It's Time !!
It's time to get that grill cleaned and up and running !
Plan Ahead :
Your meal should go off without a hitch, if you make sure everthing is ready before you put the food on the grill.
: Start by setting up a small table next to the barbeque so you'll have a place to put hot pads, food and utensils.
: Make sure you have long handled utensils, spatula, tongs, fork, for the barbeque to avoid splatters and burns.
: Use plastic or sturdy plates to avoid diasasters brought on by floppy plates.
Lastly, put someone else in charge of setting the table, getting the side dishes ready, herding the children, pouring the drinks, etc. so you have nothing to concentrate or besides making perfectly grilled food. Grills are hot and the temperature is difficult to control with much accuracy, so the best way to ensure flawless food is to tend to it constantly.
Safe Handling Food
You always hear me say on the Chef Lou Show ! Never use the same dish that you carry your raw meat out to the grill to put on the finish meat. Always, always use a clean dish to put on the cooked meat off the grill. Using the same dish will carry bacteria onto your cooked meat.
Bacteria thrives and multiplies in food between the temperatures of 40 F and 140 F ( 4 degrees C to 60 degrees C ), so make sure to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold., and never leave parishable foods out for any longer than 2 hours, this includes preparartion time. Again, always remember ready to eat foods should never be placed on a plate that held raw meat.
Foods most prone to cause illness if left unrefrigerated are :
: raw cooked meat, poultry, and fish
: salads made from strachy ingredients such as pasta, potatoes, grains
: anything contaning raw or cooked eggs such as homemade mayonnaise, cream pies and anything else contanning dairy products.
If you're severing appetizers that will likely be sitting out for a while, stick to foods that don't need refrigeration, such as veggie platters, fruit skewers, breads and chips. If serving sour cream or mayonnaise based dips, be sure to keep the bowl on a bed of ice and avoid direct sunlight.
If cooking in a park or some remote location, bring a cooler full of ice and keep all spoil-ablefoods in the cold until they are ready to be cooked or eaten. If possible use two seperat coolers, one for drinks and snacks, which people will be dipping into frequently, and a secon one for meat and other dishes that will not be needed until its time to sit down for the meal
It may be what's for dinner, but choosing a cut of beef is often more difficult than actually preparing it. T-bone or porterhouse, prime rib or a standing rib roast, different names are often used for the same slice of beef. Let me help you cut through the clutter of names and make your next steak taste great-no-matter what you call it.
By any other name
Don't let confusion begin when it's time to make steak. Check out my quick guide to some common cuts of beef and their names :
I myself find the best cut of meats and steaks at Tarone's Family Mkt. on Alter St. Hazleton, Pa. This is one of the last family butcher shops that you will find and believe me a fine one. If you have any questions, don't be affraid, go in there and ask Bobby and his gang.
Names abound for this expensive tender cut. Filet mignon and Chateaubriand are famous preparartions of this same steak. Regardless of name, it's often served with a pan sauce, topped with blue cheese, or wrapped in bacon due to it's mild flavor.
To a T :
These are defined by the large bone seperating the strip loin from the tenderloin. A porterhouse is just a larger version that is often meant to serve two very hungary diners. Without the bone, it becomes a strip steak.
Prime Time :
The " prime " in prime rib dosen't necessarily refer to the grade of meat anymore. It's now the generic term for a standing rib roast, cooked whole and then sliced into steak-sized portions. Rib eye steaks are also taken from the same cut.
Out Flanked :
High in flavor, the flank steak is a grilling staple. It's typically cut across the pronounced grain and used in fajitas, or renamed a London Broil and served wit au jus.
I prefer these cuts of beef for my steaks on the grill :
Beef Basics :
Thickly marbled steaks used to be the norm, along came awareness of saturated fat and other health sources. Today, a growing apperication of where our meat comes from, combined with more healthful cooking methods, is allowing us to enjoy beef again.
Beef is an excellent source of complete protein, B vitamins and iron. It is especially rich in B6, which stregthens the immune system, and in vitamin B12, which helps maintain good blood supply. To cut down on saturated fat level in your diet, it is wise to follow the food pyramid and consume beef no more than twice a week. The USDA recommends eating no more than 3 to 4 ounces per serving, " yea right " ( the size of a deck of cards ) or the palm of your hand.
Is naturally raised beef better ?
In the past decade, many american consumers have grown concerned about the use of antibotics and growth hormones in beef. The FDA maintains that the chemical residues are so low that they are not a concern in humans. If this is an issue for your family, look for labels reading organic or natural, they will be more expensive, but for many people, the higher the cost is worth a piece of mind.
Many farmers markets sell locally raised meat, poultry, and eggs, so you can actually meet the farmer who raised your dinner. Grass fed beef is generally thought to taste meater than commerically farmed grain fed beef. You can also sample hertiage breeds, which connoisseurs maintain taste wider than commonly available types, such as Black Angus or Hereford.
Many people also feel better about consuming range fed animals.
Chef Lou can be seen on Wyln 35 and other local cable companys. Checkout Chef Lou's wbsite wwwcheflou.tv for other great recipes and Chef Lou's Product Line.
Ciao, Chef Lou