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Summer barbecue recipes

Karen Leland is the bestselling author of Time Management in an Instant: 60 Ways to Make the Most of Your Day. She is featured columnist for The Huffington Post Living section. Read her blog and contact her at karenleland.com.

Barbecue recipes

The summer barbecue: It's a standard player in American culinary culture and an easy way to enjoy dining al fresco in the warm-weather months. From the simple hamburger to a Latin version of skirt steak, get your grill on with these summer recipes for outdoor barbecues.

BBQ Foods

Sassy and Spicy Burgers

Serves 4

Feel free to use beef, turkey or even buffalo as the meat in this reinvention of an American classic.

1 pound ground beef or turkey
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 hamburger buns, split
4 slices cheddar cheese
Lettuce leaf and tomato for garnish

Mix the meat, mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning together in a bowl. Heat the grill to medium-high. Shape the mixture into four individual patties 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Place the patties on the grill and cook covered for 15 minutes or until desired doneness. Turn once. Remove from grill, top each with a slice of cheese, and serve on a bun.

Herb-Grilled Vegetable Kabobs

Serves 6

While just about any vegetables will do, the firmer your vegetable choices, the better they will stand up to the heat of the grill.

2 large red peppers, quartered, core and seeds removed
1 eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
3 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
12 large mushrooms (cremini or white)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tablespoon minced sage leaves
1 tablespoon minced rosemary
1 tablespoon minced basil
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon salt

Combine all ingredients except vegetables in a large, shallow glass or ceramic dish. Add the vegetables and coat with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. When ready to grill, bring the vegetables to room temperature, place on kabob skewers, and grill over medium-high heat for 5 to 10 minutes on each side.

Skirt Steak With Chimichurri Sauce

Serves 4

Originally from Argentina, this is a popular sauce used with grilled meats throughout Latin America.

1 bunch flat leaf parsley
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds skirt steak

Place all ingredients except steak into the food processor and blend. Pour marinade into a gallon-size freezer plastic bag. Add the skirt steak, coat with the marinade, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours to overnight. When ready to cook, heat the outdoor grill to medium-high. Remove the skirt steak from the bag and scrape off any extra marinade. Pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan and set aside. Cook the steak on the preheated grill until it reaches desired doneness. Once cooked, let it rest, covered with tin foil, for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. While the steak is resting, heat the remaining marinade over medium heat and bring to simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the sliced steak and serve.

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