To me, nothing says summer like putting some burgers and hot dogs on the grill and having a few beers or rose wine. I grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, which is very landlocked, so rather than spending the summer at the beach, the good old fashioned BBQ is just what we did. Now that I live in New York, it’s a little more challenging to throw a BBQ. We live in tiny apartments that rarely have access to outdoor space, with the exception of our small fire escapes. While people have been known to try and grill on fire escapes, it is dangerous and illegal. I recently moved to an area with public grills nearby. They are first-come, first-served, so we have to get there early to stake out a spot with a grill and then be willing to throw elbows to defend our spot, but I’m excited just to have the opportunity to do a little BBQ-ing this summer.
For the 4th of July, we made our way down to the grills early only to find that the city was not allowing their use on that day. I completely understand why they wouldn’t want that liability…the grills are located along the East River where the Macy’s fireworks were taking place, so a big crowd was a sure thing. We were a bit bummed, though. Luckily, all we needed to grill were the turkey burgers, so we just ran up and cooked them on my stove and brought them back down where everyone was already snacking on guacamole and sides.
I’m going to be honest, the stars of any BBQ for me are the sides, but they can be pretty unhealthy. My personal favorite is potato salad, complete with loads of mayo. For our 4th of July gathering, we were planning to be out in the heat all day, so I tried my hand at a mayo-free version and I can honestly say that I might just like it better. It was delicious, healthier, and you don’t have to worry about it spoiling after sitting out for a couple of hours.
I also make turkey burgers that are tasty and juicy. My major complaint with lean turkey burgers is that they tend to be dry…not the case with these babies. As noted above, they can easily be cooked in a skillet on the stovetop if you don’t have access to a grill, too. Recipes for both are below. Enjoy!
1 lb ground lean turkey
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 medium yellow onion, minced
1/2 jalapeño, minced (optional)
A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Combine everything in a bowl until well mixed. I find it’s easiest just to use your hands. Form patties and cook on stove or grill until cooked all the way through. On average, 5 minutes per side on the stove over medium heat or on the grill is good, but it depends on the thickness of your patties, so just make sure there’s no pink in the middle. If you have a thermometer, the center of the patty should be 165*.
2 lbs potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 slices lean center cut bacon
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 tbsp whole grain mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider or red wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
Salt & pepper to taste
Boil potatoes until fork-tender but not mushy. Drain water from potatoes in a strainer then rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Cook bacon until desired level of crispness, then place on paper towel. Sauté onion in same pan until translucent. Chop bacon into small pieces and combine with potatoes and onion in large bowl. In separate bowl, combine mustard, olive oil, vinegar, and honey and whisk together. Pour mustard mixture over potatoes and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve or chill in fridge.