Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Chapter in the Quest for the Perfect Cheeseburger, Part 4

Applewood Bacon & Pimento Cheese: Quite possibly the best burger I've made so far


Tonight I conducted a second condiment-free cheeseburger experiment. Pimento cheese is a southern favorite which has recently gained some attention in the national food spotlight. It seems like the perfect topping for any self-respecting cheeseburger maven.

While there are commercially prepared pimento cheese spreads available in the grocery store, I'm hesitant to use them because I fear the mayo to cheese ratio would be out of balance to my taste. I like just enough mayo to hold everything together, and of course I use Duke's. In fact, I can't imagine using any other mayo since discovering it. A nice sharp cheddar is essential to creating the right amount of tang to compliment the taste of the pimentos. I added about a teaspoon of minced garlic into the mixture to add a hint of savory flavor.

Months ago, mostly on a whim, I bought some fancy Yakima Applewood Smoked Salt mostly because I was curious how it tasted. It truly does taste like smokey applewood! The flavor is bold even for a finishing salt, making it a challenge for me to think of how it could be used. I thought since I would be using applewood smoked bacon that seasoning the patties with the same salty flavor would be the perfect use; indeed it was!

I thought last night's bacon, apple & blue burger was great, but this pimento cheese & bacon came out even better! The melty pimento cheese created a condiment-like sauce that combined into a sublime flavor explosion with the bacon and seasoned patty. I hope I can replicate the results, so if anyone would like to come try one let me know.

Tomorrow I'm going to try an ultimate umami burger. I have a rough idea of what toppings I'll use. Results of the third experiment to follow.

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