At the height of grilling season, the American Meat Institute announces beef is the preferred meat on the grill.
A study conducted by Kelton Research for AMI found steaks were the first meat Americans planned to grill, followed by burgers, including turkey or lamb burgers, then chicken and ribs.
Hot dog lovers needn’t feel slighted. Americans will eat an estimated 7 billion hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day, including 150 million during the Fourth of July holiday alone. Baseball fans will also eat 20.4 million hot dogs at major league ballparks across the country during the season.
It’s important to know how to cook all that meat to avoid food-borne illnesses. The poll, however, showed only 30 percent of Americans know the recommended internal cooking temperatures of 160 degrees for hamburgers and 165 degrees for turkey burgers.
For food safety tips and proper cooking temperatures for a variety of foods, visit MeatSafety.org.
For the first time, McCormick is offering a line of steak sauces featuring the signature Grill Mates Montreal Steak™ flavor.
Available in two varieties, Montreal Steak™ and Smoky Montreal Steak,™ the Grill Mates® Steak Sauces can be used as a marinade or at the table. McCormick also suggests brushing sauce on burgers and trying marinade on other meats.
I, too, love a good steak on the grill. When I discovered this recipe on the side of an A-1 Steak Sauce bottle, I couldn’t wait to try it. I know my heritage includes some Romanian, which made this recipe even more interesting to me. Although most of Romania is poor, there is a section, Transylvania, which is better known for vampires but also is home to a few well-to-do people. Steak is on their menu. I don’t know if this recipe is really from their part of the world, but it sure is good.
1⁄2 cup A1 Steak Sauce
2 tablespoons Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 (11⁄2 lbs.) boneless beef steaks (skirt, top sirloin, flank, top loin)
Mix steak sauce, mustard, honey and soy sauce. Place steak in nonmetal dish or plastic bag; add steak sauce mixture, turning to coat both sides. Cover; refrigerate several hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
Remove steak from marinade, discard marinade. Grill or broil steak until desired doneness.
While browsing for other steak recipes, I found this other A1-using recipe that looks great and easy.
RIB EYE STEAK WITH SPICY CREAM A1 SAUCE
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1⁄2 cup A1 Steak Sauce (original or the flavor you like!)
2 pounds rib eye steaks
1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Season steaks with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Preheat grill or broiler to high heat.
Mix sour cream, A1 and cayenne and cover and refrigerate until serving.
Grill steaks 8 or 9 minutes on each side or until cooked to desired doneness.
Remove from grill and let rest 5 or 10 minutes before slicing.
Top slices on each plate with a dollop of sauce.
Serve with mixed green salad or some grilled veggies since the grill is already hot.
Writing for justapinch.com, one of my favorite food news sources, Janet Tharpe suggests trying Tina Reed’s Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Cake. Layer a yellow sponge cake with fresh strawberries and a strawberry-infused filling of cream cheese and whipped topping. Reed ups the ante of the cake itself by starting with store-bought cake mix and adding vanilla yogurt for additional flavor.
This Chocolate Raspberry Cake recipe from Linda Bonwill of Englewood, Fla., doesn’t look half bad, either.
1 box chocolate cake mix
2 cups heavy whipping cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 cup white frosting
red food coloring
1 can chocolate frosting
1 pint fresh raspberries
2 drops raspberry flavor extract or oil
mint leaves for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make cake mix according to directions. Bake in greased and floured bundt pan. Cool cake then slice horizontally, making a total of 4 pieces (for 3 layers).
For filling, in large mixing bowl whip heavy cream until peaks form.
Add mascarpone cheese and white frosting, mix well but do not overbeat. Add red food coloring until desired color is achieved.
Place bottom slice of cake onto a waxed paper-lined serving platter; frost with mascarpone mixture. Repeat layers.
Add raspberry flavor to chocolate frosting, mix well.
Frost sides of cake with chocolate frosting, sealing cut edges. Microwave any leftover frosting to drizzle over top of cake. (Add drops of milk to loosen, if needed.) Remove wax paper; chill. Before serving add raspberries to center of cake. Garnish with mint leaves.
TIP: If you can’t find marscapone cheese, here’s a recipe for a substitute from Food.com.
MARSCAPONE CHEESE SUBSTITUTE
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1⁄4 cup heavy whipping cream
21⁄2 tablespoons sour cream
Combine well and use in recipes calling for Mascarpone cheese.
Do not substitute low fat cream cheese or sour cream.
July is National Hot Dog Month. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council is asking fans to “sing for their supper” with a new Hot Dog Idol contest and is releasing a new Hot Dog Facts, Figures & Folklore brochure.
Fans across America have a chance to win a $250 gift card to use to create their perfect summer picnic; all it takes is a catchy tune. Fans can submit a video or audio post singing a song about hot dogs — the more creative the better. Songs can be an original tune or changed lyrics to a popular song, but the goal is the same: sing to profess a love of hot dogs. Entries must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon July 11.
Finalists will be posted on the council’s Facebook page on July 12 for fans to choose their favorite. The songs with the most votes will be announced on National Hot Dog Day, July 17, with the grand prize winner receiving a $250 gift certificate to the grocery store of their choosing to build the perfect summer picnic.
First runner-up will receive a $100 gift certificate to the grocery store of their choosing, and second runner-up will receive a $50 gift card to the grocery store of their choosing. All three top vote-getters will receive complimentary council T-shirts featuring the slogan “Hot Dogs: Relish the Moment,” chosen by hot dog fans during last year’s Hot Dog Month. Full contest guidelines and rules are available at hot-dog.org.
While I don’t claim to be an expert cook, I do like to cook and love to eat. Readers are encouraged to send questions about food and cooking; I’ll try to find the answers. Also, if you’re looking for a specific recipe, send your request, or if you can offer a recipe to someone looking for something specific, please send email to email@example.com.