Memorial Day Grilling Tips & Secrets

By: Jacqueline Gomes, MBA, RDN

Memorial Day marks the beginning of grilling season, start the season off right with these tips!

  • Use a glass dish or a plastic bag to marinate meats, fish, poultry or vegetables.
  • The oil in a marinade is needed so the spices and seasonings adhere to the meat. Because the leftover marinade is discarded, only a small amount of oil remains on the meat as it cooks.
  • Beef and pork can be marinated overnight and chicken for several hours. However, when marinating fish steak such as tuna, salmon, swordfish and halibut, 20 to 30 minutes is usually sufficient.
  • Try a combination of herbs such as thyme, chives, rosemary, and parsley to complement grilled vegetables.
  • Meat should be fresh or completely thawed before cooking for proper flavor and even cooking.


Easy to Eat Well Tip: About 36 percent of foodborne illness in the home results from “cross-contamination”. That means contaminated cutting boards, counters or utensils are not properly disinfected or sanitized before preparing foods eaten raw, such as fruits and vegetables.

Source: American Society of Microbiology.


Grilled Mahi Mahi with Fresh Tomato Salsa

Seared Mahi Mahi Fillets with Vegetables and Sauce

Active Prep: 30 minutes

Marinate: 30 minutes

Grill: 12 minutes

Makes: 4 Servings 



  • 1 ¼ pounds mahi mahi, skin removed, cut into 4 portions
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, divided
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium ripe tomato
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste.



  1. Place mahi in a shallow dish, sprinkle with 1 tablespoons lime juice and oil. Turn to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  3. Core the tomato and halve crosswise. Gently squeeze out and discard the seeds. Dice the flesh and place in a small bowl. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice, cilantro, onion, jalapeno, garlic, slat and pepper.
  4. Oil the grill rack. Grill the mahi until it is opaque in the center, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Serve with tomato salsa.

Nutrition Facts:

196 Calories; 5g Fat; 1g Saturated Fat; 3g Monounsaturated fat; 1g Polyunsaturated fat; 133mg Cholesterol; 162mg Sodium; 3g Carbohydrate; 1g Fiber; 34g Protein


Buffalo Corn Ears

Delicious grilled corn on a wooden board


  • 4 celery ribs, halved and sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 1/2 fennel bulb (stalks and leaves removed), thinly sliced
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup jalapeño hot sauce
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons hot red pepper sauce (e.g., Tabasco)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 ears fresh supersweet corn, husked
  • Blue Cheese Slather (recipe follows)



  1. Preheat grill or broiler. Place celery and fennel in a bowl of ice water to crisp.
  2. To prepare Buffalo Corn Ears: In a small saucepan, melt butter with hot sauces. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Brush corn with seasoned butter mixtures. On a rack, arrange corn; grill until slightly charred, 8 to 10 minutes, turning ears and basting with remaining butter mixture.
  3. To Serve: Drain celery and fennel. On 4 dinner plates place celery, fennel and Buffalo Corn Ears, Dividing equally. Top corn with Blue Cheese.
  4. Slather: Use remaining slather as a dip for the celery and fennel. Serve with grilled Mahi-Mahi.

Blue Cheese Slather: In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese (2 ounces), ¼ cup softened cream cheese, 1 tablespoon half and half and ¼ teaspoon celery salt. Mash with a fork until fairly smooth. Makes about ½ cup.