Your Last and Most Delicious Summer Barbecue

August 30, 2012

Please note: Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. The Orthodox Union makes no endorsements or representations regarding kashrut certification of various products/vendors referred to in her articles, blog or web site.

In the good ol’ days when dinosaurs roamed the earth and fire was the only form of instant messaging, school didn’t start until AFTER Labor Day. Vacations and pool parties were planned right up until the day when we all trudged 10 miles (uphill both ways) to the non-air conditioned halls of education.

But now that schools start earlier and Labor Day is the first “get out of jail free” day, I find that a celebratory barbeque is called for.

What better way to end summer with a flourish than to serve hot dogs and hamburgers with bunches and bunches of yummy toppings so that everyone can build their own mega meal…and sit back and enjoy a last day of culinary freedom?

Keep the basics topping for your burgers and dawgs but tweak them: Relish, mustards of all kinds, ketchup, sauerkraut, and onions are always appreciated but add a kick by caramelizing the onions and adding jalapeno or horseradish to your ketchup. Try serving salsa, guacamole, chili, BBQ or pizza sauce. Chopped olives, cooked salami, and these simple recipes for some savory toppings help make this last official summer meal one of the best ever.




1 tablespoon olive oil
3 red and/or yellow bell peppers, sliced thin
1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste


In a skillet saute the peppers, sugar and garlic in the olive oil. When they start to soften slightly, add the oregano, basil and thyme. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes and then remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper.

My files, source unknown.




2 to 3 large sweet onions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar


In a skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onions and brown sugar. Cook until the onions are soft. Add the salt. Cook until the onions are really soft, then add the balsamic vinegar. Remove to cool. Serve hot or cold.

My files, source unknown.



Servings:  3 cups


2 large cucumbers, diced
1 red bell peppers, diced
1 onion, finely diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 to 3 jalapeno peppers, minced
3 tablespoons salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon dill seed


In a bowl combine the cucumbers, peppers, onions, celery, and jalapeno peppers. Sprinkle the salt over the top and then cover the vegetables with cold water and ice cubes. Let vegetables soak for 2 to 3 hours. Then drain in a colander but don’t rinse.

In a saucepan combine the sugar, vinegar, celery seeds and dill. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the vegetables, mix to coat and let set until the mixture is room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until cold and serve with hotdogs or burgers.

Modified from a recipe from



Servings: 1 1/2 cups


2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cup ketchup
hot sauce to taste


In a skillet saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil. Cool and whisk in the ketchup and hot sauce. Makes

My files, source unknown.



Servings: 3 cups


2 lbs ground beef or turkey
2 8 oz cans tomato paste with garlic
2 cups water, plus extra if needed
1 tablespoon cumin
1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tablespoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
6 oz hickory barbeque sauce
2 tablespoons honey mustard
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 cup minced onion


In a skillet brown the ground beef and drain the excess grease. Return to the heat and add the tomato paste and water; mix to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes. You can add a little water if it starts to get dry.

Submitted by Carlie Yong of Chicago, IL.



Servings: 2 – 3 cups, depending on the amount of mushrooms you use


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 lbs sliced mushrooms, 2 to 3 kinds (mixed)
1 tablespoon white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika


In a skillet, saute the mushrooms and onions in the olive oil and wine. When they are soft and there is almost no liquid left in the pan, add the paprika and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


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Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes weekly columns for the Chicago Jewish News, and OU Life. She is the author of the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim) and is a contributing writer for several publications. You can visit Eileen’s blog by clicking Cuisine by Eileen.