Memorial Day Weekend - The Official Kickoff to Summer

Memorial Day Weekend is the official kickoff to Summer. Families and friends will gather at the grill for some Bar-B-Q fun.  Remember these safety tips and enjoy the recipes at your holiday cookout.

A true "Grill Master" knows it is important to be food safe to ensure an enjoyable cookout for all.  Always remember to:

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food.
  • Marinate foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
  • Sauce used to marinate raw meat, poultry or seafood should not be used on cooked foods unless it is boiled before applying.
  • If using charcoal, heat coals on your grill for 20-30 minutes, or until the coals are lightly coated with ash before putting on food.
  • When it's time to grill meat or poultry, cook it to a safe internal temperature as measured by a food thermometer.
  • You can't tell food is cooked safely by how it looks! Safe minimum internal temps: 160°F - ground beef 165°F - poultry, including ground poultry 145°F - beef, veal, lamb, steaks and roasts
  • Always use a clean plate and clean utensils. Cooked food should not be placed on the same plate that previously held raw foods including meat, poultry, seafood or eggs.
  • Never let raw meat, poultry, eggs, cooked food or cut fresh fruits or vegetables sit at room temperature more than two hours before putting them in the refrigerator or freezer (one hour when the temperature is above 90°F).

Spicy Grilled Chicken Salad

  • 8 oz. can sliced pineapple
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb.)
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce (light or low sodium)
  • 5 cups torn lettuce
  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 small sliced green pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 small sliced red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 small onion, sliced into rings

Drain the pineapple, reserving 2 Tbsp. juice; set pineapple aside.  In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the pineapple juice, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, ginger and cayenne; shake well.  Brush some over pineapple slices; set aside. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with pepper; grill or broil for 4-5 minutes on each side. Cut into strips.

Grill or broil pineapple slices on both sides for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.  To serve, toss lettuce, peppers, mushrooms and onion in a large bowl and top with chicken and pineapple; or arrange on 4 plates.  Drizzle with remaining dressing.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

  • 8 medium ears sweet corn
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Soak corn in cold water for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the margarine, basil, parsley and salt.  Carefully peel back cornhusks to within 1 inch of bottoms; remove silk.  Spread margarine mixture over corn.  Rewrap corn in husks and secure with kitchen string.  Grill corn, covered, over medium heat for 25-30 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally.  Cut string and peel back husks

Source:  Mississippi State University Extension Service Family Nutrition Program Summer Grilling Handout

For more information, contact:
Nancy A. Freeman, County Extension Director Harrison County Extension Service
(228) 865-4227