Hello, everyone! I hope you all had a good week. Now that Mother’s Day and the last frost are behind us, it’s time to start planting. We planted some flowers yesterday, and have more to put in pots today or tomorrow. The flowers sure brighten up everything, don’t they?
Well, today there are several “holidays” on the list. It’s Nylon Stockings Day – does anyone wear those any more? It’s also Peace Officer Memorial Day, Straw Hat Day, International Day of Families and, last but not least, National Chocolate Chip Day!
I’ve been looking forward to grilling season, and thought a few tips might remind us to grill and prepare food safely.
1) Marinades provide great flavor and help tenderize meats. They contain an oil, an acid and herbs, usually in a 1/2 oil to 1/3 acid blend. Herbs can be whatever you enjoy, and fresh is best but dried will work. Prepare marinade and pour into zip-close plastic bag; insert meat, close bag and place in dish in case of leaks. Always marinate in refrigerator – never at room temperature. Discard marinade after removing meat to grill.
2) When using skewers, be sure foods are cut to similar sizes to ensure even cooking. The easiest way to cook meats and vegetables on skewers would be to cook them separately, allowing more time for the meat to cook and less for the vegetables.
3) Soak wooden skewers for about 20 to 30 minutes before using to prevent burning.
4) Add sauces toward the end of cooking time. If used too early in the cooking time they will tend to burn or brown too quickly.
5) Thoroughly clean grill surfaces before grilling, then coat lightly with non-stick cooking spray or vegetable oil.
6) Keep children and pets away from the grilling area. Also, place the grill far away from structures, trees, etc.
7) Be sure to put grilled meats on clean platters – not on those that held the raw meat to avoid cross-contamination.
8) The right equipment can make the grilling process much easier and more enjoyable. Use heatproof, long-handled tools and a heavy glove.
9) Dry rubs are another way to flavor and tenderize meats. They are usually a mixture of flavors, from sweet to hot, and can be made quickly. If you want to make your own “special” blend, here are a few possible ingredients: brown sugar, cayenne pepper, black pepper, chili powder, salt or seasoned salt, herbs such as basil, oregano or rosemary, etc.
10) Packet grilling can be fun and adventurous! Use a double thickness of heavy-duty foil approximately 12” x 18”. Add meat and/or vegetables with your choice of seasonings, a small bit of butter or olive oil. Wrap well, leaving room for expansion, and grill until done. Open carefully.
I hope you all have a great week! Break out the grill and have some fun. And, as always, comments and suggestions are welcome. Thanks for reading.