfast sandwich out of a list of on-the-go recipes
For the Lemon Curd:
3⁄4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Zest and juice of 3 lemons, preferably Meyer
For the Sandwiches:
8 (1″-thick) slices brioche
Unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
2 oz. soft goat cheese
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
16 slices black forest ham
4 oz. mâche
- Make the curd: Whisk together sugar and yolks in a 2-qt. saucepan; add butter, zest, and juice, and whisk until smooth. Place over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until curd is the consistency of loose pudding, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour curd through a strainer into a bowl, and press a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the curd; chill for 2 hours.
- To make each sandwich, heat a 10″ nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush one side each of 2 slices brioche with butter, and place in skillet, buttered sides down, and toast, about 1 minute. Transfer slices to a plate, toasted sides down, and spread1⁄2 goat cheese over one slice and 2 1⁄2 tbsp. lemon curd over the other slice.
- Meanwhile, whisk 1 egg in a bowl, and add to skillet; sprinkle with1⁄4 thyme and salt and pepper, and cook, flipping once, until just set, about 2 minutes. Fold up omelet and place on top of the goat cheese. Place 4 slices ham in skillet, and cook, flipping once, until heated through, about 35 seconds; place on top of omelette. Place 1 oz. mâche on top of ham, then top with the bread slice slathered with lemon curd. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 3 more sandwiches.
Okay, what’s a list of featured food truck recipes without a quick sneak-in from the master of Korean street fusion himself, Roy Choi? If any individual launched the food truck era into media attention, it was him, and his vehicles crank out some good stuff. We found one of his bombing recipes for a marinade/sauce to kick up any bbq dish with that Korean flavor! Just take some Pulled Pork, Chicken, Brisket, etc, mix it with sauce, push it into a grilled taco and top with some Kimchi or your favorite Pickle and you’re set!
2 tablespoons Korean fermented hot pepper paste (gochujang)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Whisk all ingredients together until sugar has dissolved and mixture is smooth. You can make this a few days in advance and store tightly covered in the refrigerator.
Boston’s Fugu Truck has already found quite the interest and acclaim with their fun design and Asian street faire, though also with some intense twists on certain genres. Much like this take on a rolled sushi using Beef, Egg, and Sesame-infused rice.
For the Sesame Rice:
2 cups cooked rice
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
For the Egg Sheets:
Dash cooking oil
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Beef:
2 pounds thinly sliced beef
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces thinly sliced onion
For the Wrap and Garnish:
4 sheets seaweed
1 carrot, thinly sliced and sauteed
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 pickled radish, sliced into strips
- For the rice: Mix therice with the sesame oil and seeds. Set aside and keep warm for later use.
- For the egg sheets: Place a nonstick pan over medium heat and lightlygrease the pan with an oil-soaked paper towel. In a bowl,whisk together the eggs, mirin, sugar and salt. Ladle about one-quarter of the mixture onto the pan and swirl to cover the bottom. Flip the egg sheet when it is just set to avoid any coloring. Repeat for the remaining eggs. The mixture should yield 4 to 6 thin egg sheets.
- For the beef: Combine the beef thesoy sauce, sesame oil, sugar,garlic, black pepper and onions, and marinade for two hours. Cook the mixture in a hot pan. Once cooked, set it aside to cool to room temperature.
- For the wrap: Spread 1/2 cup of the seasoned rice on each sheet of seaweed. Place an egg sheet on top, followed by some of the beef mixture,carrots, cucumbers and radishes. Place the seaweed with rice and fillings on top of a bamboo mat and gently roll. Slice each roll into 8 pieces and serve.
Who doesn’t love Mac and Cheese? It’s definitely a favorite in the trucking world; stuffed into burritos, placed inside a grilled cheese sandwich, topping specialty pizza, or just in a bowl on its own! Vernalicious, based out of Philadelphia, takes the on-its-own love to the next level, increasing its finger-food concept not by deep-frying but popping blocks of this monstrous cheesy noodle goodness on the griddle!
1 pound macaroni
5 1/2 cups whole milk
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups grated cheddar
2 cups grated Gruyere
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 cup clarified butter
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cook the macaroni toal dente in a large pot of boiling water. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
- In a separate pot, warm themilk over medium heat; be careful not to let it boil.
- Meltthe butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Add the warmed milk and cook, stirring, until the sauce coats a spoon.
- Add thecheddar, Gruyere, salt, nutmeg, black pepper and cayenne and mix well. Add the macaroni and stir to coat with sauce.
- Pour the mixture into a buttered 9-inchbaking dish and bake for 45 minutes. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to serve,unmold the mac ‘n’ cheese from the baking dish and cut it into twelve equal cubes. Roll the cubes in thebreadcrumbs and fry them in the clarified butter in a large skillet until brown and crispy on all sides and melted on the inside. Enjoy!
- This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and may have been scaled down from a bulk recipe. The Food Network Kitchens have not tested it for home use and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.
Maple Bacon Cupcakes
And, as is only proper, we finish with some dessert covered in a pile of Bacon. Out in Atlanta/Miami, Sugar Rush food truck whips up some new favorite creations, including every foodie’s new obsession, some sort of mini cake (in this cake cupcakes, but we see doughnuts with it too now) flavored with Maple and topped by smoked and salted Pork Belly. Next time you need a good next-level recipe for brunch, look here.
For the Maple Bacon Cupcakes:
2 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 eggs, room temperature
4 cups maple syrup, reduced down to 2 cups
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon natural maple extract
5 strips applewood bacon, cooked and chopped, plus more for garnish
For the Maple Frosting:
6 tablespoons butter
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons natural maple extract
Sea salt, for garnish
- For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
Sift together the flour and baking powder. Beat the eggs until light and fluffy, and then slowly pour in the reduced maple syrup and oil until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat well until combined, followed by the milk and maple extract. Fold in the bacon.
- Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups using an ice cream scooper, filling each three-quarters full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool completely in the pans on wire cooling racks before removing.
- For the maple frosting: Beat the butter until light and fluffy, and then beat in the confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the maple syrup and maple extract and continue beating until combined and fluffy.
- Frost the cooled cupcakes, sprinkle with sea salt, and garnish with a piece of bacon.