Italian Burger Melt

Posted by francis keyser Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Taste Level: VG
Cost: $20 and over
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10-15 min.
Cook Time: 20-25 min.
Difficulty: 1

I have been tossing this idea around for about a year. I even put some notes on this blog that were this:
A melt that is Italian themed with a black olive marinara sauce.
Not a ton to go on, I know! More than enough room to experiment. Experiment I did! Here are the results

Ingredients:
Burger Meat
1 lb ground beef
2 eggs
3 1/2 tbsp Italian bread crumbs
1/4 tsp ground oregano
1/4 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Burger Fixings
4 1/2 inch slices of a ball of fresh mozzarella
2/3 cup fresh basil leaves
Fresh baked Italian styled bread loaf (slice into 4-5 inch sections)

Marinara Sauce
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 14.5 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup bella mushrooms (sliced)
1 2.25 oz can of slices black olives
1/4 tsp ground oregano
3 tsp brown sugar
kosher salt (to taste)

Marinara Sauce
Heat olive oil in small sauce pan over medium heat. Saute garlic in oil until golden (3-5 min,) add the rest of the ingredients and bring to simmer stirring frequently. Let simmer 10-20 minutes.

Burger Meat
Evenly mix ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Dived into four even amounts and make four 1/4-1/2 thick square patties.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a 10 inch non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Once heat cook 1 patty at a time for 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through to your desired amount.

After all the patties have been cooked wipe out your skillet with a paper towel and return to heat.

Melt
Take each 5-6 inch long piece of bread and cut a slit in the center (making a pocket.) Use your fingers to pull out most of the bread leaving only 1/4 inch and the crust. Using 1/4 of basil leaves per sandwich, laying them flat on one side, pressing them into the bread as best as you can. Slide a patty into each bread pocket and then slide in your cheese.

Place sandwiches 2 at a time into skillet cheese side down. Cover 3/4 of the way with a lid (you want to allow ventilation so that the sandwiches do not get mushy) and cook for 4 minutes. Flip sandwiches replace lid and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Remove sandwiches and repeat with the other two.

Once all sandwiches are finished pour 2-3 tbsp of your marinara into the pockets and serve warm.

(You will have marinara left over, I suggest you use it to dip your sandwich in or make pasta for a later meal.)

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