BADA BING Burger with Soprano Sauce and Fennel Fresco

Pairs well with:

Pinot Grigio

You won’t need a bouquet of flowers when you share our Pinot Grigio. This crisp wine with floral aromas is a wonderful way to make an entrance.


1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
2 Tablespoons prepared mayonnaise (Hellmann or Best)
3 ounces Taleggio Cheese, rind removed (weigh after removing rind)
3 ounces Italian Fontina Cheese, rind removed (weigh after removing rind)
2 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup capers, drained and chopped
1 cup prepared mayonnaise (Hellmann or Best
1/3 cup Heinz Chili Sauce
1 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup prepared whole roasted garlic cloves
1 lb trimmed and cored fresh fennel bulb
8 ounces sweet onion
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup fresh fennel fronds, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh orange zest (use a microplane style grater)
2 Tablespoons whole grain dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb thinly slicesd Prosciutto di Parma
1 Tablespoons fennel seeds
1 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 Tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
4 Tablespoons balsamic \”glaze\” (Roland or Colavita brand)
1 1/4 lb. ground prime boeless rib-eye steak
1 1/4 lb. ground chuck (80% lean, 20% fat)
6 large challa or brioche hamburger buns (5 1/2\”- 6\” diameter)
high heat canola oil spray (aerosol that is made for the high heat of the grill)



STEP #1. For the Soprano Sauce: Place the chopped sweet onion, 2 Tablespoons prepared mayonnaise, Taleggio cheese, Fontina cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano and mascarpone cheese into a food processor and process until smooth. Scrape the cheese mixture into a small mixing bowl and fold in the chopped capers. Cover the Soprano Sauce with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature until ready to serve the burgers.
STEP #2. For the Sun-dried Tomato Sauce: In a clean food processor bowl combine the 1 cup prepared mayonnaise, chili sauce, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted garlic cloves. Process until smooth (1-2 minutes – scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice). Scrape the Sun-dried Tomato Sauce into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to serve.
STEP #3. For the Fennel Fresco: Thinly slice the fennel and sweet onion and place into a medium mixing bowl. Add the kosher salt, sugar, white wine vinegar, and fresh orange juice and stir/mix until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to macerate for a least 1 hour and up to 2 hours. When fennel mixture has macerated for at least 1 hour, drain it in a colander or sieve (do not press to remove excess liquid – just shake colander or sieve a little). Dry the bowl and put the drained fennel and onion back into it. Add the chopped fennel fronds, orange zest and whole grain Dijon mustard. Use a spoon to combine the ingredients in the bowl thoroughly.
STEP #4. For the Crispy Prosciutto: Place a large cast iron skillet onto the grill over medium to medium-high heat. Place the olive oil into the pan and when it is hot fry the prosciutto (as you would bacon) until crispy and golden brown. You will know it is done when the fat stops bubbling and sizzling. Remove the crispy prosciutto to a paper towel line plate to drain.
STEP #5. For the Burgers: Place the fennel seeds into a dry heavy-duty pan (grill-safe) and place them over medium-high heat on the grill. Toast the seeds until they are golden brown and fragrant, being careful they do not burn. When they are done, immediately remove them from the pan to a small bowl to cool slightly. When the have cooled for a few minutes, use the bottom of a heavy pan or a meat mallet to coarsely crush the toasted seeds. Place the crushed seeds into a large wide mixing bowl. Add the 1 ¾ tsp. fine sea salt, 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, 3 Tablespoons minced fresh rosemary and 4 Tablespoons of balsamic glaze. Use a spoon or spatula to combine the ingredients in the bowl thoroughly. Lightly crumble the ground rib eye and ground chuck over the ingredients in the bowl. Toss everything together lightly (as you would a salad) until everything is evenly distributed. Use your hands to lightly but thoroughly combine the ground meat and other ingredients. Everything should be evenly mixed, but be careful not to overwork the meat. Divide the meat mixture into 6 portions (about 1 cup of the mixture per portion). To form each burger, lightly shape each meat portion into a patty that is about 4 ½” inches across and ¾ – 1” thick. Slightly press/indent the center of each burger/patty so the center is a little bit thinner than the edges. Place the shaped burgers onto a clean platter and cover with plastic wrap. Chill the burgers if you are not going to cook them within the hour.
STEP #6. To Finish the Burgers: Make a “divot” or small receptacle in the inside of each top bun by gently removing a small portion of the bread from the cut side of each top bun (you are creating a sort of concave “shell” out of the top bun which will be filled with the Fennel Fresco after the buns are heated on the grill). Lightly spray the burgers on both sides with the olive oil spray. Cook/grill the burgers on the hot grill (high heat) for about 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare (cook 1-2 minutes more if you like your burgers more well done). While the burgers cook, lightly spray the cut sides of the buns with the olive oil spray and grill (cut sides down) for about 1-2 minutes, or just until toasted and warm. Remove the toasted buns to individual plates or a serving platter. Spread 2 Tablespoons of the Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce on to the cut sides of each top and each bottom bun (2 Tbsp on the top and 2 Tbsp. on the bottom). Fill the “receptacles” in the top buns with about 1/3 cup of the Fennel Fresco. Place 1/6 of the crispy prosciutto onto each bottom bun. Place a cooked burger onto each prosciutto topped bottom bun and top each hot burger with 1/3 cup of the Soprano Cheese Sauce. Quickly flip the Fennel Fresco filled top buns onto the burgers and enjoy!!