Before July 4 grilling, grab a bargain in the meat department
One of the unintended bonuses of this recession can be found in the meat department. Prime cuts of beef that would normally be headed toward restaurants are instead ending up in grocery store cases at discounted prices.
The Fourth of July is the perfect time to grill up some of those deals. According to a recent consumer survey conducted by IPSOS Public Affairs, 74 percent of families plan to spend more time grilling outdoors this summer than in years past.
Chef Dave Zino, executive director of the Culinary Center for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association has some more tips to make your meat dollar go farther.
Double-Duty Meals: Plan ahead and grill enough for a couple of extra meals such as sliced leftovers for salads or sandwiches.This is a tip that my friend Sharon recommends.
‘Tis the Season: “Use rubs made with fresh herbs and garlic to enhance the flavor of naturally tender steaks such as T-bone, top loin (strip) and tenderloin. For less tender steaks such as top round, flank or skirt, a basic marinade incorporating acidic ingredients – wine, vinegar or citrus juices – tenderizes and adds flavor. Marinate the steaks at least six hours – up to 24 hours – to achieve perfect results. When adding seasoning to ground beef, don’t over mix and use a light touch when forming patties.”
Bulk Up: It’s cheaper to buy in bulk. Freeze what you don’t use right away.
Everything in Moderation: Always grill over medium heat to ensure the outside doesn’t burn before the inside is cooked thoroughly. Use a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion, and use tongs to turn the meat, not a fork which can causes juices to escape. Charring isn’t recommended on beef, chicken or fish. For more grilling tips and summertime recipes, check out this helpful site. And if prices should start heading up, and you know they will, check out these tips.
-- Tracey Henry, Suburban Diva