Friday, May 27, 2011

A few Memorial Day Weekend Recipes

I get tons of emails every day with recipes.. .so many so that I have them directed right into their own folder in my inbox so I don’t miss any and I go through it weekly, save the ones I like and know I’ll use in the folder to print out when I get a chance.

Today there were a gazillion different things for the big memorial day weekend so I thought I’d share a few of these great recipes with y’all.

I don’t have an outdoor grill (my LL does, but he’s not willing to let me use it) I do, although have a fairly large George Foreman Grill, which is awesome.. I don’t always get that charred flavor, but if that’s what I’m looking for I will occasionally toss whatever I’m making in the broiler.

Lemon Pesto Marinade
(from iVillage)
Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 cups Serving

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon zest (from 1 or 2 lemons)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup whole basil leaves, loosely packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup parsley leaves, loosely packed
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the basil, parsley, mint, dill and garlic until finely chopped. While the machine is still running, slowly drizzle in the reserved olive oil mixture until well combined. Add the salt and pepper. Adjust with additional salt if desired.

Brush on or marinate fish and seafood no more than 30 minutes prior to grilling. If using with chicken, vegetables or beef, brush on or marinate up to 4 hours in advance. Drain off the marinade slightly before grilling.

Grill over medium-high heat—if your grill is too hot, the herbs will burn too quickly.

Both The Kid and myself Love horseradish.. not sure how this came to be, but he really digs the stuff.  I will sometimes make a rub with horseradish, salt, pepper and lemon juice for steaks, let it sit for an hour or so and toss it under the broiler and then serve it with a horseradish mayo on the side.

Bloody Mary Burgers with Horseradish Dressing

Yield: 4 Servings

1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 to to 1 1/4-inch piece horseradish root, freshly grated
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
4 to 8 dashes Tabasco or other hot sauce, to taste
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 good bread buns, ciabatta rolls, or thick slices of baguette
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
 romaine lettuce leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Tomato slices
3 pounds ground round
Ketchup (optional)
A little canola or olive oil


In a medium bowl, mix together the tomato paste, horseradish, celery seeds, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and a generous grinding of black pepper. Add the beef and mix thoroughly with your hands, making sure the seasonings are spread throughout the meat. Let stand for at least an hour for the flavors to develop. Meanwhile, make the horseradish dressing: Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Break off a small piece of the beef mixture, the size of a walnut, and fry in a little oil until well cooked. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.

Shape the meat into 4 patties about 3/4 inch thick. Lightly brush each one with oil, then place on a grill over high heat. It’s hard to give exact cooking instructions due to variables such as the thickness of the burger, the heat of the grill, and personal preference. For a medium-rare burger, you will probably need to grill for 3 to 4 minutes, then flip over and cook the other side for a couple of minutes. If you’re cooking the burgers indoors, use a lightly oiled grill pan set over medium-high heat. Let the burgers rest for a minute or two while you prepare the buns.

To serve, toast the buns or other bread lightly on the cut side, then top with the lettuce leaves and tomato slices. Add the burgers and smear with horseradish sauce, and a dollop of ketchup if you like. Top with the other half of the bread.

Good with French fries, obviously, but if they’re too much effort, really good potato chips will do.

I ABSOLUTELY Love Greek food, so this is definitely one I’m going to try.

Lamb Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce

(1 lb) good-quality lamb ground
4 artisan-style hard rolls
1 tsp minced garlic
4 small handfuls of baby spinach leaves
1/2 tsp ground cloves
 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp olive oil

Prep: 15 min Total: 30 min (Quick)

Put the lamb in a bowl and add the garlic, cloves, cumin, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Mix with your hands until well combined, then shape into four burgers. Chill until ready to cook.

Mix the red onion with the vinegar and sugar. Let marinate while you prepare the sauce. Squeeze the cucumber to remove excess moisture, then mix with the yogurt, garlic, mint, and a little salt and pepper. Chill.

When ready to eat, heat a ridged cast-iron grill pan. Sprinkle the burgers with a little kosher salt and brush with olive oil. Cook the burgers until browned and cooked through, 3–4 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, split the rolls and toast them. When the burgers are cooked, assemble your creation with baby spinach leaves, tzatziki sauce, and the drained marinated onions.

This is very close to the way I make Turkey burgers.. I’ve never tried it with chicken though.. Another marked to try asap :)

Chicken Mushroom Burgers

1 pound lean ground chicken (or turkey)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
6 whole wheat buns, halved
2 green onions, chopped
Tomato slices, for Toppings
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
alfalfa sprouts or leaf lettuce, for Toppings
1/4 cup oat bran
cranberry sauce or mustard, for Toppings
1 1/4 teaspoons dried tarragon or 1 tbsp fresh
 light mayonnaise, for Toppings
1/2 teaspoon salt


Lightly combine chicken, mushrooms, onions, garlic, oat bran, tarragon, salt and pepper. Gently form into 6 evenly shaped patties, about 3/4-inch thick. Refrigerate patties for at least 1 hour before grilling (see Tip).

Preheat grill on medium. Place patties on lightly oiled grill rack. Close lid and grill for 6 to 7 minutes per side or until an instant-read thermometer inserted sidewise into center of each patty reads 165°f; turn once.

During last few minutes of cooking, place buns on top rack of grill to warm. Fill each bun with a cooked patty; top with choice of garnishes. Makes 6 servings.

Tip: Patties hold together best if covered and refrigerated for about 1 hour before cooking.

Safety Tips: A little care for your chicken is in order. After handling raw chicken, wash your hands and all utensils with hot soapy water and rinse well. After grilling, always put burgers on a clean plate. Never use a plate that held the raw burgers.