Memorial Day! Here we grill again—a 3-day weekend when we all ready the steel spatulas. Stock up on the ice and charcoal, and prepare for one of the greatest American summer traditions. But before you do—try these gourmet tips to add some extra flair and skill to your Memorial Day grill.
Yep. Bacon jam. Sweet. Savory. And not something you can find on your grocery store shelf. This is the life-changing condiment you never knew you wanted. Add to a burger and it’s pure magic in your mouth.
On a burger, top with gruyere or goat cheese, sundried tomatoes and arugula. Drink with a Pinotage like Fairview, from South Africa.
1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 medium yellow onions, cut into smallish dice
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, or less to taste
1/4 cup maple syrup
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towel-lined plates to drain.
- Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from the skillet and reserve for another use. Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and cook until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the coffee, vinegar, brown sugar, and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the skillet, for 2 minutes. Add the bacon and stir to combine.
- If making this on a stovetop, reduce the heat to a bare simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid almost completely evaporates and turns syrupy, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If making this in a slow-cooker, transfer the mixture to a 6-quart slow-cooker and cook on high, uncovered, until the liquid almost completely evaporates and turns syrupy, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
- Let the bacon concoction cool slightly before transferring it to a food processor and pulsing until coarsely chopped. Spoon into individual jars or other resealable containers and refrigerate. (For up to 4 weeks if desired). Transfer to a pan and rewarm gently over low heat prior to serving.
Orange Marmalade Grilled Chicken or Salmon Marinade
Pairs well with Anselmann Gewürztraminer Kabinett or a dry reisling.
2⁄3 cup orange marmalade
1⁄3 cup rice vinegar
1⁄3 cup soy sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp dried onion flakes
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp olive oil
1 pinch chili pepper flakes
21⁄2 lbs fresh salmon fillets (or chicken breasts), washed and towel dried
fresh sliced scallion (to garnish)
1: In a ziplock gallon size bag add first 8 ingredients.
2: Seal and mush with hand till blended.
3: Add Salmon and marinate for 1 hour.
4: Heat grill to medium high.
5: If using a fish basket or heavy duty foil, spray it with nonstick oil.
6: Remove salmon from marinade and reserve.
7: Place salmon into basket or foil folding tail in to make thickness even.
8: Place basket or wrapped in foil on barbecue and grill salmon, skin side up, 5 to 7 minutes.
9: Meanwhile bring the marinade to a boil then reduce heat to simmer till fish is cooked.
10: Turn basket over and grill salmon until just opaque in center, about 5 to 7 minutes longer.
11: Turn salmon out onto platter.
Drizzle the reduced marinade and garnish with scallions.
To be prepared ahead of time:
To freeze: Place salmon and marinade in a large freezer bag. Seal and freeze.
To serve: Thaw in fridge and proceed with cooking directions.
Take it from us. These recipes are sure to please your guests this Memorial Day.
But let’s not forget—that no grill is complete without a cooler of ice cold, craft beer. The best selection can be found at your nearest Spec’s wines, spirits, and finer foods.