or: how a sample from the Cheese Deli inspired me to run home and make a kick-ass burger!
I never realized how much I love cheese until I started working at Newport Avenue Market. On a recent trip to the coast, we started chatting about Tillamook and cheese. I had to stop the group from prolonging the conversation because I was starting to drool. But I digress… What I really want to talk about is how a sample from the Cheese Deli inspired me to run home and make a kick-ass burger!
Browsing the varieties of gourmet cheese available at Newport Avenue Market can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially for someone who isn’t a maître fromager or well-versed in cheese. Fortunately, our cheese team can help you with pairings and even give you samples. Caroline gave me a sample of Face Rock Creamery’s Vampire Slayer Garlic Cheddar. Face Rock Creamery is a young, award-winning cheddar creamery in Bandon, located on the southern Oregon coast. Their dairy comes from a single source – The Scolari Family Dairy – that is only 15 miles away from the creamery.
One taste and I just knew I had to make a cheeseburger with it!
So I grabbed a basket and, starting with Face Rock Creamery’s Vampire Slayer, filled it up with Oregon Country Beef burger patties, butter lettuce, an organic heirloom tomato, Carlton Farm’s Smoked Bacon, and Hawaiian-style hamburger buns; I already had sriracha and sweet onions at home. Heads up though, Vampire Slayer does not come in single slices, so you’re going to have to slice it up at home, which is great because you have control over how thick the cheese is on your burger!
And, make sure you plan ahead to have extra bacon and onions, because I found a killer Bacon-Wrapped Sriracha Onion Rings recipe that will go great with this burger! Yay BACON!!
Let’s start with the onion rings so they have time to cook.
- Cut onions into ½-inch thick rings and pop the internal rings out until you have a nice sturdy onion ring.
- Brush onion with sriracha.
- Wrap each onion ring with bacon – secure with skewer or toothpick.
- Smoke, grill or bake the bacon-wrapped onions for about 20 minutes at 400ºF.
(Bacon-wrapped onion rings are also a great party food by themselves. https://youtu.be/DTaCqmWy-6s)
While the Bacon-Wrapped Sriracha Onion Rings are cooking, let’s get going with the burgers.
- Prep your patties. (Personally, I sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder on both sides.)
- Heat and coat your cast-iron skillet or griddle with cooking spray. (You can also use your outdoor grill.) Cook patties until the desired degree of doneness. (According to Alton Brown, Medium Rare burgers should be cooked 4 minutes on each side, Medium 5 minutes.) Flip burger once during cooking. On the last minute of cooking, top the burger patty with Vampire Slayer cheese.
- If you like your buns toasted, toast them while your patties are cooking.
- Assemble your cheeseburger.
If you want a condiment to kick up the spice on your burger, you can add Sriracha Mayo. (Combine 2 tbsp. sriracha and 2 tbsp. mayo with 2 tsp. lime juice.)
Life is short, eat good burgers!
About our Foodie: Ana Balbin is Newport Avenue Market’s Loyalty Marketing Director and self-appointed “resident foodie.” She spends countless hours reading recipes online and watching culinary shows and documentaries while daydreaming of going to Europe and Asia to extensively learn more about their cuisines. She is a chronic instagrammer and a voracious snacker.