It’s almost here! The unofficial start of the summer vacation, Memorial Day. There seems to be an internal clock that kicks in around this time of year and I start dreaming of burgers, beach music and sand between my toes!
According to the gurus at Hearth Patio & Barbecue Association, 57 percent of us will be grilling this weekend and the top choice for grilling is hamburgers. So I asked my burger “guru,” Steve, if he would allow me to share a few of the recipes he uses for burgers. I must confess to thinking ground chuck, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce made for a good burger and then you add the condiments to finish it off. Steve’s burgers require minimal condiments because he puts many of them in the burger mixture. It takes a little longer to mix them up, but the outcome is phenomenally good. It was hard to choose, but I picked out my three favorite recipes to share — one of which is his lamb burger!
A good summer celebration needs a refreshing beverage. I love a good cocktail, but I don’t love having to gather a long list of ingredients to make one or two. In my search for a simple pitcher drink, I ran across a recipe using Tropicana Tangerine Lemonade and decided to give it a try. It was really delicious, and I didn’t have to squeeze a million tangerines to achieve a good taste. Tropicana has so many different flavored lemonades and fruit juices that the possibilities for drink making — with or without alcohol — are endless! So if you’re looking for a quick, easy cocktail, try tropicana.com/mixology for some ideas. I’m sharing my favorites thus far to get you started.
Finally, please be sure that in your celebrations you acknowledge what Memorial Day is really about. We don’t like to talk about death and we certainly don’t want to commemorate it, but Memorial Day is about remembering those who died defending our country. As Americans, we must always remember that our freedom is never free. If we fail to remember — we will cease to be free. John McCrae in his poem “In Flanders Fields” said it best: “We are the Dead. Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die we shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.”
I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend and please, please be safe. Alcohol and steering wheels are a terrible match. Happy Memorial Day.
Teri Bell is co-owner of Miss Sophie’s Marketplace at the Mighty Eighth in Pooler. Go to www.sophiesmarketplace.com.
Bacon and Swiss Burgers
I’m a firm believer in getting recipes from product and food manufacturers. They have a staff dedicated to developing and perfecting recipes. This particular recipe is slightly adapted from Weber, the grilling experts.
• 3 slices bacon
• 1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
• 1½ pound ground chuck (80% lean)
• 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
• ½ teaspoon kosher salt
• ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• ¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
• 4 thin slices Swiss cheese
• 4 hamburger buns, split
• 4 medium slices tomato
1. In a large skillet over medium heat on the stove, fry the bacon until crisp, about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Drain the bacon on paper towels, reserving the drippings in the skillet.
2. Cook the onion in the skillet with the bacon drippings over medium heat until tender but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and thyme. Continue to cook until the garlic has softened, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Transfer the onion mixture to a small bowl and let cool. Finely chop the bacon.
4. In a medium bowl mix the ground chuck with the Worcestershire, salt, pepper, hot pepper sauce, the onion mixture, and the bacon. Gently form four patties of equal size, each about 3/4 inch thick. With your thumb or the back of a spoon, make a shallow indentation about 1 inch wide in the center of each patty to prevent them from doming as they cook. Refrigerate the patties until ready to grill.
5. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (400° to 500°F).
6. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the patties over direct medium-high heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to medium doneness, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. During the last minute of grilling time, place a slice of cheese on each patty to melt, and grill the hamburger buns, cut side down, until toasted. Serve with sliced tomatoes, ketchup, mustard and pickles.
Bacon Cheddar Burgers
• 1 small onion, cut into thin (1/8”) slices
• 1 teaspoon butter
• Garlic Salt
• ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
• 1 ½ pounds ground chuck (80%) lean
• ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
• 4 slices cooked bacon crumbled
• Salt & Pepper to taste
• Hamburger buns
1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place onion slices on aluminum foil. Add butter and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and sprinkle with garlic salt. Fold edges of foil to create a packet and place on grill for 20 minutes.
2. Mix ground chuck, remainder of Worcestershire sauce, cheese bacon, salt & pepper to a large mixing bowl. Shape into 4 patties (3/4” thick).
3. Grill patties 8 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Place buns on grill, sliced side down until slightly toasted.
4. Place burgers in buns. Top with onions and any other toppings/condiments of your choice.
Grilled Lamb Burgers
• 1 pound ground lamb
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
• 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
• 1 teaspoon sherry
• 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon molasses
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 4 pita pockets
• Feta cheese, crumbled
1. Preheat grill for medium heat.
2. In a large bowl mix the lamb with the mint, cilantro, oregano, garlic, sherry, vinegar, and molasses. Add the cumin, allspice, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper, and mix well. Shape into 4 patties. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
3. Brush or spay grill grate with oil. Grill burgers 5 minutes on each side, or until well done. Heat the pita pocket briefly on the grill. Serve burgers wrapped in pitas with feta cheese.
• 3 cups Tropicana Tangerine Lemonade
• 4 ounce fresh lime juice
• 4 ounce triple sec or Contreau
• 1 cup tequila
• Citrus salt*
1. Combine lemonade, triple sec, tequila and fresh lime juice in pitcher.
2. Stir and set aside.
3. Prep 8 rocks glasses by using lime wedge and citrus salt to rim each glass.
4. Fill ⅔ with ice.
5. Pour margarita mixture into the prepped glasses and serve. Serves 8
• 1 cup flake salt or coarse salt
• 3 tablespoons citrus zest (any kind)
Mix salt and zest in a bowl; work zest into salt with your fingers to release oils and flavor. Spread on a baking tray. Air-dry until dried completely, 8 hours to overnight.
• 2 ounce Tropicana Tangerine Lemonade
• 1 1/2 ounce Vodka
• 1/4 ounce Lime Juice
• 3/4 ounce Cranberry Juice
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Top with ice and shake. Strain into a martini glass rimmed with pink sugar. Garnish with an orange twist. Serves 1.
Lavender & Honey Gin & Tonic
• 1 ounce Tropicana Watermelon
• 1 1/2 ounce Gin
• 2 ounce Tonic Water
• 1/2 ounce Honey Lavender Syrup*
Combine all ingredients except tonic water in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir. Pour into ice-filled Collins glass and top with tonic water. Serves 1
*Honey Lavender Syrup
Combine 1 cup honey, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon dried lavender in saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the honey has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.