Saturday, June 8, 2013

Spinach-Mozzarella-Stuffed Burgers

My SIL made these out of one of my magazines a couple times when I lived with her and my brother. I remembered them being really good, so it's just another reason to give them a try. It's funny how back then I didn't think to investigate the author of the recipe, Bruce Aidells. I could've learned such delicious recipes so much sooner had I just been a little bit more...conscious.

Originally written for the grill, I had a choice: broiler or skillet? Skillet. Sort of like a steak.

Spinach-Mozzarella-Stuffed Burgers
adapted from Cooking Club
click to print

1 1/2 lb. ground beef (80% lean)
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
2 c firmly packed spinach
1 c shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz.)
1/4 c basil pesto
4 Kaiser rolls, split
1 c loosely packed arugula

1/3 c mayonnaise
2 tbsp chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tbsp chopped capers

Gently combine ground beef, salt and pepper in medium bowl.

Using generous 1/3 cup per patty, shape into 8 (3 1/2-inch) patties 1/2 inch thick. Place on baking sheet; refrigerate while preparing stuffing.

Place spinach in dry large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes or until wilted, stirring occasionally.

Drain; cool. Squeeze out any excess moisture and chop.

Place spinach in medium bowl. Stir in mozzarella cheese and pesto.

Mound about 1/4 cup packed stuffing in center of 4 patties; cover with remaining 4 patties, pressing edges firmly to seal. Gently press patties to flatten.

Combine mayonnaise ingredients in small bowl.

Heat cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook burgers in batches over medium heat 7-8 minutes or until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink in center, turning once.

Remove burgers from heat; let rest.

Broil buns 30 to 60 seconds or until lightly toasted.

Damn, a little darker than I prefer.

Spread buns with 2 tablespoons of the mayonnaise. Top burgers with arugula.

It looks a little plain but man, this burger kicks ASS! It's juicy, cheesy, and superbly savory. Even the mayo is excellent. The spinach and rocket are very nicely complimented by the sweet and tang of the sun-dried tomatoes and capers. Wow, wow, wow! The only thing I will do different on the other three burgers is to give them a nice sprinkling of pepper. In the future, I'll cut back on the cheese, maybe down from 4 oz to 3. Or maybe even 2. By the end of the burger I was on salt overload (is Boar's Head mozzarella always this salty?) and feeling not so great, though it has been 12 hours since I ate last. And these should be enjoyed with the oven-baked fries, so yeah, 2 oz.

One of these will be good before golfing tomorrow afternoon since prolonged sun exposure seems to expose a weird salt deficiency of mine. I start feeling a little lightheaded, then a little nauseated, and then I feel really exhausted. Eating a handful of French fries or potato chips kicks the sodium-potassium pumps immediately into gear and I'm ready to rock-n-roll. Weird.

ground beef: $4.49
spinach: $0.89
mozzarella cheese: $1.12
basil pesto: $2.04
Kaiser rolls: $2
arugula: $0.50
mayonnaise: $0.53
oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes: $0.19
capers: $0.13

Putting some lick-smackin' goodness together for lunch before golfing.


I had the third burger tonight. Like 2 nights ago, I got weird bits stuck in my teeth and when picking it out found it wasn't spinach but burger, uh, bits. I couldn't help but wonder which part of which cow from which country it was that I'd retrieved from between my teeth. This really sucks and has me wondering if I should be more serious about getting the equipment to grind meat at home.