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Memorial Day Weekend begins the official grilling season

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The “official” grilling season begins with Memorial Day Weekend and the “unofficial” beginning of summer. This means it’s time to “fire up the Barbie.” Dust off the grill (that hopefully you cleaned before storing away last fall), check that all your barbecue utensils are in good working order, put on your mitts and, if firing up the grill naturally, purchase sustainable, eco-friendly briquettes. After all, this is one of America’s favorite summer activities, so be prepared.

According to a Kraft’s survey in 2013, about 80 percent of consumers who eat burgers top them with cheese. Experts at Kraft Kitchens and Weber suggest applying cheese just before the burger is removed from the grill for the perfect cheese melt and minimal clean-up. However, about one in four (24 percent) cheeseburger-eaters add the cheese either after the burger is pulled from the grill or after the first flip. These methods can result in an uneven melt or cause the cheese to ooze down into the grates. Maybe it’s better to get your cheese fix by stuffing it in the burger! See the recipe below.

But first, here are some tips for great grilling:
Keep It Clean: Cleaning the grill is incredibly simple when you follow the right steps. Start by heating the grill on high for 10 to 15 minutes to burn off leftover food debris, then brush grates clean with a steel stainless bristle brush.
Oil Your Food, Not the Grates: To prevent sticking, apply oil directly to your proteins (especially chicken or fish). Oil not only aids in the caramelization process, but it creates a barrier between the food and the grates that makes flipping a breeze.
Let it Be: Once the food is on the grill, keep the lid closed as much as possible to avoid losing heat. If the grill is constantly being opened, the food can take longer to cook and could potentially dry out.
Be Patient: Let the food rest for at least 30 percent of the total time it was cooked to allow the juices to settle in. Cutting into your foods too soon can cause that delicious flavor to seep out.

Here’s a memorable burger to grill this Memorial Day and all throughout the summer months ~ it’s even tasty grilled indoors in the winter!
Wine and Cheese Burger (aka the Beaujolais Burger)
Ingredients:

  • 1- 1 ½ lb. ground beef or turkey
  • ½ finely minced sweet onion (a Vidalia or Maui)
  • 1 Tbsp. stone ground mustard
  • Beaujolais wine to just moisten ~ drink the rest
  • Cubes of fresh mozzarella cheese*
  • Freshly ground pepper and salt

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together except the mozzarella cheese
  2. Form four patties, season with salt and pepper.
  3. With your finger, create a small hole in the center of each patty and stuff with a chunk of mozzarella cheese. Cover over the hole with the meat.
  4. Grill patties for 4-5 minutes on one side and the same on the other side depending on desired wellness. Test one burger by taking it off the grill, slicing slightly into the middle to see if the juices are still running red. Or do the rule of thumb method by testing with your finger ~ it works every time!

*Instead of mozzarella cheese, you could also use Brie that has been left at room temperature to soften.
And for the ultimate super-duper burger make sure to use a crusty bun, which you can toast on the grill, and add a slice of tomato, fresh lettuce leaf and condiments of your choice.

Have a Happy Memorial Day and Bon Appétit.

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