Cedar-Smoked Pacific Northwest Burger with Blueberry Crème Fraiche and Sautéed Sunchokes
When you’re in the Pacific Northwest, you really feel like you’re a part of nature.I wanted to capture that feeling in this burger. The burgers are cooked on cedar planks in order to give them a great smoky flavor. I also use a Blueberry Crème Fraiche, Sautéed Sunchokes, Monterey Jack cheese, butter lettuce, and granola for a variety of different woodsy tastes and textures. Although the skies may be a little overcast in the Pacific Northwest, I assure you that everybody’s stomach will be smiling after eating this burger (can a stomach smile, by the way?!?).
3 Cedar Grilling Planks
Water, for soaking
Blueberry Crème Fraiche:
3/4 cup blueberries
3/4 cup crème fraiche
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cup thinly sliced sunchokes (AKA Jerusalem artichokes), not peeled
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds ground chuck
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 slices Monterey Jack cheese
6 Honey Wheat hamburger buns, split
1 1/2 cups good-quality organic granola
6 leaves butter lettuce
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
Soak cedar grilling planks in water for 1 hour (preferably, they are soaked for at least 4 hours). Then drain.
To make Blueberry Crème Fraiche, place the cut side of the lemon halves on grill over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Squeeze out 2 tablespoons juice. In the bowl of a food processor combine 2 tablespoons grilled lemon juice, blueberries, and crème fraiche; puree. Refrigerate until serving.
To make Sautéed Sunchokes, heat butter in a large fireproof non-stick skillet on the grill. Add sunchokes and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Set aside.
To make the patties, combine the beef, onion, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns.
Brush grilling planks and grill rack with oil; place grilling planks on the grill over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until they being to smoke. Flip the planks over with tongs. (If grilling planks are unavailable, then place burgers on the grill as you normally would). Place 2 patties on each grilling plank, cover, and cook, turning patties once about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, top the burgers with a slice of cheese and place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of Blueberry Crème Fraiche on the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, place granola, a lettuce leaf, a patty, and equal amounts of Sautéed Sunchokes. Add the bun tops.
Makes 6 burgers.