Thursday, December 13, 2012

Caprese Burger

 
Well, well... what do we call this?  Fusion?  I was making simple burgers for the kids, but what I was actually craving was something more Italian.  I typically have all these things on hand in the fridge because "caprese" ingredients rank up there as some of my favorites.  Nope bacon has nothing to do with it... I just wanted that extra texture and a little smoky flavor in there. :)

                           Click here to watch my Video to making these Caprese Stuffed Burgers
 

Insalata Caprese (salad in the style of Capri) is a simple salad from the Italian region of Campania, made of sliced fresh buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, and seasoned simply with salt and olive oil.  

Click for Printable Recipe 

Ingredients:
  • Your favorite blend of ground beef.  
    • I used an 80/20 blend because I think the extra fat makes them juicy.
  • Real bacon bits.  
    • Or crumbled up bacon that you have made.
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Steak seasoning - or your favorite burger seasoning blend.
  • Your favorite buns and accompaniments 

Step-by-Step -
Season your hamburger meat well, just the way you usually make them.  Make the middle portion of a patty thinner than the edges. 
Start filling.  I am adding some bacon for a great smoky flavor.
Add in some grape tomatoes that have been quartered.  I chose these because they are super sweet, and also because they don't have a lot of liquid in them to make anything soggy.  Choose whichever type you like best.
Add in some pieces of lovely fresh mozzarella.  Oh I can just taste it now!

Add in some fresh basil that you have cut into ribbons.  Cut them as small or large as you would like.  Totally your choice.  Just be careful to keep all of your fillings in the center portion.  I seasoned up the middle of the patty as well.  I used Montreal Steak Seasoning, but you can use any brand or seasoning blend that you like.
Do the same thing with another patty... thin in the middle, thicker on the edges.
Make a burger "sandwich" out of them.

Mold and seal the pieces of meat together. 
Get your grill really hot and throw them on.  This happens to be a cold, dark evening in December, so I opted for the grill pan inside the warm house.

Grill them as you usually would. 
This was one of the reasons that I wanted the middle portions to be quite a bit thinner than the edges.  I wanted to be sure it was cooked through.
And just take a good look at this baby!!!  WooHoo!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE warm, melty cheese!  The burger was nice and juicy and the filling was sublime.  The bun, however, was tiny.  Oh well.  It was a humorous end to the story.
All said, you could add all sort of "themed" fillings in there.  Maybe Mexican with a stuffed poblano chili?  Greek with feta and olives? French with ham and Gruyere?

Have fun.  Do different and wacky things with your food.  Cook with your kids.  Eat at home.  Love each other.

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Crab Rangoons
New Orleans BBQ Shrimp
Maple Bacon Green Beans with Slivered Almonds
Black Pepper Cheddar Bay Biscuits 
Skinny Mexican Pizza

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Written Directions 

Well.  To be honest, I'm not sure there really is a real method involved.  Just form your ground beef into wide hamburgers patties, making them quite a bit thinner in the middle sections (like a well) with a thicker border.

Fill with your...er...fillings of choice.  Stick them together and grill them up!  Oh, and make sure you have buns that are big enough!  Haha!  I had "junior" sized buns and a "king" sized burger!  It was quite funny in the end.  But cooking should be fun.  The important part is that when I bit into it.... warm gooey mozzarella with tomatoes and basil OOOOOZED out.  Yum! 

17 comments:

  1. Sounds delicious! I'm making them later this week! Thank you...Sherry

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    Replies
    1. Sherry - Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope you enjoy them!!

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  2. I plan to try this recipe during our valentines day dinner. thanks so much. and im following you on pinterest. lol

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    1. Kimberly - I hope you and your sweetheart(s) will enjoy!! And thanks for following me. I love having new readers! :)

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  3. Hi, I have kind of a silly question..I'm new to cooking and actually don't own a grill, can I just cook them in a normal pan? Sorry if that sounds ridiculous!

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    1. Absolutely! These "grill pans" are widely available at kitchen stores and even larger grocery stores, and make a great alternative to outdoor grilling. That said, it is perfectly acceptable for you to do them in a "normal pan" if that is what you have on hand. You just won't see the grill marks on them. Happy cooking!! - and don't hesitate to ask questions. I'm always happy to help out a kitchen novice! :)

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    2. Thank you for this. I don't care about the grill lines. LOL

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  4. just ate this soooo full but so good, also used stilton cheese instead was yummy thanks!

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  5. Hey Julie! Great recipe. I tried them out a couple weekends ago and wrote about it in my blog. Check it out! http://thefoodengineer.blogspot.com/2013/04/caprese-burgers.html

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    1. Lem - Thanks for trying these out. I agree with you that you must season them well, make sure they are pretty darn thin in the middle, and really seal those babies up. Oh, but biting into one with all that warm melted cheese... yum. I hope you will visit again sometime!
      Julie

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  6. How much ground beef did you use and how many did it make?!? I am making these for Mother's Day and there are 5 of us!
    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lani -

      I would allow for around 1/4 - 1/3 pound ground beef per person, regardless of how many you are serving. (I always like to have a little extra, so maybe around 1.5 - 1.75 pounds of ground beef for you.) Although I typically buy the really lean beef, I like the 85/15 best for burgers. You need the extra fat to keep them juicy. Be SURE to make them really thin in the middle so it will be cooked through. Good luck! Hope everyone enjoys! Drop me a line and let me know how it goes.
      :)
      Julie

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  7. I made these tonight, they were a big hit!! Thanks for such a yummy recipe!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Emily!! Glad y'all enjoyed!!
      Julie

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  8. Can't wait to try these! they look divine :D
    Evie

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  9. I will make these tonight!! They look fantastic! Thank you so much for the recipe.

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  10. What a fun idea! These turned out great - I blogged about them, too.

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