Dad of Divas' Reviews: Great Summer Grilling Recipes from Finlandia

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Great Summer Grilling Recipes from Finlandia

Whether it’s a poolside party or backyard barbecue, Labor Day kicks off the outdoor grilling season and the cheese makers at Finlandia understand you’ll want to impress your guests with the ingredients necessary to turn your ordinary Labor Day celebration into something

With burgers topping the list of backyard favorites, why not impress your friends by turning your backyard into the neighborhood destination?  Ariane Duarte, Executive Chef of award-winning CulinAriane restaurant and finalist on Bravo’s Top Chef recommends the following entertaining tip, “Guests love to feel pampered and one way you can do that is to replicate the restaurant experience at home. I like to offer my guests a host of burger toppings, but make them special by introducing high-quality ingredients to the menu.”

Duarte suggests arranging your favorite toppings in a bountiful array using assorted condiments and aged cheeses including a variety of robust tasting cheeses from Finlandia. Their cheeses melt slowly and thoroughly, but maintain their texture and superior flavor. At your next outing, try offering a variety of cheeses like Swiss, Havarti, Muenster, Double Gloucester or Gouda and pairing them with a variety of different main dish proteins like turkey burgers, hamburgers or even grilled chicken. “If you choose great ingredients, you won’t even need the condiments,” advises Duarte. “Be creative with different types of local greens or lettuces and when it comes to cheese, be sure to select a high-quality cheese like Finlandia because your guests really will taste the difference.”

For guests looking for lighter choices, Finlandia has delicious options including Light Swiss and new Lacey Swiss, both so tasty that your guests will never know they’re actually eating something good for them, as well.

Regardless of your favorite type of cheese, Finlandia’s line of all-natural, lactose-free, and hormone-free cheeses allows you to be your own chef with endless flavor combinations that go beyond burgers to terrific tasting sandwiches, too. Menu options like these are perfect for picnics and day trips to the beach.  So grab several flavors from behind the glass at the service deli counter or pre-sliced in the self-service case and try some of these delicious summer recipes as you celebrate Labor Day and all the remaining great grilling days of summer.

Jumpin’ Turkey Swiss Burgers
Created by Chef Ariane Duarte
Serves 6

2 lbs Ground Turkey
1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, small dice (depending on how much heat you like)
½ c chopped cilantro
1T ground cumin
1t chopped garlic
1 small onion, diced
Salt & pepper
12 slices Finlandia Swiss or Light Swiss Cheese
6 burger buns of your choice

In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Divide equally into 6 balls. Form into patties and place on grill. Grill on high heat - 4 minutes on 1 side, then turn and finish for about 3 to 4 minutes on the other. Add two slices of Finlandia Swiss and let melt. Then, place on your bun with your favorite accompaniments.

Ariane says: You can use Finlandia Swiss or Finlandia Light Swiss for this burger as they both deliver a distinctively rich and nutty flavor. The result is a nice compliment to the boldness that results from the combination of jalapeño peppers, cumin and garlic.

The Ultimate Cheeseburger
1 ¼ pounds lean ground beef
1 ¼ cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
Salt & pepper to taste
Suggested Finlandia Cheese: Swiss, Muenster or Gouda
4 sesame seed buns or hard rolls

Combine lean ground beef with onion, ketchup, horseradish, mustard, salt and pepper.  Gently mix with hands until all ingredients are just blended.  Shape into 4 patties about ½ inch thick. Grill or broil to desired doneness.  Pile high with your favorite Finlandia cheese.

Grilled Chicken with Summer Tomatoes and Finlandia Muenster Cheese
Created by Ariane Duarte
Serves 6

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2T olive oil
1T fresh rosemary chopped
1T fresh thyme chopped
1T fresh basil chopped
Salt & pepper
2 Jersey fresh tomatoes
1 package Finlandia Swiss or Light Swiss Cheese

Preheat grill to medium high. Place chicken breasts in a large bowl and add olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Let stand for about 10 minutes.

While chicken is marinating, slice tomatoes into 4 pieces. Brush with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill for about 1 minute on each side. Remove from grill and set aside. Next, place chicken on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes, turning over to complete the cooking for approximately 4 more minutes. After that, top each of the chicken breasts with a tomato slice, then a piece of cheese. Continue to leave the chicken over the heat only long enough to melt the cheese. Remove immediately, platter and serve.

Ariane says: Finlandia Muenster is the perfect cheese choice for this dish. A mild and creamy, yet full-bodied cheese, it offers the perfect palette to exhibit the trio of fresh herbs featured with the best-of Jersey’s summer produce standout.

Finlandia Double Gloucester Burger with Russian Dressing
Created by Chef Ariane Duarte
Serves 6
2 lb ground chuck
1oz (package) onion soup mix
1 egg beaten
2t Worcestershire sauce
2t hot sauce
3/4c rolled oats
1/4t black pepper
12 slices Finlandia Double Gloucester
6 burger buns of your choice
2T melted butter

Mix first 5 ingredients all together. Form into 6 patties. Pressing your thumb print into each patty after they are formed.  Heat grill to med-high and place patties on grill. Grill on one side for about 7 minutes and flip once for another 7 minutes or until the temperature you desire. Add 2 slices of cheese to each burger and allow to melt while brushing buns with butter. Then place the buns on the grill butter side down for about 30 seconds, just enough to warm.  Smear some Russian dressing on bun, next add the burger and if you like lettuce, tomato and onion and pickles.
Russian Dressing
1/2c mayo
1/3c ketchup
1T red wine vinegar
1T grated onion
1Tchopped parsley
Mix all together. Refrigerate.

Ariane says: Hamburgers are the quintessential American mainstay, but I always enjoy the challenge of putting my signature spin on the classic. In this burger recipe, I use onion soup mix, rolled oats and a variety of other ingredients to deliver a juicy, yet toothsome bite. Looking for a cheese that could stand up to the boldness of this burger led me to Finlandia’s Double Gloucester. It’s about the taste, but equally about the texture and as it melts, ahh…so gooey and full of flavor.

About Finlandia Cheese, Inc.
Finlandia Cheese, Inc. is a division of Valio USA, a subsidiary of Valio, Ltd., Finland’s largest food company and one of the most dominant forces in the global dairy industry. Headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, Finlandia Cheese is the number one imported cheese brand in America. All Finlandia imported cheese is made in Finland from the purest milk in Europe with no added hormones. Milk comes from small dairy farms where the average farm has 20 cows and are treated humanely with regular health screenings. Finlandia’s cheeses are distributed to fine supermarkets and delis nationwide. For more information about Finlandia and its products, visit

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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