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Cousin Vinnies Killer Italian Burgers

Pick me, pick me!!! Please pick me! You can't see this, but I'm jumping up and down with delight at a chance to share my recipe with you. I have been a "wanna be" chef for years. I am forever changing recipes to bring my own twist to things. I have had several flops, but my Cousin Vinnies Killer Italian Burgers (which started out as meatballs years ago) are a favorite request for every barbeque I attend. I can't wait for you to bite into this luscious, juicy, flavorful delight! I have my skillet in hand and am ready for the Build a Better Burger challenge. Caio, Kathleen


Sauteed Sardinian Shallots
4 tablespoons chopped fresh shallots
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 pound ground turkey
2/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 large eggs
vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 (1/4 inch thick) whole milk mozzarella cheese slices
6 kaiser rolls, split 18 (1/4 inch thick)
Roma tomato slices


Prepare a mediam-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the sauteed shallots, combine the shallots, garlic and olive oil in a 10-inch nonstick, fire-proof skillet, and place on the grill rack. Cook the shallot mixture for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until the shallots and garlic are translucent. Add basil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper and continue to saute for 2 more minutes. Remove the pan from the grill and transfer mixture to a small bowl, add chicken broth and set bowl aside to cool. Let mixture cool for 1 hour. To make the patties, combine the Sauteed Sardinian Shallots, chuck, turkey, italian seasoned bread crumbs and two eggs in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. During the final minutes of grilling the patties, place 1 slice of mozzarella cheese on each patty and cover, approximately 2 minutes. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, on each roll bottom, place a patty and three tomatoe slices. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.


I learned to make italian meatballs from my great grandmother when I was old enough to see over the table. Unfortunately the role of meat and ingredient "squisher" went to the youngest participant. Sadly, I was the only girl of 14 cousins for 12 years. I have "squished my share of meatballs". As I started to develop my own cooking style I decided to flatten the meatballs and turn this creation into a burger. I experimented with several combinations of spices, ingredients and preparation techniques, and stumbled onto the best darn italian burger you'll ever taste!