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Tomato and Basil Burger With Encrusted Gaot Cheese

The inspiration for this hamburger recipe came from a tomato bruschetta that I have served many times to guests as an appetizer. Although I was a bit skeptical at first about how well it would pare with hamburger meat, I was thrilled to see that the flavors melded together wonderfully!


Tomato And Basil
5 vine ripened tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons chopped Vidalia onion
¼ cup finely minced fresh basil
½ teaspoon olive oil
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Encrusted Goat Cheese Rounds
12 oz. goat cheese, sliced into nine 1 inch rounds
¼ cup flour, for dredging
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup finely ground breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons steak sauce
2 teaspoons salt
fresh cracked black pepper
6 onion rolls, split
salted butter
vegetable oil spray for the grill


FOR THE TOMATO AND BASIL: Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and fold together to ensure that all ingredients are thoroughly integrated. Chill FOR THE ENCRUSTED GOAT CHEESE ROUNDS: Place a fire-proof skillet onto the grill. Heat the olive oil in the skillet. While the oil is heating, dredge each goat cheese round first in flour, then egg, and finely the breadcrumbs. Once the oil is hot, working in batches, place each round on the skillet and fry for about 2 minutes on each side, or until the crust has turned a golden brown. Place finished rounds o a paper towel to drain. Keep rounds covered in foil when done. FOR THE PATTIES: In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients. Mix thoroughly, ensuring that all ingredients are well combined. Shape mixture into six patties and set aside. FOR GRILLING: Brush the grill with vegetable oil. Place patties on the rack and cover the grill. Cook burgers to desired doneness, turning them once, about 4-6 minutes on each side for medium-rare to medium. If desired, during the last few minutes of cooking, place the onion rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. ASSEMBLING THE BURGER: Butter each side of the onion roll. Place the burger on the bottom half. Top each burger with 1 and ½ goat cheese rounds each and then layer tomato and basil mixture atop the rounds. Combine the two halves.