Fire up the grill

May 19, 1998

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GrillFire up the grill

Americans are firing up the grill more than 2.9 billion times a year, according to Barbecue Industry Association.

It's a cinch to get food on the picnic table that tastes great without falling into the hot dog and burger routine. The key is to keep your freezer stocked and your pantry filled with fresh vegetables, fruit and staples.

Turkey has become a convenient and versatile food. The wide range of products available now, from tenderloins and cutlets to bacon and ground turkey, means lots of options when planning meals. Like a good character actor, turkey can play a starring role in foods from sauced-up burgers to hearty dinner salads. And with its mild flavor, turkey readily adapts to a wide variety of spices and other ingredients, making it easy to prepare flavorful meals.

Another "must have" for kicking off the picnic season is new potatoes. They're called new because they are newly harvested and maintain their delicate flavor because they never are stored. Their thin skins make them convenient to use when cooking, because they don't have to be peeled. They are most abundant May through July, but are available through most of the year. With four varieties to choose from - russet, Yukon gold, round red and long white - it's easy to find the right potato for your favorite recipe.


Pickles and pickled peppers can help round out any meal. A natural accompaniment for sandwiches, they're also a great straight-from-the-jar snack. They can be a sweet, sour, hot or zesty recipe ingredient, adding crunch and color in addition to flavor, or they can serve as an edible garnish on a plate or a platter. And like turkey, there are so many pickle products available, ranging from whole baby dills to sweet pickle relish, that it's easy to find a favorite for everyone. Remember to look for them in the refrigerated section as well as on the shelf.

Clean and spray your grill grids with nonstick spray before turning on the grill.

1 pound ground turkey

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

2 tablespoons chili sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup onion, diced

1/4 cup sweet pickle relish

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup chili sauce

1/2 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese

Preheat grill to high.

In medium bowl, lightly toss turkey, bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons chili sauce, garlic powder, pepper, salt, onion, relish and mustard. Form mixture into 4 patties. Reduce heat on grill to medium-high and place patties on grill grid. Grill 14 to 16 minutes, turning once, or until burgers reach an internal temperature of 160 to 165 degrees. About 30 seconds before removing burgers from grill, top each one with 2 tablespoons chili sauce and 2 tablespoons cheese. Serve on toasted rolls. Serves 4.


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