Post #370 Memorial Day Menu

May 20, 2015 at 11:58 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

It’s the first big three day weekend of the summer coming up this weekend.  Memorial Day holds a lot of special memories for me that I’ll be going into in the next post, but for this post I wanted to talk about menus for the big day.

For many people, it means getting out of town, to the beach or the mountains or the hiking trails.  For just as many others, it means a family barbeque, whether that family is blood or chosen.  In most cases, it means a weekend long celebration of food, drink, and good times.  I’ve spent very happy Memorial weekends by myself, enjoying whatever I had on hand.  And I’ve spent very happy Memorial weekends with crowds of friends and family with more food and drink than an army could eat.

It typically boils down to the same foods.  Burgers and dogs, potato salad, chips and dip, and whatever anyone is drinking.  Everywhere I’ve ever lived, it’s always been the same.

So this year, I’ve searched through the internet and found some unusual but familiar food items for the weekend.  Spoiler Alert!  I did not come up with these recipes in my own mind.  I do not own them.  They are the genius work of other chefs whose names I do not know.

First, the drink.  Watermelon Lemonade.

Watermelon-Lemonade

This is easy peasy.  Take a small ripe watermelon and cut out all the fruit, leaving the rind and pith (the white stuff) behind.  Cut into one inch cubes and remove as many seeds as possible.  Put the cubes in a blender or food processor, working in batches if necessary.  Pour the juice through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, mashing the pulp to extract as much juice as possible.  Pour the juice into plastic ice cube trays (must be plastic, not metal or silicon) and freeze solid.  Make lemonade in any way you choose (I have a great recipe for homemade lemonade in post # 285.)  Chill the lemonade and just before serving put some frozen watermelon cubes in the lemonade.  If you’ve made enough cubes, you can also put them in the glasses you’re serving the lemonade in.

Next, for the chips and dip, we’re going to consider Blue Cheese and Pecan Dip with Toasted Pita Chips.

Blue Cheese Pecan Dip

Again, easy peasy.  First, make the pita chips.  Cut a round pita bread disk into quarters, then into eighths.  The pull the two pieces apart.  Cut as many chips as you think you’ll need.  Then add more, just cuz.  Melt some butter and brush over pita chips and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle the chips lightly with a coarse salt.  Toast in a hot oven, 375-425 degrees, until the chips are toasty brown and rigid.  Remove and allow to cool.  While the chips are cooling, using a food processor with the blade process 1/4 cup of shelled pecans for 10 seconds.  Add six ounces of cream cheese and two tablespoons of blue cheese.  Process until smooth, about a minute or so.  Unplug the food processor, and being very careful, remove the blade.  Use a rubber spatula to remove the mixture from the blade and from the processing bowl.  Put it into the serving bowl.  Stir about a quarter cup of blue cheese crumbles into the mixture.  Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil over the top of the mixture and sprinkle with finely chopped pecans.  Allow to chill and serve with the pita chips.

For the main course, it’s going to be Beer Can Burgers!

beer can burgers 01

I saw a video a couple of days ago and thought, “Man!  I’ve gotta try these!”  I wish I could locate the video so I could give credit where it’s due.  If the guy who created these reads this, I hope you know how impressed I am!  You start by sautéing several different veggies separately.  The video showed onions, mushrooms, and various peppers being cooked.  Set those aside.  Then take 1/2 pound of ground beef and shape it into a ball.  Use a beer can (or other can of about the same size) and form a bowl shape.  While the can is still in place, wrap two slices of raw bacon around the burger.

beer can burgers

Remove the can and fill the “bowl” with the cooked vegetables.  Get creative with this part and use any veggies or other fillings you like.  Then top the bowl with chunks of cheese.  Grill the burgers over indirect heat until well done.  Remove from grill and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Now, at this point you can eat them directly or you can be adventurous and smash it between the two pieces of a bun.  But it takes a large mouth to get around it all.  I can’t wait to try this!

Finally, we get to dessert and wait till you see what I found!  Ever heard of a root beer float?  Ever heard of it in a pie?

Root Beer Float Pie

Here’s what you need:

  • 8 oz whipped topping
  • 3/4 cup root beer
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding
  • one graham cracker pie crust
  • maraschino cherries

Set aside and refrigerate 1/2 cup of the whipped topping.  In a medium bowl, whip together the milk, pudding, and root beer for three minutes.  Fold in half the remaining whipped topping then pour into pie shell.  Spread remaining whipped topping over the top and chill at least 8 hours but it’s better overnight.  When ready to serve, cut into slices, spoon a small dollop of whipped topping onto each slice, and place a cherry on top.

Totally different menu, but completely the same.

Enjoy

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