Crossroads of America Pizza Burger
Indiana is known as the “Crossroads of America” because several major highways criss-cross through the state connecting Indiana to the rest of the country. If there is one food that people from all parts of the country “connect to” it would be pizza. What could be better than to take that another step and create the ultimate pizza burger.
2 8-oz cans of tomato sauce with roasted garlic
4 teaspoons ketchup
2 teaspoons double concentrated tomato paste (in the tube)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons pizza seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon pizza seasoning
1 pound package of good quality, ready to bake pizza dough
1 tablespoon olive oil, to coat baking sheet
24 slices of pepperoni
6 Tablespoons shredded Quattro Formaggio (Italian 4 cheese blend)
1 3/4 pound ground chuck
1/4 pound ground Italian sausage
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pepperoni
2 tablespoons Pizza Sauce
2 tablespoons shredded Quattro Formaggio
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or ¼ teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, or ¼ teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 thick slices fresh mozzarella
10-12 fresh basil leaves, shredded for garnish
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the pizza sauce combine the tomato sauce, ketchup, tomato paste, garlic, sugar and pizza seasoning in a small, fire-proof nonstick saucepan. Cook 5 minutes over medium-high heat, then move to a cooler section of the grill and allow to simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Remove from the grill, cover and keep warm.
To make the pizza pockets heat a small fire-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the onion and green pepper. Sauté 2-3 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and cook another 3-4 minutes. Remove pan from the grill and mix in the pizza seasoning. Allow mixture to cool.
Divide the pizza dough into 12 equal portions. On a lightly floured board, roll each piece of dough into a 5-inch circle. Take 6 of the dough circles and top each with 4 pieces of pepperoni, 1/6 of the onion and mushroom mixture, and 1 tablespoon of the Quattro Formaggio. Place one of the remaining dough circles over each of the topped sections, and press together to seal. Place the pizza pockets on a cookie sheet lightly coated with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Turn to lightly coat both sides of the dough. Let rest for about ten minutes.
When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place dough on the hot grill rack and grill, covered, about 5 minutes on each side, until cooked through and lightly browned. Remove to platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
To make the patties, combine the ground chuck, Italian sausage, chopped pepperoni, pizza sauce, Quattro Formaggio, garlic, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 equal patties.
Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5-7 minutes on each side for medium. Place the cheese slices on the patties during the last 3 minutes of grilling.
To assemble the burgers, gently create a “pocket” in the pizza dough by separating along one edge. Spread the interior surface with some of the pizza sauce. Insert a cheese topped patty, sprinkle with some of the shredded basil, and serve.