Lunchbreak: Elle on the River chef Tim Graham makes chickpea tortillas, tacos and punch

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Elle on the River
330 N. Wabash
(312) 923-7705

Crispy Chickpea Taco


1 16 oz can of chickpeas, drained (reserve liquid for use later)
4 1/2 Tablespoons of tahini
1/2 teaspoon garlic
about 3 Tablespoons of reserved liquid from can of chickpeas
2 Tablespoons of full fat greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 Tablespoons kosher salt

Blend all ingredients into a paste.

Fried Chickpeas

1 16 oz can of chickpeas, drained
Canola oil

Drain the chickpeas and fry them in a pot of oil—350 degrees—until the bubbles stop.  This should take about 7-8 minutes.  Drain on paper towels and season with salt.


1 1/2 cups bulgar wheat
2 cups boiling water
5 bunches of parsley, chopped fine
2 cups of mint, chopped fine
3/4 cups lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
8 green onions, sliced thin
4 beefsteak tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half

In a container, pour the boiling water over the bulgar, wrap in plastic and set aside for 20 minutes.  To make the dressing, add together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and green onions.  Once the bulgar is cooked, toss all ingredients together and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Let sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.


Calabrian Mahi Mahi Taco

Chile Mix

1 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons calabrian chile
1 oz oregano, chopped
3 oranges, zested
1/8 cup garlic, chopped
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 pound mahi mahi

Place everything in a blender and puree until mixed.  Cut fish into small pieces.  Mix with the mahi mahi and marinate overnight.  Simply simmer the mahi mahi lightly in some of the marinade until cooked through.

Lemon Mayonnaise

1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Mix the ingredients together.

Sumac Vinaigrette (used on both tacos)

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tablespoon sumac
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Blend all ingredients together.

Puffed Quinoa

1 cup quinoa
3 cups water

Cook the quinoa in the water until the white inner ring is just transparent.  Dry the quinoa on a cookie sheet overnight.  Deep fry quinoa in oil at 350 degrees quickly to puff the quinoa.  Season with salt.


1 cup romaine lettuce, chiffonade
1/4 of an avocado
1 Tablespoon puffed quinoa
1 Tablespoon sumac vinaigrette

Flatbread (shell for all tacos)

2 cups water
pinch of ground coriander
1 16 oz can of chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup yogurt
2 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
just under 1 Tablespoon of garlic
1/2 Tablespoon of salt
pinch of espelette
pinch of zaatar
1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro
about 3 cups of all-purpose flour
just over 2 Tablespoons of wheat bran

In a blender, puree the chickpeas, yogurt, garlic, salt and half of the water—until smooth.  In a stand mixer, combine all the dry ingredients, flours, wheat bran, spices and cilantro.  With the dough hook, mix on low speed until combined.  Add water chickpea mix and extra virgin olive oil.  Continue mixing/kneading the dough for 6 minutes.  Check the dough during mixing for proper hydration and add water if necessary.  Let dough sit for 1 hour.  Portion dough balls into 1 ounce balls.  Roll out dough balls and place on a hot griddle and cook for 30 seconds on each side.


“Elle a Noir” Punch


Grey Goose vodka:  25 ounces

Strawberry puree:  15 ounces

Apricot puree:  88 ounces

Simple syrup:  as needed per consistency

Prosecco:  as wanted/needed to add sparkle


To prepare the punch, you will need apricot puree, strawberry puree, simple syrup and water.  Depending on the consistency of the purees, the ratio for the apricot juice is 1 part puree, 2 parts water and .5 parts simple syrup.  For the strawberry juice it is 1 part puree, 1 part water and .25 part simple syrup.  Combine all the ingredients in a large punch bowl and top off with a bottle of your favorit prosecco.

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