Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gangsta Burgers (aka Bruschetta Burgers)

I have this problem lately. Apparently...I am a slacker blogger. Yes. You heard me.

My poor little blog has not been feeling much lovins lately and I'm sad about it. Life took over lately and I have truly missed everything that this blog has provided for me.

Least of all...this blog has provided me the opportunity to "meet" and "get to know" some other amazing food bloggers in the food bloggy world.

I've already waxed poetic about my intense slight obsession love for Julie. And today I want to talk about another love of mine...Monica from Lick the Bowl Good.

Monica was one of the very first food blogs I started reading. Her pictures were amazing. Her food always looked delicious. And she blogged about both sweet yumminess and savory dishes. I was completely smitten from the start.

One day, Monica posted about these little bacon and egg candy things. I thought they were so adorable that I had to comment!

As my blog tried to find it's voice (it started as a book blog, became a personal blog, and landed as a food blog) and I continuously changed my name (from Litvixen to mannadonn and finally Maranda) it was no wonder that Monica had no idea who I was.

Until one day I emailed her. I emailed her to tell her how much she had inspired me and how much my heart went out to her and her family. What I received in response was more than I could have hoped for. Monica was sweet, kind and welcoming and I was shocked to find out she lives in the same town my mother lives.

Now, for Father's Day Monica posted an amazing looking meal. Bruschetta burgers. I ran out to get the stuff to make these for The Hubble the following weekend. What I didn't realize at the time was that this small dinner would turn into a small gathering.

Everyone loved these burgers so much that they were given a new name and became a staple over the summer. We've had them probably 5 times or more over the last couple of months.

Now it is my pleasure to pass these on to you. Because "my gangsta burgers bring all the boys to the yard" and they will to yours as well!

Let's go:

First we start with the ingredients (now keep in mind that I was making this for a get together of 24 people so if the portions look large, they were! The recipe at the end will be for 2-3 people.):

For the burgers: hamburger patties, hamburger buns and mozzarella slices.

For the bruschetta topping: roma tomatoes, minced garlic, Mediterranean basil, garlic salt, pepper, shredded parmesan cheese. (And extra virgin olive oil, but I forgot to put it in the picture).

For the pesto may: good quality mayonnaise and prepared pesto.

Please allow me to talk about this stuff for a moment. This stuff, this basil pesto, is pretty much...magical. I love this stuff! I use it on sandwiches, in pasta sauce and yes...on gangsta burgers! If you ask me, this should be a staple in everyone's kitchen. It is in mine!

Now. We are going to core and seed our tomatoes. I started by slicing the tops off the tomatoes, cutting them in half, then using a spoon to scrape out all the seeds and stuff inside the tomato.

Then do a little dice, dice action to those bad boys.

Dump in your minced garlic. Yes. I'm lazy and Anthony Bourdain would yell at me because I use the pre-minced stuff. Don't forget I was making a huge batch of this stuff...that's a lot of garlic!!

Now we toss in our basil. I really like the Mediterranean basil but you can use any you like...or hey, use fresh if you are into that sort of thing! It's difficult to get fresh basil in the middle of nowhere though so I do what I can.

Now stir all of that stuff up until it's well mixed.

I totally forgot to take a picture of this earlier so here it is. Now add your olive oil. Mix it up nice and good and put it in the fridge so all the flavors can marry up. We'll make everything else while the tomatoes, basil and garlic and getting to know one another. (Do not add the garlic salt and pepper until immediately before serving. The salt will cause the tomatoes to release their juices and you don't want that).

Next, you want to make your pesto mayo. Basically...well...not basically...really. Just toss your mayo into a bowl, dump the pesto on top and mix it all up. You can set that in the fridge for now too.

Now for the burgers. We used the pre-formed frozen kind but you can make your own if you want. Just sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper and toss them on the grill (or pan fry or use an indoor grill, whatever you prefer).

When the burgers are almost done, top with a slice of cheese and allow to melt.

Now for our trip through the daisies...because no summer is complete without a couple kids with watermelon slices the size of their heads and juice running down their chins. I would say Little Butt and her best friend Z-Man really enjoyed their watermelon.

Oh wait. What? You don't want yours? You want mommy to eat it?? Well....if you insist! I'll jump on that grenade for you Little Butt.

When the burgers are done and you have finished your daughter's piece of watermelon, toss some garlic salt and pepper into the bruschetta and mix it up. Spread a healthy dose of pesto mayo onto your bun, place a burger on the bun, top with the bruschetta and shredded parmesan.

Then top with the bun and enjoy!!!

I must also warn you that if you make these for anyone outside your family, they will pretty much expect them EVERY time they come over after their first taste.

Thank you.

The end.

Gangsta Burgers (aka Bruschetta Burgers)
Adapted from Lick the Bowl Good

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For bruschetta topping:
  • 3 ripe roma tomatoes; cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 Tablespoon pre-minced garlic (or 2 garlic cloves, minced)
  • 1 teaspoon Mediterranean basil (or fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic salt and pepper to taste
  • Shredded parmesan cheese
For pesto mayo:
  • 3 Tablespoons good quality mayo
  • 1 Tablespoon prepared basil pesto
For beef patties:
  • Beef patties (frozen or homemade); salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 slice mozzarella cheese per hamburger patty

For bruschetta topping:
  1. Core, seed, and dice tomato. 
  2. Add minced garlic, basil and extra virgin olive oil; mix well to combine.
  3. Immediately before serving add garlic salt and pepper.
For pesto mayo:
  1. Place mayo and prepared pesto into container, mix well.
For hamburger patties:
  1. Place patties on grill, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. When burgers are almost to desired temperature top with mozzarella cheese; cook until cheese is melted.
Gangsta burger assembly:
  1. Spread a generous helping of pesto mayo on both sides of hamburger bun.
  2. Place cheese topped hamburger patty on bun.
  3. Top with bruschetta topping and parmesan cheese.
  4. Eat and enjoy!
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