Cookbook

FYI: Recipe Note Tips - Kick Off Cookout Season in Style

Kick Off Cookout Season in Style
At last, barbeque season is here! Shine up your favorite pair of tongs and get back into the swing of things with our essential hints that will make any backyard barbeque better.

Marinade Magic. Marinades are a perfect way to infuse flavor into your food without having to fuss with barbeque sauces that can burn and stick to the grill. Try using a large, heavy-duty resealable plastic bag instead of a bowl for marinating your food. It's a snap to clean up, and a much easier way to get the marinade to completely cover your food. Wondering how long you should let the marinade work its magic? Most seafood shouldn't stay in for longer than an hour; boneless chicken breast only needs about two hours. Pork loin can soak for four hours, and you can leave beef for 24 hours or more. More delicate meats like seafood and skinless chicken will become mushy from the acid in the marinade if they soak too long.

Tending the Grill. To make your grilled foods the best they can be, take care when building the fire and preparing the grill. Once the coals are ready, spread them out so that half the barbeque has a double layer of coals and the other half has a single layer. This will allow you to have a high-heat section and a medium-heat section so any type of food you're cooking, from steaks to chicken to veggie burgers, will be able to find a spot on the grill that's the perfect temperature. Once you spread out the coals, place the grill on top and allow it to heat up for a few minutes before you put anything on it - food will stick to a cold grill. Once the last bun has been toasted, use a stiff wire brush to scrape off all the burned-on bits of food while the grill is still hot.

Don't forget the Side Dishes! It happens all too often: You were so excited about planning what to grill, you forgot all about the side dishes, and had to settle for a hastily-bought bag of potato chips to set next to your magnificent platter of grilled meat. With a little planning ahead, you can be ready to serve up some side dishes that almost rival the flame-kissed main dish. The best barbeque side dishes are the ones you can make ahead of time, so there's no fussing over last-minute preparations while you're tending to the grill. Think breads and salads: biscuits, focaccia, rolls, garlic bread, pita, or cornbread; green salad, broccoli salad, pasta salad, coleslaw, potato salad or fruit salad.

FYI: HOW-TO'S, WHAT-TO-DO'S & ANY-HOO'S # 28

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