Father’s Day Bourbon Burgers and Polish Dogs

Hard to believe it, but Father’s Day is nearly here – June is nearly half way over – wow! What can I say, the older I get, the more time seems to have wings! I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Sure do wish I could slow down.

fathers day danceThere are moments in our lives that are so precious, we hold them in our hearts forever. I remember as a little girl Dad would dance with me. I stood on his feet as he glided us around the living room floor. It was magical. When Hubby and I renewed our vows on our 15th wedding anniversary, Dad and I had the traditional Father-Daughter dance. I song I chose was Rod Steward’s ‘Have I told you Lately that I love you’. It seemed a fitting song for a daughter to her father – the hero without a cape. I reminded Dad of those dances we had shared all those years ago. His beautiful blue eyes sparkled. “Climb on board.” Dad said, and I did. We twirled around the dance floor just the two of us, me perched upon the tops of his feet. For that moment, I was a little girl again.

These yummy backyard favorites are “manly” burgers, dogs and colorful corn to help make your Father’s Day as special as dear old Dad.

fathers day burgerCrunchy Onion Bourbon Burgers
Ingredients: Bourbon Glaze
1 head garlic
1 tsp olive oil
2/3 cup water
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 1/3 cups dark brown sugar
3 tsp lemon juice
3 tsp minced white onions
1 tsp bourbon
1 tsp crushed pineapple
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Bourbon Glaze: Cut a 1/2 inch off the top of the garlic head. Remove the papery skin from the garlic, leaving enough so that the cloves stay together. Drizzle olive oil over the garlic. Wrap it loosely in foil and roast in a 325 degree oven for one hour. Remove garlic and let it cool.

Combine water, pineapple juice, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium high heat. Stir occasionally until mixture boils, then reduce heat to simmer. Add remaining ingredients to pan and stir. Squeeze out 2 teaspoons of roasted garlic and whisk to combine with pan mixture.

Let simmer for 35-45 minutes or until sauce has reduced by half and is thick and syrupy.

Ingredients: Crunchy Onion Burger
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (80 percent lean)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Seasoned salt
2 Tbsp Canola oil
6 slices Monterrey jack cheese
12 Tbsp It’s a Keeper’s Bourbon Glaze, divided
3/4 cup French’s French Fried Onions, divided
Kaiser Rolls, Buttered And Toasted In A Skillet

Burgers: Combine the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce and Seasoned salt. Mix by hand just until combined (be careful not to over mix).  Shape into six patties that are about 1 inch thick. Push a ½ inch indent into the center of the patty to prevent the patty from swelling into a dome.

IF USING A GRILL: Heat grill to high. Brush the burgers with the oil. Grill the burgers until golden brown with a slight char on the first side, about 3 minutes. Flip and grill other side for 4 minutes for medium rare or until cooked to desired degree of doneness.

IF USING A GRILL PAN: Heat a grill pan over high heat on top of the stove. Cook the burgers as directed, above.

IF USING A SKILLET OR GRIDDLE (CAST IRON PREFERRED): Heat the oil in the pan over high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Cook the burgers as directed above.
When burgers have 1 minute left to cook, top each with a slice of cheese.  After 1 minute remove from grill/pan.

Spread 1 tablespoon of Bourbon Glaze on each the top and bottom half of the roll.  Place burger on bottom half of the roll.  Evenly spread an 1/8 cup of onions on top of each burger.  Place top half of roll on top of burger.

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fathers day dogsGrilled Polish Sausage with Sautéed Onions & Peppers
8 Polish or Spicy Sausages
1 White Onion, sliced into strips
1 Red or Orange Bell Pepper, sliced into strips
8 Steak Roll or other Buns
Spicy Deli Style Brown Mustard

Preheat grill or build a nice fire with a bed of coals.

Slice Onion and Bell Pepper. Place vegetables in a saute pan over medium-low heat, saute until tender, about 10-15 minutes.

While the veggies are cooking, grill up the Polish sausages until cooked through and the skins are just beginning to blister. Turn sausages as needed to prevent burning.

Place one sausage on each buns, top with sautéed vegetables, a nice helping of spicy Deli Style Brown Mustard and serve.

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fathers day cornGrilled Corn on the Cob with Tomato-Herb Spread
1/2 Cup Butter, softened
4 Tablespoons seeded, finely chopped tomato
2 small garlic clove, pressed
2 Teaspoon fresh parsley, snipped
2 Teaspoon Fresh Basil, finely torn
2 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme, finely chopped
Salt and Ground Pepper to Taste
8 Ears of FRESH Corn
Sugar (if needed)

Heat coals for grill.

In a small bowl combine butter, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, basil and thyme. Stir with a fork until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside

Bring a pot of water sweetened with a little sugar to a boil. Shuck and clean corn. Cut off tip and ends for an even finish. Parboil corn 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from water using tongs and allow corn to cool enough to handle. Insert corn-cob-knobs into each end.

Rub corn generously with herb butter. Wrap each ear of corn in heavy aluminum foil, making sure cob knobs are completely covered. Grill foil-wrapped corn over medium ash-covered coals for 10-12 minutes, turning frequently with Barbecue Tongs to prevent burning.

Additional Garnish:
4 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
6-8 Basil leaves, cut into long strips

To serve, unwrap corn, place on a platter and garnish as desired with tomatoes and fresh basil.

Cook’s Notes: The original recipe came from Pampered Chef (without the additional garnish). The first time I made it, there were two problems – cooking time and taste. The corn I had purchased came from the grocery store and not from a wonderful local farmer’s market known for amazing corn, thus the corn wasn’t as sweet as it should be. If you know the grower, skip the sugar but still parboil the ears. When the corn was wrapped well in foil, the cooking time was longer than expected – nearly twice as long as was called for. By par-boiling the ears in sweetened water, these problems were solved.

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