Archive for August, 2005
Lamb and beef are most commonly chosen for skewer broiling or “kabobs.” Any solid meat such as veal, pork, liver, kidneys, or even ham can be cooked skewer style. The meat should be cut in 1 – to 2-inch cubes. All but the ham are the better for being marinated in highly seasoned French dressing for an hour or so before being arranged on long metal skewers.
Sliced onions, sections of tomatoes and squares of bacon may be alternated on the skewers with the meat. Whole mushrooms are also used and are particularly good with liver and kidneys. Sliced apple as well as onion may be combined with the ham. When bacon is used, there should be a small space between it and the cubes of meat. Sometimes, slices of bacon are wrapped around the filled skewers.
The kabobs should be arranged on the rack some distance from the coals and turned occasionally until well broiled. If desired, the kabobs may be basted with a barbecue sauce. Otherwise, they should be sprinkled with salt and pepper after the cooking has been completed.
Combine ingredients and cook over low heat until thoroughly blended. Roast may be brushed with this while cooking, or sauce may be served separately. Yield: 12 servings.
Soak corn in husks in water 10 minutes. Drain and bury in the coals 15 minutes. Turn back husks and serve with butter. After soaking, corn may instead be roasted on top of the grill if it is turned often.
Scrub medium potatoes and wrap neatly in 2 thicknesses of foil. Be sure that foil is not punctured. Place on top of coals 12 minutes, turn and cook 12 minutes more. Remove and keep in foil until ready to serve. Open foil envelope, split open potatoes, dot with butter and sprinkle with paprika.
Season 4 pounds of ground steak with salt, pepper and onion juice, if desired. Dip hands in flour and mold meat into patties. Brush each side with sour-cream or with melted butter or margarine. Place on greased rack or in greased skillet and brown on both sides. Have ready buttered and toasted split buns. Spread with prepared mustard, if desired. Place patty and 1 slice of sweet onion between halves of the buns. Yield: 20 to 24 cakes.
Roasts may also be grilled over an outdoor fire, but for satisfactory results they must be even further away from the fire than chicken. There must be both basting and turning. Roasting is a long-time process, and should be chosen only when the man of the family is at hand to oversee the grilling and when he is not pressed for time. A barbecue sauce may be used for basting, but since much of the sauce’s flavor is lost during the cooking, there should be an extra amount to offer when the meat is served. You may prefer to baste your meat with herb-flavored vinegar and reserve the sauce for service with it.
To accompany the meat, potatoes wrapped in foil may be baked in or over the coals, and unhusked corn-on-the-cob soaked in water may be roasted with good results. If you have plenty of room on your rack, other vegetables, such as peas and string beans, may be cooked over the outdoor fire if they are tightly covered and watched so that the water does not evaporate. A skillet may be brought into use for grilling tomatoes and sauteing onions. There is no rule against using a skillet instead of the rack for preparation of certain meat dishes such as a tougher cut of steak which, after browning with a few sliced onions, should have the addition of a little water or wine, then be covered and allowed to cook slowly until tender.
Menus for outdoor meals should be simple, with few items but plenty of each. Scalloped or creamed potatoes, if prepared in the kitchen, should come to the table in a pottery casserole that can be set over the grill, to keep warm as the fire dies down. French bread or rolls may be heated either on the kitchen stove over low heat, or on the grill in a covered, heavy kettle. Very good toast may be prepared quickly as needed after the meat has been cooked. The salad should be served in a pottery or wooden bowl. A California salad or any tossed green salad may be prepared at the table while the meat is grilling.
Plenty of large paper napkins should be on hand for use during the meal. Paper doilies are appropriate for setting the terrace table, but none will be necessary if a wooden picnic table is used outdoors. If paper plates are used, they should be of the heavy type and paper cups should have handles. Even when the rest of the table accessories are of paper, you may prefer to offer pottery or china cups for coffee service, always an important part of an outdoor meal.
While we seldom use the term “buffet” for outdoor meals, all dishes of food with the exception of the meat may be placed on a side table from which guests will help themselves on their way from the grill where they will be served by the host. If the picnic or terrace table is large enough, the dishes of food may be placed down the center and plates and coffee cups passed up and down for filling. The easiest way is the best way for serving an outdoor meal.
Baked potatoes in foil
Hot apple pie
Buttered toast Tomato quarters
Grilled sweet potatoes
Mixed green salad
Grilled frankfurters in bacon
Cucumbers in French dressing
Heated French bread
Roasted sweet potatoes in foil
Eating outdoors from early spring to late fall has become increasingly popular in the last few years. Previously, the picnic meal for which we had to make many preparations and to go some distance was the only type of outdoor eating we considered, except for an occasional lawn party. While we still like picnics, we often prefer a buffet meal served on lawn, porch or terrace, cooked at least partially over an outdoor grill. When we have even the simplest of facilities for the preparation of outdoor meals, we like to use them for entertaining guests informally. Sometimes, only the meat itself will be prepared on the grill, while other dishes may come from the house kitchen in covered casseroles when the meat is ready for service.
If you are an addict of the outdoor meal and like to plan family (as well as guest) meals frequently during the season, a special cupboard in the kitchen should be set aside for storage of necessary equipment. Even more convenient is a large bench-like covered box that can remain on the porch, or if mounted on large wheels, be conveyed to the outdoor dining area. It should have compartments with special places for the skillet, coffee pot, and the cutlery, and for plastic or paper dishes, picnic silver, paper napkins and towels, fireproof gloves and holders. There may even be a compartment for a bag of charcoal or briquets and the newspapers that will be needed for kindling. Iron skillets and stainless steel cutlery should be chosen. The skillet or any other iron utensil should be lightly greased after it has been cleaned with paper towelling and washed, to prevent its rusting if stored outside the house.
The grill itself may be anything from an easily contrived fireplace constructed with the aid of a few bricks or stones and a metal rack, to a sturdily built “barbecue.” In addition, there are traveling grills designed for outdoor cooking that may be used on the terrace or on the lawn. When we picnic in the woods or on the beach, we may depend upon wood picked up nearby, hoping it will be dry enough to catch fire. Often, however, a bag of charcoal will go into the car, in case we want to be sure of having a fire ready in short order. Charcoal or briquets are almost always used for the home “cook out” or grill. With the aid of a few pieces of newspaper, the fire will start quickly and will burn to the glowing coal stage in twenty minutes or so.
Our usual choice for meat is steak (an expensive cut if we can afford it, or a lesser cut which we tenderize in advance), hamburg patties, chops, ham steak, frankfurters, kabobs or chicken. All of these will cook comparatively quickly. When steak, which has a good deal of fat, is cooked over an open fire, a pot of water should be at hand and the coals sprinkled when they burst into flame, as they will when the fat melts and drips on the fire. Sprinkling salt over the coals will also reduce the flame. Chicken takes some time longer than the other listed meats. It should be grilled at some distance from the coals so that we will be sure that the flesh is thoroughly cooked by the time the outside is browned. It should be brushed with fat and basted occasionally during the cooking.
Roll pastry and cut into 4- or 5-inch rounds. Place heaping tablespoon mincemeat on top of each round. Moisten edges, fold pastry over and press edges together. Prick top of each with fork. Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake in hot oven (450 F.) about 10 minutes.
10 to 12 sweet potatoes
cup butter or margarine
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1 cup orange juice
2 eggs, slightly beaten
cinnamon or 15 marshmallows
Note: Canned sweet potatoes may be used.
Scrub and boil potatoes. Peel and press through ricer. Add butter or margarine, orange rind and juice, slightly beaten eggs, and salt and pepper to taste. Pile in greased 2-quart casserole, dot with butter or margarine and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon, or top with marshmallows. Bake in moderately hot oven (400 F.) about 10 minutes until slightly browned. Yield: 12 servings.
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