Saturday, July 29, 2006

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Corn is at peak season here. A local favorite is Silver Queen. It's a sweet white corn. If you can find that type, give it a try. Most any of the yellow or sweet yellow corn in the grocery are fine for eating. You'll find more varieties if you hit a farmer's market.

One of our favorite ways to serve fresh corn (besides boiling it up in a pot) is to toss it on the grill. There are two methods to Grill Corn on the Cob. I cover the basics at Yes You Can Grill where I work on the Barbeque Master space. My tips will have you turning out perfect grilled corn every time.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Pot Luck - the next best thing to barbecue

My youngest son is at Boy Scout camp this week. Wednesday is always family night. Parents, siblings, and friends always show up with favorite foods. My kid is a healthy eater. He wanted green beans, tomatoes, melon, mashed potatoes and gravy. Other kids wanted fried chicken from home, homemade rolls, brownies and other "comfort" foods. Needless to say, it was a great meal.

After the pot luck, the leaders had a big splash contest. I'm not sure if our troop leader made the biggest splash in the water, but he did make the biggest costume splash. He dressed up as a mermaid as you can see above. Well, perhaps that's a merman costume. The camp counselors are all dressed in the pirate theme as you can see.

It was a fun evening and brought back memories. My brothers went to the same camp years ago, and we always went to family night. Both brothers worked as camp counselors at various times, so that was a lot of Wednesday night visits.

If you're headed to a pot luck or just need side dishes for your barbeque, then I have started a list of Grilled and Chilled recipes at Garden and Hearth.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

And the Sqaush Came In - Grill and Home Recipes

Squash are some hearty plants. And, there are loads of varieties. Any summer squash can be used in a squash recipe, so don't skip over a recipe just because it says zucchini and you have yellow squash or patty pan or another type. As long as they're summer squash (thinner skinned and in season in mid summer), then you're fine.

To grill sqaush, just cut in in long slices about 1/2 inch thick longways. Brush with oil. Add any seasonings you want. Toss the strips on the grill. Turn when they have black marks and cook the other side. Time varies depending on the heat of the grill and whether you like squash kind of crunchy or softer. Play around with it and see what you like.

There are more complex squash recipes for the grill. I'll share some of them later. That should get you started and with different sprinkle seasonings, you can get a variety of tastes.

If you still have loads of squash (and most people who grow it do), then check out my zucchini and squash recipes at Southern Cooking.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Greatest Barbeque Tips in the World by Van Rijk

"The Greatest Barbeque Tips in the World" by Raymond Van Rijk of New Zealand turned out to be a neat little pocket guide. It's a perfect beginner manual on the basics of grilling, and it's a nice reference even for seasoned BBQ cooks.

Do note that the book is not a cookbook. It does have a few recipes in the back, but it is packed with general information and tips just as stated in the title. Once a reader understands how to do all the nitty gritty, then it's quite easy to expand and add different seasonings and sauces and such and make new meals out of basic dishes. Here you learn how to grill various meats, fish, and vegetables.

Some of the chapters here include "Buying a Barbeque," "Fuel and Starters," and "Useful Checklists." There are 14 chapters in all covering about everything you could think to ask about grilling.

I'm pretty rough on books. If a book isn't worth buying, then I'm the first to say. This one makes the grade. Just don't expect it to be a cookbook. You learn how to cook on the grill which can be a bit complicated when starting out. I read the little book from cover to cover last night, and I found everything to be spot on. I even picked up a few new ideas myself, and I've been grilling for over 30 years.

If you need a nice how-to grilling guide that isn't confusing and so full of extras that you can't find what you need or want, then this one is very good. It also has cute cartoons sprinkled throughout. So, you get a little humor as an extra bonus.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Barbecue from "Across the Pond"

I just got a copy of "The Greatest Barbeque Tips in the World" in my mailbox today. Linda sent that over from London. She works with some other women with Passionate Media. They juggle families and kids and scratch that book/writing itch, and my hat is off to them. My fellows are up bigger now, but I sure remember what it was like to have little ones on my hip when writing.

I'm looking forward to digging in on the book before I go to sleep tonight. I love books and especially cooking books.

Unfortunately, a lot of BBQ books out there are pretty lame. "The Barbecue Bible" by Raichlen is quite popular, but I found it to be a jumble. I shifted gears and went with something "down home." Ruby Ann's Trailer Park barbecue book was just silly. I really hated that I put my money out for that one.

"Peace, Love and Barbecue" is a winner, but it's much more about smoking than grilling. If you do want to smoke up some meat, then give that one a look. The info is terrific, and the stories are wonderful. That one gets a big thumbs up.

I'll keep reading que books and let everyone know what I think. I hate to waste money on books that sit on the shelf, and I know others do too. On the other hand, a great book can help tons when you're out in the yard and trying to cook up some good grub.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Do you make the best grilled hamburgers ever?

If you think your grilled hamburger recipe is the max, then visit Sutter where they are having a burger contest with a $50,000 prize for first place.

Sutter is a wine company, so you'll have to sign in as age 21 or over first. Then, click around. You'll see the contest details.

They have a traditional meat category and one for alternative burgers.

Be sure to read the tips and hints. It's easy to get bumped from a contest for little things like not sending the information in the right format.

I do think my grilled hamburgers would be hard to beat. But, they are put together with very basic items that you probably have on hand. Contest winning burgers are usually more complex as far as the ingredients. If you do want a super burger though and don't want to spend loads of time, try out my recipe. They sure fly off the grill here.