Remember To Give Thanks

May 15, 2015

Memorial Day is a time to pause to honor those who have given the full measure of love for their country and a reminder for us to never forget the price of freedom. I’ll start the commemoration like so many others at the Memorial Day parade. What could be more patriotic?

Memorial Day also kicks off the start of the summer season and that means the grill meisters will be out in full force across America. And we can pretty much predict what Americans will eat that day: hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage, chicken, cole slaw, potato salad, pickles, watermelon and chips are the usual stand by favorites. It’s tradition.

How about getting creative with the menu and adding something new to try? This suggested menu is one that is totally grill-able and frees up the cook’s time in the kitchen. 

Memorial Day Menu for the Grill 

Grilled Pita Bread Pizza

Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Glaze

Grilled Radicchio Salad

Grilled Pineapple Ice Cream Sundae

Grilled Pita Bread Pizza Triangles

Serves 6-8

1-package whole pita breads
½ cup prepared tomato sauce
1 cup grated provolone cheese
1 cup coarsely chopped peperoni
½ cup fresh chopped parsley
Extra virgin olive oil 

Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the top of each pita bread. Place the breads on the grill and grill over indirect heat for a couple of minutes. Divide and scatter the cheese and pepperoni over the top of each pita and shut the top of the grill. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes or just until the cheese begins to melt. Remove from the grill and scatter the parsley over the tops and drizzle each one with a little olive oil.

Use a scissors and cut each pita in half, then into quarters. Cut the quarters in half and serve.


Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Marmalade Glaze

Serves 8

2 whole pork tenderloins, about 1 1/4 pounds each
One 8-ounce jar orange marmalade
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Preheat an outdoor grill to 450F.

Wash and dry the tenderloins well with paper towels. Rub them with fine sea salt and coarse black pepper and set aside.

Heat the marmalade with the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan until smooth. Use 1/3 cup of the sauce for basting the tenderloins. Cook the remaining sauce over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Keep the sauce warm and covered. 

Place the tenderloins on the grill.  Baste them quickly with the sauce and cook them for 7 minutes over indirect heat with the grill top closed. Lower the heat to 375F, turn the tenderloins over and and baste them again. Close the grill and cook an additional 5 minutes. Turn off the grill and allow the meat to sit for another 5 minutes. Following this method will result in juicy, not overcooked meat.

Transfer the tenderloins to a cutting board. Cover them loosely with aluminum foil and allow them to stand 5 minutes.

Cut the pork on the diagonal into 1-inch thick slices; arrange them on a platter and serve passing the remaining sauce on the side.

Variation; add a tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary to the finished sauce.


Grilled Warm Radicchio Salad with Bacon

Serves 8 

1-pound bacon strips
2 heads radicchio, core attached, washed, dried and cut in half, then into quarters.
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt 

Place an empty large cast iron pan on hot grill and allow it to get hot for 2 to 3 minutes. Place the bacon strips in the pan in a single layer and allow to cook until the bacon begins to wilt and render it fat. Very carefully, remove the pan from the grill and pour off the fat that has accumulated into an empty can or jar. Return the pan to the grill and continue cooking the bacon until crispy.

Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined dish and allow to cool. Then crumble the bacon and set aside.

Brush the radicchio quarters with olive oil and place them cut side down directly on the grill over indirect heat. Grill (turning them once) for 5 to 7 minutes until they wilt. Place them on a serving platter and drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle them with coarse salt and the crumbled bacon bits. Keep warm and loosely covered until ready to serve.


Grilled Pineapple Sundaes

Serves 4-5
1 ripe pineapple peeled, cored and cut into 8 to 10  ¼ inch thick round slices
2 tablespoons honey
Vanilla ice cream
½ cup sliced almonds
Whipped cream (optional)

Place the pineapple slices on the grill over indirect heat and brush the tops with honey. Cook until grill marks appear on the underside then turn over and brush the tops with honey and continue cooking until grill marks appear on the underside. Keep warm until read to serve.

Stack 2 slices of pineapple on small dessert plates and top with vanilla ice cream and the sliced almonds. Top with whipped cream for a really decadent dessert.

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