Edmonton·FAST FOOD

Mixing it up with a mushroom burger

RGE RD chef Davina Moraiko shows us her go-to quick mushroom veggie burger recipe. Wine, cheese and mushrooms, need we say more?

This is not your average veggie patty, and yes, you can top it with bacon

RGE RD chef Davina Moraiko's mushroom and oat burger. (Phil Wilson/CBC)

CBC wanted to know what Edmonton's best chefs whip up when they're short on time or just don't have the energy to create their usual fare.

In Fast Food, we'll be highlighting local chefs from their own kitchens, sharing their go-to recipes.

When you're in charge of the day-to-day operation of a professional kitchen, a lot of your meals are eaten at the restaurant.

For RGE RD chef Davina Moraiko, eating at work often consists of tasting small bites of this and that for quality assurance more than enjoyment. There often isn't a lot of time to sit down and truly enjoy a meal.

Chef Davina Moraiko's mushroom and oat burger takes on many forms in the RGE RD kitchen, including "meatball" and mushroom cake. (Phil Wilson)

Moraiko says a day off lets her eat a little differently, and at a much slower pace. That means taking her time to prepare a meal, spreading out around her kitchen to use as much space as she likes, and maybe cranking up a little Black Sabbath.

Moraiko cites simplicity as a top priority for home cooking, which may be best illustrated by what she calls her "never-ending quest for the perfect grilled cheese."

Her meals at home also tend to have more of a vegetable focus, since her work involves constantly tasting RGE RD's highly regarded meat cuts and charcuterie.

RGE RD chef Davina Moraiko shows Phil Wilson how to make the burger she prepares for herself after a long work day. 3:24

The award-winning chef's inspiration for cooking comes from family. She learned the basics of good honest food from her mother and father, grandparents, and even the occasional perogy-making party.

"I remember some of my family would get together every once in a while to make [and] assemble hundreds of perogy," she said.

"They would fill every inch of counter space in that kitchen with those delicious perogies, flour all over the place. There was always lots of laughs and good times. Food always brought family and friends together."

Moraiko's passion for food is obvious, and she wouldn't have it any other way. "Food is love you can share with others and usually makes people happy. That's why I love cooking for people."

RGE RD Chef Davina Moraiko shows us her go-to quick bite, a mushroom and oat burger. (Phil Wilson)

Mushroom and oat burger

Ingredients

500 grams finely chopped mushrooms 

125 grams minced onion 

10 grams minced garlic 

125 millilitres red wine 

1 large egg 

125 grams grated cheese (cheddar or Gouda) 

150 grams rolled oats 

30 grams chopped parsley

Instructions

Heat pan on medium heat with a touch of oil.

Add onions and sauté until almost translucent.

Add minced garlic and chopped mushrooms; cook for five minutes.

Deglaze pan with red wine. Cook on medium heat until there is very little liquid left.

Strain mushroom mixture to remove excess moisture, and let cool. 

Whisk egg and fold into mixture. Fold in cheese and oats.

Form into four large patties and place in fridge to cool for five minutes.

Heat a lightly oiled non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat, and place patties in pan two at a time.

Cook until browned and crisp on the bottom and flip. Cook another two to three minutes, and place on a plate in a low oven when all four are done.

Slice buns and toast in the same pan with the burger juices, or add a touch of oil if the pan is dry.

Top buns with desired condiments. Moraiko suggests grainy mustard and mayo. Bacon or ham are highly recommended as well.

About the Author

Phil Wilson is the host of Fast Food, a food writer, podcast host and regular contributor to CBC. He has a never-ending passion for food, which he shares on his website, baconhound.com, and in magazines, on radio and TV, and CBC Edmonton's annual best restaurants list.