2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
12 ounces pound mozzarella cheese
2 Roma tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon peppercorns (or black pepper)
6 hamburger buns
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Mince onion and garlic cloves. Mix onion, garlic, ground beef, and Italian seasoning. Form 6 patties. Put patties in frying pan. Fry at medium-high heat with lid on for about 15 minutes or until the insides of the patties are done to the desired level of pinkness or brownness. Flip patties 2 times.
While patties are cooking, slice mozzarella into 24 slabs. Slice tomatoes 1/8″ thick. Grind peppercorns. Toast hamburger buns. Put a patty on each bun. Put 2 slabs on mozzarella on patty. Put 2 slices of tomato on mozzarella slabs. Put 2 slabs of mozzarella on bun top, then put 2 slices of tomato. Drizzle olive oil on and sprinkle the bottom half with ground pepper, and salt. Sprinkle top half with basil. Combine the bottom and top parts of the burger. Repeat for the next 5 burgers.
1) In 408 A.D., Alaric besieged Rome with his Visigothic army. The Romans bought him off with 3,000 pounds of pepper. It is quite possible, though historians are by no means unanimous of this point, the Visigoths used this pepper to make caprese burgers.
2) In 410 A.D., their supply of pepper exhausted, the Visigoths were reduced to eating porridge. Clearly, this was not a stable situation. Alaric took his army once more to Rome. This time, the Romans refused to give the barbarians their pepper; Italian pork chops with pepper having become the latest culinary rage. The culinary-driven Visigoths stormed Rome, sacking it for 3 days while they searched for hidden stores of pepper.
3) Rome never recovered. The great chefs of Rome, deprived of pepper, gradually drifted off into banditry. The entire Roman Empire collapsed. The Dark Ages descended all over Europe not to be lifted for a thousand years.
4) This is why I always keep a lot of pepper in my kitchen.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.