Back to the Kitchen: Summer Grilling Having Some Fun

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The BBQ season has officially kicked off and summer is here! The ease and simplicity of grilling makes summer an easy time to entertain because it is wonderful way to feed the masses. For a very successful BBQ, I like to have a great variety to please all palates and for all kinds of diet choices.  First start with the burger. When it comes to a beef burger I’m a purest. I go for the fattest of the fat — thick and juicy on the rare side of medium. I know that it is neither PC nor FDIC, but they sure are delicious! I like a plain bun, sharp cheddar and a nice slice of fresh tomato, lettuce and onions. Add to that a mayo/ketchup mixture with some chopped pickles.

Turkey burgers need a different type of preparation. I created my famous turkey burgers because I wanted something completely different. With a mix of cranberries, soy sauce,  ginger, garlic and more, you’ll never think of a turkey burger as bring again.

I started playing with salmon for non-meat eaters, as well as tofu and black beans, when I was asked to create something awesome for my vegan friend. Mix and match and play with these sides of Waldorf Cole Slaw, Minty Roasted Potatoes and Grilled Vegetables.

I have included some of my classic recipes because people are always requesting them as they plan their own cookouts! Oh, and don’t forget to try out the two very different sangia recipes.This girl and her grill will be celebrating with friends and family all summer long, so I invite you to do the same! Happy start of summer!

Turkey Burger

1-pound ground Turkey

2 scallions, thinly chopped

1/2 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 inch ginger, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Splash soy sauce

4 burger buns or rolls

1 cup Asian lettuce mix

In a medium bowl, mix the turkey, scallions, cranberries, garlic. ginger, red pepper and soy sauce. Divide into 4 patties. Over medium coals place on BBQ (or skillet or stovetop grill) and cook for 10 minutes and flip and cook 5-10 minutes longer. Serve on a bun with 1/4 cup Asian lettuce, Chinese style mustard and wasabi mayonnaise. (In a small bowl whisk together 1/4-cup mayo and 1 tablespoon wasabi paste.)

Spicy Black Bean Burger Patties

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained

2 teaspoon, olive oil

Juice and zest of half a lemon

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 onion, minced

2 teaspoon old bay seasoning

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4-cup breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper, to taste

Dash hot sauce, to taste

In a food processor or blender, process the all ingredients until smooth. Or, mash together with a large fork or potato masher until beans are well mashed. Refrigerate mixture for at least 2 hours or overnight. Fire up the grill and barbecue your black bean veggie burger patties. Serve over lettuce.

Salmon Burgers with Ginger Lime Aioli

Juice and zest of 1 lime

1 teaspoon Asian hot chili sauce

2 1/2 pounds skinless salmon fillets, chopped finely

4 scallions, thinly sliced

5 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves

1-cup fresh breadcrumbs

2 eggs

2 tablespoons of reserved aioli

Splash soy sauce

Fresh mint leaves

8 sesame buns, split and toasted

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and very thinly sliced

Combine 2 tablespoons of reserved aioli with egg, limejuice, zest and chili sauce; whisk to blend well. Add salmon, onion, mint, breadcrumbs and soy sauce. Handling salmon as little as possible to avoid compacting it mix well and form 8 patties. Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Place patties on rack; cook about 3 minutes on each side. Top each bun bottom with cucumber strips, mint leaves, burger and aioli. Add bun tops and serve.

Ginger-Lime Aioli

1-cup mayonnaise

4 tablespoons sour cream

5 cloves garlic, minced

4 teaspoons ginger, minced

Juice and zest of 1 lime

Pinch Kosher salt

Combine aioli ingredients; mix well. Reserve 2 tablespoons for patties; cover and refrigerate remainder until serving.

Tofu Burgers

1 12-ounce package firm tofu, drained, patted dry, cut into 1-inch-thick slices

1 carrot, grated

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1 inch ginger, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/2 cup almonds, toasted, ground

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

4 teaspoons soy sauce

1-teaspoon sesame oil

1-teaspoon sesame seeds

4 sesame seed buns, toasted

4 tomato slices

Wasabi mayonnaise (to keep vegan mix 1/4 cup soy mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon wasabi powder)

Wrap tofu in doubled dishtowel. Place on counter top. Weigh down with a board topped with food cans for 1 hour. In a small skillet sauté carrot, scallions ginger and garlic until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Cool. Squeeze towel-wrapped tofu to extract as much liquid as possible from tofu. Transfer tofu to medium bowl. Using fork, mash into small pieces. Mix carrot mixture, almonds, mustard, soy sauce, and sesame oil and sesame seeds into tofu. Divide mixture into four 1/2-inch-thick patties. Spray grill rack with nonstick spray, then prepare barbecue (medium heat). Place patties on grill or in skillet and cook until golden brown and heated through, about three minutes per side. Serve on a bun with wasabi mayonnaise and a slice of tomato.

Slicks BBQ Sauce

3/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/2-cup dark brown sugar

1 Shakes Worchester

4 shakes Tabasco

1 clove garlic minced

1-tablespoon black pepper

1-teaspoon celery salt

1 heaping teaspoon chili powder

4 tablespoons French’s mustard

1 cup Heinz ketchup

Mix all ingredients in an empty and clean 1/2-gallon milk jug. It is best to make a couple of days a head. Shake vigorously at least twice a day.

Minty Roasted Potatoes

I love all of the different types of potatoes! I mix up fingerling, purple white and even sweet and yams!

16 new potatoes

1/2 cup olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

8 garlic cloves finely chopped

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves

Pre-heat oven to 350

Prick the potatoes with the tines of a fork and arrange them on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Cut the potatoes into quarters and place them in a serving bowl. While they are still hot, toss them with the oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Gently toss in the mint. This twist on a potato salad can be served warm or at room temperature.

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Buttermilk Balsamic Dressing

1 bunch asparagus

1 zucchini

2 yellow squash

1 eggplant

1 red pepper, seeded

2 ears corn

1 small jicama, chopped

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 bunch arugula

1 head romaine

Salt and pepper

Lightly coat asparagus, zucchini, squash, eggplant, pepper and corn with olive oil.. Heat cast iron grill pan over high heat. Grill vegetables until tender. Toss arugula and romaine leaves with jicama and Tomatoes. With buttermilk balsamic dressing e in a bowl. Arrange on platter and top with grilled vegetables. You can top with ground pepper, shaved Parmesan or crumbled goat cheese.

Buttermilk Balsamic Dressing

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1-cup well-shaken low-fat buttermilk

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1-cup olive oil

Whisk together all ingredients until well mixed. Let Stand for one hour.

Asian Slaw

For the dressing:

Whisk the following ingredients together. (Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before continuing).

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4-cup sesame oil

1/4-cup peanut butter

3 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

3 cloves fresh minced garlic

Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped cilantro and some crushed peanuts if you like.

7 cups thinly sliced cabbage (mix red and green)

1 red bell pepper cut into match size strips

1 yellow bell pepper cut into match size strips

2 large carrots pealed, cut into match size strips

8 large green onions cut into matchstick-size strips

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Waldorf Coleslaw

Large white cabbage, cored and chopped (about 12 cups)

4 Fuji apples cut into julienne strips

4 ribs of celery, sliced thin diagonally

2 red onions, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups walnuts

1/2-cup mayonnaise

1/2-cup yogurt

3 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4-cup canola oil

1/2 cup champagne vinegar (or other white wine vinegar)

In a large bowl stir together the cabbage, apple strips, celery, onions and the walnuts. In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, the yogurt, the mustard, the sugar, the oil, the salt, and the vinegar until the dressing is smooth, pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture, and toss the slaw well. Chill the slaw, covered, for 2 hours or overnight.

Traditional Sangria

1 Bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja, Zinfandel, Shiraz)

1 Lemon cut into wedges

6 Oranges cut into wedges

3 Lime cut into wedges

2 Tbsp sugar

2 Shots of gin

1 Cup of sliced strawberries or raspberries

1 Small can of diced pineapples (with juice)

4 Cups ginger ale

Pour wine in the pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon, orange and lime into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and pineapple then add sugar, orange juice and gin. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale, berries and ice just before serving. If you’d like to serve right away, use chilled red wine and serve over lots of ice.

White Wine Sangria

1 bottle dry white wine

1 cup frozen lemonade

4 cups ginger ale or 7 up

1 orange, sliced

1 lemon sliced

1 lime sliced

4 strawberries, sliced

1 peach, sliced

In a large pitcher mix together white wine and lemonade. Add fruit slices and about 4 cups ice. Pour over the ginger ale or 7-up and mix well. Best is a pretty glass pitcher so you can see all of the fruit.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

  • Jackie Houchin

    Yum, yum, yum! I just wish it was easier to fire up the grill. (You know, take the cover off, clean the rack, oops! we’re out of propane, Etc.) :o )

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