After the disaster that shall hereto be referred to as The Peanut Stew Incident of 2021, we needed some redemption in the cooking department. Cue, PIZZA BURGERS! As Steven Michael pointed out, there is absolutely no way burgers, cooked like meatballs and topped with pizza toppings could be gross. And he was right.
When we say “burgers” in the DeLorme house, we are pretty much always referring to Turkey burgers with the occasional veggie burger. Steven Michael and I haven’t eaten red meat since 2006 when we stopped at Culver’s for butter burgers on a cross country journey (I’m sure we’ll talk more about that trip at some point). There was also that one time that I had dinner at my new boss’s house and his wife made traditional lasagna with ground beef and I was way too awkward to say no (plus I was starving and that $#!+ was delicious). Anyway, we’re just not beef people.
I need to point out that Steven Michael makes THE BEST tomato sauce on the planet. I’m probably a little biased because he is my sole source of sustenance but for real, it’s great. There are onions in it, so you know how I feel about that, plus it’s so easy to make that even I have done it successfully (gasp!). The first part of this recipe is for his sauce, slightly tweaked to fit being used for burgers. Also to fit the palette of a super picky 5 year old who won’t eat “chunks” and was eating pasta that night (“only the long tube shapes, not a lot of sauce, don’t let it touch my broccoli, only an even number of noodles” – toddler crap). I’m sure there will be a future blog featuring his regular recipe, but for these burgers, smooth sauce works.
Somehow, Steven Michael got the idea to cook burger patties like meatballs, boiled in a pot of sauce. TALK ABOUT A MILLION DOLLAR IDEA. We always use 99% lean ground turkey which can be a little dry, but not when it’s cooked in a vat of delicious liquidy goodness! I’m sure Steven Michael would prefer to use a fattier meat, but in addition to being an amazing cook, he’s also an incredibly supportive husband. I’ve been on WW (formerly Weight Watchers) for almost three years now, having lost about 70 pounds via diet and training for a half marathon. So, when substitutions can be made, he helps me reach my goals while still eating well.
I was sitting in the dining room salivating as I waited for this meal to be ready. The entire house smelled amazing, and I was tentatively hopeful I wasn’t about to be smacked in the face with horse stench (please see The Peanut Stew Incident of 2021). Finally, a plate piled with broccoli and a delicious looking burger was placed in front of me. JACKPOT. My burger had mozzarella and provolone as well as sautéed onions (obvi) and a ton of that delicious sauce dripping off the side. Steven Michael chose to top his with sautéed mushrooms. The beauty of these burgers is how customizable they are, literally any pizza topping will do the trick.
I knew as soon as I took that first ooey-gooey, cheesy, saucy bite that I was in for a treat. And so, a new DeLorme family staple meal was born. If you decide to make these at home, I would suggest cutting the burger in half to eat it. I did not and most of my cheese oozed over to one side (which was freaking delicious for a few bites), while Steven Michael cut his and had an even distribution. Also, make sure to get a hearty bun to be able to sop up that sauce (cough, crack). We used regular hamburger rolls and they were a little too flimsy.
REDEMPTION! TAKE THAT PEANUT STEW!