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Culinary Conversation: Grilled goodness still in season

Published 9:45pm Monday, September 10, 2012

Few are the individuals who would turn down an invitations to an outdoor cookout. For any who might drag their feet, inform them fresh corn on the cob will be served. Then expect 100 percent attendance.

Fresh corn on the cob
Corn on the cob
Pastry brush, if needed
Aluminum foil
Boiling pot, if needed
Long metal prongs

For the backyard feat where you will be using your outdoor grill, fill your boiling pots with water, place onto the hot grill and use the hot water to cook the corn cobs as needed.

Or if you plan to take the hot corn with you… boil your corn just before leaving for the event, then place each of these pre-cooked cobs into its own envelope of aluminum foil, then pack them into a thermal chest. Offer the butter, salt and pepper on the side.

Do you know that if you happen to be a “meat loaf” lover, you can relegate this duty to an outdoor grill? When I do this, I usually use the same amount of meat that I normally use in preparing my regular meat loaf… simply fashion this meat into several smaller loaves so it is easier to handle and cooks nicely in a lesser time.

Homemade meat loaf
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1/2 to 3/4 cup finely chopped onions
Soda crackers
Mustard, as desired
1 pound ground veal
2 eggs
Salt and peppers, as desired
Catsup, as desired
Black and green olives, as desired

Thoroughly combine all the above ingredients, then place this mixture into a loaf-type pan. Set oven temperature at 350 degrees and proceed to bake for an hour. Once removed from the oven, allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before attempting to remove from the pan. Meat loaf can be especially tasty”when served with potato salad and a piping hot pot of homemade baked beans and a generous helping of crispy garlic bread.

If you hunger for meat loaf and find you are without beef or pork, substitute some ground venison.

Venison meat loaf
1 1/2 pounds ground venison
2 eggs
2 tablespoons. brown sugar
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 large finely chopped onion
8-ounce container tomato sauce
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
Dash pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Begin by lightly beating two eggs in the bottom of a large bowl.

Now, add your very lightly beaten eggs, the tomato sauce, crumbs, onions, salt and pepper. Mix these ingredients together well, then add the ground venison to this completed mixture.

Using an ungreased loaf pan, press the venison mixture into this. Now, mix together the mustard, brown sugar and vinegar and gently pour this over the top of the meat. Slide into an oven which has been heated to a temperature of 350 degrees and bake for no less than 70 minutes.

Timely trivia

I truly believe that parents can be doing their children, male or female, injustice by not teaching them any cooking skills as they are growing up. Should any unforeseen circumstances occur in their lives, we owe them this knowledge if only as a means of self survival. Contrary to much popular belief, good cooks know no gender.

Homemaker’s hints

•Did you know that if you slice your fresh tomatoes in a vertical fashion, as opposed to horizontal, it retains its shape much better?

• If you are planning on using a recipe that calls for fresh grated orange peel, place your orange into the freezer the night before. Frozen orange is easier to grate.

• In reply to the question I am frequently asked, as to what constitutes the difference between the term “braising” and “pot roasting,” when braising, very little liquid is added as the natural juices provide most of the moisture. In pot roasting, some liquid is added, but, in most processes, the meat is always browned first, usually in hot fat, but often even just by a quick “searing” in the oven or broiler.

• Using a double layer of foil, place hot dogs into the buns, top with a zesty cheese sauce and lay them into this reinforced layer of foil. Place onto grill, uncovered, until cooked.

• It’s advisable to pour a kettle of boiling water down your sink drain on the average of once weekly. This removes any undesirable residue and helps freshen your drain pipes.

• In reply to the homemaker who questions if there is some trick involved in cooking perfect pasta, the only trick involved is timing!
If overcooked, pasta is bound to end up in a sticky mess that invariably clumps. It is also imperative that the water be rapidly boiling before you attempt to add any pasta to it! The very thinnest form of pasta, usually referred to as “angel hair” never, never cooks longer than one or two minutes, as opposed to the regular pasta which demands 10 to 12 minutes.

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