If you haven't done so already, it's time to dust off your grill, clear the ash from the catch pan and get your coals glowing for Memorial Day. In case you're visiting from another country and are wondering what Memorial Day is all about, it's a US holiday dedicated to the memory of the men and women who gave their lives protecting this nation. Since it's a national holiday, everyone gets off work we observe it by grilling lots of meat and drinking even more beer. Here are five recipes I've pulled together from the archives to get your grill going.
Barbecue and condiments go hand-in-hand, so here's a recipe for a green mango relish. It's the perfect way to use tart unripe mangos and it makes a great accompaniment for hotdogs, brats, or burgers.
When it comes to burgers, In-and-Out double doubles are about as close to perfection as you can get. In my view of the world, a $30 hamburger made with wagyu and topped with foie gras and black truffles misses point of a burger entirely. That said, I do enjoy creative burgers every now and then and since I'm not willing to shell out the big bucks at bleached linen restaurants, I usually end up making them at home. This award winning Asian inspired burger is to this day, one of the best burger combo's I've come up with. With bright purple pickled onions and a sweet and savory patty nestled between a buttery brioche bun, it's just the thing when you're in the mood for a little more than a regular old cheeseburger.
This isn't the best photo I've ever taken, but don't let that deter you from making these kebabs. They have just the right balance of sweet, sour and savory and the overnight marinade makes the meat incredibly tender and flavorful. After a quick stint on the grill, all they need is a side of grilled veggies and a generous sprinkle of sumac at the end.
If you're not a meat eater, or if you just want a tasty grilled side-dish, this eggplant with sweet miso sauce is the ticket to vegetal bliss. Grilled with a generous coating of oil, the eggplant caramelizes on the outside, taking on a great smokey flavor while the sweet miso sauce adds a nutty complexity with just a hint of citrus from the yuzu.
This dessert is a two for one deal, where you get frozen wine soaked watermelon and watermelon sangria out of one recipe. When I was in college we used to sneak vodka into our dorm rooms by cutting a plug out of a whole watermelon and emptying an entire bottle of vodka into it before plugging it back up. Remembering watermelon's remarkable ability to absorb alcohol, I came up with this milder, more grown up version of the college favorite. It's a perfect refreshing end to a meat filled meal, and the alcohol the watermelon soaks up will keep your buzz going all night long.