East Bay Burger

November 5, 2009

The Bison is back!Bison Burger

This Saturday, we peddled down to the farmers market at Lake Merritt in a hurry.  The list of Halloween to-do’s had grown longer than the morning, but we were determined to make the shopping spree that keeps us out of the grocery store during the week.

We had our standard list:

2 green vegetables, a colorful vegetable, starch (usually potatoes), fruit for breakfast, fruit for the lunch box, a bag of mushrooms, bread, and stop by Prather Ranch to see what meat we might plurge for.

At the Prather booth, we almost didn’t ask.  We have asked for 10 months, ever since our neighbor told us that Prather has ground bison.  But we’re tired of hearing no, or next week, or we don’t know.  I had already picked out a chicken (Prather sells whole chickens, one of which I am roasting right now) when my husband said, “I assume you still don’t have any bison.”

“yes, we do.”

I laughed.  That’s not funny. 

“no, really, we do!”

Um….ok…then we’ll take…some….please!

Ok, a warning, bison is expensive and quite frankly, we’ve never really had it, cooked it, or bought it for that matter.  It just seemed like a good idea, and the more elusive the more we want it.  So, we peddled back to the house with 1lb of ground bison (they have many other cuts of bison for the adventurous red meat eater).

We were very curious about the taste of bison, so we prepared hamburger patties with no real seasoning, no egg to hold it together, just a spritz of EVOO and salt and pepper and put them on our little back porch grill.

Within 20 minutes, we had this very East Bay Burger:

Lettuce – Funk Town Farm
Heirloom Tomato – Funk Town Farm
Cheese – San Joaquin Gold, Rockridge Pasta Shop
Onions – the last of the giant one from our friends CSA box
Red Bell Pepper – Grand Lake Farmers Market
Bison – Prather Ranch, Grande Lake Farmers Market
Bread – French Batard, Grand Lake Farmers Market

A pleasant surprise.
royal_trumpet_mushroomOn a whim, we bought some King Trumpet mushrooms at the mushroom stand.  Normally we just get crimini or button or white, but the bison made us spontaneous.  We sliced them in half long ways, sprayed them with olive oil, and sprinked them with salt and pepper. 

Wow!  These mushrooms and not nutty, or fishy, or chewy, they are down right meaty.  They taste as much like chicken as aligator does.  A GREAT side dish.

A Sweeter Side
Sweet Potato Fries – Grand Lake Farmers Market, a darlin’ Tennessee rose sellin’ peaches in November also has the sweetest little sweet potatoes I’ve had this year. 

To make sweet potato fries, we cut one small potato in small, thin slices.  Layed them on a baking pan (cookie sheet) and sprayed them with olive oil (we put local olive oil in a pump spritzer) then sprinkled them with salt, pepper and cumin.  They baked in about the time it took to cook a burger.  Just scoop them off the hot tray with a spatula once they look crispy enough for you.

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