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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Italian Burgers with Marinara and Eggplant

Sometimes I absolutely love it when I screw up. Don't get me wrong, there's more times than not when I'm kicking myself for it. Like the one time that I waited six months to get my son in to see this "premiere" neurologist only to find that I left the house, got completely lost, didn't have the phone number and had an old address. That was no bueno. Or the time when I decided to go to my favorite ethnic grocery store deep in the heart of Anaheim on a Tuesday afternoon. Tuesdays are their "sale" days where you can actually save 1/2 a cent on their already rock bottom prices and it seems to bring out the entire populous of Southern California. Every cart was taken and I felt like Steven Segal in Under Siege trying to get to the cucumbers.

But let's get to the good screw ups. Like the time last year when my husband loaded my bar at CrossFit much heavier than I thought he did. I told him the weight I wanted and he upped it by 10 pounds. I finished the WOD without ever knowing and ended up doing "heavy Fran". I screwed up for not checking my weight, but came away with a sense of accomplishment I would have never allowed myself.

And now let's talk about the screw up that created this post. I've been making dinner in the morning the past week or so. It's the only time that I have to do it since my husband and I are now the proud owners of Anaheim CrossFit. Our partner coaches in the morning and we coach in the evening. Yes, the evening... right across dinner time. This leaves me with exactly zero time in my day to be disorganized or forget anything. Alas... last night, dinner was forgotten. I was scheduled to make my meatballs (the first recipe post on this blog). They are super yummy and cook in the crock pot so they are really easy. But the trick is that you have to remember to actually make them. Fail.

So I had the grass fed ground beef and Hot Italian Sausage defrosted. What in the world was I going to do with that? Pasta?... Not on your life. Then by divine Italian intervention, it came to me. I would make a version of nothing I had ever heard of.

What you'll need:

a pound of grass fed ground beef

a package of Hot Italian Sausage (I used pork)

a jar of Trader Joe's marinara (look for lowest sugar possible)

an eggplant (optional)

What you do:

Mix the ground beef and 4 links of sausage (casing removed) with your hands. Give it a good squish to really get it mixed well. Shape the meat into hamburger patties and set aside. Cut the eggplant into 1/4 inch slices that can be put on top of the burger. Brush the eggplant with oil and sprinkle with pepper. Grill the eggplant on a grill pan or saute it until it's soft and set aside.

While the eggplant is grilling, cook the burgers in a deep skillet until no longer pink in the center. Top each burger with a slice of grilled eggplant and then pour the Marinara sauce over each burger. Turn the flame down low until the dish heats through.

I knew that this was a keeper when I had to leave the kitchen to tend to my boys. When I returned the pan of six burgers had been reduced to four... sans eggplant. The lonely mutilated eggplant lay in the bottom of the skillet clinging to life. Mental note... husband despises eggplant. So except for the eggplant faux pas I got two thumbs up and no leftovers. I hope you enjoy this easy dish as much as we did... eggplant or not!