Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hamburger Italia, i.e. Lasagna on a Bun

I recently reviewed the George Foreman GRP4B Next Grilleration™ Removable Plate Grill over on Moana Saves. As part of the review I came up with a unique hamburger recipe that my kids like to call: "lasagna on a bun." In an attempt to be a little more classy, I call this "Hamburger Italia!" (Or would "Italiano" make more sense? I don't know.)

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Hamburger Italia
1 pound ground beef
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

¾ cup fat-free Ricotta cheese
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoons fresh basil, finely diced
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, finely diced

2 large tomatoes
7 button mushrooms

In a small bowl combine the Ricotta and Parmesan cheese with the basil and parsley. Mix thoroughly and set aside. Prep the mushrooms and tomatoes by thinly slicing them and setting aside.

Place the ground beef in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and form into four ½ inch thick patties, leaving ground beef to spare.  Divide the mozzarella cheese evenly among each patty, placing it in the center. Seal the cheese inside each hamburger patty with the remaining ground beef.  Place the meat on your and cook the burgers for 7-10 minutes or until they reach your desired doneness; remove from the grill. Cover the hamburgers to keep warm while you prepare the rest of the burger.

Grill the mushrooms on your George Foreman by placing them inside, closing the lid for browning.  They should be done in 5 minutes. Next place the tomatoes on the grill and season with salt and pepper. Close the lid and grill for 3-5 minutes, creating a ‘sun-dried tomato’ effect. Carefully remove the tomatoes from the grill and immediately place them on your burgers; they will be delicate to handle. (*Note: You can saute the mushrooms in a frying pan with a little butter if you don't have the grill. For the tomatoes: place them on a foil lined baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and a shake of salt & pepper, broiling for 5-10 minutes or until done.)

Photobucket While the mushrooms sauté and the tomatoes “sun-dry”, spread the ricotta mixture on the bottom side of a Kaiser roll. (This is the heavy half of your finished product and therefore needs to be the bottom half of the roll.) You want a good thick spread of cheese mixture. On the other half of the roll spread butter. Place both in the oven to broil. The buttered half will brown faster so be sure to watch it and remove once it’s brown. The ricotta mixture needs to get browned and slightly crispy on top.

To serve, place the meat and tomato on top of the ricotta mixture and top with the browned mushrooms.

Who Dished it first? This is an original by your's truly; Me!

Notes: The ricotta-covered bun can get soggy. Make sure this is the last thing you do before eating. Also, fresh herbs are a must in my opinion as they add a light and fresh flavor that dried herbs can't duplicate.

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