Pacific Northwest Cheeseburger

So, our adventure begins with the great American cheeseburger.

I started by asking the simple question: what flours are locally available? The historic nature of corn farming in the US gave me the idea of a cornbread based bun. I reached out to a local miller, Fairhaven Flour Mills, to learn more about their products. More information on that soon after I follow up with them.

I live south of Bellingham in a heavily forested neighborhood. We see deer roaming around here all the time. They are abundant in our region, and so it seemed natural to me that we would choose venison for the burger patty. I was supposed to pick up meat from a butchers down south, but that disappointingly fell through. However, a gracious local lady needed some extra freezer space for berries, so she spared a couple lbs from a white-tail deer that her husband got last fall.

These are the four fellas who greeted us home the other day after dropping Daddy Alsum at work.

There are hundreds of edible species of fungus in this region alone. Oyster mushrooms will be finely chopped, sauteed and combined with homemade mayonnaise. If you aren’t committed enough to whisk up your own, you can use your personal choice of pre-made mayo and then stir in the mushroom.

We went to the shop and also to one of their cheesemaking days at Appel Farms in Ferndale to get to know more about the Havarti which we are going to be putting in this delicious burger. With the latest scares surrounding boxed mac ‘n’ cheese and the dangerous chemical phthalates they contain, it reminds me that nothing beats real, minimally-processed food.

For our wildcard component, we went out to the countryside to pick dandelion and burdock plants to harvest their roots. You can skip this one if it’s a bit too adventurous, but I am heavily in favor of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to try new things.

So, here it is: the culmination!

How to make a Pacific Northwest Cheese burger:

Assemble your cheeseburger howsoever you want it. I did ours by toasting the buns,  spreading the mayonnaise on the base, layering the cooked local venison burger with another very liberal spoonful of mayo on top, drizzling the dandelion and burdock sauce over and garnishing with greens, topped with the Appel farms cheese and the cornbread pretzel bun lid.

The honey in the dandelion and burdock sauce picks out the taste of the cornbread, while the wild mushroom highlights the nuttiness of the Havarti and the rich gamey burger flavor.

If you make any or all of this recipe, please share pictures and use #pacificnorthwestcheeseburger and #CookingWithMummaAlsum

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