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June is the annual observance of National Safety Month, originated by the National Safety Council in an effort to promote public awareness and ultimately decrease the number of injuries and deaths.
Whether you are cooking outside on the grill or inside in your kitchen, it is important to pay close attention to what you are doing. Disaster can strike without warning no matter if you’re using a charcoal grill or a gas grill. Observe these key grilling safety tips:
Grilling safety tips
•Always keep your grill clean for maximum effectiveness and to minimize grease buildup, a lethal potential for a fire.
•If using a gas-fueled grill, make sure the hoses and connections are not leaking when using the grill.
•Keep your grill positioned a safe distance from any combustibles or structures to ensure the fire will be confined to the grill.
•When using charcoal, only use regular charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going. Never use any other flammable liquids. Once the fire is ignited, do not add any additional starter fluid to the coals, as this will just increase the chance of a fire spreading.
Following these few but important safety tips will allow everyone to have a safe and enjoyable day in the sun.
Juice of 8 lemons
Juice of 2 oranges
3/4 cups sugar or more to taste
24 small fresh mint leaves, lightly crushed
Combine all the ingredients with 6 or more cups of water; stir until the sugar dissolves. Taste for sweetness, then serve immediately or chill. Yields about 8 cups.
Southern Buffalo Wings
1/4 cup butter
3-5 Tbsps. hot sauce
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 1/2 pounds wings, trimmed Buffalo style (see below)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsps. Old Bay seasoning
To make dipping sauce:
Slowly melt butter in a large saucepan. Add hot sauce (3 tablespoons for mild, 4 for medium, more for hot). Add the vinegar. Remove from heat.
To make the wings:
First, cut off the tip of the wing and slice the remaining wing into two pieces. This is Buffalo-style trim. Brush both sides of wings with olive oil, or put wings in a large bowl and mix them with oil with your hands.
Place oiled wings on a large, rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle top side of wings with about half of the Old Bay seasoning. Put wings in oven, about 3 inches from broiler. Broil at 400 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the tops of wings are browned.
Remove from oven, drain liquids from baking sheet. Flip wings, sprinkling their new top sides with remaining seasoning. Broil until brown, another 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with hot dipping sauce. Makes 4 servings as a main dish.
Sticky Asian Spareribs
3 pounds pork spareribs
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsps. fresh ginger root, grated
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tbsps. dark soy sauce
For the sauce:
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbsps. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 Tbsps. cider vinegar
2 Tbsps. toasted sesame seeds
Trim the ribs of excess fat. Mix the garlic, ginger and brown sugar together in a small bowl. Lay the ribs on a sheet pan and rub the soy sauce into each slab. Rub the brown sugar mixture into each slab. Marinate in plastic wrap for 8 hours or overnight. In a bowl, mix the sauce ingredients together and reserve until needed. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap from ribs and roast in the oven for 2-3 hours.
Transfer the ribs to the grill and grill over direct heat for 2-3 minutes per side. Make sure they don’t flare up. Move ribs off direct heat. Brush with some of the sauce and close the lid on the grill, keeping the vents open.
After five minutes, turn the ribs over and baste again. Repeat the basting process three or four times, working to get a nice coating of sauce on the ribs without burning them. Remove the ribs to a cutting board and let rest for five minutes. Cut and serve. Makes 4-6 servings.
Grilled Baby Back Ribs
The ribs are rubbed with a blend of paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic and sugar for a flavorful treat. Try the Asian-style barbecue sauce (below) when serving them up.
4 pounds baby back ribs
2 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper
Mix the spices together and rub on both sides of the ribs. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate 12 hours or overnight.
Preheat grill to medium-high. Remove plastic wrap and place ribs on the grill. Grill ribs on both sides just enough to sear the meat. Reduce heat to low (about 250 degrees) and let them cook with the lid down for 1-1/2 hours, or until the meat begins to pull away from the bones. Remove from grill and serve with your favorite sauce. Makes about 4 servings.
Asian-style barbecue sauce
Try this sauce with the grilled baby back ribs.
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
4 scallions, both white and green parts, trimmed and thinly sliced
Large pinch dried, red chile flakes
In a small bowl, whisk the ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, half the scallions and the chile flakes. Reserve the remaining scallions to sprinkle on the wings after tossing. Makes about 1/2 cup.
Food safety tip
Whenever you talk about serving food hours or even days after it’s made, food safety becomes an issue, especially when the food is going to be exposed to warm summer air. The threat of food poisoning is real. Remember the two-hour rule. Eat food within two hours of when it’s served. Be particularly careful with meat, seafood, poultry, eggs and dairy products.
Norm Harding is a cooking columnist for the Beacon. To send him recipes, e-mail him at email@example.com.