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Posts Tagged ‘mozzarella’

A couple of posts ago, I was bemoaning the fact that there hasn’t been a summer to speak of in 2010. 

I may have been exaggerating, ever so slightly.

I am making this reluctant confession of my tendency to spout dramatic statements, purely because I want to tell you about a BBQ I went to.  It was in May and I distinctly remember sunshine and summeriness… 

Also – the weather yesterday was AMAZING!  I even have a touch of sunburn, along with a hangover from taking advantage of a beer garden in the sun…

Anyway, back to the post.  The BBQ was hosted by the lovely Maxine, and the selection of food was incredible!  Not least the home made burgers I took along (this is not the time for modesty; they were stunning).

Just because the weather is unpredictable, doesn’t mean these beauties can’t be enjoyed once again.  My mum made some the other week and fried them, and they were every bit as good! 

It was some years ago that I came across a recipe that called for stuffing the burgers with cheese.  Unfortunately, I can’t remember where I saw it; but to whoever invented this phenomenon… you deserve a knighthood at the very least.

I made 6 ridiculously large burgers out of these ingredients – I think they could easily make 8-10 fair sized ones.

1kg x beef mince (don’t get extra lean, you want a little fat to keep the burger juicy).

1/2 x onion, chopped finely (I didn’t chop it as finely as I should have in the picture above).

1 x handful of finely chopped fresh basil (for the Italian twist)

1 x egg, beaten

150g x mozzarella slices (I used these ones)

I put the ingredients in a bowl (minus the mozzarella), seasoned with plenty of salt & pepper, then mixed everything together with my hands.  Messy, but necessary.

I took a small handful of the mixture out, shaped it into a patty with my hands, then placed 2 slices of mozzarella cheese on top.

I formed another small patty, then placed on top of the mozzarella, pressing down on the edges to combine and seal the mozzarella inside the burger.  I repeated this for the rest of the burgers.

I put them in the fridge to set, until it was time to go to the BBQ (if you’re not partaking in some BBQ antics, please give it 30mins or so in the fridge to set before cooking).

Shove on the bbq and watch the oozy, cheesy goodness occur.  Turn frequently. 

These took about 20 mins because they were humungous! 

When mum made the smaller versions (she used 500g beef and got 4 burgers out of it), she fried them for about 5-7 mins on each side. 

Serve with your favourite relish and some salad if you please!

Unfortunately I was unable to get a picture of the finished product, sitting proud in it’s bun.  I was too hungry (and possibly intoxicated) to remember to take a photo, sorry!

So I will leave you with a photo of my favourite part of that day… meeting Maxine’s next door neighbours pug!  I wanted to steal him!

There is another recipe to come from this wonderful day.  Maxine’s daughter Celine’s Oreo Truffles!  I will post about it soon, they are almost tear inducingly good.

Do you have a favourite burger recipe?

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When I use the word “gnocchi”, I use it loosely.  I dont even know if I can pronounce it properly!  The gnocchi I refer to today, is packaged stuff from a supermarket; not the “real” fresh stuff.  I’m sure there is a world of difference between the taste, and texture and I intend to try my hand at making gnocchi from scratch one day soon!  In the meantime though, this will do…

My mum isn’t a fan of this gnocchi, as she doesn’t like the heaviness of it, or the thick, chewy texture.  I think it’s one of those bland (but cheap and filling) ingredients, that allows you to experiment to brighten it up!  If I made gnocchi from scratch, I would use delicate flavourings, so as not to over power the taste of the gnocchi.  But when it’s packaged gnocchi, it gives me free reign to combine it with salty meats and cheesy, tomatoey, garlicky wonderment mmmmm….

So I went for this:

Gnocchi with tomatoes, oregano & basil, red pesto, tomato puree, shallots & garlic, chunks of gammon steak and broccoli, topped with mozzarella slices

You certainly couldn’t call this dish bland!  Here’s what I did:

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)

500g  gnocchi (I used this one only 79p!)

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2tbsp red pesto

1tbsp tomato puree

1tbsp dried basil

1tbs dried oregano

8 shallots, diced

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 gammon steaks, cut into bitesized chunks

300g broccoli

12 mozzarella slices

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees

Fry the gammon in olive oil for a few mins, then add the shallots & garlic. 

Add the basil and oregano, then fry for a further 5 mins.

Meanwhile, boil the gnocchi and broccoli for 3-4 mins, then drain.

Add the gnocchi and broccoli to the gammon, shallots & garlic, then add the tomato puree, red pesto and tin of tomatoes.  Give it all a good stir and cook on a medium heat for 5-10 mins.

Transfer it all to an oven proof dish and top with the mozzarella slices.

Bake in the oven for 15 mins, or until the cheese is golden and bubbling.

Enjoy!

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