(Family Feature) - This summer, if the same old grill fare seems all too ordinary, fire up the flavor for your family or party guests with something unexpected: turkey. It may just be the thing to restore some thrilling grilling for barbecue enthusiasts across America. Today, taste, healthy living and a desire for something new are luring more grillers to enjoy the increasingly diverse world of turkey.
"I see more grillers experimenting with new foods to enhance variety, flavor and health," says Judie Byrd, owner of the Culinary School of Fort Worth (Texas) and founder of Super Suppers, named by Newsweek magazine as one of America's fastest growing franchises. "Turkey on the grill seems to be the new rage this season, because it's not only delicious but healthful as well."
Grilling favorites such as steaks, chicken and hamburgers may keep their standing because of their familiarity. But with the wide array of turkey products, it's time to jumpstart new taste sensations. Ground turkey, tenderloins, cutlets, bratwurst, sausages and more can be found in your grocer's meat case, and all are great on the grill. Plus, turkey is lean and packed with protein.
Tantalize your taste buds by pairing grilled turkey brats or tenderloins with fresh summer vegetable- or fruit-based salsas. These colorful, zingy toppings complement turkey for a cool contrast with sizzling turkey hot off the grill. Instead of ho- hum hot dogs, try your own favorite garnishes atop a turkey brat or Italian sausage in a hoagie bun. A sure crowd-pleaser for kids and adults alike.
And for another healthy, flavor-packed meal-on-the-grill, try ground turkey burgers. Combine one pound ground turkey with grated apples, coriander, salt and pepper; form into four patties. Grill burgers 5 to 6 minutes per side until meat thermometer reaches 160°F to 165°F and meat is no longer pink. Garnish with a sassy combo of cranberry sauce, dried mustard, cinnamon and nutmeg. Serve on buns and enjoy!
How do I lock in turkey's flavor?
Combine 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 bunch fresh basil, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and 2 ounces extra virgin olive oil for a great brush-on for grilled turkey. Fabulous for turkey breast cutlets or tenderloins.
How do I know when turkey is done on the grill?
Using a meat thermometer is the only accurate way to determine a safe temperature. Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the turkey without touching the bone. Turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer reads 165°F for white meat or 180°F for dark meat.
Healthy cooks and summer grillers can visit www.honeysucklewhite.com and www.shadybrookfarms.com for more recipes, marinades, doneness temperatures and grilling tips for a variety of turkey products.