Janet's Notebook
Get Your Grill on This Memorial Day

My Grilled Hawaiian Turkey Burger with Pineapple

Depending on what part of the country you live in, on Memorial Day you may be bundled in a sweatshirt or floating in the pool trying to stay cool. But for everyone across America, it's the official holiday to remember those in our military that have given the ultimate sacrifice. And, it's the unofficial kick-off to grilling season! Once again, I'm hosting the neighbors for a fun food filled day.

What cookout is complete without a burger this year. But I won't be serving any ordinary burger. I'm still trying to decide, but it's narrowed down to two flavor-filled recipes - Tara Waites' (Dallas, TX) BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger with Chipotle Mayo or Josephine Quick's (Indianapolis, IN) My Grilled Hawaiian Turkey Burger with Pineapple.

"I love the flavor of smokey sweet BBQ on my burger," explains Tara. "I made this recipe trying to find a nice BBQ burger that tastes great without all of the normal burger fixings." The burger itself is great with the flavor from the chipotles. Pairing cheddar and Gouda cheese is great and adds to the smokey flavor. A chipotle mayo tops the burger and adds one last flavor punch. So good!

Josephine combines ground chuck and turkey in her recipe and I loved the combination of meats. "Top with grilled pineapple, Swiss cheese, spinach, onion rings, thinly sliced tomato, and a drizzle of pineapple teriyaki sauce," suggests Josephine. Make sure to also add an ample amount of her mayo sauce. She mixes mayo with pineapple juice, ketchup, jalapeƱo and I can't get enough of it.

Who knows... they're so good, maybe I'll serve both! I do know I'm adding Carla Tipton's (Dublin, OH) juicy Italian Spiced Pork Chops to the menu.

"These have a very nice flavor," thinks Carla (and so do I!). The oil mixture on these chops made for some very handsome grill marks... and an excellent presentation guests are sure to love. If you happen to see a pork loin on sale at your supermarket, pick it up. You can substitute that for the pork chops and you'll have more than enough meat to feed a crowd.

The vinegar and seasonings in Elizabeth Mattice's (Rockledge, FL) Grilled Florida-style Chicken combine to make one flavor-packed chicken. "[I] love this grilling sauce as it is not a red or tomato based sauce," says Elizabeth. "It has been a family favorite for generations and each generation has experimented with the basic sauce to create interesting variations."

In the Test Kitchen, we made this just as Elizabeth shared and it's fabulous. One bite and no one will think this is just ordinary chicken. It's a great chicken addition to a cookout. For this party, I may try her variation with lime and tequila. I think that sounds divine.

While I love a good rib eye or T-bone steak, they can get mighty pricey when serving a crowd. That's why Pamela Rapport's (Panama City Beach, FL) Marinated Flank Steak & Mushrooms recipe is great for a cookout. "[The marinade] adds lots of flavor to an inexpensive cut," Pamela points out. "Be sure to slice it across the grain when serving."

That's a great tip from Pamela. By cutting against the grain you'll have tender slices of meat. I love the flavor sesame oil gives to dishes. Combined with the soy sauce and other ingredients it helps to make for one great marinade. The mushrooms on top complement the steak perfectly, but if you want to leave them off, then skip them. You'll still have one great steak.

Susan Feliciano's (Oak Ridge, TN) Grilled Vegetables with a Tangy Sauce are fresh and flavorful. They're fab without the sauce. But with the sauce, oh my, it takes these veggies up a level or two.

"I love making up flavorful sauces for marinating and basting," shares Susan. "I used to try to avoid things that required basting, but after doing it a few times and noticing the difference in the finished product, I am now a fan!"

Basting is the key adding so much flavor. You can also customize this recipe by using your favorite vegetables or what you find fresh at your market. This is also a great recipe if you happen to have a vegetarian in the crowd.

As you gather around the grill and enjoy the day (with some great food), take a moment to remember those soldiers who fought for our freedom. Happy Memorial Day everyone!

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1 Comment
Colleen Sowa - May 25, 2016
Great article!