Recipe of the Week from the Happy Chef: “Best Burger Ever” and “Mighty Darn Good Oven Fries”

The Food Network has been very enticing this week. With the month of June here they have been focusing on outdoor grilling. Rachael Ray made this fabulous gourmet hamburger chocked full of all her favorite things. I made some yesterday and was told it is the BEST burger ever! Burgers are just too much fun – you can do so many creative things with them. As part of my celebration of summer I have decided to make a different gourmet burger every week. Stay tuned – I will be sure to let you know what other fabulous burger creations I find!

4 large Idaho potatoes, scrubbed

1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided

4-5 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, divided

4-5 cloves garlic

1/2 pound ground sirloin

1/2 pound ground pork

1 tablespoon grill seasoning

2 teaspoons fennel seed

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons capers

A handful of fresh flat leaf parsley

2 teaspoons anchovy paste

1 teaspoon lemon zest

3/4 cup pitted black or green olives

4 slices sharp provolone cheese or thinly sliced smoked mozzarella cheese

4 crusty rolls, such as sesame Kaiser rolls, split

2 vine-ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced

10-12 basil leaves, torn or shredded

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced


-Heat oven to 500°F.

-Cut 10 wedges from each potato and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle a couple tablespoons of EVOO over the potatoes to coat them lightly, then season with rosemary, salt and pepper and one teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. Throw a couple cloves cracked garlic on the sheet with potatoes. Roast 25 minutes, turning once.

-Meanwhile, place ground meats in a bowl and add 2-3 cloves grated garlic, grill seasoning, fennel seed, one teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and Worcestershire sauce. Mix the burgers and form four patties. Make patties thinner in the center– burgers bulge as they cook.

-Cook burgers on grill or in skillet with olive oil – 5-6 minutes on each side. While burgers cook, slice cheese, tomatoes, onions and basil and reserve.

-In a food processor, combine capers, parsley, anchovy paste, lemon zest and olives. Turn processor on and drizzle in 3-4 tablespoons EVOO in a slow, steady stream until a thick paste forms, making an olive tapenade.

-Melt cheese on burgers and toast buns.

-Place burgers on buns and top with tomato, basil and red onions. Slather the bun tops with some olive tapenade and serve with oven fries.

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