RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Tuscany Pizza Burger

A simple but crowd-pleasing recipe that allows us to entertain even after a busy day of work.

Ingredients 

Patties:
2 pounds 70% lean ground chuck
2 Tablespoons dried fennel seed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese (parmesan may be substituted)
1/2 cup dry red wine (Sutter Home's zinfandel, cabernet or merlot) 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
18 fresh basil leaves
Mini Pizza Buns 2 11 or 12" ready-to-bake pizza crusts
6 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup thick, meatless marinara sauce 
1 cup baby portabella mushrooms, thin sliced
1 4 ounce can sliced black olives
1 red onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
6 slices mozerrela cheese

Instructions 

Directions Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Place a thin cookie sheet on the grill during heating. To make the patties, combine beef, fennel, salt, pepper, grated cheese and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Mix all ingredients by lifting upward in a "fluffing" motion until dry ingredients are well mixed with beef. Sprinkle with red wine and mix again, handling meat as little as possible. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls. To make the buns, use a 4"-round cup or bowl as a pattern, and cut 12 circular sections from the two pizza crusts. Brush both sides of the buns with a generous coat of olive oil. Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and grill until browned on the bottoms, 4 minutes (this gives medium rare; add one minute to each side for medium). Turn the patties and continue grilling until done to preference, 4 minutes other side for medium rare. As soon as the burgers are turned to second side, place buns on the hot cookie sheet and cook for two minutes with grill lid closed. Flip buns after two minutes, top 6 of the halves with 2 TBS. marinara, 1 tsp. each chopped onion, black olices, sliced mushrooms and sprinkle with 1 TBS. parmesan cheese. Place 1 slice of mozerrela cheese on remaining 6 halves. Cook for two minutes with lid closed. To assemble the burgers, Place burger on the mozerrela-topped half, arrange 3 basil leaves atop each burger and cap with the marinara-topped half.

Comments 

Pairs well with zinfandel, merlot cabernet or pinot grigio. Add a green salad and enjoy visiting with guests instead of fussing with dinner.