Uplifting Oklahoma – Memorial Day Grilling!

memorialday2011 Memorial Day is a day in my life where some reflection always gives me an appreciation for the armed services of our country.  My father was a Korean War veteran, and he was extremely proud of it.

Gathering family and friends together is the perfect way to enjoy the number one pastime for this important holiday:  Grilling!


Oklahoma - Tornado damage

Oklahoma – tornado damage

This year, unfortunately, there are those who are facing a very different holiday weekend.  I’m talking about the folks in Oklahoma City who were left devastated from the tornado.  A helping hand can make all the difference in the world.  It can come in the form of a grill fork and a nicely grilled hamburger!  

Fireside chatting has healed many of mankind’s problems.  Extending a warm invitation to your family, friends, neighbors, and even total strangers during their time of grief could prove to be super positive for them.  


If you are in the area, share the true spirit of this holiday by reaching out to those who were less fortunate by perhaps inviting them to share in a barbecue, or by giving a donation to The Red Cross so you can be part of the healing process, recovery, and rebuilding.

Below is one of my all-time favorite hamburger recipes that grills up beautifully!  

With it’s Mediterranean twist, it is sure to please even the greatest of grill enthusiasts.  Oh, and don’t forget to make a delicious and different fennel coleslaw to complement all of your Memorial Day grilling.

So, no matter if you grill all year long or are just dusting off the grill this weekend for Memorial Day, this recipe is is a real winner and it’s for you!


Grilled Roman Burger

Grilled Roman Burger

Roman Burgers are quick to make. The seasonings and feta cheese that are incorporated into it are  truly a delicious touch, and add  a fantastic depth of flavor when grilled over an open flame.

The flame should be mild and the coals red hot before grilling to ensure maximum grilling flavor.



Ingredients (makes 20 half-pound burgers)

  • 10 lbs. – ground beef
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons – dried basil
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons – dried oregano
  • 7  1/2  tablespoons – Kosher salt
  • 7  1/2 tablespoons – fine ground black pepper
  • 5 cups – Feta cheese (plain) – if whole cut into approximately 1/4 inch cubes.


  •  Wash hands well! (Leave damp. This helps to keep the ground beef  from sticking to your hands and enables you to mix all the ingredients into the meat more homogeneously.)
  •  Add the dried spices to the meat and mix thoroughly. Then, carefully fold in the Feta cheese.
  •  Once mixed to your liking, make a small patty and cook it off as a tester to determine if the seasoning needs to be adjusted.  Just remember the Feta will add a degree of saltiness, so taste-test with the Feta already folded into the mix.
  •  Divide the mix into 20 burgers or the size of burgers that you prefer.
  •  Once the size is determined, shape into a  1/2- inch patty.
  •  At this point the burgers are ready for grilling. No additional seasoning is necessary. Grill to desired temperature.
  •  If not grilling immediately, wrap each burger individually in plastic wrap and reserve in the refrigerator.

These burgers also freeze well up to two weeks. Once removed from the freezer and thawed DO NOT REFREEZE, if not used. Take from the freezer what you need to avoid waste. 


FENNEL SLAW:  The fennel slaw is truly a perfect accompaniment  for this burger. It moistens the burger, delivers a fresh and lively flavor, while adding an extra element of Mediterranean flavors.

 The “Fennel Slaw” is also great served chilled as an additional side dish for BBQs and picnics!


  • 3-4 fennel bulbs – medium-sized and sliced thinly
  • 3/4 cups – sour cream
  • 5 1/4 cups – plain yogurt
  • 3-tablespoons –  fresh mint (rough chopped)
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons – lemon zest (finely grated)
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons – honey
  • 3/8 teaspoons salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 small clove – garlic and minced


The fennel should be shaved slightly thicker than paper thin. This can be done on an electric slicing machine, a Chinese mandolin or by a very sharp kitchen knife.

Try to make it as thin as you can if your kitchen lacks the professional equipment but don’t get too stuck on the thinness. It will still be delicious.

Once the fennel is shaved, add all of the other ingredients and mix well to incorporate everything. Adjust seasoning, if necessary, and leave to marinate a few hours in the refrigerator.

The fennel slaw is best served chilled over the burger.


memorial-day2-150x150   Happy Grilling & Happy Memorial Day!