Italian Style Burgers

Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer in the states.  Usually marked by BBQs and last trips to lakes and beaches.  And it was hot this weekend!  Thank goodness temps are looking to break tomorrow.  I’m over the humidity and heat.  I’m very ready for autumn.

Burgers was the main request for Monday night and we tossed around ideas of what to make so I could have a recipe to share.  My husband mentioned it would be fun to stuff them with mozzarella.  Sounded good to me!

Italian burger 1 2015

I wanted to use oven roasted tomatoes for this recipe and that does need to be done ahead of time as it takes at least an hour.  To prep the burger, finely chop a clove of garlic and mix with a couple of teaspoons of fresh thyme.  Add it to about a pound of ground beef.  Then add about a 1/3 of a cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese and a few dashes of balsamic vinegar.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  Mix everything together with your hands.  The trick is to not overwork the meat but get everything evenly distributed.

Italian burger 2 2015

Divide the meat into four portions and place a slice of mozzarella in the centre.  Wrap the meat around the cheese.  Do your best to seal the cheese in.

Italian burger 3 2015

Grill them on a hot grill.  While they are grilling prepare the topping for the burgers.  I had some oyster mushrooms to use up.

Italian burger 4 2015

In a small skillet heat up a bit of olive oil.  Chop up the mushrooms and a clove of garlic.  Saute for a few minutes and add the roasted tomatoes.

Italian burger 5 2015

Add a bit of balsamic vinegar and bring to a simmer.  Season with sea salt and pepper.

Italian burger 6 2015

At the end of cooking add fresh basil.  Top the burgers with the tomato mixture and grate fresh parmesan on top with a bit more fresh basil.

Italian burger 7 2015

And if all goes right, it will be nice and melty inside.  Melty, not sure if that is the technical term!

Italian burger 8 2015

Add a side of grilled corn and it’s a great meal to say goodbye to summer.  While I left off the bun, this is also good with a buttered grilled brioche bun.  But that is a lot of food!

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Crêpes with Roasted Vegetables

Usually when we straggle through security at Terminal 3 in Heathrow we head right to avoid the perfumes and the endless clerks ready to spray you with them.  Inevitably we end up at the same restaurant, get hustled through our basic food and sent on our way.  Then we wander and see other restaurants that we swear we’ll remember and try the next time.  This time we took a deep breath, hooked left, raced past the perfumes, and checked out the other side.  We came across a French restaurant that began with an O and for the life of me I can’t remember the name.  But the food was delicious.  Today’s was inspired by a dish our daughter had and I’ll be making another dish my husband made. Not bad for an airport.

Her dish was similar to a ratatouille but in a crêpe form.  Very basic but it worked.  While all the steps are easy for this dish it does take time to prep all the ingredients.  I mixed the crêpe batter ahead of time and chilled it.

Next I prepped the tomatoes to roast in the oven.  I used roma tomatoes and sliced them about 1/4″ thick, drizzled them with olive oil, seasoned them with salt and pepper.  I set the oven to convection at 300F/150C.  I slow roasted them for about an hour.

Roasted veg crepes 1 2014 Roasted veg crepes 2 2014

My husband cooked the crêpes for me while I grilled the veg.  I sliced onion and aubergine and also drizzled them with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Roasted veg crepes 3 2014 Roasted veg crepes 4 2014

In addition to the aubergine and onion I did up wide slices of pepper.  You want the grill to be relatively hot but not scorching.  I was going for a nice grilled roasted flavour, not burnt!

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Once the veg is cooked begin to layer the ingredients on the crêpes.

Roasted veg crepes 7 2014

Grate a cheese of your choice that will melt well over the veg.  We used jarlsberg as that is what we had but cheddar would work.

Roasted veg crepes 8 2014

Place another crêpe on top and heat in the oven at 350F/175C until the crêpes begin to brown and the cheese melts.

Roasted veg crepes 9 2014

Quarter them and serve immediately.

Roasted veg crepes 10 2014

I loved the roasted tomatoes in this.  I really should roast them more often.  My daughter said it made the restaurant dish taste a bit one noted.  🙂  High praise indeed!

In reference to yesterday’s post about not being able to preview the post before publishing, I’ve also found that the photos load smaller even though the file size is the same, and if I want to include a link to a post I did previously I have to open a new tab, go to the dashboard, search, open the post then copy the link.  And they got rid of the list of tags I used the most. Not sure what they were thinking with this change!  But I’ve sent a note to the support group.  Hopefully we can get this sorted out.