Cooking tips make barbecue season a success

Proper steak preparation is key when firing up the grill this summer, but make sure not to forget the fresh vegetables

I always look forward to barbecue season and a melt in your mouth barbecued steak. I’ve learned that it pays to plan ahead for a good barbecued steak, making sure the steaks are out of the freezer the night before and putting them in a marinade the next morning. This is the marinade I use 99 percent of the time.

Teriyaki marinade for chicken or steak

Combine and mix well the following:

  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 1 c. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 mashed garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger root

Marinade the meat four to 12 hours, in a refrigerator. I always take the steaks out well before so they are at room temperature when they go on the barbecue. A chef told me to do that for the best steak.

A friend said he once took in a demonstration by a chef during a cruise who stressed making sure that the steak was at room temperature and the meat was well-aged.

I try to buy garlic and other ingredients from Canadian sources. Jolene and Gregg Thiessen of Real Garlic grow garlic at Oak Lake, Man. They sell fresh garlic and many garlic spices mixes.

“Garlic is wonderful minced in a marinade or sprinkling on top of a steak…. We personally make a coffee grill spice mix that we sell and it is used by sprinkling on top of the meat about an hour before grilling.… Coffee gives a smokey flavour and the garlic adds great flavour,” said Jolene.

Many gardeners enjoy asparagus from their gardens or from market gardeners.

We enjoy asparagus numerous ways from served with cheese sauce or roasted with Parmesan cheese. A recent asparagus recipe shared from a friend, Joyce Stewart, is a nice change.

Asparagus wrapped with bacon

Sauce:

  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder or salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

In sauce pan, melt butter, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic powder and pepper: bring to a boil.

Wraps:

  • asparagus
  • bacon

Wrap bundles of four asparagus in a slice of bacon and place in a pan. Pour sauce over bundles. Bake in preheated 400 F oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

Creamy cabbage salad

Generally, this time of year there is lots of fresh lettuce available but once in a while for a change it is nice to have coleslaw. The dressing for this creamy cabbage salad can be quartered and is just the right amount for a package of grated cabbage and carrots.

  • 1 -2 lb. cabbage
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 green pepper, optional
  • 6 stalks of celery, optional
  • 2 c. salad dressing or mayonnaise
  • 1/2 c. cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 c. pineapple juice

Grate cabbage, carrot, and onion. Chop green pepper and celery. Mix other ingredients together. Add to vegetables. Mix well. Put in container, refrigerate. Drain juices before serving. This salad will keep for a month.

I substitute apple juice for the pineapple juice most of the time because I don’t have pineapple juice on hand all the time. Also I don’t drain the salad. I serve it with a ladle that will drain the juices off.

Rhubarb strawberry compote

Numerous years ago, I read an article written by Della Radcliffe about numerous ways to use rhubarb and she included a recipe by Jeanne Beniot for rhubarb strawberry compote, a great way to serve fruit. When served warm, it is great over vanilla ice cream.

  • 4 c. rhubarb
  • 1/2 c. orange juice
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 c. fresh strawberries washed and halved

Clean and cut the rhubarb into ½ inch pieces. Place the orange juice and sugar in a two- quart casserole.

Cook uncovered two to three minutes or until it’s boiling and the sugar is dissolved. Add the rhubarb, stir well cook, uncovered, four to five minutes, stirring once. Cool 10 minutes.

Add strawberries. Serve very cold with a bowl of sour cream.

I have never served it with sour cream. You could use a package of frozen strawberries if fresh ones weren’t available.

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