Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Features - Memorial Day and Cookout recipes

Yeah! It's Memorial Day Weekend and time for a cookout. Cookout, Barbecue, Grilling. However you prepare it, the All American Hot Dog was made for a holiday cookout. We're having a few relatives and friends over and the hot dogs are waiting in the fridge. 

Below are some great hot dog, link, kielbasa, wurst ideas along with some great toppings. I'm planning on making the Corn Black Bean Salsa, for sure. My mouth is already watering. The ingredients fit in the Nutritarian program I'm trying -- keyword: trying -- to follow. My standby favorite is a plain dog with mustard and dill pickle relish. But hey, I'm willing to try something different, and these recipes look very appetizing. If you love hot dogs, what's your favorite way to prepare them?

But let's not forget the reason we have the holiday. It's not really a celebration. It's a remembrance, originally called Decoration Day as a remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. The exact origins are not clear. During and after the Civil War spontaneous gatherings to honor the dead happened in the South and the North. Memorial Day is not about division, it is about reconciliation, coming together to honor those who gave their all. It was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed on Many 30 that same year. After World War I the holiday adopted honoring all Americans who died fighting any war. For more on the history of Memorial Day visit Memorial Day History.

Now for the food...
Enjoy, Christy

Cheddar Wurst with Corn Black Bean Salsa
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6
  • cup frozen corn, cooked, drained, cooled
  • cup black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  •  tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • jalapeno pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 package Hillshire Farm Cheddar Wurst Sausage Links
  • French bread rolls or hot dog buns, split

Combine corn, black beans, bell pepper, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeno pepper and cumin. Grill or heat sausages according to package directions, turning frequently. Place sausage in each roll, generously top with corn black bean salsa.

Grilled Beef Hot Links with Mango Salsa

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6
  • cups chopped fresh mango
  • can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt to taste
  • package Hillshire Farm Beef Hot Links
  • sausage buns, split

Combine mango, black beans, red onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt in medium bowl. Grill links over medium-low heat according to package directions. Place grilled sausages in buns; top generously with mango salsa. Serve any remaining salsa with tortilla chips.
Tip: Substitute links with any flavor of smoked sausage or substitute 1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped, for black beans.

Caprese Salad Topped Smoked Sausage Sandwiches

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6
  • package Hillshire Farm Polska Kielbasa Smoked Sausage Links
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • tablespoon olive oil
  • cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • package (8 ounces) fresh small mozzarella balls (cherry or ciliegine-sized), quartered
  • tablespoon chopped red onion
  • tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  French bread rolls, split

Brush sausages with balsamic vinegar; set aside. Heat olive oil over medium heat in small skillet. Add tomatoes and cook until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In small bowl, combine tomatoes, mozzarella, red onion, basil and salt. Grill sausages according to package directions, turning frequently and brushing with balsamic vinegar. Place grilled sausage in each roll, generously top with tomato-mozzarella mixture.

Cheddar Wurst and Apple Kabobs

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Serves: 6
  • package Hillshire Farm Cheddar Wurst Sausage Links
  • large tart green apple, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup apple jelly
  •  tablespoon Dijon mustard

Cut sausage into 18 slices. Thread sausage, apple, pepper and red onion onto 6 skewers, leaving small space between each item. Melt apple jelly in small saucepan over low heat. Add mustard, mixing until well blended. Grill kabobs over medium heat, turning frequently for 10 minutes. Brush kabobs with apple jelly mixture and grill 2 minutes longer, or until apple and vegetables are crisp-tender.
Variation: Substitute peach, zucchini and apricot preserves for apple, red bell pepper and apple preserves.
Tip: Rewarm jelly/preserves mixture briefly before brushing on kabobs if it has become too thick.

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