But, if you take a cue from chef Allen Susser, they won't be your typical spreads of burgers and hotdogs.
Susser, an award-winner known as "Chef Allen," grilled up a feast sure to put you in the mood for summer on The Early Show Friday.
He prepared easy dishes that put fun twists on the usual, such as tuna burgers instead of hamburgers, and ginger grilled chicken instead of barbecued chicken. He even grilled up a special Memorial Day sangria!
The Brooklyn native's Miami restaurant is called, appropriately, "Chef Allen's," and he's received national recognition for his creative pairings of fruit and fish. He also uses lots of veggies, resulting in fairly healthy menus.
Tuna Burgers with Mango Ketchup
1-1/2 Pounds sushi-quality Tuna
1/2 Teaspoon thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons green onion, chopped
1 1/2 Teaspoons Kosher salt
1 Teaspoon Soy sauce
3/4 Teaspoon black pepper, fresh ground
2 Tablespoon olive oil
4 Tablespoons Chef Allen's mango ketchup
4 Brioche style burger rolls
To Prepare the Burger: Chop the tuna into 1/4-inch pieces. Combine the Tuna, thyme, garlic, nion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, soy sauce and pepper. Mix it well and shape into 4 burgers. Chill covered for at least 1/2 hour.
To Cook the Burger: Preheat grill. Brush the burgers well with olive oil season with remaining salt and grill the burgers for 3 minutes on each side for medium or until desired doneness.
To Serve: Garnish each with Chef Allen's mango ketchup and Ratatouille (see recipe below), serve on a toasted bun.
Makes 3 cups
1 large Green zucchini, julienne, just skin deep
1 large Carrot, peeled and julienne
1 small Red onion, thinly sliced
1 Small Round eggplant, julienne, just skin deep
1 Small Yellow pepper, seeded and julienned
2 tablespoons Roughly chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons Roughly chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons Roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon Minced garlic
1/4 cup Lime juice
2 tablespoons Sugar
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
3 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
To Prepare the Slaw: In a large bowl combine the zucchini, carrot, onion, eggplant and pepper. Toss together with the fresh mint, basil and cilantro. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, lime juice, sugar and champagne vinegar. Mix until sugar is dissolved. Pour the lime mixture into the slaw and toss together coating well. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving.
3 inch Piece Fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 Large Shallots, peeled and chopped
4 Large Cloves garlic, peeled
1 Teaspoon Freshly ground white peppercorns
1/2 Bunch Cilantro, washed thoroughly, reserving 4 sprigs with leaves
2 Tablespoons Soy sauce
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Peanut oil
1 3 pound Free Range Chicken, cut into 1/8ths
1 Recipe Green papaya and pineapple chutney
To prepare the chicken marinate: In a food processor, puree together the ginger, shallot, garlic, pepper, cilantro leaves and stems, soy sauce, salt and oil. Place chicken in a shallow dish, rub both sides with the paste, and marinate covered in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
To grill: Heat a charcoal grill until coals are medium hot, or gas grill to medium hot. Grill chicken on both sides, turning frequently for 30 minutes until the thigh juices run clear.
To serve: On a large colorful platter serve with green papaya and pineapple chutney. Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs.
Green Papaya and Pineapple Chutney
The green papaya, meaning mature but not ripened to sweetness. Tropical papaya is usually the size of a football, though more of a pear shape, with a beautiful yellowish green skin color. The flesh is firm and moist, making it simple to dice.
1-1/2 Cups Green Papaya, diced
1-1/2 Cups Pineapple, diced
1 Cup Grated Coconut
1/2 Cup Roasted Peanuts
1 Tablespoon Minced Jalapeño
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Ground cumin
To prepare the fruit: In a small pan simmer the papaya and pineapple with ½ cup of water over medium heat until tender.
To prepare the chutney: In a medium sized bowl mix the coconut, peanuts, jalapeño, salt, sugar and cumin, adding a little water if necessary. Add the coconut mixture into the papaya and bring to a boil cooking until thickened about 20 minutes.