Jul 11 2014

Summer Grilling

Are you glad it’s summertime? I know I am! Not only is summer a great time for some relaxation and traveling, but it is a great opportunity to try out some new recipes and master the grill. Ladies, grilling isn’t just for the man of the house. And men, there are more things to grill than just a big steak! Some of my favorites include grilled chicken, zucchini squash, and even grilled pineapple! Preparing individual skewers of meat and vegetables can help to aid in portion control. As with any type of cooking, it is important to ensure your grilled meats reach the proper internal temperature to prevent food-borne illness. This can be done with a food thermometer which can easily be found at your local grocery store. Let’s look at some of those temperatures.

Steaks, Pork Chops, Tenderloins 145˚
Hamburgers 160˚
Poultry 165˚
Seafood 145˚

Insert the tip of the food thermometer into the middle, thickest portion of the meat or seafood. Let the thermometer rest for 5-10 seconds until it reaches the highest temperature. If the tip is too close to the grill then you will be obtaining the grill temperature rather than the temperature of your food resulting in an inaccurate reading.

Here are a few more simple tips and recipe ideas:
1.) Let your meat cook low and slow. Once cooked through, let it rest before digging in; this will keep more flavor in your meat.
2.) Try cooking your protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables all together in individual foil packets. Try this easy recipe. First, spray your aluminum foil with non-stick cooking spray; place a 4 ounce salmon filet, baby red potatoes, broccoli, and carrots inside. Arrange fresh lemon slices around the salmon and season with salt and pepper. Place on low-medium heat for 30-45 minutes or until salmon reaches 145˚.
3.) Prevent cross contamination. Always use separate utensils and cutting boards when preparing raw meats alongside vegetables. Dispose of any marinade used on raw meats, wash contaminated dish towels, and always use proper hand washing techniques.
4.) Think veggies! Grilled peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, asparagus, corn on the cob, yellow squash, cauliflower, and so much more! Simply brush vegetables with olive oil and place directly on grill for larger veggies, in a grilling basket, or in aluminum foil.

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients.” –Julia Child