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Mama Mia Burger

Hello, my name is Lynne. I am homemaker with 2 daughters and I live in Prince Georges County Maryland. I like to garden and paint and design whimsical rooms. I am passionate about food, so much so that years ago I worked for a catering company for less than the minimum wage just so I could hone my cooking skills (and it was a heck of a lot cheaper than culinary school). I am by no means a professional, but I am known by family and friends as the one who brings that special dish at gatherings. The always ask which one is Lynne’s dish before it’s all gone. I am submitting the “Mama Mia Burger.” The inspiration came to me when I was watching the Food Network’s show, “Everyday Italian”. Ingredients started popping in my head of what kinds of things I could put on a burger to make it Bellisimo. To me food is art just waiting to happen. In this case ground beef and a bun are my canvas and adding layers of flavors as I marry the ingredients turn the ordinary into extraordinary. Some ingredients are pre-made items common in grocery stores because some shorts-cuts are a plus when entertaining a large group of family and friends. I would feel so honored if you chose my “Mama Mia Burger” for the contest.


-30 leaves of fresh Basil Leaves
-1 ½ cups of Marinated Artichokes
-12 Tbs. of Sicilian Green Olives
-6 Olive Focaccia Rolls
-Can of Cooking Spray
-12 Tbs. Mayonnaise
-1 Tsp. of Salt
-1 Tsp. of Ground Black Pepper
-48 oz. of Ground Beef
-1 ½ Tsp. of Garlic Powder
-1 ½ Tsp. of Salt
-1 ½ Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
-6 Tbs. Bottled Italian Dressing
-3 Tbs. Liquid Smoke*
-3 oz. of Shredded Parmesan Cheese
-6 slices of Roasted Red Peppers (one for each burger)
*Normally found in the condiment section of the grocery store, near the barbeque sauces


Dice and finely chop the basil. Quarter and slice Marinated Artichokes. Thinly slice Sicilian Green Olives. Split Focaccia rolls in half. I used a charcoal grill. Fill the grill about ¼ of the way with charcoal briquettes, place grill grate on grill, and coat the grate evenly with cooking spray. Light the charcoal and wait until the charcoal is ashen in color. This should take about 10 or 15 minutes. Meanwhile, Mix together the mayonnaise, tsp. of salt, tsp. of pepper, and basil leaves. Also, in a large bowl combine Ground Beef, Garlic Powder, 1 ½ Tsp. of Salt, 1 ½ Tsp. Ground Black Pepper, 3 Tbs. Italian Dressing, and Liquid Smoke using your hands. Be careful not to over mix as this may toughen the meat. Form six patties of equal size, about 1 inch thick. Once the charcoal is ashen in color place the burgers on the grill. Cook on one side for 5 minutes, then turn over, and cook until the internal temperature reads 160° on a meat thermometer. (Cook until internal temperature is 170° if you like them well done.) Before removing from the grill evenly distribute the Parmesan Cheese onto the burger, once the Cheese is melted remove the burger from the grill to rest. Drizzle ½ tsp. of Bottled Italian Dressing onto each roll and place them on the grill, outer side down, for about one minute. Once removed from grill, spread the basil mayonnaise mixture evenly onto the bottom halves of the rolls. Place burgers, cheese side up, onto the mayonnaise. Place the Roasted Red Peppers, Artichokes, and Olives onto the burger. Top it off with the other half of the roll and Mama Mia!, you’re done.