Six Favorites for Spring Cookouts

Cooking outdoors always seems to make the food taste especially good.  Here are some recipes to make your grill and your guests sing this season. Get out there and enjoy the gorgeous weather, your family and your grill! Recipes are courtesy of Dori Fritzinger (author of From My Family Recipe Box) and taken from Lehman’s 55th Anniversary Cookbook. Bon appetit…

Kids’ll Love ‘Em Burgers (Dori Fritzinger)
1- 1 1/4 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons steak sauce (such as A1)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano (or 3/4 teaspoon dried)
1-2 tablespoons finely minced onion

Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mixing thoroughly with your hands or a wooden spoon. Shape into 4 patties by hand, making the center of each just a little thinner than the edges. Refrigerate until ready to grill. Start grill, and when it’s good and hot, grill the burgers to the desired doneness, flipping once. They’ll take about 4 minutes on each side, more or less, depending on how you like them cooked. To make cheeseburgers, top with slices of American cheese or sharp Cheddar cheese after you flip them. Top with additional favorites such as lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber, green pepper – whatever your heart desires! Makes 4 burgers.

Chicken Fingers on a Stick (Dori Fritzinger)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded 1/2-3/4″ thick
Salt and pepper (to taste)
24 (10″) bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1 1/4 cups plain dried bread crumbs

Cut each chicken breast lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold the chicken strips slightly and weave them onto the skewers. Prepare a charcoal fire or set a gas grill to medium-high, close the lid, and heat until hot – about 10 to 15 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together the oil and the barbecue sauce. Spread the bread crumbs on a sheet of waxed paper. Lightly brush the sauce mixture over the chicken strips and then roll them in the bread crumbs. Grill the chicken fingers uncovered until they’re no longer pink inside, about 2 to 4 minutes per side on a gas grill. Serve with the dipping sauce of your choice. Serves 6 to 8.

Cola Burgers (Gloria Miller)
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1/2 c. cracker crumbs
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. cola
6 T. barbeque sauce

Combine beef, egg, crumbs, salt, 1/4 c. cola and 2 T. barbeque sauce. Shape into patties and grill. Combine remaining cola and barbeque sauce. Brush patties with sauce while grilling. Makes 6 patties.

Turkey Burgers You’ll Actually Want To Eat (Sarah Nussbaum)
1 1/2 lb ground turkey
1/4 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1 egg, beaten

Mix all ingredients well. Refrigerate 10 minutes, then form into 6-8 patties. Grill (or fry) several minutes on each side, about 20 minutes in all, or until well done. Insides will be whitish when done. Serve on buns with lettuce, tomato, pickles and your favorite condiments. Makes 6-8 patties.

Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon (Desiree Steiner)
1 1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
6 T. melted butter
3-6 T. lemon juice
2 1/4 tsp. dill
3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 lbs salmon fillets
lemon-pepper seasoning

Combine first five ingredients well. Remove 1/2 cup of sauce to a pan and simmer. Sprinkle salmon with lemon-pepper and place on grill, skin side down. Baste with sauce. Grill, covered, about 20 minutes, basting occasionally. Serve with warmed sauce.

If you’re not into grilling, try making these indoors:

Veggie Pocket Stir-Fry with Yogurt Cucumber Sauce (Dori Fritzinger)
Your family’s favorite vegetables can be substituted for those listed. Let everybody add their own sauce at the table – there won’t be any left!

1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, julienne *
1 medium stalk celery, julienne *
1 large (or 2 small) zucchini, julienne *
1 large (or 2 small) yellow squash, seeded and julienne *
1-2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce

small container plain yogurt
small cucumber, seeded, grated, and drained of any liquid (use a paper towel to blot liquid if necessary)
1 garlic clove, minced

4-6 pita pockets

* Use prepared julienne vegetables from your produce isle in the market. Or wash and cut fresh vegetables as described in the ingredients list. The julienne vegetables should all be the same size – long, thin matchsticks.

1. Yogurt sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in refrigerator until needed.
2. Heat oil in a wok or large pan over medium-high heat.
3. When oil is hot, add the onions and brown for a minute or two.
4. Add other vegetables and sauté approximately 5 minutes.
5. Finish the veggies by adding the soy sauce and cooking for an additional minute.
6. Warm the pita pockets (grill, toaster, or microwave) and stuff with veggies. Serve.