Hamburgers with Cheese In & Out

Burger stuffed with mozzarella & topped with fontina
Burger stuffed with mozzarella & topped with fontina

Here’s a twist to your standard hamburger. Since it’s reported that Americans eat 3 hamburgers a week I thought you’d want to customize one.

Mix in some chopped garlic, parsley and Worcestershire sauce to perk up the beef.

I stuff mine with fresh mozzarella and add nutty and creamy Italian fontina on top for more flavor punch.

The burger is fine with or without a cheese stuffing or with no cheese at all. Your choice.

With all the scares about contaminated ground beef sold on the grid the best hamburger you eat may be the one made at home with ground beef or chuck you grind yourself from your trusted local butcher.

With the start of the summer you can cook  the hamburger on your outdoor grill or in a stove-top cast iron grill pan. Some chefs think it’s best to cook hamburgers in a flat-bottomed cast iron pan so it cooks evenly and the juices stay inside.

If you’re making hamburgers at home make sure you have a good sturdy bun. I’m using a pain de mie from my favorite Bay Area bakery Acme Bread. It has a sturdy soft crust and a slightly sweet small crumb inside, a perfect hamburger bun.

Add your favorite condiments. For me, no mayo, ketchup or mustard. I prefer a grilled onion and a slice of heirloom tomato on my burger.

The toasted bun is just right for the juicy, tender burger pumped up by garlic and Worcester. The mild mozzarella oozes from the center complemented by the melted nutty fontina on top. The sweet grilled onion and summer tomato finishes the package in style.

Buon appetito!

Hamburgers with Cheese Inside and Out
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Fresh ground beef hamburger flavored with Worcestershire sauce and minced garlic stuffed with mozzarella and topped with fontina.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian-American
Serves: 4
  • 1 pound freshly ground beef
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian flat parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • cubed fresh mozzarella for stuffing the burger
  • sliced Italian fontina
  • 1 onion, cut in fat slices
  • 1 heirloom tomato, cut in fat slices
  1. Heat your grill or cast iron pan for at least ten minutes over high heat.
  2. Put the ground beef in a bowl. Add the garlic, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, sea salt and black pepper and mix well.
  3. Divide the beef in to 4 and loosely roll each into a ball. Make an indentation with your finger and put a small mozzarella cube or two in the dent and cover it over with the ground beef.
  4. Loosely form the hamburger.
  5. When the grill is hot brush the hamburger with olive oil and cook to your desired doneness.
  6. At the same time brush a fat slice of onion with olive oil and cook it along side the burger.
  7. Put the burger on a round roll or bun, top with the grilled onions and tomato slice lightly sprinkled with sea salt and olive oil.
  8. Serve immediately.


Porchetta, Cipollini en Agrodolce, Truffle Roasted Potatoes


A fresh herb and garlic stuffing, crispy crust from a hot oven… Heaven!


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.


  • 2-pound pork loin. Have your butcher butterfly it to about ½ inch uniform thickness.

For the paste filling

  • The leaves of 1 branch of fresh rosemary. Remove the leaves from the stem. Only use the leaves.
  • 6 leaves of fresh sage
  • 12 fresh flat Italian parsley leaves
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the roasting dish

  • 1 fresh rosemary branch, remove the leaves from the stem and only use the leaves
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 sprigs of parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO}
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Finely mince the herbs and the garlic. Place in a small bowl. Add the EVOO and salt and pepper. Mix well.
  2. Roll out the butterflied pork loin. Evenly spread the herb/garlic paste to cover the entire surface of the loin. Don’t go too close to the long sides, leave about a 1/2 inch border. Tightly roll up the pork loin. Tie with string to keep the paste from leaking out and to maintain the shape of the pork loin roast. Rub the outside of the roast all over with some EVOO.  Sprinkle sea salt and black pepper all over the outside of the roast.
  3. In a roasting dish or pan, put the herbs and garlic to form a bed for the roast. Place the pork loin on top of the herb garlic bed. Pour in the wine and water and drizzle the liquids with EVOO.
  4. Put the pan on the middle shelf of the oven pre-heated to 425 degrees. Roast for about 15-20 minutes or until a golden crust starts to form on the roast. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and roast until the internal temperature of the roast is 145 degrees. Take the roast out of the oven and let it rest. The temperature of the roast will continue to rise to about 160 degrees.
  5. Pour the liquid in the roasting pan into a small pan. Use a wire mesh to catch the herbs and garlic. Skim out any fat on the surface. Simmer the sauce on a low flame.
  6. Slice the porchetta into ½ inch slices, top with some of the warm au jus or pan gravy and serve.

Cipollini en Agrodolce

I only cooked 3 onions in the demonstration. Here’s my usual recipe.


  • 2 pounds cipollini onions peeled. (These are the flat Italian onions. If unavailable use pearl onions or shallots.)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons butter (use a couple of tablespoons of EVO instead if you wish)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon or so of sugar. (1/4 cup of red wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey can be substituted for the balsamic and sugar.)

Cooking Directions

  1. Bring water to a boil, add onions, reduce to a simmer, cook until onions are knife tender, about 15 minutes. Drain onions well.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt butter and then put in the onions and coat entirely with butter. Season with salt. Toss onions frequently until carmelized, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the vinegar into the skillet and sprinkle the sugar over the onions. Bring vinegar to a boil tossing the onions until the sugar dissolves and the sauce thickens a bit.
  4. Serve hot or at room temperature. You can store these onions in the refrigerator for about a week. You can serve these treats as a vegetable with roasted sausage or other meats or to accompany salumi and cheeses in an antipasto. They’re very versatile and good to keep around.

Roasted Potatoes with Truffle Oil

Pre-heat the oven to 425.


  • 5 Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1-tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Drizzle of truffle oil (I use an extra virgin olive oil infused with black truffle (tartufo nero)

Cooking Directions

  1. Microwave the potatoes on high for 75 seconds. (This allows the potatoes to roast more quickly in the oven.) Quarter the potato and cut into 1 ½ inch slices. Put the potatoes into a baking dish. Add the EVOO, sea salt and pepper. Mix to coat the potatoes thoroughly.
  2. Put the baking dish on the oven middle rack and roast until the potatoes form a golden crust on the outside, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle the potatoes with about 10 drops of the truffle oil. Don’t use too much, the truffle oil has a powerful flavor.
  3. Serve immediately.