July 4th Backyard Cookout July 02 2013, 0 Comments

Independence Day festivities may include grilling. It is a patriotic act to grill, did you know? WW II GIs brought back recipes, memories, and even grills from their tours of duty. Stationed in exotic locales like Hawaii, Phillipines, and so forth exposed them to tastes unlike anything they ever had stateside.

When they came back to the U.S., the GI bill helped make housing affordable. With a backyard and tasty memories, families celebrated freedom and flavor with cookouts using the new grills that were on the market or Dad may have brought back from his service.

So hug a military vet and host a backyard bash in honor of our servicemen and women.


Pork Burger Island-style

Serves: 4 (recipe easily doubles or triples)



1# ground pork

¼ cup crushed pineapple, drained

2 TB minced onion

2 tsp minced cilantro

1 tsp light brown sugar

1 tsp salt

½ tsp red pepper flakes

Island-style Sauce, recipe follows

Shredded romaine lettuce



In a large bowl, mix pork, pineapple, onion, cilantro, brown sugar, salt and pepper flakes taking care not to over mix. Pat out 4 patties or 8 slider-size patties.

Prepare your grill for medium high heat whether charcoal or gas. If using charcoal, wait until ash covers charcoal and then put a grilling stick on top of ash-covered charcoal. When it starts smoking, put patties on the grill grid. Close the cover. If using gas, dampen the stick and make a little foil packet to enclose the stick. Poke several holes into the foil packet. Set foil packet directly on the gas grates (cooking grid is directly above the gas grates). When the smoke starts coming out of the holes, place patties onto cooking grid.

Grill until internal temperature is 160 degrees (insert instant read thermometer from the side). Set patties aside for 5 minutes allowing juices to redistribute.


Island-style Sauce

Makes:  1 cup


½ cup crushed pineapple

½ cup ketchup

¼ cup light brown sugar

2 tsp worchestershire sauce



Mix pineapple, ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Simmer until slightly reduced. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.


To serve: Place burger on bun of choice and top with a little bit of sauce and a handful of shredded lettuce.