Sunday, April 14, 2013

Corn and Beef Barbecue for Mothers' Day

            Okay, Mom! Get out of the kitchen! It’s time for that sports fanatic couch potato to get up from the dent he’s made in his chair and wait on you. Let him drink his beer while he’s cooking on the barbecue. You can do the shopping in advance. You may also prep the food. This is where it ends. Let him do the rest with help from the ‘kids’. This includes the married ones who regress to childhood when they return home, expecting Mom to do all the work. Let him bring dinner (and a glass of wine) to you while you wait to be served. And let the ‘kids’ toss the salad and do the dishes. As much as you might think otherwise, they are perfectly capable. If they spill, they spill. If the floor is dirty, leave it! And, if everything winds up in the wrong place, don’t say a word. This is your day. Enjoy!
 Beef Ribs go directly on the grill after they have been marinated. The recipe can be exchanged for Short Ribs. However, for fall-off the bone scrumptious texture associated with short ribs, cover them before marinating with water in a large pot. Add garlic or garlic powder, onions or onion powder, and a good amount of pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce heat to medium. Boil gently for 30-40 minutes or until a knife can be easily inserted, telling you they are tender. Remove and cool.  Follow the instructions to marinate and grill. They can be marinated several hours or overnight. Note the absence of salt in the marinades. Salt toughens meat. Sprinkle lightly just before grilling.
            Florida corn is in season. The newest fad is to cook corn in the microwave, with or without husks and silk intact. They will cook in their own natural moisture.
Place on dampened paper towel. Turn ears over and rearrange after 1/2 cooking time.
Cooking Timetable:
1 ear - 1 ½ minutes, 2 ears - 3 to 4 minutes, 3 ears - 5 to 6 minutes, 4 ears - 7 to 8 minutes
6 ears - 8 to 9 minutes.
When ears are hot to the touch, remove and wrap in kitchen towel or foil.
Let stand at least 5 minutes. Remove husks and silk (which is easier than when cold) and serve with melted butter.
The downside of microwaving corn is that it is time-consuming and, when you need to cook more than three ears, the corn might not cook evenly. It works best for corn you freeze for a later date because it will remain firm with its juices and sugar at peak quality.
This Foodie cooks fresh corn in a basket in a large pot with enough water at the bottom to create steam. Do not overcook. Fresh corn is also fabulous grilled. Check below for the recipe to grill our native delicacy.
Mom can make marinade in advance
Yield: 3 cups

1 cup ketchup
½ cup water
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon (Grey Poupon®) mustard
Optional: ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce (Tabasco®)
2 cloves crushed fresh garlic or 1 teaspoon granulated or powdered
½ teaspoon black pepper

1.                  Combine ingredients in a blender and purée. Rub into ribs.  Let stand 1 hour at room temperature.
2.                  Remove from marinade and pat dry. Place over coals or gas barbecue – gas medium heat – or gray charcoals - and cook approximately 30 minutes, turning and basting often until meat is done to your liking. Serve with a baked sweet potato.

For Husbands Who Have Never Done This:
1.                  Wash Potatoes under running water. Remove any strings growing from potatoes. Cut out any dark spots. Perfect!
2.                  Preheat oven to 350˚F. This is done by turning one knob to Bake and the other to 350°F. You can do it!
3.                  Wait approximately 10 minutes for oven to reach its temperature. Place sweet potatoes on a piece of foil so you don’t have to clean the oven later. Bake 1 hour. Insert the sharp point of a knife. If very soft within, they are done.  If there is still some resistance, continue baking another 20 minutes.
4.                  Slice butter and put it on a plate with a knife. Bring butter, salt and pepper to the table. Perfect!

2 cups commercial marinara sauce
½ cup dry red wine
½ cup commercial jalapeño jelly
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons chili powder

1.      Combine ingredients. Bring to a boil in a saucepan, stirring until the jelly dissolves. Remove from the heat to cool.

4-5 pounds beef ribs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

1.      Bring the ribs to room temperature. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sear over direct heat on both sides until browned.
2.      Remove to a deep 10X13 inch baking dish (not aluminum or cast-iron). Set them meat side down.
3.      Pour the sauce over the ribs. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and grill over Indirect Medium heat 1 hour. Remove the foil and continue grilling until the meat pulls away from the bones. (45-60 minutes), turning them occasionally.
4.      Drizzle sauce over to serve.

6 ears fresh corn in their husks
Butter or herb butter
1.      Heat gas or charcoal grill to 550°F highest heat
2.      Peel back corn husks and remove silk. Brush with melted butter or melted herb butter. Close the husks.
3.      Wrap each ear tightly in aluminum foil. Place on the grill. Cook approximately 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until corn is tender.
½ cup melted butter (1 stick)
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
½ teaspoon garlic salt

6 ears husked corn

1.      Combine the butter, basil, parsley and garlic salt in a bowl. Brush each ear of corn with 1 tablespoon of the seasoned butter. Grill over direct medium heat, turning occasionally, until browned in spots and tender. (10-15 minutes)

Yield: 6 servings

12 ounce bottle good commercial Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
 ¼ cup orange juice
1 full teaspoon Dijon mustard (Grey Poupon®)

2 Romaine lettuces, chopped coarse
1 large Iceberg lettuce, chopped coarse
2 cucumbers, peeled and cut into thin slices
2 ripe tomatoes, cut into cubes or quartered
15 ounce can pitted black olives, sliced in halves
15 ounce can garbanzo beans
4 ounces feta cheese, cubed

1.      Combine the Poppy Seed Salad Dressing with orange juice and Dijon mustard.
2.      Combine all ingredients except the feta cheese in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

Tune in Comcast channel 22 & BrightHouse 199 to watch host, Valerie Hart, interview chefs in their kitchens "The Back of the House", or watch it live on your computer at Follow her food page on Wednesdays in The Daily Commercial.

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