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Memorial Day Recipe Guide

Photo Courtesy of Lee Knoeppel
This Memorial Day spend time with your friends and family while whipping up these simple recipes that would make any patriot proud. Chef Lee Knoeppel of New York City's Barcade shares some of his favorite ways to incorporate burgers, bacon and beer cheese into your holiday menu.
Juicy Lucy With Caramelized Onions And Special Sauce
Prep Time: 40 min (30 min inactive)
Cook Time: 10 min
Total Time: 50 min
Serves 6-8 people

Who doesn't want to be eat delicious burgers over Memorial Day weekend? Impress your guests with a delicious Juicy Lucy! Rest assured your first bite into this cheese filled patty will be nothing short of delightful. Feel free to customize this patty any way you please, however, the winning combination of caramelized onions, special sauce and potato buns are guaranteed to be a grand slam.


  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 lb American cheese
  • 2 yellow onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp sweet relish
  • kosher salt
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1 pack of potato buns (8 buns)


For the burgers:

  • Separate the beef into equal size balls, about 3 oz each.
  • Flatten them into a patty shape and place a slice of American cheese in the middle.
  • Cover the cheese with another piece of the flattened beef.
  • Shape them into patty form and make sure the cheese is completely covered and there are no openings between the patties.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • When ready to cook, season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Grill for 2-3 minutes per side.

For the caramelized onions:

  • Melt your butter in a pan on medium-low heat.
  • Thinly slice both of your onions and add to the melted butter.
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes until onions become translucent.
  • Add the sugar and season with salt to taste.
  • Continue to cook while stirring the onions, about 3 minutes or until they are fully browned.
  • If onions begin to stick or burn, add a few tablespoons of water and use a wooden spoon to remove them from the bottom of the pan.
  • Let the water evaporate and remove from heat.
  • Place the onions in a dish and set aside in a warm place until ready to serve.

For the special sauce:

  • In a bowl, add mayo, ketchup, mustard, relish and salt to taste.
  • Mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

When ready to serve:

  • Once you flip your burgers, add your potato buns to the top layer of your grill to toast.
  • Place the buns on a platter and add your cooked burgers.
  • Top w/ a tbsp of caramelized onions, followed by a tbsp of special sauce.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Shaved Asparagus Salad
Prep Time: 15 min
Serves 6-8 people

Memorial Day weekend may seem like the perfect time to load up on barbecue favorites, however, that doesn't mean your diet has to suffer! This shaved asparagus salad is bound to have even the pickiest of eaters going back for seconds. Salads may not seem all that exciting but tasty asparagus paired with avocados, cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese and a light vinaigrette is a great compliment to any grilled main course.


  • 3 bunches of asparagus
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 pack of cherry tomatoes
  • 6 oz parmesan reggiano
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • cracked black pepper


  • On a cutting board, use a peeler to shave your asparagus until completion.
  • Add to a large bowl.
  • Slice open your avocados and remove the pits.
  • Remove the skin, medium dice both avocados and add to the bowl.
  • Slice your cherry tomatoes in half and add to bowl.
  • Squeeze the juice of both lemons into the bowl without letting any seeds fall in.
  • With a microplane or box grater, grate your parmesan cheese into the bowl.
  • Add the extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Gently mix the ingredients all together.
  • Serve and enjoy.
Crispy Potatoes With Beer Cheese And Bacon
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Total Time: 1 hour 15 min
Serves 6-8 people

No barbecue is complete without some fried potatoes! Cook and chop your bacon the night before to save prep time on the day of your celebration. All that's left to do will be crisping up your delicious potatoes and creating the one and only, beer cheese.


  • 5-6 Idaho potatoes
  • 1 gallon canola oil
  • 2 packs sharp cheddar (about 1 lb)
  • 2 tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 cup stout beer
  • 1 pack bacon
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • kosher salt


  • large sauce pot
  • candy thermometer
  • food processor
  • sheet tray
  • slotted spoon


For bacon:

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lay out the bacon strips on a sheet tray and place in the oven until crisp, about 25-30 minutes.
Set aside at room temperature until cool enough for handling.
Finely chop the bacon and set aside in a bowl at room temp.

For beer cheese:

Dice the cheese into cubes and add to food processor along with horseradish.
Turn the food processor on and slowly stream in your beer until the cheese is spreadable and smooth.
Salt to taste.
Place in a bowl and keep at room temperature.

For potatoes:

  • Add 1 gallon of canola oil to a large sauce pot and heat on low.
  • Keep your candy thermometer in the oil and let it come up to 220 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Peel your potatoes under cool water and rinse. Pat dry with a towel.
  • Slice the peeled potatoes into rounds and place the entire batch into the hot oil.
  • Cook for about 12 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Take out the potatoes with a slotted spoon and place onto a platter with paper towels.
  • Increase the heat of the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place your potatoes back in.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the potatoes once more with a slotted spoon and back onto the paper towels.
  • Season with salt.

When ready to serve:

  • Place your potatoes on a platter adding dollops of your beer cheese on top.
  • Top your potatoes and cheese generously with the chopped bacon.
  • Slice your scallions and add as a garnish.
  • Serve and enjoy.
Born and raised in NYC, Lee Knoeppel graduated from ICE: The Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan in 2009. Lee has appeared on several competitive cooking shows and is a well respected chef throughout the country. Currently, he is the executive chef at Barcade and owns a compound butter company called "Spread Love NYC." You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook @leeknoeppel.

Merissa Principe is a teacher and a freelance travel blogger from NYC. Teaching early childhood education has provided Merissa an opportunity to travel all over the world and live in new places. Be sure to follow her at for all things travel, beauty, fashion and New York City.

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