Janine Gilbertson's Granite Kitchen: What are you bringing to the holiday cookout?

By JANINE GILBERTSON May 22. 2018 11:19PM
Strawberry-blackberry cobbler (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, which means the unofficial arrival of barbecue season and summer weather.

Of course, Memorial Day is more than just a day to have a barbecue; it’s a day to honor the members of our armed services who have given their lives while serving our country.

Memorial Day weekend for us has historically included a trip to my aunt and uncle’s camp on Pratt Pond in New Ipswich, a small waterfront cabin where I’ve been fortunate enough to bring my kids for many family gatherings over the years. Sometimes when I’m sitting there looking at the water, I can almost see my kids when they were little, carrying around little plastic beach pails and marveling at schools of minnows that swim up to the water’s edge. Now they’re driving up to the pond in their own cars — coincidentally, I’m sure, just in time for the burgers to come off the grill.

I always try to bring a couple of different dishes to share at a barbecue. One dish that will make frequent appearances this summer is grilled sausage with tangy peppers and onions. I’ve been marinating red onions in red wine vinegar with a little sugar and using it on top of salads, and I thought I would try it mixed in with some grilled peppers and onions tucked in a sub roll with grilled sausages. You can pile a bunch of sausages on a plate with the peppers and onions, then set out a platter of rolls and let everyone fix their own.

For a side dish, a crunchy summer cole slaw is a perfect dish for barbecues. I especially love broccoli slaws with lots of shredded carrots dressed in a simple, homemade dressing. A little bit of chia and celery seed add interest and some added nutrition too.

While there are endless desserts that work well at a barbecue, a cobbler made with fresh summer fruit is always a hit. Try making one with strawberries and blackberries, which are abundant at the grocery store this time of year, and you definitely won’t have to lug a half-eaten dish home when the barbecue is over.

Memorial Day is a good time to gather with friends and family, hopefully enjoy some warm weather and fire up the barbecue — and remember those who’ve given their lives in service to our country.

Strawberry-Blackberry Cobbler

3 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and chopped

6 oz package fresh blackberries

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar

3 tbsp cornstarch

For Topping:

1 cup flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350. 

Add the strawberries and blackberries to a large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch and stir gently to coat. 

Spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray, then pour the strawberries and blackberries into the dish. 

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the cream and stir to combine. Spoon the batter by the heaping teaspoonful over the fruit and place in preheated oven. 

Bake for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the thickened fruit juices are bubbling.
Crunchy summer slaw is loaded with crunchy vegetables and healthy ingredients. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Crunchy Summer Slaw

12 oz package broccoli slaw mix

3/4 cup carrot, shredded

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

2 tbsp chia seeds

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

2 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup white vinegar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp celery seed

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Add the broccoli mix to a large bowl and stir in the carrots, sunflower and chia seeds. 

In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, white vinegar, celery seed, lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

Pour the dressing mixture over the broccoli and carrot mixture and toss well to coat.
A tangy twist on sausage, peppers and onions features red onions marinated in red wine vinegar. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Tangy Sausage and Pepper Rolls

2 lbs sweet Italian sausage links

2 green bell peppers, sliced

1 medium sweet onion, sliced

1 purple onion, sliced

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp seasoned salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp sugar

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

grainy mustard for serving, if desired

sub rolls for serving, if desired

Add the sliced red onion to a medium bowl and sprinkle with sugar, then add the vinegar, toss and set aside. 

Place the sausages, sliced peppers and sliced sweet onions in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper, then toss to coat well. 

Heat a grill to medium high and then set the sausages on the grill. If you have an upper shelf on your grill for grilling vegetables, place the onions and peppers on the shelf. Grill the sausages, turning occasionally, until the they are cooked throughout. 

If the vegetables are cooked on an upper shelf, turn occasionally and cook until grill marks are present and the vegetables have softened. If there is no upper grill shelf, place the vegetables on the grill and cook on each side for 2 to 3 minutes or until there are visible grill marks and the vegetables are softened. Remove the vegetables from the grill, add them to the vinegar and red onion mixture and mix well. 

To serve, pile the sausages in a shallow bowl and pile the vegetable mixture on top. If desired, serve sausages in a sub roll with grainy mustard.


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